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Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers in 2021

 

With a waterproof fitness tracker, you can rest assured your tech will be safe no matter where you are or how wet it gets.

Even if you’re not planning on jumping in the water, the best waterproof fitness trackers can withstand heavy rain, sweating, showers, and yes, swimming. If you’re in the market for one, it may be worth looking for a waterproof model from the beginning.

We’ve chosen the Polar Vantage M as our best overall. It features running, biking, and swimming metrics, which make it perfect for triathletes. Training Pro gives you insight into the stresses your body undergoes during training, and all your data syncs to the Polar Flow app.

Here are our top ten – there’s one for every kind of athlete!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Polar Vantage M

 

  • WR30 rated
  • Training Load Pro function
  • Personalized running program
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Garmin vivofit 4

 

  • Always-on color display
  • 1+ year battery life
  • Garmin Connect app
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COROS Pace 2

 

  • Optical heart rate monitor
  • Features interval training
  • Tracks your recovery period
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Best Overall

1. Polar Vantage M

The Polar Vantage M is every triathlete’s dream fitness tracker.

First off, it’s water-resistant to 30 meters and has built-in metrics for swimming.

The Polar Vantage M also has a variety of measurable metrics. If you can estimate your VO2 max, it will personaliz a running plan based on your Running Index (the average of your VO2 max). For swim training, your watch will keep track of your distance, pace, and even rest time. The built-in GPS helps make these as accurate as possible.

We especially like the Training Load Pro feature, which is an in-depth analysis of how your body is affected by your training. This is super info, as it helps you to plan your rest properly and make sure you’re ready for your next session.

Polar’s heart rate monitoring is said to be one of the most accurate, making use of Polar Precision Prime sensor fusion technology. That battery is pretty good, too. You should get up to 30 hours of use on a single charge.

Connect your phone to make use of the Polar Flow App, for the most well-rounded experience!


PROS:

  • WR30 rated
  • Training Load Pro function
  • Personalized running program
  • Polar Precision Prime sensor fusion technology

CONS:

  • The display screen may not be bright enough to view in very bright conditions

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Top Value

2. Garmin vivofit 4

The Garmin vivofit 4 isn’t as comprehensive as our top pick, but it has some great features runners and other athletes find helpful. That, plus its nice price, bring it in as our top value-for-money option.

Rather than looking like a watch, the vivofit 4 is a small, slim band featuring an always-on color display where you can view the time, your daily steps, or other information.

One of the high-end features that pushed the vivofit into our best value spot is MoveIQ. This interesting function automatically detects movement and classifies it as a particular activity type on the Garmin Connect app.

It picks up movements such as running, walking, swimming, cycling, and exercising on an elliptical. You can even set it to start a workout timer automatically when it detects that the activity has begun.

Track your calories burned and monitor your sleep patterns, so you know if your workouts are suffering because you aren’t getting enough rest. The one thing it doesn’t do is track heart rate, so you’d need to get a separate monitor if that’s a function you need or want.

The battery should last a year(1) at least, and doesn’t require charging. It’s waterproof, so swimming and showering with it on is not a problem.


PROS:

  • Features Garmin Move IQ (iPhone and Android compatible)
  • Always-on color display
  • 1+ year battery life
  • Garmin Connect app

CONS:

  • Heart rate monitoring not available

Check Price on Amazon

Best Battery Life

3. COROS Pace 2

Battery life can often be overlooked, but it’s an important feature of a fitness tracker. GPS is an especially high drain on batteries, so if you are an adventurer or ultra runner who is out in the wilderness for extended periods of time, a watch that can track location and stats for a very long time is essential. You don’t want to be in the middle of a hard run, gunning for a PR on that Strava segment, and have your fitness tracker die on you.

When battery life is the critical issue, many runners turn to Coros. The COROS Pace 2 is packed with practical features that, when used correctly, can supercharge your workout and spur you on towards your goals. But one of its most impressive features is its battery life – up to 30 hours in full GPS mode.

If you’re not using GPS, your battery can last up to 20 days before needing a recharge. UltraMax GPS mode can give you up to 60 hours of running time – that’s two and a half days of constant tracking.

This super-light watch weighs just an ounce! It’s got a built-in heart rate monitor, altimeter, barometer, and compass, so it is awesome for hikers and trail runners.

Some of the features packed into this fitness tracker include form monitoring, customizable strength and training modes, over 200 preloaded exercises, nutrition and hydration alerts, an AI recovery calculator, a storm alert, and easy access to performance and progress stats in the Coros app.


PROS:

  • Optical heart rate monitor
  • Features interval training
  • Tracks your recovery period
  • Weighs just 29 grams (2oz)

CONS:

  • Some may find the lack of a touchscreen to be a disadvantage

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Smallest Fitness Tracker

4. Fitbit Inspire 2

Who said size doesn’t matter? Let’s face it – some of these fitness trackers can get pretty large.

While that’s not really an issue for a guy or girl who has a large wrist to begin with, those with smaller wrists and hands may find that a big watch looks a bit clunky.

