Best Outdoorsman Watch: Brave the Wild Outdoors

Best Outdoorsman Watch Garmin Instinct

The best outdoorsman watch is one that’s tough enough for the harsh outdoor conditions. It’s going to receive a lot of punishment, so its durability should be on point. Plus, the watch should also have the essential outdoorsman features like compass, GPS, barometer, and more.

Today, we’ve made a list of the best outdoorsman watch that your money can buy. These are watches that will serve you well in the wild with useful features for the hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.

If you can’t be bothered to go through our list, we have the Suunto Traverse Alpha as our top pick. It’s a full-featured outdoor watch with the much-needed durability and ruggedness.

Best Outdoorsman Watch

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar

Tough Solar Power, Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, 200M Water Resistant, Digital Compass, Altimeter, Altimeter Memory, Barometer, Thermometer, Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow, Countdown Timer, Battery level indicator, Power saving function

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Garmin Instinct

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark

Swiss quartz movement, Durable mineral crystal, Pc carbon reinforced case, Water resistant to 660 feet (200 M), Case diameter: 45 mm

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Citizen BU2055-16E Military Quartz

Analog day/date and12/24-hour time, Eco-Drive technology, Japanese-quartz Movement, Black ion-plated stainless steel case, Dark green Cordura strap

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Best Outdoorsman Watch

1. Suunto Traverse Alpha

When we make a list about the best outdoor watches, the Suunto Traverse Alpha will likely find itself on the list. Why not? It’s a very durable watch with rugged construction, and Suunto didn’t exactly skimp the features.

For the Tactical Outdoorsman

For any outdoorsman, a rugged and reliable timepiece is the most important. This is why the Suunto Traverse Alpha is our top pick for this list of the best outdoorsman watch. The Traverse Alpha is housed in a composite case with a fixed knurled steel bezel. Plus, the watch is protected by sapphire crystal lens, making it less susceptible to scratches. It comes with a water-resistant nylon wrist strap which is great even it starts raining outside.

However, the Traverse Alpha isn’t just a rugged smartwatch, what makes it a top pick are the features. The watch comes with GPS and GLONASS technology and it works beautifully based on my experience. You can also set built-in shortcuts for saving your current position as a point of interest or POI. To get the most out of the Traverse Alpha’s features, make sure to download the Movescount app.

Finally, the woodland design of the watch just screams tactical and I’m sure many outdoorsmen will appreciate that. Wrapping up, it’s certainly one of the best outdoor watches that you can get.

2. Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar

Choosing an outdoor watch from Casio is a daunting task. After all, Casio is the leading brand when it comes to tough watches. For the hardcore outdoors person, the Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar is our top recommendation.

Traditional But Never Outdated

The Pro Trek PRW2500T is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a traditional outdoorsman watch. It’s a digital timepiece with a traditional Casio design. The watch is aimed directly at the outdoor adventure types where it truly shines.

The dedicated compass, altimeter, and barometer are here and the buttons are large enough for easy operation, even if you’re wearing gloves. The screen is large enough to display two levels of data like the current time, visual compass, and numerical heading. The inclusion of tide data and 200m water resistance makes the Pro Trek PRW2500T a solid all-around unit.

Furthermore, this watch is a tough solar mode which means that the battery is solar-rechargeable. Therefore, you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice while outdoors. With a single full charge, you can get 5 months of use without charging with light. Now, that’s a real heavy-duty watch.

Wrapping up, I compare the Pro Trek line to the Jeep Wrangler. The watch retains its basic design over the years but its build quality and feature sets continue to improve.

3. Garmin Instinct

I’ve been debating if I’m going to list the Garmin Fenix or the Garmin Instinct for this list. Ultimately, I went with the Garmin Instinct because it’s a solid outdoor watch but it’s a lot less expensive compared to the Fenix.

Heavy-Duty Piece That Offers Great Value

The Garmin Instinct has a wide range of activity-tracking features but it truly shines with its navigation features. If you value navigation more than anything else, the Garmin Instinct supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Connecting to any of these satellites is quick and easy, even when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

The Instinct features low-resolution, non-color display which is hardly a big deal unless you’re looking to use TOPO maps. In addition, you can upload your routes to the watch which you can use as a reference while outdoors. Or perhaps, you can go old-school by using the Instinct’s built-in compass.

In terms of durability, the watch is constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G so it has excellent thermal, shock and water resistance. For sure, it’s durable enough to take a few knocks. Despite its durability, the Instinct feels light while on the wrist, thanks to its excellent materials and construction. It’s a heavy-duty watch but it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a brick.

Overall, the Instinct isn’t exactly a full-featured timepiece but it’s a very reliable GPS watch. Also, the price makes it a great buy for hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.

4. Timex T49612 Expedition Shock

Now, here’s our top budget pick. If you want a super durable timepiece that won’t break the bank, the Timex T49612 Expedition Shock is certainly worth checking out.

