Why Doesn’t Garmin Have a Solar Powered Running Watch?

My good running friend, Chris Estes, and I often ask each other, “Why doesn’t Garmin have a solar powered running watch?

We live in a day in age where many things are solar powered.

Sure, Garmin has the 310XT that has a near 20-hour battery life, but for those of us that run extreme ultras of 100-miles+ that just isn’t nearly long enough.

I am fortunate enough to have the 310XT and my old 305 that I usually tag-team to get me through a 100 but it’s not ideal.  Either I have to wear both throughout the entire race or try to figure out which drop bag to leave the 305 in for when the 310XT will die.

How hard would it be to have a mini solar panel on the Garmin watch-face to power it once the battery life wore down or to extend it?  12 hours of sunlight would have to be worth something.

I posed the question on Twitter and many of you agreed or had your own solutions you replied with:

According to the numerous replies I received, the market is there for a solar or kinetic powered GPS watch.

Can Garmin make it happen?

Garmin, are you listening?  If you aren’t, then your competition likely is…



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This post was written by:

- who has written 1072 posts on Run It Fast®.

Joshua Holmes has completed 204 marathons/ultramarathons while running 100+ miles 43 including races such as the Badwater 135, Western States 100, The Last Annual Vol State 500K (3x). He is the founder of Run It Fast, the most driven club on the planet. His favorite races to date are the Vol State 500K, Badwater 135, Barkley Fall Classic, Catalina Eco Marathon, Chimera 100, Across The Years, Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Tunnel Hill 100, RUTS, EC100 and the Flying Monkey Marathon in his home state of Tennessee. Follow @bayou Follow @joshuaholmes on Instagram

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3 Responses to “Why Doesn’t Garmin Have a Solar Powered Running Watch?”

  1. Naresh Kumar says:

    Man, it would be a killer. FR305 owner here and I always wish they had a device which is Solar powered for us long distance runners. Hope Garmin does something about this.

  2. hartley says:

    Kinetic would be better — especially since most of my runs are in the morning darknesss.

  3. ChrisG says:

    It may not be solar, but the easy way to keep your watch going is to simply use a portable USB charger on it before it dies. I recorded my entire 26 hours 40 minutes of Angeles Crest 100 on my 405Cx using this technique. You wear the watch with the charging clip on it and it continues to record everything, you just see the charging window. One bonus: your mile split still pops up to show you what mile and how fast it was. Once it’s charged, you roll sans clip until another you get low again. Works well and is cheap.


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