Choosing the best watch for hiking? We’ve researched many models and picked 6 best watches for you. Read on to compare and choose your perfect watch.
A good hiking watch is hard to choose. It should not only show date and time but also get you information about location, air pressure, altitude, sunrise and sunset times, and much more. Such devices greatly help with navigation, weather prediction, and planning.
These watches are popular, and there is high competition. They should combine both great design and engaging technology. For one, they should have a GPS. Still, not all of them have it because the absence of GPS greatly spares battery life and makes the watch interface better.
Altimeter, barometer, and compass are some other essential features of such watches. That makes them great for mountaineering, backpacking, trekking, and many other outdoor activities.
As there are a variety of such devices today, we will look at the best of them to help you make your final choice.
6 Best Hiking Watches
- Garmin Pay
- Music storage
- Streaming services
- Smart notifications
- A large 1.4 inches display
This watch comes in many colors and has a durable design. It has a colorful display that can show time, altitude, and more. The watch has a large 1.4 inches display, which uses the sun energy to extend battery life and bring you more on-wrist time.
Such features as Pulse Ox help you to track sleep on a high level of precision. It also helps to acclimate to high elevations. It has many advanced training features. For example, it provides grade-adjusted pace guidance. The watch can show your training status estimates through VO2 max.
Preloaded TOPO maps and ski maps will help you orient at 2,000 ski resorts worldwide. There are also multiple navigation satellites, including GLONASS, GPS, and Galileo. The watch also has a built-in 3-axis compass, which will help you orient anywhere. With a gyroscope and barometric altimeter, your hiking will become better.[/su_list]
This watch is durable and can serve you up to 21 days when you hike. If you don’t use GPS all the time, it will bring you long days of service. It has all the main functions of a hiking watch, but there aren’t many options for smartphone integration. If the latter is important, choose another model.
- Preloaded activity profiles
- Barometric altimeter
- Thermal, shock, and water-resistant
- 14 days in smartwatch mode
- Heart rate monitoring
- 3-axis compass
This smartwatch is built to resist tough environments. It caters to U.S. military standards for shock, thermal, and water resistance and is waterproof up to 100 meters. It also has a 3-axis compass.
Barometric altimeter and many navigation satellite systems will help you track in challenging environments. There isn’t only GPS, but also GLONASS and Galileo to have a better picture of your route.
As for health tracking, this watch can tell your estimated heart rate, as well as stress and activity levels. You can use preloaded activity profiles that help to track your activity in any condition.
There are smart notifications if your smartphone is compatible with the device. It can automatically upload data to Garmin Connect.
The trackback feature is another useful function which helps you to navigate the same route to your starting point. That makes your trips safer and helps you plan your trips.
With large battery life and hiking functionality, this watch is a great option for those who want to hike in a “smarter” way. It is loaded with many functions that will make hiking easier and track your health levels during the trips.
- GPS tracking
- Color display
- 80 built-in sports modes
- 120 hours of battery life
This watch is great for outdoor sports, but its battery can go only for 5 days. It isn’t good for very long hikes, but it’s great if you like to do sports actively. It will just be fine for several days of outdoors training without the need to recharge.
The display of this watch is colorful and has three modes of battery life, which help to spare your battery. Also, there are reminders to charge.
GPS tracking will help you get the most of your current location. You can plan your routes, build heatmaps, receive storm alarms and weather insights for safer trips.
On the “smart” side, you can see incoming calls or notifications on your watch. You can share your workouts online anytime and connect your account to social media.
If the possibility to track outdoor sports is more important than large battery life, go for it. This watch has massive sports tracking abilities along with navigation and information insights into your location.
- World time
- Five day alarms
- City code display
- EL backlight
- Solar recharging
- 6-month battery life
This watch is elaborate and fits people who know hiking and specific watch parameters very well. It is quite difficult to adjust to. There isn’t much guidance on how to set up this watch, so you should spend several hours researching all of its functions.
The watch boasts a large battery life of 6 months on a full charge. Also, it can recharge from the sun, which extends its time of operation. The stainless steel case and resing buckle closure and the band are waterproof.
This watch is a purely hiking one. It doesn’t support smartphone integration and is fully independent of it. It also doesn’t have GPS, which makes its interface simpler and guarantees a longer battery life.
This watch is great if you do not search for a device that connects with your smartphone. If you do not carry the smartphone with you on long trips, pay attention to this watch. It will provide you with all the necessary information and more. Mind that it doesn’t have a GPS, and setting it up might not be the easiest thing.
- GPS support
- Heart rate monitor
- Route navigation
- Weather information
This watch is durable and great when it comes to altimeter accuracy and GPS. It has extended battery life and can last for 18-22 hours with the GPS on. Without GPS, it will last for a month, which is great.
The watch is easy to set up, but the deeper features require an owner manual and online functions. For example, using GPS is sometimes problematic to get used to. Many other models have a better interface and more engaging displays.
The watch is also on the thicker and bulkier side. If you are used to thinner hiking watches, this one will look large for you. It is quite rigid on the hand, but it has a breathable wrist strap.
As for the features, navigation and altimeter/barometer do well. Fitness tracking options also do great. It also has a compass that reads accurately. As for fitness tracking, you can see your heart rate, calories burnt and training information. A bike, power, or foot pod will help you if you connect them to your device.
If you don’t mind spending $350 on a good sports watch, this one's for you. It has GPS, altimeter, and barometer for great hikes. It is accurate and allows health tracking, which is very useful for such a device. Along with battery life, it presents a great watch for your sports needs.
- Heart rate monitor
- Automatic shot detection
- GPS coordinates mapping
- iOS and Android compatible
This watch has a stylish design, which makes it good for everyday looks. It supports both GLONASS and GPS, which are great for different purposes. They ensure precise and accurate location, and GLONASS drains less battery.
The display of this device is scratch-proof with a steel bezel and a durable nylon strap. The navigation is easy using the buttons on the side, which are good for extreme weather conditions.
The watch can accurately plan routes and sync to your phone using Bluetooth. This device doesn’t compete with smartwatches, but it can track your data, receive notifications, and storm alerts.
The Alpha version of the device has many useful features, such as the moon calendar. These watches are handmade and have a durable 14-day battery.
If you decide to use this device, be prepared that you choose a watch with little “smart” functions. It is more hiking-aimed and can assist you well when you are out. Suunto Traverse Alpha has a good battery and two satellite location options, which will help you to hike safely.
Choose Your Hiking Watches with Care
There are many smartwatches on the market now. Some of them track fitness, provide you with smartphone functions, or help you when you’re hiking. Hiking watches differ from all the other ones as they are designed for people who like to spend time outdoors.
When you choose hiking watches, pay attention to their durability. They should be waterproof and shockproof. Choose watches with a barometer, altimeter, and GPS or other satellite integration. A digital compass will also greatly help you in your hikes. If your device also has built-in maps, that is great.
A hiking watch helps to find directions, anticipate the weather, and track health. There are many options for such watches today. Pay attention to the six models above to get the best hiking experience.