Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
EX-PRESSO Posts: 478
6/27/12 3:22 A

I use my polar ft60 with a strap for swimming. No problem!

TROOPERJB SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,426)
Posts: 72
6/26/12 3:05 P

Used a Polar F11 for many years but unfortunately it is now a little unreliable, tired and worn (like its owner). I have been trying to get a replacement f11 off ebay for a few months but have lost the auctions each time.

I was going to go for a ft40 or ft60 as a replacement but on a whim decided a change of manufacturer was needed,

So now have purchased a Suunto M4 which is fairly equivalent to the f11 but after a few uses i miss the polar , for me the Polar was more flexibile in terms of workout programmes and feedback. Actually only advantage i can see that the Suunto has is that it actually looks like a watch and is very slimline compared to most hrms, the chest strap is also more comfortable.

If logging is important both Polar and Suunto have online sites where data can be uploaded and reviewed.

The new polar models will need a seperate flowlink device, the Suunto uses a small usb device to communicate via your pc. along with the communication software

The polar f11 used a "sonic" link, the data could be uploaded as a sound file via a microphone to the polar website.

EX-PRESSO Posts: 478
6/25/12 2:37 A

My hubby bought me a polar ft60 for christmas 3 years ago.

And its great! not too big. Training based on my personal goals, own zone, fitness test, calorie counting.

I really love it to work out with my polar :)

SOCDIRECTOR SparkPoints: (100,651)
Fitness Minutes: (96,086)
Posts: 773
6/24/12 10:35 P

I'm using Polar with Mytrak. So far, so good!
The challenge is water exercise. The Mytrak isn't waterproof like the Polar so I need to wear it with an AquaPak. Still captures my fitness activity levels really well.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,204)
Fitness Minutes: (79,213)
Posts: 2,170
6/24/12 7:24 A

For running, swimming and biking OUTSIDE, I suggest the Garmin 310xt. Great piece of equipment.

If you predominantly work out indoors though, it would be an overkill.

CHEEKY1000 Posts: 1,022
6/24/12 1:12 A

Since I originally posted this thread, I've gone through so many decision changes. Everything from wanting the turbo-charged, pimped out, does everything but run for me models of HRM's to deciding not to get one at all. Then, after another week of stagnant numbers on the scale as well as miniscule changes in measurements, I think I have finally reached the stage where working out and racking are not enough...I need to be more efficient with my workouts because they are just not doing it for me. I'm working out more now than I was a year ago, and I lost weight then...not so much now. My guess, is that my body is conditioned to working out and I need to challenge it...well, more efficiently. I believe the HRM is the key to that.

Since being able to record my swim workouts is imperative to me, I've narrowed it down to the Polar brand. The FT60 which I initially toyed with is alluring because of the "upgrades," but those aren't at all essential to what I need.

For those of you who mentioned Polar with swimming workouts, I really appreciate it. So, at this point I think I need to decide between the FT4 (yes, they still make this model) or FT40. I like the size of the FT40 much better--not as big as the FT4, but is that such a big deal considering I could save about $50 by going with the FT4? As many of you have mentioned, many/most of the Polars keep workouts in files so that you can record them separately. I think if the FT4 does the same thing, then that might make my decision easier.

You have all given such good information and helped prevent me from getting the "gadget gleam" in my eyes and buying more product than what I really need. LOL My wallet thanks you.

I appreciate the time you put in to such thorough responses. Just what I was looking for! emoticon

6/23/12 8:02 A

I bought a Polar F4 in April 2009 for approximately $70-80. I'm pretty sure they've discontinued that model, but it was a fairly simple, no-frills model. The most important feature is that it calculates the calories you've burned during your workout and lets you see it while you're working out. I did initially consider other cheaper models that didn't have this feature and I'm so thankful that I splurged a little bit and got the model that does do this.

This has actually been one of the best purchases of my life.

1) It shows me how many calories I've burned while I'm working out. If I have a specific goal set for myself for the day, I'm able to see if I can stop or if I need to keep going.

