5 Best Hiking Watch Reviews – Buyer Guide 2021

When you go hiking you know that there are certain things that really help and some you can do without.

Best Hiking Watch Reviews

Some are essential- you can’t walk very far in the wrong pair of boots- and some are accessories that make the hiking experience nicer- like a good camera for your memories.

Where does a hiking watch stand in your preparation for hiking? Is it essential to be a specially designed watch or any model would do?

The more you hike, the more you want to go in the wilderness on your own. This means more exploring which takes more specialized gear.

A watch for hiking doesn’t just show you the time, but it’s also able to do some other useful things.

A watch and a bit more

There are three main types of watches to choose from: analog, digital or automatic.

Quartz watches are well known for their longer life span and the easy maintenance. As a plus, they are very easy to use and this is why they are very popular.

It’s not that difficult to read an analog watch either and you also don’t have to worry about adjusting it. You only need to change the date from time to time. However, reading an analog watch takes some getting used to, and this is why it’s not the most popular choice.

When it comes to versatility, there’s no competing with a digital watch. The digital watch is very popular among military personnel, public safety officers, as it has several options and many functions.

The digital watches may be solar or battery operated and can take heavy use. They can sure take some dropdowns and don’t need a reset that often.

Most of the hiking watches are quartz/digital as they are easy to read and designed to take the heavy use.

Automatic watches are a bit more fragile than the quartz watches and require an analog output. They don’t make a great choice for outdoor activities as the limbs may move too quickly, in a sudden way.

Best Hiking Watch Reviews - Buyer Guide

When it comes to the features of your hiking watch, a very important one is the way the watch is lighted for night use. Lumen is a feature met on many analog watches and it’s easily charged by a light source.

You can find digital watches with electroluminescent backlighting which brings light to the LCD screen evenly.

Look also for watches with very stark differences between the timing function and the background. It’s easier and faster to read like this. The best option when hiking, is a watch with a black dial and very bright/fluorescent numbers.

Looking for the details

Hiking watches come with various types of coating, such as the Physical vapor deposition that makes the metal watches resistant to scratch.

Hiking Watch Reviews

A hiking watch is tougher if it has a diamond-like carbon treatment. Keep in mind that polishing gives a nice look to you watch, but it has little to nothing to do with its durability.

When you go hiking, wearing a comfortable watch is also important so it’s good to know which kind of strap is the best choice.

If the leather strap is smooth, soft and comfortable, it wears out in time as it soaks up moisture and sweat. Additionally, it gets scratched rather easily.

The longest lasting choice for a strap is the metal bracelet. Even though it’s a bit heavy, this kind of strap gets you through many years of wearing.

Another common choice is the rubber strap that is comfortable, tough, but flakes or shines in time.

And let’s not forget the synthetic fabric that is pretty flexible and soft enough. It’s not as elegant as a metal strap, but who needs that when hiking?

A final word

Hiking watches don’s show just time…they may come with a compass or a computer to record your recent tracks.

There are many features that can fit your likes and needs, but the main traits remain: it has to be reliable, tough, comfortable and to work well in most situations. And, if it also glows in the dark, it’s a winner for sure!

Top 5 hiking watch reviews

Casio Men’s PAG240T Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch

The Casio Men’s PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch with Titanium Bracelet sure fits the description and surprises with its performance outdoors.

Casio Men's PAG240T Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch

The solar-power sport watch features triple sensor that provides altimeter, barometer, thermometer and compass information.

The watch is reliable even in the challenging weather conditions as it features low-temperature resistance, backlight with after-glow.

There are numerous features for the watch that count when hiking: five daily alarms, hourly time signal, city code display, daylight saving on/off, countdown timer, 12/24-hour formats, battery power indicator, power-saving function.

As a plus, the watch is made of 51mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window, which means it can take a drop.

The watch has quartz movement with digital display and the titanium bracelet with double-locking fold-over clasp is cozy and doesn’t fall.

The watch is water resistant to 330 ft. and has a large display.

