Garmin Instinct Solar, Rugged Outdoor Smartwatch with Solar Charging Capabilities, Built-in Sports Apps and Health Monitoring,

(10 customer reviews)


Brand Garmin
Model Name Instinct Solar
Style Instinct Solar
Color Graphite – Solar
Screen Size 1.27 Inches
Special Feature Power Manager, Stealth Mode, GPS, Sleep Monitor, Heart Rate Monitor, Stress Tracking, ABC Sensors, Notifications, Calendaring, Accelerometer, Body Temperature Monitor, Compass, Calorie Tracker, Distance Tracker, Pedometer, Night Vision Compatibility, Solar Charging See more
Age Range (Description) Adult
Compatible Devices Smartphone
Display Type monochrome, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Operating System android, ios

  • Vastly extended battery life through solar charging
  • Rugged GPS Watch is water-rated to 100 meters and constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and water resistance
  • Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass and Galileo) track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
  • Track your activities for running, biking, swimming, strength and more
  • Help understand your health and wellness better with all-day health monitoring and Pulse Ox (this is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition)
  • Monitor how your body uses energy by tracking heart rate, stress and sleep estimates with body battery energy monitoring



Do what you love, longer with Instinct Solar. This rugged GPS smart Watch boasts solar charging, giving incredible battery life in smart Watch and Expedition modes while outdoors. Monitor how your body uses energy by tracking heart rate, stress, estimated sleep and Pulse Ox (this is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition), which helps give you a better understanding of your health and wellness. Get more out of the sports you love with preloaded activity profiles such as running, biking, swimming and more. Smart notifications (when paired with a compatible smartphone) at the wrist keep you connected to what matters. Multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) help you track wherever your adventures take you.
Compatible with :Alpha 100/ 200i, Astro 430/ 900,GPSMAP 66i, inReach mini, Montana 700 / 700i / 750i, Pro 550 plus, Virb 360 / ultra 30, Xero A1i.

From the manufacturer

instinct solar

Garmin Instinct Solar

instinct solar

instinct solar

instinct solar


Based on variable sun exposure, Instinct can provide our best battery life through a solar charging option.


Instinct is built to the U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters).


View how various settings and sensors impact your watch’s battery life, so you can make battery-extending changes on the fly.

instinct solar

instinct solar

instinct solar


Use preloaded activity profiles for surfing, swimming, running, biking, hiking, rowing, strength and more.


Get estimated heart rate data along with alerts if your heart rate stays too high or too low while you’re at rest. Gauge how hard your heart is working during activities, even underwater.


For altitude acclimation or sleep monitoring, a Pulse Ox sensor uses light beams at your wrist to estimate how well your body is absorbing oxygen. (This is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition. Pulse Ox not available in all countries.)

instinct solar

instinct solar

instinct solar


Heart rate variability is used to calculate your stress level score, so you can see if you’re having a calm, balanced or stressful day.


Optimize your body’s energy reserves, using heart rate variability, stress, sleep and other data to gauge when you’re ready to be active or when you may need to rest.


Access multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone.

instinct solar

Stay connected.

Additional information

Weight 5.6 kg
Dimensions 1.77 × 1.77 × 0.6 cm
Product Dimensions

1.77 x 1.77 x 0.6 inches

Item Weight

5.6 ounces





Item model number



1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. included

Date First Available

July 8 2020





10 reviews for Garmin Instinct Solar, Rugged Outdoor Smartwatch with Solar Charging Capabilities, Built-in Sports Apps and Health Monitoring,

