By Robert Smith | Last updated December 09, 2018
Best GPS Watches for Triathletes thumbnail

Choosing the best GPS watches for triathletes is really a tricky task because triathlon is one of the most physically challenging processes. And for tracking these activities you will require many features in a single watch like heart rate, speed measure, pace, cadence, altitude etc.

Triathlon basically is a combination of three athletic contest, which includes swimming, cycling and running. So, the watches for the triathletes should work with at least these three activities – swimming, running, and cycling.

Also ReadBest Wearable Fitness Tracker for Cycling

Best GPS Watches for Triathletes

There are tons of options in the market for the triathlon watches, before choosing them you have to consider some important points.

After spending more than 35+ hours in reviewing 23 watches. We have come up with top 5 watches for triathletes. And our list includes a variety of watches.

First, I want to show you my best recommendations for triathlon watches, however, you can read our buyer’s guide anytime by click sidebar or navigation link.

So, let’s get started!

Top Rated GPS Watches for Triathletes

Click on the smartwatch’s name, to know more.

Name
Weight
Display
Battery
Quick-Release

(Editor’s Choice)

1.76 ounces

1.2″(dia.), 240 x 240 pixels

24 hours

Yes

12.0 ounces

1.2″(dia.), 240 x 240 pixels

24 hours

Yes

1.60 ounces

1.23″(dia.), 215 x 180 pixels

14 hours

No

1.26 ounces

N/A

10 hours

No

(Cheapest)

1.12 ounces

.87 x .98 inches

11 hours

No

The Forerunner 935 if one of the most feature-rich watches ever. This is the best GPS watches for the triathletes, it comes with a thin and lightweight design and offers the great battery life (up to 24 hours). Moreover, this watch packed with many other tops facilities, that help you to train, race and analyze your workouts.

The GARMIN FORERUNNER 935 can track running (pace, cadence, and distance), swimming (distance/speed, stroke count), cycling and other sports skiing, paddling, and golf. Additionally, with inbuilt altimeter, you can record precise elevation data, and you can track heart rate also while wearing on the wrist (compatible with chest-strap HRM).

This GPS watch is compatible with many types of cycling accessories, and this is very light and thin, so it is won’t bother you while taking off the wet suit. If you want to move this watch from your wrist to bike while driving, you can buy a quick release kit.

The GARMIN FORERUNNER 935 does support the activity tracking also, which allows you to count steps and set daily goals. Apart from that, this watch provides training and recovery tools which help you to evaluate your activity, fitness, and workout. The Garmin also provide some 3rd party apps to the watch for more function and tracking.

Finally, The Garmin 935 is one of the best GPS watches for triathletes, that offers more features than a triathlete need.

Pros
  • Compatible with the power meter, speed/cadence
  • Swim tracking
  • Multi-Sport and GPS supported
  • Quick-Release kit
  • Light-weight and Thin
  • Very accurate metrics
  • Highly customizable
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Slightly High price

The Garmin Fenix 5 is almost similar to the Garmin 935, they have almost same features.

We have selected Garmin 935 for athletes due to its light and thin design, that is super important for the triathletes.

Like Garmin 935 this GPS watch also offers tons of great features and battery life. But it provides better mapping and turn-by-turn direction.

When we talk about the design, which is the main highlight of this watch. The Garmin Fenix 5 comes in big and heavy size due to its durable outer casing, but it looks fabulous too. On the other hand, other models are made of plastics so they are small and better for the thin wrist.

This GPS watch is expensive around 100$ than Garmin 935. But if you are looking for a triathlon watch that provides the top feature, stylish design and appropriates for office use. Then the Garmin Fenix 5 is the best deals for you.

Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Metal Casing
  • Speed/cadence and GPS compatible
  • Swim tracking
  • Good battery life
  • Available in many colors
  • Power meter compatible
  • Top features
Cons
  • Somewhat High price

There is another Garmin watch as a runner-up. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is almost similar like Garmin 935 but there are some extra features or “add-ons” are missing like the altimeter sensor, golf support. That’s why it is very cheaper than the Garmin 935.

The main feature for triathlon watches is quick release, unfortunately, that is missing here. But don’t worry, you can solve this problem with this foam attachment , which can strap around your handlebars. This is the only major reason that we have put this watch on the runner-up.

Battery-life of this watch is around 2 hours more than the half-life of the Garmin 935. I mean this watch can last up to 14 hours of GPS mode.

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is also the best GPS watches for triathletes which allows you to create the custom workout and track swim tracking (distance, speed, lap counter) and swim stroke tracking. Running tracking include cadence and stride length.

Pros
  • Multi-Sport and GPS
  • Speed/cadence and power meter compatible
  • Thin and lightweight design
  • Swim tracking
  • Good battery life
  • Affordable
Cons
  • No quick release

The Spartan Sport fits perfectly well in the middle of the Suunto’s multisport GPS products lineup. Which is not the highly expensive like the Spartan Ultra, besides that it can satisfy the triathletes.