Here are the most important pros:

  • The watch has several features great for hiking
  • The watch has function for altimeter, barometer, compass
  • The watch gives also temperature reading
  • The watch is water resistant up to 330ft.

There are only few minor things that count as cons:

  • The watch can’t be radio controlled
  • The bracelet has a flimsy clasp

Versatile, durable, with plenty of features usable when hiking, the watch may be rated as a good hiking watch.

Casio Men's PAG240T Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch

Suunto Vector Wristop Watch

One of the most popular options when it comes to hiking watches, is the Suunto Vector Watch..

Suunto Vector Wristop Watch

There are many features on this watch that make the hiking experience nicer, like the altimeter that ranges up to 9,000 meters (29,500 ft.), with a one-meter resolution.

The watch comes with a 24-hour memory that stores the altitude and ascent/descent rate for every hour.

The watch also features barometer and automatically records the barometric data for the last 4 days in one and six-hour intervals.

The calendar clock is set to the year 2089 with three daily alarms, a dual time display and stopwatch with lap and split time functions.

The watch has an ergonomic design with a large display, electro-luminescent backlight, easy to operate control buttons and user-replaceable battery.

The watch also lets you know about temperature, altitude difference.

The strap is made of soft rubber which is comfortable and gives nice feel to the hand.

The watch is rugged, waterproof and comes with many good things.

Here are our main pros:

  • The watch is reliable and rugged
  • The battery is user-replaceable
  • The watch has many useful features for hiking: altimeter, barometer, compass
  • The watch is waterproof

When it comes to the parts we like less, there are some cons the mention:

  • The face of the watch scratches rather easily
  • Some controls are not easy to understand
  • The thermometer is not always accurate

As it’s durable, reliable and ready to take the heavy use of hiking, the watch might become your next hiking watch.

SUUNTO Traverse Graphite

The Suunto Traverse is great for hiking as it uploads routes and comes with many useful features. The GPS and Glonass Satellite navigation receivers are efficient and add value to the watch

SUUNTO Traverse Graphite

The watch is there for you when you go high and low, as it shows your progress with distance and altitude statistics, save points of interest and re-trace your steps using the breadcrumb trail.

The watch is able to show you also current speed, distance and so much more. As a plus, you can immediately share your experience to your social media networks.

The barometric trend gives you info on the weather changes whereas the storm alarm gives you time to find a shelter for the up-coming storm.

The sunrise and sunset times are useful as they give you the available daylight hours.

The watch’s numerous and various feature continue with the GPS timekeeping, the incoming calls, the texts and push notifications from your smartphone to your watch.

The compass is a plus and the backlight in flashlight mode is useful.

The watch has a vibration alarm so you don’t ever miss a date.

The watch provides daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activity tracking of steps and calories, which makes it a great tool for your sports activities.

The watch has a rechargeable LI-Ion battery that can run for 100 hours before recharging it. When it comes to durability, the watch is also a good example as it is 330ft. water resistant.

Here are the most important pros:

  • The watch has several useful features and functions
  • The watch comes with a compass and keeps tracks of your routes
  • The watch is lightweight and has a large display
  • The GPS is accurate and the connectivity of the watch is great

Some things count as cons so here they are:

  • The altimeter doesn’t give the best results
  • The temperature reading is not always accurate
  • The manual is rather vague
  • It’s a bit difficult to navigate the interface

As it gives so many useful, new functions and features, the watch is nice to have when hiking.

Garmin fenix 3 GPS Watch, Gray

When you want to go all the way and get the very best, try the Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch. 

The watch has Chroma display, which means it’s 1.2” sunlight-visible with high resolution color Chroma, optically-bonded display.

Garmin fenix 3 GPS Watch, Gray

The watch is water resistant and has an 10ATM rating, which means you can take it when swimming to 100 meters deep.

The watch comes with an Exo antenna, which is an Omni-directional steel antenna.

When you paired with Glonass and Epo, it gives even faster fix and accurate position than GPS alone.

