You can expect a fitness tracker or a smartwatch to handle the bumps, shakes, and (most importantly) sweat, that comes with a workout. At the very least, any fitness tracker worth considering should resist moisture and splashes. But this doesn't mean that all fitness trackers are fully waterproof; many aren't.
Just because you can wear a fitness tracker in the shower doesn't mean you should wear it the next time you swim a few laps in the pool. For swimming, you need a fitness tracker that's sealed and submersible so it can survive a consistent soaking. Wearables meant for diving and high-velocity water sports require an even higher level of protection.
To help you out, we've compiled a list of the best waterproof trackers we've tested. You can rest easy knowing that all these devices will still be in good working order once you dry them off after a swim.
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What to Look For in a Waterproof Fitness Tracker
You don't need to settle for merely waterproof. The same seals that keep water from ruining the electronics in swim-friendly fitness trackers also protect them from water pressure. Most waterproof fitness trackers are rated for a certain depth. Typically, these devices have a 5ATM rating, which means you can plunge them up to 164 feet underwater. Some have a lesser 3ATM rating, meaning they are submersible up to 98 feet. A 5ATM rating does not make a watch safe for scuba diving, however. Samsung says devices certified to 5ATM can only withstand depths up to 164 feet for 10 minutes.
You should consider what you want your tracker to do. Are you more interested in viewing your data during or after a workout? If you want to keep an eye on your laps while you're in the pool, you should look for a tracker with a bright screen. You should also make sure it's capable of responding to your strokes underwater.
Another thing to keep in mind is how swim-centric you want your device to be. If swimming is your primary source of exercise, verify that your tracker supports multiple underwater activities.
The Apple Watch Ultra is one of the most water-friendly models on this list with a WR100 rating, which means it can withstand depths of up to 328 feet—twice that of the Series 8. Notably, the Ultra is the first Apple Watch suitable for high-speed water sports like kitesurfing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing. The Ultra is also certified to the EN13319 international standard for dive computers and gauges, meaning it's safe for recreational scuba diving descents down to 130 feet.
What Are the Best Smartwatches for Swimmers?
The line between fitness trackers and smartwatches is increasingly blurry. These days, many of the big smartwatches feature heart rate monitors and GPS, just like fitness trackers. Add a waterproof build, and many become suitable for use in the pool and ocean.
An additional benefit is that they tend to be more stylish than their fitness-focused counterparts. You can easily switch your swim-friendly silicone strap for a classier metal or leather band after you towel off.
Most of the models on this list are safe for swimming in a pool or the ocean as well as wearing in the shower or a hot tub, but be sure to check our reviews for water resistance details. With the exception of the Ultra, Apple Watches are not suitable for scuba diving, water skiing, or other high-velocity water sports.
Which Fitbits Are Waterproof?
The good news is that all Fitbit trackers and smartwatches are water-resistant: They can handle rain, sweat, and faucet pressure. Most, but not all, Fitbits are also safe for swimming. The child-friendly Ace, for instance, is only water-resistant, whereas the newer Ace 2 and 3 are waterproof to 164 feet.
Regardless of brand, be sure to remove your wearable after it gets wet and wait for it and your wrist to completely dry before putting it back on. Most waterproof wearables are safe to wear in the shower, but soap can cause damage to some materials, so be careful when sudsing up.