Christmas is mere days away, and the pressure is on to find those last-minute holiday gifts. One of the hottest gift ideas this holiday season is a fitness tracker. Fitbit is arguably the most popular choice, but a Fitbit isn’t always the best option for someone. Depending on your budget and the type of physical activity your recipient engages in, you might find that a different brand of fitness tracker is the best choice. If you want to give someone the gift of good health, a fitness tracker is a good place to start. Plus, owning a cool fitness tracker is practically a status symbol these days.
Whether you’re looking for a Fitbit or a Fitbit alternative, there’s a fitness tracker in our guide that will make a perfect Christmas gift. Give one to your loved one, or pick one up for yourself and start burning off those extra holiday pounds. Read on to see our top five picks.
Need more help finding great holiday gifts? Visit our Gifts page for thoughtfully curated gift guides, or check out our Toys page for gift ideas for your kids. You should also check out our collection of long-format gift guides: Best Gifts for Women, Best Gifts for Men, and the Heavy Christmas List.
1. Best Fitbit Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Surge
It may be one of the most expensive fitness trackers on the market today, but the Fitbit Surge is also one of the few trackers that offers built-in HR monitoring and GPS. These extras are great for serious athletes, or anyone who is serious about getting into the best shape of their life. In addition, you can also get select notifications while you’re on the go. We like this wearable so much, we also featured this watch in our guide to the best GPS running watches. One really nice feature is the precise sizing. By offering three different sizes, it’s easier to get a perfect, comfortable fit.
That being said, Fitbit has been in the news multiple times over the past couple of years, due to user reports of skin rashes and other types of skin irritation. If you have very sensitive skin, you may want to consider other fitness tracker options.
Not sure if this Fitbit is the right fit for your budget or your activity level? Every person has different needs when it comes to fitness trackers, so check out our Fitbit comparison post to learn more about which model is going to be best for your unique needs. You can also check out our new guide to the best last-minute Christmas gift ideas, which features another Fitbit model that makes a great holiday gift.
Price: $199.89 (20 percent off MSRP)
2. Best Fitbit Alternative: Basis Peak Fitness Tracker
Looking for a fitness tracker that does most of what the Fitbit Surge offers, but for a fraction of the price? I’m partial to the Basis Peak. It costs less than the Surge, and while it doesn’t offer every feature that Fitbit’s top-of-the-line wearable does, the Basis Peak comes close. While the Peak doesn’t have built-in GPS, it does offer notifications, tracking for a variety of different types of exercise, a built-in heart rate monitor, and a long-lasting battery. The Peak interface on your smartphone is designed to help you slowly develop healthy habits, making it a great choice for those who are new to fitness, or trying to reboot their fitness routine after a long period of inactivity. I’ve tried a lot of fitness trackers while writing for Heavy, and the Basis Peak is the one I use regularly. If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that includes HR monitoring, looks something like a traditional watch, and offers swappable bands, this is a nice option to consider.
Want to learn more about this fitness tracker? Read our post comparing Fitbit vs. Basis to get more insight. Full disclosure: Basis provided us with a review sample of the Peak tracker earlier this year. If you want a more professional, polished look to your tracker, you can also consider the slightly more upscale Basis Peak titanium edition.
Price: $126.99 (37 percent off MSRP)
3. Best Smart Wearable: UP4 by Jawbone
Looking for a fitness tracker that brings a little something extra to the table? The UP4 by Jawbone tracks activity and sleep, includes HR monitoring, but also adds a very cool feature: mobile payments. Much like the Apple Watch, you can use this on-wrist tracker to pay for items on the go. Unlike the Apple Watch, the UP4 plays nice with both iPhone and Android devices. It’s also cheaper than the Apple Watch. The device’s smart coaching features are nice as well, though you may also want to peruse our guide to the best fitness trackers with real-time coaching before making a purchase.
You can pay from your wrist when you link your wearable to an eligible American Express card, which is a great feature for long-distance runners or cyclists who want to pack light, but want to have the option of buying bottles of water or protein bars along the way. If you want to learn more about other Jawbone fitness tracker models, visit out guide to Fitbit vs. Jawbone.
Price: $149.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
4. Best Fitness Tracker Jewelry: Misfit Shine
We’re singling out the Misfit Shine for it’s ability to be worn in multiple ways, but we could also single it out as the best budget-friendly fitness tracker on the market today. The whole line is very affordable, which is great for those with a very tight Christmas budget.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, many people with sensitive skin have reported issues when wearing a Fitbit tracker for long periods of time. If you have sensitive skin (or just like the look of jewelry), then the Misfit Shine is a nice option for you to consider. You can wear it on your wrist, or place the tracker in the elegant Misfit Bloom necklace. This alleviates skin irritation on the wrist, and also gives you a way to wear your fitness tracker at more formal events. Nobody wants to do black tie with a clunky bracelet.
The new Shine 2 is also a nice option to consider, if you have a little more money to burn. If you need a very low cost option for the holiday season, the Misfit Flash is a solid choice at just $19.99. Learn more in our guide to Fitbit vs. Misfit.
Price: $49.99-$99.99, depending on color and model selected
5. Best Fitness Tracker Bundle: Garmin Vivoactive With Heart Rate Monitor
While I’m personally not a fan of using a fitness tracker that’s paired with a chest strap-style heart rate monitor, many people prefer a chest strap’s proven accuracy over wrist-based HR monitors. For me, the strap is likely to become itchy or chafe during a long workout, but not everyone has the same sensitive skin that I do. If you’re shopping for a gift for a serious athlete, we recommend a fitness tracker that comes bundled with a chest strap for monitoring heart rate.
One nice bundle we like is the Garmin Vivoactive. You can buy it alone, or buy it bundled with a chest strap HR monitor. The battery’s charge lasts up to three weeks in watch/activity tracking mode, or up to 10 hours using GPS. The large colorful display is great for getting details about your workout while you’re on the move, or for managing incoming notifications.
Want more information about the whole line of Garmin trackers? Visit our guide to Fitbit vs. Garmin, and see how various Garmin products stack up against comparable trackers from Fitbit.
Price: $229.99 (23 percent off MSRP)
Still not sure what fitness tracker is right for you? We’ve compared Fitbit, the leading fitness tracker brand, against a huge array of competitors. Check out our posts comparing Fitbit vs. Jawbone, Fitbit vs. Basis, Fitbit vs. Garmin, Fitbit vs. Misfit, Fitbit vs. Mira, Fitbit vs. Microsoft Band, Fitbit vs. Sony SmartBand and Fitbit vs. Withings.
Shopping for Christmas gifts at the very last minute? Check out our guide to the best last-minute Christmas gifts and get some great gift ideas.