One thing I put off for quite a while when I got into Triathlon was a decent triathlon watch. Looking back I should have invested way earlier as I know can’t live without one.
I had a computer on my bike – and still do, a decent GPS app on my phone which tracked runs and bike rides but its was a bit of a pain to monitor because you have to keep unlocking your phone to check out how you are doing as you go.
I made the plunge and invested in a Timex Ironman GPS enabled watch as an intro and have never looked back.
I put this post together to help you decide on the best triathlon watch that suits you and your budget. You could look at different models all day and spend any amount of hard earned dollars on a set-up so make sure you get the feature set you need to help you track your way to a new PB.
Lets now look at some of the most popular triathlon watches available today.
Best Triathlon Watches for the 2017 Season
Garmin vívoactive Black
- Built-in sports apps, including GPS-enabled running, biking and golfing plus swimming and activity tracking¹, let you view your stats even when away from your phone(Check User Manual in Product Information before use)
- Ultra-thin, high-resolution, sunlight-readable, color touchscreen display
- Built-in sports apps, including GPS-enabled running, biking and golfing plus swimming and activity tracking, let you view your stats even when away from your phone(Check User Manual in Product Information before use)
- Battery charge lasts through all your activities with up to 3 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode or up to 10 hours using GPS
- Customize with free watch face designs, widgets and apps from Connect IQ store
Garmin Forerunner 920XT Black/Blue Watch with HRM-Run
- Note: This product comes bundled with an HRM-Run heart rate monitor with either a black front or a black front with a red border around it. The border color will not affect the functionality of the unit.
- RUNNING DYNAMICS When paired with the HRM-RunTM monitor, the Forerunner 920XT provides feedback on running form by measuring cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time.
- METRICS THAT MATTER Record speed, distance, ascent/descent, grade and more. Pair with ANT+ compatible sensors to measure heart rate4, speed, cadence and power. Control VIRB Elite action camera4 to record and relive your accomplishments
- SMART NOTIFICATIONS See incoming email, text messages, call alerts, calendar reminders and more from your compatible smartphone.
- VO2 MAX, RECOVERY TIME & RACE PREDICTOR Forerunner 920XT estimates VO2 max, recovery time and predicts your race times for several distances when used with heart rate. When used with a power meter, it estimates VO2 max for cycling as well.
Our Best Selling Triathlon Watch is the Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch. If you are looking for a watch for your next Tri then the Vívoactive is just what you need.
Loaded with features and expert timing this watch will help you on your way to your next personal best.
Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch, Regular fit – Black
- Regular fits wrist circumferences 5.39″ to 7.68″ (137 to 195 mm),GPS smartwatch with a sunlight-readable, high-resolution color touchscreen
- 24/7 HEART RATE MONITORING – Elevate wrist heart technology gives you heart rate all day and night without an additional strap,Heart rate is not available while swimming
- SMART NOTIFICATIONS – Set any notification from your mobile device to display when paired with a compatible smartphone
Garmin Forerunner 230 – Black/White
- AUDIO PROMPTS – Receive audio prompts from your connected smartphone that include laps and lap times.
- LARGER SCREEN – A 44% larger screen than the 220 but the same physical size.
- BATTERY LIFE – Longer battery life than the 220, 16 hours in training mode and up to 5 weeks in watch mode6.
- SMART NOTIFICATIONS – See incoming email, text messages, call alerts, calendar reminders and more from your compatible smartphone.
