We have spent several hours researching and interviewing high-performance athletes, looking for the characteristics that would differentiate the best Ironman watch.
For the top pick, we’ve chosen the Garmin Forerunner 935 due to its custom build geared towards physical activities. Coming in at only 49 grams, this watch is light as can be. Having a lightweight watch while exercising for long periods of time is essential.
It also comes with various features directed to set up training sessions to get you prepared for what’s ahead. You can program it to hook up with your phone as well, receiving texts and email reminders throughout the day.
It’s a close call, but among all of the best Ironman watches, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is definitely at the top. Closely following in second and third respectively are the Garmin fēnix 5S Plus and the Timex Full-Size Ironman Classic 100.
Best Ironman Watch on the Market
Triathlons are some of the most rigorous competitions that we compete in. While searching for the best ironman watches on the market, we knew that we had to take into account all of the various terrains and activities encountered.
Given their intense nature, finding the right watch for an Ironman triathlon required that the watch is capable of withstanding scratches, decent water pressure, and constant movements.
1. Garmin Forerunner 935
Garmin is well-known for producing top-notch GPS devices and watches for quite some time now. Creating a watch for true ironman competitions isn’t a task to take lightly, so they created a masterpiece in the process with the Garmin Forerunner 935.
Competition at Your Fingertips
It doesn’t matter if you’re training for the swimming portion, the running, or the cycling. The Forerunner 935 has everything you need through an easy-to-navigate settings menu for anything and everything you require to get ready to the big day.
Simply click whichever activity you’re doing, and it’ll get the full menu setup so you can track your progress. It even records your stride length while running or walking.
You can measure your heart rate on the go, keeping pace while constantly pushing yourself to get better. The built-in training monitor lets you know if you’re going to hard, or if you still have gas in the tank to spare.
Durable as Can Be
Since you’ll be more focused on what’s ahead of you during the Ironman, you probably won’t wonder to concern yourself with the construction of your watch. Don’t worry though. The Garmin Forerunner 935 is completely water-proof and scratch-resistant.
You can literally drop it at any time and it’ll be fine. However, the straps going all the way around the watch help you keep it on your wrist with an adjustment that works for any sized arm.
With a battery life up to two weeks, this model blows most other smartwatches out of the water. It’s your perfect all-in-one watch to get prepped for triathlons and other physical competitions, while also working perfectly for day-to-day living.
2. Garmin fēnix 5S Plus
The Garmin fēnix 5S Plus is a great solution for people looking for a smaller watch but still, want the best of the best for the Ironman competition. Don’t let the tiny size fool you, it still packs all of the modern tech you could need.
From the topographical map to the barometer, this watch perfectly customizes your runs or cycling sessions exactly how you need them to be prepared. Never miss a footstep, and keep your stride average logged throughout the day all within the watch.
Made from the Best Materials
The steel bezel protects your watch from being damaged through bumps, drops, and scrapes along the way. With a sapphire lens and LED lighting to keep it bright regardless of the time of day, you’ll have no problem seeing what you’ve accomplished.
A reflective coating on the face fo the Fenix 5S Plus makes it so you can still read it, even during intensely lit situations. Chances are it’ll be bright outside during the competition, so you need something that you can view while moving around constantly.
For Everyday Life
Although it’s definitely one of the best ironman watches around, this watch is so much more than that. It’s also fantastic for daily living, with all of the modern features you need to stay in contact with everyone.
Keep a list of up to 500 songs stored on the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus to get yourself pumped up while training, and message people back directly from the apps pre-installed on it.
Garmin even added their signature GPS system to ensure that you’ll never go off course. A map draws out exactly where you went so you can follow or adjust your route for tomorrow.
All in all, it’s easily one of the great ironman triathlon watches today. We almost made it number one, but the only drawback is the fact that it’s slightly smaller than the Forerunner 935. Not all people like small watches, otherwise it might be at the top!
