People who love and live the outdoors to please their aesthetic senses need to carry a lot of safety gear with them. Off all the additional gears they carry, the GPS sports watch is important, irrespective of the activity.
The watches come handy in a lot of activities such as skiing, hiking, wild swimming, trail running, etc. They help in measuring the speed and the altitude of the downhills renders GPS guidance on the runs and tracks and work for many days without recharging.
These digital companions have changed the way people navigate as in olden days they require maps, compass, and notebooks to mark their trail. A reliable hiking outdoor watch compasses all these features under a small dial.
It also coordinates with satellites to send distress information to dear ones. We have drafted a comprehensive list of some of the best outdoor watches here to help our readers cling to the best fit watch model for their outdoor activities.
Top 6 Best Outdoor Watches – 
- Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire
- Suunto Traverse Alpha
- Garmin Fenix 3 HR
- Casio Men’s Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Watch
- Casio Men’s Digital Compass Twin Sensor Watch
- Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch
Best Outdoor Watches
Best Outdoor Watches Reviews
- Premium multisport GPS watch
- Stainless steel bezel
- Easily accessible stats and widgets
- Smart notifications
- Outdoor sensors
- Barometric altimeter
The Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire is a multisport GPS watch with wrist heart rate technology. The watch is thus the best fit companion for adventure with its rugged design.
Its exceptional features are its stainless steel bezel, rear case, and its buttons. Its performance widget puts all its key stats at the fingertips of the users. The widgets show the progress and effects of the workout. The watch features a universal USB travel charger.
Some of its connection features include, its smart notifications, automatic uploads to the online fitness community from Garmin Connect and personalization of the watch faces and apps from connecting IQ store.
The watch also features a number of outdoor sensors which includes the GPS and satellite reception. It also features a compass with 3-axis, barometric altimeter, and a gyroscope.
- Dimensions: 2 x 0.6 x 2 inches
- Weight: 2.72 ounces
- Water resistance up to 100 m
- Watch case material: Glass fiber composite with stainless steel coating
- Lens: Sapphire crystal
- Watch strap material: Nylon textile
- Battery life in Time mode: 14 days
- Battery life in GPS: up to 100 hours
- Radio communication: Bluetooth smart.
The Suunto Traverse Alpha travel watches has a rugged look with water repellent nylon strap and stainless steel bezel. The water features a premium scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass. Its automatic shot detection technology helps the user keeps track of exercise performance.
Its GPS coordinates map the journey of the user for viewing later. The GPS also helps to track the path helping to find the way back the trail. The watch is compatible with the Suunto Moves Count App.
Its location-based moon phase calendar helps in identifying moon rise and moon set times to determine the ideal time for fishing times and hunting times. These watches are handmade in Finland and feature a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. The battery life in time mode is about 14 days wherein training mode with GPS, it is about 10,15,100 hours.
- Stainless steel EXO Antenna
- GPS/GLONASS satellite reception
- Fitness training features
- 2 inch Garmin Chroma Display
- Outdoor navigation features
- Battery life up to 2 weeks
The Garmin Fenix 3 HR Omni directional stainless steel smartwatch with EXO antenna is the best companion for all outdoor adventurous activities. The watch features GLONASS satellite reception and easily tracks position and movement even in most challenging environments.
It is the best watch for fitness training with its advanced running dynamics and oxygen level determinants and recovery advisor. Its wrist heart rate technology helps to read the heart rate at the wrist eliminating the need for a chest strap.
The watch also features a number of outdoor navigation features such as 3-axis compass, barometer, altimeter, and TracBack features. Its 1.2 inch Garmin Chroma display with sapphire lens helps to read clearly without glare from sunlight.
The watch has a battery life of up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode depending on the settings an up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 40 hours in battery saver mode.
- Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 4 inches
- Weight: 12.2 ounces
- Water resistance: 200 m
- Chronographic display
- Multi-band timekeeping
- Duplex LC display
- Tough solar power
The Casio Pro Trek solar digital watches are powered by a battery. It is possible to charge the watch with a solar panel which is in-built in the face of the watch.
