The Best Waterproof Fitness Tracker 2016
It’s really got to be a waterproof fitness tracker if you want to take yours in the pool, because many trackers are splash resistant.
Waterproof Fitness Trackers – More Than Steps
There’s a lot of concern about using fitness trackers just as a glorified pedometer. They all count steps, measure the distance you’ve travelled, tabulate the calories you’ve burned, and so on. This is all great if your main mode of exercise depends on your feet meeting the ground. If you swim, though, how do you track that movement?
Fortunately, if you’re a swimmer, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a high quality waterproof fitness tracker. Many count laps and measure heart rate, but even if you don’t need all that data, it’s nice to not have to remember to take off your tracker before diving in. Here are the ten waterproof fitness trackers we like best.
Best Waterproof Fitness Tracker
1. Misfit Shine
This sleek all-purpose activity tracker is a small marvel. It’s waterproof up to 50 metres and can register swim strokes as well as steps taken and number of bike pedals.
The Misfit Shine boasts a really beautiful, simple design that has undoubtedly contributed to its popularity. Plus, it’s a high-quality sleep tracker and syncs easily with smartphones.
The Shine retails for $69.99 USD, or around £45, though it can often be found for less.
2. MOOV NOW
The NOW is an update on the popular MOOV tracker; it’s lighter, smaller, and more comfortable to wear. Multisport tracking and vocal fitness coaching are some of its more useful features for all users, but swimmers will be especially happy to know that the MOOV NOW can detect strokes and count laps.
It can also keep up on running and walking, cycling, and even exercises like sit-ups. The battery should last up to six months, and it’s compatible with both iOS and Android. The MOOV NOW ships in the fall; you can preorder it for $59.99 USD right now, or around £40.
Wait until it’s immediately available, and the price will go up to $99.99, or £64.
3. Withings Activité Pop
If you’re looking for a waterproof activity tracker that looks like an ordinary watch but can still keep tabs on all of your activity, the Withings Activité Pop is it. It’s a fantastic all day device, tracking steps and all sorts of movement.
It’s waterproof up to 50 metres, and thanks to the latest firmware upgrade, it now tracks swimming quite well. The next upgrade should help it count laps and detect strokes. The battery lasts eight months, there’s a silent alarm, and it’s available in three colours.
The Withings Activité Pop is a great waterproof choice at £199.95.
4. Garmin Vivoactive
This Garmin offering is creeping up on smartwatch territory, but the Vivoactive can keep track of swimming laps and everything else. It’s just 38g with a slim design, which is perfect for swimming or any activity.
There’s a touch screen, and it can sync with your smartphone for notifications. The battery life is a couple of weeks as long as the GPS is disabled; with it on, you get just ten hours. That built in GPS boosts the price to a hefty £199.99, but if you run and cycle in addition to swim, it’s a great pick.
Want a dedicated watch just for swimming?
Try the £129.99 Garmin Swim. Or, if you want a more affordable Garmin waterproof activity tracker that you can take in the pool, check out the Vivofit 2 for £89.99.
Check out our Garmin Swim Review
5. Mio Alpha 2 Heart Rate Sport Watch
Continuous heart rate monitoring is the standout feature of this excellent specimen in the waterproof fitness bands category — it clears the way for features like training zones and training modes. The Mio Alpha 2 is a great all day tracker, though perhaps it’s more for individuals who want to go beyond counting steps.
It’s waterproof to 30 metres and fairly lightweight at 53g. The battery life gives out after a day when the heart rate monitor is on; keep it off and you’ve got several months’ worth of juice.
It retails for £149.95, and like the previous tracker on our list, the Mio Alpha 2 is ideal for individuals who are more serious about their health and exercise.
6. Suunto Ambit3 Sport Waterproof Fitness Tracker
At £275, the Suunto Ambit3 Sport is the most expensive waterproof activity tracker on our list. However, if you’re in the market for the best fitness tracker for swimming, running, cycling, and several other activities, it’s tough to beat this one.
