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.

Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5: In-depth Comparison

Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5

After spending hours going through the features of both smartwatches, we choose the Fenix 5 as the best option on our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 article.

Fenix 5 has a long battery life, and it also alerts you when the charge drops to 20%. We also love the Fenix 5 because of its multisport mode, which helps you to switch between sports easily. Finally, the Fenix 5 records and stores more landmarks on your GPS than the Traverse Alpha.

 

The Suunto Traverse Alpha and Gamin Fenix 5 are some of the devices that outdoorsman or athlete should keep handy. Both smartwatches have great features that make them rival many flagship watches in the market.

Sporting impressive designs, both devices are built with materials that can handle extreme conditions. Also, they promise support for apps that help you maintain a mobile and healthy lifestyle. They even come with the extended battery life, which keeps them running for long hours. This makes both smartwatches the best option for camping and long trips.

Since both timepieces offer great features, choosing between the two watches might be hard. However, with our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 article, we will guide you in making the best choice. First, let’s begin with the Suunto Traverse Alpha review.

Suunto Traverse Alpha

 

Seen in some circles as the best military watch, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is a handy device for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

It even comes as a great item to use during your camping trips. This smartwatch can withstand rugged terrain while performing various functions that will meet the needs of any outdoorsman or athletes. With such impressive specs, the watch standout on our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 post.

Design and Battery Life

The Suunto Traverse Alpha weighs 75g while maintaining a width of 47mm. Although these figures present it as a bulky item, it is a lightweight watch that’s comfortable on the wrist.

The watch has a face covered with sapphire glass that can resist scratches. Also, a stainless steel bezel surrounds this part of the timepiece. A replaceable sturdy nylon-silicone wristband also secures the watch on any wrist size. Overall, the Traverse Alpha is highly durable which makes it an excellent smartwatch for construction workers.

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is water resistant to 100m. Having said this, you can use the watch for any aquatic activities except deep-diving underwater.

Battery life from this smartwatch depends on how the watch is used. For instance, the battery can last for 15 hours with the GPS ON or about 14 days when the GPS is set off (which is ideal for long hikes). You can charge the battery with a USB compatible charger.

Sensors

For outdoor enthusiasts, being able to monitor your health and fitness, and keep track of your location is a big plus. By using the GPS features, you can keep track of your routes while its GLONASS provides increased GPS accuracy. For Avid travelers, use the compass feature to address your route quickly if you lost direction.

The Traverse Alpha has a built-in thermometer; hence, you don’t need a separate device to check your temperature. Its heart wrist rate or belt monitor keeps your health in check throughout the day etc.

Since weather and pressure could change at any time, Traverse Alpha has a built-in barometer to help keep you informed. Unlike the Garmin Fenix 5, this smartwatch can alert you if there is a thunderstorm coming.  It offers additional features that are helpful for daily outdoor activities- this includes gyroscope and accelerometer.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

The Transverse Alpha watch gives you details of your physical activity levels. This comes as a great feature, especially if you intend to lose some pounds or engage in outdoor activities.

For example, its GPS function prevents a hiker from getting lost by keeping track of past and current locations. This also comes in handy during fishing or hunting as it helps users mark ideal spots for chasing prey.

With the Traverse Alpha, you can measure your daily steps and estimate the calories burned throughout the day. By default, you can view your estimated daily step count in the time display. Also, the watch gives an overview of the steps taken in a week, month, or year.

Apart from steps, the outdoor smartwatch records the number of swimming strokes made within a particular period. The device gathers this data and stats by measuring your arm movements.

All smartphones are compatible with the Suunto Traverse Alpha. This means that you can send and receive information from the smartphones to the watch via Bluetooth or ANT +.

App & Display

The Traverse alpha face display is easily readable, and the watch comes with fantastic apps for sports activities.   With a screen resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, you will find it pretty easy to read and control.

