Garmin has a strong reputation for reliability and dependability in the fitness world. Whether you enjoy running, cycling, swimming, or a variety of sports, you can find a Garmin device to help monitor your heart rate and keep track of your fitness. Depending on your budget and preferences, you may find a basic heart rate monitor strap or a heart rate monitor watch with a number of different features. For example, some watches track distance and pace, and can help you identify personal records or determine what your next goals should be. If you’re looking for a reliable Garmin heart rate monitor, these models are a safe bet.
1. Garmin Forerunner 920XT Bundle Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Training for a triathlon? This Forerunner model is specifically designed for swimming, running, and cycling. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this heart rate monitor on your next run or bike ride. The watch offers much more than accurate heart rate monitoring. For starters, it offers a V02 max estimate to help keep you training at the most appropriate level. Other helpful features include a recovery advisor and race predictor. Swimmers will appreciate the swim distance feature along with stroke count and stroke type identification as well as rest timers and drill logging.
- Ideal for triathletes
- Accurate heart rate monitoring
- Race predictor
- Initial learning curve
- Requires occasional firmware updates
2. GARMIN Forerunner 220 Watch HRM Bundle
A comfortable and lightweight design makes this Garmin GPS running watch a great choice for different types of athletes. A soft strap heart rate monitor offers an accurate assessment of your heart rate throughout a training session, providing heart rate data for each workout. There’s also a built-in accelerometer that helps to keep track of the pace and distance, even if you’re running on a treadmill. Users appreciate the high-resolution color display, which lets you see important information at a glance. Not only does this watch track distance and pace, it also identifies personal records.
- Includes soft heart rate monitor strap
- Comfortable, lightweight design
- Tracks distance and pace
- Not waterproof
- May freeze periodically
- Bluetooth connection sometimes drops
3. Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor (Soft Strap)
Looking for a separate heart rate monitor? This Garmin monitor features a soft elastic strap with adjustable sizing, ensuring it will fit athletes of all sizes. It is designed to be worn around the chest. The monitor wirelessly transmits your heart rate data to a compatible device, providing you with instant updates and feedback. After you pair the monitor with your device the first time, it will automatically recognize it during subsequent uses. If you need to wash the strap fabric, simply remove it and wash it by hand as needed.
Price: $42.44 (39 percent off MSRP)
- Adjustable sizing
- Soft elastic strap
- Transmits data to compatible devices
- Parts of the strap can cause chafing
- Battery can drain quickly if not disconnected after use
- Can take awhile to begin reporting data
4. Garmin Forerunner 310XT Waterproof USB Stick and Heart Rate Monitor
If you’re looking for a waterproof heart rate monitor watch, this Garmin model is a solid choice. Although it’s one of Garmin’s older models, the 310XT continues to be a highly popular choice among athletes. This watch is waterproof up to 50 meters, meaning you can take it for a swim if desired, or at least wear it outside during inclement weather. The watch accurately tracks data from your runs and bike rides and sends it wirelessly to your computer. In addition to having a heart rate monitor, this watch stands out for its ability to track pace, distance, and position. You can generally count on using the watch for 20 hours before needing to recharge.
Price: $179.95 (40 percent off MSRP)
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
- Wirelessly sends bike and run data to computer
- Battery lasts up to 20 hours
- Lacks a designated swim mode
- A bit bulky
Find more Garmin Forerunner 310XT Waterproof USB Stick and Heart Rate Monitor information and reviews here.
5. Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
This fitness band gives you a lot of vital information about your workout and fitness level while retaining a sleek and modern design. One notable feature is the move bar, which reminds you to remain active during the day by displaying a red move bar if you’ve been inactive for one hour. You can also customize it to alert you if you’ve been inactive for 15 minutes. The band is water resistant and is comfortable enough to be worn on the go. Other perks include a generous battery life — the battery can last up to a year — and a display that’s easy to read. Once the Vivofit is familiar with your activity level, it will give you a personalized goal each morning. It also counts calories during the day and monitors the quality of your sleep via sleep mode.
Price: $109.99 (35 percent off MSRP)
- Inactivity alerts
- Slender design
- Water resistant
- Some users complain of syncing issues
- Lacks a backlit display
- Clasp tends to come undone
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