Watches for climbing?

  • Creator
  • #69754


    Just wondering about everyone’s opinion on watches to track your fitness and if they are useful at all for climbing. Since all my training in the last few years was for Sport climbing, I never felt the need of getting a watch. Now I’m more focused on climbing longer and harder multi pitches and alpine routes and I’m training to become a Mountain Guide so I would like to track how I’m doing aerobically, recovery etc but wondering if it’s necessary to get one.

    I mostly want it for alpine climbing, aerobic training and tracking my aerobic fitness, sleep, gps and maps. All the approaches for sport climbing (and pretty much everything) are around 45 to 90 minutes uphill in my area (Canadian rockies) and I’d like to know if I’m getting fitter by the numbers instead of relying on how I feel each day since that is way more subjective (diet, sleep, recovery etc).

    Main problem is not breaking the bank, so open to suggestions!

    Questions are:

    What’s your opinion on watches?

    Which one is your favorite and why:

    Do I need a one with climbing features?

    Is buying a used one worth it? HR monitor worth it?

    I recently purchased an InReach mini 2 and I’m wondering if there’s any benefit on sticking to Garmin to connect the two.

    Thanks in advance guys!



Posted In: Climbing

  • Participant
    Flo W on #72259

    Hi Jaime,

    I’ve used the Garmin Fenix watches since 2016 (at the moment: fenix 5).
    In my opinion it’s a very good way to monitor my fitness (especially when using the Tftna approach). I can set my HR ranges (i use a belt, cause the Wrist-based HR is not very accurate).

    The Garmin watches are much more better than Suunto watches –> cause in my opinoin the Suunto app is not much user friendly.

    You can count routes, climbing time, rest time with the mode “Climbing”. In multipitch routes it’s not possible to count it (to count one route, the watch measures the difference between starting and top, it counts 1 when reach starting point again, which is obvious not possible in multipitch routes). Maybe you can update a user mode (connectIQ).

    I bought my watch used – it was like a new one…

    I hope i helped you little bit.

    All the best from Austria


    JayJayB69 on #72342

    Hi Jaime,
    I also use a Fenix 5 for climbing and I’m happy with the watch.
    For climbing I think they are 3 climbing Apps in the connectIQ store whom are working pretty well.
    Just search for climbing.
    With one of these apps you can count routes and multi pitch routes include the grade.
    Check it out.

    Best regards

    Jaime on #72588

    Thanks Jayjay and Flo! I appreciate the input a lot.

    Another question I have is how important is battery life for you? It seems to be the selling point for Coros or Garmin Enduro.

    So for example I do a lot of winter climbing in the Canadian Rockies but then I’ll switch to more sport climbing and multi pitch routes in the spring/summer. I saw all the latest Garmin watches have the “Bouldering” and “Gym Climbing” features built in. Have you played around much with those?

    I’m finally settling between the Fenix 6 and Garmin Enduro. They are similar price but the Fenix 6 pro has more features and the Endure a longer battery life. Also wondering how important is the map/compass feature for you?

    Thanks again!

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