Wearable tech with dedicated features to track swimming performance is in high demand. There’s no shortage of fitness trackers that are safe to take in the pool, but the majority of them don’t have dedicated features for swimming, such as stroke recognition and lap counting.
A few of these swim tracking wearables haven’t been released at the time of writing this, but they are due any time soon..
Without further rambling..
Best Fitness Trackers Built For Swimming..
The Garmin Swim is all about the pool. Apart from having an alarm and telling the time, all of its intelligence is geared for the water. You need to input the length of the pool you’re swimming in, then one press of a button is required to start tracking your session. The Garmin Swim counts lengths, but only in pools from 20 – 100 meters. It features automatic stroke recognition, and keeps track of stroke rate, strokes per length, pace, SWOLF (efficiency of stroke rate vs length) overall distance and calories burned.
The timer can be paused whenever you want, then a button press to continue with your session. The pause (Intervals) feature can be used when you need to catch some breath, or for interval training.
Garmin Swim comes with a USB dongle which enables you to connect to your PC or Mac and upload your data to Garmin Connect where you can analyze it in-depth.
Garmin Swim has a waterproof rating of 5ATM (50 Meters). It uses a replaceable coin cell battery which lasts up to 12 months.
Garmin Swim does not have an open water mode.
• Garmin Swim
The Moov fitness tracker has made some noise since its release in 2014 due to its rich list of features and low price. Moov has a minimal design on the outside but this nifty little wearable has advanced features for swimming, workouts, cardio boxing, running, walking and cycling.
It is equipped with a 9-axis motion sensor that recreates and analyzes body motion in 3D. Combined with software algorithms, this enables Moov to analyze your exact movements in space, and then provide detailed feedback about your different activities.
Moov’s advanced swimming features include: Number of laps, Lap time, pace, stroke rate, stroke length, flip/turn time, swim duration, fastest 100 meters/yards, interval times and how many calories you burn in the pool. Moov offers pro tips on how to improve your performance, and enables you to compare your stats against Olympic gold medal swims. It also allows you to share and compare results with the rest of the connected Moov community. As the Moov doesn’t have a display, you can’t see your stats until after your swim, unless you take your smartphone into the pool, which realistically aint gonna happen.
The Moov apps are compatible with iOS and Android. Moov has a water-resistant rating of 1 ATM (10 meters). It has a rechargeable battery that lasts for around 8 hours of active workout time.
Moov does not have an open water mode.
The new Moov Now is 44 percent smaller than the original Moov. The rechargeable battery has been replaced by a coin cell which provides up to 6 months of fuel – good news if you’re short on USB ports! It has a new and improved, breathable band, it’s more lightweight, and like the original it straps to either your wrist or ankle.
The Moov Now is designed to be an all-day device, whereas the original is only meant to be worn for workouts and sports. The new model features sleep monitoring, which is something the original lacked. The Moov Now also has improved Bluetooth syncing, and a new processor that’s double the speed of the original Moov.
When using Moov or Moov Now for running, walking and cycling, the Moov app uses your smartphone’s GPS data to provide real-time stats such as distance, speed and pace. However, you need to be carrying your smartphone to use the GPS data, so you won’t get these stats in the pool.
The Moov Now provides all the swim metrics of the original: Number of laps, Lap time, pace, stroke rate, stroke length, flip/turn time, swim duration, fastest 100 meters/yards, interval times and calories burnt during your swim. It features automatic stroke recognition – freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke and offers pro tips on how to improve speed and technique. You can also compare your stats against Olympic gold medal swims and share and compare swim data with the connected Moov community.
The Moov apps are compatible with iOS and Android. Moov Now is water-resistant up to 3 meters. It has a replaceable battery that lasts up to 6 months.
Moov Now does not have an open water mode.
• Moov Now
Swimovate PoolMate HR
The Swimovate PoolMate HR comes bundled with a waterproof chest strap heart rate monitor. Along with being your mate in the pool, the watch is also pretty clever on land as it can track your runs, walks, rides and keeps tabs on your distance, calories and heart rate.
The Swimovate PoolMate HR display is easy-to-read under water, it has adjustable contrast and is protected by Sapphire crystal glass. It features a vibrating alarm that tells you when you’ve reached your custom number of laps.
The PoolMate registers pool lengths of 18 meters and above, and automatically recognises four different stroke types. It will track your speed, strokes per lap, stroke rate, total distance, calories burned, swim duration, SWOLF and it tells the time.
When connecting the watch to via USB to the PoolMate Live software on your PC or Mac you get graphical analysis of your stats, progress and history. The down side is that the PoolMate software doesn’t come for mobile devices running iOS or Android.
The PoolMate has a rechargeable coin cell battery that lasts approximately 15 to 30 days depending on use, and takes around 2 hours to charge.
Swimovate PoolMate HR does not have an open water mode.
• Swimovate PoolMate HR
Swimmo is an exiting new wearable dedicated to swimming. The Swimmo Kickstarter campaign easily achieved its funding goal back in April – May, which isn’t surprising given the features it offers together with a decent price.
Swimmo features a built-in heart rate monitor which enables it to accurately track your calories and make sure your intensity levels are at the optimum level.
The PaceKeeper™ feature will keep you at a steady pace by vibrating when you exceed or fall below your range.
The IntensityCoach™ will make sure you stay in the correct heart rate zone and maintain the proper intensity.
The ShapeKeeper™ will make sure you optimize fat burn by keeping you in the correct heart rate zone. The aim of the ShapeKeeper™ feature is to get you burning up to 85% energy from fat
You can set swim goals, such as the amount of calories you want to burn, swim distance and duration. Swimmo will alert you of your progress with vibrations every time you reach a quarter of your goal.
