Can Garmin Forerunner 35 Be Used For Swimming?

The surge in wearable technology, particularly in the domain of sports and fitness, has seen numerous innovations, with products like the Garmin Forerunner 35 taking center stage. Garmin, as a global leader in GPS technology, has been leading the charge, crafting devices that offer an array of features for fitness enthusiasts.

The Garmin Forerunner 35, specifically, is a product that’s been on the wish list of many athletes and fitness aficionados. But one question remains at the forefront: Can it be used for swimming? The straightforward answer is that while the Garmin Forerunner 35 is water-resistant, it isn’t designed primarily for swimming activities.

Although it might not be the quintessential swimmer’s watch, the Forerunner 35 boasts numerous features tailored for outdoor and fitness activities. Its water-resistant capabilities do make it suitable for certain water-related scenarios, but it’s essential to know its limitations in aquatic environments.

Can Garmin Forerunner 35 Be Used For Swimming


Garmin Forerunner 35 Overview

Origin and Popularity of the Product

The Garmin Forerunner 35 made its mark in the world of wearable technology with a bang. Garmin, renowned for its state-of-the-art GPS technology, aimed to create a device that bridged the gap between everyday functionality and specialized fitness tracking. Since its launch, the Forerunner 35 has become a popular choice among runners, cyclists, and general fitness enthusiasts.

The device’s rise in popularity can be attributed to its precision in tracking, simplicity of design, and durability in various conditions. Moreover, its price point provided a compelling proposition for those entering the fitness tracking realm, making it a hit in both niche athletic communities and among the general public.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Built-in GPS: Allows users to track their location, routes, and distances without requiring a connection to a mobile device.
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Provides continuous heart rate data, eliminating the need for an additional chest strap.
  • Smart Connectivity: Delivers smart notifications, such as call and text alerts, directly to the watch.
  • Training Tools: Offers tools like interval training sessions, helping users optimize their workouts.
  • Sleep and Daily Activity Tracking: Monitors steps, calories, and even sleep patterns, offering a holistic view of one’s health.

Water-Resistance vs. Waterproof

Definition of Each Term

Distinguishing between “water-resistant” and “waterproof” is essential, especially when investing in electronic devices. A water-resistant device can repel water to some degree but isn’t entirely impervious. Such devices can handle splashes, sweat, and occasional rain but may falter under prolonged water exposure.

On the other hand, a waterproof device is designed to remain functional even when submerged in water for extended periods. These devices undergo rigorous testing to ensure they stand up to the claim, making them suitable for activities like swimming, diving, or snorkeling.

Common Misconceptions About These Features

A common pitfall many consumers face is equating water-resistance with waterproof capabilities. Just because a device can handle a drizzle doesn’t mean it’s equipped for a dive in the pool. Another misconception is the depth and duration a device can endure underwater. Not all waterproof devices are created equal; some may be designed for shallow waters, while others might withstand deeper depths. Thus, always referring to the device’s specific rating and guidelines is crucial.

Garmin Forerunner 35 and Water

Water-Resistance Capabilities of the Garmin Forerunner 35

The Garmin Forerunner 35 boasts a significant level of water resistance. Its design ensures protection against everyday water encounters, such as sweat during a workout, hand washing, or getting caught in unexpected rain. However, it’s imperative to note that its water-resistance rating doesn’t qualify it as a fully waterproof device. This distinction means that while it can manage brief encounters with water, submerging it for extended periods isn’t advisable.

How the Device Performs in Wet Conditions

In wet conditions, like during a rainy run or an intense workout session, the Garmin Forerunner 35 performs admirably. Its build ensures that water doesn’t seep into the internal components, thus safeguarding the device’s functionality. Moreover, the screen remains responsive, allowing users to navigate through different features seamlessly.

However, if the device is exposed to large volumes of water, or if it’s submerged, it’s recommended to wipe it down and let it dry thoroughly. While it’s designed to withstand such situations occasionally, regular exposure might degrade the device’s performance over time.

Features and Abilities

In-built GPS for Running

The Garmin Forerunner 35 comes equipped with integrated GPS capabilities. This technology enables users to accurately track their location without relying on their mobile devices. For runners, this feature proves invaluable, as they can:

  • Monitor their pace and distance in real time.
  • Review their routes post-run.
  • Analyze speed fluctuations throughout a run.

