Casio G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: Which G-Shock is Better?

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review

Whether you’re looking for an every day carry watch or an outdoor timepiece, it’s hard to go wrong with the Casio G-Shock line. The G-Shock collection of watches are some of the toughest watches out there and are used by heavy-duty professionals such as law enforcement and firemen.

So, you’ve decided to get a G-Shock and mulling over your top selections: G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman. I’d say that it’s a good problem to have and many will agree that’s indeed a tough choice.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help.

For today’s head-to-head review, we have the G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman. Which top-tier G-Shock is right for your needs?

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: At a Glance

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review

At first look, you’ll swear that the Rangeman and Mudman are the same watch. However, there are numerous key differences that can influence you from choosing one over the other. Here’s a quick look at the specs of both watches.

Model:

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1

Case Diameter:

53 mm

53 mm

Case Thickness:

17 mm

19 mm

Weight:

93 grams

68.5 grams

Barometer and Altimeter:

Yes

Yes

Thermometer:

Yes

Yes

Digital Compass:

Yes

Yes

Solar Power:

Yes

Yes

Atomic Time:

Yes

No

Water Resistance Rating:

200 meters

200 meters

Band Material:

Resin

Resin

Band Width:

22 mm

18.2 mm

Dual Time:

Yes

Yes

Moon Phase:

No

Yes

Sunrise/Sunset Times:

Yes

No

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: Comparison Review

Design

If your main criteria for choosing your next G-Shock watch is the looks, the Rangeman and Mudman will not make it easy for you. As you can seen, both watches look nearly identical – especially with the color scheme and display.

Both watches consist of roughly three main parts: the day/date display, the time display, and the compass. But as always, the devil is in the details.

Both watches have a case diameter of 53mm, so both models are fairly large timepieces. The thickness of the case between two watches are not that different either with the Rangeman having a thickness of 18.2 millimeters while the Mudman has a thickness of 19 millimeters.

Casio G-Shock Rangeman Display
The Rangeman display

The layout of the display is also very similar between these two G-Shocks. At the top right part, you’ll see the day/date display, the top left sits the compass, and the half bottom display shows the time. On closer look, you may observe that the Rangeman has a busier display but that’s not entirely the case as all. The Rangeman appears busier because the actual display is smaller when compared to the Mudman.

Casio G-Shock Mudman Display
The Mudman display

As far as the design and display layout, both watches look similar with some differences in the detail. These watches are packed with many different functions and sensors, and the true differences will come to light as you learn how to use them.

Case and Bezel

As mentioned, both watches have similar case diameter. However, once you look closely, one of the major differences between the two will be revealed. On the Mudman, the case is made from resin while the bezel is made from aluminum. On the Rangeman, both the case and bezel are resin while the buttons are made from stainless steel.

Because of this, the Rangeman weighs more than the Mudman. The former weighs about 93 grams while the latter weighs only 68.5 grams. So at this point, if you want the more lightweight option, the Mudman is the clear choice.

However, the added weight on the Rangeman comes with benefits. Mainly, the stainless steel button covers make the watch more durable and in my opinion, more visually appealing.

Furthermore, the case of the Rangeman (55.2 × 53.5 × 18.2mm) is taller and wider when compared to the Mudman (53 × 50.8 × 18.2mm). The difference is not that significant but it’s there.

Also, if you look closer, you’ll observe some subtle differences to the shape of the cases from both watches. The Mudman case features a softer, more rounded shape which also applies to the side buttons. In general, the Mudman case looks softer and more approachable. On the other hand, the Rangeman case sports many sharp edges and straight lines. It looks more aggressive and rugged when compared to the Mudman.

Sensors

When it comes to outdoor watches, you want a unit that feature sensors. Three of the most common sensors found in outdoor watches are altimeter, barometer, and thermometer. For this particular yardstick, the Rangeman has the upper hand.

The Casio G-Shock Rangeman boasts the venerable Triple Sensor feature. This means that you have an altimeter, thermometer, and barometer right at your wrist. On the other hand, the Casio G-Shock Mudman only includes a thermometer, not the altimeter or barometer.

For outdoor junkies, the barometer is particularly important because it’s used for predicting rainfall and measuring atmospheric pressure. If you love hiking, you’ll likely need the altimeter for measuring your current altitude in elevated terrains.

For outdoor adventurers, the Rangeman’s Triple Sensor makes it the clear winner.

Durability and Water Resistance

Thanks to the signature G-Shock quality, both the Rangeman and Mudman are tough as nails.

These watches can resist temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, these watches are built to last a lifetime plus they’re shock and mud resistant. Both watches are also fitted with mineral glass windows that provide excellent scratch resistance and seven times more durable than acrylic.

It’s also worth noting that both the Rangeman and Mudman are Tough Solar watches. This means that you only need to charge these watches once – when you buy it. Basically, you’re powered for life!

In terms of water resistance, both watches have a water resistance rating of 200 meters. While these watches can be used for diving, you have to keep in mind that they are absolutely not designed for diving.

Timekeeping Features

Many collectors prefer watches with an atomic timekeeping feature. If you like atomic watches, the choice is easy because between the two watches, only the Rangeman has atomic timekeeping. This is a popular feature among enthusiasts because it adds another layer of timekeeping accuracy. In addition, during DST, the atomic watch will automatically adjust itself – point goes to the Rangeman.

For other timekeeping features, both the Rangeman and Mudman come with a top-notch 1/100th-second stopwatch. Additionally, both these watches feature World Time that’s useful for knowing the time across multiple time zones. However, since the Mudman doesn’t have atomic timekeeping, the time zones don’t automatically update. You’ll have to manually update the time every couple of months.

To Mudman’s credit, it does have a Moon Phase Calendar feature that the Rangeman lacks. If you’re a fisherman or someone who loves night fishing, the Moon Phase function is a great feature to have.

On the other hand, the Rangeman is equipped with auto sunrise/sunset data. Again, this feature should come in handy for people who love spending time in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the Mudman doesn’t offer this functionality.

Pricing

For starters, let me outright say that both watches offer tremendous value – true bangs for your hard-earned buck. If you’re choosing based on price alone, the Mudman gets your vote since it’s the less expensive model than the Rangeman.

However, if you believe that price isn’t everything, you may want to consider what the Rangeman has to offer.

The Rangeman is simply the more feature-packed option between the two timepieces, thus it’s more expensive. The G-Shock Rangeman has Triple Sensor, Atomic Timekeeping, Auto Sunrise/Sunset Data, just to name a few. Therefore, if you’re taking features into consideration, the Rangeman is certainly worth the extra dollars.

At the end of the day, the difference between the two models is about $50-$60 which is not much of a difference, really. If you’re on a tight budget, the Mudman is a great choice. However, if you have some financial wiggle room, the Rangeman with its extra features is worth the price.

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: The Verdict

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review_1

As per usual, we end this G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman head-to-head comparison with our verdict. Which Casio G-Shock is better?

As it turns out, the answer to this question is not as clear-cut as it seems. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your needs and requirements.

In terms of pure features and versatility, the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 wins hands down. With the addition of atomic timekeeping, barometer, and altimeter, all of which that the Mudman lacks, The Rangeman is a functional powerhouse. The Triple Sensor feature is just too good. If you love going outdoors or prefer atomic watches, the Rangeman is the easy choice. However, you have to keep in mind that it’s a bit more expensive than the Mudman.

On the other hand, the Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1 is undoubtedly the budget-friendly option. If you’re tight on budget but still want a reliable tough watch, the Mudman won’t fail you. It is a Tough Solar timepiece which means that battery life will never be an issue. Unfortunately, the lower price tag does come with the lack of major features (at least when compared to the Rangeman). It does come with a Moon Phase calendar which the Rangeman doesn’t have.

Overall, both are amazing watches that will serve you well, especially if you’re planning to wear them outdoors. However, if budget is not an issue, I’d say that you should for the Rangeman. The extra features and versatility are certainly worth the extra bucks.

Best Solar Atomic Watch [A Quick Buying Guide]

Best Solar Atomic Watch Review

If you don’t like the inconvenience of changing your watch battery every now and then, you should opt to add a solar-powered watch to your collection. If you want to take it up a notch, why not choose a timepiece with atomic timekeeping?

The best thing about atomic watches is that you have access to accurate time at all times. Atomic watches are set to universal time and receive radio calibration signals for accurate timekeeping. This means that an atomic watch never needs to be adjusted as it’s perfectly synchronized with the US atomic clock in Colorado.

For today, we’ve made a list of the best solar atomic watch that you can get from the market. We’ve tested many solar atomic watches and these are the best of the bunch.

Best Solar Atomic Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

Solar powered, Quartz movement, Protective mineral crystal dial window, Mb6 atomic timekeeping, auto LED, 5 Daily Alarms, Water resistant to 660 feet

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T

Tough Solar Power, Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, 200M Water Resistant, Tide Graph, Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow, Countdown Timer, Battery level indicator, Power saving function

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono

42 mm titanium case, Antireflective sapphire dial window, Japanese quartz movement with analog display, Titanium link bracelet, Atomic Timekeeping, Perpetual calendar

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Casio G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar

Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Tough Solar Power, Shock Resistant, 200M Water Resistant, Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow, World Time, 31 times zones, Solar rechargeable battery

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura

Radio-controlled, World time function, Japanese-quartz Movement, 44.5mm case diameter, Water resistant to 100m (330ft), Push Button Foldover Clasp With Safety

★ ★ ★ ★

Citizen Eco-Drive JY8035-04E Navihawk

Light-powered watch, Multi-function chronographs, 48 millimeter stainless steel case, Anti-Reflective Mineral Crystal, Polyurethane band, Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft)

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Solar Atomic Watch

1. Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

For many of our regular readers, the Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is no stranger. After all, it has been featured as one of the best G-Shock models especially for heavy-duty professions like EMT workers. As you can see, it’s also a Solar Atomic watch.

A Masterpiece of an Atomic Watch

The G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is a fan-favorite as far as Casio’s Master of G Series goes and it’s not hard to see why.

The watch comes with the famous Triple Sensor feature which includes a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, and, thermometer. Combined with the watch’s excellent toughness, you have yourself a timepiece that will help guide yourself in places you’ve never gone before.

In terms of form factor, the GW9400 Rangeman features an irregular shape, even among other G-Shock models. However, it does feel great while wearing and sits nicely on the wrist. I’ve had this watch for the longest time and it only has very minor scuffs with no noticeable scratches. With such a performance, it’s not a surprise if this piece lasts for a good decade.

As far as battery life goes, I can only recall a few times that it needed to be recharged. Even then, I only needed to leave the watch for several hours and it will be charged. Lastly, the atomic timekeeping updates every night so it’s never an issue for me.

2. Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T

A fair warning to those who don’t like Casio watches: this list will feature a lot of them. With that said, the Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T is always a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts and active people. Plus, it’s an amazing solar atomic watch.

Feature-Rich Atomic Solar Watch

People who like their watches that come with everything under the sun will appreciate the Pro Trek PRW2500T. It’s simply packed with features that it can get overwhelming for some. This Pro Trek version is the improved iteration of the plastic PRW2500. The model featured is made from stainless steel and titanium.

The Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping will ensure that your watch is very precise. It even comes with an auto-calendar feature that’s pre-programmed until 2099. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to worry about the time and date with the Pro Trek PRW2500T.

The Pro Trek PRW2500T is geared towards outdoor use so it also has the famed Triple Sensor feature. From what we have tested, the compass, altimeter, and barometer work at a functional level. The watch display allows you to get multiple information at a glance. However, it can get a little too busy for people.

Overall, the Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T is the best solar atomic watch in the Pro Trek series.

3. Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono

On this list of the best solar atomic watch, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono might just be the best-looking. However, it’s way more than just a classy, handsome watch.

High-Specced Atomic Timekeeping

Citizen’s Eco-Drive series features some of the best solar-powered watches money can buy. Among the impressive collection of watches, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono stands out by having a great set of features and incredible design.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the lightweight profile of the watch. Thanks to the titanium case and band, the Titanium Perpetual Chrono feels just right despite being a fairly large watch. Besides, the watch is eye-catching but it’s not overdone or flashy. The dial looks cluttered at first but you’ll quickly appreciate just how well-done the layout is.

For some people, the design of the AT4010-50E Titanium is easily the main selling point. However, if you care about superior battery life, the Eco-Drive technology should drive the point home. With Eco-Drive, the watch is powered by light and not necessarily solar energy. Of course, this is an atomic watch which means that it employs radio-controlled function in multiple timezones for max accuracy.

Ultimately, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono is not a cheap atomic solar watch but it’s highly recommended for fans of atomic timekeeping.

4. Casio G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar

If you are looking for the best solar atomic watch that won’t make a dent on your budget, the Casio G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar is an easy recommendation.

Best Value Solar Atomic Timepiece

I’ve bought the G-Shock GW2310-1 Tough Solar because I needed an atomic watch for daily use. This watch piece fits the bill due to its low price and that it’s a G-Shock. With that said, the GW2310-1 is impressive right out of the box.

This sub-$100 watch looks the way as you might expect. Its analog display isn’t exactly modern or timeless but it’s more than a functional watch with enough features to offer. However, many people should find the sporty design appealing.

Of course, it’s an atomic watch and I’m happy to report that it delivers in accuracy. The GW2310-1 is radio controlled and syncs daily with Colorado’s Cesium-133 atomic clock. The auto calibration works great, even after many years of use.

In terms of toughness, the GW2310-1 gets the job done. The watch is impact and shock resistant, and even comes with a 200M water resistance rating. Also, the battery life is excellent and can last up to 10 months with a full charge.

Ultimately, the GW2310-1 is a solid atomic solar watch that comes at a good price. Don’t sleep on this one!

5. Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura

Seiko is known for its tough and reliable watches plus the craftsmanship is hard to deny. The Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura is a fine member of Seiko’s lineup and it’s one of the best solar atomic watches that you can get.

Good-Looking Yet Heavy Watch

For starters, the Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura is a beast of a watch – it’s quite large and a bit on the heavy side. Despite the heavy weight, the Coutura feels weighty but not overly so. Also, despite the weighty profile, the watch feels comfortable to wear which is a nice surprise.

One of the best things about this watch is the striking blue dial. For starters, it’s a very eye-catching dial especially with its unique design and layout. Reading the time is easy and the sub-dials are very legible as well. My only complaint about the dial is that the date window is too small.

Of course, this is an atomic watch so accuracy is never an issue. With Radio Sync, the watch will automatically sync every night so you don’t have to set it anymore. The only time that you’ll need to set this watch is when you travel to a different time zone.

In conclusion, the Seiko Radio Sync Solar Coutura is a great atomic solar watch with a unique design.

6. Citizen Eco-Drive JY8035-04E Navihawk

The Citizen Eco-Drive JY8035-04E Navihawk is an atomic solar watch for someone who wants it all. As you can see from the dial, it’s a watch that doesn’t leave anything to the imagination.

A Solid Atomic Watch With a Crazy Dial

The JY8035-04E Navihawk is not for minimalist fans. It’s an unapologetic sports watch that aims to give you all the information you need. In addition, the display is analog but there are digital readouts as well. It’s not the easiest watch to use and there’s a learning curve.

The Atomic Timekeeping feature means that you don’t have to set the watch ever again. I’ve been using this watch for years and the atomic feature works like a charm.

This watch is simply oozing with quality and craftsmanship. However, the band leaves a lot to be desired. In retrospect, I just wish that it’s more durable since mine broke after only months of use.

To sum it up, the JY8035-04E Navihawk is the spy watch that you’ve always wanted. In conclusion, the watch has some flaws but it’s still a solid atomic solar watch.

Atomic Timekeeping Done Right

That wraps up our list of the best solar atomic watch. Hopefully, we have helped you find an atomic watch that best fits your needs.

Best Survival Watch: Timepieces for Dire Situations

Best Survival Watch Traverse Alpha

Aside from the most hardcore bushcrafters and survivalists, most people would rather steer clear of survival situations. Of course, a smart outdoorsman is always prepared for the worst. With that said, one of the most important gear that you should have for dire situations is a survival watch.

Technically, a regular tough analog watch can be used to survive in the wild. However, if you want the best survival watch, you want a model that offers the bells and whistles along with the toughness. Think GPS/GLONASS capabilities, TOPO maps, and ABC features.

Today, we made the best survival watch list to help you choose the best timepiece for survival situations.

Best Survival Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Receives time calibration radio signals, Manual receive function, Triple Sensor, Solar-Powered Movement, Low Temperature Resistant

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Suunto Traverse Alpha

Rugged, knurled stainless steel bezel, Water repellent nylon strap, Location-based moon Phase calendar, Automatic shot detection technology, Compatible with Suunto Movescount App, GPS & GLONASS via SIRFStarV chip

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Timex Expedition Classic

Adjustable black 18mm resin strap, Integrated mini compass, 100 hour chronograph, Acrylic lens, Indiglo light-up watch dial, Water-resistant to 100m (330 ft), 24-hour countdown timer

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Garmin Instinct

Constructed to U. S. Military standard, Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, Smart notifications, TrackBack feature

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon

I.N.O.X. Carbon, Black dial, black Para cord strap, Carbon case with triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, Swiss-quartz Movement, Water resistant 200m (660ft)

★ ★ ★ ★

Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor

Solar-Powered, ABC features, Triple Sensor, EL Backlit, World Time, 6-Months battery life on full charge, 51-mm stainless steel case, Quartz movement with digital display, Resin band, Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft)

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Survival Watch

1. Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

Casio’s G-Shock line is legendary for heavy-duty toughness and great value proposition. Literally, any G-Shock can be used for survival situations. However, if you want the best survival watch from the G-Shock line, the Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is a sure bet.

Survival of the Toughest

The GW9400 Rangeman was tested and designed to withstand even the most challenging conditions.

It comes with the Triple Sensor feature which is basically the compass, altimeter, thermometer and barometer. This enables you to receive real-time feedback and information about your surroundings. There’s also a sunrise/sunset timing which is a plus during dire situations.

As mentioned, the GW9400 Rangeman has set the standard when it comes to toughness. It features insane shock-resistance and respectable water resistance. All of the sensors are properly protected as well to ensure top-notch durability. Plus, it comes with a 10-year battery life which is always a welcome benefit.

The GW9400 Rangeman is also a solar watch which means that battery life will never become an issue down the line. It’s no wonder that this watch is favored not just by survivalists but also outdoorsmen, law enforcement, military personnel, and more.

2. Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Suunto Traverse Alpha isn’t quite a smartwatch but it might as well be. If you are looking for a survival watch with comprehensive features, the Traverse Alpha is more than a solid choice.

Feature-Packed Survival Tool

For starters, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is specially designed for outdoor use. It features a rugged, knurled stainless steel bezel which can take a lot of punishment. The nylon strap is durable and water resistant as well. The premium scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass does a great job of protecting the face.

When you’re in a dicey situation, you’ll appreciate the Traverse Alpha’s GPS/GLONASS navigation. This allows you to keep your bearings and prevent you from losing your way. Another impressive feature is the customizable, night-vision-goggle-compatible red backlight which allows you to read the watch without blowing your cover.

The watch also comes with a barometric pressure graph and storm alarms so you can stay on top of weather changes. In a survival scenario, being able to predict the weather can be a lifesaver. The battery life can only last up to 14 days but it should be more than enough to get you out of a pinch.

Overall, the Traverse Alpha is one of my favorite outdoor gear. It just delivers no all fronts especially with features and durability.

3. Timex Expedition Classic

The best survival watch doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles. In many cases, you’ll be fine with a timepiece that has excellent reliability. The Timex Expedition Classic definitely fits the bill.

The Budget-Friendly Survival Watch

While the Expedition Classic isn’t as feature-packed as the rest of the selections on this list, it has enough basic features to help you survive in the wild. It features an integrated mini compass which is handy for navigation. It’s not the most advanced compass but it gets the job done.

It comes with an adjustable resin strap which is surprisingly tough enough even for the most rigid applications. For timekeeping, it has 100-hour chronograph, lap and split times, 24-hour countdown timer, month, day & date calendar, 24-hour military time mode, and 2 time zones. The functions are all basic but it’s hard to complain, especially at this price point.

As for the price point, it’s a sub-$50 watch so it’s an excellent choice if budget is an issue. Or perhaps, you can buy multiple units for varying applications. However, don’t expect to replace it soon since this watch is one tough customer.

Overall, the Timex Expedition Classic is tough, super comfortable, lightweight, and highly durable. It’s just a reliable timepiece that won’t break the bank.

4. Garmin Instinct

There’s a big overlap between an outdoor watch and a survival watch. Garmin Instinct is primarily designed for outdoor applications, making it an excellent choice for bushcrafters, preppers, and survivalists.

From Outdoor Adventures to Survival Scenarios

The Garmin Instinct outdoor watch is like a smartwatch for people who don’t like smartwatches. Most smartwatches won’t fair well outdoors but the opposite can be said when Garmin is on the case.

The Instinct is designed to withstand the toughest outdoor conditions. It’s constructed to U. S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance, so this one won’t die on you as you brave the elements. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it features a proper tactical look.

