Fitness bands are all the rage right now. These devices track speed, sleep, and calories, but there's one thing that a regular fitness band doesn't usually monitor: heart rate. If you want to measure your heart rate during your training sessions then you need a heart rate monitor. If you need to go for a low intensity workout, knowing your heart rate keeps you safe from overexertion. If you're doing a high intensity workout then you need to know if you're actually working at the maximum, and your heart rate can tell you if you need to kick it up a notch. Some heart rate monitors connect directly with your fitness band, such as the Nike+ Fitness Band with the Polar Heart Monitor. If you don't need all the features of a fitness band however, than you might be satisfied with a heart rate monitor watch or wristband. These devices are easily worn while training, and easily stashed away in your gym backpack at other times. Many heart rate monitor training watches measure the same things that fitness bands do, but making sure your heart rate is in the ideal zone is imperative to any workout. Here is our list of the best heart rate monitors for 2014.
Polar RS100The Polar RS100 stands out as the choice of 6 Pack Fitness Ambassadors. The Polar RS100 is a great choice for heart rate monitor training for beginners, but that doesn't mean experts won't also enjoy its features. The RS100 works as your own personal trainer, telling you when to rest and when to resume training based on your heart rate, all while tracking the calories you've burned! Not only are the features great, but the RS100 is also pretty inexpensive compared to other heart rate monitors. 6 Pack Ambassador Brad Crawford: "Polar is pretty much the gold standard for heart rate monitors out there, and it's always been very accurate. I like the fact that my heart rate monitor will alert me that I have dropped out of my optimal heart rate zone so I know that I need to pick it up!" 6 Pack Ambassador Jessica Gilmartin: "My favorite function is being able to go back and see my progress and get weekly stars or a trophy for maintaining or beating my goals!" Pros:
- Immediate feedback on workouts to keep motivation up.
- Sleek design.
- Creates a training program for your personal goals with new training targets.
- Geared for weight and cardio training.
- Priced at only $89.99.
- No GPS functionality.
- Sound isn't very loud.
- Difficult set up.
- Guides you to train at the right intensity.
- Informs you how many calories you've burned.
- Ability to sync data with Mac or PC.
Garmin Forerunner 110The Garmin Forerunner 110 is great for everyone. The buttons make it easy to use and the GPS tracker is incredibly accurate. Not only that, but you can share your progress online with other users, or even look at your speed from months ago, giving you the perfect tool to measure your physical success. With this heart rate monitor, training towards your goals is structured and your data is easily accessible. Pros:
- Easy to use.
- Great for beginners.
- High sensitivity GPS receiver.
- Great online community.
- Not all versions come with heart rate monitor.
- Only water-resistant up to 10 ML.
- Tracks distance, time, and pace.
- Uses Garmin ConnectÃ¢€ž¢ to plan, review, and share runs.
- Automatically starts a new lap.
- Heart rate based on calorie computation.
Garmin Forerunner 70Accidentally forgot your USB in your gym backpack? No worries, as the Garmin Forerunner 70 syncs wirelessly to your computer, providing other Garmin users with your latest personal victories. The great thing about the Forerunner 70 are the optional add-ons, like the foot pod to measure your distance perfectly, or the Tanita BC-1000 which tracks your weight, body water, and body fat, sent right to your FR70. You can even add a speed/cadence sensor that measures cycling-indoors or out! With this heart rate monitor, your training can be more structured than ever before. Pros:
- Wireless upload.
- Tracks calories.
- GPS is an optional extra.
- Add-ons are expensive.
- Alert for target heart rate zone.
- Measures speed and distance.
- Additional foot pod and sensor.
- 20 hours of memory.
Soleus GPS 3.0The Soleus GPS 3.0 is like your own personal trainer that follows you around all day. Not only does it measure heart rate, but it also tracks your speed and pace in real time, and you can upload all that information right to your computer. It's easy to use and comes with a great inspirational quote on the back of the watch when you need a pick-me-up. Pros:
- Compact design.
- Large display.
- Rechargeable battery,
- Battery lasts up to 8 hours with GPS on.
- Charges quickly.
- Syncing software isn't compatible with Apple.
- Somewhat expensive.
- Design isn't unisex.
- Engraving on back reads: "Go the extra mile. It's never crowded."
- Tracks speed and pace improvements.
- Provides instant GPS info.
- Measures calories burned.
Suunto QuestThe Suunto Quest is everything you want for your training session, including a heart rate monitor, of course. Not only does it have GPS, but it also has an incredible battery life of up to a year, and is water-resistant. With its sleek look and color options, there's sure to be a pick for anyone. Pros:
- 20 hours of recordable space.
- 3 different color accents.
- GPS isn't built in, but a separate unit can be purchased.
- Intensity guidance based on heart rate.
- Can personalize screen layout.
- Recovery time.
- Measures running and cycling.