July 14, 2020

10 Best Watches for Hiking

Scott Kimball

Written by

Scott Kimball


The feeling of freedom when hiking is incredible. But not so incredible when you stray from your path, lose your way, and it starts raining.

To avoid such scenarios, it is important to wear the best hiking watch, which comes with useful functions necessary for hikes.

With a hiking watch, you will have the best information about your hike so that you experience the most security, comfort, and tranquility.

To begin, let's define the meaning of a hiking watch.

Best Watches for Hiking | Today I'm Outside

Table of Contents:

What is a hiking watch?

A hiking watch is nothing more than an electronically perfected version of a watch. A good hiking watch must meet the conditions related to geo-location, waterproofing, and resistance. It must also be equipped with a barometer, an altimeter, a compass, and a heart rate monitor.

However, choosing them can be somewhat difficult due to the number of different brand models on the market. For this reason, we have selected the 10 best watches for hiking. Stylish and multi-functional, these devices will surely be able to satisfy any of your needs when hiking.

1. Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

The Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is a multi-sport watch with GPS, maps, and much more, making it ideal for hiking outdoors. It has a direct heart rate monitor on your wrist and TOPO maps with information on the most popular routes. This will help you to locate yourself with the GPS while you follow the best route.

Its design is capable of resisting the elements of nature, and it even has an option for you to listen to your favorite music while doing any other activity. It has Garmin Pay compatibility, which allows you to pay using this watch if you have forgotten your wallet at home, or if you do not want to carry it while hiking.

It has navigation sensors that consist of a three-axis compass, a gyroscope, and a barometric altimeter. It also has a multi-satellite function for GPS, Galileo, and Glonass. Its battery can last up to 10 days in a row, making it an ideal watch for nature lovers and hikers.

Some of its notable features are:

  • GPS and heart rate detector.
  • Design that can resist nature.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Compatibility with Garmin Pay.
  • In-built navigation sensors.
  • The battery can last up to 10 days.

2. Suunto Traverse

If you go hiking regularly, then you need to buy a watch made for hikers. The Suunto Traverse is an incredibly durable and comfortable hiking watch. It is equipped with GPS positioning function with GLONASS technology, which guarantees you the fastest and most accurate location on the map. No matter where you are.

The GPS function allows you to design, trace, and transit routes with the guarantee of precise location tracking. Thus, you can have a very accurate calculation of your distance traveled and average speed.

The built-in software allows you to save daily, weekly and monthly activities. In addition, it does an automatic analysis that determines the displacement of your performance over time.

Suunto traverse has a beautiful anti-reflective screen, which offers maximum visibility even in bright sunlight. It includes a rechargeable internal lithium battery that offers you up to 100 hours of autonomy with the GPS on.

The weather reporting feature cannot be missing from a hiking watch. Suunto Traverse provides you with periodic reports on weather conditions and has a special function to send an alarm in the event of a storm alert.

Some of its notable features are:

  • GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation systems.
  • An altimeter.
  • Barometer and a compass.
  • Waterproof.

3. Suunto Ambit 3 Peak

This hiking watch has taken care of all the essential you need to take on your hike. Suunto Ambit 3 peak provides an excellent estimate of time and distance, measures temperature, and monitors your heart rate and breathing. This elegant device is equipped with an easy-to-use GPS and digital compass. It gives you alerts about storm warnings and shows the number of calories burned.

The watch easily connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows you to stay in touch and receive all notifications right on your wrist. Its battery is enough for 200 hours, and water resistance up to 100 meters.

Don't worry if you drop it, step on it, or hit it with a tree while walking. It has a design resistant to shocks and accidents that can occur while you are in nature. If it gets dark and you forgot your flashlight, you can turn on the one with your watch and see more clearly the path ahead.

Some of its notable features are:

  • Inbuilt GPS, barometer, altimeter
  • Powerful LED light ideal for darkness.
  • Its design resists blows and accidents.
  • It has a universal time function.

4. Garmin Fenix 3 HR

The Fenix 3 HR from Garmin is both a high-end, high-performance sports GPS connected watch and a little gem to wear every day thanks to its good quality silicone strap. It is suitable for hiking and many other sports and outdoor activities

The Fenix 3 HR integrates the ABC functions. It is complemented by several other advanced satellite navigation technologies, GPS and Glonass, to help you navigate your way. Thanks to its functionalities, you can follow your activity in real-time by giving you exact data on duration, distance, calories burned, and much more.

With Garmin Elevate technology, you can easily monitor your heart rate and get the most accurate results. Data transmission can be easily carried out both via Bluetooth and USB. Battery life can be extended by up to 2 weeks.

Some of its notable features are:

  • GPS and GLONASS.
  • TracBack feature
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters.
  • It has a view of the route you have taken
  • Stylish and durable device

5. Garmin Epix

On a hike, you need to take a reliable device that will show you the correct coordinates. Garmin Epix offers a route tracker and comes with a beautiful colorful display to help you during your hike.

Garmin Epix has 8 GB of internal memory for downloading maps. It is equipped with a barometer, an excellent three-axis compass, and an altimeter. They are waterproof when immersed up to 50 meters, and offer a long battery life.