2) I keep a log of every time I've used the HRM - I just write down the info that it collects (length of workout, # calories burned, avg heart rate, max heart rate, etc). This means that I know exactly how many times I've used the thing since I bought it. Just out of curiosity I calculated how much I spent on the thing per use and it's now at pennies per day (I've had it for a little over 3 years, but I basically only have time to work out 2 days per week). I also created a formula in Microsoft Excel to calculate the number of calories I've burned per minute. For example, if I work out for 30 minutes and burn 300 calories, that's a better rate than if I work out for an hour and burn 300 calories - and I have that information in my log.

3) In the first year I had it, I lost approximately 50 pounds based on my exercise and eating habits (I also religiously calculated the calories in everything I ate, weighed and measured my food, etc). I kept the weight off for a while, but over the last year I've crept up about 15 pounds from where I want to be. So, now I'm getting serious about losing weight again and having all that information has come in handy. I'm actually having trouble losing weight now even though I'm measuring all my food, counting calories (and sticking to a limit) and working out. So, I did some analysis on all of my old data looking at when I was losing weight successfully. I was able to see that when I was at the weight that I'm at now on my original downward trend I actually hit a bit of a plateau too. And I was able to evaluate how my food and workouts are different now than they were when I successfully lost weight (for example, I'm actually not eating quite enough now, even though my workouts were the same length back then I had a slightly better burn rate, etc). Without the heart rate monitor I wouldn't have had half of this information and wouldn't have been able to see what I need to do slightly differently to be successful this second time around.

6/22/12 11:22 A

Second the DCRunner blog suggestion. He's very thorough.

Have you looked in Runner's World? They probably have some recs at various levels.

Also, for cyclists:

I have a Garmin Forerunner 405CX, and it works well. I liked the GPS (wanted to stop using my phone for tracking) and bike cadence sensor option, but there are other good HRMs out there that are less expensive. I did buy mine on Amazon and it was cheaper than anywhere else I looked.

There's also an option for using your smartphone with an ANT+ strap (Wahoo) and MapMyRun if you don't want to buy an HRM watch. Haven't used it myself, but lots of people seem to like it.

Edited by: CROWDGOESWILD at: 6/22/2012 (11:24)
6/22/12 11:21 A

I had a Polar f4 for a few years before losing the chest strap during a move [last I checked, the watch was still going strong]. It was basic, bare-bones functions but all I desired at the time. I was training for a race and it really helped me figure out why I couldn't run very long, despite high fitness levels otherwise [turns out I was pushing myself too hard, too fast, so my HR was very quickly elevated beyond the recommended 85%]. This time around, I set my 10% goal with the reward of buying a new HRM, and spent months researching models until I lost those 22 pounds. When it came down to it, I was torn between the Polar FT40 and FT60. They're largely the same, except that the FT60 has the personal trainer option and optional footpod [and it's pink, which I love!]. Eventually, though, I felt the additional features weren't necessary at this point so I decided to save a little money and go with the FT40.

I don't need GPS tracking on my HRM because I already do that on my phone [I've been using MapMyFitness for years to track my bike rides], and a lot of my workouts are done at the gym or in my house with DVDs. So that ruled out a lot of Garmin devices, which base calories burned on your distance. I did briefly consider the Polar FT7, but decided that I wanted more features than it provided [and the price difference between that and the FT40 wasn't that big on amazon]. I like that the FT40 [and 60] can hold multiple training sessions, so I can separately record all my gym workouts as well as the bike ride to and from the gym [it's interesting, at least to me, to see that the bike ride home from the gym keeps my heart rate higher than the ride there, presumably because I'm more tired and already in the fitness zone]. With my old HRM, it didn't save multiple workouts' data so I had to pause between activities and record it all as one. This way, I can see where I'm improving and need to step up the intensity.

I haven't been swimming with it yet, but my friend who also has the FT40 has used it while swimming for the last year or so, and she's had no problems.

6/21/12 5:46 P

I have the Polar FT7 simply for an accurate reading on calories burnt plus it gives me Ave and Max HR measurements so I could better adjust my walking and workout regimens. It works well, keeps a log over time and beeps to let me know if I'm over Max. Works fine for my purposes and I found it on Amazon for just under $80.

SOXFANNH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,233)
Posts: 20
6/21/12 2:10 P

I have had a Polar F4 for several years. I have had my husband change the battery twice and it still works well, even for swimming laps. WR-30, I believe, is water-resistant to 30 meters (or maybe 30 feet - big difference!), but if you are not diving, then you should be fine, even if it's only water-resistant.