The wireless connectivity of the watch means you can use one or more Wi-Fi hot spots to automatically sync your data with Garmin Connect and update software.

The watch has a rechargeable battery and it runs up to 20 hours in training/GPS mode and 6 weeks in watch mode.

The watch has a great built and it’s resistant to scratches.

Let’s pinpoint our pros:

  • The watch comes with many features that are great for hiking
  • The watch is water resistant
  • The watch comes with a rechargeable battery
  • The watch is great for helping you in various sport activities

As for the cons, there are only few:

  • The watch sits on the heavy side
  • The watch is rather large
  • The price is a bit high

In the end, the budget for your hiking watch is not that important when you get so nice performance from it.

Best Value Hiking Watch/Best Hiking Watch for The Money

Any good watch comes with a price, but sometimes you get the chance of a bargain like in the case of Garmin Refurbished Fenix GPS Watch Fitness Tracker for Smartphone.

Best Hiking Watch for The Money

The watch is refurbished but this doesn’t mean less of performance or poor quality on the materials.

The watch still comes with the efficient functions of any good hiking watch: altimeter to tell you how high/low you are, a barometer for the air pressure and a 3-axis compass with automatic sensor calibration.

This way, you always know which way to go.

The watch is able to upload up to 1,000 way points and stores even 10,000 track points.

The TracBack feature reverses the track log so that you can go back to where you started your hiking.

The watch has a wireless ability to share routes, tracks and waypoints with other devices. Additionally, the watch comes also with preloaded worldwide maps.

The screen is large and easy to read and the watch is also user-friendly. It has many features and it’s waterproof.

The battery life is pretty decent- around 24 hours when using the GPS and up to a week when not using the GPS. On the plus side, you can always charge it to a portable USB power bank.

The watch has a thick case and ready for the heavy use.

Here are the main pros:

  • The watch comes with the ABC functions
  • The watch has many useful features
  • The watch is water resistant
  • It comes with worldwide maps preloaded and may store thousands of routes and waypoints

As for the cons, there are only few:

  • The time is not always accurate
  • Sometimes, the watch has difficulty in finding the satellite

All in all, for the money you pay, you still get a reliable, pretty accurate hiking watch.

  • Wireless capability to share routes, tracks & waypoints with other devices

Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch

When you want a versatile and practical hiking watch, the Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch sure fits the description.

Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch

There are many great, useful features on the watch that make it a good option for any hiking experience. The Trackback feature is functional, just as the high-sensitivity GPS navigator is.

The watch is able to mark up to 1,000 waypoints and store up to 10,000 track points and navigate to them.

The watch also features an altimeter, a barometer and a 3-axix compass with automatic sensor calibration. Additionally, the watch displays the current speed and has a strong flashlight.

The watch has a worldwide base map and is waterproof up to 50 meters.

The battery is good and the compass has a temperature sensor also. you can connect the watch with other devices as it has wireless unit to unit communication ability.

The watch comes with a user manual and a practical USB cable for easier charging. It comes also with an AC adopter with plug.

The watch is practical and fairly easy to use.

When in need, you can update the software to version 3.60 from Gramin.com/support.

Let’s highlight the main pros:

  • The watch is easy to use
  • The watch comes with compass, altimeter and barometer
  • The compass is versatile and reliable
  • There are many practical features on the watch

As for the cons, there are only few:

  • The watch is a bit large, but this is expected for a hiking watch
  • The watch doesn’t come with great instruction

Considering its price and the performance, you get a pretty reliable, easy to use and with multiple functions hiking watch.

Best Casio Hiking Watch

Casio gives you many models to choose from for your number one outdoor activity, but one of the most performant watch is the Casio Protrek Tough Movement Tough Solar Multiband6 Watch PRW-5050BN-5.

Casio Protrek Tough Movement Tough Solar Multiband6 Watch

The tough solar power watch has multi-ban 6 atomic and it manages to perform in low temperature.

The watch comes with the typical functions for any hiking watch: digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer. They all give accurate readings.