Designed for Outdoor Torture

When a watch is marketed as “Designed For Outdoor Torture Tests”, you have to take notice. Sounds like it’s an exaggeration but the T49612 Expedition Shock is indeed one tough customer. The durable resin case is putting in the work and the construction makes it seem like it’s built like a tank. Honestly, the T49612 Expedition Shock can give the G-Shocks a run for their money in terms of durability. The water-resistance rating of 200 meters is also a nice bonus.

Unfortunately, the watch is rather light on features, so this is not the piece for you if you’re looking for advanced features. It does come with a digital compass that works well. The watch can also be illuminated with the Indiglo light up system which works great in low-light conditions.

However, the best feature of this watch is actually the price. This is one of the best hiking watches under $100 due to its excellent durability. If I have to find a drawback, the strap will eventually give out especially with regular use.

5. Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark

I am a big fan of Luminox, especially of the 3050 series. The Luminox 3051.BO Navy Seal Colormark is endorsed by the Navy Seal, so it’s an easy recommendation from me.

Navy Seal Toughness

The rough and tough nature of the great outdoors doesn’t have a fighting chance against the 3051.BO Navy Seal. Its durability is attributed to the Polycarbonate carbon reinforced case, making it a true tough timepiece but still manages to be lightweight. The face is protected by the durable mineral crystal, providing it with the much-needed scratch resistance.

Despite its bulky and rugged exterior, the 3051.BO Navy Seal is a beautiful masculine watch. The BO designation refers to the blackout color of the watch and the black matte finish adds a tactical look to it. With the blackout colorway, it’s understandable if you think that legibility will be a concern. However, you don’t have to worry about legibility because this watch boasts top-notch luminosity. Whether in nighttime or underwater, you should have no problem reading the watch.

Overall, if this watch is good enough for the Navy Seals, it should be good enough even for the most hardcore outdoorsman.

6. Citizen BU2055-16E Military Quartz

Citizen is a Japanese brand that’s known for making high-quality and reliable watches. The Citizen BU2055-16E Military Quartz is no exception.

Timeless Tactical

The Citizen BU2055-16E Military Quartz watch is yet another tactical watch that many outdoor enthusiasts will love. For starters, the tactical look and canvas strap really make the look of this military-style timepiece. Just a word of warning, the watch is quite sizable at 43mm so it might look big on smaller wrists.

From the construction to the materials used, the BU2055-16E just feels high-quality and robust. The black ion-plated stainless steel case does a great job of adding durability to the piece. The dark green Cordura strap is another durability feature but since it’s canvas, it’s not ideal for wet conditions. However, you can easily swap out the default strap with either a 19mm or 20mm replacement strap.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that it’s an Eco-Drive model which means that it can be charged with solar power. It’s a great watch for those who are looking for something simple but tough.

Brave the Wild Outdoors With These Watches

This concludes our list of the best outdoorsman watch. I’m hoping that I’ve made it easier for you to choose your next outdoor timekeeping companion.

In case you are looking for some more advance tech in your outdoor adventures, you may want to have a look to the best outdoor smartwatches.

Tudor Ranger Vs Rolex Explorer [Head-to-Head Comparison]

Tudor Ranger Vs Rolex Explorer

Will you agree that a timepiece that looks and feels like a Rolex but doesn’t have the iconic branding, might as well still be a Rolex? If you answered yes, then you’ll likely appreciate what Tudor has to offer. With that said, you’re in for a treat with this Tudor Ranger VS Rolex Explorer comparison review.

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf has created Tudor to sell affordable watches that can house 3rd-party movements inside Rolex cases. Tudor used to be not available in the United States but nowadays, it offers a wealth of mid-priced watches for fans and collectors alike.

Today, we have a head-to-head comparison of the Tudor Ranger vs Rolex Explorer. I have decided to highlight both these watches because they’re very similar in looks and feel. If budget is not an issue, I’d say you should go for the Explorer but otherwise, Tudor watches are a solid option for an extensive outdoor wear piece.

Read more below for my actual review.

Tudor Ranger vs Rolex Explorer: At a Glance

For today’s head-to-head comparison, we’re taking a look at the Tudor Heritage Ranger M79910 vs. Rolex Explorer 214270. Check out the quick specs of both watches below:

Tudor Heritage Ranger

Rolex Explorer

Reference:

79910

214270

Materials:

Stainless Steel

Oystersteel (stainless steel)

Size:

41 mm

39 mm

Dial:

Matte black with painted indexes

Gloss black with white gold applied indexes

Luminescence:

Super-LumiNova

Chromalight

Bracelet:

Choice of steel bracelet, fabric strap, leather band, bund strap

Oyster bracelet with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link

Crystal:

Dome sapphire

Flat sapphire

Movement:

Automatic ETA-based Tudor Cal. 2824

Automatic in-house Rolex Cal. 3132

Power reserve:

38 hours

48 hours

Water resistance:

150 meters

100 meters

Style and Design

When it comes to style and design, it’s easy to say that the Ranger and Explorer are very similar at first glance. However, upon closer look, you’ll see that there are some key differences between both timepieces. For instance, the Tudor Ranger looks more modern and rugged while the Rolex Explorer’s design is executed with more elegance.

