Best Triathlon Watch – Poll & Summary

The Best Triathlon Watch 2018 is the Garmin Forerunner 935, 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 the 935 but also more techy stuff like contactless payments and music. Someone with budget constraints and interested in running with power might find the new Polar Vantage M more to their liking.

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 people below.

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 review of every tri watch; my recommendation; a link to the best price on your local Amazon store; reader-polls & ratings, where you all may well recommend something completely different; and a pretty picture. Who’s right?

Best Triathlon Watch Garmin Fenix 5S Plus Review

935 – Fenix 5S Plus – COROS Pace

Best Triathlon Watch

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

Nuf said.

Detailed review at the end.

Garmin Forerunner 935

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

Best Triathlon Watch Garmin 935 Amazfit STRATOS Suunto SPARTAN Trainer

Spartan Trainer, Stratos, 935

Best Triathlon Watch – Garmin

The best Garmin Triathlon Watch is the Garmin Forerunner 935.

It has ALMOST EVERY triathlon feature and a good battery to get you through KONA.

Garmin Forerunner 935

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from Amazon 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 Amazon price is linked to. Prices are $159/£150/Eur160 and will fall below that level in 2018-9. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Best Triathlon Watch – by Price Band

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

Best Triathlon Watch Suunto Spartan Ultra - best triathlon watch ?

Suunto Spartan ULTRA – Cool-looking huh?

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 Spartan Trainer.

The best Suunto Triathlon Watch is the Suunto Spartan Trainer

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices approx £180/$ 240. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Polar Vantage V Review, Polar Vantage M ReviewBest 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)

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

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

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewBest 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 Amazon price is linked to. Prices start at Eur700/$700/£600 and might fall slightly in 2018. Buying from Amazon supports this site.

Suunto SPARTAN TRAINER + AMBIT3Best 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 price is linked to. Prices are $270/£225/Eur260 and will vary considerably. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Best Triathlon Watch – for Techiness

The geeky amongst you will buy any Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, ie the 5 Plus, the 5X Plus or the 5S Plus. Note well the suffix ‘Plus’ to avoid the disappointment of a non-Plus.

The Best Triahtlon Watch for Techniness is the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus (Sapphire)

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

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

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

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

Garmin Forerunner 645 Review Music

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. This should be an easy call, ie the 935, but my 935’s battery life has degraded to just over 10 hours after a year with all the bells and whistles enabled. Caveat Emptor.

The Best Triathlon Watch for Ironman is the Garmin Forerunner 935

Garmin Forerunner 935

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices are about Eur450/$420/£430 and will stay around that level until Summer 2019. Buying from Amazon 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 price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from Amazon supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus ReviewBest Triathlon Watch – with Maps

I’m not quite sure why you want maps but if you do then your choice is somewhat limited. The new Fenix 5X Plus seems to be the best powered when it comes to displaying your fancy maps.

 

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices start at Eur850/$850/£700 and might fall slightly in 2018. Buying from Amazon 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 price is linked to. Prices could fall below the existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. Buying from Amazon 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 is the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

 

Garmin Fenix 5 plus

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices start at Eur700/$700/£600 and might fall slightly in 2018. Buying from Amazon 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)

 

Garmin Forerunner 935

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

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

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

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

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

Garmin Fenix 5S

Best Amazon 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 Amazon supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5X

Best Amazon 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 Amazon supports this site.

Garmin Fenix 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices are $399/£305/Eur370 and may well fall slightly in 2018 and 2019. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Amazfit Stratos Amazon

Best Amazon 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 Amazon supports this site

COROS Pace

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

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices approx £180/$ 240. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

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

Garmin Fenix 5X

Best Amazon 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 Amazon 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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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…