Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor


Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor – easy to use and accurate heart rate monitor

The Polar FT4 Hear Rate Monitor is great for athletes who want to improve their fitness level by tracking their heart rate. The Polar FT4 is not as fancy as those GPS enabled monitors that track your speed and distance like the Garmin Forerunner, but it also doesn’t have the $300 plus price tag.

While you are exercising, the watch displays your current heart rate, number of calories burned, and where you are at in relation to your target zone. A visual or audible alarm lets you know when you fall below your target zone or exceed the upper limits. At the end of your workout, the watch displays your average and maximum heart rate including the time spent in your target zone.

Well how does it work? A transmitter chest strap measures your heart rate and sends the data to a watch worn on your wrist. I’ve worn a Polar heart rate monitor for years and can honestly say that you really don’t notice the strap. It is pretty soft and conforms to the shape of your body so you barely know it is there.

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The watch also displays the time with an alarm and snooze, the date, and weekday. A low-battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to change the battery and a stopwatch is handy when doing speed work. The Polar FT4 is water resistant so you don’t have to worry about it if you find yourself out in a rainstorm.

The quick & dirty:
Where you can find on:
REI: $90 (Women’s)
Moosejaw: $89.95
Amazon: $82.99 (Women’s) & $89.95 (Men’s)

Why they rock:

  • Included Polar WearLink®+ transmitter chest strap accurately measures your heart rate; transmitter is coded, eliminating interference from other heart rate monitors
  • WearLink+ strap is soft next to skin and it adapts to the shape of your body so you’ll hardly notice it’s there
  • Watch offers average and maximum heart rate during total exercise time; includes time spent in target zone
  • Visual and audible alarm alerts you every time your heart rate exceeds the upper limit or falls below the lower limit of your target zone
  • Polar OwnCal® counts and displays calories burned during a training session; also displays accumulated kilocalories from several training sessions for long-term goals
  • HeartTouch function enables button-free operation of certain heart rate functions; simply bring the watch close to the transmitter on your chest to change functions
  • FT4 keeps track of the number of training sessions, total training hours, total time of in-zone training and total burned calories
  • Watch features include time of day with alarm and snooze, date and weekday indicator, stopwatch and low-battery indicator
  • The Polar FT4 heart rate monitor is water resistant to 50m (164 ft.)


Seat-of-the-pants rating: 10 out of 10

When I was first looking for a heart rate monitor, I really wasn’t excited about a chest strap monitor. It turns out that chest strap monitors are really the only way to get an accurate heart rate measure. Fingertip monitors and wrist monitors just don’t give you a continuous and accurate measure. Just make sure that the chest strap fits. I am a rather petite female and the unisex version of the monitor was way to large – I had to go with the women’s specific version.

Looking to buy? Here’s where you can get one:
REI: $90 (Women’s)
Moosejaw: $89.95
Amazon: $82.99 (Women’s) & $89.95 (Men’s)