In today’s data-driven world, you can essentially use analytics for anything — job performance, nutrition, sports, or even something as simple as walking your dog. On an everyday scale, however, there’s no better way to use analytics than for health and wellness. There are a few barometers to use when exercising, with tech items like a Fitbit providing most of, if not all of them. But there is, arguably, nothing more telling than a heart rate monitor. For those with pre-existing cardiac conditions, a heart rate monitor can be a real life saver, especially when exercising with a high degree of intensity. While most exercise bands do provide some measurement for heart rate, there is nothing more accurate than a heart rate monitor that straps around your chest to give you accurate, real-time results. In other words, if you’re mostly concerned about maintaining a healthy and stable heart rate, you might want to get yourself a monitor that focuses on only that. Of course, you can use it with any other exercise wearable, allowing you to fully immerse yourself into each and every exercise. So let’s look at some of the best — and most importantly, accurate — heart rate monitors on the market right now. Because real change, at its very core, starts with unbiased self-analysis.
Best Heart Rate Monitor for Triathletes
The Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor is a great way to monitor your own heart rate accurately and, by all intents and purposes, professionally. This heart rate monitor is amongst the most comfortable, lightest, and compact models on the market today. It’s made with rounded edges and no exposed seams, ensuring that the strap remains comfortable throughout long workout sessions. Despite its overall comfortability, we found that it’s still great at staying firmly in place throughout the duration of your exercise, thanks to the strap’s adjustable design. Of course, the Garmin monitor is also designed for running, cycling and swimming, providing increased durability for triathletes. It stores up to 20 hours of heart rate data during swims, where it can then forward it to other Garmin-compatible devices. Additionally, it provides users with real-time heart rate measurements once the monitor is out of the water. The Garmin also provides feedback on running form, running dynamics, as well as other important data like step cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. The battery on this device is long-lasting, with an approximate lifespan of up to 10 months, which averages out to around one hour of use per day. The lithium CR2032 battery is easily replaceable, allowing you to use this monitor care-free for extended periods of time.
Most Versatile Heart Rate Monitor
In terms of versatility, the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor for Men and Women is a fantastic option. This “Jack of all Trades” heart rate monitor is far from a master of none, however — it’s still one of the most accurate heart rate monitors out there. It works in conjunction with any of the major fitness trackers from Garmin, Apple, Suunto, etc, allowing you to sync the device to other non-Polar products. In addition, it can be used with a variety of fitness apps as well as any other compatible cardio equipment. This fully waterproof sensor can be used for swimming, rowing, diving, or any other water-based activity. The strap itself is both comfortable and easy to buckle, as it features silicone dots to help keep the device in place during rigorous exercises. It’s also ultra-accurate, interference-free and features Bluetooth, ANT+ and 5 kHz compatibility for a diverse selection of options to connect.
Best Value Heart Rate Monitor
If you’re looking to be a bit more fiscally conservative, then you can’t go wrong with the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, a great bang-for-your-buck purchase. It works with other fitness apps (including the Wahoo app itself) to help capture your heart rate, desired training zones, and event calories burned, all in real-time. When you use it with a fitness app, you can also check out important stats like distance and pace, allowing you to continuously improve your regimen with hard data. The TICKR also features dual connectivity options (Bluetooth 4.0/ ANT+), so you seamlessly integrate your monitor with over 50 smartphone fitness apps. Plus, the adjustable chest strap is ultra-comfortable, as it’s adjustable from 23″ to 48″. The monitor is also waterproof up to five feet and features a rechargeable battery that can last up to a whopping 30 hours.