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The Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitors for Swimming

Finding the best swimming heart rate monitor can be challenging. Imagine all the models out there, and you have to search for each product and check everything to ensure you’re getting the right HRM for swimmers.

If this seems so confusing, worry not. Because we will show you the best waterproof swimming heart rate monitor for swimmers.

These products will measure your heart rate while you’re in the water.

Best Waterproof Swimming Heart Rate Monitors

1. Garmin HRM-Swim Heart Rate Monitor

– Specifically designed for swimmers
– Non-slip strap
– Stores and forwards heart rate data to your devices
– Unit dimensions: 23-57x 1.5x 0.5 inches (58.0 – 145.0 x 3.8 x 1.2 cm)
– Battery life: 18 months (swimming 3 hours per week)
– Water rating: 5 ATM

Most Garmin devices now come with optical heart rate monitoring. The challenge with such devices is they don’t support optical heart rate while underwater. So, in this case, how would you rate your HR zones?

With Garmin’s HRM Swimming, that is how. Made of a thick material with a sticky back, Garmin HRM-Swim stays in place in the water to ensure you get the data you need, and that’s why we picked it as one of the top underwater heart rate monitors.

While in the pool, Garmin HRM-swim records your swimming data and syncs it to your device later.

HRM-Swim by Garmin has an internal clock that users can sync with their Garmin watch.

Overall, Garmin Swim does what it is supposed to do. It is a very proficient swimming HR strap and one of the best swim devices on the market.

But, you may also consider its relatively narrower band – Garmin HRM-Tri. So, if you are a lot into swimming, this is your device.


  • Snug fit
  • Comfortable
  • Decent battery life


  • Low waterproof capacity

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2. Fitbit Versa 2 Waterproof HRM For Swimmers

– Built-in Amazon Alexa
– 24/7 heart rate tracking
– Sleep tracking
– Unit dimensions: Small: Fits wrist 5.5″ – 7.1″ in circumference / – Large: Fits wrist 7.1″ – 8.7″ in circumference
– Battery life: Lithium-polymer, 2 hours of charging for 4+ days of use
– Water rating: 5 ATM

Versa 2 by Fitbit proves that being less is so much more. This brand of fitness products has improved everything that made the innovative budget smartwatch popular to create an almost perfect fitness tracker with the best smartwatch perks.

You can use this smartwatch for just about any physical activity you are into – running, cycling, gym workout, and swimming.

All while listening to your favorite playlist on Spotify. Its beautiful touchscreen is waterproof and can go up to 5 ATM as you dive into the pool.

While wrist-worn heart rate monitors can not match the tracking ability of strapped trackers, especially during rapid move changes like doing a flip-turn, as long as you can live with its limitations, it is still a pretty good swim watch you can get yourself.


  • Stylish and multifunctional
  • Comfortable
  • Improved lightweight design


  • Lacks GPS features

3. Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

– Perfect for swimmers and swimming activities.
– Smallest and lightest
– Adjustable straps
– Cool design
– Unit dimensions: 60 – 142x 3x 1.2 cm
– Battery life: 10 months (Tri training 1 hour per day)
– Water rating: 5 ATM

HRM-Tri by Garmin, your all-in-one swimming gadget, is one of the best heart rate monitors you can get yourself if you are into swimming and so much more.

Comprised of a chest-strap design that is small but stiff, it is the smallest and lightest heart rate monitor by Garmin thus far.

As the name suggests, HRM-Tri is ideal for your triathlon events. Thus, you can wear it as you swim, run, or cycle.

Worry not about hanging loose or falling off because this device offers a bi-fold adjustment that makes sizing easy for you.

Pair it with your Garmin Smartwatch, and you can use it for up to 10 months for a daily hour of physical activity.

It provides you with an excellent chance to improve your triathlon experience significantly.


  • Compact design
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Decent battery life


  • Only compatible with Garmin devices

Read also: The Best Swim Caps for Swimmers

4. Garmin Forerunner 245

I would particularly recommend the Garmin Forerunner 245, which is fully waterproof and provides useful additional data for your swimming training. The watch can be easily coupled with a chest strap, so that you get a complete package of reliable heart rate measurement from the chest strap and useful additional data from the watch itself. 

The optical heart rate measurement on the wrist (without a chest strap) works by measuring color changes on the skin due to the increased blood flow with a higher heart rate. For this purpose, the sensor, i.e. the heart rate monitor, must fit snugly on the wrist and must not slip too much.


  • Record heart-rate data while swimming
  • Provides pool lengths, swim intervals, stroke count, stroke types, and SWOLF
  • Garmin rates the watch to 5 ATM


  • Not the best battery life when compared to other models.

5. Fitbit Versa

– Always-On display mode
– Sleep score
– 24/7 heart rate tracking
– You can also store songs
– Unit dimensions: 1.98 x 3.98 x 9 inch
– Battery life: 6+ days of use from 2 hours of charging
– Water rating: ATM 5

Versa, the predecessor of Fitbit Versa 2, is one smartwatch that, despite its age, is not awkward to wear in and out of the gym.

Most users even claim that it is more comfortable to wear than an Apple watch. Furthermore, you can switch the bands from leather to rubber to make them more stylish.