This watch excels in navigation. It supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellites and the Instinct can connect to these satellites quite quick. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with built-in TOPO maps but you do get other navigation features such as a compass and the ability to upload routes.

Another excellent survival feature is the TracBack function. It allows you to take the same route back to the starting point. You don’t have to worry about getting lost as you scout locations and collect rations.

Ultimately, the Garmin Instinct isn’t exactly a smartwatch but it’s a highly reliable survival tool.

5. Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon

Sometimes, the best survival watch just needs to be reliable. Something that will help you keep time reliably as things go south. In this case, the Swiss-made Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon comes highly recommended.

Unparalleled Toughness and Reliability

When compared to other entries on this list, the I.N.O.X. Carbon looks woefully under-equipped. You won’t find any on-board sensors and navigational features here. However, it’s still an amazing timepiece for surviving dicey situations, and that’s mainly due to its toughness and reliability.

In fact, the watch part is quite basic in itself. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good watch for survival scenarios. The watch features a standard three-hand dial and a date window. Again, fairly standard stuff and this one won’t help you navigate any environment. But it more than makes up for its inherent durability.

This watch is a military-grade unit that will get you through the field with little to no problem. The carbon composite case ensures that this watch won’t break even under pressure. It’s literally tough enough to survive being run over by a truck or tank for that matter. Victorinox claims that it has subjected the watch to over 130 and durability tests.

From military folks to hardcore survivalists, the Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon is a tough one to pass.

6. Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor

Casio’s Pathfinder line is another great contender for the best survival watch that money can buy. Personally, you can just fill this list with Casio timepieces and be done with it. The Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor is reliable, durable, and keeps good time.

Built to Last

Casio’s tough solar units are almost always reliable. The Pathfinder boasts the venerable Triple Sensor feature which means that it comes with a thermometer, barometer, altimeter and compass. With these features, you’ll have more fighting chance when surviving in the wild.

As for the reliability, the Pathfinder Triple Sensor has a water resistance rating of 100 meters (330 feet). Unlike many so-called water-resistant watches, the buttons on this watch will keep working even when submerged underwater. This adds a good deal of longevity to the timepiece.

It’s a digital display that may turn off some people. However, the display is crisp and clean, and you’ll know the information that you need with just a quick glance. This is one of the most important aspects of a survival watch, at-a-glance readability.

Overall, the Pathfinder Triple Sensor is a great watch that you can use for both outdoor and survival applications.

Be Prepared for the Worst

That wraps up our list of the best survival watch that will bail you out of a sticky situation. Just to be clear, these watches won’t directly save your life when facing a survival scenario. However, they are certainly nice to have as additional tools to help keep you level-headed and safe.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Which Solar Watch is Superior?

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Matchup

Seiko and Citizen are two of the biggest brands from Asia, and it’s safe to say, even the world. With the rise of battery-powered quartz watches, both brands have been leading the market and these two companies have a lot in common.

Many customers are finding themselves choosing between a Seiko or Citizen watch – and that’s a good problem to have. Both manufacturers have excellent track records.

For this comparison review, we’ll try to answer the question, which is better? Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: At a Glance

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Review

This review is essentially a head-to-head between two major watch lines. Here’s a quick specs comparison of Seiko Solar and Citizen Eco-Drive.

Seiko Solar Citizen Eco Drive
Movement Solar, Quartz, Automatic Solar, Quartz, Automatic
Display Analog Analog
Water-Resistance Yes, 330 feet Yes, 660 feet
Power Reserve About 10 years Second battery lasts up to 20 years
GPS Watch Yes Yes
Chronograph (and Tachymeter) watch Yes Yes
Atomic Timekeeping Yes Yes

Seiko vs Citizen: Brand Comparison

As you all know, both brands originated from Japan and have been enjoying a good deal of popularity in the market.

Now, according to our research of the market, Citizen has the upper hand when it comes to reach and sales volume. Citizen has a wider market presence and that can be said with their sales as well.

On the other hand, Seiko is also a popular brand but less so when compared to Citizen. In my experience, Seiko watches are not as widely available as Citizen, even when you’re shopping from major watch retailers. Therefore, many customers have to buy straight from Seiko or from a specialty store.

In comparison, Citizen watches are virtually everywhere. You can find plenty of Citizen models on Amazon and most major retailers. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is one of the main reasons for the brand’s popularity. Eco-Drive watches are known for their reliability which resonates well with customers.

As far as the solar watch community goes, Citizen seems to be the more popular brand between the two.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Solar Technology

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology

Obviously, the appeal of both watch lines lies with their solar-powered technology. Seiko uses the Solar designation while Citizen uses the Eco-Drive technology.

It’s worth noting that Seiko manufactures more mechanical watches than Citizen. Under Seiko’s Quartz collection is where you’ll find the brand’s solar-powered watches with the technology that’s simply called Seiko Solar. On the flip side, Citizen specializes more in quartz timepieces where you can find the Eco-Drive collection. The Eco-Drive technology was well-received and in fact, it has won the Gold prize at the “Eco Mark Award 2014”.

As we look closer, we’ve discovered that the solar technologies from the two brands are fairly similar. We’re trying to find a distinguishing feature between Solar and Eco-Drive to no avail. Some folks even believe that they’re essentially the same solar movements with some subtle differences.

So which solar technology is better? Well, it’s really hard to say.

Seiko uses its Solar technology to quite a handful of models. From the Seiko SNE481 Dress Watch to the Seiko RECRAFT Series, there’s a good selection of Seiko Solar models to choose from. However, it’s not a technology that Seiko uses across its collections.

On the other hand, Citizen outfits a wide range of its watches in Eco-Drive solar technology, even the bestselling ones. Thus, there’s a good chance that you’ll get an Eco-Drive watch if you invest in a Citizen piece. Also, Citizen has the advantage since they’ve been working with solar technology longer than Seiko.

In contrast, Seiko seems to be more committed to developing mechanical watches and their own Kinetic technology. If you want a mechanical/self-winding watch, Seiko is your best bet.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Style and Design

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology_1

This one is a bit trickier to compare.

However, if you’re going to observe the offerings from both brands, you’ll see that Seiko leans more towards the tried and true classic designs. A good example of this is the Seiko SNE102 Stainless Steel Solar Watch that has all the makings of a classic leather watch. However, Seiko Solar watches have a variety to them as well. Take for instance, the Seiko Solar Chronograph Silvertone Watch which is a nice-looking chronograph.

On the flip side, Citizen seems to push the limits more when it comes to design. One of my favorite Citizen watches is the Citizen BM8180-03E which is slick-looking field watch. However, Citizen Eco-Drive watches have models with bolder designs such as the Citizen AW1148-09E Drive.

Both brands offer stylish and great-looking watches. If you want something more of a classic look, Seiko is the way to go. However, for more design selections, Citizen can offer you more.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Construction, Durability and Water Resistance

Again, this is a category that’s difficult to argue concerning both brands. Both brands offer reliable and robust timepieces at a reasonable price. For the most part, both collections use the same type of case which is stainless steel. The cases are either brushed or polished.

On the back side, both watches are fitted with stainless steel as well. Stainless steel is durable and significantly helps with water resistance. Both Citizen and Seiko watches also use the screw-down lock style which improves water resistance even more.

Although Seiko Solar watches are water-resistant, they have some glaring limitations. For the most part, Solar watches have a water resistance rating of 100 meters. This makes Seiko Solar watches to be technically dive-ready. In comparison, some Eco-Drive models can go down to 200 meters underwater or 660 feet.

It’s worth noting that Seiko has a different line of solar watches for divers. Therefore, although some of their watches have water resistance, not all of them can be used for diving. As for the case of Citizen, they have Eco-Drive models that span both dive and outdoor watches.

Best Seiko Solar Watches

1. Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch

As mentioned, this is one of my favorite Seiko watches ever. The Seiko SNE331 Solar Dress Watch is a military-inspired timepiece but still works wonderfully as an all-around watch.

The large indices and the stencil-like numerals really perk up the dial. The thick luminous hands go very well with the handsome black dial. It’s a 43-mm stainless steel watch, so there’s a bit of heft to it. The hardlex crystal does a great job of protecting the dial.

Overall, it’s a stylish and rugged solar-powered watch that will last you a long while.

2. Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch

The Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch is a beautiful dress watch with the signature Seiko reliability.

This is one of the more popular Seiko Solar models and for good reason. The two-tone design adds a good deal of class without looking tacky. The combination of gold hands and indices against the shimmering charcoal dial is so well done.

Of course, the best thing about this dress watch is that it’s solar-powered. With a straight 35 hours charge, it’s supposedly going to give you 10 months of battery life – that’s quite amazing. For a dress watch, it’s also tough and robust enough for daily wear.

The Seiko SNE042 is holding up well and a great introduction to Seiko Solar watches.

3. Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series

If you want to check out a chronograph Solar from this brand, the Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series is an excellent candidate.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the SSC667 is its vintage design which is a throwback to the 70s. Aside from the 70s-inspired design, I applaud Seiko for putting a good effort into creating the dial. There are various layers to the dial which creates depth. The applied markers also add the much-needed texture to the face.

The SSC667 is a utilitarian watch where every design element is deliberate. The NATO strap adds another layer o personality to the timepiece. It’s definitely one of the better Seiko chronographs that you can get.

Best Citizen Eco-Drive Watches

1. Citizen AW1150-07E Eco-DRV AR 2.0

The Citizen AW1150-07E Eco-DRV AR 2.0 is a big, black, and bold timepiece with a modern appeal. Citizen doesn’t shy away from edgier designs and this one is my favorite.

It’s a 44mm stainless steel watch but it never feels too large, even on smaller wrists. The main selling point of the AW1150-07E is its looks. The dial just looks amazing and can be worn pretty much everywhere. I’ve received many compliments wearing it.

Overall, the AW1150-07E is one of the finer Eco-Drive watches available.

2. Citizen BM8180-03E

The Citizen BM8180-03E is a trooper of a watch. It feels very rugged but still lightweight. From the military-inspired design to the quality construction, the Citizen BM8180-03E succeeds in the utilitarian sense.

The dial looks simple and straight to the point – just the way I like it. The lume is fairly decent but I wish it was better since the watch is designed for outdoor applications. The strap is a bit stiff at first but it was eventually broken in and became a lot more flexible.

Ultimately, the BM8180-03E is a fan favorite and it’s easy to see why.

3. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty diver with a great price, the Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver is an easy recommendation.

The BN0151-09L is an updated version of the classic Citizen dive watch. This dive watch has a water resistance rating of WR200/20Bar/666ft, so it’s something that scuba divers can actually use. Despite being a tool watch, the BN0151-09L Promaster is light and comfortable.