  1. M. Crowe

    A well built rugged solar watchI’ve had this watch for a few weeks and I wanted to give a review because I feel this watch deserves one. First off, this is not going to be a technical review, more of an overview and my experience so far. If you are looking for a review that gives detailed specs. GPS accuracies, and types of activities that can be tracked, you might want to read another review. For most people just looking for an activity tracker, this watch might be a little overwhelming. While I don’t go on long jogs or marathons, and I’m not into rugged mountaineering, I feel like this watch could definitely handle that. I was just looking for a watch to track my daily activity, walks or runs in my neighborhood, occasional tail hikes, sleep, pulse ox, phone notifications, and include things like weather, stopwatch, countdown timer, compass, and most of all have a great battery life. This watch easily delivers all of that. In fact, there are so many features in this watch, I’d say that most people might never try them all. I would suggest that anyone interested in this watch download the manual from Garmin’s website and just look at what it offers.This watch is very light and comfortable. In fact, I’m amazed they were able to pack so much into this watch and I can barely feel it on my wrist. The band has a large number of adjustment holes in the strap. So, nearly everyone should be able to adjust it to fit comfortably. Many of my watches only have 8-10 holes in the strap and it can be hard to find an adjustment that is not too tight or too loose. The adjustment holes in this watch strap go all the way up to the watch itself. They also allow good ventilation, in case you sweat during a workout.The battery life in this watch has been amazing for me. I’m the kind of person who drains a watch battery in 1/2 of the amount of time it’s supposed to take, and that is without including GPS activities. The first time I fully charged this watch, it showed a 27 day battery life. Without doing GPS activities, it will easily make it a full day and show 26 days by the next day. In my experience, the watch seems to calculate the remaining battery life based on recent usage. So, after a GPS activity, you might see the number of days decrease accordingly, like using an extra day or two of battery life depending on how long your activity is. But, sunlight will help with that. Garmin recommends that you give the watch 3 hours of full sunlight a day. While that would be nice, it’s not really practical on a daily basis for me. But, in my experience, it’s not really required either if you are just looking for a watch that will make it through the better part of a month without charging. What 3 hours of sunlight will give you is about 2% , or +1 day battery life.I like the fact that I can wear this watch and never worry about getting it scratched or damaged. Working outdoors, mowing, trimming, occasional chain saw use, this watch won’t even flinch. It’s very rugged and well built. I actually appreciate the fact that it does not have a touch screen. You can navigate through all of the menus and options, even with gloves on. Phone notifications are very prominent (they use a double-buzz for each one), so even while working outside, I can still feel it.I also have a Garmin Venu and I enjoy the full color touchscreen. But after using this watch, I realized that you don’t actually need a full color screen. In fact, I realized how much I missed not having a watch with a display that was easily visible in any light and be always on. Yes, the Venu has an always-on screen option, but it is not very visible in sunlight and the battery life with that display on was extremely short. I like being able to look at the Instinct’s display any time and see the time down to the seconds, and everything else I need without trying to tilt my arm just right or tap on the screen. One thing that I thought that I’d miss is the Garmin ConnectIQ store, which is on the Venu but not on the Instinct. But to tell you the truth, I don’t miss it. I know you can get all kinds of unique widgets for your watch there, but a lot of them are just fluff. Everything you would typically need is already “baked into” this watch. The nice part about that is all of the widgets on the Instinct are Garmin widgets so you know they were designed specifically for your watch, and they will work. One item I have been missing that I think should be included with the weather is the current UV index.One thing that I did miss was the ability to make customizations to the Instinct watch from the Garmin Connect app. Nearly everything from the watch faces to the widget settings were configurable on the Venu from the Garmin Connect app. Most of the changes you need to make to the Instinct, you’ll need to make on the watch itself through the settings menu. As it turns out, I like to tinker with the settings on watch, so it ended up not being a big deal after all. One trick I found in the settings to save a little battery life was to turn off the display light when I press a key. This watch is so customizable. You can even set the display light to come on when you press a key only after sunset, for example. But I just turned mine off because if you do need the display backlight, you can simply press the upper left button and it will come on. You can set the timeout for the backlight, but it will automatically stay on as long as you are interacting with the watch and pressing buttons.With 5 physical buttons, there is a learning curve with this watch. However daunting it might seem, within a day or two, I was intuitively using the watch and knew which buttons did what. The buttons are very solid and have a nice tactile click when you press them.The Control Menu, which is available in many Garmin watches, is a quick launch list of shortcuts to commonly used activities. This is fully customizable and can include things like alarm list, timers, do not disturb settings, find my phone, sync, and many, many more. It does have a flashlight shortcut, but it’s too dim to be much use in anything except for close up in total darkness. Navigating through the Control Menu on the Instinct is slightly slower than my other Garmin watches because it is not a touchscreen and you have to scroll through the list of shortcuts to find what you want. But it remembers the last thing you used, and it will open with that item selected the next time you launch the Control Menu. The Control Menu on this watch can include more items than you can see on the screen at one time. That is not possible with the Venu because it has a fixed number of slots.The watch faces are very customizable. The default one has a graph on the top left-hand corner. You can use this for things like heart rate, solar charging levels, and so on. I use it to display a barometric pressure graph. And even that is fully customizable, to graph either the last 6, 12, 24 or 48 hours. There is a prominent circle on the upper right of the screen that can customized to contain things like the date, or current temperature, or heart rate, or altitude, or barometric pressure/trend, or moon phase, or many others. I use it to display the number of notifications currently on my watch. Notifications can be easily dismissed on the watch and they immediately disappear from your phone. Just be aware that it is the down button that dismisses the notification. It is also the same button used to scroll down though the notification content when you select the notification. More than once, I’ve accidentally dismissed the notification thinking that I was going to scroll down to see the additional content.I like the Sunrise and Sunset times, as well as the Moon phase with the moon rise and moon set times widgets. You can even include some of these details onto a watch face. I use part of the lower section of the default watch face to display either the sunrise or sunset time, depending on which comes next. I also include the day/date in the other section of the lower watch face. As you probably figured out, the lower second of the default watch face can contain 2 separate data elements.Overall, this is probably one of the best watches I have. I enjoy the extended battery life and the fact that the watch is highly customizable, and very durable. And I didn’t even cover what this watch can do with respect to activity tracking, ABC functions, and GPS capability. That would be a another review altogether.

