Did you have plans to put into action a new workout plan at the start of the new year? We are still in the first quarter, so if you have been slow to get started, there is still time. Even with circumstances being a little uncertain, there is always time for exercise. In fact, it is very much encouraged to help you stay safe and healthy.
Many people that struggle to get up and out there, find it helpful and motivating to use special accessories and gadgets. For a long time now, fitness trackers, particularly step counters and watch-style devices like the Fitbit and Apple Watch, have been considered the must-have gadget to help you track and achieve your exercise goals. Are they really worth it though? One alternative that you should consider if you are serious about pushing yourself and trying to reach those fitness goals, is a heart rate monitor chest strap.
Why? Well, they are less expensive than the more modern fitness trackers and are actually considered to be a lot more accurate.
As with anything these days, when you run a quick search for a heart rate monitor chest strap on Google or through Amazon, you may be overwhelmed by just how many there are to choose from out there. Don’t let that put you off. That is why at Internet Eyes we have put together this guide, to help you find the best heart rate monitor chest strap. We have done all the hard work for you. You just need to look through our reviews and buying guide and choose the one that suits you best.
It’s as simple as that.
Best Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap 2020
CooSpo Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap
First, on our list, we have this awesome and incredibly affordable chest strap heart rate monitor from the increasingly popular brand CooSpo. This offers you the chance to track and monitor your heart rate in real-time, comes with various training zones and will even calculate an estimate of the calories burned using one of the training apps it is compatible with through your tablet or smartphone.
It is equipped with both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity which means it can be paired easily with most smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, GPS watches and even bike computers. If you have a favourite fitness app you like to use, you will find that this is compatible with it. Some of the most common that it syncs with easily include DDP Yoga, iCardio, Elite HRV App, MapMyRun, Peloton, Nike+ Runclub, IpBike, Runkeeper, Endomondo, Zwift and Wahoo as well as many others.
We really like the lightweight design of this strap as it is just 45.6kg with a very soft band that has an adjustable length of 25.6-inches to 37.4-inches.
A nice addition to the package the CooSpo Bluetooth heart rate monitor chest strap comes in is the replacement battery. It uses a CR2032 cell battery which has a maximum lifespan of 12 months. That means you don’t need to worry about buying another straight away when the original runs out of charge.
CooSpo Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap IP67 Waterproof
Sticking with CooSpo for the next great heart rate monitor chest strap on our list we have an item that is very similar to the above. One of the things that set this model apart, however, is the fact that it is sweat and waterproof and has been tested to the IP67 rating. However, that does not mean it is suitable for use in the water, it is just designed to cope with the kind of water it may be exposed to under normal circumstances on a day to day basis.
It features the same connectivity functionality for both Bluetooth 4.0 and ANTI+ and is compatible with a whole array of different fitness apps and devices.
As is the case with the model above, this features an adjustable strap that provides the necessary length to accommodate chest sizes of between 25.6-inches and 37.4-inches. Even if you are not looking to do anything particularly fantastic, this model will also at the very basic level track and record your heart rate in the real-time and provides you with calories burned counter and training zones to use.
The reason it is available for a slightly lower price than the model above is, we feel, largely because it does not have the flashing light indicators.
CooSpo Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap Without ANT+
Yet another fine model from the geniuses at CooSpo, this heart rate monitor chest strap is virtually the same as the one above. It can be paired with a wide variety of smartphones, smartwatches, tablets and even bike computers. It will also work with various fitness apps like Nike+ Running, MapMyRide, Zwift and Wahoo to name but a few.
With an adjustable strap, it can be lengthened or shortened between 25.6-inches and 37.4-inches and is made from an exceptionally soft and therefore comfortable material.
It is via Bluetooth 4.0 that you can connect, sync and pair it with so many different gadgets and devices. You will also be able to wear it through wetter weather and it will cope well even if you are known to sweat profusely during workouts. The one major difference between this strap and the version above is that it does not come with ANT+ compatibility like the other CooSpo heart rate monitors. Therefore, if this is an important feature you require, then you are best looking elsewhere.
We still think it is worth considering though because if ANT+ is not important you still get the benefits of the main features of the above two without unnecessary functions and all for a slightly lower price tag.
Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor Strap
Now we’re not going to lie, but the Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor strap that we are going to discuss now is priced considerably higher than the other models we have featured so far. However, with the highly reputable Garmin brand name behind it, we feel there is justification for the higher price point.
Unlike the others, this also has the distinct benefit of being designed with running, cycling and swimming in mind, so you can be sure that it is appropriately waterproof. The strap itself is designed with a very simplistic bifold adjustment that makes it easy to lengthen or shorten it to the right size for a snug fit, as well as reducing its overall weight compared to others. There are no exposed parts or seams and all the edges have been rounded and softened off, so it is very comfortable no matter how long you choose to wear it for.
It is powered by a battery that offers a total of 10 months energy, based on using it for around one hour every day and it can store a total of 20 hours’ worth of data. As this is a Garmin product, it works best when used in conjunction with other Garmin products but is also compatible with a wide selection of popular devices, smartphones and tablets produced by other companies.
Key measurements it takes in addition to your heart rate are cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time, to help you improve your workout sessions and reach your fitness goals.
Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor
Another of the higher-priced models, this next heart rate monitor we want to suggest to you is from another highly acclaimed and popular manufacturer – Polar. Of all their many products, the H10 heart rate monitor strap is the most accurate of all. Don’t just take our word for it, as it is the go-to choice for many athletes and industry insiders have been raving about since it was released.
It offers one of the best selections of connectivity options of any heart rate monitor strap with ANT+ and Bluetooth both catered for. We especially like the fact you can use the ANT+ and Bluetooth connections at the same time or even two Bluetooth connections, which is a must if you tend to use more than one device while you are working out.
Polar has worked hard on the chest strap to ensure it offers the best results and it has improved electrodes, as well as easy-to-adjust buckles that make it very comfortable to wear and a great enhancement for your exercise sessions rather than a hindrance.
It is waterproof to IP67 and has been designed with a wide range of activities in mind such as swimming, training indoors, running and cycling outdoors and even rowing.
The one major disadvantage this has over many of the other heart rate monitors on the market is it only has space in its internal memory for one session at a time. However, with its own Polar Beat app that you can sync it up to and a selection of many of the other top offerings, it is one you should not dismiss too easily.
TAOPE Elastic Sport Heart Rate Monitor
From one extreme to the other, this is the cheapest heart rate monitor strap on our list. From the company TAOPE, it is a very basic and no-thrills model. We felt it was worth highlighting though, due to its high ranking on Amazon and the fact that it has been made with soft and comfortable fabrics to ensure it doesn’t irritate your skin while you work out. Please also be advised that this does not feature the heart rate sensor, which is also the main reason for the lower price. This is just the strap.
If you are not happy with the strap you got with an existing heart rate monitor, you can switch it out for this one for greater comfort. It has been designed to be compatible with heart rate sensors from brands like Garmin, Wahoo and Polar. So, no matter what your preferred brand is, you can still get the benefit from this comfortable and practically designed strap.
Garmin HRM-Run Heart Rate Monitor Strap
As the name suggests, the second heart rate monitor chest strap from Garmin on our list, the HRM-Run has been designed for all you runners. If running is your preferred form of exercise, then this is certainly a heart rate monitor you should consider.
The strap itself is very easy to adjust and seamless for a comfortable and snug fit, and only has a small heart rate sensor which fits completely in the width of the strap. With running in mind, it offers 6 detailed running dynamic metrics including vertical ratio, stride length, ground contact time balance, ground contact time, vertical oscillation and cadence.
All of this information is displayed and recorded in real-time, so you can have a fuller picture of what your workout is out. Although it has a water rating of 5 ATM, it is not designed for use while you are swimming as it is not equipped with resistance against pool chemicals.
As it is a Garmin made product it will work well with most Garmin GPS running devices, such as their smartwatches.
How Does It Work?
Okay, so we’ve looked at the best of the best, in our opinion, when it comes to chest strap heart rate monitors. If you have used these kinds of devices before, that may be enough information for you to choose the next model you invest in to help enhance your workouts.
