Hiking can be fun; however, other than just being fun and action packed, you may also want to be safe. This is paramount; after all, who would want to find themselves lost in the wilderness? Thankfully, we have seen quite a spike in technology and hiking in even some of the remotest areas out of town is now safer than ever.
Designers are working round the clock and we have seen high tech devices being unveiled and made available to some of the most discerning hikers all over the world. One such gadgets in a hiker watch; they are fast becoming popular and any serious hiker wouldn’t hit the road before making sure they have one.
It is a must have gadget for it does not only help you keep track of time, but it does also provide you with a number of crucial information ranging from location, altitude, air pressure among others. Even for an industry that has continued to see the best of the best being created, there are those hiking watches from the biggest names in the industry that have managed to hold it down and become the most sought after.
Table of Contents :
QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING WATCHES
- Suunto Traverse GPS
- Garmin Fenix 3 HR
- Garmin Tactix Bravo
- Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire
- Garmin Epix
- Suunto Core Outdoor Matrix
- Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar
- Casio Pro Trek
- Casio Pathfinder
- LAD Weather’s Sensor Master
Here is a quick look at the best 5 best hiking watches of 2018. We have not even stopped there; we have also highlighted a number of things you need to consider when shopping for one.
- Ingenious color display
- Detailed Offline Maps
- Android Wear/ Google Play
- Quite expensive
- High battery usage
Bottom Line: This is a beast; packed with great features and its intuitive function buttons would make things quite easy for you.
Coming with one the highest price tags, the Casio Protrek WSD-F20 Smart Outdoor is a watch for serious hikers. It is the only hiking watch with Android Wear on our list. Its overall design is stunning; from a distance, you would easily mistake it for a gadget from the future. Plus, other just the looks, the watch is Casio’s answer to outdoor hikers who have always prayed for all the features of a hiking watch. This watch is brimming with exciting features that would make your hiking fun.
For instance, from this little gadget, you will get sensors like GPS/GLONASS, compass, Barometer, Altimeter, Accelerometer and even a microphone. When it comes to display and navigation; this watch is a true friend to any hiker. It comes with a full color LCD display with a touch screen just like those we have seen on Apple’s iWatch and Samsung Gear 3. As if that is not even enough; seen as effort to make this watch probably the best in their line of watches; designers made sure they did also include many other great functions which are quite useful if you are planning on connection your watch to a mobile device with an internet connection.
The device does come with data driven applications like twitter, Facebook and Outdoor among others. Despite all the good things that have been said about the Casio Protrek WSD-F20 Smart Outdoor Watch it would also be fair if we mention a number of complaints that have been received in the past. The watch is a power hungry and its battery life is below average. For example, even after you have deactivated your GPS, you would still be forced to charge it on daily basis.
- Packed with great features
- Great built in heart rate monitor
- Below average battery life
Bottom Line: Below average battery life, but everything is just fine.
Created by one of the biggest names in the industry, you now know why we were not going to omit this watch from out top list. It is an amazing piece of technology that has not only found its way into millions of hikers’ hearts, but is also riding high across tons and tons of shopping platforms. From the way The Garmin Fenix 3HR has been built to amount of features it comes with, it looks like it was designed by a person who has had a not so good experience with this kind of watches before.
Other than just showing you time, the makers of this technology made sure they include other crucial features. The watch does come equipped with a built in heart rate monitor that is superbly accurate. It actually measures your heart rate right form your wrist, allowing you to monitor your heart rate without necessarily having to wear those boring chest straps and stuff.
Although the watch is said to come with pretty below average battery life, it is just too difficult to resist it. It comes packed with every possible feature that you can think of.
- Quality built
- Great features
- Most people find it too small
- Hard to read in bright light
Bottom Line: The watch does come with great features, but it is too small; not appropriate for an adult.
If you are a serious hiker who is looking for an affordable hiking watch that will not hurt your wallet, but would still want those amazing features, the CASIO PRW-3000-1ACR PROTREK is exactly what you should be going for next. It comes with a reasonable price tag, but the watch is surprisingly bristling with exciting features.
From this little gadget, you get a compass, five alarms barometer, altimeter and thermometer among other great things. As for the battery life, this watch is unlike anything you have seen before. It is over the moon and is rated at 7 months on a single charge. That is not even all, coming equipped with a solar charging feature that means longer battery life.