This watch offers wrist heart rate tracking, multisport compatibility, open and pools water swim tracking. if you often do some different task and exercises also, then Spartan Sport preprogrammed with 80 different types of activity tracking modes.

Additionally, this watch also allows you to programmed with an interval workout for each sport including, cycling, running and swimming.

Like other most of the smartwatches, this provides heart rate through the wrist, you can purchase a strap for chest HRM that will provide the even more accurate reading.

If we talk about the battery life then, this smartwatch last up to about 10 hours on GPS more, which is not ideal for the full day events, but it’s fine for shorter triathlon and training.

Overall, the Spartan Sports watch is good and which comes in multiple colors and band. There is no quick release mount supported if you want to hold this watch on your handlebars you can use this rubber attachment (Amazon).

Pros
  • Multi-Sport and GPS
  • Pre-programmed 80 different activity tracking modes
  • Swim tracking
  • Available in multi-colors
Cons
  • Average battery backup

The TomTom Spark checks some of the triathlon features – tracking of running, swimming and cycling, and the cost is not too much too.

This watch offers the thin, light design that is very easy to use and looks very nice. Unfortunately, there is no multisport mode, so you have to manually start a new activity through menu exploring. Moreover, quick release functionally is missing and, it’s not compatible with cycling power meters (cadence metrics).

But, the Spark  is good in swim tracking which allows you to track stroke count, distance measure, and laps, it is also able to track indoor and outdoor workouts along with cycling workout. And, running works through GPS for outside, and indoor with the accelerometer sensor.

For navigation, the breadcrumb map is included, and you can track step counting and track sleep. Moreover, this watch offers great battery life up to 11 hours in GPS mode, and you can programme an interval workout program also.

Finally, the TomTom Spark does not offer multisport and quick-release but it is still a nice inexpensive GPS watch for triathletes.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • GPS supported
  • Speed metrics
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Swim tracking
Cons
  • Average battery backup
  • No Multi-Sport support

Best GPS Watches for Triathletes – Buyer’s Guide

The watches for the triathletes are able to track running, cycling, swimming, and many more activities. And they are totally different from other running and swimming watches.

Basically, you don’t need every single feature on your triathlon watch. But if you have more features then these allow you to act freely and focusing your training/racing, instead of sticking in your watch.

So, what should you consider before purchasing the best GPS watches for triathletes ?

This is obviously the most important factors for the triathlon watches because triathletes need to switch between the multiple modes.

A watch which is having this feature allows you to switch quickly with the help of a single button. You can change mode according to your activities: running, cycling or swimming. Moreover, when you change the mode, the display also changes accordingly, for example: if you change the mode to swimming, then the display will show you data related to swimming like lap count, timing etc.

Other watches don’t have this feature and they have the manual stopping of the activity, you have to configure the setting for particular activity every time. Apart from that, you will also unable to review the workout as a single activity post-race.

The best GPS watches for triathletes should be compatible with common cycling accessories like – power meter and cadence trackers. These features allow you to track more data while riding.

Also, Read: Best Fitness tracker for cycling – buyer’s guide

First of all, for swimming the triathlon watch should be waterproof, that’s obvious. But what are the benefits of that watches which can track distance, stroke and some other swimming related metrics?

These watches can track stroke count, laps. And some watches even allows you to track, that which types of stroke you are using. And this data can be gathered while you wear these watches on your wrist.

But, those GPS watches that don’t have swim features, how can you track swim with them?

These GPS watches can lose signal when they dipped in water more than an inch. So, for tracking the swim properly you have to put them under your bathing cap, and this will keep them above to maintain the GPS signal.

Basically, the quick-release system allows triathletes to easily move the watch from wrist to the handlebar mount. If you typically ride with aerobars then this feature is very crucial for you.

However, if you are comfortable with watches on your wrist while riding then this feature isn’t too important. Additionally, there is also another option for this, you can buy them seperately from Amazon around 10$, and mount them manually, but it is more time consuming than the quick-release kit.

This is also one of the most important features of the triathlon watch. If you are planning to compete in longer races like Ironman triathlon, which is one of the most difficult one-day sporting events. Most Ironman events have a limited time of 17 hours to complete the race, so these GPS watches might not last the entire race.

Even, better GPS watches like Garmin Forerunner 735XT and Polar V800 have maximum battery life up to 10-14-hour range.

Finally, the triathlon watches should also thin in size, this is not the major requirement but it is also important. The thin watches for athletes allow them to easily get the wetsuit off.

Conclusion

I hope you have gotten your best watch for the triathlon successfully.

Along with features, the comfort level is also the most important factor for triathlon watches, so make sure that watch you choose should fit with your wearing style. You can also check out quick-release supported watches that are convenient when cycling.

Best of luck, for your triathlon contest!

If you have any question or suggestion please comment below without hesitation.

Navigate to our Best GPS Watches for Triathletes

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Posted under Sports & Outdoor By Robert Smith

ABOUT ROBERT SMITH

Hi, guys you can call me Robert, I spend most of my leisure time outdoors either hunting, fishing or doing something fun. I have to admit that I am no expert but I will be sharing with you interesting stuff I know 🙂