Signing up and participating in a triathlon is a mentally and physically consuming task. If you’re planning to attend an upcoming event, it’s vital to start preparing as soon as possible!
Triathlons are excellent in proving to yourself (and others) that you have stellar fitness and endurance levels. It shows that you’re more than just a person who talks a big game at the gym or during yoga class; you can actually prove it!
These events are one of the most grueling and exhausting activities you’ll ever participate in. And we implore you to add it to your to-do list before you leave this life for the next.
Heck, you’ll feel like a whole new person once you cross that finish line. But it’s easier said than done.
To be conditioned for a triathlon, you’ll need the right gear for training before and during the event. And some of the essential items to have in your arsenal is a triathlon watch as well as a compact pair of running shoes.
As such, we have compiled a detailed review of the best multisport watches in the market.
We have also written a comprehensive guide on all the features and factors to consider before making a purchase. Here are the top picks from the list!
For your first triathlon watch, we highly recommend the Garmin Forerunner 935 that comes with a multitude of features to make your triathlon transition as smooth as possible. An advanced GPS navigation system will ensure you stay on course for your triathlon. The only minor setback is that the watch comes in one size, hence can be uncomfortable for individuals with large wrists.
Without a doubt, the Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire is one of the best triathlon watches that money can buy. A sleek, stylish design meets high-end GPS and connectivity features. Battery life can extend from 8 hours up to 10 days. The price, however, is extremely steep.
Best Bang for Your Buck
If you’re on a tight budget, then you can purchase the highly affordable Timex Ironman Classic 30. For a few bucks, you’ll be able to monitor your progress with a 30-lap memory feature. Plus, the watch has an impressive battery life that pushes a decade! Unfortunately, it is limited in terms of features.
Triathlon watches are more than just your proverbial timepieces. They can range from simple devices to sophisticated multi-faceted tools that are ever-evolving with the technological innovations of today.
Modern triathlon watches come with advanced features such as HR monitoring, physical activity tracking, and inter-device connectivity.
In our comprehensive buyer’s guide, we will analyze these top features to determine what type of triathlon watch suits you best. We will also analyze other external elements such as brand recognition and price to dictate how to purchase your preferred watch. But before delving into all this, here is our comprehensive review of the 11 best triathlon watches.
“The Ideal Triathlon Watch for Any Participant”
There is no doubt that the Forerunner 935 triathlon watch is one of Garmin’s finest releases. Everything about this watch oozes attention to detail; from its sleek, attractive design to its multi-featured capabilities that make it a great companion to have around.
What’s more, you get an extended battery life of up to 24-hours, even when high processing power features such as the heart-rate monitor and GPS are turned on simultaneously.
The watch also comes with a tracking system to monitor your vitals and ensure you’re performing at your peak physical capability. For example, you can track your pace during a run, while also monitor the number of strokes you take during a swim.
The Forerunner 935 triathlon watches also save a lot of data regarding your performance so that you can use it towards improving your overall pace and endurance.
Using this watch with a chest strap makes it a flexible device for any physical activity; including swimming, cycling, and running.
An additional feature of the Forerunner 935 that will surely impress is its ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks.
This way, you can download the latest fitness programs to expand your exercise regimen.
“An Innovative Watch That Keeps You Up-to-date With the Latest Features”
As the name suggests, the Garmin Approach S20 GPS Golf Triathlon watch is a multi-purpose device that can be used for different triathlon training regimens. Indeed, it serves as a great training companion with extensive features such as Bluetooth Smart connectivity to enable you to record your personal performance data.
You can also monitor the total number of calories you’ve expounded after every training session to maximize your workouts.
With yearly upgrades released for the Approach s20, you can stay up-to-date with the latest innovative features to ensure you get the best out of every training session you have.
“Durable Watch for the Toughest Conditions”
The Polar V800 triathlon watch is manufactured specifically to handle the most challenging activities that you can come across during a triathlon. Indeed, it is designed exclusively for outdoor thrills and spills.
Upon first glance, you will notice that its display is manufactured from high-resistant and durable glass with excellent anti-glare properties.