Overall, the BN0151-09L is a rock-solid dive watch and offers amazing value.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Final Thoughts

As you can see, this Seiko vs Citizen matchup is a tricky one. This is mainly because both brands are very similar.

If you are looking for a solar-powered watch with a more classic look, Seiko Solar should have something for you. On the other hand, Citizen Eco-Drive watches are more adventurous when it comes to design. When it comes to solar power technology, Citizen edges out Seiko because the former has more watches that have the feature. Plus, Citizen has been working with solar technology far longer than Seiko.

Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with their brand.

Best Women’s Waterproof Watches – Durable Fashion Lady Timepieces

best women's waterproof watches

After thorough research and checks on various timepieces on the market, we have chosen the Invicta Women’s 8939 as the perfect choice for the best women’s waterproof watches.

We chose this watch because it offers a high waterproof rating and has an attractive design that can complement women’s outfits. It also features Eco-Drive technology, which means that it runs without a battery.

 

Best Women’s Waterproof Watches

A good watch is a vital accessory that every woman should own. Apart from measuring time, it should have features that allow it to work under different conditions. Such specs include a durable build that can handle raindrops, a swim at the pool, or a deep-sea dive.

However, waterproof watches might be unattractive, making them unpopular style timepieces. Fortunately, some watches can handle moisture and still look elegant and fashionable for regular wear. You can even get them in prices that will surely meet your budget.

Are you curious about these timepieces? Well, here are the best women’s waterproof watches that you can find at any store.

Invicta Women’s 8939 Pro Diver

 

This Invicta timepiece promises impressive features and a durable build for aquatic use. Unlike most water-resistant watches, it has a design that fits any casual outfit or dive suit. It can also be seen as one of the best women’s waterproof watches in 2019 on the market. Now let’s see all the features of this exciting product.

High Level of Water Resistance 

Do you plan on going on a snorkeling trip with a timepiece on your wrist? Then you should consider the Invicta Pro Diver as it has a water resistance of 200m. This rating is suitable for most levels of aquatic sports except scuba diving.

Apart from its waterproof features, its design allows ease of use, especially when you are underwater. After all, it has a case and bezel with edges that are ideal for gloved hands.

Reliable Steel Bracelet 

The watch is secured to your arm via a 12mm stainless steel band. Furthermore, the bracelet has a fold-over clasp, which will help the watch remain on your wrist during the duration of your swim. It can also withstand any corrosion that might result from the moisture.

Luminous Watch Face

Since it stands as one of the best waterproof watches for womenthe watch has a face that is readable in a rainstorm or during a swim. The watch dial includes luminous markers and hands, while a magnified date window lies at the 3 o’clock position.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

Purchasing an Invicta Pro Diver watch has various benefits. For instance, it has a durable but lightweight build, which will not add pressure to your wrist. It also has a rating that rivals most of the best waterproof watches for ladies on the market.

But if you have a large wrist, you might prefer another timepiece as the Pro Diver has a thin band. It also has a movement that might stop within a few months from the date of purchase.

Citizen Women’s Eco-Drive Watch EW1544-53A

 

If you are in the market for a classic and simple timepiece, the Citizen EW1544-53A watch promises a minimalistic style with ideal features for use on land or in the water. Also, it is a movement provides accurate timekeeping while boasting a build fit for water sports to a certain level.

Efficient and Green Power Source

The watch runs on Eco-Drive technology that uses either natural or artificial light. With this feature, the timepiece can use such energy to power its functions.

Hence, you don’t need to charge or worry about battery replacement before a dive or swim. You will also be protecting the environment as there is no old battery to dump.

Water Resistance 

If you intend to go swimming or diving, you can enjoy any of these activities while wearing this rugged accessory. It has a water resistance that is fit for depths of up to 330ft. It can be used for surface water sports but not for professional scuba diving.

Elegant and Durable Design 

When it comes to design, the watch stands as a worthy investment. Here it includes a stainless steel case and bezel for extra security. You also have an attractive gold accented steel band that can handle moisture.

The dial houses a slim gold-toned hour and minute hands that sweep across bold Arabic hour markers. This part of the watch is covered with a scratch-resistant glass.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

The watch can be recharged with any form of light while boasting of impressive specs which makes it one the best women’s waterproof sports watches on the market. This includes a tough crystal and an ideal level of water resistance.

But the watch face might be small, particularly when compared to other best women’s waterproof watches on our list. This downside might make you want to consider choosing another watch.

M1 Mini Women Quartz Watch 

 

Momentum created this timepiece as an updated version of the older M1 women watch. Here, it places slimmer features while using durable materials that can resist water damage at the pool or sea. With such specs, it deserves a spot on any article that reviews the best women’s waterproof watches.

Waterproof Features 

The M1 has features that can meet the requirements of fishing, canoeing, and other surface aquatic sports. Furthermore, you can use it for swimming and diving at depths of up to 660ft because of its screw-down crown. It also has a body that is resistant to moisture and rust.

Attractive but Rugged Build

As expected from one of the best women’s waterproof watches, this watch has a build that promises years of use. For instance, it has a 31mm steel case that sports a movable bezel.

It also has a steel bracelet that is not chunky, thus not adding any pressure to your hand, especially during a swim. If you don’t like metal, you can swap for a natural rubber band that comes with the product.

Easy to Read Dial

You can read the time on this watch in any wet environment as it has a readable display. With that said, the dial features easy-to-read hands and markers, while a date window is located at the 3 o’clock position of the dial.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

The M1 Dive watch comes as a wise choice as it offers suitable features needed for accurate timekeeping and water resistance. However, it has a small date window which is difficult to read under certain conditions.

Wenger Women’s 0641.102 Sea Force 3H

 

Another option if you’re looking for the best women’s waterproof watches is this incredible timepiece from Wenger. Even if it’s called a men’s watch, it has a build that makes it more attractive than most of the best women dive watches under 500. Apart from giving precise movements, the watch fits a wide range of occasions, outfits, and conditions.

Tough Crystal 

During a dive or swim, it is easy to hit your watch on rocks or other hard materials, thereby damaging the glass on display. But with the Sea Force 3H, you don’t need to worry about a damaged crystal or scratches because it has a scratch-resistant glass.

Decent Water Resistance Rating

With this timepiece, you can perform in a wide range of activities that use water. These include handwashing, bathing canoeing, and fishing. It can also be used for swimming and recreational scuba diving at depths of 660ft.

Durable Band

Since it’s a waterproof watch, the watch does not use a leather bracelet. Instead, it boasts of a band that is made from silicon rubber. With this material, you can expose the accessory to water for long periods.

If you’re looking for the best women watches this is the best bet because it looks attractive and ideal for regular use at work or home. It will also secure well on any wrist size as it features a buckle clasp.

Opinion and drawbacks

Since it has a bulky profile, it might look out of place on smaller wrists. It also has a band that might hurt some skin types. Furthermore, it’s band traps moisture, thereby making you feel uncomfortable.

Victorinox Swiss Army Women’s 241305

 

When you are looking for another timepiece with impressive waterproof features then consider the Victorinox Swiss Army. It also has a slim profile while offering precise timekeeping under any condition or environment. It also uses materials that can withstand moisture.

Attractive and Durable Build 

The watch has a sturdy steel case that houses its internal parts. It also comes with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal that can withstand knocks and falls. The glass is secured with a fixed black-plated bezel. Measuring 32mm in diameter, it has a slim profile that fits small wrist sizes.

Water Resistance

Apart from its elegance, the watch can offer water resistance at 100m. Even if it is not as high as other watches on this list, it is ideal for snorkeling and swimming.

Attractive Display 

You can check the time on its round dial that has bar-shaped hour markers with silver tones. It also comes with luminous hands, which makes it readable in poorly lit environments.

It also has a date display window at the 6 o’clock position while the Swiss Army logo at the 12 o’clock spot makes the watch face eye-catching.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

The watch comes with a face that comes as a perfect fit for smaller wrists. However, it is pretty heavy on the wrist, thus you might not find it comfortable putting it on for a long period.

How to Choose the Right Waterproof Watch for Women

If you plan to get the best women’s waterproof watches, you might be confused by the large selection of such timepieces on the market. Fortunately, you can use this guide to find a suitable fit that will meet your needs and budget.

Design 

Normally, waterproof watches come with a sporty look. However, other styles can fit any outfit or occasion.

So if you need a timepiece that will fit a diving suit or dinner gown, many watches can meet your requirements.

Toughness 

It’s advisable to go for a watch that can withstand repeated wears for an extended period. Also, it should be able to handle moisture from rain, pools and martial. You can choose any of the timepieces on our list as they are sturdy and built with tough materials.

Purpose 

What is your reason for getting a waterproof watch? Do you want to use it as a fashion accessory? Is it an essential item for your diving trip? Such questions are important since these items offer more features than timekeeping. But if you need a simple watch for the sole purpose of measuring time, avoid the fancy models as they might be difficult to use.

Cost 

An expensive watch is not always a good watch. So you should check the features of the timepiece before splurging. If you are working on a budget, there are cheaper brands that have that can rival top-tier watches with a hefty price tag on the market.

Display 

It is common to have a watch with either a digital or analog display. If you want a dial that looks expensive, classy, and luxurious, consider the latter. But if you have poor eyesight, you should choose a digital display.

Wrap Up

Waterproof watches used to be unattractive pieces of accessories that were bulky. But now, various timepieces are stylish and elegant while providing accurate timekeeping. With this article and buying guide, you will find it easier to get the best women’s waterproof watches.

If you have issues with getting a battery replacement, invest in the Citizen EW1544-53A. However, if you’re looking for the best women watches under 500 with impressive waterproofing, then consider the M1 women quartz watch.  

But if any of the watches mentioned on this list does not meet your taste, you can use the other end of this guide to find a suitable choice.

Best GPS Watch for Backpacking – Outdoor Watches

Best GPS watch for backpacking

Are you planning to go backpacking? Then you should consider getting the Garmin Fenix 5x as it stands as the best GPS watch for backpacking on the market. Aside from its accurate GPS and GLONASS function, this Garmin watch comes with impressive features for backpacking and hiking. It can also withstand water pressure up to a depth of 100 meters.

Best GPS Watch for Backpacking

Today, backpacking has become popular with people across the world. It is an easy way to enjoy the scenery, hiking, as well as learning about various terrain and cultures. But to have a stress free trip, you will surely need the best GPS watch for backpacking on your list.

The significant of GPS watch is that it tells the current time while keeping track of your movement and location. You can find many watches with impressive features, but a GPS watch with special features is best on the trail. Unlike other watches, a GPS timepiece has various features that will suit your backpacking trip. Such options include navigation tools, a map, and a rugged build.

