Do you have the curiosity to know about The Best Watches For Rowing To buy in 2022?🤔
We got you covered in this buyer’s guide. 📗
Let’s get started.
The doctor advises you to exercise for different reasons, all of which are to improve your health. Anyone who has tried exercising knows that it is always tough at first.
Whether it is brisk walking, cycling, abs exercises, jogging, or rowing, it is never easy at the start. However, it gets better with time. Each of these forms of exercise has one or more effects on certain physiological metrics of the body.
So as one gets better with time, it is only right that one would want to know the rate at which one is improving and the rate at which those physiological metrics are improving.
Thankfully, watches that measure these while one exercise is now widely available. These watches, more accurately referred to as smartwatches, have features that suit specific forms of exercise.
At the advent of smartwatches, there were no smartwatches that suited the metrics for rowing. Most of the smartwatches produced before were most suitable for running. However, in recent times, smartwatches with features suited for rowing have been made.
Generally, while rowing, a smartwatch that can measure the heart rate, stroke rate, time, and stroke count is most suitable. When one rows outdoors, metrics like total distance covered and distance covered per unit stroke are also measured.
In the subsequent paragraphs of this article, we examine some of the best watches in the market with functions tailored to suit rowing.
Best Watches For Rowing – Our Top Picks 👌
1. Polar M400 – Best smartwatch for a rowing machine
The Polar M400 has a slim design, is quite light, and is water-resistant. This design makes it easy and comfortable to wear.
While the Polar M400 does not measure specific rowing metrics like distance covered per unit stroke, stroke rate, and stroke count, it measures distance and heart rate quite well.
Most times, the Polar M400 comes with a wearable heart rate chest strap that enhances the accuracy of the heart rate measurement. The GPS has relatively high accuracy and has support for measuring split times.
It comes with a 128 x 128-pixel screen, which, although not extraordinary, works just fine in normal light conditions. The screen also has a backlight for low light conditions, so one can still use it in the evening.
Asides from recording activity, the Polar M400 also notifies the device connected (your phone) to its inactive states. For instance, if you have been sitting for too long, it notifies you to get up and be active. It is also relatively cheap for the features offered.
The five navigation buttons are touch-proof, which is good, so one does not unknowingly set them off. Also, on the back of the watch, there is a USB port for charging.
The battery usually lasts between 🔋 8 – 24 hours depending on its functions, with GPS and Heart rate functions consuming the most battery power.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Polar M400 that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list in 2022.
- Sleek design
- Accurate GPS tracking
- Relatively inexpensive
- It does not measure rowing-specific metrics
2. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire – Best Garmin watch for indoor rowing
Unlike the Polar M400, the Garmin Fenix 5X does not have a sleek, lightweight design. It is rather heavy and durable but still looks nice. The Garmin Fenix 5X measures data needed to monitor indoor and outdoor rowing exercises.
It uses the Garmin Elevate heart rate technology that measures heart rate with relatively higher precision from the wrist.
Asides from the rowing-specific measurements, the Garmin Fenix 5X also measures the intensity of the exercise and the number of calories burned per activity.
The screen is a circular high, resolution LED screen with full-color support, and it comes with the Garmin Chroma Display. The Garmin Chroma Display makes it easy to read the screen in bright conditions like sunlight.
Also, the screen comes with backlighting allowing easy use in low light conditions. The screen is made to be rugged – it would not scratch easily – and the silicone strap is comfortable when worn.
Another advantage of using the Garmin Fenix 5X is that it supports Android and iOS; thus, it can be used with phones with either OS.
It comes with onboard maps, which makes navigation easy. It also has a live track feature that allows real-time monitoring of your activity by relatives through the Garmin Connect app.
It monitors activity over long periods and evaluates the effectiveness and performance of the user – a feature called Training Status.
This would inform you whether your input is sufficient and if you need more effort. The Fenix 5X lasts up to 12 days with normal mode, and with GPS lasts for about 20 hours.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Garmin Fenix 5X rowing watches that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list.
