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 Triathlon Heart Rate Monitor: Top Picks for Triathletes

Best Triathlon Heart Rate Monitor_featured

For triathletes, staying on top of their training is a major priority. With that said, one of the best ways to stay on top of your training is to use a heart rate monitor.

A heart rate monitor is an essential piece of training equipment for triathletes. This device allows you to reliably determine the intensity of your exercises. Therefore, you can work hard enough without overdoing it with each workout – effectively increasing your training efficiency.

If you are in the market for the best triathlon heart rate monitor, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we help you find the top-rated heart rate monitor that best fits your triathlon needs.

Best Triathlon Heart Rate Monitor

Key Features

Our Rating

Garmin HRM-Tri Specifically designed for triathletes, Adjustable strap, Soft rounded edges and covered seams, Stores and forwards heart rate data to your compatible Garmin fitness device 5/5
Polar H10 Built-in memory, Can be paired with a GoPro Hero 4 or 5 camera, Smart coaching when paired with a Polar wrist unit, Stay up-to-date with firmware updates, 400 hours battery life 4.5/5
Garmin Forerunner 310XT

 

Waterproof to a depth of 50 meters, Tracks bike and run data, 20 hours of battery life, High-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix, Easy-to-read display, ANT+ wireless technology 4/5
Wahoo TICKR X Battery life of up to 12 months, Built in memory, Personalized Heart Rate Training, Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ compatibility, Works with Wahoo RunFit + 50 Smartphone Apps 4/5
Timex T5K726 Ironman Target Trainer Flex-Tech digital sensor, Three-workout chronograph memory, Two interval timers, Hydration and nutrition alerts, Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial 3.5/5
Scosche Rhythm+ Works with all Bluetooth smart and ANT+ Enabled devices, Green/Yellow Optical Sensors, 8 Hour Battery Life, IP67 Waterproof, Heart rate zone and training 3.5/5

Best Triathlon Heart Rate Monitor

1. Garmin HRM-Tri

The Garmin HRM-Tri takes our top pick because not only is it specifically designed for triathletes, its performance is off the charts as well. It’s no wonder why it’s the choice of professionals.

The Choice of Professional Triathletes

Garmin has always been about their attention to detail. Garmin has made some of the best triathlon watches available, so it’s not surprising that its dedicated heart rate monitor is a winner as well.

For starters, the Garmin HRM-Tri is one of the lightest and smallest heart rate monitors around. It is a chest strap design which is good for accurate results. It’s a good thing that this HRM device is very comfortable. The bi-fold adjustment feature makes it a breeze to find the right comfortable fit.

This device is capable of storing up to 20 hours of heart rate data which should come in handy for most triathletes. This way, you can easily review all your workout data and make adjustments as you go. Transferring the data to a laptop or smartphone is very streamlined as well.

On top of providing heart rate metrics, the HRM-Tri also provides other information such as running form and dynamics. Its accelerometer ensures a high level of accuracy. When paired with other compatible Garmin devices, it can even measure vertical oscillation and cadence.

The HRM-Tri is a must-have heart rate monitor for hardcore triathletes.

2. Polar H10

Polar is another brand known for its fitness devices and these include their heart rate monitors. The Polar H10 is a go-to option for triathletes who value accuracy above all else.

One of the Most Accurate Sensors

The Polar H10 is not exactly a device designed for triathlons but more of a “catch-all” heart rate solution. However, its performance and accuracy are more than enough to meet the needs of triathletes.

Much like the previous heart rate monitor, the Polar H10 features a built-in memory and is sufficiently waterproofed. However, the main selling point of this monitor is that it comes with Bluetooth support. In addition to the ability to connect with other supported devices, the H10 can connect to smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices too.

If you own a Polar wearable, you can connect it with the H10 for even better results. Otherwise, you can still use the Polar Beat app to transfer data to your smartphone.

Again, the Polar H10 is a masterclass in monitoring accuracy, thanks to its enhanced electrodes. The device is strapped to your chest and provides a good fit. There are silicone dots and a good buckle system to keep things comfortable.

The Polar H10 is powered by a replaceable battery with an impressive battery life of 400 hours.

3. Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

If you want reliable heart rate monitoring with a lot more freedom, it’s hard to go wrong with the Garmin Forerunner 310XT. It’s a wrist-based device but it certainly belongs on this list of the best triathlon heart rate monitor.

A Triathlete’s Indispensable Training Tool

The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is mainly a GPS training tool but it’s not afraid with a little dip in the water.

This swim-proof device will track your cycling and running data, and send it wirelessly to your PC. The 50-meter waterproof rating means that you can use it to swim in a pool or lake. It’s a fairly slim device so you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way.

The heart rate monitor is optional but it doesn’t mean that it’s just an afterthought feature. Based on our tests, the Forerunner 310XT did a great job of continuously tracking the beats per minute. On top of that, it can even compute calories burned but it’s more of an estimated data than an accurate metric.

There are times when the heart rate monitor won’t read properly but it’s usually fixed with a soft reset.

The Forerunner 310XT is not the most advanced heart rate monitoring device out there but it’s reliable, robust, and a great triathlon training tool.

4. Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo Fitness may not be as well-known as brands like Garmin or Polar but they do offer a robust heart rate monitor. The Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor is an excellent heart rate device that won’t break the bank.

Excellent Heart Rate Monitoring for Less

The Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor might be a fairly affordable option but it doesn’t that it is lacking in features. For triathlon training, you can measure your heart rate, rep count, calories burned, and provide training analytics.

Like all good heart rate monitors, the TICKR X comes with a built-in memory. This means that you can freely train without carrying a smartphone or any other device. Since the TICKR X is compatible with most fitness apps, it allows for incredible versatility.

Speaking of versatility, the TICKR X heart rate monitor can also several running analytics such as vertical oscillation, cadence, ground contact time, and more.

On the negative side, the TICKR X may not be the most durable heart rate monitor out there. I’m not sure it’s just a flawed unit but mine had some connectivity issues a few weeks after use.

Overall, the TICKR X from Wahoo Fitness is a solid budget-friendly heart rate monitor for triathletes.

5. Timex Ironman Target Trainer

The Timex Ironman Target Trainer heart rate monitor is considered a classic. However, it ranks low in our list of the best triathlon heart rate monitor because the competition just got hotter.

An Oldie But a Goodie HR Monitor

Don’t get us wrong, the Timex Ironman Target Trainer HR monitor is still a very reliable and robust training tool, despite being a fairly dated device.

If you have been working with Timex watches, you’ll find the Timex Ironman Target Trainer easy to use. Operating the device is an intuitive experience despite a large number of functions and features to access. The display is very legible even during intense training. However, it’s a big and bulky HR monitor.

As for the accuracy, the Timex Ironman Target Trainer did a great job of providing accurate readings. However, there are some times when the device struggles to find a signal. The Flex-Tech digital sensor helps with minimizing interference.

Other features include the Hydration alerts to ensure that you replenish at regular intervals. The Recovery Heart Rate feature is a useful indicator of your training and fitness level.

Ultimately, the Timex Ironman Target Trainer is an expensive HR monitor. However, it’s still a favorite among triathletes so take that as you will.

6. Scosche Rhythm+

If you are looking for a wrist-based HR monitor, the Scosche Rhythm+ is more than a decent option. It’s a feature-packed device and comes at a great price too.

Good Value and Very Solid Accuracy

The Scosche Rhythm+ is a solid solution for monitoring your heart rate all across the board. That’s right, you can even monitor your heart rate even when underwater. Triathletes can now keep their heart rate in check without needing a chest strap.

