6 Best Heart Rate Monitor Chest Straps

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Chest strap heart rate monitors have become big business in recent years, with many people now turning to them instead of the more common, wrist-worn alternatives. The reason for this is because in most cases, a chest strap heart rate monitor will actually provide more accuracy and reliability when tracking your heart rate, especially during more intense training sessions.

In this guide, we will be looking at the best chest strap heart rate monitors currently available and comparing their pros and cons. The list includes a variety of devices, with some focused on general fitness, and others on specific sports, meaning there should be something for everyone.

Budget
best-budget-heart-rate-monitor-chest-strap
CooSpo H6 Fitness Tracker Ant+ Heart Rate Monitor
4.6/5.0
Module: 2.6 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches
Battery Life: Up to 1 year
Low cost, accurate heart rate monitor.
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Best Value
best-value-heart-rate-monitor-chest-strap
Health-Made Heart Rate Monitor
4.6/5.0
Module: 2.8 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches
Battery Life: 1+ years
Great features, excellent battery life.
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Top Pick
top-value-heart-rate-monitor-chest-strap
SHANREN Beat 20 Heart Rate Monitor
4.8/5.0
Module: 2.4 x 1.4 x 0.4 inches
Battery Life: Up to 9 months
Feature-rich, reliable heart rate monitor.
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Heart Rate Monitor Chest Straps Comparison Table

Make and ModelSizeConstructionFeaturesBattery LifePrice
Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate MonitorModule: 2.8 x 1.5 x 0.5 inchesCasing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Heart rate monitoring, companion app, activity tracking, training zonesUp to 1 yearCheck Price
Garmin HRM-Tri Chest StrapUnit: 23.6 – 55.9 x 1.2 x 0.4 inches

Module: 2 x 1.1 x 0.3 inches

Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Heart rate monitoring, companion app, running feedback, swimming feedback, cycling feedbackUp to 10 monthsCheck Price
CooSpo H6 Fitness Tracker Ant+ Heart Rate MonitorModule: 2.6 x 1.5 x 0.6 inchesCasing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Heart rate monitoring, companion app, fitness tracking, training zonesUp to 1 yearCheck Price
Polar H10 Heart Rate MonitorModule: 2.5 x 1.3 x 0.4 inchesCasing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Heart rate monitoring, companion app1+ yearsCheck Price
SHANREN Beat 20 Heart Rate MonitorModule: 2.4 x 1.4 x 0.4 inchesCasing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Heart rate monitoring, companion app, fitness trackingUp to 9 monthsCheck Price
Health-Made Heart Rate MonitorModule: 2.8 x 1.5 x 0.8 inchesCasing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Heart rate monitoring, companion app, activity tracking, training modes1+ yearsCheck Price

1. Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate MonitorView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Wahoo TICKR X is the official chest heart rate monitor used by Team Sky, defending champions of the Tour De France. It is a premium, high-quality device aimed at professional athletes and it comes with a variety of different features designed to take your training to the next level.

Design

The TICKR X has a rather bold design with a white module and a large ‘X’ logo that sits in the middle. It isn’t the classiest design we’ve seen from a heart rate monitor, but considering these devices are usually worn underneath clothing, it doesn’t really matter.

The module measures 2.8 inches across and has a height of 1.5 inches. This makes the device fairly compact, although it is still larger than most of the other options in this guide. The module also has a thickness of only 0.5 inches which means you shouldn’t have any issues in terms of bulkiness.

The casing is made from plastic which tends to be the standard material used on most heart rate monitors due to its lightweight nature. Usually, a metal casing would be preferred, as it provides greater levels of durability. However, considering the placement of this device, the chances of it getting damaged are rather slim.

The strap is made from an elastic fabric with a soft surface to reduce the chances of any comfort issues or sweat rashes. The strap is also highly adjustable, meaning it should fit most people, regardless of their body type.