Also, with the unpredictable weather, you will need a device to alert you of potential danger, especially when you camp alone. Hence, when going backpacking, equip yourself with a GPS watch with an altimeter, compass, and barometer.

Staying safe is essential as you head for that independent travel, sightseeing, hiking, and more. This is why you need the best GPS watch for backpacking and hiking.

Best GPS Watches for Backpacking

Suunto Traverse 

 

The Traverse looks casual and has features that make it stand out as the best GPS watch for backpacking and outdoors. It has a durable design, thereby serving as an ideal companion in the outdoors. It even has a look that allows it to doubles as a watch you can wear at home or work. Now here are the features offered by the Suunto Traverse.

Durable Build for Outdoor Use

If you are traveling on wet terrain or passing through water, there is no need to remove this item from the wrist. The Suunto Traverse offers a water resistance of 100m/330feet. It also has a rugged build and sturdy case that can keep the display from cracks, which can occur during a fall on rocky ground.

Provide Weather Information 

With the Suunto Traverse, you can determine the available hours of daylight. You can even use its storm alarm feature to know when the next thunderstorm will hit. Such features will allow you to have ample time to find shelter, especially when you are traveling in a remote location.

Ideal for Daily Use

As mentioned earlier, the Traverse performs functions that will suit your daily life. For instance, it monitors your physical activity by counting your steps and calories. It also allows you to have access to calls, messages, and notifications on your phone. Overall, these features will enable you to keep in touch with work, especially when you are on a backpacking trip.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

There are many reasons to love this watch. First, it has a durable but lightweight build. It also includes a barometer trend for incoming storms while boasting of a good battery that charges quickly.

However, it has some issues that might make you choose other watches. For one, its silicone band weakens within a few months of use.

Suunto Ambit 3

 

If you want another Suunto product with great featuresyou should consider getting the Sunnto Ambit3Apart from telling you the time, the smartwatch provides important readings and monitors your movements. It also has a build that allows it to handle the challenges of backpacking on any terrain.

Long Battery Life 

This watch offers a battery that can last for 200 hours. But when the GPS is not activated, it promises 30 days of battery life. With such features, you can use the watch on long trips, especially in locations where there is no power for a recharge.

Rugged Build 

As expected from an outdoor watch, the Suunto Ambit3 can handle regular use under harsh conditions. For instance, it has a sturdy polyamide case that holds its internal parts. It also boasts of an elastomer band that can maintain its shape after exposure to extreme temperatures. What’s even better is that a scratch-resistant crystal protects the display from knocks or impact from elements.

Great Connectivity

Are you worried about missing important calls or texts during a climb? Well, this watch can pair with your smartphone, thereby keeping you updated with any notification via the Suunto in-house app, Movescount. You can also use this feature to track and share your progress with your loved ones.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

It would be fair to see the Ambit3 as the best GPS watch for hiking with maps if you’re to consider its featuresBut it has a few issues that might make you look for suitable alternatives.

First, it provides inaccurate readings on its calorie and step counter. Next, the company forces you to visit its website before you can download your data from the watch. But if you choose to ignore these problems, the item might be ideal for any hiking and backpacking trip.

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire

 

Aside backpacking, if you are also looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, then you should consider this Garmin watch. Complete with dependable battery life, wrist-based heart monitor, and other vital sensors, the watch deserves a place on our search for the best GPS watch for backpacking.

Crisp Display 

The watch face on this GPS timepiece is suitable for use in sunlight or darkness. It consists of a full-color display that comes in high resolution. Its LED backlight also increases its readability in poorly lit environments on your backpacking route. The best part is that the screen is covered with a sapphire lens that can withstand scratches.

Wide Selection of Sensors 

If you use the Fenix 5X, you can navigate any terrain with ease. Possibly, the best hiking watch with altimeter, the accessory offers accurate elevation data for climbs. It also has a built-in barometer that can predict changes in weather, thereby providing ample time to prepare for a thunderstorm.

Sleek Design

Walking for hours with a bulky watch on your arm can be frustrating. But if you travel with this Garmin piece, its sleek and lightweight design will not add extra pressure to your wrist. Overall, it is a comfortable piece to use during hours of navigating difficult locations.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Any modern backpacker should consider getting a watch like the Fenix 5X because it stands as the best Garmin watch with GPS for many reasons. These include a clear display, portable design, and a wide range of sensors. Also, it costs less than most other GPS watches in the market.

Apple Watch Series 3

 

There are many reasons to love this Apple watch 3. These include its elegant design, top-notch sensors, and exciting speakers. It even comes for a price of less than $200. Now, let’s see the details of what this watch has to offer.

Impressive Build

Backpacking trips come with conditions that can test the limit of any watch. For this reason, this Apple Watch has a ceramic body that can handle scratches and minor knocks. It also has a band that can resist splashes and sweat.

Cellular Free Calls

Unlike most watches on our list, you can make calls with this device. You can even make these calls without pairing the timepiece with your phone. With this feature, you can make emergency calls or keep in touch with your loved ones while your smartphone stays in your backpack.

Readable Display

The watch has an OLED display that is bright and vivid. The technology conserves energy by going dim after some time. But you can switch it back on by flicking your wrist.  Furthermore, the watch is protected by tough glass, thereby making it a perfect fit for hiking rough terrain.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Apple Watch Series 3 has features that fit backpacking activities. However, its poor battery life might make you spend time looking for a socket instead of enjoying your trip.

What to Consider when Looking out For the Best GPS Watch for Backpacking

You don’t want to throw away money, which is why you need to consider some of the important things when looking out for the best GPS watch for backpacking. The best smartwatch for backpacking should have the following features and qualities.

Durable and Sturdy Build

Your new device should have a feel of comfort and should be strong enough to withstand knocks and fall. Many GPS watches are built with a sapphire glass lens to make them resistant to scratches and pressures. This characteristic makes them expensive, bulky, and heavy if you have a small wrist.

You may go for lighter watches that are easier to carry when backpacking, running or hiking. These are often less expensive but may not be able to resist cracks or scratches. They are also more comfortable on the wrist, and you can wear them without worrying too much.

Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass (ABC feature)

If you’re looking for the best smartwatch for backpacking and hiking, these three important functions must be there. They provide the information that helps you guard against bad weather and the nature of any terrain you plan to go backpacking.

Altimeter helps to measure air pressure and keeps track of highlands and lowlands. You can’t bet on its 100 percent accuracy, but it’s useful if you’re passing through mountainous areas.

Since altimeters don’t need signals to function, they are more reliable than GPS devices. You can lose signal while on GPS since altimeters use air pressure, they are not lost on the mountains.

The barometer does more than tell you the kind of weather to expect. It gives you a hint of a coming storm and can measure atmospheric pressure too.

If you want the best backpacking watch and have planned a long trip, check for the barometer feature. It is useful when it comes to keeping you safe from storms and other unexpected weather conditions.

Many GPS watches come with a compass usually built into the device. While some devices may appear basic, others have advanced features. 3D compasses work no matter the direction you bend it, but 2D functions well when placed horizontally.

Compass is all-important even if you have a reliable GPS. Turning on your GPS drains the battery, and it won’t be available for support when you need it. But for a compass or map, you don’t need battery power, which makes it a better alternative.

Strap Quality

The type of strap that comes with the GPS watch is important. Rough straps can cause discomfort and annoyance, so choose the one that is comfortable on your wrist. Get a watch with a sturdy strap, which can remain well-secured on your wrist.

Weight

Long backpacking or hiking requires you to go with a lighter load. You may not understand how heavy things can be until you’re on the move. To avoid this problem, go for modern watches which are relatively lighter and more advanced.

Battery Life

GPS works with battery power, and this makes you want to turn it off at regular intervals. When choosing the best GPS watch for hiking and backpacking, consider one with a long battery life. Most watches last between ten and twelve hours when the GPS is turned on.

Depending on the settings, some watches can stay in GPS mode for about 24 hours. Although they are more expensive, they come with special features.

A good way to reduce the consumption of power is to enable Ultra-trac. This feature helps to limit GPS readings and conserves more battery power for essential tasks only. The only issue is that your GPS will not give you an accurate reading of distance or pace.

The best way to conserve battery power is to turn off every function when not in use. If you’re not using the GPS function or other functions, turn off the watch completely until you need them. Switching on all apps, notifications, and alerts will drain your battery much faster.

Heart-Rate Monitor

If you want to lose weight or stay fit while hiking, a GPS watch with a heart-rate monitor is helpful. This feature tells you how fast or how slow your heartbeat, which can help to inform your hiking activities.

Wrist-based heart-rate monitors may feel comfortable, but they don’t give you accurate readings. Monitors closer to the chest region give a reliable reading, although they feel a little less comfortable. Since you want the best GPS watch for backpacking, a more accurate heart-rate reading is a wise choice.

GPS and GLONASS

With the advancement of technology, the best GPS watch for backpacking and hiking should come with GPS and GLONASS satellites. These features, supported by BDS (BeiDou Navigation Satellite System), can tell your exact location, speed, duration, ascent, and the distance you’ve covered. This is a great way to track your progress, especially if you’re backpacking alone.

Final Word on the Best GPS Watch For Backpacking

Backpacking is an interesting activity that can be enjoyed more when you have a GPS watch handy. With such an accessory, you can navigate any terrain and track your progress.

Fortunately, you can find these items in different styles with price tags for every budget. We also recommend that you take care of your GPS watch as this will help it perform properly for a long time.

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking [Quick Buyer’s Guide]

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking Featured

When it comes to fitness watches, there’s no denying that Garmin is one of the top players in the industry. As a world-leading GPS manufacturer, Garmin has made some of the best GPS watches available. Therefore, many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers consider Garmin as one of their top options.

If you are considering a Garmin watch for hiking, I say that it’s a step in the right direction. However, there are loads of options to choose from. Garmin has some of the widest portfolios of watches so it can be a little overwhelming. If you are looking for the best Garmin watch for hiking, you’ve come to the right place.

Today, we handpicked some of the best Garmin watches that you can use for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Let’s get to it.

