12 BEST Garmin Watches for Women in 2024 [Every Activity]

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Short on time? Our pick for the best Garmin watch for women is the Garmin Instinct 2S.

The best Garmin watches for women, no matter what activity you’re into!

I’m not going to lie, I’m the kind of minimalist who used to think smartwatches were silly. 

I was the last person in the world to get a smartphone, and I’m pretty sure my last watch band actually rotted off my wrist. 

But after doing the detailed research for this article, poring over technical reviews, and reading Garmin watch comparisons, “now I’m a believer” as the Shrek song goes. 

Seriously, I will be dropping hints to my boyfriend for my next birthday. 

I’ve always used Garmin products to help me navigate in the backcountry, and their niche in the world of GPS is what makes these Garmin smartwatches for women stand out. 

To give you an idea, Garmin uses three satellite systems to give users the most accurate location possible. This isn’t a service you’ll find with other brands. 

Garmin wearables also have amazing health tracking, detailed sleep health reports, and advanced training tools, including Garmin Coach. 

Additionally, they now have Garmin Pay for contactless payment, plus safety tracking and alert services. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Whether you’re looking for fitness tracking for your endurance race, a way to track yoga sessions or an everyday watch with smart notifications, Garmin has it. 

So, if you’re ready to stack your birthday list like me, keep reading to find the perfect Garmin watch for you. 

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Garmin For Every Type of Activity

Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations

Garmin Watch Comparison Chart

Garmin Fenix 7S - Saphhire Solar EditionGarmin Fenix 7S – Saphhire Solar EditionCheck on Amazon
Garmin Forerunner 45Garmin Forerunner 45SCheck on Amazon
Garmin Instinct 2 - Solar EditionGarmin Instinct 2S – Solar EditionCheck on Garmin
Garmin Vivosmart 4Garmin Vivosmart 4Check on Garmin
Garmin Approach S42Garmin Approach S42Check on Garmin
Garmin Venu 2SGarmin Venu 2SCheck on Garmin
Garmin Forerunner 245Garmin Forerunner 245Check on Garmin
Garmin Vivomove StyleGarmin Vivomove StyleCheck on Garmin
Garmin Lily - Classic EditionGarmin Lily – Classic EditionCheck on Garmin
Garmin Vivoactive 4SGarmin Vivoactive 4SCheck on Amazon
Garmin Enduro Garmin EnduroCheck on Garmin
Garmin Swim 2Garmin Swim 2Check on Garmin

#1 Garmin Fenix 7S – Saphhire Solar Edition

Best Multisport Wach

Garmin Fenix 7S - Saphhire Solar Edition

Our rating: 5/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 11 days
Features: Pre-loaded topographic maps, plays music, PacePro, advanced models have solar charging capability, and meets US military durability standards.

The Garmin Fenix 7S Saphhire Solar Edition is the most tricked-out fitness watch I’ve ever seen. 

The Garmin Fenix 7S has two other models; the standard and solar editions, but the Saphhire Solar is the premium edition. 

The 7S also has the smallest diameter face (42mm), which is ideal on smaller wrists. 

Additionally, the Garmin Fenix 7S has topographic maps pre-loaded and has built-in WIFI so you can update the maps as needed. 

Not only are the maps pre-downloaded, but the Garmin range for GPS signal is excellent. They utilize three satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) to give you the most accurate position possible. 

And this Garmin GPS watch does SO much more. For many of these activities, the watch tracks your distance, time, pace, elevation, and in some instances, how much energy you’ve used. 

Here is a list of activities the Garmin Fenix can track:

  • Running and trail running
  • Swimming
  • Biking and mountain biking (including how smoothly you descend)
  • Rowing
  • HIIT workouts
  • Skiing and cross country skiing (including maps from 2,000 ski resorts all over the world)
  • Surfing (compatible with Surfline Sessions subscription)
  • Golfing (with pre-loaded maps)
  • Indoor climbing

In addition to all these activities this watch can:

