Today we’re going to be talking about the Garmin instinct solar tactical or soltac as I like to call it now. This is the generation 2 version of the instinct, and I’ve already had the generation 1 version for a long time. Garmin instinct is a really rugged outdoors watch, as one of the very hot sell collections of Garmin, Instinct got a massive loyalty follower now. Certainly, from my perspective, it’s massively respect in regards to Garmin Instinct as a very rugged outdoor watch and a tool. So when I found out about Garmin releasing the version 2, I was super excited.
Garmin Instinct 2 comes in 2 sizes, that is Instinct 2S and Instinct 2. Instinct 2S is compatible with 20mm Quickfit watch bands, while Instinct 2 is compatible with 22mm Quickfit watch band ( Quickfit Garmin Instinct watch band can be replaced by standard straps together with a pair of Garmin adaptors).
Design of Garmin Instinct 2
I’ve had this Garmin Instinct 2 for about a week week and I’m really loving it. It’s much like the old one, and it got a really nice display, it’s a black and white always on display, you can turn it off to save power, but what you’ll notice straight off the bat is the actual design of the watch, and certainly for the tactical ones . It’s really nice they’ve rounded off the edges, the buttons have got really nice texturing to them, and also nicely on this right-hand side of the watch, they’ve actually moved the sensor placement here, so it’s not going to get gunky or dirty. This is actually your barometer and altimeter there right next to the buttons a little bit higher out of the way and you don’t have to clean it all the time, but on this side it’s actually a lot rounder and aesthetically the what just looks um just looks badass, really. I’m honest now as this is a tactical version2, this has some very special features, and now you might have seen at the start there, and I activated the kill switch so we’re going to do it now and I’m going to switch it off very quickly because i don’t want it to wipe the watch so we can show you the rest of the features. But if i was to leave this as it was it literally would wipe the watch and wipe all my data wipe all personal data and basically if you had the need to remove any particular information some waypoints the route you took to a certain location uh whether you’re doing some sort of tactical operations that kill switch would be key now.
There’s another little feature here, it’s a little stealth bomber picture there and it’s pretty sweet. So if I press and hold this top button here you’ve got a number of features here that you can customize to your hearts delight you can have your phone connection with the Garmin instinct two solar versions and obviously this is solar and tactical, so it’s extra good. You have got Garmin pay so depending where you are this may or may not work for your region and your smart device, so check on their website for that does work for me, it’s fantastic, you can touch and pay after you put in your password, and that means you don’t have to take your wallet with you, so that’s really cool now.
Going back to the stealth bomber, so if I click and turn that on and obviously kind of batman mode, what that means for the watch itself it’s not tracking us so we can use all the features we can use the navigation, we can use the any of the activities jump, master and all those kinds of things. But at the end of your activity, it won’t save and it won’t even log it if you are doing something that’s tactical, this is going to be something really important for you, plus. Of course you’ve got the kill switch now, you did see there you’ve got jump master i am not a jump master expert at all. Personally, I’ve never had to use it, I’ve not done any static line or high open or too low open or anything like that, but if you have to lose it, it’s there it’s present on the Foretrex 601 and 701 series, and because this is a tactical, this obviously has it but the actual jump master features are only present on very few of the actual uh tactical watch lines, so if you want those features you want those tactical features you are going to have to unfortunately pay the extra money, but i think they are quite worth it. I love the stealth feature. Now you saw before that you had some greeny blue image that wasn’t my camera just going completely nuts that’s actually my night vision, so you can activate night vision now. Basically, what that does that affects the backlight on the watch the watch is actually very good at dealing with the amount of ambient light and enabling a really good clean readout, so when night vision modes on, it dims the screen down. So, it’s just low enough that a night vision device you can still read and operate without being really bright. So far I found that to be really excellent, when using my night vision, i’m able to read the display clearly, and also really at night it’s so dim that even if you weren’t wearing night vision, it makes the screams just bright enough so you can pick out the features of the watch, but it doesn’t give your position away if you were doing something a little bit sneaking, you don’t want that bright light from white to light source so a really good feature there night vision you do have.
