The Garmin Quatix 6 is a genius bit of kit. It has an array of functions for a wide range of sports, including functions aimed at boaters and sailors, the fitness conscious and outdoors enthusiasts. We've had this on long term test and can confidently say that after much testing in as many environments as possible, this is fully deserving of a five star review.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Garmin Quatix 6

Pros:

  • Most popular sports catered for, downloadable upgrades and user modifications, a good Garmin Connect app that allows connection to others using Garmin products, much more than just a sport tracker

Cons:

  • It's bulky, which isn't to everyone's taste. Some with larger hands have reported of occasionally triggering the MOB alert by accident with the watch button being pushed during the wrist articulation.

Product:

Garmin Quatix 6 review: Best Boating and Sailing Smart Watch – tested

Price as reviewed:

£629.00

Garmin Quatix 6 - Long term test review - 5 star rated

Garmin Quatix 6 Deals

A super versatile sports and fitness watch that offers much more besides.

I’ve had this model on test for a few months now and I can say that without doubt it has been a revelation and utter joy to use.

The Garmin Quatix 6 has been used for everything from sailing, to coastal rowing, to cycling, cross-country running (…or walking) and generally gadding about. It has built in alarms for waking up, going to bed, checking the barometer, receiving storm alerts, checking tides, sunrise and sunset times and so very much more. You’re spoiled for functions and ways to use this smart device.

Garmin Quatix 6 side view MOB button and back button with sound holes for alarm noise

The MOB button (right) can be accidentally triggered if you have gloves on or bulky clothing that can get caught in the crease of your wrist.

Garmin Quatix 6 review, menu and navigation buttons

Garmin Quatix 6 review, menu and navigation buttons.

Garmin Quatix 6 review - smudged screen

The screen on the Quatix 6 can get a bit smudgy but the Gorilla Glass wipes off really easily.

No touch screen, and hurrah for that. I am so tired of swiping a screen. How lovely is it to have a positive set of buttons to push? (Yes, maybe I’m a luddite)

Moving on. The battery life on this thing is excellent. I forget when was the last time I charged it. It easily lasts more than a week even when being used for GPS tracking activities, although if you were GPS tracking all day every day, you’d need to charge it more often.

With my weekly sporting activity including both outdoor (using GPS) and strength exercises on a mat at home, I would say I’ve charged the phone on average once every 10 days or so. It charges quickly too. Take yourself off for a shower and plug it in, by the time you’re clean, dried and dressed, the Quatix 6 will be pretty much charged back up again.

It doesn’t look out of place with smart wear for work with its metal bezel and easily blends in as a day to day watch.

It comes in two different face sizes, 47mm and 51mm and has the option for a solar version which gives considerably longer battery life, but sadly the solar version is currently only available in the larger watch face, which looks ridiculous on me and my spindly wrist. I am testing the 47mm watch size throughout this review.

Buy The Garmin Quatix 6 from Garmin UK

Sailing

Garmin Quatix 6 - Long term test review - sailing mode

The Quatix 6 has boating and sailing at the fore of its functionality.

Garmin Connect app screen on Android phone

Garmin Connect app screen on Android phone

The dashboard for sailing shows a GPS track and the corresponding heart rate and speed graph.

Garmin Connect app screen on Android phone

Garmin Connect app screen on Android phone

Garmin Quatix 6 - Long term test review - boat data screen

Other screens and functions are self explanatory and equally easy to use. It’s possible to connect up the watch to the vessel’s onboard autopilot and use it as a remote control. When connected to the chartplotter and data stream you can also view your boat data on your Quatix 6.

Garmin Quatix 6 - Long term test review - Tide screen

A handy tool is the tides, which can be scrolled through day by day. They’re not finely detailed but they do give a ready reckoner to the basics of where the tides are at. The watch gets the data via a wireless connection to a mobile phone.

Garmin Quatix 6 - Long term test review - anchor alert

There is a super handy anchor alert. How I wish I’d had this anchor alert the last few times I was on anchor! It would certainly have allowed me to sleep better between my anchor watch rota.

Garmin Quatix 6 - Long term test review - regatta timer

There’s also an array of regatta functions, which allow you to ping the start line and synchronise the start timer. I’m not a regatta sailor, more of an offshore sailor where the start lines are far less of a bun fight, but this could be a valuable tool if you’re on a regatta race boat.

Buy The Garmin Quatix 6 from Garmin UK

Running

garmin Quatix 6 cross country running test

Garmin Quatix 6 – Long term test – Cross country running test.

I’m not a natural runner, but since I’m training for an event with my dog, I used it to track my location as we went off the path into the wilds of the New Forest.

The live map allowed me to see my route and my start point, which meant I could meander around dodging flood waters and always knowing where to find the car later.

Garmin Connect app screen on Android phone - tracking map

Garmin Connect app screen on Android phone – tracking map

Cross country running with the Quatix 6 tracking the route and also logging the start location to enable an easy return to the car without getting lost in the wilderness.

