Have you ever wondered why is heart rate measuring important while exercising? And how do we keep track of that? Measuring your heart rate is an excellent and reliable way of keeping track of the targeted zones that are set to reach your fitness goal. There are various types of heart rate monitors but today we are going to have a detailed look at some of the best chest straps heart rate monitors.
What’s great about this type of monitors is that once you get used to them they easily become part of you and you will forget that they are there. Chest monitors are excellent for resistance training while the wrist monitors that are part of the smartwatches and fitness trackers work quite well for cardio workouts. Compared to all the other heart rate monitors, the chest straps are also ideal for distance athletes and runners due to the accurate readings.
Still not persuaded that you need one? Or maybe you do not know where to start? Or simply you do not have time to look for the best? This is exactly why you need to join us in this guide and find all you need to know about the top Best heart rate monitors with chest strap.
Let’s start with the facts. This is one of the most affordable heart rate monitors out there on the market. So how does it work? It has sensors on the strap that will use conduction and pick up the electrical signals coming through the chest in order to measure or monitor the heart rate. When you want to connect the ends it actually works as a buckle so you snap or unsnap the strap.
Some people may consider the sensor to be on the bulky side compared to other models but still is a pretty slim device.
This model can be connected via ANT+ or Bluetooth to compatible GPS devices, smartphones, bike computers, and fitness trackers. The monitor can be connected to more than 50 third-party fitness apps as well as Wahoo fitness apps.
What can this monitor do?
The Wahoo TICKR can capture and track the real-time heart rate, burned calories and training zones and monitor the workout efficiently. This data is recorded on the compatible device that is connected such as the smartphone or you can even upload the data on one of the training platforms.
- Washable and adjustable strap
- It has ANT+ and Bluetooth capabilities
- Accurate readings
- The sensor can feel bulky
- The product may not sync well with some products.
- Band material can be rather uncomfortable for wearing
Highly Accurate, Versatile, Comfortable for Wearing, it is definitely worth the investment.
This model H10 continues the accuracy in data reading of the previous models but what is upgraded and extended is the battery life and onboard memory. In design perspectives, this model is very similar to the H7 only with a smaller sensor and buckle that is more easily adjusted.
What we like are the inner electrodes and dots made of silicon that prevent the slippage. This heart rate monitor is available only in black color.
The battery life is great and it is easy to replace the battery when the time comes. Another great feature is that it can be used while swimming.
It has built-in memory but it has no screen so if you want to read the data you need a phone. The memory can record one training session before the syn and the good news is that there is no need for the phone to be connected all the time to the phone for syncing.
Comfortable for wearing and if you do not wear very tight clothes nobody could tell that it is there around your chest. It comes in two sizes so we are sure you will find the one that suits you. It can be connected to a bunch of apps but it is best-optimized to work with Polar apps.
- Excellent battery life
- Accurate readings
- No need for constant connection to the phone
- Not the best for maintenance
- Most of the apps charge for common features
Garmin HRM-Dual is a great monitor that can be connected almost to any app or device. It’s accurate, comfortable, long-lasting and reliable. However, it does not track or record some special features.
It consists of 2 parts: a strap and a sensor. The monitor reads the heart rate and it is in-built in the strap, which transfers the info to the device that it is connected to with the help of the ANT+ or Bluetooth. The strap uses two adjusters which help the band to stay fixed while doing exercises.
In addition, it is adjustable with a small fastener which makes it easier to set the right size. The strap is machine-washable and even Garmin advises washing the strap after seven uses.
This monitor comes with an installed cell battery on CR2032. If you want to change the battery it does take quite a lot of time and some effort as you need a screwdriver. However, on the plus side, the battery life is rather long.
It is highly compatible with a range of devices like fitness trackers, bike computers, apps, and smartwatches. One thing to remember however is that it has a range of 3 meters so you should not distance yourself much from the connecting device.
- Adjustable strap
- ANT+ or Bluetooth connection
- Long battery life
- Accurate in testing
- No extra features
- Rather complicated battery for changing
- Not able to connect to Garmin Connect app
These days the chest strap heart rate monitors are commonly replaced by the armbands and smartwatches and one such example is the Scosche Rhythm+ which collects data about the heart rate and works with devices with Bluetooth and ANT+. This armband represents a reliable and affordable option.
