Even if you’re not a regular swimmer, you can still find value in a waterproof fitness tracker. Running in the rain is not a problem. Accidentally dropping your tracker in a puddle or forgetting it’s on when you step into the shower are no big deal. Even washing the dishes is something you don’t have to take your fitness tracker off for anymore.
Water resistant fitness trackers just make life easier and less worrisome. If you have water resistant fitness tracker, it can truly go where you go and do what you do, only needing to stop occasionally to charge.
So are fitness trackers waterproof? There are many that are. To stay competitive in this market, most fitness trackers are becoming waterproof, though there are still some that are not, so it is always important to not assume that they are if you are buying one. Waterproofing is something that is becoming standard, but there are some that perform better or have better features than others. Here’s a little explanation of that.
Some Top Rated Waterproof Fitness Trackers
First of all, not all waterproof fitness trackers are created equal. There are many on the market but some have performed better through customer reviews and testing. Here is a list of some of the current top rated waterproof fitness trackers.
- Tom Tom Spark 3
- Garmin Vivoactive HR
- Fitbit Ionic
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Letscom FItness Tracker HR
- Garmin Forerunner 735 XT
- Polar A360
This list is not necessarily the best swimming fitness trackers, but it is the highest rated fitness trackers that do well fully immersed underwater for lengthy amounts of time. Check lower down in this article to see more information about swimming fitness trackers.
What Makes Some Better?
Water resistance and being “splash proof” is different from being waterproof. And according to the Consumer Reports there is “no such thing” as a completely waterproof device. Everything has its limits. The limits have to do with the amount of water it can withstand, such as a few drips of rain versus full immersion, and at what pressure it starts to malfunction.
Your device, if it claims to be waterproof, should give you a specific measurement of how water resistant it is. It usually will say that it can withstand a depth of 30 meters (3ATM) or something similar. This means static pressure at 30 meters, which is different from the pressure that a watch would experience as it hits the surface of the water as you dive into a pool, for example. Depending on what you want to use it for, it can be pretty easy to determine if it will fit your needs.
Most standard watch companies state that any watch water resistant to less than 3ATM are not considered waterproof and should not be used for swimming.
Do They Function Well In Water?
So your device can survive water, but can it function in the water? Many water resistant fitness trackers will be functional afterward, but they aren’t able to record heart rate while a swimming activity is taking place. This may not be a big deal if you are just swimming recreationally, but if you are competing or training for a race, you may find this to be an inconvenience.
Most water resistant fitness trackers, even the ones that record swimming activities, don’t record the heart rate, but there are some out there that will. The Garmin HRM Swim and HRM Tri both fit on a chest strap and will record the heart rate while pairing to the Garmin Swim smartwatch. There is also the Whoop Strap fitness tracker that will effectively measure heart rate both in and out of the water, though it doesn’t record or track anything else.
What Swimming Apps Are Available?
Where there are fitness trackers and smart watches, there are even more apps available to use with them. Since there are several apps on the market especially geared toward swimming, it can be confusing trying to decide which one works best for you. There are some key points to think about when you are picking a fitness app, and here are some tips.
What Device Do You Have?
Not all apps work on all fitness trackers or smartwatches. Some fitness trackers come with a swimming tracker built in for more ease of use, but many people will still go out and download another one if it has good reviews and has more features. Just make sure that the particular app works with your device, since some Android and iOS applications cannot be interchangeable.
What Workouts Are You Doing?
If you are solely focusing on swimming, then you really only need to find an app that works for swimming, but if you have several interests and you would like them to all be tracked in one spot, you may want to download a fitness app that keeps all your exercise information in one place.
There are a lot of really great apps available whether or not they are free. Some of the paid for ones have more features or just don’t bombard you with ads, but some free ones may have exactly what you need, so they are worth checking out. Here is a list of highly rated free and paid-for apps for swimming.
Free Swimming Apps
- Training Peaks
- Deck Pass
- Swim IO
Paid Swimming Apps
- Swim Radar
- Swim Coach
- Swim Speeds
Again, you often get what you pay for, so you may want to take a deeper look at some of the paid for apps to see what kind of features you get. If you are serious about swimming or training for a competition, it may be worth the investment.
What Are The Best Waterproof Swimming Trackers?
Technology required to be waterproof, as well as perform well in the water is still pretty cutting edge. Though there are many fitness trackers available that claim water resistance, if you stick to the watches and trackers that have greater than 3 ATM water resistance rating and are equipped to use some of the best swimming apps on the market, then the list narrows. Here are some of the very best swimming fitness trackers.
Apple Watch Series 4
The Apple Watch continues to impress each time it comes out with a new version and the Series 4 has been most impressive with it’s waterproof capabilities. It even has a handy speaker protection function that will toss the water droplets out of the speakers with a burst of sound. This watch is high functioning, but may be a bit pricey if you are looking solely for a fitness tracker that can be used in water. But really, if you invested in this product, you would most likely enjoy the other features as well.
Garmin Forerunner 935
The Forerunner is one of the favorite among triathlon athletes as it has a feature that switches between biking, running, and swimming seamlessly. This tracker also offers manual input of swimming workouts along with stroke auto detection, so you can input kicking drills into your workout routine as well. Though, as with most swimming fitness trackers, you lose the heart rate from the wrist when you go into the water, the Garmin Forerunner 935 can pair with a chest strap tracker such as the HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim to track heart rate while in the water.
Misfit Shine 2
This fitness tracker is one of the most lightweight fitness trackers built primarily for swimming. In fact, the Misfit Shine 2 was produced with the help of Speedo, so you know it has swimming as its focus. It does have a replaceable battery rather than a rechargable one, which in some cases is more convenient because you don’t have to stop to recharge it every couple of days.
Fitbit Flex 2
The Flex 2 is another lightweight, slim option for a fitness tracker, but this does come with its downsides. Though it performs well in the water, you will not be able to stop and check your progress. This may be a non issue, since it’s difficult to track swimming in real time on any device.
Water resistance in a fitness tracker is something that many people are looking for. Most people want to have a fitness tracker that can go wherever they go without limitations. Having a good quality water resistant fitness tracker means that you can run and bike in the rain, do the dishes, shower, and swim without issues. If you are in the market for a fitness tracker, water resistance should be one of the features that you consider.