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Garmin Gift Guide 2020 | The Best Christmas Gift For the Outdoor Enthusiast

Garmin Gift Guide 2020 | The Best Christmas Gift For the Outdoor Enthusiast
December 2, 2020

Get that outdoorsmen or women what they've been dreaming of for years, a Garmin! Garmin creates the best outdoor tech products on the market. If you're trying to find a gift for that outdoorsy friend or family member in your life GARMIN makes it easy. Rehan and Brandon, from Garmin's team, explain what the best gifts for different types of hunters like elk hunters, deer hunters, bird hunters and more. They also shared what they believe the best Christmas gift for an angler will be. This episode features the Garmin inReach Mini, the Garmin Striker Cast, Garmin Xero Bow Sights, the Garmin Alpha® 200i/TT™ 15 & 200i/T 5, the Garmin Instinct®, and the Garmin fēnix® 6 series.

**Gearbox Talk is brought to you by GoWild** Download GoWild™ today. Join a community of shooters, hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Gear Mentioned:

Garmin Xero a1 Bow Sight

Garmin inReach® Mini

Garmin Alpha 100 Dog Tracking

GARMIN Alpha® 200i/TT™ 15 Dog Tracking

Garmin Alpha® 200i/T 5 Dog Tracking

Garmin Instinct®


Brad: It's gift giving season y'all and in the spirit of giving I gift to ye the ultimate guide for that special outdoorsman or woman in your life even if that's yourself I won't judge okay I can't do this hat Garmin is known for making best-in-class products for the outdoors I've had the pleasure of working with Garmin over the last few years on GoWild's Garmin integration and I've gotten to know their team pretty well so on today's show I've asked a couple of them to hop on and really break down the outdoor products in order to help you find the right gift based on that special someone's interest let's drop a not so subtle hint by texting the show to someone and telling them what gift you'd like to see in your stocking this year today we're going to be talking about a whole lot of Garmin products we're going to talk about the a1i the x1i the Instinct the Fenix we're gonna talk about the handhelds you know the 66i we're gonna talk about the inreach the mini and we're gonna talk about the s1 trap shooter so do not miss out on these products it's an awesome quick look at all the Garmin products get a really good idea of what you might like to see in your stocking or to give to someone else of course let's dive into this conversation and talk about some Garmin products with Rehan Nana and Brandon Brinkman


Rehan and Brandon I've got to pick y'all's brains at a lot of trade shows over the years but we've never sat down and actually documented these conversations but we're doing it today welcome to Gearbox Talk guys 


Rehan: Thank you so much for having us 


Brandon: Yeah thanks Brad 


Brad: Alright you guys have been at Garmin collectively for more than a decade but just real quick give a little intro we'll start with Rehan here on on your time at Garmin just to give people a little bit of a feel for the fact let's let's assert the fact that you are experts on the Garmin product as if you can't tell from Rehan's background here 


Rehan: Yeah all those all those are outdoor products back there I wish I launched all of them not the case I've been here for about three years now always been a long time Garmin user though I mean that's a lot of the reason why I'm here is just because I've always been blocked away by all the products I do pr and some of the sponsorship as well 


Brad: Brandon 


Brandon: Yeah so I actually started off on the operations warehousing side here at Garmin back in 2012 2013 time frame spent the last three years at Garmin working as the quality segment lead for all of our outdoor products so pretty much everything there behind Rehan I helped maybe launch or did some quality testing for and then here in the last month or so I've actually transitioned over to the marketing team focusing in on all of our hunting and dog products 


Brad: Awesome and so the reason I wanted to do this show you know every year it's like oh so-and-so is a hunter I'm gonna get them a gift card to like a bass pro or something but one of the greatest things about gifting someone is maybe something they wouldn't buy themselves and Garmin makes high-end products so I really wanted to talk to you all about what some of those products could be and and to help someone who is considering an outdoorsman who maybe doesn't know the product line as well to talk about those let's start though with your all's favorite products and we'll go over to Brandon since we're already kind of with you what's one of your favorite products just overall from the outdoor collection from Garmin 


