Fitness trackers are all the rage at the moment. They are great for tracking steps, exercise minutes and help you grind for that next goal. For a lot of people, swimming is a big part of their exercise routine, and a waterproof option is absolutely essential. Lots of tracker manufacturers seem to forget about us swimmers though, and we know all too well the annoyance of having to remove your new fitness tracker every time you get in the pool.
Don’t worry though, we haven’t forgotten about you! We’ve searched around and found 3 great option for swimming that will let you log your water based exercise. Read on for all the information about the best waterproof fitness trackers.
What fitness trackers are waterproof?
A tracking device that’s waterproof will usually have a few common features that you should look out for. The first is obvious, they need to be water resistant. Most swim trackers will be water resistant up to 50 meters, which is plenty for pool or open water swimming. Some devices might require an adjustment before getting in the water, such as the Apple Watch series, which has a water lock, so watch out for this!
Another thing that is worth considering is the material of the watch band. Rubber is ideal for swimming, since water will just run off it, and it will dry in seconds. Some trackers have canvas bands, which are fine but will be probably take longer to dry out. A wet watch band isn’t the nicest feeling, so definitely think about the strap material before buying. Having said that, some manufacturers have clever canvas like materials that are quick drying.
The best waterproof fitness trackers will all advertise their water resistance or ATM rating, so you won’t struggle to find out which are water resistant.
Top 3 Fitness Trackers for Swimmers
Fitbit Charge 4
We’ve all heard of Fitbit, and for good reason. They’re one of the most popular manufacturers of fantastic, high quality fitness trackers. They took their time making a Fitbit that’s waterproof, but the Fitbit Charge 4 is definitely worth the wait.
For swimming, the Fitbit Charge 4 is a really good option. It’s water resistant up to 50 meters, which is more than enough for your pool or open water swims. The Charge 4 automatically tracks your swim session, recording the duration of the exercise and also the number of pool lengths you complete. You’ve just got to enter your pool length and the swim tracker does the lap counting for you.
After your swim, you can view a post-workout summary on the Fitbit app, to track your progress and your stats throughout the session. The Fitbit app is an intuitive piece of software, and really useful for the swimmer who’s keen on statistics and improvement. From the dashboard, you just tap on your most recent swim to view the breakdown.
You can swim with any stroke, but Fitbit recommend freestyle for the most accurate results. You’ll get feedback on swim lengths, duration, distance and pace with any stroke though.
Aside from being one of the best swimming trackers around, the Fitbit has loads of other great features for other exercises and general lifestyle stats. Firstly, the addition of GPS to the Fitbit is a great update to the range. It allows you to track running and cycling routes with ease, and importantly means you don’t have to take your phone out as well as the Fitbit. Having your phone in your pocket whilst running really isn’t ideal, and can get quite frustrating. GPS tracking is a big plus for this tracker.
You can view your routes clearly on the Fitbit companion app. The companion app itself is super easy to use, with big tile buttons so that you’re not constantly going through menus, and a clear, colourful display. The app also includes an interesting feature called Active Zone Minutes. This tracks the time spent at a heart rate that burns fat and improves cardio vascular strength. The goal is to spend 150 minutes per week in this zone, and the Fitbit tracker takes into account age and resting heart rate to calculate when you’re “in the zone”. A few different trackers have this feature, but not many make it as simple as the Fitbit does.
The Fitbit has a sleek and simple design, measuring 35.8mm x 22.7mm x 12.5mm. We think this a great size for a fitness tracker: it’s not too big to get into the way while exercising, but equally is big enough to clearly read and use the device’s features. It’s also super lightweight, thanks to the rubber band. You can also chose to have a woven canvas band, if that’s more your thing.
The device itself has an intuitive interface that won’t frustrate when you just want to get on with your run or swim. It’s a touchscreen device, with one button on the side, to turn the device on and off. You won’t need to be using this button much, since the Fitbit automatically wakes up when you raise your wrist. This is just another feature that makes the Fitbit stress-free and simple to use.
Overall, this Fitbit tracker is an affordable fitness companion that is packed with great, and more importantly, intuitive features. The included GPS and Active Zone features are big upgrades to the Fitbit range. As a swim tracker, this is up there with the best waterproof devices, and is great for both pool and open water swims. We highly recommend the Fitbit Charge 4.
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro is another fantastic fitness tracker with some innovative features that make it absolutely ideal for pool and open water swim tracking. The tracker is water resistant up to 5ATM of pressure, so around 50m of depth. Again, this is more than enough for length or outdoor swimming.
If you want to use the Gear Fit2 Pro in the water, you’ll have to activate Speedo mode. This is a simple process, and lets you enter the pool length that you’re swimming in, so that it can accurately track your lengths. Activating Speedo mode engages the device’s water lock, so make sure you do it! Samsung also recommend wiping down the device and cleaning it with fresh water, just to keep it running smoothly.
A great feature for budding swimmers is the device’s ability to do stroke recognition. The device will recognise the stroke type you are using, whether it’s breaststroke, freestyle or backstroke, and adjust its readings accordingly, giving real time feedback. This is a really great feature and ideal for the swimmer who likes to dabble in all the different disciplines.
