Lifting weights and running on a treadmill might be the most efficient way to get a workout, but going for a hike is by far the most entertaining. For us, a hike doesn’t feel like your typical workout. We’re not worrying about hitting a certain heart rate, or getting a certain number of reps. We’re just taking a causal stroll through nature, taking in the sights as we go, all the while burning calories and getting a great leg workout.
There is no question that hiking has some major health benefits. The question is, how do you know how hard your working? A fitness band can help you find out. These wearable devices keep tabs on your vital signs, providing you with a quantifiable measurement of your exercise. There are plenty of step trackers on the market, each of which designed for different things. Which ones are the best for hiking?
Top Activity Tracker & Fitness Bracelet Reviews
We’ve done our research and picked four popular models for you. We’ll be taking a look to see how each of them work, and helping you decide which one is right for you.
Fitbit Charge 2
We certainly couldn’t make a list of the best fitness trackers without mentioning Fitbit. They’re one of the most prolific companies in the health-oriented wearables market, with an option for virtually any consumer’s needs. The Charge 2 stands out thanks to it’s continuous heart rate monitoring. It’s not a feature that you have to turn on or off, so you’ll always be able to track your cardiovascular health.
Aside from your basic heart rate monitor and step counter, what stands out about the Charge 2 is how it presents this information. It will tell you the total altitude climbed, presenting it in an easy to grasp manner. On our last hike, we were told that it was equivalent to climbing 40 flights of stairs. It will remind you to stop and take a breather when your heart rate has been high for too long, making the Charge 2 more of a fitness guide than just a simple tracker.
Garmin Vivofit 2
Many tech journalists thought that the wearables market would be cornered by Apple and Android devices, but Garmin has made a pretty impressive dent in the market. All of the basic functionality is there – you can track both heart rate and steps taken. But there are a few key differences between this and other models. You’re able to measure specific activities. You can start the tracker before your hike, and end it when you’re done. You’ll then get measurements just for that specific activity, and not for your entire day.
For us, one of the standout features of the Garmin Vivofit 2 is the battery life. The built in battery lasts an entire year. This means that you’re not going to be stuck with a dead battery mid-hike, and you’ll never have to worry about slapping it on the charger at the end of your day.
If you have trouble getting yourself motivated to get outdoors, the Vivofit can solve that problem too. A red LED bar will light up each day, designed to encourage you to get at least 1 hour of activity. Once you’ve been active for one hour, the bar will disappear. This friendly reminder is non obtrusive, and can serve to be very motivating.
Samsung Gear Fit Smart Watch
Samsung’s smart watches don’t just track your activity, but give you access to the full range of smartwatch functionality. While you’re out in the forest, you’ll enjoy the ability to check your messages and see notifications on your wrist, letting you keep your phone in your pocket.
But this isn’t just your average smart watch. It’s heart rate monitor and step counter can be used with Samsung’s fitness coach software. It will find out how hard you’re working, giving you advice on when to push a little harder, and when to give yourself a break. If you don’t like the built in fitness coaching app, there is a whole network of software available for the Android Wear platform, that let you get the exact fitness experience you’re after.
This isn’t the only wearable that provides access to these features, but there is one thing that stands out about the Gear Fit Smart Watch. It’s IP67 rated, which means it’s resistant to liquid, dust, and scratches. IP67 is one of the highest ratings available on consumer electronics, so you know that you’re not going to damage your new watch even when you get caught in a sudden downpour, or if you decide to take a little swim to cool off.
Polar Loop Workout Monitor
Although Polar isn’t the most popular fitness tracker brand on the market, their name is infamous among runners. But the Loop is unique in design, providing a few features that you can’t find elsewhere. To understand what makes this fitness bracelet great, you’ll need to think about why hiking is such a great activity. Even when you’re not sticking to a specific workout plan, any challenging activity you undertake is going to contribute to your physical well being. The loop is designed to be worn all the time, giving you the best reading of how active you are.
The device itself is a stylish looking band that is available in purple, black, or blue. An OLED display shows your current heart rate, so you can see how hard you’re pushing yourself with a quick motion of the wrist. The Loop tells you how much time you spend active during the day, and the total number of steps you’ve taken. By comparing the steps taken measurement against your ongoing heart rate, the Loop calorie tracker can get a very accurate measurement of how many calories you’ve burned. For hikers, this number is the main thing you’ll want to know after your excursion.
The Loop also tracks the duration and quality of your sleep, giving you a very well rounded image of how much exercise you’re getting every day. The watch is great for men and women.
Lets Compare Which Wearable Fitness Wristband is Best for You?
For hiking, consumers needs are a little different. This means that your average, everyday fitness band won’t necessarily work as well. But depending on what features you’re looking for, one of these options is sure to meet your needs.
Easiest to Use
If you want something that will interpret your hikes and help you understand how this applies to your health, get a Fitbit Charge 2. This handy tracker presents information in a way that’s easy to understand, and guides you while hiking to ensure that you make the most of your excursion.
Every Day Health Tracker
Looking for something that will help you track not only your hikes, but your activity over the entire day? The Polar Loop Activity Tracker is the one for you. It compiles your hikes with the exercise you get in your day to day life, making it easy to grasp your overall level of health.
Looking for something that gives you access to the entire range of apps available for Android Wear? Look no further than the Samsung Gear Fit Smart Watch. This device goes beyond the standard set by most wearables by earning the full IP67 rating, ensuring that it works well in rain, sleet, or snow.
Great Battery Life
Spend a lot of time indoors? Need a little reminder to get up and active every day? The Garmin Vivofit 2 Activity Tracker is the perfect solution. It has a battery that lasts an entire year, and has a small light that stays illuminated until you get one hour of activity every single day. This simple reminder can help you make positive changes in your daily life, making it the perfect accessory to any aspiring outdoors mans wardrobe.