Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Tactical-Edition, GPS Outdoor Watch, Solar Charging, Multi-GNSS Support, Tracback Routing, Coyote Tan


(10 customer reviews)

  • Go longer than ever with solar charging that gives you unlimited battery life in smartwatch mode (assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions)
  • Battery life: in smartwatch mode, unlimited with solar charging in 3 hours of direct sunlight (50,000 lux) per day; in GPS mode, up to 48 hours with solar charging continuously in direct sunlight (50,000 lux)
  • Dedicated tactical features include Jumpmaster activity, waypoint projection, dual-position GPS format and preloaded tactical activity
  • Go dark with stealth mode to disable wireless communication and data sharing
  • Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
  • Understand your body better with all-day health monitoring features that track your heart rate, sleep, Pulse Ox, respiration and more (Pulse Ox not available in all countries. This device is intended to give an estimation of your activity and metrics; it is not a medical device)
  • Built-in sports apps to take on running, biking, swimming, strength training and more; plus, VO2 Max and other training features
  • Live the ultimate connected life with smart notifications and Connect IQ compatibility when paired with your compatible smartphone.
  • Extend your battery life and your time doing what you love using the power manager to see how settings and sensors impact your watch’s battery life and make changes on the fly
  • Rugged GPS smartwatch is water-rated to 100 meters and constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and water resistance
SKU: B09NMK4W7J Categories: , Tag:

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Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Tactical

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Tactical

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Tactical

Important information

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Additional information

Weight1.83 kg
Dimensions1.77 × 1.77 × 0.57 cm
Product Dimensions

1.77 x 1.77 x 0.57 inches

Item Weight

1.83 ounces



Item model number



1 Lithium Ion batteries required. (included)

Connectivity technologies

Bluetooth, USB


GPS Enabled

Special Features
Display resolution

176 x 176

Other display features


Human Interface Input


Scanner Resolution

480 x 272


Instinct 2 Solar Tactical (Coyote Tan)

Whats in the box

Instinct® 2 series smartwatch, charging/data cable, documentation



Date First Available

February 9, 2022


52 Grams

Standing screen display size

1.12 Inches

Memory Storage Capacity

32 MB



Reviews & Ratings

(10 customer reviews)

10 reviews for Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Tactical-Edition, GPS Outdoor Watch, Solar Charging, Multi-GNSS Support, Tracback Routing, Coyote Tan

