I’ve been a Fitbit fanatic ever since Fitbit hit the shelves. I’ve loved every Fitbit I’ve ever owned, loved the community, the challenges, the brand. As my running has gotten a little more serious and my goals have gotten a lot bigger, I began exploring other fitness watches that would fit my needs a bit better.
I did loads of research and read hundreds of reviews before I made the switch to Garmin. When I decided the Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire (rose gold, duh) was the one I wanted to go with, I couldn’t wait a second longer. I knew I wanted to buy it from a local running store (shout out Fleet Feet Fresno!) and when I called to see if they had any in stock, I raced over there to snag one. It felt like Christmas.
Throwing it way back to my college RA days, we used to play a game during our staff meetings called “Happies and Crappies” where we’d go around the table and share things about our week. I figured, why not use that method for a running watch review! Here are my happies and crappies of my brand new, 2 month old, Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire.
- ROSE GOLD. Need I say more?
- The overall look. I wanted a watch that transitioned a little bit better from work to play. I found my Fitbit Surge looked a little bulky when I was dressed up for work. This watch really is a wear-it-all-day-everyday watch.
- It’s making me a better runner. The sheer amount of data and analytics is astounding. How could I not want to be a better runner when it tells me the impact each workout has on my overall training and fitness? It pushes me to run harder on certain segments making speed work happen naturally during my runs.
- “Move” reminders. One of my favorite Fitbit features, the Garmin also provides move reminders. It keeps me from sitting at my desk for hours without getting up and I love that.
- Mapping capabilities. SO great for travel! You can use maps to follow different routes right from your watch! No more getting lost when I’m running while traveling.
- Battery life. It lasts a good week before I have to charge it again. The charge will vary based on how many notifications I have on, and how long my runs are but overall I’ve been extremely impressed with the battery life.
- Waterproof. Being able to truly wear this all the time because it’s waterproof is really awesome. I can’t wait to try out the swimming features.
- The app. I realllly struggled getting used to the Garmin app at first. It’s just so much data and the way it’s organized doesn’t feel super intuitive to me. The app recently had an update which helped a lot, but I still am so-so on the app interface.
- Price. It’s a little painful.
- Community. I’m missing my Fitbit community and challenges a bit. Garmin offers them, but I don’t have the amount of friends on Garmin like I did on Fitbit.
- White band. There are days when I’m like ‘why in the world did I get a watch with a white band!?‘ Thankfully though, it cleans up really nicely in the shower. I’m not sure how it would hold up during trail running. I see some replacement bands in my future.
Do you run with a Garmin? What are your happies and crappies?
Guest feature by Mandi Stewart. Learn more about Mandi and her fitness tech loves at http://mandijstewart.com/ <3