Garmin HRM-FIT – closer – more info leaks – What is it?

Garmin HRM-PRO Specification HR Chest Strap

Garmin HRM-FIT

More: First Look at Garmin HRM-FIT Jan 2024

A new Garmin heart rate monitor completed the certification process in Malaysia in the Summer and looks likely to be released in January 2024, perhaps coinciding with the release of a next-gen version of Garmin Lily which has also been confirmed. The latest info from indicates the existence of HRM-FIT in its repair database with a high repair price of 75.96 Euros.

Image| via @FLO, clicks to source


More information also comes from Garmin’s US Patent “20230263446 A1” (Aug 2023) which describes a new kind of chest strap. It’s a sensing mechanism that has multiple ways of being attached including to a standard ‘strap’ or, for example, to a user’s bra. This patent could refer to a wholly different product to the one we will see in Q1.2024. Here are some more details

Garmin HRM-FIT – Opinion

[0041] Conventional heart rate monitors are often unisex and are not configured to be worn in combination with other garments. For example, current heart rate monitors must be tightly strapped around a circumference of a user’s chest in addition to whatever other clothing is worn around the user’s chest. Tightly strapped heart rate monitors around a circumference of a user’s chest can interfere with a garment the user is wearing, which could cause discomfort or injury to the user. Further, interference between one or more electrodes and a garment can cause the one or more electrodes to dislodge from the skin of the user, which could produce incomplete or inaccurate heart rate data.

[0042] The heart rate monitor disclosed herein is a heart rate monitor that is configured to provide accurate and complete heart rate data while easily and comfortably being worn. In some configurations, the heart rate monitor is configured to work in tandem with a user’s existing garments.

Garmin Q4 Features – Skin Temperature and much more

Below is some speculation about what this might entail, as well as its potential release date and significance. Whether we see an upper-arm optical HRM or a bra-based HRM both of these products can fill a definite gap in the market and offer Garmin potentially good sales and profit potential. Either way, this launch is especially interesting and likely signals the beginning of a new, product range.

Garmin Heart Rate Monitors – Chest Straps

To provide some context regarding Garmin’s other HR products, understanding recent developments is essential.

Garmin currently produces heart rate monitors that are either integrated into a watch or designed as athlete-grade chest straps.

It was only in May 2023 that we witnessed the debut of the latest generation of the ELEVATE optical sensor in the Fenix 7 Pro.  Meanwhile, the most recent chest strap, the HRM-PRO PLUS, was released in July 2022.

Garmin HRM-PRO Plus Review – Quick Look and Comparison HRM-PRO vs HRM-Dual vs HRM-Swim


HRM-PRO Plus was released to fix an engineering/reliability issue with its predecessor, HRM-PRO.

ELEVATE Gen 5 has been more interesting. It has NOT found its way onto all the new high-end Fenix 7 Pro derivatives, for example being noticeably absent on the MARQ Carbon

Whilst the bra-based patent strongly implies HRM-FIT will be that, it’s also a compelling argument that Garmin will want to leverage sales in every possible way on its new Gen 5 optical HR technology.

Timings and Other Launches

Again, the context of other product launches is important.

High-quality leaks state that we are about to see a Garmin Lily 2 around Jan 2023 or soon after. Lily 2 is not a super-major product for Garmin but January is an important month for releases. So I would say it is more than likely that HRM-FIT will be jointly released especially if it is the bra-based strap as Lily is a female-targetted product.

Also worth noting, with exceptions, is that the summer tends to be a less important period for new Garmin watch/bike computer launches. In a nutshell, it’s the time when cheaper accessories are launched, like HRMs!! So a WHOOP-like armband could appear then

I have also received quite a bit of intel around developments planned for Garmin Connect in Q1.2024. None of these leaks suggest that anything like WHOOP’s features are planned.


What does that mean?

It’s near-certain that there will be a wholly new HRM-FIT product but the timings are not known for sure.