Buy The Garmin Quatix 6 from Garmin UK

Coastal Rowing

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review - coastal rowing

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review – coastal rowing

I’ve taken the Quatix 6 with me coastal rowing a few times and the results have been really interesting. I’m not an advanced rower by any stretch of the imagination, though I have rowed fixed seat boats all my life since I was old enough to hold an oar, the sculling motion/sliding seat longer coastal culling boats are something I can only do when I get a good weather window to head over to Poole/ Studland bay where the Coastal Rowing Centre is based.

Bob, who runs the place, has been giving me tuition and the opportunity to row on one of his several rental boats. As part of this learning process I am working on my technique to have a smooth graceful clean row that isn’t rushed, so that I can build consistency and then gradually add the power in later ( I’m a cyclist too so this is also a complimentary low impact sporting activity – see the tracking on that further down this review)

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review - coastal rowing

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review – coastal rowing

The Quatix 6, although quite large on my wrist, doesn’t feel obtrusive or get in the way of my rowing action. Once I set it going, I no longer looked at it and left it to just get on with logging the various metrics.

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review - coastal rowing

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review – coastal rowing

With the Quatix 6 recording my rowing action, I just focused on being smooth and getting into the flow. It’s not easy to look at the watch anyway while rowing.

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review - coastal rowing

Garmin Quatix 6- smart watch long term test review – coastal rowing

At the end of the row, simply stop the recording and then once back you’re within signal range of a phone the Quatix will download the data it has recorded which is accessible via the Garmin Connect app.

coastal rowing, tracked by quatix 6

Garmin Connect app screen for coastal rowing - Android phone

Garmin Connect app screen for coastal rowing – Android phone

Apart from heart rate recording, it also records average pace over 500m and the other two metrics are distance per stroke and stroke rate. These are helpful metrics to help see where I am at in my practice, where I am being smooth and consistent and when I am not. Though some of the sporadic dots nearer the end of the row are because I stopped to take a picture in the sunshine of Old Harry Rocks!

Garmin Quatix 6 long term test review coastal rowing at Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks – Coastal Rowing – Garmin Quatix 6 test

Buy The Garmin Quatix 6 from Garmin UK

Road Cycling

The Quatix 6 has the ability to calculate a cycle route for you. Simply input the desired length of the ride and in which general direction you want to go and it will figure out the rest. I found it a bit hit and miss. The calculating part takes a few minutes to complete.

I set my route request for about 35km and, as can be seen from the second course it offered me, it decided I needed to do a bit more. After several attempts at getting it to create a route I liked the look of, I gave up and headed out to find my own way.

The screens available for cycling are a combination of lap time, distance travelled, time travelled, speed, heart rate and an option to simply show time of day or a live map.

The GPS tracked route shows a coloured track indicating speed over a section. As usual, the Quatix 6 offers a full data breakdown of heart rate, lap time (if desired) and can be hooked up to other extra kit to record other metrics. I mostly used it to track heart rate to pace myself, and speed to push myself a bit harder if cycling alone.

Buy The Garmin Quatix 6 from Garmin UK

Health Metrics

The Quatix 6 also offers much more than sports recording and data feedback. One of the reasons I have worn a fitness tracker for the past couple of years is to monitor my sleep and stress levels. I am someone who regularly doesn’t get enough sleep and this impacts on my work and social life. This element of the Garmin watch proved invaluable to me. It has options to set a reminder to relax and various other mindfulness exercises. It’s not all about being super active, but often, it’s the opposite.

Other functions include contactless payments. I’ve used the Quatix 6 to pay for a host of things and it’s really easy to set up. If your bank isn’t signed up for the Garmin system, you can use a 3rd party, such as Curve, which is free to set up.

You can link your cards via your virtual curve card and then add this to your digital wallet on the Garmin Connect app and the watch. To make a payment, the screen switches to a number dial, you tap in a four-digit pin code and then the watch is activated for contactless payments. So, if someone does get hold of your watch without your permission, they can’t go ripping your account off without the pin number.

Quatix 6 barometer

The weather and barometer functions are useful. The barometer has the option to set a storm alert if the pressure drops a a set amount of millibar within 3 hours.

Garmin Quatix 6 longterm test review - music controls

Garmin Quatix 6 longterm test review – music controls

The music controls have also been so useful. As I use my phone to connect through a variety of bluetooth speakers and auxiliary cables to different outputs, being able to stop, start, skip and adjust the volume from my wrist has been a lovely feature to have.

Garmin Quatix 6 Deals

Buy The Garmin Quatix 6 from Garmin UK

Buy Garmin Quatix from House of Watches

 


Read more about other models of sailing watch in our buyers guide

Verdict

If you're the kind of person that loves being outdoors and boating, sailing and other water-based activities are your thing, then the Quatix 6 is well worth the price