  1. Ryan Whitehouse

    The Instict series sites essentially at the bottom of Garmin’s smartwatch lineup. It’s a monochrome screen, controls are via buttons rather than touch, and it’s not a mini-phone for your wrist. That said, I’m really not sure any of those are a bad thing, and in some cases, for the better.The monochrome LCD screen is easy to read in bright sunlight, something that can’t always be said for color TFT touchscreens (or the brightness has to be maxed, zapping the battery in a hurry). It also has battery life measured in weeks, not hours. It’s also “always on”, so you don’t need to waggle your wrist or tap it to wake the screen up to check the time.I’ve never been a fan of touch interfaces on a watch. Some brands handle it better than others, but given the form factor, you’re trying to either poke miniscule icons, or are just going rough swipe gestures- which can too easily be done accidentally. A few dedicated buttons are clear, easy to use, and accidental inputs are quite rare. The Instinct has five- one functions generally as as “OK”, one is “Back”, two are up/down for menus, and the third generally functions as a menu/options for whatever screen or activity you’re on. It’s surprisingly intuitive to figure out.GPS accuracy I’ve found is excellent, and only take a tiny hit when in “max battery GPS” mode, which uses only 1 of the 2 possible antennas and takes location data less frequently. Heart rate data also is quite accurate, and seems minimally affected by moisture/sweat. You also don’t have to have the watch strapped on uncomfortably tight to get consistent readings, as I’ve found with some other devices. As long as it’s not totally flopping around, you’ll get good readings. It can take Pulse Ox readings as well, although this feature is disabled (on “manual test only”) by default as it gives a bit hit to battery life.The companion app I found is easy to use and gives robust data about recorded workouts or activities. It also allows you to configure (most) watch settings, but for some reason a few can only be adjusted on the watch directly. This isn’t a big deal, and after initial setup, you won’t be needing to touch these much, if ever. That said, unlike a lot of smartwatches, the app or a phone link isn’t totally essential. The watch can function entirely on it’s own as it has GPS built in (some other watches rely on the GPS in your phone, so away from your phone, they can’t do much beside count steps and tell you the time). You can choose to get notifications from your phone on the watch, and being it lacks a speaker or mic can’t dictate responses, but you can choose to send a few canned responses like yes/no/can’t talk now/I’ll get back to you soon, ect without having to stop what you’re doing or fish your phone out.There is a separate app- the main one is Garmin Connect, but there is an “app store” called Garmin IQ where you can download extras like mini-apps for different sports or activities not built in, different watch faces, and even some basic games. I didn’t find much of interest there, it seems more aimed for their higher-tier watches with more capabilities, but you can sort by what watch you have and it will only show content that’s compatible with yours, a nice touch. The watch face has 12 pre-sets to choose from, 6 each in both “dark on light” and reverse “light on dark” patterns. Each preset then be further customized to change what each data field displays from dozens of options.The Instinct 2 does support Garmin Pay for contactless payments, though this does require a link to the phone- and Garmin Pay only supports a couple of the major CC’s. I don’t use this feature (I very rarely use it on my phone either), to me it’s just as fast/easy to pull a wallet out and tap the card, than pull my phone out or tap through a few menus on my watch to pull up a payment. But, it’s there if you want it.Also nice is the Instinct line comes in 3 sizes- the “S” 40mm, the standard 45mm, and the “X” 50mm. The S and standard are functionally identical, aside from the standard having a bit larger battery and thus longer life. The X adds a mini flashlight feature, but I carry a EDC light anyway- which is far brighter- and 50mm watches I find a little too chonky for my taste. Some reviews complained about the default band not being hinged, although I think this would only be a concern if your wrists are substantially slimmer or thicker than normal. For the vast majority of people, it will be fine. I find it perfectly comfortable to wear 24/7 and the very fine “notches” give a lot of adjustability to get the fit just right. There are other bands you can get from both Garmin and third parties, including one with hinged pivots.You also get the option of solar, which enables “unlimited” battery life in theory, but in practice, this won’t be the case for most people. Garmin makes this claim assuming the watch gets 3 hours of moderate sun exposure a day, and in “smartwatch mode” only, i.e, not using the GPS. The watch does soak up meaningful charge off solar- a 1 hour bike ride on a very bright day I noticed a 3% increase on the battery- which is about how much it does down each day just in smartwatch mode with 24/7 HR monitoring on. So it recouped a day of battery in only about an hour, cool! It does function, but riding a bike has the watch face directly facing up- other activities like walking/running will net much less exposure (you can check a graph of the last 6 hours), and even on a sunny day, only net a trickle of power. 1 hour of GPS usage also takes about a day’s worth of standby time, so if you plan to track activities routinely, don’t expect a watch you “never” have to charge”. Even if you do so seldom or never, unless you consistently spend several hours outdoor every day, chances are you will still need to occasionally charge it. Still- compared to most smartwatches that need charging every couple days, if not every day, the Instinct offers stellar life. Fresh off the charger, mine reports about 30 days of battery. Using the GPS for a few hours a week to track some jogging, I find realistically, I get between 2-3 weeks before the battery is down to 10% or less and it starts asking for the charger. I’m sure the solar contributes to that, but I don’t imagine it added more than a day or two. If you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, or live in a location that’s overcast- or you wear a jacket a lot- you can probably skip the solar option and save $100. If you live in a sunny climate and spend a decent amount of time outdoors, the solar can help stretch the battery and net you an extra few days before charges. While I don’t doubt the “unlimited” claim is technically possible, it would require foregoing most of this watch’s main features (GPS) almost entirely, and spending a fair bit of time outdoors on sunny days.It does use a proprietary USB charger cable, which pulls about 0.6 watts while charging (so even the most basic 5w charging brick from an old iPhone, or a USB port on a computer, will charge this just fine). The charging is relatively brisk. A full charge from ~5% to 100% took only about 90 minutes (it seems to gain about 1% charge per min), so if you need a quick top up, just a 10 minute plug in can net you another couple days of battery.All in all, this is a fantastic smartwatch/fitness tracker for people who value simplicity and phenomenal battery life. It doesn’t offer the dozens/hundreds of activities to track like some others, and offers only the basics for phone connectivity. It also doesn’t cost a thousand dollars. You get three sizes, several special editions that include some specialty capabilities/apps, several colors in each size, and the option of solar or not.

