Waterproof Fitness Trackers for Kayaking: Top Picks and Buying Tips

Waterproof fitness trackers

Kayaking is not only a fun and adventurous water activity but also an excellent form of exercise. Many individuals who enjoy kayaking might be interested in monitoring their fitness progress as they paddle through the water. One way to accomplish this is by using a waterproof fitness tracker specifically designed for kayaking. These trackers come with a variety of features tailored to cater to the unique needs of water sports enthusiasts, making them essential gear for anyone serious about enhancing their kayaking experience.

Waterproof fitness trackers for kayaking come in different models and designs, each offering unique features and capabilities. It’s essential to understand what a genuinely waterproof fitness tracker is, as well as the features you should look for to ensure a dependable and accurate fitness companion during your trips. With the right waterproof fitness tracker by your side, you can maximize your kayaking workouts while also ensuring your device stays protected from water damage.

Key Takeaways

  • Waterproof fitness trackers are essential gear for serious kayakers, helping monitor fitness progress during water activities.
  • A good tracker offers genuinely waterproof design and key features tailored to cater to the unique needs of water sports enthusiasts.
  • Careful selection and proper maintenance of waterproof fitness trackers ensure optimal performance during kayaking adventures.


Understanding Waterproofing in Fitness Trackers

When looking for a fitness tracker for kayaking, it is crucial to understand the different levels of waterproofing. There is a range in water resistance, and not all fitness trackers can withstand immersion in water for extended periods or various depths.

One way to determine the waterproof capabilities of a fitness tracker is to look at its Ingress Protection (IP) rating. This rating system classifies the degree of protection against water and dust. For fitness trackers, you should look for devices with an IP rating of at least IP67, which means they can be submerged in water up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes. However, for greater protection, opt for devices with IP68 ratings, which indicate they can be submerged in water up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) for 30 minutes or more.

Another method to assess a fitness tracker’s water resistance is the ATM (atmospheres) rating. This rating specifies the water pressure a device can withstand. Here’s a quick overview of different ATM ratings and their implications for water-related activities:

  • 1 ATM (10 meters/33 feet): Able to withstand light splashes, but not suitable for swimming or kayaking.
  • 3 ATM (30 meters/100 feet): Suitable for occasional shallow water activities, but not for extended durations in water.
  • 5 ATM (50 meters/164 feet): Allows for swimming and water sports, such as kayaking or paddleboarding.
  • 10 ATM (100 meters/328 feet): Suitable for snorkeling and similar activities, but not for diving.

Keep in mind that even fitness trackers with high IP or ATM ratings may have limitations. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper use and care, as some trackers may be resistant to certain water-based activities but not suitable for others. For example, some waterproof fitness trackers may be suitable for use in the pool but not in saltwater. Additionally, water-resistant devices shouldn’t be exposed to high water pressure, such as from a showerhead.

In summary, understanding waterproof ratings and considering the intended use and manufacturer’s guidelines are critical factors when choosing a fitness tracker for kayaking. Some of the best waterproof fitness trackers for water sports can be found in articles from Healthline and Outside Times. Always prioritize the specific type of water resistance required for your intended activities to ensure your device’s durability while you paddle.


Key Features to Look for in Waterproof Fitness Trackers

Water Resistance Ratings

When choosing a waterproof fitness tracker for kayaking, it’s crucial to consider the device’s water resistance rating. Most trackers have an IPX7 or IPX8 rating that determines their durability against splashes or being submerged. IPX8 rated trackers offer better water protection, making them suitable for intense water sports like kayaking.


A fitness tracker’s build quality is essential, as durability plays a significant role in its ability to withstand the harsh conditions kayakers may face. Opt for a tracker made from high-quality materials like stainless steel, reinforced polymers, or silicone straps for added comfort during prolonged use.

Battery Life

Long battery life is another important factor for kayakers. A good waterproof fitness tracker should have a battery life of at least a few days and ideally offer a power-saving mode. Devices like the Garmin Instinct Solar can harness the sun’s energy to extend the battery life, making it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

GPS and Navigation Features

GPS-enabled trackers ensure precise location tracking and navigation functionalities during kayaking sessions. Features like route planning, distance traveled, and speed analytics can help kayakers track their performance and stay on course during their adventures.

Heart Rate Monitor

A built-in heart rate monitor allows kayakers to keep track of their physical exertion levels and maintain a steady pace. This feature is also essential for accurately determining calorie burn and providing insights into overall workout performance.

Fitness and Health Metrics

Finally, look for fitness trackers that offer a wide range of fitness and health metrics to keep you informed about various aspects of your well-being. Some popular metrics include:

  • Stroke count: Measures the number of strokes taken during kayaking.
  • Stroke rate: Tracks the strokes per minute to maintain a consistent pace.
  • Calories burned: Calculates the energy expenditure during the activity.
  • Swim efficiency (SWOLF): Assesses the kayaker’s efficiency in water.
  • Sleep tracking: Monitors the quality and duration of sleep for overall health monitoring.

