Best Swim lap counter by Mia Russel

Do you lose track of the number of laps you have swum during a long set? Or do you like to know how many laps you have done after a workout? A lap counter is a great way to keep track of how many laps a swimmer has completed and are used regularly by swimmers, coaches, spectators, officials, and timers alike.

Many fitness trackers and heart rate monitor watches have a distance tracking function that measures the overall distance you have swum, however, there are some products on the market that are specifically designed to just count laps. Let’s take a look.


Lap counters keep track of how many laps a swimmer has completed. Swimming Lanes by agaumont / Flickr / (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What is a Lap Counter?

Lap counters are devices used for keeping track of the number of laps swum and they can be used for tracking yards or meters in a practice workout or at a swim meet. There are three different types of lap counters: analog, digital, and manual.

Analog Lap Counters

Most analog lap counters are in the form of a swim watch. As well as being lap counters, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors have a variety of functions, including GPS capabilities, timing systems, and calorie counters. The lap counting function is built into the watch which makes it easy to see how many you have swum both during and after your workout. Analog lap counters are best for individual swimmers who want to keep track of their progress.

Digital Lap Counters

Digital lap counters are high-end, technical products that are usually combined with timing systems. These types of lap counters are used at competitive swim team practices and swim meets and have many functions beyond just counting laps. They have a countdown and workout option for a coach to organize a practice for larger swim teams and manually enter the intervals they want their swimmers to complete. The digital clock automatically signals when swimmers should go.

Manual Lap Counters

Manual counters are also known as tally counters and are operated by hand. These counters are operated by sliding a bead over the counter or clicking the device every time a swimmer completes a lap. Manual counters are the easiest, inexpensive, and most convenient lap counters to use and a great way to teach beginner or younger swimmers how to count laps.


Most analog lap counters are in the form of a
 swim watch

Best Swim Lap Counters

Let’s take a look at some of the best swim lap counters on the market from old-school tally counters to contemporary counters worn on your wrist like a watch.  

BEST FOR BUDGET: Aqua Tally Swimming Lap Counter

The Aqua Tally Swimming Lap Counter is an old-school lap counter that works like a charm. Designed to look like a lane rope, this simple lap counter is super easy to use and you can keep track of laps and sets in the water without having to wear a watch. It’s water-resistant, budget-friendly, and doesn’t require a user manual! It’s a fantastic lap counter for teaching young swimmers how to count laps.

Pros

  •         Simple design
  •         Easy to use
  •         Inexpensive  
  •         Water-resistant

Cons

  •         Not high-tech
  •         Can only count up to a certain amount of laps (depending on the number of beads)

BEST FOR LONG DISTANCE SWIMMING: Kiefer Swim Lap Counter

The Kiefer Swim Lap Counter is a great lap counter for long-distance sets and races. This lap counter has 12 huge numbers, which are super easy to see under the water and from a distance. Made from heavy-duty plastic with sturdy hinges, it’s very durable and is strong enough to withstand hard knocks.

The Kiefer Swim Lap Counter counts odd numbers from one to sixty-nine. An orange panel is displayed after the final lap, which is a great motivation for swimmers.  

Pros

  •         Large numbers are easy to see under the water and from a distance
  •         Super sturdy and tough – very durable
  •         No batteries required!
  •         Inexpensive

Cons

  •         Users need to flip the numbers manually after each lap
  •         Not as easy to use as other lap counters
  •         Only suitable for racing or distance swimming

Kiefer Swim Lap CounterGet the Latest Price

RISE Handle Adapter

The RISE Handle Adapter lap counter is a simply designed lap counter that can be managed using a pole to avoid getting wet arms or sleeves. Swimmers can change the numbers themselves if need be and the lap counter is super sturdy and durable.

Pros

  •         Strong, sturdy, and reliable
  •         Easy to see in the water
  •         No more wet sleeves for the person holding the lap counter

Cons

  •         Only comes with a pole attachment – the pole is not included

Kiefer Swim Lap CounterGet the Latest Price

Horsky Clicker Tally Counter

The Horsky Clicker Tally Counter is a mechanical lap counter made from stainless steel that is ideally designed for coaches to use to count laps across a variety of sports activities. The lap counter is simple to use, small and easy to hold in one hand, and no batteries are required. The device can count up to 9,999 laps and it’s a great tool for teaching kids to count.

Pros

  •         Lightweight and comfortable
  •         No batteries required
  •         Counts up to 9,999 laps
  •         Suitable for a range of sports activities
  •         Durable and strong

Cons

  •         The button sometimes get stuck

Horsky Clicker Tally CounterGet the Latest Price

Digi 1st Tally

Originally made for baseball, the Digi 1st Tally can also be used to count swim laps as it has a large and easy-to-read LCD and it counts up to 9,999 laps. It can count up and down and has a  loud beep confirmation for laps counted.

