Best Fitness Trackers for Swimming
Thanks for visiting Fitness Gadgets Online where our main focus is on the best fitness trackers for swimming. We do also feature information on all types of fitness trackers, but because there seem to be less for swimmers, we’ve made that our focus.
There’s something special about swimming, it has a feel good factor about it, especially if it’s in an outside pool when the sun is shining and you want to cool down. Being in the water also brings a clean fresh feeling which can make you feel really good.
It’s one of the country’s most popular sports that people get involved in. This is for a variety of reasons, but it isn’t an expensive sport as you don’t need any specialist equipment. Obviously we believe a fitness tracker can offer huge benefits if you’re training, but it isn’t necessary to have one.
Swimming is good for people at any age providing you take professional advice on what’s appropriate for you. Many elderly people benefit hugely by going for a quick dip as it helps to keep them active and fit. The same can be said for some who have a disability or are recovering from an accident or surgery. Being in the water makes it easier to move as the body becomes lighter.
Finding the Best Fitness Trackers for Swimming
Of course the world of technology is changing at an almost alarming rate with improvements being made all the time. The downside to this can be that once you’ve made a purchase there’s a danger that the model you have bought will soon be superseded by a newer and better version.
Whilst the speed at which technology advances is likely to get even faster, there’s no denying that improvements should be seen as beneficial. We spend time doing research to keep up to date with the latest developments so we can keep you better informed. Our fitness trackers for swimming reviews will give you an insight to the good and bad points of the latest releases.
Because swimming is one of the most popular activities that people take part in to either get fit or just to enjoy, you would think that fitness trackers would incorporate this into their programs. Unfortunately this often isn’t the case, but that’s probably because they are aimed mainly at those either running or working out.
Some of them are either waterproof or water resistant which means they can be used in a pool. In order to see which are the best fitness trackers for swimming, check on the maximum depth of water they can be used at.
If you’re just doing lengths of the pool, then depth might not be important, but if they are able to go deeper then there’s a better chance of good resistance to water. It isn’t so much the depth they can go to but the pressure they can withstand because pressure increases as you go deeper.
Be careful of using one described as water resistant in the pool as this can sometimes mean that a little bit of water, such as a shower, is fine but any prolonged time under water could cause some damage. Better still, if there’s a setting to record swimming strokes along with distance travelled etc., then that may be the best option.
Fitness Trackers for Swimming Reviews
Make sure you check our Reviews section where we include some fitness trackers that are suitable for swimming and we also have a separate Fitness Trackers for Swimming for them in our store. In order to help you to get a better idea of what might be best for you we’ve looked at three top sellers to demonstrate how they differ. In our fitness trackers for swimming reviews we also look at what’s good and not so good about them and what customers who have bought them really think.
|Strokes and laps|
|Heart Rate Monitor|
|Syncs to app|
Moov Fitness Coach and Tracker Review
In some ways the Moov Fitness Coach and Tracker is a little different as it’s described as “your personal fitness coach”. The idea behind this is that rather than put an emphasis on tracking your progress to fitness, the focus is on training you to be better.
It has a lot of information available to help you along the way and is able to give coaching that is personalised to you. Is this a new idea? Perhaps not, but the way in which its function is presented from the coaching angle rather than tracking, does seem to make it appear to be different.
The people behind this device introduced it to the market after starting as a crowdfunding project which reached its target funding in 90 minutes. It was originally not much different to other similar fitness trackers but since its launch has added apps for cycling, cardio boxing and swimming. These have been added without the need to make any additional purchases. This has resulted in the Moov being one of the most all-round wearable fitness devices available.
This fitness coach clips onto the strap and is designed to be worn around the ankle for running or walking and around the wrist for other activities including swimming. The flexibility means that the data will be more accurate.
There are over ten different programs with more than 200 levels, so there’s a lot of choice from this comprehensive device. The company says there are more on the way as well.
Coaching with audio is carried out in real time for running, cycling and cardio boxing. There’s also a video with a structured exercise plan to help you to get a complete body workout. It’s high intensity 7 minute video which helps you to new levels.
For swimming it measures your strokes, laps and helps you to improve. It monitors your progress and helps your endurance to improve.
It works by monitoring your movements and then advises how to get the best out of your workout routine. A record of your progress is kept and you’re offered motivation to get to your goals.
Your movements are precisely measured by the 9-axis motion sensor. This is the same as in the latest military-grade gaming technologies.