As you should know, time zones change from city to city or other countries. Luckily, Traverse Alpha has a built-in sunrise and sunset alert, and world timer. These features will keep you informed on the current time and when to wake up in the morning.

As an avid Hunters and Angler, time is crucial, which is why the Alpha offers a moon phase calendar, and Moonrise and Moonset times. With this, it’s pretty easy to know when to go fishing and hunting. A big plus as it comes with an auto-shot detection that dates and mark the exact spot when you shoot a rifle or shotguns.

If you don’t want to cause a scene in the morning or at night, you can set your preferred time to wake up and work routine using its silent alarm or vibration alerts.

Did you forget to bring a flashlight for Camping? Well, you don’t have to worry. The Traverse features efficient flashlight mode that you can use to keep your vision clear in dark conditions.

What’s even better is that the smartwatch is also compatible with the Movescount app. This app allows you to share and sync your daily activities, explore new routes, and customize your watch.

The Traverse didn’t leave out some essential features. It still offers additional features which include a stopwatch, notifications, and social features, etc.

Price and Warranty

The Suunto Traverse Alpha cost over $350 and it comes with a two-year warranty. Suunto also offers one year warranty that covers accessories including bracelets, and sensors, etc. However, the company does not make any provisions for wear and tear.

Before you enjoy the warranty service, the company suggests that you register the watch on the company’s website with proof of purchase.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Traverse Alpha is a durable smartwatch for outdoor enthusiasts, but construction workers and military will also benefit from its built-in features. Compared to the Fenix 5, it is lightweight and comfortable to wear. Also, when it comes to Suunto smartwatches, it stands as one of the top models with great sensor features.

However, it also has its drawbacks when compared to Fenix 5. First, its face screen display only in two colors (Black and white). On GPS mode, the battery life is 9 hours shorter, which means you enjoy more time using the Garmin Fenix 5. Unlike the Garmin, the Traverse won’t alert you when the battery is low.

 

Garmin Fenix 5

 

The Garmin Fenix 5 stand as one of the best watches for basic training and other rigorous activities. It delivers a wide range of features while sporting an attractive design that rivals the look on any Suunto smartwatch.

Packed with fitness, health, and GPS tracking features, the Fenix 5 can keep you fit and safe on any terrain. Furthermore, it has a sturdy build that can withstand usage under extreme conditions. For these reasons, this smartwatch has a great edge in the Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 contest.

Design and Battery Life

Since Fenix 5 is ranked as one of the best outdoor smartwatches, it’s expected that it has a rugged design. However, it has an elegant look that can complement any outfit.

The Fenix 5 sports a display screen covered with sapphire glass. With this material, the watch can handle knocks and scratches encountered during outdoor activities.

The case is made from fiber-reinforced polymer while a stainless steel case back secures its engine. A replaceable elastomer bracelet fits the smartwatch on any wrist size.

The Fenix 5 promises a water resistance up to 100m, making it a good watch for most aquatic activities. However, sports such as scuba diving might damage it.

Battery life depends on the features activated on the watch, such as sensors, activity tracking, and GPS. On basic mode, it runs up to 14 days, but when in GPS mode, it takes up to 24 hours for the battery to drain. Finally, on UltraTrac GPS mode, it offers 75 hours of battery life.

Sensors

In comparison with other smartwatches on the market, the Fenix 5 offers accurate sensor features. Unlike Suunto, it features a heart rate monitor that can track your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. The tracked heart rate is not only shown on the watch but also recorded in Garmin connect. This makes it easy for you to check your progress.

You can use the watch to calculate burned calories, stress levels, and monitor your sleep pattern every day.

This Garmin smartwatch provides GPS sensors with GLONASS function for maximum accuracy.  Avid travelers and other outdoor enthusiasts will find this watch handy as it has a built-in barometer, compass, and other measurement tools.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

Like most smartwatches, the Fenix 5 supports a healthy lifestyle by tracking various activities. It performs this task by using sensors that monitor different health stats.