  • Monitor heart rate
  • Monitor pulse ox (pulse oximetry: a measure of how much O2 is in your cells) 
  • Track breathing/respiration 
  • Track your hydration 
  • Create health snapshots with the Garmin Connect app on compatible smartphones
  • Track your menstrual cycle or pregnancy
  • Give you daily workout suggestions
  • Give you an estimated race finish time based on past workout times
  • Provide a pacing “coach” with their proprietary PacePro app
  • Tracks stamina with VO2 max, which is a metric of cardio fitness. This metric can help you understand whether you’re improving your cardio strength and endurance.
  • Provide a recovery time advisor 
  • ABC sensors to measure elevation (via an altimeter), help you “see” storms coming (via a barometer), and navigate (via a compass). 
  • Track sleep quality
  • Monitor your energy reserves with their “body battery” feature
  • Play music 
  • Send you emails, texts, and alerts when paired with a smartphone 
  • Enable Garmin Pay
  • Detect whether an indecent has occurred and send your location to select contacts both manually and automatically
  • Download other apps via the Connect IQ Store

Phew! Do you see what I mean?? This sports watch does everything!

The watch face also has both traditional buttons and a touchscreen, which makes it easy to make selections even if you have gloves on. 

And similar to an Apple Watch, you can mix and match watch bands to personalize the watch to your taste. 

Lastly, the Garmin Fenix has a battery life of 11 days in smartwatch mode with up to three extra days if you use solar charging. 

Despite all the fanciness of this watch, there are a few downsides to know about. 

This watch is very expensive, it’s missing the flashlight app which comes on the 7X model, and the face can get scratched relatively easily. 

While this might be expected on normal watches, you’re paying a premium here and understandably want something that stands up to the elements. 


  • Multifunctional
  • Long battery life with solar charging option
  • Pre-loaded topographic maps
  • Great for multi-sport ladies
  • 7S fits small wrists well


  • Expensive
  • No flashlight (but seriously everything else is included)
  • Watch face can get scratched

#2 Garmin Forerunner 45S

Best for Beginner Runners

Garmin Forerunner 45

Our rating: 4.8/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 7 days in smartwatch mode, 13 hours in GPS mode.
Features: Lightweight, Garmin Coach feature, smart notification compatible, safety notifications, and plays music.

The Garmin Forerunner 45S is the best Garmin watch for female runners–especially new runners or those on a budget. 

This watch comes in a lightweight (32 g) small face size (39mm) with a silicone band that doesn’t absorb sweat. 

This fitness watch also comes with Garmin Coach, which is a training service you can load onto your phone. You can choose from one of three world-renowned running coaches to help you meet your running goals. 

Garmin Coach adjusts its recommended workouts based on your previous training status and is best for beginner and intermediate runners. 

You can also pair the watch with Garmin Connect on your smartphone and watch tips online. 

Additionally, the Garmin Forerunner supports tracking other sports, including biking and yoga, plus workout activities like elliptical and indoor track running. 

And this is a Garmin GPS watch, so it will track your location and running stats, as well as your heart rate, stress levels, and overall energy levels. 

You can also play music on this watch and add personalized apps and watch faces via the Connect IQ Store. 

This watch can send smart notifications and has one of my favorite features for a smart running watch: “incident detection mode.”

Sadly, we’ve all heard stories of women being attacked on a run or twisting their ankle at an inopportune time on the trail. With the Garmin Forerunner 45S, you can send a notification and your location to your emergency contacts. 

Plus, this watch is *much* cheaper than the Fenix, which makes safety a more accessible feature for anyone. 

One of the downsides of this sports watch is the battery life. In watch mode, it can go for seven days but the GPS battery life is only 13 hours. If you like to be outside for long periods of time or multiple days, this might be a hassle. 


  • Lightweight and sweat-resistant running watch 
  • Access to Garmin Coach
  • Plays music
  • Safety notifications enabled
  • More reasonably priced than other premium Garmin models


  • Short battery life in GPS mode
  • Garmin Coach is best for beginner and intermediate runners only

#3 Garmin Instinct 2S – Solar Edition

Best for Multi-Day Adventures

Garmin Instinct 2 - Solar Edition

Our rating: 4.9/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: *Unlimited
Features: Unlimited solar battery life, small sizing option, water-rated to 100m, and scratch-resistant glass.

The Garmin Instinct 2S is my choice for the best Garmin GPS watch for long adventures. Why? Because it’s the first watch to boast an unlimited battery life with the solar option. 

