🥇 Best Triathlon Watch – Review Summary – Q2 2019 Update

The Best Triathlon Watch 2019 is the Garmin Forerunner 945, yet there ARE better options if you have a specific need. For example, a Garmin Fenix 5S Plus has the same core triathlon features as does the 935 and both for lower prices. Someone with budget constraints and interested in running with power might find the new Polar Vantage M more to their liking.

Best Triathlon Watch

Garmin Forerunner 945 935

Anyway, you get the idea; there is a different ‘Best Triathlon Watch‘ for different kinds of people. I’ll try to cover ALL TYPES of triathletes below.

Note Well: Garmin Triathlon Watches now include the Garmin Forerunner 945 and Garmin MARQ ATHLETE models, there is probably a Forerunner 745XT to follow later in 2019.

Basic Definition: A Triathlon Watch has a mode that seamlessly permits the recording of a swim followed by a bike followed by a run, with appropriate data displayed for each sport.

Each category below includes: a link to my detailed reviews of every single tri watch; my recommendation; a link to the best price from my best partners (REI, Wiggle, Amazon, PMC…); reader-polls & ratings, where you may recommend something completely different; and a pretty picture of the watches. Who’s right?

Best Triathlon Watch

The best Triathlon Watch is the Forerunner 935. It properly does all-things ‘tri’

The 945 is even better than the 935..now that’s confusing. Well, not really, it’s a faster 935 with extra ‘smarts’, extra $$$ but pretty much the same tri-functionality.

Nuf said.

Detailed review links at the end.

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Pre-Discounted, Retail prices are about Eur520/$500/£520 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Triathlon Watch Garmin 935 Amazfit STRATOS Suunto SPARTAN Trainer

Spartan Trainer, Stratos, 935

Best Garmin Triathlon Watch

The best Garmin Triathlon Watch is the Garmin MARQ ATHLETE which is the same as a Forerunner 945 but in a premium casing.

Both have ALMOST EVERY triathlon feature and a good battery to get you through KONA.

The 935 represents the best bang for your Garmin pro-tri buck, turn off some of the features for your Ironman and all will be fine

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Triathlon Watch Amazfit STRATOS Garmin 935

Amazfit STRATOS Garmin 935

Best Triathlon Watch – on a Budget

The Best Budget Triathlon Watch is the Amazfit STRATOS at around $/£150

You will be seriously amazed by the wealth of techy features and yet, perhaps, disappointed by the accuracy of the onboard sensors. But you are on a budget.

Amazfit Stratos Amazon Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are $159/£150/Eur160 and will fall below that level in 2018-9. Buying from my partners supports this site

Best Triathlon Watch – by Price Band

Best Triathlon Watch Best Triathlon Watch

COROS Pace,, Vantage M, Suunto Spartan Trainer, Garmin 735XT (235 Shown)

Best Triathlon Watch – Polar

#Tricky.

The old Polar V800 has the most features and is the joint-most accurate GPS watch…ever. The new Polar Vantage V has lost features from the V800 but gained beauty as well as other features like optical HR. The new Polar Vantage M is cheaper and lighter and I will be using it in 2019 to some degree with STRYD and the H10.

MY Best Polar Triathlon Watch is the Vantage M.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Milestone Pod Review Polar V800 suunto Spartan

Best Triathlon Watch – Suunto

#Tricky

The Suunto Triathlon Watches have beauty in my eyes and have the best quality of construction of any of the watches covered here. Suunto’s thing is ‘a long-life battery in the rugged outdoors’.

My personal favourite is the Suunto 9 and yet the Ambit 3 would be the joint most accurate (ever). You will get the best features at the best price from the Suunto 5, which is an updated Suunto SPARTAN Trainer

The best Suunto Triathlon Watch is the Suunto Spartan Trainer

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices approx £180/$ 240. Buying from my partners supports this site

Polar Vantage V Review, Polar Vantage M Review Best Triathlon WatchBest Triathlon Watch – with Heart Rate

#Tricky

They all support chest straps. I presume you mean with the ever-inaccurate, built-in optical HR?

The jury is still out on this but the best optical heart rate monitor in a triathlon watch might be found in the Polar Vantage M or Polar Vantage V. Garmin’s Elevate HR is fairly good and best found in the Forerunner 735XT as well as recent Garmins like the 935 or Fenix 5 Plus series (5S, 5X, 5, 945). Indeed the Garmin MARQ and 945 both have the LATEST ELEVATE sensor (I’m not yet sure if that is better…looks OK so far #WatchThisSpace

The Best Heart Rate Monitor in a Triathlon Watch is in the Polar Vantage M

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review Best Triathlon WatchBest Triathlon Watch – for Thin Wrists

Without a doubt, this is the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus which maintains the same size screen of the other Fenix watches but packs everything into a more compact case.

The Best Triathlon Watch for Thin Wrists is the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus

Garmin Fenix 5 plus Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices start at Eur700/$700/£600 and might fall slightly in 2018. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Suunto SPARTAN TRAINER + AMBIT3 Best Triathlon WatchBest Triathlon Watch – for Accuracy

Optical HR likely won’t be accurate, so the most accurate triathlon watch will be the one that displays pace/distance and elevation correctly without onboard optical HR.