The Rhythm+ has 8 hours of battery life which could use a lot of improvement. If you are training daily, you’ll find yourself charging every so often which can get old pretty quick.

One particular thing that I like about the Rhythm+ is the heart rate zone. If you want to work with less intensity but longer, you can use the HR monitor to set it as such. This tool features advanced optical sensors for a precise BPM reading. With the Rhythm+, you can easily stay in your zone to ensure that you achieve your workout goals.

With that said, I have no problems recommending the Rhythm+ even to the most jaded triathletes.

Maximize Your Triathlon Training

With the right HR monitoring device, you’re on your way to getting the most out of your triathlon training. Hopefully, this quick buyer’s guide for the best triathlon heart rate monitor has helped you out.

Best Garmin for Triathlon: Get The Most Out of Your Triathlon Training

Best Garmin for Triathlon

When you are training to be a triathlete, staying on top of your performance is a must. If you are only guesstimating the number of laps or miles you’ve covered, it will be hard to tell if you’re progressing or not. So for today, we’ve made a roundup of the best Garmin for triathlon.

Garmin made some of the best GPS watches money can buy. For a triathlete like yourself, it’s hard to go wrong with a Garmin triathlon watch. A good multi-sport watch can accurately monitor your running, cycling, and swimming metrics.

Let’s get to it!

Best Garmin for Triathlon

Key Features

Our Rating

Garmin Forerunner 935 Advanced running and multisport features, Built-in barometer, altimeter and electronic compass, Advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, Built-in activity profiles ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Built-in mapping and navigation features, TOPO mapping, Advanced performance metrics, Wrist-based heart rate, Garmin Pay, Easily store and play up to 500 songs, Smart notifications ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Garmin Forerunner 35 Built in GPS, 5 ATM water rating, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, Vibration alerts, Activity tracking milestones, Virtual pacing progress, Step counter ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Forerunner 735XT 24/7 Heart rate monitoring, Built-in activities, Smart notifications, Multisport mode, Step Counter, Advanced Running Dynamics. Move Bar, Recovery Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Instinct Military standard 810G, 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, heart rate, activity and stress monitor, smart notifications, TracBack feature ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Vivoactive 3 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, VO2 Max feature, Smart notifications, 14 days of activity tracking data, Garmin Pay, Heart rate monitor ★ ★ ★ ½

Best Garmin for Triathlon

1. Garmin Forerunner 935

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a certified beast when it comes to multi-sport watches. I’ve checked out the newest version of Forerunner, the Forerunner 945, and I think it’s not worth the upgrade yet. This is still the reigning king of Garmin GPS watches.

Takes Your Performance to Another Level

The Garmin Forerunner 935 has been my go-to device for running.

Perhaps one of the best selling points of the Forerunner 935 is the excellent battery life. With every charge, I could squeeze in plenty of workouts before it needs to be charged again. With watch mode, it can last as long as 14 days in a single charge.

Furthermore, the Training Status is a godsend feature that will automatically evaluate your recent workouts. There are even performance indicators to let you know if you did have a productive workout or not. This is a key feature for triathletes who are looking to optimize their training sessions.

Of course, the Forerunner 935 offers some built-in activity profiles for running, cycling, swimming, and plenty of other activities. The watch can provide advanced metrics with just a press of a button. With the information at hand, you can tweak your performance to help you achieve a better lap time.

Ultimately, the Forerunner 935 is one of the best GPS watches that you can get in the market.

2. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

The Garmin Fenix 5 is one of the more popular watches from Garmin’s collection. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is a worthy upgrade to the original, thanks to its numerous impressive features.

A Worthy Upgrade

For starters, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is a rugged watch. It’s clearly designed for more rugged activities and is appropriately referred to as a multi-sport adventure watch. Despite being a hard-wearing GPS watch, the design looks sleek and very high-quality.

There’s a bit of bulk to the watch but you won’t have a hard time wearing it all day with plain clothes. It’s utilitarian but sensible at the same time.

As expected, the Fenix 5 Plus offers a wide range of built-in sport modes. However, the watch does let you easily tweak the information that displays on the watch during workouts. The intuitiveness of operating the features is very much appreciated.

For triathlon, the running, cycling, and swimming metrics are all here and come with a rich feature set. For instance, you get advanced swimming metrics such as drill logging, stroke detection, and swim efficiency scoring. Most, if not all, of the monitored metrics are highly accurate.

It’s also worth mentioning that the watch can store up to 500 songs that you can listen to while training.

On a negative note, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus commands a hefty price tag which is hard to ignore. However, I have to say that it’s a worthy investment.

3. Garmin Forerunner 35

If you are looking for the best Garmin for triathlon that won’t break the bank, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is worth checking out. It’s a great option for triathlon beginners or those who simply run for fitness and fun.

Covers the Basic

As the budget option on this list, the Garmin Forerunner 35 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other, more expensive Garmin GPS watches. However, it’s still a very good activity tracker for all fitness levels.

The Garmin Forerunner 35 provides the expected features and functionalities without dialing it to 11. With this GPS watch, you get the usual features like intervals, auto-laps, daily alarm, notifications, and heart rate monitor. Again, nothing too crazy here but it gets the job done beautifully.

The wrist heart rate (Garmin Elevate) works great and I’ve had no issues with accuracy. The display is easy to read but the quality of the screen could be better. But that’s to be expected from a budget-friendly Garmin watch. The vibrating alarm is also another feature that works well and is a welcome addition to the watch.

Style-wise, the Forerunner 35 looks like your typical smartwatch. The square face reminds of the Apple watch which is not a bad thing at all.

If price or simplicity is your thing, the Forerunner 35 offers a tremendous value.

4. Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Another candidate for the best Garmin for triathlon is the popular, Garmin Forerunner 735XT. This multi-sport watch is very comparable to the Forerunner 935 with some key differences. This is a good watch to consider if you think the 935 is too expensive.

A Great Multi-Sport Watch With a Learning Curve

For starters, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a great option if you’re looking for a thin and lightweight triathlon watch. Whether you’re in the track or the gym, you’ll forget that it’s even there.

Although it’s light in weight, not so when it comes to features.

The Forerunner 735XT comes with built-in sports profiles. It supports a wide variety of activities such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking, skiing, weightlifting, and cardio. A neat feature is the ability to track multiple activities as one which is obviously great for triathletes. All you need to do is to press the lap button so enable the feature.

As mentioned, there’ a bit of a learning curve to use the Forerunner 735XT. There are five buttons to operate which can be confusing for first-time users. However, if you have used other Garmin GPS watches before, operating the watch shouldn’t be that hard.

Once you get the hang of it, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT should cover most of your triathlon needs.

5. Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Instinct is your watch of choice if you are a triathlete who also loves to explore the great outdoors. Although it’s mainly a hiking watch, the superior GPS and mapping features are useful for triathlon training.

Tough Watch With Superior Navigation

When it comes to looks, the Garmin Instinct can be a bit polarizing – you either love or hate the look of the watch. If you are a fan of Casio G-Shocks, there’s a good chance that you’ll love the Instinct’s design.

With that said, the main draw of this watch is the navigation features.

The Instinct features a built-in 3-axis compass so you won’t need to guess your bearings while training. The TracBack feature is a great addition especially when you like running on a less-traversed trail. Basically, it allows you to easily backtrack to your starting point.

