I’ve been using a Garmin Instinct since I got back from Aconcagua, both for training in the gym and running or hiking outdoors. I might need to replace it sooner than later.

The biggest issue by far is battery life at this point. I’ve been using this watch for 2.5 years now and the battery is not living up to the expectations anymore. Using it to record activities (such as hiking) it barely lasts a dayhike anymore. It just up and died halfway through the summit night on Broad Peak (luckily I had my InReach for tracking too) even though it was (of course) inside my down suit so it really shouldn’t feel the cold at all.

Another issue is that the heartrate monitor is wildly inaccurate. Regardless of temperature or weather, it often reports a heartrate that’s clearly half of my actual heartrate. I wish I could hike up to 3000m with a 70-something heartrate, but sadly I’m not at that point just yet.

In the past few months it started doing two things that really annoy me: first, it sometimes freezes rock solid in the first few seconds of an activity. It’s happened a bunch of times during my morning jogs, but I don’t really care about “recording” those, but now it did the same during my hike up (I mean down from) Hotaka this weekend. Even after restarting the watch and the activity, it still failed to record the entire 6 hour-or-so hike altogether, which is just not okay.

The other is that the past few days it doesn’t charge to full anymore and drains very quick. I first noticed this trying to charge it in my tent the other day, where it wouldn’t get to “full” no matter how I tried. I figured it may be a problem with my not-exactly-young charger battery, but then the watch did the same plugged into my computer today (and it’s already down to half battery after only 6 hours of not even using it).

Considering what could be causing these issues I can think of two reasons: either it’s simply getting old (at 2.5 years) and/or it’s getting nuked by firmware upgrades. Either way if I’m buying a new watch I’ll now consider Suunto and other makers before going with another Garmin.