The draw: Super-slim style
The Garmin FR735XT is Garmin’s smallest triathlon watch to date, making it a viable contender to become your everyday watch. It contains an optical heart rate sensor, though it lacks a barometric altimeter (less ideal on training days in the mountains). Still, if you’re looking for a small triathlon watch that gets about 10–12 hours of real-world GPS-on time per charge, this is the clear winner.
The draw: Music on your wrist—no phone required
TomTom watches have always taken a more simplistic tack when it comes to swim/bike/run. You won’t find all the complex options of a Garmin or Suunto watch, like live tracking or power meter support. But it has sport modes for running, cycling, and pool swimming and is one of the few watches with music storage and playback to Bluetooth headphones—no phone during the run required.
The draw: Upcoming GoPro integration
Polar’s triathlon-focused offering is a bit older at a little more than three years old, but thanks to near constant firmware updates, it remains fresh. This spring, Polar is rolling out to the V800 the ability to control your GoPro camera, as well as overlay that data onto your GoPro videos. Plus, the V800 is the only triathlon watch these days that supports live heart rate while swimming; others only sync the data afterward.
The draw: Great accuracy
While the Suunto Ambit3 may be a bit older than some others—it debuted in summer 2014—it still packs a punch: Many gearheads use it as a reference for GPS accuracy in watch testing. It easily covers all three sports, plus there is a pretty deep collection of other sport profiles you can add to it, such as hiking, stand-up paddle boarding and skiing. It also has third-party apps such as ones that can estimate cycling power on inexpensive bike trainers via the Suunto App Zone, a feature Suunto’s newer watches lack.
– Watch reviews by Ray Maker