However, if you are still relatively new to this kind of technology, you may need more information. Information like how they actually work. Let us briefly explain, because although it may seem new and intimidating, they are really rather simple.
Chest strap heart rate monitors work by measuring the electrical signals your heart generates when it contracts. You will find that while some come with fitness tracker watches, many of the best heart rate monitor chest straps, like those featured in our guide above, come with Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity capabilities that mean they can sync up your pulse readings with any fitness apps or devices you like to use.
Using a heart rate monitor with a chest strap means you can have access to the most important metrics in real-time to assess how well you are performing during whatever activity you are participating in. Whether you love to cycle, swim, run, play team sports or do some other form of physical exercise or sports discipline, a heart rate monitor can help improve your performance and the results you achieve.
Buyer’s Guide – Features That Are Important
We are confident that we have included all the best heart rate monitor chest strap models available right now. However, we do understand if this is the first time you have ever looked into buying one, you may still feel a little out of your depth. That is why, in addition to the reviews listed above, we have put together this buyer’s guide.
In it, you will find information about the important features you should be looking for and what you need to consider when buying one. This should help you to whittle the list of 10 we have provided down to a smaller list so that you can choose the best for you, your circumstances and needs.
Depending on how basic or comprehensive the heart rate monitor you invest in is, there are a number of features you may get the benefit from with it. While some of the entry models just simply display your heart rate at any given time, others are a bit more in-depth and intricate. Some, for example, will time your workouts and exercise periods and provide you with an average, continuous low and high heart rate, alongside low, high and target heart rates as you reach them during your exercise session.
Another interesting feature that some newer models come with is a footpad that can be attached to your shoelaces to track your cadence, distance and cadence to give a fuller picture of your workout along with your heart rate.
There are yet other models that feature GPS connectivity to track your distance and speed, as well as offering navigational/map and elevation functionality. The more you spend and the newer the model, the more advanced and greater in the quantity you can expect the special features to be.
We are no going to discuss some of the other crucial features you may find useful when buying the best chest strap heart rate monitor for you.
You will find that the entry-level models usually offer a maximum of 3 target zones, whereas the high-end models offer between 3 and 6 target zones. The benefit of having a number of multiple target zones to use is that you can program your monitor for different kinds of workouts, anaerobic, aerobic and endurance, to name a few. Whereas if the heart rate monitor chest strap you invest in only offers one target zone, you will need to continually reprogram it each time you change your workout or participate in a different sports discipline.
Compatible With Smart Watches
If you use a smartwatch, smartphone or tablet or even a GPS watch like those offered by Suunto, Polar and Garmin among many others, you will want a heart rate monitor you can use in conjunction with these devices. Fortunately, many of the most modern models have been designed to work with a variety of different gadgets, gizmos and other exercise, sports and fitness accessories.
Compatibility with Third-Party Apps
Similarly, to the above, it may be that there is a third-party fitness or tracker app that you use with your smartphone or another device. For instance, like DDP Yoga, Apple Health, Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, Nike+ Running, iCardio, Elite HRV App, Peloton, Runclub, IpBike, Endomondo, Zwift or Wahoo. Fortunately, many of the models we have listed in our top 10 do come with appropriate compatibility to third-party apps like those we have just listed.
Heart rate monitor chest straps that include calorie counters estimate how many you have burned off during your exercise sessions. This is a particularly useful feature if you are working out and exercising as part of a weight-loss or weight management program.
Recovery Heart Rate Mode
As well as tracking your heart rate during exercise and physical activity, there are some models that can actually track your heart rate during your recovery period. This can help you to understand just how healthy your cardiovascular system and crucial if your workouts include interval training or sprinting.
That’s it, folks. We commend you for wanting to take better care of your heart by monitoring it while you are working out. In our guide, we have covered the 10 we consider to be the best heart rate monitor straps available right now. Not only that though, but you also have all the relevant information about how these devices actually work and the features you should be keenly aware of to help you make the best decision.
We hope you can take our advice and invest in a chest strap heart rate monitor that can help you to keep pushing yourself and reaching your fitness goals, whether you are young or old, an athlete or just someone trying to improve their fitness and weight or a bit of a numbers geek, there is something for everyone in our guide.