- Rowing-specific measurements
- Attractive design
- Uses Wrist heart rate technology
3. Apple Watch Series 4 – Best smartwatch for rowing machine
Unlike the earlier versions of the Apple Watch Series, the iPhone 4 has a larger screen with smaller bezels. The thinner design makes it sleek and lighter than the earlier versions also.
Its usual features are GPS, barometer, and heart rate monitor. It has an option specific for indoor rowing workouts, which results in heart rate and calories burned.
However, it does not measure rowing-specific data like stroke rate and distance covered per stroke. The good thing is that other applications supported by iOS give rowing-specific measurements. Some of these applications include PowerRow and Rowing SPM.
The health and fitness trackers, the GPS, and the gyroscope have been improved in the Apple Watch Series 4 plus; it has two heart sensors for measuring heart rate – an electrical heart sensor and an optical heart sensor.
The optical heart sensor uses light to monitor venous blood flow, while the electrical heart sensor uses electrical information from the body.
With the presence of the electrical heart sensor, the electrical activity of the heart can be measured to reveal irregular heart rhythms. This allows you to be notified of any issue early enough to avoid complications.
The 40 x 44 mm screen runs on a unique OLED display technology called LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxid). The LTPO works to adjust battery consumption by varying frame rates – a way to save as much battery as possible.
The speaker on this version of the Apple Watch performs better than earlier versions making it suitable for several cellular functions like receiving and making calls. One drawback of the Apple Watch is that it only works on iOS as expected.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Apple Watch Series 4 that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list in 2022.
- Great Display
- Great battery life
- Only suitable for iOS
4. Garmin Fenix 5
Like the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire, the Garmin Fenix 5 does not have a sleek, lightweight design. It is rather heavy, durable, and has a classic design. The Garmin Fenix 5 also measures rowing-specific measurements for indoor and outdoor rowing.
The Garmin Elevate heart rate technology is common in both Fenix 5 ad 5X. It is a feature that improves the precision of the heart rate measurement from the wrist.
Aside from the rowing-specific measurements, the Garmin Fenix 5 also measures the intensity of the exercise and the number of calories burned per activity, supporting sleep tracking. The Fenix 5 comes with a gyroscope to improve the precision of distance and direction measurements.
The screen is a circular, high-resolution 240 x 240 pixel LED screen with 64 colors. This screen resolution is higher than the Fenix 5X, which is 218 x 218 pixels.
The Garmin Chroma Display makes it easy to read the screen in bright conditions like sunlight, while the backlight allows easy use in low light conditions.
The screen is made to be rugged but may scratch easily. The silicone strap is adjustable, quite comfortable when worn, and can be changed easily.
The live track feature allows real-time monitoring of your activity by relatives and Garmin online community through the Garmin Connect app. It comes with onboard maps, which makes navigation easy. The Ultratrac battery can last up to 60 hours, depending on the mode and the measurement interval.
It also monitors activity over long periods and evaluates the effectiveness and performance of the user – a feature called Training Status. A feature that allows the modification of activity to improve outcomes.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Garmin Fenix 5 Garmin watches for rowing that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list.
- Attractive design
- Great battery life
5. Garmin Fenix 3 HR
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR has a classic rugged design, just like the Fenix 5 and the Fenix 5X. This watch supports the measurement of rowing metrics and works for indoor and outdoor rowing.
Asides from these, it also measures heart rate and distance covered like the other versions of the Garmin Fenix.
This version of the Garmin Fenix is compatible with three operating systems: Android, Windows OS, and iOS thus, there is a broader range of devices that it would work with.
The Garmin Elevate wrist heart monitor technology is also present in the Fenix 3. It is an optical heart sensor that monitors venous blood flow to determine heart rate, and it always measures as long as it is worn.
It uses a screen with a 218 x 218-pixel resolution like the Fenix 5X. The high-resolution display comes with a Garmin Chroma Display for easy reading in brightly lit conditions and a backlight for low light conditions. You can use it during the day and in the evening.
For outdoor rowing, it is optimized with a 3-axis compass and a barometer to enhance the functions of the GPS – meaning increased accuracy in measuring distance and navigation.
With the Garmin Connect app and the live tracking feature, you can share your progress with an online community.