  2. Jeff

    I had purchased and returned the original Garmin Instinct Solar when the Instinct was new. I returned it because it just wasn’t ready for prime time. It was too bulky, the software was a little buggy and not terribly friendly, and the solar was of very limited utility 99% of the time. I.e., more expensive than it delivered.Then comes the Instinct 2. The software is much improved and they offer a smaller 40mm version. These are improvements, so I bought an Instinct 2s. It is still too big – the primary reason I bought it. I also have a fitbit. The instinct is better, but I won’t wear something that big.On the positive side, courses and navigation now works. It simply didn’t on the first one. I used it today on a 21 mile bike ride. I was able to build a course easily in the Garmin Connect app, transfer it to the Instinct 2s, and use it. If I strayed from the course, it kept navigating rather than completely loosing its way as the first Instinct did. That was actually of some use.The longevity of a battery charge can be managed well by turning functions on and off. It has good GPS, good sensors for compass and altimiter.I recommend not paying for solar. You would need the solar charge capability under very limited circumstances. For my purposes, solar is an expensive capability that won’t get used because it does not work well. If I want more battery life, I can get more days than I would need on a week long hike and still use the GPS from time-to-time by turning off functions that aren’t needed. Solar works if you make a point of holding it just right when you are in the sun – which I don’t and you probably will not. It did not give the battery enough boost to make the capability and cost worthwhile. I could sum it up by saying that it is well thought out, but it is still a gadget with a lot of stuff that I don’t really need and it is still larger than I want to wear on my wrist all the time.Some of these comments apply to smart watches in general: I’m a health and fitness conscious old man who still bikes, jogs, and runs the stadium stairs. And even I do not need a heart beat monitor or a blood oxygen monitor. Those things don’t provide my exercise purpose with any essential information and the measurements are inaccurate anyway. My wife and I walk briskly enough to raise my pulse to about 120. A couple of days ago, the Garmin was telling me my pulse was 160 during a walk. It was clearly out in left field. It seems to be accurate if I am sitting still and sometimes goes crazy when I am active. My fitbit snd the Instinct rarely agreed on heartbeat except when sitting still.Sleep quality measurment is inaccurate. I suppose it can give you a trend and is a reasonable measure if you look at it everyday, but I know if I slept well last night compared to the night before. The watch doesn’t make me any smarter.I also have a fitbit charge 5. There is good agreement between them for things that are directly measured by GPS – speed and distance. But there can be large differences between heart beat, sleep quality, and calories burned. These are calculated by algorithms rather than measured directly.So it just comes down to not wanting to wear something that is as bulky and experimental as this device is.Here is what I would really like from Garmin, and they are the company that should do it. Make a watch for people like me who have paid attention to fitness most of their lives and have become smarter about it than the current state of fitness monitoring devices. Give us the following:Reduce the size by getting rid of pulse and O2 sensors. Give it a very accurate GPS capability that also measures altitude – as they do for their aviation products (that is a great, accurate capability). Let me load maps and routes. Barometric pressure can be useful, but isn’t at the top of the list. I.e, give me an accurate navigation device. Give it a large battery. Call it the ‘Navigator’.Then I’m a customer. I would like to have blood pressure, but no one has figured that out.I wanted to like the Instinct 2s – and it is better than the first one. But i returned it.

  3. Joseph Ellsworth

    One issue I have had with fitness watches is their heart rate sensors all become erratic during heavy sweaty workouts when you most need it to be accurate. With ant capability and a polar arm band this watch delivers very accurate heart rate under the most challenging conditions and it is properly reflected in the watch automatically. I have owned 4 fitbits all of which died due to my active lifestyle so having a watch that appears to be as durable as a G-Shock. Fitbits poor durability forces me to avoid their devices even though I love their app. The fitbit devices are where I first noticed heart rate detection issues during hard workouts. My models don’t didn’t have ant capability so I had to wear a separate chest strap that didn’t integrate so the calories consumed were wrong.I tried amazefit for over a year and liked the watch but the heart rate detection was even worse than Fitbit and it didn’t have ant so that device went into a door.I find this watch needs to be charged every 5 to 6 days or it goes into energy conservation mode. This happens sooner if you have several long workouts. The battery life is way better than my last Fitbit especially when I have several multi hour workouts. I personally will never consider a Google watch until they can match a week battery life including several workouts.I really miss the PAI score from amazefit and feel it is a critical health management feature that Garmin needs to add to remain competitive. This is one missing feature that will tempt me back to try other devices when this one reaches end of life.I still end up using the Fitbit calorie counter for food consumption because I like their bar code scanner. Garmin tells you to use my fitness pal for the same but it is crippled on the free version and I couldn’t test the bar code scanner without paying which I would bet Garmin gets a commission on. Garmin needs to improve this aspect of their software so there is a bar code enabled calorie counter built into their software for free. Without this feature it will put them at a serious competitive deficit for people trying to do while health management. Again this is a feature that could get me to switch brands.

