Heart rate monitors come in all forms: smart watches, wrist bands, chest straps, and in-ear wireless buds.
Some, such as chest straps and wrist bands are inexpensive. If you need to enhance your fitness walk without breaking your bank, these can be a good option.
Others, such as smartwatches, are as expensive as $800 or some even higher. However, the expensive watches track more than your heart rate; they track and record other metrics such as walking distance, trail followed, time taken and much more.
Jabra Sport Pulse
Your choice of a heart rate monitor will depend on your budget and your fitness tracking needs. If all you need is a simple heart rate monitor, such as a chest strap, you can get that for as low as $50. Read on to learn more.
1. Wahoo Fitness TICKR X
If you are looking for a heart rate monitor but you are on budget, TICKR X might be a good choice for you. It is feature packed to give you accurate results in all walking conditions. It has an accelerometer that measures your walk from three dimensions and also collects stride rate and oscillation data. This heart rate monitor that straps to your chest is able to track your cadence and your exercise smoothness. Its on-board memory can record data for up to 16 hours. Even better, the strap can last up to 12 months on single charge. Its batteries are inexpensive and easy to replace.
You can link this to your smartphone through the Wahoo Fitness App or through any other fitness app such as Strava or Runkeeper.
- Built-in accelerometer
- Can capture bother walking and cycling cadence data
- Connects to third-party apps
- Connects to Apple Watch
- Adjustable straps
- Tracks your heart rate and calories you burn
2. Polar H10
Polar H10 is another budget option for those seeking a simple heart rate monitor in form of a chest strap. It comes as a replacement the discontinued H7. It outperforms its predecessor by giving you longer battery life, records your training in its built-in memory and its software is easy to update.
- Sports Polar pro straps that have improved electrodes
- Have Silicone dots that ensure unwanted movements are not recorded
- Connects to Polar Beat fitness app
- Features a soft textile material that offers non-slip comfort
- Offers 400 hours of battery life
- Connects a range of third party apps
- Operates in a wide range of temperatures from 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
- Waterproof up to 30m
3. Fitbit Charge 2
When you buy a lower priced HRM such as Fitbit charge 2, you expect them to focus solely on monitoring your heart rate. However, some track more than your heart rate. This HRM comes as an upgrade of Charge HR and uses PurePulse technology to track your heart rate continuously.
The band sports a sleek design that makes it ideal for all-day wear. It does not feel bulky and does not interfere with your walking. This way, you can track actual fitness walking and day-to-day activities. You can also use it to track sleep patterns and calories burned.
- Uses PurePulse technology to track your heart rate
- Gives you calls, texts and calendar alerts
- SmartTrack exercise recognition
- Uses GPS to give you real time exercise stats
- Battery lasts for up to 5 days
- Tracks your sleep patterns
- Comes in a selection of colors
4. Garmin Forerunner 35
Garmin is company that continues to improve their gadgets. This wrist-based heart rate monitor gives accurate heart rate readings during actual fitness walk or when you are doing your day-to-day activities. Besides monitoring heart rate, this HRM allows you to track your walking pace, allows friends and family to track your walking work outs in real time and tracks and records your sleep patterns.
The HRM connects to Garmin Foot Pod which continues to record your pace and distance indoors or when the gadget cannot connect to GPS.
- Using Garmin Elevate, the device can track your heart rate for 24/7
- Offers a high resolution display
- Gives alerts when a milestone has been achieved
- Automatically uploads your data to Garmin Connect
- Can track steps, intensity of workout and calories burned
- Battery lasts up to 9 days
- You can broadcast data over ANT+
- Built in accelerometer and GPS
The Fenix 3 HRM is a premium Garmin heart rate monitor offered at a great price. Fenix 3 is offered in three variants; an affordable GPS Watch and more expensive Silver and Sapphire variants. These last options can feature titanium wrist band to further drive the price up. This model pairs with Garmin chest belt, and also links with other ANT+ heart rate monitors.
- Sports a 1.2-inch Chroma display
- Links to Gamin Connect wirelessly
- Sports a soft and flexible silicone band
- Uses Garmin Elevate heart rate technology to monitor HR
- Fitted with Altimeter, Barometer and Compass sensors
- You can customize it with faces through Connect IQTM
- Tracks daily activities and sleep patterns
- Battery lasts up to 2 weeks
MyZone MZ-3 is a chest strap that gives you more than heart rate dat. You can connect this HRM to third party fitness apps to reap the most out of your walks. The strap not only assist you reach your exercise goals but also records your activities over time to create an exercise routine for you based on your fitness level. Just like in golf handicap, MyZone allows you to compete with other fitness walkers.
The chest strap features a simple design with three different sizes to choose from. Its internal memory is capable of storing up to 16 hours of work out data. Its battery lasts for up to 7 months and it is waterproof up to 10 m.
- Broadcast data on big screens in gyms supporting MyZone
- Connect the strap to your smartphone
- Assists you set personal goals and targets
- Comfortable fabric strap
This is a simple armband offered at a budget price. The first model of the armband was designed before Polar and Wahoo designed an armband. Scosche realized that there is more motion data that can be collected further up the arm that down the wrist. The band is available in a wide collection of colors and is also waterproof and can record your workouts for reference. It comes with LED lights that give you alerts and displays your current heart rate zone.
- Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible
- Connects to third party fitness apps
- Scosche Companion App gives a wide range of fitness profiles
- Water resistant
This is a Polar smartwatch that gives accurate readings from your wrist. It uses an optical based sensor to give accurate heart rate readings. Even better, there are additional LED sensors that are able to penetrate your skin for more accurate results. With all its sensors, the watch is always in contact with your skin to give you accurate readings all day.
Besides heart rate monitoring, the watch comes with a whole range of other features including VO2 exercise estimates, calories you burn and much more. The watch monitors your heart rate 24/7 showing you when your heart rate is at its highest and at its lowest.
- VO2 monitoring
- Optical based sensors, LED and electrodes sensors
- Cardio load and muscle load tracking
- Tracks calories burned
This is a simple watch that not only tells time but also tracks your heart rate. It sports a traditional clock face and runs on quick touch technology that assists you in tracking your heart rate. Besides tracking your heart rate, the watch tracks other simple GPS metrics such speed, distance, and time.
- Offered in black, red, khaki, teal and white colors
- Water resistant up to 30 meters
- Quick touch technology helps track your heart rate
- Tracks multiple sports
Earbuds are the latest addition to the list of heart rate monitoring gadgets. The technology in these earbuds tracks your heart rate from your inner ear. Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds are a great choice for those who love listening to music while they work out. The earbuds are fitted with passive noise cancellation and they have enhanced bass to ensure you enjoy your music to the fullest.
These earbuds are able to snugly fit in your ear when you are walking. They are also designed waterproof to resist sweat while you work out.
- No need for wires
- Connects with your smartphone for accurate readings
- Can play music
- Cancels passive noise
You should shop for heart rate monitors based on your needs. The more expensive heart rate monitors have a long list of features that you may not need. Granted, look at the range of features a HRM offers and then your budget and get the best piece affordable. Again, ensure that the HRM fits you snugly; especially for earbuds and chest straps.