Brandon: Yeah for me hands down it's going to be the bow sight that we came out with here a few years ago so outside of work archery is one of the biggest things my biggest passion right so it was really fun for me to take what I like to do outside of work and blend it heavily with what I get to do every day so from the archery perspective when I talk to people about it right there's really two big differentiators when you talk about the bow sight one is you're basically ready for anything right so like the normal setup as a bow hunters you climb up your stand and you're like you know they got your rangefinder and you're snapping ranges on everything sitting around you it's like I need to remember that pine trees at 11 yards that hay bales at 23. so as long as the deer comes through on that pass which I you know I've seen them on my trail camera every single time doing that I'll be good to go but with this thing on my bow like it doesn't matter where they come from so like it just changes that initial part of the hunt right like you get up there you get settled in you get your arrow knocked and then you just sit and wait and like kind of relax and wait for things to unfold and because the other big thing for me on the on the bow sight is it takes out the guesswork right like so instead of trying to shoot between pins and figure out where he's at it just gives you like exactly that pin and it gives you on a nice clear housing so I felt over the last few years shooting this thing my excuse me my ability to shoot more accurately and more precise has increased over time 


Brad: Yeah it's so funny man I said this year doing the same thing you always think you're like they're going to come through right there you're like you stare at that one spot the whole time I did that this year on my last deer hunt watched for 12 hours 11 hours on this one spot and then all of a sudden they come crashing through and I'm like readjusting my scope this was rifle hunting but it's like you know when they don't participate in your plan you know it is nice to have that adjustment for you Rehan I'm curious man we'll kick it over to you what's your favorite of the of the line


Rehan: Yeah I've got a lot of them real quick it's like you look behind you that's all outdoor products so there's something for everybody so if you're looking for a gift go on Garmin.com and there's so much you can find out there or through GoWild I'm probably can actually this isn't a cop out I say the ecosystem I first got started with the dog tracking devices to the alpha 100 now the alpha 200i but being able to pair those products into kind of the quote-unquote Garmin ecosystem with inreach with you know Instinct with wearables it just makes hunting so much better for me more efficient more effective so hope that's not a cop-out answer but i'd say a lot of them and go from there you know 


Brad: Man what you what you just mentioned is something I didn't know about until you know we did that trade show with you guys in that was 2019 I think that's when I met both of you and I had no idea on the ability for the Xero to locate and I still love blowing people's minds actually my team and I we were talking about because we just started working with Garmin on the retail side and I was telling them about how cool it is that that you can sync up these products and like minds blown we'll kick this over to Brandon I wanted to talk through using the xero locate on these products over to the wearables Brandon can you kind of tell off tell us a little bit about that integration 


Brandon: Yeah so basically what you're able to do with what we call laser locate is it takes that range the very last range or if you want to you know just take one on the fly it takes that range and we have a built-in compass on that device that gives you the heading as well and so since you have a distance and a direction you're able to project a waypoint and so you can project that down to your Fenix watch your handheld whatever the compatible devices that you have and one either you know if you're up in the deer stand and you've taken a shot and you need to go find that arrow you're able to get on that arrow pretty quickly I did my first elk hunt this past year and one other application that you know like ran through my head a lot was like alright I need to get over to that ridge like how far is it really how do I get over there so I'm able to snap a quick range and project that way point down to my Fenix or my 66i which I'll talk on here a little bit later and just start making the trek over there Rehan anything you want to add to that 


Rehan: Yeah so I think that Brandon on what he was saying with that I think one of the really cool things about Garmin products is people relate to them in different ways so the Xero laser locate for me you know I come from a conservation background so I just kind of look at things from kind of that view and one of the things that I love about the laser locate is for example like and it goes back to everything with Xero it's that precision aiming you know affording the animal the most precise aiming platform you can give it right for a swift death there but then also it's like if you hit an animal and it runs down a timber line like 250 yards and then ducks in you can laser locate that so you can go over there immediately because once you get out of the stand everything looks different and start tracking you know what I mean so just trying to get on that animal a little bit faster and try to recover that so 


Brad: That's also like as a bird hunter the number of times I've seen a dove drop and I'm like oh it's by that section of grass and then you get over there it's like oh my god this looks so different than where I was you know 50 yards away 


Rehan: Well that's it and that's also with I know we'll talk about the Xero x1i that's a question that I've got because people are like oh why can a range game 250 yards away it's because of that laser locate feature 


Brad: Yeah that's really really handy and for what both of you kind of alluded to I think Rehan hit it the hardest there if someone's looking to buy a gift for someone that's not if you're not a hunter but buying a gift for one the importance of what reihan just talked about I've talked about this has come up numerous times on my show with guests outside of Garmin of just people who are a fan of these products the the difference in not having the Xero bow sight is this motion this motion and now this motion it's all it's you're literally triple the movement that you have to have so on an animal is alert as a whitetail for example which I think is like got to be one of the easiest spooked big game animals I mean they're just always on edge right like I feel like it the slightest thing can send a whitetail you know into full alert so you don't want to be moving more than possible and this more than anything and I've talked to chad on your team a lot about this it's not it's not you still have to make the shot it's not like it does anything for you beyond that lessening the movement you still got to be a good archer you still have to have good sense and good scent control and all that good stuff like it doesn't do any any of the actual hunting for you it's just taking that motion out that's really what more than anything that's what it's about in my mind 


