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Buyer’s Guide: GPS Watches 

These mini-computers on your wrist can track much more than just your training data

Photo by: Matt Stetson

These days a watch is hardly a watch. We’ve come to expect that the mini computer on our wrist won’t just keep track of all our training needs, it’ll monitor our health and fitness status, while also keeping us apprised of other messages and phone calls coming our way. A look at some of the options that will quickly become a must-have on your wrist.

Wahoo Elemnt Rival

Like the intuitive and easy to set-up Wahoo bike computers, the Elemnt Rival offers a simple user experience that will give you all the information you need to get the most out of your training. In addition the recent addition of Stryd power functionality (see pg. XX), there are unique multisport features including touchless transition and multisport handover (from watch to bike computer to watch). The 64-bit colour screen is easy to see, while the ceramic bezel and gorilla glass lens are as tough as they are stylish.

Garmin Fenix 7
From $900

Triathletes, runners and outdoor adventurers will all be happy to make Garmin’s latest Fenix watch their go-to training tool. You get the benefit of both a touchscreen and buttons, pre-loaded activity profiles for pretty much any sport you can think of (or participate in), daily workout and training suggestions, race and pace predictions and guidance and more. Oh, and it also provides all kinds of training metrics including everything from running dynamics to VO2 Max info, not to mention the multiple health applications that include to Pulse Ox measurement, respiration and heart rate tracking and sleep monitoring. (We could go on with the full list, but it’s long.) Battery life is measured in days and weeks rather than hours, all of which can be extended if you choose one of the solar options.


Apple Watch Series 7
From $529

The Apple Watch might have started as more of a smart watch, but as you can read in our Apple Universe story on pg. XX, there’s a reason this watch is the most popular smartwatch in the world – in addition to all the Apple-friendly functionality, you get an amazing health and fitness tracker that will quickly become a mainstay on your wrist.

Polar Vantage M2

From the company that started the wrist-based heart rate monitor category, the Vantage M2 provides all the fitness performance data you need while also keeping you connected with essential smartwatch data. The Vantage M2 will also track your sleep and recovery to help prevent overtraining, and you get music controls and push notifications with weather alerts, too. Polar even provides personalized workouts and progams based on the data from your watch.

Suunto 9 Baro

With up to seven days of continuous GPS tracking, the 9 Baro won’t quit on you during the longest of training sessions or even training weeks. There are over 80 sport modes, a touch screen wrist heart rate and 100 m water resistance, so this watch will keep track of all your activities and health data, including sleep and stress and recovery data. You’ll be covered for any adventure.