Over the years, Garmin has quietly transformed itself from a GPS company into a fitness tracker/GPS watch company. We are including two Garmin devices on this list, and we could easily have included more.
First up is the Vívofit, a waterproof fitness tracker that secures to your wrist with a sturdy band. It measures your daily steps, calories burned and distance traveled. The Vívofit will also measure your heart rate during vigorous exercise as long as you pair it with an ANT+ heart chest strap.
The Vívofit sets daily step goals for you based on your recent activity, slightly increasing or decreasing your goals based on your previous day's activity. The screen is always on, so you can see with a quick glance how you are doing for the day. If you have been inactive for too long, the Vívofit will display a red bar at the top of the screen.
The Vívofit also monitors your sleep. You tell it you are going to be sleeping by holding down the button on the device until you reach the sleep screen, and you wake it up again in the morning. It then records the time spent sleeping and how much you have moved during that duration.
A bonus is that the Vívofit uses a changeable battery, rather than a rechargeable one, so you can wear it for a year before having to take it off and switch out the battery. And since it's water-resistant to 50 meters, you can just leave it on all the time and never leave home without it.
The Vívofit is compatible with Garmin's Connect software, which you can use on your phone, tablet or computer to monitor your progress over time. Priced at $130 from Garmin, the Vívofit is widely available from various retailers for as little as $80. It comes in six colors and includes two bands to accommodate different wrist sizes.