The module is also water-resistant up to 5 feet, making it perfectly fine to use in all weather. We don’t recommend swimming with the device though, as there is a good chance the device will get damaged. Also, as the device runs on 2.4gHz waves, it is unable to transmit data underwater anyway.

Features

The Wahoo TICKR X has a decent feature-set that includes heart rate monitoring, a companion app, activity tracking, and training zones. The device also supports a variety of different sports profiles through the app, allowing you to tailor your workouts.

The heart rate monitor on this device works well enough, but it isn’t as accurate as we would have liked it to be. Wearing the device tightly can improve its accuracy, but this could also create other issues such as a lack of comfort, which could hinder your performance.

The companion app is excellent and comes with a polished user-interface and plenty of functionality. One of its coolest features is its ability to set different workouts which you can use to add structure to your training. The app can also be used to view your real-time heart rate, which is very useful if you are planning to monitor your progress during your training.

The TICKR X is also compatible with a number of third-party fitness apps, thanks to its built-in ANT+ functionality. This means that if you have an alternative fitness app that you would prefer to use, there is a good chance it will be compatible with this device.

The TICKR X also comes with its own built-in memory, meaning you don’t necessarily need to take your phone with you every time you go training. Instead, you can simply save your data directly to the TICKR X, and then sync it with your phone once you get home.

Battery life

The TICKR X can last up to 1 year before needing a battery replacement, provided you are only using the device for around an hour a day. This is pretty good for a heart rate monitor and it places the device among the best in this guide when it comes to battery life and power consumption.

This device has all the tools it needs to be a great heart rate monitor. It has a compact design with a comfortable strap and its feature-set is rather extensive for a device of this nature. The accuracy of the heart rate sensor isn’t as reliable as we would have liked it to be, but overall, this is a very competitive option.

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Tech Specs
Size: Module: 2.8 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches
Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Features: Heart rate monitoring, companion app, activity tracking, training zones
Battery life: Up to 1 year
The Pros
Compact
Shouldn’t cause any bulkiness issues
Relatively durable
Lightweight
Soft fabric
Feature-rich companion app
Can track basic activity
Decent battery life
The Cons
Larger than some of the other options in this guide
Module overhangs strap which could make it more prone to damage
Not the most accurate heart rate monitor
Battery is non-rechargeable

2. Garmin HRM-Tri Chest Strap

Garmin HRM-Tri Chest StrapView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Garmin HRM-TRI is a heart rate monitor that has been designed primarily for Triathlon training. This makes it a very well-rounded device, as it comes equipped with a versatile design, and a variety of useful features.

Design

The device has a high-quality design that clearly prioritizes function rather than form. Despite this, the device still manages to maintain a fairly premium appearance and it is certainly one of the better-looking options in this guide.

The module is very compact, measuring just 2 inches in width and 1.1 inches in height. It is also only 0.4 inches thick, meaning it should almost go unnoticed when being worn. The strap measures 1.1 inches in height and can be adjusted to fit anyone with a chest circumference between 23.6 and 55.9 inches. This makes the device a very well sized unit that should fit well on most people.

The casing is made from plastic which does raise some durability concerns, however, the module’s compact form factor allows it to sit within the strap, meaning it is less likely to get damaged.

The strap is made from fabric and it is a very elastic material with plenty of flexibility, allowing it to provide a comfortable fit. On the inside of the strap, there are also a number of pads that are designed to help the device stick to you while swimming. It should be noted, however, that as this is intended for triathlon training, the strap is designed to be used in open water, rather than a pool.

As for the water-resistance, the device comes with a 5 ATM rating, meaning it can be used in waters of up to 164 feet deep. This is great to see from a device such as this, however, the fact that it shouldn’t be used regularly in a pool is a real shame.

Features

The HRM-TRI has an impressive feature-set that includes heart rate monitoring, a companion app, running feedback, swimming feedback, and cycling feedback. On top of this, the device also uses ANT+ technology, meaning you can connect it to a number of third-party fitness apps as well.