Like others have said, I like that this model tracks calories for each workout, as well as time, average and highest HR, and time in zone. I set it manually, because my HR numbers are not "the usual." But setting it is very easy and it will remember your data during a battery change, too. (If it's quick, maybe not if the battery is out for a while.)

Good luck. I really find that training with an HR monitor makes quite a difference.

Edited by: SOXFANNH at: 6/21/2012 (14:11)
SPARKLES1438 Posts: 56
6/19/12 4:56 P

Oh-- and one last thought-- I bought my hrm on Amazon as opposed to in a store and saved about $50 even after shipping! Make sure you browse online for the best price for whichever you choose!

SPARKLES1438 Posts: 56
6/19/12 4:54 P

Polar RS-100... One of the main reasons that I bought a HRM was to get an accurate reading of how many calories I was burning. I was weighing everything I put into my mouth and counting every single calorie, yet never had a great reading of how many calories I was burning while working out.

What I love about my HRM:

1. The ability to know how many calories I have burned
2. You set the watch to your age, weight, height and can change it as your weight and age changes ensuring accurate readings
3. Its durable! Ive had it for a year and put it through some serious beatings
4. You can set your goal heart rate range and if you arent in your range, it beeps at you until you get there!
5. The chest strap and watch are both very comfortable

Now, Ive been told you can download your workout summaries online to keep track and other cool stuff- but I never use it for that kind of stuff!

Anyway- I did my research and Polar seemed to be the 2nd best (the 1st was WAY too pricey for me) and I absolutely love it!!!

Happy Buying!!! :-)

CLESSFAT SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,771)
Posts: 603
6/19/12 12:27 P

I have a Pyle and so far, I love it! It gives me my max hr, average hr and my target hr. It's awesome! It was onl 30 bucks brand new on Ebay.

INCONTROL247 Posts: 377
6/19/12 1:25 A

I'm a poor college student. I just bought a Pyle Sports HRM from amazon for less than $25. I've been using it for about 3 weeks now. So far I love it. It works well for me.

CHEEKY1000 Posts: 1,022
6/18/12 8:19 P

Luvssugar, you'll have to let me know how you like the Polar.

MYRTROSE, as much as I want to be able to swim with it, I'm about ready to just buy the Timex and let SP estimate my calories burned during my swims.

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm still doing some research, but will have to wait awhile longer to buy one. So many of you have give me a lot to consider. I appreciate it!

MYRTROSE SparkPoints: (52,492)
Fitness Minutes: (14,474)
Posts: 2,757
6/18/12 7:28 P

I just got the Timex Personal Trainer yesterday for my birthday.
Under $50 at Walmart and exactly what I heart rate and calories burned.
It has some other features that I'm not even interested in. I just want to make sure I'm in the right zone and it tells me when I am. LOVE it!

SLICEOFLIFE87 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,433)
Posts: 26
6/18/12 2:18 P

I just bought the Polar FT7. I used it for the first time today and its perfect for what I'm looking for. It has a comfortable chest strap and I can keep an eye on my HR and calories burned. it gives me feed back as to how long i was in the fat burning zone and how long I was in the fitness zone. I guess out of the 90 minutes i exercised this morning I was only in the fat burning zone for 5 minutes.

ECOTONELIFE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (9,786)
Posts: 2
6/18/12 1:59 P

I have the Polar FT60 and it's great, but I wouldn't spend that much money again on one. The must-have features for me are: 1) chest strap (it's not as convenient but much more accurate) 2) a calories-burned estimator that allows you to enter in your weight/height/age/etc. and that measures your resting heart rate)

The rest of the features are sort of extraneous for me as I track all my workouts on SparkPeople. I found the screen/features on this model to be surprisingly low-tech. I can probably figure out how to change the recommended workouts, but I really don't like the time frames they give me for each zone (it tells me I'm working too much in zone 3, and not enough in zone 1, but I don't feel like I'm getting a good workout if I stay in zone 1). It also wanted me to start off doing 4+ hours of exercise per week and when I first got it I wasn't at a good enough fitness level to be doing that. So I sort of just ignore their recommendations.

