Swimming Tech Gear

Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor 2017 – Watches, Wrist, Chest & Head Strap

Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor 2017A good waterproof heart rate monitor is essential to maximizing any workout session or exercise routine.

Apart from its obvious heart monitoring capabilities, a heart rate monitor can also help you safely maintain workout intensity, avoid over-training and resulting burnout, track your progress, and of course, motivate you.

Whether it’s for swimming, diving, jogging, running, or whatever activity it may be, our list of the Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitors 2017 will guarantee you get the most out of any routine. Heart rate monitors come in all different shapes, sizes, and varieties, so we’ve sectioned our list into 3 broad categories: Wrist Band Monitors & HRM Watches, Chest Strap Monitors, and Head Strap Monitors.

At the top of our list, and falling into the wrist strap / heart rate monitor watch category, is the Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor. It looks like your everyday, run of the mill sports watch, but it’s packed with all the bells and whistles you’ll ever want in a heart rate monitor. The best part is, of all the waterproof heart rate monitors we’ve reviewed, it’s the only one that is water-resistant to 300ft (100m).

Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitors 2017 – Wrist Bands & HRM Watches

For those of you who want to enjoy the convenience of having your heart rate information at your fingertips, or in this case on your wrist, a wrist-based heart rate monitor may be the best option. Wrist monitors can be easily worn like a watch and after a while, you don’t even remember that it’s there.

Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor Watch   Editors’ Pick

Our Rating: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Running, walking, swimming, diving

Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof rated IPX-8
  • Recovery heart rate timer
  • Calories burned display
  • Doubles as a regular watch
  • 50-lap memory

Cons:

  • Strap can break

Our top pick, from Timex, is a wrist strap heart rate monitor that looks like a regular sports watch but comes fully loaded with the trinkets needed in a waterproof heart rate monitor.

Specifications

A Flex-Tech digital sensor eliminates any potential electronic interference or heart rate monitor cross-talk. It has an Indiglo light-up watch dial, Indiglo night light, and is water resistant up to 330 ft. (100m) subsequently making it IPX-8-rated.

Features

The Timex Ironman features 50-lap chronograph memory, with average heart rate per lap, which is great for jogging and running. Target heart rate zones and average heart rate per workout and lap help you keep an accurate track of exactly what your heart is doing and when it’s doing it. A recovery heart rate timer prevents over-training and over-exertion, and a calories burned display serves as a true motivator. Max heart rate display is read in either beat per minute (BPM) or as a percentage (%).

Love Diving and Watersports? Click here for the Best Dive Watches 2017!

Garmin Vívosmart HR Wrist Heart Rate Monitor   Top Choice

Our Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Swimming, running, cycling

Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Waterproof Activity Tracker

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof IPX-8
  • Integrated barometric altimeter
  • Keeps you connected

Cons:

  • Notifications can’t be controlled

This comfortable-to-wear, sleek, band monitors your all-day heart rate without the need for a chest strap. Last, but not least, in the Wrist Strap Category, this accurate heart rate monitor provides optimum heart rate data needed for workouts and training sessions.

Specifications

Water resistant to 164ft. (50m) – IPX-8-rated, this portable heart rate monitor comes with an integrated barometric altimeter that tracks when you put in that extra effort.

Features

With the Garmin Vívosmart activity tracker, you can stay connected while you workout. It displays steps, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed, and activity intensity, meanwhile, you can still receive texts, calls, and check social media alerts.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Our Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Running, swimming, cycling

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Heart Rate Watch

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof rated IPX-8
  • 20 hours of battery life
  • Wireless data transfer
  • Rugged, durable, versatile

Cons:

  • Does not collect HR data in water

Simply put, the Forerunner 310XT is a GPS-enabled, waterproof, heart rate monitor that sends data wirelessly to your computer. You can call it a heart rate GPS watch.

Specifications

Boasting 20 hours of battery life, this Garmin heart rate monitor features innovative USB ANT+ wireless technology that transfers data when the computer is in range. Waterproof up to 164ft. (50m) of water, rated IPX-8, it’s perfect for swimming (only tracks times) and almost any other conditions.

