Garmin Descent MK2i Review: The Ultimate Dive Companion


Dive computers have revolutionized the way scuba divers monitor their underwater experiences. In recent years, Garmin, a leading name in GPS technology, has ventured into the world of dive computers with the Garmin Descent series. Among these, the Garmin Descent MK2i stands out as a remarkable piece of technology. This article explores the Garmin Descent MK2i dive computer in detail, evaluating its features, functionality, and whether it’s a worthy addition to your diving gear.

Garmin Brand Overview

Before delving into the specifics of the Garmin Descent MK2i, let’s take a moment to understand Garmin as a company. Garmin, founded in 1989, has earned a reputation for its high-quality GPS devices, wearable technology, and marine equipment. Their foray into dive computers represents a natural progression for a company deeply rooted in outdoor and aquatic exploration.

What is Garmin Descent MK2i

The Garmin Descent MK2i is a cutting-edge dive computer that represents the pinnacle of underwater technology. Designed by Garmin, a renowned leader in GPS and navigation solutions, the MK2i is a remarkable device tailored specifically for divers. It offers a comprehensive suite of features that make it an invaluable companion for underwater enthusiasts of all levels. At its core, the MK2i is a dive computer that provides divers with critical information such as depth, temperature, ascent and descent rates, and even calculates nitrogen and oxygen saturation levels for safe diving practices. What sets the MK2i apart is its advanced capabilities, including air integration, which allows it to track tank pressure and remaining air time, enhancing dive planning. The device features a responsive touchscreen interface for intuitive navigation, making it user-friendly for divers. Additionally, it incorporates GPS functionality, enabling divers to mark dive entry and exit points and navigate underwater with ease. Whether you’re a recreational diver, technical diver, or freediver, the Garmin Descent MK2i is a versatile and feature-rich choice that redefines the diving experience, offering modern conveniences and safety features that elevate underwater exploration to new heights.

Is Garmin Descent MK2i a Good Dive Computer?

The Garmin Descent MK2i has generated considerable buzz in the diving community, but is it really a good dive computer? Let’s dissect this question by examining its key features and capabilities.

Advanced Dive Metrics

One of the standout features of the Garmin Descent MK2i is its ability to provide advanced dive metrics. From depth and temperature to ascent and descent rates, this dive computer offers a comprehensive overview of your underwater journey. Moreover, it calculates nitrogen and oxygen saturation levels, crucial for safe diving practices.

Air Integration

The Garmin Descent MK2i goes a step further by offering air integration. This means it can track your tank pressure and remaining air time, providing valuable data for dive planning. The convenience of having this information readily accessible on your wrist cannot be overstated.

Dive Modes

Whether you’re a recreational diver, technical diver, or freediver, the Garmin Descent MK2i has you covered with its range of dive modes. From single-gas to multi-gas diving, it adapts to your specific needs and preferences.

GPS Functionality

Building on Garmin’s expertise in GPS technology, the MK2i includes GPS functionality, allowing you to mark dive entry and exit points, as well as navigate underwater. This feature can be particularly handy for divers exploring new sites.

What is the Difference Between Descent MK2 and Descent MK2i?

To truly appreciate the Descent MK2i, it’s essential to understand how it differs from its predecessor, the Descent MK2. While both are exceptional dive computers, the MK2i brings some noteworthy enhancements to the table.

Wireless Connectivity

The Descent MK2i boasts wireless connectivity, enabling seamless communication with other Garmin devices. This connectivity extends to smart notifications, so you can stay in the loop even when underwater.

Air Integration

Unlike the Descent MK2, the MK2i offers air integration out of the box. This means you don’t need to purchase additional accessories to monitor your tank pressure and air supply.

Touchscreen Interface

One of the most apparent differences is the touchscreen interface on the MK2i. This makes navigating menus and customizing settings more intuitive and user-friendly.

What is the Difference Between Garmin Descent MK2S and MK2i?

In addition to the Descent MK2, Garmin also offers the MK2S. To avoid any confusion, let’s clarify the distinctions between these two models.

Design and Size

The most noticeable difference is in the design and size of the devices. The MK2i is bulkier compared to the MK2S. This could be a factor to consider if you prefer a more compact dive computer.