Firstly, the Tudor Heritage Ranger M79910 gives off the impression that it’s a reliable tool watch. The quality of the case is definitely present and the brushed finish is truly a standout. As mentioned, the watch exudes a modern and relevant feel which is made more apparent with the ability to choose many different strap and bracelet choices. For me, the best bracelet to use is the nato strap and really completes the overall look of this rugged outdoor watch. As for the dial, it certainly fits the tool watch motif of the watch. Looking at both watches, there’s some hint of the Explorer heritage here but the influence is not that significant. Additionally, the dial is extremely clean and uncluttered but I won’t call the watch elegant.

On the other hand, we have the Rolex Explorer 214270 which comes with a timeless design. It’s the design that’s been honed over the years – classic and timeless but it has been updated for modern taste. The Explorer’s dial is very recognizable, thanks to its oversized Arabic hour numerals, the 3, 6, and 9. One of the most interesting or perhaps polarizing design choices is the matte dial. Under a light source, the dial becomes dark grey and gives the iconic logo a bit more character.

In terms of design, it all comes down if you prefer something more rugged or with timeless elegance. Both are good looking timepieces, that’s for sure.

Sizing

For sizing, the Ranger comes in a 41mm case size while the Explorer in a 39mm case. At first, it may seem like the 2mm difference isn’t that of a big deal on paper but it does make a big difference when on the wrist. This is mainly due to the case style.

The modern Rolex Explorer is the reference 214270 which brought about a bigger case size. Until 2010, the Rolex Explorer came in 36mm cases which I think is too small to begin with. Fortunately, Rolex did a good job of updating the Explorer with the leap to the larger 39mm Oystercase. This brought the Explorer to a broader market by appealing to the tastes of modern watch collectors. Rolex could have updated it to 41mm but it seems that they decided to keep the size in check. While 39mm is comparatively undersized in today’s standards, I think the size is just right for the Explorer.

On the other hand, the Tudor Ranger features a 41mm case which is larger than Explorer. Initially, I thought that the case size might be a little big but it’s a better fit than expected. At this size, the Ranger should have no problem fitting a broad range of wrist sizes. In my personal experience, the Ranger case afforded a comfortable fit especially with the right choice of strap or bracelet. Plus, it looks just write while sitting on my wrist, despite the larger size.

Construction

Both watches feature excellent construction and fit, so it’s hard to go wrong with either watch if you’re on the lookout for these categories.

Starting with the Ranger, the case is simple, brushed steel. I’m not the biggest fan of brushed finish but I think the style is growing on me. The satin brushed finish is great for a tool watch like the ranger. The bezel is fixed stainless steel, so there’s nothing too special in that regard. The lugs are drilled and relatively simple as well, with a lug-to-lug width of 48mm. The drilled lugs should come in handy when replacing the strap. The domed sapphire crystal does its job of protecting the watch. As a tough watch, it has a water resistance of 150 meters which is very respectable.

On the other hand, the Rolex Explorer comes with a fully brushed case and bracelet. However, some areas aren’t brushed like the case walls and bezel ring. I kind of like this construction decision because this gives the Explorer some versatility. Meaning, it can work as a full-fledged field watch or a formal-wear timepiece. That’s the Rolex attention to detail for you.

Wearability

Comfort and wearability for both watches are on the high marks as well.

As far as fit and comfort go, the Tudor Ranger is a joy to wear. The watch wears close to the wrist because of the trim height. However, the main highlight of the Ranger is the fact that the strap/bracelet can be swapped. Aside from the stainless steel bracelet, the Tudor Ranger can be used with a leather strap or Nato strap. In this case, my favorite is the Nato strap because it perfectly complements the watch’s rugged nature.

As you might expect, the Explorer just wears excellent on the wrist. At 39mm, the Explorer is the kind of watch that just disappears on your wrist when you’re not looking. The Oystersteel bracelet is comfortable and feeling fresh as ever. The clasp is the patented Oysterlock with a 5mm extension link which means that achieving that great fit shouldn’t be a problem. The Rolex Explorer is obviously a daily wearer but you should be able to get away wearing it with a suit and tie outfit.

Timekeeping

For me, timekeeping comes down to the movement that beats with each of the timepiece. In this case, the clear winner is the Rolex Explorer with its in-house movement versus the Tudor Ranger’s ETA movement.

Rolex 3132 Movement

First, inside the Rolex Explorer 214270 beats the Rolex-built caliber 3132, boasting a COSC-chronometer certification along with other latest timekeeping technology such as Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. The 3132 movement is built like a tank and features an accuracy of +/- 2 seconds of deviation per day. The caseback is solid, so you can’t view the movement which is a bit of a shame since the 3132 is a solid, tried and true movement.

On the flip side, the Tudor Heritage Ranger M79910 is powered by the modified 2824 movement. It’s Tudor’s spin on the ubiquitous ETA 2824 and I think they did a great job of adding some oomph to it. It’s not an in-house movement but it’s still a very solid timekeeping component. Obviously, using an ETA-based movement is important for keeping the cost down. But there’s nothing to worry about because the 2824 movement is a reliable work horse.

