Expert Member Review – Garmin Tactix

Expert Member Review – Garmin Tactix

The best-selling Garmin Tactix GPS watch is a command center at your disposal. A GovX member was kind enough to write out his thoughts and send some photos of this high-powered, customizable timepiece. Recommended for outdoor adventures, military deployments, and exploring the world with the power of data.

The bezel has taken a little bit of a beating, but it’s built to withstand punishment.

My Garmin Tactix has been all over the world with me and I’ve used it hiking, diving, flying … just about everything it was made for. The watch has so many features, and I’m still discovering new things it can do. Every time I play around with the functions I find something new to enjoy and appreciate.

The average person might not use most of the functionality this watch has to offer. But the way I see it, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

You can set and use multiple profiles based on what kind of activity you’re doing. I set up different profiles depending on if I’m hiking, running, cycling, fishing, even geocaching. Profile customization is simple, when you are navigating through the watch menus, it allows you to create pages with up to three types of data on one page. When I am running, I change to the profile which gives me my mile pace in real time so I can track how I’m doing. When I’m deployed on fleet ops, I like to run the pre-built Military profile that the watch automatically comes with. It gives your position in a MGRS grid, as opposed to degrees and decimal minutes, and uses more GPS and coordinate data which is useful.

You can customize the watch to show different data fields depending on your activity. If you’re hiking somewhere, you’ll want to show the navigation data field. If you’re flying, you’ll want to show things like barometric pressure and altitude. If you’re on a run, you want heart rate, calories, distance, etc. This watch can do all that.

I’ve used the GPS functionality on hikes in Hawaii, Italy, Norway, and Greece. What I like to do is drop a waypoint, and then use the “TracBack” feature which tracks your location and allow you to navigate directly where you came from by using the “breadcrumbs” that it dropped along the way.

Get up to 50 hours of battery life. Recharge with the included USB port.

Or, if you’re doing a common hike, you can go into your BaseCamp app on the iPhone and you can search for a route that will sync to the watch via Bluetooth. There’s also Garmin Connect (also available for Android) which has LiveTrack that sends an email out to whomever you want, giving them real-time feed of your location, which is useful for safety reasons. I use BaseCamp the most, which I like more for blazing your own trail. You use your phone to drop a pin on the map as your desired destination which you can name and transfer to your watch. Then the watch gives you bearing range, ETA, and ETE.

Being in the military, everything I own tends to take a beating. I’ve had no issues with this watch since owning it. Now, granted, there are some nicks on the bezel, but that’s to be expected. The face of the watch has zero scratches on it, which is incredible to me because all of the abuse I have put it through.

The average person might not use most of the functionality this watch has to offer. But the way I see it, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. I love my Garmin Tactix and highly recommend it to anyone in the military or anyone who spends time outdoors. And you can’t beat the GovX price.

Drop a Waypoint using the free app to keep track of your hike.

What kind of device do you have?
Get the Garmin apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone here.

Time and date homescreen
Sun and moon data

Leave a comment:

Steve B.

8/23/2015 3:43 PM

I really like the Tactix's features, but it uses Fenix 1 hardware. There are two new generations of Garmin GPS watch hardware that have been released since the original Tactix, and they have not updated it. I would buy it in a heartbeat if they released a new one. The lifetime of electronic gadgets is measured in months, and the Tactix is a few years old already. Very unfortunate that Garmin made this decision.

Robert J.

9/5/2015 8:33 PM

Steve so what do you suggest instead? This review is in depth and you offer nothing in place.

Thellonious S.

6/6/2016 11:45 AM

This is superior equipment if you don't have the device you're missing out. Any military or law enforcement personnel, EMS will find this device.

James K.

4/23/2017 4:44 PM

I've got an idea, link to the actual watch instead of EVERY Garmin product for those of us looking to purchase/price check the watch.