​The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming

​The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming

Fancy hitting the pool rather than the roads? Check out these top waterproof bands
​The best waterproof fitness trackers

For many people looking for a fitness tracker for swimming, the waterproof rating is the most important factor. IP and ATM standards – the obscure number that denotes how well protected your tech is against the ravages of H2O – are often hard to fathom.

Essential reading: Best swimming trackers and wearables

We've focussed on the devices that go above and beyond the IP68 rating, 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).

All of the picks we've selected have a rating of 1 ATM (atmosphere unit) or higher, which means they're waterproofed to to 10 metres of water 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.

So for those who want their fitness trackers waterproof, we present our ultimate guide.

Moov Now

More than just a tracker, Moov Now is about built-in coaching, which is designed to offer metrics on improving your swimming rather than just feeding back in it. Waterproof to 50m the new Moov app has a dedicated swimming mode, which you turn on before you leave the changing room. When you get back you'll get feedback on your stroke type, rate, distance and efficiency, as well as lap times and an overall indicator of your pool stamina.

Waterproof rating: 3m

Read more: Moov Now review

$59.99 pre-order ($99 standard price), moov.cc

Misfit Speedo Shine

Misfit's Shine can be worn on the wrist or attached to your trunks, so it's flexible as well as waterproof, it carries a 5 ATM rating, which means it will survive continued immersion at depths up to 50 metres. Look out for the soon-to-be-released Speedo Shine – a collaboration with the swimming apparel giant that boasts swimming-specific algorithms that track laps and lengths as well as distance and calories burned.

Waterproof rating: 5ATM (50m)

$69.99, speedousa.com | Amazon

Garmin Vivosmart HR

The Garmin Vivosmart HR just took the crown from the Fitbit Charge HR when it comes to advanced biometric fitness trackers. Yet in this list it's the 5ATM of waterproofing that's the icing on the cake. You can take it into the pool for heart rate tracked workouts which count against your daily goal, and get your notifications when you return to the locker room.

Waterproof rating: 5ATM (50m)

$149.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Polar Loop

Best fitness tracker for swimming

It's not perhaps as well known as some of its rivals, but the Polar Loop is functional, inexpensive and — mostly importantly — waterproof. A 2 ATM rating equates to the device resisting water at depths of up to 20 metres, and its makers have specifically approved it for swimming so you can take it into the pool without worry.

Waterproof rating: 2ATM (20m)

Read more: Polar Loop review

$69.44, polarloop.com | Amazon

Basis Peak

Best fitness tracker for swimming

The rugged-looking Basis Peak is a fitness tracker that values functionality over form, but it boasts a 5 ATM rating that means it can resist 50 metres of water pressure for a prolonged period of time. We'd hesitate to recommend the Peak for life out of the pool, but with such great waterproofing, the ability to broadcast heart rate data to other devices (such as the Moov Now) it's an option for swimmers.

Waterproof rating: 5ATM (50m)

$184.99, mybasis.com | Amazon

Garmin Vivoactive

Best fitness tracker for swimming

Garmin seems to take waterproofing more seriously than most other manufacturers, and this is the first of two devices from the company in our round-up. The Vivoactive has a 5 ATM waterproof rating — resistant to the pressure at a depth of 50 metres — as well as a dedicated swimming app, GPS, smart notifications and more.

Waterproof rating: 5ATM (50m)

Hands on: Garmin Vivoactive review

$244.95, garmin.com |Amazon

Mio Alpha 2

Best fitness tracker for swimming

The Alpha 2 is probably not a smartwatch you've heard much about unless you've been particularly looking for waterproof trackers, but it's water resistant to 30 metres (3 ATM) and comes with a host of monitoring features as well as a customisable display. Various timer apps are included so you can track your performance in the pool.

Waterproof rating: 3ATM (30m)

$199, mioglobal.com | Amazon

Garmin Swim

Best fitness tracker for swimming

If you're a serious swimmer and want to track your pool performance more than any other type of activity, the Garmin Swim is perfect. It tracks the distance you've covered, the number of strokes you've made, and the stroke type, and with a 5 ATM rating it can withstand continued immersion at depths of up to 50 metres.

