Long gone are the times when watches only read time and offered little additional value. With the ever-increasing technology modern triathlon watches are well advanced in their offering and can help athletes with more than ever precision.
So your a triathlons and you want to achieve your maximum potential, a triathlon smartwatch that tracks your activities would be highly beneficial. Specifically as physical impact can be analysed instantly. This allows athletes to improve their performance. Additionally, one that effectively reports your performance-related crucial data with every step & breathe. The modern best triathlon watch will monitor your heart rate with/without strap, bike & tri functions, workouts, open-water swimming and much more! The list is endless making it hard to decide which one to go for. Here is a list of 10 best triathlon watch in 2020 that we have outlined for you to help you decide which one to go for.
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running/Triathlon GPS Watch
Fenix 5 Multisport GPS Watch with Outdoor Navigation and Wrist-Based Heart Rate
Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport
TomTom Spark GPS Multi-Sport Fitness Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
POLAR Vantage M Multisport
POLAR Vantage V Pro Multisport Watch Black
Ambit3 Suunto Heart Rate Watch
Suunto 3 Fitness Watch
Triathlon Watch Reviews
#1 Garmin Forerunner 935 Running/Triathlon GPS Watch
The Garmin Forerunner 935 is the brand’s exceptional Forerunner GPS running watch and one of its best triathlon watch, fit for running, cycling, swimming and other open air activities.
Nowadays there is an expectation that any wearable is capable of giving metrics such as counting steps, calories and heart rate. Therefore this Garmin Forerunner 935 delivers all of this. Additionally, this watch features beyond impressive battery life being a staggering 24 hours. Further increasing to two weeks in regular watch mode.
- Useful features
- Great for running
- Good for commuting
- Useful wearable metrics
- Clunky software
- Garmin Connect is frustrating to use
Overall, Garmin triathlon watch 935 is a varied watch that takes a lot of time to get used to. It’s full of useful metrics, although the Garmin Connect companion app ruins the experience a little.
#2 Garmin Fenix 5 Multisport GPS Watch with Outdoor Navigation and Wrist-Based Heart Rate
As the Garmin Fenix 5 is as good as it can get. With GLONASS and GPS technology the reception is enhanced. Further featuring support for advanced Galileo location tech, extra health tracking sensors and local music playback.
This watch can be used for every activity possible, running, biking, swimming and rucking. The app has the ability to track entirely different metrics for different activities. The suggested depth level for swimming is to keep it above 50 meters. This will be an issue for swimmers who require deeper depths.
The Garmin brand is undoubtedly durable range of watches. The watch is available in glass version which may scratch easily and sapphire version which is fully proofed.
- Super-rugged design
- Excellent location and distance tracking
- More sports options than you’ll ever need
- Topo map support
- Doesn’t support popular music streaming services
- Very expensive
To conclude, the Garmin Fenix 5 will prove an invaluable fitness tracker for serious athletes. With good amount of customization options and features that suit all level of athletes.
#3 Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a no-nonsense wellness tracker intended for marathon runners and the individuals who become energised by the possibility of a Tough Mudder challenge.
Hence, the Tri Bundle transforms the Forerunner into a standout amongst the most dominant and extensive wellness following bundles accessible. However, even individually, the watch is ground-breaking enough to offer incredible performance monitoring and coaching.
- Robust design
- Great multi-sport support
- Good coaching and activity tracking
- App is difficult to navigate
- Not the best-looking watch around
In case you’re an ordinary member in marathons, or Tough Mudder-style challenges, the Forerunner 735XT is an incredible wellness tracker. Importantly, the Forerunner includes a tough however agreeable structure and is jam-stuffed with all the equipment that a cardio aficionado is probably going to require.
#4 TomTom Spark GPS Multi-Sport Fitness Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
The Tomtom Spark GPS running watch has a built in music player and every day activity tracker as the most prominent features. Hence, you can run and track without tying your telephone to your arm.
TomTom has settled on a sleeker profile, most likely to oblige the expansion of daily activity tracker. Despite everything it holds a similar design as the first Nike+ SportWatch. However, you have a rubber strap and the watch module, which clips in and out of to strap to charge it.
- Slim and comfortable to wear all day
- Quick GPS signal pick up
- Reliable heart rate data
- Pairing Bluetooth headphones is temperamental
- Software still needs a lot of work
- Poor battery life when using all features
Overall, the TomTom Spark Cardio is a solid GPS sports watch providing a great all rounder. Consequently, with all the basic features covered music, fitness tracking and on wrist GPS navigation. Therefore a highly recommended all rounder GPS sports watch.
#5 POLAR Vantage M Multisport
The Polar Vantage M is one of the cheap running watches that is principally going to appeal to runners. At the same time there’s more on offer on the off chance that you are into swimming, cycling or one of the others of the 130 sport profiles the M underpins.
The watches features GLONASS support which accurately measure pace and distance. With built in heart rate sensor, it can record your training, sleep and provide VO2 Max.
