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Best Garmin Military Watches for 2021 | Military Tactical Watch Comparison

Which Garmin Military Watch Is Made for Your Life on the Edge?
We Compare Garmin Instinct® Solar and tactix® Delta Sapphire/Solar Tactical Field Watches .

A military watch needs to strengthen your chances of survival in extreme conditions. Whether the wearer of this tactical tool is living on the edge or not, that's what the watch is for—to help you persevere in harsh, even threatening conditions and moments of crisis. It's built to help you survive.

This means a military tactical watch should be durable, reliable, and resourceful. Military grade construction and tools should be at the heart of the best tactical watch's design.

Not much has changed since the first world war about what a soldier needs from a military watch. But new technology from brands like Garmin has definitely advanced features in navigation, military tactical tools, extended battery life, and even ballistics calculation for long-range shooting.

In this military watch comparison, we're going over Garmin's two tactical smartwatch lineups—Instinct Tactical and tactix Delta—to show the features that will benefit and align most with your missions.  

Short on time? Skip to the PlayBetter Bottom Line or the Table of Contents in the next section to choose a subject.

Features You Get with Your Garmin Military Smartwatch

Durability

Garmin's premium military GPS smartwatches are resistant to scratches as well as being shock, thermal, and water resistant. They are military rated for all of these!

Get Tactical Tools

The best military watches are equipped with tools like a barometer, compass, thermometer, tachymeter, and alarm like the Garmin military tactical smartwatches you'll find on PlayBetter.

Loaded with Navigation

Multiple global navigation satellite systems allow you to track in the most challenging environments. And Garmin military GPS watches include a variety of mapping features like TracBack® Routing, Federal Public Land Maps, Expedition Mode, and more!

Extended Battery Life

The best military watch has a long battery life that will outlast the mission. The Garmin tactix Delta Solar and Instinct Solar tactical watches put the power of the sun in your adventures—for weeks even!

Water Resistant

The best tactical watches are water resistant to at least 100 meters (10 ATM water rating) like the Garmin Instinct and tactix Delta military GPS watches.

Training and Performance

Military smartwatches like the Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical have built-in sports apps, as well as activity and health tracking to enhance your physical training and performance.

 

GARMIN MILITARY WATCHS:

MISSION READY

 

 

Garmin tactix Delta Solar — Best Garmin Military Watch

You want a rugged military watch built to military standards that offers specialized tactical features and tools, as well as mapping, music, advanced training features, and more. Read on to find out why we think the tactix Delta Solar is the best Garmin military watch.

Durability

This military tactical watch was designed to survive with a fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover and knurled buttons. The rugged yet sophisticated design features a large 1.4” display that’s 36% larger than previous tactix models. It has a black nylon band and a black Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated steel bezel with scratch-resistant glass—made from Power Sapphire™—that houses solar-harvesting technology.

More Battery Life When It Counts

Power Manager lets you view how various settings and sensors impact your watch’s battery life, so you can make battery-extending changes on the fly. With the Garmin tactix Delta Solar tactical watch, you reap the benefits of a tactical tool powered by the sun!

Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/24 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days/120 days with solar
GPS: Up to 60 hours/66 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours/16 hours with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 120 hours/148 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 46 days/56 days with solar

Military Specs

Garmin tactix watches are built to the U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock, and a 10 ATM water rating. They also include dual grid coordinates tactical feature and are designed with subdued color with high contrast displays.

But it's the Garmin tactix Delta military smartwatch's added tactical features that take this military tool watch to the next level. Be ready for anything at a moment's notice with night vision capability, stealth mode, kill switch, dual-format GPS, projected waypoints, and jumpmaster mode.

Navigation

Access multiple global navigation satellite systems (Multi-GNSS) to track in the most challenging environments like deep canyons or dense forests. The Garmin instinct solar offers ABC sensors, including an altimeter for elevation data, barometer for weather, and three-axis electronic compass. Keep track with TracBack® Routing, Federal Public Land Maps, Expedition Mode, and more!

Stay Connected

Get smart notifications on your wrist and pair for satellite communication like the Garmin inReach satellite communicators, for the wildest areas beyond cellular towers!

