7 Best Polar Watches For Running, Cycling, Swimming, And More

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Tom and his team mentions and reviews only those products that they find good enough after using & researching them for several weeks. By doing this we make sure that you get a well rounded review and recommendations to make the best decision for yourself.

Polar is a Finnish sports brand that is best known for its sports accessories. They make some of the best smartwatches and fitness trackers for athletes and gym fanatics. From a professional athlete who is preparing for a triathlon to a regular fitness nut, Polar has a watch for everyone.

If you are one of those people who just love as much data as they can get about their fitness or sports activities then Polar is the best smartwatch for the job. So I have shortlisted the best Polar watches for swimming, the best Polar watch for cycling, the best Polar watch for running, CrossFit, triathlon, etc. that can help you better track your sports or fitness activity.

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Best Polar Watch Comparison Table





Best Overall

best polar watch

Polar Vantage V2

  • 7 days heart rate tracking

  • Perfect for multi-sports tracking

  • Support for 3rd party fitness apps

  • Music control

Best Polar Watch For Running   

best polar watch for running

Polar M430

  • In-depth running analysis

  • Swimming activity tracking

  • Low power mode

Best Polar Watch For Cycling And Swimming

Best Polar watch for cycling

Vantage M2

  • Button only user interface for swimmers

  • Track your cycling speed, map your ride, distance covered and more

  • Inbuilt GPS

Best Polar Watch For Hiking

Best Polar Watch For Swimming

Polar Grit X

  • Hill Splitter

  • Supports Komoot app

  • 100-hour battery backup in low power GPS mode

Best Polar Smartwatches

1. Polar M430 GPS Running Watch

best polar watch for running

Are you a runner wondering which should be your next running watch? Then let us recommend the Polar M430 GPS Running watch. This watch’s tracking capabilities along with Polar Flow Web services provide runners with unmatched details about their everyday run.

Talking about the features of this Polar running watch, it comes with several built-in sports profiles. This allows you to track your daily sports activities like running, dancing, cycling, and golfing. If you are looking for a golf smartwatch then this could be your pick.

Before starting any activity select the profile of the sport and then begin your activity. When your activity is over, use the Polar app to analyze your respective sports activity.

To illustrate, if you are a runner using the app you would be able to measure your steps per minute, speed of your run, and calories burned during your run. Polar M430 GPS Running Watch comes with an inbuilt GPS. Therefore you can also keep track of the route, the distance you have traveled, the time taken by you to complete a single lap on the running tracks, and more.

This smartwatch comes with an optical heart rate sensor which gives you the ability to record and analyze your heart rate during workout sessions. Moreover, it is also the best Polar watch for swimming as it is one of the only few watches available on the market that allows you to record your heart rate during your swimming sessions.

What sets this Polar running watch apart from most fitness-oriented smartwatches and trackers is not just the in-depth data it provides you after your activity is over but also its battery life. Also, while using this watch in a low power mode I was able to get a battery life of up to 30 hours on a single charge making it my greatest running partner.

It also comes with smart notifications and vibration alerts so I didn’t miss any important calls or messages. Overall Polar M430 GPS is the best Polar running watch you can get under budget.

The Good
  • Inbuilt GPS
  • Amazing battery backup
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • In-depth workout analysis

The Bad
  • Continuous heart monitoring only available in workout sessions
  • No Speaker in the watch

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2. Polar Ignite 3 – Best Polar Watch For CrossFit

Polar watch for crossfit

It is the best Polar watch for CrossFit and I have good reasons to back up that statement. Polar is popular among all fitness fanatics because it can track fitness activities that other smartwatches simply can’t. For example, this is one of the few watches available that can track indoor rowing.

It doesn’t stop there as after completing your workout sessions you can see your cardio and training load report. It will provide you with a detailed report of your strength and high-intensity exercise sessions.

Using the report you would be able to analyze how difficult the session was for you compared to your previous 90 days workout. The report will also inform you whether the cardio activity is within your tolerance range or did you pushed yourself to your maximum limit.

Being physically active is vital but ensuring that you are well rested is even more important. That’s why Polar Ignite 3 comes with the Nightly Recharge and Sleep Plus Stages feature.

