If you’re looking for a superb workout to lose weight or be fit, you should try rowing.
This exercise is usually done on the water and a rowing boat, also known as outdoor rowing. But nowadays, there are many rowing machines available that allow you to try indoor rowing, which still lets you reap the benefits of rowing.
Rowing indoors or outdoors will give you a positive impact on your mind and body. However, the perks of a rowing workout can be improved if you use fitness trackers or rowing watches.
We all know how searching for the best fitness tracker for rowing can be difficult, so we created a list of some of the best rowing watches to help you out.
If you’re interested to know more about the best fitness trackers for rowing, keep reading.
The Best Fitness Trackers for Rowing
1. Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 is specially designed for consumers of Apple or individuals who love indoor and outdoor rowing. This fitness tracker features an always-on display, which only works with an iPhone.
This Apple Watch includes a heart rate tracker, which is one of the most accurate ones you can find in a smartwatch. While you’re indoor or outdoor rowing, this heart rate tracking feature notifies you about your pulse rate.
The Apple Watch Series 6 also tracks your blood oxygen levels. Afterward, it gives you accurate rowing data on how much oxygen you consume during your outdoor or indoor rowing workouts.
Another feature to admire about this Apple watch is its multiple navigational sensors, which track where you’re going. This includes Galileo, GLONASS, and a built-in GPS, which easily tracks your outdoor rowing sessions.
With the help of this sensor, you can track your rowing metrics, such as your rowing speed and distance. This apple watch is also swim-proof, which is appropriate for your on-water rowing.
This Apple watch is also compatible with indoor rowing machines. You can track your indoor rowing activity by using the Apple Fitness + app, but you can also utilize other third-party Apple Watch apps.
To summarize, if you are an iPhone user looking for a rowing smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 6 is a great choice and alternative to the Garmin watches.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor rowing
- Features an always-on display
- Offers detailed rowing data tracking
- Includes an accurate heart rate tracker
- Track rowing metrics such as speed and distance
- Swim-proof; suitable for on-water outdoor rowing
- Features Apple Fitness + app; compatible with indoor rowing machines
- Has multiple navigational sensors, including Galileo, GLONASS, and a built-in GPS
- Tracks and gives you accurate rowing data on your blood oxygen levels
- Not suitable for Android users
- Inaccurate sleep tracking data
- Short battery life
2. Garmin Fenix 3 HR GPS Watch
Here’s another excellent rowing smartwatch from the Garmin brand called the Garmin Fenix 3 HR. This Garmin watch features an Omni directional stainless steel EXO antenna, which connects to GLONASS and GPS. This precision satellite navigation ensures you more reliable and accurate rowing data tracking across more environments.
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR rowing watch also includes activity and sleep tracking features. This provides Sensors that monitor your steps during the day, along with automatic goals assigned depending on your activity level.
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR also includes a move bar, which is displayed to motivate you after periods of inactivity. During the night, your movements are also being tracked to resolve your sleep quality.
This rowing watch by Garmin Fenix also monitors your heart rate. With the use of elevated wrist heart rate technology, your heart rate is measured without the need for a chest strap. This allows you a more accurate calculation of how much of your calories burned, providing vital data to optimize additional training features.
Another feature to admire about the Garmin Fenix 3 HR is its rugged, stylish design. This includes a 1.2-inch Garmin Chroma display, with a crystal lens that features a LED backlight and can be easily read in sunlight.
Lastly, this Garmin Fenix 3 HR rowing watch offers smart connectivity. This feature includes a Bluetooth 4.0 LE pairing with your compatible smartphone, which lets you receive texts, calls, emails, and music controls.
- Features an Omnidirectional stainless steel EXO antenna
- Includes a precision satellite navigation
- Features a 1.2-inch Garmin Chroma display
- Has activity and sleep tracking features
- Monitors your steps with the help of Sensors
- Includes a move bar
- Provides an elevated wrist heart technology
- Measures heart rate without a chest strap
- Offers accurate data of calories burned
- Has a rugged, stylish design
- Offers smart connectivity
- Has antenna issues
- Offers inaccurate optical HR results
- Does not track sleep
3. Garmin Fenix 5X
If you’re looking for a Garmin Fenix rowing watch that is fit for adventure, the Garmin Fenix 5X might be exactly what you’re looking for.
This rowing watch by Garmin Fenix comes with a rugged design, which features a stainless steel bezel, rear case, and buttons. Other features of the Garmin Fenix 5X also include a GPS time sync for sunrise or sunset times.
This Garmin Fenix 5X sports watch features a premium multisport GPS with an elevated wrist heart rate technology, which measures 47 x 47 x 15.5 millimeters. To view the progress and effects of your workouts, simply put key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget.
This rowing watch by Garmin Fenix provides a 2-week battery life when used only in smartwatch mode. Meanwhile, it can last up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode and without the wrist heart rate tracker and 24 hours when used in HR or GPS mode.
Other connected features to enjoy with the Garmin Fenix 5X are the automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community, smart notifications, and the free, customizable watch faces and built-in sports apps from the Connect IQ store.