Also, there’s the ULTRATRAC battery mode which gives the watch a battery life of 40 hours. It’s a neat power-saving feature especially when I don’t like charging watches every so often.

Customization is excellent when it comes to setting workouts. You can choose to follow a predefined workout or create one using Garmin Connect – all of which can be done on-the-fly.

Wrapping up, there’s so much to unpack with the Garmin Instinct. It’s not your typical triathlon watch but it gets the job done and more.

6. Garmin Vívoactive 3

Hardcore ironman athletes will likely find the Garmin Vívoactive 3 to be a bit inadequate. It’s not specifically designed for triathlon but its a pretty good multi-sport watch for orienting yourself with training concepts.

Feature-Packed Multi-Sport Watch

Unlike watches that are designed for triathlon, the Vívoactive 3 lacks a way to transition from one activity to the next. However, the watch does support various sports profiles and you can even set custom workouts. For triathlon, it comes with unique tracking features for running, cycling, and swimming.

Furthermore, the Vívoactive 3 is not only waterproof but also comes with a compass, barometric altimeter, and accelerometer. Whether you’re working out indoor or outdoor, this watch has got you covered.

In terms of accuracy, the GPS and heart rate monitor are both fairly accurate. However, for serious triathletes, the gold-standard accuracy is simply not here. For steadier pacing, the watch is accurate. On the flip side, accuracy becomes erratic at higher intensities.

Overall, the Vívoactive 3 is more of a fitness tool but it packs enough features to be a reliable triathlon training companion.

Garmin Knows Triathlon Watches

This concludes our buyer’s guide for the best Garmin for triathlon. Garmin makes excellent GPS watches, so it’s hard to go wrong with any of our selection. Here’s hoping we have helped you find the best triathlon watch to help with your training.

Best Smartwatch for Triathlon : Durable Multisport Watches for Triathletes

Best Smartwatch for Triathlon

After hours of looking at the features of various watches that will suit the need of triathletes, we concluded that the  Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is our top pick for the best smartwatch for triathlon sports. We chose this item because it has a higher water resistance than most models on our list. It is also extremely sturdy and can handle extreme conditions. What’s more, its design is comfortable enough on the wrist.

What is the Best Smartwatch for Triathlon?

Hello Folks! If you want to get the best and safe training for the triathlon, you certainly need an efficient device to help keep track of your moves. Of course, one of the best items that will help you get excellent performance is a triathlon smartwatch. These watches come with fantastic features that can help you keep count while swimming, running, and cycling.

Furthermore, good smartwatches for triathlon are also very durable to withstand the toughest activities without breaking. It also tracks all your moves accurately and lasts longer throughout the event or training before needing a recharge.

With all this said, that’s why we’ve picked the best triathlon smartwatches that will help triathlete train better with more precision. So why wasting much time, read on to get great insights into the best smartwatch for triathlon that will help increase your performance.

Polar Vantage V Pro Multisport Watch W/ HR Black

 

The Polar Vantage V Pro is a multi-sport watch which focuses on athletes that want to enhance their performance. It can be seen as one of the best triathlon fitness watches because it has an effective sports tracking system. It also has a design that can endure the pressure that goes with triathlon events.

Design and Battery Life

Since the Polar Vantage V is a sports watch for serious athletes, it comes with a sturdy build for harsh conditions. But it has a look that matches any outfit.

This smartwatch has a durable case designed from stainless steel while the case back is made from glass fiber reinforced polymer. With such materials, the watch can withstand the rigors that come with outdoor sports. Furthermore, a sturdy but comfortable silicone strap secures the smartwatch from slipping from your wrist when running a long-distance race or swim.

Swimming is a major part of triathlete events; thus you can swim with this sports watch as it is water-resistant to 50m. However, avoid swimming for long periods or scuba diving as such activities can damage the item.

The watch runs on a 320 mAh battery that offers a battery life of 40h with its GPS and optical heart rate activated. But on watch mode with continuous heart tracking, the watch can last for seven days. Its battery life will allow you to train for hours without worrying about finding a power source to charge.

Sensors

As one of the best triathlon watches in 2019, the Polar Vantage V supports a wrist-based optical heart rate sensor. You can pair the watch with additional accessories for increased accuracy, thereby allowing you to track your fitness goals.

Apps and Display

A round-faced display that features 240 × 240 pixels graces the front panel of the Polar Vantage V. This screen is laminated with Gorilla glass for protection against knocks and scratches.

The smartwatch supports the Polar Flow mobile app with which you can view your training and activity data. You can also use the app to plan your training sessions and share images of your training route on either Facebook or Instagram.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This smartwatch does not offer smartphone notifications nor +ANT sensors. It also has a screen that appears dull and lacks contrast. But if you choose to ignore these drawbacks, the Polar Vantage V can rival the best smartwatches for triathlon sports on the market.

Coros Apex Premium Multisport Watch Trainer

 

The Coros Apex watch smartwatch combines impressive GPS tracking with ideal battery life in a small package. Overall, the watch is an excellent accessory for any athlete looking for the best smartwatch for triathlon activities. It also comes at a low price, which makes it the best affordable triathlon watch on our list.

Design and Battery Life

The Coros APEX smartwatch is available in two variants for males and females. The male version has a 46mm case with a titanium alloy bezel while the female version features a 42mm case with a ceramic bezel. However, both items have replaceable silicone straps for comfort and accurate heart readings.

You can use the 46mm model in normal mode for 35 hours while the UltraMax setting lasts for 100 hours with the GPS  activated. As for the 42mm variant, the battery life runs for 25 hours in normal GPS mode and 80h in UltraMax GPS mode. Hence, there is no need to take its charger with you during your workouts after a single charge.

Sensors

Each version of the watch has an optical sensor on its back panel, which helps you monitor your heart rates during workouts. To get more navigation while training, the watch offers a  3-axis compass and altimeter.

Apps and Display

As expected from any best smartwatch for triathletes, the Coros APEX has an LCD screen covered with scratch-resistant sapphire glass. With this material on the watch face, you can engage in various triathlon activities without worrying about damaging the screen.

This watch helps to track your fitness during workouts so that you can know your performance as you train. It has the Coros app that allows you to view stats under headings such as active energy, stairs climbed, steps, and heart range. If you have issues with the default watch face on the Coros APEX, you can also download other styles via its provided app.

Opinion and Drawbacks

An excellent interface, durable battery, and accurate interface are some of the selling points of this affordable item. But if you want a watch that allows you to play music during your training program, check out other smartwatches.

Suunto 9 Baro 

 

The Suunto 9 Baro comes with multiple sports function that allows you to switch easily between workout activities. This smartwatch also comes with a fantastic sensor to keep track of your health and count your moves. One exciting part is that it has a long battery life so you don’t have to stop along the way for a recharge when training.

Design and Battery Life

As a triathlete, you want to be comfortable while going through your daily sports activities. For this reason, the Suunto 9 has a simple design which is light and comfortable enough on the wrist. The watch is also very sturdy to withstand rough activities when training or during the sports event. To protect the watch face, it has a sapphire crystal lens which is resistant to scratches and dust.

Suunto 9 offers adjustable battery modes. It has a long battery life that can last for up to 120 hours on normal mode. But with GPS mode and other sensor features on, it could only run for up 25 hours before needing a recharge.  Furthermore, it comes with alert features that keep you informed when the battery is low so that you can power up the smartwatch.

