The Best Garmin Watch for Mountain Biking in 2024

Explore the ultimate guide to the best Garmin watches for mountain biking. Uncover features, pros, and cons to find your ideal companion for conquering trails. From personal coaching to crash notifications, Garmin offers top-notch cycling watches. Join the adventure with our in-depth review!

Choosing the Best Garmin Watch Is Not What You Think

A Garmin watch will change the life of almost any mountain biker at any level. We say that wholeheartedly and from pure experience. Every member of the Pro Mountain Bike team who has donned a Garmin smartwatch has seen their MTB life change for the better in some fashion, and we have all types, from your casual weekend rider to the semi-pro enduro junkie with thighs of cabled steel. All have fallen for the company’s wearable’s amazing features, from smartwatch functions to blood oxygen monitoring and everything in between.

In most cases, these Garmin devices have completely replaced cycling computers on our rides (they can even be handlebar mounted computers with the right accessories). So, we think we can help when it comes to finding the best Garmin watches for mountain biking in 2024.

Garmin is a smart company that, in our opinion, goes about their watch designs and specifications in a way that serves their customers and actually makes choosing one of their GPS watches relatively easy.

It doesn’t appear that way at first glance – there are a fair few model ranges, and then the number of watches explodes as soon as you look under each model name. A watch might also be called an S, X, Solar, Sapphire, Tactical, or not have any special category at all.

What about this is easy? Okay, we admit that understanding those categories can be a pain, but the beauty of Garmin’s approach is that no matter which watch you buy, you’re getting crazy-good essential features that only minimally differ between their cheaper models to the top.

So, that means when you’re looking to buy a Garmin GPS watch in 2024, you don’t need to settle for a specific feature set, you can start with what you want your watch to look and feel like. Big or small? Plastic or metal? AMOLED or memory-pixels? Big screen or small screen? And go from there. Every watch probably has all the features you will need for indoor and outdoor activities.

The guidance and advice provided right here in this post will make it even easier to choose.

Pro Mountain Bike’s Garmin Glossary

Here’s a breakdown of and information on the terms and letters that Garmin uses to designate its watches.

S – If there is an S in the name, you’re looking at a smaller version within that Garmin smartwatch model lineup – usually with a 40-42mm face diameter. These are great if you have smaller wrists, want something light, or just prefer small form factors on your watches. For example: Fenix 7S | Forerunner 265S | Instinct 2S

X – The “X” indicates a bigger model – usually measuring 51mm across the face. These are great for activities in the outdoors like mountain biking and hiking because they’re durable and packed with robust design features, not to mention a larger and easier-to-read display. For example: Fenix 7X | Instinct 2X

Solar – As the name suggests, these watches have solar charging capabilities, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who are regularly away from power sources. You will see noticeable increases in battery life if you spend a lot of time outdoors and in the sun. If you don’t, then the money savings from the non-solar options are worth considering. Many models have solar options, such as Instinct, fenix, and some Forerunners. AMOLED screen models don’t have solar options right now because those colorful screens take up all the space – something to consider.

Sapphire – This means the Garmin smartwatch has durable, scratch-resistant sapphire glass over its display. It adds an extra layer of protection to keep your watch looking brand new for years. However, this feature does come at a higher cost and is not fully scratch-proof. To get really specific, Garmin uses Power Sapphire on some solar options to help with solar charging. Sapphire Crystal is the term they use for non-solar models.

AMOLED – This display type offers vibrant, high-resolution visuals and is awesome for fitness tracking and smartwatch features. Just keep in mind that it does use a bit more battery power, so consider that when choosing this option. Examples include the entire Epix line, Forerunner 965, Forerunner 265

SatIQ – This cool navigation feature is exclusive to Garmin watches, it figures out which GPS mode is optimal for your location and environment. Multiband GNSS is usually best around tall buildings or outdoor settings with trees or terrain. On the flip side, more open areas allow the watch to be just as accurate with the lower-power built in GPS modes. SatIQ figures it all out on the fly and takes managing GPS accuracy and battery life out of your hands.

Tactical – These watches are specifically designed for military and law enforcement personnel. They come with cool features like stealth mode and night vision compatibility.