Features

The Forerunner 310XT is ideal for tracking running and biking data, as it accurately records your position, distance, pace, and of course, heart rate. It’s rugged design, built-in GPS, and ability to withstand most conditions, make it the top choice for triathlete’s training.

Mio ALPHA 2 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Our Rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Running, cycling, walking

Mio ALPHA 2 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof IPX-8
  • No chest strap needed
  • Can set heart rate goals & zones
  • 25 hours of data memory
  • Bluetooth

Cons:

  • App is not very user-friendly

This Mio heart rate monitor offers accurate wrist-based heart data during exercise, workouts, and demanding sessions.

Specifications

With the ability to store up to 25 hours of workout data, this wireless heart rate monitor syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth (4.0) to most popular fitness apps – specifically the Mio PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) app. It’s water resistant up to 100ft. (30m) – making it IPX-8 (3ATM) -rated.

Features

The ALPHA 2, as expected, tracks workouts, routines, and exercises, and includes information on steps, calories, and distance.

Q-YEE Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor Sports Wristband

Our Rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Cycling, running, climbing

Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor Sports Wristband

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof IPX-7
  • Bluetooth (4.1)
  • 24-hour heart rate monitor
  • USB charge

Cons:

  • App required for syncing

This sports heart rate monitor, featuring a humanized design, is a comfortable sports wristband that offers accurate, up-to-date heart information ideal for most fitness routines.

Specifications

Its IPX-7 waterproof design makes the Q-YEE great for outdoor sports, especially those exposed to moisture and the elements. Bluetooth (4.1) compatibility allows for wireless data syncing and this wrist heart rate monitor comes with a USB charging port.

Features

The humanized design of the Q-YEE features a gesture recognition function that causes the display to automatically illuminate once you raise and turn your arm. A sweat-proof resin strap fits snugly to your arm as you enjoy the benefits of 24-hour heart rate monitor, calories and food energy conversion, step tracker, sleep quality tracker, and SMS/call support.

Waterproof Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitors

It may not always be convenient to purchase or wear a wrist heart rate monitor, and for a few reasons. Compared to wrist and head strapped monitors, sometimes chest heart rate monitors prove to be more accurate, more affordable, and even carry longer battery lives. Chest monitors are very popular in swimming and water sports.

Suunto Smart Belt   Top Choice

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Running, swimming, cycling

Suunto Smart Belt

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Computer compatible
  • iOS & Android compatible
  • Replaceable battery

Cons:

  • Battery lip cover breaks easily

Weighing in at 1.4 oz, this lightweight chest strap heart rate monitor stores your heart rate data and transfers it wirelessly to either the Ambit3 watch or the Suunto app.

Specifications

Housed in textile and plastic material, yet ruggedly built, the Suunto Smart Belt is fully computer compatible, supported by Bluetooth smart devices such as Android and iOS. It carries a user-replaceable battery and is suitable for swimming.

Features

The sensor stores heart rate data and wirelessly transfers it to your device via the Suunto app or to your Ambit3 watch. With the Suunto app, users can analyze, review, and share every movement that was made.

Polar H7 Waterproof Chest Heart Rate Monitor

Our Rating: 4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Swimming, running, workout routines, gym

Polar H7 Waterproof Chest Heart Monitor

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof rated IPX-8
  • Lightweight & slim
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Requires an app for use

This slim, lightweight, waterproof chest heart rate monitor is the top of our list in Chest Strap category.

Specifications

This exercise heart monitor by Polar is ideal for planning, training, analyzing, and sharing exercise routines. It provides real-time heart rate information and is compatible with mobile training apps such as, Polar Beat and Polar Flow – via Bluetooth technology.

Features

Compatible with iOS and Android devices, the H7 features optimal battery life – it’s recommended you detach the transmitter from the device after use to ensure optimal battery life expectancy. As advanced as this waterproof heart rate monitor is, basic calorie burn count and heart rate-based features keep training simple.