Sensor

Since a healthy lifestyle and fitness is a top goal for athletes, this smartwatch comes with a wrist-based heart rate monitor. This feature helps to keep your heart rate in check while you train. Furthermore, the best part is that it offers efficient sensors that can keep track of your activities, including your calories, step count, swim stroke, and sleep.

Also, users of this watch can navigate any terrain using its GPS function. That way is easier to find their way back after a long workout. For optimum efficiency, while navigating, this Suunto watch features a Fusedtrack sensor assisted GPS to improve the track and distance accuracy.

App and Display

It has a color touchscreen display with 320 x 300 pixels. It also features a LED backlight which makes the watch clear enough to read and easy to operate during the low light condition.

As expected from top Suunto smartwatch models, the Suunto 9 comes with the Movescount app. With this app, you can customize the watch face and share your triathlon performance with people in the Suunto community.

Opinions and Drawbacks

The battery life of the watch is excellent for those that want to engage in a long workout. However, the heart rate sensor isn’t accurate, and you have to hold the timepiece perfectly still to your wrist for it monitor to track your activities.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)

 

This product from Garmin comes as one of the best triathlon watches with GPS. The Forerunner 935 has premium multi-sport features combined in a comfortable package for extended runs, cycling, and swimming.

Design and Battery

Comfort is a major factor of this smartwatch as it is lightweight and offers a silicone band that will not hurt your wrist. Furthermore, the band can resist the sweat or moisture that comes after a vigorous exercise. The smartwatch also has a case of fiber-reinforced polymer which will endure long periods of triathlon events.

If you want the best smartwatch for triathlon training with great battery life, then you should consider the Garmin Forerunner 935. We offer this advice because the watch can run up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 60 hours in UltraTrac Mode (without the wrist heart rate) and 24 hours in GPS/HR mode. This power prevents you from taking a charger with you that might make you feel heavier when training.

Sensors

The watch has a wide selection of features that can offer vital information during sports activities. The options include a wrist heart rate monitor, compass, accelerometer, GPS, and thermometer. It even has an altimeter that allows you to track your elevation during runs or cycling.

Apps and Display

The display on Garmin Forerunner 935 can withstand scratches as it has a crystal made from hardened glass. It also offers 240 × 240 pixels that is readable in all forms of light.

You can pair the watch smartwatch with your phone via the Garmin Connect app. When connected, you can share your running or cycling progress with your friends, play music files, and save your data.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Garmin Forerunner 935 has features that are common with the best triathlon watches. However, it’s expensive and not extremely sturdy as other smartwatches on our list.

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

 

Triathlon athletes that require a multi-sport GPS watch for various activities and outfits should pick the Suunto Spartan Sport watch. The product also has a build that can handle harsh conditions while offering features that can help keep track of your daily sports activities.

Design and Battery

The Sunnto Spartan Sport Wrist HR has a sturdy build that can perform impressively under harsh conditions. For instance, it has a glass fiber-reinforced case with a bezel made of stainless steel while a silicone strap prevents the watch from slipping off your wrist during your workouts.

This smartwatch is water-resistant to 100m. This rating makes it a great watch for aquatic activities except diving.

With this Spartan watch, there is no need to stop your workouts because of a dead battery. Its battery lasts for 14 days in normal mode, seven days with the tracking and mobile features activated and as much as 40 hours within the training mode with GPS.

Sensors

The sensors on this product are the perfect fit for either professional or amateur triathletes. They include a barometer, GPS, and a heart rate monitor that can be paired with a Bluetooth heart sensor for increased accuracy. Furthermore, the heart rate monitor does not require a chest strap.

Apps and Display

It display is vivid and consists of 320 × 300 pixels, which is ideal for use in bright light. You can also use the backlight to view the information on the screen in low light locations.

The watch can be paired with your smartphone via the Suunto Movescount app. With this feature, you can track your stats, customize the timepiece, and upload your progress.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Suunto has always designed durable watches, and the Sports Wrist HR comes as one of such products. But its battery life is not as long as other sport watches in the market while it uploads user workout data slowly.

Important Things to Consider when Looking for the Best Smartwatch for Triathlon

Multiple Sport Features

This factor stands one the most important thing to consider when looking best triathlon smartwatch. Watches with multisport features make it easier for you to change from one sport to another without hassles. With this being said, you can switch between modes just with a push of a button. It also enables you to accurately track the metric of your activities and review the changes as a single post-race activity.

Watches without this feature means you have to keep on stopping along the way to configure the settings to suit your specific needs and sport. And this will be time-consuming and making your training more stressful. Furthermore, you will not be able to to get the full review of the whole exercise.

Water Resistance

Triathlon watches should be water-resistant to great depth since you will be engaging in swimming activities. Getting a watch without this feature can get faulty when submerged in water. Hence, you won’t achieve much as you take on the sports exercise. Overall, for professionals and aspiring triathletes is always best to also go for a model with at least 5 ATM rating. The reason is that watches with this feature will last longer and work great to track the distance and count your strokes while swimming.

How long does the Battery Last

The battery life is another essential factor you shouldn’t miss out. Nothing is more annoying than a drained triathlon Smartwatch while you’re the middle of the exercise. Getting a smartwatch with more battery life will last the entire event and enable you to engage in several activities with just a single charge. Hence, you won’t have to stop in the middle of the workout to recharge the device. With this said it allows your train more and tracks your performance effectively.

Final Recommendation on the Best Smartwatch for Triathlon

From all the above-discussed smartwatches coupled with the buying guides, you will certainly find it easy to get the best smartwatch for triathlon or multisport. All the watches on our list come with impressive features that will help increase your workout performance.

However, if you’re a professional or ambitious triathlete in need of the best models with impressive features, we suggest the Garmin Forerunner 935. For those that are not willing to spend too much cash, you should go for Coros APEX watch.

Furthermore, if you need of a durable triathlon smartwatch that can withstand rough activities, the Garmin 5x plus or Suunto 9 Baro will be the best bet.

For fitness enthusiast looking for one of the best triathlon watches with GPS, we recommend the Suunto Spartan Sport. Finally, If the smartwatches on this list do not reach your specs, you can check out other best triathlon watches.

Best Waterproof Android Smartwatch: Top Models in 2019

Best Android waterproof Smartwatch

After spending hours checking the quality and features on various smartwatches, we recommend the Garmin Fenix 5 as the best android waterproof smartwatch.

We selected this timepiece because it has a sturdy build and water resistance to great depth. It is also GPS enabled and has impressive battery life. Overall, the watch can withstand damage from moisture while offering features that meet our daily needs.

 

Best Android Waterproof Smartwatch

Are you’re looking for the best Android waterproof smartwatch that can track your health rate, navigate any terrain, and carryout other exciting things? Here in this article, we’ve great models for you.

Every year, Android smartwatches marker keeps flooding the market with advance waterproof models. Some of these smartwatches have an IP68 protection rating, which means they can withstand splashes and brief immersion in water up to 1.5 meters. But watches with this waterproof rating are not suitable underwater or water-based activities.

Furthermore, there are also more advanced models with water-resistant to 50 meters and beyond. With this smartwatch on your wrist, you do not need to take it off when showering or having a short swim. However, you should avoid using them for snorkeling or scuba diving.

One exciting part about this android smartwatches is that they come with impressive features for daily use. These features include heart rate monitor, barometer, WIFI, sleep tracker, GPS function and more.

With all these mentioned above, you certainly want the best android waterproof smartwatch that can withstand moisture, and serve your specific need, right? Hence, before you buy a waterproof smartwatch with untrue claims and regret your money spent, we’ve compiled some of the best models on the market. This smartwatches on our list are durable, packed with great features, and doesn’t get damaged easily when submerged in water.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on as we reveal to you the best waterproof smartwatches that standout on the market?

