Best Fitness Trackers and Watches for Cross-Country Skiing

Fitness trackers allow you to monitor your performance consistently and since they come with a built-in GPS, you won’t get lost while you’re cross-country skiing.

Best Fitness Trackers and Watches for Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is a full-body workout, and it can be very tough to do because of the unpredictable weather and the demanding techniques as well. This is where fitness trackers swoop in to help you out. They prove to be very useful in keeping track of where you are, where you should go, and how your heart rate is doing.

We rounded up most popular fitness trackers and watches to figure out how do they perform for cross-country skiing purposes. Unfortunately, as we have found out, most fitness watches do not properly measure your performance while cross-country skiing. In most cases, like with Apple Watch, cross-country skiing is merely a renamed workout mode without taking into account the very specific and highly demanding motions one has to perform while practicing the sport. In contrast, the relatively simplistic techniques of alpine skiing are present in much more detail. Clearly, there is still a technological gap the sports watches industry has yet to fill in to simulate or measure all the nuances of Nordic skiing.

In the end, we’ve narrowed down the three best watches and fitness trackers for cross-country skiing present in the market. You can read all about them in detail below.

1. Suunto 9 Peak Pro Sports Smart Watch

SUUNTO 9 Peak and Peak Pro Sports GPS Watch for Demanding, Performance Driven Athletes and Adventurers

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Suunto 9 Peak Pro is an advanced smartwatch. It combines sport expertise with smartwatch technology to provide you with a feature-rich fitness tracker. If you are looking for a fitness tracker that supports cross-country skiing, Suunto 9 Peak Pro can help you out.

It helps you find cross-country ski trails to train and explore; all you have to do is click on the map for cross-country skiing, and it will direct you to the most popular spots.

Moreover, you can track your heart rate while skiing and stay updated with how vigorous your exercise is. This fitness tracker features SuuntoPlus Loop, which automatically records your lap times. Its backlight allows you to check your fitness data easily, even when it’s dark.

Another excellent feature of this tracker is marking feed zones; if you want to create a route for your cross-country ski tour, you can simply add feed zones or waypoints along the way, and the watch will let you know when they are approaching. With this fitness tracker, you can make your life easier and take your cross-country skiing experience to new heights.

  • SUUNTO 9 Peak PRO - designed for the most demanding athletes, efforts, and adventures. Fully charges in one hour and provides 40 hrs battery in best GPS mode, 70 hrs in endurance mode and 300 hrs in tour mode. A quick 10-minute charge will provide 2 hours of GPS training
  • GPS ACCURACY - uses 4 different satellite systems for speedy connectivity and exceptional tracking even when you’re amongst tall buildings, mountainous terrain, and steep canyons …

2. Garmin Forerunner 965 Fitness Smartwatch

Garmin Forerunner® 965 Running Smartwatch, Colorful AMOLED Display, Training Metrics and Recovery Insights, Black and Powder Gray, 010-02809-00

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Garmin Forerunner 965 fitness smartwatch is another must-have for cross-country skiing due to its reliable safety features. Whether traveling with a phone or without one, the Garmin tracker comes with LTE connectivity and allows you to reach the emergency call center in case of an unfortunate situation. But that’s not all!

This fitness tracker integrates a LiveTrack feature so that your friends and family can check your real-time location and planned routes, which can be particularly useful if you plan to ski on remote trails.

If you want to keep a record of your exercise data, this watch is perfect. However, you can use your Garmin Forerunner with HRM-PRO chest strap for even more detailed exercise data, which allows you to get real-time feedback regarding your cross-country skiing performance.

The question that arises is, how is power calculated for cross-country ski dynamics? Well, you need a compatible watch, such as Garmin Forerunner and Garmin HRM-Pro, to calculate XC Ski dynamics. The HRM-Pro uses internal sensors, elevation, and speed data from the watch to figure out the gliding phase of cross-country skiing.

Another excellent feature of this fitness tracking watch is color maps. The Garmin Forerunner allows you to keep track of your routes regardless of whether you’re in the city or deep in the forest.