Waterproof rating: 5ATM (50m)

Read more: Garmin Swim review

$147.99, garmin.com |Amazon

Finis AquaPulse

Best swimming trackers

The Finis clips onto your earlobe to monitor your heart rate which is turned into live readouts played via a bone conduction speaker on your temple. This makes it one of the only swimming devices to give you the same sorts of insights to your pool performance as runners get.

$129, finisinc.com | Amazon

31 Comments

  • davidac says:

    jawbone had informed me that the up 3 is not water proof but only splash proof

  • kat72 says:

    This information is good in theory but what about warranty information.  I have heard of some of these devices breaking when worn swimming or surfing and did not go beyond 2 meters let alone 10.  Also information on app interface would be nice since many are lacking.

  • Diverjake says:

    Hello,

    thanks for the infos, just a correction 2 ATM doesn't means 20m depth, it means 10m.

    2ATM = 1ATM at sea level + 1ATM at 10m depth.

    5ATM means 40m depth.

    I am a diver and I know what I am talking about.

    Cheers,

    Jake

    • DMFreeman says:

      Common misconception. I used to think the same.

      5 ATM (atmospheres) is 50m of water pressure.

      You're thinking of ATA (atmospheres absolute): where you add the water pressure (ATM) to the existing atmosphere above sea level.

      So 5 ATA would be 40m.

      They don't take these things diving, they test them in a water pressure chamber to simulate the 5 ATM, but if you were moving at that depth it would exert far greater pressure... so even the Garmin's aren't really tested to go to 40 or 50m.

      (Dive Master & Freediving Instructor)

  • SwimmingTony says:

    Bought the Polar Loop 11 months ago.  Battery Life between charges is WAY too short.  Only way to download to computer is via USB wire and now the connection between loop and USB fails so the download function no longer works and the loop itself is useless as the data "file" in the loop is full.  And try getting someone at customer service????  Not even one year old. Instead of perfecting the device, they've decided instead to make sure we can see what another Loop owner in Denmark is doing with their Loop instead.  Don't buy it.  

    • nelsongruber says:

      You can send the data to your iPhone or Android device via bluetooth. Also do a Factory Reset and you´ll have amazing battery life again. I´ve had mine for over a year now and I love it.

      I´m looking to buy a new one but only becuase I need Heart Rate when I´m swimming and the Polar Loop + H7 can´t do it.

      Hope it helps!

  • Cderickson says:

    the basis does not track swimming activity. Got one for Father's Day it's waterproof but doesn't track laps or any other functions while in the water.

  • JogBikeSwimGirl says:

    Don't bother with the Misfit Shine.  It does not stay in it's cheap plastic band,   nor will it stay in the expensive ones they sell.  It constantly pops out and will attach itself to anything vaguely magnetic.

    • Walker says:

      I agree. I lost a Shine with the expensive band and almost lost one with the cheap one. After complaining (a lot) to them, they sent me the sport necklace and that has done the trick. I wear it constantly, day and night, without any problems or near losses. It even tracks my steps better than with the arm bands because it isn't as dependent on arm swing. Of course, if I want to swim or bike, I have to wear a band or use the magnetic clip. 

  • lnewstadt says:

    Garmin Vivoactive any thoughts on this watch, pity it does not have built in heart monitor?

    • smileman says:

      Two ways to go with the waterproof Vivoactive: 

      a) activate the activity tracker to record time and then add the swim distance, estimated calories burned, etc later in the Garmin Connect web app, 

      or b) use the Vivoactive swimming with either a Scosche Rhythm + or Mio Link (although I've read mixed reports on how well the Mio works compared to the Scosche) to track your heart rate and get the accurate calorie burn from the swim.

  • onealioop says:

    I have the Misfit Shine. I love the waterproof and sleep and watch function. Tracking laps is non existant... tracking swim time is accurate. I concur with Jogbikeswimgirl, the bands are an issue.  Im on my third black sports band.  They pop out with catching on items sliding down your wrist. The magnet clasp works on shirts only. Feet and pants it pops off with centrifugal force. The bands with the metal bung work best. Plastic ones fail and colors weaken the rubber ring that holds it in place.  Anyone try the speedo sponsered one yet?

    • LMH says:

      thinking of getting one, could you not glue the thing into the band?