A sleep tracker detects and monitors your movement during sleep hours (except naps) while the auto goal feature creates a daily step goal based on your recent activity levels. The move alert encourages you to go for a walk after prolonged sitting.

Regarding connectivity, the Fenix 5 works with WiFi, which enables firmware updates on the watch without using a smartphone. The timepiece also supports Bluetooth for connections with smartphones.

The smartwatch also works with ANT + technology that enable it to link to fitness equipment. This feature helps you track your stats when you use devices such as treadmills or spin bicycles.

App & Display

When it comes to top-tier smartwatches with cool apps and display faces the Garmin Fenix 5 is never left out. This Garmin smartwatch has a color LCD screen with 240 x 240 pixels visible in bright sunlight. Its display screen is also Transflective, enabling you to read in low lighting.

Unlike most smartwatches, these timepiece support varieties of apps which include Garmin Connect, Strava Live Segment, and LiveTrack features. The Garmin Connect offers you more leverage to download plenty of apps such as car locators, work planners, etc. Not only that, it allows you to share information and activities with other members on the Garmin Community. As for the Strava Live segment, this helps runners and cyclists perform better. Use the LiveTrack feature to allow family and friends to cheer you on every step on race day in real-time.

Pair your phone with the smartwatch to enjoy smart notifications. With this feature, you get instants alerts like text, Facebook notification, and calls from your phone to the smartwatch. This makes it easy for you to respond or decline messages when you’re running or engaging in other sports.

Add more function to your smartwatch using the Connect 1Q store packed with many apps. If you misplace your smartphone, you can quickly use its Find My Phone App on the watch to locate it.

Garmin also packs up other exciting feature you will find useful. These features include sunrise and sunset alerts, and Golf features, etc.

Price and Warranty

You can get the Garmin Fenix 5 for more than $400. After purchase, the Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty that covers issues with materials or quality.

Furthermore, before you can claim your warranty, register the watch on the company’s website. Ensure you have either the original or the copy of your receipt.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Overall, Garmin Fenix features excellent sensor, display, and connectivity that will satisfy buyers in need of sports smartwatch. The best part about is its long battery life and the accuracy of its GPs and sensor features.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that supports many apps, this is the best choice for you. However, it does not have a built-in world timer and no feature to trackback your route outdoors. Finally, those with smaller wrist might not find this watch comfortable to wear because it is pretty bulky and heavy.

Final Thought and Recommendation on Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5

From everything mentioned above, it’s certain that both smartwatches are durable and comes with great features.

However, having looked at their display faces, designs, apps, and battery life, we concluded that the Garmin won this challenge. First, the Fenix 5 can go 9 hours more on GPS mode than Suunto before needing a battery recharge. It supports varieties of apps than the Traverse alpha, and compatible with window phone.

Well, in terms of durability the Suunto traverse Alpha edges out the Garmin Fenix 5. Also, you can’t check your temperature with Fenix 5 but the Suunto can do that for you. What’s even better is that you can track back your route with the Traverse Alpha but not with Fenix 5.

Finally, with all this said, both smartwatches stand a great challenge. But I’m sorry to break your heart with my choice I still prefer the Garmin Fenix 5 due to its attractive design and color LCD screen.

Best Hiking Watch Under $100: Budget Timepieces for Outdoor Junkies

Best Hiking Watch Under $100

Are you in the market for the best hiking watch under $100 to fit your rugged, outdoor lifestyle?

The right hiking watch must be tough enough for the harsh outdoor conditions. Of course, it also needs to have features such as an altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS, and many others – features that will improve your hiking experience as a whole.

You are probably thinking, “aren’t hiking watches, expensive?”

Sure, there are many high-end outdoor watches like the Suunto Traverse Alpha that can cost several hundred dollars. However, there is no shortage of budget-friendly watches for hikers of all skill levels.

Today, we have a list of the best hiking watch under $100.