Pricing

Perhaps the most significant difference in this Tudor Ranger vs Rolex Explorer showdown is the price. For most of our readers, this is the main point of contention between these two watches.

The retail price for the Rolex Explorer 214270 is around $6K while the Tudor Heritage Ranger M79910 is available between $2K – $3K. As you can see, the Explorer is twice as expensive as the Ranger which is hardly a surprise. Tudor has always been the less expensive option for people who want a luxury Swiss watch.

Conversely, the Ranger presents a more subdued aesthetic while the Explorer offers more flash. Relative to the price, the Range is a lot of watch for the money. It’s a luxury watch without paying the luxury tax. On the other hand, the Explorer counts as a pinnacle of watchmaking but be prepared to pay more.

Tudor Ranger vs Rolex Explorer: The Verdict

Which timepiece should you go for?

Personally, if budget is not an issue, there’s very little reason to go for the Tudor Ranger. The Rolex Explorer delivers on all fronts including style, reliability, features, and value. Resale value is also high with the Explorer.

On the other hand, the Tudor Ranger presents an attractive and less expensive option for collectors. It might be the less expensive model between the two but the quality, style, and durability are all present. It’s a great watch for day to day wear.

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

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review

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

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

Lucky for you, we’re here to help.

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

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: At a Glance

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review

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

Model:

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1

Case Diameter:

53 mm

53 mm

Case Thickness:

17 mm

19 mm

Weight:

93 grams

68.5 grams

Barometer and Altimeter:

Yes

Yes

Thermometer:

Yes

Yes

Digital Compass:

Yes

Yes

Solar Power:

Yes

Yes

Atomic Time:

Yes

No

Water Resistance Rating:

200 meters

200 meters

Band Material:

Resin

Resin

Band Width:

22 mm

18.2 mm

Dual Time:

Yes

Yes

Moon Phase:

No

Yes

Sunrise/Sunset Times:

Yes

No

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: Comparison Review

Design

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

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

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

Casio G-Shock Rangeman Display
The Rangeman display

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

Casio G-Shock Mudman Display
The Mudman display

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

Case and Bezel

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

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

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

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

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

Sensors

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

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

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

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

Durability and Water Resistance

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

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

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

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

Timekeeping Features

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

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

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

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

Pricing

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

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

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

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

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman: The Verdict

G Shock Mudman vs Rangeman Review_1

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

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

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

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

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

Best Survival Watch: Timepieces for Dire Situations

Best Survival Watch Traverse Alpha

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

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

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

Best Survival Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Suunto Traverse Alpha

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Timex Expedition Classic

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Garmin Instinct

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

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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

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

★ ★ ★ ★

Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor

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

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Survival Watch

1. Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman

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

Survival of the Toughest

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

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

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

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

2. Suunto Traverse Alpha

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

Feature-Packed Survival Tool

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

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

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

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

3. Timex Expedition Classic

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

The Budget-Friendly Survival Watch

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

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

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

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

4. Garmin Instinct

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

From Outdoor Adventures to Survival Scenarios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unparalleled Toughness and Reliability

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

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

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

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

6. Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor

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

Built to Last

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

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

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

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

Be Prepared for the Worst

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

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

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Matchup

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

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

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

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: At a Glance

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Review

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

Seiko SolarCitizen Eco Drive
MovementSolar, Quartz, AutomaticSolar, Quartz, Automatic
DisplayAnalogAnalog
Water-ResistanceYes, 330 feetYes, 660 feet
Power ReserveAbout 10 yearsSecond battery lasts up to 20 years
GPS WatchYesYes
Chronograph (and Tachymeter) watchYesYes
Atomic TimekeepingYesYes

Seiko vs Citizen: Brand Comparison

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

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

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

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

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

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Solar Technology

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Style and Design

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology_1

This one is a bit trickier to compare.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Seiko Solar Watches

1. Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch

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

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

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

2. Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch

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

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

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

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

3. Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series

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

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

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

Best Citizen Eco-Drive Watches

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

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

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

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

2. Citizen BM8180-03E

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

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

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

3. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

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

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

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

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Final Thoughts

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

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

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

Best 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.

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 CharlieGarmin Fenix 5x Plus
Lens Material:Domed Sapphire CrystalDomed Chemically Strengthened Glass or Sapphire Crystal
Bezel Material:Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) Coated TitaniumStainless Steel or Titanium
Case Material:Fiber-Reinforced Polymer With Titanium Rear CoverFiber-Reinforced Polymer with Metal Rear Cover
Strap Material:SiliconeSilicone, Leather or Titanium
Physical Size:51 x 51 x 17.5 mm47 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) diameter1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Display Resolution:240 x 240 pixels240 x 240 pixels
Display Type:Sunlight-Visible, Transflective Memory-in-Pixel (MIP)Sunlight-Visible, Transflective MEMORY-In-Pixel (MIP)
Weight:90 g86 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 ATM10 ATM
Memory:16 GB16 GB
Connectivity:Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Smartphone Compatibility:Android, iPhoneAndroid, 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 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 Microbrand Watches: Fantastic Timepieces from Smaller Brands

These days, you’ll see a lot of smaller brands or “microbrands” put out by people who are passionate about the art of watchmaking.