Rehan: Yeah absolutely it's like just that that moment right when you have you need the confidence of saying this is the exact pin this is the exact angle everything like that like you said it doesn't make you a better hunter it doesn't make you you know what I mean you still have to know how to hunt stuff no deer everything like that it just affords you that confidence in the moment when you really want it 


Brad: We talked about a little so transitioning that data over to the wearables I'm kind of curious to hear from y'all's perspective on you know really the Fenix and the Instinct kind of come to mind for this audience I think there's a whole host of products that that maybe they would find avengers but I think for today's conversation for an outdoor enthusiast those two really relate the most let's start with the Fenix and and maybe Brandon kind of talking through that product and and why it's so appealing to this audience and I'm i'm a fan you know I love my Fenix so I'm excited to hear your take on it though yeah 


Brandon: Yes I've got my Fenix 6 solar on today so really for me like this past year going on the elk hunt right like you've got the in the field applications we've talked through with the laser locate but there's so much going on in the outside of that ecosystem right so I stumbled across this concept of being mountain ready before I went on my elk hunt and I was like well I like to work out but like my cardio sucks like what am I going to do so I was able to actually find with these programs they called Garmin coaches right so I was like I kind of know about how long it takes me to run you know a 5k but I want to you know I want to try to do a 10k for a specific time and it was actually the Garmin 10k that I signed up for so I was able to sign up for that for that whole program and what that program does is it sends down specific workouts to your device that you can do all throughout the week and for me like I have somewhat of a short attention span especially when it comes to running and training and doing that stuff but it almost became like a little game right so it's like go run this distance and keep it within this pace and there's a little widget so you can look down when you're in the middle of your run it'll beep at you and give you that kind of that feedback either speed up or slow down so that was huge for me to get ready to go do that and I actually like took me from training for a 10k which was I ended up getting up like 11 miles on a run and actually went out and did my first half marathon this summer before I went out 


Brad: Congrats 


Brandon: So yeah thanks 


Rehan: Big congrats there Brandon 


Brandon: Yeah it was fun I mean it was low and slow like the overall goal was just to finish it but just to be able to like check that box and like yeah I've done a half marathon and then when it came time to go on the elk like I was more ready right like I was in shape I was ready to roll and I mean granted my hunting partner ended up just crushing me all over the mountain for five days straight but I did my part and I learned a few lessons and we'll be even in better shape next year 


Brad: It's probably hard you're in kansas right 


Brandon: Yep 


Brad: So it's kind of hard to find elevation to replicate like you're going to hit out there 


Brandon: Yeah yeah it was that and he's like six four and I'm about five eight on a good day and he was just like stair-stepping over deadfall and like screaming up these hills I was like hold on man like give me a second to catch you 


Brad: Yeah he's got double the stride man one thing before we ask Rehan about the Instinct I run I've been running in my Fenix for years and one thing I love about these devices this and this directly applies over to hunting is the fact that I don't I can adjust it and and control it with gloves on and when you're running in the cold when you're hunting that that seems like you know people and I'll even give a story on my co-founder at first when you're not thinking of the use case it's like well it's not a touch screen it's not this and that like you don't want that and none of these scenarios do you want something that's going to get have a touch screen and to be able to take that kind of abuse I like to be able to control it by the buttons and to be able to it's not getting hit accidentally I mean the number of times I accidentally hit something while I'm running is minimal I mean I would have to have a lot of clothing on to really start bumping it even when I'm hunting like it's just designed to work well under those under those environments and I can say I put this thing through like literally any kind of weather you can think through like I've run and rain and snow with it I've set out in the rain with it like they're very durable but but like for those two scenarios you mentioned running and I've done you know I've logged probably I don't know over the last couple years more than 1000 miles with this thing I love it for that because of the gloves because it stands up and not to mention the battery life like I never have to worry about in the words of chad it's like the worst part about a Garmin wearable is that the battery does last so long you actually will forget sometimes to charge it because it's like oh I haven't charged it in two weeks and I forgot like sometimes I get in that pickle but you know if this thing's charged you can go out and run you could run an ultra you know in in a day with these things they're fantastic it's crazy 


Brandon: And Rehan will hit on this a little bit too but in the newer watches so the Fenix 6 and we have a new version of the Instinct we actually started building some solar technology right so even while you're out there running you're charging your device 


