[ In a hurry? Our top pick is Fitbit Zip Wireless (Find it on Amazon)… ]
If you’re an athletic person, a gym fanatic or overall a health-conscious person, looking for motivation and a push towards a healthier lifestyle, then fitness trackers are the product for you.
This is why we’re here to tell you what these trackers really do and discuss some of the best clip-on fitness trackers in the market.
How do Fitness Trackers Work?
A fitness tracker can come in the form of an application on your smartphone or a wearable device that monitors and keeps track of your physical activity using integrated sensors.
This data is later converted into fitness-related metrics such as step count, the number of calories burned, sometimes even how much you sleep and how well!
The technology of these trackers is always in development to become as accurate and with as many features as possible.
Some trackers are sport-specific, so athletes can get as much benefit from their trackers as possible.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers?
The accuracy of the data provided depends on the price you pay, as this will usually mean the higher it is, the more developed the sensors are within your tracker are.
No tracker will provide 100% accuracy, but some are more accurate than others.
The step count can vary from tracker to tracker, due to the inability of some wrist trackers to differentiate between hand gestures and actual hand movements while walking/running.
Modern-day trackers have fixed this by registering large hand movements only, like the way you’d swing your hands while walking.
That means, however, if you walk softly inside the house, it can disregard theses steps.
The calorie count shouldn’t be taken as an absolute as well, since the data provided by the tracker depends on information that you provide, such as age, gender, height, and weight.
Thus if they’re not accurate or updated regularly, as you age or lose weight, the calorie count will also be inaccurate.
Heart rate monitoring feature in the tracker also provides varying data, which should be taken as an estimate and you should seek medical attention before any training decisions are made solely based on this heart rate activity.
What Types of Trackers are there?
As mentioned above, trackers can be free apps on your smartphone that perform similar to wearable devices. They’re beneficial if you’re into the idea of fitness trackers, but you’re just not willing to make the financial commitment yet.
You should just be comfortable with carrying your phone around, especially during workouts and athletic training.
The shape of the wearable devices continues to evolve, making them as small, comfortable and as discreet as possible.
Now, you can choose between wearing it on your wrist as a bracelet or as a clip-on.
We’ll be discussing the latter in more detail.
What’s a Clip-on Fitness Tracker?
This type of tracker has a clip that you can use to attach it to your clothes, belt, pocket or other clothing items such as a sports bra.
What are the Benefits of a Clip-on Tracker?
It’s very lightweight, which will give you the feeling that nothing is attached to you.
This is an advantage for those who don’t like wearing things on their wrist or feel that wrist trackers are too bulky and are in the way of their work and also great for those looking for a discreet fitness tracker.
The clip-on is also the best solution for professions or workplaces, such as nurses or production workers, that have rules against wearing items on the wrist, as you can clip them anywhere.
Although many clip-on trackers don’t have displays, they can still integrate with smartphones or computer apps and share the data collected to give you more detailed information about your activity, as well as track your fitness goals.
It typically has the same features as a wrist tracker including step count, calorie count, GPS and sleep quality monitoring, etc.
The battery of this type of tracker is similar to that of a watch, so you’re likely to replace it after 4 to 8 months of usage.
Aside from the benefits provided through the many features that a tracker offers, it has other health benefits that will help you improve your overall fitness and enjoy a healthier life.
What are the Drawbacks of a Clip-on Tracker?
Their lightweight can be a downside too, as it means that you might forget it, it might fall off without you noticing or you might accidentally put it in the wash.
If you’re the type of person that tends to forget, a clip-on that converts into a wrist tracker is the perfect option for you.
Despite the many features offered, due to their size and simplicity, they can fall short when compared to wrist trackers in the heart rate monitoring feature, as they’re not in direct contact with your body.
However, some trackers can be paired with a chest strap that functions as a heart rate monitor and displays the data on the tracker or a smartphone, which is likely to be more accurate as it’s directly near your heart.
It’ll also add to the cost of buying a fitness tracker.
So what’s the Best Clip on Fitness Tracker?
This is a list of some of the highly rated and best clip-on trackers in the market that we’ve reviewed.
Although this Fitbit clip on tracker is originally a wrist tracker, it can easily be converted into a clip-on as the tracker itself comes in a removable band that can be swapped for a clip holder or some form of jewelry, such as a pendant.
This tracker is among the thinnest trackers available in the market, but this comes at a price as it’s screenless.
It only has 5 LED lights that blink to notify you of reaching your goal, when you’ve not been moving for a while or when the battery’s low.
Actual progress will have to be checked on the Fitbit app.
It has the same automatic activity detection (SmartTrack) as all other Fitbit devices, which means that it can tell whether you’re walking, running, cycling or even swimming and adjust the data collected accordingly.
It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, which means that both sleep tracking and calorie burn are based on movement and your estimated basal metabolic rate according to the data you provide.
