Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

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Sasquatch
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Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Sasquatch » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:29 pm

Have it narrowed down to two models.

Fitbit Versa

Garmin Forerunner 35

Any input?

Main features I want.

Durability. I have heard there are some reliability issues with the Fitbit ??

-Accurate HR monitor (don’t want chest strap or arm band, I realize they are more accurate) for walking, elliptical machine, yoga, strength training.

-Easy to use iPhone app. I don’t need intervals, cadence or any of that stuff.

-Sleep tracking

-Want it to somewhat resemble a watch. I don’t care for the looks of the Fitbit charge 2 HR or Garmin Vivosmart HR



Amazon user reviews have them rated similarly and tech reviews are all pretty similar.
Last edited by Sasquatch on Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

andrewphillipf
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Re: HR Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by andrewphillipf » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:43 pm

I went on a long run this weekend with two other friends.

I wore a Garmin Fenix 5, and they both wore FitBits (but not the Versa).

After the run we were all talking about our watches and data. They both have the same FitBit and their data didn't match up to what it should have been (max and average HR were way too low and one stopped counting his steps), then spoke about how they know Garmin is better for tracking HR and other things.

I have multiple Garmin products and have zero complaints.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: HR Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:07 am

To me, "HR" means "Human Resources". So the thought that they were monitoring your Fitbit seemed a tad intrusive.
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Re: HR Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:17 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:07 am
To me, "HR" means "Human Resources". So the thought that they were monitoring your Fitbit seemed a tad intrusive.
I thought exactly the same thing and was thinking "keep away from fitbits and GPS devices".
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Re: HR Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by tydas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:20 pm

Samsung recently started supporting iphone so a Gearfit is another option. I own one and its durable, great battery life and very accurate.

ResearchMed
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Re: HR Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:20 pm

Whew!!!

I thought you were writing that your HR department was monitoring private devices.

:shock:

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Sasquatch » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:31 pm

Apologies for lack of clarity. I have amended the subject header and will try to be more clear in my posts moving foreword.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:33 pm

Sasquatch wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:31 pm
Apologies for lack of clarity. I have amended the subject header and will try to be more clear in my posts moving foreword.
You need to go back to your FIRST post, and then use the little "pencil" to edit it.

Thanks!

And... whew!!

RM
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:39 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:33 pm
Sasquatch wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:31 pm
Apologies for lack of clarity. I have amended the subject header and will try to be more clear in my posts moving foreword.
You need to go back to your FIRST post, and then use the little "pencil" to edit it.

Thanks!

And... whew!!

RM
Thanks for the full title fix.

And I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who was thinking that "HR" is REALLY going too far these days...!
:oops:

RM
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:10 pm

I can't speak to the Versa, but I really can't say enough bad about the Fitbit Charge HR. It has completely soured me on Fitbit. Basically it has never synced reliably with either my old Android smartphone (Android 4.3), my wife's old Android smartphone (4.3), my new Android smartphone (6.0), or my wife's new Android smartphone (7.x). During our road trip in 2017 I couldn't reset the time when we crossed into Central Time, for example.

On their support forum, their support people first acknowledged the problem and said that their engineers were working on a fix, then simply deleted the posting and web page that acknowledged the problem. And when I finally wrote to the company and said I wanted a new one--yes, about a month out of warranty--they played hardball and wouldn't agree to replace it. (To be fair, but what fun is that, they offered me a 50% discount if I wanted to buy a new one).

The failure to sync isn't a hard failure. It's nasty. It's intermittent. It creates superstitious behavior. My wife and I went through many stages of thinking we had solved the problem--make sure it's fully charged before trying to sync, turn BlueTooth off and on again on the phone, etc. For a while I thought the problem was that it won't sync unless the phone has a good Internet connection as well as a BlueTooth connection with the Fitbit. All superstition.

So I've had it with Fitbit. All I can say is that if you buy a Fitbit, be sure you understand the return policy. And if you experience any syncing issues once you have it set up, do not be patient. Do not assume you've got it licked if it starts syncing again. Return the sucker for a refund.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:51 pm

I bought a Fitbit Charge HR from Costco December 2015 for about $150. It's been "OK," but I have some frustrations. They have a longstanding bug in their app where the weekly sleep average math doesn't include "all-nighters." Meaning if you sleep 8 hours every night for 6 nights and 0 hours another night, it simply goes (8 hours * 6 nights) / 6 total days = 8 hours/night average sleep, when really it should be (8 hours * 6 nights) / 7 total days = 6.86 hours/night average sleep.

