Garmin Enduro review: the first connected watch approved for adventure racing
For the first time, adventure racing competitors can wear smartwatches at official events. The new Garmin Enduro has an adventure racing mode that allows for change. GearJunkie’s adventure racing team tested it in the first event that sanctioned its use.
For adventure runners, there has never been a better reason to buy a Garmin GPS watch. The company recently announced that the Adventure Racing World Series is allowing its new Enduro watch for competitive use. He also approved the older Fenix and Marq Series.
Previously, adventure racing competitions, which emphasize endurance and orienteering, did not allow GPS-enabled watches. The Garmin Enduro’s adventure racing mode (AR mode) blocks users from features that would provide a racing advantage like GPS, distance and speed.
But it activates various tracking functions: a tracking log, various biometric monitoring functions and a compass. Users can also choose to enable GPS tracking in a capacity that records location data but makes it invisible until after the race.
“With the new software update, adventure racing competitors can continue to monitor biometric data, set timers, and use other built-in features like an altimeter and compass while adhering to sport guidelines,” he said. said Dan Bartel, Garmin VP of global consumer sales.
This is a significant change in adventure race, which favors analogue navigation. Multi-sport orienteering competitions can lead teams of participants through difficult terrain on kayaks, mountain bikes and on foot.
The routes are often hundreds of kilometers long and are not marked. However, teams must navigate to specified checkpoints en route using only a map they receive hours before the start of the race.
For obvious reasons, adventurous runners usually train with watches that track their location, fitness data, etc. With the Garmin Enduro, they can now compete without losing any data.
Summary of internal tests
GearJunkie’s Kyle Nossaman tested the new Garmin Adventure Racing mode at the first official event sanctioning its use. The 30-hour USARA National Championships race in Cable, Wisconsin required teams of three to paddle, hike, mountain bike and navigate between more than 50 checkpoints.
Before the race, Nossaman and his teammates received manual of USARA. Notably, the organization has also approved Garmin’s Fenix 6 and Marq series for official events.
Nossaman reported that USARA encouraged competitors to gain a good understanding of how Adventure Racing mode works before the race. Any use of GPS in adventure races will always result in disqualification and users are responsible for their knowledge of their devices and software.
Nossaman armed himself with his Garmin Enduro and the most comprehensive understanding of Garmin Adventure Racing Mode he could muster. Then he started the race. His full and detailed report covers the features he used, the details of the USARA verification, and what he preferred. Read on for the review.
Review: Garmin Enduro Smartwatch for Adventure Racing
On the surface, Garmin’s AR mode works like other Garmin activities. Once selected, there are options to configure your preferred data screens, power mode, etc. The data screen I built and used showed: heart rate, timer, time, lap time, and battery percentage.
A default locked screen served as the Adventure Race verification page and showed the start time of my race. I was able to manually track laps and set alerts which I found useful.
The reminders for time, heart rate, and diet (which is nice during adventure races, where proper fueling is essential) were all clutches. I also used and liked the compass.
As you would expect, once you stop the activity in AR mode, it cannot be undone. This logs your activity and checks your start and end times. This is basically a safety feature: The USARA race organizers checked the check at the finish line to confirm that I had kept the watch in AR mode for the entire race.
For a 30 hour run, it is essential for any watch to have a long battery life. (And for a lot of other applications outside of adventure racing, too.) USARA rules dictate that if a watch in AR mode dies during a race, it disqualifies the results. My Garmin Enduro was perfect, as it had an extremely impressive battery life. I started the race with an estimated autonomy of 55 days.
I used AR mode’s special locked GPS ability for the entire 30 hour run, so I could watch my route later. At the end of the race, I had 27 days of battery life left. I had no worries about the death of my watch during the competition.
During the race, I have found it useful to keep track of the lap times for different stages of the race, and generally keep track of the elapsed time and the time of day. The best part, however, was the GPS capability.
Syncing my watch with my Garmin app after the run allowed me to view our GPS track and upload it to Strava. My teammates and I used the information to analyze our navigation, pace and more.
I have been doing adventure racing for a full year and consider Garmin’s new adventure racing mode to be a positive. I enjoyed using certain functions of the watch while running and analyzing some data afterwards.
That said, using a GPS tracking watch during this time requires sufficient battery life. My previous Garmin Fenix 5 only lasted 12 hours in GPS mode. In comparison, my Garmin Enduro can run in GPS mode for up to 80 hours.
Get the Garmin Enduro smartwatch
While the Garmin Enduro is squarely aimed at adventure racing, it’s a beast in its own right. Its GPS consolidates multiple satellite networks to maximize tracking capacity.
Its updated fitness tracker specifically targets endurance athletes – adventurous runners and ultra-runners, take note. It works with an inReach Mini satellite communicator to enable messaging in remote environments. Then there is the great battery life.
Discover it all at Garmin – The MSRP is $ 800.