- Excellent choice of programs and levels
- Coaching works very well and is motivating
- Helps you to try different activities
- Good in depth data some other devices don’t provide
- Paring to phone is simple
- Easy to use
- Need to carry your phone with you or have it close by
- Strap could be better
- Not all of the apps are available on Android at the moment
The Moov is a good contender as one of the best fitness trackers for swimming because it gives really good detailed insights into your swimming as it measures you lap by lap. It not only gives detailed measurements of lap time but also your flip turn times, resting time and your pace.
Your strokes are also important, it works out your average stroke rate and the distance travelled for each stroke. Having all of these different measurements and insights into swimming is unusual for a fitness tracker.
As you swim, the Moov records the movements and when you’re done you can check the results on your phone. It’s a good way to keep a check on your progress, you can compare against your best previous results and even against Olympian results. Making these comparisons together with following the tips provided will help you to become a better swimmer.
Another excellent feature is the rest times being recorded. You can look at these to see if they help or hinder your progress. You’ll see how they work for or against you and then use the data to help build your endurance.
Having to have your phone with you to view the data is a drawback, but it’s not uncommon as some other devices are the same. Those that sync to your phone but also show the data on the device screen do have an advantage though.
One or two customers who have bought it have questioned the accuracy of some of the data, but any device is never going to be 100%. Having said that, it does seem that the Moov Fitness and Coaching Tracker isn’t far out and for comparing results is spot on.
See the Moov Fitness Coach and Tracker in our store.
Polar V800 Review
Another contender as one of the best fitness trackers for swimming is the Polar V800. Although it’s described as a sports watch, it does include a fitness tracker. The good thing about this model is that it has GPS which is really useful when doing activities outside such as running and it is also available with or without a heart rate monitor.
Polar have been in the heart rate monitor business since 1977 and so are experts in this field. It’s true to say if you go for the heart rate monitor version it will cost a bit more but it really is worth paying a bit extra for the better data you will get from it.
The additional data provided by the heart rate monitor will help the device to interpret the results much better and more accurately. This is obviously a big plus if you’re using it to measure how you’re swimming. When the V800 was first released its ability to track swimming was fairly limited, but since then there have been firmware updates which have added more functions and there are more promised to be on the way.
The integrated GPS sensor is able to track speed, distance and route taken. If you’re running in an unfamiliar place there’s little chance of getting lost. It’s also good for running over previous routes so you can compare your performance.
It works 24/7 checking your activities at different intensities. This includes tracking steps, which is one of the basic but important activities. It will also keep a check on your calories too.
Your overall fitness can be assessed using the orthostatic tests which measure your heart rate against various activities and other factors such as stress or illness. This is one of the big advantages of having a heart rate monitor included because it delivers this kind of data, which is very insightful. It does these tests regularly so you’ll get to understand how your heart is affected by different circumstances. The results can be used to adjust your training to better suit you.
There are multiple training features you can use. These include being able to set up a different profile for each sport or activity you do, different timers, training reminders, interval trainer guided workouts and swimming tracking.
It keeps a check as to where you are against your goals and also breaks your activities into different zones of intensity. It is then able to carry out an advanced activity analysis to give deep insights.
When you sleep the Polar V800 automatically detects it. Both your restful and restless sleep will be recorded to help get a better understanding of your sleep patterns, which is important to your health and fitness.
- Accurate GPS
- Available with a heart rate monitor
- Heart rate monitor works while swimming
- Well-made and looks good
- Easy to use interface
- Multiple training and levels
- Excellent detailed analysis of training and results
- Accurate swimming data
- Heart rate monitor can be slow connecting when in water
- Could be a little more comfortable to wear
The overall feeling from customers who have bought the V800 is very positive with a high satisfaction. Having a heart rate monitor and GPS are both really useful, but the downside to GPS is that it will eat into battery life, drastically reducing it. This can be offset by only having it turned on when needed.
Since its launch, the swimming capabilities have been improved and by all accounts are not yet finished. It will auto detect your swimming style whether it’s breast stroke, back stroke, freestyle or even the butterfly.
When you set to swim mode, select your lane length, there are some pre-sets or you can custom set it, then just swim! It will measure your distance, pace, the amount of strokes and your rest time. It’s good to know your rest time because this can be used to help determine your progress. The V800 has been tested to a depth of 100 feet so is able to withstand a fair amount of pressure.
There aren’t many fitness trackers with a heart rate monitor that work in the water as this one does. It seems, according to some customers, that it can take a little while to connect when in the water and can sometime be prone to dropping out. When it does work, which is most of the time, the data is accurate and useful to help you improve your swimming.
The amount of different tracking and levels it can handle is quite amazing, which makes this an attractive device for any fitness enthusiast, but it isn’t the cheapest on the market. Having said that, it is probably worth the price because of its functionality and accuracy. The Polar V800 has to be one of the best fitness trackers for swimming and running, plus a whole lot more!
