Polar’s return to form continues with this superb watch aimed at rugged outdoor adventurers. It’s similar to the Polar Vantage V, losing a couple of features but gaining some impressive ones.
Let’s start with the Run Hill Splitter option that automatically detects when you’re ascending and descending, showing you how long you’ve been ticking off both and for how long. It relays this info on the fly but is maximised later in the impressive Polar Flow app. We’re big fans of hill reps to boost speed and this proved useful to see how we were firing, or flagging, up different parts of the hill. This’d also prove beneficial to plan specific sets based on a hilly tri.
Then there’s the FuelWise feature that tells you when and how much to drink and feed. This can be completed by the Grit automatically assessing previous workouts or manually. It’ll even tell you not to fuel with carbs if the session length doesn’t demand it. Then there’s the Energy Source component that, post session (and it could be a tri session as this is multisport friendly), tells you how much energy’s derived from carbs, protein and fats. Percentages are based on heart rate so not lab accurate, but it’s still a useful idea to gauge if the session’s aim is achieved.
As for other features, the GPS is good and actually came up more reliable than the more expensive Vantage V; optical HR is as per much of its competition – fine in some scenarios, less so in others (sprinting in the heat); and it should be highly durable after passing military tests for temperatures, dropping and humidity.
Verdict: A brilliant and tri-friendly sports watch that should defy the elements 91%