Wahoo TICKR X Waterproof Workout Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor

Our Rating: 4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Swimming, running

Wahoo TICKR X Waterproof Workout Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof rated to IPX-7
  • Compatible with Android 4.3 & iPhone 4S and above
  • Built-in memory

Cons:

  • Distance accuracy impacted by cellphone distance from the unit

This heart rate monitor detects and sends heart rate data to your smartphone in real-time and accurately, and also features information on training zones and calories burned.

Specifications

This chest strap is the official heart rate monitor of Team Sky (Tour de France champions). Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology make connectivity to smartphones, tablets, Garmin and Polar GPS watches possible. It is compatible with iPhone 4S and later, and Android 4.3 and later.

Features

This is heart rate monitor features automatic rep count when used with the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout or Pear Sports apps. A built-in memory gives you the freedom and option to train without a phone – it captures data and syncs it to your phone later.

Bestart Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor

Our Rating: 3.8 Stars (3.8 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Running, swimming, cycling, gym

Bestart Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof rating IPX-7
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Bluetooth low energy (prolongs battery life)
  • Real-time data transmission

Cons:

  • Requires bluetooth device and app

Thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 technology, you can transmit real-time data to your phone or tablet. This device is great for running, swimming, and cycling.

Specifications

Waterproof to IPX-7, this waterproof heart monitor pairs with your Bluetooth device (phone or tablet) and transmits data in real-time. It’s also compatible with many apps like Endomondo, Wahoo Fitness, MapMyRide, Cyclemeter, AlaCoach, Runtastic, RoadBike and more. Compatible with iPhone and Android.

Features

This waterproof chest strap heart monitor, apart from heart rate data, captures distance, calories, and pace – making it ideal for most outdoor and gym activities. Bluetooth compatible, it will switch off automatically if no device is found within 20 seconds.

Waterproof Ear/Head Strap Heart Rate Monitor

Although they’re not as popular, head mounted heart rate monitors have still earned their place in the world of HR monitors. Popular in the swimming community, they are quite accurate but prove to be cumbersome, inconvenient, and slightly annoying. However, we’ve still added the FINIS Aqua Pulse heart rate monitor to our list.

FINIS Aqua Pulse

Our Rating: 3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Recommended Activities: Swimming

FINIS Aqua Pulse

Price: Check Price at Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • In-ear audio announcements
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Takes long to charge

Think of this heart rate monitor as the voice of your heart. The FINIS Aqua Pulse announces your heart rate into your ear as you move, preventing you from having to stop and check your watch.

Specifications

Fully waterproof – making it excellent for swimmers, bone conduction audio announcement verbally conveys your heart rate directly into your ear via the bones in your inner ear.

This is great for 2 reasons:

1. It eliminates the need for stopping and checking a watch.
2. It eliminates annoying earbuds that never stay in your ear while swimming.

An infrared sensor is responsible for picking up your heart rate through your earlobe.

Features

The Aqua Pulse is easily attached since no chest strap or watch are needed to monitor heart activity. It can be secured by slipping it inside your goggle strap. It’s accurate and reported to be quite comfortable. Read an in-depth review here.

Buyer’s Guide – Should I Go With Wrist, Chest, or Head Strap Heart Monitors? What Else Should I Look For?

As always, we at All Things Waterproof try to give you, our friends, some tips, hints, and general guidance in choosing waterproof products. In this case, we’ve outlined a few tips to keep in mind when choosing the best in waterproof heart rate monitors.

Wrist, Chest, or Head Strap Heart Monitors – Which One?

Our comparison table below shows the advantages and disadvantages of each category of heart rate monitors. i.e Wrist, Chest, or Head monitors. Let’s have a look.

HRM CATEGORY ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
WRIST

  • Generally lightweight

  • Easy to wear

  • Can double as a timepiece

  • Convenient

  • Comfortable


  • Can sometimes be bulky

  • Must break the session to check heart rate data

CHEST

  • Generally lightweight

  • Easy to attach

  • Easy to wear

  • More accurate monitoring


  • Can be uncomfortable

  • May require adjustments

HEAD

  • Convenient

  • Eliminates the need to stop your session and check your heart rate data


  • Can be uncomfortable

  • May require constant adjustments

What Else Should I Look For?