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking

Key Features

Our Rating

Garmin Fenix 5X Full color TOPO U.S. mapping, Silicone band, Built in navigation sensors include GPS and GLONASS, Preloaded run profiles, 3 axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter 5/5
Garmin Tactix Charlie 1.2” high-resolution, sunlight-readable display, TOPO mapping plus routable map navigation, Rugged design, Tactical-specific features, Built-in navigation sensors include GPS and GLONASS 4.5/5
Garmin Instinct Constructed to U. S. Military standard, Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, Smart notifications, TrackBack feature 4.5/5
Garmin Fenix 3 HR Precision satellite navigation, Activity and sleep tracking, Heart rate monitoring, 1.2 inch Chroma colour display, LED backlight 4.5/5
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro 1.2” sunlight-readable display, Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate, Advanced training features include PacePro, Preloaded TOPO maps, Support for Garmin Pay 4/5
Garmin Epix 1.4 inch high resolution, sunlight visible color Chroma touchscreen display, 8GB internal memory, Customizable, Multi activity tracking 3.5/5

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking

1. Garmin Fenix 5X

The ever-reliable Garmin Fenix 5X is our top pick for the Garmin watch for hiking. There’s already a newer version with the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus but I will still recommend the Fenix 5X over the 5X Plus.

Loaded With Great Hiking Features

The Garmin Fenix 5X is loaded with great hiking features such as altimeter, barometer, and compass (ABC sensors). It’s also a watch that comes pre-loaded with real topo maps.

The topo maps are very useful for hiking since they display your exact location while hiking. You can also load the routes into the watch before you set out. While you’re out hiking, you can simply follow the route in real-time. It’s a real godsend particularly for tough hiking spots.

Like many GPS hiking watches, you can add waypoints using the Fenix 5X. Waypoints are basically points of interests such as trails, landmarks, camping spots, or your parking area. Once you have set a waypoint, the watch tells your exact location in relation to your set waypoint and estimated time to get there. The ABC sensors are working great and the watch even comes with storm alerts and barometric trends.

The Fenix 5X offers an impressive battery life and can last up to 24 hours in GPS mode. There’s also a feature called UltraTrac mode that extends the battery life even more.

The Fenix 5X is a powerful GPS that’s suitable for everyday wear, hiking, and other activities.

2. Garmin Tactix Charlie

The Garmin Tactix Charlie GPS watch is a successful follow-up to the popular Tactix Bravo. The Tactix Charlie is a rugged tactical watch that makes it an ideal tool for hikers.

Great Tactical Watch for Outdoor Adventurers

For starters, the Tactix Charlie is one tough GPS tool with its black DLC coated titanium bezel, black titanium rear cover, and stainless steel buttons. It’s suitably rugged and I can’t see things letting you down even under the toughest outdoor conditions.

For hiking purposes, the Tactix Charlie comes preloaded with topo and routable map navigation. With the Garmin Basecamp app, you can create waypoints on the device and later explore it to the Tactix. You can name the waypoint and even assign an icon for easy identification. The Basecamp app is the main software solution for route and waypoint planning – it’s highly recommended.

Of course, the watch also comes with other sweet hiking features such as GPS and GLONASS plus a three-axis compass, barometer, altimeter and gyroscope. The built-in altimeter is quite impressive and does a great job of monitoring ascent and descent while hiking.

As for the battery life, you got 12 days in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS mode, and up to 35 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode.

With loads of hiking-related features and excellent battery life, the Garmin Tactix Charlie is an easy recommendation for outdoor junkies.

3. Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Fenix series is the Ferrari of outdoor and sports watches but not everyone can blow $600 on a smartwatch. The Garmin Instinct is an affordable outdoor-focused timepiece for the budget-conscious hikers.

Affordable Heavy-Duty Outdoor Watch

While the Garmin Instinct offers a wide variety of activity tracking features, it excels at navigation. With that said, the Instinct supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Based on our tests, the Instinct connects to these satellite systems fairly quick.

Unlike the previous watches, the Instinct doesn’t come with built-in topo maps which is a bit of a downer. This is because the Instinct has a low-resolution, non-color display, and isn’t compatible with top maps. However, you do get other navigation features. You can upload the routes to your watch or go back to basics by using the Instinct’s compass.

Another good feature that’s worth the mention is the Backtracking feature. If you have decided to turn around on a hike, the backtracking feature allows you to navigate back to your starting point. Garmin’s navigation features are rather basic but they will save you in a pinch while you’re out in the wild.

Overall, the Garmin Instinct is less of a smartwatch but it’s a very reliable GPS watch. At this price point, it’s a great buy for any hiker.

4. Garmin Fenix 3 HR

The Garmin Fenix 3 HR might be an earlier version from the Fenix series but it has enough bells and whistles for an amazing hiking watch.

Spot-On GPS Functions

If you’re going to get the Fenix HR 3, get it for the highly-accurate GPS. The watch comes with an omnidirectional stainless steel EXO antenna that easily connects to GPS and GLONASS satellites. You get accurate and reliable tracking whenever you’re outdoors.

Like all of the watches in this list, the Fenix HR 3 features a rugged design that will serve you well in the wild. The watch also features a crisp 1.2 inch Chroma display that offers excellent visibility in daylight and dim environments. When things get darker outside, you can use the LED backlight for reading the watch.

For navigation, you can simply download the route or track into the watch, and then use it to get on course. Following the track through your watch is about as easy as it gets since the screen shows your position relative to the track.

In terms of battery performance, the Fenix HR can work up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 40 hours in UltraTrac mode. It’s a heavy-duty hiking watch with excellent GPS features and battery life.

5. Garmin Fenix 6S Pro

For my premium pick, the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is an excellent multi-sport watch that offers many features for adventure junkies.

Premium Navigation on Your Wrist

As you can see, we have another entry from Garmin’s Fenix series which is not a surprise since it’s some of the best multi-sport watches out there. The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is no different.

For hikers, the main draw here is the preloaded topo maps. There are over 2,000 topo maps here which include trails and even skip maps. The Fenix 6S Pro also supports GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite systems and based on my tests, the GPS performance is on-point. As expected, the watch also comes with built-in sensors for 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

Aside from navigation features, this watch offers a wide range of activity tracking options. Plus, it also has an HR monitor and the Pulse Ox feature to monitor your sleep and altitude acclimation at high elevations.

For the battery life, the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro offers up to 9 days in smartwatch mode, 6 hours in GPS and music mode, up to 20 days expedition GPS activity mode, and 34 days in battery saver watch mode. Pretty impressive.

6. Garmin Epix

The Garmin Epix is not the most fashionable watch (it’s not that bad, though) on this list but nevertheless, it’s a reliable GPS watch for hikers and campers.

Oldie But a Goodie

The Garmin Epix is not the latest and greatest GPS watch from Garmin but even today, it still holds up.

For navigation, the Epix offers colored maps which is a nice touch. These maps are mostly accurate but there were some issues when you’re hiking in locations with poor connection. The GPS function shows the exact location of your destination, how far you’ve hiked, and how many steps you’ve taken so far. Of course, it has a compass as well for basic navigation.

In terms of connectivity, the Epix is a bit outdated. You can connect your watch to a computer via USB cord but you need to make a Garmin Connect account first. Bluetooth is also another way to download information to your watch.

For battery life, it can go up to 50 hours which is not much when compared to similar GPS watches. You can find many watches that are more advanced than the Epix but it can hold on its own.

Found the Best Garmin Watch for Hiking Yet?

Best Garmin Watch for Hiking Featured

That wraps up our buyer’s guide of the best Garmin watch for hiking. When it comes to GPS and navigation features, it’s hard to go wrong with Garmin. We hope that this guide has helped you choose the right unit for your hiking needs.

Suunto 9 Vs. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus: In-depth Comparison

In-depth comparison of Suunto 9 VS Fenix 5 Plus

Suunto and Garmin are the leading companies in sports and outdoors wrist watches. Today we are comparing head to head their best devices for multi-sports and outdoors activities, Suunto 9 vs Garmin Fenix 5 Plus.

In the watch industry, Garmin still stands as a leader when it comes to GPS technology. They well developed Fenix 5 Plus as a watch perfect for athletes, sportspeople, pros alike or anyone on the move. Suunto is a trusted brand name when it comes to designing and manufacturing sports or dive watches. Their products are known to combine style and performance for unmatched quality and longevity. Suunto 9 is their evidence.

 

Currently, GPS watches have been seen to hold all the rage with the features, performances, and incredible values that they add to our daily life. Equipped with GPS/GLONASS sensors, these watches are perfect for tracking performances and heart rate monitoring of the wearers.

As two leading watch brands, it becomes a difficult decision to conclude on which is better. Although anyone of the Suunto 9 or Garmin Fenix 5 Plus would be a fine choice, truth is that it comes down to your use and preference.

Benefits / Drawbacks – Suunto 9 VS Fenix 5 Plus

Suunto 9 or Fenix 5 Plus are both the best watches for outdoor activity tracking. But they come with different features, and even similar ones have slight differences. We put the pair head to head to see how the two watches compare to each other.

Design

 

Suunto 9 and Fenix 5 plus similarly feature round rugged designs. This is perfect since they have to look as good as they perform. Sunnto 9 has a more streamlined look and fewer buttons, while Fenix 5 Plus looks slightly bigger and bolder. Garmin have the bezel above the watch face to protect the display. The bezel also holds the button function.

Suunto 9 sizes at 50mm and weighs 70g, but the Fenix 5 Plus is favored to come in 3 different sizes – 42, 47, and 51mm. With this you have a choice of size preference. They both come in a variety of case colors and straps. Also, there is an opportunity to customize your case and strap to what fits you.

Unlike the rectangular apple faces, these embrace the circular appearance. But both watches are thick which is understandable given all the electronics and battery required to power them. At the back of the devices is the charging port, as well as some sensors embedded in it.

The materials used in building the watch parts are top-notch. Ranging from the scratch-resistant display to the durable bands and stainless steel casing; everything is of stand-up quality. Needless to say, when it comes to the design of the Suunto 9 vs Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – it’s a tie.

Comfort

Even if both watches are delightful to wear, of the two, Suunto 9 seems to be more comfortable. It has a much smoother design at the back cover compared to the bump design on the Fenix 5 Plus. The lugs on the Suunto 9 are more curved which provides a better grip on the wrist. It also depends on your wrist – Suunto feels better on smaller wrists, while Fenix 5 Plus suits larger ones. As with the sizes, the buttons on Suunto 9 are smaller than the ones on the Fenix 5 Plus, which keeps them from digging into your wrists or snagging on your sleeves.

Still on comfort, if you want a simple-to-use gadget, Suunto remains your choice. It uses a touchscreen where you can browse through different menus and options. Fenix does not use touchscreen and requires a bit of time to learning how to navigate through the menus. But it gives you more choices with customizing options.

Battery life

The flagship feature on the Suunto 9 is their state-of-art battery saving technology. Suunto created an intelligent battery mode to enable the watch monitor not only your exercises but also your battery life. Even while you are working out, this technology allows the Sunnto 9 to predict and report the amount of battery life you have left to carry out your activities. The watch also gives reminders so you can charge before or mid-workouts and avoid running out of juice.

