12 Best Hiking Watches in 2021

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Watch: Best Overall

Suunto Core 9 Baro Watch: Best Versatile Watch

Garmin Fenix 3 HR Watch: Best

Are you a hiking enthusiast or a professional? Then, you should be aware that you need a couple of things to ensure your safety on whatever short trip you are embarking on within a jurisdiction. Usually, mobile devices are not advisable during hiking because they could get damaged; however, you need something else to provide you with relevant information about the area. Hiking watches are good alternatives.

If you are expecting hiking watches to be the normal fancy wristwatch you use, then you are wrong. This type of watch is different because it does not only show time and date, but also provides height, weather, and location information. Most times, some brands go-ahead to design their watches with weather prediction and GPS features for ultimate usability. Therefore, they are quite useful for the purpose they have been designed.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best hiking watches available for use. Each of these watches is incredible following their descriptions and features; thus, you may need to read carefully to choose a preferred type.

The 12 Best Hiking Watches Reviewed

1

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Watch: Best Overall

Garmin is a popular name in the hiking watch business, and there are several incredible products from them. Fenix 6 Pro Watch is one of the best watches for hiking from this brand following its features and top-tier quality. Moreover, it offers enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox for advanced sleep monitoring and altitude check.

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Watch has a MIP LCD Display, which is about 1.3-inch in size for clear visibility. It is coated with Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) to ensure durability and strength. In these coatings are bezels to add beauty to the watch.

This hiking watch features advanced tech called ProPace for grade-adjusted pace guidance during any activity. The tech also ensures that the watch environmentally adjusts VO2 max and training estimates. Additionally, it comes with 3 built-in sensors for Gyroscope, Barometric Altimeter, and 3-axis compass. It is a great choice of hiking watch for everyone.

Key Features:

  • MIP LCD Display
  • 1.3-inch Display Size
  • Stainless Steel, Titanium or Diamond-Like Carbon Coating
  • Bezel
  • Pulse Ox
  • PacePro
  • Multiple Global Navigation Satellite System
  • Built-in Sensors
  • Adjusted VO2 Max
  • Charging/Data Cable
  • Enhanced Estimated Wrist Heart Rate

Specification:

  • Brand name: Garmin
  • Color: 6 Pro – Black
  • Style: Premium MultiSport
Pros
  • The best hiking watch brands on the market
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Supported by several advanced features for performance
  • Good battery performance with different modes
  • Environment-friendly with support for music storage
  • Offers preloaded topo and ski maps
  • Supports advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation
Cons
  • Vibration alerts are somewhat unreliable

2

Suunto Core 9 Baro Watch: Best Versatile Watch

Suunto brand is not strange to most people who are conversant with watches; Core 9 Baro Watch is an exceptional product that is suitable for several purposes. This watch is perfect for hiking, as well as for running, swimming, cycling, gym, etc. The ability to fit into all these activities is because of the 80 Built-in Sport Modes, which is quite exemplary.

Suunto Core 9 Baro Watch is designed with a Silicone Band Material with a Black Digital Dial for easy fastening and use. Incorporated into this hiking watch is a multisport GPS, which is quite useful for ultra-runners and anyone who wants to find their location. Also, this watch has a waterproof limit, about 100m that does a great deal of good. More importantly, it provides Barometric Altitude Information, via FusedAltiTM on its Bread Crumb Display.

Suunto Core 9 Baro Watch has a 120hr Long Battery for high performance. Since it is a touchscreen with a 3-button color display, it is easy to control and access. Besides, it is supported by mobile devices for notifications and calls; thus, a regular software upgrade is bound to take place.

