Garmin Fenix GPS Watch, Gear-Mini

A wee head’s-up, if you have a look at the current Trail mag you’ll see my first-test of the Garmin Fenix GPS watch. The Fenix has been on my wrist most days since around October last year and far from being a techno worry as many such things might be to me, it’s just replaced my old TechTrail altimeter watch as my outdoor watch as well as being just a good watch to wear as it’s not monster sized at all.
The Fenix and a map and you’re good to go and it keeps your brain sharper than using a regular handheld GPS as well. I’ll have more on it later on including using the Tempe remote temperature sensor. Just how cold was camp? I have the accurate evidence here…

23 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix GPS Watch, Gear-Mini”

  1. Montane Powerstrech if I remember rightly. I’ve been using a pair of these for ages. Lots better than I expected. Plum because you need some colour in your life.

  2. Have looked at a Fenix, it will be nice to read your views. I like my Suunto Core but its showing it’s age. Perhaps time for a change. Best start saving up.

  3. Hey, those gloves kick ass in a way that shows your confidence in your own masculinity.
    They are actually the best liner gloves I’ve ever used, but I keep thinking there’s holes in the fingertips becuase of the light coloured gripper dots.

    I do like the Fenix, I was carrying a watch, a map and a GPS, I still do but now it just feels like a watch and a map.
    Battery life is okay until you use the GPS a lot, heavy use will kill it in a couple of days or so, occasional use like me see’s it going for weeks.

  4. It’s been quick, handheld GPS quick at times, and aye you can get an OS grid ref.
    I’ll do more detail later, I want some more overnighters with the remote temperature sensor.
    Until then my mag review is both witty and informative :o)

  5. And a snip at £315!!

    Actually my gripe is at the term ‘liner glove’. I use powerstrech gloves (goth black, I’m afraid) and they are great all-year round walking and backpacking gloves that are good for everything up (or down) to breezy sub zero temperatures and/or a full on hoolie (when ye olde Buffalo or Dach mit is required). And they should be described thus (3+ season) , as that is what 80% of people will use them for.

    But no – they are invariably termed ‘liner’ gloves What’s that all about? Like we are all ‘hard-core’ ice-climber wannabes? The cynic in me thinks it is just a ply to con novice hillwalkers to buy fully waterproofed, primaloft filled gaunlets.

    rant over…


  6. Does seem expensive for what it is.
    For Mountain Marathons and navigational hill races (where GPS is banned) I got a LIDL altimeter watch for £25 about 5 years ago and its still going strong. It does altitude with excelent accuracy if calibrated, temp, compass, barometer. Total bargain.
    For GPS on the hills if I need it I use my iPhone with OutdoorsGB app, maps are stored on the phone so no mobile signal needed. Works well.
    Have to say though, I’ve got a Garmin FR watch for running/cycling, with the bike transmitter and heart rate strap and it is ridiculously good. I think Garmin are untouchable for sports watches.

  7. I’ll be interested to read more on this, but it will take a lot for me to foresake my trusty Silva ADC as I like to know my height and the windspeed, but can do without GPS.
    I will now get lost on my next trip and bitterly regret this rash statement…

  8. All good points about the watch, I shall address and discuss all in the review.

    The gloves thing, for a long time now I’ve gone for the light liner (sorry) glove and and something that fits over it. It used to be the meraklon £5 affairs you find everywhere, some merino’s etc and more recently the dot-palmed horsey gloves until I got these Montane things. I have used proper powerstretch gloves as well, just depending on the notion as much as anything.
    But the last two or three years I’ve really suffered from cold fingers so liners that stay on all the time with mitts of other gloves has been the way to go, earlier in the week I was gadding about on Cruach Ardrain in my Buffalo Mitts and the Montane liners. Less dextrous, buit happy and pain free. I’ve dug out my old Marmot leather and Primaloft gloves as well, don’t care if I look like an ice hockey goalie, cold fingers make me cry. Really.

  9. Plum .. ???

    Following your review, I got a pair of black Montane glubs. I’ve really enjoyed them and their low bulk.

    They got tested the other week on the Cobbler … even though it was persistently snowing and the gloves were wet, they didn’t seem too be chilly. Putting on a pair of silk liners also seemed to help a little.

    I wonder if the Montanes ‘wetability” would be improved if I sprayed them with TX Waterproofer??

  10. Enjoyed the review in the mag! Have you got any more pieces for Trail coming up soon? £350 full retail is a lot of money but you can pay a lot more for a hand held GPS which might not do much more.

    Sadly not something I would get enough use out of. Maybe one day if I ever get the balls to do more than one days walking at a time!

  11. Handheld GPS vesus watch GPS will come down to whether or not you want the screen or not. I’m happy enough with getting the grid ref to refer back to the map. But, it is expensive for just that, you have to know that you’ll get your money’s worth.

    Got a bunch of stuff coming up in Trail’s 2013 gear guide.

  12. But do you carry a map when you take a hand held anyway? Seems like quite a substantial weight saving for those who want the help of a gps but don’t want the weight of a memorymap/garmin/satmap.
    Always love the annual gear guide, I think I let a bit of pee out when I saw that it’s coming up next month.

  13. I always carry a map, but don’t always carry a GPS, definitely the way to go!

    If you’re eagle eyed enough, you’ll spot some stuff from the gear guide sneaking into some of the trip photies on here :o)

  14. Haha, sounds like a fun game to fill my time at work! I’ll be having a wee peak at the ones you just posted (are English people allowed to see wee?)!
    That certainly looks like a great adventure in the snow.

  15. Have you tried snow shoes before? I gave them a try for the first time this winter in the alps and loved one of the pairs I used. They make seriously light work of deep powder.
    Trying not to sink in the snow is yet another reason to use lighter kit, eh?

  16. Aye, used snow shoes a few times it’s a good work out!
    Conditions above were perfect for them.
    Mind you, I’ve eaten so much pie recently I don’t know if snow shoes would saved me.

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