Best Outdoor Smartwatch: Durable Smartwatch for Outdoor Adventures

Best outdoor smartwatch

After intense research and testing of different smartwatches, the Garmin Epix, Topo stands as the best outdoor smartwatch.  The reason is that it has a sturdy built that can withstand rough terrain.

Users can also swim with this smartwatch as it has water-resistant of 50 meters. Furthermore, it lasts longer than most smartwatches as it’s made of durable materials.

Finally, it comes with many great features that will help outdoor enthusiasts; these include GPS, Glonass, expanded internal memory, activities analysis, barometer, and altimeter.

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

An outdoor smartwatch serves as an ideal item for hikers, swimmers, construction workers, and camping. These smartwatches can withstand extreme conditions and wet terrain. They even guide users through areas without Google Map access.

Although outdoor watches are rugged, it’s best to purchase a model that looks classy. It should also offer accurate readings because these are essential for various outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

However, with our list of the best outdoor smartwatch, you’ll surely find one that will suit your needs.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

 

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus comes with enough features and high performance which makes it stand out as a great contender in our list. It also has a classy look which makes that can complement one’s outfit.

Triple Navigation System

The Fenix 5 Plus supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo which helps during travel on rough terrain. With these features, it’s virtually impossible for the user to become lost at any location. It also allows easy discovery of exciting places such as cafes, stores, and campsites.

Durable Materials

This smartwatch comes in various options with bezels made from either stainless steel or titanium. It also has a display face covered with thick glass or sapphire lens with a bracelet of silicone, leather, or stainless steel. With these materials, the Fenix 5 can withstand wear and tear common with outdoor activities.

Water Resistance

With a 10 ATM  rating, this adds more to its durability. For this reason, this Garmin Fenix can withstand hours of rain and swimming.

Long Battery Life

When in Ultra Tac mode, the Fenix 5 offers a battery life of 42 hours. This impressive feature especially when there is no access to a power source during your trip.

Opinion and Drawback

The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus is a great smartwatch however it has some issues. First, it does not sync smoothly with iPhones. It also does not allow users to customize the activity screen or even back it up online.

Casio G-SHOCK RANGEMAN – Best Outdoor Smartwatch for Construction Workers

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

 

The Casio G-shock Rangeman can withstand harsh conditions while providing valuable information on the go. Unlike most smartwatches in the market, it does not feature a touch screen.

Solar Charging

The Casio Rangeman supports solar charging which comes in handy especially in remote areas. A single full charge offers 33 hours of battery life even if the GPS is activated. Also if the battery level drops, it can be recovered through solar charging.

Tough Bracelets

The strap on this Casio G-shock is ideal for any outdoor activity. It has a sturdy built strap made of resin and it can stay comfortable on the wrist. Also, the resin strap will last longer since it does not crack like leather or rubber.

GPS Functions

The product displays your current location after collecting data from satellites. Users can also use this data to create routes via a G-SHOCK app.

Readable Display

It has a crisp and straightforward display, and you easily can read the information from any angle. The Casio Rangeman also offers details about longitude, latitude, temperature, and altitude.

Automatic Sync

When the watch is connected via Bluetooth, it syncs with either internet time servers or GPS signals. This provides accurate data that is needed to plan your hiking trips.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Users might find this product pretty bulky on the wrist. It also has weak alarm and notifications features as it does not support vibrating alerts.

Suunto Traverse Alpha – Best Outdoor Smartwatch for Military

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

 

The Sunnto Traverse Alpha stands as a trendy and rugged smartwatch that can withstand tough terrains and elements. It also comes with features that will help outdoor enthusiasts when hiking, camping, and carrying out other outdoor activities.

Rugged Build

A rugged stainless steel case houses the inner workings of the Suunto Traverse Alpha.  It also has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass and a nylon bracelet. With these materials, the Traverse Alpha can endure long periods of use during outdoor activities.

Crisp Display

The watch face offers wearers the option to use either a 12-hour clock or a 24-hour military watch. In basic mode, the Traverse Alpha shows the date at the top, the time at the center with a sunrise/sunset counter at the bottom. Campers, hunters and hikers will find the counter appealing as it indicates the best time to set up camp.

Durable Band

The Traverse Alpha is available in two wristband options the nylon textile and silicone. Although these materials might not be popular with some users, they can withstand wear and tear than leather or steel. However, the silicone option handles water better.

Opinion and Drawbacks

As Suunto designs a watch for the military, it’s no surprise that the Traverse Alpha also has more features for outdoor use. However, it does not change time zones automatically while its GPS activation is slow. The Suunto Traverse Alpha barometer readings are inaccurate because the sensors touch one’s skin. The synthetic bracelet could also feel itchy on your skin.

Suunto Core Altimeter Watch All Black

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

 

Another great product from the finest brand, this Suunto Core Altimeter offers more features than regular smartwatches. First, it combines elegance with the traditional ruggedness associated with Suunto watches.

