REI’s Gear Up and Get Out sale is underway, and there’s plenty of great deals to be had on a variety of hot outdoor products that are sure to make for great gifts for any outdoor enthusiast. Some of our favorite deals include price cuts on select Garmin fitness smartwatches, some as much as 33% off.
Depending on the model, you can save up to $200 off retail during the sale, which ends November 25. We’ve spotted deals on the Instinct, Forerunner, Fenix, and Descent lines, some of which are at the lowest prices we’ve seen yet at the retailer. Let’s take a look at the best deals.
While many fitness smartwatches attempt to be all things for all types of activities, the Garmin Instinct takes a different approach. Purpose-built for hikers and outdoorsmen, the watch is built to have superior resistance to heat, cold, shocks, and water. Among the features that make it so suitable for hikers is the on-screen navigation and custom routing thanks to its built-in GPS (which utilizes not one but three different satellite systems), and a built-in three-axis compass. Of course, it’s got all the essential activity-tracking features that you would expect in a fitness smartwatch, including a reliable and accurate heart rate monitor.
The Garmin Instinct also easily earned a spot among our favorite hiking watches for its excellent price point of $300. However, during the sale, the price has been slashed by a third, allowing you to pick up this outstanding watch for just $200. That’s one of the best prices we’ve seen yet.
Garmin Forerunner 945
The Garmin Forerunner 945 is the company’s successor to the popular Forerunner 935 smartwatch. The 935 was one of our favorite fitness tracking watches for its expansive feature set, including a bright color screen, built-in optical heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and thermometer — and a host of built-in apps. The 945 builds on this, adding features like music storage, maps, training load focus, and updated VO2 max calculations. It’s pretty crazy that Garmin’s fit this much tech into such a small package (although it’s bigger than a good deal of the fitness watches out there).
All this tech comes with a pretty high price tag, though. At its full retail price, $600 is a lot to pay for a smartwatch. But for a fitness junkie looking for one of the best fitness smartwatches on the market — the 945 adds enough new functionality over its predecessor that it’s worth the upgrade. And during the sale, it’s $100 cheaper ($500).
Garmin Fenix 5X Plus
Garmin calls the Fenix 5X Plus the “ultimate” multisport GPS smartwatch. And for a price that sets you back $750, it should be. You’ll get all the standard features of the Fenix 5, 5X, and 5 Plus, but the 5X Plus added Pulse Ox Acclimation in Garmin’s 51mm case and a scratch-resistant sapphire lens. The pulse oximetry sensor monitors blood oxygen saturation and provides reports on sleep quality and your acclimation level at the current altitude. We think this is an excellent feature for those that are frequently hiking/climbing to high altitude. If your adventure travel often includes ascents, the information available from this model’s location trackers and the pulse oximeter can prove invaluable.
We’re big fans of that sapphire lens. Testing proves that the claims of the scratch resistance and durability aren’t just hyped-up marketing. It is extraordinarily durable. For the type of fitness enthusiast that Garmin’s attempting to target with this particular smartwatch, we think it’s a smart move. Normally retailing for $750 at REI, the sale brings the price down to as low as $500 on select models.
Garmin Descent MK1
The Descent Mk1 is a dive computer on your wrist, allowing you to plan your dive down to the smallest details. The GPS marks both your entry and exit points, while a dive log and color mapping help you track your route. It even has the functionality to ensure that you have sufficient air and warns you when you’re running low. But don’t think this is just a diving watch: On solid ground, it works much the same as the Fenix 5X smartwatch in terms of what it can do.
The biggest negative to this watch is undoubtedly its price. At $1,000, it’s one of the most expensive watches on the market today. But for its specialized nature and great reviews from those who own it, you should consider this one if you’re a diver — and the $800 sale price at REI is one of the lowest we’ve seen yet.
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