Garmin HRM-FIT Review

garmin hrm fit review specs


Garmin HRM-FIT Review

Garmin HRM-FIT is by far the most expensive heart rate monitor I’ve reviewed from Garmin. It has every advanced feature of the Garmin HRM-PRO PLUS plus a novel clip-on mechanism. The only reason to even think of buying one is if you’ve tried and rejected wrist heart rate from your watch, an optical HR strap for your upper arm, and a traditional chest strap.

You’ll need to be sure that HRM-FIT will attach to your kinds of sports bras and if you want the advanced workout caching features then you must always use a relatively modern Garmin sports watch. Worse still, you will not be able to use the HRM-FIT like a normal chest strap, for example underneath a wetsuit/swimsuit…it will only attach to a sports bra of the right type (medium/high support).



Verdict: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - A unique product but one that is not as versatile as it should be.

Garmin HRM-FIT Review


This heart rate monitor is designed for women to use during all types of sports. However, you must always use the right sports bra.

It’s also designed to work with all types of sports tech but you won’t get any of the advanced metrics if you use HRM-FIT with a 3rd party sports app like Peloton, Zwift, Nike Run Club or Runtastic. In those cases, it works as a generic heart rate monitor. If you don’t have a Garmin watch then it’s not worth buying.

HRM-FIT has many advanced features including advanced running dynamics metrics, offline data caching, indoor run/treadmill pace, and step tracking/calories/intensity minutes that gather data even when not wearing your watch. Here is a quick sentence about each of these advanced features:

  • Connectivity – to ANT+ and 3 Bluetooth sports devices – ideal in complex Zwift scenarios when training indoors
  • Running Power – for older watches that don’t have running power built-in. Power is a great pacing metric for runners to pace by effort.
  • Running dynamics – again for older watches that don’t have it built in. You won’t use these metrics much, if at all.
  • Workout Caching – for newer watches that support the caching feature. You’ll probably want to use it for team sports, swimming and classes when you leave the watch in your bag. This is a very handy feature for those sports where you don’t or can’t wear a watch.
  • Treadmill pace broadcast – It is handy to get treadmill pace as you might have an old treadmill that doesn’t transmit speed. The treadmill pace is not super accurate but then neither are many treadmills (see RUNN)



HRM-FIT is easy to attach using 3 clip-on points and easy to pair to any sports watch or smartphone app. Recharging is not required and the single CR2032 battery should easily last over a year even with daily use.



A Polar Verity Sense or Whoop strap might be a better alternative for gym classes, team sports and running. But less so for swimmers where your only real options are inaccurate wrist HR or a chest strap like HRM-FIT

For triathletes & swimmers (pool and open water), the way to go is with one of Garmin’s better tri-watches like the Forerunner 965. Accept the heart rate inaccuracies you will experience in some sports from the wrist and use a regular chest strap where best you can.

Buy from Amazon in case you need to return it



  • Can connect to any 3rd party sports watch or app.
  • All the latest sports features – caching, running dynamics, running power, calories


  • Extremely expensive and dubious value for most people
  • Several features are superseded by on-watch features on newer watches (power and run dynamics)
  • Other features confusingly only work on the latest watches (caching)
  • Dubious swim compatibility with your swimwear and also debatable that you should use an HRM rated at 30m, 3ATM.
  • Will NOT work directly with Garmin Connect. You must use a watch to start a workout.


Garmin HRM-FIT: Incompatible Bra Types



Garmin HRM-FIT Accuracy

Garmin has used its normally accurate HRM tech. However, accuracy will be impacted if you have a loose-fitting bra and the HRM moves. Furthermore, the HRM-FIT has 2 contact pads on its reverse side which can also very slightly reduce accuracy compared to the Polar H10, accuracy will also take a hit if either pad dries out.

Garmin HRM-FIT Price & Availability

It is listed on Amazon and Garmin sites. Get it from Amazon in case you need to return it 😉

Garmin HRM-FIT Take Out

This is fundamentally a reasonably well-conceived product by Garmin. Sure it might have attached more easily and it might have been better if Garmin made it link directly to Garmin Connect to start & save workouts.

The main problem will be the one you encounter 3 or 4 weeks after buying this very expensive product. That problem will be that it won’t work for all the activities you take part in, you’ll probably have different sports bras (or equivalent) for different activities and some of them will be incompatible. You’ll just be annoyed and perhaps slightly resentful of the cost. You might choose to plod on using it and get inaccurate data caused by loose fitting. That’ll eventually annoy you as well.

Personally, I would much rather have seen Garmin make a Whoop competitor for the upper arm…but it didn’t.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen Garmin include a strap extender to convert HRM-FIT to a regular chest strap and make it more useful when swimming…but it didn’t.




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4 thoughts on “Garmin HRM-FIT Review

    1. after the initial enthusiasm of a novel product wears off, in the plain light of day and taking into account all the caveats around the product…yeah, i think you’re right

      i they will will sell at first and then flounder into an unused corner of a lycra filled room

    2. Or a regular strap, but with some added surface features to increase friction/grip between strap and tightly worn garments above for helping the strap hold up against gravity? Perhaps a bit like those dots on the H10 strap, but aimed at the outside. Could even be a unisex upsell over the HRM-pro.

      Having seen more photos of the HRM-fit in sports tech media I also realized that with the approach they’ve taken, they still missed a chance by not making those outside clips replacible (like quick release bands on watches), and offering (including?) a range of color options. Plastic black might be ok for the central pod, but that horizontal line of clips, without adding a bit of playfulness, just looks too much like something you only wear on doctor’s orders, not because you are an awesome fitness person.

      1. yep and an extension strap to make it into a chest strap
        yep to the improved friction rubber
        and yep to adding more sensing/electrode pads

        should be better for the price. much better

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