A Casio solar watch stays completely functional from 5 months to 23 months without sunlight exposure. It is possible to recharge the watch with any type of light but time varies depending on the source of light.
The Casio has long been a watch that never breaks. The watch also resists impact from centrifugal forces a high water pressure. They are extremely durable and are the best analog-digital watches available in the industry.
The watch has the rust of law enforcement officials, military personnel, surfers and outdoor enthusiasts spread all over the world. Apart from the adventure tag, the G shock also has a fashion tag with it. This is a watch of preference by sports icons, hip-hop singers and fashion designers.
- Size of case:51.5 x 47.6 x 13.2mm
- Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Display range: -10 to 60 C
- 1/100 second stopwatch
- Graphic direction pointer
- Magnetic Declination correction
- Auto calendar
- Battery life: 3 years
The Casio Men’s Digital compass watch stays stylish on the wrist when one is practicing their favorite sport. This sturdy men’s wrist watch features a flexible band with adjusting buckle closer.
Its dials are a perfect round with shiny and silver toned accents. Its mechanical textures and designs along with a bright and easy to read digital display make it the best watch of choice by outdoor enthusiasts.
Apart from the precise time, the round display of the watch shows the day, date and month. Its calendar is auto-updated up to the year 2099. Other excellent features of the watch are its protective mineral crystal layer, quartz movement and water resistance up to 660 feet.
The watch also features stopwatch functions up to 1/100th of a second and alarm functions. It has a battery life of up to 3 years and displays time in both 12 and 24-hour format.
- Dimensions: 9 x 0.6 x 1.9 inches
- Weight: 1.44 ounces
- Wrist-top computer watch with
- The barometer for changes in pressure
- Weather trend graph
- Storm alarm
- Functions in different languages.
- Two years’ warranty
The Suunto Core Wrist-top computer watch has the finest of all features for a perfect outdoor adventure trip. It altimeter tracks the vertical movement of the user and its barometer senses the alterations in air pressure. Its navigation compass helps in pointing the way for the hiker.
The Suunto core watch helps to track both the sun and the weather for the user and its operating temperature is about -20° C to +60° C. its weather trend graph along with storm alarm functions helps to plan activities and stay safe.
The watch also has pre-set sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations across the world. The watch holds so much of functionalities but is still available in a number of style variations to yield to the fashion trends of the user.
Apart from vertical movement, the barometer, altimeter, compass and weather indicator are also available with the watch. It also features a depth meter that accurately provides water depth ratings up to 30 feet. The watch has the ability to function in different languages and is available in different color variations.
What To Look For In The Outdoor Watches?
A smart outdoor is a reliable travel companion that one can count on to be safe in their outdoor destination. The features that one would require on the watch depends on the activities that one participates in. Most of the models in this list are meant for different adventure sports. Other things that are to be kept in mind while looking for an outdoor watch are,
- GPS Features
- Navigation Compass
- Battery Life
Irrespective of the hiker being a beginner or a professional with years of experience, their worst nightmare is to get lost in the wild. The hiking GPS receiver is an important feature for all GPS watches as it helps them track the location and keeps the hiker safe.
The GPS locator helps to mark the entry point and also locate it just to ensure that the user does not get lost in the middle of the woods. All of the watches in our list have this GPS locating system to ease the hike without worries.
Almost all of the high-end hiking trail watches encompasses a compass feature so as to navigate easily in the adventure trip. Just like the GPS receiver, the compass is another excellent feature that can prevent the user from getting too far off the trail or to get lost in the middle of the woods.
A built-in compass in the watch helps the user to know the direction he has started and which way to head on. Most importantly the compass shows the way to get back to the car.
It is hard to think of getting caught in a mountain top or in the woods during a storm. It is not only inconvenient but is extremely dangerous. A sports watch should definitely have a barometer, storm alarm and a compass to avoid such instances.
