Pool Mate

It's rapidly approaching the anniversary of my birth, whiich London is kindly celebrating with a small party/ a few fireworks.

Was thinking about putting my pennies towards getting a Pool Mate or a Pool Mate Pro. Swimming is my weakest discipline and I plan on some one 2 one coaching as I know this is most cost-effective way to improve my swimming.

But I do love my gadgets and I looking at the Fink plans I thought having a length/stroke counter would help.

Has anyone got one, are they any good? Is the pool mate pro worth the extra dosh? Would people recommend them?

Thanks in advance


  • I love my Pool Mate. I find it very easy to use and accurate. Just let it know the length of your pool and what arm you will be wearing it on and it counts your lengths and stroke count and well as time your work out. It does not give you splits; just the total workout time. It can also act as an ordinary stop watch

    I too love my gadgets but am in two minds about the Pro version. As far as I can tell it doesn't give you any other info than the non-Pro, just the ability to download data (but I may be wrong image ). That's ??40 more for something you can put into an excel spreadsheet manually

    And if you are like me, you will spend more time analysing your data than actually going out to train image
  • I have come back to say that if you just want a bog-standard lap counter there are these...


    By no means as geeky or pretty but they do the same job but not as efficientlyimage
  • Me again image

    Seems I was wrong re Pool Mate Pro; it does record more data than the non-Pro as this link confirms

  • I don't know anything about pool mate, but garmin swim could be worth a look as well - http://www.lansonrunning.com/garmin-swim-watch its a little more expensive than pool mate though and i'm not sure of the pros and cons of each. I expect its pretty similar to the pro version of pool mate.

  • I would also say that the watch helped me improve my swimming a lot. It will be different for everybody but i get a lot of motivation from setting goals on garmin connect such as swimming a certain number of kilometers in a month. I have a progress bar telling me i'm behind schedule so i know i need to do a big session...

  • Personally I use the cheap and cheerful sportscount one that Schmunks mentioned earlier, but if I had lots of money/birthday etc I would be tempted by the all singing all dancing new Garmin 910xt



  • The internet 'guru' for geeky sports gadgets is dcrainmaker.

    His reviews are thorough (to say the least!) and unbiased, most of the manufacturers send him their new watches to review before they come to market.

    He is not a big fan of the poolmate and hesitates to recommend it. I read a comparison he made between the Poolmate, FINIS SwimSense and Garmin 910XT and he gives his reasons for not recommending the Poolmate at the end of the article. If you are not interested in GPS, there is an in-depth review of the Garmin Swim as well - which he does recommend.


  • I've got the Pool Mate (non-rpo version!) and I do like it.  I seem unable to count past about 6 when i'm doing lengths.  I also use it as a stop watch in the gym to time my rest breaks inbetween reps.  I have to say though, I've got the garmin 310XT, and if I didn't have that or the pool mate, i'd go for the 910xt as Gladys suggested, as it does everything (essentially the 310x with a lap counter.  And some other functions too, i'm sure...)

    Happy shopping.  Oh, and have you signed up for an IM yet?image


  • I dont find much issue with counting lengths. Over time you get a reasonable assurance about the accurcy of length counting by comparing it with your expected lap time. For longer swims I move a water bottle along one tile every 16/20 lengths depending on distance.

    Stroke count is one of the things that gets far too much airtime on this forum. Stepping out of an Iron man swim you wont be checking to see how many strokes you took. You will probably be looking to see what your heart rate is. But strangely,  no one seems to train to heart rate for the swim.

    My personal view is that the thing is of marginal, if any, benefit. I would add the squids to the coaching budget or to the budget for a better set of wheels. Or at least defer a decision on purchase till after the coaching.

  • I too have the basic poolmate and like LtP use it mainly for counting lengths

    Yes I know approximately how fast I swim and how far I can expect to go in a certain amount of time but the somewhat anal part of my personality likes to know exactly how many lengths I've done (and thus how far) and when up in the 100s I've no chance of keeping count......

    The coaching side for me is accounted for by my tri club image

    PS - despite my love of exactitude I am decidedly not a gadget geek hence I don't have it for the love of gadgetry per se 

  • I also like my pool mate as I am terrible at counting laps! It is a small price to pay to be able to concentrate on you stroke instead of how many laps you have doneimage

    *If you have loads of pennies go for the garmin910xt as it will cover OW swimming

  • I've got a poolmate and use it for lap counting as I find I either end up losing count or concentrating more on keeping the number of laps that I've done straight than what I'm actually supposed to be doing.

    However, having looked at dcrainmaker's review when my current garmin packs up I know what I'll be spending some pennies on image


  • sorry to dredge up an old thread, but my work is going to give me £75 to spend on a piece of health equipment and I saw the poolmate on the interweb for £65...

    I just need it to count lengths for me...how does it know when I've stopped for a breather and will continue and when I've actually given up and I'm clinging to the side for dear life?

    does anyone have any other suggestions in the £75 range?



  • Accelerometers pete.  You stop flapping your arms and it knows it's the end of the length, start flapping again and it starts counting again.

    As for stopping for breathers, it doesn't know that, you have to push the pause button, if you dont it will screw up the times etc.  Also be aware if you are doing drills with a kickboard it wont count lengths, just elapsed time as you aint flapping your arms.

    One other word of warning on the Poolmate, if you use Training Peaks Device Agent to manage a Garmin or your Timex GPS watch, Poolmates drivers won't like it and will probably refuse to work with your Poolmate Pro. 

    Apart from that it does what it says on the tin.  Also shop around, I got mine almost new on eBay for £40. 

  • I'm selling a Finis swim sense watch on tri(pe)talk

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