If you use a VPN, they block connections through VPN and have given the runaround on their forums and played dumb. The app will simply error out.

I've always been a fan of Garmin GPS products, and my next fitness band will likely be a Garmin.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:00 pm

I have actually found the Fitbit Charge HR 2 to be a great improvement over the Fitbit Charge HR.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by NeverGiveUP » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:22 pm

I bought a Fitbit Versa for my wife. It is nice looking and has a lot of features. Unfortunately we had nothing but problems with it. It wouldn't synch consistently - sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't. We also couldn't get the notifications from her phone to show up on the device consistently, despite the phone meeting the bluetooth and Android version requirements. We constantly had to keep restarting the phone and the device to keep them connected. I returned it and got another one, thinking that it might have been a faulty unit. Nope, the replacement performed just as poorly as the first one. I found Fitbit support to be friendly and courteous, but they were unable to resolve the issues.
After researching some more, I bought my wife a Garmin Vivoactive 3 (I know not a Forerunner). The difference was like night and day from the Versa. It connected without a problem and has been rock solid in synching and getting notifications from the phone. My wife is able to view texts on the device and reply to them with canned responses on the device. The Garmin is probably overkill for my wife - she records only basic activities (steps, stairs, etc) and doesn't use all of the activities that are available on the device. But it is no-hassle device for what she uses it for. Also, I did call support to find out how to download watch faces - they were friendly and courteous and quickly walked me through the procedure.

I know I am not addressing the Forerunner, but I just wanted to give you some comparison between units from each company. Good luck!

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by lightheir » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:35 pm

It would be helpful to know WHY you want/need the HRM data at all.

Fitbit and other companies have pushed these HRMs functionality as an added feature to outflank non-HRM competitors, but the value of HRM monitoring for those outside of serious endurance sports is highly questionable.

I race endurance sport (running, swimming , triathlon), and I use metrics such as running pace, bike power (with a powermeter), and HRM for all of them. None of them are perfect, and all can be misinterpreted. ALL of them take some nontrivial sophistication to actually use in a constructive basis.

With regards to HR -
- Do you have a training goal in mind?
- Are you committed to HR-based training? Do you even know what such a plan would entail and look like?
- Are you interested in determining your lactate or VO2 threshold HR by doing (hard effort) field testing?

These aren't questions I'm putting out there to be intentionally obtuse and to unnecessarily complicate the issue - if you want to actually USE heart rate training in any meaningful way to guide training (as opposed to being just a number you look at after your workouts for kicks), you have to have clear answers to the above. And I suspect that may be a bit more than the OP is asking for.

Furthermore, none of the wrist-based optical HRMs, whether it be Garmin, fitbit, polar, etc., are reliable during intense sport while worn on the wrist. This isn't just my opinion - it's been validated by DCRainmaker and thousands of serious endurance athletes on a multitude of forusm. However, optical HRS work great if they are in the right place, like a Scosche Rhythm+ HRM worn on the bicep or forearm tightly (bluetooth sending data to the watch.) Traditional chest HRMs also work great for around a year in most cases.

I suspect the HR data is more just for curiosity's sake as a post-hoc number rather than using it to guide training. If that's the case, either the Fitbit or Garmin will work fine (as neither will be accurate enough for HR-guided training anyway on the wrist.)

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by EHEngineer » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:49 pm

I wouldnt expect either of those plastic devices to be durable. My family had 4 fitbits fail over the last 2.5 years. Three Charge HR and one Charge HR2. They are plasticy and not water proof. They get scratched & chewed up over time.

The fitbit app is easy/simple/beautiful. I still prefer it. Garmin app is better for workout details.

I'm using a garmin 935 for about a year new. It's as good as new (durable glass screen, better band than fitbit).

