This list was updated for 2016, complete with updated info and new fitness trackers for swimmers.
Latest Update: August, 2016
Are you a swimmer that constantly spends your time in the water? Ever wonder if there are smartwatches or fitness trackers for swimmers you can use?
We wholeheartedly believe there’s a wearable for everyone!
It may take a bit of searching to find something, but there are plenty of fitness trackers for swimmers! In fact, there are so many types of wearables it’s not funny. Seriously. They even have wearables you can tack onto your pets.
The problem with being a swimmer is that most electronics cannot withstand extreme water exposure. There are smartphones that have a water repellent or waterproof body, but that doesn’t mean there are wearables that can do the same.
So many people have asked for a waterproof tracker or smartwatch, that we decided to put together a list.
Everything on this list of fitness trackers for swimmers can be used in the water, whether you’re planning to spend a couple hours or a whole day in the pool. Keep in mind, there are varying degrees of water resistance. We will mention if there are stipulations, such as when a certain device can only withstand an hour or so underwater.
The Best Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers for Swimmers
Most of these devices are straight up waterproof. That means they can be submerged underwater for a certain period of time.
Water resistance is difficult to define, because it varies for each device. Some models can withstand a splash or few drops, while others can be submerged but only for short periods of time. It just depends on the makeup and composition of the materials.
If necessary, we will explicitly state what each device can handle and what you can expect from them.
The Runtastic Orbit is one of the best fitness trackers for swimmers because it was designed to be used in the water. It can handle depths of up to 100 metres (328 feet) according to the manufacturers.
It can track a ton of stats like sleeping patterns, activity – distance, steps and calories burned – and more. It’s available in a variety of different colors too, so you’re not stuck with one shade.
Compatible with Android, iOS (iPhone) and Windows Phone 8, the Orbit is about $137. You can find it much cheaper on Amazon.
Speaking of fitness trackers for swimmers, The Garmin Swim is another device meant to be in the water.
It offers lap and swim-activity performance tracking and extra stat tracking. What else can it track? It will record the distance you swim, strokes, drill times, the types of strokes you’re doing and more.
As for the waterproof rating, it’s 5 ATM which means it can handle a depth of up to 50 metres (164 feet).
It doesn’t have smartwatch features, nor is it compatible with mobile devices. The Swim syncs with your computer after a workout.
The Garmin Swim is usually $150, but it’s currently available on Amazon for about $130.
Polar Loop and Polar Loop 2
The Polar Loop is not as well-known as some of its competitors like the Fitbit or Jawbone fitness bands. It should be though, because it’s an excellent alternative!
What makes it so great for swimmers is it has a waterproof rating of 2 ATM. That means it can go underwater up to a depth of 20 metres (65 feet).
It tracks activity, heart-rate (through sensors sold separately), swimming activity, caloric intake, and more. It can also act as a watch by displaying the time.
The manufacturers claim the battery will last up to 5 days of continuous use.
At launch the original Polar Loop was $110. You can find it super cheap on Amazon now, for about $60.
The Polar Loop 2 is identical, but it can also sync with a smartphone. If you’re keen on smartwatch features, it’s the model you’ll want to go with.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. This means it is completely protected from dust and can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter (a little over 3 feet).
While not suitable for deep ocean diving, it’s safe to shower or swim so long as you remain in the shallows. If you are doing laps, just don’t submerge it too deep.
It has a small OLED-display for notifications, alerts, and data tracking. It also includes a touchpad for navigation and controls.
It can track a bevy of fitness stats like heart-rate, distance, steps, and more.
The Mi Band 2 is inexpensive at $40 or so.
The Misfit Shine is a neat little wearable. The main unit is a small, versatile module.
It comes with a wristband in case you want to wear it but it can also clip to your belt, pocket or waistband.
The device has a 5 ATM rating, which means it can go underwater at a depth of 50 metres (164 feet). The rating is high enough that it can accompany you during a morning or afternoon swim.
It does not include a display, so it’s not like a smartwatch. It will not receive calls, notifications or messages either. The benefit of this is the battery can last up to 6 months of continuous use. That’s more than you can say for most wearables. Even the Pebble lasts for about 10 days max – though there are smartwatches that can last longer.
