9 Best Fitness Watches, HR Monitors & Activity Trackers for CrossFit 2021

Jeff Baldelli
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Crossfit is an advanced strength and conditioning program that uses a lot of bodyweight exercises. It emphasizes that people should not be able to do the most popular exercises without proper training. Crossfit has revolutionized the way sports and exercise are practiced. This is the only sport that combines endurance, strength and skills. The main aim of this type of exercise is the development of every aspect of physical fitness, including strength, power, speed and agility. It is a way of life that can be used by anyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness level.

Crossfit incorporates all the aspects of fitness required by the military. So natural that the armed services started to incorporate the sport into their training programs. A commonly adopted practice is to use the crossfit exercise regime in order to help fitness levels of the recruits as it helps to develop a whole body, body weight and aerobic improved fitness level.

In 1990 Greg Glassman, gymnastic coach and former Olympic wrestler formulated what today is known as crossfit. It was first introduced to the public in a scientific journal published by the California University on July 1st, 1994.

Crossfit's popularity has been growing steadily. Since 2008 there are over 13,000 –15,000 affiliated gyms around the world. This is a good indication that it's not just a fad. Many people prefer this type of training over aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Although crossfit requires a lot of training, it's becoming more and more popular and thanks to this there are a lot of sportswear and equipment manufacturers out there willing to get a pie of it. Crossfit is considered to be the third most popular sport in USA right after running and soccer. This is no surprise as it is a great sport for cardio.

So, let's see what are the best products out there for crossfit enthusiasts.

NameCategoryProduct
Garmin Fenix 6 SapphireBest OverallGarmin Fenix 6 Sapphire
Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular FitBudget PickGarmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit
Apple Watch Series 5Upgrade PickApple Watch Series 5

1. Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire

Our rating: 9 / 10

Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire

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Pros:

  • Can be used for hunting and fishing
  • Has compass
  • Reviewers said it has tons of features and never ran out of memory
  • Has tons of different tracking capabilities
  • It has 3-axis compass and touchscreen display
  • Can be used underwater for up to 50 meters
  • Can be used for adventure racing
  • Can be used as a daily activity tracker and more
  • Includes GPS
  • Has three-axis compass

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to set up
  • Lacks the ability to track cadence
  • Doesn’t have the ability to detect swimming strokes

Beautiful watch that stands out in any room and in any situation. This watch is designed for sports and is an excellent daily fitness tracker. It is water resistant for up to 50 meters and can be taken scuba diving, swimming, and even showering.

It is compatible with both Android and iOS phones and includes a Sports app that tracks activities and allows you to compete against friends. It is also designed to track your heart rate and whether you are in an aerobic or anaerobic state, no matter the type of exercise you are doing.

It also keeps track of calorie burn and your distance traveled and pace if you are running. Other features include a recovery advisor, over 150 sports, and a personal training coach. It is GPS enabled and will also notify you of incoming text and calls. It even has a feature that measures your stress level.

2. Apple Watch Series 5

Our rating: 9 / 10

Apple Watch Series 5

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Pros:

  • All-day fitness tracking
  • Waterproof
  • Supports sleep tracking
  • Can help you monitor your heart rate
  • Ability to get notifications
  • Built in GPS
  • 5-day battery life
  • Customizable
  • Extremely popular

Cons:

  • Takes a while to learn to use
  • Not a version without cellular

The Apple Watch Series 5 is an excellent fitness tracker that can appeal to almost anyone, no matter your level of fitness or athletic performance. It comes with a huge array of sensors and apps that can help you track your health and fitness.

You can keep track of your heart rate, workouts, calories, and sleep. The distance tracker also gives you a good sense of how far you’ve gone during your active days and how long you’ve been moving.

It also gives you a breathing exercise function and coaching to help you manage stress. And if you start feeling really burned out, it can remind you to take a break and recharge.

3. Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit

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Pros:

  • It’s the choice for many world-class athletes
  • Tracks your performance in real time
  • Built-in GPS tracks distance and location
  • Elevation monitor
  • Allows you to broadcast to social networks
  • Comes with an ANT+ Wireless Heart Rate Monitor and a chest strap
  • Buy Garmin Connect” software and you can upload your workouts for advanced analysis
  • Screen is easy to read in both bright sunlight and low-light conditions
  • Auto Pause” gives you credit on your workouts for periods of slowed pace
  • Battery life of up to nine hours

Cons:

  • Model is quite expensive
  • Worldwide data usage is expensive, and inaccurate
  • Heart rate monitor does not always give accurate readings.

