Garmin Epix Gen 2 Worth It?

I have an old Apple watch (I think series 2 or 3) that I am planning to replace in the near future. I’m considering replacing it with a Garmin Epix since I have gotten far more into cycling than when I first got the Apple watch. I have a Wahoo head unit, power pedals, speed sensor, etc. so I don’t really need the cycling specific aspects of the Garmin. What I’m interested in is using it for tracking recovery and improvement in health over time (hopefully higher HRV and VO2 max estimates). I would also like to use it to track strength training workouts. So, I guess my question is for those of you who have it or have looked at it is whether it is overkill for what I want to do?

I made this exact switch from an apple watch to the Garmin Epix 2 about a year ago. I love the watch for its tracking of recovery, sleep, etc., and the non-cycling workouts. I do sometimes miss the UI and convenience features of the apple watch but am generally happy with the Garmin. As long as you understand the limitations of the tracking measures you’re using, it’s a great watch.

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I moved from AW2 to Garmin Fenix a few years ago now using ForeRunner 265.

If I had a Wahoo unit I’d probably look to stay in the wahoo ecosystem.

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I was in the same came, but opted for a Garmin Venu 3. Tracks everything I want and isn’t as bulky as the Forerunner/Fenix/Epix.

Great AMOLED screen too.

My 1040 tracks everything else.

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The Wahoo watch doesn’t appear comparable to what you get with the Garmin or the Apple though.

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You can do that with an Apple Watch, too. For more detailed tracking you need an app. Also all the sports watches are comically huge if you are used to an Apple Watch. Even the Ultra is significantly smaller than my Wahoo Rival.

It is also a dead product and a dead product line. I bought one for 99 € in a clearance sale around Christmas. For the price it is good, but it isn’t in the same ballpark as an Apple Watch or a sports watch from Garmin, Polar et al.

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+1 to the Epix. I live mine and don’t have a ton to add, except that the ts turned into my default HRM on the bike. It already on me so I can’t forget it.

The Apple Watch will only do vo2 max for running, hiking and walking. Not cycling yet. I think. I do track hrv on my Apple Watch now.

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bmarum:

What I’m interested in is using it for tracking recovery and improvement in health over time (hopefully higher HRV and VO2 max estimates).

You can do that with an Apple Watch, too. For more detailed tracking you need an app. Also all the sports watches are comically huge if you are used to an Apple Watch. Even the Ultra is significantly smaller than my Wahoo Rival.

bmarum:

The Wahoo watch doesn’t appear comparable to what you get with the Garmin or the Apple though.

It is also a dead product and a dead product line. I bought one for 99 € in a clearance sale around Christmas. For the price it is good, but it isn’t in the same ballpark as an Apple Watch or a sports watch from Garmin, Polar et al.

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I own one and I like it a lot. It’s great as a daily watch and even better as an activity tracker (strength training+runs).

Those stats are nice, although I don’t know how much I’d be willing to pay for them. I bought mine after my 7yo forerunner 35 died. It’s a huge improvement but not sure if it makes a difference for my training.

Not necessarily relevant to you, as you already have a head unit, but I’m currently using the epix for cycling too. I sold my Garmin edge 1030+ since I was planning to upgrade to a x40 but after using the watch for many rides I realized that I wasn’t missing the computer during the off season and I usually do the workouts on the trainer. I’m waiting for a good deal but don’t feel the need just yet.

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If you can wait for Black Friday, there have traditionally been very good deals. If not, make sure you go over to DCRainmaker and figure out which watch is best for what you want. I’d also recommend buying from a seller that will let you return it if you are unhappy.

IMO, the Fenix and Epix watches are fantastic, but I like the large military style and I like how it integrates with my Edge and tries to take my whole life into Garmin Connect and give me data to review. If you tend to like small watches or worry about things like “I can feel it on my arm when I go to bed” (believe it or not, this is a common complaint), you may not like the size and weight. I love that you only have to charge them once a week or less. Mine have always been great for sleep tracking, but some people say theirs isn’t. I find the HR readings during exercise to be sub-optimal, so I wear a chest strap, but some others say theirs is dead on. I love the Training Readiness and Morning Report features, but make sure you read up on what Garmin’s Training Status is actually telling you and what things like “unproductive” actually mean. A LOT of people get offended if their Garmin says they’ve been “unproductive” when they’re doing lots of training (even though that isn’t what unproductive means in garmin’s language).

You mentioned wanting “higher HRV”. Read up on what HRV is and how you can use it. “Higher” doesn’t necessarily mean better and we all have different HRV specific to our bodies. An athlete with a low HRV can be far more fit than another one with high HRV.

