Highest User-Rated Tri Watches – Your Votes

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You rate your favourite Multisport Watches

I’m posting this series of your votes for your favourite multisport watches of all time. You’ve read the opinions of reviewers like me and perhaps you disagree. That’s great, now’s the chance to express your opinions.

AJ Bell London Triathlon 2015
Source: AJ Bell London Triathlon

These are various polls that have been running on this site for well over a year and so each has a few hundred or more votes cast. So there is some weight behind what you all collectively think. A word of warning though, even those these polls do not allow multiple voting they do seem somewhat skewed toward Polar. I’m not sure why; I like a good Polar watch as much as the next triathlete, I’m just surprised that more of you don’t seem to like the Garmins you’ve all bought. Now is the time to correct everyone else’s opinions and thrust your own two cents worth into the limelight.

ESSENTIAL READING: A More considered view of the Best Triathlon Watch is linked to here.

Best Overall Multisport Watch

Hey, you all said it’s the Polar Vantage V at the time of writing with over 500 votes. I do like both the Vantage V & M for different reasons and I use & wear each. But a sneaky 945 might regularly find its way onto my wrist too (at least it would if my second one hadn’t been sent back to Garmin for repair).

Best Garmin Multisport Watch

The most luxurious Garmin would be the MARQ Athlete, yet the most featured and lightweight that could sensibly be used in a race would be the 945. Yet in some ways, I yearn for the seemingly more stable 935 but would its battery life be long enough? Here’s what you think

The Forerunner 735XT has had its day but was certainly revolutionary in its day. It will be replaced soon but its replacement won’t beat the 945/Fenix series.

Best Polar Multisport Watch

Polar’s best is the Vantage V Titanium which is the same as the Vantage V but, err, with titanium construction (and a cool strap). It IS probably my favourite multisport watch in the sense that I would (and do) wear it 24×7 and use it for training, yet the feature-full Vantage M is light and seems to better enable me to get my wetsuit off just that split second faster than I otherwise might and that’s why I used it for some 2019 races, including my A race. Polar’s new Grit X probably represents the equivalent of Gen 2 hardware for the Vantage, yet performance is similar between the Grit and the Vantage V, and software features essentially very similar too. All that said, I’ve been using my legacy V800 of late and, apart from the looks, there’s nothing significantly wrong with it as a sporting beast.

Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?

 

Best Suunto Multisport Watch

The best-looking multisport watch for me is the Suunto 9 Baro and Suunto are very good at offering you lots of cosmetic variations on the one model, which is important to many people buying a watch to also wear outside of sport. Whilst it has some truly innovative features, the Suunto 9 and the other ones too do lack some of the more niche multisport features. Yet if I were more of an outdoors adventurer I certainly would personally appreciate the awesome quality of construction and the quality of some of the onboard sensors.

The Suunto 5 offers good value multisport features for your money and the Suunto 7 is the best Wear OS watch that you could just about use for multisport and is possibly my favourite smartwatch for Wear OS right now.

“I can hear you lot at the back scoffing now.” Yes, those Suunto Ambit 3 owners will cherish the accuracy of their little multisport babies and soon will tell fond tales by the fireside of their favourite sports platform of old – MOVESCOUNT.

Over to you folks.

Best Multisport Watch – for Thin Wrists

Best Multisport Watch – for Women

A littler wrist might look better with a smaller faced watch, although often a screen size can be found inside a shell that is as large as some other watches that you might consider to be suitable for small wrists

Best Multisport Watch – for Accuracy

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

I reckon that the current, Best Multisport Watch for Accuracy is the Suunto Spartan Sport (HR, ie non WHR). The Polar V800 remains the best-ever.

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Best Multisport Watch – for Techiness & Features

I guess you could find the right multisport app for an Apple Watch or a Wear OS watch, surely the watches that support those apps are going to have way more features from 3rd party apps than a Garmin? Maybe you think that all those ‘smart’ apps are worthless and you just want properly sporty features and, if so, Polar might get your vote.

 

Best Multisport 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.I guess 15/16 hours of GPS+sesnsor battery life should do it for most people?

With the old 935’s battery life fading as it ages the best option here is the uber-batteried Forerunner 945 or a Fenix 6. Naturally, it will support all the sensors you could dream of and delivery infeasibly large amounts of Firstbeat insights as well as linking to your coach via Training Peaks. Then again, don’t forget the everlasting Coros batteries and ANT+/BLE sensor support.

The Best Ironman Watch is the Garmin Forerunner 945

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Best Multisport Watch – for Beginners

The best Multisport 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. The Best Multisport Watch for Beginners is the Polar Vantage M, or is it

 

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Best Multisport Watch – with Maps

With the introduction of maps onto the Forerunner 945 then this makes the 945 the winner in this category. No other vendor competes properly in this segment. A word of warning though, a small watch format is not great for reading maps nor following routes all you need is a watch that supports breadcrumb routes and the competition all do well with those kinds of courses. My recommendation here is to think more closely about your true mapping needs and consider a dedicated bike computer.

Local links to Amazon, Wiggle, PMC or REI

 

Best Multisport Watch – for the Future

If you want a future-proof watch with leading-edge tech then we might see some exciting new tri watches in 2020 and we certainly WILL see more in 2021. You will be waiting to see what a Garmin Forerunner 955 LTE or Polar Vantage V Gen 2 or Suunto 9 Gen 2 turns out to be.

It’s VERY unlikely any other company like Coros, Wahoo, Garmin, Apple or Sigma will come out with a full-featured, all-singing, all-dancing competitor to the market leaders…there’s just too much catching up to do. That said, any of those companies could bring out a niche multisport watch to target certain kinds of athletes. Just don’t hold your breath.

At least for now (June 2020), the Best Multisport Watch for the Future is the ‘Wait and see’

 

Local links to Amazon, Wiggle, PMC or REI

 

Best Multisport 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 can support multiple online music providers AND with multisport functionality.

The next best choice here would be one of the low-end watches like the Amazfit Stratos Gen 3 (even Gen 1 supports music playback). The Stratos looks AWESOME (I have one) but it’s really just an interesting toy to play with if you plan to take multisport seriously at some point in the future. But for well less than $/£150 in might just fall in the ‘toy’ category for some of you.

The Best Multisport Watch with Music AGAIN is the Garmin Forerunner 945. Having said that, I’m fairly sure that some of the existing competition has hardware that can already support music playback from the watch…al they have to do is enable it.

Local links to Amazon, Wiggle, PMC or REI

Detailed Review Links & Buy Links

Still not convinced? I know I’ve skirted over many of the issues in this ‘best of’ post. However, if you have a few hours to spare you can read all the detailed content I’ve written that backs my opinions on what is the best multisport watch, or use the adjacent links to check the prices at your local retailerS (the link goes to retailers in your country – about 10 retailers in the USA including the discounters – making it easy to find the best prices)

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