Check out the video reviews by DCRainmaker (as noted by lightheir).
Last edited by EHEngineer on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:50 pm

I'm not an endurance athlete, but as a casual user, I've found the heartrate functionality to add value, even if it's not 100% perfect. I like the resting heartrate data and graphs, so I can watch it trend upward or downward over time. For example, when I quit a stressful job, my resting heartrate went from 80+ beats/minute to 60ish beats/minute with no other lifestyle changes. I guess I got more sleep and cut back on the coffee too, but my stress levels also tanked.

I like that the HR sensor can be used in conjunction with the other sensors to automatically detect activities (like going for a brisk walk) without me having to manually "start" an exercise mode. It also may help give a ballpark estimate over calories burned and overall activity level.

I completely agree that no wrist-based sensor will give the accuracy needed for any kind of serious athletic pursuit or medical data. It's just fun for the casual user.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by five2one » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:38 pm

Garmin Tactix Bravo...part of Fenix series.

Fenix 5 series is even better.

Not cheap, deals are out there and quality is unmatched.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by jheez » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:17 am

I had the fitbit charge 2 for awhile and it was perfect in functionality. I found the heart rate monitor and calories burned were pretty reliable.

I now have a fitbit versa. I suspect the heart rate monitor is even better than the charge 2. I love it. It's nicer looking, slimmer, has more functionality. Battery life is still pretty good (about 5 days for me). I do have issues with getting notifications on the watch sometimes. I can't figure it out. Hopefully they can release a fix.

There's a lot of value IMO with wearing a heart rate monitor. It can help with tracking activity, practicing recovery/getting bio feedback, sleep tracking, and most importantly for me, calorie counting.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by djpeteski » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:35 am

One thing about the Garmin watches is the battery. Holy cow they are excellent at life and power consumption. While I never fully tested it, I can probably go 14 days without charging my 920XT on a light workout schedule. I typically charge every 7 days. When I have a heavy workout schedule (that uses a lot of GPS) then it is more like a 10 day charge.

Comparing that to the Apple watch, my wife has to charge her's every night.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Andyrunner » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:09 am

Garmin is pretty much top of the line when it comes to wearable HR monitors and GPS, they are 2 steps ahead of most competitors when it comes to wrist technology. I'd hands down take that over fitbit, I can see fitbit becoming the next blackberry. Also Garmin has very good customer service, if you have any issues they will have you return your old one and issue you a new one. I know people who have had a garmin, called 2-3 years after issues and got a 50% off coupon.

As others have said, if your running/jogging, biking anything higher intensity, the wrist optical HR sucks no matter what brand you have. Another brand to look at is Suunto. They are very comparable to Garmin.

Garmin Connect is also very nice on my Samsung, not sure how they work on an Apple but I'd expect it to be the same.

FWWI I own the 735xt and am very happy, wish I could of got the 935 but wife didnt approve of spending an extra $200.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:45 am

My son gave us pair of Garmin Vivosmart HR (without GPS). Apart from occasional bluetooth re-setup, we had no real issues with it. Garmin connect app is quite good on iPhone. For the price paid, the gadget is exceptional. The device was released quite a few years ago. One would think it would be completely outclassed by current devices but for the functionality provided, it is holding its own.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am

lightheir wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:35 pm
It would be helpful to know WHY you want/need the HRM data at all.

Fitbit and other companies have pushed these HRMs functionality as an added feature to outflank non-HRM competitors, but the value of HRM monitoring for those outside of serious endurance sports is highly questionable.

I race endurance sport (running, swimming , triathlon), and I use metrics such as running pace, bike power (with a powermeter), and HRM for all of them. None of them are perfect, and all can be misinterpreted. ALL of them take some nontrivial sophistication to actually use in a constructive basis.

With regards to HR -
- Do you have a training goal in mind?
- Are you committed to HR-based training? Do you even know what such a plan would entail and look like?
- Are you interested in determining your lactate or VO2 threshold HR by doing (hard effort) field testing?

These aren't questions I'm putting out there to be intentionally obtuse and to unnecessarily complicate the issue - if you want to actually USE heart rate training in any meaningful way to guide training (as opposed to being just a number you look at after your workouts for kicks), you have to have clear answers to the above. And I suspect that may be a bit more than the OP is asking for.