These brands are not run by massive companies but instead by a single individual or a small team. If you want to learn more about microbrands, it’s highly recommended to check out our previous writeup about the best microbrand dive watches.

For today’s post, we take a look at the best microbrand watches that you can find in the market today.

Best Microbrand Watches

Key Features

Our Rating

Halios Seaforth41mm steel-cased watch, 200m water resistance, Domed sapphire crystal, C3 SuperLuminova, GMT bezel, Miyota 90S5 movement, Beveled lugs★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Aevig CorvidBauhaus influence, Bold mono spaced numbers, Swiss STP 1-11 movement, Water resistance up to 200 meters, Swiss Luminova, Pullup oiled leather strap★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Pantor SeahorseMiyota 9015 Japanese automatic movement, 316L stainless steel with brushed finish, Sapphire crystal, Swiss C3 SuperLumiNova, 24mm with 15pcs links separately and 6 step micro adjustment, 40 hours power reserve★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Farer Cobb316L high grade stainless steel, Brushed bezel with polished edge, Matte night-sky blue dial, Super-LumiNova infill, Solid bronze straight crown, Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal, 10ATM water resistance★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Marchand LegacyHigh quality Japan Miyota 9015 movement, Carbon fiber dial, High grade stainless steel, 42mm diameter, 10 ATM (100M) water resistant★ ★ ★ ★
Oak & Oscar Humboldt40mm diameter, Stainless steel, Super-LumiNova BGW9 lume, Multiple bracelet options, Double-domed sapphire crystal with AR coating, Comes with a waxed canvas travel wallet★ ★ ★ ★

Best Microbrand Watches

1. Halios Seaforth

Best Microbrand Watches Halios Seaforth

Halios is a brand that I have recently discovered and I must say that I am very impressed. This microbrand is known for its dive watches and its most famous offering is the Halios Seaforth.

Big Value Dive Watch

Halios and its flagship Seaforth diver watch have risen to fame on the internet. The brand is basically a one-man operation of Jason Lim out of Vancouver, Canada. It’s a passion project that attracted a lot of attention from the watch community.

It’s a good thing that Lim had an impeccable taste.

The Seaforth is a 41mm steel-cased watch that offers 200m of water resistance and protected with a domed sapphire crystal. If you are a fan of svelte minimal aesthetic, the Halios Seaforth warrants a well-deserved look from you.

Most of the heavy lifting is done by the dial and bezel. The combination of the brushed finish and expanding polished bevel on the lug adds up to an elegant but somehow still casual timepiece. The dial is a bit on the low-key side but that depends on your choice of dial.

The baton indices and matching hands are fitted with C3 SuperLuminova and are outlined in bold black. The dial really does have an undeniable charm that just puts a smile on my face.

The Halios Seaforth is an excellent dive watch that’s under $1,000. It’s a big value proposition that dive watch fans can’t afford to miss.

2. Aevig Corvid

Best Microbrand Watches Aevig Corvid

Aevig Corvid is another brand that recently came to my attention. If you are looking for a rugged field watch that offers no fuss, the Aevig Corvid comes highly recommended.

A Field Watch for Urban Warriors

Aevig has plenty of eye-catching timepieces in their stable but it’s the Aevig Corvid that really drawn my attention. Aevig describes the Corvid as a “no nonsense easy to read field watch” and I can only nod in agreement.

The Corvid is housed in a 40mm case which can be quite small by current standards. However, the watch has plenty of heft and its combined dimensions give the watch a substantial feel. The case is made from 316L stainless steel and it gets the job done of providing a solid feel to the watch.

I was not expecting much from the caseback but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a basic caseback but it has a block design which adds a great deal of character to the piece.

Of course, you can’t talk about this watch without mentioning the face. The dial reminds me of a vintage instrument panel found in early fighter planes. The dial features a metallic champagne color which adds more to the vintage look.

Moreover, the indices are all straight lines and topped with yellow orange circles for the hour hands. The dial looks clean and legible, and reminds me the best pilot watches out there. However, I was really thrown off with how the numbers are oriented.

Overall, the Aevig Corvid is elegant, simple, and offers good functionality.

3. Pantor Seahorse

Pantor is perhaps the oldest microbrand in this list. However, their track record continues to impress. The Pantor Seahorse is one of the best microband watches for the savvy diver.

A Dive Watch That Won’t Break the Bank

The Seahorse was released back in 2013 by the Hong Kong-based Pantor brand.

Just by looking at it, it’s quite clear that the Seahorse looks are inspired by the legendary Rolex Submariner. The watch’s face is in matte and is populated with circular and shield-shaped hour markers. The dial stands out for its simplicity and legibility. The overall design looks like it’s the illegitimate child of the Seiko Turtle.