  2. Ryan Marlin

    Favorite!Okay let’s start out that I purchased the watch about a month ago.I absolutely love this watch. The Garmin Instict Solar proves to me daily why I purchased it. With a max life of about 17 days, the watch has plenty of juice to last quite some time! I love the controllability of it and I feel like I’ve been able to get a good handle of it’s features. It’ll alert me when the batter is low as well, I know some people wondered if that was a feature.The only cons I’ve noticed, because let’s be clear.. that’s why you are all reading my review:1. The battery sometimes dies faster but that has a lot to do with how many notifications it receives. The higher amount of emails, Facebook, texts, etc that I get in a day, the more battery gets used (makes sense) 2. Solar charging is slow. Like not even worth it kind of slow. Unless you’re outside working as a farmer or landscaper all day- I’m not sure that the solar charging is a right option for you. That’s it. Just two cons. Not too shabby!With an iPhone, you can’t send responses to messages, but I’ve heard you can with androids. That actually has been nice because it has allowed me to focus more on my job and I can filter out what (or who) I actually want to reply too.Using the watch for GPS usage (I’m a bicyclist) uses a good amount of power. I one thing I’m happy I’ve noticed is when starting up an activity, you should wait outside and acquire GPS connection prior to clicking start on your activity. This can be done by creating your workout, and the watch takes about 30-60 seconds to find GPS and then you’re good to go. It will notify you by saying GPS (with a check mark) I’ve had very minimal issues with its tracking capabilities between itself and STRAVA on my phone.I use Garmin Connect all the time. It’s their app used to monitor weight, heart rate, stress, exercise, steps, sleep, and all that extra jazz. It’s provided me with a lot of data that helps as well.Final thoughts so far: It’s my first smartwatch. It does exactly what I need it to do for me. Very happy with it and will update in the future.

  3. Raggie

    Forerunner 230 ConvertI’d been wearing a garmin forerunner 230 for about 6 years and had a much less impressive 1st gen garmin step tracking watch before that. Nothing can compete with Garmin battery life and the forerunner had all the metrics I liked to gush over. I’d tried cheating on it with the galaxy active watch, but it was a quick, disappointing fling. Then for Christmas, my husband got these for us. I’d said for months that the instinct (the solar in particular) would be the only watch worth upgrading to because of improved battery life and a built-in altimeter. He helped me make the transition and I haven’t looked back. (He has also never been one to stick to a smart watch for long, but I’ve only seen this leave his wrist once or twice for charging.) As a runner, I’ve been blown away with the changes having a built in heart rate monitor has made in my training (the 230 didn’t have a heart rate monitor like its 235 twin). And I’ve found the feedback accurate enough for my purposes. The altimeter is significantly more accurate than relying on my phone metrics (I live and run in the mountains). And as expected, the battery life is phenomenal. (I’ve charged it 2x in 2 months. I don’t use many phone/internet features, but I run 4hrs/week.) As a runner, there are a couple drawbacks that I might figure out how to remedy with time. 1) The top issue is that there isn’t a “lap” button. So, if you’re used to having that on the go, you have to pause the workout, tell the watch to register the pause as a lap end, and then start the workout back up. This could be a pain if you enjoy “free-style running” and using the lap function throughout OR you use the lap button to move forward with your preset workout. 2) I’m not a fan of the activity screen when running. The metrics shown are pretty minimal and not terribly useful, but I just click to the screen I’d set up and that’s fine. 3) Watch faces are limited to four layouts and you pick what is displayed. I miss my old watch face, but I’ve adapted to that as well. I really like that I can display moon phases in the circular spot at the top of the display. That circular spot is the reason watch faces are limited. It’s part of the screen and of every watch face and metrics screen. 4) The band is not my favorite. Now that I’m working with heart rate, getting a proper fit is crucial. The band that comes with the watch is comfortable and secure, but my ideal size is between two of the notches and I haven’t found a remedy for that yet. Also, I don’t sleep with my watch on. The nub that holds the piece securing the strap can kind of make it a pain to get the watch off because it’sgood at its job. 5) The watch won’t freak out if you are in an activity and start driving. This can be both good and bad. If you want it tracking your drive, it’s great. If you forget to stop the tracker after a workout, you’ll blow all your pr’s out of the water… 6) Just pressing the back button while in an activity doesn’t stop that activity. It will, however bring you back to the home/time screen and continue tracking. For someone hiking or running many miles, this could be a plus. For a short run, you can end up in the car scenario mentioned above pretty quick.I know I listed quite a few cons, but honestly, it is top notch. My husband also loves it and loves tracking our hikes with it, which it does very well. I have to drive to where I run. So I have to take my phone and wallet with me regardless of what my watch can do. If I was walking out my front door to go for a run, my needs would be different. Having a watch that could store music and a credit card and make an emergency call or text would be higher on the priority list. But for an adventurer in the boonies, it’s absolutely perfect!