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is the latest GPS-enabled sports watch from Garmin. It involves hundreds of tests, eight engineers, nine university professors and three PhDs to develop. That is how serious they are about seeding the most accurate sports watch in the world – one that can track your every move so you can train your muscles to perfection.

The watch’s craftsmanship is first-rate. Once you put it on, you CANNOT take it off. It is also water-resistant to 10 meters. A nice touch is the built-in microphone that allows you to train with a virtual personal coach.

Bottom line: This is one of the very best watches for crossfit enthusiasts. It is extremely reliable, accurate and provides you with a variety of functions that help you to have the best possible training.

4. Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

Our rating: 8 / 10

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

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Pros:

  • Interchangeable straps
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Large range of features
  • Accurate GPS tracking
  • Good battery life
  • Tracks strength and cardio workouts

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Synching with a phone can be slow
  • Not waterproof
  • Straps are a bit tricky to swap out

The Suunto is about the size of an Apple watch and features a slick, attractive design. It is loaded with features, such as a altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass, GPS, and heart rate monitor. You can track everything from running, cycling, hiking, and rowing to strength training, yoga, and skiing.

You can download the app on your phone and synch data so you can keep track of the intensity and form of your workouts. You’ll also get the barometer and thermometer readings on your watch, so you can predict weather and avoid nasty surprises on the mountain or on the way up a trail. The watch is powered by your arm movements and your heart. There is no charging here.

Personally, I love the Suunto when I go trail running. The GPS is a bit slow to pick up a signal compared to others, but the battery life is solid, the display is nice and bright, and the strength component sensors are helpful.

5. Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband

Our rating: 8 / 10

Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband

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Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Full-color screen
  • Advanced sensors
  • Works with Strava and other fitness apps

Cons:

  • Apps are needed for advanced features
  • Some customers got refunds
  • It is the world’s first wireless smartwatch for heart rate.

This product is the first wearable fitness device that combines a heart rate monitor with a full-color touchscreen in an ultra-lightweight design. This watch monitors heart rate all day so you can make progress toward your fitness goals.

The watch can be used to track heart rates during work outs as well. It has over 15 smartwatch features that make it easy to stay connected and productive through voice calls or while listening to music.

If you are looking for the best gym for CrossFit, read our guide. We review the Top Ten Best CrossFit Gym in 2020, and we picked only the best.

6. Polar Ignite

Our rating: 8 / 10

Polar Ignite

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Pros:

  • BEST FOR FITNESS AND CROSSFIT Tracking features include steps, activity, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed, and sleep quality.
  • BEST SWIMMING & OUTDOOR TRACKING TRACKS SWIMS, RUNS, RIDES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.
  • BEST FOR ADVANCED MEMORY, BENEFITS Easy to use, slim style for activity tracking. Available in black, red, white or blue.
  • BEST ENERGY, HEART RATE UNLOCK FUN in more ways than one! Heart rate helps make your training more fun, effective and efficient.
  • BEST IN CLASS TECHNOLOGY CONNECTED TECHNOLOGY – Automatic synchronization with Polar Flow app or optional heart rate chest belt transmitter.
  • BEST ADAPTIVE HEART RATE SMART HEART RATE THROUGHOUT YOUR WORKOUT.
  • PRO-LEVEL ANALYTICS TRACK YOUR PR essure, heart rate and cadence, and protect your body with valuable feedback.
  • BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE MAKE YOUR HEART BEAT FASTER.
  • BEST EXERCISE FEATURES OPTIMAL TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS AND SAFETY.
  • BEST FOR USE OFF THE RACETRACK INCLUDES Polar Cloud, available on the app, to get your full program on your phone, tablet or computer.

Cons:

  • MAY NOT FIT ALL WRIST SIZES – The device comes with three wrist band sizes (Small, Medium and Large) however customers have reported that it does not fit all wrist sizes.
  • HAS NO ALARM BUTTON – The device does not have an alarm button to wake you up in the morning.
  • DOES NOT HAVE GPS – The device does not have GPS. This also means the watch cannot be used like a basic GPS watch and not have an integrated GPS.