You can easily read the watch at night also due to its full auto LED light and luminous hands and markers.

If we get through the basic features, we see the 5 daily alarms and the world time for 29 cities. The watch has also countdown timer, 1/100 sec stopwatch, 12/24 hr. formats, battery level indicator, mute function and Power Saving function.

You can take the watch when swimming or snorkeling as it’s water resistant to 330 ft. Never take it though when diving.

The soft silicone band is comfortable to wear and fits any wrist. Even though it’s soft, the band is highly resistant to tearing and abrasion.

There’s no need to worry about running out of batteries on the watch has it comes with solar rechargeable battery. The battery runs 5 months on full charge, with not exposure to light.

Let’s pinpoint the pros:

  • The watch has useful functions for hiking: altimeter, barometer, compass
  • The watch is water resistant to 330ft.
  • The watch is comfortable to wear
  • The readings are accurate

As for the cons, here they are:

  • The band gets slippery when you are sweaty
  • The numbers are a bit small

All in all, the watch gives reliable performance and is great for hiking.

Casio Protrek Tough Movement Tough Solar Multiband6 Watch

Best Hiking Altimeter watch

The Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch with Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, and Depth Measurement doesn’t just give you accurate readings, but also comes with other useful features.

Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch

The watch gives 7-days altimeter/barometer history for a better image on the weather and the weather memory is for 7 days. It even has a temperature and storm alarm. The digital thermometer is included and the digital compass gives accurate readouts.

The watch is versatile and reliable wherever you take it. You may take it even under water up to 30ft. It has a rugged build and comes with a cozy elastomer strap.

As for the other features, the watch comes also with a low battery warning, but also sunset and sunrise info. The watch has 1 daily alarm option just as well. The GPS is independent of the altimeter.

We need to mention that the altimeter is accurate within 30,000ft. The watch includes a start-from-zero function so you don’t need to enter a reference altitude.

The automatic Alti/Baro mode is sensitive to movement or lack of it so it switches between the altimeter and barometer precisely. The depth meter gives precise water depth readouts up to 30ft.

The watch comes in several color options and comes with a two-year warranty.

Here are the most important pros:

  • The watch includes altimeter, barometer, thermometer and compass
  • The watch has Alti/Baro history for 7 days
  • The watch comes with a storm alarm
  • The watch gives accurate readings

As for the cons, here are ours:

  • The bezel leaves a cheap feel
  • The display contrast needs to be better

Providing amazing performance for the altimeter, this model of Suunto Core is a reliable watch to get.

Best Analog Hiking Watch

One of the best options out there for your hiking, when you like the analog type of watch, is the Casio G-Shock GWA-1100-1A3 G-Aviation. Even though the watch is triple G resistant (shock, vibration and centrifugal force resistant), this is not the only feature that makes it a good choice for hiking.

Best Analog Hiking Watch

The watch comes with a digital compass and may be taken underwater also as it’s 200M water resistant. The watch is solar powered and has a great, rugged build. It has a great style and look and is very easy to read. The watch features Smart Access which makes it intuitive and simple to operate. The temperature sensors help the compass give immediate and accurate readings.

The watch comes with multi-band 6 time and it receives time calibration radio signals for a precise display of time.  Additionally, the watch features beeper alarm, 1/20 chronograph, full auto calendar, countdown timer and power saving function.

The battery runs for around 6 months on full charge. The watch has amazing protection for the crown and is lightweight, despite its size.

Here are the most important pros:

  • The watch is rugged and has a great appearance
  • The watch is 3 G resistant: shock, vibration and centrifugal force
  • The watch is solar powered
  • The watch comes with an accurate compass and many other great features

As for the cons, here they are:

  • The watch has no LED light so after a while it’s impossible to see it at night
  • The watch is not anti-magnetism
  • The bezel gets dirty pretty easy

All in all, if you like analog watches, rugged and ready to take the heavy use, the Casio G-Shock GWA-1100-1A3G is a good buy.

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