The watch also has a great GPS navigation system fitted with a barometric altimeter to track your location when hiking.
How awesome is that?
This navigation system will accurately determine your exercise route, as well as track your speed as you move from one checkpoint to another.
”One of the Best Bluetooth Triathlon Watches in The Market”
Suunto is one of the most famous sports watchmakers in the market. And they bring their A-game to this list with the Ambit3.
The Ambit 3 Peak HR triathlon watch comes with an in-built heart rate monitor perfect for tracking your pace with an accurate display of your BPM.
The Ambit3 Peak has a water-resistant feature for depths of up to 100 meters. The addition of a compass serves for excellent navigation when you’re traversing the long course.
It also comes with an added Bluetooth feature that connects to your smartphone without any issues.
The Ambit 3 Peak HR triathlon watches are also known for having the best battery life with a duration of up to 200 hours!
“Versatile for Both Veterans and First time Competitors”
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT triathlon watch is an affordable time piece that is available in two variations. The first one being the tri-bundle unit that comes with a HRM-Swim accessory and a chest strap. And the second one being the stand-alone unit.
As the name suggests, the HRM-Swim Variation is explicitly designed for swimmers and made more durable by its resistance to water and chlorine damage.
While the tri-bundle comes with all the desirable features, don’t underestimate the power of the stand-alone unit.
It still serves as an excellent triathlon watch to meet all your needs if it’s your first time participating.
”Pocket Friendly Watch for All Your Exercising Needs”
The Timex Ironman Classic 30 triathlon watch is designed with a user-friendly approach. Indeed, the low-price tag is what will impress you the most about this particular device: not to mention how helpful it is during a triathlon.
As such, you will waste no time learning how to navigate and utilize the different features the watch possesses. It further comes with ample space to store just about all your data regardless of what you are doing.
Unfortunately, the shockingly low price tag means you will not benefit from other essential features of the watch, such as app connection or monitoring your heart-rate.
Nevertheless, it’s still a great watch to have by your side as you participate in the event.
“A Classy Watch Both on the Field and Off It”
If you’re looking for the most exceptional triathlon watch that money can buy, then look no further. The Garmin Fenix-5 Sapphire triathlon watch is an exquisite piece to have as you train. With such a hefty price tag, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth with a bevy of modern features that take your training to a whole new level.
The watch comes with a sleek design that is suited for the comfort of the wearer. In terms of style, you will undoubtedly pique the interest of onlookers with its breathtaking structure and dark appearance.
The GPS feature enables you to obtain a topographical map of your current location, a vital element to have by your side as you participate in the triathlon.
Other amazing features that make Garmin Fenix-5 Sapphire triathlon watches a must-have are the heart-rate monitor, and the use of a Galileo satellite for maximum GPS troubleshooting in remote areas.
“A Watch to Push Your Body to Its Limits”
The Corox APEX triathlon watch might not win a popularity contest any time soon, but it’s one heck of a hidden gem!
Indeed, the watch is conveniently designed to help you out, especially if you’re participating in your first triathlon.
For starters, you get the usual GPS navigation system, heart rate monitor, altimeter, and compass components synonymous with high-end triathlon watches.
An additional unique feature that’s exclusive to APEX triathlon watches is the Intelligent Stride Algorithm.
This particular program will help you monitor your triathlon progress and movement, even if you pass through areas with poor mobile reception.
“The Ideal Fitness Tracker for Beginners”
An affordable watch that does its duty on the course, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 triathlon watch is a great fitness tracking watch to have. It’s got a user-friendly interface for accessing its in-built apps quickly.
The device comes with 15 programs that are vital for monitoring your progress in intense activities such as swimming, biking, and running.
The presence of the VO2 app further helps you to track your progress during training sessions.
One of the unique features of the Vivoactive 3 triathlon watches is the Garmin Pay functionality. With this feature, you can purchase items with the watch instead of using cash. How awesome!
“Performance Watch For Professionals”
As is the case with any high-end sports watch from Suunto, the Spartan triathlon watch is a high-performing timepiece that comes with a sturdy in-built monitor and exceptionally long battery life.
