Which Garmin Activity Tracker or Fitness Watch is Right for You?
When it comes to your own fitness performance, the only way to gauge whether or not you're making any progress is primarily: the mirror. In conjunction with physical feeling and performance, yes- being able to lift more, run longer, etc.

But there aren't any analytics you can see: the numbers! Heart rate can be determined by putting two fingers to your neck. Distance can be measured on google maps when you get home or before when you create your route. Pace can be assumed.

But there aren't many things that come with basic fitness knowledge or the internet that track YOU individually.

You can't count your steps. Nor your flights of stairs. It's impossible to know your sleep patterns (although there are apps for this- not connected to you, though). You can't measure your VO2 max. Or your true distance. There's just a lot you CAN'T do. No fault of your own, just without the means of knowing that in-depth of information about yourself through a piece of tech.

Cathy Kerns, our product expert and a level 1 Crossfit Trainer at Crossfit Baltimore notes that we've "moved on from just a pedometer. Most trackers and watches are going to include a much more comprehensive picture of your health and fitness activity."

And she's exactly right. Today's fitness watches and activity trackers are much more advanced, and depending on what you want out of it, you could be looking at completely different features and price points.

So which activity tracker/fitness watch

is right for you?


Garmin vivosmart HR : $99.95 

On the lower end of the spectrum, compared to other Garmin fitness watches and activity trackers is the vivosmart HR. This is your classic activity tracker equipped with all the bare necessities: steps, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed, and activity intensity. But this watch can also:

  • Receive text, call, email, calendar, and social media alerts

  • Tell you when to move through its move bar and vibration alert for activity reminding

  • Sync automatically with a compatible smartphone via Garmin Connect™ and MyFitnessPal

  • Find your phone if lost (Find my phone feature)

  • Swim with you! (For up to 50 meters)

Watch Garmin's vivosmart HR fitness tracker video here --> Garmin vivosmart HR Fitness Tracker- Wear That 

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Garmin vivosmart HR+: $169.99

Coming in at 70 dollars more, is the vivosmart HR+. Both activity trackers monitor your heart rate, so the plus doesn't apply to heart rate monitoring but rather, tracking something else! The Garmin vivosmart HR+ is GPS enabled and overall more advanced and better quality than its previous version. Wareable Tech gave the vivosmart HR+ the winning title at their Wareable Tech Awards in 2016. James Stables of Wareable Tech said that "the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is essentially a Fitbit on steroids. An activity band with 24/7 optical HR and GPS built in, it has the specs to be the strongest fitness tracker on the market."

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Garmin Forerunner 235: $329.99

An upgrade from the vivosmarts, this sweet watch features GPS technology for tracking distance, pace, altitude and an accurate heart rate monitor for the best personalized training guidance. It can even estimate your VO2 Max to predict race times for several distances when used with heart rate.

You'll stay connected with the help of Android wear and smart notifications like social media updates, incoming calls, messages, weather stats, and calendar notifications, and runners will appreciate the integrated coach aspect of this watch that provides heart rate zones and various sport profiles for running, cycling, climbing, etc.

The Garmin Forerunner 235 Heart Rate Monitor features innovative Elevate™ wrist heart rate technology that measures your heart rate at the wrist and when connected to your smartphone allows audio prompts that include laps and lap times to help motivate you to meet your goals. An easy-to-read color graph shows your heart rate zone at a quick glance so it won’t disrupt your rhythm. Download watch faces, widgets, apps and data fields with Connect IQ.

You can also have ease with training with its interval training and Virtual Partner™ software as well as recover with help from its built-in recovery adviser. And with 11 hours of battery life in training mode, there's nothing about this watch NOT to love.

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Garmin fenix 3 HRM Run Bundle: $499.99

If you're looking for a sophisticated and highly customized and all-purpose activity tracker, the Garmin fenix 3 HRM-Run Bundle is right for you. With multi-sport training capabilities and Connect IQ™, you can use customized apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields to achieve the most personalized fitness experience possible. Get emails, texts, and other alerts sent to your watch when you pair it with your compatible smart phone. It will even help you find your phone if you ever misplace it (this one was a big one for me). In addition to providing you with running, cycling and swimming-specific data, the fenix 3 also count steps, sets auto-goals for you, tells you when you should move if you've been sitting to long and is equipped with a sleep monitor.

Unique to this watch?

  • Tracks running cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time

  • Provides heart rate-based calorie computation.

  • Up to 50 hours of battery life in UltraTrac mode; up to 20 hours in GPS training mode, up to 6 weeks in watch mode.

  • Built with an electronic compass

  • Withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 100 meters

Watch our watch overview on our YouTube channel here --> fenix 3 HR: True Performance Meets True Style

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Garmin Forerunner 735XT Run Bundle: $499.99

For serious runners, the Forerunner 735XT Run Bundle from Garmin is THE watch and a runner’s best training partner. This newly designed GPS has a soft silicone strap, is lighter and has a larger, easy to read face. Athletes will be able to track multiple sports and activities and record data for future comparison (you can check your progress in real time!) You can get even the most advanced results from real-time pacing, dynamics, VO2 max and recovery advising. Store your data and create training plans based on your results using the Garmin Connect™ App.

What's cool about this watch? 

  • Built-in support for multiple sports including running, cycling, XC skiing, cardio and strength training and more.

  • Includes a “Strava suffer score” which features heart rate comparison from previous activity to gauge progress.

  • Battery life features 14 hours in training mode and 11 days in watch mode.

  • Estimates VO2 max and recovery time and predicts race times for several distances for running and swimming.

  • Easy-to-read color graph shows heart rate zones at a quick glance.

  • Provides interval training and advanced workouts.

  • Water resistant up to 50m.

  • Includes HRM-Run™ monitor.

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Garmin Fenix Sapphire 5S: Currently Out of Stock (Available in April) 

Garmin Fenix 5S Black: $599.99

The Garmin fenix 5s Black GPS-enabled watch is the creme de la creme of watches. Athletes and adventurers will love the performance features like two complimentary navigation systems, GPS and GLONASS satellite reception for accurate distance and pace tracking and runners and racers will love the brighter, high-resolution screen that allows them to read their real time stats as well as any incoming notifications. A wrist-based heart rate monitor and VO2 Max estimates help assess activity intensity and progress.

With this watch you have battery power for use of up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 24 hours in GPS mode and 75 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode! WHAT!? It has an electronic compass, barometric altimeter (measures altitude), withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 100 meters and monitors sleep.

Plus it does all of the above. This watch. Rules.

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 Hope you find your right fit! (or 5)