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar charge feature
All of Garmin’s extra features like emergency assistance that can be activated automatically. You have sunrise moon different time zones timers; you name it this does it has full smartwatch features you also have. obviously, Garmin Instinct 2 are with solar charge feature. Solar charging on the device so that’s a really cool feature. Garmin say this can run with unlimited battery power, I haven’t been able to test that but so far in my experience just using the watch just normally, the battery life seems fantastic. I almost keep kidding myself because it says here 28 days and I’ve got the heart rate on and I’ve had a phone connection on and things like that, and it’s obviously tracking me and tracking my steps, that’s fantastic with all those features on and definitely with the second series of these Garmin watches Garmin do say they’ve had they’ve improved the battery life the memory performance, and obviously this made the watch a little bit more refined and better, the actual display is improved over the other one.
Another really cool feature of this apart from all the awesome navigation and tactical features, i think if you want to have a look at those sorts of features, you do have Garmin’s super fancy gen 4 heart rate sense. It does also give you blood OX as well, so that can be really good if you’re training and you’re trying to improve your aerobic performance. This is going to help you out, so let’s go through a couple of these features. If you press down on either the two buttons here on the left side, it goes into glances now it’s a bit of a different departure away from Garmin’s previous widgets, so there still are widgets as they call them so little apps within the actual device itself but what i really love about these glances you can literally scroll down see your notifications see calories last sport you’ve got weather features you’ve got also as it tracks a solar as well so you can see how much the battery is charging um it’s got temperature it’s got the full abc features so altimeter barometer and compass which i will show you does your steps heart rate it does so many things so sleep tracking and like i said does pulse ox so abc it’s the same as before you just press and hold and all of these buttons are user configurable so you can change them and um you know if you want to put a set of buttons differently like the kill switch you want to turn it off you want to use a different button it’s absolutely no problem you can you can literally change everything on this watch so for me at the moment that’s the barometer there we’ve got nice high pressure here in the uk and you can also graph this from 6 to 48 hours so it’s really good if you want to watch a weather system.
Clicking down you’ve got your standard compass obviously calibrates itself you can calibrate it as well mindset to automatic it seems pretty good and you’ve got the altitude there finally through those options so that’s always there you can change that any one of these buttons can be used for different things so for example if I press and hold this depending on your GPS lock this should do me my uh dual grid and you can set this up I’ve got mine in British format and uh standard gps i will blur this but this is my GPS grid here so it gives me a top in uh standard and the bottom in british format but you can change it to whatever you want should you see fit so it’s pretty cool you can obviously save that you can make that a waypoint uh you could make that a point of interest so all of the options there are available for you and it’s uh super useful so um what else does it do well it does quite a lot i’ve mentioned about Garmin pay i mentioned about some of the stealth features there um overall I think really the watch is just it’s just damn good looking now on the tactical version you don’t have quite so many color options as you would do on the other ones because you’ve got different editions like surf and um camo and all sorts for the tactical version itself i think it i think the tactical one looks best personally but i’m a mechanical guy so i’m probably a little bit biased but you’ve got it in like a nice tan color and you’ve got the awesome black now um i think black is the way to go because it’s just nice and subtle and subdued one other thing that i really love that um garmin have brought to this watch is watch faces and being able to change them now they’ve introduced these being user changeable and user customizable so you can ch you can change all the data on the face there no problem at all really easy but now you can download different ones so i’ve just changed it there to a slightly more simple and of course you can make it really plain and basic if you want to if you want to be really low-key or go a bit more fancy there with a kind of an analog display or even fake g-shock which i think is really cool it’s even got like the digital display out there where it’s slightly grayed out can you see that it’s pretty sweet and then you’ve got all different kinds of color modes here black and white heart rate it’s obviously really my heart rate from my finger it’s pretty sensitive different modes and you can change all of these you can change how they read out you can have different displays also for different time zones and all kinds of stuff i mean you can really really adjust this watch to your heart’s content so really in essence Garmin have done a fantastic job upgrading the instinct to uh now this more badass instinct too and certainly for the tactical additions.
I think it just looks fantastic it’s got all the activity features that you could possibly want plus all of the tactical features you’ve got the standard Garmin connector there for charging it works really well i’ve got no complaints and in general really they have done a fantastic job so so far i really recommend this watch um it is a bit more money than the standard instinct so if you are looking to save some money and you don’t need solar then the new instinct 2 is a really good watch if you’re looking to save even a bit more money and you’re happy to lose some of the other features that i mentioned like the the better battery life and the better heart rate sensor then even the instinct one is a fantastic option so guys that’s pretty much it, that’s the instinct 2 solar tac or solar tactical edition. It’s a really great watch, I really love using it.