Your stomach sinks when you remember that you left your fitness tracker on the patio last night. It rained, and quite hard, too.

You go outside, find your tracker, and sure enough, it's dead. Now you're in the market for a new one and you come across Garmin's Vivo Fitness trackers. You wonder: are any of them waterproof?

Water resistant or waterproof?

Most people confuse the terms waterproof and water resistant. They use them interchangeably and assume that they mean the same thing. They do not, and the difference can mean the difference between a working fitness tracker and a dead one. Let's review both terms.

What does waterproof mean?

Nylon is waterproof. That's why umbrellas are made with it. It means that water cannot permeate it or damage it in any way.

What does water resistant mean?

Water resistant means there's some measure of protection against water incursion and damage. The level of protection can range from divers' watches, which are capable of resisting water at great depths where the water pressure is immense, to devices that won't be harmed in the rain, but if you take them into the pool with you, they'll become toast.

Are Vivo Fitness trackers waterproof or water-resistant?

Now that you know the difference between waterproof and water-resistant, we can talk about what that means for the Vivo Fitness devices. Since there is no industry standard for calling a device "waterproof," the proper term for them is water-resistant rather than waterproof.

Ok, so which Vivo Fitness tracker is water-resistant?

Vivofit 2 and Vivosmart HR

According to this FAQ on Garmin's website, both the Vivofit 2 and the Vivosmart HR can be worn in the shower and while swimming. The specs on each device mention a 5 ATM rating, capable of withstanding the pressure in up to 50 meters of water.

What this really means is that they're good for swimming in shallow water. Also, it's important to note that the Garmin's FAQ specifies pool swimming only, meaning that you shouldn't wear your Vivo Fitness tracker while swimming in the ocean!

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There's also the Vivoactive and Vivoactive HR, Garmin's activity-tracking smartwatches. Both also have a 5 ATM rating, and can track your activity as you swim, and even rowing if you're one of the Winklevoss twins or something.

Electronics and water usually don't mix well

Whether you choose the Vivofit 2 or Vivosmart HR, or decide a Garmin smartwatch is right for you, it's probably wise to avoid exposing either to water for hours on end. Remember that neither one is waterproof, only water-resistant. The difference is a big one.

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