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Thread: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

  1. #1

    Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions


    I am looking to upgrade my Garmin Fenix and had my eye on the Fenix 5 for quite some time. However, upon reading reviews I am seeing that the GPS tracking for open water swims is terrible. Has anyone used this watch for open water distance swims? If so, what was your experience like? Worth the money?


  2. #2
    Active Member airborne18th's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    rehoboth beach, de

    Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I just got the Fenix 5 on a deal. I like the watch.. But I have done both open water and pool. I am not impressed with the GPS in open water.. My 920xt is flawless with my open water swims,,, Now above water.. on land.. the gps seems fine, and it is very accurate.. Take note- my swims are very cold water.. and the fenix 5 does not really seem to like ice cold salt water.

    Overall the price point on the Fenix 5 is good.. they have bigger and better models coming out.. I do like it.. the metrics and performance stats are incredible.. I think there you can play with the GPS tracking.. there are some articles about it.. I think the worst case is to put it under the swim cap.

    If you are getting it on price too good to beat.. then yes it is worth it.
    TSAC-F,Swim Speed Secrets - STGRID

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Pompton Plains, NJ

    Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I'm a few months late to your reply, but if you have not already made a purchase. Do not get a Fenix 5 for open water swimming. It's terrible for accuracy. I had a Garmin 920XT for many years and its much more accurate. Just this morning I again tested the two. Same swim, worn on the same wrist, started same time. Fenix5 920XT

  4. #4

    Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Hi Dave, I was doing some research because I was thinking my Fenix 5 isn't tracking properly in open water (I'm not a fast swimmer, but I really thought I was faster than what it was tracking). I can see the Fenix 5 route, but for some reason I can't see the 920XT route. I guess I"m just trying to calm my fears of being extremely slow in OWS. For reference it said I swam an average pace of 3:39/100 yd, but in the pool I swim about 2:15/100m

  5. #5
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Newport, TN

    Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Yes it can be quirky. A couple of things that worked for me. Bring up the open water in the menu and give the watch a few minutes to link to the satellite even though it is green and is supposed to be linked. If your yardage looks short when you get back to shore, don't hit stop right away it will eventually catch itself up. The biggest problems I have had is at dawn and I swim behind mountains and trees so I suspect the it has problems the the sat and my location. The SUP and kayak apps are more accurate. I mark my course in my kayak then if the open water app has issues, I still have a decent approximation of my distance and my time. HTH

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