See the Polar V800 in our store.
Garmin Swim Watch Review
The Garmin Swim Watch isn’t really a fitness tracker in the sense that it has been designed especially and only for swimmers. We’ve included it here to demonstrate the difference between a device for tracking a variety of activities and one which concentrates only on swimming.
Garmin is one of the leaders in navigation equipment but in recent years has branched out into other areas including the sport and wearable technology markets. This watch doesn’t have GPS as one of its features, but for swimming it probably isn’t necessary. They are a global company with thirty five offices around the world and as you would expect, are a much respected business.
This is the kind of watch you might want to consider if swimming is the only activity you want to monitor and improve. There are advantages to having a device which is focussed on only one activity as too many features may become a distraction. With fitness trackers the swimming function isn’t usually a priority as most people use them for running.
It works by using an accelerometer and information programmed into it regarding strokes, plus you have to tell it the size of your pool. It uses this information to work out how many pool lengths you have managed.
To set it up after setting the time, you need to tell it whether you want to measure lengths or laps. There are pre-sets to choose. Once that’s done you can start it but will have to pause it when you take a rest and stop it when you have finished. It does have a rest timer included.
Once this data is recorded, the Garmin Swim Watch will work out how many lengths (or laps) you’ve completed. It will also tell you how many strokes it has taken. The data can then be saved, or deleted if you don’t want to keep it.
It’s able to tell the difference between breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle and butterfly. As the watch is on the wrist, it can detect the different motions of the arm to work out which style is being used.
You can carry out timed sets and logging drills if you want but have to turn off the length and stroke measuring first. You’ll need to input the length data manually for this.
Once the data is recorded you can then upload it to Garmin Connect where it gets analysed and you can view your stats to see your progress. One drawback is that you have to interpret the information yourself.
- Very easy to use
- A good variety of information gets recorded
- Very accurate
- Looks good
- USB adapter for syncing is included
- There’s no training information on Garmin Connect
- No heart rate monitor
- Instruction manual is a download only
There are plenty of benefits to this watch as it is very easy to setup and use. It records and provides probably as much information about your swimming as you’ll need and with very good accuracy.
The simplicity of it being just for swimming is good but on the other hand if you take part in other activities such as running or walking, it won’t be suitable.
Once setup, it does the work for you. Yes you have to start, stop and pause it as you go, but it does the rest and it does it very well too. This allows you to focus on your training and technique rather than how many lengths or strokes you’ve done.
It also acts as a regular watch so you can wear it all the time which means you have your latest data with you. This can be motivating as you can look at it as you want. For more detailed information just sync to the Garmin Connect platform which holds all your data and analyses it for you.
You’ll be able to drill down into this online data to get detailed information about how you’re doing. There isn’t much on how to interpret it though and there aren’t any swimming plans on the platform either, which is a shame.
Customer feedback is generally very good although one or two did question the accuracy of some of the data. Overall most people are really pleased with it and think the Garmin Swim Watch is worth considering.
See the Garmin Swim Watch in our store.
We hope you found our fitness trackers for swimming reviews useful. Each of these devices is certainly worth consideration, but it does depend on what features are best for you. Although not necessarily important, both Garmin and Polar are well established companies while Moov is relatively new. People often like to go with a “name” they know.
Moov may be less known than the other two but its fitness coach and tracker does a very good job for swimmers. It not only records the activity but also gives advice on how to improve and provides some very good insights too. Advice on improvement is certainly lacking in the Garmin Swim Watch but it does offer deep insights into your progress. The drawback here is that although the data is very detailed, there isn’t much explanation.
The Polar V800 also provides detailed swimming data, but the advantage it has over the other two is that it has a heart rate monitor option. This makes a big difference and the fact it works when swimming as well, is a real advantage. We know the connection when in the water isn’t 100% but it’s not bad and it is being regularly updated to make improvements.
If you’re not bothered about tracking activities other than swimming, perhaps the Garmin is best for you. It’s really easy to use, looks good, can we worn as a watch and provides fairly accurate data. If it included a heart rate monitor it would probably be much better.
Fitness trackers for swimming and running offer the best of both worlds, so long as the swimming part works well. It certainly does with both the Moov and the Polar and we like the fact that the Moov is more of a coach than just a recorder of result.
It’s difficult to say which of these three devices is best because it isn’t really possible to do a straight comparison between each of them. The Polar does stand out though, not because it has GPS (which is a really good thing), but because of the heart rate monitor option. The down side, as you might expect, is the price. There’s no getting away from the fact that if you want the extra benefits of including a heart rate monitor that actually works when you’re swimming, you’ll have to pay more!
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