Swimming is one of the best low-impact cardiovascular exercises you can do to keep your entire body in tip-top shape. Those who track their fitness don't want to guess how much they're working out in the pool; they want to know. Maybe you want the best Fitbit for swimming that will give you the deets about your routine in the water because it all counts.
The thing is, Fitbit isn't the only game in town. Other companies want to help you track your water workouts too, and they have some great products. If you love the Fitbit name, we'll tell you which one is the one you want to wear in the pool. But we don't want you to discount the competition. We break it all down, so all you have to do is peruse, choose, buy, and swim.
Questions About the Best Fitbit for Swimming
To pick the best Fitbit for swimming, some questions need answering. You want to make sure the fitness watch you choose fits not only your swimming needs but all your other needs too.
What features should it have?
The best Fitbit for swimming should be waterproof. It should also have a clear display, so you can read it when wet. You want your swimming fitness watch to count every stroke you make in the water, no matter what it is. From treading water to laps, you want every movement in the water added to your fitness count for the day. Your ideal watch has to do that for you.
What is a swimming fitness tracker?
A swimming fitness tracker is a fitness tracker that tracks your movements in the water. Just like your fitness watch tracks your steps when you're on a hike up the mountain or around the neighborhood, a swim tracker takes note of those fitness moves as well.
How does it work?
Fitness trackers monitor your heart rate and your movements, using sensors built into the device. The only difference with a fitness tracker for swimming is the waterproof exterior. It still uses your movements and your heart rate to calculate your calories burned. It can tell when your body is in motion through the water. Of course, the better the quality of the watch, the more accurate those numbers are.
Where can you buy the best Fitbit for swimming?
You can buy Fitbits in lots of places, including the Fitbit website, Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Dick's Sporting Goods. Anywhere you can purchase fitness gear will most likely have Fitbit watches available. They may not offer every model, though, so if you're not shopping online, call before you head to the store.
How much do Fitbits cost?
The best Fitbit for swimming will vary in price, depending on which model you buy and where you make your purchase. You can expect, though, to spend anywhere from $110 to $300.
How We Reviewed
To give you the best information possible, we chose the top three Fitbit watches for swimming, according to fitness watch reviews, customer ratings, and Fitbit's own opinion. Just so you know what all is out there, we looked beyond Fitbit to other swimming watch manufacturers.
We compared what Fitbit had to offer to other popular fitness watches to come up with options from which you can choose.
Overall Price Ranges for Fitness Watches for Swimming
If you decide on a waterproof fitness watch that only monitors your heart rate to track your calories burned, but not your actual swimming strokes, you could spend as little as $30 to $50. The higher end swimming fitness trackers with all the bells and whistles could run $100 to $600.
Best Fitbit for Swimming
There are quite a few Fitbits to choose from, but we're talking about the best Fitbit for swimming. Three stood out among the top.
- Start dynamic personalized workouts on your wrist with step-by-step coaching. Syncing range: Up to 30 feet. Certain features like smartphone notifications may require Android 5.0+. Syncs with Mac OS X 10.6 and up, iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 gen. and later, Android 4.4 and later and Windows 10 devices
- Store and play 300+ songs, plus download playlists from Pandora
- Use built-in GPS/GLONASS to track pace, distance & routes and get Pure Pulse continuous heart rate tracking & real-time zones
- Package includes both large and small size bands for the perfect, comfortable fit for all-day & all-night wear
- Access your favorite apps for sports, weather & more and make payments on the go with a built-in NFC chip. Durable screen - corning gorilla glass 3 is tough and damage resistant
The Fitbit Ionic has a flexible band, typically used for sports watches. The buckle is aluminum, and it's water resistant to 50 meters. Fitbit suggests that you dry the band after you swim, but it does have the technology to track your workout in the pool. It will keep track of your calories burned, how long you swim, and it will also count your laps.
Some other aspects of the Fitbit Ionic are a color LCD touchscreen, GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, and altimeter. The watch automatically syncs up to computers, iOs, Android, and Windows devices by Bluetooth technology, and will hold its battery life up to four days.
Although it's listed as one of the best by Fitbit, customers on Amazon gave the Fitbit Ionic 3.6 out of 5.0 stars. That rating doesn't seem to match the $250 to $300 price tag.