Thanks to its built-in memory, the device can store up to 20 hours of data which can be transferred to your laptop or smartphone for future reference. If you own a Garmin sports watch, you can also send the data directly to that device as well, giving you the option to store all of your fitness information in one place.

The heart rate monitor is highly accurate, providing detailed feedback on your heart’s performance. This makes the HRM-TRI more reliable than the TICKR X in this department, and it also has the added bonus of working underwater.

Garmin has also included an accelerometer on this device, which allows it to measure torso movement when you are running. This information lets the device calculate a number of different running dynamics including, cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time. This amount of information won’t be needed by everyone, but for serious athletes, the feedback will likely be appreciated.

Battery life

The HRM-TRI can last up to 10 months on a single battery, which isn’t as impressive as some of the other devices in this guide, but it is still admirable. This lower battery life probably stems from the fact that this device is more feature-rich than many of the others, and it is up to you as to whether you consider the trade-off to be worthwhile.

This device has a lot going for it. Its compact design makes it a comfortable device to wear for a number of activities, and its feature-set makes it an excellent option for any runners, cyclists, or open swimmers. The main downside to the device is that it isn’t well suited to pool swimming, but other than that, this is a strong contender for the top spot.

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Tech Specs
Size: Unit: 23.6 – 55.9 x 1.2 x 0.4 inches

Module: 2 x 1.1 x 0.3 inches

Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Features: Heart rate monitoring, companion app, running feedback, swimming feedback, cycling feedback
Battery life: Up to 10 months
The Pros
Compact
Shouldn’t cause any bulkiness issues
Relatively durable
Lightweight
The module sits within the strap
Feature-rich
Great companion app
Can track specific activities
Decent battery life
The Cons
Larger than some of the other options in this guide
Battery is non-rechargeable

3. Best Budget: CooSpo H6 Fitness Tracker Ant+ Heart Rate Monitor

CooSpo H6 Fitness Tracker Ant+ Heart Rate MonitorView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The CooSpo H6 is a heart rate monitor designed for those of you who are on more of a tight budget. Having said that, the device still comes packed with functionality, making it a decent choice for anyone looking for the value option in this space.

Design

The device isn’t blessed with a particularly stylish appearance, however, this isn’t very surprising, considering its price point. In fact, when it comes to budget-friendly devices, heavy investment in the style department is often sacrificed, as it helps keep the cost of the device down. It isn’t ideal, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

The module in the center of the device measures 2.6 inches in width, 1.5 inches in height, and has a thickness of 0.6 inches. This makes it rather compact compared to most heart rate monitors, however, it does overlap the strap slightly which may make it feel a little bulky.

The casing is made from plastic which is to be expected, especially considering the price tag of this device. One thing to note, however, is that the casing is noticeably thicker than on many of the other options in this guide, which will likely enhance its durability to a certain extent.

The strap is made from fabric and it has a surprisingly soft feel to it which should benefit the device in terms of comfort. It is also highly elasticated to ensure a snug fit, no matter your chest size.

The H6 is also IP67-rated, meaning it can survive in water up to 5 feet deep for half an hour. For this reason, we don’t recommend swimming with the device, however, getting caught in the rain isn’t going to cause any damage.

Features

The H6 has a surprisingly extensive feature-set that includes heart rate monitoring, a companion app, fitness tracking, and training zones. This is great to see from a heart rate monitor at this price point, as it shows that manufacturers don’t necessarily need to cut corners when it comes to functionality, just to keep the cost down.

The heart rate sensor on this device has been praised for its accuracy by a number of tech enthusiasts, however, its feedback can sometimes be difficult to understand. That being said, if you are looking for something that will give you reliable readouts, it will do the job well enough. Just don’t expect the same level of information that you would get from the likes of the Garmin HRM-TRI.

