Staying Fit with the Polar Loop vs. the FitBit Flex

I love technology. Since my first computer at 4 years old, I have always enjoyed trying out the latest and greatest in technology. I am grateful that technological advancements have made huge strides in everything from baby monitors to fitness tools. I used a FitBit to shed the last few baby pounds back in 2012 and loved seeing how many steps I was taking (or not taking). Being held accountable for how active I was each day was a huge motivator.

Now that the baby weight is off and my main goal is improving my fitness, I wanted to see more data than my steps per day. I tried the FitBit Flex but got frustrated when it failed to sync on more than one occasion. I gave up on it for a few months but then dug it out of my desk and contacted the company, who promptly troubleshooted and mailed me a new one (great customer service).

Apparently, I’m the Goldilocks of fitness devices because it still wasn’t what I wanted. Then I heard about the Polar Loop on twitter. The Polar Loop is an activity tracker bracelet that does everything my FitBit Flex does, except it has the additional capabilities of syncing with a heart rate monitor (not included with the Loop) and wearing it swimming. Polar was kind enough to send me a Loop to try out and I have really loved it, especially since “Santa” brought me a heart rate monitor (Polar HR7) for Christmas to pair with it.

My first impressions were that the Loop is the better made bracelet. It seems sturdier than the FitBit Flex and has a small amount of chrome detail which dresses it up a little. It’s also customizable (you have to cut the bracelet to your wrist size) instead of the two different band sizes you can get with the FitBit Flex. Another reason it feels sturdier to me is that it has a nice metal clasp instead of the Flex’s knob clasp which sometimes came undone on mine and would fall off. So for hardware design, Loop wins.

One area I think the Polar Loop can improve on (which they say they are working on) is the software and app design. It definitely has potential, but the FitBit’s app is a little more user-friendly.

However, as soon as I got a heart rate monitor to pair with the Loop, the Loop completely pulled away from the Flex and is now my favorite. I really like seeing a record of my CrossFit WODs (in addition to the MyWOD app) and what my heart rate was during the workout, especially the metabolic conditioning segment at the end. Here’s an example of today’s training using the free Polar Flow app:

Pretty cool, right? The Polar Flow app & website definitely has some areas that could use improvement, but I am excited for the potential they have and the hardware design is the best.

If you’re looking for another tool in recording and analyzing your workouts, I highly recommend the Polar Loop activity tracker, paired with a heart rate monitor for even more data. If you’re on the Polar Flow site, follow me here and I will follow you back! :)

You can find out more about the Polar Loop here: