7 best Garmin watches (2024): Which is best for running, cycling, and more

In some circles, The word “Garmin” is less a brand name than a category definer like a Q-tip or Band-Aid. From ordinary hikers to national-level professional athletes, anyone who loves outdoor sports can get useful information from the sensors, safety features, and sophisticated software that comes with every Garmin watch. Few other fitness trackers have come close to replicating Garmin’s durability, wearability, and reliability, but the company remains the industry standard. Let’s just say, unlike the Apple Watch, Garmins also work with both iPhones and Android phones. (Unlike the Apple Watch, Garmin watches still have a blood oxygen sensor.)

Many features that recently debuted on other fitness trackers, like sleep tracking, blood oxygen measurement, and fall detection, have been on Garmin watches for years. Over half a dozen years, the WIRED team has tested dozens of Garmin watches. Let us help you decide which Garmin is best for you.

Once you’re ready with your Garmin, check out our other buying guides, like the best barefoot shoes, best workout headphones, and best hiking gear.

UPDATE April 2024: We added the Forerunner 165, Lily 2, and Index S2 and added more information about Garmin Connect and Apple Watch. We’ve also updated the complete links and pricing.

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