CrossFit enthusiasts are tough on their devices and being waterproof is vital for me in my mid-level Polar device. It’s got what CrossFitters’ need! With the addition of advanced sleep tracking and nighttime heart rate monitoring, this watch is a great option for the hardcore CrossFit enthusiast.

7. Polar Vantage V

Our rating: 7 / 10

Polar Vantage V

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Pros:

  • GPS tracking
  • Accurate heart rate monitoring
  • Color screen
  • Customizable screen display
  • Can be used with an A trainer
  • Water Resistant
  • Controls are easy to use
  • Up to 20 hours of training

Cons:

  • No backlit screen
  • Has a very tight battery cover

The Vantage V is a fantastic option for athletes who want a powerhouse of a watch that they can use for their training. It tracks almost anything you want to track: running, cycling, swimming, indoor rowing, hiking, skiing, backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing, strength training, and even table tennis.

It has a built-in GPS so that it can also track your pace, calculate vertical drops, and help you navigate back to your car or home. With this watch, you’ll always be able to set new goals and work to achieve them!

The Vantage V has a bright color screen that is ideal for indoor and outdoor viewing, and it also includes a variety of customizable displays and clocks.

8. Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit

Our rating: 7 / 10

Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit

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Pros:

  • Very accurate heart rate monitor.
  • Keeps track of your sleep pattern.
  • Communicates with other compatible fitness trackers (Garmin)
  • Includes a micro USB and regular USB connection, so you can sync.
  • Battery life is good at 5 days for current firmware and reasonable expectations in a two-hour workout along with text alerts.
  • Measures stress and relaxation as well.
  • Has 15 app tracking
  • Has a 24 minute countdown timer, stopwatch, sets strong vibration.
  • Sport watch design.
  • Has a wide, reflective band to ensure you’re always visible.

Cons:

  • It is quite chunky on your wrist.
  • It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor for your chest.
  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a GPS tracker.
  • You need to plug in your data to get the most out of it.
  • Update for the band was a little difficult.

The Vívosmart HR activity tracker is a great fitness tracker for day-to-day use. It will surely help you better track your activity and help you reach your goals.

It is water-resistant, has a variety of features and you wear it on your wrist, like a watch. It is GPS, which allows it to track your runs more accurately.

It doesn’t have heart rate monitoring per se, but it does track your heart rate continuously for 24/7. This is great for aerobics and the like.

Conclusion

A smart watch is a nice addition to CrossFit workouts. This is because these watches are equipped with advanced technology that tracks metrics such as your time, heart rate, weight, and even the number of steps you take.

However, not all fitness watches are built the same. Some are better than others when it comes to measuring your running, weight lifting, and other workouts.

Here’s the list of top 9 best wearable fitness tracker for crossfit for 2019:

  • Fitbit Ionic
  • Garmin Vivoactive
  • Garmin Vivoactive HR
  • TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music
  • Fitbit Alta HR
  • Polar M400
  • Suunto 3 Fitness
  • Polar V800
  • Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

Here’s why they made it to the top 9 best fitness trackers for 2019:

Device description:

A fitness watch is a smartwatch that is geared to improving your health and fitness. These watches are capable of tracking a wide array of metrics such as distance, heart rate, calories burned and other vital signs. They also operate as wireless media players, and have music storage capacities that allow you to listen to your favorite tunes from your wrist.

Fitbit Ionic has been recently released by Fitbit, the most popular wearable company. It comes with a wide and crisp color touchscreen display and GPS tracking, which allows it to be used for CrossFit. It also has both a swimmer and a runner’s pace.

As far as the battery life is concerned, FitBit Ionic has a battery life of over 4 days, which is brilliant for a wrist-worn fitness device.

This is a smartwatch that is considered by many to be an upgrade of the popular Garmin Vivoactive, which was a very good fitness tracker. Vivoactive HR has a heart rate monitor, which is something that is not available on most other wrist-mounted fitness trackers.

The Vivoactive HR has a battery life of 4 days as well, which is plenty for a wrist-worn device.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Garmin Fenix 6 SapphireBest OverallGarmin Fenix 6 Sapphire
Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular FitBudget PickGarmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit
Apple Watch Series 5Upgrade PickApple Watch Series 5