Suunto 9 uses a unique function – Fusedtrack to achieve improved tracking by combining GPS and motion sensors. At the same time, save on battery. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus does not monitor power levels or give reminders like Suunto 9, but it has different battery profiles. Also, it introduces a Power Save Timeout Setting for when you need a break in between the activities.

Battery longevity is another feature where the Sunnto 9 proves superiority over the Fenix 5 Plus. They come with three modes to choose from – Ultra, Endurance, and Performance. Comparing the battery life of 120 hours of tracking in Ultra mode on the Suunto 9 vs Garmin Fenix 5 Plus delivering only 70 hours of Ultratrac mode. Suunto 9 is unmatched.

Sensors and Connectivity

Fenix 5 Plus gets the better of Sunnto 9 in the sensors and connectivity sector. Both watches use standard options of sensors and connectivity to obtain and report heart rate measurements of the wearer. You can connect them to your pods and other peripherals via Bluetooth, but Garmin offers more with an edge. Fenix uses ANT+ devices, supports Glonass, Galileo satellite tracking, WiFi and Suunto 9 does not without an adapter.

Most people buy fitness watches for the sake of tracking exercises and performance measurements. Features such as the compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, and thermometer sit well with Mountain runners and alpinists.

Another feature to consider on the Fenix is the pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen saturation, and acclimation to high altitudes. But a little requirement is that you have to be still for the sensor to take the reading. This can be quite difficult during a race or a strenuous activity.

Smartwatch Features

In the smartwatch category, Fenix 5 Plus beats Suunto again. Through the Bluetooth of both devices, you can connect it to your phone and receive incoming alerts on the watch. With Suunto 9, you can see the incoming signals, but you cannot have full control or interact with them from the watch. Dismissing the notification from the watch only reflects on it without leaving the phone.

This is not common with Fenix 5 Plus, here once you delete the alert or message from the watch, it removes from the phone. You can accept or decline calls from your gadget without breaking a stride.

Also, Fenix 5 Plus comes with tons of options, built-in music player, app store and credit card payments. The music player shows its benefits when you don’t want to take your phone along for a workout session. You can store up to 1,000 songs on the Fenix 5 Plus or just stream from your smartphone. Obviously, playing music will also have a toll on battery life.

Navigation

Both the Suunto 9 and Fenix 5 Plus have built-in navigation and are two of the best triathlon watch models. They both offer the necessities like showing you’ve been or where you need to go on a route. The difference is the features and their performance. Suunto 9 allows you to save up to 250 points of interest like your home address, your parking spot, or certain running trails you prefer, but it’s a little slower at finding locations.

But Suunto 9 cannot stand the color topo maps and navigation features of the Fenix 5 Plus. Some of them include the trendline popularity routing to locate the most popular local trails, and ClimbPro for a better glance of the hill for a run. While the watch has all this, it may not be as easy to use as the big screen on your smartphone, but it’s there when you need it.

Software

 

The usability of the Garmin Connect is way better than the workout analysis software of Suunto. It has more advanced features that are displayed clearly. They both have a beautifully done interface showing tons of information on steps, sleep, calories burned, workout duration, and distance. If you want, you can comment, share, or add photos and record your detailed pace, average pace, max heart rate, average heart rate, heart rate zones. Fenix 5 plus adds performance conditions, training effects, and temperature change.

Suunto moving to the mobile app and web-based Sports Tracker app can encourage improvement on their side. The Heatmaps app shows popular trials from other people’s runs, which is beneficial when you want to try out new routes. But they lack third-party support, which is a bit of a deal-breaker. However, Suunto still connects with MoveCount service to give result of your performances, but it overlooks other health metrics like sleep, steps, and more.

Price and Value

 

Averagely, Suunto 9 undercuts Fenix 5 Plus with their price. The cost is understandable since Garmin watches have more features than the Suunto. But with prices and values of items, it comes down to a personal choice. Many people can consider the Suunto 9 to have enough features to track and analyze their performance. Others may want a bit more and won’t mind paying extra for it. But if you are on a budget get the Suunto 9.

Bottom Line

Suunto 9 and Fenix 5 Plus are outstanding and two of the best GPS smartwatches for hikers. Both come with the ability to track and provide performance metrics of the wearer. They both share some core features and excel differently in most sectors.

Both watches have great designs, but for anyone desiring a beautiful, comfortable watch with a long-lasting battery that is less expensive choose the Suunto 9. If your priorities are detailed navigations, smart features like music players, and built-in payment system, then go for Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. Nevertheless, no matter the choice you make any of these watches will undoubtedly make you happy.

Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus: Which Multisport GPS Watch is Right for You?

Garmin tactix charlie vs fenix 5x plus review

If you are looking for a multisport GPS watch, it’s hard to go wrong with Garmin. Some of the best GPS watches and fitness tools I’ve seen came from Garmin.

Serious fitness enthusiasts and outdoorsmen will require a premium GPS timepiece for training and while out on the field respectively. For today, we’ll take a look at two recent premium GPS watches from Garmin.

For this head-to-head review, we’ll compare the Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus. Which premium multisport GPS watch is right for you? Let’s find out.

Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus: Specs Comparison

Model: Garmin Tactix Charlie Garmin Fenix 5x Plus
Lens Material: Domed Sapphire Crystal Domed Chemically Strengthened Glass or Sapphire Crystal
Bezel Material: Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) Coated Titanium Stainless Steel or Titanium
Case Material: Fiber-Reinforced Polymer With Titanium Rear Cover Fiber-Reinforced Polymer with Metal Rear Cover
Strap Material: Silicone Silicone, Leather or Titanium
Physical Size: 51 x 51 x 17.5 mm 47 x 47 x 15.8 mm

Fits wrists with the following circumference:

Silicone band: 163-249 mm

Leather band: 166-229 mm

Metal band: 166-242 mm

Display Size: 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Display Resolution: 240 x 240 pixels 240 x 240 pixels
Display Type: Sunlight-Visible, Transflective Memory-in-Pixel (MIP) Sunlight-Visible, Transflective MEMORY-In-Pixel (MIP)
Weight: 90 g 86 g

Titanium version: 76 g

Battery Life: Smartwatch mode: Up to 12 days

GPS/HR mode: Up to 20 hours

UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 35 hours

Smartwatch: Up to 12 days
GPS: Up to 18 hours
GPS and Music: Up to 8 hours
UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 42 hours
Water Rating: 10 ATM 10 ATM
Memory: 16 GB 16 GB
Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Smartphone Compatibility: Android, iPhone Android, iPhone

Garmin Tactix Charlie Review

Back in 2018, the Garmin Tactix Charlie was released – a fitness watch that has more features than you will ever need. The Tactix Bravo is a beloved fitness watch and many were looking forward to the Tactix Charlie. Based on my experience, the Tactix Charlie is a worthy update to the Bravo.

Design and Construction

This third generation Tactix watch doesn’t look that much different from the Bravo. The rugged construction is still the primary design selling point of the Tactix Charlie. The Tactix Charlie truly looks like a proper tactical watch that will not look out of place on a SWAT team’s wrists.

Fortunately, the Tactix Charlie doesn’t only look the part, it’s built to be the toughest watch in Garmin’s arsenal.

The main draw of the Charlie is the Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coated titanium material. With the DLC material, the Charlie is more resistant and durable than the Fenix 5X. While the DLC delivers in terms of toughness and robustness, it’s surprisingly a lightweight material.

The Charlie also features stainless-steel buttons, black titanium rear cover, and domed sapphire lens. These top-of-the-line materials help the Tactix Charlie a true outdoors GPS watch. This is the type of watch that you can wear regardless of outside conditions. Well, after all, it’s a GPS watch that’s designed for tactical purposes.

The 1.2-inch display does a great job of making things readable, even under the bright sunlight. This is a fairly large watch with a large display. For a watch that offers a ton of functionality, I won’t have it any other way.

Comfort and Wearability

When it comes to comfort, the Tactix Charlie doesn’t disappoint.

The watch comes with an all-weather black silicone band and is QuickFit™ compatible. The band feels comfortable even when things get a little moist. However, I was disappointed that you can’t swap the band with a NATO strap out of the box. It would be neat if it did come with another type of strap.

Weighing at 90 grams, the Charlie does have a bit of weight to it which is not surprising at all. This is a feature-heavy GPS watch with tons of features, so be aware that it has some bulk and weight. However, Garmin did a great job of keeping things lightweight despite the tactical nature of the Charlie.

As for the battery life, the Charlie offers up to 12 days in Smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS/HR mode, and 35 hours in UltraTac mode. This makes the Tactix Charlie equal to Fenix 5x in battery life but slightly less than the Bravo. The addition of the optical Heart Rate Monitor is the likely culprit here.

Just to be clear, the Charlie is not a touchscreen watch. While I do like touchscreen watches, they won’t make sense for an all-weather unit like the Garmin Tactix Charlie. With a 5-button navigation, operating the watch is easy. There’s a bit of a learning curve but if you have used the Bravo before, you’ll know that they are very similar in operation.

Features and Software

This is the meat of the Garmin Tactix Charlie. This is where the majority of your big bucks go.

For navigation, you can use the built-in GPS/GLONASS and the TOPO maps or the compass. Garmin is a world-leading brand in GPS devices, so you can expect the same level of quality as the Charlie. It’s also a proper ABC watch with altimeter, barometer and a 3-axis compass.

The full-color TOPO map is easy to follow and is preloaded into the watch. You can easily map your route and receive at a glance information while you’re training or on the field. The navigation aspect of the Charlie certainly lives up to Garmin’s standard.

As an activity tracker, Charlie offers plenty of options as well. As expected, the Charlie is loaded with advanced performance monitoring capabilities to help maximize your training. The new anaerobic training effect metric is pretty neat as it gets you an in-depth insight into your training and helps pinpoint the areas that need improvement.

Of course, you can’t talk about the features of Charlie without mentioning the Wrist-Based HR. The watch comes with the Elevate wrist heart rate technology. However, the heart rate monitor is perhaps one of the lowest points of the Tactix Charlier. After multiple tests, I find the HR monitor to be quite erratic and sometimes, a bit laggy. It simply can’t compare to HR monitors with chest straps.

Garmin Fenix 5x Plus Review

The Fenix GPS multisport watches are some of the best fitness smartwatches on the market. The Fenix 5x is one of my favorite GPS watches and the Garmin Fenix 5x Plus looks to be an even better iteration.

Design and Construction

The Garmin Fenix watches are known for their big and bulky profile – the Fenix 5x Plus is no exception. Measuring at a whopping 51mm and weighing 86 grams, the Fenix 5x Plus is about 50% larger and twice as heavy as the Apple Watch Series 3.

