All most ambitious runners and athletes know that even if you’re not headed to the Olympics or even venturing off your usual elliptical, a heart rate monitor stands as the easiest way to keep tabs on your physical performance. And, with its easy-to-use functional design and advanced tracking features, Wahoo’s Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor is our favorite.
BUY: Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor, $80; wahoofitness.com
The first thing we noticed about the Tickr was that it’s a traditional chest strap design, like the Polar FT7 ($70, amazon.com), but doesn’t require an added watch to read data. Everything is app-based. There’s a Wahoo app, but the Tickr X will also sync with most of the other common running apps like Runkeeper, Strava, and MapMyFitness. The strap will measure your vitals, while the app keeps track of the GPS (you can also opt to forego the phone on your run and the strap will store your workout and upload it to the app once it resyncs).
The advantage of the Tickr X is in its ability to track a number of different workouts, like running, treadmill, cycling, static cycling and spin class. Many other monitors claim this ability, but none do it as accurately as the Tickr X. And, though they're gaining popularity, wrist-based HR monitors, like the Polar RCX3 ($117, amazon.com) still don’t level up to chest strap HR monitors in terms of the most precise measurements. With the Tickr X, you can set burn-and-burst heart rate levels (your device will help you calculate these) and it will push you to reach those goals and make every workout count.
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Wins for: Accuracy, Comfort, and Functionality
- Third-party compatibility
- Treadmill mode
- Cadence monitoring
- Running analytics
See the rest of InStyle's 2017 Best of Tech picks here.