- Much better looking than the M430
- Solid performer
- Good battery life
- No notifications (yet)
- Hidden thick bezel
- Not the brightest colour screen
In conclusion, the Vantage M is positively stunning by comparison, and packs in everything from its predecessor into a far more aesthetically pleasing package. You get a good variation of features that the Vantage V has to offer at a more affordable price. Moreover, if you like a good battery life then you will not be disappointed.
#6 POLAR Vantage V Pro Multisport Watch Black
In essence, the first watch to measure running power from the wrist – no additional sensors or foot pods needed. Equipped with new optical HR sensor fusion technology that combines optical heart rate measurement with skin contact measurement. Further interference greatly reduced so heart rate is more accurate.
Furthermore than a just a sports watch, it provides a complete training solution offering everything that goes into a pro athlete’s training including Polar ecosystem and Polar Flow for Coach service.
- Strong build quality
- Easy to use
- Very powerful
- Great battery life
- Charging / syncing connector could be better
- Not much use as a sleep tracker
To summarise, the Polar Vantage V is very stylish with advanced features but it is one of the most expensive on this list. However, if you’re serious about competing in any sport then this is a must have.
#7 Suunto Ambit3 Heart Rate Watch
Outdoor and multisport functions combined with smart mobile connection enrich, relive and share your moves Equipped with 100m water resistance, battery life in time mode 30 days; battery type rechargeable lithium-ion.
Digital compass tilt compensation full direction scale degrees/mils; needle north indicator bearing lock with orienting indicator compass accuracy.
- Strong build quality
- Descent battery life
- Excellent Navigation
- Overly complex
- Better for trail running rather than roads
To conclude, best watch for price due to long battery life. This watch allows MGRS, BNG and others for location data. If you’re looking for excellent navigation – compass, altitude, national grid location, breadcrumb trail and for it to work in all weathers. This watch delivers on all of these without being overly complicated.
#8 Suunto 3 Fitness Watch
This Suunto 3 fitness is a lighter and thinner. Training companion for casual urban athletes, 7 day training plans created based on exercise history. Built-in sports mode for swimming (waterproof to 30 m), cycling, running and weight training.
Share activity on Instagram, Sports Tracker app or Facebook, Compare performance with friends with the Suunto App. Further you can view activity maps, trails while tracking speed and distance with GPS connectivity.
- Excellent value
- Good battery life
- Training guidance
- Basic app
- No interface with Strava
Overall the coaching smarts are really what’s selling this watch. If you’re particular on heart rate data-driven guidance that is largely accurate, then this fitness smartwatch is the best option for you.
#9 Timex Ironman
Crisp and easy-to-read, high-resolution display tracks pace, distance, heart rate, and more. Additionally designed to comfortably fit a wide range of wrist sizes. Advanced features include auto-split recording, and vibrating alerts for interval training, pace, distance, heart rate, and hydration.
Equally important, compatible with ANT+ foot pod sensors for cadence and non-GPS workouts. Coupled with 50-Meter water-resistant sports watch with INDIGLO night-light and rechargeable battery.
- More watch-like than similar devices
- Easy to use while running
- Water-resistant to 50 meter
- Might be too big for some
- GPS performance not quite up to par
- Software options a bit lacking
To summarise, the Timex’s Ironman is a solid triathlon watch that’s decidedly more like a watch than other GPS watches. However it is on the large side, and more expensive than some competitors.
These are the 10 best triathlon watches in the market. You will see that all the watches are different. Highly recommend is the Garmin Forerunner 935 as it is suitable for most activities unlike others which are limited.
Irrespective of all the enticing features of these GPS smartwatches, which you decide to ultimately purchase is dependent on your financial ability and needs.
Best Triathlon Watch – Buyer’s Guide on how to choose the Best Multi-sport Watch
A triathlon watch is effectively a multi-sports watch. Here are three athletic competitions, cycling, swimming and running. Multi-sport feature allows you to switch between different activities.
So you have decided to buy a triathlon watch but how do you decide which one? It will make it easier to categorise the sports and the important features to look regardless of the activity. Be highly motivated by knowing your fitness data and to know how you are performing in your activity.
You can use multi-sport watches as a daily activity tracker. Therefore like fitness bands, multi-sport watches can count your steps, monitor sleep patterns and alert you if you have been idle.
Many multi-sport watches have not become “smart watches”. This means you can pair them with your smartphone to enable many tasks such as receive calls, texts, notifications etc.
Multi-sport watch activities
The most important feature for swim triathlon is to make sure your watch is water proof. To check this you can take a look at the ATM rating. This tells you how waterproof the watch is. For example a rating of 5 or more is ideal for triathlon swimming. A rating of 5 atmospheres means that the watch can tolerate five times the sea level pressure without letting water in. With a 5 ATM or higher, you can be certain to rely on your triathlon watch.
Another feature you look out for is to ensure the watch tracks you whilst swimming. A good swimming triathlon watch will track your speed, stroke length and stroke per minute.
