Best Heart Rate Monitor for Rowing: Reliable Watches and Chest strap Heart Rate Monitor

(Last Updated On: August 22, 2019)

We have carried extensive research on various fitness sensor devices, and we select the WAHOO Tickr as the best heart rate monitor for rowing.

We chose this device because it has massive onboard storage and offers accurate stats. It even works with Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. Generally, this chest based monitor enables you to track your performance during your rowing workouts. What’s more, it is very affordable for those looking for a budget-friendly heart monitor.

 

Best Heart Rate Monitor for Rowing

Rowing workout helps to enhance your total body, but having a heart rate monitor handy is a big plus. Doing this workout indoors as well as on the water helps to burn more calories due to the constant movement of your body. However, without a heart rate monitor, you could end up hurting your health in the long run.

Using the best heart rate monitor for rowing will help keep your health in check and allow you to know the intensity of your workout. It also enables you to improve your performance, and know when to adjust your training.

Today, there are many heart rate monitor on the market, but it can be pretty challenging to get a good and reliable model that provides an accurate rating. Luckily, we have tried out numerous models that work great. With this experience, we’ve put together a sincere list of best heart rate monitor for rowing on the market.

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire Edition

 

When it comes to the best smartwatches for rowing, the Garmin Fenix 5s is certainly a top contender. This watch comes with great features that will keep your heart rate in check and provide calories burned information. One exciting part is that it works independently, which means you don’t need to connect to any data collector.

Sturdy Construction

If durability is your outmost concern when looking for the best heart rate monitor for rowing, then the Fenix 5s is a perfect choice. This smartwatch is made of superior quality material that can withstand tough condition when rowing like knocks and falls.

It has a sturdy built that features 52mm stainless steel case while a scratch-resistant sapphire glass covers the display screen. In addition to its durability, the watch is also water-resistant to 100 meters. Hence, it is a perfect choice for on-the-water rowers.

Quality Band

As you should know, there seems to be a lot of movement of the hand when rowing. For this reason, you will need a device that won’t come off easily. The Fenix 5 has a high-quality silicon band that will stay secure and comfortable on your wrist.

One exciting part is that the band is interchangeable. Hence, you can easily replace its original band with a leather or metal strap to suit your training outfit.

Clear display and Features

Since it’s best to get a device that provides you with easy reading and bright display, this watch has an LCD screen. The display also has a transflective technology that makes the watch face looks brighter under direct sunlight.

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry when working out at night. It features a backlight for easy reading in low light condition.

Accurate Sensor

Garmin heart rate smartwatches have never failed to provide users with accurate and precise reading. The Fenix 5 features a highly efficient sensor that can accurately monitor your heart rate. Not only that, but this smartwatch also provides reliable calories burned information.

It stands as one of the best heart rate monitors without chest strap as you don’t need to wear anything around your upper body. What’s more is that the sensor can also count your step, monitor your sleep, and let you know the intensity of your workout.

Opinion and Drawbacks

With all mentioned above, the Garmin Fenix 5 is undoubtedly a great watch for rowers due to its durable parts, accurate sensor, and other impressive features. However, it stands as the most expensive option on our list of best heart rate monitor for rowing. But we consider the quality material and impressive features, it worth the price.

Another downside is that the watch is quite heavy, which make it a lesser comfortable option for rowers.

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

 

The Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor can be seen as the best heart rate monitor for rowing because of its comfort, accuracy, and flexibility. It also offers excellent battery life and onboard storage, which makes it ideal for rowers who do not work out with their smartphones. Also, if you to consider other models on this brand, the H10 stands as the best Polar heart rate monitor for rowing due to its impressive features.

Dedicated App for Heart Rate Monitoring

The H10 works with popular third-party apps such as Cardio Mapper, Endomondo, and Runtastic. However, it has a dedicated app – the Polar Beat offers features that will benefit the indoor or outdoor rower.

This app helps you hit and sustain your peak heart rate during sessions by displaying your heart rate zones. It allows you to view your performance and its duration when rowing, and share your data via Bluetooth with compatible devices.

Long-Lasting Battery

The battery on this chest monitor is replaceable and lasts for 400 hours. This helps you use the strap for long periods without carrying the extra weight of a charger around. Additional batteries are sold separately and can be purchased at your local retail store.

High Degree of Accuracy

This strap stands as one of the most accurate heart rate monitors from the Polar brand. It gains this status because it provides excellent ECG measurements, thereby making it a top choice for all activities, including rowing.

Comfortable Build

This product has a slim profile that does not add pressure to your torso, thus allowing you to perform rowing strokes with ease. It also does not chaff your sink during your workout sessions.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Accuracy and comfort are some of the exciting features on this device. However, like most items on our list, it has some issues. First, you will make some payments before you can fully unlock the features on the app. Next, the product lags during a Gymlink connection.

