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2022 Garmin Instinct 2/2S vs Instinct Solar, Tactical, Surf & Camo Comparison

We Compare the New Garmin Instinct® 2/2S vs Instinct Outdoor Watches

Includes Standard, Solar, Tactical, Surf & Camo Editions

Short on time? Jump to our Garmin Instinct 2 page for quick access to products & the answers you want.

Purpose-built for tough environments and people who break convention like it's bread, Garmin Instinct GPS watches are mid-range priced outdoor smartwatches created for lifestyles that are anything but mid-range.

And the 2022 Instinct 2/2S series keeps that promise of durability and versitility while bringing upgraded features, battery life, sizes, and mission-specific models to fit your lifestyle.  

In this article, we compare the original Instinct vs the Instinct 2/2S, showing you what's new so you can choose the GPS smartwatch that's tough enough—and unique enough—to ride on your wrist.

Check out this in-depth Instinct 2/2S review by our partner, Chase the Summit!

What's New with the Garmin Instinct 2/2S Series of Outdoor GPS Smartwatches?

Two Sizes: Instinct 2 & 2S

Choose the size that fits your wrist and lifestyle. This next-generation of Garmin Instinct watches is now available in two sizes for most of the models in the lineup. Also, the upgraded design offers a smoother style and improves functionality.  

Instinct 2 Feature Upgrades

Get VO2 Max, Training Status, and other training features along with additional sport profiles like windsurfing and kiteboarding for the Instinct 2/2S Surf Editions. Plus, customize your watch with Connect IQ and use Garmin Pay for contactless payment!

New Instinct—dezl™ Edition  

Instinct® 2–dēzl Edition is the first rugged smartwatch designed specifically for professional truck drivers who want trackable health metrics, short-break workouts, and many truck plaza conveniences for over-the-road lifestyles.  



The New Garmin Instinct 2/2S Series.
As Tough & Unique As You.


Garmin Instinct vs Instinct 2/2S Rugged GPS Watch Sizes  

Instinct vs Instinct 2/2S Physical Dimensions/Case Size

The new Garmin Instinct 2 series of GPS watches now offers a size for smaller wrists, denoted by the "2S" option in the Instinct, Instinct Solar, Instinct Camo, and Instinct Surf and Solar–Surf editions.

Original Garmin Instinct, Instinct Tactical, Instinct Esports
Case Size : (H x W x D) 45 x 45 x 15.3 mm; Weight: 52g

Garmin Instinct Solar, Solar–Tactical, Solar–Surf, Solar–Camo
Case Size :
(H x W x D) 45 x 45 x 15.3 mm; Weight: 53g

Garmin Instinct 2 — All Editions (Instinct, Solar, Camo, Surf, Solar–Surf, Solar–Tactical, dezl)
Case Size : (H x W x D) 45 x 45 x 14.5 mm; Weight: 52g

Garmin Instinct 2S — All Editions (Instinct, Solar, Camo, Surf, Solar–Surf)
Case Size :
(H x W x D) 40x 40 x 13.3 mm; Weight: 42g

All Garmin Instinct watches are made of fiber-reinforced polymer and built to the U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock, and water resistance (rated to 100 meters).

Instinct solar-charging watches have scratch-resistant Power Glass™ displays that are high contrast and sunlight readable. Non-charging Instinct lenses are made from chemically strengthened glass.

Two independent removeable keeper loops on a fully vented silicone band keep both Instinct and Instinct 2/2S GPS watches secure and ensure they don’t get snagged up.

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Garmin Instinct 2/2S Models vs Instinct Models

Garmin Instinct Outdoor GPS Watch Models

The original Instinct lineup includes 18 watches across 7 models, which include:

  • Instinct
  • Instinct Tactical
  • Instinct Solar
  • Instinct Solar–Tactical Edition
  • Instinct Solar–Camo Edition
  • Instinct Solar–Surf Edition
  • Instinct Esports GPS Gaming Watch

Garmin Instinct 2 Series Models

The Instinct 2/2S lineup has become more refined, no doubt, based on cusumer demand. There is no longer an Esports gaming watch; the dezl version has been added with features specific for professional truck drivers; and there is no longer a non-solar tactical edition or a solar camo edition. And, of course, all Instinct 2 series watches are available in the 2S size—except the Solar-Tactical Edition and the dezl Edition.

  • Instinct 2/2S
  • Instinct 2/2S Solar
  • Instinct 2/2S Camo
  • Instinct 2/2S Surf
  • Instinct 2/2S Solar–Surf Edition
  • Instinct 2 Solar–Tactical Edition (not available in 2S)
  • Instinct 2 dezl (not available in 2S)

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Garmin Instinct vs Instinct 2 Features Comparison

Garmin Instinct vs Instinct 2/2S Maps & Navigation

All Garmin Instinct and Instinct 2/2S rugged GPS watches offer:

  • Tracking in more challenging environments with multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo).
  • Get next-level navigation with ABC sensors, including an altimeter for elevation data, barometer to monitor weather, and three-axis electronic compass.
  • Take the worry out of wandering with TracBack routing to navigate the same route back to your starting point. Plus make your way with point-to-point navigation, back to start, distance to destination, barometric trend indicator with Storm Alert, projected waypoint, Sight 'N Go, area calculation, and XERO™ Locations.
  • Dual-format GPS coordinates with latitude and longitude references offer unparalleled situational awareness.

For the Instinct 2 dezl Rugged GPS Watch

  • Pair with the dēzl™ app for access to loyalty programs from some of the nation’s leading travel plazas, including Love’s Travel Stops and Pilot Flying J Travel Centers.
  • Save time and improve efficiency with PrePass® notifications of upcoming U.S. weigh stations and bypass decisions; requires active PrePass account and use of the dēzl app on your compatible smartphone.