Best Hiking Watches Under $100

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor Altimeter, Barometer, Digital Compass, 100m water resistance, LED Backlit, 5 Daily Alarms and 1 Snooze Alarm, Quartz movement, World Time ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Timex T49612 Expedition Shock Shock Resistant to I.S.O. Standards, Digital Compass, Durable Resin Case, Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial, Water resistant to 200m ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor Easy-to-read digital display, Digital compass, Protective mineral crystal, Precise quartz movement, Water resistance up to 660 ft, Alarm and stopwatch functions, Thermometer ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch ABC features, Sunrise and Sunset Times, Thermometer, Log Record, Clock, Stopwatch, World Time, 160 Ft/50 M water resistance ★ ★ ★ ★
Timex Expedition Grid Shock Shock resistant to I.S.O. standards, Stainless steel top plate, Stopwatch, Countdown timer, Vibration alarm, Hydration alerts, Water resistant to 100m ★ ★ ★ ★
Lad Weather Outdoor Watch Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Track Mode, Power Saving Mode, Thermometer, EL Backlight, Stopwatch, Alarm ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Hiking Watches Under $100

1. Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor

 

When it comes to tough as nails outdoor watches, there’s plenty of options from Casio. If you want a durable ABC watch that won’t break the bank, the Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor is an easy recommendation.

A No-Fuss ABC Watch

The Casio SGW-1000-1ACR is an outdoor watch that just works. It’s a triple sensor model so it features an altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass. For the most part, I am happy to report that these main features work well.

The compass is accurate and can go several days without any recalibration. The watch also displays the temperature and barometric pressure with fair accuracy. However, the altimeter could use a bit of work. There’s a bit of a learning curve for operating the ABC features but once you get the hang of it, it becomes rather painless.

This watch boasts the signature Casio ruggedness and dependability. It is waterproof to 100 meters, so you don’t have to worry about the rain when you’re outdoors. The watch face is very easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions. When it’s dark, you can simply toggle the illumination and you’re good to go.

For the price point, this watch offers incredible value.

2. Timex T49612 Expedition Shock

 

I love a good rough and tumble digital watch that can take a beating. The Timex T49612 Expedition Shock is a popular outdoor watch and good reason.

Well, mainly because it’s the best hiking watch under $100 with loads of features.

Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking

Does anyone remember the old Timex advertising slogan? The Timex Expedition Shock embodies that tagline and then some.

The watch is shock resistant to I.S.O. standards and is designed to withstand any outdoor test. Whether you are hiking, camping, or backpacking, this is the type of watch that you would want on your wrist. However, it’s tough and stylish enough that anyone won’t have any problem wearing this as an EDC watch. The durable resin case does a great job of protecting the face.

Just to be clear, this is not an ABC watch but it does come with a digital compass. The compass works well but it does require a good deal of calibration. However, I suggest that you only utilize the compass for direction and orientation. The compass is not accurate enough to be used for navigation.

The face is fairly large with a negative display. There are many complaints about the legibility of the face but for me personally, it’s just right. The only downside that I can think of is that the nylon strap is very prone to breaking off.

Whether you’re looking for a hiking timepiece or simply a tough EDC watch, the Timex Expedition Shock comes highly recommended.

3. Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor

 

Casio is truly a contender when it comes to high-utility watches that don’t cost an arm and leg. The Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor is a tough hiking watch that cost less than $50. It doesn’t have that many advanced features but it’s a watch that will serve you well during your hiking trips.

Great Looking Watch in a Durable Package

For starters, the Casio SGW100-1V looks great with a standard sports watch design. Thus, many of you will have no problem wearing it on a daily basis. The digital display is big and very easy to read, and shows the day, date, and month.

What makes the Casio SGW100-1V great for hiking is certainly the compass. The compass is very accurate provided that you will spend a bit of time with the calibration. Use the watch in conjunction with a map and you already got your navigation needs covered.

