Best Fitness Tracker for Swimming

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If you want a fitness tracker to take swimming with you, then not just any fitness tracker will do, you have to get one that’s designed for use underwater.  The good news is that there are plenty of options for you.  And to help you narrow your options down, we’ve handpicked our Top 5 fitness trackers for swimming that are out on the market today, and their reviews are coming up shortly.

We’ve also got a buying guide for you which goes through all the different things you might want to think about before you buy.  And following that, there’s also a brief section where we answer your most frequently asked questions.

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Best Fitness Tracker for Swimming - Comparison Table

Best Fitness Tracker for Swimming - Reviews

Garmin is one of the biggest names in fitness tracking - and they’ve out done themselves with this model.

The customer feedback on this model is considerably better than what Garmin has had with it’s earlier versions.  At the time of writing, the average customer rating on Amazon on this beauty is an impressive 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5.

This smartwatch was designed with swimming in mind.  It has a pool swim mode, which records distance, stroke type, pace, stroke count, and SWOLF (more on SWOLF in our buying guide).

In the open water mode you get all of those metrics and more besides, including stroke rate and stroke distance.

It also monitors your heart rate, and features some handy additional functions such as logging of drills and time rests.

When you pair it up with a smartphone, you get more functionality still, like your usual smartphone notifications, free online workout analysis, and custom workout creation.  You also get to join the ever popular Garmin Connect online community.

The battery has a great lifespan, but how long it lasts depends on what mode it’s in.  It will last up to 72 hours in pool mode, so that’s way more than what you’ll need.

Pros

  • Good, well established brand
  • Improved model

  • Designed with swimming in mind

  • Records distance, stroke type, pace, stroke count, and swolf

  • Records stroke rate and stroke distance in open water mode

  • Monitors your heart rate

  • Smartphone notifications

  • Free online analysis

  • Custom workout creation

  • Join garmin connect online community

  • Has gps for when your in open water

  • Great Battery Lifespan

Cons

  • Some customers have given negative feedback but this is rather thin on the ground, and the feedback for this model is considerably more positive than previous models

With these sophisticated goggles from Form, there’s no need to keep checking your wrist for your swimming metrics - you get what details you want right on your goggles!

The appearance of the metrics in your goggles stands out but is unobtrusive, and you will still be able to see clearly in front of you.

You can customize which metrics are shown in the goggles, and you can select from calories split times, stroke rate/count, pace per 100, pace per 50, and distance.

And if that wasn’t enough, you can also hook it up to a Polar heart rate monitor (sold separately).

It works with the FORM Swim App which you can download for free for either iOS or Android devices.  It’s a good little app for reviewing your metrics, and you can even sync your workout up to Strava, Apple Health and TrainingPeaks.  

The battery life is really good after a full charge, lasting a full 16 hours - you could swim nearly all day!

There’s a 1 year warranty available, and we think that’s pretty good for such a sophisticated product.

As a pair of generic goggles it's also good, with an adjustable silicone strap, chemical-resistant anti-fog, contoured silicone eye seals, and seven different nose bridge sizes.

Customer feedback is really good so far - on the Amazon page the average customer rating is 4 and a half stars out of 5.

Pros

  • No having to check your wrist
  • Metrics are unobtrusive

  • Range of metrics data collected

  • Hook it up to a polar heart rate monitor

  • Free form swim app

  • Sync your workout to strava, apple health or training peaks

  • Battery life is really good

  • 1 year warranty available

  • Chemical-resistant anti-fog, contoured silicone eye seals

  • Seven different nose bridge sizes

  • Great customer feedback so far

Cons

  • Not flip turn compatible

If you wanted to go for a Garmin fitness tracker for your swimming but didn’t want to pay out approx $200 for the Garmin Swim 2, then this is a considerably more affordable alternative.  In fact at the time of writing, Amazon has it discounted to under $100.

It’s proved a popular model amongst Amazon customers, and after well over 1000 customer ratings the average customer rating comes out a very positive 4 stars out of 5.

From the device you can set pool size and select your skill level.  When you get into the pool, your Garmin Vivosmart will autotrack your activity and display metrics such as number of pool lengths completed.  When you’re done it will report your swim duration.

It can keep track of a lot of other things besides, such as heart rate, stress tracking and GPS location.  The health monitoring tools it uses are very good, and after any workout your activities are pushed to Garmin Connect, Garmin’s ever popular online community, which enables you to review your activity and share details with friends.

As a smartwatch, it allows you to get vibration alerts for all notifications, including calls, text messages and more.

It’s quite lightweight for a Garmin watch, which is always a plus when you’re swimming.

The battery life is really good, lasting up to a week on a full charge.

Pros

  • Garmin quality at a reasonable price
  • Really positive customer feedback

  • Displays basic swimming metrics

  • Track your heart rate, location and more

  • Access garmin’s own online community

  • Get vibration alerts for all notifications

  • It’s lightweight

  • Really good battery life

Cons

  • Not designed with open water swimming in mind, just pool swimming

Fitbit again are another big name in fitness tracking, and this model, one of their latest is, we think, the best for taking swimming.  

And it’s selling super well at Amazon, with customer feedback proving very positive.  After well over 17500 customer ratings, the average customer rating is still at a superb 4 stars out 5.

This model is designed to be swimproof, and aspects that make it well suited for use while swimming are the large touchscreen and backlit display which automatically adjusts to the lighting conditions.

Wearing the watch at all times allows it to learn your resting heart rate, so when you start a swim or other workout, it can ascertain your workout zone, and calories burned.

The fitbit has a special mode, which is good, but the only swimming metrics it measures are distance swum and swim duration, so it’s considerably limited in this regard compared to say the Garmin Swim 2.

