Hiking lovers can now enjoy the ultimate technology on their routes thanks to these new and modern watches.
More technologically advanced, these practical watches help us on our hiking trails with an altimeter, a barometer, a compass, GPS and many other features. They let us determine our average speed, the number of calories we have burned or the distance we have left until we reach our destinations. Built with modern and contemporary designs, these watches can be used not only by hikers, but also by backpackers, travelers or any outdoors lovers.
I’m going to review the Top 10 Best Hiking Watches of the year so that you can see what’s new, the differences between them, their features and their designs.
- Garmin Fenix 3
- Garmin Tactix Bravo
- Suunto Ambit 3
- Suunto Traverse
- Casio PRW 2500T-7CR
- Casio Pathfinder PAG240-7CR
- Suunto Core Crush
- Casio PRG270-4CR
- Casio PRW6000-1ACR
- Garmin Epix
Considerations to take into account when choosing the Best Trekking Watches:
A good hiking watch must have, of course, many more features than a normal watch. They are usually equipped with GPS, a thermometer, a barometer, a compass and an altimeter. Although some of them do not have GPS, I think that it is an important factor in buying a good watch.
The altimeter tells you the height at which you are, the thermometer and barometer give you an idea of what weather is coming and the GPS and compass will help you locate your position.
As we would with any hiking gear, we’ll focus on quality and durability. These watches are specially adapted to potential hiking-related situations such as scratches, impacts, extreme temperatures and water.
Top 10 Best Hiking Watches Review of 2017
Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS
The Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire is definitely one of the best hiking watches you can find on the market. It’s not a toy you’d buy for your kids. This is a watch for serious hikers!
This high-tech watch has absolutely all the outdoor navigation features you’ll need on your routes, including a three-axis compass, GPS, altimeter, barometer, rechargeable battery, WIFI software, sunlight readable color Chroma display, high-strength domed sapphire lens, connect IQ compatibility for customized apps, widgets, watch faces and many more.
Besides being fully equipped with technology, the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire has a sophisticated and stylish design. This watch is suitable for hiking, running, swim training, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Probably the best hiking watch of 2017!
Garmin Tactix Bravo
Garmin Tactix Bravo. A great outdoor watch for adventure lovers. Based on the previous Garmin Fenix 3, this amazing watch comes with some extra tactical features.
This multifunction training watch combines tactical functionality with some smart features for hiking and activity tracking, all in a stylish design. The Garmin Tactix Bravo features an all-black, non-reflective and resistant design built for the tactical environment. Its dual-mode operation optimizes the sunlight-readable display for daily use or night vision goggle compatibility.
It comes with all Fenix 3 features like: three-axis compass, GPS, altimeter, barometer, rechargeable battery, WIFI software, sunlight-readable color Chroma display, high-strength domed sapphire lens and more. On this version, not only the sapphire lens but the bezel is scratch resistant, making it a very durable watch.
For a few more bucks more you get the sapphire lens and scratch resistant bezel in black!
Suunto Ambit 3 Peak GPS Heart Rate Monitor
Suunto Ambit 3 Peak. One of the best hiking watches with heart rate monitor. This multi-sport GPS watch helps you track your progress while you are hiking, running or swimming.
It measures time and tracks distance walked, altitude, temperature, pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. It comes with other features like: GPS, digital compass, storm alarm and barometer, and can receive push notifications from your smartphone.
It features an easy-to-understand GPS navigation system that allows you to use its route maps while hiking. You can access the Movescount Suunto Application, which tracks all your hikes and stores them in an online cloud so that you get an overview of your routes.
The watch comes with a rate belt that uses a Suunto application to monitor you heart rate and calculate the number of calories burned. This watch is compatible with Bluetooth, so it will also show your messages, missed calls and other notifications.
This is definitely one of the best hiking watches you can find with a very good quality-to-price ratio.
Suunto Traverse. The best trekking watch for long routes. Its very stylish design and ultimate features make the Suunto Traverse a great hiking watch.
It has most of the Suunto Ambit 3 features like: GPS, altimeter, barometer, thermometer and digital compass, and some extra features like: vibration alerts, flashlight backlight and activity monitoring, which estimates daily steps and calories. On the downside, it doesn’t support advanced training analysis and multisport mode.
You can synchronize the watch with your smartphone via Bluetooth to access all the information from there, and it comes with a Movescount Application that allows you to import your routes and data.
A great hiking watch with all the key features, including GPS, and a very attractive design.
Casio PRW 2500T-7CR
Casio PRW 2500T-CR. It has a beautiful traditional design suitable for any occasion.
The watch’s main features are: digital compass, 200M water resistance, moon data, altimeter, altimeter memory, barometer and thermometer. Features like a barometer and thermometer will help you determine what weather will greet you during your hikes.
