New Garmin Pulse Sensors for Swimming - Garmin HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim


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The complete analysis is already finished. I guess that's what you're looking for, along with opinion and ALL the details. So I recommend you read the complete review of the HRM-Swim and HRM-Tri sensors here.

Garmin today introduces two new heart rate monitors specifically for swimming, closing the gap that both Polar and Suunto had with the Americans, as these two brands had found different solutions to allow them to record heart rates underwater.

For Garmin, the solution used is the same as the one used by Suunto. The new pulse sensors have a memory capable of storing up to 20 hours of data that will save the underwater training data, and will synchronize with the device after the training session or during breaks, as long as the band and the watch are out of the water. In addition, when you are not swimming the operation will be the normal one in a pulse sensor, sending the heart rate in real time.

Therefore the operation is similar to Suunto, where the sensor will be saving all frequency data and when we stop to rest, we can bring the sensor closer to the clock or get out of the water to synchronize the two devices. When the training is over, the final file will have the swimming metrics information synchronized with the heart rate, and you can check all the details directly in Garmin Connect.

Garmin HRM-Swim

There are two devices presented by Garmin. The first one is called Garmin HRM-Swim, designed mainly for swimmers. It works like the classic HRM sensor, but with a memory for swimming sessions. It has a range of up to 18 months, and it is powered by an easily replaceable battery. It saves the pulse data during swimming to synchronize that data with a compatible device at the end of the activity. It also sends real-time heart rate data when you are out of the water.

Garmin has also reduced the size of the sensors, making them smaller and lighter.

Garmin HRM Swim

Garmin HRM-Tri

The second heart rate monitor they have introduced is the Garmin HRM-Tri. Operation is similar to that of the HRM-Swim, except that this model incorporates an internal accelerometer that will provide race dynamics data (cadence, vertical oscillation and time in contact with the ground) in the same way as the HRM-Run sensor, which has been fitted to Garmin's high-end watches for some time.

In this case the autonomy is a little less (10 months), because you have to feed the extra accelerometer incorporated, but the battery (CR2032) is replaced in the same way.

New pectoral tapes

Both sensors come with new pectoral bands. In the case of HRM-Swim the change is more noticeable, not only because of the blue pool they have used to give it color, but also because the band is wider than the traditional sensor and also has an anti-slip compound, similar to rubber.

This new design is made with the intention of making the tape more comfortable and that it remains fixed to the body, especially when it comes to pushing oneself to the end of the street and turning around. With traditional tapes it is quite common for them to slide off the chest or turn on themselves (especially in men if they only wear a swimsuit and not a wetsuit), making them very uncomfortable when training or competing, especially in swimming pools, because of the possibility of pushing oneself with the feet on the wall.


Garmin HRM Swim


The tape on the HRM-Tri is more traditional. The size in this case has not increased, as it is designed to go inside the triathlon suit, so it does not need extra help to stay in place. However, Garmin has applied a small layer of this compound around the sensors to help stay in place, but it remains a softer material so it will not be uncomfortable to wear throughout the triathlon competition.

Watch compatibility and update coming soon

These two new sensors will be compatible with Garmin Fenix 3, Garmin Epix and Garmin 920xtThat is, triathlon or multisport watches. Unfortunately, models like Phoenix 2 or 910xt will not be supported, even though they would be fully compatible. To do this, it is necessary that the watches are updated, allowing the use of pulse sensors in swimming activities.

This new update will open up the possibility of writing heart rate data into the activity file, and perhaps add changes to heart rate data in the swimming profile. Until now it was possible to connect the sensor to the clock in the swimming profile, but we did not have the HR fields enabled and obviously did not save this data in the activity file either.

The next update will probably also open up the possibility of using the watches with an optical pulse sensor next to the watch, thus saving the problem of digital communication under water (the signal is only able to penetrate 8-10cm under water). But we won't be able to test this until Garmin updates the watches, allowing sensors to be connected to the swimming profiles. So we could use the watch with Mio Linkby putting them both on the same wrist next to each other.

Garmin HRM-Tri and Garmin HRM-Swim, availability and pricing

Garmin Forerunner 920xt grey-black

Although Garmin has not provided a market arrival date for HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim, the departure is estimated to be in the third quarter of the year, therefore after the summer holidays.

Garmin HRM-Swim is priced at €99, while HRM-Tri (with running metrics) is €129. Garmin also specifies a "kit" at a price of 199€, but does not really specify which product it refers to. The most logical is that we are talking about a HRM-Tri sensor with the two types of band, the standard one for that sensor and the special one for swimming pool.

In addition Garmin will create a special edition of the Forerunner 920xt in gray and black color that will incorporate the HRM-Tri sensor, HRM-Swim and a quick bike attachment kit. In other words, a "triathlon pack". The price of this pack will be around 600€.

Support this siteYou can do this by purchasing your Garmin HRM-Swim or HRM-Tri through Amazon.



Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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