If there’s one thing that I love about the summer, it’s the water. Pools, beaches, lakes, you name it; give me a big body of water and I will try my darnedest to (1) never get in it, and (2) spend all my time right next to it. Depending on how mischievous my friends are feeling, though, objective #1 isn’t always so easy to achieve–which is why it’s so important for all of my wearables to be safely waterproof or water resistant!
There are tons of great reasons to get into the water this summer, so I’ve picked out five of my favourites plus five fantastic smartwatches to go with each. All of these watches and activity monitors (and all of these ones, too) are ones that you can take right into the water with you, so there’ll be no need to worry about water damage all season long!
(Well, not from your smartwatch, at least. But promise me you’ll try to keep the hairdryer out of the bathtub, okay?)
1. You’re training to beat your previous timed best at a triathlon this summer
Are you ready to get really serious with your workout? The new Garmin vivoactive Smartwatch with Heart Rate Monitor is ready to get serious with you, and it promises to try its very, very best not to show up your fancy new running shoes. (It’s lying; it’ll totally show up your new running shoes. Unless they match, of course; if they match, they’ll shine in all their coordinated glory together.)
The GPS-enabled Garmin vivoactive HR is built to do everything from counting steps to checking your email, and its battery lasts for an amazing 8 days on activity mode (or 16 hours on GPS mode). It’ll monitor your heart rate, let you time your sessions, calculate calories burned, and even track your sleep, and you’ll be able to break down all your data on your phone or computer.
The vivoactive HR will also subtly remind you to move every hour with a growing red bar on the display that resets by walking for a couple of minutes (no awkward buzzing or chiming here), and it’s water resistant up to a safe, reliable 50 metres, so you can count those calories while running, biking, and swimming.
2. You have six hundred and one weekend beach vacations planned for July
If you’re headed out to a beach or lake this summer, you need a water resistant smartwatch. Why? Well, I’ll list a couple reasons that might apply:
- Your friends are actually giant goofballs, and they’re pretty likely to push you into the water (watch be darned),
- Your kids need supervising, and you’re sick of doing it from the shoreline!
- You want to balance work with play, so keeping an eye on your inbox while you’re kayaking is a must, or
- You want to eat as many exotic dishes as possible, and keeping an eye on calories burned will help you figure out how many tasty treats your body will need to keep it energized (but not too full)!
Any of those sound familiar? If so, check out the Pebble Time Round Smartwatch. It’s cute, simple, and just dying to head to the beach with you!
3. You need to jet between business meetings and swimming lessons, but you need to know what time it is during both
If you’re lucky enough to work out at a gym with a diving pool, it can be tough to find a smartwatch that you can safely wear deep down underwater. With its water resistance up to 30 metres, though, the Pebble Time Steel has you covered for both swimming and diving, as well as your day-to-day coffee runs and business meetings.
With a colour e-paper display and both Android and iOS compatibility (another rare find), it’s not hard to see why Pebble has been able to stay alive despite the launch of the very similar-looking Apple Watch. The Time Steel has a battery that lasts 7-10 days on a single charge and comes with a built-in microphone for quick replies, and (perhaps coolest of all), its curved profile is made from marine-grade stainless steel.
The Pebble watch keeps up with all of your texts, emails, and sports scores, and it tracks fitness and sleep patterns using apps from Jawbone, Misfit, and more. For someone looking for the best of both worlds, it’s not only a good option, but a great one!
4. You’re ready to step your gym workout up a notch
My favourite watch from this entire roundup, hands down, is the pink Withings Activite Pop Smartwatch. Its bright, coral-pink band and watch face are stylish and overwhelmingly cheery, and it just feels so much like the kind of accessory that would make you smile at every glance.
The Activité Popwatch is designed for swimming and tracks your fitness goals, calories burned, and sleep habits. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android, so you can keep your Popwatch even if you change phones, and unlike many other tracking apps, the Withings free fitness app helps you stay motivated with challenges and insights on your fitness progress so far.
The dual-dial analog face of the Popwatch features a classic analog face with a sub-dial that showcases your daily goal, and the timeless result and eight month (yes, month) batter life balances out the minimized functionality from a lack of a digital face. It’s not a smartwatch that’s for everyone, but for a watch that focuses on health, style, and ease of use, it sure is a great all around activity tracker!
5. You just upgraded to a Samsung S7 and you figure that hey, if your phone is water resistant, your smartwatch should be, too!
Just like the S5, the brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 is bright, shiny, and water resistant. So if your phone’s water resistant, why shouldn’t your smartwatch be, too? You’re more likely to leave it on during high-splash-risk scenarios anyways, and a fitness tracker that’s water resistant up to 1.5 metres is helpful for your peace of mind in the rain or water.
The Samsung Gear S2 Classic Smartwatch with Heart Rate Monitor (shown in this article in Black/Blue) will match your new S7 and add on a bunch of awesome new functions that I bet most of us could never have dreamed of 10 years ago. It’ll track your fitness, receive calls and notifications, and check the weather for you, and just like all other Samsung products, it comes with an absolutely stunning battery: the Gear S2 takes only 90 minutes to fully recharge, and lasts up to 3 days on that one charge.
Unlike the rest of the smartwatches in this list, it’s important to note that the S2 is water resistant to only 1.5 metres, and Samsung (while they don’t recommend against using it for swimming, like Fitbit does for its Blaze smartwatch) doesn’t explicitly recommend it for swimming. The reports on its waterproof abilities are mixed; it performs very well in the rain and should be fine for incidental water exposure, but it’s best left on the shore for extended swims and all diving!
Beyond being a simple fitness tracker, the S2 can be used with a crazy number of native apps, including ESPN, Yelp, and Uber, so it’s just as useful in the city as it is at the lake. It pairs with compatible Android devices using Wifi or Bluetooth 4.1, and it has a circular touchscreen protected with Samsung’s “Gorilla Glass,” so if the city and lake aren’t enough for you, it’s a safe choice even for things like mountain hiking and rock climbing.
The one thing its sturdy build and versatility won’t do for you is throw a bear off of you during your rainy wilderness orienteering. It’ll let you Tweet in real time about being chased and terrified by a bear, though, which is really the next best thing… right?
For all of your water-related (and water-adjacent!) plans this summer, make sure you have a smartwatch that’s as ready for anything as you are. Best Buy’s water resistant smartwatches can be found right here for your perusal whenever you’re ready!