It’s a non-pro-sounding name. Couple that with the fact that the HRM-PRO PLUS is about as good as a chest strap can get, and we can deduce that we are not about to receive another top-of-the-line chest strap. OK, it could be a budget strap model, but I think not.

Because Garmin has iterated the Elevate optical sensor into its latest Gen 5 incarnation, I strongly suspect that we are about to see an armband along the lines of similar products from Coros, Polar Sense, Coospo, Scosche, Wahoo, and many others.

The armband will have the Elevate Gen 5 sensor onboard but probably won’t use its ECG capabilities.

Where Will the HRM-FIT Be Targeted?

The name would imply that perhaps HRM-FIT would be a generalist arm strap that can be worn without a watch when undertaking gym work or when asleep. Target markets here are far-reaching including the cross-fit community, lifters and those interested in recovery monitoring (and not wearing a watch to do it).

A bra-based product presumably would be focussed on use with a SPORTS bra and hence be an exercise-only product rather.

Guys: Some women can’t wear chest straps. This would be a great product for them.

new Strava Messaging – Completely Pointless

Rampant Speculation

However, we could see something much more than all of that as Garmin plays catch-up across several features and sports. A bullet list is sometimes easier; try these:

  • Most likely, this will be launched alongside the Lily 2, Q1.2024
  • A new generation of Garmin optical technology worn on the upper arm is highly likely to be extremely accurate and hence suitable for almost all of us in our sports. Everyone outside a sports lab, basically. (I’d seriously consider using one)
  • It might cache heart rate similar to the high-end chest straps and hence be ideal for swimming, gym work, exercise classes, and more.
  • Any arm strap based on Garmin’s Gen 5 ELEVATE sensor is highly likely to be extremely battery-efficient. It shoudl blow the competition out of the market for battery life.
  • It might, just might, work to an RR or ECG level of accuracy for HRV and so could be worn overnight instead of a watch. That would be a far more comfortable alternative to a watch.
  • This could herald the start of an attack on WHOOP with a whole host of sleep, wellness, and readiness intentions. I’ve seen no evidence for that.  There would need to be some quite significant improvements to the Connect app.
  • For the first time (ish), we might see a Garmin HR strap that can interact directly with the Garmin Connect app without the need for a watch or bike computer. On the one hand, this might mean Garmin loses sales, but on the other hand, people like me and you will be more likely to buy multiple Garmin products…so it could be a nice little money spinner.
  • Great for cyclists who don’t want to wear a chest strap or some women who can’t wear a chest strap.


I was a bit surprised not to see this released in October.

I genuinely believe that Garmin could make some serious money with armband HR monitors. They would start with simple usage tied to a basic watch like Lily 2, then slowly move over the month towards watch-free cached workouts, sleep tracking, and watch-free readiness tracking. Perhaps they could even evolve into a subscription service like WHOOP or even branded apparel with pockets designed to hold the monitor on various parts of the body… kind of like WHOOP. There are literally millions of dollars at stake here. Or should I say… ready to be taken from WHOOP? Sadly, I don’t think Garmin’s app will ever surpass WHOOP’s. But, with Garmin’s sheer market presence and momentum, WHOOP might face some serious challenges.

Then again, it could just be a new form of multi-attachable chest strap, a cheap, entry-level chest strap or it could be a low-end armband designed to get rid of a glut of older ELEVATE Gen 4 sensors. On that cheery note!!! over to you. comments welcomed


 Basic regulatory info via Gadgets & Wareables

Garmin Lily 2 info via @flo



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12 thoughts on “Garmin HRM-FIT – closer – more info leaks – What is it?

  1. I find it hard to get excited about HR straps and with Polar doing the Verity Sense and H10 and with Garmin’s own straps its hard to see if there is a genuine market for another variant on the chest strap.

    With many new Garmin watches doing wrist based running dynamics and running power I think the case having a Garmin branded strap over a 3rd party is quite weak anyway.