The case is made from 316L surgical grade stainless steel with a brushed finish. One of the best design elements of the Seahorse is the recessed crown. This reminds me of the Girard-Perregaux Seahawk but with a less exaggerated approach.

Pro divers who are looking for an affordable dive watch that simply works will have a lot to like about the Seahorse. It is waterproof up to 1,000 meters and it even has extras like the automatic helium valve at 9H. The dial markers are lumed and they are sufficiently illuminated even when you are underwater.

The watch is powered by the reliable Miyota 9015 automatic movement which also helps in keeping the cost down. It’s hard to go wrong with a dive watch that offers great value and functionality.

4. Farer Cobb

Best Microbrand Watches Farer Cobb

Farer is a British microbrand company that offers Swiss-made timepieces. Even the most jaded watch snob has found it difficult to ignore what Farer has to offer. When it comes to the Farer lineup, the Farer Cobb mechanical watch is one of the standouts.

Microbrand Watch Luxury

Without a doubt, the Farer Cobb caught my eye because of its colorful aesthetic. When it comes to luxury watches, a healthy dose of colors would be viewed as experimental or avant-garde. It’s really not the case with Farer – a brand that doesn’t shy away from colors.

The Cobb is a watch with a striking blue dial. The shade is somewhat of a midnight blue which simply looks elegant. Then, your eyes move on to the subdials which are now aqua. Afterward, you notice the other colors like the yellow, red, and burnt orange.

Initially, this sounds like a mess on paper but Farer managed to nail all the design elements and colors without looking too garish. The execution is simply on-point.

The Cobb is a mechanical timepiece which happens to be a big step for the brand. The watch is powered with the ETA caliber 2894-2 movement which is more than a competent addition.

Lately, Farer has been knocking it out of the park with their offerings and the Cobb might just be my absolute favorite.

5. Marchand Legacy

Previously, microbrands mostly turned to crowdfunding platforms in order to have the money to get their passion project going. Most microbrands were funded via Kickstarter and that applies to the Marchand Watch Company. The Marchand Legacy is one of the many babies of crowdfunding.

Designed by Racers for Racers

Just by looking at the Marchand Legacy, you’ll know that it’s a racing-inspired watch. As if the iconic racing checkered flag on its face is not the biggest tell.

For starters, the case is made from high-grade stainless steel and the bezel is knurled but can’t be adjusted. It comes with a screw-down crown which is quite a surprise. The Legacy has a waterproof rating of 10ATM – not exactly a dive watch but it should be fine against the occasional splash.

The watch is powered by the Miyota 9015 movement which provides reliable timekeeping. In addition, the strap is also very high-quality and reminds me of a svelte leather racing car seat.

Last but not the least, the dial is obviously the star here and it’s interesting to note that it’s constructed with layers. The skeletonized minute hand is one of the most unique design elements of the Legacy. Of course, you can see that the center of the dial features a checkered flag in various colors.

To put it simply, the Marchand Legacy will have your hearts racing.

6. Oak & Oscar Humboldt

Best Microbrand Watches Oak & Oscar Humboldt

During the explosion of the microbrands, Chicago-based Oak & Oscar is one of the companies that made the watch folks stop and notice. The Oak & Oscar Humboldt is perhaps the best timepiece from the company and is worth including in this list of the best microbrand watches.

A Daily-Driver With a Story to Tell

Firstly, the Oak & Oscar Humboldt is a 40mm millimeter piece which means that it has medium thickness. I prefer to go with 42mm but for some reason, the Humboldt felt just right on the wrist.

The watch has a 20ATM water resistance rating which is a nice touch considering that it’s not even a dive watch. The rotating bezel is bi-directional and comes in handy for tracking an additional timezone. The dial is protected by a double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

The dial is actually a two-layer sandwich design which is an Oak & Oscar thing. Whether you get the watch in a blue or grey dial, you’ll end up with great-looking watch that you can wear almost everywhere. Night time use becomes possible with the Super-LumiNova BGW9 illumination. Also, the date window is located at the 6H which is another signature design element by the company.

Overall, the Humboldt is a distinct yet familiar effort from Oak & Oscar.

Microbrands Are Here to Stay

Thus, we’ve come to the end of our roundup of the best microbrand watches in the market.

Ultimately, the rise of microbrands excites many watch lovers.

As you can see, even independent companies can put out timepieces that are mind-blowingly good. Now, we’re not stuck with popular brands for our watch-collecting needs. After all, having more options is always a good thing.

Best Glow in the Dark Watches: Luminous Watches That Never Go Dark

Best glow in the dark watches

After carrying out thorough research and testing many luminous timepieces in low light condition, we concluded that the Luminox Men’s 3001 is the best glow in dark watches. This watch offers a high level of brightness than most watches on the market. You can even read the markings as far as 10ft in poor light. It’s also highly durable and comes with great features.

 

Glow watches are some of the ideal accessories to have around. These timepieces offer a feature that is not on most regular watches. It allows you to read the dials at night, in poorly lit rooms or during a dive in the darkest depths of the sea.

