Garmin Instinct Vs G Shock

Garmin Instinct Vs G Shock

If you’ve got an active lifestyle and want a watch that can keep up with you, survive just about anything, and help you find adventure then tactical military-grade rugged watches might be of interest to you.

Unlike traditional timepieces, tactical watches are designed for roughing it with you in the wild and have features according to those needs. 

Garmin is a trusted brand of satellite navigation systems for vehicles. As they expanded their product range, it was a natural step for them to develop tactical watches that will support an outdoorsy adventurer in their travels.

G-Shock is a respected maker of watches that last and go the extra mile.

So, whether you are an intrepid hiker, a member of the military, or a forest ranger, there is sure to be a watch out there to accompany you on your ventures that won’t let you down. 

The Garmin Instinct Tactical Watch

Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite

Suitable for activities such as trail running, backpacking, and hiking, this watch is marketed as an affordable but quality item for the outdoorsman or woman.

In terms of durability, the Instinct has exceptional durability as the casing is made from a fiber-reinforced polymer which is scratch-resistant, and the screen features chemically-strengthened glass.

Thanks to the silicone strap and moderate size of the watch face, it is also comfortable to wear all day and all night. It’s pretty lightweight too as it weighs only 52 grams, so it won’t slow you down much.

The backlit clock face shows you the date and time, while also showing you other statistics about your activity and position. Most of the buttons are raised and prominent enough that you can find and activate what you want to even in gloves.

That is, except for the buttons on the right side of the watch face which do stand out less for some reason. 

With over 25 activities trackable from the Garmin Instinct watch, it’s suitable for just about any activity or sport. Depending on which activity you are doing, the watch tracks and displays different data.

If you’re hiking up a mountain then the watch will display helpful stats on the vertical speed or ascent that you have completed.

If you were running, it would show data on your pace, distance run, and current heart rate so that you can easily track and record your performance.

In addition to these outdoorsy activity settings, it also keeps track of the usual health and wellbeing data like other smartwatches such as step count, stress tracking, sleep quality, and calorie burn rate.

In terms of tools for those in the great outdoors, the GPS system Garmin was originally known for, is accurate in users’ experience.

The Instinct measures elevation has a built-in compass and has some basic map and trail features to help you navigate your way.

You can input coordinates that the watch will help you find, which is super handy if you do get a little lost and need to find your way back. 

This really is a great all-around product for any outdoors enthusiast. The only drawback we could find was the mention that the sleep tracker is on the basic side.

Some users say the Instinct often overestimates your sleep time due to the inability to distinguish between laying quietly in bed and actual sleep. 


  • Comfortable Wear – thanks to the silicone strap.
  • Rugged Design – This watch is made to withstand some serious adventure.
  • Affordable – Especially when compared to Garmin’s signature Fenix range. 
  • Long Battery Life – Up to two weeks of battery life for regular usage and a solid 16 hours in GPS mode, so it can track your hike all day long. 
  • Accurate GPS – Basic compass, backtracking features, and co-ordinate finding can help you find your way.


  • 1-Year Warranty – For a well made design, we think the warranty period is a little short for our liking. 
  • Basic GPS – Unlike the more premium products on the market, this watch does not support topo maps due to the monochrome display. 
  • Sleep-tracker is easily fooled – Some users felt the sleep tracker was as basic as budget fitness watches. 
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
  • Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments.Supported Application:Phone. . Wireless comm standard:Bluetooth
  • Constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters)
  • Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass and Galileo) support helps track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
  • Monitor your estimated heart rate, activity and stress; Train with preloaded activity profiles. Strap material: Silicone
  • Stay connected with smart notifications (with a compatible smartphone) and automatic data uploads to the Garmin connect online fitness community

The G-Shock Rangeman Watch

Casio Tactical Rangeman G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch, Black/Black, GW9400-1B

G-Shock is another trusted brand for fitness and active watches and their Rangeman product certainly gives Garmin’s Instinct a run for its money. In fact there is next to nothing between them in terms of price.

They both retail in the same ballpark and have similar features, so on the face of it they are pretty similar products. There are a few key features of the Rangeman worth noting though. 

In terms of durability and ability to withstand harsh conditions, the G-Shock Rangeman has got some serious capabilities.

It can withstand cold temperatures up to -20 degrees celsius, is mud and dust resistant, and will also be fine in sandy conditions or water.

It is water-resistant up to 200 meters which is impressive, to say the least. The case of the Rangman is made form steel and all the buttons are sealed against fine dust and dirt getting into the watch and affecting performance.

We quite see why G-Shock feel that a two-year warranty is a safe bet for them and for you. 

Like the Instinct, this watch can be trusted to display and keep accurate time.

The Rangeman gets accurate time readings up to six times a day through multi-band atomic timekeeping via GPS signals so it should always be a trustworthy oracle of the correct time. 

The Rangeman has an altimeter which accurately measures from -700 metres to 10,000 meters and has a built-in barometer and an atmospheric pressure gauge.

If the watch detects sudden changes in pressure it will alert you. This can be helpful when diving and for predicting troublesome weather shifts. 

The Rangeman can track a number of physical activities and sports but does not record such detailed analytics as the Instinct does and it uses constant heart rate monitoring to calculate stress over the course of the day instead of for a specific moment when you are tested.

One of our favorite features of the Rangman is that it can easily record points on your trip which makes it easy to backtrack if the need arises without having to go all the way back to the beginning.

You can view this data in a Bluetooth-enabled app for your phone too so you can more easily view your statistics. 

Two of the most impressive things we’ve learned about the G-Shock Rangeman are the battery life, and its solar power capabilities.

You can expect months of battery life from a single charge for the Rangeman and even more besides because it can charge itself in any light source. That is exceptional innovation in the mid-range adventure watch market. 


  • Accurate – Displays the correct time and date to within fifteen seconds of a month.
  • Rugged Design – This watch is waterproof up to 200 meters, is dust, mud, snow, and sand resistant too.
  • Affordable – Surprisingly affordable, this is a great option for the adventure seeker on a budget.
  • Super Long Battery Life – Up to 22 months of battery life from a single charge.
  • Solar Powered – The Rangeman can charge itself from any bright light source including the sun.
  • Accurate GPS – Records points in your journey, tracks elevation, pressure and distance. It tracks altitude, barometric pressure, direction and temperature readings to help you make life-saving choices in the wild.
  • 2-year Warranty – A long warranty is great for your peace of mind. 


  • Basic Health Data – Despite the impressive tactical features, this watch is lacking in basic activity tracking and stress monitoring that the Instinct and most budget smartwatches have. 
Casio Tactical Rangeman G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch, Black/Black, GW9400-1B
  • fishhook
  • Designed with a black digital dial displaying the date, day, and time features, grey accents, and a black resin band
  • These pipes not only act to protect buttons from impact, but they also enhance button operation


Both watches are good for supporting an active lifestyle, but the two watches do differ enough to make one more suitable as a lifestyle timepiece for the occasional trail-blazer and the other, better suited for search and rescue missions or prolonged expeditions in extreme climates and landscapes. 

For the hobby hiker who wants to keep track of their health data and activity performance, we recommend the Garmin Instinct. This watch has plenty of features to help you on your outdoor adventures, but it lacks the extreme durability of the G-Shock Rangeman.

If yours or other’s lives depends upon your ability to survive and find your way in a timely fashion, then the G-Shock Rangeman won’t let you down. 

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