Multisport watches are specifically designed for use in more than one sport. They offer the user accurate analytical data for sports like running, swimming, cycling (and many others). They usually have a GPS system to tell you about your distance, speed, pace and, of course, map your activity in a location.
Here are four recommendations for certainly some of the best multisport watches as of December 2019.
1. Garmin Fenix® 5 Multisport GPS Watch
$365 to $445 / £279 to £339
The Garmin Fenix® 5 Multisport GPS watch is great for using every day during intense workouts as well as being reliable for navigating the wilderness. If you’re able to, it can dive with you up to 100m, which is seriously impressive.
The Fenix 5 certainly offers everything – GPS tracking for pace, time-keeping and distance. It has smartwatch capabilities like heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, step count and advanced navigation. Furthermore, the addition of an optical heart rate tracker, a thermometer and a barometric altimeter, there’s really nothing it can’t tell you.
Finally, it offers a remarkable battery life considering all its functions – up to seven days between charges, including daily 1-3 hour training sessions. Of course the more you use some features, like GPS, the quicker you’ll use it up. The Fenix 5 has shown some serious GPS accuracy in comparison to its Garmin siblings like the Forerunner 935 or 945.
- A full-featured GPS multi-fitness watch
- Good battery life
- Intuitive experience – easy to set up
- Bulky design, heavy on the wrist
2. Garmin Forerunner 945
$680 / £520
Garmin is the certainly the undisputed king of multisport watches and the Fenix 5 and Forerunner 945 both have a right to appear on the same list. The Forerunner 925 deserves an honourable mention, but the 945 offers a little more.
The Forerunner 945 is an incredible piece of kit. It can track every sport you can imagine such as running, HIIT, strength training, swimming (including open water and diving up to 50m) and even skiing. However, if you do a sport that isn’t in the 30-strong indoor and outdoor sports list, you can create a custom one with your chosen metrics.
It has an optical heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter, thermometer, compass, accelerometer and gyroscope packed into a 13.7mm case. The design is certainly functional, not pretty.
It will track both health and fitness in minute detail, including intense sleep tracking to analyse your cycles as well as oxygen levels during the night. It will monitor your training sessions and Garmin’s unique ‘body battery’ will tell you about your energy levels.
There’s an accurate GPS system and, depending on the level of use, the battery can last an astonishing two weeks between charges.
Consequently, it’s aimed at serious triathletes who need painfully accurate data from a rugged watch.
- Incredible number of features
- Accurate GPS mapping
- Round the clock heart and stress monitoring
- Use with Spotify or Deezer
- Lacks smartwatch features; notifications are hard to reply to
- Strap is tricky to take off
3. Suunto 9 Baro
$515 / £394
The 9 Baro from Sunnto is one of the ultimate multisport watches for adventurers. It has a robust design that can withstand extreme conditions including depths of up to 100m underwater, freezing weather, impact from a height and intense heat and humidity.
As with all multisport watches the battery life is dependent on use, but you can expect around two-to-five days between charges. The handy thing is that it’ll tell you how much use you can expect before it dies (providing you stay in the mode you’re using at the time).
Tracking-wise, the 9 Baro will monitor sleep and activities with no less than 80 sport modes which cover running (including trail running and obstacle racing), cycling (including mountain biking), swimming (including open water) and triathlons. It offers barometric and GPS altitude data as well as optical heart rate monitoring.
Furthermore, it has smartwatch features like notifications for calls, texts, messages, emails and other social media.
- Incredible battery life
- Hard-wearing design
- Powerful analytical data
- Can be used with Android and iOS
- The app could use some work
- The on-screen menu can be tricky to read
4. Polar Vantage M
$260 / £199
Without a doubt, the best-looking watch on the list. This watch dedicates itself to being a multisport tracker, not a smartwatch. There is a distinct lack of smart functions. However, at this price point, it’s a steal for a triathlete.
It offers 24 hour heart rate and activity monitoring sleep tracking and boasts bespoke running programs to improve your training from 5k to a full marathon. It can record up to a whopping 130 sports. If you sync it with the Polar Flow app, you can look at in-depth data from the session, be it running, CrossFit, hiking or swimming (up to 30m). It’ll keep going for up to 30 hours of training time, or two weeks between charges.
The Polar Sleep Plus function analyses your sleep patterns and offers advice on how to improve your sleep quality.
On the belly of the watch, you’ll see 9 sensors that allow the Vantage M to sense blood flow, leading to accurate heart rate measurements. The wristband itself comes in two sizes, either small to medium or medium to large. Both come in either black or white, and the latter comes in a red option too.
The entire experience is largely co-dependent on the use of the Polar Flow app, where you log and analyse your information.
Overall, this is a lot of bang for your buck so long as your primary concern is monitoring your performance, and you’re less worried about your WhatsApp messages.
- Cost-effective multisport watch option
- Accurate heart rate, sleep and GPS
- Great battery life
- Lack of customisation
- Has zero smart features or functions
Garmin has long been the leader of the multisport watch market, but if your budget doesn’t stretch to their price tags, there are some worthy contenders. Make sure you prioritise what you want from your multisport watch before you start searching; the more expensive devices don’t necessarily mean they’re the best for what you want.
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