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Garmin Instinct

Rugged GPS multisport watch (Flame Red)

2 Reviews

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Item # 150INSFLAM

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Our take on the Garmin Instinct

If your work takes you outdoors and into tough working environments, Garmin had you in mind when they designed the Instinct. It's built to the demanding U.S. military standard 810G, guaranteeing protection from shock, thermal stress, and water pressure. The reinforced polymer case is strong and durable, while the chemically-strengthened display is bright and scratch-resistant. A vented silicone band is comfortable enough for all-day wear.

A tough watch for tough environments

If your work takes you outdoors and into tough working environments, Garmin had you in mind when they designed the Instinct. It's built to the demanding U.S. military standard 810G, guaranteeing protection from shock, thermal stress, and water pressure. The reinforced polymer case is strong and durable, while the chemically-strengthened display is bright and scratch-resistant. A vented silicone band is comfortable enough for all-day wear.

Ready for adventure

When you're not working, Instinct is primed to tackle all your outdoor adventures: running trails, bombing a descent on your mountain bike,  or grabbing your pack for a multi-day expedition. And it's ready for the water too, with a 100-meter rating and functions for lap swimming or open water training and racing. Instinct features a full range of tools to track your running, biking, and swimming, plus activity tracking features like step counts.


When you're on the trail, Instinct 5 drips virtual breadcrumbs along the way, creating a tracklog you can retrace if necessary. You can take advantage of waypoints you've recorded on previous trips, so you'll be sure to find that special campsite the next time around. The watch's memory can store up to 1000 waypoints, so you can record trail junctions, water sources, scenic vistas, campsites — any location you want. Instinct also comes equipped with an altimeter, barometer, and compass, giving you valuable information you may need in the backcountry.

Heart rate monitoring for a training edge

If you really want to improve your performance, the evidence is clear that heart rate monitoring is an essential tool. Instinct employs wrist-based heart rate monitoring, so you're always able to tap into this vital metric. Here's the skinny — your body responds to exercise intensities differently, so you need a blend of both workouts to balance your training, and heart rate monitoring is one of the best ways to keep track.

Smart and connected

Garmin's smart notifications work with your smartphone to let you receive texts, emails, and alerts on Instinct's screen. And this watch automatically uploads your workout to Garmin Connect, where you can share it with your friends through social media or many popular fitness-tracking apps.

Product Highlights:

    General Features:
    • GPS/GLONASS multisport training watch with illuminated display
    • silicone wrist band; high-strength sapphire glass lens
    • 0.9" x 0.9" (128 x 128 pixel) LCD screen
    • built-in barometric altimeter and compass
    • TracBack feature records up to 1000 customizable waypoints and locations and up to 50 routes with 10,000 track points
    • time, date, alarm, timer, chronograph, pace alerts, chimes, and vibration watch functions
    • Auto Lap, Auto Pause, interval trainer, heart rate, calorie counter, and lap fitness functions
    • built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery allows up to 40 hours (UltraTrac mode); 16 hours (GPS training mode); 2 weeks (smartwatch mode)
    • compatible with Garmin Connect
    • works with optional bike speed/cadence sensor
    • ANT+ and Bluetooth capable with compatible devices
    • water rated to 100 meters
    Run Features:
    • VO2 max estimator
    • recovery advisor
    • race predictor
    • running dynamics measurements
    • records personal records
    Bike Features:
    • time and distance alerts
    • records courses
    Swim Features:
    • swimming metrics and stroke recognition
    • lap counter
    • open water swim distance
    Activity Tracking Features:
    • step counter with auto goal setter
    • move bar
    • sleep monitoring
    Other Specs:

    What's in the Box:

    • GPS watch (Flame Red)
    • 21" USB charging cable (Type A USB on one end and a proprietary connector on other end)
    • Quick Start Manual
    • Important Safety and Product Information

    Garmin Instinct Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (2 Reviews)

    Garmin Instinct

    Brandon from Nineveh, IN on 11/14/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had previously had nothing but fit it's prior to this. Went through three in two years decided it was time to get something tougher. So far love this watch, reminds me of my G-shocks from my Army days. Battery is phenomenal on this watch still need to figure a few options out but love this watch overall

    Pros: Battery life Rugged construction

    Cons: Instruction manual

    Garmin Instinct

    Manuel from Gig Harbor, WA on 11/8/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Moving away from the mainstream of "i-watches" and watches that tell you when your dog needs to pee, Garmin Instinct is a fresh reminder that simplicity many times works the best. A truly compelling sports watch that lets you keep track of your fitness routine with basic but relevant data. The watch allows you to configure it as simple or as complex as required with a few changes in settings in the watch itself. The GPS electronics are fast and accurate allowing you to incorporate geo coordinate information into the regular physical activities. Heart monitoring is basic but sufficient to allow tracking of health conditions during activities. Sensational battery life providing almost a week of regular use on a single charge. Excellent engineering, rugged construction in an impressive lightweight case. The interchangeable straps help keep the fresh look of the watch for many years.