  4. Collin Schwantes

    Great watch for people who like to get outsideI am not a watch person but I love this watch. I bought mostly to track runs and as a back navigation tool for the backcountry but it’s become a daily fixture. The ~26 days of battery when not in gps mode is great. In gps mode the battery drains much faster but that hasn’t really been an issue for me. The ink screen is easy to read in all light conditions. The biggest drawback is that navigating some of the menus is not intuitive because of this sometimes when I start a workout I accidentally pause it immediately. Overall great watch, would recommend to people looking for a functional and not-so-distracting device.

  5. thetacowarrior

    So far I love itI upgraded from my beat up Instinct v1 on prime day since it needed a band again and so far I have nothing but positive things to say. I mean it’s pretty much a continuation of the original Instinct that I loved to so there’s not much to say about the functionality, battery life seems better but I’m coming from an old watch so I’m not sure if it’s the battery, the solar, or just that the old watch was kind of worn down but I’m happy with it just the same. Band seems more comfortable than the one that came with the original Instinct but it’s hard to say for sure because that was a long time ago and it broke and has been replaced for quite some time. Only thing I wish it had was the VO2 max feature, but I’ve never had it before so I don’t know what I’m missing I just kind of would like to mess with it. Overall I would recommend this to anybody looking for a durable smart watch for outdoorsy activities and daily wear. I’m sure there are nicer ones out there but I don’t need all those gimmicks, this watch does everything I need and is durable and not too flashy.

  6. Joshua

    Tough watchIt is tough even though I accidentally bang it against many objects. It has the features of a fitness watch without the annoying touch screen. It does last a long time, but it is realisticaly more like 15 days. I spend a lot of time in the sun, but the solar charging capability seems minimal. I use it to surf a lot, but unfortunately it does not have a surf tracker. My old Garmin watch did, so it is annoying they are forcing customers to by the surf version of this watch that is more expensive. It does hold up well to the pressure of strong waves.

  7. Pat M

    Great watch but heart rate monitor is slow to respond to sudden increases of exertion.In general I love the watch. It looks nice. It tells accurate time. I like the GPS and the heart rate monitor.I really like the battery life I’ve had mine a little over a month. I recharged it after 23 Days and it still had a few days left. The GPS resets the watch time and corrects the attitude to the current barometric pressure.I took some time to setup the watch faces the way I wanted them, but since I’ve learned how to do it I made minor changes several times.The heart rate monitor is good for general use, but I like to climb the hills near my house. The monitor tends to lock in around 120, which corresponds well with my pace, even though manually checking my pulse puts me near 150. But once I get on level ground it rises to reflect a more accurate rate. It still lags by several seconds, but it’s reasonable. Several sites have mentioned that wrist monitors are not as accurate as a chest monitor. I just bought a chest heart monitor and I am looking forward to seeing how well it improves things

  8. Hannah

    Rugged but stylish!I bought this for my husband for his birthday. He loves how rugged and durable it is but also stylish. It isn’t touch screen but has everything and more you could want from a smart watch. Also, compared to many others on the market this has a great battery life. Nearly a month long without the solar! Will definitely buy again

  9. David J

    Great watchSeriously great watch if you want it. Do you need it? No. But if you are like me and have been watching this watch forever, then when/if you have the means to get it, do it. I waited till it went on sale during prime day and I sold my Apple Watch the next day.Features are as described and the battery life is amazing if you don’t turn on the O2 sensor. It’s still a better battery life than you’ll get on any other smartwatch but I was expecting more for how it was advertised. The solar panels are basically a gimmick but still a neat feature.

  10. DWW

    Great watch, no issuesNo issues at all, not a big fan of the Apple Watch, so I got this one. It gives me all the alerts of phone calls and notifications, also when the blood pressure goes up. Love it!

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.