Key Features:

  • Silicone Band Material
  • Multisport GPS
  • 80 Built-in Sport Modes
  • Black Digital Dial Color
  • 100m Waterproof
  • 120hr Long Battery
  • Bread Crumb Display
  • Storm Alarm
  • Weather Insights
  • FusedAltiTM – Barometric Altitude Info
  • 3-Button Color Display
  • Regular Software Upgrade
  • Touchscreen

Specification:

  • Brand name: Suunto
  • Color: Black
  • Style: Baro
Pros
  • The best gps watch for running and hiking
  • Easy to access
  • Offers an amount of resistance to water and crack
  • Perfect in tracking location, heart rate, and weather
  • A versatile hiking watch suitable for other outdoor activities like swimming, cycling, etc.
  • An excellent choice in planning routes
  • Good battery life
  • Supports mobile devices for smart notifications and calls
Cons
  • The GPS sometimes fails

3

Garmin Fenix 3 HR Watch: Best

Still, on Garmin, Fenix 3 HR Watch is another incredible choice to pick if you need something perfect for hiking, swimming, and skiing. This watch with a unique color transflective memory-in chroma display about 1.2-inch size is fantastic.

Garmin Fenix 3 HR Watch features an Omni directional Steel Exo Antenna that makes it possible to pair with GLONASS and EPO to provide location information, apart from the GPS. In the same vein, it is compatible with Quick Fit Watch Band, which is almost what every hiker looks forward to get. Additionally, it has wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi to connect with mobile devices for smart notifications and alerts.

This hiking watch is encased in a Fiber-reinforced polymer to ensure durability and strength. Also, the outdoor navigation features, i.e., 3-axis compass, Altimeter and Barometer, TracBack, and Sight’n Go are quite effective in performance. Moreover, the battery life depends on these navigation features (20hrs for GPS; 50hrs for UltraTrac Mode, and 6 weeks for Watch Mode). This 100m waterproof Garmin watch is indeed a worthy investment.

Key Features:

  • Color Transflective Memory-in Pixel Chroma Display
  • 1.2-inch Display Size
  • Omni-directional Steel Exo Antenna
  • Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Case Material
  • 100m Waterproof
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Quick Fit Watch Band Compatible
  • Outdoor Navigation Features
  • LED Backlight

Specification:

  • Brand name: Garmin
  • Color: Gray
  • Style: Chroma
Pros
  • One of the best hiking watches with high resolution for performance
  • Helps in tracking location faster due to its advanced navigation system
  • A suitable choice of watch for swimming and skiing
  • Good battery life depending on the setting
  • Provides visible light in low-light conditions
  • Connects easily to smartphones
Cons
  • None thus far

4

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Watch: Best Music Watch

Another option you may want to try out is Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Watch. Not a majority of people have had so much luck with watches that offer offline listening and music streaming services; however, Garmin proves otherwise. This hiking watch also comes with other exciting features that make it useful for whoever is interested.

First of all, this watch has a unique sunlight-visible transflective MIP display, which is about 1.2-inch in size for readability. With this exterior, durability, water-resistance and strength is guaranteed. Also, there is an estimated wrist-based heart rate data for performance monitoring. Furthermore, it provides advanced running dynamics, which is quite a catch.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Watch offers a service called Pay Contactless Payment that makes a lot more sense to people, so they find an alternative to cash or credit cards. Other incredible things that follow this watch apart from the streaming service and music storage is a great Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to mobile devices.

Key Features:

  • Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) Display
  • 1.2-inch Display Size
  • Garmin Pay Contactless Payment Service
  • Advanced Running Dynamics
  • 5ATM Waterproof
  • Estimated Wrist Based Heart Rate Data
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Music Sync and Streaming Service

Specification:

  • Brand name: Garmin
  • Color: Black
  • Style: With Music
Pros
  • One of the best hiking watches with music
  • Offers good water-resistance
  • An excellent battery life
  • Helps to monitor heart rate and body performance
  • Easy payment solution
  • Allows you to download up to 500 songs
  • Accepts third-party apps for offline streaming services
Cons
  • None thus far

5

Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Watch: Best Accuracy

Another competitive watch from Suunto is the Ambit3 Peak HR Watch. It is quite outstanding, following its weather and heart rate monitoring functions. This watch has a smart GPS with a trackback feature to track location, which works hand-in-hand with Route Navigation feature to help with finding one’s destination.