Customers were annoyed that this watch stopped working after a short time. They said the watch not only had a lot of bugs, but the battery life was dismal. On the other hand, customers who loved it said it's easy to read, accurate, keeps track of everything, is perfect for swimmers, and is stylish.
- Better measure calorie burn, understand resting heart rate & more with 24/7 heart rate tracking and a battery life of up to 7 days (varies with use and other factors)
- Choose from 15+ exercise modes like run, bike, swim, yoga, circuit training and more, set a goal, and get real-time stats during your workouts to see how you can keep getting better
- Automatically record time spent in Light, Deep and REM sleep stages and see activity trends, health insights and personalized guidance in one place with Fitbit Today
- Swim proof and water resistant to 50M so you can track swims and wear in the shower. Also connect to smartphone GPS for real-time pace and distance during outdoor runs and rides
- Stay connected to your day with everyday apps for weather and more and get call, text and smartphone app notifications on your wrist. Small wristband Fits a wrist between 5.5 - 7.1 inches. Large wristband Fits a wrist between 7.1 - 8.7 inches
The Fitbit Charge 3 is a bit more slender than the Ionic and is perfect for all activities. You can choose from over 15 exercises to track, including swimming, and it's water resistant up to 50 meters. It automatically tracks your swim and records your stats in the Fitbit app, which is helpful. The battery life is a nice feature because it's supposed to last up to seven days. In addition to tracking your heart rate and your exercises, the Charge 3 gives you a Cardio Fitness Score. That helps you to improve and continue to challenge yourself.
Some other features included for this watch are an altimeter, an OLED touchscreen, automatic and wireless sync to your other devices, daily fitness total saves, Fitbit Pay, guided breathing sessions, reminders to move, and smartphone notifications.
The Fitbit Charge 3 is a little less expensive than the Ionic, at $125 to $165, and carries a 3.3 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Customers who love this upgrade from the Fitbit Alta say it's easy to read, not too bulky, and it tracks everything they want to track. They also like that you can wear the watch while swimming. Some customers complained there were too many bugs in the Charge 3, it was too fragile, and that it needs more work before its release.
Fitbit Flex 2B01KH2PV4U
- Track steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. LED display lights up to show progress toward your daily goal
- Ultra-thin, removable tracker hides in bands, pendants and bangles
- Swim-proof for tracking swimming, life-proof for wear in the ocean, shower, pool and beyond
- SmartTrack automatically recognizes select workouts and records them to your Fitbit app
- Get call and text notifications on your wrist with unique vibration patterns and color-coded LED lights
The Fitbit Flex 2 doesn't have as many features as the other two Fitbit swimming smartwatches on this list, but it still tracks swimming, and not everyone likes fancy. The Flex 2 automatically recognizes your activity and tracks accordingly. When it tracks your swimming, you get a workout summary uploaded in the Fitbit app, and it can sync wirelessly to a variety of iOs, Android, and Windows devices. It reminds you to move, which is a nice nudge and has a battery life of five days. A special trait about this Fitbit is in the bands. You can use a waterproof band while you're swimming, and pop out the device and stick it in a bangle band for a night on the town. Pretty nifty.
Some other features include an LED display with 5 different indicator lights, 7-day memory, water resistant up to 50 meters, and an accelerometer. To see your progress, all you have to do is tap the watch twice, and there it is.
The Fitbit Flex 2 is the least expensive of the Fitbit bunch at $50 to $100. It also received the highest Amazon ratings at 3.7 out of 5.0 stars. Some customers praised the Flex 2 for its durable band, minimalist design, good software, and waterproof nature. They also said it was a really good tracker and love that it tracks swimming. There are those, though, who thought the Flex 2 was inconsistent in performance. They also said it was of poor quality and didn't like that it's missing a heart rate monitor. They also said it stopped syncing after the first year.
Best Fitbit for Swimming Alternatives
Since Fitbit isn't the only company making watches that track swimming performance and given the fact that Fitbit didn't receive stellar ratings from Amazon, we chose some alternatives to consider.