Garmin Vívoactive 3

 

Are you looking for the best waterproof smartwatch for fitness? Then you should consider purchasing this watch from Garmin Vivoactive 3. Like most watches on our list, this product supports people with active lives and encourages a healthy lifestyle.

Dedicated App Store

Garmin offers a download store that has numerous apps for this smartwatch. From this app store, you can download and install watch faces that suit your taste. Some apps focus on various fitness-based activities such as running, hiking, stretching, and cycling.

 Durable Build for Regular Use

Its screen has a diameter of 1.2 inches while boasting of 240 × 240 pixels which are ideal for both large and small wrist sizes. It also allows you to read any information without effort under any conditions. The watch face of the smartwatch is protected by sturdy Gorilla glass that is topped by a stainless steel bezel.

The internal parts of the Vivoactive 3 are housed in a fiber-reinforced polymer case which has a stainless steel cover. Also, it has a silicone strap that can withstand sweat and other forms of moisture.

Water Resistance

You can shower or swim without taking this smartwatch off because it is water-resistant to 50m. However, we do not recommend you swim for long periods or dive with the timepiece on your wrist.

Ideal Battery Life

In smartwatch mode, its battery can run for seven days while it lasts for 13 hours in GPS mode. You can recharge the battery with the assigned charger that comes with the smart timepiece.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This smartwatch is a worthy investment as it encourages fitness and healthy living. Unfortunately, it does not have onboard storage for music files. Hence, you will have to take your smartphone along during workouts.

Samsung Gear S3

 

The Samsung Gear S3 is one of the popular rivals of Apple smartwatch. It comes with impressive features that make it stand out in the best android waterproof smartwatch list. Gear S3 has specs for daily activities like running, messaging, and calls. As expected from a possible best waterproof watch for Andriod devices, it can withstand damage from moisture and splashes.

Durable Design

This product is a round face device with a bulky look that will fit people with bigger wrists. But the Gear S3 also has a design that offers comfort and allows ease of use in all conditions.

A Gorilla glass that can resist cracks due to falls from distances as much as 5 feet covers its display face. Furthermore, a movable steel bezel tops the crystal and allows you to access notifications and apps quickly.

Its internal parts are housed in a durable case while a replaceable 22m silicone strap holds the watch to your wrist.

Extended Battery Life

When it comes to the best smartwatch under 300, the Gear S3 rival many brands on the market due to its long battery life. On a single charge, the product can run for more than 3 days. However, it lasts for lesser time on GPS mode. You can recharge the battery wirelessly with a charging dock that comes with the smartwatch.

 Crisp Display

A 1.3 inch AMOLED screen graces the front panel of this smartwatch. With its resolution of 360 × 360 pixels, you will find it easy to use and read under direct sunlight or at poorly lit rooms.

Easy to Use Interface

The interface on this smartwatch allows you to access your notifications and apps quickly. You can also reply to messages and trace out letters with this UI.

Opinions and Drawbacks

From the features mentioned above, this smartwatch can certainly withstand splashes, raindrops and light swimming. However, the product supports limited apps and might be bulky for users with smaller wrists.

Garmin Fenix 5

 

The Garmin Fenix 5 multisport timepiece stands as the best smartwatch under $500 on our list because it has features that can rival most expensive models. It also withstands harsh conditions and moisture than other smartwatches with the same price.

Accurate Sensors

The watch has a massive selection of sensors that provide vital information. These sensors include a barometer that detects weather changes while a 3D compass coupled with GPS helps with navigation. You can also view your heart rate data when using this watch.

Durable and Rugged Design

The watch weighs 85g and has a width that looks bulky on the wrist than other watches. It also has a case made from fiber-reinforced polymer with a stainless steel cover. A sapphire glass protects the display from scratches and knocks that occur during outdoor activities. Likewise, it has a replaceable elastomer band that feels comfortable on the skin.

Ideal Water Resistance

The Garmin Fenix 5 has a water resistance of 100m, thus making it a rival to the best android waterproof smartwatch. You can use the watch for swimming, bathing, and showering. However, it is not suitable for diving or snorkeling.

Reliable Power Source

The watch runs on a rechargeable battery that offers power for extended periods. For instance, the timepiece can run for two weeks in basic mode. However, if you activate its GPS option, the battery lasts for 24 hours while the UltraTrac mode offers 60 hours of battery life.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Adding this product to your watch collection is an excellent idea as it comes with features that can withstand moisture and offer accurate readings. But its poor Bluetooth connectivity might make you consider other options.

Casio Men’s “Pro Trek”  Sports Watch WSD-F20A

 

The Casio Men’s Pro Trek is a smartwatch that focuses on outdoor activities at any location. It’s rugged and waterproof exterior enable the Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20 to withstand wet and rough conditions. In summary, this timepiece has specs that can be found on the best Andriod waterproof smartwatch in the market.

Dependable GPS tracking

The smartwatch supports GPS and GLONASS features for easy navigation in any environment. With these features, you can also view your previous and current locations. What’s even better is that if the GPS option is disabled, you can still navigate any terrain with the aid of offline color maps on the smartwatches display.

Activities such as trekking, swimming, canoeing, and fishing can be tracked with the smartwatch. The timepiece also allows you to tweak the GPS settings, especially if you want to extend the battery life.

Tough Build for Rugged Conditions

Like most outdoor watches, this watch has a bulky build with components that can handle knocks and moisture. For instance, it features a steel case and a sapphire crystal that can withstand knocks and scratches from numerous uses. It also has a resin bracelet that works against all forms of moisture, including sweat.

Water Resistance

Its ability to handle moisture comes as one of the selling points of this smartwatch. With this in mind, the Pro-Trek WSD-F20A offers water resistance at a maximum depth of 165ft. For this reason, there is no need to take the watch off before a short swim or bath, but not for diving.

Ideal Battery Life

This Casio watch runs on a lithium battery that offers more than three days of use on a single charge. However, on GPS mode, it runs for less than a day, which is reasonable for a watch of this nature. When the battery is low, a plug-in charger can restore it to full capacity within two hours.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Casio men’s watch stands out as of the best waterproof smartwatch with GPS due to its navigation accuracy. However, the watch looks bulky on smaller wrists while its operating system lags and doesn’t respond to commands quickly.

Suunto Traverse Alpha

 

The Sunnto Traverse Alpha is an outdoor watch that works great for hunting and fishing. It also has features that can withstand moisture and wet conditions, thereby making it a durable waterproof smartwatch for android. It even comes with specs for everyday use.

Sturdy Design for Everyday Use

The Traverse Alpha is a round-faced watch with a robust look. Fortunately, it is lightweight and does not add pressure to the wrist.

The smartwatch face has a sapphire crystal that can resist scratches while its stainless steel bezel offers added security. Next, it comes with a comfortable nylon strap that secures the watch firmly to the wrist. Overall, the timepiece promises water-resistant up to a maximum depth of 100m.

Powerful Battery

The battery life on this watch depends on the features activated. For instance, the battery can run for 14 days, but if you enable the GPS mode, the watch can last for 100 hours.

Immediately the battery is low, a battery icon on display blinks. Hence, you can quickly recharge the cell with a compatible USB compatible charger.

Dependable GPS

One of the exciting features of the Suunto Traverse Alpha is its GPS /GLONASS functions. You can use these options to navigate any terrain without getting lost. It also allows you to save points of interest along the way.