The impressive battery life on the Instinct 2S without the solar option is 51 days (it’s 21 days on the smaller 2S), but is potentially unlimited if you choose the solar upgrade. 

Plus, the Garmin Instinct has many of the features of the more expensive Garmin devices at a more accessible price point. 

While this review is focused on the solar Garmin Instinct, they make specialized versions including Surf, Camo, Tactical, and dezl, the last of which is specialized for professional truck drivers. So honk, honk to all the lady drivers out there! 

This watch also supports very accurate GPS tracking (utilizing multiple GPS satellite systems) and includes ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer, and compass). 

Pre-loaded sports activities that can be tracked with the Garmin Instinct include:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Strength workouts
  • Indoor climbing
  • Golf
  • Yoga
  • HIIT workouts
  • Mountain biking

The number of fitness features monitored by the Instinct 2S is much less than the Fenix, but still covers all the major categories (and don’t forget about all the specialty models of the Instinct).  

Health Features on the Garmin Instinct 2S include:

  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Calories burned
  • Recovery time recommendations
  • Daily workout suggestions
  • VO2 max (a measurement of fitness)
  • Stress tracking
  • Advanced sleep monitoring
  • Pulse ox
  • Women’s health tracking

This is a rugged watch with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass and is rated to be water-resistant up to 100 meters. 

This rating, sometimes abbreviated as 10 ATM, means the watch is suitable for showering, swimming, snorkeling, and water sports, excluding scuba diving. 

And recently, Garmin started making the Instinct 2 in a smaller size (“2S” 40mm) which we small-wristed people appreciate. 

The watch also supports Garmin Pay, which allows you to do contactless payments as well as Garmin Connect IQ to download other apps (like AccuWeather).  

Finally, when paired with your phone, it can be used to send live location updates to contacts. 


  • Unlimited solar battery life
  • Tracks over 40 activities and wellness metrics
  • Scratch-resistant glass face
  • Water-resistant to 100m
  • Half the price of the Garmin Fenix with almost all the usability


  • No pre-loaded maps
  • Doesn’t support all fitness activities

#4 Garmin Vivosmart 4

Best Budget Fitness Watch

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Our rating: 4.6/5
GPS: Yes, through a smartphone
Health Sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery Life: 7 days
Features: Slim, stylish design, full range of health sensors, and an easy-to-read display.

The Vivosmart 4 is a slim and stylish option for those who still want to track their fitness but don’t want something clunky on their wrist. 

Unlike the models above, this watch is a fitness tracker first and foremost. There’s a GPS mode but it needs to be paired with a compatible smartphone (Apple iOS 13 or higher or Android 7.0 OS or higher). 

On Garmin’s website, you can read a story about a woman whose Vivosmart 4 saved her life by alerting her that her stress levels were unusually high. She felt fine but went to the ER to check it out and lo and behold, she had a ruptured appendix. 

How did the Garmin Vivosmart watch know this? When your body is fighting infection your heart rate goes up. Pretty neat!

Here’s the full list of features tracked by the Garmin Vivosmart 4: 

  • Stress tracking
  • Pulse ox 
  • Sleep 
  • Heart rate
  • Relaxation breathing 
  • VO2
  • Whole-body energy (they call it “Body Battery)
  • Walks, runs, strength training, yoga, and swimming

In addition to these tracking tools, this watch has “Move IQ” technology, which automatically starts tracking your activity if you forget to set a timer for your workout (I would find that helpful).

The Vivosmart can also send smartphone notifications for texts and calls. 

The battery life of this smartwatch is up to seven days and is rated to withstand light water immersion such as for showering and swimming. 

It’s also one of the cheapest Garmin watches on the market, making it an ideal budget option for those who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. 


  • Full range of fitness monitoring capabilities
  • Slim and stylish design
  • Can send/receive smartphone notifications
  • Able to withstand shallow-water activities
  • Relatively affordable


  • Lacks internal GPS capability

#5 Garmin Approach S42

Best for Golf

Garmin Approach S42

Our rating: 4.5/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 10 days in smartwatch mode, 15 hours in GPS mode.
Features: Golf-centric features, 42,000 preloaded golf courses, and autoshot detection.

The Garmin Approach S42 is the best Garmin watch for ladies who golf. 