Nightly Recharge will tell you how much energy you have recovered after waking up from your good night’s sleep. The watch uses your heart rate, breathing rate, and HRV to give you a sleep score indicating your energy levels. Moreover, the FitSpark feature available on the watch would recommend personalized workout exercises to you depending on your energy levels therefore you don’t end up putting strain on your body.

Sleep Plus Stage feature on the other hand helps you identify whether you are getting deep sleep or if your sleep is getting interrupted a lot while sleeping, and more. So if you don’t feel refreshed the next day then this watch would definitely help you identify the potential reasons for that.

Talking about the smartwatch features of the watch it comes with notification sync so you can leave your phone in the gym locker. The previous generation Polar watches didn’t have a always-on display but this watch features an always-on display.

Now coming to the battery life of the watch, athletes who would be recording their workout session and heart rate along with GPS enabled will get a half-day battery life. On the other hand, if used as a regular smartwatch it would give you 2-3 days of battery life. Overall, this is the best Polar watch for CrossFit, if you are interested in CrossFit training then you must get it.

The Good
  • Sleep tracking
  • Inbuilt GPS
  • Heart rate recording
  • In-depth workout analysis
  • Workout tracking
  • Always-on Display

The Bad
  • Little pricey
  • Not very durable

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3. Polar VANTAGE M2 – Best Polar Watch For Triathlon

Vantage M2

Are you preparing for a triathlon? If yes, then VANTAGE M2 is the best Polar watch for Triathlon. This watch will provide you with all the essential tools to master swimming, cycling, or running wherever you want to put more effort.

As a runner, it is important that you are able to measure the average number of steps per minute taken by you. If you have a lower step per minute then you might be putting some stress on your joints and a higher step per minute indicates you have perfected your running form.

So if you find your steps per minute to be lower then you can make some workout changes to improve that. Using the watch you can not only track your pace but also the time that’s taken to cover the distance and several other useful metrics that would definitely come in handy.

Polar VANTAGE M2 comes with an inbuilt GPS which is especially useful for cycling as it allows you to map your ride, measure your average speed, and track the distance covered, and the route taken while cycling without depending on your smartphone.

Besides these features, this watch can also track all your swimming activities whether it’s in the pool or in open water. Therefore you can measure your swim distance, time taken for a lap, and swimming stroke style. To enable the feature you just need to add pool length to the watch.

All you need to do is wear the watch and focus on improving your swimming style to improve your efficiency. You can even track your heart rate while swimming using the heart rate sensor available on the watch, only Polar and some Garmin smartwatches with heart rate sensors can do this.

Most often athletes find themselves accidentally touching the screen while working out, running, or even while doing simple stretching, and other similar situations. Thankfully, the Polar Vantage M2 doesn’t have a touchscreen display instead you operate the watch using buttons entirely.

Polar VANTAGE M2 smartwatch also supports apps like Strava, Training Peaks, and others. What makes this one of the best Polar watches for Triathlon is it supports third-party Bluetooth fitness accessories so you can measure your heart rate, cadence, and cycling.

The Good
  • Long battery life
  • Best for triathlon preparation
  • Supports third-party apps like Strava
  • Button-based user interface
  • Activity and heart rate tracking

The Bad
  • Learning curve to learn button-based interface
  • Limited customization options

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4. Polar M200 – Affordable Polar Running Watch

polar m200

There are plenty of affordable running smartwatches available in the market but only a few will come close to the Polar M200 style and features. It sports a unique tactical look that makes the watch fun to wear. The watch is available in 4 colors: black, red, teal, and white.

Polar M200 is tailored keeping all the runners in mind. So expect the watch to be able to give you a detailed analysis of steps per minute, average running speed, calories burned, and other valuable insights.

The watch doesn’t stop there as it comes with an inbuilt free running program that helps you to prepare for your upcoming marathon. Just specify the date of the marathon and the watch will automatically prepare a personalized plan to help you prepare for the marathon.

Furthermore, it also provides you with motivational insight based on your workout sessions so you can go back to your training more motivated the next day.

Since it’s a Polar watch expect it to be able to track all of your activities like treadmill, spinning, jogs, strength training, boxing, baseball, volleyball, and a lot more. It can also track your day-to-day activity along with heart rate tracking.

