If your kids have caught the exercise bug, they’ve probably got Fitbit fever and they’re pulling at your arm to get them one. There’s a full line of Fitbit trackers that may be right for your little one or teen, so read on as we recommend the best Fitbit for your kid.
What’s a Fitbit and why does my kid need one?
Fitbits are wearable fitness monitors that, depending on the model, can track steps, sleep, and heart rate, and they’ll even give you little reminders to move when your activity level is too low.
All Fitbit devices sync up with the Fitbit app for iPhone or iPad and Android, which gives you a detailed look at your daily step goals, weight goals, calorie consumption, and a whole slew of other pertinent fitness information.
Keep in mind that under Fitbit’s Terms of Service, users under 13 years of age are not allowed to have personal Fitbit accounts, so if you do want to sync your kid’s tracker with the Fitbit app, you’ll want to create your own account and let him or her access it that way.
Getting your young ones a Fitbit is a great way to help them take control of their fitness goals and see progress in real time. Many people find that they always workout better when with a buddy and Fitbit can be that fun little buddy that cheers your youth on to his or her daily exercise goals.
There are three major criteria on which you should base your decision as to which Fitbit is right for your child. We’re going to look at the least expensive Fitbit, the most resilient Fitbit, and the coolest and flashiest tracker that Fitbit has to offer.
Best for price: Zip
Let’s be honest, kids break stuff. Kids lose stuff. Kids break and then lose stuff; it’s just the way things go. So, when it comes to electronics, your biggest motivator might be price, and you wouldn’t be alone.
Giving your kid your Rolex to wear to work is like having a tea party with rhinos and your finest china. So, buying your kid the Fitbit Ionic, which retails for around $200, may not be the best decision.
Thus, the cheapest Fitbit is the Zip, for $59.95, in black. The best part about the Zip is that your kid can see their progress in real time by tapping the screen without the need for a cell phone in order to view the app. The Zip comes in four different colors and takes a replaceable watch battery, but they do last up to six months without needing a change.
The Fitbit Zip clips easily onto your child’s clothing, which makes it incredibly easy to use, but could make for a soggy device if it gets left in pockets or on belt loops.
Best for durability: Flex 2
Kids. No matter how many times you tell them “no,” they will always do the most physically dangerous stuff. They haven’t quite yet realized they are not immortal. Chances are, your little one is climbing a tree or trying to feed a squirrel right now. If your child is rambunctious, you’d be better off getting him or her the Flex 2.
It’s the first swimproof wearable from Fitbit, so you don’t even have to worry about your younglings diving into the deep end with it on (unless they haven’t learned to swim yet, but that’s another story). The Flex 2 comes with an elastomer band that stays put on the wrist. But, the tracker itself is removable, so you can put it into any compatible band. You can even tie it to a rope and wear it around your neck, if you have a solid compartment to keep it in.
The Flex 2 doesn’t have a display, but five LED lights instead, which are used as notifications for daily goals and move reminders. Because there is no screen, you can get about five days of always-on usage out of it.
And, the price is reasonable at $59.95, just like the Zip.
The coolest Fitbit: Alta
The Fitbit Alta is probably the coolest product in Fitbit’s lineup, since it has a cool OLED display that wakes up when you tap it. It’s also the most customizable of the Fitbit line, with tons of third-party bands to choose from, so your kid can really personalize it and make it their own.
The Alta’s price is also a little easier to swallow than some models at $99.95. It also has a smart “Reminders to Move” feature that can let your little one know it’s time to exercise a bit throughout the day. Given its size and shape, the Alta should also be able to stand up to wear and tear a little better than the Blaze or Surge with their larger screens.
The nitty gritty
At the end of the day, buying your kids a Fitbit is a great idea because it helps them take ownership of their exercise goals and overall fitness. Start ’em off young and let Fitbit help keep them on the right track well into adulthood.
Updated January 2018: Updated pricing and links for each tracker. These are still the best Fitbit trackers for your young’uns!
Which Fitbits are best for kids?