The 100m water-resistant hiking watch is encased in a Polyamide case material to ensure strength and durability. Also, this watch has a 30h battery life, which is quite amazing. Furthermore, it has a Bike Power Support and Smartphone Sync for more effective performance while providing weather details via Altimeter, and Barometer.

Key Features:

  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Smartphone Sync
  • Heart Rate Data
  • Bike Power Support
  • FusedAltiTM
  • Route Navigation
  • TracBack
  • 100m Water-resistance
  • Polyamide Case Material
  • 30h Battery

Specification:

  • Brand name: Suunto
  • Color: Black
  • Style: Heart Rate Monitor
Pros
  • One of the best gps watch for sports and adventure
  • Offers an excellent heart rate monitor
  • Available in different languages
  • Provides navigation and track back features
  • Delivers a highlight feature for friends and family
  • An extraordinary battery life
  • Good water-resistance and weather prediction functions
Cons
  • Quite big and bulky

6

Apple Watch Series 4: Best Fitness Tracker

For hikers who want something sleek, Apple Watches are the best options to choose. Out of the many watch series from the brand, the Series 4 is incredible because of its unique electrical and optical heart sensors for monitoring the body.

Also, this Apple Watch Series 4 has built-in GPS and Cellular features to provide details about location when needed. It even comes with 50% Loud speaker for notification and music. The watch is compatible with ECG app with an S4 SIP 64-bit Dual Core Processor to play a part in its efficiency.

On the outside, this swimproof watch has an ion-x strengthened glass, and sapphire crystal and ceramic back for top-notch durability. It is indeed a popular choice of watch for hikers.

Key Features:

  • 44mm Size
  • Electrical and Optical Heart Sensors
  • GPS + Cellular
  • Black Sport Band
  • 50% Loud Speaker
  • ECG app
  • Digital Crown
  • Swimproof
  • Ion-X Strengthened Glass
  • Sapphire Crystal and Ceramic Back
  • S4 SIP + 64-bit Dual Core Processor

Specification:

  • Brand name: Apple
  • Color: Space Gray
  • Style: Fitness Tracker
Pros
  • The best gps watch to track fitness and heart rate
  • Sleek and stylish in design
  • Offers good features for detecting falls
  • Excellent volume level
  • Good connectivity with Apple devices
Cons
  • Quite expensive

7

Casio Outdoor Smartwatch WSD-F20 Pro Trek: Best Outdoor Watch

For starters, Casio has existed for many years to produce all kinds of watches with top-grade qualities. In the military, Casio G Shock is their best-selling product; however, in hiking, Casio Outdoor Smartwatch Pro Trek is extraordinary.

This outdoor watch does not only come with a timepiece view, but also with weather information, such as Barometer, Altimeter, and a Digital Compass for location tracking. In the same vein, it has an Activity Tracker to take records, which is another feature that makes it quite outstanding.

Based on the design of Casio Outdoor Smartwatch Pro Trek, it has Dual Layer LCD structure and an original watch face for convenience. Other incredible features that come with this 5ATM water-resistance hiking watch for excellent performance include Microphone and Casio Moment Setter.

Key Features:

  • Resin Band Material
  • Quartz Watch Movement
  • 5ATM Water-resistance
  • Timepiece Mode
  • Gray Dial Color
  • Digital Compass
  • Barometer
  • Altimeter
  • Activity Tracker
  • Dual Layer LCD Structure
  • Microphone

Specification:

  • Brand name: Casio
  • Color: Black
  • Style: Outdoor
Pros
  • One of the best outdoor watches to use
  • Quite effective and original in performance
  • Comes with many durable features
  • Good battery life either with normal or function use
Cons
  • Not a suitable choice for diving

8

Garmin Tactix Bravo Watch: Best Heavy-Duty Watch

Are you looking for a hiking watch more heavy-duty and military-grade to use? Garmin Tactix Bravo Watch is a considerable option that provides all you need. This watch is not only sturdy in design but also beautiful to fit into everyday lifestyle.