Other features include: Strokes per length, lap counter, interval training, total distance, time, open water mode, and it functions as a sports watch on dry land.
Swimmo makes it easy to share your stats on Facebook and Twitter, and compare and compete with other users. Also, it enables you to sync your stats to popular third-party fitness apps, such as Strava, MapMyFitness, Endomondo, RunKeeper and HealthKit.
Swimmo connects to its companion app via Bluetooth 4.0 LE. The app is compatible for iOS and Android.
Swimmo is scheduled to ship to Kickstarter backers in October – November. You can still be one of the first to get it.
Developed by Misfit and Speedo, the Speedo Shine is raising the benchmark for fitness trackers. This is because it can do everything the Misfit Shine can do, i.e, steps, distance, calories and automatic sleep monitoring, but also has advanced features for logging your swim sessions. The Moov is very similar apart from it doesn’t do sleep monitoring.
The new Speedo Shine is waterproof up to 50 meters, it will count and record your laps with industry-leading accuracy and automatically detects every swimming stroke known to Speedo thanks to a 3-axis accelerometer and proprietary algorithms embedded in the firmware.
Along with advanced swim tracking features, the Speedo Shine will track your steps, distance and calories burned. It enters sleep mode automatically and provides analysis of light vs deep sleep, sleep quality and sleep duration.
The Speedo Shine has a twelve LED display which lets you know how close you are to achieving your goals and tells the time.
It has a lightweight modular design that can be worn either on the wrist or clipped onto clothing, and can be easily swapped between bands.
The Speedo Shine pairs with the Misfit app via Bluetooth 4.1. The app is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows, and Speedo’s swim tracking app will apparently be available in the near future. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters, and has replaceable coin cell battery that lasts up to 6 months.
Speedo Shine does not have an open water mode.
• Speedo Shine
The much anticipated Atlas has a bit of an unusual design as far as wrist worn fitness trackers go. The Atlas is being coined by its makers as the “ultimate Fitness Tracker”, but pretty much every company says that about their brand.
Atlas comes with a built-in heart rate monitor and aircraft-grade sensors that map your body’s motion on the X-Y and Z axis. 3D Body Tracking enables the Atlas to distinguish between many different exercises, such as triangle push-ups and regular push-ups, alternate bicep curls and regular bicep curls, dead lifts and squats, TRX training, and more.
Atlas is smart in the pool. It evaluates your swimming form and tells you which muscle groups are being strengthened. It also evaluates endurance, counts strokes and automatically identifies stroke type. Atlas features a 128 x 64 touchscreen display so it will deliver stats in real-time.
The Atlas uses bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect with its companion app. The app is compatible with iOS and Android, and enables you to sync your fitness data with popular third-party apps including MapMyFitness.
Atlas does not have an open water mode.
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
The Garmin Forerunner 920XT is a step up from the others and pretty much every other sports watch, and as you’d expect, so is the price.
Basically the Garmin 920XT has more features than an American club sandwich! It can be paired with Garmin waterproof heart rate monitors; HRM-Swim or HRM-Tri, or HRM-Run for dry land. It comes with Vivofit activity tracking features, such as steps, distance, calories, automatic sleep monitoring and Move Bar. It also brings GPS tracking and waypoints, elevation, smart notifications, Wi-Fi connectivity and more.
The 920XT has advanced features for swimming, running and cycling. As it’s a triathlon watch there is a Multi-Sport feature that enables you to change between sports with the press of a button.
The 920XT has a 1.1 x 0.8 inch 205 x 148 color display, so you can View your metrics while you swim. It features automatic stroke detection, stroke count, stroke rate, length count, pace, total distance and calories burned.
You can track your open water swims with the onboard GPS. Open water mode gives you the same metrics as indoor mode, apart from length counting.
Garmin are throwing in smartwatch features in their latest wearables, including the 920XT which delivers calendar reminders, call alerts, texts and emails.
There’s also a live tracking feature that enables you to invite family and friends via social media or email so they can follow your progress on a map in real-time.
The Forerunner 920XT connects to the Garmin Connect app via Bluetooth 4.0. The app is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows. It has water-resistance rating of 5ATM (50 meters), and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 40 hours in UltraTrac mode, 24 hours in training mode, and 4 months in watch mode.
• Garmin Forerunner 920XT
XMetrics has an obvious difference to the others on this page as it’s worn on the back of the head rather than the wrist. Wearing your swim tracker behind your head makes alot of sense as it means zero drag and interference. In the words of Francesco Quartuccio, co-founder of XMetrics ” We believe that wrist position is uncomfortable for a swimmer, moreover it is not the best position to gather precisely biomechanical swimming data.”
There are two XMetrics models – XMetrics Pro, and XMetrics Fit. XMetrics is a dedicated swim tracker with design input from pro swimmers. This wearable doesn’t bring sleep monitoring, step counting, etc, but it does bring pro-level performance data.
Thanks to its 9-axis accelerometer, XMetrics Pro can monitor every aspect of your swimming session with extreme precision. Real-time audio coaching means you don’t need to wait until you exit the pool to learn about your performance. XMetrics tracks Strokes, stroke frequency, lap times, turns, efficiency and breathing. It will also tell you how many calories you burned in the pool. The feedback you receive, training routines and goals can all be customized.
Swimmers and coaches can share data thanks to the XMetrics sharing platform which features: Third part integration, peer comparison, virtual competition, coach training sharing and social media integration.
XMetrics is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
An open water mode will be coming to later versions of XMetrics.
Find out more or get one now at the official website