    I would suspect an optical strap is most likely.

    1. fair enough
      a garmin arm band would likely only have battery life and caching as a positive differentiator (price being a negative differentiator, accuracy wouldn’t be a differeentiator). at least from what i know garmin doesn’t have new plans to take on whoop with recovery. what you see in Connect now is broadly where the comapny is heading in the short term (1 year)

      conversely the female-chest strap is wholly innovative and i’ve seen nothng liek it. it opens a new sub-segment for the comapny. and there are a lot of potential customers with zero direct competition.

  2. Regarding that patent, I doubt that it’s related in any way to new products. I’m no expert (laughably far from being, heh) but to me it looks like attorney busywork of the defensive kind, where they state just any conceivable variation of what they and everybody else have been doing no matter how indefensible it would be when used to enforce exclusivity. Only to be able to pull it out of the archive if ever a competitor would try to attack a product with a claim of their own. Hardly more than a collection of (mostly hypothetical) prior art.

    But I’d love to be proven wrong, would love to see a fresh take on electrode-based HRM. The supposedly glorious H10 seems almost as unreliable as others for me, and I can’t stand that uncertainty of consumable straps where you never know if that particular one is done, just had a bad day while being fine or if some more tightness or moisture would have helped. I’d love to see a strap with signal quality metrics (observed signal, not transmission signal) to have some objective replacement threshold.

  3. I am really curious when we will see new features on Garmin Connect app as you’ve mentioned on a previous post titled: “new garmin sports features inbound and more”. Based on your intel above we are not going to see any big changes on Q1 2024 on that front. And let’s face it is, GC app looks really old, even Wahoo overhauled (in a good sense) their apps already.

    Moreover Garmin is still without any news on the skin temperature feature, sleep coach, etc. on their top end watches, struggling with new features.

    Let’s see, interesting times ahead of us and really looking forward on what gap will Apple also tackle next.

    1. yeah ive been thinking about Apple recently.
      apparently on the iOS side Apple is cramming everything possible with its current AI into the next gen iOS. so theyre focussing on smarts.
      unsure how that will translate to apple watch and NEW SPORTS features. I would guess that they will beef up the existing SPORTS featuresets.
      supposedly Watch X (10, watchOS 11) is the big one, so overall i’m not too exceited about apple watch for 2024.

  4. Garmin’s current HRM straps are covered by someone else’s patent for conductivity (Polar?), so coming up with an alternative could be a way to get around that to avoid paying royalties. This is the unusual example of Garmin being on the wrong side of that transaction

  5. Do we know if this is indeed an electrode based HRM or might it be an optical based using the new elevate v5 sensor. Whoop came out with whoop body that allowed you to put the sensor in the band of underwear or the sports bra for women. So maybe the new HRM Fit is an optical sensor that can be connected to a bra strap or an armband.

    With CES in Jan and the Lily being released likely without the elevate v5 sensor this would allow them to sell him fit for working out with and the lily to wear during the day. For others like Fenix users or mechanical watch wearers this could be the reverse a sensor to wear during the day while not having wear the watch.

    Also like you said strength training or cross fit users who do not want to damage their watches an armband version would be great option.

    Finally this would offer 265/965 users the new sensor with out having to upgrade whole watch.

    Here’s to hoping!!!

  6. I’d love to se something similar to Whoop from Garmin (preferably with a step counter). Then I can wear whatever watch I want when not exercising and still record 24/7 metrics. I only wear my Garmin when I actually go running.

    1. It would be really cool if it were an optical sensor to wear on your arm or wrist! I am a user of a Fenix 7 but I prefer to use analog watches for everyday use and I don’t use it for sleeping because it is very bulky. This causes me to lose many metrics. This way I could record my steps and metrics during the day and night and use my Fenix 7 only when I play sports and on weekends. Let’s hope Garmin brings us good news this January. Thanks The5Krunner for the valuable information.

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