  • iAndy says:

    I have read loads of articles, I'm just after a good swim tracker! I think I have settled on Moov Now, claims to be a coach as well as tracker giving feedback on your swim stroke as well as the usual. It's available for pre-order now https://moov.cc/getmoov/C606B5A7B2

    • Swimmer says:

      Moov is total garbage. It has never once worked because there is simply not enough information on the screen to indicate that it is actually tracking anything. Every single time, when I synched to my phone after my swim, it was messed up. Total waste of money. 

      • Storm8 says:

        Works for me, tracks quite accurately only for the calories burnt which once was tracked as over a thousand calories for a 30 minute swim. After the recent update it's tracking about 700 - not too sure if this is accurate but it does count / recognize laps accurately.

  • LifeTrak says:

    • HueyDueyDuck says:

      Is it available? I walk against the current in a Lazy River pool.

  • sdanzger says:

    This is a really useful article.  I'm still having trouble figuring out an affordable solution that will enable me to track both my heart rate and workout with intervals.  Any suggestions?

    • j.stables says:

      TomTom Spark is worth a look.

  • Jayesh says:

    thanks for the info but pretty contradictory comments. Is there a latest scoop for these?

  • lynne says:

    I bought a Fitbit Flex and it was supposed to be water resistant to 1 meter but it's not. Water resistant according to the manufacturer help line is 'Splash proof' and even then not advised to be taken into the shower. 

  • nayers says:

    Just bought my husband the iFit Vue for Christmas.  It looked good initially, as it tracks steps and laps, but when he went to download the app everyone said that it was horrible.  any reviews out there on the iFit Vue?  if you were to recommend one of the above for him (former swim team member, would rather swim for cardio than do anything else), which would you recommend?

    • m.sawh says:

      Unfortunately, we haven't reviewed the iFit Vue. If I had to make a recommendation, I'd say the Garmin Swim or the Moov Now would be a good fit from this list. If you wanted something that's capable of heart rate monitoring in the water, then the Suunto Ambit3 Sport is worth considering as well (http://www.suunto.com/en-US/Products/Sports-Watche...

      Hope that helps,

  • TAT says:

    Enjoyed the article. I'm looking for something I can use in and out of the water. Swimmimg lap, aerobics and walking the dog. Recommendations?

  • moovover says:

    why is tech journalism so bad? Bought a mood now based on the review here - an utter rubbish piece of equipment. It is inaccurate on lengths and distance - one every 5-7 swims i smash olympic records according to this thing. And you cannot override the data. on looking on their forums available via their app i learn many have same/similar problems. Why is wareable not doing proper testing?? Are they just being paid by these companies.. Sloppy product and sloppy journalism. Waste of 100 dollars. recommend not to buy or trust the reviews on this site 

  • Strupo says:

    I bought the Garmin Vivosmart HR so I could track my heart rate while swimming. I was having issues with getting a good reading so I asked Garmin, and while the and is suitable to swim with, the heart rate feature does not work underwater. Just an FYI for anyone considering this band to use in the pool.

  • Tibor says:

    So guys, which one would you recommend? I`m doing swimming (interested in laps=distances mostly, others are welcome) and mostly running (distance, route would be nice too=gps if possible; calories etc.). But don`t want a sport watch...is there a band or like withings watch looking tracker at all?

  • Tibor says:

    Hi there,

    so guys what would you recommend as my activities are mostly swimming, running and working out, rarely volleybal.

    But I`m looking for accurate measurement, in an app is fine, no need for a display..

    I`m not looking for a sport professional watch, unless it looks cool as withings activite..

    Is there a tracker like that at all?

  • Kaydub says:

    Particularly interested in a waterproof tracker for swimming in an endless pool. Laps mean nothing. Looking for heartrate and calorie burn for durations of time. Any thoughts?

    • sedgy says:

      Not sure about how it would work but one of the garmins that are comaptible with their HRM swim/tri hear rate bands might do it these count strokes, laps (or not in your case) and the stroke you are performing, the open water app they have might prove better than the pool swim and just turn off the GPS.Alternatively wahoo do a HRM that works in the pool and then syncs with an app on your phone for HR and estimated calories take a look over at DC Rainmaker site for coverage of most of this stuff and more :)

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