During a run, walk, hike or cardio exercise session of any kind it’s entirely possible to come into contact with many different elements. Just to list a few, there’s rain, sweat, snow, dirt, dust, water from a bottle or nearby source, and much more. That’s why it’s a good idea to spring for a waterproof — or at the very least a water resistant — fitness tracker when you decide to pick one up. This will ensure the device remains in working order, no matter what elements you encounter.
Related: See our list of Best Fitness Trackers
Problem is, there are so many devices out there on the market — some that even claim to offer waterproof bodies — it can be nigh impossible finding the best one. While we can’t tell you which one is the ultimate fitness tracker, we can offer you a small selection of the better models available right now. With any luck, you can use our list to pick out a device that fits your needs.
The Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers and Wearables
As you may have noticed, there are several different levels of IP certification which is ultimately the rating of dust and water resistance any given device has. For instance, IP68 devices — which is what we’re going to stick with — are at a level of 6 for dust protection and 8 for water resistance. What does this mean exactly? With diving too far into the particulars, a fitness tracker with an IP68 rating means that it can submerged underwater for up to three feet (a metre) for a select period of time. The time it can remain underwater is determined by the IP rating, of course.
Everything on this list has a rating of at least 1 ATM, which means they can be submerged in up to 33 feet (10 metres) of water and subsequent pressure.
Keep in mind — and this is where it can get confusing — just because the device is certified to be submerged underwater at that depth does not necessarily mean it’s a good idea to take it in your pool, in the shower or in the ocean. If there’s a device on this list that blurs the line in terms of water resistance, we’ll point it out to you. So, don’t worry.
These are some of the best waterproof fitness trackers and wearables money can buy.
The Basis Peak is one of the most exceptional waterproof fitness trackers around, but it’s also a bit more on the pricey side. It’s on the list because it offers a 5 ATM resistance rating, which means it can be at a depth of up to 164 feet (50 metres) for an extended period of time. That means you can use it for swimming in the pool or ocean, in the shower and obviously while you’re running in the rain.
It doesn’t hurt that the Peak offers a whole slew of tracking and fitness options, as well. All the standard stuff is available like calories burned, steps taken, and distance traveled. You’ll be pleased to know that the Basis Peak also tracks heart-rate and sleeping patterns too.
The Peak is $200 through the official site.
The Polar Loop happens to be one of the less feature-friendly waterproof fitness trackers on the market, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Of particular note is the 2 ATM waterproof rating which is reasonable for this type of device. That means it can withstand depths of up to 66 feet (20 metres) for a small amount of time.
If you’re wondering, yes the Polar Loop can be worn in the pool. That means swimmers can slap on this bad boy during their normal routines.
The Polar Loop is $110 by itself or $170 with a compatible H7 heart-rate sensor, through the official website. You might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.
The Misfit Shine is one of the most unique waterproof fitness trackers on this list. That’s because it can be worn pretty much any way you want. Sure, it comes with a wriststrap so that you can wear it like a smartwatch. However, the device itself is essentially a small clip that can also be attached to your belt, waist, pant cuff, sleeve, or even tucked in a pocket.
It has a 5 ATM resistance rating, which means it can handle a depth of up to 164 feet 50 metres. Of course, since it’s so small you could easily carry this little thing while you’re swimming, hiking or doing whatever. The durability and water resistance support means you don’t even have to worry about breaking it, provided you’re not deep sea diving or anything.
The biggest benefit of the Shine is that it includes a powerful battery life, of up to 6 months. It does use a physical battery — similar to a traditional analog watch — which means when the battery dies you’ll need to replace it. That said, it’s not like you’ll be doing it that often.
You can pick up the Misfit Shine for $100 through the official site.
The Garmin Vivoactive is one of the newest waterproof fitness trackers on this list, and also one of the most expensive. At $250 through the official site, you might have to save for a month or two before you can pick one of these up.
It offers a 5 ATM resistance rating, which — as you already know by now — means it can support a depth of up to 164 feet (50 metres).
You might also be interested to know Garmin offers a dedicated swimming app specifically for water based fitness tracking. The device includes GPS, smartphone notifications and of course all the basic fitness tracking options.
What’s special about the Garmin Vivoactive is that it uses a full color touchscreen display. Just take a look at some of the other devices on this list and you’ll see why that’s such a big deal. Most fitness trackers sacrifice a touchscreen display — let alone one in full color — to constrain to a budget.
If you’re looking for a waterproof fitness tracker that’s more in line with modern smartwatch designs, the Vivoactive is probably your best bet.
Runtastic claims the Orbit is waterproof up to a depth of 328 feet (100 metres) which puts it awfully close to a 10 ATM rating. You won’t find many other waterproof fitness trackers with a rating that high.
The Runtastic Orbit also happens to be quite a bit more bulky than some of the other waterproof fitness trackers on this list. If you can handle that, then it’s no big deal. It’s available in several different colors including blue, black and white.
It tracks everything you’d expect a fitness tracker to, from calories burned, to distance traveled, steps taken and sleeping patterns. All of this information is gather and analyzed through an excellent mobile app which offers contextual summaries. Long story short, that means you’re not just collecting data and storing it somewhere. The app actually tells you how you’re doing in terms of goals, where you can improve and even how you’re exercise sessions are going.
The Runtastic Orbit is $120 through the official site.
To be perfectly honest, the Jawbone UP3 should probably be at the top of the list of best waterproof fitness trackers. Unfortunately, it’s not available yet, and Jawbone has only teased a vague “soon” for the timeframe.
It’s here because it will include a 1 ATM water rating, which means it can withstand a depth of up to 33 feet (10 metres). To translate into layman’s terms, that means you’ll be able to take it in the pool with you when you go swimming. Jawbone’s current lineup of devices do not include this functionality.
Update: While Jawbone originally intended to create a waterproof band, it did not happen. The Jawbone UP3 is “water-resistant” not waterproof. You cannot submerge it in water.
As for fitness tracking, it’s pretty standard fanfare. The Jawbone UP3 will include the gamut of options from basic fitness info like calories burned, and distance traveled to the more advanced stuff like heart-rate sleeping patterns and so much more.
At launch, the Jawbone UP3 up will be $180 through Jawbone’s official site.
Alternate Waterproof Fitness Trackers and Wearables
As always, there’s no way we could make this list comprehensive enough to include all of the waterproof fitness trackers and wearables on the market. As such, here’s a quick list of some more notable devices you can check out, just in case you didn’t find anything in the list above.
- Mio Alpha 2
- Garmin Swim
- Garmin Vivofit
- LifeTrac Move C300
- TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch
- Jaybird Reign
- Instabeat Swim Monitor
- Polar V800