Fitbit’s Inspire 2 wins first place for the smallest fitness tracker. Fitbit is a big name, so you know you’re getting a quality product, despite its small size.

The Inspire 2 is slim and hardly noticeable on your wrist. It’s waterproof up to 50 meters, so you can put it on and leave it on, through the rain, swimming pool, or shower.

Just because it’s small, doesn’t mean it has fewer cool features. The Inspire 2 tracks your steps, distance, and pace in real-time, monitors how much time you spend in each sleep stage, shows on-screen notifications for calls and messages, and keeps track of your daily calories (eaten and burned).

When you’re working out, choose from more than 20 exercise modes. If you activate SmartTrack, the watch will automatically start tracking and recording your workout.

The battery lasts up to 10 days, depending on use.


PROS:

  • 20+ exercise modes
  • On-screen notifications
  • Real-time pace and distance tracking
  • Battery life of up to 10 days

CONS:

  • Once the free Fitbit Premium Trial ends, it may charge you unexpectedly without a reminder

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Top Smartwatch

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Wearing this watch is like having a smartphone on your wrist. There’s a reason it’s called a smartwatch! You can do everything you can on a phone, just without the added weight and space of an extra device.

Just so you know you’ll still be in the loop, you can still make phone calls, text, and stream music via Spotify on the watch. It’s even IP68 rated, which makes it resistant to dirt, dust, and sand, as well as being able to be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to an hour.

As for fitness, the Galaxy Watch 3 provides form analysis, on-the-go running tips, and VO2 max measurement. There are 120 onboard workout programs to choose from, and you can check out your heart rate while you’re busy to see how much you’re pushing yourself.

The sleep tracking is particularly impressive, as they’ve partnered with the National Sleep Foundation to add sleep tips, tricks, and education to your device. You’ll also get daily info on your REM and N-REM cycles.

One of the best things about this watch is the fall detection function. For those who like running in faraway places with nobody else nearby, or who do jobs where physical safety is compromised, the Galaxy Watch 3 uses an accelerometer to detect falls and get in touch with your designated emergency contact.


PROS:

  • In-built fall detection
  • Records your REM cycles
  • 120 home workout programs
  • IP68 waterproof rating

CONS:

  • Some service providers not support this watch – check carefully before you buy

Check Price on Amazon

Best for iPhones

6. Apple Watch Series 7

If you’re an Apple fan, this is our waterproof fitness tracker pick for you.

It features the standard things that smartwatches should do, like an HRM (known as their ECG app), sleep tracking, an altimeter, a gyroscope, and the ability to measure your running, walking, yoga, cycling, and other sporting stats.

Other than that, new features include blood oxygen saturation monitoring, a handwashing timer, great third-party app selection, and improved wrist-down brightness. The battery life should last up to 18 hours, and you can mix and match straps to suit your mood.

Make sure to add your new Apple Watch to your cell phone carrier in order to make the most of its features.


PROS:

  • ECG app for accurate HRM
  • Track daily activity
  • Fall detection
  • Blood oxygen app

CONS:

  • Not suitable for any Android phone

Check Price on Amazon

Best Fitbit

7. Fitbit Versa 3

If you’re a Fitbit enthusiast, this is the one we’ve picked over other Fitbit products. It’s a sleek, stylish-looking band, and you can check calls, texts, and app notifications just by checking your wrist.

It’s super easy to customize, so you can really make it your own. Download third-party apps, and choose a clock face you like seeing every day when you check the time.

The watch keeps track of your heart rate 24/7 and has an interesting feature called Active Zone Minutes, which indicates the intensity of your workout and lets you know if you need to increase or lower it to get optimal results.

This tracker is Alexa-enabled, so you can set reminders, make calls, check the weather report or even control your home appliances purely through voice commands.

Another great, practical feature is Fitbit Pay, which allows you to leave your cards and cash at home and pay via your watch, which is a helpful safety and convenience feature.

The battery lasts up to 6 days with the display off, 2 full days with the always-on display, and has 12-minute quick charging if you’re in a bind and need it in a hurry.


PROS:

  • Store and play music
  • Alexa voice assistant
  • Active Zone Minutes monitors intensity
  • Advanced analytics

CONS:

  • The Premium trial only lasts 90 days, after which you need to pay for features

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Most Durable

8. Garmin Instinct Solar

Garmin’s Instinct is built to last with a tough, durable design. In terms of battery life, this one gets a huge thumbs-up for being solar-powered and solar-chargeable.

The fact that you can charge your watch using the sun means that the battery lasts a lot longer than the average fitness tracker, especially if you’re very active outdoors. It also has a power manager, so you can shift to a less power-heavy mode if the battery is running low.

Apart from the battery, this device is created to meet military standard 810. Basically, that means you can drop it, kick it, ride over it, throw it against a wall, or put it in the microwave, and it should still work just fine (please, don’t attempt any of the above)!