TracBack – Some Garmin wearables have a function that lets you travel back along a previously recorded track. It can be surprising how useful this feature is in certain scenarios.

Music – Music storage allowing you to play your tunes directly from your watch. No need for a separate device while working out or on the go.

Garmin Forerunner 965 – Best All-Rounder & Best Value

Garmin Forerunner 965 - Best All-Rounder & Best Value

Price: $599.99

Pros:

  • Feature-Rich yet Affordable: The Forerunner 965 offers an impressive feature set that rivals higher-end models like the fenix and EPIX lines, all while being more cost-effective due to its materials.
  • Lightweight Design: Unlike the heavier metal construction of the fenix, EPIX, and Enduro watches, the Forerunner 965 features a durable plastic build with a metal bezel, striking a balance between durability and weight.
  • Vibrant AMOLED Display: The Forerunner 965 boasts a bright and colorful AMOLED display, enhancing the visual experience for users who appreciate a vibrant, high-quality screen.
  • Balanced Feature Set: It strikes a perfect balance between being feature-packed and low-key, making it an ideal choice for users who want comprehensive functionality without sacrificing simplicity.

Cons:

  • As of now, there are no notable cons for the Garmin Forerunner 965

Choose the Garmin Forerunner 965 when…

  • You want the best features and good size without breaking the bank
    • The Forerunner 965 has a feature set that can go almost toe to toe with the fenix and EPIX lines but its materials are more cost-effective
  • You want the best features but in a lighter watch
    • fenix, EPIX and Enduro watches use metal construction that is heavier and not for everyone. The Forerunner 965 is plastic with a metal bezel – but still durable!
  • You like the Forerunner design but also want a nice, bright, and colorful AMOLED display
  • You want something that perfectly walks the line between feature-packed and low-key

Key Features:

  • 1.4-inch AMOLED display with a crisp resolution and excellent visibility in all lighting conditions
  • Lightweight and durable titanium bezel ensures your watch can withstand whatever you throw at it
  • Comfortable silicone strap with 22mm QuickFit compatibility
  • Offline maps for easy navigation during outdoor activities
  • Heart Rate Variability, VO2 Max, stress tracking, and sleep metrics for comprehensive health monitoring
  • Accurate GPS performance with quick satellite acquisition – your watch will know and record where you are throughout all your adventures
  • Excellent battery life of up to 23 days on standby, 31 hours in GPS mode, battery saver mode if needed, and 10.5 hours with GPS and music playing – basically you can go on days-long hikes on one full battery if you know how to set the watch up for that
  • Running dynamics without the need for an extra sensor, providing valuable insights to enhance running performance – an external heart rate monitor (HRM) will increase the accuracy of your watch’s readings but its built-in sensor is more than up to the task during any sport, from swimming to skiing
  • Smartphone notifications for calls, messages, emails, and more, keeping you connected without distractions.

In Brief

The Garmin Forerunner 965 is a brilliant multisport watch that delivers killer performance and a stunning 1.4-inch AMOLED display. It takes everything great about its predecessor, the Forerunner 955, and adds cool upgrades like a titanium bezel and an always-on display without killing the battery life. Plus, the watch is super durable with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass DX. It’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters, so you can easily keep it clean and looking fresh.

But wait, there’s more! The Forerunner 965 is packed with a ton of features that are fantastic for mountain biking adventures. The tracking is spot-on with multi-GNSS GPS and heart rate monitoring, including cool stuff like Heart Rate Variability, VO2 Max, stress tracking, sleep tracking, offline maps, and all-day HR tracking. And it doesn’t stop there – the watch gives you all sorts of useful metrics to optimize your training, like Training Readiness score, recovery times, workload readouts, race predictions, and more. It also has handy features for everyday life, like contactless pay, and onboard Spotify music.