Furthermore, none of the wrist-based optical HRMs, whether it be Garmin, fitbit, polar, etc., are reliable during intense sport while worn on the wrist. This isn't just my opinion - it's been validated by DCRainmaker and thousands of serious endurance athletes on a multitude of forusm. However, optical HRS work great if they are in the right place, like a Scosche Rhythm+ HRM worn on the bicep or forearm tightly (bluetooth sending data to the watch.) Traditional chest HRMs also work great for around a year in most cases.

I suspect the HR data is more just for curiosity's sake as a post-hoc number rather than using it to guide training. If that's the case, either the Fitbit or Garmin will work fine (as neither will be accurate enough for HR-guided training anyway on the wrist.)
Can't agree more with this. You really need to ask yourself why. Another highly competitive athlete (and former high-level triathlete like Lightheir) and exercise scientist for a living.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Sasquatch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am
Can't agree more with this. You really need to ask yourself why. Another highly competitive athlete (and former high-level triathlete like Lightheir) and exercise scientist for a living.
I understand what both of you are saying. However, both of you are in the I’m guessing top 3% of the population as elite level athletes.

What about the rest of the 97% that just want to feel better? To follow your resting heart rate and see if you can work to bring it down? To watch your sleep to see how your CPAP is helping with your sleep?

I referred to DC Rainmakers writeup on the Garmin Vivoactive 3 with particular interest in heart rate tracking accuracy.
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/10/gar ... eview.html

A few excerpts from the article:

“I see no tangible issues with 24×7 HR. It works well across both normal daily routines as well as things like sleep.”

“In general though,I’d say the HR accuracy of the Vivoactive 3 is mostly good for running, and a bit mixed for cycling. Which is about the same as I typically find most recent/2017 Garmin optical HR sensors. I prefer lighter watches (FR935/Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist”

In all fairness, he does elude to the fact that HR straps produce better results (which everybody who has done some reading knows) I also noted that in my OP as well

It’s really disappointing to hear your comments. Particularly given the line of work you were in (cardiology & exersize science). One would think given your knowledge you would be rooting for “the rest of us” even if you deem it a panacea. Anything that gets people up and moving is a good thing right?

A diatribe on the matter is not helpful to the discussion

“Edited to add DC Rainmakers article comments”
Last edited by Sasquatch on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:34 pm

Sasquatch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am
Can't agree more with this. You really need to ask yourself why. Another highly competitive athlete (and former high-level triathlete like Lightheir) and exercise scientist for a living.
I understand what both of you are saying. However, both of you are in the I’m guessing top 3% of the population as elite level athletes.

What about the rest of the 97% that just want to feel better? To follow your resting heart rate and see if you can work to bring it down? To watch your sleep to see how your CPAP is helping with your sleep?

It’s really disappointing to hear your comments. Particularly given the line of work you were in (cardiology & exersize science). One would think given your knowledge you would be rooting for “the rest of us” even if you deem it a panacea. Anything that gets people up and moving is a good thing right?

A diatribe on the matter is not helpful to the discussion
How are we not rooting for you? If you don't know how to use the data, it's just another useless gadget. FWIW, the little bit of actual scientific research out there suggests that those who use "fitness trackers" get so enamored with the data, that they don't really know how to use, that they tend to exercise less.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by HJG0989 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:01 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:34 pm
Sasquatch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am
Can't agree more with this. You really need to ask yourself why. Another highly competitive athlete (and former high-level triathlete like Lightheir) and exercise scientist for a living.
I understand what both of you are saying. However, both of you are in the I’m guessing top 3% of the population as elite level athletes.

What about the rest of the 97% that just want to feel better? To follow your resting heart rate and see if you can work to bring it down? To watch your sleep to see how your CPAP is helping with your sleep?

It’s really disappointing to hear your comments. Particularly given the line of work you were in (cardiology & exersize science). One would think given your knowledge you would be rooting for “the rest of us” even if you deem it a panacea. Anything that gets people up and moving is a good thing right?

