Best Overall: Suunto Core Classic Outdoor Watch
Best Splurge: Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar
Best Budget: Casio Men’s Pro Trek
Best Garmin hiking GPS watch: Garmin Instinct Tactical Rugged GPS Watch
Best GPS mapping watch for hiking: COROS PACE 2 Sport Watch
Tired of relying on your smartphone and a stable internet connection for your hiking navigation? Well, what you need is the best hiking GPS watch on your wrist.
But what defines the best? We’ve considered all the necessary criteria from connectivity, accuracy to value for money and come up with the 5 best for different needs. Whether you’re a casual hiker, seasoned mountaineer, or embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, we’ve got you covered!
Take it from us, even the most well-planned hikes can encounter unexpected challenges. That’s where a dependable GPS watch becomes a game-changer. So let’s dive into it and get into the nitty gritty of buying a gps watch.
How do we choose the best hiking GPS watch?
Before unveiling the best GPS watches for hiking, let’s first look at the important factors to consider while choosing your ideal option:
- GPS Tracking Accuracy: Look for a watch with reliable GPS accuracy, as this is crucial for accurate navigation and tracking of your hiking routes.
- Navigation Features: Consider the navigation features offered by the GPS watch. Look for features like waypoints, route tracking, breadcrumb trails, and the ability to download maps. These features will help you navigate through unfamiliar trails with ease.
- Battery Life: Hiking trips can last for hours or even days, so it’s important to choose a GPS watch with long battery life. Look for watches that offer extended battery life in GPS mode to ensure they can keep up with your outdoor adventures.
- Durability and Water Resistance: Hiking involves exposure to various weather conditions and rough terrains. Ensure that the GPS watch is built to withstand the elements and is water-resistant, so it can withstand rain, splashes, and even accidental immersion.
- Design and Comfort: Consider the design and comfort of the GPS watch. It should have a comfortable strap that stays securely on your wrist during active movements. The display should be easy to read, even in bright sunlight, and the overall design should suit your personal preferences.
- Fitness Tracking Features: Many GPS watches offer additional fitness tracking features like heart rate monitoring, step counting, and altitude tracking. Consider whether these features are important to you and choose a watch that provides the desired functionality.
- Connectivity and Compatibility: Check if the GPS watch offers connectivity options such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing you to sync data with your smartphone or other devices. Additionally, ensure that the watch is compatible with the operating system of your smartphone for seamless integration.
- Price and Value for Money: Finally, consider the price of the GPS watch and evaluate its value for money. Compare the features, durability, and overall performance with the price to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
By considering these factors and comparing different models, you can select the best hiking GPS watch that suits your specific needs and enhances your outdoor adventures.
Now that you know what the best GPS watch can do and how to select the right one, let’s look at five of the best GPS watches of 2023.
Best GPS Mapping Watch for Hiking
Why we love it
The COROS PACE 2 Sport Watch is nothing short of a game-changer for the tech-savvy, fitness-oriented hikers among us. The first thing you’ll notice about this remarkable gadget is its featherlight design. Tipping the scales at just under 30 grams with its nylon band, the watch feels almost like wearing nothing at all! This is particularly ideal for those looking to avoid the uncomfortable, bulky sensation other GPS watches may give.
However, do not let the COROS PACE 2’s lightweight design deceive you. Inside this sleek timepiece lies a powerhouse of unbeatable battery life. Imagine having 30 hours of continuous GPS tracking, barometer, and heart rate monitoring as you hike, all without any worry about battery drainage. Additionally, you can enjoy 20 days of regular use that includes sleep tracking, weekly training sessions, and recovery tracking. Now, that’s impressive!
Moreover, navigating the COROS PACE 2 is also incredibly user-friendly. The interface is designed around a simple 2-button layout combined with an innovative Digital Dial. This allows you to quickly switch between features while on the move, minimizing distractions and making it easier for you to concentrate on your workout or hike.
Plus, this GPS watch more than delivers when it comes to elite training solutions. The device is trusted by professionals and translates your essential fitness data into actionable insights. You’ll have access to training load trends, recovery timers, workout builders, and more; everything you need to keep growing and surpassing your goals.
What you should know
Imagine setting off on a hiking adventure with nothing but your trusty COROS PACE 2 Sport Watch to guide you. With its exceptional GPS mapping capabilities, this cutting-edge watch offers effortless navigation tailored to the needs of performance-focused hikers.