You will want to establish if the triathlon watch has a cycling mode integrated. With this you can ensure rotations per minute, speed, time and distance are tracked.
Power meter is a feature to look out for. This is what is used for precise measurements in cycling. This feature does come at cost, however if you’re looking to advance in your triathlon, then this may be an apparent feature.
Whilst running features are universal and you will find come with any smart watch, features to look out are to check if your watch counts steps, distance, pace, calories, elevation gain.
If you want to take it one step further you may find you can track metrics like cadence and ground contact time. Cadence tracks how many times your feet strike the ground per minute. Ground contact time tracks how long your foot stays on the ground once it hits.
These features assist you to become an efficient runner. Better efficiency in running means being able to run further and faster with less effort. A triathlon watch with extra running features like these can help you to become a more efficient runner.
Triathlon multi-sport watches for pool or open water swimming
To choose a multi-sport watch for water sports you would want to know its water resistance rating to ensure it can withstand your water sport activity.
|Watch||Water Rating||Pool Swimming||Open Water|
|TomTom Runner 3|
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Garmin Vivoactive 3
|Garmin Forerunner 735XT|
Garmin Forerunner 935
|Suunto Ambit3 Vertical|
Garmin Fenix 3 HR
Garmin Fenix 5
Would you use it as your daily activity tracker?
Most of us would love to be able to have a multipurpose multi-sport watch that can be used as a day to day watch. Most multi-sport watches have this feature incorporated. Further it is more accurate due to the built in GPS.
You would be able to track your daily steps, stairs/elevation, calories burned and sleep monitoring. Therefore you can have one device that works as your triathlon watch as well as daily activity tracker. Further syncing your data with your smartphone will allow seamless tracking of your personal stats.
What are advanced metrics?
GPS watches can offer more thorough advanced metrics as explained below.
This is the rhythm that the heart reaches during an intense sporting activity. At rest, the HR Max is about 40 to 80 beats per minute depending on the individual. HR Max is unique to every individual and depends on your genes and age.
Knowing your HR Max can dictate the ranges for all the other zones in heart rate training.
Heart Rate Zones
Running watches uses your HR Max to break down your heart rate zones or ‘sport zones’ into segments and make them easy to understand.
Heart Rate Zones are labelled differently by different devises. These can be:
- Recovery training (60% of MHR)
- Endurance base training (65-70% of MHR)
- Aerobic capacity training (75-82% MHR)
- Anaerobic threshold training (82-89% MHR)
- Maximum aerobic training (89-94% of MHR).
Heart rate zones estimated gives you a better advantage at obtaining the workout effect you intend to achieve.
Cadence or foot strike rate is the number of steps you take per minute. It’s a imperative stat for determining the efficiency of your running form. Quick and short stride length result in less impact at the ankles, knees and hips. The low degree of impact may help reduce injury risk. Experts believe that a running cadence of 180 steps per minute is ideal for optimum running efficiency.
This is the length of how far you travel with each left and right step. High cadence, shorter the stride length.
Running efficiency measured through a sensor built in the heart rate chest strap. It shows the degree of bounce in your running. The lesser the bounce, the less energy is exerted going up/down. Therefore the more efficient the runner.
This is the maximum volume of oxygen in millimeters you can consume per minute per kilogram of the body weight for efficient energy production. It is an important metric for runners because it can have an affect on running efficiency and therefore improve form and prevent injuries.
Higher VO2 max means the better the body can delivery oxygen to your help your muscles. Low VO2 Max represents poor fitness.
Ground Contact Time
This is the amount of time in milliseconds your foot maintains contact with the ground whilst running.
This metric gives a clearer insight of your endurance performance capacity. It is precisely the level of effort or pace when your fatigue accelerates. According to Garmin, experienced runners should have a threshold of 90% of the maximum heart rate. Average runners below 90%.
This useful metric measures the length of recovery period that your body takes. After an activity, recovery time reveals the number of hours before you will be back full capability of performing an activity again. Calculation is based on a unique digital model of your physiology.
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)
This measure is the boost in metabolism (calories and fat burning) your body gets after a workout. Sometimes also know as afterburn. During any activity, we burn calories to fuel our muscles, however when we are done, we keep on burning than we do at rest. It’s depends to what our bodies need to recover from the hard work they’ve just done.
How much battery life would you need?
It would indeed be frustrating being midway through a training session and your watch runs out of battery. Luckily there are watches availability in the present market that hold charge long enough.
If your watch states it lasts 24 hours while tracking will always last longer if your not always training.
Make sure your watch’s battery is high quality and will hold a charge over its lifetime. So be sure to check customer reviews and make sure the battery consistently holds a charge over the years.
How much should I spend on a Triathlon watch?
Lastly, the price is a significant aspect that influences which one to buy. You want to ensure you get your monies worth. Experienced triathlons will probably already have a price point in mind. Newcomers however may be unsure whether to spend extra or not. You may choose to go for a low cost option and upgrade later.