The companion app for this device is where most of the more interesting functionality can be found, as it allows you to set specific activities to track and focus on key areas of your workout. This allows you to tailor the feedback you will receive from the device, which is great if you are looking for more specific information.

You can also connect the H6 to a number of different third-party apps, thanks to its built-in ANT+ technology. This is a common feature found on most heart rate monitors, but its inclusion on this device means you can really maximize the level of value available with this product.

Battery life

The H6 can last up to 1 year on a single battery which places the device among the best in this guide when it comes to power consumption. This figure will, of course, vary with usage, but you shouldn’t find it difficult to get a year out of the device, provided you only train for a few hours a week. As the battery is non-rechargeable, you will need to replace it each year, but CooSpo has made this process relatively easy, and it is unlikely that you will run into any issues.

For the money, this device is an excellent option to consider. It doesn’t have the most flattering appearance, but it performs well from a functionality perspective and is highly reliable when it comes to capturing accurate information.

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Tech Specs
Size: Module: 2.6 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches
Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Features: Heart rate monitoring, companion app, fitness tracking, training zones
Battery life: Up to 1 year
The Pros
Compact
Shouldn’t cause any bulkiness issues
Relatively durable
Lightweight
Soft fabric
Feature-rich
Includes a companion app
Includes fitness tracking
Decent battery life
The Cons
Larger than some of the other options in this guide
The module overhangs the strap which could make it prone to damage
Battery is non-rechargeable

4. Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar H10 Heart Rate MonitorView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Polar is a company renowned for producing a number of excellent heart rate monitors, but the H10 is the pick of the bunch. The device doesn’t have a particularly rich feature-set or indeed the most stylish design, but when it comes to accuracy and reliability, the H10 really sets itself apart from the competition.

Design

The device has a relatively simple design with a minimalistic appearance, giving it a clean but somewhat bland look. It isn’t an ugly device, but at the same time, a touch of color or a simple pattern on the casing would have been a nice addition.

The module measures 2.5 inches in width, placing it in the same ballpark as most of the other devices in this guide. It also has a height of 1.3 inches and a thickness of just 0.4 inches making it fairly compact. This means you are unlikely to encounter any bulkiness issues with the device, however, the module does overlap the strap slightly which could make it feel larger than it actually is.

The casing on the module is made from plastic which may impact durability slightly, due to its exposed edges. Having said that, it would have been surprising to see a metal casing on this device, so we can’t complain too much.

The strap is made from an elasticated fabric that provides plenty of comfort and adjustability. On the inside of the strap, there are a number of small grippy pads designed to help the strap stay stuck to your body once you begin to sweat. This is an excellent inclusion from Polar, as the biggest flaw of a chest strap is usually its inability to stay fixed to your body during intense workouts.

The H10 is also water-resistant up to 98 feet making it perfectly fine to swim with in both open water and pool water. We don’t recommend diving with the device, however, as there is a good chance it will become damaged.

Features

The Polar H10 doesn’t have an extensive feature-set like a lot of the other devices in this guide, but its companion app does well to make up for this thanks to its easy-to-use interface, and refined functionality.

As mentioned, Polar is well known for its ability to produce high-quality heart rate sensors and the one included on the H10 is no exception. One of the main reasons this company is so revered when it comes to heart rate sensors is because it consistently creates new and improved algorithms used to measure heart rate.

The H10 has benefitted from one of these new algorithms, making it able to produce even more accurate results than its previous iteration, the H7. Making small improvements is obviously the norm for manufacturers. However, considering how well the H7 performs when it comes to monitoring heart rate, it is surprising to see that Polar was able to improve this feature even further.

The H10 also has enough built-in memory to store up to one complete training session. The data captured from that session can then be transferred to your smartphone or any other device that has the Polar Beat app installed. The H10 also comes with built-in ANT+ technology, meaning you can send the data to a number of third-party apps as well.