Air Integration

Similar to the comparison with the MK2, the MK2i offers built-in air integration, while the MK2S does not. If air integration is a priority for you, the MK2i is the obvious choice.

Garmin Descent MK2i

What Can Garmin MK2i Do?

The Garmin MK2i is not just your average dive computer; it’s a powerful tool designed to enhance every aspect of your diving experience. Here’s a closer look at what the Garmin MK2i can do:

Log and Share Dive Data: The MK2i excels at logging dive data, allowing you to review your past dives in meticulous detail. It records essential information like depth, temperature, duration, and more. What’s more, you can easily share your dive profiles and achievements with fellow divers through the Garmin Connect app, fostering a sense of community and sharing your underwater adventures.

Track Multiple Gas Mixes: For technical divers who require different gas mixes throughout a dive, the MK2i supports the tracking of multiple gas types. This feature enhances safety and precision during complex dives, ensuring you have the right gas mix at the right time.

Monitor Heart Rate: Incorporating a wrist-based heart rate monitor, the MK2i provides valuable insights into your physiological responses during dives. Tracking your heart rate allows you to better understand your body’s reactions to underwater conditions and exertion, aiding in optimizing your dive profile for safety and comfort.

Navigate Underwater with GPS: Building on Garmin’s expertise in GPS technology, the MK2i includes GPS functionality, which is a game-changer for divers exploring new sites. You can mark dive entry and exit points and even navigate underwater using the device. This feature is particularly handy for keeping track of your underwater journey and ensuring you stay on course.

Customize Your Dive Experience: The MK2i offers a range of customizable features, allowing you to tailor your dive experience to your preferences. You can set alarms, choose from various dive modes to match your specific needs (whether you’re a recreational diver, technical diver, or freediver), and adjust settings to suit your comfort and safety requirements.

Analyze Dive Data: Post-dive analysis is made easy with the MK2i. You can review your dive data in-depth, including dive profiles, gas consumption, and ascent and descent rates. This information helps you refine your diving techniques and make data-driven decisions for future dives.

Connect with Other Garmin Devices: The MK2i boasts wireless connectivity, enabling seamless communication with other Garmin devices. This connectivity extends to receiving smart notifications, so you can stay informed even when you’re underwater. This feature ensures you’re always connected and updated while on your diving adventures.

Garmin Descent MK2i Price

The price of the Garmin Descent MK2i dive computer typically ranges between $1,199 and $1,499 USD, depending on the retailer, location, and any bundled accessories or promotions that may be available at the time of purchase. It’s essential to check with authorized Garmin retailers or the official Garmin website for the most up-to-date pricing information and any special offers that may apply. The investment in the Garmin Descent MK2i reflects its advanced features, cutting-edge technology, and its position as a premium dive computer in the market.

Where Can You Buy Garmin Descent MK2i?

If you’re eager to add the Garmin Descent MK2i to your dive gear collection, you may wonder where to make your purchase. Garmin products are widely available through various channels.

Official Garmin Website

The official Garmin website is a reliable source for purchasing the Descent MK2i. Here, you can explore the product in detail and benefit from direct support and warranty options.

Authorized Retailers

Many dive shops and sporting goods stores are authorized Garmin retailers. Visiting a local store allows you to see the product in person and seek advice from knowledgeable staff.

Online Retailers

For convenience and potentially competitive pricing, online retailers like Amazon often stock the Garmin Descent MK2i. Be sure to read reviews and verify the authenticity of the seller.


In conclusion, the Garmin Descent MK2i is a dive computer that blends Garmin’s expertise in GPS technology with advanced dive metrics and air integration. It stands out as a versatile and feature-rich choice for divers of all levels, from recreational enthusiasts to technical divers. With its touchscreen interface, wireless connectivity, and comprehensive tracking capabilities, the MK2i offers a modern and convenient diving experience. While it comes at a premium price, the investment is justified for those seeking a top-tier dive computer. To purchase the Garmin Descent MK2i, explore official Garmin channels, authorized retailers, or trusted online sellers.

Scuba Diver Magazine

I hope you find this article informative. If you have any further questions or need any adjustments, please feel free to let me know!

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