Though it's "water resistant" they suggest you not touch any buttons while underwater and I've read a lot of reviews that say that if they do use it underwater it ends up breaking.

I love having a HRM, it's really interesting to see your fitness level increase. But if you don't need recommended workouts and you just want to measure your heart rate/calories burned you could go with a cheaper model.

LOVSSUGAR SparkPoints: (30,176)
Fitness Minutes: (30,987)
Posts: 871
6/18/12 1:44 P

I recently ordered my Polar FT4 after doing research on all of them.
I got mine for under $100 and hopefully it will help me lose my last 10lbs and help me while I'm learning to run.

I'm still waiting for it to arrive, but i"m excited to see how it works.

GOALMOTO SparkPoints: (61,918)
Fitness Minutes: (62,000)
Posts: 206
6/18/12 10:26 A

I like having a heart rate monitor with me bcaue whn you live where it snows and you have to shovel and heart attacks can happen easly while shoveling snow I can monitormy heart rate while doing so and also mowing my lawn, when I feel my heart rate feeling high and know when to take breaks. Thats helpful

6/18/12 10:14 A

Personally, I love having a chest strap. I think it gives a more accurate measure of HR than a wrist strap alone. Currently, I have a TIMEX T5j041. I previously had a different brand, but can't recall which one.

I have three things I want monitored: time, heart rate, calories burned

Is it accurate information? Honestly, I don't know. However, the information is VALUABLE for me. I find myself competing with myself to reach certain HR and calorie numbers.

I got mine from I really wanted the chest strap and could not find on in a brick-and-mortar store. They come in a zillion different prices, so you have to really do your homework and decide which features are important to you.

Good Luck!

MAGGIEMURPHY4 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (10,813)
Posts: 936
6/15/12 5:13 P

Once you figure out which one you want...check out There were several models brand new for half the price. And most had returns policies. The other thing I learned is that some of the polar models you CAN"T change the have to have it done. And not all HRM measure calories burned. I have been looking into buying one this last week too....What I did was googled some of the brand names and read consumer feed backs. My question has been are they all accurate and how do you know...You can find some models for about 30.00 with great reviews.. The biggest reason I wanted to buy one was because I read a SP article stating that the gym machines overestimate calories burned up to 30%. So I am interested in knowing the difference. I still haven't decided whether or not I will. I also read older posts on this site that people were on opposite sides of the fence on whether they are necessary. All had valid points.

6/15/12 3:43 P

Be advised. Not everyone has success with reading pulse while swimming. Some have to buy a separate Chest Strap. You may want to google about swimming with it a bit.

FYI, this seems to be a problem for any HRM watch combo using a chest strap. Also, sounds like it works better for women.

LATTE1010 SparkPoints: (8,829)
Fitness Minutes: (10,477)
Posts: 42
6/15/12 9:12 A

Hey good Luck with you choice (Polar F60). Please update us on your progress with it. I am also in search of HRM and I have also thought about a Body Bugg or a FitBit. So I guess I have to do more research.

CHEEKY1000 Posts: 1,022
6/14/12 4:54 P

Good grief! Just when I'm sure I've made a decision...I discover more information. I was so convinced that I was going to buy the FT40 that I put it in my shopping cart on Amazon. Then I went back to the Polar website and did a side-by-side comparison of the FT40 and FT60. There's about a $30 difference, so I wanted to see where that extra money was. lol

To be honest, I'm intrigued by the FT 60's capability of Polar STAR personal training program which adapts to you--personally (it can tell on any given day what zone you should be in--cool!!). Plus, a footpod can be added later to gauge distance when running outside. I am such a sucker for the techie upgrades. Gaaaaa! So, unless someone has something horrible to say about the FT60, it looks like (for the moment anyhow-lol) that might be the one. It's in my shopping cart. I'll let it sit there for awhile. :o)

GRACEMCC45 Posts: 1,134
6/14/12 9:43 A

I have the Polar F4. Easy to work, lights up when you hold it next to the chest strap. No fancy birthday candles! Lasted me over 2 years before it started failing, and I just replaced the watch battery and it's like new - mind you opening the case of the watch did make it no longer waterproof, but I don't swim so it's okay.

