If you are a swimmer looking for the best fitbit for swimming, look no farther. I've got all the details of which fitness trackers are waterproof and which watches track swim laps. Affiliate links to recommended products are included in this post.
For years now I've been answering the question, “Are Fitbits Waterproof?“
Unfortunately, due to the silicone band, a lot of people assume that all fitbits are waterproof, but the fact of the matter is that not all fitbits are waterproof. In fact, most are not!
And any swimmers out there will tell you that even the waterproof fitbits out there are not created equal. There are a few reasons why.
Considerations When Buying a Fitbit for Swimming
When thinking about buying a sports watch or tracker for swimming, consider precisely how you plan to use it:
Fitbit for Water Aerobics– You just need a waterproof fitbit and don't need to worry about swim lap tracking. Some track your heartrate and some don't that is the other main difference to consider.
Fitbit for Open Water Swimming– Some swim trackers require you to set the distance of your pool and they track your distance based on laps. If you plan on doing open water swimming this will be a real problem for you.
Fitbit For Swimming with Kickboard – So, mental note, you usually wear Fitbits on your arm. That is how it usually measures your stride and movement. If you swim or do drills using a kickboard, you're keeping your arms still, so Fitbit will have trouble tracking your movement. You could try wearing it on your ankle, which is a common fitbit hack for when you are walking and pushing a stroller or cart, but I have not tested that to see if the swim laps will be counted.
Best Fitbits for Swimming
Let's walkthrough the various Fitbits for swimming, and some other brands that may be even better, depending on your needs.
Click through the colored links below for more details, specs and reviews:
When Fitbit released the popular, value-priced Fitbit Flex 2, a lot of people were excited to learn that it was actually waterproof. FINALLY! A Fitbit that is truly waterproof, and it is affordable too!
It touted swim lap tracking capabilities but reviews of the swim tracking accuracy and ease of use were mixed, at best. Some early users reported a complete lack of accuracy. If you are using it at the beach, for water aerobics or don't need to worry about swim lap counting, Fitbit Flex is a great, basic, waterproof fitbit.
Next Fitbit released the Fitbit Ionic, which was the second waterproof fitness tracker in their lineup. A much more robust sports watch, full of features, like general heart-rate tracking and onboard GPS, the Fitbit Ionic received better swim tracking reviews.
Ionic also has the advantage of being able to add third party apps, which means there is potential for third party swim tracking apps to be developed and added.
Recently Fitbit introduced the Fitbit Versa, their third waterproof fitness tracker. Slightly smaller in size, and otherwise very comparable to the sports watch Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Versa is positioned as more of a lifestyle watch. It looks very similar to an Apple Watch and has more fashion band accessories available. It is waterproof, and has swim lap tracking, but like the Ionic it is important to note- the heart rate tracking does not track while swimming. If that is important to you, check out the affordable MOOV Now, or try a Garmin Forerunner with Chest Strap.
BELOW: Other Sports Watches and Fitness Trackers for Swimming
If you're not tied to the Fitbit Brand, there are other fitness trackers to consider for swimming. Click the colored links below for more details, specs and reviews.
A reader recently wrote in to say, “moov now is truly a multisport training fitness tracker which offers free guided programs in sports including running, cycling, swimming, body weight training, and cardio boxing. MOOV NOW for swimming offers the most advanced swim tracking and stroke detection available so you can focus on your swim, not counting laps.”
MOOV Now is truly a multisport training fitness tracker. With the free MOOV app, it offers free guided programs in sports including running, cycling, swimming, body weight training, and cardio boxing. MOOV NOW for swimming offers the most advanced swim tracking and stroke detection available so you can focus on your swim, not counting laps. One notable difference between this and many other trackers is you will just need to change the battery every 6 months, there is no weekly or daily charging. However, it does not have a watch face and you cannot glean much information from looking at your wrist.
Misfit Shine Swimmer's Edition – The Shine automatically tracks steps, distance, calories, and light and heavy sleep, non-charging, replaceable battery lasts up to 6 months. It also tracks laps and swim distance with industry‐leading accuracy offers vibration alerts for call and text notifications, movement reminders, and alarms. Similar to the MOOV, there is no watch face display, it is more stylized to show progress. The earlier versions of this tracker reportedly had wrist band issues that allowed the tracker to pop out. More recent reviews suggest an improvement in this area.
Garmin Vivoactive HR – This is not the same as the above Vivoactive, with just heart rate tracking. This updated version of the Vivoactive is totally different looking and adds a lot of features- including heart rate tracking. With GPS-enabled running, biking, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, golf, rowing, paddle boarding and activity tracking right on your wrist, you can sweat all day with your phone safely tucked away.
Polar V800 – Another Polar model, this one is endorsed by an Ironman Champion, so it must be good for swimming, biking, running and all around athletic training!
The other option swimmers have is to just have a separate swim tracker like the Waterfi Swim Trainer – This nifty gadget is a much different format from the other products listed. It is not worn on your wrist but instead it is slid under your swim cap. It includes waterproof short cord headphones through which you listen to guided swim training workouts. The waterfi swim trainer also tracks your laps and, when synced with the Waterfi app (only for iOs at this time) you can view all the data from all of you swim workouts.