Continuous Heart Rate Monitors – No Chest Strap

Most heart rate monitors either come with a strap or are wrist watches without a continuous reading of the heart rate. Below is the rare group of heart rate monitors that offer continuous readings while at the same time not using a chest strap.

ePulse 2 Strapless Heart Rate Monitor
Editor’s Top Continuous HRM Pick w/o Chest Strap!

See my in-depth review of the ePulse 2

Pros:

  • One of the highest, most reviewed heart rate monitors of the strapless variety
  • One of the few monitors that offers a continuous reading of your heart rate without a chest strap
  • Great for cyclists, since it would very hard to use strapless models that require touching the monitor for a heart rate reading
  • Counts calories as a feature
  • Large, easy to read screen
  • Comes with a 90 day limited warranty

Cons:

  • Standard Complaints among strapless heart rate monitors that it fails to work.
  • Low Battery Life – one reviewer offers a solution – the Energizer Ultimate Lithium Battery to increase battery life
  • Some reviewers complain about inaccurate heart readings – a common complaint among all strapless heart rate monitors
  • Warranty not terribly long – one reviewer complained of the monitor dying a few months after the warranty expired

Scosche Rhythm Heart Rate Monitor

Pros:

  • One of the few heart rate monitors without chest straps offering continual heart rate readings
  • Essentially an advanced version of the myTrek monitor (see below)
  • Unlike the myTrek, Scosche comes is water/sweat proof, dust/debris proof, comes with a removable armband, protective sealing, is sleak/lightweight, comes with cloud support, and has up to 6 hrs of battery life compared to myTrek’s 4-5 hours.

Cons

  • Requires a device to use such as an iPod Touch (3rd-5th gen), iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet.
  • A newer product – only 1 review so far.

See below to look at Rhythm’s predecessor – myTrek.


FINIS Aqua Pulse

Pros:

  • One of the highest rated continual heart rate monitors on Amazon, but it doesn’t have many reviews
  • Excellent choice for those wanting a heart rate monitor without a chest strap for swimming
  • Provides an audible reading of your heart rate in a given interval (choose between 10s, 20s, 30s 45s, 1min, 2min, or 5min) or press button for the last recorded reading
  • Provides up to 8 hours of battery, although depending on the settings you use, it could be less
  • Great solution for swimmers who don’t want to readjust their chest strap as they swim

Cons:

  • Probably not a good idea to use it for anything other than swimming
  • Some complaints of the heart monitor readings being inconsistently accurate
  • One reviewer complains of a poor overall design

Scosche myTrek Heart Rate Monitor

Pros:

  • One of the few heart rate monitors without chest straps the offers a real time, continual heart rate display – no need to touch the monitor for an “on demand” reading like most other strapless models.
  • Control what music you listen to from the armband.
  • Shows calories burned
  • Look at your previous workout statistics and see how you’ve improved
  • Can track distance and speed of workout

Cons:

  • Complaints about the myTrek app freezing up – one reviewer suggests the Digifit App as the solution – using that instead of the myTrek app
  • Requires using a device such as an iPhone, iPod Touch (3rd/4th gen), iPad, Android smartphone, or Android tablet – device must be within 33 feet of your armband while working out
  • Some reviewers say their monitors failed after using awhile/got wrong readings – a typical complaint for heart rate monitors without chest straps
  • Has mediocre ratings on Amazon – the ePulse 2 rates better as of writing this.

Pure Lime Sports Bra with built in Heart Rate Sensors

Pros:

  • Close to the heart – likely resulting in an accurate heart rate
  • Built into a sports bra so very similar to a HRM with a chest strap without the annoying feeling
  • Excellent reviews with remarks such as – comfortable, easy to use, accurate
  • Amazon product description claims that the bra works with all transmitters with snap attachment

Cons:

  • Limited to one gender.
  • You’ll need to buy a trasmitter and receiver separately in addition to this sports bra
  • The number of reviews on Amazon is very limited – only 3 as of writing this

You also might be interested in the Mio Alpha, a new continuous heart rate monitor. It doesn’t have a listing on Amazon as of writing this, so it’s difficult to review, but it may be of interest if you’re wiling to pay a premium price.

By Andrew Fruth - email at info@heartratemonitorwithoutcheststrap.com