I would recommend you get one with at least the 2 following functions:
- chest strap - much more accurate
- calories burned feature - it makes you input age, gender, height, and weight and it fairly accurately estimates your calories burned based on your exertion. Be sure to update the weight as those pounds melt off!

MOGOONTHEMOVE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,573)
Posts: 16
6/14/12 9:41 A

Warning on the cheaper Polar model - I've had mine for 4 months, love it, but in the last couple weeks it is suddenly having difficulty picking up my heart rate if I'm below 115 BPM. I thorougly wet the straps and ensure they're tight and in place, but the watch shows my HR as 0 until I get into my workout and my HR picks up.

CATMAGNET SparkPoints: (40,431)
Fitness Minutes: (52,553)
Posts: 1,183
6/14/12 7:43 A

I've been using a New Balance HRM (can't remember which model) that I got at Target, and it's been working really well for me. Granted, it's a basic, bare-bones model with a chest strap, but it works for me for my interval training.

KAESEA78 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,075)
Posts: 182
6/14/12 5:04 A

Thanks for posting this question and thanks to all the reviews! I have been wanting to purchase one but there was just too many to choose from. I posted a similar question but because I work nights and only post in the middle of the night I don't get many replys.

CHEEKY1000 Posts: 1,022
6/14/12 1:20 A

Okay, I think I've narrowed it down to Polar. Now I just have to figure out a model. I'm looking at both the FT60 and the FT7. I'm drawn to the FT60, but it's almost twice the cost of the FT7. Both get good reviews.

Thank you all for your input and I welcome more! :o)

ANNEV2012 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (7,854)
Posts: 974
6/13/12 10:53 P

Polar or Garmin. In my experience Polar is better, there are fewer technical glitches with their HRMs

LYNCHD05 Posts: 10,908
6/13/12 10:49 P

i love my is a Polar with a chest strap. I like knowing after my workouts just how many calories I have burned and my MHR. I use to have it set so it beeped when I went out of my range and that was just a pain. I think they are great!

6BALLMAN SparkPoints: (101,027)
Fitness Minutes: (38,129)
Posts: 10,144
6/13/12 6:13 P

I got a Polar Pacer 14 years ago after my heart attack, and it worked beautifully. I wore it out...literally. So then I was off the fitness gig for some years but when I got to 25 years at work I was allowed to chose my anniversary gift from among many pages in a catalog and one of the items was an Oregon Scientific unit that is remarkable in its usefulness and complexity. The polar was pretty much a 2 function device (bpm and watch), and it was very good at that as long as I kept it away from any power drills. The magnetic field released by the drill motor would activate the monitor at 225 bpm! LoL.

No real complaints about either ...
YMMV ... mine usually does. Good Luck.

CHEEKY1000 Posts: 1,022
6/13/12 5:10 P

Thank you all so very much for your suggestions. Wow!

I've been doing some research on Amazon, and I feel as though the Polar FT60 (women's model) fits a lot of my needs with one exception: it's not waterproof (it says it water-resistant to 30 meters; I know that WR-100 is much more water proof than WR-30). 3 of my workouts a week during the summer are swimming workouts and I'd hate not to have that data--or even not to know if I'm working in the right zone. Sometimes I think I'm not.

So, I guess my basic requirements are calories burned, in the right zone HRM indicator, waterproof, time elapsed, and not so expensive I have to get a second mortgage--lol. Any other features would just be icing on the cake. I run outside in the winter, so gps might be nice, but it is by no means necessary--at least not at this stage.

Again, thank you for your great suggestions. I'm going back to Amazon and check out a few more that you suggested.

Edited by: CHEEKY1000 at: 6/13/2012 (18:31)
CLOUDCAT13 SparkPoints: (471)
Fitness Minutes: (10,546)
Posts: 69
6/13/12 4:44 P

I've had great success with Polar. Which one depends on your budget and options you need. I use mine to keep a running tally of my progress and track how much I've done within my heart rate zone. I used to do 45 minutes of cardio, but since my HR never went hight enough I was basically wasting my time. I set the zone I want and it tells me if I'm staying in it or not. I have seen huge improvments since doing this.