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar – A Very Specific Set of Skills

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar - A Very Specific Set of Skills

Price: $599.99

Pros:

  • Features almost completely align with Garmin’s EPIX and fenix models, but in a lighter case, offering a comprehensive feature set.
  • Provides impressive base specifications as the FR 965, making it a cost-effective alternative with substantial capabilities.
  • Offers a 64-color display with high contrast, great for visibility in adverse conditions, and uses less battery power than an AMOLED, while also including solar capabilities.
  • Lightweight and rugged design with a comfortable silicone strap, ensuring a pleasant wearing experience.
  • Clear and bright 46.5mm screen, easy to read, and allows for solar charging, which is particularly beneficial for outdoor activities like mountain biking.
  • Accurate GPS tracking and mapping features, facilitating easy location tracking and route planning.
  • Innovative software features like HRV status and Training Readiness score, providing detailed insights into fitness and readiness to train.
  • Impressive battery life of over two weeks and 49 hours in GPS mode, thanks to the Power Glass solar technology.
  • Ample storage space for music and routes, enhancing the user experience.
  • Option to disable certain features, allowing for customization based on individual preferences.

Cons:

  • Physically, the FR 965 has a metal bezel while the FR 955 has a plastic bezel, potentially impacting the perceived durability and aesthetics of the watch.

Choose the Forerunner 955 Solar when…

  • You love the feature set on the Forerunner 965 but think solar capabilities will serve you well
    • This watch’s capabilities almost completely align with Garmin’s EPIX and fenix models but in a lighter case
  • You want to save a bit of money and still get the impressive base specifications as the FR 965
    • Note: physically, the FR 965 has a metal bezel while the FR 955 is plastic
  • You prefer a 64-color display over the AMOLED
    • The FR 955 has the same display type as the fenix series – it uses less battery power than an AMOLED and its high contrast is great for visibility in adverse conditions

Key Features:

  • Rugged and lightweight design with a comfortable silicone strap – you’ll barely notice it’s there
  • Clear and bright 46.5mm screen – it isn’t an AMOLED like the 965, which means less colors but allows for solar, which is indispensable for some
  • Accurate GPS tracking and mapping features – look at where you and/or track where you went with ease
  • Turn-by-turn directions and the ability to calculate circular routes
  • Innovative software features like HRV status (stress level) and Training Readiness score – these types of metrics truly broaden horizons for those invested in fitness and health
  • Daily recommended workouts based on upcoming races – you don’t need to use this, but if you compete it can be useful
  • Impressive battery life of over two weeks and 49 hours in GPS mode
  • Plenty of storage space for music and routes
  • Option to disable certain features if they are not what you’re looking for

In Brief

It may not be the latest Forerunner 9-series model, but the 955 Solar is not a step back by any means. We mention it here because it is the way to go if you like the 965 but would also like solar among your Garmin watch’s features.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar is an awesome lightweight and rugged watch that’s powered by the sun – a feature that comes into its own when mountain biking. It has a sleek design with a comfy silicone strap and a clear, bright 46.5mm screen – comfortable to wear and easy to read. The user interface is simple to use with buttons and a touchscreen.

What sets this watch apart are its amazing features, like GPS tracking, turn-by-turn directions, and the ability to plan circular routes. In terms of health tracking features, it even has new software features like HRV status and Training Readiness score, giving you detailed insights into your fitness level and readiness to train. And the best part? The battery lasts over two weeks and 49 hours in GPS mode, thanks to the Power Glass solar technology. Plus, there’s plenty of storage for all your favorite tunes and routes.

Garmin Epix Pro – Best Screen + Features Combo

Garmin Epix Pro - Best Screen + Features Combo

Price: $899.99

Pros

  • Long-lasting battery life, with the potential for extended usage through solar charging, making it suitable for prolonged outdoor activities.
  • Enhanced memory-in-pixel (MIP) display conserves power and space, offering a practical alternative to AMOLED displays while maintaining visibility.
  • Cutting-edge onboard sensors with future-proof functionality, ensuring compatibility with upcoming Garmin features and updates.
  • Comprehensive selection of outdoor activity profiles, complete with specific metrics for diverse sports and activities, catering to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts.
  • Preloaded topographic, road, trail, and ski resort maps provide extensive route and terrain coverage, complemented by accurate GPS positioning and touchscreen map navigation for effortless exploration.
  • Introduction of new Endurance Scores and Hill Scores metrics offers detailed insights into training progress and fitness levels, aiding in goal setting and performance tracking.
  • Upgraded optical heart rate sensor delivers improved accuracy during workouts, enhancing the overall fitness tracking experience.
  • Multi-frequency positioning GNSS mode ensures continuous tracking accuracy, especially in challenging environments such as urban areas and densely wooded areas.