Another exciting feature this device has is its female-health tracking features that include periods.

Read also: Best Earplugs for Swimming (Tested – No Debate!)

This feature gives women users the ability to log their period symptoms to gain insight into fertility and potential health conditions right at your watch’s face.

This feature is identifiable to most women; after all, a woman’s cycle is key to her overall health. It dramatically affects sleep quality, exercise, and food intake.

Despite its pretty basic health-tracking features, the Versa smartwatch is still game-changing from software to physical appearance.


  • Sleek and lightweight design
  • Decent battery life
  • Female health tracking features


  • No GPS features

6. Polar H10 heart rate chest strap

As almost always, Polar also provides a recommended variant for measuring the heart rate while swimming. The Polar H10 heart rate chest strap is also very suitable for your swimming training. Here I would use the Polar Vantage M in connection with the chest strap. I recently tested this extensively and was absolutely thrilled with the sports functions in particular. The watch also gives you very detailed and useful data for swimming, which you can then use to optimize your training.


  • Very reliable in various sports, swimming included.
  • Accurate Polar technology for heart rate monitoring.
  • Connectivity via Bluetooth Smart.


  • Might be uncomfortable around the chest for some users.
  • The strap requires regular washing.
  • Washing gradually wears down the strap.

7. SUUNTO Smart Sensor

– Comfortable
– High accuracy
– Not just for swimming but also works with other sports.
– Works with starva
– Up to 500 hours battery life
– Module weight 9,4g/0,33 oz (battery included), diameter 36,5 mm / 1,44 in. Thickness 8 mm / 0,32 in.
– Belt weight 31,2 g / 1,10 oz, width 30 mm / 1,18 in, length (size Medium) 70-110 cm / 28-43 in.
– Also supports Bluetooth


  • Watertight device.
  • Suunto Heatmaps helps you find swimming spots.
  • It tells you when you’re slacking off.
  • It tells when your technique is getting sloppy.


  • Not many design variations.
  • Lack some features like ECG monitoring.

Read also: 31 Best Swim Goggles for swimming

Benefits of Monitoring Your Heart Rate While Swimming

​It lets you know how hard you are working​; Any workout can feel challenging – 5 minutes may feel like “working hard.” However, without an unbiased measure of your effort, you can’t be sure how hard it was. Monitoring your heart rate while you swim tells you how much effort you are exerting with accuracy.

It sets workable goals for you; No matter what you are trying to achieve, it will give you an idea of the goals you need to set for yourself.

Whether the​se goals are an interval, continuous swimming during a period, or hitting a number of repetitions in a particular time, keeping a close eye on your numbers gives you data to track and compare.

It aids in maintaining your prescribed training boundaries; For the most part, a swimming HRM is useful for people on their way to recovery, where keeping your heart rate low is your goal.

There have been numerous instances when a workout’s momentum leads to pushing yourself too far when you’re only supposed to take it easy.

It helps design your training pattern; heart rate monitors are unnecessary when simply swimming for leisure.

However, if you have goals you want to accomplish, it is helpful to understand where you are to have an idea of how to plan your future swimming sessions.

Challenges of Swimming With Heart Rate Trackers/Monitors

Over the years, we could refine the characteristics that make fitness trackers, sleep sensors, or vital health monitors great by testing countless of them.

However, sensors have a few challenges in swimming that they should conquer.

For starters, heart rate trackers for swimming need to be waterproof – not just water-resistant.

It has to function well underwater. However, it is not that simple to produce a waterproof tracker.

Secondly, water movements in water are a bit more problematic to analyze. Tallying the turns, Identifying swimming styles, and gauging vital health parameters are challenging.

To measure this complex set of movements, Apple gathered data from over 700 swimmers and over 1500 swim sessions. Next, they studied this data to know the kind of data they would send to your wrist via nearby satellites.

Lastly, measuring the heart rate in water is more complex than running or biking.

Most data tracking methods used in the latter activities do not work for swimmers. Such trackers use a series of green lights that gleam against the skin to sense the changes in blood volume. These changes in blood volume generate the BPM (Beats Per Minute) readings. 

But, with today’s technology, companies have indeed found out how to overcome these.

Chest straps are also better at being heart rate monitors underwater than wrist-worn trackers.

Our Top Pick

​HRM-Swim by Garmin topped our list of the best swimming heart rate monitors; chest straps that are snug-fit lessen the odds of falling or sliding off your abdomen as you push your way through the waters.

The sticky, silicone-ish material that sucks up to your skin beats all the reasons for it falling off.

Additionally, the most common worry of any swimmer for their swimming heart rate monitor is the corrosive materials most pools have for treatment.

Garmin has HRM-Swim designed to withstand and endure these elements.

With a battery life of 235 hours, it won’t let you down in terms of recording all the data you need while swimming.


​There you have it—our list of best swimming heart rate monitors. The list is fully updated, and we will add new items that we test periodically.

Participating in various sporting activities, especially swimming, is better when you track down your performance.

With the items we listed, you can keep track of your entire swimming activity to know how you progress.

If you haven’t started to track your performance while in the water, you should start doing it with an HRM made explicitly for swimmers. The listed items are a good start to explore.

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