Waterproof fitness trackers have become wildly popular in the last ten years, and knowing which one will be the best for you very much depends on your requirements. While having a lot of choices is a luxury, it can equally be overwhelming. Differentiating between the top brands can be a minefield. Luckily, Superwatches is here to help you navigate that choice.
One requirement that could make or break your decision is waterproofing. Even if you’re not physically underwater, simply running on a treadmill creates sweat, and, over time, this can damage your fitness tracker. So we’ve come up with a list of the best waterproof fitness trackers in 2021 which allow you to get caught in the rain, forget you’ve got it on in the shower, or swim laps in the pool without worry.
As brands compete for the top spot in the market, wearables are getting better and better. As such, standards are incredibly high, and new developments are fast. Basic trackers are used to track calories burned, steps taken, and your heart rate (though this last one wasn’t even a given). Later, we saw the introduction of built-in GPS and music storage. Now we seem to be getting used to seeing VO2 Max, ECG reading, blood pressure monitoring, stress tracking, recovery time, and much more.
But the one thing that ensures your device offers longevity and durability is waterproofing. Triathletes need trackers that automatically switch sport modes from running to cycling to swimming. Ditto those who go through a heavy lifting session and cool down with a yoga class. Some watches are specially designed for a given sport; you can even get watches for golf!
So, here is our list of the 16 best waterproof fitness trackers for 2021:
The New Fitbit Charge 5
The latest Fitbit Charge model has round-the-clock tracking, including activity and advanced sleep tracking, plus all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from Fitbit in a state-of-the-art box.
The built-in GPS is reliable, as is the touchscreen, even when you have clammy hands. This is a superb option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly fitness tracker covering all the basics. It’ll even give you VO2 Max, maps, and other cool statistics.
You’ll get seven days between charges but be careful when using GPS mode as this will drain it.
The Fitbit Charge 5 has a waterproof rating of 5ATM (50 meters).
- Great watch for both health and fitness tracking.
- Accurate activity detection
- Accurate sleep tracking and stats
- None for now
Garmin Forerunner 55
While the Forerunner 55 is typically a great entry-level running watch, it doesn’t stop it from being great for off-land sports as well.
The 55 offers a good range of workout suggestions, including pool swims, recovery time suggestions, and is very easy to use. It is also very reasonably priced, considering it was only released in June of this year.
The battery life is quite good, giving up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode and up to 20 hours when using GPS. It does lack some of the advanced features you see on other Garmin devices, however as we said before, this is an entry-level watch. You can still take advantage of an accelerometer and optical heart rate sensors, stress monitoring, smart notifications, and control over your smartphone’s music playback.
- Easy to use interface
- Good running tools
- Reasonable budget
- No open water swim tracking
- No ECG
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple remains firmly at the top spot of popular smartwatches. The latest model, the Series 6, isn’t a massive leap from its predecessor but comes with some advanced fitness features.
It comes in either 40mm or 44mm sizes and has a bigger screen than the Series 5. You can opt for Bluetooth (5.), Wi-Fi, or 4G LTE versions.
It offers the latest S6 chip, ECG reading, blood oxygen tracking, fall detection, and an always-on display.
The chip means it’s faster than previous versions but doesn’t drain the battery life (though there’s no improvement here, it’s still around 18 hours).
It has a water-resistance rating of 5ATM, which means 50 meters underwater. It’s also ISO standard 22810:2010 certified, meaning you can take it shallow water swimming indoor or outdoor, including the ocean.
- Probably the most feature-rich, advanced smartwatch on the market
- Works faster and charges faster than the Series 5
- Blood oxygen sensor, ECG and accurate onboard GPS
- The most popular, well-known brands. Great support and compatibility.
- As with all Apple models, the battery life isn’t great
- No blood pressure tracking – see why it is important
Garmin Forerunner 945
The Forerunner range is one of the most popular from Garmin. The latest Garmin Forerunner 945 has had a facelift and now offers style and function.