AMPROSKE1 SparkPoints: (65,348)
Fitness Minutes: (58,650)
Posts: 946
6/13/12 1:54 P

I have always love my Polar. I don't know the model number- it's several years old, and though I have had to replace the battery a couple of times, it's still ticking away very well!! I use it during my workouts to make sure I am keeping my heart rate up. I can program it to do a lot of things if I want to, but I just use it to keep an eye on my heart rate during my workouts. There are several different kinds of Polar hrms so you just have to look for the one that fits your needs the best.

LILLITO Posts: 168
6/13/12 11:44 A

you all are verrrryyyy tech savvy; i have just been checking my pulse!

MENNOLY SparkPoints: (111,549)
Fitness Minutes: (67,981)
Posts: 8,449
6/13/12 10:24 A

My Polar FT7 pretty much fits my needs. It stores data, gives me max HR, ave HR, calories expended after the work out. During the workout it gives me elapsed time actual time heart rate and the point where fat burning becomes aerobic. I use it to monitor how hard I work out. I have a challenging time getting it to go to aerobic on the bike, but if I run I easily exceed 85% of my maximum heart rate.

PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
Fitness Minutes: (108,468)
Posts: 3,984
6/13/12 9:36 A

I think that you must first decide why you want or need a heart rate monitor. Don't get me wrong I actaully have two and I use one for almost all runs, biking etc.

What is it you want the HRM to do for you?

What activities do you want to use it for?

What is the limit of the other resources available such as Sparks, PRE, METS, etc.?

Answering these questions may suggest features to look for or things that would be necessary and things that would be nice.

My first HRM only provides time, Current heart rate, average heart rate, and Calorie estimate.

My Gramin 305 is a GSP running computer, provides about 20-30 variables, Plus GPS including Calorie estimate bassed on Speed and distance Not Heart Rate so can not estimate calories on a tread mill, however, I calculate calories in excel based on data.

Hope this is food for thought.

MOINSDEMOI Posts: 2,416
6/13/12 9:35 A

I wear a Polar HRM with a chest strap; have had several models and the problem was getting the batteries replaced, but it can be done locally now. I have not ventured away from Polar because of the quality of the watches and now that I can get batteries replaced locally I doubt I will. However there is a lot of competition and if Polar is not carried at Academy or Sports Authority I may have to switch eventually.

6/13/12 9:08 A

I had the Polar many years ago and now have the Timex (the cheapest one). I'm cheap, and not a techy, so wanted something simple. I really like this feature on the Timex: at the end of the workout, it gives me a summary: time exercised, average bpm, and peak bpm. It lets me know my overall intensity. I think it was about $50 or $60

SPOORK Posts: 1,193
6/13/12 9:03 A

For reviews DC Rainmaker is great for indepth reviews. Amazon is also good.

I have the Garmin Forerunner 405CX, which is a GPS watch and comes with a HRM. If you run or bike I highly recommend getting a GPS watch. It uploads all the data to Garmin's site, which is awesome and really useful. You can also upload to It tracks the obvious: heart rate, pace, speed, distance, elapsed time, and calories burned. It also has a virtual partner (aka pacer) which you can set to "race" against or help keep your tempo. You can also create custom workouts on Garmin's site and have them transfered to your watch for your run. It also has a backlight which can be turned on for running in the dark.

Several of the things I don't like about the watch are:
-The touch bezel (kind of like the old ipods) is really hard to use when running and won't scroll when wet/sweaty. If I had to replace my watch I would buy a different model because of this.
-Sometimes I have trouble getting the GPS to connect. I think this is because I live in a city. I don't have any problems with it connecting when I visit my parents.
-I have a small rib cage and the HRM strap just barely fits me (as in it's too big).

PAYDAY10 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,430)
Posts: 2,177
6/13/12 9:02 A

These devices are too pricy for my budget but anything that helps realize a person's goal is worth considering.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,204)
Fitness Minutes: (79,213)
Posts: 2,170
6/13/12 2:45 A

I suggest that you take time and go through the reviews at the Amazon web site. You will come across a lot of nonsense reviews, but some of them are right to the point, usually the relatively long ones. Take your time to read them. Whichever you can connect with must be what you are looking for.

