The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool – UPDATE 2017

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Fancy hitting the water rather than the roads? Check out these top waterproof bands

So what is the best fitness tracker for swimming? We might just be able to help you out on that one. For many people looking for a pool-friendly wearable, the waterproof rating is the most important factor.

The Fitbit Ionic, the company’s first official smartwatch is waterproof and of course even the Apple Watch Series 3 is prepped for swim tracking. There’s now a good collection of wearables out there 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 out the best waterproof fitness tracker along with a bunch of wearables that we’ve played with that can survive a dip in the pool, which should be on the shopping list for any swimming enthusiast. There’s a host of new devices on the way to consider, which we’ve mentioned below as well.

Got any questions about the waterproof trackers we’ve included in the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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.

Wareable’s best waterproof fitness tracker – Moov Now

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

If you want the best, this is in our opinion the one to go for. More than just a tracker, the 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 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. The only real down side is that there’s no built-in screen to view performances in the pool in real-time.

If you want heart rate monitoring in the pool, you’ll have to wait for the Moov HR Swim, a small Moov Now-like device in a swim cap. It was supposed to launch in 2017 but it’s looking highly unlikely it will drop this year.

Waterproof rating: 3 ATM (30m)

$79.95, | Amazon

Highly commended – Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

If you do want a swim-friendly tracker that will let you review your pool or open water performance, Samsung’s Gear Fit2 Pro gets our nod.

The feature-packed Fit2 Pro still has that gorgeous 1.5-inch curved AMOLED display and now adds waterproofing up to 5ATM so you can take it for a dip.

As far as swim tracking skills, it’ll record the usual metrics including lap time, lap count and stroke type. The big deal here is that Samsung has partnered up with Speedo’s ON swimming platform giving you an alternative place to analyse and drill into your data.

When you’re out of the water, it’s also in our opinion one of the best-looking fitness tracker/smartwatch hybrids to wear 24/7.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

Price: $199.99, |Amazon

Best of the waterproof wearables rest

If you’re happy to spend a bit more, you can pick up a waterproof smartwatch, sports watch that will still also offer those fitness tracker features you crave. Here’s some of our faves that we’ve tested.

Fitbit Flex 2

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

While the Flex 2 is no longer the only waterproof Fitbit you can buy, it is the most affordable option for swimmers.

The Flex 2 has water resistant to 50m in the pool or ocean 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. If you’re looking for a basic fitness tracker that’s good for the water, it’s a good one to go for.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$59.95, | Amazon

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

Like the Garmin Vivoactive HR the Vivoactive 3 delivers more of the same in the swim tracking department helping to make it one of the best all-purpose trackers for swimming out there.

The sporty smartwatch has a 5 ATM waterproof rating, is resistant to pressure at a depth of 50 metres and has a dedicated swimming screen in Garmin Connect, which collects data on distance, time, stroke, SWOLF, temperature, pace, speed and more.

The Chroma Display ensures you can view your real-time swim data under the water. There’s no open water swim tracking support unfortunately like you’ll find with more expensive Garmins. But if you spend most of your time in the pool, then it’s a strong option to go for.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

From $299.99, | Amazon

Misfit Shine 2

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

We’ve not been totally won over by the original Speedo Shine and the Speedo Shine 2, so it’s good news that the standard Shine 2 now inherits those swim tracking powers.

It does require a $10 purchase to make the Ray more pool-friendly but this does buy you swimming-specific algorithms that track laps and lengths as well as distance and calories burned.

Like the original Shine, this second gen tracker can be worn on the wrist or attached to your trunks, so it’s flexible as well as waterproof. Plus it carries a 5 ATM rating, which means it will survive continued immersion at depths up to 50 metres.

If you prefer something more stylish, the Misfit Ray is worth trying out but will also require that additional spend before you get the most from taking

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$79.99, | Amazon

Apple Watch Series 3

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

Apple’s new Series 3 takes all the good swimming abilities from the Series 2 and improves it with a better processor and a cellular connection, should you need to take a call in between laps. There’s also GPS, too. Apple’s pool and open swim tracking is some 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 third party swimming apps that support the added swim tracking features for more advanced insights.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

From $329, | Amazon

Fitbit Ionic

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

The Fitbit Flex 2 was until recently the only swim-proof fitness tracker in the company’s lineup, but it’s recently been joined by the Ionic smartwatch. The Ionic takes everything we loved about the Flex 2’s swim tracking and ups the ante with a very nice display, letting you to look at your statistics in real time.

It’s got five days of battery life, plus tactile buttons so that you can start and stop workouts while in water, so you don’t have to worry about messing with a wet touchscreen. You’re not going to get the most in-depth metrics possible with the Ionic, but it’ll do the right job for the most people.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$299.95, | 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. With TomTom leaving the wearable game, this looks to be its final entry on the list, which also means you should be able to pick it up cheaper soon.

Waterproof rating: 4 ATM (40m)

$129.99, | Amazon

Nokia Steel HR

The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool

The French company might have been taken over and rebranded by Nokia, but it still makes one of the best fitness trackers packed into a smart analogue watch body, and one of its skills is swim tracking.

The Steel HR is waterproof to 50m and while you can’t take advantage of the optical heart rate monitor in the pool, the automatic tracking software knows when you’ve jumped into the water and will put the exercise towards your daily activity goal.

Data is synced to the revamped Nokia Health Mate app and the 25-day battery life means you can get in a fair few swims before it needs to be powered up again. We are putting our finishing touches to our swim testing with the Steel HR, so for now you can check out our Withings Steel HR review to get a feel of what to expect.

Waterproof rating: 5 ATM (50m)

$191.41, | Amazon




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