The GPS ensures precision in data collection, making the Forerunner 35 an ideal companion for serious runners and casual joggers alike.

Heart Rate Monitor

Monitoring one’s heart rate during physical activities is vital. Thankfully, the Forerunner 35 boasts a continuous heart rate monitor. This feature provides several benefits:

  • Gauging exercise intensity.
  • Monitoring overall cardiovascular health.
  • Calorie burn estimation based on heart rate.

The device eliminates the need for additional chest straps, offering convenience while ensuring users remain informed about their heart health during activities.

Connectivity Features and Notifications

Staying connected even during workouts is no longer a luxury but a necessity for many. The Garmin Forerunner 35 excels in this domain with its smart connectivity options. Users can:

  • Receive call, text, and app notifications directly on the device.
  • Control music playback from a synced smartphone.
  • Automatically upload data to the Garmin Connect online community.

These features make it easy for users to remain in the loop without the constant need to check their phones.

Training Tools Available

The Garmin Forerunner 35 isn’t just about tracking; it’s also about improvement. To aid users in their fitness journeys, the device offers various training tools:

  • Interval workouts: Set custom running and rest intervals.
  • Virtual pacing: Helps maintain a consistent speed during runs.
  • Activity profiles: Tailor the device settings based on the activity, be it cycling, cardio, or running.

These tools ensure users have all they need to optimize their workouts and achieve their fitness goals.

Design Aspects

Material Used for the Band and the Screen

Crafted with care, the Garmin Forerunner 35 blends functionality with durability. The band is made from a flexible, durable silicone material, ensuring longevity and resistance against wear and tear. The screen, protected by chemically strengthened glass, stands resilient against scratches and minor impacts.

Comfort and Wearability

A fitness tracker’s design should never impede the workout. Prioritizing user comfort, the Forerunner 35 offers:

  • An adjustable strap to fit various wrist sizes.
  • A lightweight design ensures it doesn’t weigh down the wrist.
  • A sleek profile that doesn’t snag on clothing or equipment.

Aesthetics and Available Colors

Appealing to a wide demographic, the Forerunner 35 is available in several colors, including black, lime green, frost blue, and white. The sleek and modern design ensures it complements both athletic gear and everyday attire, making it a stylish accessory regardless of the occasion.

Garmin Forerunner 35 for Swimming

Testing the Device in Aquatic Environments

While the Garmin Forerunner 35 boasts significant water resistance, it’s important to highlight its performance in aquatic environments. While casual water exposure like rain or sweat doesn’t hamper its functionality, the device isn’t tailored for prolonged underwater activities. Short dips in the pool might not affect the device, but it’s advisable not to push its limits.

Feedback from Real-life Users

Users who took the Forerunner 35 for a swim reported varied experiences. While the majority acknowledged its resilience against splashes and short submersions, they wouldn’t recommend it as a primary swimming tracker. The device’s heart rate monitor might also provide inaccurate readings when submerged.

Limitations when Used During Swimming

The Forerunner 35 wasn’t designed as a dedicated swim tracker. As such, users should be aware of its limitations:

  • Lack of swim metrics: Unlike specialized swimming watches, it doesn’t track strokes, laps, or swolf score.
  • Reduced touchscreen responsiveness: Water might affect screen interactions.
  • Potential inaccuracies: Heart rate monitoring might not be precise underwater.

Battery Life Insights

Expected Battery Life During Normal Usage

One of the primary concerns for users when purchasing a fitness tracker is battery longevity. The Garmin Forerunner 35 impresses in this regard, boasting an expected battery life of up to 9 days in watch mode. For those using its GPS features more intensively, you can expect around 13 hours of continuous use. This extensive battery duration ensures users can track their long-distance runs, marathons, or multiple workouts without frequently charging.

Battery Performance During Water Exposure

Water exposure, particularly immersion, can affect electronic devices in various ways. For the Forerunner 35, its battery remains consistent even with mild water exposure, like sweat, rain, or accidental splashes. However, it’s essential to ensure the charging ports are dry before connecting the device to power. Extended submersion or exposure to high-pressure water jets might affect the battery’s efficiency and overall device integrity.