A built-in barometer will indicate in advance of unfavourable weather on the way. This feature is absolutely essential for all those who spend a considerable amount of time in the wilderness.
All the features that the sports watch hoards depend on its battery life. It is unbelievable for the sports watch that has all the safety features to die in the middle of the woods. It is thus important to choose an outdoor watch that renders extended and exceptional battery life.
This may not be a useful feature for those who take short trips in the park trails. But is absolutely essential for those who wander for hours in the camp or stay overnight in the wild. Most of the watches in our list have a long battery life of up to 14 days straight.
Reliable hiking and durability are interdependent features, it is important to choose an outdoor watch that is completely reliable and thus durable. The model should be of waterproof design, it should be able to withstand dust, cold, scratches and also sudden impacts. A quality watch that withstands the demands of the outdoor environment will never deceive a user in the middle of the hike.
Operating Manual For Sports Watches
Sports watches and watches for outdoor activities has a different operations manual in comparison with dress watches. Some unique features of sports watches are water resistance power, digital display, timers, alarms, etc. For special instructions pertaining to a specific model, it is good to refer to its operations manual. The general instructions for operating any sports watch is below,
Step 1: Set the time and date of the sports watch. The ‘set’ key is found on the watch that helps in changing the data and time upon pressing. After entering the set mode, the user has to press the ‘mode’ icon to enter the date and time. The process can be repeated until the correct time and date comes on the screen.
Step 2: A sports watch allows the user to toggle between its different modes. In most of the leading brands such as Casio, the mode button is on the left lower aspect of the watch. With every push on the button, the watch enters a different mode, from standard to alarm, chronograph, etc.
Step 3: The next step is to activate the alarm mode. The user can set a one time, daily or monthly alarm. The user can set the minutes, hour, month and date before the set key is pressed. To stop the alarm, any key can be pressed.
Step 4: For the timer and chronograph modes, the start and stop key is put to use. In the chronograph mode, when the start/ stop button is pressed, the watch counts up to hundredths of a second under it is pressed again.
Step 5: The last step is to press the backlight button. When the user presses and releases this button, the backlight stays on for several seconds. By holding down the button the sports watch can get into night mode and stay lit.
One warning with the sports watch is that it is water resistant and not waterproof. The user should not attempt to press any of the buttons of the watch when they are in the water. Night light feature is the most convenient feature of the watch, but overuse can drain the battery of the device.
Best Ways To Care And Maintain Outdoor Watches
1. Shocks: Avoid strong stocks to the watch such as dropping it on hard surfaces since it is a highly sensitive precise equipment.
2. Water resistance: Do not expose the watch to water when the crown is pulled out.
Avoid placing the watch directly under water. To maintain and enhance its water resistance feature, wipe off moisture, dirt, and sweat with a dry cloth after removing it from the waist.
When the water-resistant watch is used while swimming in sea water, wash it again in fresh water and dry it in a soft cloth.
Avoid using the watch during bath or sauna. Steam and soap can reduce the performance of the watch.
The function of the watch can get affected by extreme alterations in temperature. Operational temperatures differ with different watch brands and the user has to refer to the instruction manual of their model.
Solvents and chemicals such as bleach and benzene are kept at bay completely while cleaning the watch. This may start a chemical reaction or start damaging the life of the watch.
The crown of the watch should be turned from time to time to avoid corrosion of the crown. This also helps to maintain the flexibility of the gasket. For watches with screw-in crown, the crown has to screw down carefully to prevent moisture penetration inside the watch movement.
Wipe the moisture, dirt, and sweat from the watch with a soft cloth after removing it from the wrist. This helps to increase the durability of the gaskets, back case, and the watch band.
Sports watches and outdoor watches of the modern days are perfect for backpackers, hikers and also natural enthusiasts. They have exceptional features such as speed tracking, altimeter, compass, barometer, GPS receivers, calorie calculator, distance measurements, etc. With so many brands out there, choosing the best watch is pretty tough and we hope we have helped our best to assist you in narrowing your search to find the best outdoor watch.