Cons

  • Shorter battery life (around 11 days with regular use and GPS activities) due to the AMOLED screen and lack of solar charging, making it less suitable for extended periods in remote areas without power.

Choose the Garmin Epix Pro when…

  • You want the best features both inside and outside your watch AND a brilliant, bright and colorful AMOLED display
  • You want the most current sensors only our sports watch – the Pro series of both EPIX an fenix feature Garmin’s most advance sensor, which has additional metal plates that will capture things such as skin temperature and other readings
    • Garmin has been hush hush about what this sensor will allow their watches to do in the future, but you can bet it’s going to be some very cool stuff
  • Your activities don’t demand the longest of battery life and you will have the opportunity to charge your watch on a regular basis
    • This is just being honest about how the EPIX functions with its AMOLED screen and lack of solar charging – it is not a watch for those who go into remote areas without power for days on end

Key Features of the Garmin Epix Pro:

  • Robust design with a five-button setup – Garmin watches don’t get much sturdier than this gem of a device, and its button system and interface may take time to learn, but you’ll quickly see it’s so well designed
  • User-friendly navigation via touchscreen and buttons – it’s great to have the option to use both buttons and a touch screen
  • Full-color AMOLED screen – all we can say is, gorgeous
  • Good battery life (around 11 days with regular use and training) – pretty good for an AMOLED screen and no solar charging, that is
  • Comprehensive Garmin Connect companion app – Garmin’s app is a little complex and has room for improvement, but it does not skimp on information and analysis
  • Real-time weather information on topographical maps – this is a neat new feature that let’s you see an overlay of the weather on a map, making planning and visualization a sinch
  • Accurate heart rate monitoring and pace tracking – basically an eagle-eyed fitness coach right on your wrist
  • New Hill and Endurance scores – this isn’t a gimmick, after a while the watch will know your capabilities and fitness levels inside out and the metrics will help you improve
  • Advanced GPS capabilities – a great range of modes that allow for accuracy across all types of environments, with SatIQ deciding automatically which mode is best in a given environment
  • Additional features like sleep data collection and presentation, music control, onboard storage, and expedition mode

In Brief

The Garmin Epix Pro is a super sturdy fitness watch made for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s got a tough build, easy-to-use buttons, a touchscreen, and is comfy to wear all day long. The full-color AMOLED screen is still as good as ever, especially in low light or darkness. The trade-off is a shorter battery life, lasting around 11 days with regular use and GPS activities, but this is more than manageable and much better than you currently get from an Apple Watch. Plus, you get the awesome Garmin Connect app that has tons of cool features, like real-time weather updates on detailed maps.

But what really sets the Epix Pro apart is its advanced fitness metrics and health tracking features. It’s got accurate heart rate monitoring and pace tracking, and even some new stuff like the Hill and Endurance scores. These features really push you to mix up your training routine. And the GPS is top-notch, just like other devices in its class, so you can track your activities with precision. Even though it’s just an update, the Garmin Epix Pro is definitely worth checking out for its comprehensive features and reliable performance.

Garmin fēnix Pro – Best Feature Set Premiere Sports Watch

Garmin fēnix Pro - Best Feature Set Premiere Sports Watch

Price: $999

Pros

  • Long-lasting battery life, with the potential for extended usage through solar charging, making it suitable for prolonged outdoor activities.
  • Enhanced memory-in-pixel (MIP) display conserves power and space, offering a practical alternative to AMOLED displays while maintaining visibility.
  • Cutting-edge onboard sensors with future-proof functionality, ensuring compatibility with upcoming Garmin features and updates.
  • Comprehensive selection of outdoor activity profiles, complete with specific metrics for diverse sports and activities, catering to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts.
  • Preloaded topographic, road, trail, and ski resort maps provide extensive route and terrain coverage, complemented by accurate GPS positioning and touchscreen map navigation for effortless exploration.
  • Introduction of new Endurance Scores and Hill Scores metrics offers detailed insights into training progress and fitness levels, aiding in goal setting and performance tracking.
  • Upgraded optical heart rate sensor delivers improved accuracy during workouts, enhancing the overall fitness tracking experience.
  • Multi-frequency positioning GNSS mode ensures continuous tracking accuracy, especially in challenging environments such as urban areas and densely wooded areas.

Cons

  • It’s bulky, but that’s about it.

Choose the Garmin fēnix Pro when…

  • You want top-of-the-line Garmin watch features with longer battery life and solar options
    • The memory-in-pixel (MIP) display is less vibrant at 64 colors, but it doesn’t take up the same amount of space nor use as much power as an AMOLED display
  • You want the latest iteration of Garmin’s on-board watch sensors that are basically future-proof in that they have functionality that will incorporate new features when they are released by Garmin

Key Features:

  • Variety of outdoor activity profiles with specific metrics – whatever sports you love, this watch will likely have a profile that will help track and log your performance
    • The watch comes preloaded with everything from running to surfing
  • Preloaded topographic, road, trail, and ski resort maps – it is almost frightening just how much routes and terrain are mapped out and ready to be displayed alongside your accurate GPS position
  • Touchscreen map navigation – scroll around your maps as easily as any other touch device
  • Solar options – anyone who spends a significant time outdoors will benefit from a little charging boost that makes the already-impressive smartwatch battery life even better
  • New Endurance Scores and Hill Scores metrics – see how you did during each activity, get a deeper understanding of your fitness level and set real goals
  • Improved heart rate sensor – more accurate and less prone to errors
  • Multi-frequency positioning GNSS mode – for continuous tracking accuracy in built-up areas and locations with terrain and trees in the way
  • Up to 22 days of battery life in smartwatch mode (extendable by solar charging)
  • Expedition mode offering up to 40 days of watch time
  • Smartwatch functions include notification support, music control, Garmin Pay, and access to Garmin’s Connect IQ Store

In Brief

The Garmin fenix 7 Pro is an awesome outdoor watch packed with tons of fitness features for those who love exploring the great outdoors. It’s got all sorts of activity profiles like running, golfing, swimming, and more, with specific metrics for each one. Plus, the fenix 7 pro is loaded with topographic maps, road and trail maps, and even ski resort maps that you can navigate with the touch of a finger. The new Endurance Scores and Hill Scores help you track your training progress. The optical heart rate sensor is also upgraded for better accuracy during workouts.

But guess what? The Garmin fenix 7 Pro still has all the good stuff from the fenix 7, like the multi-frequency positioning GNSS mode that keeps your position tracking on point. And get this — the battery life is seriously impressive, lasting up to 22 days in smartwatch mode and even longer with solar charging. In Expedition mode, you’ve got a whopping 40 days of use. And don’t forget about the smartwatch features: notifications, music player, Garmin Pay, and access to Garmin’s Connect IQ Store. It’s got it all!

Garmin Forerunner 265 – Best Bang for Your Buck

Garmin Forerunner 265 - Best Bang for Your Buck

Price: $450

Pros

  • The Garmin Forerunner 265 features a vibrant, colorful AMOLED screen (1.1″ / 28.1mm) that makes data viewing easy and clear, despite its smaller size compared to other models.
  • It provides accurate route and time tracking, maintaining top-notch accuracy for users who prioritize precision in their fitness activities.
  • The comfortable and lightweight design caters to individuals seeking a smaller and discreet wearable without compromising functionality.
  • Inclusion of features such as a compass and TracBack offer simple yet game-changing tools for navigation and outdoor activities.
  • The watch is equipped with everyday conveniences like contactless payments and message replies, enhancing its practicality for daily use.
  • It boasts an excellent battery life, lasting up to 13 days in smartwatch mode and 25 hours in GPS mode, surpassing many competitors in its price range.
  • The fast recharge time of around 50 minutes ensures minimal downtime, keeping the watch readily available for use.

