Choosing a Great Heart Rate Monitor

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I owned a Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor for over 3 years and can honestly say the SUUNTO was the best sports cardio watch for fitness training that I have ever used.

I have had various heart rate monitors from PolarTimex and Garmin, and this was as good as any other watch I have owned. It has benefits and qualities that the others have failed with.

Update: I now have a Garmin Fenix 5 as my Suunto was getting on the older side of things. This is also turning out to be a superb watch with a great battery life well in excess of 2 weeks before it needs pluging in again. This has now been superseded by the Garmin Fenix 6, and the SUUNTO by the SUUNTO Core.

Qualities of the T6D

For a start, the Suunto has a great feel to it. The strap is a thick robust plastic with a good feel to it which does not snag on the hairs on your wrist. It is designed so that the adjustment is part of the strap and will fit almost any wrist with ease.

It looks and feels good and the quality and build are second to none. Totally waterproof and usable in the swimming pool if you desire.

I had to change the battery twice in mine and would say that it lasts for between 12 and 18 months depending on how often you use the watch. It is a simple job to open the back and remove the battery and replace it with a standard 2025 battery.

This will cost you around £2, unlike the polar watches that need to go back to polar to have the battery changed, followed by a bill for around £35. The strap also has a very easy clip off back to change the battery.

One option is to buy the “Cycling Pack”. This comes with the following items; T6D watch, Cadence POD, Roadbike POD, and the excellent Dual Comfort Belt. The belt is the best I have used and worn and is very easy to fit and remove. NOTE: These are more than likely no longer available as this watch is now 10 years or more old.

Also included is a data cable that links to the watch to the computer so that you can log your sport onto the Suunto Movescount Website.

The T6D is very easy to use and most of the settings are pretty straightforward. The only settings that may require a little research are the TE (Training Effect) and the EPOC settings.

Suunto 9, GPS Sports Watch with Long Battery Life 

  • Waterproof multisport GPS watch for athletes with long battery life and 3 button color display with touchscreen
  • Over 80 built-in sport modes, including running, cycling, swimming, gym and more
  • Up to 120 hours battery life made possible with intelligent battery modes (Performance, Endurance, Ultra), charge reminders and regular software updates
  • Accurate GPS tracking with real-time navigation display, points of interest and sunrise/sunset times
  • 24/7 activity tracking with instant heart rate, calorie and step counter (last 7 days) and sleep tracking
  • Plan your routes and see activity-specific heatmaps of popular routes around the world with Suunto app
  • Connect to sport services like Strava, Endomondo and Training Peaks and enjoy benefits offered by our partners through the Suunto Value Pack
  • Stay connected with phone calls and notifications on your watch, and share workouts to social media channels with cool data overlays
  • The watch is designed, developed and assembled in Finland
  • Box content: 1x Suunto 9 Multisport GPS watch, USB cable, quick guide, warranty leaflet. Weighs 72 gram / 2.54 ounce, fits wrist sizes 130-230 millimetre /0.51-0.90 inch

Suunto 9, GPS Sports Watch with Long Battery Life and Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Non-Barometer, Black

A Great Alternative For many

Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35; Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch, Black

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Features of the Suunto T6

With five buttons on the outer edge, it is designed with sports in mind. Suunto is renowned as one of the best on the market, and in my opinion, this is THE best watch out there for sports people who train both indoors and outdoors.

  • Real-Time Heart Rate
  • Excellent Quality Dual Comfort Belt
  • Easy to Change the Battery Yourself
  • No water ingress even after the battery has been changed
  • Normal 2025 battery
  • Extras include a Suunto foot pod for runners and bike pod for the road or mountain bike

Indoor and Outdoor Fitness Training

Most watches that are used as a cardiovascular aid show you a heart reading. Knowing if this is a correct reading and one that actually does read the heart is only accomplished when you actually test the watch or read reviews like this that tell you how it works. I have a Garmin 705 Heart Rate Monitor which is fitted to each of my bikes when I go out training. It is a great tool for a lot of things, but the heart rate belt does not give you an accurate heart rate result when showing your calories consumed. (Read More Here).

The Suunto reads the heart rate and correctly shows the number of calories burned for the heart rate monitor. This is a great way of seeing how many calories you are burning in a day, and the readings are spot on. How do I know this? Well, I have 2 monitors on my bike, and I have been training for a long time. I also train indoors on cross machines and know what a reading should be like when I am actually flat out.

The Suunto T6D works exactly how a Heart Rate Monitor should work in that it calculates your calories burned against your heart rate. This is very important if you want an accurate reading of calories that you are actually burning. A lot of heart rate monitors calculate calories burned against speed that you are traveling at, which is totally wrong. The Garmin 705 heart rate monitor is a prime example of this. As great as it is for everything else, this is it’s the biggest downfall. It does not stop it from being my main heart rate monitor purely on the fact that I do so much competition with Strava.com and the Garmin links to it perfectly. It is not as good at recording true calories burned as the Suunto.

