favorite activity tracker

Almost a year ago I tested out several activity trackers to try and find The Best Activity Tracker (For You), and I came up with some pretty good info (if I do say so myself).

Then last fall, my sister and her husband enlightened me to my new favorite activity tracker – hands down!

What is my favorite activity tracker? 

The Garmin vivoactive!

I received my vivoactive from my husband as a Christmas gift, and after he wore it for himself on a few runs, he HAD to get one for himself. He got mine on a crazy Amazon Christmas deal. He also got his from Amazon, but went the Certified Refurbished route (much cheaper) because it still comes with the same warranty!

To see some cool features, watch this video HERE put out by Garmin, or visit the official vivoactive page HERE.

In addition to those resources, here is a list for you, I like to call…

The best things about my favorite activity tracker:

1. This thing is super light!

I’ve had a Garmin 310XT for a looooong time, and my husband has a 910XT. Both of those are pretty doggone thick and bulky.

When I’m wearing my vivoactive, I barely know it’s there. 

2. It does everything I need!

favorite activity trackerThe watch face is customizable. I downloaded a watch face called “Essential” that displays the time, date, battery %, move bar, estimated calories burned, and steps taken/step goal.

It tracks your steps taken (It’s fairly accurate. Probably at least as accurate as any of the others I tested.) and adjusts your number of goal steps based on your averages and I’m sure some fancy algorithm I wouldn’t understand.

It has settings to track activity with walking, running, cycling, swimming (Yep! It’s waterproof), and golfing for outdoors, utilizing the built-in GPS to measure distance, pace, speed, etc.

favorite activity tracker

It also has indoor settings for walking, running, and cycling. This means it very easily pairs with all Garmin ANT devices. I have a speed/cadence sensor on my bike that I use when I’m on the trainer. It would also pair with a Garmin foot pod for indoor running, but it seems the “step count” works fairly well.

It also pairs with my Garmin heart rate monitor for any activity to give a more accurate estimation of calories. 

3. And then some!

Because of the bluetooth connectivity, I have my watched paired with my iPhone, so as soon as I’m finished with an activity, it uploads directly to my Garmin Connect account and keeps track of everything for me – I even have it tracking how many miles I have on my sneakers right now!

4. The vivoactive also syncs with my iPhone to do all sorts of neat stuff:

  • favorite activity trackerAlerts me when I have a call, text, app notification, email from a VIP, etc. Whatever alerts I’ve allowed on my phone – my watch tells me.
  • Allows me to decline or answer a call – BUT, you have to be close enough to your phone for speakerphone or headphones with a mic to work – it DOES NOT have its own speaker.
  • Displays my calendar events as well as the weather for the day.
  • Gives me the ability to skip forward, rewind, play or pause music from my phone’s music app. Again – the music must play through my phone, but as long as my phone is within (I’m guessing) 30-50 feet, I’m good.

5. It’s also a great sleep tracker!

favorite activity trackerThere is a manual start option for when you’re ready to go to bed, but it also automatically picks up when your activity stops enough and assumes you’re asleep. I don’t manually start mine at all anymore.

Sometimes it DOES think I’m asleep when I’m simply watching some Netflix (don’t judge me), but I can easily go in a manually edit the start time for a more correct analysis. It will also think you’re asleep when charging it, but that’s not a big deal.

The breakdown shows deep sleep, light sleep, and awake time – pretty cool!

6. Speaking of battery life!

So, I had considered an Apple Watch at one point (aside from the price), but the battery life was a turnoff.

I can typically wear my watch for at least a week before I have to charge it. 

The battery doesn’t last quite as long when GPS has been used, but it’s still pretty good. The other day we went kayaking for about 4 hours, and I tracked our path. It did eat a lot of battery, but not as bad as using my phone with the Strava App.

Charging time is pretty short, too. When I leave it plugged up for a couple of hours, it’s usually fully charged and ready to go.

There’s a whole slew of other things you can do through Garmin Connect, too, like creating an group, joining, challenges, and more.

Basically – this is by far my favorite activity tracker I tried.

Is it perfect? Nah – I’m sure there are some things that could be tweaked here and there, but it is pretty awesome? I think so!

If you have one, let me know what you like the best about it!

Let’s Get FIT Together!