The battery is recharged by a solar panel built into the face of the watch, so you won’t need to change batteries anymore. Furthermore, the watch displays five daily alarms, world time, a countdown timer, a battery level indicator and many other features.
This is one of the best hiking watches you can find for a reasonable price. It is a very practical tool you should bring to your hikes or simply wear everyday due to its beautiful design.
Unfortunately, it has neither GPS nor a heart rate monitor, but you probably have a GPS on your phone, don’t you?
Casio Men’s Pathfinder PAG240-7CR
Casio PAG240-7CR. This is another great model with one of the most beautiful designs on the list.
It has a round stainless steel case with a mineral dial window and a strong titanium bracelet with double-locking fold-over clasp.
It comes with all Casio main features like: 100M water resistance, low temperature resistance, world time, daily alarms and, of course, an altimeter, barometer, thermometer and digital compass.
Suunto Core Crush
Suunto Core Crush. Another good watch you can find for a reasonable price. The Suunto Core Crush doesn’t have GPS like some other Suunto models do, and it is, let’s say, simpler.
However, it does come with features like: 30M water resistance, altimeter, barometer, thermometer and compass. This watch’s barometer is especially great, as it has a trend graph that will let you know what weather is coming. The watch detects possible storms and the alarm goes on. Isn’t that cool?
This is the best option for those who want a good hiking watch with almost all the features, except GPS, but who don’t want to spend much money.
Casio Men’s PRG270-4CR
The Casio PRG270-4CR has a modern and young-looking design in black and red, with the quality and solid construction of all Casio watches.
It has all the main features like: 100M water resistance, low temperature resistance (-10 C / 14 F), altimeter, altimeter memory, digital compass, barometer, thermometer, full auto LED, world time and many others.
The battery is recharged by a solar panel and like other Casio watches, there is a level indicator so you’ll know how much power is remaining. The battery life is 9 months on full charge (without further exposure to light).
Casio PRW6000Y -1ACR Pro
Casio PRW6000Y – 1ACR. The best hiking watch with an elegant design. This is a beautiful black sport watch featuring a multi-function dial with analog and digital displays.
It features a triple sensor altimeter, digital compass, barometer, thermometer, world time (29 cities), five daily alarms, LED light, 100M water resistance, 1/100-second stopwatch, power-saving function and countdown timer. The battery is recharged by a solar panel.
It’s a beautiful option for those looking for a stylish and attractive hiking watch with all the main features, except GPS.
Garmin Epix. The best hiking watch with a real GPS system. This watch has a very different and practical design. It’s definitely not as stylish and attractive as some of the watches mentioned above, but it’s probably the most feature-filled watch you’ll find on the market.
It has a 1.4-inch high-resolution touchscreen, 8 GB of expanded internal memory, connecting applications, a multi-activity option for hiking, running, navigation, swimming, indoor workouts, and more.
The main difference and advantage is the touchscreen which displays real GPS mapping. It’s equipped with all the features like step counter, activity tracking, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, digital compass and more.
This is a practical option for those looking for a good GPS integrated watch with a real mapping system.
All the watches mentioned above are great hiking watches that you can find on the market this year.
If you are willing to spend some money, I’d recommend that you get the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire for a nice design and best features.
Another good watch, and probably the best value for the money, is the Suunto Ambit 3, which comes with all the best and more modern features.
If you are not that interested in having GPS but still want the most attractive and stylish design, the Casio PRW 2500T-7CR might be your watch.
A few tips for enjoying your Hiking Watch:
– New models come with so many features and apps that you can be overwhelmed at first sight. Take the time to read the instructions and play with your new toy.
– Some hiking watches are recharged by a solar panel. If they run by regular batteries, be sure your hiking watch is fully charged before you explore the mountains.
– Most manufacturers want to keep their models up to date, so they release new apps and software. Check that you have installed the latest firmware on your watch.
– Have a plan B. These watches include the latest technology and they are all great. However, you can’t rely on only the watch’s GPS when hiking. This doesn’t happen often, but you may find that the satellite doesn’t work in certain “dead zones.” Always bring along a good map with your watch.
– Import the tracking data of your routes to your computer or phone and check your progress.
A personal story
A few years ago I was hiking the Huayhuash trek in Peru. Absolutely spectacular place. At that time I didn’t have a GPS, so we were using a map. That’s also cool. I mean, I like to read maps and it’s kind of adventurous, but this was a 10-day trek. One day it was snowing pretty hard and the snow covered the path. We tried to follow the right trail but we got lost. We ended up on a steep hill; it was really cold and we couldn’t pitch our tent. It wasn’t fun. After that day, I thought, ‘I want a hiking watch with GPS for my next hike!’
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