This watch is designed to help you lower your score by giving you access to maps of 42,000 golf courses around the US. 

This watch takes sports tracking to a new level. Each golf course includes the exact distance to the next hole. It also has a feature called “Plays Like Distance,” which adjusts the distance to account for the terrain of the course. 

You can toggle around on each green to get the distances from any spot on the course to plot your shot.

Garmin’s AutoShot feature tracks detected shot distances, which can be paired with Approach CT10 club tracking sensors to more accurately track where your ball went and what the score is. 

In other words, it’s so tech-forward that this watch feels like something from The Jetsons.

It’s also pairable with the Garmin Golf app, which features tournaments and more details about your performance. 

In addition to the golf-specific features, this watch does basic smartphone notification alerts and tracks basic fitness features. 

One downside to this watch is that it doesn’t track putting. 


  • 42,000 golf courses preloaded
  • Detailed distances from anywhere on the course
  • Shot tracker
  • Scorekeeper
  • Option to join Garmin Golf


  • Limited activity tracker outside golf
  • No putting tracker

#6 Garmin Venu 2S

Best Combo Smartwatch/Sports Watch

Garmin Venu 2S

Our rating: 4.5/5
GPS: Yes, but limited
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 9 days
Features: Garmin Pay, the full suite of health sensors, 25 sports apps, pairs with Bluetooth headphones, bright display, and voice assistant (with a paired smartphone). 

The Garmin Venu 2S is a combination smartwatch/sports watch with city-based activities in mind. 

On the smartwatch side of things, the Garmin Venu 2 features Garmin Pay. Plus, the screen is very bright and easy to read at any time of day. 

The Garmin Venu 2 also features music storage (up to 650 songs!) and pairs with Bluetooth headphones. 

The battery life on this watch is excellent compared to other smartwatches. The Venu 2 has up to nine days of battery life while many other smartwatches can only go a few days at a time. 

You can also make voice calls and compose texts via voice on this watch, but it has to be paired with your smartphone. 

And this watch tracks all the standard health metrics you’re used to having, including sleep tracking, stress tracking, pulse oximetry, hydration tracking, heart rate, respiration, and women’s health tracking. 

On the sports watch end of things, this watch tracks up to 25 different sports, including all the biggies (walking, running, swimming, yoga, HIIT, skiing, etc). 

One unique thing about this watch is that it features animated workouts. These show you which muscle groups are being worked on during the activity. 

The Garmin Venu 2 does have GPS mode, but it doesn’t display maps on the screen and doesn’t include the “track-back” feature of premium models. 

The “track-back” feature shows you a map of how to get back to your starting point when you’re hiking. Instead, there’s a “back to start” feature” on this watch, which is, unfortunately, less useful. 

This issue along with the lack of activities like trail running means that this watch might not fit the bill for everyone’s chosen fitness activity. 

That said, if you’re more a city gal, this watch could be perfect for you. 


  • Combo smartwatch/sports watch
  • Tracks all the most popular fitness activities
  • Pairs with Bluetooth headphones
  • Animated workouts


  • Limited GPS use
  • Lacking some outdoor activities

#7 Garmin Forerunner 245

Best for Serious Runners

Garmin Forerunner 245

Our Rating: 4.8/5
GPS: Yes
Health Sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 7 days in smartwatch mode, 6 hours in GPS mode.
Features: Garmin Coach, the full suite of health monitoring, LiveTrack, and a training status feature.

The Forerunner 245 is Garmin’s premium watch for running. In addition to all the features of the Forerunner 45, the Forerunner 245 offers the option to monitor your training load. 

Training load is basically how long and how often you’re working out. The watch can let you know if you’re not working hard enough to meet your goals. Conversely, it will tell you when to cool it too. 

This premium running watch also offers extremely precise running metrics that include: 

  • Ground contact time
  • Ground contact time balance 
  • Cadence
  • Stride length
  • Vertical oscillation
  • Vertical ratio

For a quick explanation: this watch senses the amount of time your feet spend on the ground, including how many times your left vs. right foot hits the ground. 

It tracks how many steps per minute you take (cadence), how long your steps are (stride length), how much up and down motion you make (vertical oscillation), and how efficient your stride is (vertical ratio). 

