Wrist Warriors

Full-featured watches for smarter training

Oct 14, 2014
Outside Magazine

Because it's all on the wrist.   

We tested six smart fitness watches designed to take your training to the next level. Say hello to the next generation of wearable tech. 

TomTom Runner Cardio

  Photo: TomTom

Best for: Running

A tiny joystick below the screen on this watch ($270) lets you toggle between outdoor, treadmill, and heart-rate modes. Even better, an embedded heart-rate monitor lets you leave the chest strap at home.

Atlas Wearable

  Photo: Atlas

Best for: The Gym

With a built-in accelerometer and a gyroscope that can identify and provide feedback on the exercises you’re doing (the sensors are precise enough to tell the difference between types of squats), the touch-screen Wearable ($200) doubles as a personal coach.

Suunto Ambit3 Peak

  Photo: Suunto

Best for: Backpacking

The strengths of this watch ($500) are its battery life—a staggering 50 hours while GPS tracking—and advanced navigation functions, which can help you find your way back to the car. Bluetooth Smart capability pairs the Peak with your iPhone to display incoming calls and texts.

Rip Curl SearchGPS 

  Photo: Rip Curl

Best for: Surfing

In addition to tide information for more than 1,300 breaks around the world, the SearchGPS ($400) logs how many waves you’ve caught, the distance of each ride, your top speed, and how far you’ve paddled. Pair it with the SearchGPS iPhone app to analyze your sessions.

Garmin Forerunner 920XT 

  Photo: Garmin

Best for: Triathlon

The 910XT’s ($450) class-leading multisport metrics made it the top tri watch for years. The new iteration is lighter (just 2.2 ounces), has a color screen, and measures cadence, ground-contact, and VO2 max.

LG G Watch

  Photo: LG

Best for: Everyday

The G ($230) runs Google’s Android Wear software (you talk to it like you would Apple’s Siri or Google Glass) to deliver info on the weather, appointments, and even that upcoming flight. It also gives you an easy way to get directions while running. Requires an Android phone.

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