Brad: Yeah that's awesome so let's talk about the Instinct 


Rehan: Yeah so with the Instincts I use both the Fenix and Instinct and people ask me like oh which one should I get I'm like well they're kind of like my kids I love them both but for different reasons you know what I mean and so like there are times when I'm i'm going with the Fenix like if I want the on-screen mapping or something like that but the Instinct this came out in 2018 this is actually one of the solar versions that came out this year it it hit the market and just kind of took it by storm and so many people love it I see this thing on so many different people and a lot of different hunters like just randomly striking up conversation and there's so much to it i'd probably say that for the price this is you know the for what it is probably the most robust gps watch on the market for the price it's not going to have some of the top-line features like Fenix but it's got a lot of different stuff personally I use it because it's so light it's my style of hunting I just like to put on miles and go so it's 52 grams the compatibility with some of the other products so you have the ability to sync it in like we talked about with the inreach so that that way you can get messages off the inreach directly to your watch etc but you can also trigger an sos right so anything in the outdoors goes perfectly to plan until it goes horribly wrong so let's say you've got your inreach in your pack you can bluetooth it into the watch and then hit an sos directly from that like I mentioned I track dogs off of it so that way I'm not having to look at different things and pretty much it just keeps track of everything I need within kind of my style of outdoor hunting yeah 


Brad: First of all it kind of freaked me out how fast you got that watch off your wrist before but yeah yeah it reminded me of these sales guys when you're at the booth like all there are multiple watches going on and off with bands interchanging you can tell they've done it a time or two I wanted to ask you though that Instinct you know for gifts especially is very much in an affordable range for somebody right what's the price point on those two devices real quick and let's go with the the lower end Fenix I know you get into the solar and that gets into the in the solar and the sapphire but but for like your basic which I say basic there's nothing basic about these devices they're great devices but what what's the entry point on those if you guys can recall Brandon's trying to look it up real quick


Rehan: So there's a couple different a couple different things first and foremost right now we're on the six the Fenix 6 solar right so it's like if you want the top top of the line solar technology everything like that you can get that that's going to run about 849 but you know what I mean like the Fenix 5 is still out there the Fenix 5x the 6. so there's a lot of different options that sit at different price points the thing is all those watches are great so they're all just building off of one another so if there's features for example that you don't want as much you can kind of go into that lower price point but you know if you want top line top of the what we got there you're going to be looking at right around 849 for the solar which by the way I was going to say I forgot to mention the solar on the the Instinct in the Fenix you're talking about charge fatigue like not wanting you know that none of that like this has actually an unlimited battery life if you put it in battery saver mode so so long as you're getting solar charging it will go indefinitely which is a milestone for Garmin yeah but otherwise in smart watch mode even you're sitting inside it's 24 days right yeah and then if you add solar in there you're getting like 40 some days I think of solar charging so it's like you really almost don't even have to charge it anymore so 


Brad: That's crazy really pretty incredible that is awesome and and I don't know if you said it in there what's the price point on an Instinct 


Rehan: So the without the solar is going to be 299 and then you're going to be going up a little bit further there with the solar to 399 on that side 


Brad: Awesome alright I'm going to pull this back over to some hunting products and I know you guys really wanted to talk about the a1i and the x1i you guys have worked hard on these products I don't care who starts here maybe maybe we'll kick it over to Brandon 


Brandon: Yeah I’ll jump into that yeah so I know Brad that we worked at ata with you guys here a couple years ago I think it was a year after we launched the a1i right yeah I feel like every other person that came up to the booth is like this thing is awesome like it's cool does this work on a crossbow yep and then unfortunately at that point in time it was no so here it's been about it was been two weeks ago Rehan that we launched the the x1i so basically we took that entire platform that we built into the a1i we're at a push of a button you can drop a single single aim point and we we put that into a crossbow format so on top of that we it's basically 3.5 magnification I believe built into very high end optics with an overlay a multi-color overlay on this one so if you can see yellow really well you can set everything up to be yellow if you want it cyan blue whatever you want to do you can go through and really set it up along with the color modifications you can do there's a ton of widgets in there so kind of aiming aids I guess you could say so one really cool one is called steady aim so when you're looking down the sight it ends up being this broken circle that anytime you move the crossbow it pulsates right until you really settle in it helps to be on sticks right and then also that that broken circle breaks down into your single endpoint and you get this thing that says target lock like everybody that shot this thing or walks away from it's like man this feels like I'm in a video game like this is so awesome and it is a blast to shoot like we spent so much time out on our testing grounds this summer just you know just sending bolts as far down range as we can at you know block targets for fun but it was a blast so that's awesome i'd say the other big thing I wanted to hit on with that piece is the the development team made it crazy easy to set up so there's really two steps to it so number one you get a 20 yard aim point set up and from that you enter in your bolt speed so you can put in either the what the advertised speed is for that crossbow or if you've had a chance to send it through a chrono you can put that speed in and then you're ready to go out to at that point 80 yards and you can validate the speed well as well as if you use the advertise speed and if you want to add in additional arts to be shooting you know up to that 120 for fun block target again biggest thing here is making an ethical shot and making sure you're practicing ready to go you can do that so 