This lightweight device is suitable for coaches who want to count laps for swimmers, or swimmers who are happy to leave the lap counter on the pool deck and count their laps at the end of every length. It has a convenient lock feature that prevents accidental modification and an auto-sleep mode saves battery power.

Pros

  •         Super lightweight and easy to use
  •         Counts up to 9,999 and can count up and down
  •         Both audible beep mode or silent mode
  •         An auto-sleep mode saves battery power
  •         Convenient lock feature

Cons

  •         Doesn’t have a backlight display for use in dark environments

Digi 1st TallyGet the Latest Price

WEARABLE LAP COUNTERS

SportCount Swim Lap Counter

The SportCount Swim Lap Counter is a wearable lap counter that fits your finger. It has an ergonomic design that makes it fairly hydrodynamic and an easy-to-see LCD. Laps are counted by pressing the button below the LCD and if the lap counter is on your forefinger, you can easily do this with a little flick with your thumb.

The device is lightweight and waterproof and has an adjustable strap that provides a comfortable and secure fit around the finger. The lap counter counts up to 9,999 laps.

Pros

  •         Simple, hydrodynamic design
  •         Adjustable strap for a comfortable fit
  •         Easy to use
  •         Counts up to 9,999 laps

Cons

  •         Small screen
  •         It may take some getting used to

SportCount Swim Lap CounterGet the Latest Price

SportCount 200 Swim Lap Counter & Timer

The SportCount 200 Lap Counter & Timer is the next model up from the SportCount Swim Lap Counter and adds timing to its main function of counting laps. Featuring the same design and adjustable finger strap, this device not only counts laps, but also records the fastest and slowest splits, the average pace you held throughout your swim, and the overall time of your swim. It has an excellent onboard memory that can up to 200 splits or lap times.

It is water-resistant up to 165 feet / 50 meters and can be paused at any time during a workout. The lap counter has a small nickel battery with a long life. 

Pros

  •         Counts laps and records times and splits
  •         On-board memory holds up to 200 splits or lap times
  •         Simple, hydrodynamic design
  •         Adjustable strap for a comfortable fit
  •         Water-resistant to 165 ft / 50 m
  •         Long battery life

Cons

  •         Small screen
  •         It may take some getting used to

SportCount 200 Lap Counter & TimerGet the Latest Price

SportCount Chrono 200

Like the previous models of SportCount lap counters, the SportCount Chrono 200 is a fantastic little lap counter that can be worn on your finger while you are swimming. This model offers the added extra feature of timing and can record your fastest and slowest laps in addition to recording up to two hundred individual laps. It has a count limit of 999 laps and is very easy to use.

One of the best features of the SportCount Chrono 200 is that it can help you keep track of your fastest and slowest laps and at the end of your workout in the pool, you can determine which laps were your fastest and slowest. You can also work out the average time you spend on each lap.

The SportCount Chrono 200 is very lightweight and fits comfortably on whichever finger you prefer to use and it only requires one hand for operation.

Pros

  •         Counts laps and records times and splits
  •         On-board memory holds up to 200 splits or lap times
  •         Simple, hydrodynamic design
  •         Adjustable strap for a comfortable fit
  •         Water-resistant to 165 ft / 50 m
  •         Good battery life

Cons

  •         Can only record a limited number of laps
  •         Small screen
  •         It may take some getting used to
  •         The battery life is not as long as the basic SportCount Lap Counter / SportCount 200 Swim Lap Counter & Timer

SportCount Chrono 200Get the Latest Price

FORM Swim Goggles

FORM Swim Goggles take lap counting to the next level and display your laps, splits, overall time, pace, stroke rate, and heart rate right in front of your eyes – quite literally! The goggles have a smart display on the inside lens of the goggles that delivers information from 12 customizable metrics ranging from distance to swim pace per 100, so you can see everything while you are swimming without missing a beat. The goggles are also compatible with the Polar OH1 and OH+1 heart rate monitors, Garmin smartwatches, and Apple Watch for live heart rate metrics.

FORM Swim Goggles have comfy silicone straps, replaceable silicone eye seals, a permanent chemical-resistant anti-fog coating, and are very comfortable to wear. They work well in both indoor and outdoor swimming pools – sunshine doesn’t affect the display in any way, and the battery lasts for about 16 hours. They are waterproof for up to 32 feet (10 meters) and have a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  •         The smart display shows information from 12 customizable metrics
  •         Comfortable, hydrodynamic design
  •         Adjustable silicone straps for a comfortable fit
  •         Replaceable silicone eye seals
  •         Permanent chemical-resistant anti-fog coating
  •         Water-resistant to 32 ft / 10 m
  •         16-hour battery life
  •         Compatible with the Polar OH1, OH+1 heart rate monitors, Garmin smartwatches, and Apple Watch
  •         Suitable for both indoor and outdoor swimming

Cons

  •         Can be distracting while swimming
  •         Expensive

FORM Swim GogglesGet the Latest Price

Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition

The Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition is a wrist-strap that covers lap counting, activity tracking, and everything in between! This sleek, beautifully designed lap counter boasts advanced features such as swim lap and activity tracking, smart button connectivity, call, and text alerts, and vibration notifications.

Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum, the Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition offers a swimmer’s lap counter, swim distance, a timer countdown, calories, and light and restful sleep. Designed for non-stop wear, the Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition has replaceable batteries that last up to six months and features a multicolor LED display and vibration motor, movement reminders, and smart alarms.

Validated by Speedo’s Aqualab, Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s Edition is compatible with the Speedo Fit app for water-based tracking and the Misfit App for dryland exercise tracking such as steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled. The device also automatically monitors your sleep.

Pros

  •         Made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum
  •         Variety of features from lap counting to activity tracking both in the water and on land
  •         Multicolor LED display
  •         Automatically monitors your sleep
  •         Six-month battery life

Cons

  •         It doesn’t tell the time

Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer’s EditionGet the Latest Price

Swimovate PoolMate2 Swim Sports Watch

The Swimovate PoolMate2 Swim Sports Watch is another great wristwatch-style lap counter with a sleek stylish design and some awesome features. If you don’t want to fiddle around with buttons and settings, the Swimovate PoolMate2 Swim Sports Watch is a good option for you as it is very simple to operate and super easy to read.

It detects and counts the number of laps swum, the stroke you are swimming, the number of strokes you have taken per lap, and your pace over each lap. It can store up to 400 workouts in its internal memory, and also measures the distance covered, calories burned, and more. It also has a stopwatch and timer function that can be used in and out of the pool if you need it. It is water-resistant for up to 50 meters and works well in both 25m and 50m pools.

Pros

  •         Great design and comfortable to wear
  •         Easy to operate
  •         Variety of functions including a stopwatch and Chrono timer
  •         Can hold up to 200 session
  •         Water-resistant to 165 ft / 50 m

Cons

  •         It doesn’t connect to a laptop/computer so you can’t download your workouts
  •         Data must be recorded manually

Swimovate PoolMate2 Swim Sports WatchGet the Latest Price

Fitbit Ionic Watch

The Fitbit Ionic is the best waterproof Fitbit for swimming on the market as it is designed for swimmers with advanced swim tracking capabilities. It features a built-in GPS that automatically starts tracking your workout whether you are in the pool or running on land and a swim mode that allows you to track your stroke style and laps.

The Ionic is water-resistant up to 165 feet / 50 meters and tracks resting and working heart rate through the PurePulse Heart Rate feature, as well as cardio fitness level, calories burned, and sleep stages. It synchronizes with a host of devices from Mac OS to Android and Windows from up to 30 feet away.

The watch is compatible with most Bluetooth headphones and stores and plays up to 300 songs from Pandora, so you can work out to your favorite tunes. It has a tough, durable screen corning made from Gorilla Glass 3 which makes it scratch and damage-resistant. The battery lasts up to four days, but this depends on the features being used – GPS will use more battery than other features.

You can personalize your watch with an array of third-party accessories, ranging from customized accessory bands to clock faces, and it comes with two different size bands – one large and small.

Pros

  •         Advanced swim tracking capabilities
  •         Automatic GPS tracking
  •         PurePulse Heart Rate measures working and resting heart rate
  •         Compatible with most Bluetooth headphones
  •         Damage-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 screen

Cons

  •         Short battery life
  •         Only compatible with Pandora
  •         Expensive

SALEFitbit IconicGet the Latest Price

Timex Ironman Classic

The Timex Ironman Classic is a great wearable swimming lap counter that offers a range of other features that can help you improve your performance in the pool. Endorsed by world-renowned triathlon brand, Ironman, the Timex Ironman Classic is suitable for both triathletes and swimmers and provides a host of awesome features.

The watch is water-resistant for up to 100m and features include a lap counter, timing functions, and alarm modes and it is sturdy and durable. The Ironman 50 or 100 models offer slightly better features such as a bit higher lap count range, and more technical timing functions.

Pros

  •         Comfortable to wear
  •         Variety of functions including lap counter, stopwatch, and Chrono timer
  •         Water-resistant to 230 ft / 100 m

Cons

  •         It lacks computer connectivity for post-workout analytics

SALETimex Ironman ClassicGet the Latest Price

Final Thoughts

Lap counters are excellent devices to add to your swim bag if you have trouble remembering the number of laps you have done or need a counter during a race. From basic tally counters to high-tech digital counters and timers, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a great lap counter for your next swim.

Happy swimming!

https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/lap-counter.html

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Follow me on these Platforms, Pick the ones you are active on or explore the ones you don't know