Garmin Chest Strap, HRM

 

Do you need a durable heart rate monitor for rowing? Then you should check out this heart rate monitor from Garmin. Although the Garmin HRM-Tri Chest strap is mainly designed for triathletes, it would be a worthy investment for both professional and amateur outdoor rowers.

Lightweight and Portable Design

The Garmin Chest Strap HRM is a small and lightweight heart rate monitor. It comes with a thick pod with soft edges, thereby allowing you to move rowing strokes comfortably. Furthermore, its strap has seams that will not chafe your skin when you are emerging or using an actual boat.

Water Resistance

You can use the strap for either indoor workout or on the water rowing. The reason is that it is water-resistant to 5 ATM, which means it can handle splashes from the oars or a short dip in the water.

Impressive Battery Life

This HRM strap runs on batteries that will for last for 10 months, depending on its use. Furthermore, these batteries are not rechargeable. However, you can purchase a replacement from retailers.

Data Storage

As expected from a rival to the best heart rate monitor for rowing, the Garmin HRM-Tri delivers up to date heart rate data. It provides 20 hours worth of heart rate information during training sessions and sends it to a data collector.

When combined with the Garmin watch and its app, you can use this data to create training sessions and workout plans on your indoor rowing machine. You can also view your heart rate graphs to track your performance on open water or at the gym.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This heart rate monitor stands as an excellent fitness accessory because of its design, data storage abilities, and water resistance. However, finding an ideal replacement for its batteries can be difficult.

Wahoo TICKR

 

The Wahoo TICKR is a classic chest strap that accurately monitors your heart rate during workouts and forwards it to connected devices. It also comes with technology that counts steps and records related information. These features make it stand as the best heart rate monitor for concept 2 rower.

Ideal Protection against Moisture

It has a sensor with a water-resistance rating of IPX7. Thus, it can handle sweat and splashes that comes when engaging in rowing exercise. You can even wash it by hand without damaging the unit. However, it’s not ideal for swimming.

Dual Connectivity and Multi App Support

This device works with both Bluetooth and ANT+. With this said, it is compatible with any rowing machine model. The strap also connects well with any smartphone.

On your phone, you can use the TICKR via third-party apps, including iCardio. You can also access other information such as reps for strength training with the Wahoo’s dedicated apps like RunFit, and 7 Minute Workout.

Massive Internal Storage

If you feel uncomfortable using your phone on a rowing session, you can leave it behind because the chest monitor offers onboard storage. With this feature, you can save 16 hours’ worth of data which you can forward to your phone and app.

Practical Design

This device has a sensor made from plastic while an elastic band with button fasteners holds the device to your chest. Generally, these features allow you to wear the chest monitor quickly without feeling uncomfortable.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Wahoo TICKR’s compatibility with various watches makes it an ideal option for the rowing enthusiast. But it does not have extra features while the app requires an upgrade.

Garmin Forerunner 35

 

Unlike most devices on this list, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is a GPS Smartwatch with an inbuilt heart rate monitor. It also offers an activity tracker and notifications for your smartphone.

Unique Apps for Rowing Stats

Garmin offers the Connect IQ store where you can download third-party apps that focus on rowing workouts. These apps include the Rowing Stroke Connect IQ app (that measures strokes per min without the sensors), the Rowing Dashboard (for heart rate and stroke stats), and the Rowing Cockpit. You can use these apps to check your performance and set up workout sessions.

Battery Life

The watch can run for nine days in watch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode. When it becomes low, you can recharge your battery with its portable clip-on USB charger after your workouts.

Sturdy Build with Practical Display

If you want a GPS watch that can handle the pressures of rigorous rowing sessions, you should consider this Garmin product. It comes in a bulky case with its sensors on the back panel while a moisture-resistant band secures the watch on your wrist.

This display uses sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel while the hard strengthened glass offers protection to its watch face. Such technology enables you to view your heart rate data in direct sunlight or low light, especially during outdoor rowing.

Water Resistance

Splashes or occasional dunk in the water does not affect the performance of the Garmin Forerunner 35 as it is water-resistant to5O meters. But we advise that you avoid exposing this device to water for long periods.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This item is an excellent choice for outdoor or indoor rowing since it has dedicated apps for such activities. However, it might provide less accurate stats than chest based heart monitors while its connectivity is based on Bluetooth only.

Wrap Up of the Best Heart Rate Monitor for Rowing

For a roundup, heart rate monitor is essential for rowers as it helps to keep track of their fitness. There are many great options listed above, but the models you should choose all depend on how comfortable you want it to be when rowing and your budget.

If you want one of the best heart rate monitors without a chest strap, then the Fenix 5s is a perfect choice. But if you’re looking for the best affordable heart rate monitor, the Wahoo Tickr is the most budget-friendly option for you.

For those that still want the best chest based heart rate monitor, we suggest that you opt for the Polar H10. The reason is that it is comfortable, affordable, provides accurate heart monitoring, and can connect with any ANT devices.

If there are other things you’re looking in a heart rate monitor, you could check out other models on our list. They also come with great features that will be of great benefit when rowing.

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