Lastly, this Garmin Fenix rowing watch features outdoor sensors, including GLONASS, GPS, and a 3-axis compass with barometric altimeter and gyroscope.
- Comes with a rugged design
- Features a stainless steel bezel, rear case, and buttons
- Battery life lasts up to two weeks in smartwatch mode, 60 hours in UltraTrac mode, and 23 hours on HR and GPS mode
- Includes automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community
- Has smart notifications
- Connect IQ Store offers free, customizable watch faces and apps
- Features outdoor sensors
- Pins are heavily corroded
- Inaccurate data
4. Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS
If you’re on a budget but still desire a Garmin watch as a fitness tracker for your next rowing workout session, you might want to check out the Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS.
This fitness tracker by Garmin is more affordable than the Fenix series. However, the Garmin Vivoactive does not offer accuracy since it only costs one-third of the Fenix Pro’s price.
One reason to buy the Garmin Vivoactive HR is its compatibility with Garmin’s rowing app. Therefore, you can virtually track your rowing activities with this feature.
Another feature to admire with this fitness tracker is its 24/7 heart rate tracker, which follows your heartbeat whether you’re rowing outdoors or fast asleep.
The Garmin Vivoactive HR also features a GPS, which can be useful during your outdoor rowing exercise. This functional feature will track your location and keep you updated with your rowing metrics, such as your distance and speed covered.
Though the Garmin Vivoactive fitness watch is water resistant for up to 50 meters, it is still more suitable for indoor rowing machine as water might get inside the smartwatch in case accidentally dropped in the water.
Lastly, the Garmin Vivoactive HR offers a decent battery life. Without the frequent use of the GPS, it can last for days. So, if you’re looking for an affordable watch for indoor rowing and casual outdoor rowing, this fitness tracker is for you.
- Compatible with Garmin’s rowing app
- Includes a 24/7 heart rate tracker
- Suitable for indoor or outdoor rowing
- Features a built-in GPS
- Offers a 50-meter water resistance
- Provides a good battery life
- Might easily get damaged if water gets inside
- Not totally suitable for outdoor rowing
5. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Apart from Garmin, Samsung is another brand that produces fitness trackers for rowing activities. One feature that sets the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 from the Garmin watches is its SIM facility.
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker where you can make calls, this rowing smartwatch also includes a cellular version where you can insert an LTE SIM. You also no longer need to connect it to your smartphone, so you no longer need to bring your phone with you on your next rowing session.
Another key feature of this fitness tracker is its beautiful and super AMOLED display. Apart from that, this smartwatch features a GPS chip and an integrated heart rate monitor, making it easier for you to track your rowing activity. Not to mention, this smartwatch provides accurate rowing data tracking and reliable sensors.
This smartwatch includes a pre-installed Samsung Health app, letting you track all your outdoor and indoor rowing exercises. Not only that, but it also tracks other sports and fitness activities such as running and cycling.
However, one downside of this smartwatch is that it’s not entirely water-resistant. So, we do not recommend it for water rowing. So if you’re looking for a smartwatch for indoor rowing, then this watch is for you.
- Consists of a cellular version with an LTE SIM
- Features a super AMOLED display
- Offers accurate rowing data tracking features
- Has accurate and reliable sensors
- Provides a GPS chip and an integrated heart rate monitor
- Includes a pre-installed Samsung Health app
- Not entirely water-resistant
- Not suitable for outdoor rowing
What to Look For in a Fitness Tracker for Rowing?
Rowing smartwatches can come with a hefty price, but not all expensive sports watches guarantee you the best rowing data tracking features either. Luckily, the market offers affordable watches with good rowing-specific features. Whether you’re on a tight budget or a beginner, it’s best to opt for a budget-friendly rowing watch then upgrade later on.
2. Battery Life
One of the most important features to consider when looking for the best rowing smartwatch is the battery life. Some rowing smartwatches offer a battery life that can last up to weeks, while some can last up to months.
Depending on your budget and preference, choose a sports watch for rowing that has great battery life. This allows you to enjoy and focus on your outdoor or indoor rowing workout more without constantly charging it.
3. Water resistance
Whether you’re only using a rowing machine or more into outdoor rowing exercises, a water-proof sports watch is another feature to look at. This is essential if you prefer rowing on an actual boat since this will prevent the watch from getting easily damaged.
What’s more important than the tracker’s style or design is its durable construction. Before buying a rowing tracker, it’s best to take a closer look at what it’s made out of. One example of durable material is stainless steel, which can also be scratch-resistant.
Another important feature to consider is accuracy. What makes a great fitness tracker is its ability to provide accurate tracking rowing data or rowing stats such as speed, distance, calories burned, and many more.
The search for the best rowing watch can be challenging, so we gathered some of the best fitness trackers for rowing to help you out.
Whether you’re only using a rowing machine or an actual boat on the water, using a fitness tracker can help you with tracking rowing data, assessing your rowing stats, and improving your fitness goals.
We highly recommend you to buy the Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS for your next rowing exercise. Despite its affordable price, this rowing watch still provides excellent features such as a 24/7 heart rate sensor, a built-in GPS, a compatible Garmin rowing app, and a 50-meter water-resistant.
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