It comes with built-in storage for up to 1000 songs, contactless payment, barometric altimeter, and menstrual tracking. As it’s a Garmin, it naturally offers an excellent training mode that provides in-depth data on heat, altitude, acclimation status, aerobic and anaerobic training effects, and recovery time.
Weighing in at 50g, you won’t even notice this wearable. This is impressive, considering the punch it packs. You’ll get up to 36 hours between charges if you’re using GPS mode, but less if you’re using the music function.
The Forerunner 945 is expensive, though. So, if you like the sound of all this but it’s not within budget, check out the Forerunner 45 instead.
This is another 5ATM rated watch.
- Decent 36 hour battery life in GPS mode
- Store and play music from your wrist
- Only comes in one colour
Garmin Venu Sq
Budget fitness watches have a budget look. Actually, they used to. Nowadays, we’re getting more and more styles thrown in. Enter the Garmin Venu Sq.
With this tracker, you get reliable GPS tracking, some basic running metrics like cadence and laps, VO2 Max, an optical heart rate monitor, and customized data pages. What’s more, it has a Pulse Ox sensor to measure your blood oxygen saturation. If you’re interested in storing music on board, this will cost you a little extra.
As with the others on this list, the waterproof rating is 5ATM.
- Good looking fitness tracker
- Sensors for advanced tracking not commonly seen at this price
- Doesn’t play music without paying extra
Suunto 3 Fitness
The Suunto 3 is a reliable and contemporary tracker. It looks as sleek as it functions. Once you put in your basic data like height, weight, and age, you will have a simple weekly training plan. This is a mix of workouts and rest days. If you put this watch into its Personal Training mode, you can get an overview of your workouts and when your rest days are.
Based on your VO2 Max data and resting heart rate, this tracker will make revisions to your plan to keep your fitness level improving as time goes on. This could be more intensity or putting you on a rest day over the weekend when you can get some more sleep to recover. You’re able to look over your workouts afterward and scroll through the basics as distance traveled and recovery time needed.
The Suunto 3 is waterproof to 30m, so there’s no need to remove it before showering or swimming.
- Accurate heart rate
- A lot of data available on your wrist without needing the app
- Sadly, no built-in GPS
The Suunto 7 is a fantastic all-rounder if you’re looking for a mid-range GPS sports watch or for frequent workouts.
Pool and open water swimming profiles are available, including speed and distance data for each. Underwater, the heart rate sensor offers precise readings, and the watch keeps track of your swimming stroke duration, type, and count. Recovery tools assist you in properly planning your training to get the most out of each exercise, and a diary is available for monitoring.
Our exercise data synced fast in our testing, and the app made it simple to go through them afterward to identify patterns. You can operate the watch hands-free with voice commands (through Google Assistant), which is always a nice touch.
You’ll have to have both the Suunto app and Google Fit loaded on your phone, which is a bit more work than we’d like but not too bad. The Suunto 9 is a more complex gadget, but at this price range, the 7 is hard to match.
- Mid-range cost
- Excellent battery life
- Relies on apps for full functionality
Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit Inspire 2 isn’t a top-end fitness tracker, but this brand is synonymous with quality. You’ll struggle to do better than this for less than $100.
It has a subtle aesthetic. It offers menstrual health tracking and sleep tracking, to name two more advanced features underneath the hood. If you enter what you consume during the day, it’ll offer a calorie analysis. There are 20 goal-orientated workout modes to choose from. And if you sit down for too long, it’ll buzz to remind you to get up. When you start to work out, it’ll automatically pick up on the sport you’re doing and run the appropriate analysis.
This smartwatch is waterproof to 50ATM.
- Incredible 10 day battery life
- Reliable brand
- Smaller screen
- No built-in GPS
The Fitbit Sense arrived in late 2020, and it’s been giving the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE a run for its money.
This is a smart fitness watch with big dreams, specifically, for your wellbeing. It has as much concern over your mental state as your physical. It has an ECG sensor to detect irregularities with your heart rate, but stress monitoring is where it really shines, offering mindfulness and meditation sessions. Although these are only for Fitbit Premium subscribers, you get six months free to try it.