Elite athletes use these metrics to improve their performance, and with the Garmin Forerunner 245, now you can too! 

Despite the extra cost, these features make the Garmin Forerunner 245 the best Garmin watch for running. 

Lastly, in addition to the safety alert feature that’s also on the 45, this watch tracks your movement in real-time via the LiveTrack.


  • Includes all the basic functionality of the Forerunner 45
  • Very precise running metrics
  • LiveTrack
  • The Garmin Forerunner 245 music storage is top-notch


  • Expensive

#8 Garmin Vivomove Style

Best for looking professional 

Garmin Vivomove Style

Our rating: 4.5/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 5 days
Features: Garmin Pay, attractive “analog” design, hidden watch faces, and fitness tracking.

Garmin touts the Vivomove Style as “smart looking with smart features,” and honestly I’d have to agree with them. 

I’m not a “fancy watch person” but I would wear one of these if I were–they are attractive pieces. 

The Garmin Vivomove Style is the premium edition in the Vivomove line (there are three other Garmin models to chose from that are less expensive). 

I’ll also note that the Garmin Vivomove Luxe *was* the premium version of this watch, but they are permanently out of stock (although you can still order a custom version). 

The Garmin Vivomove Style looks like a standard analog watch but has hidden screens you can access via the touchscreen face (very James Bond-esque!). 

This watch is designed for everyday wear and includes standard smartwatch functionality including email and text notifications, and a calendar screen. 

It also includes the Garmin Connect app (which tracks your activity levels), stress tracking, a pulse ox sensor, sleep tracking, plus fitness tracking with preloaded sports apps. 

The Garmin Vivomove Style also has GPS functionality if you connect it to your smartphone’s GPS and it has Garmin Pay. 

The one con of this watch is the relatively short battery life. It’s just five days, which is pretty short compared to other Garmin watches.  


  • Stylish analog charm
  • Hidden watch faces
  • Fitness tracking
  • Smart notifications


  • Relatively short battery life

#9 Garmin Lily – Classic Edition

Best for Minimalists

Garmin Lily - Classic Edition

Our rating: 4.3/5
GPS: Yes, but needs a smartphone connection.
Health Sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 5 days
Features: Smallest Garmin smartwatch, slim design, and basic smartwatch features.

The Garmin Lily Classic Edition is one of the smallest Garmin smartwatches in production (34mm) and is another one that’s specifically designed for women. 

The profile on the Garmin Lily is slim and the watch face is small–which gives women an alternative to big, bulky smartwatches. The slim profile also avoids catching the watch on your sleeve. 

To make such a small smartwatch, however, Garmin had to pare back some more advanced smartphone features. 

This is fine for minimalists, just understand what you’re getting. The smart features basically just include phone notifications, activity tracking, heart rate, stress, and sleep monitoring. 

The screen on this women’s Garmin smartwatch is monochrome and entirely touchscreen. 

It also has a battery saver mode, which switches off the screen and shows a cross-hatched patterned glass face instead. Even with the battery saver mode on though, the battery life is still only about five days. 

And some users of the Garmin Lily report that this battery saver mode can be quite a pain. 

For example, in the middle of the night, you have to tap the watch several times to get it to “wake up.” And for those who need/want to check the time at a glance, this prevents them from doing that.

Like other pared-down GPS watches, the Garmin Lily can connect to GPS, but you have to use your phone in tandem with it. 

Likewise, you cannot respond to phone notifications from the watch, although the notifications themselves are clear and easy to read. 

Lastly, the watch pairs with the Garmin Connect app, which is an excellent interface that allows you to add widgets and new apps to the watch. 


  • Slimmed-down, analog design
  • Smallest Garmin smartwatch
  • Basic smartwatch capabilities
  • Basic fitness tracking abilities


  • Battery saver mode can make finding the time quickly annoying
  • Relatively short battery life

#10 Garmin Vivoactive 4S

Best Fitness Watch

Garmin Vivoactive 4S

Our rating: 4.7/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 7 days in smartwatch mode, 5 hours in GPS mode with music
Features: Small smartwatch/sports watch combo, 20 preloaded sports apps, music, animated workouts, Garmin Coach, and water-rated to a depth of 50m (5 ATM).

