​The best waterproof fitness trackers (2017)

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Looking to find the best fitness tracker for swimming? We might just be able to help. For many people looking for a pool-friendly wearable, the waterproof rating is the most important factor.

We waited a long time for Fitbit’s first waterproof tracker and even the Apple Watch Series 2 is prepped for swim tracking. There’s now a good collection of trackers that you can wear in the water and not have to worry about it still counting your steps when you’ve got out of the pool.

The best waterproof fitness trackers

We’ve picked the best of the bunch of 1 ATM and IP68 rated bands that we’ve played with that can survive a dip in the pool, which should be on the shopping list for any swimming enthusiast.

Got any questions about the waterproof trackers we’ve included in the list? Let us know in the comments section below. You can also check out our big swim tracker test as we put six wearables through their paces in the pool.

Waterproofing ratings explained

IP and ATM standards – those obscure numbers that denote how well protected your tech is against the ravages of H2O – are often hard to fathom. We’ve focussed on the devices that go above and beyond the IP68 rating, which is the rating which covers gadgets to a depth of a metre or more for a continued period of time. The exact level of water resistance at IP68 depends on the manufacturer (the 6 actually refers to dust protection).

The device’s ATM rating is also all important. A 1 ATM (atmosphere unit) or higher means that a device is waterproofed up to 10 metres of pressure or higher.

That pressure measurement is an important one: just because you can take a strap 10 metres down in a pool doesn’t mean you can unleash a water hose on it in your back garden. Devices are rated based on how much pressure they can withstand, not necessarily how deep you can take them.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

best waterproof fitness trackers

The Garmin Vivoactive was the winner of our group test, and with the Vivoactive HR, you’re getting more of the same in the swim tracking department. It’s simply one of the best all-purpose trackers out there.

Garmin seems to take waterproofing more seriously than most other manufacturers, and this is the first of three devices from the company in our round-up. The Vivoactive HR has a 5 ATM waterproof rating — resistant to pressure at a depth of 50 metres — as well as a dedicated swimming app which collects data on distance, time, stroke, SWOLF, temperature, pace, speed and more.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$249.99, buy.garmin.com| Amazon

Apple Watch Series 2

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

Along with adding built-in GPS, waterproofing was the other headline feature for the Series 2. But Apple went a step further adding pool and open swim tracking and it’s one of the best we’ve used.

You’ll get served up with a host of metrics including distance covered, lengths, average pace and it can distinguish stroke style as well. During the swim the touchscreen is inactive, but you can raise your arm to check in on real-time progress. Data is synced to the Apple Activity app, but there is a handful of swimming apps that can now support the added swim tracking features for more advanced insights.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

From $369, apple.com | Amazon

Fitbit Flex 2

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

Fitbit fans should be happy they’ve finally got a swim-friendly option in the form of the new Fitbit Flex 2.

It’s water resistant to 50m in the pool, ocean or shower and brings a five day battery life, LED light alerts and fancy accessories to the usual Fitbit features of activity and sleep tracking. It’ll recognise the four main swimming strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.

While you don’t get a comprehensive collection of swim metrics, it will track duration, distance and pace for a basic breakdown.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$99.95, fitbit.com | Amazon

Moov Now

best waterproof fitness trackers

More than just a tracker, the award-winning Moov Now is about built-in coaching, which is designed to offer metrics on improving your swimming rather than just feeding back on it. Waterproof to 30m, the new Moov app has a dedicated swimming mode that you turn on before you leave the changing room.

When you get back you’ll see feedback on your stroke type, rate, distance and efficiency, as well as lap times and an overall indicator of your pool stamina.

If you want heart rate monitoring in the pool, keep a look out for the Moov HR, a small Moov Now-like device that’s worn inside a swimming cap.

Waterproof rating: 3ATM (30m)

$79.95, moov.cc | Amazon

Misfit Speedo Shine

best waterproof fitness trackers

We’ve already put the newer Speedo Shine 2 through its paces in the pool, but weren’t all that impressed with the performance. So we’d suggest sticking to the original for now until some software quirks are sorted out.

The Speedo Shine can be worn on the wrist or attached to your trunks, so it’s flexible as well as waterproof, and it carries a 5 ATM rating, which means it will survive continued immersion at depths up to 50 metres.

The collaboration with the swimming apparel giant means it also boasts swimming-specific algorithms that track laps and lengths as well as distance and calories burned.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$69.99, speedousa.com | Amazon

Garmin Vivosmart HR+

best waterproof fitness trackers

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is in our opinion the best fitness tracker for running and one of the most advanced trackers available. Yet in this list it’s the 5 ATM of waterproofing that’s the icing on the cake.

While it doesn’t have a dedicated swim mode like the Vivoactive HR or more expensive Garmin wearables, you can take it into the pool and workouts will count against your daily goal. You can also check out your notifications when you return to the locker room.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$219.99, garmin.com | Amazon

TomTom Spark 3

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

The Spark 3 is a running watch first with fitness tracking features included in as well. It also has a dedicated swim mode that we regularly use to test against other swim trackers so we think highly of its sport tracking skills.

There’s a surprising amount of data on board here including miles, speed, lengths and SWOLF scores. You can choose pool sizes to ensure lap counting is accurate, record split times and pick from a bunch of training modes including intervals. There’s also a Goal mode which offers an excellent in-pool view of how far your session you are along with extra buzzes should you surpass your expectations.

Post-swim analysis is not great, but elsewhere this is a solid tracker to go swimming with.

Waterproof rating: 4 ATM (40m)

$249.99, tomtom.com | Amazon

(wareable.com, https://goo.gl/2q4hlK)

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