Cons

  • The lack of TopoActive maps might be a drawback for users who heavily rely on detailed mapping features for their outdoor pursuits.
  • Some intermittent glitches with the LiveTrack feature, including messaging and language issues, could affect the overall user experience, albeit not significantly.

Choose the Forerunner 265 when…

  • You want a Garmin wearable with great features and a smaller form factor and lighter design
    • The 1.1-inch (28.1mm) display is smaller than many of the (non-S) models but still perfectly readable – also it’s AMOLED
  • You want to dive into the wonderful world of Garmin wearables and don’t need every single top feature
    • The biggest difference is the lack of maps, which isn’t a deal breaker by any means – all the other functions let you dig deep into training and performance tracking

Key Features:

  • Vibrant, colorful AMOLED screen (1.1″ / 28.1mm) for easy data viewing
    • It’s smaller than some but still amazing to use and clear as day
  • Accurate route and time tracking – with the FR 265 you are not settling for less, the accuracy is still top-notch
  • Comfortable and lightweight design – this will be just what some people want, something small and discreet yet uncompromising when it comes to functionality
  • Includes features like a compass and TracBack – simple but game-changing tools in a pinch
  • Useful for everyday activities (e.g., contactless payments, message replies)
  • Excellent Battery life: 13 days in smartwatch mode, 25 hours in GPS mode
  • Fast recharge time (around 50 minutes)

In Brief

The Garmin Forerunner 265 is an exceptional running watch that really stands out. It’s got style and substance! The AMOLED screen is stunning with vibrant colors that make it super easy to view your data, even during intense runs. And let me tell you, the tracking capabilities are spot-on. It’s like having a reliable running buddy by your side, no matter your level. Plus, it’s so comfortable and lightweight that you can wear it all day without any discomfort. Perfect for both intense workouts and everyday wear, you know?

Now, let’s talk about the not-so-perfect parts. Some folks might miss the TopoActive maps, if that’s your thing. And every now and then, the LiveTrack feature might have a little glitch or two, like messaging and language issues. But hey, it’s not a biggie when you consider all the awesome features this watch has. You can make contactless payments, reply to messages right from your wrist – talk about convenient! And let’s not forget about the impressive battery life. It lasts up to 13 days as a smartwatch and gives you a solid 25 hours of GPS usage. That’s longer than many other smartwatches in this price range, my friend. And get this, it only takes around 50 minutes to fully recharge. No waiting around, always ready to go!

So yeah, the Forerunner 265 is pretty darn amazing. It’s got a few quirks, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Trust me, you won’t regret having this watch on your wrist.

Garmin Enduro 2 – Still King of the Hill (Especially Battery Life)

Garmin Enduro 2 - Still King of the Hill (Especially Battery Life)

Price: $999.99

Pros

  • The Garmin Enduro 2 offers exceptional battery life, with up to a remarkable 46 days in smartwatch mode and 150 hours in GPS mode, making it ideal for endurance athletes and adventurers who require long-lasting performance.It provides all the latest features from Garmin in a rugged package, catering to users who seek top-notch features combined with durability.
Cons

  • While the Enduro 2 is packed with advanced features, it may come with a higher price tag, which could be a consideration for budget-conscious consumers.

Choose the Garmin Enduro 2 when…

  • You want exceptional battery life with an extra serving of battery life – this is a GPS smartwatch that goes the distance
    • Up to a mind-blasting 46 days in smartwatch mode and 150 hours in GPS mode
  • You want all the latest features Garmin has to offer in the most rugged package available

Key Features:

  • Topographical maps and turn-by-turn directions – makes navigation easy and gives the utmost confidence on even the most intrepid adventures
  • NextFork and Grade-adjusted Pace features – basically the watch knows whats coming up in terms of terrain and makes smart adjustments and predictions
  • Health Snapshot – with a 2-miunte session, the watch will generate a comprehensive report on your Garmin Connect App
    • Includes heart rate, heart rate variability (stress), blood oxygen levels, and respiration measurements
  • Detailed multi-band GPS guidance – accurate navigation in almost every type of environment
  • Safety features including a red light safety mode and automatic incident detection – your watch can detect a fall and will send an alert to a preset contact
  • Smart functionalities like notifications, Garmin Pay, and built-in music capacity
  • Impressively long battery life, lasting up to 46 days in smartwatch mode and 150 hours of GPS battery life
  • Improved solar charging and SatIQ feature for energy efficiency
    • SatIQ is a smart function that determines which GPS mode can be used to maintain accuracy, which extends battery life because it will automatically drop into lower-power modes when possible
  • Regular software updates adding more features