Thanks to the Garmin Connect app, you will always be in touch and receive messages, mail, and other notifications from your smartphone. Other features of this device include a heart rate monitor and altimeter. So, this watch can also be used as a fitness tracker.

Some of its notable features are:

  • Touchscreen
  • It is very comfortable to wear.
  • Waterproof
  • Inbuilt GPS and an altimeter

6. Garmin instinct

This robust and reliable Graphite Gray multifunction hiking watch can be your best companion out there. This GARMIN model meets the American military standard for resistance to water, impact, and heat.

Garmin instinct has a 3-axis electronic compass with a satellite receiver (GPS, Galileo, and Glonass) and a barometric altimeter to guide you. It also has a functionality to monitor your stress level, your activity, and your heart rate. Depending on your parameters, the silver oxide battery of this trekking watch can have autonomy between 40h and 14 days.

The Garmin Explore application and site are accessible via the hiking watch for planning your hike. Wherever you are, you can return to your starting point with its Trackback function. Ideal for outdoor activities, this watch has a resistant polymer and fiber case.

Its reinforced anti-scratch screen allows good readability even under a severe sunburn. For a good hold on the wrist, this GARMIN model has a ventilated silicone strap with two removable loops.

Some of its notable features are:

  • 3-axis electronic compass.
  • It has a view of the route you have taken.
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Durable

7. Suunto 9 Baro

Are you looking for a hiking watch that has all the essential applications for that activity? Well, this Suunto 9 Baro brand watch was designed for this. It is equipped with a new GPS made of FusedTrack technology, which will help you know exactly your position, even if you are in the middle of the forest or mountains. It is waterproof and can withstand immersion in it up to 100 meters.

The sapphire shield and stainless steel bezel are also suitable for rough terrain. You can load custom routes on the clock before running through the woods or create a breadcrumb trail during the hike. Built-in storm warnings, weather data, and sunset/sunrise time help you keep an eye on the weather.

With its intelligent battery mode, Suunto can significantly extend battery life by up to 120 hours. In this energy-saving mode, the FusedTrack algorithm uses data from the motion sensor to fill in the gaps in the GPS track. In the end, you will get an accurate recording of your hike and excellent battery life.

Some of its notable features are:

  • Accurate GPS tracking
  • It resists immersion in water of up to 100 meters.
  • Shows the sunrise and sunset times.
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Compatible with Suunto app on Android and iOS.

8. Suunto Spartan

The Spartan Sport Wrist HR is one of the best watches of the SUUNTO brand. This watch has everything you need for hiking such as a GPS altimeter, a fast GLONASS/GPS location, a compass, and a Fused Speed function to know your walking pace.

The SUUNTO hiking watch can connect you to social networks to share your exploits. The SUUNTO Movescount app allows you to compare your records with those of other members. This GPS hiking watch displays a real-time graph of calories burned and heart rate. This model can also record your activities 24/7.

This hiking watch model provides navigation and localization with waypoints on a route. A Bluetooth function allows connection with Smartphones. Lastly, this hiking GPS watch comes with a 12-hour battery and a USB cable.

Some of its notable features are:

  • GPS route navigation
  • Sleek design
  • 12 hours battery
  • Bluetooth function

9. Lad Weather multi-sport watch

The Lad Weather multi-sport watch with GPS is the very first model in the Sensor Master series. It is one of the best watch models for hiking in terms of value for money according to user reviews.

Equipped with the ABC world watch standard, this model is equipped with an altimeter, a barometer, a compass, and even an alarm. This makes it perfectly useful for outdoor activities, especially hiking.

In addition to the basic functions, this watch is also equipped with a stopwatch and a countdown function. It offers weather forecasts thanks to 4 icons: sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy, and rainy.

Solid and resistant, this watch is made of stainless steel with a plastic case. It has a water resistance of 3 ATM and withstands storms and snow very well. The dial is made of good quality acrylic glass.

Equipped with a Lithium-Ion battery, this watch can last up to 100 hours. Among other things, it offers an energy-saving mode and a backlighting function.

Some of its notable features are:

  • Inbuilt GPS, barometer, altimeter
  • Weather forecast
  • 100 hours battery
  • Durable

10. Suunto Core crush

The best hiking watches have different attributes. However, the Suunto Core crush is a watch that has barometric altitude measurement and altitude monitoring, showing you real-time charts and a compass to help you navigate. It can also measure the depth you are diving to.

Suunto Core crush has an integrated storm alert module, shows the temperature of the environment you are in, and you can set the alarm. If you only use clock mode, your battery will last a whole year.

This watch has a very sturdy design because it is made of stainless steel with sapphire crystal. So, you don't have to worry about it being broken by falls or other similar events. Despite being made of a very resistant material, it is still light, comfortable, and easy to wear.

Some of its notable features are:

  • It has barometric altitude, displays altitude graphs, and measures depth for diving.
  • It has a storm alarm.
  • Measure the temperature of the environment.
  • It is very resistant, thanks to the fact that it is made with durable materials.
  • It is very comfortable to wear.
10 Best Watches for Hiking

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Scott Kimball

From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.

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