Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Review

Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Review – A Perfect Smartwatch For Outdoors

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Last Updated on September 21, 2020 by Jude Simeone

The Garmin Instinct series are a collection of GPS smartwatches designed and equipped to holistically track outdoor activities. And the Tactical edition is one smartwatch I really admire for its rugged design, fitness tracking features, and impressively long battery life. The Instinct Series are a lower-end version of the Garmin Fenix 6 series, these smartwatches lack preloaded maps, Garmin pay, music storage, but still decent alternatives for 1/3 of the price. In this post, I take a look at what the Instinct Tactical Solar edition from Garmin has to offer.

List of Garmin Instinct Series Smartwatches

    Garmin Instinct Series consists of 6 members;
  1. Garmin Instinct Edition
  2. Garmin Instinct Solar Edition
  3. Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition
  4. Garmin Instinct Solar Camo Edition
  5. Garmin Instinct Tactical Edition
  6. Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition

Basically all 6 editions have the same design and features except that the solar editions have longer battery life and feature blood oxygen monitoring and underwater heart rate tracking.
Beyond that, the Surf edition features Surfline Sessions that allow you to record every wave you ride, while the Tactical edition features jumpmaster, night vision mode, and stealth mode.

The Tactical edition has security features such as jumpmaster, night vision mode that switches the display from daytime to nighttime vision, and stealth mode that stops sharing your GPS location when activated.

Garmin Instinct Tactical vs Instinct Solar Tactical

Like mentioned earlier, all editions of the Instinct smartwatches basically have the same features, but the Tactical solar edition features blood oxygen monitoring and underwater heart rate tracking and as well as a longer battery life than the Tactical edition without solar charging.

Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition Features Review

  • Design and Build
  • The Instinct Tactical Solar edition comes in a durable build that makes it a perfect fit for the great outdoors. The case is made of a fiber-reinforced polymer which is tough and durable, while the straps are made of silicone. The same materials used for most smartwatches and this is soft, doesn’t irritate the skin, and comfortable to wear.

    This Watch is a bit bulky at 15.3mm, but still lightweight at 53 grams when compared to Garmin Fenix 6 series. You can get the Instinct Tactical Solar edition in black and moss colors.

  • Waterproof Rating and Durability Test
  • With a waterproof rating of 10ATM, the Instinct Tactical Solar is fully swim-proof, it makes an ideal choice for anyone keen on exploring deepwater activities. And with MIL-STD-810G, it can withstand harsh weather conditions. This adds to making it a very rugged smartwatch.

  • Display and Controls
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Like every other member of the Instinct Series, the Tactical Solar edition has a 1.27 inches display size which is powered by MIP transflective LCD. The display is very bright and can easily be read even under bright sunlight, this is one of the advantages of transflective display technologies. Without touchscreen supported, this Watch is still easy to navigate with 5 physical buttons.

Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical Edition Fitness Tracking Features Review

The fitness tracking features built into the Tactical Solar edition makes it a comprehensive fitness tracker that can help you reach more fitness goals.

Starting with the basics, it tracks your heart rate, stress, body battery energy monitor gauges how fit you’re for the next task, menstrual cycle tracking allows women log and monitor period cycle and hydration tracking helps you manage your water intake.

  • Activity Tracking Features
  • The basic fitness features are activity tracking features which include counting your steps, calories, floors climbed, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and move bar that reminds you to move when you remain idle for long.

  • Training Planning and Analysis Features
  • Instinct Tactical solar houses lots of training planning and analysis features. This includes creating customizable activity profiles, course guidance, setting up custom alerts, ability to show GPS speed and distance, and a host of other tools that can help you plan for the great outdoors.

    Although the Tactical Solar doesn’t have preloaded maps like Fenix 6 series, you can create a route from the Garmin Connect app and sync it to the Tactical Solar. This comes handy in helping find the best possible route to follow.

  • Heart Rate tracking
  • Like many other smartwatches on the market, the Instinct Tactical Solar tracks your heart rate continuously. It has features such as HR zones that show your heart rate range, it will also alert you when your heart rate gets to a certain level.

  • Tactical Features
  • The difference between the Tactical edition and other members of the Instinct series is the presence of tactical features such as stealth mode that allows you to stop sharing your GPS location and the night vision mode that switches the display from daytime to nighttime which can be viewed with a night vision goggle. There is also jumpmaster in the list of recreational outdoor profiles, this feature calculates release points according to military guidelines while navigating to your objective as you jump.

  • Swimming Features

With a waterproof rating of 10ATM, the Tactical solar also makes a decent choice for tracking your swimming activities thanks to the in-depth swim-tracking features. Swim profiles include a pool and open water swimming, it also detects your stroke type and as well as tracks metrics such as swim efficiency (SWOLF), distance, distance, calories, pace, and more.

Other Features

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