The Best Triathlon Watch for Accuracy is the Suunto Spartan Sport (HR, ie non WHR)

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are $270/£225/Eur260 and will vary considerably. Buying from my partners supports this site

Best Triathlon Watch – for Techiness

The geeky amongst you will buy the Garmin Forerunner 945 or similarly any of the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus range, ie the 5 Plus, the 5X Plus or the 5S Plus. Note well the suffix ‘Plus’ to avoid the disappointment of a non-Plus model that might not connect to your sensors.

The Best Triahtlon Watch for Techniness is the Garmin Forerunner 945 (again)

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices start at Eur850/$850/£700 and might fall slightly in 2018. Buying from my partners supports this site.

STRYD: Garmin 920XT, Suunto AMBIT 3 SPORT, Polar V800 Best Triathlon Watch

STRYD: Garmin 920XT, Suunto AMBIT 3 SPORT, Polar V800

Best Triathlon Watch – for full-race Live HR

If you want live HR for the entire race then there is only one winner that can display live HR accurately whilst underwater and that will be a tri watch linked to the Polar H7 5KHz HRM (or H10).

The Best Triathlon Watch for full-race live HR is the Polar V800

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices likely to fall below the existing level from 2018 onwards £240/$340/Eu300. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Review Music Best Triathlon Watch

235 – 645 Music – 935

Best Triathlon Watch – for Ironman

Simply put, the battery has to last until the end of the race and the watch will probably also need to support your bike power meter. With the old 935’s battery life fading as it ages the best option here is the uber-batteried Forerunner 945.

The Best Triathlon Watch for Ironman is the Garmin Forerunner 945

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Forerunner 935

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Triathlon Watch – for Beginners

The best triathlon watch for beginners is either “The Practice” or “The Training”. A watch is one more thing to worry about. Your current waterproof watch will be fine.

Do you want to spend some money? Oh alright then. Go for the Polar Vantage M, it’s superficially straightforward but a lot of clever stuff lies hidden away for you to discover as time passes, it’s pretty and it should be a good future-proof solution with lots of new stuff being added over the next couple of years.

The Best Triathlon Watch for Beginners is the Polar Vantage M

 

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Triathlon Watch – with Maps

With the introduction of maps onto the Forerunner 945 then this clearly makes the 945 the winner in this category

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Polar Vantage V Review, Polar Vantage M ReviewBest Triathlon Watch – for the Future

This might turn out to be the Polar Vantage V if it lives up to the expectation of continually delivering new features over several years like its predecessor, the V800. Caveat emptor. Your other choices from Garmin, Suunto and others are almost certainly going to be superceded within 2 years although should be supported beyond that timeframe.

The Best Triathlon Watch for the Future is the Polar Vantage V

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewBest Triathlon Watch – with Music

You can’t listen to music while you race, but you can while you train, and only Garmin seem to have this well under control and are able to support multiple online music providers AND with triathlon functionality.

The Best Triathlon Watch with Music AGAIN is the Garmin Forerunner 945

 

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

 

Best Triathlon Watch – Detailed Review Links

Still not convinced? You can read lots more about these individual watches in the links.

Best Triathlon Watch – Local Amazon Links (to: lowest priced listing)

 

 

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices usually start at Eur240/$225/£221 and will stay around that base level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5S

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur495/$550/£425 and will stay around that level until 2019 but sale prices will come and go. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5X

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur700/$620/£530 and will stay around that level until 2019 but sale prices will come and go. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur480/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices approx £265/$299 and likely to fall in 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eu420/$380/£340 and will frequently fall in sales. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices vary seasonally from $450/£400 to $250/£220. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices likely to fall below the existing level from 2018 onwards £240/$340/Eu300. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are $599/£525/Eur599 and may well fall in 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site

Amazfit Stratos Amazon

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are $199/£150/Eur160 and will stay around that level in 2018, possibly rising slightly due to popularity. Buying from my partners supports this site

COROS Pace

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur260/$299/£250 and might fall at sale times. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices approx £180/$ 240. Buying from my partners supports this site

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices start at Eur850/$850/£700 and might fall slightly in 2018. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5X

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur700/$620/£530 and will stay around that level until 2019 but sale prices will come and go. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Triathlon Watch

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from my partners supports this site.

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TringGremlin
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TringGremlin

Would you allocate the Suunto Spartan WHR Baro in with the Suunto Sport WHR or the Suunto 9 Baro or was it forgotten altogether?

sal
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sal

Do you expect an eSim in a near or far future Garmin-watch? (or Polar, Suunto,..?)
The only reason I take my Apple Watch along my runs is the fact that I can stream music and hopefully my prefered radio-stations soon and I’m reachable without my phone.
But it looks quite silly wearing 2 watches (Garmin for training, Apple for streaming/phone).

Abe Basil
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Great post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful info specifically the ultimate part ?? I deal with such info much. I used to be looking for this certain info for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.golf gps watches reviews 2019

tfa
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tfa

why no garmin under ‘The Best Triathlon Watch for Accuracy’ afraid to be embarrased by the reaults or? 🙂
stunning that the 5year old PolarV800 still make it to the top in some of the polls…

asdy
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asdy

How long it takes to fully charge your Suunto Trainer ? I have some weird problem when it’s going up to 99% and then stops charging at all (also I need something like 2.5 up to 3hr to get it there). The second question I have, why do you recommend Vantage M over the Trainer for the beginners ?

JSB
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JSB

Why the Coros Pace and not the Apex?