Garmin rolls out epic premium mapping for Fenix and Epix

Finally, the mapping experience we've been waiting for
Garmin Outdoor Mapping+
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Garmin has opened up premium mapping to some of its best smartwatches – enabling users to get a better experience when hiking and off-road cycling.

It’s part of its Outdoor Maps+ service, which improves on the TOPO maps built into the Fenix, Epix, and other premium devices. It costs $49.99 a year to upgrade, and it’s US-only for now.

Frustratingly for users of the Forerunner 955 (and Forerunner 965), it doesn’t seem to be picked for compatibility, despite currently running the existing TOPO mapping.

Outdoor Maps+ will launch for:

•    Enduro 2
•    Epix (Gen 2)
•    Fenix 7 series
•    MARQ (Gen 2)
•    Quatix 7 
•    Tactix 7 

So what does Outdoor Maps+ offer?

Satellite imagery is a big piece of the puzzle, so you can choose a detailed visual of your surroundings, and have waypoints plotted over the top if you desire.

GarminOutdoor Mapping+

The TOPO maps have also been enhanced, and crucially now show contours, rather than the flat, featureless landscapes of the currently included maps.

> Garmin Forerunner 965 vs 955

There’s also new information on state lines, public land boundaries, and Raster maps, that show trailheads, camping areas, water points, and more.

Essentially, this is the level of mapping that true outdoors adventurers really need.

We’ve criticized the TOPO mapping for not being as useful as we'd expect, and difficult to control on the watch itself. 

These improved maps certainly seem to have addressed the issues around information and detail, and the introduction of touchscreen AMOLEDs across the range – as we’ve seen with the Forerunner 955 and Epix – is starting to address the usability issues, too.

It seems that slowly, Garmin is making its range much better for mapping and the outdoors.


How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

Related stories