Picture yourself exploring uncharted territories, never losing your way, whether it’s locating your car or venturing into new cities – the intuitive navigation tools make it possible with ease. But COROS PACE 2 doesn’t stop at keeping you on track; it also caters to your diverse fitness needs.
Multisport mode allows for a seamless transition between various activities, including running, biking, swimming, and more. The watch delivers accurate metrics specific to the chosen sport, ensuring optimal results and enhanced performance for every step of your journey.
But what happens when the day’s adventures come to an end? The indispensable sleep monitor feature is there to assist you. Tracking your sleeping patterns and providing insights, the enhanced sleep monitor helps optimize your recovery for peak performance the following day.
All in all, the COROS PACE 2 excels at every point; its virtually non-existent weight, extraordinary battery life, and high-quality GPS features make it the ultimate choice for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The world of hiking watches would never be the same after having the COROS PACE 2 on your wrist. With this rugged, feature-packed companion, achieving peak performance in your outdoor adventures will no longer be a distant dream.
Best Garmin Hiking GPS Watch
Why we love it
Embarking on an outdoor adventure is exhilarating and thrilling, but it demands precision and accuracy to keep you on track. With the Garmin Instinct Tactical Rugged GPS Watch, you’ll be equipped with a top trailblazer to ensure you never lose your way.
The first thing you can’t help but notice about Garmin Instinct is the impressive military-grade durability of this phenomenal watch. Meeting U.S. Military standard 810G, it is built to withstand thermal, shock, and water damage with a rating of up to 100 meters, granting you the robust ally you need on your hiking expeditions.
Another striking advantage of the Garmin Instinct Tactical Rugged GPS Watch is its advanced navigation capabilities. With a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and support for GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite systems, you can confidently traverse even the most challenging terrains without losing your way.
Of course, monitoring your health is crucial in any adventure. This GPS watch offers advanced health monitoring features, including an estimated heart rate monitor, activity tracker, and stress level measurement. By keeping an eye on these parameters, you can optimize your performance and well-being during your treks.
Furthermore, versatile connectivity is yet another valuable aspect of this remarkable GPS watch for hiking. By connecting it to your compatible smartphone via its Bluetooth technology, you can receive smart notifications and ensure you’re always in touch. Additionally, syncing your data with the Garmin Connect online fitness community allows for seamless management of your progress.
What you should know
Garmin Instinct Tactical Rugged GPS Watch is preloaded with activity profiles. Designed to cater to a myriad of training styles, this truly elevates your workout experience with customization options aplenty.
Moreover, the TracBack feature, providing a seamless and trouble-free way to retrace your steps back to the starting point, ensures that even the most daring among us can tackle uncharted territories confidently.
And, when it comes to planning your outdoor escapades, the Garmin Explore integration has been a game changer. With the ability to create and manage routes via the Garmin Explore website and the Garmin Connect mobile app, stress-free journeys are now a guarantee.
Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a lasting battery life? This Garmin watch outperforms expectations with up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, an exceptional 16 hours in GPS mode, and a jaw-dropping 40 hours in the UltraTrac battery-saver watch mode.
With 16MB of storage capacity, all your essential data can be saved without any worry. This is truly a hiker’s dream come true.
At the heart of it all, the Garmin Instinct’s compact display is a marvel. Packing a wealth of information into a clear 1.27-inch screen, you’ll be able to access the vital details you need in a pinch.
In summary, the Garmin Instinct Tactical Rugged GPS Watch is undoubtedly a top-tier companion. Its rugged durability, advanced navigation, essential health monitoring, versatile connectivity features, and exceptional battery life combine to create a truly impressive hiking watch. With this watch on your wrist, you’ll be ready to conquer any trail and tackle any adventure. Give yourself the edge in your outdoor pursuits by investing in the best GPS watch on the market.
Why we love it
The Casio Men’s Pro Trek is an absolute game-changer for budget-conscious hikers and casual adventurers alike. Radiating an appealing and engaging vibe, this top-tier GPS hiking watch is tailor-made for individuals who crave a reliable companion during their outdoor escapades without breaking the bank.
