The Garmin Band Thing

Back in May, thanks to all of your help and input, I finally bought a Garmin Vivoactive to use not only for running but also as my daily wear, activity tracker. I have been really enjoying it, with all of its awesome data and info (see my review back here). However, I’ve struggled with two things:

  1. My wrist started getting rashy from all of the bands that I tried! All I could find were the plastic or leather options (until very recently).

    It doesn’t help that it has been particularly humid in Jersey, so even when I’m not being active, my wrists have been a little sweaty. In the plastic, it seemed like there was always a tiny film of sweat under the watch. Of course, this happened when I ran, too, as expected, but it persisted in other times as well. When wearing the leather strap, it would start to stay moist almost all of the time. This wasn’t even worn when I ran, so it was just from normal life/hand washing/sweating. It also started to get a little smelly, but I think just I noticed that. You’d have had to get reallllllly close 😉 All of these straps gave me a sweat rash! I found myself switching wrists every other day to try to avoid it, but I couldn’t.

  1. The athletic look. I had really wanted to wear it all the time – and I work in an office job, so dress-wise, a plastic athletic watch doesn’t work. Hence why I bought the leather strap… until it started giving me that rash, too. The idea was to use it as my step counter as well, so I really wanted to make this work. For the first three months I had this watch, all I could find were plastic and leather options – both of which caused problems. The leather LOOKED much nicer, but stayed wet. I really wanted a metal option for work, or something glitzy! Garmin has some cute bands for its other products, so I thought maybe something would exist. At that time, I couldn’t find anything! This actually annoyed me more than the sweaty thing. I wanted to look CUTE at work, but still count my steps, dangit!

After about a month switching between plastic and leather, I started to get creative. I thought, well, if they aren’t making a cute metal band that fits this, then I’ll start looking for something else.  My next thought was a full wrap around nylon strap. I just used the metal pins that I already had from the other bands to secure it.

Just because I can’t NOT post this picture, before I bought the nylon band, I did do some testing to see if this type of band out work/fit…. With one of my hairbands. And HAD to take a picture, of course.


Giggle. In reality, I determined the style would probably work and so I tried this one:


And actually, it worked great, but was a little short. Like just barely could get the end of the strap hooked, short. I should note that I do not have delicate wrists. My wrists are pretty big for a lady. My watches were always on the very last hole for traditional ladies watches – or I even had to make another hole in watch bands at times! However, it completely solved the issue with rashes, EVEN while running! It wouldn’t really get soaked, and if it got wet, it actually dried. The weave allowed it to breathe nicely.

However, I still wasn’t completely happy with the look. It was nicer than the other choices, but to me looked clearly mis-matched, since it is not actually made for this watch. The band should have been a little wider, etc.

Finally, last week, my holy grail appeared online. A METAL, WORK- APPROPRIATE BAND actually made for my Garmin Vivoactive! Hallelujah!

I got it in the Rose Gold … which happens to actually match my tan at the moment, LOL. However, I am happy to report that it feels work appropriate. It doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb like the plastic bands, and after a week of wear, I haven’t developed a rash. I was worried the metal latch wouldn’t hold – but it does beautifully and is super strong. I do switch to a plastic band when I run or swim and make sure to thoroughly dry out my wrist after (I’ve become a pro at quickly changing the bands!). Overall, I am happy to say that I think I’ve found my fix! A cute band for the daytime, with a presto-chango to plastic for runs. Voila!


I know some of you out there wear the Vivoactive (some of you recommended it back when I was searching, so thanks!!) What is your favorite band to wear? Do you have the same rash issues that I do? Do you wear it 24/7?


10 thoughts on “The Garmin Band Thing

  1. I don’t have the Garmin but I do have a Fitbit HR and also have run into the sweat rash and stinky band issue, plus I have super sensitive skin (to the point where I can’t even wear a regular watch) so a bit of excessive sweat under the band and I instantly feel itchy. What I have found to work really well is if you clean the band AND your wrist with alcohol after you run/workout and maybe once a day as well. I use the little alcohol prep pads used for injections (you can get a box of 100 for $1), which work great and are just super handy. I clean it after working out and typically before I put it back on after a shower and so far so good!

    First time commenter, really enjoy your blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Crissy! Thanks so much for reading 🙂 Awesome tip with the alcohol wipes… I will definitely have to give that a try – sounds totally doable and not much of an inconvenience to remember, too.


  2. I may check out the meshy one–thanks for the tip. I get rashes from everything and really don’t wear any jewelry. I just really only wear mine when walking or running in the summer because of the itching. This may make it easier to wear it more often.

    Liked by 1 person

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