The Samsung Health companion app breaks down your lengths, and gives you your best and average length speeds. It also reports on your pace and overall SWOLF score, which is a measure of how energy efficient you are in the pool. This feature is ideal for competitive swimmers, and anyone who wants to improve their efficiency and stroke quality.
If you have a Samsung phone, there is another app you can download to delve even deeper into your workouts. SpeedoOn is a wide ranging resource of workout plans, exercises and drills that can all help you in your improvement journey. Again, this is perfect for swimmers who compete, and will help them get that edge over their rivals.
The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro isn’t just a watch for swimmers. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist or gym goer, there’s plenty of features to keep you engaged and help you track your goals. The watch clearly displays the calories burned during the day and throughout your workouts. The timeline shows you when you’ve burned calories, and you can really see the effect of exercise compared to just sitting at home. This can also help you improve your efficiency and you can focus on the exercises that really burn the most calories.
Like the Fitbit we’ve already talked about, this Samsung has a built in GPS, which allows you to track runs and bike rides. Again, this is much better than having to carry your phone around every time you want to go out and exercise. You can view your completed routes on the companion app, and you’ll also be able to see your distance, average pace, and all the usual stats.
The Samsung Gear2 also has an accurate heart rate monitor, which competes with any other watch-based fitness tracker. However, this heart rate measurement has some interesting quirks, such as being able to turn the rate monitoring on and off, and adjust how frequently you’d like the heart rate monitor to take readings. This is a pretty cool function, and saves quite a bit of battery life if you don’t need your heart rate monitors on all the time.
A big advantage of a Samsung tracker is that it can be used as a great smartwatch as well as for your fitness needs. Perhaps the best part about the watch is the included Spotify app. You can stream music directly to your bluetooth headphones, and get your favourite bangers on for that gym grind. You can even download playlists to use in offline mode, so you won’t be relying on wifi only spaces to stream your music.
The tracker also displays notifications from your phone, such as Whatsapp alerts and texts. You get a quick preview of the message, so you can decide whether or not you need to get your phone out for an urgent reply. You can also answer calls with a simple swipe of the Gear Fit2 Pro’s decent sized touchscreen.
So to conclude, this fitness tracker from Samsung offers great functionality and compatibility with a variety of apps and services. It’s a great option in the waterproof fitness trackers category , and its stroke detection and stroke rate monitors are particularly impressive.
Garmin Swim 2
The Garmin Swim 2 is a dedicated swimmers watch, that is designed with the competitive and ambitious swimmer in mind. This tracker has some of the best swim orientated features, and you’ll be desperate to get in the water at any opportunity. The Garmin is the most expensive tracker on our list, but it offers unrivalled swimming capabilities.
The Garmin Swim 2 gives real time reporting on heart rate data and calorie burn, so you check it whilst you’re in the water and during breaks. The device has modes for both pool and open water swimming. Just activate the Open Water Mode if you’re training in lakes and oceans, and use the Pool Swim Mode if you’re jumping in to your local pool. Both modes record distance, pace, stroke count and stroke rate. The Pool Swim Mode also has an auto rest feature, which automatically pauses your workout as you rest, giving you much more accurate average paces and heart rates.
The built in GPS mode is particularly great if you want to track open water swimming. You can track routes and distances on the Garmin Connect app. The app has an attractive and intuitive layout and allows for deep analysing of your most recent workouts. You can also track and share routes directly from the app.
An interesting feature is the Critical Swim Speed, which lets you know when you’re swimming at your anaerobic threshold speed, which is when you’re really going to get results. It gives you alerts so that you know when to speed up or slow down to maintain the Critical Swim Speed. The device also tracks individual drills, such as sculling or treading water, so that you can really get down to business and work on what you need to improve.
The Garmin Swim2 isn’t just for swimming though, despite what its name suggests. This device is a full lifestyle tool, with general fitness tracking, step counter and even stress tracking. The stress tracking feature is ideal for a busy modern life, and lets you know when you need to take a break, and offers some calming breathing exercises to help. The battery life is also impressive and won’t need to be charged for the whole week.
Overall, we think that the Garmin Swim2 is one of the best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming, and will give you valuable feedback and performance updates, whatever your stroke type. Moreover it comes with a stylish, clean design that is suitable for all walks of life, not just in the pool. We definitely recommend this waterproof fitness swim tracker from Garmin!
Which Fitbit can be used for swimming?
Fitbit makes a few swimming watches that are suitable for jumping into your local pool with. The Fitbit Inspire HR, Fitbit Flex 2, Fitbit Versa 2 and the Fitbit Charge4 which we discussed in this article are all water resistant up to 50m and can be used foe swimming. There’s other options too, but it’s important to note that not every Fitbit sports watch is waterproof, in fact most aren’t. If you do want a Fitbit that’s suitable for tracking swimming, then make sure to check the specs.
What is the best watch for open water swimming?
If you want a watch for open water swimming, there’s a few things to look out for. You’ll want great heart rate monitoring and swim tracking. A good app that reports on your best swim workout, swim data, swim duration, swim distance and general swimming stats would be ideal. And of course you’ll want it to have a water lock mode, or some sort of capable water resistance and a decent battery life for long swims.