Coming to the smart features of the watch it comes with smart notifications which alert you when new notifications arrive in your smartphone. To enable all the features of the Polar M200 download the Polar Flow app on your iOS or Android devices.

Overall, it is one of the cheapest Polar watches suitable for running but if you intend to track your other activities like swimming, or cycling then the watch won’t provide useful metrics for those activities.

The Good
  • Affordable
  • Interchangeable band
  • Can track several activities
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
  • Smart notification sync

The Bad
  • Suitable for only runners
  • Not long-lasting watch band

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5. Polar Grit X – Best Polar Watch For Swiming

Best Polar Watch For Swimming

Are you planning to go out on a man vs. wild adventure? Then Polar Grit X is the best Polar watch for hiking or other adventurous activities. This watch meets the US Military Standard 810 G standard which basically means it is one tough tactical smartwatch. Therefore you can take it for off-road mountain biking to muddy swamps and the watch will come out unscathed.

Despite being a sports smartwatch for adventures it comes with a small 1.2-inch display. If you have a small wrist and looking for a smartwatch then this is the best small Polar watch you can go for.

It comes with the Komoot app pre-installed which makes this Polar smartwatch perfect for hikers. If you are not aware of Komoot then it is basically a Google Maps for hikers.

Using the app you can find out the best route for trek or way to the dirt track so you won’t get lost in the wild. You can even download maps to use them later offline when you don’t have any cellular connectivity on top of the mountains.

Don’t worry about GPS as the watch has one of its own so you won’t need a smartphone to find your way back home. Furthermore, the watch offers battery backup of up to 100 hours in low-power GPS mode.

Polar Grit X also has the Hill Splitter feature which automatically detects when you are trekking up the hills or descending from the hill. With a built-in altimeter available in the watch it also tells you the current incline of the mountain along with your current alleviation level.

It won’t be a Polar watch if you can’t do a detailed analysis after your adventure is over. The Polar Flow app allows you to see the total time you spent climbing uphill, downhill, and on straight surfaces separately.

The watch also has a FitSpark feature which recommends workout exercises based on how well-rested and recovered you are feeling after tracking your sleep.

Besides going out with you on an adventure this Polar watch can also go swimming with you. Through the Polar Flow app, you would be able to get good swimming metrics like calories burned, time taken to complete a single lap, speed, and other crucial data. Hence, you can focus on your swimming efficiency. Overall, Polar Grit X is the best Polar watch for swimming.

The Good
  • Comes with Komoot app
  • Recommends personalized workout exercises
  • Swimming analysis
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Can be used with buttons as well as with a touchscreen display
  • No interruptions from notifications while the watch is in training mode

The Bad
  • Bluetooth sync with a smartphone is a little slow

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6. Polar Vantage V2 – Premium Multisport Watch

Best polar watch

The main selling point of the watch is that it has everything you would need. Therefore if you want a watch that can be used for hiking as well as preparing for the next big sports event then look no further as Polar Vantage V2 is a truly multi-sports premium watch from Polar.

It gets better as the aim of the watch is not to be just an all-in-one watch but also to be the best multi-purpose Polar smartwatch. To illustrate, the watch can continuously monitor your heart rate for up to 7 days or can be used to track fitness activity with you for up to 40 hours continuously with GPS and heart rate monitoring enabled.

Still not impressed? Then it comes with all the outdoor features available on Polar Grit X such as Komoot and Hill Splitter. It enables you to download a map on your watch and get directions on the watch even in the middle of nowhere.

Using Hill Splitter on the other hand would help you get a detailed report of your trekking activities. You would be able to see time spent trekking upwards on the hill and coming down from the hill, your average speed, calories burned, and much more.

If you are a gym junkie who forgets to take his carbs and proteins then you can use FuelWise smart fueling assistant. You can also use it to remind yourself to drink water and remain hydrated throughout your day.

Besides all the basic Polar features it also comes with training load and recovery tools. This allows you to take running performance tests, cycling performance tests, leg recovery tests, fitness tests, and more.