It also comes with a thermometer but I found myself not using it at all. The watch utilizes the back plate for temperature readings which makes it inaccurate if you’re wearing it. If you want accurate temperature readings, you’ll have to strap the watch to your belt loop or backpack.

Despite some glaring drawbacks, the Casio SGW100-1V is a high-performance outdoor watch in a durable package.

4. Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch

 

The Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch is the perfect cheapish ABC watch if you don’t have the budget for Suunto Cores. While you certainly can’t expect high-end features and quality from this model, it’s the best hiking watch under $100 that’s worth the look.

Multi-function Timepiece for Hikers

At first glance, you’ll see that the design of the Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch looks to be lifted from the Suunto Core, especially with the case and the band.

However, the similarities end there.

One of the biggest differences is that the Sunroad watch features separate buttons for accessing the ABC features. I’d say it’s quite similar to the Casio ProTrek series. To switch between the altimeter, barometer, and compass features, you need to press the Mode button.

After calibration, the Compass mode of the Sunroad works quite well. Unlike the Suunto Core, the compass still appears to be working while the backlight is enabled. For the Barometer mode, the watch shows the barometric, graph, and ambient pressure. Much like the compass, the barometer manages to impress. When toggling Altimeter mode, the altitude will be displayed in the middle while the time is displayed on top of the face.

For a budget ABC watch, the build quality of the Sunroad is surprisingly decent. Definitely worth the price if you’re looking for a cheap Suunto Core alternative.

5. Timex Expedition Grid Shock

 

For another best hiking watch under $100, we have another model from Timex. The Timex Expedition Grid Shock is a solid timepiece for those who often well, go off the grid. It’s another Timex model so you can expect legendary reliability from this watch.

Best for Beginner Hikers

The Timex Expedition Grid Shock is a solid option for beginners since it focuses less on navigation and more on the smaller features. Like with the previous Timex watch, the Expedition Grid Shock features a shock resistance that’s in compliant to the I.S.O. standards.

Yes, it’s a watch that can once again take a beating.

Once you get the watch, you’ll be surprised that it’s a little larger than you thought it would. That’s certainly the case with me. If you have smaller hands, the size of the watch might be an issue. I highly recommend that you check the specs and decide if this watch’s size is right for you.

The digital display looks crisp, clear and very readable. The Indiglo backlight provides just the right amount of brightness without blurring the display.

One of the main reasons that I bought this watch is the vibration feature. Once set, the vibrations coming the from the watch is very noticeable. The vibration function works well with the watch’s hydration feature.

Overall, the Expedition Grid Shock is a very basic watch but it’s a reliable, comfortable, and best of all, affordable timepiece.

6. Lad Weather Outdoor Watch

 

The Lad Weather Outdoor Watch is an ABC watch from a rather obscure brand. However, don’t let that scare you because this watch offers incredible value and is an amazing compass watch.

A Budget-Friendly Full-Featured Activity Watch

The Lad Weather Outdoor Watch stands out because it’s more than an outdoor watch since it’s also an activity tracker. Fitbits and Garmins can be expensive, so this watch is a good alternative.

The watch features a negative display which is just the way I like it. The watch is easily readable even under bright lights. For darker lighting conditions, it features a backlight that works great.

As I’ve mentioned, the watch comes with an excellent compass. Once calibrated, I was surprised by its accuracy and it’s easily comparable with a magnetic field compass. The graphic display for the compass is one of the best I’ve seen in an ABC watch. The compass even works at night. Unlike most ABC watches, the compass continues to work even when the light is on.

It’s certainly one of the best budget ABC watches that you can get.

Hike With Confidence

That concludes our list of the best hiking watch under $100. Regardless of your needs, the watches we’ve highlighted boast a good balance of quality and cost-efficiency. With these budget hiking watches, you can now hike with confidence.

In case you are looking for a higher end watches for hiking, you may read our review of the best Garmin watch for hiking.