All that to say I love my watch, but it’s important to understand what it does so you get the best watch for you. Good luck!

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I can add that I attempted to use the Apple watch for tracking using the Athyltic app. Maybe I was spoiled by the UI of Apple, ignorant of what I was looking at, or just plain lazy but I didn’t really like the app. I found the signal to noise ratio was low and it was too difficult to figure out what to do with the info. You can try one of these apps to see if it meets your needs.

I have found the Garmin Epix to be useful in terms of its tracking measures. It is mostly accurate in what it measures, at least for me, and gives me a good sense of how things are going. While I have a Wahoo I’m fairly happy with I’m also considering a Garmin 840 now that they are on sale so I can keep everything within the ecosystem.

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Yup.
Red Light/Green Light has been working exceptionally well for me. If my Wahoo Rival had a training readiness score, I’d likely ignore it.

HRV is more important to build a data pool to be used later. But I wouldn’t know what to do with it at this stage.

Sleep duration is the most useful and actionable data point, but any smart or sports watch does that. I don’t think a sports watch like the Epix has anything I want that the Apple Watch doesn’t. My Rival needs charging about once a week (it’s battery life is between 1–2 weeks, so I just charge it every weekend).

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I currently ride with a Garmin Edge 840 and an Epix 2 Pro, and I’ve used the AW Ultra for some time before I sold it off.

The AW Ultra is a brilliant smart watch with some good sports features, while Epix is a brilliant sports watch with some decent smart watch features. The Epix’s AMOLED screen and incredible battery life are added bonuses.

When doing strength training, I use the Fitbod app, which works very nicely with AW. That, and some smart watch features such as having your phone on your wrist, is what I miss from AW when using the Epix.

The biggest drawbacks for me with AW, was that RHR was reported simply as «under 40» rather than exact numbers (I have a very low max HR, so my very low RHR is simply a function of that). Epix, on the other hand, reports the RHR as I expect it to be (35-39). The VO2max estimates on AW seemed very low for me (45-50), while I have measured 68-72 in labs on several occassions, and the Epix estimates 70-72, so I trust Garmin more than Apple in this regard. There may be specific apps for AW that can do a better job of reporting these numbers than the native apps, but I landed on the conclusion that AW is simply not for people who are a few standard deviations outside the average population.

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@Pbase beat me to everything I was going to say. Excellent post there, all true.

I’m one of the people who would prefer something lighter on my wrist when sleep tracking, but the Epix is just so good at everything it does that it’s worthwhile for me. It’s the first sports watch I’ve had that passes double-duty as a daily watch in most business settings, too. I’m very happy with it.

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To add to that, it seems that all sports watches have converged to a very similar design. I had to look twice to differentiate his Epix from my Rival. I wouldn’t call either suitable for business settings, business-casual yes. (I worked at an engineering-centric firm and am now back at university.) They just feel a bit too clunky and inelegant.

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Which is one of the reasons I went for a Venue 3. It does all the things I want from a wearable but isn’t a chonky distraction.

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This obviously differs with personal opinion and your individual workplace, but I think a Fenix with a leather or metal band looks more professional than any other Garmin or Apple Watch. I love my Epix, but I don’t think any AMOLED screen looks professional.

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Which is why I clarified what kind of company I was working for. The type of crowd that considers wearing a polo shirt as being dressed up. For them such a watch blends right in.

Different straps won’t make my Rival or an Epix any smaller. When I dress up, I take off my Rival and put on one of my other (non-smart) watches. Of course, tastes vary, so you do you. But it is a consideration if you are coming from an Apple Watch that goes with anything.

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Thank you all for the great feedback! I’m going to have to go see the Garmins in person and try them on. The Venu was not on my radar, but that looks like it will do everything I want it to do. Appearance and size will definitely be a consideration for me – I have never liked the big chunky watch look. Work environment is something I will need to consider too. I’m hopefully starting a new job in the next few weeks that will have me in the office 3-4 days a week with two of those being in suits. But I’ll be the boss so I’m not terribly concerned about wearing a watch with a suit that is a little sportier than one might normally wear.

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Yeah, what’s appropriate or “looks good” at work is infinitely variable.

I’m a consultant to business families, and I own the consulting company, so my only concern apart from my own preferences is “what will clients think”. And their overwhelming reaction (when there is one at all) is that they see my Epix as a strong virtue signal: it shows them that I’m tech-savvy, health-conscious, and physically very active, all of which are VERY good things from their point of view.

I own some very nice, very expensive other watches… but other than very formal occasions, they really don’t see the light of day any more. I prefer a smartwatch, and it happens to improve my “look” to the environment around me. I’m sure everyone’s mileage will vary.

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