Naturally, as it’s a Fitbit, you’ll get excellent fitness tracking, with a particular note given to the heart rate zones. There are many sport modes to choose from, many tracking options, and great stats available via the app once you’re finished. Fitbit is also currently studying blood pressure monitoring for the Sense.
A nice touch is that it’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa.
The Fitbit Sense has a waterproof rating of 5ATM.
- Onboard GPS
- Premium look
- A great smartwatch offering from a fitness brand
If you’re confused about which Fitbit is best for you, our comparison article will help.
Whoop Strap 3.0
The Whoop band 3.0 is, firstly, an activity tracker. It’s very data-driven. What it measures, you can manage. For example, you can look at your activity performance, sleep, stress, and training load. All designed to help you understand and improve your performance.
The Whoop band will measure your calories burned, movements, and activity levels throughout your day to calculate your stress score between 1 and 21. The higher the score, the more strain you’re under. This is a way of measuring your overall stress for the day. You can pin it down to specific events. Work, for example.
This version of the band has the best battery life compared to its predecessors. You can get seven days between charges. It doesn’t actually have a screen, so you need your phone to check the numbers after a workout.
The Whoop Strap 3.0 is waterproof to 30m.
- Great metrics and tracking for a budget-friendly watch
- No on-board GPS
Polar Vantage V2
If you’re a runner, you know how well a waterproof tracker works for you. The Polar Vantage V2 has the Polar Flow platform for training that is best in breed. It has running specific metrics that get broken down into useable data to apply to your training to improve performance. You can even do a performance test, and the Polar will guide you through the twenty-minute session, and, over time, you’ll improve your pace.
After you’ve done this, the V2 will give you an estimate of your VO2 Max as well as max heart rate and training zones. It’ll even go into detail about optimal recovery periods.
The watch can be worn all the time, which is good because it also provides detailed sleep tracking needed for your recovery. You can automatically sync all this data with popular apps like Strava and TrainingPeaks.
We’ve saved the best till last because this watch will go to 100m, so it’s the best on this list if you’re into triathlons. Saying that, it’s also the most expensive of the bunch.
- Long 40-hour battery life
- Incredible level of data about your performance and recovery needs
- Expensive option
- No contactless payment or music storage, which you can get on cheaper alternatives
Garmin Swim 2
It’s strange to see a swim watch from a non-swim business among the top choices, but it’s true. It has received consistently positive ratings, and we have discovered through user feedback that it is very accurate when used (at reasonable speeds).
The most recent version of the Garmin Swim 2 has multi-sport capabilities.
Fill in the pool length and hit the road. There isn’t a lot of configuration work to be done, which is usually a plus. It keeps track of distance, strokes per lap, and average speed—everything you’ll need.
It’s a battery that you can change yourself. Specialized watches come with many issues, including the need to send the whole device in for a battery replacement. With the Garmin Swim 2, this is not the case. Approximately once a year, you will need to replace the battery.
This bad guy can withstand a depth of 50 meters.
It’s a nice-looking timepiece. Outside of the pool, it’s totally wearable. Other than that, it’s useless for gauging anything else.
Once you’re within range of your computer, you may wirelessly upload exercises (the software is compatible with both MAC and Windows).
All four strokes are automatically detected. There’s also a drill-logging function, which allows you to record different drills and other types of swimming (kick, for example).
While there is no heart rate tracking, Garmin does make a swimming-specific chest-strap heart rate monitor.
- Great if you’re specifically looking for a waterproof tracker for swimming
- Reliable brand
- Does have multisport mode, but isn’t as comprehensive as other trackers
Garmin Vivofit 4
This great fitness tracker has a small but strong screen, and the battery life is an impressive one year (after which you simply need to pop in a fresh battery). It tracks your steps and awards you with a little on-screen celebration when you achieve your daily target. You can even alter your step target over time, since if you’re on track to 10,000 steps per day, the challenge can be increased, and if you’re falling short, the challenge can be reduced to keep you focused on achieving your goal.
