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. Whilst 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 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 the 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 9 best waterproof fitness trackers for 2021:
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 which 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. Which 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 style 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 customised data pages. What’s more, it has a Pulse Ox sensor to measure you 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 and weight and age, it will give you 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 afterwards and scroll through the basics like distance travelled 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
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 workout, 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
Fitbit Charge 4
The latest Fitbit Charge model has round the clock tracking including activity and sleep, plus all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from Fitbit.
The built-in GPS is a pleasant surprise and is reliable, as is the touchscreen, even when you have clammy hands. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly fitness tracker covering all the basics, this is a superb option. 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 4 has a waterproof rating of 5ATM (50 metres).
- First Fitbit model with on-board GPS
- Other Fitbit smartwatch models are waterproof, so this could be considered lowkey
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 the stress monitoring is where it really shines, offering mindfulness and meditation sessions. Although these are only for Fitbit Premium subscribers, you do get six months free to try it.
As it’s a Fitbit, naturally you’ll get excellent fitness tracking, with a particular note given to the heart rate zones. There are many sport modes to choose from, lots of 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. Check it out here
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.
Throughout your day, the Whoop band will measure your calories burned, movements and activity levels 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 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
Read the full review, here.
We’ve reached the end of our list of the nine 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 June 6, 2021