Being a smartwatch you get a lot more functionality than just fitness tracking, such as weather apps, texts, calls and notifications.  

Fitbit’s own health and fitness app is very good, lots of data and easy to use.

If you want you can also connect to smartphone GPS.

It takes a mere 2 hours to charge, and once charged will run for a full week.

Pros

  • Good, well established brand
  • Flying off the shelves at amazon

  • Designed to be swimproof

  • Measures heart rate, distance swum and swim duration

  • Being a smartwatch you get apps, texts, and calls

  • Connect to smartphone gps

  • Battery lasts a week on a full charge

  • Use with fitbit’s own health and fitness app

Cons

  • Records fewer swim metrics than competing devices
  • Keep an eye out for Amazon’s occasional discounts on this item, it’s sometimes available for under $100

This budget smartwatch from Willful is an absolute steal at under $40!

Better yet it’s compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones - no need to buy any special brand devices to hook it up to.

Although designed as a traditional fitness tracker rather than a swimming tracker per se, it has a waterproof rating of IP68, which means it’s no problem to take it swimming with you.

You can install it’s smartphone app, VeryFitPro, for free, and when you bind it with the watch you can access all your calendar, call, text and social media alerts right on the watch.  And the app is super simple to use.

It tracks your heart rate 24/7, so can identify your resting heart rate, and from that can determine things like what workout zone you're in, and from that in turn calculate calories burned.

It also has GPS, so if you wanted to extend your workout by cycling or walking to your local swimming pool you can determine distance travelled too.

It may not be able to track many of the metrics from your swim, but you can use some of the more basic functions to help with your workout, such as the timer and the stopwatch, and work on your swimming speed.

It only takes two and a half hours to charge, and then it can last for about 10 days.  Pretty good if you ask us.

And the customer feedback is surprisingly positive for a budget smartwatch - on the Amazon page for example, after well over 1500 customer ratings, the average customer rating comes out at an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5.

Pros

  • Bargain price
  • Compatible with both android and iOS

  • Brand’s own up is comprehensive and easy to use

  • Tracks your heart rate 24/7

  • Calculate calories burned

  • Has gps to determine distance travelled

  • Handy basic functions like timer and stopwatch

  • Relatively quick to charge

  • Really good battery life

Cons

  • Does not track swimming data, other than heart rate during your swim.

Best Fitness Tracker for Swimming - Buyers Guide

Waterproofing

The first thing you need to be concerned about with regards to buying a fitness tracker for swimming is just how waterproof it is.  

Waterproofing is best judged by the IP rating.  IP stands for Ingress Protection.  An IP rating consists of two numbers, the first number representing resistance to dust and the second number representing resistance to water.  Higher numbers correspond to greater resistance.  

For a fitness tracker for swimming, you need an IP rating of at least IP67 or IP68.  Anything lower than that won’t last long under water.

What data do you want to collect

You also need to decide what information you want from the fitness tracker.  For example, Many different types of fitness trackers can tell you how many calories you have burned.

If you wanted to just track your heart rate though, your best option may be a chest strap that alerts you as to what workout zone you’re in.   

Or if you just wanted to track things like your swim speed and how far you have swum so far, you can get special goggles that will display your metrics right in your goggles.  You may have noticed this option in our Number 2 pick earlier, the FORM Smart Swim Goggles.

And some fitness trackers, specifically designed with swimming in mind, and they will count your cumulative number of strokes, or even your SWOLF, that’s the number of strokes you should take to complete a length in the most efficient manner.

If the latter sounds like the one for you we can strongly recommend our Number 1 pick, the Garmin Swim 2.

How do you want to wear the tracker

As we’ve already touched upon, there are an array of different types of fitness trackers that you can wear swimming.  

Watches are the most common, but if you’re wearing swimming goggles anyway would you like to have your swimming metrics displayed within them?  Or would that get on your nerves?  

A waterproof heart rate monitor you wear on your chest can tell you when you’ve moved into a different workout zone, but would a chest strap hinder you on certain strokes?

Brand and cost

We decided to put brand and cost under the same subheading because they’re like two sides of the same coin.  The fancier the brand, the higher the cost, and premium products tend to come only at premium prices.

We’ve included some of the top fitness tracking brands in our Top 5 picks, for those enthusiasts for whom only the best will do, like our Number 1 pick, the Garmin Swim 2.  

And for those with a more modest budget we’ve also included a budget smartwatch fitness tracker.  It may not have quite as many bells and whistles to speak of, but it’s good quality and performs just as well.  If this sounds more like what you’re after, we can recommend our Number 5 pick, the Willful Smart Watch.

It may be of interest to you to learn that we considered adding Apple Watch Series 3 into our Top 5 picks, but decided against it due it’s extravagant price.  It works well underwater and there are a number of swimming apps available on iOS, but unless you’re already equipped with some Apple brand devices, you’re unlikely to invest in an Apple watch when a budget fitness tracker can do all you want it to.

Incidentally, the budget fitness tracker in our Top 5 picks is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.  So if this may be of interest to you please check out our Number 5 pick, the Willful Smart Watch.

Additional Features and Functionality

The vast majority of fitness trackers are capable of doing a lot more than just recording your swimming metrics.  Why not opt for a smartwatch that can pass on your texts and social media notifications like our Number 1 pick, the Garmin Swim 2.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Fitbits are waterproof for swimming?

We think that the best Fitbit for swimming is our Number 4 pick, the Fitbit Charge 3, it’s designed to be swim proof and can provide some basic swimming metrics.

In our estimation however it’s not the best fitness tracker for swimming out on the market at the moment, and we would strongly recommend that if you have sufficient budget, you go for the Garmin Swim 2 instead.

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