Suunto Ambit2 R GPS And HRM Training Watch

  • Waterproof multisport GPS watch for athletes with long battery life and 3 button color display with touchscreen
  • Over 80 built-in sport modes, including running, cycling, swimming, gym and more
  • Up to 120 hours battery life made possible with intelligent battery modes (Performance, Endurance, Ultra), charge reminders and regular software updates
  • Accurate GPS tracking with real-time navigation display, points of interest and sunrise/sunset times
  • 24/7 activity tracking with instant heart rate, calorie and step counter (last 7 days) and sleep tracking
  • Plan your routes and see activity-specific heatmaps of popular routes around the world with Suunto app
  • Connect to sport services like Strava, Endomondo and Training Peaks and enjoy benefits offered by our partners through the Suunto Value Pack
  • Stay connected with phone calls and notifications on your watch, and share workouts to social media channels with cool data overlays
  • The watch is designed, developed and assembled in Finland
  • Box content: 1x Suunto 9 Multisport GPS watch, USB cable, quick guide, warranty leaflet. Weighs 72 gram / 2.54 ounce, fits wrist sizes 130-230 millimetre /0.51-0.90 inch

Suunto Ambit2 R GPS And HRM Training Watch - One - White

The Garmin vívoactive 4S Alternative

  • Keeps track of your energy levels, Pulse Ox (this is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition), respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, estimated heart, hydration and more
  • Easily download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon music or Deezer (may require a premium subscription With a third-party music provider), and connect with headphones (sold separately) for phone-free listening
  • Record all the ways to move with more than 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including yoga, running, swimming and more
  • Get easy-to-follow, animated workouts right on your watch screen, including strength, cardio, yoga and Pilates
  • Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; up to 5 hours in GPS and music mode
  • Personalize your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from our Connect IQ store
  • Garmin Pay contactless payment solution (not all countries and payment Networks are eligible) lets you pay for purchases with your watch
  • Safety and tracking Features include incident detection (during select activities) and assistance (when paired with a compatible device), which both send your real-time location to emergency contacts
  • Stay connected with smart notifications (when paired with a compatible device), for incoming calls, text messages, calendar reminders and more; WATER RATING:5 ATM
  • Garmin Coach provides free 5K, 10K and half-marathon training plans that guide you to reach your race goal and adjust based on your performance in the plan

Garmin vívoactive 4S, Smaller-Sized GPS Smartwatch, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Silver with Gray Band

 

Outdoor Fitness Training

With the Suunto when you are traveling along on your bike at say 20mph on the flat and relatively easy your heart rate will be nice and steady and you will be burning calories at a steady rate. Should you suddenly hit a climb your heart rate will rise and your calories will be burned at a faster rate, and your speed on the bike will drop accordingly.

On other monitors, your heart rate will rise, but your calories will drop. This is because they are monitoring your speed and not your heart rate. My Garmin Edge 705  is a prime example of this. When I am flying down a mountain at say 50 mph my Garmin burns an alarming rate of calories in that time, twice as many as my Suunto. Yet my heart rate might only be 90 bpm. It is completely the wrong way around. That is why the Suunto T6D shines as it gets this right from the start.

Indoor Fitness Training

This is a very important point if you are looking for a watch for indoor fitness training. The Suunto T6D is the perfect watch for indoor and outdoor fitness training. It monitors your heart as you train and gives you back your calories burned and all the necessary heart rate information. This is excellent if you use an indoor cycle trainer, a cross-machine or a rowing machine as it will give you perfect results every time.

Once you have completed your workout you can move your details across to movescount.com. This is an online sports community where you can view detailed facts about your latest workout and share them with other like-minded people through social media like facebook and twitter, or upload the stats to your own website. The website is an excellent source of information and very well laid out. There are various downloads and training guides for you to look at. These are available as a pdf download if required. This is great if you have a decent iPhone or an iPad as you can view them in your own time.

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

  • Fit for performance with rugged, sophisticated design that features an always-on 1.3” (18% larger than previous fēnix models) sunlight-readable display with bezels in stainless steel, titanium or diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating
  • Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox to support advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation at high elevations (this is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition)
  • Advanced training features include PacePro for grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your activity plus environmentally adjusted VO2 max and training status estimates
  • Navigate the outdoors with preloaded TOPO maps, ski maps for over 2,000 worldwide ski resorts, multiple global navigation satellite system (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) support and built-in sensors for 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter
  • Support for Garmin Pay contactless payments (not all countries and payment networks are eligible), music storage with premium streaming service (may require subscription with third-party music provider) support, smart notifications and more
  • Battery performance: up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 10 hours in GPS and music mode, up to 28 days in expedition GPS activity mode, and up to 48 days in battery saver watch mode
  • Included Components: fenix 6; Charging/data cable; Documentation

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, features Mapping, Music, Grade-Adjusted Pace Guidance and Pulse Ox Sensors, Black

 

Probably The Most Sought After

SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch

Considered essential equipment for backcountry endeavors, the Suunto Core multifunction watch provides the data you need. Combining an altimeter, barometer and compass with weather information, Suunto Core Classic is the essential tool for your adventures.

  • An altimeter tracks your vertical movement, a barometer tells the Trend in air pressure, and a compass points the way
  • Suunto core tracks both the weather and the sun for you; Operating temperature: 20° C to +60° C / 5° F to +140° F; Storage temperature: 30° C to +60° C / 22° F to +140° F
  • A weather Trend graph and storm alarm along with preset sunrise/sunset times for over 400 locations help you stay safe and plan your activities
  • With stylish designs in more than a handful of variations, you are sure to find just the right Suunto core for your style
  • Wrist top computer watch with altimeter, barometer, compass and weather indicator
  • Altimeter displays current elevation, shows ascent or descent and records session
  • Intelligent storm alarm senses drops in air pressure and notifies you of approaching storms
  • Barometer helps you predict changing conditions; Built in weather trend indicator
  • All black finish; Accurately measures depth to 30 feet; Weighs 2.26 ounces; 2 year warranty

SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010

Recommended Heart Rate Monitors

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