Fitbit was one of the early pioneers in the fitness-tracker game, but one thing it always shied away from was waterproofing. Until the Flex 2 that is. Announced in 2016, this is the company’s slimmest tracker to date and the first that is water resistant.
Essential reading: Choosing the right Fitbit tracker
Its features, though, are fairly standard and cover only the basics. This means the tracker monitors your steps, distance, calories, active minutes and hourly activity. You also get automatic exercise tracking for running, sports and aerobic workouts and personalised weekly exercise goals. Notifications are part of the package too, but heart rate monitoring isn’t.
Fitbit followed this up with two smartwatches, the Ionic in late 2017 and more recently Versa. Apart from the GPS on the Ionic and the more sleek and subtle look of Versa, the two are pretty much identical.
On each you’ll get the full gamut of what Fitbit has to offer in terms of fitness tracking, in addition to notifications and 2.5GB on-board storage for music (enough to store up to 300 songs). This means they can function as mini iPods if you take the time and effort to set them up. They can also run third-party apps from its proprietary app store and come with Fitbit Pay contactless payments. Most importantly, just like the Flex 2, Versa and Ionic are water resistant down to 50 meters and they’ll track you swim sessions, too.
But there are other options out there if you are dead-set on purchasing a Fitbit and water-resistance is a must. One of the more interesting ones comes from an outfit called Waterfi. Established in 2010, the San Diego based company is all about waterproof electronics. This includes anything from fitness trackers to headphones, iPods and Kindles. What started as a one man outfit working out of his apartment, has now grown to a collection of nineteen staff.
Waterfi uses something they call PlatinumX Waterproofing Technology. What this does is it applies a proprietary substance that completely protects a device and forms an insulating barrier around all of the sensitive electronics. This barrier guards the device from exposure to threatening elements such as chlorine, salt water, sweat, and shock.
The company has applied this technology to some of Fitbit’s popular fitness trackers, including the Charge 2, Blaze and Alta HR. What you essentially get is a Fitbit that is water-resistant down to 25 feet underwater (IPX8 compliant).
Essential reading: Head off to the pool with one of these gadgets
Now you can really wear your fitness tracker 24/7. Leave it on when you take a shower or bath, or go for a swim. It will still not track your laps in the pool, but at least water (down to the prescribed level), will not harm the electronics inside. Which means you never have to worry about using the fitness tracker the wrong way. The only issue that you might encounter is that because the altimeter is sealed it may not give an accruate count of floors.
If water resistance is very important to you and the bump in price is not an issue, this is definitely an option worth considering. You can check out the range on Amazon.
Or you could always opt for a fitness tracker that has been designed from the outset to be waterproof. As mentioned, here you are limited to the Flex 2, Ionic and Versa. The second option often has the additional benefit of being able to produce swim metrics.
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