I have owned relatively cheap HRMs in the past, and my most recent HRM is a Garmin 310XT. The main reasons I chose it over the other are: (1) it has gps tracking and almost never drops the signal, (2) it is designed for triathlon, running+cycling+swimming, (3) is waterproof, (4) a single charge would last over 10 hours, (5) calories burned are calculated not only through the GPS signal but also through the heart rate so that you can actually exercise indoors and get descent calories burned estimation (I don't recommend it for elliptical workouts though), (6) I like the Garmin connect web service, which is free, (7) I like the no hassle wireless transmission of workout data to the web site.

DREAVG Posts: 3,215
6/12/12 9:17 P


go to the Polar website and look at the different features. I really like the calorie count option. I have a HRM with a fit test function and I rarely use it. That said, others find that feature very helpful. Ask yourself what you really want and what you will really use.


TEDDYBEARGIRL SparkPoints: (78,540)
Fitness Minutes: (18,611)
Posts: 22,908
6/12/12 7:44 P

I just ordered one for the first time so it will arrive to me in about 3 weeks.......I hope it works great!

AEROGERS129 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (36,962)
Posts: 558
6/12/12 6:46 P

I have the Polar FT4 and absolutely love it.

I purchased it at Target for around $80 and have had it for over a year and a half.

It functions as a watch with the date, tells you your 'safe range' for your heart rate and displays where you're falling in that range during your workout, it also displays how long you've been working out for and calories burned. It also stores this Data in 'Training Files' that you can access later.

As far as I know, there's no app to transfer it over to anything, but I find it to be simple to 'Track My Fitness' here on Spark by manually entering the calories burned and workout minutes straight from my Training Files.

What's also cool is that there is no cross-talk -- the chest strap is encoded to avoid that. So it's always fun to compare what the HR Monitor says as opposed to the workout equipment that you're on (I find that the HR Monitor usually shows a more accurate, lower number because - from what I hear - workout equipment is calibrated for an average male... and when you're a female or an un-average male, things aren't accurate whatsoever...)

It also glows in the dark when you hit the upper left button (helpful when running at night or the middle of the night when you want to know what time it is) and a birthday cake with candles appears on your birthday (AWW! Not only functional, but sweet too!)

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (252,346)
Fitness Minutes: (126,640)
Posts: 14,923
6/12/12 5:19 P

I like my Timex. It has the lap count feature which I like. It also allows me to set up my target zones.

DH uses a Polar. His is very basic. He likes that brand because it will sync with the HRM on the equipment at the gym we use. My Timex doesn't do that, but I prefer it that way because of the 'cross talk' when the machines are close together.

I know you can get really fancy with HRMs. It just depends on what you want. If you go to Google and type in the ones you are considering, you can get a comparison (Timex vs Polar vs Garmin, for example)

I did buy a Suunto HRM once. Didn't like it at all. Too complicated to figure out. That's why I stick with Timex. Easy to program and it has the features I want. If I ever want to go with something fancier, I can get better a Timex.

ETA: I do prefer the models with a chest strap. There are some that use a pulse from your finger when you touch the watch, but I like the constant read out (and it seems I've read that the chest strap is more accurate).

Edited by: OBIESMOM2 at: 6/12/2012 (17:21)
CHEEKY1000 Posts: 1,022
6/12/12 3:39 P


I'm trying to do some research on HRM's, so I know what I want to buy and how much money to start saving. However, I have no idea what I really need to look for. Does anyone know if SP has done any reviews or articles on HRM's? I did a search and didn't come up with anything, but maybe I didn't look deep enough.

If you have any suggestions on "must have" features, let me know! I'd like something that can connect to an app on my cell phone (I believe that's a possible feature).

If you recommend a specific HRM, could you tell me WHY you like it (specific features, etc)?


Page: 1 of (1)   1

Other Fitness and Exercise Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
Workout ideas for "beginner"? 3/8/2017 8:44:02 AM
How did you initially get motivated? 1/27/2017 8:19:56 PM
Weight Lifting and Heart Rate: What's Effective? 5/2/2016 1:55:09 PM
Google Fit 1/17/2017 12:11:57 AM
upper/lower split without deadlifts? 10/9/2016 11:09:32 PM