Data syncs through a mobile app, available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8. The Misfit Shine is about $60 now.
Keep in mind, there are so many colors and styles to choose from you might want to head to amazon directly to choose your model.
The Garmin Vivoactive is a more like a smartwatch. It includes native GPS tracking; something most devices do not have.
It can display calls, texts, emails and even social media notifications. Plus, it can track a variety of activities like running, biking, swimming and golfing. A dedicated swimming app will allow you to track your swimming routine stats.
It has a 5 ATM rating, which means it’s safe to go underwater up to a depth of 50 metres (164 feet).
The Garmin Vivoactive was $250, you can find it now for about $150. If you buy it in a bundle with the heart-rate monitor it’s $200.
Mio Alpha 2
The Mio Alpha 2 was pretty obscure at launch.
It does look a little strange, especially when on the wrist, but it has plenty of features especially for swimmers!
It’s a waterproof activity tracker – up to 3 ATM or 30 metres – and comes with a variety of features. It tracks heart-rate, calories burned, distance traveled, lap times and much more.
Data syncs via mobile, and you can customize the display.
The Mio Alpha 2 was $200, but now you can find it for half that price.
The Basis Peak is now dated, but it’s still a great device. The creators worried more about the fitness tracking features than the aesthetics. That’s a nice way to say it’s pretty ugly.
For swimmers, it has a 5 ATM rating, so it’s okay to take this bad boy underwater up to a depth of 50 metres (164 feet).
It is a smartwatch. It can display calls, notifications, emails, texts, and more. It can track things like sleeping patterns, heart-rate, calories burned and more.
The Basis Peak was $200 at launch, but you can find it much cheaper now – if you can find it.
LifeTrak Move C300
The LifeTrak Move C300 is also one of those fitness trackers for swimmers that’s obscure. Not many people have heard of it, but should that really matter?
It’s compatible with Android and iOS and includes a bevy of tracking features. It can track calories, steps taken, distance traveled and much more.
All information appears on the small LCD readout. The display type offers a low-power solution that should be sustainable for quite some time. It uses a standard coin-cell battery – like a regular watch – that can last for up to a whole year.
It’s submersible up to 3 ATM or 30 metres, which means it can withstand a depth of up to 98 feet or so.
The LifeTrak Move C300 is about $60, making it one of the cheapest options on this list.
Instabeat Swim Monitor
The Instabeat swim monitor is not a smartwatch. Technically, it’s not even a wearable since you don’t wear it on your person unless you’re in the water.
It clips onto the strap of your goggles and tracks swim routines. It can track stats like heart rate, calories burned, laps you’ve done, and more.
The coolest part is the information shows up on the lens of your goggles. Yep, it’s a HUD (heads-up-display) for swimmers.
The estimated retail price is about $150, but the device isn’t available right now. The first batch sold out quickly. The company expects to send another wave of shipments out in Q3, 2016.
You can still pre-order if you’re interested.
Fitness Trackers for Swimmers That Have Water Restrictions
When we created our list of fitness trackers for swimmers, we chose models confirmed – or reported – to have solid water resistance ratings. But some devices – like the Jawbone UP3 – launched with alternate ratings.
Instead of leaving them off the list, we’ll include them here. That way you can decide if to use them or not.
Keep in mind these wearables cannot go underwater. In fact, they probably shouldn’t come into contact with much water, if any.
Jawbone needs no introduction. The Jawbone UP3 is one of their latest devices
and the first to offer a waterproof design. Reports said it had a 1 ATM resistance rating, which meant it could go underwater at a depth of up to 33 feet (10 metres).
Despite reports, the UP3 ratings changed because the company could not meet these standards.
The UP3 is “splash proof” so it can handle a splash of water, but you cannot submerge it.
It does have fitness tracking features. It can track calories burned, distance traveled, heart-rate, sleeping patterns and so much more.
The Jawbone UP3 is about $180 through Jawbone’s official site.
Even More Fitness Trackers for Swimmers
There’s no way we could make this list comprehensive enough to include all of the waterproof fitness trackers and wearables on the market. What we can do, is offer a quick list of alternatives in case you didn’t find anything you liked in the list above.
- TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch
- Jaybird Reign
- Polar V800