In Brief

The Garmin Enduro 2 is a hardcore multisport watch designed for endurance athletes and adventurers. It’s got a big 1.4″ solar-charged display, an UltraFit band, and a seriously impressive battery life. Plus, it comes with topographical maps and turn-by-turn directions, featuring NextFork and Grade-adjusted Pace made specifically for trail and road runners. And let’s not forget about its performance features like Visual Race Predictor (for running), Health Snapshot, and detailed multi-band GPS guidance. Even though it’s a bit pricey, the Enduro 2 is totally worth it for endurance athletes who want top-notch performance and a ton of features.

But you know what really sets the Enduro 2 apart? Its insane battery life! You can go up to 46 days in smartwatch mode and 150 hours when GPS is in use. And with improved solar charging and the Power Sapphire glass, you’ll always have juice. It’s perfect for all your outdoor adventures, with safety functions like a red light safety mode and automatic incident detection. Plus, it’s got all the smart stuff you need, like notifications, Garmin Pay, and even built-in music. Yeah, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but trust me, the Enduro 2 is totally worth every penny with its advanced features, long battery life, and regular software updates.

Garmin MARQ (Gen 2) – Garmin Wearable Royalty

Garmin MARQ (Gen 2) - Garmin Wearable Royalty

Price: $2,100

Pros

  • The Garmin MARQ Athlete (Gen 2) is a luxury sports watch that combines premium design with advanced technology.
  • Constructed from Grade 5 titanium, the watch offers resistance to scratch damage and long-term wear, while its domed sapphire crystal lens and AMOLED display provide sharp resolution and clarity even under direct sunlight.
  • The device includes various sports tracking features, comprehensive sleep metrics, training readiness feature, offline Spotify support, contactless payments, and navigation features.
  • It delivers fantastic GPS accuracy through its multi-band GPS system, offering pinpoint accuracy during workouts.
  • Offers long battery life, up to 16 days in standby mode and a week with full GPS tracking and daily training, along with a proprietary fast charging capability that can fully charge the device in just an hour.
  • The safety feature detects accidents and sends a pre-written message along with your location to your pre-set contacts, adding an extra layer of assurance for users.
  • The watch’s body is made from Grade 5 titanium, fused carbon fiber, and domed sapphire crystal lens, representing the highest-grade materials for exceptional toughness while remaining light.
  • Comprehensive sports tracking features cover every discipline, from MTB to skiing, and the training readiness feature analyzes and informs users about their body’s readiness for the next challenge.
  • Offline Spotify support, contactless payments, and outstanding long battery life with various battery modes add significant value to the device.
  • Precise multi-band GPS tracking and navigation features, including preloaded maps and turn-by-turn guidance, enhance the user experience.

Cons

  • None

Choose the Garmin MARQ when…

  • You want every function in Garmin’s toolbox packaged into a beautiful watch with a tinge of luxury design and premium features
  • Only the best of the Garmin models will do – MARQ watches feature Grade-5 titanium, ceramic, sapphire and carbon fiber

Key Features:

  • Grade 5 titanium body, fused carbon fiver, and domed sapphire crystal lens – the highest-grade materials for exceptional toughness while still staying light
  • Jacquard-weave nylon – looks premium and pretty
  • 1.2-inch AMOLED display – as bright and beautiful as you want
    • Comes with digital faces unique to the MARQ line
  • Comprehensive sports tracking features – every discipline Garmin has on offer, from MTB to skiing
  • Training Readiness feature – like other Garmin watches, the MARQ doesn’t just track and log information, it analyses it and let’s you know how prepared and ready your body is for your next challenge
  • Offline Spotify support and contactless payments
  • Accident detection safety feature – when paired with your phone, the MARQ will send an alert to a preselected contact when it detects and accident
  • Outstanding long battery life with various battery modes – up to 21 days, but normal use will put the MARQ Gen 2’s battery life between about 5 to 14 days
  • Proprietary fast charging
  • Precise multi-band GPS tracking
  • Navigation features including preloaded maps and turn-by-turn guidance.