Garmin Tactix Bravo Watch has two unique features – a Navigator and an ABC feature. The Navigator includes a built-in GPS to find a location for a destination, while the ABC includes Altimeter, Barometer, and 3-axis Compass. Altogether, it is a perfect choice to provide weather and position information.

This water-resistant watch has a non-reflective design, which makes it useful in the military. Furthermore, the watch is compatible with Night Vision Goggle; thus, it is possible to reduce backlight settings to convenient levels. More importantly, it has good wireless connectivity, so that syncing of data is fast and easy.

Key Features:

  • Navigator + ABC
  • Non-Reflective Design
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Night Vision Goggle Compatibility
  • 10ATM Water-resistance
  • Dual GPS Format
  • Knurled bezel with a black diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating
  • Omni directional EXO Antenna
  • 1.2-inch high resolution
  • Smart Notifications
  • Jumpmaster
  • High-strength domed Sapphire lens

Specification:

  • Brand name: Garmin
  • Color: Black
  • Style: Silicone Band
Pros
  • Has one of the best designs for hiking watches
  • Offers a great resistance against water
  • Provides night vision functions
  • Connects with Wi-Fi to sync data
  • Gives details about weather and position
  • A useful addition to tactical gear
  • Offers good abrasion resistance
Cons
  • Confusing settings

9

Suunto Traverse Watch: Best for Wild Trek

Do you want to go on a wild trek? What you should be looking for is Suunto Traverse Watch because of its user-experience in giving navigation details for safety. Moreover, it has a backlight function for visibility in low-light conditions.

This watch with Silicone Band Material is quite good and effective. It has a Quartz watch movement and sapphire crystal glass to ensure easy readability. Also, there are features like Barometric Trend and GPS Time Update to provide weather and location details further during your adventure.

For the timepiece functions, Suunto Traverse Watch has a Storm Alarm, Vibration Alarm to keep you on track. Additionally, this watch provides realtime bread crumb view for recorded trails, which could be useful in the long run. Overall, the watch is one-of-a-kind and perfect for hiking.

Key Features:

  • Silicone Band Material
  • Quartz Watch Movement
  • Barometric Trend
  • GPS Time Update
  • Vibration Alarm
  • Backlight
  • Storm Alarm
  • Rugged Build
  • Realtime Bread Crumb View
  • 100m Water-Resistance
  • Mobile Notifications

Specification:

  • Brand name: Suunto
  • Color: Black
  • Style: Navigation
Pros
  • The best watch for wild hike
  • Offers a lot of timepiece functions
  • Gives a good view of the recorded route
  • Compatible with Suunto Movescount app
  • Highly durable and reliable
  • Good water-resistance with explicit information on speed, distance, and altitude
Cons
  • Lacks some features like heart rate data

10

Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch: Best Under $200

Although hiking watches are all about the time, weather and navigation or location, some watches still pass without one or two of these features. A typical hiking watch that lacks some of these features, yet effective is Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch. It is indeed smart based on its unique body design and built-in control features for performance.

Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch has a voice recognition feature that makes it possible for you to control functions. On the larger display, you can track heart rate 24/7 with a 6-day plus battery life on a single charge. With a good connection to mobile devices, you are ready to start receiving notifications with the fancy watch.

Additionally, this smartwatch comes with an Amazon Alexa Built-in to make sure you get news and information easier and faster. Overall, it is quite different but useful for short-distance hikes.