Training Features

Keep track of your health and fitness before, during, and after your mission with access to wrist-based heart rate, sports apps, the Body Battery™ energy monitor, acclimation, PacePro™ Technology, and much more!


Garmin Instinct Tactical — Most Affordable Garmin Military Smartwatch

When it's go-time, you want a watch loaded with military features and tactical tools. The Garmin Instinct Tactical smartwatch has just what you need to cover you wherever the expedition takes you—and this tactical is priced at a very practical $300.

Rugged and Reliable

The Instinct Tactical GPS smartwatch was designed to endure with a fiber-reinforced polymer case, chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® glass.

Battery Life That'll Get You There and Back

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

Smartwatch: Up to 24 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 56 days
GPS: Up to 30 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 70 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days

Military Specs

Garmin Instinct watches are built to the U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and a 10 ATM water rating. Includes dual grid coordinates tactical feature and has subdued color with high contrast displays.

But it's the Garmin Instinct Tactical smartwatch's added military features that take this tactical watch to the next level. These include night vision capability, stealth mode, dual-format GPS, projected waypoints, and jumpmaster mode.

High-End Navigation

The Garmin Instinct Tactical military watch lets you access Multi-GNSS for when you are in deep and covered terrain and offers ABC sensors, including an altimeter for elevation data, barometer for weather, and three-axis electronic compass. And find your way back with TracBack® Routing.

Stay Connected

Get smart notifications on your wrist and pair for satellite communication like the Garmin inReach satellite communicators, for the wildest areas beyond cellular towers!

Training Features

Keep track of your health and fitness before, during, and after your adventures with access to wrist-based heart rate, sports apps, the Body Battery™ energy monitor, and more!


Garmin tactix Delta Sapphire — Most Rugged Garmin Military Watch

You need a military smartwatch that can withstand the elements and everything else you're going to put it through. The Garmin tactix Delta Sapphire military tactical watch is so mission ready, you can jump out of a plane with it or into the water at a moments notice.

The tactix Delta Sapphire military GPS watch is designed for durability with a scratch-resistant domed sapphire lens made from Power Sapphire™ technology in a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated steel bezel. The case is created from fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cover and knurled buttons.

The rugged yet sophisticated tactical tool features a large 1.4” display that’s 36% larger than previous tactix models.

Furhermore, the tactix Delta is tested to U.S. military 810 standards for thermal, shock, and a 10 ATM water rating, so you know it's got the grit it takes to get the job done.

And when it comes to battery power and staying alive, your tactix Delta is a resourceful tactical tool with a variety of mode options, including:

Smartwatch: Up to 21 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days
GPS: Up to 60 hours
GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 120 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 46 days


Instinct Tactical Solar — Best Solar Military Smartwatch

While the more expensive Garmin tactix Delta Solar has the edge on features, the Garmin Instinct Tactical Solar is hands down the best watch at eating the sun's energy and extending the life of your survival tool—and that's at more than half the cost.

So, if the longest lasting battery and solar power are high on your list of features in your military watch, the Instinct Tactical Solar is definitely one to consider. Here's why:

Garmin Instinct Tactical Solar Battery Life

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

Garmin tactix Delta Solar Battery Life

Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/24 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days/120 days with solar
GPS: Up to 60 hours/66 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours/16 hours with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 120 hours/148 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 46 days/56 days with solar

 


Garmin tactix Delta Sapphire — Best Military Tactical Watch for Navigation

If navigation is at the top of your list, the Garmin tactix Delta Sapphire military watch is where superior mapping and navigation begins.

Here's how the tactix Delta Sapphire GPS military smartwatch can take you there, show you where you are, and get you home—even when you jump out of a plane!

Multi-GNSS

Access multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track in more challenging environments like deep canyons and forests.

ABC Sensors

Navigate your next mission with ABC sensors, including an altimeter for elevation data, barometer to monitor weather, and 3-axis electronic compass.

Expedition Mode

Trek far and wide between recharges with Expedition Mode, an ultralow-powered GPS reference that can last for weeks.

Federal Land Maps

Use the option to display public land boundaries on topographical maps so you know where you’re venturing and where you’re supposed to be.