Battery life

The Polar H10 can last up to 400 hours on a single charge, meaning you should be able to get over a year out of the battery before needing to replace it. If you are someone who trains for multiple hours a day, the battery will, of course, drain a lot faster. However, considering most people train for around an hour at a time, an estimated battery life of up to 13 months should be achievable in most cases.

This device doesn’t look particularly inspiring, nor does it have the ability to track certain activities, like some of the other options in this guide. However, when it comes to monitoring your heart rate, which is the main purpose of these devices, it is absolutely superb.

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Tech Specs
Size: Module: 2.5 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches
Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Features: Heart rate monitoring, companion app
Battery life: 1+ years
The Pros
Compact
Shouldn’t cause any bulkiness issues
Relatively durable
Lightweight
Accurate heart rate monitor
Includes a companion app
Includes fitness tracking
Excellent battery life
The Cons
Limited feature-set
Battery is non-rechargeable

5. Top Pick: SHANREN Beat 20 Heart Rate Monitor

SHANREN Beat 20 Heart Rate MonitorView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Shanren Beat 20 is a Chinese heart rate monitor fresh out of Shenzhen. It is a multifunctional ECG-based device that aims to take your workouts to the next level, thanks to its accurate heart rate tracking, and other reliable features.

Design

The Beat 20 has a fairly bland design that features an all-black color scheme, and a white company logo. Shanren has tried to spice things up a bit by adding some texture to the casing on the device, but if anything, this only cheapens its appearance.

Despite not having the greatest looks, the module is rather well-sized, measuring 2.4 inches in width, and 1.4 inches in height. It is also only 0.4 inches thick, making it one of the smallest modules in this guide, which is great for anyone concerned about bulkiness.

The casing is made from plastic which isn’t ideal from a durability perspective. However, the casing is nice and thick, meaning the odd drop or impact shouldn’t cause any problems.

The strap is made from fabric and is highly adjustable, thanks to its elasticated construction. The strap also features a number of horizontal ridges that allow it to grip your body and prevent slipping during more intense workout sessions. These ridges don’t work quite as well as the pads on the Polar H10, but they should still provide adequate grip most of the time.

The Beat 20 is also IP68-rated, meaning it can survive in up to 5 feet of water for half an hour. This isn’t as impressive as what a lot of the other devices in this guide are offering, but at least if you get caught in the rain with the device, it won’t get damaged.

Features

The Beat 20 isn’t packed with functionality but it does include a very competent heart rate monitor, as well as a companion app, and fitness tracking. The device is also ANT+ compatible, meaning it will work with a number of third-party fitness apps as well.

The heart rate monitor is one of the best we’ve seen, particularly because of its ability to generate heart rhythm graphs thanks to its ECG functionality. Overall, we wouldn’t say it’s as accurate as the Polar H10, but it certainly offers more in terms of information.

The Beat 20 also has enough memory to store up to 260 hours of training data, which is amazing considering most other devices only allow you to store up to one session at a time. Whether you need to keep this amount of information on the device at one time is up for debate, but it could be useful if, for example, your smartphone doesn’t have a lot of free space.

The Shanren Sport app that is available for this device allows you to track basic fitness information such as calories burned, and steps taken. This is nowhere near as advanced as what most third-party fitness apps will be able to offer, but at least you don’t need to clutter your phone with multiple apps just to get some basic information.

Battery life

The Beat 20 can last up to an estimated 9 months on a single charge, thanks to its 280 hours of battery life. This estimation is based on 1-hour a day training sessions, however, so you will likely notice a sharper drop of you train more regularly.

It should be noted, however, that the Beat 20’s battery is rechargeable, meaning you won’t need to replace it each time it runs out of power. For this reason, we consider the Beat 20 to be the best in class when it comes to battery performance, as the need to buy and replace batteries can be a bit of an inconvenience.

