A solid GPS watch with a heart rate monitor is all you need to track your workout progress whether you’re a professional runner training for a marathon or just a weekend rollerblader. The unit should be lightweight, have a straightforward visual display and simple controls.
When it comes to a great watch GPS, it all begins with Garmin, a leading manufacturer of GPS devices for use in a variety of applications. However, many fitness companies are catching up by releasing their own watches designed for both the casual runner and the hardcore athlete. Major apparel brands such as Nike and New Balance are on this list along with trusted watchmaker Timex.
All of the picks on the list represent the best of what's available right now when you're looking for a GPS watch. These products were chosen based on criteria including the value for the price you’re paying, variety of helpful features, ease of use during a workout, appealing design aesthetics, overall functionality, and quality of the watch.
Garmins Forerunner 310XT GPS watch 310XT is a triathlete’s dream, capable of separating workout data based on your activity be it running, swimming, or biking. The device is water-resistant to 50 meters, and an easy quick release allows for simple transition from your wrist to a Garmin bicycle mount. Read Full Review
Garmin is the industry leader when it comes to GPS technology, so it's no surprise their name is at the top of our list with the Forerunner 310XT. This GPS watch is ready when you are no matter the activity and with 20 hours of battery life, this watch will last through any workout. The 310XT can collect and store loads of data based on your customized presets including information such as distance, speed, pace, heart rate, caloric burn, and your location. All this information can be monitored and stored for multiple sporting activities and the watch can determine which of these data sets are exclusive to each activity you're doing.
The Forerunner 310XT can even be customized for activities like snowboarding and skiing, not just traditional sports like running, swimming, or cycling. Additional features include ANT+ wireless technology which allows the watch to connect seamlessly to an optional wireless heart rate monitor. There’s also HotFix GPS satellite prediction technology which provides superior coverage even under water, trees, or near tall buildings with quick uplinking and minimal lag time.
As the most expensive watch on this list, what makes the Suunto Ambits Sapphire GPS Watch so special? Simply put, its functionalities are near limitless, helping you navigate your surroundings, track your speed, monitor your own heart rate and even the battery life on this unit is impressive! Read Full Review
Finnish company Suunto introduces their Ambit2 Sapphire GPS watch, a device ideal for athletes and adventurers alike. The GPS features are plentiful here allowing you to navigate, locate and track waypoints, and plan routesessentially everything you'd expect a GPS to do at this price point. The Ambit2 Sapphire also provides an altimeter, weather information, thermometer, temperature gauge, sunrise/sunset times, as well as tide and storm alerts. When it comes to training features, this unit really delivers: monitoring GPS-based speed, time, and distance, real-time averages, maximum heart rate, calorie burner and exclusive functions for running, swimming, and cycling. On top of that there’s more than 1000 free downloadable apps made specifically for outdoor adventures, a range of sports, and training activities.
Sleek and stylish looking, the Nike+ Sportwatch is a reliable (Although slightly bulky) tool for runners who want to keep track of a workout. TomTom powered GPS allows for collection of route information, pacing, distance; virtually anything you need to record progress made while training or if you're just trying to maintain a daily routine. Read Full Review
At first glance, the Nike+ Sportwatch is an attractive GPS watch with a large digital face displaying the time, date and battery life. But when you're ready to begin running, set the watch to link up to the TomTom powered GPS (A leading manufacturers of GPS technology-enabled products) and you’ll be supplied with accurate speed and distance information. You can also scroll through your pace, calorie burn, elapsed time of the run, and your heart rate in BPM's. When you're not running, the watch can act as a "personal coach", reminding you when it's time to run again, storing previous routes and graph the various trends of your progress. You can even keep in touch with friends and family to let them know how you're doing through various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The watch also comes with a Nike shoe sensor which can back up your distance and pace progress in the event the watch ever loses the GPS signal.
The Polar FT80 "training computer" comes in at one of the most expensive options on the list with functionality which tailors itself to you and your fitness needs. This watch can not only design a training regimen for you, but also measure, store, and coach you through your progress. Read Full Review
When you first take the Polat FT90 G1 Heart Rate Monitor out of the box, you can sense you're dealing with a sophisticated piece of equipment. Simply input basic stats about yourself (Such as your age, gender, weight) and the FT80 will create a training program designed around your personal goals. This device will then anticipate weekly targets based on your goals and help you become more efficient in your routine. The FT80 is even smart enough to notify you if you're pushing too hard and point out any mistakes or lapses in your regimen.
The patented Polar FlowLink allows for easy online access to transfer all data from the watch to your computer for analysis of your progress. Take the FT80 to the gym and it can sync up with almost any model and make of cardio machine to monitor your heart rate. Body functions are tracked by the revolutionary WearLink transmitter which doesn't need skin contact to get an accurate read. The optional G1 GPS receiver can be connected wirelessly to the watch to track your speed and distance whether you're running or cycling. The receiver locks onto and secures signals quickly so you can be sure you have an accurate account of your workout.
Available as just the watch with GPS or with an optional heart rate monitor, TomTom's Runner helps you train and keeps you from getting lost all in one slim device with a scratch-resistant face. Track your progress both indoors and out then sync and share your workout data on social media sites and fitness apps. The Runner is also waterproof, so you can run with it in any weather conditions good or bad. Read Full Review
This GPS watch from TomTom, one of the leading manufacturers of GPS technology-enabled products, is equipped with QuickGPSFix Technology to pinpoint your exact location so you can started on your routine quicker. It's incredibly accurate in determining your position and once you navigate through all your settings on the durable, impact-resistant display, you're ready to start working out. Navigating through the watches functions is done via one simple button so you're spending less time preparing and more time on the move. The Runner comes equipped with graphic-enhanced training modes allowing you to keep track of your distance, route, and overall performance. When you get home, brag about your progress with friends and enemies alike by uploading your information online and sharing to a variety of running sites and exercise apps.