Best Compass Watch: Reliable Navigation Tools for Outdoor Adventurers

Due to modern navigation technology and GPS, a smartphone is all you need for navigating your way around.

However, if you’re an avid outdoorsman who loves to go camping, hiking or hunting, it’s best that you have a dedicated navigational tool with you at all times – preferably one that doesn’t require Wi-Fi or batteries.

With that said, it’s hard to go wrong with a compass watch as a dedicated navigation tool.

If you are looking for the best compass watch, you’ve come to the right place. For our top pick, we chose the Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Multi-Function Sport Watch for its wide range of features, ease of use, and great price. This watch comes highly recommended for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

If you are looking for more options, we have handpicked a couple of other models for you to check out.

Model Key Features Our Rating
Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Digital compass, altimeter, barometer, dual-layer LCD, solar-powered, sunrise-sunset time display ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
SUUNTO Core All Black Military Altimeter, barometer, compass, works in altitude up to 29,500 feet, weather tracker, storm alarm system, stylish design ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough solar power, Atomic timekeeping, 200M water resistant, digital compass, altimeter, barometer, moon data ★ ★ ★ ★
 Timex T49612 Expedition Shock Compass, hydration reminder, multiple timers and alarms, shock resistant to I.S.O. standards, light-up watch dial, Water resistant to 200m ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Instinct GPS Watch Military standard 810G, 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, heart rate, activity and stress monitor, smart notifications, TracBack feature ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Compass Watch

1. Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Tough Solar Watch

The Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR is a shining example of how to do a compass watch while incorporating other high-end features. Over the years, Casio’s Pathfinder series has earned the legendary status among sports and outdoor lovers.

It’s a full-featured compass watch that stands out because it is solar-powered.

Feature Packed Timepiece

What I love about the Pathfinder PAG240-1CR is that it offers a lot in terms of features. Of course, the watch comes with a digital compass which should be more than enough for most navigational needs. On top of that, the watch comes with an altimeter, barometer, and thermometer.

Thus, it’s quite obvious that this watch is designed for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

For timekeeping, the timepiece has world time, five daily alarms, city code display, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, full auto calendar (pre-programmed until 2099), and 12/24-hour formats.

It’s about what you can expect from a standard Casio sports watch.

Battery life is a whopping 6 months on a full charge, provided that the watch is not exposed to light. The 51-mm stainless steel case is suitably tough for any outdoor activities. It’s also water resistant to 100 m (330 ft) which is a nice bonus. The watch is also backlit and performs rather well in the dark.

2. SUUNTO Core All Black Military Watch

The SUUNTO Core All Black Military is a solid ABC watch (altimeter, barometer, compass). I have only been introduced to Suunto as of late but the brand is definitely growing on me. They make some of the best-looking sports and outdoor watches in the market.

SUUNTO Core All Black Military Watch is no exception.

A Tough Watch for Braving the Great Outdoors

This SUUNTO watch feels solid and tough but it doesn’t feel clunky, heavy or cumbersome. That in itself is a great plus since I don’t like wearing watches that would weigh me down. It doesn’t hurt that the watch looks great and I am in love with the black face.

The watch offers features that make it an essential part of one’s every day carry.

Like with the previous watch, the SUUNTO Core All Black Military comes with a digital compass. I’ve played around with the compass and I am happy to report that it’s very accurate. The barometer is also working as advertised and it actually gave an accurate storm warning.

The watch is available for a great price. However, if you are looking for a GPS watch, you will want to skip this one since it doesn’t come with a GPS.

Despite the lack of GPS, this is one of the best compass watches that you can buy.

3. Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar Digital Watch

We have another model from Casio which is not surprising considering that this is a Pro Trek watch.

The Pro Trek series is a very popular collection of watches that has really made its mark on the sports and outdoor niche. The Pro Trek series is actually developed under the supervision of meteorologists to ensure accurate readings and the inclusion of useful features.

Reliable Outdoor Companion

This solar-powered Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T features a rugged which is fitting for a traveler’s timepiece. It doesn’t just look tough however, the PRW2500T is one sturdy beast.

After all, it’s described by Casio as “a watch that never breaks.” It can withstand high impact and water pressure.

As with many of Casio’s mid-range military watches, the PRW2500T features atomic timekeeping technology. For U.S. citizens, this means that the watch receives calibrating radio waves straight from Fort Collins to ensure that the watch is accurate down right to the millisecond.

As for the compass, I must say that it performed “OK” and served me well for the most part. However, it’s not as accurate as most handheld military compasses. The screen is crystal clear and quite easy to read.

However, the buttons can be hard to operate in low light conditions. Another downside to this watch is that the bezel scratches easily.

4. Timex T49612 Expedition Shock Digital Compass Watch

The Timex T49612 Expedition Shock is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive EDC watch that can withstand all kinds of punishment.

Timex has always been a reliable brand that won’t break the bank. The T49612 is an excellent military watch that comes with a digital compass.

An EDC Watch for Adventuring

One of the first things you’ll notice straight away is the Expedition Shock’s bold negative display.

As you can see, legibility is not an issue even if you’re out in the wild. Whenever it gets too dark, the Indiglo light-up watch dial has got you covered. The watch face looks a bit big, it’s bigger than your average Casio G-Shock.

As you can expect from a military timepiece, the Expedition Shock sports an extremely rugged design and construction, down to the overbuilt hinges and flat buttons. It is water resistant to 200m (660 ft) and is actually well-suited for surface water sports and other marine activity except for scuba diving.

The compass is spot on but you will likely spend a bit of time with the calibration. I’ve found that the compass works best for determining direction and orientation. In terms of navigation, it’s unfortunately not as accurate. I have to knock down a point since the band tends to snap or break down.

Overall, it’s a budget-friendly compass watch that’s great for everyday use.

5. Garmin Instinct GPS Watch

If you don’t mind spending the big bucks, the Garmin Instinct GPS Watch is for you. Based on our tests, the Instinct features by far the best compass within this list.

Of course, being a GPS watch, it comes with major navigation features which are clearly aimed for the hardcore outdoor adventurers. Plus, it also comes with sports features that are similar to that of the Vivoactive 3. If you are familiar with the Garmin Fenix, think of this watch as the mini-Fenix.

High-End Navigation Tool

Being a Garmin device, the Instinct excels when it comes to navigation features.

It boasts a built-in 3-axis compass which takes out the guesswork from keeping your bearings while outdoors. One particular feature that I like is the TracBack feature which allows you to easily backtrack to the same route from where you came.

The watch comes with a barometric altimeter for providing incoming storm alerts. There’s also the GPS along with the GLONASS and Galileo support which provides the user with plenty of coverage. Basically, the Instinct places a big emphasis on features that would be very useful to hikers, trekkers, and hunters.

The Instinct features a successful rugged design and is thermal, shock and water resistant. The fiber-reinforced polymer case does a great job of protecting the watch. Unfortunately, the watch itself really isn’t much of a looker. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t really like the Instinct’s look.

It does come in 3 different colors, if that counts.

Like most smartwatches, the Instinct syncs with the Garmin app which is always a nice feature. Seriously, I could be here all day talking about the Instinct’s features.

If you want a full-featured GPS watch and don’t mind spending more, it’s hard to go wrong with the Garmin Instinct.

Final Thoughts

That wraps up our list of the best compass watch that you can get for your navigation needs.

Each of these watches has their own set of useful features as well as pros and cons. You can trust that all the watches on this list have a great compass. For some reason that you can’t choose between the options we’ve provided, we highly recommend that you get the Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR.

Have fun shopping for your compass watch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *