The worst thing that could happen to you if you are a triathlon athlete is guessing the number of laps you have done of the miles you have run. You don’t want to lose count.
The best way to know how much accuracy you have achieved is to get yourself a sports watch. The best triathlon watch will effectively measure the swimming, running, and biking metrics. But what more do these watches offer and what should you look for to get the perfect one for all your needs?
Best Triathlon Watch 2018
|Features||Garmin Forerunner 935|
|Garmin Fenix 5||Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR||Garmin Forerunner 735XT|
|Data transfer||USB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFi||USB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFi|
(Sapphire version only)
|USB/Bluetooth Smart||USB/Bluetooth Smart||USB/Bluetooth Smart|
|Case Size||47 x 47 x 13.9 mm|
1.85 x 1.85 x 0.55 in
|47 x 47 x 15.5 mm|
1.85 x 1.85 x 0.61 in
|50 x 50 x 16.8 mm|
1.97 x 1.97 x 0.66 in
|45 x 45 x 12 mm|
1.75 x 1.75 x 0.47 in
|37 x 56 x 12.7 mm |
1.46 x 2.2 x 0.5 in
|Weight||49 g / 1.72 oz||85 g / 3 oz||74 g / 2.61 oz||40.2 g / 1.41 oz||79 g / 2.79 oz|
|Wrist heart rate||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Battery life||GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours||GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours||GPS/HR mode: Up to 8 hours||GPS/HR mode: Up to 12 hours||GPS/HR mode: Up to 13 hours|
|Waterproofing||Yes - 50m||Yes - 100m||Yes - 100m||Yes - 50m||Yes - 30m|
1. Garmin Forerunner 935 – An Ironman’s Best Watch for Triathlon 2018
This particular watch is one of Garmin’s best watch ever released. It is loaded with lots of features unlike any other. The watch features a thin construction, which is lightweight and with its excellent battery life, maximum of 24 hours while using GPS, you can go about your exercise without losing track of the time and the number of laps you have done. All its features are geared towards helping you race, train, and make an analysis of your activities.
The Garmin Forerunner 935 can help you keep track of the distance or speed and the number of strokes while you are swimming. During a run, it gives you an analysis of the cadence, the pace, and the distance covered. Other activities it can help you with include golf, skiing, paddling, course, and cycling. It is compatible with chest-trap HRM and can track your heart rate on the wrist.
Better still, you can download data over Wi-Fi or connect to third-party apps to add more fun to your workouts.
If you are a serious athlete and you need a watch that can easily switch between swim, run, and bike, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is your watch. It will let you know if it thinks your exercise is sufficient, or if you are not trying hard enough.
2. Garmin Fenix 5 – Best Garmin Watch for Swimming and Cycling
The Garmin Fenix 5 watches are available in a variety of finishes and colors with more types of accessory bands provided. You can choose to go with a leather or a silicone band. The watch comes with many features including sapphire lens, routable cycling maps, Wi-Fi connection as well as other navigation features. It is water resistant to a depth of up to 100 meters, which is a guarantee of ultimate performance for swimmers.
The watch can make a track of your steps, the oscillations and ratio, sleep, stress test, the length of your strides, lactate threshold and many more. Its built-in navigation sensors include both GLONASS and GPS, which is much more suitable for tracking in environments that are challenging as opposed to the gyroscope, barometric altimeter, compass, and the GPS alone.
You can also view calls, texts, or email notifications on its display. Better still, you can add additional widgets and data. The elevated heart rate monitors will show you how far you are in terms of calories burned as well as quantifying the how intense your workout is.
The Wi-Fi connectivity incorporated into the watch allows you to automatically upload your activity directly to your Garmin connect when you are within the connectivity’s range. With all these features, if your activity includes golf, paddling, running or brisk walking, climbing, skiing, cycling, and hiking, the Garmin Fenix 5 is your watch.
3. Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR – Best Suunto Watch for Triathlon
The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is the best watch for anyone who partakes in most of the outdoor activities that call for distance, speed, and the measuring of the heart rate. It gives other types of sports watches a run for their money, and although its battery can last for only eight hours, it can hold up for most of the activities. The heart rate monitor doesn’t require any chest strap and for a better result, it can be paired with a Bluetooth heart rate sensor.
It features a durable construction of steel bezel, water resistance for up to 100 meters, and a mineral crystal glass. You can, therefore, wear it comfortably for outdoor sports indoor swimming while comfortably getting all the necessary tracks you need to make. Its training insights will give you feedback planning, progression, recovery, as well as the training load.
What makes the watch stand out is its ability to customize the training metrics to suit personal preferences. With a quick press of a button, you can switch the modes from swim to bike to run. The screen itself is incredibly vivid with a high color display, which is ideal even for use where there is direct sunlight. With all these features, you wouldn’t want to get anything else.
4. Garmin Forerunner 735xt – Best Triathlon Watch for Beginners
The Garmin Forerunner 735 watch is a hardcore type of triathlon device that packs all the features any sports lover wouldn’t dare miss. You have two buying options; you can buy a standalone unit or a tri-bundle, which includes the advanced HRM Swim and Tri chest straps.
The HRM swim can be used with pool swimming and is chemical resistant. It even comes with suction power to aid in ensuring it stays in place throughout the activity. The Tri bundle turns the Garmin Forerunner 735 into one of the most desirable units with comprehensive tracking packages. This, however, doesn’t mean that the watch isn’t sufficient on its own to carry out all the necessary metrics that a triathlon watch would.
So, who exactly is the watch for? The watch is suitable for you if you actively engage in running, cycling, and swimming. The running mode gives you insight and easy access guide on your wrist. For cycling, it is compatible with Vector for easy tracking and measurement. In addition to the three modes, the watch incorporates multi-sport that helps you make a switch between metrics and data screen. This can be done through the push of a single button.
The watch is small, thin, and lightweight, making it easy to remove from a wetsuit easily. As a result, it makes it a perfect watch with a good value for money.
5. Polar V800 – Best GPS Sports Watch for Triathlon Training
Packed with beautiful functions, the Polar V800 comes with a design that makes it one of the high-quality fitness trackers on the market today. The watch is well optimized with multi-sport and it boasts scratch resistant lens with high contrast screen, for better visibility in all lighting conditions. Also incorporated into the watch is a GPS navigation system to help you in your biking or hiking expeditions.
Polar V800 has been equipped with an integrated barometric altimeter, which can track your uphill and downhills when cycling. Together with the GPS system, you get a perfect unit that will track your performance and speed while running or cycling. The watch will effectively count your steps, map your route, and distance among other features.
Other of its greatest selling points include the possession of easily customizable user profiles, for about three triathlon laps and efficiently moves one sport to the next as it beautifully records all of your performances as well as the time it takes you transition from one mode to another. This is an elegant characteristic that makes it an apt workout system and guide for both seasoned and those athletes starting out on triathlon watches.
Worried that the watch doesn’t have some of the smart features? The Polar V800 comes with an incorporation of a smart Bluetooth H7 heart rate sensor, which promises accuracy in terms of BPM checking as you train or when you are swimming. It is also waterproof for a depth of up to 30 meters. As such, it can perfectly monitor wide range pool activities.
Best Triathlon Watch – Buyer’s Guide
There are many options available for triathlon watch for every type of athlete. What is important to keep in mind is that whichever watch you buy, it should withstand most of the challenges and the elements you face during your workout including water, sweat, and dirt. Also, the watch should optimally meet all other needs it is required to fulfill.
The choice can be overwhelming even for those who have bought them before. Luckily, the following guide will help you make a decision you won’t regret later. Although you might not need all of the features mentioned below, it is worth considering, as the more a watch has, the more you will get out of it. You will have plenty of time to focus on your workout than messing up with the watch.
What is Triathlon and a Triathlon Watch?
Triathlon is a multiple-stage competition that involves the completion of three progressive and continuous endurance activities. Most prevalently, the sport involves cycling, swimming, and running at short intervals over many distances. Participants of this sport compete for the fastest course time completion as they transition between swimming, running, and cycling.
A triathlon watch enables you to track your changes and make an analysis of all the physiological processes triathletes go through. It monitors the heart rate, calories, steps, number of laps you have done among others. The watch also helps you make perfect navigations and follow trails while you are hiking, cycling, or skiing. Some will allow you to connect to the internet and synchronize or save your stats and data online.
