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Garmin Swim 2 Review

Garmin is a highly renowned company in the field of wearable technology, particularly favored by individuals engaged in endurance sports like running, cycling, triathlon, and swimming.

They have been involved in the tracking and wearable industry since the early days and have become quite proficient in it. Their extensive experience, top-notch product quality, and user-friendly features are the reasons why they ranked first on my personal list of the finest waterproof fitness trackers.

Garmin Swim 2: An Easy-to-Use Swimming Watch

Garmin swim 2 watch

Several of their swimming watches have the functionality to monitor the number of laps and strokes swum in the pool, however, they only have one watch that is designed exclusively for swimmers – the appropriately named Garmin Swim, currently in its second version.

More reviews of other trackers can be found at, here you can find your best fitness tracker for swimming and enjoying the pool.

Breaking Down the Garmin Swim Watch

The Garmin Swim is designed specifically for swimmers, whether they prefer swimming in open water or in a pool.

Lap counting

This feature is convenient for people who have trouble keeping track or simply don’t want to count while swimming in the pool.

Enter the pool, complete your workout, and the Garmin Swim will provide a comprehensive analysis of the number of laps completed, strokes taken, swim duration, and more.

SWOLF Scoring

Using gamification in swimming can be a highly effective method to motivate oneself and make progress in the pool. A great strategy for enhancing efficiency and setting goals during practice sessions is to track one’s SWOLF score for each lap. SWOLF, which combines the words “swimming” and “golf,” measures both stroke rate (aiming for a low rate, similar to golf swings) and overall speed.

For instance, if you completed a 50m lap in 32 seconds using 32 strokes, your SWOLF score would be 64. Competitive swimmers may also refer to this as “mini-maxi.” It is gratifying to improve in the pool by achieving the same times with fewer strokes.

Pool sizes

I practice in 2-4 pools every week, and the setup at each pool can be different. Sometimes it’s measured in short course meters, other times it’s measured in long course meters, and when I’m on vacation south of the border, it’s measured in short course yards. The Garmin Swim watch is easily set up—just charge it, input the pool length, and you’re good to start swimming.

Recognizes all four strokes

Are you consistently swimming freestyle throughout your entire workout? Maybe some of you are, especially those who swim in lakes and oceans. However, the majority of us engage in a variety of strokes and drills.

The Garmin Swim is able to detect all four primary swimming strokes, and it also has a feature that allows you to log your drills. This means you can use it to track any other activities you do in the pool, such as using a kickboard or doing repetitions of closed fist freestyle.

The identification of strokes is performed by a computer system without human involvement, whereas inputting is required for drill logging.

The Garmin Swim is not very effective in monitoring kick movements. When I use my kickboard during swim workouts, the watch either fails to track it or sometimes incorrectly counts it as a drill. Therefore, I have to manually track kick movement using the watch.

GPS monitoring

One major enhancement made between the initial and subsequent versions involved the incorporation of GPS tracking into the timepiece.

Clearly, this is a significant attribute, particularly when you acknowledge that this timepiece is primarily intended for swimming. At present, open water swimmers possess a timepiece that is versatile for both pool and open water swimming.

Multi-sport logging and tracking

One notable improvement in the second version of the Garmin Swim 2 is its capability to monitor various forms of exercise, particularly running and cycling.

Even though it lacks advanced features for tracking multiple sports, the Garmin Swim 2 is capable of fulfilling basic functions. This is a significant and highly desired improvement in the second version of this watch.

It’s light

Despite its larger size compared to wrist-band fitness trackers, the Garmin Swim is remarkably lightweight, with a weight of only 1.4 oz.

The Garmin Swim is a great option for swimmers who prefer not to wear a bulky device on their wrist while swimming and still want a watch that is suitable for the pool.

Other features:

  • You have the option to upload your workouts to your device without using any wires. Your swim watch can wirelessly transfer your workout data to the Garmin Connect app. This app is available for free and can be downloaded on both mobile and desktop devices. It provides you with all the necessary information and enables you to effortlessly share it with your coach.
  • Battery life is a concern with the Garmin Swim as it does not come with a rechargeable battery. In order to continue using the device, the battery will need to be replaced, typically every 12 months when used regularly.
  • The buttons on the Garmin Swim 2 are user-friendly, making them easy to use. Even when you’re exhausted after swimming, you’ll appreciate their intuitive size and positioning.

Garmin Swim 2: The Downsides

The Garmin Swim has certain limitations, as no wearable device is flawless.

  • The absence of a heart rate monitor may come as a surprise to swimmers in search of a wearable device. The Garmin Swim watch does not include this feature, which wouldn’t be very precise even if it was included.
  • One issue I have encountered with Garmin watches is that they do not track kicking automatically, unlike the Apple Watch. In contrast, the Garmin watch requires manual input in order to track kicking sets.


In brief, the Garmin Swim watch is an excellent wearable device for individuals who swim in pools. Although it lacks some of the advanced features found in pricier Garmin watches and is not as precise as the Apple Watch for swimming, it offers comprehensive information that can greatly enhance your swimming experience at the local aquatic center.

The published material expresses the position of the author, which may not coincide with the opinion of the editor.

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