Triathlon is a challenging sport, and it is something that requires discipline and dedication. It is also important to be prepared, and this includes having proper clothes and gear for when you head out there. Like the name indicates, Triathlon consists of three separate endurance races and being a multisport race, you can expect there to be running, swimming and cycling, and often in challenging weather conditions.
With so much going on, you will want to be wearing a watch to keep track of time, but not any watch will do. You need the best triathlon watch available, possibly also a GPS watch, to make sure it lives up to your expectations when it comes to water resistance and other features.
This top triathlon watch review will guide you in your decision-making process, and it will help you find the best triathlon watch for your needs.
View The Best Triathlon Watch Below
1. Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit
This triathlon GPS Garmin watch comes in classy black or with a bright yellow wristband, and it only weighs 49 grams, which allows you to wear it with ease throughout the whole race. It has a built-in electronic compass, altimeter, and barometer, and it has features that will inform you if you are overdoing it or underdoing it during a race or when training.
Discover the benefits of stride length, ground contact time balance, advanced dynamics for swimming, running and cycling, notifications from your smartphone and sophisticated training tools with this Garmin Forerunner triathlon watch, and see for yourself how it elevates your training experience in every way. It doesn’t matter if you do triathlons for fun on a hobby level or if you are a professional athlete – Garmin’s Forerunner watch has you covered.
+ Compass and altimeter
+ Two stylish wristband colors
+ Weighs only about 49 grams
+ Includes ground contact time balance
Why We Like It
This Garmin Triathlon watch is lightweight, yet packed with useful features, and you can choose the classic black Garmin watches, or go with one with a yellow wristband.
2. Coros Pace GPS Watch
If you prefer to have many color options to choose from, this Coros Apex watch will be the one for you! It comes in black, black and gray, gold, silver, white, and white and silver, which guarantees that you’ll find something that you like!
There is a watch mode that allows you to plan and structure your workouts, which comes in handy when you run triathlons, but also when you train for one, and this running GPS watch is designed to aid athletes and sports enthusiasts with revolutionary technology.
There is an UltraMax setting that gives you longer battery time, with up to 80 hours for the 42mm fitness watch and an impressive 100 hours for the 46mm watch.
+ Digital knob for easy navigation
+ Plan and structure workouts
+ With UltraMax setting
+ Multiple color options
Why We Like It
When you engage in triathlon training, these multisport GPS watches provide you with unique features, such as the digital knob that helps with navigation, and it is the only digital device you need to bring with you as you run.
3. Timex Full-Size Ironman Endure 30 Shock Watch
This Ironman sleek sports watch by Timex has the GPS function and offers unique sports modes, heart rate technology, smart notifications, hours of battery life and other smart features. It has that characteristic sports watch look that will motivate you to continue running when participating in a triathlon race.
This watch is ideal for cycling, swimming and more, thanks to its water-resistant features and shock-proof case. It is waterproof down to 200 meters (660 ft), and the shock resistance lives up to I.S.O standards so that you will never have to worry about your watch when out on a challenging run. There are a handy alarm clock and a stopwatch with 30-lap memory, and it is the best watch on the market for avid triathlon runners.
+ Stopwatch with 30-lap memory
+ Shock resistance with I.S.O standards
+ Waterproof down to 660 ft
+ Long-lasting battery
Why We Like It
The Timex Ironman Sleek watch is made for tough use, and it will withstand both water and impact so that you can wear it throughout the race.
4. Fitbit Versa Smart Watch
Swimming, running and cycling, as you do in most triathlons, require a watch that won’t let you down, and what option than one of the most famous sport watch brands – FitBit? It can play over 300 songs, in case you want to listen to music when you train for a race, and it tracks your every move to help you monitor your progress and for you to know what you might want to improve in your training sessions.
You can send Quick Replies if you have an Android phone, and make use of the smart notifications if you have any other type of smart device. The Bluetooth 4.0 is compatible with both Android and iOS, and it features 24/7 heart rate tracking and sleep monitoring. It is a gorgeous Bluetooth Smartwatch for running, cycling and swimming!
+ Tracks floors climbed
+ 24/7 heart rate tracking
+ Plays over 300 songs
+ Access to smartphone notifications
Why We Like It
This wrist-based heart rate monitor makes it easy to monitor your progress, and we like that you can use it to listen to music during your practice and training sessions.
