A good fitness watch can be your best friend during a workout—that is, if your idea of a best friend is someone who constantly tells you your pace, heart rate, mileage, calories burned, and other personal tidbits about your body’s performance. While some prefer to be less “connected” while enjoying their activity of choice, many find that smart watches are fantastic tools for helping them achieve their fitness goals.
There has been a lot of innovation in the world of smart watches in recent years, and Garmin has continued to produce some of the best models out there. These new watches go above and beyond tracking where and how you work out: they can be used to help you meet your daily hydration goals, listen to music, check the weather, track your sleep habits, and so much more. For women wearers specifically, Garmin has included a new feature–Women’s Health Tracking–which allows users to track their menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and even log symptoms directly on the watch. There’s not much a smart watch can’t do at this point.
What to Consider
As a woman, there are a few key questions I personally ask when choosing a smart watch: Is it heavy and clunky, or is it sleek and comfortable enough that I forget it’s on my wrist? (To get an idea of comfortability, look at wrist circumference measurements and the weight of the watch listed in the product detail page online.) Is it subtle in appearance—can I wear it with anything?—or does it have that unmistakable fitness tracker look? If you’re a one-watch-for-all-occasions gal like I am, this matters.
Beyond the exterior, you’ll want to consider battery life, the types of apps and tracking tools offered, music playing capabilities, and water resistance. The more you know what you want in a watch, the easier it is to pick the one that will serve you best.
How We Selected
To determine the best women’s watches Garmin had to offer, I tested many of the following popular models and compared them to fitness watches I’ve used in the past, including a previous version of the Garmin Forerunner that I’ve been using for the past few years (the Forerunner 35). As someone who runs, bikes, hikes, and occasionally hits the gym for a strength workout, I’m well familiar with how useful a good watch can be for tracking my mileage, pace, and heart rate, among other things.
To cover all my bases, I also checked out user reviews for these watches to see how my experience with them compared to that of others’. While some observations vary according to personal preference—appearance and design, for example—other standards are less flexible: battery life, ease of setup and use, comfortability on wrist, and price point, to name a few. Key specs are listed above each model to give you an idea of what these watches offer and how they align with what you’re looking for in terms of design, battery life, weight, and other features.