- CHROMA DISPLAY - 1.2" sunlight-visible high-resolution color Chroma optically-bonded display
- WATER RATING - Water rated up to 10ATM / 100 meters1; suitable for swimming
- EXO ANTENNA - Omni-directional steel EXO antenna, when paired with GLONASS and EPO, provides an even faster fix and accurate position than GPS alone
- WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY- Utilize one or more Wi-Fi hot spots to automatically sync your data with Garmin Connect and update software (when in range)
- BATTERY LIFE - Rechargeable battery; up to 20 hours in training/GPS mode, 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, and 6 weeks in watch mode (depends on settings); Heart rate monitors and HRM-run is not included in the box
Garmin is well-known for it's GPS devices, so it's no surprise they're in the smartwatch market. The Garmin fēnix 3 is water rated up to 100 meters and is for tracking a whole host of activities, including swimming. Of course, it has GPS in addition to Wi-Fi, a rechargeable battery, and sunlight-visible high-resolution display.
The watch tracks your fitness training and includes an altimeter, barometer, and compass. While you're swimming, the fēnix 3 tracks your distance, pace, stroke count, and more. It also has apps, compatibility with iOs and Android smartphones, and unique watch faces. Amazon customers give this watch 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. The price range for the fēnix 3 is between $325 and $360.
Customers love the look of this watch. They also like all the downloads, the readability of the face, the activity tracking, and the GPS navigation. Some customers said the watch died after only nine months, that it's inaccurate in it's tracking, and many of the functions were either too hard to figure out, or they don't work.
- 【Colorful Screen & Adjustable Brightness】The latest 0.96 inch TFT LCD colour screen offers excellent HD image quality. The brightness of the screen is adjustable, 5-level brightness makes it clear even in direct sun and not too glaring for eyes in the dark. You can set the screen brightness levels in the app manually
- 【14 Exercise Modes】 The activity tracker supports 14 exercise modes including walking, running, cycling, hiking, fitness, treadmill, basketball, tennis, climbing, badminton, Spinning, yoga, football, dancing (Attention: only 3 modes are preinstalled in the bracelet. Other sport modes need to be added in the App)
- 【Heart Rate Monitor and Sleep Tracking】 This fitness tracker can monitor heart rate 24 hours automatically and continuously. You can check all-day dynamic heart rate curve graph on the app; Comprehensively analyze data such as sleep duration, sleep depth and wakefulness sleep, guide you to improve sleep quality
- 【More Features】 The smart watch supports more accurate heart rate monitoring, distance, speed, calories, sleep monitoring, SMS, SNS message from Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Line, Viber, Skype, KakaoTalk, VKontakte, and Email, sedentary remind, incoming call, alarm, schedule, remote shutter, date display and more. This activity tracker don't need the usb charger cable. Makes it easy to charge in any USB port.
- 【Lifetime warranty】 CHEREEKI provides lifetime after sale service for all CHEREEKI product in case the purchasing is not satisfactory. You have NO RISK to try. If you meet any question, please feel free to contact us, we will fix your issue within 24 hours.
Although the Chereeki name isn't as well known as the others on this list, it's earned a spot on this list because of their high customer ratings. The Chereeki Fitness Tracker pulls in a 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. And it only costs between $30 and $40.
It has 14 exercise modes, a heart rate and sleep monitor, an LCD color screen with adjustable brightness, and it's waterproof. The Chereeki tracks various fitness data, reminds you to move, and allows you to see your messages and receive calls.
Customers love how simple this watch is, and that it's packed with features. They also praise its high quality, and accuracy. Those who didn't like the watch said it broke quickly after purchase, and that it locked up their other devices when trying to sync.
What to Wear for Your Next Dip In the Pool
3.6 out of 5.0
3.3 out of 5.0
3.7 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5.0
After all that information, what you really want to know is which is the best Fitbit for swimming. If you want a Fitbit, our choice is the Fitbit Charge 3. Although it has the lowest rating of the three on Amazon, the negatives seem to center around Fitbit releasing it too soon. We think upgrades could take care of most of the negatives. That leaves you with a solid watch that not only tracks your swimming but tracks everything else too.
The Garmin is a great choice outside of Fitbit, but the price would hold back any money-savvy consumer.
Which watch will you choose to dive in the pool? Let us know in the comments.