Key Features:

  • Voice Recognition
  • Mobile Notifications
  • 24/7 Heart Rate Data
  • Amazon Alexa Built-in

Specification:

  • Brand name: Fitbit
  • Color: Black/Carbon
  • Style: Smart Watch
Pros
  • The best hiking watch under $200
  • A good choice to track heart rate and body performance
  • Easy to control even with voice recognition
  • Provides heart rate data
  • A good battery life
  • Perfect for controlling music and activating streaming services
Cons
  • Lacks most weather information features
  • No information on water-resistance

11

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus: Best Value for Money

The last one for Garmin hiking watches is the Fenix 5X Plus. This watch is more than a smartwatch, as it delivers even medical benefits to people who need them. As expected, it is made of high-quality material and a Sapphire style to ensure ultimate usability by all kinds of people, hikers especially. It also features a Garmin Pay Contactless Payment Solution, as an alternative for Card and cash payments.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus has a unique Multisport GPS, which is perfect for tracking location either when you are lost or when you need to reach your destination. There is also a Wrist-Based Pulse Ox Acclimation Sensor to monitor and give estimates of blood oxygen saturation level. This sensor works regardless of the wrist; thus, it is one of the best hiking watches for small wrists.

Additionally, this watch with a rugged design which includes a Stainless Steel and Diamond-Like Carbon Titanium Bezel and Rear Case has a good Bluetooth connectivity and Battery life. Overall, you don’t have to worry about its performance, as it keeps it top-notch.

Key Features:

  • Multisport GPS
  • Wrist Based Pulse Ox Acclimation Sensor
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Garmin Pay Contactless Payment Solution
  • Rugged Design
  • Sapphire Lens
  • Stainless Steel and Diamond-Like Carbon Titanium Bezel
  • Rear Case

Specification:

  • Brand name: Garmin
  • Color: Black Hardware
  • Style: Sapphire
Pros
  • One of the best Garmin watches with high quality
  • Can download and play up to 500 songs
  • Helps in checking blood oxygen saturation levels and gives an estimate
  • Good battery performance both in GPS and Smartwatch Mode
Cons
  • Problems with connectivity sometimes

12

Timex Men's Expedition Field Chronograph Watch: Best Analog Watch

Finally, Timex is another brand you should check out for top-quality watches; it is no surprise that they have a product suitable for hikers. Timex Men’s Expedition Field Chronograph Watch is designed with inspiration from vintage military watches; hence, it is expected to do a few incredible things for hiking.

This watch has an adjustable brown 20mm Genuine Leather Strap that fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference. It also features an Indiglo Light-up watch dial that enhances visibility in the dark. On the outside, there is a Black 43mm Brass Case and a Mineral Glass Crystal, which are durable and strong to protect the interior.

Without a doubt, this 100m water-resistant analog hiking watch is perfect for other activities, including swimming and snorkeling.

Key Features:

  • Leather Band Material
  • Quartz Watch Movement
  • Adjustable Brown 20mm Genuine Leather Strap
  • 30-minute Chronograph
  • 100m Water-resistance
  • Black 43mm Brass Case
  • Mineral Glass Crystal
  • Indiglo Light-up Watch Dial

Specification:

  • Brand name: Timex
  • Color: Brown
  • Style: Analog
Pros
  • The best analog hiking watch in this review
  • Good wrist circumference
  • Offers excellent visibility in low-light situations
  • Durable and reliable
  • Perfect choice for snorkeling and swimming
  • Uses less battery power
Cons
  • Not a great watch for diving

Buying Guide Questions

Several people have had bad experiences with watch manufacturers, especially in the part of quality and durability. However, the fault mostly comes from these people because they never paid attention to certain factors to choose the best watch. In this buying guide section, use the answers provided to know more about hiking watch and choose the most preferred from the list of the 12 best hiking watches reviewed above.

What is the best watch for hiking?

You want to go hiking but what you have is a fancy wristwatch, you are set to fail while at it. What you need is the best hiking watch and to get that, you need help. Luckily, this guide has all the answers you seek.