That’s one way of saying that there’s no discreet way to wear the Fenix 5x Plus. Sure enough, you’ll get plenty of comments about how massive your watch is.

Despite its large profile, the watch still looks stylish. The black stainless steel bezel adds a sleek aesthetic to the watch. It looks good enough for daily wear. The black silicone band complements the rest of the watch and it’s easily interchangeable as well.

One of the highlights is the color sapphire display which does a great job of warding off scratches. Like the Tactix Charlie, the display is easily readable in sunlight. I’ve been wearing the watch during workouts and the display has yet to who signs of scratches.

Comfort and Wearability

The Fenix 5x Plus is about as comfortable as you can expect from a bulky watch. However, the Fenix 5x Plus is lighter than the Tactix Charlie. At 86 grams, the watch is not exactly light but Garmin deserves some props for not getting carried away with the weight.

The included silicone band is surprisingly comfortable, even after long periods of use. While training the band will accumulate moisture but I’m happy to report that comfort is not affected.

The watch does come with a sleep tracking feature but I’m not compelled to use it. While the watch is quite comfortable for a heavy-duty GPS watch, it’s not comfortable enough to sleep with it.

For the battery life, the watch will last you about 7 to 10 days with regular use. Due to the large number of features and functions (like playing music), I got about a week of heavy usage with this watch. If you are using both GPS and music, you will probably need to charge the watch by the end of the day. In this Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus comparison, the former wins in terms of battery life.

Features and Software

If you have used a Garmin multisport watch before, it will be easy for you to pick up the Fenix 5X Plus. The 5-button interface is still here and requires a bit of learning curve for new buyers.

As expected, the GPS on this watch is solid. As long as you’re in a reasonably open area, the GPS lock-on is fast and easy, thanks to the GPS, Glonass, and Galileo satellites. The watch is also loaded to the brim when it comes to metrics. In fact, the watch is packed with so many features that I find myself learning a new metric or dynamic with continued use.

On top of the usual activity tracking and navigation features, the Fenix 5X Plus also comes with GarminPay which allows you to complete purchases just by using your watch. Another highlight is the ability to store offline Spotify so you can listen to music on the go.

If contactless payment and offline music playback are high up on your list, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is an easy recommendation.

Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus: The Verdict

We conclude this Garmin Tactix Charlie vs Fenix 5x Plus head-to-head with our verdict.

The Garmin Tactix Charlie and Fenix 5x Plus are very similar watches, even down to the price range. For the base models, the price is similar between the two watches. However, the Fenix 5x Plus comes with a Titanium version which is a lot more expensive.

So which high-end GPS watch is right for you?

Well, if you are looking for a watch with tactical applications, the Garmin Tactix Charlie might be more right up your alley. It’s one of the best military watches available.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more advanced watch in terms of features, the Fenix 5x Plus has the upper hand. The ability to play music offline and contactless payment are winning features in my book.

Regardless of your choice, both watches are durable, versatile, and offer everything but the kitchen sink.

Best Lume Watch

best lume watch

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and try to check the time, only to realize that you can’t check the time without switching on the lights? Lume watches can help you. There are many of these illuminated watches on the market today and finding the best one is not easy. To help you, we have compiled this list of the best lume watches you can buy right now. The Luminox Navy Seal is our top pick lume watch.

 

It offers users an excellent combination of style, functionality, and value. If you are in a hurry, you can stop reading here and purchase the Luminox. If you are interested in other high-quality wristwatches on the market, do read on.

Our Top Pick – Luminox Navy Seal

This watch is our top pick because it offers a perfect combination of ruggedness, style, functionality, and value. Luminox designed it for night missions by Navy Seal teams. Luminox is known for the “always visible technology” found in its watches, and the Luminous Navy Seal watch is no exception. It is a military-grade wristwatch that sits comfortably on your wrist, beautifully designed, and importantly, offers readability at night

Impressive Design

The case of the watch is made of carbon-reinforced polymer; which ensures it is not only super-durable but also lightweight. The dial window is shatter-resistant, shock-absorbing, and can take a beating without a single scratch. It comes with a silicon-type 23mm rubber band that serves you whether wet or dry. The low magnetic signature found on the watch, something rarely found in watches of this type or at this price, is excellent for security personnel.

Illumination

Aside from all these features, what you are likely most interested in is the illumination the watch offers. The Luminox Navy Seal features Tritium illumination, which is arguably the best lume method. This feature ensures that the watch will light up non-stop for up to 25 years. We enjoyed using it in the dark as it was straightforward to read.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Overall, you will be hard-pressed to find a lume watch that offers functionality, looks excellent, and provides illumination in low-light conditions all at a reasonably affordable price. The only drawbacks we observed are the bands. The bands are not as durable as the rest of the watch, and it slips out of place.

Runner up – Ball Hydrocarbon AeroGMT

 

If you are looking for a big, bold, fun, and simply stunning timepiece, look no further than the AeroGMT from Ball. This watch comes at a rather hefty price too, indicated in the stunning appearance; there is no doubt that the envious stares it’ll get will make every penny worth it.

Stunning Design

The Ball Hydrocarbon AeroGMT is an exquisitely crafted wristwatch that keeps up to three time zones. The Hydrocarbon line of watches from Ball is often the best offerings from the company. Most of the models in the range come with the crown guard system proprietarily owned by Ball. Hence, the design is unlike anything you’ll see out there. The system ensures that the crown is fully screwed down, and is protected from bumps and damage. Although appearing big and bold, on wearing the wristwatch, you’ll discover it is not an especially big piece. At 42mm by 13.5mm, it is a reasonable size watch. Additionally, from 3 o’clock to 9, the bezel is red while it is black on the other half.

Tritium Illumination

The watch’s black dial features 43 tritium gas tubes that provide illumination even in low-light conditions. There are different colors for different time zones: orange-colored markers for 1-12 hour markers, green on bezel markers, and blue for the 3rd time zone.

Water Resistance

The AeroGMT is waterproof to up to 100 meters. While this is not as impressive as the 200-meter depth of our top pick, it ensures that you can go swimming without fear of ruining your relatively expensive wristwatch.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This wristwatch is a classy watch that screams high end. It looks and feels incredible. The size is comfortable, as well. Ensure your sleeves are not too tight as the watch might get in the way of formal wear.

Best Lume Watch for Women – Victorinox Dive Master 500

 

The Victorinox Dive Master 500 is a beautiful wristwatch that comes in an elegant design perfect for casual occasions or diving activities. If you are concerned about the illumination provided in low-light conditions, the Victorinox allays your fears by liberally applying lume to the dials of the watch.

Splendid Design

The Victorinox comes in a design that will enhance your appearance and complement any outfit in your closet. It features a 43mm stainless steel case complete with a crown at 3 o’clock. The rubber strap measures 18 mm and will hold the watch firmly to your wrist. Whether dry or wet, the strap remains comfortable as it can withstand adverse weather.

Water resistance

The watch displays splendid durability and water resistance. Although it looks dainty, it has some of the best water-resistance you will find on a lume watch. If you are a diver or enjoy engaging in aquatic activities, you will find the watch adequate for your needs. It has a whopping water-resistance of up to 500 meters.

Durable Dial Window

The window of this watch is of sapphire glass which makes it resistant to scratching. You can rest assured that the dial window will remain clear for long, allowing you to read the details on the watch without any hassles.

Illumination

If you are concerned about the lume on this watch, don’t be! The hands, indices, and even the dive bezel of the Victorinox have a liberal amount of Superluminova applied. Hence, whether at night or in the deep sea, you can easily read the face of the watch. Even the minutest amount of light charges the lume and will last for up to a day.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Victorinox is the best lume watch for women. With its stylish design and classy appearance, it is undoubtedly a lovely addition to your casual attire. When it comes to performance and illumination, we have no issues with this watch. The singular drawback is that you might not like the casual appearance and might opt for something a bit more serious-looking.

Best Budget Lume Watch – Citizen Men’s Promaster BN0151-09L

 

If you seek a good-looking watch at an affordable price, or you prefer quartz over an automatic, then our budget option will suit you right to the ground.

Design

The design on the Citizen Promaster is rather simple. The cylinder has lugs, the crown, and the crown guards stuck on. It is a versatile piece that can go well with casual wear. The watch doesn’t have any intricate designs on the body, a reflection of its budget status. Nevertheless, the polishing on the case is neat and consistent. Considering how much it costs, the overall finish is decent.

Comfort

The Citizen Promaster comes with a blue silicone strap that feels comfortable on the skin (at least on ours). Wearing it, we didn’t need any strap extenders or similar mechanisms. If you wish, you can switch the silicone diving band with any other band you sample. Since it comes with 20 mm lugs, you can always find straps to fit it. It is a lightweight watch that you can wear and even forget you are wearing a watch. With the 12mm thick profile, it looks sleek and charming. The 43mm diameter is relatively small, as well. 

Illumination

During our testing, we observed that the watch has all the markers generously filled with lume. Therefore, you can wake up at 3 AM and get a good read of the face of the watch. It requires exposure to sunlight, and we were delighted that after a brief exposure, it lasted for up to six hours.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The watch is an impressive timepiece. The only drawback is that as a budget watch, it doesn’t look as good as the other watches on this list.

Premium Pick – Rolex Submariner

 

This watch almost requires zero introductions. If you want a watch that will last for a long time and you have the cash, this is the watch for you.

Design and Build

The Submariner comes with the high-quality signature craftsmanship, and design Rolex is known for. It looks great no matter what you wear it on. We daresay it elevates your appearance no matter what you wear. Whether to a business meeting or a gala, or even something more casual, there is no place it wouldn’t fit.

Water resistance

The Rolex is a durable watch that can last for a lifetime. With regards to water resistance, it can survive up to 300 meters underwater.

Illumination

In the past, the lume used on Rolex watches was radium-based. While this lasted for a long time, it is dangerous to health. Today, Rolex has shifted to its proprietary lume, dubbed Chromalight. This compound is safe and glows blue rather than green. It provides splendid illumination in low-light conditions and lasts for a long time.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Rolex Submariner is a splendidly constructed, premium watch that will draw appreciative glances wherever you wear it to. Chromalight is innovative and delivers illumination even in low-light conditions. The only drawback we have is the price of the watch.

Final Words

From this review, you have seen some of the best lume watches available on the market. If you seek an affordable watch choose the Citizen Men’s Promaster.  The Victorinox Dive Master 500 is great for women, and our top pick the Luminox Navy Seal will please even the most critical of watch enthusiasts.

We hope you will use our review to choose the best lume watch for you.