Things to Consider While Buying Triathlon Watch
This is one of the key features to consider in a triathlon watch. A watch with this characteristic will make it simple to transition from one activity to another. The watch will allow you to switch modes simply by the push of a button. This transitions it from running to cycling or swimming. How it does this also involves the marking of the split in time as it transitions to another sport. Later on, you can review the information. During the transition, the display also changes to the mode you choose, for example, the changes in speed from miles an hour to miles a minute when you change it from cycling to running.
Other watches do not have this feature and they involve manual stopping of the activity, configuring the settings, and starting a new profile for every transition. These types of watches will waste much of your exercise, they are cumbersome and you will lose the ability to review the whole workout as a single post-race activity.
The quick release is particularly helpful for those who want to move the watch from their wrists to the bike. Not all of the watches available on the market have this feature, and its importance, however, depends entirely on your needs. But you should know that if you actively engage yourself in cycling, this feature is a must-have for better tracking.
If you care less about glancing at your watch on the wrist while you ride, a quick-release feature won’t be such a big deal. The good thing is that you can purchase a foam handlebar mount and strap it on. This might take a bit longer to get it working, but it is worth it.
Every triathlon watch must be waterproof, that is apparent. But is it enough? Some have an ATM rating of a depth of up to 100 meters. However, the watch is no use if it is water resistant, but will not do or achieve much under water. The watch should track the distance, show all the swimming metrics apart from showing you the stroke count. All this can happen while the watch is firmly on your wrists. With a little sophistication, the watches monitor the pool laps, and far from counting your strokes, it can show you the particular type of stroke you are using.
If you are unlucky and you don’t have a watch with swim features or water resistance, but you have GPS, you can put the watch under your swimming cap to get better tracking. This keeps the watch above the water to ensure that the GPS signal is not lost. Normally, when the watch is worn and you submerge yourself in under an inch of water, the GPS is lost.
Another important factor to give a priority is the battery life. Nothing is infuriating more than a triathlon watch that dies on you while you are in the middle of your workouts. Get a watch that comes with sufficient battery life that is longer than your daily exercise routine.
Battery life is particularly important during competitions. If the battery comes with an impressive life, it will enable you to engage in several activities without having to give up in the middle to go and recharge the unit. A flawless session allows you to train more effectively and keep a perfect track of how you are faring on.
Connectivity with Workout Accessories
Compatibility with other fitness accessories is one important consideration that you shouldn’t pass up. Some watches have multi-sport features but aren’t compatible with heart rate monitors, speed sensors, or the cadence. These features are some of the most important in a triathlon watch. Some watches, however, have Bluetooth sensors heart rate monitors that are compatible with other smart devices like phones and tablets.
To keep a complete track of changes in your workouts, calories, and other important metrics, you need a watch that allows you to store everything online. This calls for data connectivity. Some have Wi-Fi connections while others do not. Those that allow internet connectivity will enable you to upload the data to either a fitness app or an online account.
With an online account, you can evaluate your performance and even share most of your achievements with your family members or friends through the social media. Again, this feature is highly dependent on you. It might not be such a great deal if you don’t need it.
Do triathlon watches have a specific water resistance power?
Most triathlon watches are water resistant. However, it doesn’t mean that they are ideal for all water activities. For example, there are some that are fit for use both in pools and open waters like the Garmin Fenix and Forerunners. On the other hand, others are only compatible for use in pools only.
How long should the battery life last?
Most of the time, this feature is highly dependent on the number of features the watch has as well as how you use it. If a watch can perform multiple functions at the same time, the battery life will only run out faster than if it only does a single function. This is also to say that a watch that has few features will last way longer.
Which type of watch is better suited for measuring speed/pace/cadence?
A good number of these sports watches have this feature. They can perform several functions including monitoring the heart rate, the speed, cadence, pace, strokes in swimming, and steps among others. They can also connect to other fitness applications. Any of these types of triathlon watches will suffice in what you need.
While the options of having the best triathlon watch are almost limitless, none of them are the same. From the above-discussed watches, you can tell that the features are different, but are all tailored towards making your workout a success. One with many features like the Garmin Forerunner 935 is suitable for most activities in comparison with one that has only a few features.
It is thus mandatory to search for relevant information in terms of what you are looking for. The above guide and review, hopefully, has helped you reached a conclusion in terms of your preferences, the functionality, efficiency, and the type of activity you are engaged in.