It records stroke and counts laps, the face is easy to read, and it weighs a respectable 80g. GPS and heart rate monitoring are built in, though these things drag the battery life to just 15 hours. Still, the app is useful, providing features like interval training, voice guided smart coaching, recovery time, and more.
If you’re serious about triathlon training or just like to keep tabs on a variety of activities, then the Suunto Ambit3 Sport may be the waterproof fitness tracker for you.
7. Runtastic Orbit Waterproof Fitness Tracker
The Runtastic Orbit is waterproof to 100 metres, which is awesome. However, it doesn’t count swim laps — not yet, anyway. That’s something Runtastic promises will be in future releases of firmware and hardware.
So, you can swim in it, but as for tracking specific details about your activity, it’s better for running and walking. (It is called Runtastic and not Swimtastic, after all.) You can manually enter your swim data into the corresponding app. The device is still a great waterproof fitness tracker, with all day activity tracking and all night sleep tracking. There’s a silent alarm and good goal-setting features, and it comes in 11 cool colours.
For around £70, the Runtastic Orbit is a solid waterproof pick.
8. Polar A300
Polar makes fitness and tracking devices at a number of different price points, but for a good waterproof fitness band, the Polar A300 hits the sweet spot. It’s priced well at £94.50 and tracks all of your activity using an accelerometer.
The A300 won’t count laps (that’s not Polar’s strong suit, and even on the £350 V800, you still have to manually enter details like pool length), but it will factor your swim into your overall activity. Really, that’s what the A300 is all about — making sure you’re moving enough. It also has good sleep tracking capabilities, and the corresponding app makes all of your data visual.
There’s no built in heart rate monitor, though can pair with the Polar H7 chest strap heart rate sensor for just £30 when you purchase it with the A300.
9. Jaybird Reign Waterproof Activity Tracker
Fashionable, functional, totally comfortable, and completely waterproof, the Jaybird Reign is a cool, futuristic looking faceless band that will keep tabs on all of your activity. It will track your swimming too, as long as you do it for at least ten minutes.
The Reign measures heart rate variability rather than heart rate, a difference that Jaybird insists is better able to tell when you need a push and when you need a break. The corresponding app has clean graphics and some interesting details, such as giving you a go score, or how ready you are to be active, as well as coaching and motivation features to keep you challenged and inspired. it’s got automatic sleep tracking, which includes a sleep recommendation so that you know how much you need tonight for a good tomorrow.
The Jaybird Reign comes in black, white, or bright lime green, and it has a five day battery life. The retail price is $199.99 USD, or about £130.
10. Atlas Wristband
This waterproof fitness tracker won’t be available for a few months, but we’re looking forward to it so much that it earns a spot on our list. What sets the Atlas apart from other trackers is its advanced three-axis sensor, which allows it to recognise exercises simply based on your arm movement. This means that it can actually detect individual swim strokes and count laps, in addition to knowing if you’re doing a tricep or bicep curl.
Smart coaching, some customisability, and a touchscreen display round out this device. It’s not cheap at $249 USD, or around £160, but if you’re a multi-sport athlete who swims, you may want to get yourself one for Christmas this year.
Best fitness tracker for swimming – Notable Absences
Fitbit and Jawbone, the two biggest names in fitness tracking technology are conspicuously absent from our list. It’s not that their trackers are sub par — they’re just not recommended for swimming. Fitbit doesn’t recommend taking their devices in the pool, as they apparently can’t handle the force of swim strokes. Similarly, Jawbone’s UP line is totally splash proof, but the company also recommends keeping them out of the pool.
You may have also noticed that the well-regarded Basis Peak isn’t on our list, even though it’s waterproof. The Peak is an awesome fitness tracker if you’re walking, but it won’t track swimming at all, let alone count laps or recognise strokes.
There’s an impressive array of waterproof fitness bands and trackers on the market. Whether you want one for serious swim training or just don’t want to have to worry about remembering to take off your wristlet when you hop in the pool, there’s a device for you at the price point you need.