Choosing the best sport watch
When choosing a sport watch, experts say the primary consideration should be what workout information you want to know. If you only need to measure time, a simple, inexpensive running watch will do that just fine. However, if you want to know how far you've run or biked, or what your current pace or speed is, a GPS watch is a good bet. Finally, if you are hiking, climbing or running in remote areas, an adventure watch with navigational and weather features may be the best choice. Regardless of the type of sport watch you select, reviewers say to keep the following in mind:
- Try the watch on if you can. Some of the GPS and adventure watches are big and bulky, and you may not realize how big it is until you see it on your wrist.
- Look for a comfortable strap. Most sport watches have plastic straps, and you want to look for one that is not too stiff or uncomfortable. If you are a heavy sweater, ventilation holes can make a huge difference.
- Pick a water-resistant watch. Most good sport watches have water-resistant casings that will resist water up to a certain depth, but that depth varies greatly, so check your user manual before you jump into the pool. Some sport watches are suitable for swimming.
- Choose an easy-to-read display. The display on your sport watch should be large and easy to read with a quick glance. Some of the high-end watches offer customizable displays so you can choose the data you want to see.
- Some watches can transfer workout data to a computer. If you want to track your progress, look for a sport watch that includes a wireless transfer or USB cable and corresponding software program. If you have a Mac, make sure the software is compatible, because many programs are designed for PCs only.
- Be aware of "optional" accessories. You'll need optional accessories to take full advantage of many GPS sport watches. Foot pods for tracking indoor runs, speed and cadence sensors for cyclists and heart-rate chest straps usually cost extra.
- Think about setup time. Basic sports watches typically require very little setup, and you can start using them right away. However, many GPS and adventure watches will require some sort of calibration and a serious study session with the user manual.