|Garmin Forerunner 35||Fitbit Charge 2||Garmin Vivosport|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
Pro Tip: when running an OCR event like Spartan Race or Tough Mudder, wear a good watch that is designed to take a beating. There are a lot of reasons you would want to have this little bit of technology on you while you’re conquering Spartan Race obstacles, or dashing toward the finish line at your local mud run. Watches are “must-have” items for anyone who trains with a watch, and wants to keep an eye on things like heart rate, pace, and elevation change.
Why You Should Get A Watch For Spartan Race
There are many reasons to get a watch the you can use for OCR. The best watch for Spartan Race has the following characteristics:
- Durable/Water Resistant
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Long Battery Life
- Built In GPS
- Easy to Read
When searching for the best watch for Spartan Race, you don’t have to seek out the most expensive. The best watch for Spartan Race comes down to finding a watch that is in your price range, and offers all (or as many) of the above features that you will use.
The 5 Best Watches For Spartan Races
Our winner for best watch for Spartan Race isn’t the most expensive or feature-rich, but what it does deliver is the best combination of functionality and price of any watch we tested. As long as you can get by with key information (heart rate, GPS, pace, elevation, calories burned), then this is the best watch for Spartan Race for most people. The Garmin Connect app is great, and your runs automatically sync to Garmin Connect and 3rd party apps like Strava.
- Checks every box for what we look for
- Great app that shows detailed information
- Bland design
- No interchangeable bands
- Lacks full spectrum of fitness tracking categories
Our silver medal winning watch is the Fitbit Charge 2. While it’s biggest drawback is that it doesn’t have built in GPS, While this is a dealbreaker for some, the rest of the feature list makes it a contender for the best watch for Spartan Race. It’s comfortable, and has a large display without being overly-clunky.
- Beautiful OLED touchscreen display
- Multi-sport tracking capabilities
- Comfortable to wear on course or while training
- No built-in GPS
- Fitbit HR monitor not as accurate as Garmin
- New straps expensive and difficult to change
Simple, stylish, and full of tech-friendly capabilities, the Vivosport by Garmin should be on the shortlist for best watch for Spartan Race. It’s built in GPS is great on the course, and it’s slim size and lightweight design are perfect when you want something that won’t get in the way.
- First-class GPS and HR monitor
- Backlight makes screen easy to see day or night
- Smart notifications makes this great everyday watch
- Touchscreen difficult to navigate when wet or muddy
- So-so battery life
- Hard to sync with other fitness equipment (chest strap or foot pod)
Honorable Mention: SUUNTO Spartan Sport Review
While Suunto doesn’t have the name recognition as Garmin, Fitbit, or TomTom, the Suunto Spartan Sport is a great watch for Spartan Race. Built-in GPS, multisport tracking (including interval training mode), and one of the best paired phone app we’ve seen are all included with this watch. There are a few minor drawbacks, but overall, this is a contender for best watch for Spartan Race.
- Paired app fun and useful for training
- Accurate GPS and HR monitor
- Great mix of durability for the course and style for the street
- Somewhat difficult to navigate
- Limited accessories
Honorable Mention: TomTom Spark Cardio + Music Review
There are two kinds of people in the world – those who need music to survive a Spartan Race, and those who don’t. For those who do, the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music is the perfect watch to pair with your waterproof bluetooth earbuds and take on any course. It’s a bit bulky if you don’t plan to use with music, but training with this beats trying to fit your oversized smartphone in your undersized shorts pockets.
- Only watch tested that plays music (with paired bluetooth headphones)
- Clean display easy to see in low light or glare
- Great GPS and HR tracking
- Bulkier than most watches we tested
- Hard to navigate through watch features
- Difficult to add new music