A diatribe on the matter is not helpful to the discussion
How are we not rooting for you? If you don't know how to use the data, it's just another useless gadget. FWIW, the little bit of actual scientific research out there suggests that those who use "fitness trackers" get so enamored with the data, that they don't really know how to use, that they tend to exercise less.
I use the data to observe how my body feels when I hit certain heart rates. I also wear it while hiking to track how long I hike. And I use it to remember which days I work out and for how long. As a low tech user I find it helpful and motivating, that is how I use the data.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by N10sive » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:19 pm

I own an old garmin vivosmart without HR. I bought it when it first came out, I think around 4 years now. It still works flawlessly. I've had to replace the band with a pack from amazon for less than 10 bucks. I use the chest mount HR and connects to my watch. Has worked for my purposes of measuring my HR during long bike training rides.

I would go garmin. They were a little slow to get into the HR on the watch and just in general putting out new products compared to fitbit but they are much more reliable to me and an industry standard in athletics.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by lightheir » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:28 pm

Sasquatch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am
Can't agree more with this. You really need to ask yourself why. Another highly competitive athlete (and former high-level triathlete like Lightheir) and exercise scientist for a living.
I understand what both of you are saying. However, both of you are in the I’m guessing top 3% of the population as elite level athletes.

What about the rest of the 97% that just want to feel better? To follow your resting heart rate and see if you can work to bring it down? To watch your sleep to see how your CPAP is helping with your sleep?

I referred to DC Rainmakers writeup on the Garmin Vivoactive 3 with particular interest in heart rate tracking accuracy.
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/10/gar ... eview.html

A few excerpts from the article:

“I see no tangible issues with 24×7 HR. It works well across both normal daily routines as well as things like sleep.”

“In general though,I’d say the HR accuracy of the Vivoactive 3 is mostly good for running, and a bit mixed for cycling. Which is about the same as I typically find most recent/2017 Garmin optical HR sensors. I prefer lighter watches (FR935/Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist”

In all fairness, he does elude to the fact that HR straps produce better results (which everybody who has done some reading knows) I also noted that in my OP as well

It’s really disappointing to hear your comments. Particularly given the line of work you were in (cardiology & exersize science). One would think given your knowledge you would be rooting for “the rest of us” even if you deem it a panacea. Anything that gets people up and moving is a good thing right?

A diatribe on the matter is not helpful to the discussion

“Edited to add DC Rainmakers article comments”
The issue is that the value of 24x7 HR in a consumer watch for the general public masses is of highly questionable utility. Even if you are just using it to see your resting HR or sleep HR. There are no doctors recommending people to start tracking this regularly without a diagnosis to follow.

You honestly would be better off just completely skipping the 24-7 monitoring, and focusing on what REALLY matters, like getting out to exercise without the gadgets completely.

And I'm definitely NOT an elite athlete. I routinely finish in the top 5-7% of the triathlons/running races I participate in, but that's a farrr cry from a 'elite' category, which has actual USA Triathlon standards which I'm (not even close) to meeting. My comments on HR-guided training are actually MORE relevant to an age-group middling athlete as opposed to an elite athlete who probably already knows and has used HR-guided training before.

Again, I've got no problem with people using the HR number for entertainment or for the sake of curiosity, but most folks that purchase $$$$ Garmin sportwatches do intend to use it for running or other sports, so its worth knowing what correct use of HR in exercise would entail. As well being aware of how little health benefits there are to tracking your resting HR 24x7 (aside from the fact you could do this with a $7 digital watch.)

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by am » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:58 pm

I recently bought the Fitbit charge 2. I wore it for a week but have not been able to get used to something being on my wrist. I haven’t wore a watch for 20+ yrs. This is especially true when I excersise and get sweaty and hot. Just feels uncomfortable and keeps sliding or squeezing my wrist too much.

The hr feature and reminders to move were nice when I was off. But reminders were distracting at work. So I’m back to using my clip on Fitbit one that I’ve been using for 3 yrs. Only problem is that they have discontinued it and a new one costs near 300 dollars on amazon.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by g$$ » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:05 pm

i love my Garmin Fenix 3. Would absolutely buy another Garmin.

No experience with Fitbit.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by Sasquatch » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:28 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:28 pm
And I'm definitely NOT an elite athlete. I routinely finish in the top 5-7% of the triathlons/running races I participate in, but that's a farrr cry from a 'elite' category, which has actual USA Triathlon standards which I'm (not even close) to meeting. My comments on HR-guided training are actually MORE relevant to an age-group middling athlete as opposed to an elite athlete who probably already knows and has used HR-guided training before.
Holy smokes! Congratulations top 5-7%. Thats awesome (honestly, no wise guy comment here). When I referred to the 3% I meant compared to all americans.

