Why I Am Switching from Garmin to Coros GPS Running Watch – For At Least the Next 12 Weeks

Written by Charlie

“Should I use Garmin or Coros?” is a question that is often asked. Over the next 12 weeks (at least), I am switching from Garmin to Coros and hope to help answer that question a little bit better!

I am in a number of different running groups on Facebook and barely a day goes by where there is not a question of “Should I buy a Garmin or a Coros running watch?” Both watch companies are fantastic but each has some different strengths that could attract different runners. Garmin has long been pushing the envelope on features and making it more of a full-day device for helping with training and Coros has long been the company that offered insane battery life and has been adding in even more features.  So, which to choose?

Why I Am Switching from Garmin to Coros GPS Running Watch

For most people, if they are already in the Garmin system, they probably just want to stay with Garmin since they are used to it. I have used a Coros Pace 2 watch on my other wrist for comparisons against my various Garmin watches for a while so I could understand better which watch is best to recommend for different scenarios. But, since I have been a life-long Garmin user (I had switched to the Apple Watch Series 4 for a few months a long time ago), I never really switched over to Coros. It was just an additional device.

I mean, I have been using Garmin watches since the Garmin Forerunner 201 pictured here. 🙂 This watch took forever to acquire satellites and it definitely wasn’t a watch to wear all day! 🙂

a black device with a screen

My original Garmin – the Garmin Forerunner 201

Since that time, I have owned/used almost every Garmin running watch/multi-sport watch that they have made. My current Garmin watch is, what I believe is one of their best ever, a Garmin Epix 2.

a black smart watch with a black band

My current Garmin – the Garmin Epix 2

But, for at least the next 12 weeks, I am switching from being a Garmin user to a Coros user. I will wear my Garmin for some runs on the “other” wrist (especially when the new Garmin Forerunner 965 gets to me since it is the best comparison for the Coros I am using) but the Coros Apex Pro 2 KJ watch will be my daily driver for the next 12 weeks – at least.

a close up of a watch

My new GPS running watch – the Coros Apex Pro 2 KJ

Why I Am Switching from Garmin to Coros

So, let’s get to the main point of this post – why am I switching? I am always getting various watches to try out as I have a lot of readers that ask about my user experiences with various watches, especially when I post deals on GPS watches. I had owned the Coros Pace 2 (which I regard as the overall best value GPS running watch) and wanted to try out the more premium Coros Apex 2 Pro to see how that differed.

The Kilian Jornet Training Camp

a man holding a cup

Courtesy of Coros

It just so happened that when I was about to get one, Coros launched their special edition – the Coros Apex 2 Pro Kilian Jornet Edition. This watch was designed with the help of legendary ultra and mountain runner Kilian Jornet and included two bands (one silicone, one nylon) as well as a race cap from Kilian’s apparel company, NNormal.

But, if that was not enough, Coros was offering 25 athletes an incredible opportunity to be trained for 12 weeks by Kilian Jornet himself! Coros was offering chance at this opportunity to anyone who purchased one of the limited-edition watches (5,000 in total made) – but, that just allowed each person to fill out the application. After that, Coros and Kilian went through the applications to select the 25 athletes that would be included in the Kilian Jornet virtual training camp.

I was absolutely thrilled to get an e-mail from Coros a little over a week ago that I was one of the 25 athletes selected! After that, I and the other athletes were on a Zoom call with Kilian and someone from Coros about what the training camp would be like. And, today, March 6, this special 12 week training camp begins!

12 Weeks of Diving into the Coros System and Watch

I look at this as the perfect opportunity to truly dive into the Coros system since this will be my main watch for the next 12 weeks. I will be taking notes of what I notice, as a long-time Garmin user, when using only the Coros day in and day out. When you use a watch as a second device, you don’t really get a chance to get to know it and I was always reluctant to leave the Garmin system so never really embraced a Coros watch like this before.

But, now I will! For at least the next 12 weeks, I will be using the Coros Apex 2 Pro as my main GPS running watch. At the end of the 12 weeks, I will decide if what I learned from this experience is enough to permanently move me to Coros. 🙂

So, you can expect a number of posts over the next 12 weeks about my experiences with this watch, my experience with this training with Kilian, and a lot more. I can tell you right now that I am really pumped to have this special experience with Kilian, someone I have really admired for a long time.

Oh, and to make this an even greater experience for using this training, I have signed up for a 100km (62 mile) trail race that will take place right at the end of this training program to see how well I have progressed under Kilian’s training program! Stay tuned for training updates on this!

Kilian Jornet

In case you do not know about Kilian Jornet, he has accomplished some amazing feats. He has won several ultra marathons as well as setting the course record at the prestigious UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc – a 100 mile mountain race) with a time of 19 hours and 49 minutes on a course that has 32,000 feet of elevation gain! He also did two climbs of Mt. Everest – in the same week!

I thoroughly enjoyed our 30 minute video call and cannot wait to see what he does with my training over the next 12 weeks! Oh, and his apparel company, NNormal, is also giving all of us runners hundreds of dollars in running gear!

One More Thing About Coros

Coros was founded in 2014 and released their first GPS running watch in 2018. Their initial launch focused on their incredible battery life that they had been able to crack into. And this was what started drawing triathletes and ultra runners who needed more than the 12 hour battery life that watches like the Apple Watch and Garmin could offer (the Apple Watch could not even offer that).

Over the years, Garmin has really grown even more into their various verticals while Coros has continued to expand on features that thrilled their base users and attracted more of the same. Coros is known for having regular firmware updates to their watches as well, updates that bring things like action camera control to the wrist of their users.

But, one of the things I really love about Coros is the partnerships they form. They have worked hard to not only sign some of the best athletes in various sports but to work with them to make their watches better for their whole base of users. Here are some examples:

  • Eliud Kipchoge – the world record holder in the marathon and the only person to ever break 2 hours in the marathon
  • Molly Seidel – the fastest American woman all-time in the marathon with a time of 2:24:42 and Olympic Bronze Medalist at Tokyo
  • Desiree Linden – the 2018 Boston Marathon Champion and two-time Olympian
  • Kilian Jornet – already discussed above but likely the greatest all-around  mountain athlete in the world, winning UTMB 4 times and the Hardrock 100 mountain ultra marathon 5 times
  • Camille Herron – world record holder at various ultra distances, including running 167 miles in 24 hours and, most recently, 100 miles in 12:52:50

It is great to see a company working with such incredible athletes and actually taking feedback from them to improve their devices instead of just having athletes running under their company banner. This is something I have always loved about Coros.

So, if you like running tech gear and you are one of the thousands of people who always wonder about Garmin vs Coros, stay tuned for this 12 week journey to see some of my thoughts and experiences!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.