  4. A Singing Wolf

    I purchased this smart watch for my partner’s birthday as a way for him to monitor his fitness routine, basic health stats, and outdoor adventures. He’s avoided wearables and always regarded them with heavy doubt/scrutiny, but this watch really won him over. It replaced his basic “tell-time only” watch and he has been super happy with it.Out of the 3 months he’s had it, he’s only had to put it on a charger twice due to the solar charging aspect. It’s also very rugged for outdoor activities and looks incredibly similar to the basic watches he used to wear. However, he can now get instant text alerts, smart camera alerts, and all his health data in record time. He sleeps with it on and sometimes showers with it as well. He’s had no issues and loves that it’s not a noticeable or fragile feeling wearable (he’s an outdoorsy type and an engineer so he’s much more into practical function than flash/style). This is a wonderfully designed, easy to use watch for those that want something different than the “fancier” wearables while still getting all the benefits. All that to say, he’s now a believer. 🙂

  5. Rebecca

    I bought this watch for my husband as a birthday gift. When we first met he always wore a watch and over the years stopped, he started wearing my Fitbit blaze but it’s not water poof and wasn’t a fan of the texting program on that watch. So I started looking at smart watches that looked like his old watch from years ago that are waterproof but have all the things we like now a days lol my husband is a outdoors men, he’s also a forestry firefighter so something being rugged, waterproof, and GPS is perfect for his lifestyle. It has delivered on all the aspects that the watch advertises.

  6. Arthur

    Syncronization with the phone app (Connect) has gone well. Not really useful for weight lifting as it doesn’t know when you have completed a set. Good for stationay bike, ellipitcal and road biking. I’m still learning about the Training Readiness function. I was surprised to find that I had ordered this from a secondary supplier and not directly from Garmin. This was an unpleasant surprise. Would have liked to have had more of a warning when placing the order. Could be an problem if there should be a warranty issue. Have been extremely disappointed with the Fitbit products so almost anything would have been an improvement. They (Fitbit) have a long way to go to understand retailing.

  7. D. Adkins

    Great watch, added a 9m screen protector and it’s been very durable thus far. No signs of wear. Great features. Only complaint is the solar option is definitely not 100% never having to be charged. It will die unless you are laying in direct sunlight 24-7

  8. Barry R.

    I’ve had other Garmin watch devices however I really love the Instinct 2. For me, the health tracking features were the most important which is why I decided upon the Instinct 2 rather than the other Instinct watches, and it looks great also. I really have no negatives to report at this time. I walk every day approx. 3 miles and 5 to 6 miles total in a day, so the GPS tracking me on my walks is a great feature should something happen to me while out alone. In addition, the battery gives me approx. 22 days of life based on the options I am tracking. This is a huge improvement over the other Garmin watches I’ve had in the past.

  9. Chris

    I use this watch everyday. I love the fact it keeps up with everything that they advertise. Battery life is OK. This is my only knock on the watch. I have to charge every 3 days or so but keep in mind I run everyday and the GPS is probably draining the battery a little more than usual. Truly motivates me to run, walk and walk up stairs and that alone justifies the purchase. The apps you can purchase for it are great as well. LOVE their Run app and their mobile app is great. I will be a Garmin purchaser on my next watch as well. A+!

  10. Daniel

    I bought this because I had 2 Samsung Galaxy watches fail on me prematurely in a row, and I was tired of Samsung’s watches. This watch is a massive improvement in health and fitness tracking and accuracy, and I have no concerns about a touchscreen failing and falling off from the glue softening.The button controls are intuitive and make sense; I don’t think I’d ever go back to a touchscreen watch again. Whether the screen is covered in water or sweat, it still works every time. The amount of fitness tracking features Garmin has is much better. My heartrate is more accurate, and it gives you better sleep data, as well as your HRV, which Samsung doesn’t give you at all. Garmin Connect is great for plotting cycling routes, and the GPS data is spot on in most cases.My #1 gripe about Garmin is that you can’t record a ride from the cell phone app, you have to use a Garmin device. I plan on buying a Garmin bike computer because having to take my hand off the handlebar to look at my watch to check my speed is getting annoying, but being able to record from your phone app would be nice, even if it causes a decrease in location accuracy.

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