We have less than a week remaining until October’s Amazon Prime Day deals kick in. But if you’re on the hunt for a new Garmin watch, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wait. From past experience, most Garmin deal events focus on older watches, and many of those models already have solid discounts prior to the official deals event, both on Amazon and other retailers like Best Buy.
Most of the best current-gen Garmin watches remain full price, but you can save hundreds on top of the already discounted prices for excellent last-gen watches like the Garmin Venu 2, Vivoactive 4, Epix Gen 2, and Lily. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can save as much as $368 off this Tactical Garmin watch or $200 off the Epix Gen 2; still, your best Garmin pre-Prime Day deals will probably “save less” but also cost less.
When does the October Prime Day event begin?
The next Amazon Prime Day event, called Amazon Prime Big Deal Days for some reason, starts on Tuesday, October 10th, at 3am EDT and will run through October 11th at midnight PDT. Now that Amazon split up Prime Day into multiple deals events, you can now get an early start on holiday shopping before Black Friday even enters the picture.
Although the current deals above can be bought by anyone, you’ll likely need a Prime membership to access the best-possible deals during the actual event. So make sure to sign up for a 30-day free trial if you need it.
For now, you should check out our list of the best early Prime Day smartwatch deals if you’re on the hunt for a fitness watch and don’t necessarily need it to be a Garmin watch!
How should you pick the right Garmin watch?
Pay close attention to Garmin watches’ names. Most have the same core Garmin OS, health sensors, and GPS tracking capabilities; where they differ is in their specializations. We’ll focus on the best Garmin watches below, without paying attention to deal prices, for you to compare against the ones that are on sale.
Garmin Forerunner watches are designed for runners and cyclists, primarily, and the newer models will judge your fitness level and tell you how long to rest and then how long and fast to run next time. The Garmin Forerunner 265 is our favorite mid-range option, while the Forerunner 965 is the best premium option of the bunch.
Garmin Instinct watches give you epically long battery life with the trade-off of lower-resolution displays; they also give you rugged shock-proof designs, along with some of the same training readiness data as Forerunner watches. The Instinct 2X Solar is your best option, with nearly 150 GPS hours thanks to solar recharging and a built-in LED flashlight.
Garmin Epix watches give epically long battery life too, but without the display trade-off or thick plastic look; instead, you have to accept how heavy they can be.
Garmin Venu watches target more mainstream and first-time users, with their bright AMOLED displays for gym training, but may not have some of the more specialized fitness software of a Forerunner; the new Venu 3 takes the crown today.
The Vivoactive series arguably falls into that same niche, only without the AMOLED focus and for a more affordable price. We have yet to review the Vivoactive 5, but it’s essentially a Venu 3 with a few downgrades to give it a consumer-friendly price.
The Garmin Fenix series is its flagship lineup, but even when on sale, they’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Otherwise, most Garmin models outside of these lineups are more specialized, such as the Approach for golfers or tactix for military types; they’re harder to find on sale, typically, but are good options for people that know exactly what they want.