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Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by five2one » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:10 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:28 pm
Sasquatch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am
Can't agree more with this. You really need to ask yourself why. Another highly competitive athlete (and former high-level triathlete like Lightheir) and exercise scientist for a living.
I understand what both of you are saying. However, both of you are in the I’m guessing top 3% of the population as elite level athletes.

What about the rest of the 97% that just want to feel better? To follow your resting heart rate and see if you can work to bring it down? To watch your sleep to see how your CPAP is helping with your sleep?

I referred to DC Rainmakers writeup on the Garmin Vivoactive 3 with particular interest in heart rate tracking accuracy.
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/10/gar ... eview.html

A few excerpts from the article:

“I see no tangible issues with 24×7 HR. It works well across both normal daily routines as well as things like sleep.”

“In general though,I’d say the HR accuracy of the Vivoactive 3 is mostly good for running, and a bit mixed for cycling. Which is about the same as I typically find most recent/2017 Garmin optical HR sensors. I prefer lighter watches (FR935/Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist”

In all fairness, he does elude to the fact that HR straps produce better results (which everybody who has done some reading knows) I also noted that in my OP as well

It’s really disappointing to hear your comments. Particularly given the line of work you were in (cardiology & exersize science). One would think given your knowledge you would be rooting for “the rest of us” even if you deem it a panacea. Anything that gets people up and moving is a good thing right?

A diatribe on the matter is not helpful to the discussion

“Edited to add DC Rainmakers article comments”
The issue is that the value of 24x7 HR in a consumer watch for the general public masses is of highly questionable utility. Even if you are just using it to see your resting HR or sleep HR. There are no doctors recommending people to start tracking this regularly without a diagnosis to follow.

You honestly would be better off just completely skipping the 24-7 monitoring, and focusing on what REALLY matters, like getting out to exercise without the gadgets completely.

And I'm definitely NOT an elite athlete. I routinely finish in the top 5-7% of the triathlons/running races I participate in, but that's a farrr cry from a 'elite' category, which has actual USA Triathlon standards which I'm (not even close) to meeting. My comments on HR-guided training are actually MORE relevant to an age-group middling athlete as opposed to an elite athlete who probably already knows and has used HR-guided training before.

Again, I've got no problem with people using the HR number for entertainment or for the sake of curiosity, but most folks that purchase $$$$ Garmin sportwatches do intend to use it for running or other sports, so its worth knowing what correct use of HR in exercise would entail. As well being aware of how little health benefits there are to tracking your resting HR 24x7 (aside from the fact you could do this with a $7 digital watch.)
I like 24hr HR monitoring but don't use it everyday. I use it when I am trying to figure out sleep patterns tied to diet, exercise, etc.
It is very helpful when I'm trying to bust through a plateau or getting back into it after time off.

It is VERY helpful for an easy check on stats and garmin is great about post workout recovery, etc.
I have seen more than one example of someone catching a HR irregularity from 24hr monitoring.

Fitbits are basically good for mall walkers as they can't really take a beating and aren't designed for serious users.

I'm a convert obviously but at sub $400 for my tactix bravo, it is an awesome bargain and the most durable and versatile watch I have ever found.

cricket49
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:14 pm

Re: Heart Rate Monitors Fitbit vs. Garmin

Post by cricket49 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:31 pm

I have a Garmin Forerunner 310XT that has lasted me through many years and miles of running, hiking and cycling. I bought it in 2011 and it has been going strong until last year when I fell trail running and broke the strap. I installed another strap but the attachment wire was weak and a watchmaker told me it would evidently break again. So I started researching the new HR monitors to determine which one to buy. According to my research a Fitbit does not come close to a Garmin but I did not want to spent the money for a new Forerunner. As many have stated DC Rainmaker has excellent reviews all all monitors. On Amazon I found a new "old model" 310XT for 120.00 so I ordered it.

I was also able to strengthen my old Garmin strap with gorilla glue and it works perfectly. So now I have a backup. :mrgreen:
Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.

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