What is the best GPS and HR monitor for running?
The one that fulfills and suits your requirements. So one of the first steps in choosing your watch is working out what you want it to do. If you are able to come into one of our shops then we can help you work it out. Also if you have a budget you are working to this will also help to narrow your choice.
All the GPS monitors that we stock also come with a built-in heart rate monitor, which is accurate, but if you need greater accuracy most monitors will also work with a traditional chest strap. Generally if you are doing a lot of reps/intervals or any fast high intensity workouts you may find you want to use a heart-rate strap to get a more accurate heart rate.
The Budget Options
These have the basic features: speed, pace, distance, heart rate. They can link to your phone if you are interested in smart notifications. They also all have a fitness tracker where you can get information such as daily step count and sleep.
Battery life in the watches does vary quite a bit – between 6 and 17 hours, depending on the model – so if you need a longer battery life this could be a deciding factor. They also will do a range of other sports as well – again this varies from monitor to monitor. The Garmin Forerunner 45S has a smaller wrist band. The Polar Ignite comes with a small/medium strap or a medium/large.
Do you want to run with music? More training info? Longer battery life?
With both the Forerunner 245 music and Forerunner 645 music you can load up to 500 songs onto the watch. Of course then the battery life is then reduced – down to 5-6 hours from 11-12 hours without music.
If you need a longer battery life both the 245 and 645 can go into UltraTrac mode with 24 hours of battery.
All the monitors below give you training advice, recovery information and have some navigational features, including the very useful 'back to start' function. Pool swimming and cycling as well as a number of other sports are also available.
Are you a triathlete or you might want to try a tri? Are you an open-water swimmer?
These watches are all multisport and can time your swim, cycle, run and the transition times in between seamlessly. The Polar Vantage monitors have a battery life of between 30 and 40 hours depending on the model. The Garmin Fenox 5 plus has a battery life of up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode. The Garmin Fenix 6 battery life varies depending on which model it is and which setting it is on. For example the Fenix 6 Pro in GPS expedition mode will last up to 28 days!
If you need navigation features as well as multisport or want to listen to music from the watch then the Garmin Forerunner 945 or Fenix 5 plus or Fenix 6 would be the ones to go for.