5. Polar Vantage V – Premium GPS Multisport Watch
With the Polar Flow multisport watch, you won’t ever need another watch again! It is stylish looking, lightweight, has a powerful heart rate monitor, cutting-edge waterproof technology, over 130 different sport profiles, live voice guidance and the option to share updates to your social media accounts, which makes this one of the best GPS enabled biking and running watches available.
These running watches are high-quality fitness trackers that measure run power, swimming, biking, and running progress, stride length, training peaks and more, and it shows you how your training affects different areas of your body.
+ 130+ sports modes
+ Three colors to choose from
+ With Polar Flow and Ecosystem
+ App for Android and iOS
Why We Like It
It isn’t just your running shoe that needs to fit perfectly when you run triathlons, but you also need the best heart rate sensor multisport GPS watch. This beauty has a wide range of features, and well over a one hundred sport profiles to chose from.
6. Garmin Forerunner 735XT Multisport GPS Running Watch
You may have heard of the Garmin Vivoactive, Garmin Marq (Marq Athlete), Garmin’s Fenix and more, but the truth is that the Garmin Forerunner is a true gem when it comes to heart rate monitoring- and multisport watches. It has Garmin Connect, automatic upload, vertical ratio, stride length, GPS signal, stroke count and more – all packed into a great looking watch that weighs very little considering its features.
Those who opt for owning a Garmin pays little in the long-run, since the watch is unlikely to let you down, and/or force you to purchase a new one. Whatever your training load is – this watch will help you keep track.
+ Apps and watch faces in Connect IQ Store
+ Smart notifications and automatic uploads
+ 14-hour GPS mode and 24-hour UltraTrac
+ Four different color options
Why We Like It
These are not your average budget triathlon watches; each watch comes with a wide range of features, such as long battery time and smart notifications, which are very useful when running, swimming and biking in a triathlon.
7. Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch
For sports that include swimming, running, cycling and more, you need a wristwatch with reliable GPS mode, a wrist heart rate tracker, running power meter, options for training plans and more, and this spartan trainer of a watch offers it all! It has a sleek and classy design that goes with any sport’s outfit, and it sits perfectly on your wrist no matter the physical activity you choose to engage in.
They are basically little running, swimming, and cycling computers, that makes it possible for you to track your progress and to fully understand (and analyze) the physical effort required or certain forms of exercise. Get it in frost blue, marsala or black, and get out there for your next race!
+ 44% larger screen
+ Receives audio prompts
+ Transflective memory
+ Easily visible in sunlight
Why We Like It
The screen of this watch is 44% larger than earlier Garmin models, and it is easily visible also in direct sunlight or summer day workouts.
8. Timex Ironman Essential 10 Mid-Size Watch
The Timex Ironman is a legend among Triathlon- and sports watches, and you might be surprised once you check the price. It is a high-quality premium watch that still comes at an affordable price, and this Ironman classic is without a doubt made to fit any athlete, regardless of budget.
Features like the wrist heart rate tracker, the 100-meter water resistance and the countdown timer and alarm are only some of the ones available, but what stands out the most about this triathlon watch is the fun and unique color options.
Why not get one in pink floral, coral, pink and black or classy white, or one that goes with each of your favorite workout outfits? It has a clean and simple sport design that any athlete will love, and an impressive range of features adapted for the enthusiastic triathlon runner.
+ Unique color options
+ 100-meter water resistance
+ Countdown times
+ Reliable power meter
Why We Like It
Not everyone wants the typical black or white sports watch, and here you have the option to go with something more personalized, such as hot pink with little white flowers.
9. Garmin vívoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch
A Vivoactive hr watch will be the ideal gadget for someone who needs a handy alternative to bike computers, and that can withstand water, swimming, and tough use. It allows you to make purchases directly from your watch, has over 15 preloaded indoor sports- and GPS apps, it lets you monitor your fitness level and can be synced with your Smartphone for you to receive notifications directly to your watch.
These tri watches also offer an interesting feature that makes it possible to monitor and document your stress levels. The prolonged battery time is ideal for longer triathlon races, and for training sessions when you can’t be bothered to pause to charge up your triathlon watch.
+ Stress management monitoring
+ 15+ Preloaded sports apps
+ Extra long battery time
+ Convenient Smart notifications
Why We Like It
Stress can ruin your chances of doing well in a triathlon, and this watch gives you the opportunity to learn more about how you deal with stress and pressure.