  • Brilliant AMOLED touchscreen display with traditional button controls and lightweight titanium bezel
  • Battery life: up to 23 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 31 hours in GPS mode
  • Confidently run any route using full-color, built-in maps and multi-band GPS
  • Training readiness score is based on sleep quality, recovery, training load and HRV status to determine if you’re primed to go hard and reap the rewards (data presented is intended to be a close estimation of metrics tracked) …

3. Polar Vantage V2 Multisport Fitness Tracker

Polar Vantage V2 - Premium Multisport Smartwatch with GPS, Wrist-Based HR Measurement for All Sports - Music Control, Weather, Phone Notifications
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Polar Vantage V2 Multisport fitness tracker is another notable smartwatch ideal for cross-country skiing. It comes with many valuable features and allows you to track your progress to the fullest. The watch has a 40-hour-long battery life, waterproof nature, durable design, and precision prime heart rate.

This winter sports watch watch also incorporates smartphone notifications, which you can use to call or text your friends and family members if you get stuck. Perhaps, the best part about this fitness tracker is that Olympic Cross-Country Skier Kikkan Randall swears by it and claims it to be perfect for analyzing your workouts.

  • The lightweight multisport smartwatch with full aluminium body (only 52g), equipped with advanced wrist-based HR tracking, GPS, ultra-long battery life, running & cycling performance tests, FuelWise, route guidance, sleep tracking, & more.
  • The training load and recovery tracking tools help you optimize your training and avoid overtraining. Test your performance and personalize your heart rate, speed and power zones with the running and cycling performance tests …

How to Choose a Fitness Watch for Cross-Country Skiing?

Various fitness tracker models have many outstanding features that are well-suited for beginners and advanced cross-country skiers. You need to look out for a few features when buying a fitness watch for cross-country skiing.

These will help you choose the ideal watch to make your skiing experience safe and enjoyable. Read on below to learn all about them and choose the perfect fitness tracker today!

Check Sports Supported

Most fitness trackers come with plenty of different activities integrated into them, ranging from outdoor to indoor sports. Whether you want to go surfing or even rock climbing, these watches have it all. However, if you’re going to get a fitness tracker for cross-country skiing, you need to check whether your watch supports the sport before purchasing it.

Most watches support basic and everyday activities, so if you want a less-common sport, such as xc skiing, you need to know the watch’s specifications before you buy it.

You should further look into whether the watch supports classic or freestyle cross-country skiing, or both, before purchasing the fitness tracker.

Heart Rate Monitor

If you want to keep track of your fitness statistics, a heart rate monitor is a vital feature to have. Many smartwatches present in the market today come with a heart rate monitor combined with other fitness features. This monitor provides you with your workout’s data analysis when you are finished with the sport.

Some people think an HRM is unnecessary for skiing since your heart rate will increase during exercise, but this is not the case. With the help of this monitor, you will be able to figure out your endurance training zones, when you were using most of your energy and when you were using less, therefore, allowing you to exercise more productively.

ABC Sensors

ABC sensors are another common feature found in fitness trackers today. These are three different sensors, namely, Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass, and they provide you with a sense of direction, altitude, and weather.

A compass may be an old technology compared to a GPS, but most people prefer using it during their skiing tour, especially when they want to reserve their watch’s battery. Meanwhile, a barometer allows you to learn about the weather conditions when covering large areas and keeps you away from snowstorms.


Weather Resistance

Cross-country skiing is done in freezing temperatures. Therefore, when buying a watch, you need to ensure that it can tolerate such extreme temperatures. Also, winters can be very unpredictable, so you need to get a weather-resistant watch that continues to work in such conditions.


Waterproofness is an essential and fairly obvious feature that you need to look out for. You are bound to fall in the snow or get stuck in a downpour during skiing. Therefore, you need to get a watch that can resist water from seeping inside. Moisture can also make its way inside the watch easily.

If your watch is not waterproof, it may stop working then and there and make your skiing adventure difficult. Thankfully, many companies nowadays create completely waterproof technology, and some even design the watch such that it pushes out water if it goes inside.


This goes without saying, cross-country skiing is an activity that can go on for hours, so you need to make sure that your watch can continue working throughout your adventure. You do not want your watch’s battery dying on you at an hour of need. A reliable watch should be able to operate for several days at the least, which is why you should keep an eye on excellent battery life while making a purchase.

Compatible Devices

Another feature to look out for when buying a cross-country fitness tracker is to search for other devices compatible with it. Most fitness tracker manufacturers create an additional sensor strap or device that can help you get more accurate readings.

If you want a complete breakdown and analysis of your workout, buying these compatible devices can help you improve your tracking. They also provide you with a more accurate representation of your exercise.