If there is one thing that the decade of the 20’s has taught us so far (no it’s not how to bake banana bread) it is that taking care of our weight and having a healthy relationship with food and exercise is crucial to long term health. Of course, we knew this already – but now we are spending more time tracking our weight we need a tool that is up to the task – we may also want to track a range of metrics that a standard set of bathroom scales simply can’t provide.
And that’s where the FitTrack Dara Smart Scales come in to play.
If you aren’t familiar with smart scales, they look and feel very much like a standard set of bathroom scales and will not look out of place in any domestic space. The main difference is that as well as measuring your weight they also use electrical resistance technology to determine a range of body composition metrics. There are plenty of people who argue that smart scales won’t do a great job of measuring certain metrics (body fat for example) but then there are others who swear by them – we tend to fall in to the latter camp and although there are pitfalls that you might want to avoid, if you have a good quality set of smart scales then you can really start to track the metrics that will matter for you – and make good, healthy progress as a result.
We got our hands on one of the more popular smart scale models, the Dara by FitTrack – and after spending a month testing them out we are bringing you our full Dara FitTrack scales review.
Read on to find out what we thought of the FitTrack scales and the accompanying app.
FitTrack Scales – First Impressions
The FitTrack scales look pretty darn nice. It’s hard to get too excited about the design of a set of scales but the Dara scales do look great. They are all white in colour with a glass top that features perfectly rounded edges. There are 4 metal connection points where the electrical pulses are sent from the scales through your body to measure resistance – one for each heel and one for each set of toes. The scales are just 2.5cm tall and have square dimensions measuring 32cm x 32cm length and width. They weigh about the same as a standard set of scales.
There is an LCD display for displaying weight if you just want to hop on and weigh yourself without tracking and this display is hidden unless in use. When you step on to the scales, the display lights up very brightly and the numbers shine through the glass clearly – this model really does get top marks for design mixed with functionality!
The FitTrack scales boast an impressive array of measuring ability with 17 metrics in total accounted for. It is billed as the most accurate body composition scale in its class and studies have shown that it gets to within 3% accuracy (+/-) when compared to a DEXA body fat scanner which is considered to be the most accurate available – this is a pretty impressive claim and one that we were keen to test out.
The Dara smart scales come with a companion app called FitTrack Pro and this is pretty feature packed as well as being compatible with apps such as Google Fit, FitBit and Apple Health. Initial set up is straight forward with bluetooth the connectivity method of choice and you will be all set and good to go in a couple of minutes.
FitTrack Dara Specs
The Dara packs plenty considering its pretty modest price point. It tracks no less than 17 different metrics including visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, body fat percentage, muscle mass, BMI, bone mass, estimated body age and a lot more besides. This can seem overwhelming at first but you will soon come to realise that there are only really a handful of metrics you will choose to focus on.
The Dara works by sending electrical signals through the body from the 4 electrodes on the scale’s surface. These signals are very low powered and completely safe – the signal passes through the legs towards your abdomen and moves through water in the muscles until it hits fat tissue – this resistance is then fed back to the scales which interprets the data in to the 17 metrics. One of the criticisms of these types of smart scales is that the scales are only measuring your lower half – and while this is true, fat deposits are stored across the body and not just on the stomach which is where most people notice it. So the FitTrack scales are going to give as good a reading as any body composition smart scales can.
The Fit Track scales can measure up to 400 pounds in weight (approximately 181kg) and this means they will be suitable for most users. They do need to be used on a solid and flat floor (like all scales) and they do need 3AAA batteries to power the unit – these are not supplied as standard so you should stock up before buying. The batteries do last a long time though (at least 12 months) so you won’t need to be worrying about replacing them often.
When using the app (which is crucial to get access to the data) you can have up to 8 users being tracked from a single device – this is very useful if you want to track the weight of children’s development – and there is even a child setting as you won’t need to track all the metrics for children. You can also use multiple devices on each set of scales and the app is compatible with Android and Apple phones alike.
Using The FitTrack Scales
Using the FitTrack Dara scales couldn’t be simpler. Once you have completed the quick and easy initial setup you simply fire up the app and step on the scales. The data is then beamed across to your mobile device in seconds and you have all the data you need at your fingertips.
There is probably more data than anyone could realistically need but we found that weight, BMI, body fat percentage, subcutaneous fat and visceral fat were the most important metrics to keep a track of. Some of these stats move quicker over time than others and some are harder metrics to improve – but they are really solid indicators of overall health and although there can be mental health issues around certain people tracking all of these metrics – most users will be fine. If you do have a tendency to obsess over numbers to do with your weight and health then it may not be a wise move to buy these scales – instead consult a doctor – but for everyone else, these scales are pretty useful and can be used on a daily basis to really identify body weight trends.
The measurement for muscle mass is also a metric we found useful and we found that the body fat percentage when combined with the muscle mass percentage was a really useful tool to use when bulking or cutting for muscle growth and body fat loss purposes.
We didn’t have the capacity to check the body fat percentage against a DEXA scan but from using visual body fat charts (which are often just as useful to a trained eye) we found the scales were very close to where we would have pitched the body fat levels. As our tester was on a high protein diet with a small calorie deficit we were able to track the body fat decrease without seeing too much muscle mass reduction over the course of a month. This was pretty impressive and the user commented on how it helped to keep them motivated in terms of their nutrition and training plan.
The app is fairly intuitive and simple to navigate. We love the integration with FitBit, Apple Health and Google Fit and this makes tracking your data even easier. One aspect of the app that could be developed in our opinion is the explanations linked to each metric. There is some detail in this regard but more could be provided to educate those who need it – without having to leave the app and head to Google where the information could be hit or miss in terms of accuracy.
All in all, the FitTrack smart scales performed really well though and in terms of ease of use it could hardly be better.
The FitTrack scales claim to be the most accurate in their class and considering their low-ish price point they don’t need to work too hard to uphold their bold claim. They succeed and then some – and even give the more expensive models a run for their money.
We have no hesitation in fully recommending the Dara scales by FitTrack and so long as you have a healthy, non-obsessive mindset towards your health and fitness goals then the Dara scales should be a welcome addition to your arsenal of tools to help you become the best physical version of you that you can be.