Dedicated Activity Tracker

For those loves to keep fit, this watch comes with impressive tracking features. With this said, you can use it to measure your daily steps and calories throughout the day.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This model stands one of the best android waterproof smartwatches because it has a durable body and battery. But you might want to consider other options because it does not have a color touch screen display. This makes the watch a bit difficult to read in low light condition.

Fitbit Versa Smart Watch

 

If you want the best affordable waterproof smartwatch, then you should consider adding the Fitbit Versa smartwatch to your shopping list. This slim and attractive timepiece offers an impressive selection of features like built-in storage and extended battery life.

Portable and Simple Design

Unlike most smartwatches on our list, the Fitbit Versa is ultra-slim and lightweight. It also perfectly fits both large and small wrist sizes.

It has a round face with square edges that give it a unique look while its replaceable bracelet promises comfort and durability. All internal parts are housed in an anodized aluminum case which also holds a GPS antenna.

Massive Space for Music Files

The Fitbit Versa comes with storage that can hold up to 300+ songs which you can play during workouts or everyday use. If you want more music, you can use the Deezer app to stream any track of your choice. However, it requires a monthly fee to access this service. The watch also pairs easily with Airpods.

 Fitness Tracker and Water Resistance

The watch is water-resistant to a depth of 50m. This feature makes the timepiece ideal for a short swim or bathing.  However, it not advisable to take this item on a diving or snorkeling trip.

Fit Versa also comes with many essentials feature, which includes heart rate monitor, step counting, sleep tracker and other sports function. Hence, for those looking for the best waterproof smartwatch fitness tracker, this is the best bet for you.

Impressive Battery Life

On a single charge, the Fitbit Versa can run for up to 3-4 days. However, depending on the number of workouts or sleep tracked, the battery life might be lesser than that.

The watch does not use a regular micro USB charger. Instead, it works with a model that has a clip-in dock for quick power-up.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Compared to most watches on this list, the Fitbit Versa has features that make it a worthy investment. For instance, it weighs less and fits most wrist sizes. However, it does not support GPS functions and some music streaming services such as Spotify.

Wrap Up on the Best Android Waterproof Smartwatch

The six models on our list are the perfect choices for those looking for durable smartwatches that can withstand splashes, raindrops, and short swimming. They also come with high functionality, health monitor and fitness tracker, GPS and other essential features.

However, when it comes to the preferred choice, this depends on your specific needs and budget. If we are to select our top pick, then the Garmin Fenix 5 stands as the best option. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly waterproof smartwatch, then the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is the best.

For those that engage in fitness and other basic training, the best value for your money will be the Fitbit versa smartwatch. As for outdoor enthusiast looking for a durable smartwatch with excellent features that will suit their specific needs, we recommend the Suunto Traverse Alpha.

Best GPS Watch for Hiking: Durable smartwatches for Hikers

Best GPS watch for Hiking

After asking many hiking lovers and spending hours looking at a large selection of smartwatches that will suit their needs, we concluded that the Garmin Tactix Bravo stands as the best GPS watch for hiking.

We chose this watch because it offers a high degree of water resistance and durability. It also has a fantastic battery life coupled with accurate GPS.

Overall, the brand offers a timepiece that will meet the needs of hikers and other outdoorsmen.

Best GPS Watch for Hiking

Are you one of those looking for the best GPS watch for hiking? Then you don’t have to worry because in this article we’ve fantastic collections for you.

As a hiker, you will agree with us that a good hiking watch without enhanced GPS seems incomplete. Yes, it does, because you surely won’t want to get lost in the wilderness without an easy way out. Hence, it will be advisable to hold onto the best GPS watch for hiking to help keep track of your route and navigate any environment without hassles.

However, don’t just buy an outdoor watch because of the GPS function only. You should also consider essential features which include heart rate monitor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, compass, and barometer. A good GPS watch with these added features will not only help you with navigation but also keep your health in check. What’s more,  it will help you plan your day and make hiking more fun.

Surely, a good hiking GPS watch should also be able to withstand tough terrain, knocks, and fall without breaking. Hence, it’s best to look out for the durability and sturdiness of the watch.

With all this being said, it is certain hiking lovers will want a watch with those qualities mentioned above. That’s why we’ve carried out thorough research for you and put together a sincere list of the best GPS watches for hiking to make your purchase a lot easier.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

 

For outdoorsmen looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is a great fit. This rugged and well-designed watch offers an impressive selection of features including color mapping and inbuilt storage for your music files.

Customizable Watch Face and Bracelet

Do you quickly get bored seeing the same watch face on your GPS smartwatch? Fortunately, the Fenix 5 Plus supports an online store where you can download attractive watch faces. You can also download data fields and widgets from this store.

Apart from the display, you can swap its original band to either leather or silicone. You can purchase a new strap and attach it to the watch’s lugs without hassles.

Top Class Battery Life

If you plan on taking 2 days hiking trip with this watch on your arm, there’s no need to take your charger along. This fact is based on the timepieces ability to run for 42 hours in GPS mode.

Sturdy and Easy to Read Display

This smartwatch sports a bright, high-resolution display that is readable in direct sunlight. For night-time use, you can see the read the screen because of its LED backlighting. A piece of high strength domed sapphire crystal covers the watch face.

Dedicated Storage for Music Files

Fenix plus 5 has storage that supports as much as 500 songs which you can play during your hiking activities. You can also pair Bluetooth earphones to the watch for a better listening experience. The timepiece also supports Music streaming from selected sites.

Opinion and Drawbacks

When it comes to hiking watches, the Fenix 5 Plus can rival any watch on the market. After all, it has exciting features such as internal storage for your music files and an incredible battery. But since it disconnects easily from iPhones, you might need to check out other options.

Suunto Traverse Alpha

 

Although it has fantastic features for hunting and fishing, the Suunto Traverse Alpha stands as an excellent tool for all outdoor activities, including hiking. It even has features that can accommodate everyday use. As expected from a hiking GPS smartwatch, the Suunto Traverse Alpha can withstand extreme environments while performing functions that will assist you during your camping trips.

Portable Design

This smartwatch is a round-faced timepiece with a bulky build. However, the Traverse Alpha is lightweight and comfortable enough to wear.

The face is protected with scratch-resistant sapphire glass while a stainless steel bezel surrounds the screen. Furthermore, a silicon/nylon strap secures the watch on your wrist. Looking at these features, you will discover that this timepiece is a sturdy device, which makes it one of the best watches for hiking. For added durability, the watch is also water-resistant to a maximum a depth of 100m.

Impressive Battery Life

The battery life on this device depends on how you use the watch. The battery can last for 14 days with the GPS off while with the GPS activated mode offers a battery life 100 hours.

You can even know when the rechargeable battery is low via a blinking battery icon on the watch face. With a USB compatible wall charger, you can fully recharge the cell within a few hours.

GPS Functionality

With its GPS features, you can avoid getting lost as it keeps track of your past/ current locations. The function also comes in handy during fishing or hunting because it helps users choose the best locations for chasing their prey.

Dependable Activity Tracker

This smartwatch can measure your daily steps and calories burned during the day. You can easily view this on the display screen.

Opinions and Drawback

Overall, the watch is a worthy investment because it has a good battery life, easy to charge, and very durable. However, there is no way to edit the watch settings without an internet connection.

Click here to find our comparison of the Suunto Traverse Alpha with the Garmin Fenix 5.