10. Garmin Instinct Rugged Outdoor Watch
Last but far from least – this durable watch was originally constructed to meet military standards! It resists cold temperatures, shock, and water, has a built-in three axes compass (and barometric altimeter), it tracks in challenging environments, has a TracBack feature in case you need to make sure you come back the same way you went out, it connects with your smartphone and you can use it t plan your outings ahead of time.
You can use it to monitor your activity, stress levels and your heart rate, which has a number of health benefits as well as benefits for your training and athletic success. Opt for automatic upload, so that all your collected data goes straight to your smartphone, and enjoy the easy navigation and long-lasting battery time.
+ Built-in 3-axes compass
+ Automatic upload option
+ Built to military standards
+ Resists cold weather
Why We Like It
If you need an extra durable and resistant sport watch, this is the product for you! It was made to suit the military in their training sessions and when in the field, and it is exactly what a dedicated triathlon runner needs.
Triathlon Watch Buyers Guide
There are so many products to choose from when you set out to find the best triathlon watch, and what will work best for you depends entirely on your needs, preferences and athletic level. With bestsellers like the Suunto Spartan Sport (and other Spartan Sports products), the Polar Vantage, Polar v800, Coros pace and more, it can be near impossible to choose!
This triathlon watch review is meant to make the choice easier for you, as we have picked out some of the best watches for a triathlon so that you won’t have t worry about whether your watch can take the pressure you are likely to be under.
Triathlon is a challenging sport, where you are probably faced with long-distance swims, brutal runs and cycling that most people wouldn’t attempt even if someone paid them, but it is also incredibly rewarding for those who have the guts to try.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, having a reliable smartwatch is essential, but not just any smartwatch will do! A triathlon runner needs specific features to be readily available, and these watches are all good options for your specific needs. Here are a few things t keep in mind when shopping for your new triathlon friendy watch.
Will your new watch die on you during the race despite having been fully charged, to begin with? If so, you have the wrong watch for your activity. Make sure that the product you intend to buy has a battery life that will be enough for the activities you plan to engage in and keep in mind that the battery life tends to be significantly shortened if you use your watch in GPS mode.
Most triathlons include swimming, and it would be extremely inconvenient to either have to remove your triathlon watch before you get in the water, or getting the wet by accident and malfunctioning.
A water-resistant watch will often also have multiple features to aid those who swim, such as lap tracking, stroke count and more, and as many triathlons love will vouch for – you won’t be able to be without it once you’ve given it a try.
To find the right watch, don’t just look or whether it is water-resistant or not, but also check that it has tracking features that can help you document your progress and improve your results.
Quick Release Kit
If you are a beginner, this might either be something you have never heard of, or something you have never considered needing, but the truth is that it can be extremely useful when doing a triathlon. This is what allows you to quickly move your watch from your wrist and to the handlebar of the bike.
Not everyone who does triathlon does this or even prefers it, but you would like to be able to use your watch both on your bike and on your wrist, without wasting too much time during the switch, this is something you should be on the lookout for.
Why do I need a special watch for a triathlon?
A smartwatch made for a triathlon and for sport is so much more than just a device to tell time. It documents your efforts, helps you set up training plans and schedules, passes on your smartphone notifications and much more, and it is an essential gadget for anyone who is serious about their training. A regular watch can only tell you what time it is, and they often aren’t made to withstand water and the elements.
How long should a triathlon watch battery last?
The rule of thumb is that the battery should last throughout a competition so that you don’t have to find yourself without your smart device mid-competition. You should also keep in mind that a watch with more running functions will usually have a shorter battery life, so this is something you might have to compromise on if you need your watch to do multiple things.
The best way to get started in your search for a triathlon friendly smartwatch is to think about what it is that you need the watch to do for you, and what you plan to use it or. Someone who competes regularly might have other needs than the person who does a triathlon for fun with friends once every six months, so be clear on what you want before you start looking.
Just like there are many different watch brands to chose from, there is also a sea of different features you can get with your watch. A TomToms Multisport watch is not the same as a Suunto Spartan, the Spartan Ultra watches or the Fenix 5x, and that is the beauty of it, as it allows you to customize your watch by picking out the one that suits your needs.
With so many different options to chose from, it is wise to pick out a triathlon watch you also like the look of, as you might be tempted to wear it also when not working out.
Did You Know
Swimming often comes first in a triathlon, and this is for safety reasons, as you can’t pause and rest if you get tired during a swim, the way you can during a run or while biking.