Best multisport: Coros Apex
Pros: Incredible battery life, a wide array of training modes, one of the best-designed watches we tested with an excellent smartphone app
Cons: Dim screen, digital dial got caught on coat sleeves causing accidental mode changes
If you’re looking for a GPS watch that does it all, the Coros Apex fits the bill. Initially designed with three main focuses – running, biking, and swimming – that aimed it squarely at triathletes, Coros has since added a variety of new modes to the Apex since launch that makes it suited for a wider range of sports.
In particular, the watch is a great tool for winter sports, offering alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and ski touring modes that track a wealth of data for those who like to stay active during the colder months. In total, the Apex offers nearly two dozen training modes including gym cardio, mountain climbing, hiking, and customizable strength and training modes that let you build your workouts.
Where the Apex shines though is for ultrarunning thanks to its excellent battery life and dedicated trail run mode. We also found it to be one of the best-designed GPS watches we’ve tested. It’s surprisingly stylish, too.
The Apex comes in two options: a 46mm version and a 42mm version. The 46mm is $50 more than the smaller watch but the added price is worth it since it gives you better battery life, a larger 1.2-inch color LCD screen, and comes with a snazzy titanium alloy bezel versus the stainless-steel bezel native to the 42mm watch.
The watch’s black silicone band is basic but fits snugly and comfortably on the wrist thanks to stretchy elastic. However, those with small wrists will need to choke up considerably on the band.
The Apex offers GPS, GLONASS, or BDS to lock in your location and track distance. We often achieved a location sync in roughly one minute. During test runs on a four-mile course, the Apex said we ran around 10 seconds per mile slower than the other watches tested, though the measured distance was fairly accurate even during runs on a track.
The watch has a wrist-based heart rate monitor along with an accelerometer, barometer, altimeter, and compass. Heart rate readings were fairly consistent when tested against a finger-based pulse monitor. The Apex is also water-resistant to 100 meters/328 feet and offers both Pool Swim and Open Water mode making it suited to swimmers.
It has impressive battery life, too, which means it’s safe to use on ultra runs (i.e. anything longer than 26.2 miles). Battery life for the 46mm version is up to 100 hours in UltraMax GPS mode, up to 35 hours in full GPS mode, and up to 30 days for regular use.