When it comes to training, fitness, and sports, then speed and time is always of the essence. As a coach or athlete, every fraction of a second count as you try to improve your time performance. Whether you are a runner, a swimmer, or a cyclist, your competitive streak and your determination to move better and faster is what drives you. This is where a stopwatch becomes the ultimate training tool. If you are serious about your sport, then you don’t just want any simple timepiece. You want the best stopwatch that will perfectly accommodate your type of training. Essentially, you want it to come with features and functionality that not only keep accurate time, but that will also help you to enhance your performance overall.
The Gear Hungry team has outdone themselves once again and have carefully curated a list of the best stopwatches that are used by professional coaches and trainers worldwide. With so many options to choose from, we’re here to help you find the ultimate watch timer.
The Best Stopwatches
We don’t always like to save the best for last. Coming in as our number one choice for the best training stopwatch, we’d like to introduce Marathon’s ADANAC 3000. This lightweight digital stopwatch proudly boasts multitudes of nifty features and has the potential to become any athletes most trustworthy partner. Laser tuned for 1/100th-second accuracy, this sports timer times 1/100th second for 30 minutes, then 1-second increments up to 24 hours.
The Adanac’s multi-sport capabilities come encased in a “no frills” design that puts practicality before aesthetics. Engineered with bulky buttons that are easy to push while the device rests comfortably in the palm of your hand (or around your neck), this water and dust resistant stopwatch is highly regarded for its durability and performance-enhancing characteristics. Make sure you also check our guide to the best sports watches.
Comes with a 46″ nylon lanyard
Jumbo display with automatic rollover function
Includes clock, alarm and date functionality
Times single events and also has a split timing mode
Stopwatch: 1/100 second for 30 minutes
Smooth button functionality
Holds up well to wear and tear
Easy to read jumbo display
Can be used in wet environments
The battery replacement is a bit tricky
The stopwatch lacks a countdown timer
This is a great option if you are on a budget but still want quality reassurance and accurate timing. The Travelwey V2.0 doesn’t beat around the bush and has removed all additional functionality to simply get straight to the point – which is to track time. There’re no bells and whistles here and if you’re after a device that includes the time, a calendar and an alarm, then you’ll have to keep on browsing.
What this coach’s companion does offer, however, is convenience, reliability, and accuracy. A lightweight device that fits snugly in your palm, this Travelwey model is extremely easy to operate with little key presses to control, namely; Start, Stop and Reset. A bold LCD screen displays the precise counter which rounds off to minutes, seconds and hundredths of a second. If you’re looking for an affordable stopwatch that comes without the fuss, then this is your guy! Our handy guide to the best triathlon watches features more great products like this.
Made from hard yet lightweight plastic
Conveniently uses standard AAA batteries
Bold LCD display screen
Displays minutes, seconds & hundredths of a second
- Weight2.1 ounces
Gets straight to the point with no frills
This is an affordable stopwatch option
Even children can operate this device
Features minimal functionality for those who require a more advanced stopwatch
The ProCoach RS-013 is another “no-fuss” stopwatch that comes in at a cost-effective price. Measuring time at an accuracy of one-hundredth of a second, this digital sports timer is durable, water-resistant, and super easy to use. With a 3-button design, this device keeps to pretty standard functionality and offers your basic stop, start and reset options. Unlike the extreme simplicity of the Travelwey V2.0, however, it also displays the date and time and includes an alarm.
There’s something that makes this design slightly more aesthetically appealing than many other stopwatches – perhaps it’s the subtle hints of red and blue that are used to frame the display screen? Despite the attractive attributes, the RS-013 also outdoes itself in terms of being great for personal use and reliable enough for more professional scenarios too. It’s light in weight and a soft attachable lanyard makes it the perfect accessory for runners, refs, and coaches. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best fitness trackers.
A split time feature precisely measures multiple events
Switch between 3 display modes
Designed for use in any kind of weather
Comes with a strap for easy attachment
Lightweight and durable
- Weight3.2 ounces
The split time feature allows you to time many events simultaneously
Includes multiple display modes
The device is extremely precise and accurate
Features a long battery life
The alarm is too quiet and can be missed
The display light is too dim for convenient evening use
If you have a preference for premium quality sports gear that offers nothing less than the best caliber features, then you’ll be pleased to discover that the Ultrak 100 Lap Memory Timer includes a powerful array of functions right at your fingertips. Of course, this premium functionality does come at a premium price.
Popular with swim coaches, athletes, and sportsmen everywhere, this professional timer offers smooth button action and is extremely easy to use despite the multiple setting options. With bold, three-row LCD display, this brilliantly designed stopwatch is fully water-resistant and incredibly lightweight. Other impressive elements include a 100 dual split recallable memory that offers a display of the event time as well as the ability to measure up to 10 hours with a 1/100 second resolution. You may also like to check our guide to the best sleep trackers.