The best watches always have something peculiar about them, and all you need to do is figure them. For the best hiking watch, you need to look out for the following features or attributes:

  1. GPS: For tracking your location and finding directions.
  2. Weather Details: Provides information about height, air pressure via Barometer, Altimeter. It could also predict the weather.
  3. Health Rate Information: Tracks your health and body performance.

With other hiking features, you should find the best watches to pick.

Do I need a GPS watch for hiking? What is the best affordable GPS? What is the best GPS watch to buy for hiking?

If you love hiking, trail running, or any outdoor activity that has a chance of you getting lost, you need a GPS watch. It’s not every time you are confident about your direction-finding skills, you need a little help, especially when you are in a company of friends. These watches have a 3-axis compass to help you find directions, so you can retrace your steps back to where you started.

Interestingly, hiking watches with GPS are not so expensive – they are quite affordable depending on your budget. Moreover, the best hiking watches have GPS, so you don’t have to worry. In this guide, Suunto Core 9 Baro Watch is perfect for running, hiking, and a couple of other outdoor activities.

Which Garmin is best for hiking? Which Garmin watches have topo maps?

When it comes to hiking, Garmin, as a brand has dominated a huge part of it for watch production, recently, they have the best set of watches with incredible features to aid hiking experience. Some of these features include a top-tier GPS and 3-axis compass for direction; a Barometric Altimeter feature for weather, and; enhanced estimated wrist-based heart rate data.

According to consumer reports best hiking watches, Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Watch is the best overall. Interestingly, this same watch has topo and ski maps, followed by Garmin Fenix 5 HR Watch. Other incredible Garmin watches include Forerunner 645 Music Watch, and Tactix Bravo Watch.

Are Apple watches good for hiking? Is an Apple watch better than a Garmin?

While several brands are at it to make great watches for hiking, a few of them are exceptional – Garmin, Apple, Suunto. Garmin makes some of the best watches, but you may want to see what Apple has to offer. Apple watches are great choices for hiking because they provide more fitness details than many other top watches. Also, they are sleek in design and comes with some incredible features such as music streaming services. If you have an iPhone or any Apple device, it can also be connected to it.

Now, choosing between an Apple Watch and a Garmin Watch may seem tough; however, it all depends on preference. Apple Watch is a fitness-designed smartwatch with good battery life and exotic features for performance, while Garmin is sturdy and rugged for most outdoor activities. Therefore, you will only have to choose what works best for you.

Can I use my phone GPS for hiking?

It’s not so bad if you try to use other methods as backup GPS for hiking, say your phone; however, you may find it inconvenient. For instance, in rocky areas, having a mobile device on you is not advisable because it could easily slip and get destroyed, which is why hiking watches are recommended.

Peradventure, you have your phone, it could serve as a backpacking and hiking GPS. You may only need to make sure it is safe throughout the entire activity.

Can I use Google maps for hiking? What is the most accurate GPS hiking watch?

Recently, Google Maps added new features, which may be suitable for outdoor lovers, hiking inclusive. Some of the features include ski and hiking trail maps that would help you find the location for destinations or in case you are lost. All you need is your smartphone and a good internet connection to get information about the jurisdiction.

Over time, hiking watches have failed at one thing or another; one of the things they failed at is GPS accuracy. Nevertheless, Garmin and a couple of brands like Apple, Suunto, Casio have stood out; the best hiking watches above are pieces of evidence.

Conclusion

Hiking watches are not a piece of accessories you buy shabbily; you need to be careful of what type of watch you get because your safety depends on it. Unlike most fancy watches that only provides time and date formats, you will find the Barometer, Altimeter, GPS, Digital Compass, and other interesting features on them.

Fortunately, this guide is a solution-provider, so that you can pick the best hiking watches available on the market. Ultimately, the buying guide section is a lifesaver because it helps you understand how these watches work and how to pick the best types for you.

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