However, luminous watches come in different forms. Some have dials with lume paint. Others include LED technology and embedded gas capsules that glow in the dark. Overall, all timepieces perform the same function with different features.

As expected, some luminous watches perform better and even glow brighter than others. Some also have stronger builds, offer better water resistance than other luminous timepieces.

With this being said, choosing the best glow in the dark watches might be pretty hard since there are many options from various brands. But in this article, we will reveal to you some of the best glow in the dark watches on the market.

Best Glow in the Dark Watches

Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision Watch

 

Over the years, innovation on timepiece technology have continued to spring up, and Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision watch is no exception. Thanks to its night vision features, you can read the watch with ease during the day and in the dark. If you’re looking for a durable timepiece that looks elegant to complement your wears, this is one of the best bet.

Elegant Timepiece with Comprehensive Lighting Features

Unlike most glow watches, this watch uses a LED lighting system to illuminate itself at night. All you need do is to push a button on the watch case to activate Victorinox night vision secret power. Two quick pushes activate the extended white light mode at the 12 o’clock position. Pressing down the button 3 times quickly make the LED light to strobe for 150 pulses per minutes, you can deactivate this pulse and extended light by pressing down the button once.

The Victorinox Swiss watch has a black dial accented with a white Arabic numeral marker and luminescent hands. A date window replaces the 6 o’clock marker while it has a well highlighted Victorinox Swiss Army Logo at the 12 O’clock position. The watch face is surrounded by Black PVD bezel, and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the watch face.

This Night Vision watch has a perfect size 42mm stainless steel case with a durable leather strap. Top of it all, it features a Red light locator at the 6 o’clock position. This LED locator blinks once every 10 seconds and Flashes 3 times (in every 10 seconds) when the battery is low.

Opinion and drawbacks

Why this watch is a great choice is that you’re not just getting one of the best glows in dark watches but an elegant timepiece. Also, you don’t have to take it off for short periods of recreational swimming. However, be ready to change the battery every 4-6 months on regular use.

Overall, this is a beautiful looking watch for casual wear, although you might find it quite heavy on the wrist.

 

Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch

 

The Luminox Men’s 3001  is a reliable option for those looking for the best glow in the dark watches and outdoor timepiece. This Navy seal dive watch boast of a unique illumination system that you can expect from any glow timepieces. It offers the latest timepiece technology, which is why it is on high demand by most US armed forces.

Bright Illumination System

The main attraction of this timepiece is its ruggedness and sturdy construction. If you’re heading for a night job anywhere near water bodies, the Luminox 3001 watch will help you plan your day. It has a dial marker and hands that glow with extreme brightness in the dark. This illumination comes as no surprise as it features a self-powered micro gas light embedded in the watch face.

This navy seal dive watch is water resistant up to 200 meters which makes it one of the best dive watches on the market. For extra durability, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal also protects its watch face while it has a caseback screw crown that prevents water from getting into the watch.

With its black 43 mm stainless steel case, this watch is comfortable enough on small and large size wrist. The Luminox Men’s 3001 feature a black dial with a white large hour hand (and second hand). The dial face is highlighted with white Arabic numeral markers with a date window at 3 o’clock.

Unlike other glow watches on our list, the Men’s 3001 feature a unidirectional rotating bezel inscribed with 5-minutes Arabic numerals. Surely, most scuba divers will find the bezel useful since it helps to account for elapsed time. The big plus is that it features a Swiss quartz movement to provide you with accurate time anytime and any day.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This watch comes with everything you’re looking for in a glow watches. Also, since it is water resistant to a great depth and can handle knock and falls, it is a suitable timepiece for military and construction workers.

However, the strap on this watch is not very durable. The pins that hold the strap usually come off within a short period. Also, the movement on this watch malfunctions more often.

Overall, you will find this watch very useful since you don’t need to press a button for it to illuminate. What’s more, it doesn’t need solar energy or lithium-ion battery to keep it running.

Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW-6000Y-1ACR Watch

 

Casio’s Pro Trek PRW 6000Y comes with solar-powered features, and it also offers you accurate timekeeping. With this being said, this sports watch serves as an ideal timepiece for outdoor use at any location.

Accurate Timepiece with LED Display

Like most attractive timepieces, the PRW-6000Y has a slim profile with lightweight features. With this in mind, you can wear the watch for a long period without feeling any pressure on your wrist.

The item offers an analog dial, but it also has a smaller dial for special features such as a thermometer, barometer, compass, and an altimeter. The dial also houses a digital display. Furthermore, the Casio provides LED lighting for the face and digital display for easy reading in poorly lit environments.

Since it boasts of a resin band and sapphire dial window, the watch can withstand years of regular use. Its sturdy resin band ensures the timepiece does not fall off your wrist during any physical activity. It also offers water resistant to a maximum depth of 100m, which makes it suitable for a short swim.

There is no need for battery replacements since the watch is solar powered. You can also use the watch for extended periods without exposure to light. If you want to conserve its battery, you can activate “the power saver” mode.

Opinions and Drawback

This timepiece performs impressively, and it serves as an ideal item for everyday use. It also has a sturdy build while making your wrist comfortable at the same time. You also use it in the dark without straining your eyes.