The watch also features a smart notification system for cellular functions. The silicone strap is tough, adjustable, and comfortable to wear.
Training Status monitors your performance and output and evaluates the metrics. You are given feedback from the evaluation on whether you are doing enough or too much.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Garmin Fenix 3 HR that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list in 2022.
- Attractive design
- Great battery life
6. Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 has a similar screen to the Apple Watch Series 4. The thin design makes it sleek and light. It features the usual GPS, barometer, and heart rate monitor.
Like Series 4, it also has an option specific for indoor rowing workouts without rowing-specific data, but this can be solved using applications like PowerRow and Rowing SPM.
Unlike in series 4, series five runs on the S5 processor, which allows it to perform faster. The S5 processor also contributes to the improved frame rate refreshment.
The health and fitness trackers measure heart rate and the number of calories burned. The GPS is optimized with a gyroscope for better distance measurement and precise navigation.
Like series 4, it uses two heart sensors: electrical and optical heart sensors. The electrical heart sensor offers an extra feature of monitoring the heart’s electrical activity and measuring heart rhythm. This way, irregular heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation can be detected early and treated.
The 40 x 44 mm screen runs on a unique OLED display technology called LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxid). The LTPO works to adjust battery consumption refreshing the frame rate once every 60 seconds, unlike in the Apple Watch Series 4.
The Apple Watch 5 comes in 4 material finishes: Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Ceramic with the Ceramic option comes at the highest price, followed by the Titanium option.
A feature also notifies you in an extremely noisy environment – a way to help avoid noise pollution. You can much like menstrual cycle and fertility monitoring with the health app.
The altimeter and compass used in Series 5 differ from earlier versions, and they are quite accurate in measuring how high you go or how far you descend. One drawback of the Apple Watch is that it only works on iOS as expected.
The S5 processor and the screen refresh rate improve the battery life. The screen becomes bright and faster when you raise your wrist, but this drops when you drop your wrist.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Apple Watch Series 5 that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list in 2022.
- Great Display
- Great battery life
- Relatively large storage size
- Great design
- Electrical heart rate monitor
- Only suitable for iOS
7. Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch
The design of the Garmin Vivoactive HR is quite different from that of the Fenix versions. It has a sleek design and is lightweight. The Garmin Vivoactive HR supports Android and iOS.
Like the Garmin mentioned above smartwatches, the Vivoactive HR measures rowing-specific indoor and outdoor rowing metrics.
It uses the Garmin Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology, an optical heart rate sensor, for measuring heart rate. Also, the Vivoactive HR monitors heart activity all through the day.
Asides from measuring heart rate, it measures the number of calories burned, floors climbed, and pace, and it has a sleep tracking feature. The GPS, accelerometer, and compass allow for easy navigation too.
It also features a high-resolution touchscreen display with reach colors that use the Garmin Chroma Display technology. With the Garmin Chroma Display, reading the screen in sunlight is made easier and with the backlight, reading in low light is also easy.
Also, the touchscreen’s sensitivity is high and can be operated even with gloves. The screen is easy to read all day long.
As seen in the other Garmin watches, you can share your activity updates with an online community through the Garmin Connect application. While running the GPS, the battery can last up to 12 hours, lasting up to 8 days, with normal usage.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list.
- 24/7 activity monitoring
- A touchscreen is perhaps too sensitive
- The mobile app is not very easy to use
8. Garmin Vivoactive 3
The design of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is very appealing. It has a unique circular design, stainless steel bezel, and corning gorilla glass. It is quite rugged, and it will not scratch easily with the corning gorilla glass.
Like the other Garmin watches mentioned, it measures rowing metrics and is compatible with Android and iOS devices. It is well suited for indoor and outdoor activities too.
The GPS, accelerometer, and compass work together to give accurate distance measures and allow easy navigation. It also has a 50-meter waterproof feature that makes it suitable for outdoor rowing.
It measures heart rate, calorie loss, steps taken, and other similar metrics measured by fitness smartwatches. The Vivoactive 3 comes with certain features absent in the Vivoactive HR. These features include stress monitoring, maximum oxygen uptake, and fitness age estimation.