You are probably asking yourself if it is an armband, can it read data about activities, such as steps? The answer is no! Its only function is heart rate monitoring through the skin with an optical sensor.
As the other heart rate monitors it consists of a monitor made of plastic and a strap made of Velcro fabric, which is high maintenance as it attracts dirt. The strap is adjustable and has been designed to be placed on a higher position on the forearm. On the part with the monitor, there is a rubbery top that serves as a button and needs to be pushed if we want to connect it to an app.
If you want to recharge it there is a USB cradle for that. Pairing can be quite reliable with the majority of Bluetooth devices.
- Armband monitor
- USB cradle
- Reliable connectivity
- The band can be quite difficult for maintenance
- Awkward position of wearing
This type of heart rate transmitter transmits data for the heart rate to Polar monitors and are best used with compatible machines. It is accurate and designed to be fully water-resistant and withstand all the weather conditions.
It can be connected to treadmills if you want to use it for indoor training. It is easy to use, connect and it is accurate as it blocks the signals from other devices in order to measure the data correctly.
As a transmitter, it has an extraordinary long battery life of 2500 hours of use and a non-replaceable battery by the user. This transmitter is a great option for workouts at the gym as no longer you will have to hold your hands on the handles for an accurate reading.
The strap is comfortable, adjustable and does not require syncing or programming.
- Great for use with gym equipment
- Accuracy of reading
- Long battery life
- Non-replaceable battery
- Sizing can sometimes be an issue
Herein we discuss some of the most important criteria that you should consider when buying a heart rate monitor with a chest strap.
1. Make a decision between Optical and Electric Monitor
When we have to make a decision one of the first things that we need to decide is if we want a classic, standard chest strap that makes use of the electrical pulse or the one that uses optical technology. If you are not sure what do we understand under optical technology just take a look at all Apple Watches and Fitbit Devices and related.
The difference is in the way how the read the data with the electrical signal reading the signals that the body makes for the constrict of the heart. Whereas the optical one transmits light to the skin and does the reading from the light return which is interpreted into a pulse. As we are talking about the chest strap heart rate monitor, our recommendation is the electrical monitor as it offers bigger accuracy.
2. The Accuracy
Mainly we can divide the people who use heart rate monitors into 2 groups based on the reasons: health reason – to learn the resting heart time and sports – to learn the data for proper setting of the workouts and achieving the results. Accuracy of the data is important for us because it is an excellent measurement for the whole body.
Again strap chest heart monitors are great at this and all the reviewed top 5 models did a great performance in this regard.
3. Connection and Battery
When you are buying this type of equipment one of the questions to ask is how does it connect to the other apps, devices, and gym equipment? Many of the devices use only ANT+, which is wireless tech that has been used quite a lot mostly with sports equipment such as cadence meters. This technology is not often used with phones so one thing to have in mind is that you will need an adapter to connect the device if it has only ANT+.In this context, Bluetooth is more convenient for use.
When talking about batteries you should consider – Is it replaceable, How easy is to replace one? Or Maybe you can recharge the battery? Look for their battery life too as you do not want to deal with this all the time.
This is one of the categories that the heart rate monitors do not shine. However, it is important to take comfort into consideration. The tricky part with this is that the strap should be adjustable and all of the here presented models are – but they should not be too tight and at the same time if the strap is a little loose it can slide.
Some of the models have some special features that make the strap stay on its proper position without sliding. Thus on our list, we included an armband as an option. Armband heart rate monitors are more convenient to wear and some of them have really nice additional features such as LEDs for visual feedback.
We started the guide with the most common question that is: Are heart rate monitors a requirement? So let us confirm the answer once again. They can be truly beneficial especially when we know how to interpret the data they provide.
We can set the tone of the exercises and thus have a different effect based on the heart rate information that we get from these monitors. To train smart means to use the data and lead and give directions to your workouts.
Anyway, keeping an eye on the heart rate with a monitor that tracks and records the data cannot be a bad thing. There аre many models out there and this review tried to present some of the basic features of the top five standalone heart rate monitors that are with chest straps and discussed some of the criteria that you should be careful about when purchasing a heart rate monitor.