But it might be hard to operate without using its manual while its compass does not give accurate readings.

Marathon Military Navigator Pilot Watch

 

If you are looking for the best glow in the dark watch, it wouldn’t be out of place if you consider a robust military watch. This watch comes with features that enable easy reading under poor lighting.

Budget-friendly Luminous Watch

The Marathon Military Navigator Pilot is a portable watch designed with strict military standards. It can serve as an ideal accessory to wear for any occasion because it is light in weight and feels comfortable enough on the wrist. The analog dial on this watch consists of a simple background with markers and a date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock position.

One of the attractive features of this product is its self-contained gas tubes which are placed on each of the marker and hands. These tubes promise full blown brightness for 25 years. As a result, it’s possible to view its watching face anytime and any day for as long as you use.

Durability is taken seriously on the Military Navigator Pilot watch as a strong fiber shell case houses its internal parts. Furthermore, a hardened acrylic crystal covers its dial while a waterproof nylon strap graces the lugs of the timepiece. Overall, all features mentioned on this watch can withstand a depth of 60m under water.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Since the Military Navigator Pilot is portable and light in weight, you will feel comfortable wearing this watch throughout the day. It even combines toughness with ever glowing gas filled markers in a simple package. Overall, the watch serves as a worthy investment.

Like all items on our review, this timepiece has some downsides which might make you consider other options. First, its case is not as durable as the type we would expect from a military watch. Also, the bezel cannot withstand regular falls, thereby falling off after some time.

 

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Navihawk Watch

 

With its atomic technology and luminous markers, the Citizen Navihawk watch offers you easy reading under any condition. It also provides better features that can rival top-tier timepieces that glow in the dark.

Bold Watch with Bright Markers

Citizen Navihawk is a regular sized luminous watch. It comes with a 43mm stainless steel case back. Surprisingly, its bulky look will go well with any outfit in your closet.

The dial has a dark background covered with orange accents, multifunction chronographs and digital displays which complements its rugged look. It also offers a digital backlight display coupled with luminous markers on the watch face. This means you can read any details on the watch without having to worry about poor lighting.

Anti-reflective mineral glass covers the large dial, allowing you to read the watch from all angles easily. A stainless steel bezel surrounds the watch window, thereby offering added security. What’s more, it has a comfortable polyurethane band with a fold-over-buckle which holds the watch firmly on your wrist.

If you have plans to go for a swim in the ocean, there is no need to take off the watch. After all, it promises water resistance at 200m. However, it should not be used during scuba diving.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Citizen Navihawk watch has specs that would interest those looking for an excellent luminous watch. It features luminescent hands and a backlit display which ensures readability in low lighting. Luckily, it uses solar power to enable these functions.

But this fantastic timepiece has some minor issues. First, the band is too large, especially if you have a smaller wrist while the watch could be hard to set.

TAG Heuer Men’s WAZ1110.BA0875  Watch

 

In this review article, we plan on listing only 5 watches, but we can’t just end it without the TAG Heuer Men’s WAZ1110.BA0875 watch. This luxury watch comes with great features that can rival many expensive luminous and dive watches above $1000. If you’re looking for a timepiece suitable for professional marine activities, it’s best you invest your money into this timepiece. You won’t regret it, sincerely.

Luxury and Durability at Its Peak

This watch has a 41mm stainless steel case and link bracelet with fold-over-clasp to secure the watch to your wrist. It is water resistant up to a depth of 200 meters, which makes it great for professional marine activity. This analog display watch uses a Quartz movement to provide you with accurate time anytime.

This TAG Heuer Men’s watch looks elegant at first glance, and it has a black dial surrounded by a uni-directional ion-plated bezel. You can also use the uni-directional bezel to account for the elapsed time during a dive underwater. Furthermore, the dial has a luminous hand and hour markers that allow you to read the watch in the dark.

There is a calendar window at the 3 o’clock position to keep you iinformed on the current date. Furthermore, a synthetic sapphire glass covers the dial window to protect it from fall and knocks. One exciting part is that for every purchase, you get a decent 2-year warranty.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This luxury watch offers fantastic features to allow you to see the timepiece at night. It is also extremely durable to withstand tough condition.

One thing you might not find comfortable is that the watch face is pretty small, making it look a bit silly on large arms. Also, it comes as the most expensive timepiece on this list.

Final Thought and Recommendation on the Best Glow in Dark Watches

For a roundup,  if you’re looking for the best glow in the dark watches, it is not a good idea to go for only the luminescent in the watch. You should also consider the durability, water resistance, and the way it fits on your wrist.

However, if you’re on a low budget, the Marathon Military Navigator Pilot would be an excellent choice. But if you spend most of your time engaged in outdoor activities, theCasio Men’s ProTek will serve you better. For those that don’t want to spend extra cash on batteries, it’s best to go for Citizen Navihawk Watch.

Finally, for lovers of luxury and expensive timepieces, the TAG Heuer Men’s will be the best option for you.