Wondering what fitness trackers and watches do kayakers use?
I will give you here 7 of the best ones that are most popular among kayakers.
It’s important to incorporate technology into all activities of life. Especially, when there is technology available which could make your experience so much better, then why not go for it?
For adventurers and people who have a lifestyle that involves going hiking in tough terrains or going kayaking, the needs for technology are different, as well.
Along with all this, it is also crucial to remember that it is very important to use a fitness tracker during kayaking. It serves as an important tool for navigation, safety, and tracking.
Fitness Trackers and Watches used by Kayakers
What to look for in a watch for kayaking?
There are plenty of things you should look out for, before choosing the ideal watch for your kayaking adventures. This includes several features:
1) Water Resistance:
Goes without saying, this one. You need a tracker that offers enough water resistance to withstand the demands of water you will face during kayaking. That includes splashes, some level of submersion, maybe even rain. Your tracker should be able to remain functional during all these. For that matter, you would probably need a tracker that offers water resistance up to 5 ATM. Almost all of the fitness trackers offer that kind of protection, so it should not be hard to find.
The size of your tracker needs to be big enough to read from the screen. It should have a sizeable screen, but at the same time, it should not be too bulky. Lighter the watch, the better and more comfortable you will feel while kayaking. The band length matters a lot too! Your watch should have a band that suits your wrist, which would allow for more comfort during paddling.
3) Battery Life:
GPS tracking can drain the battery really fast. So, it is ideal to purchase a tracker that offers the longest battery life during your expeditions. You would not want your tracker to die on you during your activity, surely!
4) Ease of Use:
The easier it is to use the functions of a watch, the better it is. You want to stay focused on your activity and not let your watch distract you from it. That is why it is important to have a watch that is more functional and easier to use. Button based interfaces can be preferred in such circumstances because of gloves and wet hands.
So, we look at the fitness trackers that are suited most to people who often go kayaking. We will try to cover the demands of professional kayakers and also the ones who do it for fun but still want to keep a track of how well they have done.
Best 7 Fitness Trackers for Kayaking:
1) Garmin Fenix 5 & 6:
This is quite possibly the most suited piece of technology for kayakers. It is the top of the line, a premium watch made for the most daring and adventurous person.
If you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie and like to test yourself against nature, then this watch is perfect for you!
It has the best GPS functionality due to its communication with both GPS and GLONASS satellites.
This offers an insane amount of accuracy in navigation. It records your kayak stroke count, stroke rate and distance between each stroke.
The battery life is insane considering it also monitors your heart rate, distance, and pace.
It will give you up to 20 hours with GPS on and 35 hours in UltraTrac battery saving mode, as well.
It has button navigation which is ideal in kayaking conditions and also comes with a backlight for night usage.
Plus, it’s rugged and strong build along with water resistance up 100 meters makes it the best possible option on the list.
More features include a barometric altimeter with a 3-axis compass and a gyroscope.
It also has a map feature along with sun/moon tides app, as well. It really is a monster of a tracker!
2) Polar M400 GPS Smart Watch:
This lightweight watch weighing only 51 grams was not ideally made for watersports. It is multisport which is probably the best smartwatch for runners.
However, being water-resistant, and having great GPS technology means that it has proven to be a very good option for kayakers, as well.
Its GPS will track your location, distance, speed and along with all those features, it will also map your journey.
The best feature it has is a ‘return to start’ feature which will show you how far away you are from your starting point. You can also create a kayaking profile via the app of this smartwatch, which is a huge bonus.
For design, it comes in multiple colors and it comes in a lovely design. It comes with longer straps to suit the needs of people with larger wrists and it has a large screen which is easier to read.
It offers eight hours of battery life while using the GPS feature. It is also compatible with a heart rate monitor if you want to attach one!
3) Garmin Forerunner 15:
Hardly a surprise that Garmin dominates the list. They really do make the best smartwatches in all domains! This is the ideal watch in terms of affordability and simplicity.
The Garmin Forerunner 15 is a basic watch that offers a basic level of GPS functionality which is combined with general activity tracking. It can take a few minutes to connect to satellites in new locations but once it’s done, it is accurate and reliable.
The battery timing is up to 8 hours and it offers water resistance up to 5 ATM. It is an easy watch to use with a simple display and is comfortable and light wear.
4) Suunto Ambit 3:
The Suunto Ambit 3 is a sleek and sexy watch. It is a hardened and durable watch while really is made for the outdoor world.
The Suunto Ambit 3 is water-resistant and proves to be the best partner for your adventures. It has a number of features that make it a really strong candidate for you to buy.
Along with all that, it offers tools that can keep you up to date with your speed, pace, recovery times, distance, etc. Plus, it offers you the ability to navigate through routes, and discover new ones, as well.
It has FusedAlti which helps you read your altitude and also offers sunrise/sunset and temperature alerts.
5) Garmin Vivoactive:
Garmin Vivoactive has an ultra-thin 8mm design and an in-built GPS tracker. This is made for people with highly active lifestyles.
You can also customize the design along with a beautiful sleek design that not only looks good but is also comfortable.
It has a very powerful battery that can last 3 weeks in activity mode and almost 10 hours in GPS tracking, as well.
Vivoactive is also water-resistant up to 50 meters. It is sun-light readable, offers high visibility and resolution and is very easy to navigate, as well. The only problem can be the fact that it does not come with a wrist heart rate monitor.
6) Huami Amazfit Bip:
The Amazfit Bip costs you less than a hundred dollars but offers you most of the functions that are offered by smartwatches on this list.
I actually reviewed it on my website as the best budget GPS watch – check it out here!
This affordability meant that we could not keep it out of the list. It is also equipped with the ability to connect with GPS and GLONASS, which means you are never losing a signal.
It maps your routes accurately and covers features such as distance, speed, and also calories burnt. It has a very good battery life and is water and dust resistant. Along with all these features, it only weighs 32 grams!
7) Garmin Vivosport Activity Tracker:
Surprise, surprise! Another Garmin product on the list. The Vivosport Activity Tracker is a slim and lightweight tracker that sells comfortability and is perfect for people who have smaller wrists or just want something small on the wrists, especially during kayaking.
The GPS tracking of this little devil is insane! It is very reliable and has a readable color display to go with all those features.
It has an 8-hour battery life on GPS mode and offers water resistance up to 50 meters. You can even swim it while wearing it.
The Vivosport Activity Tracker comes with a LiveTrack functionality that can also map your journey and offers basic features such as tracking distance, speed, time, etc.