The Vivofit 4 automatically captures activities like running and may emphasize lengthy walks as a separate activity in the great companion software, Garmin Connect. It’s still waterproof, but if you want to, you can wear it nonstop for the whole year because the battery lasts too long. A built-in heart-rate sensor is the only feature that is lacking.
- Reasonably priced
- Reliable brand
- Needs a heart rate sensor built-in
Amazfit Stratos 3
Amazfit (owned by Zepp Health) has made a name in smart, affordable fitness trackers, and the Amazfit Stratos is no exception. It’s a solid all-around fitness tracker.
In addition to its 1.34-inch full round transflective MIP display, the Amazfit Stratos 3 offers a bright, clear display with a clearer picture when the light is stronger. With the four physical buttons on the device, you can use the device without utilizing the touch screen.
With its dual primary control chips and two operating systems, the Stratos 3 is suitable for everyday use as well as professional applications. There are 80 different sports modes and professional algorithms provided by the 7-day intelligent mode, while the 14-day endurance mode allows users to conduct daily tasks.
In addition to its swim-tracking mode, there’s a built-in music player so you can hook up your waterproof headphones and enjoy music or podcasts are you train. You also get a dedicated triathlon mode that makes it easy to switch between cycling, swimming, and running without wasting a second.
Four global positioning systems are supported by Sony’s GNSS chipset: GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, and GALILEO. Any two of them may be combined to create three distinct positioning patterns, improving positioning speed and tracking accuracy.
- Excellent GPS service
- Clear, bright display in all lighting conditions
- No open water sport mode
Coros Pace 2
This lightweight mid-range sports watch looks similar to the Garmin Forerunner 245, but is a little bit cheaper and has triathlon tracking functionality. The GPS accuracy is excellent. With GPS backed by three additional satellite positioning systems, it offers runners, cyclists, and swimmers excellent location-tracking capabilities. It can even compute your stride length so you can keep track of your cadence when running through tunnels, and the ‘AI trainer’ will help you keep track of your training load. The screen might be brighter, but the Pace 2 is generally hard to criticize for the price.
It’s a nice upgrade from a Fitbit to something more competent. Its low weight and thin form, along with carefully crafted controls, make it ideal for tiny wrists and activities that need flexibility.
While dedicated athletes may choose the higher-end Coros Apex, this is an excellent option for anybody looking for a reliable gadget to help them stay on track with their training.
- Lightweight on the wrist
- Incredible GPS
- App needs more development for better features
And here is the Apex.
If the Forerunner 945 is beyond your financial reach, the Coros Apex is a great alternative, providing a wealth of training data to help you improve, and fast.
Do you want to increase your cadence? What if you could figure out how much training you need to undertake each week? Everything you need to know is within easy reach.
Everything you need is within easy reach. The Intelligent Stride Algorithm will keep track of your stride length and cadence. The gadget will meticulously record your journey and performance even if your run takes you outside of satellite range, such as via a tunnel or a distant location.
The navigation capabilities are particularly appealing to users, making it the ideal running watch for those wanting to change up their workouts and explore new routes.
Although it’s excellent overall, the display, like the Coros Speed 2, is a little dark during the day. However, turning on the motion-sensing lights solves this problem, allowing you to see your speed, distance, and heart rate while running without depleting the battery too much.
- Uncomlicated design
- Intuituve UX
- Comparison app is comprehensive
- None really. If we had to say something, the display could be brighter.
We’ve reached the end of our list of the 15 best waterproof fitness trackers for 2021. We hope you’ve found something you like to suit your budget and requirements. We’ve covered budget-friendly to more expensive options. We’ve also included basic to more in-depth watches. Waterproof smartwatches aren’t just for swimmers. Remember, sweat can damage your watch, so it’s always worthwhile to get a device with at least a 30m water-resistance rating.
If you’re looking for swimming watches, we’ve got you covered. Check out our article here.
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Last Updated on December 23, 2021
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