10 Best Triathlon Watches (Review) in 2022

Brad Robinson
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If you’re an avid triathlete and you’re looking for a new watch to replace your old version, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve reviewed some of the best triathlon watches on the market to help you choose the one that fits your needs and budget.

Whether you’re training for your next race or you’ve already completed a few and you’re looking for a watch to help you with your next big event, these are great options for you.

We give you a breakdown of the features and the pros and cons, so you can read reviews written by other customers as well.

NameCategoryProduct
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS UnitBest OverallGarmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit
Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm WatchBudget PickTimex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm Watch
Garmin Fenix 5 SapphireUpgrade PickGarmin Fenix 5 Sapphire

1. Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit

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Pros:

  • Connects to GPS via satellite
  • Can track heart rate, duration, pace, distance, etc.
  • Displays key stats during run
  • Tracks sleep at night
  • Waterproof, Up to 50 meters

Cons:

  • Heavier than some
  • Touch screen feature sometimes doesn’t work

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is an ideal watch for runners who want to add some basic elements for triathletes, like a multisport feature, enough battery time to track a run, a more structured design, and advanced training plans.

The Garmin Forerunner 935 has a whole lot of cool features. Its color touch screen display is on the large size, and it’s backlit to boot. This watch is really handy for all sorts of activities.

Garmin has given this watch a light and a dark background. A light view means that the watch shows vibrant data. A dark background mode is a little more subtle. Basically, you can flip between the two. Garman has also given the watch an updated GPS with GLONASS support. If you already own a Garmin GPS, you won’t have to purchase another one.

2. Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire

Our rating: 8 / 10

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire

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Pros:

  • Simple and easy-to-use interface
  • Beautiful display
  • Customizable display, including watch faces
  • Tracks distance, time, heart rate and calories
  • Measures altitude, accelerations and cadence
  • Lots of useful data
  • Swappable bands
  • Tracks your sleep patterns
  • Has a feature to navigate to a destination in case you're running late

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • It drains the battery in a regular smart watch

This watch has a brilliant display.

It tracks distance, time, steps, and calories burned and even measures your heart rate, which is an extra feature that many smart watches don't have.

If you are serious about your training and want to make the most of your runs, you can download third-party apps that will track a number of other measurements, such as cadence, which is the number of steps you take in a minute.

3. Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Our rating: 8 / 10

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

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Pros:

  • Competitive and customizable price
  • Stylish and lightweight
  • Tracks swimming, running, cycling, and cross training
  • Virtual Racer
  • Connect
  • Integrated GPS
  • Wireless uploads
  • Accurate and fast GPS acquisition, even in the woods
  • Compatible with ANT+ accessories
  • Clear, bright display

Cons:

  • Low support for Android/Windows/iDevices- It's come to android now, so no worries
  • Limited uploading options- I use Garmin Express, which is supported on my Android, and I just put the watch into the cradle when I want to upload
  • Vibration notifications- don't want to be a Nike chasin' mode, especially when yer runnin'
  • Less accurate on the run- compared to the also-inexpensive Polar M400, the FR735XT underestimates on the run, but more importantly, the Garmin likes to tell me I've run a 6.5-mile run when I know I've run a 6.0 loop

4. Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3

Our rating: 8 / 10

Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3

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Pros:

  • Trusted watchmaker
  • Easy to use
  • Good battery life
  • Works with popular sports apps
  • Garmin Pay compatible
  • Touch screen makes each interaction with info quick and convenient
  • Stabilization sensors track your stats

Cons:

  • Android-only for now
  • Won’t display your texts

This waterproof fitness tracker seamlessly pairs with Bluetooth to sync with your mobile device. It’s also equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) to be used as a contactless wallet to make purchases.

With built-in GPS, the Vivoactive 3 can track your performance on the run and display your stats on its color touchscreen. It is compatible with several sports apps, including Strava and Under Armour. You can connect with your friends to share your training sessions, or send a quick text on the go without needing to reach for your phone.

The watch employs wrist-based heart rate technology to continuously track your heart rate. This tech displays an array of stats about your heart health on the Vivoactive’s user-friendly interface.

5. SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit

Our rating: 8 / 10

SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit

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Pros:

  • Excellent battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent customer service
  • Great price

This is Suunto’s mid-range model. It’s a triathlon watch that features an outstanding 20 hours of battery life. You can use it to track your heart rate, pace, distance, speed, steps, swimming workout and plenty of other exercises. You can also download an app on your smartphone for free to access all this data.

The Ambit3 Peak has easy-to-read a display, too. It features an ultra-bright and bold LCD unit for easy access and optimal reading in all lighting conditions. The interval timer is programmable, so you can create multiple workouts for different training goals.

What’s more, this Ambit watch features an extensive workout library for the various different exercises you can do. This means you can work out with it when you swim, jog or play tennis. It’s also a very durable watch, as it’s waterproof up to 100 meters. It’s made for the outdoors and comes with a tough and sturdy strap.

6. Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm Watch

Our rating: 8 / 10

Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm Watch

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Pros:

  • Best overall entry level watch for triathlon
  • Six subdials
  • Best for running, swimming and cycling
  • Thrifty watch
  • Stylish with classy aesthetics

Cons:

  • Button for start/stop/reset is less responsive when pressed under water.
  • No chronograph feature (stopwatch)
  • The screen does not illuminate when button is pressed in dark.
  • It has ten alarms.
  • No backlight.

