Wearables vs. Chest Straps: Which One is Better

Which One Should You Choose?

Companies are now creating algorithms for their wristband monitors that cancel out the effects of movement. Still, when put to the test by CNET writer Sharon Profis, even some of the newest wearables on the market were still far from accurate.

Profis tested five products, including one chest strap, three watches and even the fingertip sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Her testing found that most trackers are close to accurate at resting heart rate, which for her was about 70 to 80 BPM.

However, two of the watches had a 57 percent error rate during activity, and one said "Unable to read." The chest strap had zero percent error during activity, and the fingertip sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S5 had an error of just .2 percent.

While the choice to use a wearable versus a chest strap is up to you, it's clear that chest straps are far and away the most accurate option for measuring your heart rate during activity.

More: Timex IRONMAN One GPS+

Top Products

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor with Soft Strap If you're looking for comfort and accuracy, then give this chest strap a go. The light, breathable fabric makes it extremely comfortable; you'll hardly know it's even there. Plus, it's machine washable, syncs up to any device with ease, and actually stays put when on the go. ($70)

Fitbit Surge If you simply want to measure your heart rate before and after your workout, a watch, used at rest, can be a more stylish and comfortable option. Consider purchasing a wearable that can track running distance or calories burned, in addition to heart rate, to get the most out of your purchase. ($250)

Misfit Flash This product gets an honorable mention, despite not actually measuring heart rate, because of the easy-to-use interface when it tracks activity (calories burned, sleep activity and distance). The variety of color options also makes the Flash super stylish, meaning you won't have any problem making it part of your daily outfit. ($50)

More: 30-Day High-Intensity Interval Training Challenge

Active logoShop for more fitness essentials on GearUp.







PREV
  • 2
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Jessica Sanders

Jessica Sanders is the former online editor for ReserveAmerica.com. After many years of camping and hiking in the Northeast, she's exploring what the West has to offer and sharing all of her knowledge with you. She's a s'mores master, campsite connoisseur, writer, runner and lover of all things outdoors. Follow her on Google+
Jessica Sanders is the former online editor for ReserveAmerica.com. After many years of camping and hiking in the Northeast, she's exploring what the West has to offer and sharing all of her knowledge with you. She's a s'mores master, campsite connoisseur, writer, runner and lover of all things outdoors. Follow her on Google+

Discuss This Article