Log in
British Heart Foundation
11,065 members6,737 posts

Real time heart rate monitor

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend a fairly accurate real time heart rate monitor please? It also needs to be water resistant. I don't mind if it's measured by a chest strap or any other method, but I do need to be able to see what's happening so a wrist watch type receiver is needed (or other I haven't come across yet). A phone app type isn't suitable for what I want it for.

I've looked at Fitbits etc but need something a bit more heavy duty for sports.

Thanks all.

6 Replies

as insomnia hit I thought I'd get google working and found a few sites you might want to look at.

wareable.com/fitness-tracke... that one is mainly for runners but they cover triathletes too and they swim!




hopefully of some help, realise its not from personal use but as an avid user of Amazon, if you can find it on there you can ask buyers questions

happy Tuesday

1 like

Hi Mark,

Thanks for those. I've looked around and seen what's on the market but was hoping someone might have first hand experience of them. My sister has a Fitbit and says the strap isn't even strong enough for her, so for shark fishing it's not likely to be tough enough.

I'm pretty sure I'm looking at a watch style receiver with a chest strap as it's pretty much impossible to stay dry and clean when shark fishing. You get plastered in water, fish oil, blood and guts so I'm not sure the wrist type optical monitors would be suitable.

I'll narrow it down soon though.




Just to finish this post off. Decided on a Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS smartwatch in the end and just picked it up. It has a wrist based optical HR sensor but I'll also be getting a chest strap for better accuracy. Shame the one I bought for my exercise bike isn't compatible.

Now I'll really be able to see what's happening, just hope it doesn't scare me stupid.


Good to hear, I'm going to guess that it will scare the life out of you on at least one occasion!



I have a Polar A360 that I swim with it will do your heart rate from the wrist only no need for a chest strap. It is unisex and you can change the colour of the straps and costs approximately £120. I am happy with mine and download the info onto my iPad every few days. I use mine in the gym too where certain machines really increase my heart rate too much. I have noticed that when my medication has changed my max heart rate before chest pain has decreased. It doesn't have GPS but they are much bulkier and I didn't need it.

Hope it helps you decide on the right one for you.



Hi Nicky. I bought the Garmin on Saturday... so far, mixed results.

I went for a long walk and the heart rate monitor on the watch seemed to be pretty accurate, and the gps does provide some useful metrics such as how long it takes to walk a mile and how far you've walked in total. The optical (wrist) HRM seems to drop in and out a bit when it's not set in an activity mode, which maps the rate much more regularly for more real time monitoring, but that's the limitations of wrist based optical HRM's that every device seems to be subject to (physiological differences can make a big difference for instance - body fat, how "juicy" your veins are, etc).

What I did find out is that if I walk fast my heart rate stays around the 110bpm mark, which is what cardiac rehab told me to exercise at, so that's a useful datum to know and another one I can use to track progress. If it goes much above that I'll know my heart isn't having a good day.

I am having a few problems with the Garmin Connect website though and it's not letting me set the values in heart rate zones, and hence zone alarms. Garmin are trying to sort it at the moment.

I looked at the Polar devices but, don't quote me on this, I don't think the A360 is compatible with a chest strap monitor. For the most part it isn't that important, but sometimes it could be very useful for me personally. Having both will cover me for every eventuality, although I'm yet to buy the strap.

I think I've bought the right one if Garmin can sort the problems out... if not i think I can link it to a separate analytical website called Strava (not looked at it in any detail but it's praised everywhere).

All the best,



You may also like...