The best heart rate monitors in 2015: Garmin, Suunto, Polar, Timex, and more


It’s true that wearables that could make calls, track location, and give health alerts used to be the subject of science fiction movies. However, they’re now a mainstream reality that can be very helpful companions when it comes to tracking health, meeting goals, and much more.

There is no longer a small smattering of options when shopping for wearable heart rate monitors, but rather a wide variety of styles, features, and specs you can choose from. Finding the right one for you may be like searching for a needle in a haystack, so let us take some of the research work off your shoulders.

Check out the following 9 best heart rate monitors produced by the top wearable tech titans on the market right now — and find the right one for your personal needs.

Suunto Quest
The heart rate monitor for high performance training

The Suunto Quest Black is a heart rate monitor watch designed for athletes who want to track and analyze high level fitness performance. General functions include real time heart rate tracking within various heart rate zones, speed and distance tracking with Suunto PODS, and the creation and downloading of training programs from movescount.com. You can customize training programs to your individual needs, and choose the layout that suits you best. The watch is compatible with many Suunto PODS and GPS which enhance the tracking ability. For those looking to train hard on or off the track, this watch is made for you.  Check it out here, and make it yours for $199.99.

Suunto Quest heart rate monitor watch

Polar RS300X
The heart rate monitor for recreational athletes

The Polar RS300x is a sportswatch made to monitor the heart rate of recreational athletes. It can be used on its own, or with a GPS sensor or foot pod for enhanced tracking. Capabilities include setting a target for heart beats per minute, a percentage of your heart rate maximum, or a percentage of your heart rate reserve, and tracking accordingly. Working in conjunction with a computer, your watch becomes your own personal trainer, using Polar software to provide a training diary, programs and analysis. This can be a great companion for runners, cyclists, or even walkers.

Polar RS300x heart rate monitor watch

Garmin Forerunner 225
The heart rate monitor that needs no accessories

The Forerunner 225 is Garmin’s first watch to include a heart rate monitor. Additionally, being that Garmin is one of the biggest GPS manufacturers, it’s no surprise that the Garmin heart rate monitor has built in GPS, but it also records distance. Everything has been packaged and placed right on your wrist. Labeled as a running watch, Garmin provides connectivity via Garmin Connect to access free training plans and advanced workouts. Pick up the Garmin Forerunner 225 for $299.99.

Garmin Forerunner 225 heart rate monitor watch

Wahoo TICKR
The heart rate monitor compatible with multiple devices

The Tickr Heart Rate Monitor is a small fitness tracking device worn under the chest on a strap. It has built-in memory and is compatible for pairing via Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ dual band technology. The device will capture your heart rate, the amount of calories you burn, and your workout duration, which you can later transfer to another device or program. Wahoo Fitness also offers an app where you can access Burn and Burst training plans to apply your performance data to reach your goals. Check the Tickr out for only $59.99.

Wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor
Nike Sport Watch GPS
The heart rate monitor with incredibly accurate location information

As the name suggests, the Nike Sport Watch GPS comes ready to track GPS without any additional sensors, but it does much more than that. The watch will track your pace, count calories burned, monitor your heart rate when used in conjunction with the Polar Wearlink+, mark intervals or laps, resist water when you get sweaty, and motivate you with run reminders. After working out, you can analyze your performance, compare it to past performances, and set goals by connecting with nikeplus.com. Pick up the Nike Sport Watch GPS for $139.99.

Nike Sport Watch GPS heart rate monitor

Mio Alpha 2
The heart rate monitor watch with wireless connectivity

The Mio Alpha 2 is a high quality smart, heart rate watch which claims to offer heart monitoring with EKG-accuracy (no chest strap required), Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, performance tracking via an accelerometer, and memory that can hold up to 25 hours of workout data. This device will wirelessly connect to the Mio GO app for monitoring performance data, analysis and goal setting.

Mio Alpha 2 heart rate monitor watch

Basis Peak
The heart rate monitor for fitness and sleep tracking

The Basis Peak is heart monitoring watch with built in heart monitoring. It makes our list for best heart rate monitors for tracking fitness and sleep 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, offering an analysis of activity and sleep stages. A user can definitely gain a better understanding of their everyday patterns with this smartwatch. Additionally, you can receive your texts, emails, and call notification. The Basis Peak can be purchased here for $199.99.

Basis Peak heart rate monitor watch

Fitbit Surge
The heart rate monitor that looks good

The FitBit is a multi-sport watch that includes features such as GPS, PurePulse heart rate monitoring, all day activity tracking, long battery life, notifications, music, alarms and wireless syncing. It’s very sleek and can stay running for 7 days. You can access your data from the FitBit across multiple devices, be it your computer, smartphone or tablet, and monitor your health and progress. Grab this self-proclaimed ultimate fitness super watch for $249.95.

Fitbit Surge heart rate monitor watch

TomTom Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor (chest strap)
The heart rate monitor to track workout intensity

This chest strap made by TomTom is one of the best choices for runners seeking old-school heart rate monitors. It has a heart rate sensor to monitor your level of fitness as you perform aerobic activities. It can be paired via Bluetooth Smart technology with a watch or smartphone to gauge activity. This strap is comfortable and compatible for your heart monitoring needs.

TomTom Heart Rate Monitor

Whether you are a person who trains hard, runs marathons, lifts weights, rides bikes, plays tennis or wants to monitor your sleep, there is a are plenty of wearable heart rate monitors to fit your needs. By comparing the different models, you can find the main features you need and the look that you like best. From there, you can gain insights into your heart health, fitness and/or sleep and make improvements so you can live a longer, healthier life.

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