In terms of appearance, the Spartan can serve as a casual watch to wear to social functions thanks to its attractive pitch-black color.
A highly-evolved GPS system makes it easy for you to get real-time updates of your progress of the map as you tackle the triathlon.
Spartan Triathlon Watches have an advanced heart-rate monitor to display your vitals.
The presence of a protective bezel further ensures that your precious timepiece lasts longer as you swim, cycle, and run.
“Keeping You Fit Through the Day”
While the Amazfit Stratos Bip triathlon watch might not have all the essential features of a high-end sports watch, it gives you value for your money. With a remarkable GPS tracking feature, you can navigate your way through the triathlon without breaking a sweat.
Bluetooth connectivity also ensures you get to enjoy your taste of music as you tackle the various obstacles along your path.
What seals the deal for this piece of ingenuity to make it on the list is that you can use it to train for different exercise regimens depending on your goals.
Shopping for a triathlon watch involves dissecting two main questions that most consumers have in mind when going triathlon shopping.
There are many features you need to consider before purchasing a triathlon watch that meets your specifications. However, the most common features that the majority of consumers desire are:
A cardio-intensive event like a triathlon requires a reliable GPS navigation system to track your progress through and through.
Indeed, navigation is ideal because it helps you keep in tune with your bearings as you conserve your energy.
Expending too much energy in some sections of the race might prompt an early exit for you.
Hence, a triathlon watch with a modern navigation system plays a vital role in completing the event successfully.
During a triathlon, you will be pushed beyond your limits while tackling tough and challenging terrain.
As such, you must have a sturdy triathlon watch that can withstand all types of pressure; whether on land or at sea.
Indeed, a robust and water-resistant watch can be all the difference between seamless navigation and prematurely checking out of the race due to strategic failure.
Such a sturdy watch usually has a robust bezel with protective features such as anti-glare, scratch resistance, and water resistance.
This is to ensure longevity as you participate in as many triathlons as possible.
A standard triathlon takes up to 12 hours to complete and consists typically of swimming, running, and cycling.
Hence, you will need a handy triathlon watch that carries extensive battery life with just one charge.
As a safeguard, always buy a watch that emphasizes long battery life, especially when several of its features such as the heart-rate monitor and GPS are activated simultaneously.
With that said, you have to be careful with some smart triathlon watches that exhibit a significant battery drain when many apps are used at the same time.
If you decide to purchase a smart triathlon watch, make sure it has functional connectivity with third-party workout apps.
These apps can prove indispensable during triathlon events as they help you navigate and monitor your vitals in some of the most tiring stages of a triathlon.
Features of the watch, such as GPS tracking and pulse-monitoring, are not the only essentials to analyze before purchasing a triathlon watch. Indeed, it is important to analyze subtle factors such as the brand and price of the watch before buying it.
When it comes to brand, we must hone in on quality. How does brand X edge out brand Y to become the apex triathlon watch provider in the market? To answer this, we will analyze the design and manufacturing process that goes into creating every triathlon watch.
For example, what kind of material is used? Or how sturdy is the watch? Indeed, each brand usually provides a detailed review of the tensile and pressure tests that their training watches have been subjected to. Such information can be found on the company’s main website.
While it is understandable to have your preference, it won’t cost an arm or a leg to have an open mind when searching for the best quality watches in the market.
Don’t merely select a particular brand just because it sounds cool, or you have a sentimental attachment to it. Check out brands that have a genuine mark of quality on them, or are respected even by their rivals.
A dime in a dozen (as the phrase dictates) might seem scarce during triathlon watch shopping, especially if you’re sacrificing some features for affordable pricing. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You can still get a durable, capable triathlon watch without murdering your wallet. Indeed, you will find that some of the best triathlon watches in this list are pocket-friendly and can save you a dollar for a rainy day!
Whether this is your first or one-hundredth triathlon, you’ll find that the Garmin Forerunner 935 is a great companion to have by your side. Not only does it have a state-of-the-art GPS navigation system, but also provides a seamless connection to third-party apps and accessories. The 935 can be used for any training activity, and its lightweight design makes it a comfortable watch to have as you push your body to the limit!