Storm Alarm

It features a barometer that offers a Storm Alarm. This option can notify users of approaching storms after sensing a drop in air pressure. On a hiking trip, this feature helps the wearer to locate a good camping site or find shelter before a storm begins.

Smart Altimeter

With the altimeter, you can record distances climbed or descended. It even measures elevations as high as 30000 ft. This option helps to track the exact location on a topographical map.

Compass Mode

The Suunto watch has a compass mode that converts the timepiece into a digital compass. It also allows users to set and lock the compass on a specific route.

Sleek Design

Unlike most outdoor watches, the Suunto Core Altimeter watch is not bulky or heavy on the wrist. This feature comes in handy as it won’t make your arms ache during climbs.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Although the Altimeter Watch has excellent features, it has a few downsides. Its dials get stuck after some time thereby requiring manual pulling. Sometimes it offers a poor display, unreliable readings. Another downturn is its battery life; it does not last long even after a full charge.

Garmin Epix, TOPO –  Best Outdoor Smartwatch for Hiking and Swimming

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

 

This product stands as the first Garmin timepiece to include GPS and sport watch features. Although it has a bulky look, it stands as a good fit for camping, hiking trip, and other outdoors activities

Robust Materials

Complete with its rugged look, the Garmin Epix GPS watch is made with materials that can endure years of rough use. First, the watch is protected by a scratch-resistant crystal lens.  Secondly, it has a body covered with a PVD coating. Finally, its case can withstand water damage at 50m thus making the watch an excellent fit for swimming.

Vibration Alert

Unlike most smartwatches, the Epix Smartwatch offers notifications from a connected smartphone. These notifications are followed by vibrating alerts that notify when there is a call or message.

Dedicated App

The Garmin Epix GPS comes with an app-the Garmin Connect. With the app, you can view your heart rate, steps covered and calories burned. It even lets you share your activity log on social media. To access this app, you should connect your phone to the watch via Bluetooth or USB.

Impressive Touch-screen

The Gamin Epix features a 1.4-inch screen that is easy to use or navigate. Using this screen under bright sunlight is ideal since it offers 205 × 148 pixels. The display is also a visible color chroma that allows easy reading of the screen under low light.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Since the Garmin Epix is bulky, its dials touch the back of the hand especially when you bend your wrist. It comes with low-quality software, and it sometimes offers inaccurate readings.

Apple Watch Series 4

Best Outdoor Smartwatch

 

Last on our list of the best outdoor smartwatch is the Apple Watch Series 4. Although this smartwatch includes features of a sports watch, it’s also an ideal accessory for outdoor tasks.

Water Resistance

Since it can withstand water damage at 50m, users can use it in the rain or when swimming in a pool or open water. The watch can also count the strokes made during a swim. It also features a third app that will allow the user to monitor their swimming strokes.

Outdoor Features

The watch supports GPS which guides the user during treks. Apart from that, it features an altimeter that will allow mountain climbers to measure their height above sea level.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Looking at its price, the Apple Watch Series 4 is an excellent product to work with. However, its bands feel uncomfortable on the wrist. Also, the watch requires constant charging because the battery does not last long. Finally, it interferes with the frequency of some electronic devices such as pacemakers.

What Makes a Good Smartwatch for Outdoors?

Important features

There are many important features to consider in a smartwatch for the outdoors. First, if you love to engage in activities like hiking and camping; it’s best to consider a smartwatch with GPS and GLONASS. These features will help keep track of your exact location. For Mountain climbers, it’s best to get an outdoor smartwatch that allows you to measure your altitude, receive messages, calls, and other notifications.

Other important features for outdoors include Barometer, altimeter, and compass as this updates you on incoming storms and prevailing weather.

Water Resistance

It’s certain that at some point that outdoor enthusiasts might carry out activities in wet terrain. Hence, there is a need to get a smartwatch that can withstand this problem. For this reason, this makes water resistance stands as a great factor to consider when buying outdoor smartwatches. This feature offers the watch more protection and makes it last longer when used in wet conditions including rain.

Durability

Since nobody wants a watch that will last for a short period, therefore the sturdiness and strength of the watch are essential. For a smartwatch to last longer, it has to be made of high-quality materials that can withstand tough site conditions, falls, and element impact.

Our Final Word for the Best Outdoor Smartwatch

Finally, we’ve provided great insight into outdoor smartwatches and some of the most durable models. However, it’s best to know your needs before buying one.

At outdoors, there are rough times whereby the environment and weather conditions could become pretty harsh that one of our recommended best outdoor smartwatches can come in handy.

But before you make your final decision, it’s best to choose according to your specific needs, the style that’s will fit your regular outfit. Also, consider your budget and the features that will help you more in your preferred outdoor activities.

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.