The Garmin Vivoactive 4S is designed to be a smaller smartwatch/sports watch combo (with a 40mm watch face) but with more of the functionality of Garmin’s premium watches. 

And although this is a combo watch, it has an emphasis on the sports watch side of things.

If you’re looking for a running watch and the Garmin Forerunner is out of your price range, the Garmin Vivoactive is an excellent alternative. 

Like other premium sports watches in the Garmin line, the Vivoactive 4S comes with preloaded sports activities (20, to be exact). Plus, it has Garmin Coach, which offers a more personalized running coach experience, and a silicone band to repel sweat. 

One thing I love about fitness watches is the safety and tracking feature, and the Garmin Vivoactive 4S has that. 

Other standard smartwatch features on this watch include text/phone alerts, music storage, and Garmin Pay. One thing to note is that you can respond to texts with this watch but only if you have an Android. 

Finally, this watch has all the health tracking features you’ve come to expect from a smartwatch: stress tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, heart rate, pulse ox, women’s health tracking, and hydration tracking. 

One thing the Forerunner 245 has that the Garmin Vivoactive 4S doesn’t is training load monitoring. This is a feature that shows you how much you should be working out to attain your fitness goals. 

I hadn’t even heard of load training before I started researching these watches and I’m a fairly fit person, so my guess is most people are fine without it. 

It also seems like connecting Spotify to the watch can be somewhat difficult. 


  • Very good fitness/sports functionality for the price
  • Garmin Coach included
  • Water rated to 50m depth
  • Safety and tracking feature


  • No load training feature
  • Spotify may be difficult to connect

#11 Garmin Enduro

Best for Ultra Athletes

Garmin Enduro 

Our rating: 4.9/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity: Yes
Battery life: 80 hours in GPS mode, 300 hours in max battery mode.
Features: Power Glass solar charger and advanced training tools specific to ultra-athletes.

The Garmin Enduro is not a women-specific watch (it’s unisex), but it’s designed for endurance athletes so I wanted to include it in this article. 

This is a premium Garmin GPS watch with advanced training tools to help you perform your best. 

First, the Garmin Enduro has an exceptional battery life at 80 hours in GPS mode. For comparison, most other Garmin watches have a GPS battery life of 5-13 hours. 

And like I mentioned above, the built-in GPS for Garmin watches is very precise, giving you access to the three major satellite constellations available to Garmin. 

This watch is also very durable, with scratch-resistant glass and a scratch-resistant titanium bezel (the ring that surrounds the glass). 

The Garmin Enduro is truly the king of sports watches for ultra-athletes. 

In addition to the fitness tracking apps, like VO2 max (which measures cardio fitness), heart rate, and pulse ox, there’s an ultra run feature that lets you time your race and record the time spent at aid stations. 

There’s also an app that shows you how well you’re acclimating to heat and high elevation and a ClimbPro feature that shows you the gradient of the upcoming trail. 

Additionally, there’s a recovery advisor, mountain bike tracking, adventure racing tracking, PacePro, plus backcountry skiing and surfing apps. 

Of course, this watch also has Garmin Pay, smart notifications, safety tracking, and the Garmin Connect IQ Store, where you can add more apps, including hiking apps, of your choosing. 


  • Premium sports watch for ultra-athletes
  • Full, accurate GPS tracking
  • Advanced training tools
  • Excellent GPS battery life


  • Expensive
  • Not specifically designed for women

#12 Garmin Swim 2

Best For Swimmers

Garmin Swim 2

Our rating: 4.8/5
GPS: Yes
Health sensors: Yes
Smartphone connectivity:
Battery life: 7 days in watch mode, 12 hours in GPS mode, and 72 hours in pool mode.
Features: Critical Swim Speed, pacing alerts, underwater heart rate, open water swim mode, and pool swim mode.

The Garmin Swim 2 is one of the best Garmin watches for women who swim. 

Many of the other fitness watches in the Garmin line come with swimming apps pre-loaded, but the Garmin Swim 2 watch adds several advanced training tools that are specific to swimmers. 

First, the fitness tracker feature works underwater, so you can monitor your heart rate without the traditional chest strap normally needed. 

The app can also keep track of the distance you’ve swum, the pace you’re going, your stroke count, and your SWOLF, which is a measure of swimming efficiency. 