In Brief

The Garmin MARQ Athlete (Gen 2) is a luxury sports watch that combines premium design with advanced technology that more than fits the needs of mountain bikers. The watch’s body is constructed from Grade 5 titanium, ensuring resistance to scratch damage and long-term wear. Its domed sapphire crystal lens and AMOLED display offer sharp resolution, bright colors, and clarity even under direct sunlight. This high-end device also includes various sports tracking features, comprehensive sleep metrics, training readiness feature, offline Spotify support, contactless payments, and navigation features.

The MARQ Athlete (Gen 2) delivers fantastic GPS accuracy through its multi-band GPS system, providing users with pinpoint accuracy during their workouts. For an AMOLED model with a bright display, you get long battery life, offering up to 16 days in standby mode and a week with full GPS tracking and daily training. The watch also boasts of a proprietary fast charging capability that can fully charge the device in just an hour. The safety feature that detects accidents and sends a pre-written message along with your location to your pre-set contacts adds an extra layer of assurance for users.

Conclusion for the Best Garmin Watches

If you look at a picture of a Garmin watch on this list and think “I like the look of that one,” then that is most likely the right one for you! That’s what we meant above when we said Garmin makes the choice simple. They make every model so feature-rich and capable that a wearer does not have to sacrifice specifications by choosing one model over another, and there is no single model that is best suited to mountain bikers.

The Garmin watches on this list, all of which we believe sit firmly among the best Garmin watches in 2024. So, our advice is to simply bring your preferences for style and function, your needs in terms of budget and usage, and have at it. Find the Garmin wearable for you and it may just change your life as it did ours.

Frequently Asked Questions About Garmin Watches

  1. Which is the best Garmin watch for mountain biking?
  • Best all-rounder: Garmn Forerunner 265 (or Forerunner 255 if you want solar)
  • Best features: Garmin EPIX Pro if you want a beautiful AMOLED display, or the Garmin fenix Pro if you want better battery life and solar charging
  • Best battery life: Garmin Enduro 2 is a beast in all aspects and can last up to 42 days on a single charge
  • Best on a budget: Garmin Forerunner 265, but make sure the screen size is okay for you
  • Best luxury option: Garmin MARQ Gen 2 – titanium, carbon and ceramic beauty
  1. Why choose Garmin over other GPS watches or wearables? Garmin has the most robust feature set both in terms of software and physical design. Other brands are making strides, and an Apple Watch may even surpass it is some areas, but it won’t hold a candle to Garmin’s exceptional battery life across every model range.
  2. Which smartwatch by Garmin is best for everyday use? Overall, we would say a choice from the Garmin Forerunner lineup, or a Vivoactive model (not on our list above), but ultimately the best Garmin watch in 2024 is the one that suits you.
  3. Which Garmin wearable is best for budget-conscious buyers? The Garmin Forerunner 265 is feature-packed and great value, with most of the top specs you’ll find in more premium models at a very reasonable price.
  4. Which Garmin wearable has the longest battery life? The Garmin Enduro 2 can last up to 42 days on one charge – you won’t see that with any sort of normal usage but it still blows every other model out of the water.
SRAM AXS

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Best Enduro Mountain Bike Helmet of 2024: Maximum Protection for the Trail

Enduro mountain biking is not just a sport, it’s a call to the wild; an adventure that pushes you to your limits and demands the best of your physical stamina and mental grit. It’s about conquering rugged terrains, steep inclines, and challenging descents. But at the heart of this thrill and challenge lies safety, and that’s where the enduro mountain bike helmet comes in.

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Navigate a stress-free life with Garmin’s cutting-edge GPS watch. Discover how they measure stress using Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Firstbeat Analytics. Monitor, manage, and enhance your well-being effortlessly with Garmin’s stress-tracking technology. Whether facing high or low stress, make lifestyle adjustments with ease. Your path to improved overall well-being starts with Garmin on your wrist.

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