This elegant watch can be used as a regular watch, but it has a special mode for triathlon competitors. It has a large display, making it easy for you to read. Its subdials allow you to keep track of your time by counting laps and split times, This is one of the cheapest athletic watches you can buy, which many athletes appreciate.

7. Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

Our rating: 8 / 10

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

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Pros:

  • GPS +GLONASS
  • Does show you live data as you are training
  • Tracks cadence as well as distance and pace
  • You can adjust the fonts and colors of the data

Cons:

  • The watch is on the larger side, and some customers have complained that the bands are too big around the wrist
  • The watch needs to be on your wrist in order or the heart rate data to be captured

The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR+ offers everything you’d want from a triathlon watch. It comes with GPS and GLONASS in order to help you better understand your pace. It will also enable you to gain a clearer view of your location. Suunto claims it can get correct pace measurements up to 15 meters. It can also track your cadence.

This watch is extremely durable. It has a silicone and water-resistant design. In fact, it is safe to wear it when swimming unlike some of the other watches. It is very comfortable with the ergonomic fit. You can access notifications on this watch, select your data options, and customize your training. It is easy to use the controls on the watch.

8. Garmin 010-03723-01 Approach S20

Our rating: 6 / 10

Garmin 010-03723-01 Approach S20

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Pros:

  • Has over 80,000 courses in its database
  • Has a tracking chip for indoor games
  • The battery will last for 10 hours
  • Comes with a heart rate monitor
  • Has a color display

Cons:

  • Not easy to use for average users
  • The charging system for the watch is not very convenient

The Garmin Approach S20 GPS Golf Watch is a timekeeping device that can also tell you the distance to the green and your heart rate if you’re a golfer who intends to improve your game. It’s also accurate enough to be used for triathlons, with a distance measuring accuracy of +/- 3-meters throughout the golf course.

Aside from golf, this watch can also be used in other sports activities including running, indoor sports, and swimming. This multifunction Smartwatch has over 80,000 courses in its database. It’s also IPX7 waterproof, which means that it can be used in shallow water without getting damaged.

It’s also possible to have this watch measure your distance and heart rate through the Stryd app. The Garmin Approach S20 GPS watch has a heart-rate monitor that you can place on your chest. This adds the benefits of a heart rate monitor.

9. Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch

Our rating: 5 / 10

Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch

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Pros:

  • Built-in GPS, GPS Sport Tracker, and Optical Heart Rate Sensor
  • Smart notifications – get text messages, calls, and other notifications on your wrist
  • Performance condition and competition time analysis
  • Tracked Polar loop activities for analysis
  • Automatic syncing with Polar Flow app and M400/V800 devices
  • Long battery life – over 5 weeks in watch mode, up to 60 hours in GPS training mode
  • Long water resistance rating – IPX8
  • Lightweight – only 30 grams heavier than the V650
  • SpO2 monitoring (with optional SpO2 sensor)

10. TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch

Our rating: 5 / 10

TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch

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Pros:

  • Appealing design
  • Backup memory
  • Fully reflects sweat
  • Good sound quality

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best triathlon watch?

  • Budget Triathlon Watch: Timex Men’s T47911 Global Trainer GPS
  • Mid Range Triathlon Watch: Garmin Forerunner 910XT
  • Premium Triathlon Watch: Garmin 920xt.

Timex has been making watches of high quality since 1854, and the Men’s T47911 Global Trainer GPS watch is the epitome of this quality. It has a lifetime battery that doesn’t need to be recharged or replaced. Here’s a list of some of the features this watch comes with.

What is the best Garmin multisport watch?

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is the best triathlon watch in our opinion, but if you are more into an affordable watch, then the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a budget option for you. We love Garmin for many of their features and how well they hold up over time, so if you are looking for a top-of-the-line watch that is a little more affordable, then you should look at Garmin as your first option.

What is a good triathlon time for a beginner?

This will depend on you ability level and the triathlon you will be running. Generally, there are some time ranges which would be acceptable. If you’re completely new to running and only running a distance of a few miles/kilometers, you should finish the run much quicker than a seasoned and trained athlete. Your swim and bike time should also be faster.

Therefore, you should look for a range of a few minutes for each triathlon event. If you’re an experienced athlete, and are running a longer distance event than normal; your run, bike, and swim times may be more competitive. Any finishing time within the following ranges is a competitive time:

Run: 20 – 57 minutes

Bike: 38 – 60 minutes

Swim: 1 – 15 minutes

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What is the best GPS watch on the market?

The best GPS watch available on the market right now is the Garmin Fenix 5 which has a built in GPS and heart rate monitor.

This allows a person to monitor their speed, heart rate, and distance. Along with that, it can also store up to 1000 waypoints which makes it easier to conquer the trails and roads.

Because of this, Garmin Fēnix 5 is the best GPS watch for running and biking.

Conclusion

For this review, we had a chance to review hundreds of watches, they all had the same features but in different style and finishes. Ultimately, we picked the best 10 triathlon watch in the market based on its look, features, function, durability and pricing. Some of the features included are buttons, sensors, display, and battery life. No one likes to need a new battery half way through a workout! You can always manually wind it if its a mechanical one.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS UnitBest OverallGarmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit
Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm WatchBudget PickTimex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size 38mm Watch
Garmin Fenix 5 SapphireUpgrade PickGarmin Fenix 5 Sapphire