Garmin watches use arm movements and preconfigured data to track laps, strokes, and distance covered in a swimming pool. It then synchronizes the data to the companion app to give you detailed view of your swim metrics. But are Garmin watches waterproof?
Garmin watches are NOT waterproof. They’re water-resistant, with a rating between 5 and 10 ATM. The ability to stand to water pressure up to 100 meters deep means Garmin watches can survive even in the deepest swimming pool in the world.
Whether you dive with a Garmin watch in a swimming pool, wear it to the shower, take it to high water velocity skiing, or use it for training under the rainy weather, you won’t have to worry about rain damaging the inner components.
Are Garmin Watches 100% Water Resistant?
I love how robust Garmin watches are in terms of design. Take them to a performance test, and you realize just how well they hold up because they have an incredibly powerful set of algorithm.
But there’s a caveat.
There is not even one Garmin watch model that is waterproof. And while they’re water-resistant enough to stand up even to high water velocity workouts, they can bar water entry only to a certain depth.
And that’s not all there is to it.
The waterproofing feature on the Garmin watch isn’t a permanent thing. Usually, the smartwatch’s ability to bar water decreases with more exposure to water.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t maintain the smartwatch’s water resistance for longer. You can if you:
- Avoid high water velocity activities such as skiing.
- Refrain from using soap when cleaning the watch.
- Avoid corrosives such as perfumes, shampoos, lotions, and conditioners.
Best Waterproof Garmin Watches
The following table is a summary of the Garmin watches that can stand up to water pressure equivalent to a depth of up to 100 meters.
|Smartwatch||Resistance||Swim Tracking||Battery Life|
|1.||Garmin MARQ Captain||10 ATM||You can record swim intervals, swim lengths, and critical swim speed.||Up to 12 days in smartwatch mode|
|2.||Garmin Instinct Solar||10 ATM||It tracks swim length and internals in the pool.||Up to 14 days in smartwatch mode|
|3.||Garmin Venu 2||5 ATM||You can use it to track intervals and lengths when swimming.||Up to 5 days on smartwatch mode|
|4.||Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar||10 ATM||The watch can monitor swim length and internals.||Up to 9 days or 11 days with solar, on smartwatch mode|
Keep in mind that the battery life of these smartwatches vary depending on use.
For example, Garmin MARQ Captain gives you a runtime of 12 days on a single charge in standard mode. That’s nearly two weeks of runtime before you have start fumbling around to check where you last stored the charging dock.
However, you only get up to 28 hours of battery runtime with continuous heart rate and GPS modes activated, and about 9 hours if you include live music streaming in the mix.
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What Does Garmin Water Resistance Mean?
Unlike Fitbit and Apple Watches, which have similar waterproof ratings throughout their series, Garmin smartwatches have varying water resistance ratings depending on the model.
The rating can be 1 ATM, 3 ATM, 5 ATM, or 10 ATM.
Here is a table of Garmin’s water resistance ratings, as well as what they mean:
|Water Resistance Rating||What it Means|
|1.||1 ATM||The Garmin watch can withstand water pressure of up to 10 meters. Such a smartwatch is suitable for snowdrops and rains.|
|2.||3 ATM||A watch with this rating can withstand water pressure of up to30 meters deep. It’s good for shower, rain, and snowdrops.|
|3.||5 ATM||The watch can withstand water pressure of up to 50 meters below water. Such a smartwatch is ideal for swimming pools, showers, snowdrops, and rains.|
|4.||10 ATM||The Garmin Watch can withstand water pressure up to 100 meters below water, which makes it the best choice for high-speed water sports, snorkeling, and deep sea diving.|
From what I understand, only a handful of Garmin smartwatches have a water resistant rating of 10 ATM.
In fact, many of the options that you’ll find on the market have a water resistance of up to 50 meters. These are:
- Garmin Forerunner 55
- Garmin Vivoactive 2
- Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S
- Garmin Vivomove
- Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
- Garmin Forerunner 945
- Garmin Forerunner 245
- Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
- Garmin Vivosmart 4
- Garmin Swim 2
- Garmin Vivofit 4
- Garmin Vivosport
Those with water resistant rating of up to 100 meters are:
- Garmin MAQ Collection
- Garmin Fenix 6 Series
- Garmin Instinct Series
Garmin IP Rating Explained
Garmin goes a step further to assign IP rating to its smartwatches. And the units assigned are as follows:
|Ingress Protection Rating||What it Means|
|1.||IP||Your Garmin watch has a tight sealing that can keep away moisture and dirt.|
|2.||IPX 7||The watch can withstand water exposure of about a meter deep in water for not more than 30 minutes.|
|3.||IPX 6||A Garmin watch with IPX 7 rating can withstand powerful water force such a rough sea conditions.|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Shower with a Garmin Watch?
You can shower with a Garmin watch because it has a water resistant rating of up to 5 ATM.
The Vivosmart HR is a good example of the smartwatch that you can wear to the shower without worrying about water sipping into the internal components and altering overall performance.
2. Can You Swim with a Garmin Watch?
You can swim with a Garmin watch as long as it has a water resistant rating of between 50 and100 meters in water.
However, do keep in mind that not all Garmin Watches can track swim workouts. Be sure to check out models such as Garmin Swim 2, Forerunner 245, and D2 Air X10 if you would like to track swim intervals, swim lengths, and critical swim speed.
3. Can I Use a Garmin Watch in Salt Water?
There’s nothing wrong with using a Garmin in salt water. So if you love surfing or swimming at the beach, and you would like to keep wearing your Garmin smartwatch, go ahead and do so.
The presence of salt in water won’t affect the device’s performance.