This device isn’t perfect, but when it comes to functionality, it certainly ticks most of the boxes. Not only does it have one of the most advanced heart rate sensors out of any of the devices on this list, but it also comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery that simply blows away the competition. Its appearance could be improved, but other than that, this is a very well-rounded heart rate monitor.

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Tech Specs
Size: Module: 2.4 x 1.4 x 0.4 inches
Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Features: Heart rate monitoring, companion app, fitness tracking
Battery life: Up to 9 months
The Pros
Compact
Shouldn’t cause any bulkiness issues
Relatively durable
Lightweight
Accurate heart rate monitor
Includes a companion app
Includes fitness tracking
Relatively decent battery life
Rechargeable
The Cons
Limited feature-set
Shorter battery life than the other products in this guide

6. Best Value: Health-Made Heart Rate Monitor

Health-Made Heart Rate MonitorView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Health-Made Heart Rate Monitor is a rather well-priced device, considering what it offers. Not only does it have a clean, modern design, but it also comes with a pretty comprehensive feature-set, making it one of the more well-rounded devices in this space.

Design

The device isn’t full of color or fancy patterns, but it does manage to maintain a somewhat premium appearance that doesn’t come off as being bland. The logo on the front of the device could do with a bit of a rethink, but other than that, this is a pretty good looking heart rate monitor.

The module measures 2.8 inches in width, 1.5 inches in height, and has a thickness of 0.8 inches. This makes it one of the larger options in this guide, however, it still shouldn’t cause any issues in terms of bulkiness. The strap is noticeably thick though, which could make it uncomfortable depending on how you wear it.

The casing is made from plastic and has a polished finish which could be prone to cosmetic scratches. As the module sits within the strap, durability shouldn’t be much of a concern, however, a big enough impact could still damage it.

The strap is made from an elasticated fabric and comes fitted with a highly adjustable clip. There is, however, no soft finish to the material or any grippy pads to ensure the device sticks to your body. This doesn’t necessarily mean the device will chafe or move around, but it is worth keeping in mind, especially if you plan to use this device in water.

Speaking of water, the heart rate monitor can survive being submerged up to 30 meters deep, which makes it suitable for swimming and most other water-based activities. We don’t recommend diving with the device though, as it is only water-resistant, not waterproof.

Features

The device has a decent feature-set that includes heart rate monitoring, a companion app, activity tracking, and training modes. This puts it on par with some of the top performers in this guide when it comes to functionality, which is great to see considering this device has a very reasonable price tag.

The heart rate monitor is certainly accurate, but you won’t get quite as much detail from the feedback as you would with some of the other options in this guide. Having said that, for most people it will do just fine, but you might want to look at something else if you are a serious athlete.

The device can also give you basic feedback on your fitness, letting you know how many calories you have burned based on your heart rate. This isn’t a very advanced form of fitness tracking, but it is nice to know you don’t need to use multiple apps just to get a basic readout of your progress.
The companion app isn’t the most exciting piece of software you will ever use, but it has enough functionality to get the job done. If you are unhappy with it, you also have the option to switch to a third-party app instead, thanks to the device’s ANT+ compatibility.

Battery life

The device can last over a year on a single charge, making it one of the best options in this guide when it comes to power consumption. The device does use a non-rechargeable battery, however, so it will need replacing when it eventually runs out.

This device isn’t perfect but it manages to do a lot of things well. It is also one of the more reasonably priced options in this guide, making it an attractive option for anyone looking to get plenty of bang for their buck.

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Tech Specs
Size: Module: 2.8 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches
Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: fabric
Features: Heart rate monitoring, companion app, activity tracking, training modes
Battery life: 1+ years
The Pros
Compact
Shouldn’t cause any bulkiness issues
Relatively durable
Lightweight
The module sits within the strap
Accurate heart rate monitor
Includes a companion app
Includes activity tracking
Includes training modes
Excellent battery life
The Cons
Larger than some of the other options in this guide
Battery is non-rechargeable
0/50 ratings