Whether you’re a professional athlete training for a triathlon or just someone who wants to track their runs or hikes, there’s a Polar watch out there for you. The company’s lineup consists of the Vantage series aimed at demanding users and the Ignite that’s built for a wider audience. We’ve rounded up all the best Polar watches in this article so you can choose the right one for your needs.
The best Polar watches
There are many different types of GPS fitness watches from various companies. Why choose Polar? Polar watches are particularly great for runners, thanks to the company’s useful training and recovery tools, coupled with some of the most accurate wrist-based heart rate sensors you can find.
Polar Vantage V2: The best Polar running watch
The Polar Vantage V2 is its new flagship running watch, making it the best Polar watch you can buy. It matches the Grit X in features and offers Recovery Pro; running, cycling, and leg performance tests; and onboard music controls (though no music storage). It’s also lighter than both the Vantage V and Grit X.
If you want everything Polar has to offer in one sleek, lightweight running watch, the Polar Vantage V2 is the watch for you.
Read more about the Polar Vantage V2 in our list of the best running watches.
Polar Vantage V: A cheaper Polar running watch
The Polar Vantage V is Polar’s last-generation flagship running watch. However, it’s still a good buy if you don’t need the latest and greatest tech out there.
The Vantage V has built-in GPS, WR50 water resistance, and comes with Polar’s Recovery Pro tool. It also sports a heart rate sensor and allows you to monitor your running power, among other things. It’s packed with features and shows you lots of data, making it an ideal option for those looking to lose weight, whether that’s through running or any other type of training.
Also read: The best cheap fitness trackers you can buy
Polar Grit X: The best Polar watch for the outdoors
The Polar Grit X is a slightly more affordable multisport watch with a particular emphasis on distance running. The fitness tracker achieves this thanks to a huge battery that can be extended even further via impressive power-saving options. The Grit X can handle 40 hours of continuous GPS use as standard, but this can be extended all the way to 100 hours.
Also impressive is the durability, with its MIL-STD-810G rating. There is a wide range of features, including training recommendations, the “Serene” breathing mode, and carb consumption tracking. There’s a hill splitter, too, and many of these features aren’t present on the older Vantage V. The Grit X doesn’t get Recovery Pro, though it does offer many of the same features as the Vantage V2.
And there are a few other missteps. There’s no automatic activity detection (true for all of these devices), and sleep tracking was hit and miss in our experience. Still, for long-distance runners, this is arguably one of the best Polar watches.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Polar Grit X.
Polar Vantage M: The best cheap Polar running watch
This is the least powerful watch in Polar’s Vantage series, but it is still a very good one. Compared to the other two models, you lose out on the ability to check your running power. The device also doesn’t come with Polar’s Recovery Pro tool and sports a smaller battery that gets you 30 hours of continuous use instead of 40. These are the major differences, although there are a few other small ones as well.
For the average athlete, this Polar watch offers everything you need and more. You get built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, an always-on color display, and water resistance (WR30) making this a great watch for swimming. It’s a lot more affordable than the other two models in the series, costing around half as much as the Vantage V2.
Polar Ignite: The best multisport Polar watch
If the Vantage series is too pricey for you or you don’t need all the running-specific features it offers, the Ignite might be the Polar watch you’re looking for. It strikes a great balance between features and price.
The Polar Ignite has a simple and elegant design. It’s the thinnest and lightest watch the company has made to date, coming in at just 35g. You get built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, water-resistance (WR30), and the ability to track data in more than 100 activities. The battery isn’t as good as Polar’s more expensive models, but it’s still decent at a maximum of 17 hours with GPS usage.
The watch offers guided breathing exercises, too. It also tracks your sleep and can connect with your phone, so you’ll never miss a notification.
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