Ultratrac. How to get more GPS out of your Garmin Watch


Ever had your GPS watch run out of battery during an activity? Believe me, I’ve been there! Check out this Ultratrac setting and see how it can help you prolong your GPS tracking.

What is Ultratrac mode?

Ultratrac is a setting on Garmin watches, that reduces the frequency of data collection. That can be less track points over GPS, or less frequent data from sensors such as heart rate.

The benefit is to preserve battery life, making the setting ideal for gruelling ultra-endurance events or expeditions. How much extra battery juice you get depends on the capacity of your device. A runners watch like the Forerunner 245 gets an uplift from 10 hours GPS on a single charge to 24 hours. Compare that to a military standard Foretrex 601, 48 hours of GPS in standard mode upgrades to 1 week with Ultratrac enabled.

How do I enable Ultratrac?

The process may differ between devices; my how to video demonstrates the steps on a Forerunner 645 Music. On this device, the setting is applied at a sports profile level, meaning you can switch the setting on as default for your 6 hour bike rides, and leave as standard data collection for your 40 minute runs.

With this process, you’re changing the default GPS collection to Ultratrac. Just remember to revert the setting back after your long activity, otherwise you will capture future activities with lower quality data, when you had ample battery life to capture it under normal settings.

Which Garmin watches have Ultratrac?

The feature has been present on fenix watches for a number of years. Recently it’s been added to many of the mid/high tier Forerunner releases.

  • Forerunner 245 / 245 Music
  • Forerunner 645 / 645 Music
  • Forerunner 735XT
  • Forerunner 945
  • Foretrex 601
  • Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition
  • tactix Bravo
  • tactix Charlie
  • tactix Delta
  • quatix 5 series
  • quatix 6 series
  • fenix 2
  • fenix 3 series
  • fenix 5 and 5 plus series
  • fenix 6 series
  • fenix Chronos
  • Instinct
  • Descent Mk1
  • MARQ series

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I'm a super keen injured runner with over 20 years experience in races and endurance training. Get in touch with me over Twitter, G+ on in the comments below.

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