Here are a few things you should look out for when buying waterproof heart rate monitor.

Waterproofing

It’s in our nature, and our name, to always consider waterproofing as top priority in choosing any product. In most strenuous activities perspiration is quite likely to occur. With outdoor activities, exposure to moisture may be inevitable, incidents involving water are always a possibility, and of course, you may want to simply use your heart rate monitor for swimming or other water sports. With that said, always check the IP-rating and its subsequent meaning – which can be found here. In addition to IP-ratings, an equally important rating to check is the atmospheres, or ATM, rating. We’ll explain that further in this article.

Comfort

Monitoring your heart rate is essential to maximizing your workout routine or exercise session, but equally as important is your comfort level. Naturally, the more comfortable you feel during a workout, the more you’ll be motivated, and subsequently, the more satisfying your workout experience will be.
Choosing a comfortable waterproof heart rate monitor that doesn’t require many adjustments once it’s attached is great for added comfort. Likewise, heart monitors, such as the FINIS Aqua Pulse, contribute significantly to your overall session by eliminating the need to stop the session to track progress or check heart data.

Compatibility

Compatibility can be considered an extension to comfort. Waterproof wrist, chest, or head monitors that can be wirelessly connected to your smartphone, tablet, or mobile device, are great for monitoring workout trends, progress, and data – especially real-time trackers. After all, what use is a workout routine in the pool if you can’t review the data.

Cool Stuff

There are a number of additional features that will definitely make you feel like you’ve earned your keep in purchasing waterproof heart rate trackers. Things like:

1. Notifications that alert you of excessive heart rates.
3. Sleep trackers to monitor quality of sleep.
4. In-ear audio announcements of heart data.
5. Wrist monitors that double as watches and/or clocks.
6. Wireless connectivity and real-time data transmission.
7. Features that allow you to set heart rate zones and goals.
8. Movement bars that prompt you to get going when you appear to be inactive.
9. Calories burned calculator or recorder.
10. Features that prevent or reduce outside interference.
11. Phone call, SMS, and social media notifications.

ATM Rating

You may see this term, ATM-rating, pop up once or twice in the wonderful world of water pressure. But, what exactly does it mean, and what exactly does it refer to? Well, simply put, although certain devices such as; watches, smartphones, and media players – to name a few, may be able to withstand a certain level of water exposure, there’s a limit to the pressure these devices can withstand. The same can be said of waterproof heart rate monitors.

Yes, they are waterproof but can only withstand so much water pressure. Pressure tests are measured in ATMs, which stands for atmospheres, and we’ve created a table that simplifies the meaning behind these ATM ratings.

RatingProtectionUsage
1 ATMPressures equivalent to 10mRain and light splashes
3 ATMPressures equivalent to 30mRain, splashes, accidental submersion, showering
5 ATMPressures equivalent to 50mRain, splashes, accidental submersion, showering, shallow swimming, shallow snorkeling
10 ATMPressures equivalent to 100mRain, splashes, accidental submersion, showering, swimming, snorkeling
20 ATMPressures equivalent to 200mRain, splashes, accidental submersion, showering, swimming, snorkeling, surface diving, water sports

Conclusion

General care and preventative maintenance, similar to what you’d carry out on your typical waterproof devices, will always play a role in extending the lifespan of your waterproof heart rate monitor. Most ATM and IP tests are conducted in fresh water, so after salt-water use, it’s always a good idea to give your device a rinse and thoroughly dry with a clean, dry cloth.

There are many reasons you might want to invest in a waterproof heart rate monitor. Well, whatever the reason, we’ve given you the best the market has to offer, along with expert tips and hints in choosing the perfect heart rate monitor that suits your needs.

Also read: The 15 Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers and Swim Trackers

Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor 2017 – Watches, Wrist, Chest & Head Strap
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