This may result in inaccurate data, like it saying that you’ve dozed off when you’re in fact awake or giving you a lower number of calories burned per day.
Very slim and interchangeable band designs (can be used as a clip-on or jewelry)
Automatic detection of a wide range of activities
No screen for display
No heart rate monitor
Battery life up to 5 days
Relatively expensive compared to other trackers with screens
Aimed primarily at women, this water-resistant tracker made from wood composite and hypoallergenic stainless steel is an elegant and fashionable piece of smart jewelry that can be worn as a clip, bracelet or necklace.
Don’t let its beautiful design fool you into thinking that it’s any less performant than other trackers in the market, though.
The Bellabeat tracks steps, sleep, calories burned and distance traveled, similar to many fitness trackers. It doesn’t stop there, however, as it also monitors your stress levels and provides you with breathing exercises to relieve stress.
The Bellabeat will keep track of your monthly cycles as well, including menstrual cycle and reproductive health, and remind you of your contraceptives.
It also has inactivity reminders when you’ve been idle for too long.
It has no screen, so you’ll access all the information through the Bellabeat app and it can show you up to two weeks’ worth of history. Its battery life can extend up to 6 months before it has to be replaced.
Versatile as it can be worn many ways
Tracks your monthly cycles
IPX grade 6 water-resistant
Long battery life
Good value for money
No screen display
No heart rate monitor
This Gramin fitness tracker is another wrist tracker that can be converted into a clip-on by removing the module from the wristband and inserting it into an activity belt clip that you buy separately.
It has a screen display of 64 by 64 pixels. Underneath the screen is a button that you can use to scroll between basic information such as time, date, steps count and distance traveled. You can also use it to activate the backlight, start an activity or sync with a smartphone.
It can be problematic to switch between these options, as your hold on the button has to vary and so it can easily become confusing and frustrating as you might end up choosing something wrong more than once.
Similar to the Fitbit, the Vivofit can detect different activities like walking, running, cycling and cardio, automatically using their Move IQ and can also monitor the time and quality of your sleep.
All this data can be accessed through the free Garmin Connect app on your smartphone.
While this Garmin clip on fitness tracker doesn’t have a built-in heart rate monitor, Garmin provides the ability to connect the Vivofit with other monitors using their ANT+ wireless communication protocol.
Thus, as soon as it’s paired, the tracker can show your resting heart rate and your rate during activities.
Battery life up to 1 year
Can be worn as a clip-on or on the wrist
Compatible with other heart monitors
Water-resistant up to 5 ATM (approximately a depth of 40 meters)
Only one button for all functions
No activity history as it resets everyday
The bumper around the screen may seem bulky, but it acts as protection against scratches and rough play.
When it comes to setting up the tracker, a family account will need to be set up first, which enables parents to check on the progress and activity of their kids, as well as see who they choose to connect with and what information they see.
The kids can have their own account, that can be managed by the parents and shows limited information only such as step count, active minutes, sleep and a goal of 60 minutes of daily activity.
The calorie count has been removed from child view, as this can cause complications such as the child becoming obsessed with calorie counting and lead to serious health issues like eating disorders.
Parent view provides safety and more control
Animated celebrations of goals are a motivation for kids
Daily 60 minutes activity goal
Waterproof up to 50 meters
Battery life up to 5 days (cut down to 3 to 4 days due to the animated screen)
Parents have to switch between the family account and the kid’s account if their child doesn’t have a phone
No heart rate monitor
It also comes with a sleep wristband so you can wear it at night without it falling off.
Activities registered using this tracker include walking, running, working out at the gym and climbing stairs.
The data collected includes step count, distance traveled and the time spent active.
It also tracks your sleep and has a vibration motor that will gently wake you.
The step counter is normally accurate up to 6% of the original count, but can often undercount which can be frustrating for those who are trying to reach their goals.
Like all their other devices, the tracker connects to the Fitbit app where you can view your progress, set goals and even log the food that you eat and the quality of your sleep.
The built-in lithium battery of the Fitbit One can last up to two weeks before they need to be recharged for one to two hours.
Altimeter detects altitudes for climbing stairs
Easy set up and syncing
Long battery life of two weeks before recharging
No heart rate monitor
Clip can fall off or easily break according to some customer reviews
Sometimes undercounts steps
What do we think?
As you can see, our list offers a variety of fitness trackers that are or can be converted to a clip-on version, and they fit more than one category of users.
We believe that the Fitbit Flex 2 is the best option for people who seek to become more physically active, as the Fitbit brand has been popular among fitness junkies for years.
It’s also appropriate for all genders.
It covers a wide variety of activities and although it can seem expensive compared to other trackers with screens, its slimness counterparts that as it can fit anywhere on your clothes or on your wrist without feeling like a constraint.
Your needs should be taken into consideration as they’ll determine exactly what features you seek when choosing the type of tracker to buy and the price you’ll be willing to pay for them.
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