The 7 Best Fitness Trackers to Buy in 2018

Stay on track with your health goals this year

Fitness trackers have come a long way from the pedometer you clip on your belt. But, when it comes to reaching health goals, logging steps is just the beginning. Keeping track of our sleep patterns, what we eat, and how our heart works are also key components to overall wellbeing. Thanks to technology, we are able to stay accountable for our actions by having all of this information, at all times, right on our wrist. 

With so many different options on the market, it may be overwhelming to know which activity tracker is best for you. Are you looking to lose weight? Perhaps you want to make sure you are taking at least 10,000 steps or more per day. Whatever your needs, here are the best fitness trackers for you. 

Best All-Around Tracker: FitBit Ionic

Whether tracking activity, heart rate or sleep patterns, this tracker is keen on accuracy. FitBit faithfuls call the Ionic an “upgrade” from the beloved FitBit Blaze. While the Blaze simply used Bluetooth, the Ionic has a Wifi capability, making for super-fast updates. This version also has built-in GPS (so no need to carry your phone around, while hiking or running for tracking purposes).

Though it appears to take up a lot of real estate on the wrist, reviewers agree that the comfort is top notch, even while sleeping. Although you may not feel it while you’re sleeping, it’s optimizing your health by recording your sleep patterns. Many newer trackers have this feature, but FitBit Ionic users in particular talk about how they were actually able to implement positive changes in their sleep habits because of what they learned through the data it stores. 

Best Real-Looking Watch: Fossil Explorist Gen 3 Bracelet Smartwatch

While activity trackers are shifting from the more “athletic” looking designs to those for more every-day, versatile wear, Fossil seems to be leading the pack in this realm.

The Fossil Gen 2, in particular, has many different style options to suit your needs including a rose gold option, leather band option or this stainless model. A built-in mircrophone let’s Android users (4.3+ only) multitask during a workout by using the voice-command option. Everyone else can enjoy the touchscreen capabilities as the smartwatch uses Bluetooth to sync your phone.

While the watch doesn’t dig deep into activity specifics, it does track steps, distance and calories burned so a smart-buy for those who want to wear something daily but don't want it to interfere with their attire. Reviewers love the way it looks. 

Best for Durability: Garmin Fenix 3

While not a “smartwatch,” the Garmin fenix 3 does just about everything a user could want minus the sending of text messages and the like.

An “Amazon Choice,” athletes love the rugged steel frame paired with the GPS while they’re thrashing through trails on their bikes. Feel free to take a swim, as the device is fully waterproof to depths of 100 meters.

The heart rate monitor is comfortable and accurate and one of the determining purchase factors for buyers.

Reviewers rave about the battery life (when considering all of the tasks it does simultaneously) which can range from 20-50 hours depending on activity.

Interchange the bands to add your own personal preference (the fenix 3 comes with a rubber and a metal band).

Best for Slim Design: FitBit Alta

For those looking for a device that is big on accuracy but low on bulk, the FitBit Alta is just that at about 1/2" in thickness! This wristband allows users to see a continuous pattern of their heart rate, which in turn gives a more accurate result of calories burned.

When synced with PurePulse, this FitBit can monitor sleep stages based on heart rate. Like other trackers, it also stores your steps, calories and automatically recognizes which exercise you’re doing. Its available in three different sizes for an accurate fit and six different colors. 

Most reviewers cited a battery life of about a week if having the band set to “All day sync.”

Best Advanced Technology: Apple Watch

This all-on-one Apple Watch series 2 (basically a mini iPhone) can do everything but cook you dinner (though it can certainly aid in finding someone who can help you with this!).

Like to submerge yourself in water? Go for it! Want to tell your spouse you’ll be late? Text it from the watch. But back to activity. A noted feature of this Apple Watch’s activity app is it starts the day by displaying your stats from the day before, encouraging you to surpass those steps, etc. today.

The watch automatically syncs with GPS, monitors heart rate, knows how far and fast you swim, walk, etc. The Apple Watch is able to detect “resting” calories vs. “active” calories, giving users a better idea of their results.

Best Budget: Juboury

An activity tracker can be a big purchase, especially if you’ve never used one before and aren’t sure of what exactly you want to use it for. The Juboury is great for newbies or those looking for something less expensive than the typical brand names.

An “Amazon Choice,” this band does all the basics: tracks heart rate, sleep, steps, calories burned and distance walked. In addition, it gives real-time notifications (calls, texts, etc.) when synced with your phone.

The tracker comes in six different colors and the overall size is suited for both men and women. Reviewers note that it is very comfortable and they are happy the way it looks. 

Best for Body: The Bellabeat Leaf

Not into wearing something on your wrist? The Bellabeat Leaf can be worn on the wrist, clipped to clothing or put on a necklace. This is also a fitness tracker, right? One of the biggest celebrations of this device is that it does not require a charge! Reviewers claim to change the battery just once a year!

Women specifically enjoy the app features, which include: menstruation tracker, a gentle vibration when you’ve been “inactive” for too long and a stress sensitivity insight, which pools together your data and provides tips on which areas of health need improvement (sleep, steps, etc.). The “Leaf” does need to be taken off while showering as it is not waterproof.


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