Now that you know it’s virtually indestructible you may be interested in some of the other features it offers.

It features a Body Battery Energy Monitor. This tracks a range of variables and informs you when you need to rest or when you need to move, according to your body’s energy levels.

Other useful additions include stress tracking, pulse ox monitoring, high/low heart rate alerts, and preloaded sports settings.

The only potential issue is that those with smaller wrists and hands may find this watch to be a little large and bulky. It is, after all, classified as a tactical watch, rather than a fitness wearable. It weighs in at 5.6 ounces, which is significantly more than others, but helps with durability.


PROS:

  • Solar battery increases battery life
  • Pulse ox sensor
  • Preloaded activity profiles
  • Body battery energy monitor
  • Incredibly durable

CONS:

  • At 5.6 ounces, this watch may feel heavier or more chunky to some

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Best Tracker for Women

9. Garmin Venu

Ladies, we’ve chosen this fitness tracker for you specifically. It may not look all that different to the others, but it has a nice mix of features that makes it a great choice for women.

It’s a nice size, easy to see without being bulky and oversized. You can customize the digital settings on the watch by downloading apps and personalized watch faces, so you can really create a watch you like the look of.

To help you reach your fitness goals, you’ll have access to Garmin Coach, which provides running plans for your specific needs. If you do different types of exercise, there are built-in workout programs for strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates.

Your watch will also give you a heads-up if your heart rate is getting too high or too low. This feature has two benefits: you can easily target the proper intensity for a given workout, and it could be helpful in picking up health conditions you may not even be aware you have.

The Venu gets a thumbs-up for women’s safety, too. Garmin Pay lets you leave the phone, cards, and cash at home and pay without any contact.

If you want music capabilities, you’ll need to choose Venu SQ. Be aware, though, the design is quite different than the original Venu, and is square instead of a circle.

Other features we like include a hydration reminder, mindful breathing (paired with yoga or Pilates it’s great), advanced sleep monitoring, stress tracking, and body battery energy monitoring.


PROS:

  • Comes with preloaded workouts
  • Hydration reminders
  • Garmin coach
  • Comprehensive health monitoring

CONS:

  • Pricey

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Top for Swimmers

10. Garmin Swim 2

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker for swimming specifically, this is the one we’d recommend. Needless to say, in the waterproof category, this one is a winner.

You’ll be able to do all the tracking any other fitness watch does – steps, sleep, stress, body battery, and workout tracking, to name a few – but it features a number of swimming-specific functions that you won’t find on other watches.

There are two swim modes on this tracker – pool and open water. In the pool, you can monitor your distance, time, pace, stroke count, and SWOLF.

When you’re in open water, you can record the same data, but you can also make use of the GPS to measure distance.

You can create custom workouts and get a free online analysis if you join the Garmin Connect online community.

You’ll also find more advanced swimming features. Underwater heart rate activity, logging drills, turn-based pacing, and two types of rest timers are some of the things you can play around with.


PROS:

  • Underwater wrist-based heart rate tracking
  • Pool and open water swimming modes
  • Free online analysis
  • Advanced swimming features

CONS:

  • The GPS distance tracker may be inaccurate in areas of low signal

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FAQs

Thinking of buying yourself or someone else a waterproof fitness trackers? Here are some questions you may be asking before you make the choice.

Why Should You Buy A Waterproof Fitness Tracker?

If you’re a triathlete, you’ll understand the value of a waterproof watch. You won’t need to switch watches in transition or have trouble tracking the swim leg.

Runners may wonder why a waterproof fitness tracker is necessary. We get it – you’re not running in water. Generally, waterproof trackers are slightly more pricey, and you’re probably wondering if a normal fitness tracker would be better.

But, if you like to swim (for training purposes or for fun), a waterproof fitness tracker is a good idea. That way, you run no risk of accidentally damaging it in water.

There are other situations that a waterproof watch comes in handy for:

  • Running in a downpour
  • Showering with your watch on
  • Heavy, intense sweating
  • A day at the beach

What Features Should You Look For In A Fitness Tracker?

A fitness tracker is a different device than a full-featured fitness watch. Still, they can be as simple or as comprehensive as you want them to be. There are some features you should make sure it has, in order to get the most out of it:

  • GPS: to measure the distance of runs or swims
  • Step counter: to see daily base activity
  • Calories burned: to align your food goals with your activity goals
  • Altitude: great for hikers
  • Cadence: useful for measuring progress and form
  • Heartbeat: monitoring can give insight into general health and exercise intensity

What Do You Need to Consider When Buying A Fitness Tracker?

Not all fitness trackers are made equal! If you’re looking for one, here’s a list of the things you should be looking at before choosing one:

  • What kind of activity are you going to be doing while wearing it?
  • What features do you like or need?
  • Is it a decent size and weight for your wrist?
  • Do you like the design? Did it catch your eye?
  • How’s the battery life?
  • Does it link up to your phone? Does it have an app?
  • Is there a decent warranty?
The Wired Runner