- ACTIVITY TRACKING – Forerunner 230 doubles as a watch and activity tracker. Count steps, calories and distance throughout the day. The move bar with vibration alert motivates you to move when you’ve been sitting too long. NOTE – This product does not include heart rate monitor(Sold separately)
Garmin 010-01004-00 Swim Watch with Garmin Connect
- Records swim distance pace stroke count and pool lengths , Water resistant to 50 meters
- Wireless uploads using ANT to Garmin Connect to analyze
- Offers advanced features for timed sets and logging drills
- Watch features – time of day (12/24h), dual time zone, day/date, daily alarm
- Twelve month battery life on a user-replaceable coin cell battery – CR 2032
Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch
- Built-in GPS keeps track of your ride, run or hike measuring your speed, distance and route
- Create and customize profiles for different sports and get exactly the data and guidance you need for each
- Combines training load with 24/7 activity data for true recovery status
- Compatible with H7 Heart Rate sensor while training and even while swimming
- Compatible with Bluetooth Smart running and cycling sensors more details about your training
Suunto Ambit3 Sport HR Monitor Running GPS Unit, Black
- Suunto Ambit3 Sport delivers speed, distance, heart rate and much more, including a growing feature set through Suunto Apps
- One of the most competitive battery hours in the market, 100 hours with 1 minute accuracy
- Record heart rate from your swims with the Suunto Smart sensor
- Connect Ambit3 Sport to your smartphone for syncing your activities, customizing on the go and seeing calls and notifications on the watch
- Add Photos in movement and create a Suunto Movie with the highlights of your Adventure to share with your friends
Timex Men’s T5K4949J Ironman Classic 50 Full-Size Black/Yellow Resin Strap Watch
- Sports Stopwatch with 50 Lap Memory
- Sports Stopwatch with 50 Lap Memory & Interval Training Timer
- Countdown Timer & Alarm
- Durable Resin Strap with Buckle Closure
- Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial
As you get more into triathlon your watch will become a lifeline for you. Just look at any race and you will notice that at the start line all of the serious racers will hit the start button just before they jump into the water. As the race goes on they rely on their triathlon watches to guide their pace, distance and heart rate. This keeps the competitor on track and stops them potentially overdoing it on any of the stages.
Best Triathlon Watch – Our top watch choice
Triathlon timing and data from each race becomes a bit of an obsession so with that in mind you will want the best triathlon watch available to make sure you have everything covered. The Garmin 910XT will become you new best friend on race day. This GPS-enabled device will track swim metrics and distance covered, pace of swimming, running or on the bike, elevation and heart rate. It has an oversized display that is very easy to read while you are racing.
Best Triathlon Watch – Swimming
The Garmin 910XT is designed for both pool and open water swimming and is water resistant to 50m. You go any deeper than that and your watch is thee last of your worries. It offers extensive metrics for the swim section of your triathlon race. Distance, stroke count, stroke identification and number of lengths are some of the features on the Garmin. It also has the unique ability to gauge your swim efficiency.
Because it’s GPS-enabled, the Forerunner 910XT even captures the path you traveled so you can view it later on a map in the Garmin Connect free online community. This feature can help you analyze your open water swimming and adjust your technique as needed.
Best Triathlon Watch – One Button Transition.
A superb feature is the one button press to transition to your next section of the race. This will save precious seconds when you leave the water or transition from the bike to the run. Many times I’ve seen athletes fumbling with their watches while trying to get to transition. It sports an optional quick release mount that lets you move the 910 from your wrist and mount it on the bike. You can now check your time while hammering down the road at full tilt without lifting your head to look at your wrist.
Best Triathlon Watch – Time for the Bike
The 910XT is the first in the Garmin range to provide a barometric altimeter providing highly accurate elevation data. This includes ascent, descent and also grade. This multisport device sports many of the features you get in Garmin’s advanced cycling computers so is jam packed with everything you could need out on the bike.
You can also configure vibrating alerts to notify you when to take some nutrition like gels etc. When you hit a split or keep you within range of hitting a pre-planned target or goal. Even with all of these feature you still get an impressive twenty hours of battery life so fits in nicely if you are competing at IronMan distance events.
If you have a favorite triathlon watch that you can’t live without then let us know and we may add it to the list. We can’t obviously cover off every style here so just picked the ones we feel are top quality for the money.
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Thanks for stopping by and happy timing.
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