3. Timex Full-Size Ironman Classic 100 Watch
Another great watch for Ironman competitions is the Timex Full-Size Ironman Classic 100 Watch. Compared to the other watches on the list, it’s on the cheaper side of the spectrum.
However, the low price point doesn’t indicate a cheap build. In fact, it can withstand much more than plenty of watches twice its price. Packed with a 100 lap memory system and interval timers, it’s nearly essential for training.
The swimming portion is a huge part of a triathlon. Generally being right at the start, you want to make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running. The Ironman Classic 100 is waterproof up to 330 feet, which is far over others in its price range.
An Indiglo light on the side of the watch lights up the interface so you can see everything immediately. It doesn’t matter if it’s bright or dark, your watch will light right up. The resin strap holds it all together, preventing damage or scratches.
Simplicity at its Best
You won’t find anything crazy or overly-challenging about this watch. It’s meant for quick access with a mega-large face and only 5 buttons to use. There’s little to no learning curve as well.
The only downside to it is that it doesn’t go as in-depth as the Garmin watches at 1 and 2. It’s also not as scratch-resistant, although it still beats out most watches at such a low price point.
Timex is a classic brand that’s built watches for Ironman competitions throughout the years. The Classic 100 is a fantastic model that nobody should look over despite the minor setbacks.
4. Amazfit Stratos Multisport Smartwatch
The Amazfit Starts Multisport Smartwatch might not come from such a popular brand, but it packs a punch. In a market where you either have to choose a sports watch or a smartwatch, this model delivers the best of both worlds.
A sleek design is housed by carbon fiber and a ceramic bezel for durability. Falls, crashes, and dives all require that you have something strong enough to take a hit, and this watch can. The 2.5D scratch-resistant glass is more than enough to keep out annoying, unwanted marks.
Packed with Bluetooth 4.0, wifi capabilities, a powerful battery, and 4GB flash drive storage, the Stratos Multisport Smartwatch truly is one of the most advanced watches.
You can also make calls, check messages, play music, and much more. One of our favorite features of this watch is the 14 different sports and physical activity modes. It’s made for the gym, the swimming pool, the lake, the trail, or wherever else your training brings you.
A True Fitness Watch
The lightweight feeling is perfect for running, since it won’t bump and drag around. It tracks your heart rate, the calories you’ve burned, the distance you’ve gone, how well you’re sleeping, and so on.
An always-on display combined with the aforementioned rugged design make it so you can wear this watch all day long. Don’t worry about taking it off when you’re working, exercising, or doing any other strenuous activities. The solid construction makes it built to last.
Keep track of your Facebook account, and send messages through WhatsApp. Pick out your favorite apps and have them all quite literally in-hand around the clock.
The only downside to the AmazFit Stratos Multisport Smartwatch is the fact that the side button sometimes pokes your arm if you’re left-handed. It can be a bit annoying, but it’s nothing too big. You won’t have this problem as a right-handed person, though.
Some people also found that the backlighting isn’t as strong as other brands, though it still seemed to work under most conditions. Again, it’s only a real issue during intensely bright scenarios. Even in those cases, simply leaning in front of the sunlight will light up the watch.
Choosing the Best Ironman Watch for You
In order to choose which ironman watch is the best for you, you’ll need to figure out your demands. What do you want out of the watch? Do you want planning, mapping, smartwatch capabilities, or high water-resistance?
Many of the watches on this list have all of the above. In fact, all but the Timex Ironman 100 Classic have a few smartwatch functions. They’re all scratch-resistant, and they’re great for swimming with as well.
Some people want a more detailed interface with backlights, heart rate monitors, and plenty of training programs. Others prefer the sleek simplicity of the less intense watches. Before you pull the trigger and make a purchase, ask yourself what you want the most out of the watch.
All of the mentioned timepieces are excellently crafted to withstand the hardships of competition. It’s up to you to decide which of the four you’ll have on your wrist when the triathlon date arrives!