The Best Budget Heart Velocity Checker – The Omron HR-100C
Looking at all the other monitors on this list you’ll see that most are priced in the $150 to $200 range. This is really not that expensive considering the high level of technology that you get with most monitors. It’s also really a drop in the bucket compared to what most people like to spend on sporting goods equipment. I know I’ve spent at least that much on shoes before. And I know cyclists have to shell out some serious cash to feed their sports addiction. However, times are tight and a heart rate monitor in the $200 range can be a stretch for many budgets these days. So, I took a look at some budget watches.
Table Of Contents
Section 1. Start of the Article
Section 2. The Best All-Around
Section 3. The Top Model for Beginners and Intermediates
Section 4. My Pick for Serious Runners and Cyclists
Section 5. The Most Outstanding Model for Triathletes
Section 6. What You Should Get If You’re on a Budget
There are some really good ones on the market right now. My research showed the best of these to be the Omron HR-100C. The two things that you need to ask when looking at budget heart rate monitors are, “How accurate is this thing?” and “Is this going to break next month?” To answer the first question, I went to Consumer Reports Magazine. They conducted extensive tests on a variety of different cardiovascular pace recording devices and found that the Omron HR-100C was highly accurate even when compared to an EKG. An EKG (electrocardiograph) is what hospitals use to measure patient’s heart rates. So the HR-100C is pretty darn accurate.
To answer the second question about quality and durability I looked at dozens of owner reviews. Usually you see any problems pretty quickly because people will write comments on the product talking about how pissed they are that it broke so quickly. And you’ll see a bunch of one star reviews. This was not the case with the Omron. Everyone seemed to love it and there were no reports of breakages. The average rating was 4 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 reviews posted on different sites.
Since the HR-100C passed those two tests, I looked at some of the features you get. Now don’t expect electronic coaching and GPS tracking in a monitor that’s under $50. But you can expect the basics and if that’s all you need then the Omron HR-100C is perfect for you.
You can set up three different training zones based on your fitness goals. In the Weight Management Zone you’ll be training at a lower intensity, about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This zone is good if you’re just starting out. The Aerobic Zone pushes the intensity level up a notch so that you can build strength and endurance. The Anaerobic Zone is 80-90% of your maximum cardio rate and designed to build power and speed.
As you train in a particular heart beat zone, the Omron will beep if you stray outside of the zone you planned for that workout. So if you are going too light, it will beep to tell you to pick up the pace. The same if you are going too hard and your heart rate is too high.
Another nice bonus is that the Omron HR-100C is very easy to use. The initial setup is a real snap and the monitor screen is simple to read. You can also easily scroll through different screens and see all of the data you need to track like your cardio rate and your stopwatch time.
Overall the Omron HR-100C is a great bargain for the price and offers all of the basics you need in a heart rate monitor. You can read more about it in my Omron HR-100C cardiac organ rate calculator analysis on this site.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best heart rate monitors and found it useful as you search for ways to improve your fitness level. If you’d like to give your opinion on any of the monitors mentioned just add a comment below.