Garmin Tactix Bravo

 

If you are looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, then you should try out the Garmin Tactix Bravo. This watch is built with rugged and durable materials, and it comes with a price that makes it an affordable GPS watch for hiking. Add this watch to your hiking gear, and you have yourself an accurate GPS timepiece that will match any activity and style.

Durability You Can Trust

The Garmin Tactix Bravo comes with parts that can withstand knocks and scratches encountered during outdoor activities. First, it has a bezel with a black diamond coating for protection against scratches. It also has a screwed case back, and buttons made from black PVD coated stainless steel.

A sturdy black nylon strap secures the watch on your wrist. It is sturdy enough to resist wear and tear. The strap is also comfortable to wear on your wrist.

Readable Watch Face

As expected from one of the best GPS watches for hiking and outdoors, this item has a face that is uncluttered and protected by shatter-proof sapphire crystal. This part of the watch consists of a Garmin Chroma Display which allows you to use the smartwatch in sunlight and low light environments. You can even read the information on the screen with a pair of night-vision goggles.

Water Resistance

One of the exciting features of this item is its water resistance. From the caseback to its strap, this watch can withstand moisture at even depths of up to 100 meters. With such specs, the smartwatch is ideal for use during a rainstorm or light swimming.

Extended Battery Life

A rechargeable battery powers this durable GPS watch for hiking. When fully charged, the timepiece can run up to 3 weeks in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS mode and 50 hours in Ultra Trac battery saver. If you consider these features, there is no need to worry about a recharge, especially in remote locations without power.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Garmin Tactix Bravo is a watch that is worth adding to your camping list as it is durable and affordable. It’s also lightweight and promises a superb battery life. However, its compass and GPS sensors provide inaccurate readings after a short period.

Suunto Ambit3 Peak

 

The Suunto Ambit3 Peak has features that can rival the function found on even the best outdoor watches for hiking. Apart from offering essential timekeeping, the watch tracks your movements and gives accurate readings. Overall, the product can be seen as the best cheap GPS watch for hiking.

Accurate Readings

The watch has a barometer that can predict potential weather changes and accurately measure altitudes at any location. With the former function, you can quickly seek shelter or set up camp before a storm hits. The watch also keeps track of sunsets and sunrise so you will know the hours of daylight left.

Tough Build

Since this item is an outdoor watch, it is built to withstand numerous uses under harsh conditions. First, it has an elastomer band that can retain its shape after exposure to extreme cold or higher temperatures. Next, a robust polyamide case houses its working parts while a piece of scratch-resistant crystal covers its display.

Comfortable to Wear

Most durable watches are bulky and uncomfortable; however, this timepiece does not follow this trend. Fortunately, its wrist strap is breathable and flexible while the watch itself is light. Looking at such features, you can wear this product for an extended period without feeling any pressure on your arm.

Impressive Connectivity

You can pair your smartphone with this timepiece, thereby allowing you to sync your activities quickly. The option also allows you to receive text and calls via your watch and the Suunto in-built Movescount.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Concerning this watch, you will discover that it has tons of features and a build that will rival most flagship watches. But it has some downsides that might make you consider other options. First, it does not with a crisp display, while its battery cannot endure long hours without a recharge.

Amazfit Stratos

 

Here comes one of the most affordable GPS watch for hiking on our list. Amazfit Stratos black smartwatch is a multisport and triathlon GPS watch that comes at an affordable price. Although it falls within a low budget, it has features that can compete with flagship devices that perform similar functions.

Sleek Design

Out of the box, the watch has an attractive look that consists of a ceramic bezel, carbon fiber case, and a robust touch screen display. It also comes with a durable silicone strap which can be replaced with a bracelet of your choice. These features make the watch an excellent item for outdoor trips or everyday use.

Always On Display

The timepiece has an always-on display which you can read in direct sunlight or dark environments. Here, protection is offered by 2.5D Corning Gorilla glass, so there is no need to worry about scratches.

Activity Monitoring

One of the exciting highlights of this product is its collection of sensors. This highlight includes a heart rate monitor, pedometer, and compass, which can be used to track all aspects of your daily fitness. Such features will appeal to people who wish to stay motivated during physical activities.

Dependable Connectivity

The watch also supports WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, which helps you receive notifications for emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media apps. This feature helps you stay updated even if your phone is in your pocket or close distance.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Stratos is a high-quality watch designed with athletes in mind. However, it takes it a step further with adding a compass and GPS, which will interest any outdoorsman. It also has a design that ensures comfort and ease of use.

However, the battery does not last for a long time while the watch itself does not have a setting for the font or screen.

Suunto 9 GPS Watch

 

Suunto 9 is a multisport GPS timepiece designed for hikers who need the best watch on the field. It’s smart reminders, and extended battery life enables this smartwatch to run for long periods. In summary, the Suunto 9 is made to endure the harshest conditions and training.

Great Battery Life

One of the exciting features of this product is its rechargeable battery that has a maximum life of 14 days. But if the mobile notifications and 24/7 activity trackers are ON, it lasts for seven days while in training mode the watch runs for at least 25 hours. When the battery becomes low, an integrated smart system helps conserve the remaining energy.

Sturdy Build for Tough Conditions

Durability is one of the essential things of any Suunto product. For instance, the watch has a case built from glass fiber reinforced polyamide and a stainless steel bezel. It also uses a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect its touch display.

Water Resistance

The Suunto 9 promises a water resistance at a maximum depth of 100m. With this feature in mind, you can use the watch for light swimming or hiking in a thunderstorm.

Comfortable Bracelet

A 24mm silicone bracelet holds the watch against your wrist. With this bracelet, you can wear the watch on long hiking trips without any discomfort to your wrist.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The battery life and smart management technology presents Suunto 9 as one of the best GPS watches for hiking and running. But its software has bugs that might make the watch perform less than expected.

Wrap Up

All timepieces mentioned in this article are the best GPS watches for hiking that you can find in any store. Ultimately, the best watch for you will depend on your specific needs.

If you want an affordable smartwatch that comes with limited functions that can compete with expensive models, you should go for the Amazfit Stratos.  For those looking a smartwatch that has a reliable app, the Suunto Ambit3 Peak serves as the best option.

But if you are willing to spend extra cash on a rugged watch that comes with excellent features, then your best bet is the Garmin Fenix 5 plus.

Best Tactical Smartwatch: Tactical Timepieces Just Got a Lot Smarter

Best Tactical Smartwatch Featured_0

What makes a smartwatch “tactical”? Does it need to have tactical features? Does it need to be stealthy?

In reality, there is no single true definition that makes a smartwatch tactical. There are many timepieces that are used by professionals in the tactical field. These watches are rugged, reliable, highly legible, and have the right set features.

If you are in the market for the best tactical smartwatch, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we round up some of the best tactical smartwatches that you can get for your money.

Best Tactical Smartwatches

Key Features

Our Rating

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 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Garmin Fenix 5X Full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, Routable cycling maps, Training Status and Training Effect readouts, PVD-coated stainless steel bezel, Advanced GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, Chroma Display with LED backlighting, Advanced Running Dynamics ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Suunto Core All Black Military Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Weather Trend graph, Storm alarm, Sunrise and sunset times, 100 feet water resistance, Rotating bezel, Replaceable straps, Digital thermometer ★ ★ ★ ★
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Innovative rotating steel bezel, Text, call and get notifications, Samsung Pay enabled, Military-grade performance, Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, Wireless charger, Built-in S Health app ★ ★ ★ ★
TicWatch Pro 2-30 days of battery life on a single charge, AMOLED display, Google Assistant, Power saving FSTN LCD display, GPS tracker, heart-rate monitor, step counter, Google Pay enabled ★ ★ ★ ★
Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A ★ ★ ★ ½

Best Tactical Smartwatch

1. Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Suunto Traverse Alpha has been getting a lot of love among outdoor lovers and for good reason. While many of its features are focused around outdoor adventures, it’s a rugged, feature-rich smartwatch that will serve you well in the field.

