If you're looking to take your training to the next level, picking up a dedicated heart rate monitor can provide you with a range of fresh and helpful insights.
But just where you decide to house your data is also crucial, and Strava is one of the best options available for keeping a range of advanced metrics all in one place.
Read next: Essential Strava guide
However, as we've discovered through extensive testing of different devices β from headphones and chest straps to more standard GPS watches β just how nicely the app plays with your device can vary.
So whether you're running, cycling or swimming with your smartphone, these are our picks for heart monitors that are compatible with Strava.
If you want to secure the most accurate heart rate data, it's always safer to get your chest strapped up instead of locking into an optical or hearable sensor. And when it comes to chest straps, Polar's H10 is as strong as it gets. It uses an ECG-style sensor to detect the heart's electrical activity before delivering BPM readings, and remains a light and surprisingly comfortable option.
The device is able to work with a bevy of Android and iOS devices, syncing up with Strava to gain insights is a cinch.
We've been using the successor to the Polar H7 and find it's able to carry the baton in a similarly impressive fashion. It's fresh swimming smarts make this a strong option for triathletes, while you also now own the option to store one workout on the device.
Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition
If you're not down for wearing something around your chest, no matter β simply tie in your tunes with your heartbeat.
We found the Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition headphones to be a solid tracking option, giving you a look into heart rate, pace, power output and elevation, as well as allowing you to throw this data into a Strava log. And even though Jabra's Sport app is impressive in its own right, having these two make friends gives you one less thing to worry about when going out for a run or cycle.
To integrate, head to the app's settings section and go through 'Sports Communities'. From there, you'll just need to log in and you'll have heart rate data literally coming out of your ears.
After it brought real-time coaching smarts to the original Moov and the Moov Now, the company's HR Sweat provides the next piece of the puzzle. The device is essentially a small circular sensor that sits inside a silicone case, with this fitting inside a sweatband.
This is still an optical sensor β so the same as you would find in the Apple Watch, for example β but works well for those who want to track data from the head. According to the company, positioning the sensor to the high temples on the side of the head, where the skin is thinner and the blow flow is increased, also reduces sensor movement and makes for more reliable readings.
Like the rest of Moov's arsenal, the HR Sweat will also play nice with Strava thanks to the power of Bluetooth Smart.
Garmin HRM Tri
There's plenty of Garmin tools out there that can track your heart rate, but if you're looking for a high-level chest strap to do business with Strava, the HRM Tri is a safe bet.
Handily, this weighs a mere 49g, meaning it goes largely unnoticed during exercise, while also adding some useful bike and running smarts. The in-built accelerometer will deliver cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time data while on two legs.
Now, while the HRM is able throw things over to Strava, this isn't always a perfect handover. Garmin HRM straps use ANT+ to connect to devices, and most phones don't have ANT+. If you have any iPhone model later than the iPhone 4, for example, you're out of luck.
However, the likes of Samsung's Galaxy range and Sony's Xperia line should work smoothly - you just might have to give it a couple of tries in order to sync everything up.
Wahoo Tickr X
We gave the Wahoo Tickr X a glowing review here at Wareable, with the device able to store a hugely impressive 16 hours of heart rate data and additional motion analytics that track your cycles, too. You can work out without your smartphone, and then transfer all the data back when you're home and showered.
If you want to tether in the Tickr X with Strava, you'll be able to access HR through the app during your workout. However, you're also free to use Wahoo's own app and sync things up when you're done. And since the device uses Bluetooth and also supports ANT+, connecting to your smartphone should be a straightforward affair.
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