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
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
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Constructed to U. S. Military standard, Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, Smart notifications, TrackBack feature, Smart notifications, Activity tracking
★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Shock Resistant to I.S.O. Standards, Digital Compass, Durable Resin Case, Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial, Water resistant to 200m
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Swiss quartz movement, Durable mineral crystal, Pc carbon reinforced case, Water resistant to 660 feet (200 M), Case diameter: 45 mm
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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.
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.