Available in black or yellow
10 hours timing range
5-year lithium battery
A laser tuned quartz for accurate timing
Premium quality timing apparatus
- Weight4 ounces
Made from superior quality materials made to last
Boasts an elegant look
It is conveniently water, dust, and shock-resistant
Includes a digital tally that helps to monitor and take attendance.
Features a large screen with a 3-row display
The buttons are a little sensitive and it’s easy to accidentally cancel or reset settings
The Robic Stopwatch is a handsome little fella that comes complete with all the essentials while sticking to an economical price. If you’re looking for an attractive piece that remains practical and reliable, then you might want to give this sports timer a second glance. Featuring as one of the most advanced stopwatches that we have reviewed, this Robic model gets a thumbs up for its user-friendly interface and its multi-mode stopwatch that includes an easy-to-use countdown timer.
A large digital display screen and soft rubberized pushbuttons and side grips make this durable and water-resistant timer a pleasure to hold and operate. Smugly boasting a full 10-hour stopwatch and a countdown timer that’s super precise (1/100 second), the Robic claims it is 20 times more powerful than other brands. If you need a digital stopwatch for all of your sports related purposes, this robust character is definitely a good choice to consider. For more sports watches check out our guide to the best golf GPS watches.
Can track single-event, lap, and split timing
Full 10-hour stopwatch
Two-finish time memory recall functionality
1/100 second resolution
Splash and water-resistant
- Weight3.2 ounces
Captures an unlimited number of time readings
Great value for money
Lovely display and easy-to-use interface
The countdown timer alarm is not that loud
The countdown timer only works with a setting of 30 seconds or more
As cute as a button but as powerful and aggressive as a wrestler on steroids, the Dakota mini stopwatch does not take its purpose lightly. Built for more than just timekeeping, this miniature device weighs less than 3 ounces but is jam-packed with military-style functionality. Features include a timer, dual time zone ability, an alarm and – as if all of this wasn’t enough – the device also boasts an analog compass.
This nifty critter is great for clipping on to your belt loop or backpack for easy access while on the job and is not only suitable for coaches and sportsmen, but the functionality will benefit hikers and campers too. With a ton of neat features and construction that includes durable and quality materials, the somewhat hefty price of this Dakota stopwatch meets its value for money. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best altimeter watches.
Moonglow electroluminescent dial light
Water-resistant up to 100ft
Integrated carabiner clip
Encased in stainless steel
Weighs a mere 2.75 ounces
- Weight1.12 ounces
Includes a countdown repeat timer
Keeps accurate military time
Backlit display makes it easy to read at all hours of the night.
The built-in compass is not always reliable
There is no split time tracking
Stopwatch Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Stopwatches
The right stopwatch can make all the difference in one’s performance. Whether you are a teacher, a coach, or an athlete, having a timer that remains accurate and reliable is of the utmost importance. There are, however, certain other features to look out for when considering which stopwatch to purchase. Let’s discuss these elements below.
Water Resistance - Many often take “water-resistance” as a key attribute for granted. But, if you are a swimming coach or a sportsman who perseveres even in wet weather conditions, then you will need a waterproof device that won’t fail you when exposed to a few splashes of water. A stopwatch that is water-resistant is usually more durable and has specifically designed to not only avoid wear and tear but also to prevent damage caused by liquids. While you’re at it, check for features like “shock resistance” and “dust resistance” too.
Alarm - A stopwatch alarm is not always necessary but it can be to your advantage. Many devices allow you to set the tone or sound level of the alarm, which is always a bonus. An alarm allows you to “keep your eye on the prize” as you focus on your performance. When the alarm sounds, you will know whether you have achieved your goal or not – or perhaps it will encourage you to pick up speed.
Lap timing - Measuring how fast an athlete can move from start to finish is a vital part of evaluating how training programs are performing. This is why lap timing is an important component to have in a stopwatch - especially if you are a professional coach or sportsman. Most stopwatches come standard with this functionality but many are slightly more advanced and also include split-time timekeeping abilities.
Precision - Stopwatches are designed with the intention of keeping accurate time. Some models are often more precise than others, however, and choosing the right type of watch will depend on how accurate your time tracking needs to be. If you are coaching kids or training just for the fun of it, then you can opt for a cheaper stopwatch that sticks to counting by the second. If you are a serious athlete, on the other hand, then you are probably going to want to go with a model that is slightly more expensive but measures to 10 hours with 1/100 second resolution.
- A Buyer’s Guide to Sports Timing for Speed - Simpli Faster