Tips to Maximize Battery Lifespan

A few simple practices can prolong the Forerunner 35’s battery life:

  • Dim the backlight: Using a lower brightness setting can conserve battery power.
  • Limit notifications: Reducing the frequency or turning off certain app notifications can save battery.
  • Update software: Ensure the device’s software is always updated; newer versions often include battery performance optimizations.
  • GPS moderation: Turn off the GPS when not required to extend battery life between charges.

Unique Selling Points

How It Stands Out from Competitors

The Garmin Forerunner 35 isn’t just another fitness tracker in the crowded market. It has carved its niche due to several standout attributes:

  • Integrated GPS: Unlike some competitors, the Forerunner 35 provides GPS without relying on a connected smartphone.
  • Affordability: It offers high-end features at a mid-tier price point, ensuring value for money.
  • Consistent heart rate monitoring: While many fitness devices require additional accessories for heart rate tracking, the Forerunner 35 does this seamlessly with built-in technology.

Notable Features Not Present in Other Devices

Every device has its USP, and the Forerunner 35’s are:

  • Virtual pacing: This feature helps users maintain consistent speeds, an often-overlooked feature in many competitors.
  • Garmin Connect community: The online community platform, exclusive to Garmin users, offers competitions, social features, and detailed analytics, enriching the user experience.

Care and Maintenance

Cleaning the Garmin Forerunner 35

Maintaining the cleanliness of your device is pivotal for optimal functionality and aesthetics. Cleaning the Forerunner 35 is straightforward:

  • Use a soft cloth dampened with a mild detergent solution.
  • Gently wipe the device’s body, avoiding excessive pressure.
  • Ensure the device is dry, especially the charging ports, before charging or intensive use.

Tips for Ensuring Longevity

Protecting the Forerunner 35 extends beyond just cleaning. Here are some general practices:

  • Regular software updates: This ensures optimal performance and bug fixes.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: High heat or freezing conditions can affect battery performance and device integrity.
  • Gentle handling: Although robust, avoid dropping the device or subjecting it to harsh impacts.

What to Avoid for Longer Device Life

Certain practices can degrade the device’s longevity:

  • Avoid chemical exposure: Chemicals, including lotions, perfumes, or solvents, can degrade the silicone band and device body.
  • Avoid overcharging: Once the device is fully charged, disconnect it to prevent battery wear.
  • Limit high-pressure water exposure: While water-resistant, the Forerunner 35 is not designed for high-pressure water activities like jet skiing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Garmin Forerunner 35 fully waterproof?

While the Garmin Forerunner 35 is designed to be water-resistant, it’s not entirely waterproof. This means it can handle splashes, rain, or sweat but isn’t specifically designed for prolonged underwater activities like swimming.

Can I shower with my Garmin Forerunner 35 on?

Given its water-resistant nature, you can wear the Garmin Forerunner 35 during a shower. However, to maintain the device’s longevity, it’s recommended to avoid exposing it to soapy water or high-temperature showers frequently.

How long can the Garmin Forerunner 35 last in water?

The Garmin Forerunner 35 has a water resistance rating that allows it to handle brief immersions. However, it’s not intended for long durations underwater. If exposed to water, it’s best to dry it off promptly to prevent any potential damage.


In the realm of wearable technology, understanding a product’s specifications, especially in relation to water activities, can greatly influence purchasing decisions. The Garmin Forerunner 35 stands as a testament to Garmin’s dedication to merging style, functionality, and durability. However, it’s not the ultimate gadget for swimmers in search of a dedicated swimming tracker.

For fitness enthusiasts who occasionally venture into aquatic environments, the Forerunner 35 might fit the bill, given its water-resistant attributes. It allows for versatility in various settings without the constant fear of water damage. However, for dedicated swimmers, seeking a specialized device might be more beneficial.

Ultimately, while the Garmin Forerunner 35 offers a myriad of features suitable for many fitness activities, its limitations in aquatic settings should guide potential users’ expectations. It remains a valuable asset in the Garmin lineup, designed to cater to a diverse range of fitness activities.

Michael, an ardent horology enthusiast, brings his love for exquisite timepieces to life at WatchReflect. With a background in marketing and a penchant for luxury, he dives into the world of popular watch brands. His journey began during his years at a Swiss watch boutique, fueling his passion for precision craftsmanship. Through his words, Michael shares the allure and innovation that define the watch industry.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x