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Welcome to The Gear List, a semi-regular series where we spotlight the best discounts and deals on tactical gear, outdoor equipment, and everything in between.
Anyone who’s spent more than a day in uniform or on a backcountry trail knows that Garmin is one of the biggest names in the outdoor industry. The company’s GPS watches and handheld GPS units enjoy a cult-like following among service members, athletes, backpackers, hunters, and travel junkies alike. Right now, Garmin is offering some of its biggest sellers at a discount to celebrate the company’s birthday. As people who don’t need much of an excuse to party, I’m sure we can all get down with saving some money in honor of the occasion.
Need a versatile GPS watch to handle everything from workouts to land nav and incoming texts? The fenix 6 Pro Solar can do all that and then some. Want a smartwatch that can up your game when you’re fighting for freedom (against middle-schoolers in your favorite video game)? Allow me to introduce the Instinct Esports Edition. Finally, if you just need a solid fitness watch to help you set a personal best score on your annual fitness test, the Forerunner 45 has you covered and won’t weigh you down.
These discounts last through Friday, Sept. 16, so don’t wait to buy the Garmin watch you’ve had your eye on. I expect these to start selling out before then.
These prices were valid at press time, but prices can change and deals do expire.
Price: was $799.99, now $599.99
The fenix occupies a just-right middle ground in Garmin’s lineup and has become one of the most popular GPS watches for service members and civilian outdoor enthusiasts alike. In the adventure watch segment, it offers a more premium alternative to the functional Instinct while saving serious money compared to the elite tactix series. The fenix includes health monitors, a virtual run pacing coach, topographic maps, and apps designed to bring out your best during specific sports and activities. Hell, it even has a hydration tracker to help keep you hydrated (although Garmin does not provide a reminder to face outboard and change your socks). This Pro Solar edition also gets solar charging to extend battery life to two weeks in smartwatch mode or more than four weeks in expedition mode.
So, who’s the fenix 6 Pro Solar for? This GPS watch is perfect for people who want high-end features in their personal life but can’t quite justify dropping more than $1,000 on something like a tactix 7. During Garmin’s birthday sale, the fenix 6 Pro Solar is marked down by $200, which makes it a smoking deal.
Price: was $299.99, now $139.99
Obviously, you’re all stone-cold killers who drop baddies with suppressed M4s and call in danger-close airstrikes every day, but I know you also might enjoy a few hours of gaming and energy drinks in the evening. Garmin must have figured that out, too, because it made the popular Instinct adventure watch this Esports Edition. It can monitor and track your heart rate, stress levels, and energy meter like most Garmin watches, but this one can also be broadcast through STR3AMUP! to create a more dynamic and intense gaming experience with your friends.
Aside from that, this can function like a normal Garmin Instinct. It has the same durable polymer case and bezel, chemically strengthened glass, and smartwatch features like notifications and calendar view. It does have red lettering that’s unique to the Esports Edition but the black exterior should otherwise fly under the radar in uniform.
Price: was $199.99, now $139.99
Garmin originally made a name for itself as a hardcore fitness brand that made products runners and other athletes could count on, no matter where the fitness journey led. Today, you can get a solid Garmin fitness watch for a reasonable price with the entry-level Forerunner 45. This GPS watch can track your pace, distance, and intervals to make you a better runner. Its battery lasts all week, but the watch is still small and light enough to disappear on your wrist while you’re logging miles or turning fast laps on the track. The Garmin Coach app can provide personalized training plans and feedback to help you reach specific goals like crushing your next fitness test.
For service members on a budget, there aren’t many watches that present a better bargain than this. It costs a fraction of the price of more hardcore adventure watches and still gives you a bright, full-color display and days of battery life. Lace up your running shoes, because it’s time to get busy.