By considering these key features, you can select a suitable waterproof fitness tracker that caters to your kayaking needs and helps you achieve better performance.


Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers for Kayaking

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is an excellent choice for kayaking enthusiasts. This multisport watch features a durable design, GPS capabilities, and water resistance up to 100 meters. The Fenix 6 Pro offers a range of activity tracking features, including heart rate monitoring and advanced performance metrics.

Garmin Swim 2

The Garmin Swim 2 is specifically designed for swimmers and water adventurers. It offers advanced swim tracking features, including stroke detection, pace, distance, and pool lap data. With GPS functionality, the Swim 2 also tracks open-water activities like kayaking, providing accurate speed and distance information.

Fitbit Charge 4

The Fitbit Charge 4 is a popular waterproof fitness tracker with GPS, heart rate tracking, and other essential features. Its swimproof design makes it an ideal companion for kayaking, as it can track your workouts, monitor your health, and even provide sleep insights.

Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30

Casio’s Pro Trek WSD-F30 is a rugged, waterproof smartwatch with a unique dual-layer display, customizable watch faces, and GPS functionality. The Pro Trek WSD-F30 is perfect for kayaking enthusiasts who want a reliable and stylish fitness tracker.

Fitbit Versa 2

The Fitbit Versa 2 is a versatile waterproof smartwatch with numerous tracking features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and built-in Amazon Alexa. It’s an excellent option for kayakers who want a fitness tracker that provides useful insights while remaining stylish and functional.

Garmin Vivosmart 4

The compact Garmin Vivosmart 4 is a slim fitness tracker with essential features, such as heart rate monitoring, Pulse Ox sensor, and water resistance. This discreet tracker is perfect for kayakers who want a lightweight and comfortable option for their water-based activities.

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple’s Watch Series 7 offers advanced health and fitness features, with water resistance up to 50 meters. Its built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, and extensive app ecosystem make it an excellent choice for kayakers who want a fully-featured smartwatch.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2

The Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is a sleek, waterproof fitness tracker with a curved AMOLED display. It offers basic fitness tracking features like heart rate monitoring and step counting, making it a suitable option for kayakers who want a reliable and affordable device.

Amazfit Bip U Pro

The Amazfit Bip U Pro is a lightweight, budget-friendly fitness tracker with built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring, and water resistance. Its affordable price point and long battery life make it an appealing option for kayakers on a budget.

Suunto 7

The Suunto 7 is a premium smartwatch with a rugged design and water resistance. It features an extensive range of tracking features, including GPS and detailed sport-specific data. This watch is an excellent choice for kayakers who want advanced performance metrics in their fitness tracker.

Polar Vantage M2

The Polar Vantage M2 is a multisport watch with advanced training and recovery features. Its water resistance and built-in GPS make it a suitable option for kayakers who want a durable and feature-rich fitness tracker to optimize their performance.


Maintenance and Care Tips for Waterproof Fitness Trackers

Waterproof fitness trackers are designed to handle exposure to water, but proper maintenance and care can help prolong the lifespan and improve the performance of your device. This section details three essential aspects of maintaining your waterproof fitness tracker for kayaking.

Rinsing After Use

After each kayaking session, make sure to rinse your fitness tracker with clean, fresh water. Saltwater from the ocean and minerals in freshwater can cause corrosion and buildup on the tracker’s components, potentially affecting its waterproof capabilities. Soak the device briefly in a container of clean water and gently wipe down the surface using a soft cloth. Allow it to air dry before charging or using it again.

Battery Management

Proper battery management is crucial to ensure continuous and accurate tracking during your kayaking adventures. Consider the following tips to maintain battery life:

  • Charge the device using a compatible charger and avoid overcharging.
  • If you’re not using your fitness tracker for an extended period, turn it off to conserve battery life.
  • Monitor the battery life of your device and adjust settings (like screen brightness or GPS) to preserve power.

Software Updates

Manufacturers frequently release software updates to improve the performance and functionality of fitness trackers. These updates can improve tracking accuracy, introduce new features, or fix bugs in the previous versions. To keep your device updated:

  1. Make sure the fitness tracker is connected to your smartphone or computer.
  2. Check for updates regularly on the manufacturer’s dedicated app or website.
  3. Always update your fitness tracker to the latest version available.

By following these simple maintenance and care tips, you can ensure the long-lasting performance and accuracy of your waterproof fitness tracker during kayaking and other water-based activities.