Ease of use is another amazing thing that designers pay so much attention to. It comes with an easy to navigate one-touch menu that allows you to quickly access critical futures like barometer, compass among others. Lastly, nothing is perfect and just like any other refined piece of technology, the CASIO PRW-3000-1ACR PROTREK does come with a number of issues and one being; most people have found it difficult to read the display when placed directly placed on super bright conditions.
- Heavy duty ·
- Reasonably priced ·
- Accurate GPS ·
- Flashlight Mode
- Lacks color display ·
- No maps
Bottom Line: When it comes to weight, comfort and GPS capabilities, the Suunto Traverse GPS Watch for Hiking is an absolute winner.
Well, if you are shopping for the best and you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a watch; the Suunto Traverse GPS Watch for Hiking could be all you ever wanted.
This watch from a big brand has in away managed to strike an amazing balance between budget and performance. Other than its tough casing, the watch does come with great functionality that could see your next hiking adventure become absolute fun. Its GPS function is out of this world. It is fast and pleasantly accurate. With this little gadget, you can easily track your current position and keep the record for reverse navigation.
In fact, it said the satellites connect much faster on this watch than even Garmin’s watches. Moving on the display is another amazing part of this watch; and while most people have experienced problem reading it in bright conditions, it is super large and can be easily inverted for better visibility. As for the battery, the watch packs a rechargeable lithium ion battery that is said to keep the watch running for around 11 days in normal mode and 2 days in GPS tracking mode.
Bottom line; based on what people are saying and what we have personally seen, we could say there is really nothing wrong with the watch. So if you are on budget, but you just want to find the best the market can offer within that little budget of yours, the Suunto Traverse GPS Watch for Hiking is what you should be shopping for real soon.
- Heavy Duty
- Titanium Styling
- Dated Design
Bottom Line: Not the best Altimeter watch you would get today, but a watch that offers incredibly accurate ABC data. For people who are looking for a super heavy duty hiking watch that does not come with all those fancy features, the Casio Tough Solar Altimeter Watch is all you ever wanted.
It is one of the best Altimeter watches you could find today in the market. It tough overall design is worth mention; it has been built to last and its Titanium styling has had the industry talking for a while.
The watch is solar powered and the large stainless bezel makes it looks so much better. This device can flawlessly sync with an atomic clock and that keeps the time super accurate at all times. The temperature/barometer also does their job so well, especially when you remove the watch from your wrist. At the end of the day, even though the watch does not come with all the fancy features, make no mistake, it is great hiking watch.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking for a mid priced outdoor ABC timepiece.
How To Pick The Best Hiking Watch
Pretty much like when you are shopping for any other hiking equipment, there are a lot of things you need to consider when shopping for a hiking watch. Unlike a few years ago, most hiking watches now come packed with incredible features and it will make a lot of sense if you know what you want. Here is all you need to consider when buying a watch for your next hiking.
Price and Features
With these devices now selling from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, you need to know the exact amount of money you have and willing to spend on this piece of technology. As for the features, a great hiking watch must offer a number of features just way more than any standard watch. Here are a number of features you might need to be on the lookout for.
- a. Altimeter
This is one of the most important features. It displays your altitude above sea level and that is usually based on either barometric pressure or from GPS data. The kind of data you would get from this feature will help you navigate and also make it quite easy for you to locate your current position using maps. That is not even all; a good number of hiking watched allows you to collect the GPS and altimeter data so that you can use it at a later date.
- b. Compass
A compass is another amazing tool your watch must have. A watch that comes equipped with a built in compass can be great. It will help provide basic information on the direction you are traveling. The best part, if you have basic compass training you can actually use your compass reading to triangulate and determine your current position on a map without any problem.
- c. GPS
This is another advanced feature that could be of great help when you are out there hiking. A watch with GPS technology allows you to get instant co-ordinate of your current location. This is really beneficial; after all; knowing this data is going to be extremely important when it comes to route planning. It can be used to guide emergency services in case of an accident while hiking. Additionally, with GPS, you will also get a wide range of key data such as speed you are hiking, altitude and distance traveled.
- d. Heart Rate Monitor
Every watch designers are now adding this feature on to their devices. It is often required by advanced hikers as it can be sued to monitor pulse and heart rate to ensure steady pace is marinated at all times.
- e. Rechargeable Battery
Truth be told; a rechargeable battery is a very important feature for any hiking watch, especially if you will require features like GPS and bright displays. Pretty much like our phones, power drain can occur much quicker if more features in the watch are turned on. For these reasons, you would need a watch that comes equipped with a rechargeable battery.