    Pros: Simple design yet powerful device for activity monitoring GPS speed and accuracy Battery life Lightweight

    Cons: None found so far


    Hands-on research

    Product Research


    Overview: The Garmin Instinct rugged GPS watch is built to withstand tough environments. Constructed to U.S. military standards, Instinct can keep up with your active lifestyle. It has a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and multiple global navigation satellite systems. Instinct also has the Garmin Elevate wrist-based heart rate monitor to help you analyze your workouts and fitness levels. Instinct comes in three color styles: Red Flame, Tundra, and Graphite.

    Physical Attributes: Instinct features a rugged 45mm diameter, fiber-reinforced polymer bezel and outer case, and a scratch-resistant, chemically-strengthened glass lens. The 0.9" x 0.9" monochrome display has a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, and is easily readable in bright sunlight. The QuickFit 22 silicone watch bands are interchangeable without requiring a special tool. Additional bands, in multiple colors and materials, are available directly from Garmin.

    • Dimensions:
      • Watch: Width 1.85", Height 1.923", Depth 0.631"
      • Band: Width 0.862" (22mm), Length 10.125"
    • Weight: 1.83 ounces

    Durability: Instinct is a rugged, reliable outdoor GPS watch that meets the U.S. military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance. It's 10 ATM water rating means it can withstand depths of up to 100 meters.

    GPS: Instinct utilizes three global satellite networks to give you the most accurate location data, and faster position acquisition, even in the most challenging environments. It relies on GPS (Global Positioning System), as well as help from the GLONASS (Russia), or Galileo (Europe) global satellite navigation systems. In the menu, you can choose GPS alone, GPS + GLONASS, or GPS + Galileo. Using GPS and another satellite system together reduces battery life faster than using GPS alone. In addition, Instinct has a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter. The device keeps track of the route you take, and the TracBack feature takes you back to your starting location along the same route.

    Activities: The watch can be used for athletic and fitness activities, both indoor and outdoor. Profiles are available to help plan and maximize your workout or activity by providing time, distance, laps, steps, courses, calories burned, and other metrics along the way. Outdoor recreation profiles include: running (road and trail), hiking, climbing, mountain biking, road biking, skiing, snowboarding, XC skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, rowing, kayaking, swimming (open water and pool), and tactical. Indoor activities include swimming, indoor biking, treadmill running, and indoor track running. Instinct can also monitor your sleep, including total sleep time, periods of restful sleep, and periods of movement.

    Elevate Heart Rate Monitor: Instinct is equipped with the Elevate wrist-based heart rate monitor, which monitors your heart rate, even if you are not wearing a chest strap. You can view your heart rate on the screen any time you are wearing the device. If you are wearing a separate chest heart rate strap, the unit chooses the chest heart rate data. Instinct can broadcast your heart rate data to other paired Garmin devices, such as an Edge bike computer, or VIRB action camera.

    Heart Rate Zones: Heart Rate Zones measure cardiovascular strength, and are used by athletes to evaluate their level of fitness. Knowing your heart rate zone is helpful in improving your fitness. Using your user profile information (gender, age, height, weight, etc.), Instinct determines your default heart rate zone (numbered 1 through 5). During your workout or activity, the device shows your current heart rate zone and a percentage of your maximum heart rate. The harder you work, the higher the zone you achieve.

    Smart Features: Instinct provides many smart features that can be used every day. With built-in Bluetooth, your device can easily be paired to your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone or tablet, using the Garmin Connect mobile application. While paired to your smartphone, you can receive notifications of phone calls and messages on the device. Instinct can access your calendar, receive weather data, and control the music on your smartphone. If you misplace your phone, you can use Instinct to locate it if it's currently in range. Likewise, if you have lost your Instinct device, you can locate it using your smartphone.

    Rechargeable Battery: Instinct is powered by a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, which will give you up to 16 hours of battery life in normal GPS mode with wrist-based heart rate, or up to 40 hours in the UltraTrac GPS mode with a one-minute polling interval (w/o HR). When not training, you can use the device as a digital watch for up to 14 days on a single charge. A 21" data cable/charging cradle is provided for charging the battery and uploading your training data.

    ANT+ Sensors: The device can be used with wireless 2.4 GHz ANT+ add-on sensors, such as an optional chest-based heart rate monitor, speed/cadence sensor, or foot pod. Instinct cannot record wrist heart rate data while swimming, so you will need to use a chest strap monitor, such as Garmin's HRM-SWIM.

    Watch Functions: When you're not working out, Instinct can be used as a basic watch, displaying the time and date, along with an alarm and stopwatch. The time is automatically set by the GPS receiver (or manually, if desired), and can be displayed in 12-hour or 24-hour format. The device can also provide local sunrise and sunset times.

    VIRB Remote: If you have a Garmin VIRB action camera, the device can be used as a remote control. The camera commands for stopping and starting recordings and taking still photos are sent wirelessly via ANT+.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    It's for my son he is in the Navy. [ Lisa  Nov 26, 2018 ]
    Reviews, Garmin reputation [ Manuel  Oct 26, 2018 ]