Cost-Benefit Analysis of Waterproof Fitness Trackers

When choosing a waterproof fitness tracker, it is essential to consider both the costs and benefits of the purchase. There are several factors to examine in the cost-benefit analysis. These factors include the price of the tracker, durability, accuracy, available features, and overall usefulness in kayaking.

Price: Waterproof fitness trackers are available in various price ranges. The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a more budget-friendly option, whereas the Apple Watch Series 8 is a higher-priced alternative. It is essential to choose a tracker that aligns with your budget and offers the necessary features for your kayaking activities.

Durability: The durability of a fitness tracker is a critical factor to consider, given the potential for exposure to water, impact with equipment, or general wear and tear while kayaking. Devices like the Garmin Instinct Solar and the FORM Smart Swim Goggles are specifically designed for water-based activities, ensuring they can withstand the rigors of kayaking.

Accuracy: Accurate data is crucial for any fitness tracker. Make sure that the device you choose can reliably track metrics like distance, strokes, or heart rate while kayaking. Devices like the Garmin Swim 2 and the Fitbit Charge 5 have proven accuracy and are well suited for water sports.

Features: Waterproof fitness trackers come with a range of features, so it’s essential to decide which ones are important for your kayaking adventures. Some key features to consider include GPS capability, stroke monitoring, heart rate tracking, and waterproof depth ratings. The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro is an example of a tracker that offers a combination of these desired features.

In summary, conducting a cost-benefit analysis of waterproof fitness trackers helps to ensure that you find a device that fits your budget, withstands the conditions, provides accurate tracking, and offers the necessary features for kayaking. Careful consideration of these factors will result in a smart purchase and improved kayaking experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top waterproof fitness trackers suitable for kayaking?

Some of the top waterproof fitness trackers for kayaking include the Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch, the Garmin Quatix 6 Multisport Marine Smartwatch, and the Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch. These watches offer a combination of water resistance, activity tracking, and GPS features that make them suitable for kayaking.

Can waterproof fitness trackers accurately track kayaking activities?

Many waterproof fitness trackers are designed to track a range of water-based activities, including kayaking. They typically use GPS tracking and inertial sensors to measure the distance covered, speed, and overall activity level while kayaking. These measurements are generally accurate, but individual results may vary depending on factors like wearables’ sensitivity and wearers’ paddling technique.

What is the battery life of popular waterproof fitness trackers for kayaking?

Battery life varies among fitness trackers, but many popular waterproof fitness trackers for kayaking offer an extended battery life to accommodate long paddling sessions or multi-day trips. For instance, the Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch has a battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode, ensuring that it can last throughout long kayaking adventures.

How reliable is the GPS tracking feature on waterproof fitness trackers?

GPS tracking in waterproof fitness trackers is generally reliable, and many top models use advanced GPS technology to ensure accurate tracking during kayaking. The Garmin Quatix 6 Multisport Marine Smartwatch is an example of a waterproof fitness tracker that offers reliable GPS tracking, even in challenging environments like water.

Are the recommended waterproof fitness trackers also suitable for other water sports?

Yes, many waterproof fitness trackers suitable for kayaking are also ideal for other water sports. Their water resistance and activity-tracking capabilities make them suitable for activities like swimming, paddleboarding, or even surfing. The Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, for instance, can track various water-based sports in addition to kayaking.

Do any waterproof fitness trackers also track swimming metrics?

Some waterproof fitness trackers, such as the Garmin Vívoactive Black, are designed specifically to track swimming metrics like laps, distance, pace, and even stroke type. They provide valuable insights for those looking to improve their swimming performance along with enjoying kayaking adventures.



After examining several waterproof fitness trackers, it’s evident that kayakers have a variety of excellent options available. Among the top contenders are the Fitbit Charge 5 and the Garmin vívosmart 5. Both of these trackers offer robust features, impressive water resistance, and user-friendly interfaces.

The Fitbit Charge 5 stands out for its sleek design, offering multisport tracking options suitable for kayaking and other water-based activities. It provides essential metrics for workout duration, distance, and calories burned. Moreover, its advanced health-tracking features, such as stress management and advanced heart rate monitoring, make it a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts.

The Garmin vívosmart 5, on the other hand, is well-regarded for its comprehensiveness. Key features include built-in GPS, robust water resistance, and customizable tracking options for multiple sports. Additionally, it offers sleep-tracking capabilities and integrates smoothly with Garmin’s range of watersport-specific devices, such as the GPSMAP 66i, a top-rated kayak GPS unit with long battery life and detailed topographic information.

When selecting a waterproof fitness tracker for kayaking, it’s essential to consider factors such as water resistance, battery life, and compatibility with your specific requirements. By comparing the options available and carefully evaluating their features, kayakers can feel confident in their decision and enhance their overall paddling experience.

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