Topo and Ski Maps

Use topographical maps to find your way in the field. Also, view run names and difficulty ratings for 2,000 worldwide ski resorts.

ClimbPro Feature

Use the ascent planner on downloaded courses to see real-time information on your current and upcoming climbs, including gradient, distance, and elevation gain.

Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Know ahead of time when the next turn is coming with turn-by-turn directions.

Round-Trip Routing

Enter a distance you want to travel, and get suggested routes that will bring you back to your starting point. Trendline™.

 

 


Garmin tactix Delta Solar with Applied Ballistics — Best Military Watch with Ballistics

Is long-range shooting a factor in your military watch decision? If so, look no further than the Garmin tactix Delta Solar with Ballistics!

The tactix Delta comes equipped with AB Elite Software, which you can use to calculate aiming solutions for long-range shooting in the field with a built-in ballistics calculator.

With Applied Ballistics® Synapse you can easily create and send custom ballistic profiles to your Garmin, including full access to the Applied Ballistics Bullet Library that contains more than 1,200 custom measured bullets.


Garmin tactix Delta Sapphire — Best Tactical Watch for Physical Performance

Of all the Garmin military watches, the tactix Delta Sapphire is loaded with the most training and health-monitoring features to keep you in tip-top, peak-performance shape for your next adventure!

Here's a list of just some of the workout and health-tracking features you'll have access to:

  • Built-in sports apps for trail running, swimming, running, biking, hiking, rowing, skiing, golfing, surfing, indoor climbing, and more!
  • MTB Dynamics for mountain biking metrics
  • Surf-ready features
  • Backcountry skiing profile with automatic metrics for ascent and descent
  • Animated workouts on your watch screen
  • Performance metrics
  • PacePro™ technology gives you grade-adjusted guidance to help you keep up your pace
  • Acclimation widget shows your current elevation, acclimated elevation, and correlated Pulse Ox, heart rate, and respiration rate, so you can see how you’re holding up to the current elevation.
  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Pulse Ox sensor for 24/7 gauging of how well your body is absorbing oxygen
  • Respiration tracking
  • Body Battery™ energy monitor shows you the best times to be active and rest
  • Advanced sleep monitoring

 


Garmin Instinct Solar Camo — Best Military Watch for Hunting

Blend in brilliantly and boldly to the great outdoors with military standard features, solar charging, multi-GNSS for superior tracking, and compatibility with your Garmin hunting devices with the Garmin Instinct Solar Camo!

Choose one of these distinct Camo designs—Lichen Camo or Graphite Camo—to outfit your wrist with solar-charging extended battery life, for weeks even, and proven durability. The Instinct Solar Camo is built to the U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock, and water resistance (rated to 100 meters).

The Garmin Instinct Solar Camo tactical watch is supported by multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track in more challenging environments. Fine tune navigation on your trip with ABC sensors, including an altimeter for elevation data, barometer to monitor weather and three-axis electronic compass. Also included with the Instinct Solar Camo is TracBack Routing, a feature that navigates the same route back to your starting point.

In addition to many other sports and outdoor recreational profiles, the Instinct Solar Camo edition includes dedicated fishing and hunting profiles.

And finally, the Instinct Solar Camo GPS smartwatch is compatible with your Garmin Xero, Astro/Alpha and inReach products to further enhance tracking, navigating and communicating in the wild.


The PlayBetter Bottom Line

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Get the Garmin Instinct Tactical Smartwatch
if you want a durable watch that is as resistant and resourceful as you, is mission-ready with more military features, and can help you train and keep tabs on your health and fitness levels.
Go Garmin Instinct Tactical Solar if you want all that and a battery that eats the sun to give you more. Go Garmin Instinct Solar Camo for the perfect tactical watch for hunting.

Get the Garmin tactix Delta – Sapphire Edition Military Watch
if you want the want the ultimate GPS military smartwatch that is equipped to execute your objectives, is loaded with specialized tactical features and software, can help you train on a whole new level, and has features, including superior navigation and mapping, for every kind of adventure.

Go Garmin tactix Delta Solar if you want all that plus a longer-lasting battery life. Go tactix Solar with Ballistics if you want to apply extra accuracy and bullet knowledge to long-range shooting in the field.

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