Instinct vs Instinct 2 Performance Metrics & Sports Apps

With all Garmin Instinct and Instinct 2 watches you can train smarter with preloaded activity profiles for running, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and more. But the Instinct 2/2S GPS watches now have loads more activity profiles and performance metrics on par with high-end Garmin watches like the fēnix 7 and Forerunner 945, including VO2 Max, Training Status, Training Load, and Race Predictor.

In their design upgrade, Garmin also moved the barometric sensor from the back of the watch to the side to improve functionality.

Instinct 2/2 Surf & Solar–Surf Edtions

Record the number of waves surfed, maximum speed and distance by using the surf activity profile; tide data lets you stay up to date on ocean conditions. Windsurfing and kiteboarding activities let you measure your GPS position, speed, distance and heart rate; plus, see elevation for your kiteboarding jumps. Works with Surfline Sessions™, which creates a video of every wave you ride in front a Surfline camera, so you can watch them later and see how you did.

Instinct 2 Solar–Tactical Edition

Enable stealth mode to stop storing and sharing your GPS position and disable wireless connectivity and communication. Use jumpmaster mode to calculate high-altitude release points according to military guidelines and helps to navigate you to your objective once you’ve jumped. Easily switch between daytime view and nighttime view with a screen that can be read by night vision goggles.

Instinct 2 dezl

Pair with the dēzl™ app on your compatible smartphone for access to workout tutorials that fit within standard break times.

Garmin Instinct 2/2S Health-Monitoring

The best Garmin health-monitoring features in the Instinct 2/2S series remain pretty much the same as the original Instinct. However, the Instinct 2 has the updated Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, which is more accurate than the version in the original Instinct lineup!

Get 24/7 health and wellness monitoring with wrist-based heart rate, Pulse Ox (not available in all countries), stress, and enhanced sleep tracking (this device is intended to give an estimation of your activity and metrics; it is not a medical device).

Garmin Instinct 2 Series Daily Smart Features

All the GPS smartwatches in the Garmin Instinct 2 lineup offer smart notifications, Garmin Pay™, and Connect IQ when connected to a compatible smartphone. You also get both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity and can control you smartphone music.

Instinct 2 Display Upgrades

Garmin Instinct 2/2S GPS smartwatches have a higher display resolution and now offer widget glances, so that you can scroll through views of your information at a glance!

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Garmin Instinct 2/2S vs Instinct Battery Life

Garmin Instinct Battery Life

Garmin Instinct & Instinct Tactical

Smartwatch mode: Up to 14 days
GPS mode: Up to 16 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 40 hours

Instinct Solar, Solar–Tactical, Solar–Surf, & Solar–Camo

Smartwatch: Up to 24 days/54 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 56 days/Unlimited with solar
GPS: Up to 30 hours/38 hours with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 70 hours/145 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days/68 days with solar*

Instinct Esports GPS Gaming Watch

Smartwatch mode: Up to 14 days
Esports mode: Up to 80 hours
GPS mode: Up to 16 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 40 hours

Garmin Instinct 2/2S Battery Life

As you can see, Garmin improved battery life by days and hours, in this new lineup of rugged outdoor watches.

Garmin Instinct 2S, Instinct 2S Camo, Instinct 2S Surf

Smartwatch: Up to 21 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 50 days
GPS: Up to 22hrs
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 54hrs
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 25 days

Garmin Instinct 2, Instinct 2 Camo, Instinct 2 Surf, Instinct 2 dezl

Smartwatch: Up to 28 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 65 days
GPS: Up to 30hrs
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 70hrs
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 32 days

Garmin Instinct 2S Solar, Instinct 2S Solar–Surf

Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/51 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 50 days/Unlimited with solar
GPS: Up to 22hrs/28 hrs with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 54hrs/114 hrs with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 25 days/105 days with solar

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Instinct 2 Solar–Surf, Instinct 2 Solar–Tactical

Smartwatch: Up to 28 days/Unlimited with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 65 days/Unlimited with solar
GPS: Up to 30hrs/48 hrs with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 70hrs/370 hrs with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 32 days/Unlimited with solar

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Garmin Instinct 2/2S Colors

Garmin Instinct 2 Series Rugged GPS Watch Colors

Instinct 2: Electric Lime

Instinct 2S: Graphite, Deep Orchid, Poppy

Instinct 2 Solar: Graphite, Mist Gray, Tidal Blue

Instinct 2S Solar: Grpahite, Mist Gray, Neo Tropic

Instinct 2 Solar – Tactical Edition: Black, Coyote Tan

Instinct 2 Camo: Graphite Camo

Instinct 2S Camo: Mist Camo

Instinct 2 Surf: Mavericks

Instinct 2S Surf: Wakiki

Instinct 2 Solar – Surf Edition: Bells Beach

Instinct 2S Solar – Surf Edition: Ericeira

Instinct 2 dezl: Black


Garmin Instinct 2/2S Price vs Instinct

Garmin Instinct 2/2S GPS Smartwatch Cost

Instinct 2/2S Rugged GPS Watches — $349.99

Instinct 2/2S Solar — $449.99

Instinct 2/2S Camo — $399.99

Instinct 2/2S Surf — $399.99

Instinct 2/2S Solar–Surf Edition — $499.99

Instinct 2 Solar–Tactical Edition — $499.99

Instinct 2 dezl — $399.99

Garmin Instinct Rugged GPS Watch Prices

Instinct Outdoor Smartwatch — $299.99

Instinct Tactical — $299.99

Instinct Solar — $399.99

Instinct Solar–Tactical Edition — $449.99

Instinct Solar–Surf Edition — $449.99

Instinct Solar–Camo Edition — $449.99

Instinct Esports Gaming GPS Smartwatch — $299.99


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