First and foremost, the solar charging of the Casio Pro Trek is a noteworthy feature. This eco-friendly, energy-efficient timepiece harvests the strength of the sun, lasting up to an incredible 9 months on a full charge without any additional light exposure. A conscious choice for planet-loving adventurers!
In addition, the Casio Men’s Pro Trek is also engineered for unmatched all-terrain durability. Designed specifically for the outdoors and extreme conditions, this watch boasts water resistance up to 100 meters and can withstand freezing temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F). Trekking through challenging landscapes has never been more hassle-free.
For those bitten by the wanderlust bug, the Casio Pro Trek enables you to become a world traveler. Its 31 time zones, covering 48 cities and UTC, come with a city name display and an option for daylight saving on or off. No more fumbling through your smartphone to know the local time in uncharted territories!
Furthermore, the watch extends its versatile functionality with its night and day readability. The full-auto LED backlight with afterglow offers perfect readability, be it bright daylight or a starlit night. This ensures that you never miss a moment during your adventures.
What you should know
One of the most important aspects for any hiker is precision timekeeping, and the Casio Pro Trek delivers this in spades. With an accuracy of +/-15 seconds per month and a full auto-calendar programmed until the year 2099, you can trust this watch to keep you punctual throughout your outdoor journeys.
But that’s not all; to help you remain organized, the Casio Pro Trek offers five daily alarms, including four one-time alarms and one snooze alarm. Countdowns are also made easy with a timer that ranges from 1 minute to 24 hours, adjustable in 1-minute and 1-hour increments.
Staying weather aware is essential when wandering into unpredictable landscapes, and the integrated barometer and thermometer functions of the Casio Pro Trek ensure that you’ll never be caught off guard. Boasting a barometric display range between 260-1,100 hPa and a temperature display range from -10°C to 60°C (14-140°F), you can rest assured you’re well-equipped to handle Mother Nature’s whims.
What sets this watch truly apart, however, is its confidence-inspiring navigation capabilities. With a digital compass displaying 16-point measurements, bidirectional calibration, northerly calibration function, magnetic declination correction, and bearing memory, the Pro Trek serves as your trusted guide throughout your trekking expedition.
Lastly, what every avid hiker will love is the built-in altimeter, which ranges from -700 to 10,000 meters (-2,300 to 32,800 feet) and offers manual memory measurements to record all escapades. It’s a valuable feature that helps keep track of altitude progress during challenging climbs.
To wrap up, the Casio Men’s Pro Trek is truly the best budget hiking GPS watch on the market. It offers a perfect blend of eco-friendly features, all-terrain durability, world-time functionality, premium navigation capabilities, impeccable readability, and other smart features, all while appealing to the budget-conscious hiker. Make an informed decision and invest in this fantastic trail companion today!
Why we love it
Imagine a world where your wrist can hold the power to guide your every adventurous step, from challenging treks deep in the wilderness to intense cycling expeditions. Introducing the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar, the hiking GPS watch that every serious adventurer, elite outdoor enthusiast, and premium shopper has been waiting for.
Its solar-enhanced design is nothing short of revolutionary; with it, you can harness the power of the sun to boost battery life, considerably reducing the need to charge your timepiece frequently. Plus, conquer the night confidently as a built-in LED flashlight illuminates your path when the sun sets, ensuring you stay visible while navigating the dark unknowns.
Moreover, training has never been so high-tech, with the Garmin Fenix 7X providing real-time endurance tracking, performance metrics, and 30+ built-in sports apps to elevate your adventure game. Stay in the know with personalized training status insights that serve to optimize your overall performance.
In addition, health monitoring features encompass every aspect of your well-being, with an integrated wrist-based heart rate, stress monitoring, Pulse Ox, and advanced sleep tracking, all to ensure you get the comprehensive health insights needed to flourish.
Plus, complete with seamless connectivity, you never have to worry about leaving your lifestyle behind. Receive smart notifications, store and play your favorite tunes on the go, and enjoy the convenience of Garmin Pay contactless payments in supported countries and networks when paired with a compatible smartphone.
What you should know
Picture yourself embarking on a month-long backcountry adventure, free from the burden of constantly needing to recharge your watch. The Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar offers truly impressive battery performance – giving you up to 28 days indoors or an unbelievable 37 days with just 3 hours of solar charging per day in smartwatch mode. In GPS mode, the battery life extends up to an astounding 122 hours with continuous solar charging. Say goodbye to the hassle of constant recharging and embrace the freedom of long-lasting battery life.