A Dynamic, Outdoor Tactical Smartwatch

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is one of our top picks as the best tactical smartwatch due to its ruggedness and reliability. The Traverse Alpha is housed composite case with a fixed knurled steel bezel. On top of that, the watch is protected by sapphire crystal lens and comes with a water-resistant nylon wrist strap.

This combination of features adds up to a very durable watch that can withstand even the harshest of elements. Whether you’re rock climbing or serving in law enforcement, this watch’s durability will not fail you.

This smartwatch comes with GPS and GLONASS technology, navigation becomes a non-issue. You can even set built-in shortcuts for saving your current position as a point of interest or POI. The watch itself is very easy to use and it’s made even more intuitive if you download the Movescount app.

The look of the watch just screams “tactical” with its woodland aesthetic. The display offers two options: black-on-white or white-on-black contrasts. The display is not in your face and you can even set it to show in red backlight so it works with night vision goggles.

It’s seriously one of the best tactical, outdoor smartwatches that money can buy.

2. Garmin Fenix 5X

If you are a tactical professional who’s looking for a top-of-the-line navigation smartwatch, the Garmin Fenix 5X is certainly worth the look. After all, it’s from a company that’s synonymous with stellar GPS navigation systems.

Hefty and Handsome

As mentioned, the Garmin Fenix 5X is a top-tier navigation companion. This multisport GPS watch comes with all sorts of advanced navigation features such as full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, routable cycling maps, and many others.

The GPS and GLONASS sensors work exceptionally well which is no surprise since this watch is a Garmin product after all. Even when you’re in the most challenging tactical environment, the GPS along with features like the 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter should come in handy.

Aside from offering excellent navigation features, the Fenix 5X is also a top-notch training companion. If you are obsessed with tracking your performance stats, the Fenix 5X is a no-brainer as it offers some of the of most advanced performance metrics I’ve seen.

The enhanced readouts for Training Status and Training Effect will allow you to see the benefits of your workout. There’s the feature called VO2 max estimator that just pumps out the stats such as running speed, heart rate variability, beats per minute, and more. You can even access more data if you have the compatible heart rate chest strap such as the HRM-Run.

It’s perhaps the most expensive tactical / fitness smartwatch on this list but it really is worth the investment.

3. Suunto Core All Black Military

Blacked out watches are ideal for the men and women in the tactical field. The Suunto Core All Black Military is a blacked out watch that provides the much-needed stealthiness along with features that many won’t mind having.

Tactical Look, Fit, and Feel

The Suunto Core All Black Military watch is the best tactical smartwatch mainly because of its looks. One look at the watch and you know that it’s a timepiece for tactical applications. However, it is stylish enough that you won’t mind wearing it on a daily basis.

The all black finish does a great job of tying the design elements altogether.

The Suunto Core All Black Military is not just a good-looking watch, it’s also a great outdoor companion with the relevant bells and whistles. For starters, it’s an ABC watch which means that it comes with an altimeter (for determining current elevation), barometer (weather forecast), and a compass. There’s also sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations.

When it comes to ruggedness, the Suunto Core All Black Military won’t disappoint. The rotating bezel is made from knurled anodized aluminum but unfortunately, it’s not very good in warding off scratches. However, the scratches do add a bit of personality to the watch but that’s just me.

The watch feels solid but never clunky. In fact, the Suunto Core All Black Military is a lightweight watch and feels good on the wrist.

The Core All Black Military is yet another Suunto classic.

4. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung is known for their excellent electronic products but not exactly for their smartwatches. This is why the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier was such a nice surprise for me.

Tactical Smartwatch for Android Users

There are actually two Gear S3 models – the Classic and the Frontier. Since we are rounding up the best tactical smartwatch we went with the Frontier model which features a sportier design.

The watch comes with a silicone strap which is more ideal for more rugged applications. It’s easy to slip on and offers just the right amount of comfort which is good if you’re wearing the watch for hours. However, the strap is a dirt magnet. If you’re not a fan of the strap, you can replace it with any 22mm watch band.

The best thing about the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is the innovative rotating bezel. Rotating the bezel makes a satisfying sound that I can’t get enough of. The bezel is used for navigating the UI which is nothing short of amazing. Quickly scrolling through the menus is just a delightful experience.

The Gear S3 Frontier is also packed with useful features. The built-in GPS should come in handy for tracking your activity and staying on top of your training. When paired with your smartphone, the watch can nearly eliminate the need for having a mobile device. You can read texts, emails, alerts, and even make hands-free calls.

The Gear S3 Frontier is a bit on the expensive side but it’s certainly a better tactical timepiece than the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

5. TicWatch Pro

There’s a good chance that you haven’t heard of Mobvoi or Ticwatch products before. Mobvoi is a Chinese company and is responsible for our next tactical smartwatch, the TicWatch Pro.

Battery Life That Impresses

Don’t let the fact that the TicWatch Pro is a Chinese-made smartwatch deter you from checking it out.

For starters, the TicWatch Pro is actually a high-end offering by Mobvoi. It features a fairly high-end design (which frankly looks like the Gear S3 Frontier) and a revolutionary dual-screen technology. The top-layer display looks more like a traditional watch screen but doesn’t look that high-end.

The second layer, on the other hand, is an OLED smart screen which looks more premium. The OLED screen looks brighter and more impactful. From this screen, you’ll be able to access most of the Wear OS features like GPS tracker, step counter, heart-rate monitor, apps, and more.

But what makes the TicWatch Pro a good tactical smartwatch is its impressive battery life. The watch features two modes of operation: Smart and Essential modes. The Essential Mode basically turns your watch into a low-tech timepiece which can give you as many as 30 days of battery life.

The TicWatch Pro will just keep on ticking even when you’re out in the field for extended periods of time.

6. Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A

Casio actually has a smartwatch offering and it’s a pretty good one. The Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A features the signature Casio toughness and it just got smarter.

Casio Toughness With Military Standards

The Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20A is one of the toughest smartwatches that you can get. Whether it’s outdoors or the city, it’s a lifestyle wearable that delivers the goods.

To start, the Pro-Trek WSD-F20A is a big watch with a width of 53mm. On smaller wrists, the watch might be too heavy and uncomfortable. Despite the size, the watch is surprisingly comfortable. It doesn’t get itchy or sweaty even after wearing it for hours.

The Pro-Trek WSD-F20A’s design is a winner in my book. The bold design really fits the outdoor lifestyle. There’s the standard black version if you’re looking for something more “stealthy.”

The watch also features two screens and one is a beautiful OLED display. It runs on Wear OS which can be quite buggy but it gets the job done. However, the battery life is slightly disappointing which can last for only 6 to 8 hours on a single charge.

The watch is marketed as an outdoor timepiece but it’s a good option for tactical applications. Unfortunately, the price tag is a bit on the expensive side.

Tactical Watches Just Got Smarter

That wraps up our roundup of the best tactical smartwatch. Hopefully, this buyer’s guide has helped you find a watch that best fits your tactical needs.