The activity tracking has GPS, so you can measure distances while doing open water swims, and the watch has a separate mode for pool swimming. 

You can also track your critical swim speed, which is a measure of how fast you can physically go, and you can even log your drills. 

In addition to the sports tracking features, it has sleep tracking, a pulse ox sensor, stress tracking, a Body Battery, plus several other sports apps so you can keep track of your cross-training activities. 


  • Best Gamin watch for swimming
  • Advanced training tools specific to swimmers
  • Can detect heart rate underwater
  • Added sports tracking for cross-training activities


  • Expensive
  • The battery life could be longer in pool mode

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Garmin Watch for Women

What to Look for in a Garmin Watch

What to Look for in a Garmin Watch


Garmin’s products range in price widely, and each series of watches usually comes in a few different models, each with different price points. 

If the watch you want is too pricey, there’s likely a more affordable version offered on the Garmin website. 

Battery Life

Most of Garmin’s watches have excellent battery life in smartwatch mode but drain the battery very quickly when GPS watch mode is enabled (the exception being the Garmin Enduro). 

If you plan to use the GPS feature regularly, look for a watch with solar charging capability. 

Activities Included

Garmin’s watches come with a wide range of activities built into most of their watches. 

That said, some cheaper models may lack your favorite thing (e.g. surfing). If you enjoy a niche sport, make sure your watch supports it before you buy. 


Many Garmin watches are now being made with women in mind. 

Many of these adjustments include making the watch faces smaller and less bulky, and including women-specific health tracking. 

Types of Garmin Watches

Types of Garmin Watches


Smartwatches are designed to be worn every day and often include smartphone notification alerts, health metric measuring, Garmin Pay, and music playing abilities. 

These watches are best for people who prefer to recreate in cities or indoors.

Sport Watches

Sport watches, or outdoor watches, are more ruggedly designed and are specifically designed to measure athletic performance and navigate outdoors. 

They often have specific activity tracking for different sports and they’re best for outdoor enthusiasts

FAQs About Garmin Watches

FAQs About Garmin Watches

What is the smallest Garmin watch for women?

The smallest Garmin watch for women is in Lily watch series. 

The Garmin Lily Classic is 34mm in diameter. For comparison, most other small Garmin watches are 40-42mm (and these fit small wrists well too). 

Which Garmin watch can answer calls?

The Garmin Venu 2 is a fitness tracker that can also take calls. 

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 and 4 and the Garmin Fenix 6 can also take calls, but they must be connected to a smartphone. 

You can reply to texts on the Vivoactive series, but only if you have an Android. 

Are Garmin watches worth it? What makes them better than other smartwatches?

While you don’t have to invest $900 in the best watch on the market, having a reliable way to navigate in the backcountry, alert your family of your location, or monitor your vital signs can be lifesaving features for the regular outdoor enthusiast.

The Garmin brand was originally built as a GPS tool and is well known for its handheld GPS devices

So, it’s no surprise that Garmin utilizes three satellite systems to give its users the most precise location tracking of any other smartwatch. For trail runners and outdoor adventurers, this is critical. 

This is all to say that, yes, if you’re an outdoorsy person who takes advantage of most of the features Garmin watches have to offer, I’d say they’re very much worth it. 

How much should I expect to spend on a Garmin watch?

Garmin watches range in price from $129 to $900. 

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Garmin Watch for Women

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Garmin Watch for Women

There are so many excellent products in the realm of Garmin wearables so it was hard to just choose one. 

Garmin has both traditional smartwatches as well as sports watches for every niche sport/activity/lifestyle possible.

However, my top pick for the best Garmin watch for women is the Garmin Instinct 2S

I chose it as the best Garmin watch because it has a wide range of sports tracking capabilities, excellent health tracking apps (including women’s health tracking), and it comes in a smaller 40mm size. 

At about half the price of the top-of-the-line watches by Garmin, it’s also more accessible to more people. 

I’d even say it has the most value out of the different Garmin watches in terms of price vs what you get. 

Overall, it’s an all-around good pick if you’re looking for a new Garmin watch that’s versatile and offers what most people are looking for in a smartwatch and outdoor watch. 


author bio - Meredith Dennis

Meredith Dennis

Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in 6 states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is *chef’s kiss* next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


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