Common to the Garmin smartwatches brand, the Vivoactive 3 includes the live tracking feature, and Garmin connects app through which you can share live updates with family, friends, and an online community.
An optical heart sensor facilitates the heart rate measurement – the Garmin Elevate Technology – which is present in many models of Garmin watches.
The watch dons a customizable 240 x 240-pixel touchscreen display. The screen uses a trans-reflective LCD tech that allows the display to become brighter and clearer with sunlight. In the dark, the screen lights up so you can easily read. It also uses the Garmin Chroma Display technology.
Unique to this model is Garmin Pay, which allows payment through a contactless medium. The battery life is great: about 13 hours with GPS and seven days with normal use.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Garmin Vivoactive 3 that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list.
- Great display
- Great battery life
- Nice design
- Not too expensive
- The chest strap gives better heart rate measurements
9. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Although it retains most of the features of its forebear, the Garmin Fenix 6 pro is an upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 5X.
It has a rugged classic design that is sleeker and lighter than the Fenix 5. It would not scratch easily, and the Sapphire glass gives it an alluring outlook.
The easily adjustable and swappable silicone straps add to the comfort of the Fenix 6 Pro. It measures rowing metrics and is compatible with Android and iOS devices. It is well suited for indoor and outdoor activities too.
It uses GALILEO, GPS, and GLONASS navigation systems. The combination of these navigation systems, an altimeter, and a gyroscope, ease navigation marginally compared to other Garmin smartwatches.
GPS and GLONASS use up to 24 satellites, so the speed and accuracy of measuring distance and direction are not farfetched.
It is equipped with TOPO maps with a database of about 2000 ski routes worldwide. It also has a 50-meter waterproof feature that makes it suitable for outdoor rowing.
The Fenix 6 Pro has a 1.3-inch display with a 240 x 240-pixel resolution – an upgrade from the 218 x 218 pixels of the Fenix 5X. The Fenix 6 Pro also has a new feature that measures the body’s energy levels (Body Battery).
This feature is a way to monitor how your daily activities affect your energy levels. This large screen allows the possibility to display up to 6 fields.
It measures heart rate, calorie loss, cadence, time, and other similar metrics measured by fitness smartwatches.
Like the Vivoactive 3, Fenix 6 Pro measures maximum oxygen uptake and oxygen saturation of the blood. It also supports the Garmin Coach that helps you train for three types of a marathon (half, 5K, and 10K).
It also comes with the live tracking feature and Garmin connect app, allowing you to share live updates with family, friends, and an online community.
The heart rate measurement is facilitated by the Garmin Elevate Technology – the same as in the Fenix 5X.
The storage size of the Fenix 6 pro is 32 GB (two times what is available in the Fenix 5X). The battery life is quite great, with about 36 hours with GPS and 46 days with normal use – a very significant improvement from the Fenix 5X.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro that earned it a spot in our Best Watches For Rowing list in 2022.
- Excellent design
- Quite accurate
- High-speed performance
- Understandably expensive
Does Garmin watch track rowing?
Yes. You will find a few Garmin watch models that connect to an indoor rowing machine supporting ANT connectivity. The rowing track watches can provide power, distance, stroke distance, and pace data.
Does the Garmin Vivoactive track rowing?
Garmin Vivoactive 3 is known to provide accurate basic rowing data. However, you can’t track heart rate values on this watch model.
Does Apple watch track rowing?
Yes, Apple Watch Series 4 can track your rowing sessions. You can seamlessly overview your overall progress on the water.
How does the Apple Watch track rowing distance?
Apple Watch can track your rowing sessions with the help of an app like RowingCoach. The data includes current pace, Strokes Per Minute (SPM), improvements, and overall progress of a user.
Are 20 minutes of rowing enough?
According to many studies, running for 20 minutes releases endorphins that make you feel good throughout the day. Besides, it is an excellent full-body workout to stay fit.
Conclusion on best watches for rowing
Generally, the Garmin brands offer the most functions for rowing, and the Fenix 5X and Fenix 6 Pro have the most desirable specifications in the pack. As expected, they are quite expensive because of their functions.
The price will be a factor in making your choice. However, other choices on this list with lower prices would work well for you.