Brad: Awesome and we kind of hit on the compound bow earlier is there anything else you guys wanted to add to that maybe it might help if you're looking to buy a gift to break down the two differences with those the lower end option and the higher end option 


Brandon: Yeah I can I can run through this quick unless you want to Rehan 


Rehan: Nah go for it 


Brandon: Alright so on the the vertical bow right so we've got two versions we've got the a1 and the a1i on the a1i you're going to get a few additional features so one is you get multi-colored pins so instead of just shooting green pins you can get red and green so if you shoot fixed that helps you also get the laser locate feature that we talked through earlier and you get what we call multiple arrow profiles so if you're shooting you know fixed broadheads you can shoot your field points all day long change over to your other profile and shoot that and you should be dead on 


Brad: Yeah awesome and and I want to throw out there too I've heard a couple of concerns when people are thinking through this and I know that they shouldn't be concerned like people talk about battery oh I don't want my batteries to run out this thing's got like a if it's a fresh battery it's like a year right like a year of use of consistent use is that about right 


Brandon: Yeah that's what we advertise but you know being at Garmin with the crazy number of products that we test I saw test stuff go way farther than a year it's obvious it's not what we advertise but like I think I had my first set in there for maybe a year and a half close to two years I think I changed them out like right before I headed out to that to the elk trip just to make sure that I was fresh and ready to go and the other one 


Brad: Go ahead 


Rehan: I was gonna say one of the things is I've always heard this too in absolute worst case scenario it's like if you if you turn that on at the truck it's gonna last through the hunt so don't worry about that you know yeah 


Brandon: Right right to hit on that just one one more quick point is if you do get yourself in a bad spot where you've got low batteries there's intelligence built into there to turn off the range finding piece and still give you your fixed pins right so you can still pop up your 20 30 40 yard pins and you're just you know using like a basic standard fixed inside at that point 


Brad: That's one of my favorite things that you guys built into it is thinking through all the things that can go wrong and it can still fall back into that fixed pin scenario the other thing I've heard is and this isn't like a experience that there's a concern though it's electronic it's not going to be durable but from the testing I've heard this thing is just ridiculously strong and durable can you guys talk about some of the stuff you've seen on the like the drop test or anything like that on that bow sight yeah yeah go ahead and say

Rehan: First and foremost with all Garmin's products it's like especially with the outdoor products is they're outdoor products we know that they're going to be beat up used everything like that one of the things to think about with that sight is it's like any other sight right where it's it's just a stuff and so it's like yeah if you drop and you know really bang something up check it and everything like that but they are purpose-built they are tested we put them through the paces just so that you know that confidence is there when people need it like you said like you really haven't heard of anything have you


Brad: No I only hear people who are like what if and I'm like yeah but it's Garmin like you know it's you guys aren't known for putting out turds let's be honest yeah let's move over to handhelds guys I want to make sure we get a chance to talk through these you know let's we'll talk about a little bit about the the inreach first and and maybe we'll start with Brandon I think if you want to kind of 


Brandon: Yeah I have some options yeah so my favorite go-to on the inreach side and it's the handle side in general is going to be the 66i right so for me it's the right size that I can you know if I'm hiking through stuff I can just strap it onto my bino case and walk but then I can just turn around and I've got my maps alright right built in front of me there so on that l trip we went on this year I had all my there's a thing called birdseye direct on there so you can go through and you can get the topo maps you know downloaded specifically for the region you're going into and it was just able to flip it up look at it real quick figure out where we're at where we want to go what does that elevation look like and feel like which was all brand new to me coming from kansas and the other big piece is the inreach part right so obviously you want that there in case something goes wrong but what I ended up doing a lot more on that trip was my wife likes to hear from me especially being my first big trip away from home just we'd be up at you know 3 30 4 in the morning jump in the truck as quick as we can and we'd be you know setting up for our first calling sequence I'm like I forgot to like text my wife and now I'm 200 feet down in elevation no cell signal at all I'm like alright you know grab my inreach real quick hey babe I'm alive like I love you thank you later yeah like that was that was a lifesaver and that probably saved future hunts for me to be honest 

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