The best heart rate monitor we tested, the Garmin HRM-Pro plus offers a wealth of multisport insights for competitive triathletes.

Modern home gym equipment, like the best rowing machines and exercise bikes, can be synced up with heart rate monitors to provide detailed tracking and post-workout analytics. We’ve tested the best heart rate monitors on the market to bring you the best of the best – here’s how the Garmin HRM-Pro stacks up.

Men’s Fitness verdict

If you want reliable heart rate tracking and a wealth of swim-bike-run insights, we don’t think you can do much better than the Garmin HRM-Pro Plus.
  • Good accuracy
  • Running, cycling and swimming insights
  • Not rechargeable
  • Expensive

Why you can trust Men’s Fitness

We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test

Garmin HRM-Pro Plus design

The top-tier HRM-Pro Plus is Garmin’s rival to the Polar H10 and the Wahoo TICKR X. At 52g, it’s a shade lighter than the Polar H10, though you don’t notice the difference. Like the H10, it has a small, lightweight sensor module that fits within the width of the soft, comfortable strap, making it one of the less intrusive chest straps to wear, even for longer training sessions. 

One of the best heart rate monitors we’ve tested, the HRM-Pro Plus runs off a CR2032 watch battery that lasts around 12 months if you train an hour a day on average. That’s shorter than the TICKR X at 500 hours and marginally less than the Polar H10 at 400 hours. But it’s still substantial.   

While old Garmin straps had you reaching for a tiny screwdriver to change the battery, the Pro Plus now has an easy-access design that makes swapping the battery hassle-free, with no tools required. We’d still like to see more environmentally friendly rechargeable options though.

Garmin HRM-Pro Plus performance

Connectivity is on a par with the other leading chest straps. It supports three concurrent Bluetooth connections plus unlimited ANT+ connections with a 3-metre range. So you can pair multiple devices including your best GPS fitness watch, cycle computer, fitness app, gym equipment and/or a training service like Peloton or Zwift.  

Accuracy is excellent with little to choose between the performance of this and the Polar H10. But what really sets the HRM-Pro Plus apart are the additional running dynamics, including vertical oscillation, ground contact time, stride length, vertical ratio, pace and distance data. You can broadcast that added intel via ANT+ to your watch or use it to enhance your treadmill stats.  

Beyond running, it also captures steps, calories burned and intensity minutes independently from your watch. So you can workout, store the data and then share it direct to the Garmin Connect app or your watch when you put it back on. For swimmers, the HRM-Pro Plus also serves up swim interval heart rate stats without your phone nearby.  Overall, it may be one of the more expensive heart rate monitors at $129.99 / £119, but we think it’s worth every penny.