When you take any test such as the running performance test, the watch will put you through a rigorous running activity, and at the end of the activity will give you a score. It will help you assess whether or not you are performing at your peak performance level.

Like all Polar watches, you will also be able to sync your fitness activity to popular apps like Strava, TrainingPeaks, Endomondo, MyFitnessPal, etc.

What makes this the best Polar watch is not just its fitness features but also its smart features. Using the watch you can control your Spotify music, see the smartphone notifications, weather updates, vibration alerts, and more. Overall, it is the best Polar smartwatch for cycling, swimming, running, or any other sports you play.

The Good
  • Music control
  • Training Load and Recovery tools
  • Performance test
  • Long battery life

The Bad
  • Not suitable for non-athlete users
  • Average display quality

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7. Polar Unite – Cheapest Polar Smartwatch

Polar unite

If you are looking for the cheapest Polar watch then Polar Unite would be just perfect. It comes with almost all the goodies without sacrificing much on the features.

Talking about those features, it comes with advanced wrist-based heart rate tracking so you will be able to keep an eye on your heart rate during your workout sessions. The watch also comes with the Nightly Recharge feature which tracks whether or not you have recovered your energy for the next day.

Then based on the results of Nightly Recharge it would recommend personalized exercises based on your energy levels.

Now coming to its athlete-oriented features, it comes with most of the Polar detailed analysis capabilities. In my testing, I found that the watch does not have an inbuilt GPS chip but you do get the connected GPS feature. Therefore, you would need to rely on your smartphone to do some of the heavy lifting for the watch.

This can be a mild inconvenience for a few but there are only a handful of smartwatches that provide so-minute details about your activities at this price.

Once you have paired your watch with your phone you can track your run, route, speed, and sync with the Polar Flow app for detailed analysis.

Using the watch you can even track your sleep and the various stages it goes through throughout the night. You will be able to track whether you are getting uninterrupted sleep or not and check if you are entering deep sleep or not. It is important to be fresh and recharged the next day to meet all your sports goals.

Since it’s Polar expect it to provide a decent battery life of 2-3 days on a single charge. Overall, it is one of the best inexpensive smartwatches from Polar.

The Good
  • Reasonably priced
  • Fitness tracking
  • Heart rate and sleep tracking
  • Decent battery life
  • Nightly recharge feature

The Bad
  • No GPS
  • Inconsistent notification sync

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Which Polar Watch Is Best For Me? Final Verdict

So these were the 7 best polar watches for running, swimming, cycling, and other sports. If you want the most advanced Polar watch that can track all sports activities then pick the Polar Vantage V2, it’s a premium multisport watch.

However, if you have budget constraints then I would not recommend Polar Vantage V2 because it is very expensive. If budget is the issue then you can go for the Polar Unite or Polar M200 watch, they won’t provide the best features but they are value for money.

If you ask me, my personal favorites are Polar Vantage M2 and  Polar Ignite 3, both are great watches and can track most of your activities.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Polar Smartwatch

1. Tracking Capabilities

Before you select a Polar watch make sure that it meets all your tracking requirements.

For instance, not all Polar watches come with swim analysis or Hill Splitter for tracking your hill-climbing activities, and so on. Make sure that whichever Polar watch you end up choosing can track your desired sport or activity.

2. Features

Smartwatches like Vantage V2 come with features like inbuilt GPS, and music control while Polar Unite doesn’t therefore select a watch that has all the features according to your needs. As you are spending hundreds of dollars make sure that you select a watch that can last you for a couple of years.

3. Other Factors

It is important to note that unlike Wear OS watches and Apple watches, you won’t get access to a lot of third-party apps on a Polar smartwatch. So if you are not an athlete or fitness enthusiast we won’t recommend you to go with a Polar watch.


Which Polar Watch Is The Best?

Polar VANTAGE V2 is the best watch from Polar. It has all the features that Polar has to offer so whether it's tracking your run, hike trail, swim, any other sports or fitness routine it can do it all.

Are Polar Watches Any Good?

Yes, Polar watches can provide you with valuable performance metrics that can help athletes assess their sports and fitness activities.

How Much Does A Polar Watch Cost?

The most affordable Polar Unite costs $150 and their flagship model VANTAGE V2 costs $500.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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