Garmin Vivoactive

Did you know a lot of research goes into deciding which watch to purchase for your activity tracking and sleep monitoring. It wasn’t an easy decision since there are many choices out there such as the Basis Peak and the Wellograph. I chose the Garmin Vivoactive because it includes GPS enabled running and walking. Now if I get lost when traveling then the Vivoactive can help me get back to the start of my walk.

In the Box

Vivoactive Only

  • Vivoactive
  • Charging/data clip
  • Manual

Vivoactive Bundle

  • Vivoactive
  • Premium (soft strap) heart rate monitor
  • Charging/data clip
  • Manual

Customer Service 

Garmin’s customer service and support is top notch. I can not say enough about them. When I received the Vivoactive in the mail, it was defective. I could not get past trying to set up the watch so I could begin using it. In pairing it to the bluetooth on my phone, it kept trying to pair it and then when it was paired it would ask me the same question again. It was if the watch had a mind of its own and didn’t think it was paired to the bluetooth and when it was it would ask if I wanted to pair it. I felt as if I was going around in circles trying to get out of set-up mode so I could enjoy it. If that wasn’t enough; I couldn’t access the built-in sports apps for running, bicycling, swimming, walking and golf. I am not a golfer so that app isn’t a big deal but the other ones are when I can’t get to them. Besides this, I wasn’t receiving any notifications on the watch which would include texts or any missed calls that might come through on my phone. Proceeding further, I dowloaded Garmin Express onto my Macbook Air, wasn’t able to get past it trying to locate my Garmin so it can upload any software updates needed for the watch.

I contacted Garmin customer service through their contact form on Garmin’s website and was contacted within 24 hours through email. Corresponding back and forth, each person who contacted me tried to help me with the Vivoactive. They would go through the steps of using Garmin Express, how to do a soft reset versus the hard reset for the watch. They broke down every little detail for me to try and get the watch to work to no avail. In the end, they explained the different steps taken for receiving a replacement which is what I ended up doing. They went above and beyond anything I have experienced with customer service even going so far as to send me a UPS label so I could send the defective item back to them. This isn’t something Garmin does since it is the customer’s responsibility to send the product back to the company before the replacement can be sent out in the mail. 

Garmin Connect

Can you imagine how easy it was to connect the Vivoactive to my IPhone? All I had to do was download the Garmin Connect app to my phone, turn on the phone’s Bluetooth and then pair the device to the Bluetooth. As soon as the device is paired with your phone’s Bluetooth then you can go into the app’s dashboard to see what activities are showing up for you. If you are like me you do not keep the Bluetooth on all the time; turning it off when not using it, so you will need to remember to turn on your Bluetooth whenever you want to sync your device up with the app. Syncing your device will keep you updated as to all the activities you have done throughout the day. Well, the weeks and months for that matter since it can keep track of everything for you.

Did you know you can access your activities from previous years as long as you have used any Garmin watch to keep track of them? I have used two different watches; Garmin Forerunner from 2011 and now the Vivoactive; can see how many walks and miles I have done from when I used the Forerunner. Great to know if I want to see how my activities have changed through the years. You get a small glimpse of what you can see when connected to your phone. Using the Garmin Connect on your computer is even better. This is where I find my activities from 2011 – now or personal records and reports that I might want to run. Challenges or friendly competition can even be a part of what you want to keep track of in your Garmin’s Connect dashboard on your computer.  These are only a few of the options that the Connect gives you that you can add to your dashboard if you want to take a glimpse of them after you have synced your device for the day.

Activity Tracker + Running, Cycling, Swimming and Golf 

There are many ways to use the activity tracker on the Garmin. You can use it to track running, cycling, swimming, golf and walking. Along with these options, it also tracks how many steps you walk throughout the day. For me, I have only used it to track my steps and the walks I have done on my week-ends, in particular. You might say I love that it is GPS enabled so I can sync the Garmin up to my phone or computer and see the exact routes I have taken. This will come in handy when I am traveling throughout Europe and want to see the trails I have walked or the routes I have taken through the cities.

On top of that, I found out you can share your routes on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, to name a few. Cool feature I am looking forward to trying out. Another feature I have found is that the watch starts you out with 5,000 steps as your goal for the day. The more steps you walk during the week, the more your goal will change. The watch has upped my goal from 5,000 to 6,687 steps for the day. I love that it changes the goal for me so that I can continue to increase the number of steps I work towards which, for me, has always been to reach 10,000 daily steps.

Sleep Monitoring

Have you ever wondered how much sleep you were getting at night? You might go to sleep at a certain time but that doesn’t mean you are sleeping throughout the night. I know I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I would have liked. This feature of the Vivoactive shows me how many hours of ‘deep’ sleep I was getting versus ‘light’ sleep. You can even see how long you are awake. It turns out I was getting about 3 hours 42 minutes of deep sleep, 4 hours 6 minutes of light sleep and 7 minutes of awake time which is the time I was waking up in the morning. One thing I loved is that I could look at the graph and it would show me the time I was in a deep sleep, light sleep or awake. You can even see your sleep trends over time. It is definitely a great way to see what your sleep patterns are and how much sleep you really are getting.


  • GPS Enabled
  • Move bar; alerts you to move more if sitting still for too long
  • Texts, social media are a few types of notifications you will get on the watch when it is connected to Wi-Fi


  • Picks up movement when driving and counts it as steps


After receiving the first Vivoactive that didn’t work, I haven’t had any other problems with the watch. Garmin’s customer service has been exceptional and has become one of the main reasons I will continue to purchase my fitness watches through them. It doesn’t hurt that they are GPS enabled so I can see where I have walked on a map when syncing the device.

  • Love that I can share my routes with friends and family on social media. They will be able to see where I have walked which will be great when traveling overseas
  • Love that the ‘step’ goals are constantly changing; as I walk more so changes the goal from where it may have been previously
  • GPS Enabled!

Overall, the Garmin Vivoactive is a great option when you want to reach the goals you have set for yourself in maintaining an active and fit lifestyle for yourself.

Disclosure of Material Connection: In no way was I compensated for this review, this is solely my personal opinion/experience


  • Annemarie says:

    I would totally need the sleep tracking. I get way too little caus I am always up working and wasting time. I would need something like this to kick me in the butt.^^

    • Kim says:

      Tell me about it. I thought I was getting too little sleep but the sleep monitor showed me I was getting a bit more then I thought I was. It is good to have if you want an idea of how much or how little sleep you are getting.

  • Golflover says:

    Your review is very detail and informative. Thank you so much.

    • Kim says:

      I love my Garmin and use it everyday when I go on my walks. It is a great way to keep track of how many steps and miles I do in a day.

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