Also, when it comes to navigational accuracy, the Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar doesn’t disappoint. It’s equipped with multi-band GPS frequency support (including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) as well as a 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter. No matter where your adventure takes you, this watch will help you find your way with pinpoint precision.
Expand your horizons even further with the extensive preloaded TopoActive maps available on the watch, covering golf courses and ski resorts worldwide. The watch’s Wi-Fi connectivity allows for easy map downloads from any continent without requiring a computer – providing you with all the information you need to explore new terrains effortlessly.
Additionally, navigating the watch itself is a breeze, thanks to the reliable button controls and a highly responsive touchscreen interface. Quickly access your desired features and options with just a tap or swipe, providing you with convenient and straightforward operation in any environment.
Putting it simply, the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar is the ultimate splurge for those looking to elevate their outdoor experience to new heights, ensuring they feel empowered and informed every step of the way. Take the plunge and embrace the sheer excellence of this remarkable GPS hiking watch.
Why we love it
Discover your perfect adventure companion with the Suunto Core Classic Outdoor Watch, the best overall hiking GPS watch on the market. This remarkable timepiece is designed to cater to the needs of those perfectionists and outdoor enthusiasts who crave accuracy, reliability, and unparalleled performance in their gear.
Nothing surprises the Suunto Core Classic, as it comes equipped with a smart storm alarm, capable of detecting drops in air pressure and giving you a heads-up about impending severe weather conditions. Stay safe and prepared on your outdoor pursuits, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.
Furthermore, the Suunto Core Classic is not just about predicting the unpredictable; it also excels in closely monitoring your altitude with its comprehensive altimeter. Keep track of your current altitude, measure your ascent and descent, and record your sessions for reviewing and improving your game.
Plus, anticipate and adapt to ever-changing weather conditions with the dynamic built-in barometer. Be in complete control of your adventure, armed with accurate atmospheric pressure readings at your fingertips.
Also, fear no detours or disorienting paths, as the Suunto Core Classic boasts a precise and dependable compass feature that will instill confidence in your navigational prowess in even the toughest terrains.
Additionally, this incredible GPS hiking watch goes beyond being a mere timepiece, as it encompasses functionalities such as dual time zones, date display, and alarm options. Further enhancing its outdoor expertise, the Suunto Core Classic can predict both sunrise and sunset times, allowing you to maximize your daylight exploits from dawn to dusk.
What you should know
Discover the ultimate outdoor companion in the Suunto Core Classic Outdoor Watch, a beautifully crafted GPS hiking watch that every perfectionist and outdoor enthusiast will appreciate. Its sophisticated design, combined with exceptional durability, sets the Suunto Core apart from the competition, making it the ultimate accessory for your outdoor adventures.
Dive fearlessly with the Suunto Core, as its depth meter accurately measures depths up to 30 feet. This remarkable sports watch is perfect for a wide range of activities, from running and swimming to cycling, gym workouts, and of course, hiking. With the Suunto Core by your side, every step you take will be tracked seamlessly.
Moreover, the desirable Scandinavian aesthetic is evident in the design of the Suunto Core, with its sleek appearance and robust materials combining function and style effortlessly. But this watch is more than just a pretty face; it also tracks your sleep patterns to help you maintain a balanced lifestyle in and out of the great outdoors.
Customize your style to suit your taste by choosing from a range of eye-catching designs featuring either a composite or stainless steel case. With so many options available, you’re guaranteed to discover the perfect Suunto Core watch that complements your unique style.
In conclusion, the Suunto Core Classic Outdoor Watch truly stands alone as the top choice for hiking GPS watches. With its multitude of advanced features, you’ll experience the perfect balance of style, function, and outstanding performance to accompany you on all your outdoor pursuits. Embrace your next adventure with confidence, knowing that the Suunto Core Classic has got your back.
Best Hiking GPS Watch: Frequently Asked Questions
In this FAQ section, we have compiled a list of questions to provide you with the answers and insights you need.
Is Garmin Fenix better than Apple Watch Ultra?
Both Garmin Fenix and Apple Watch Ultra are excellent smartwatches, but they cater to different needs. Garmin Fenix is specifically designed for outdoor activities, including hiking, with robust features such as advanced GPS tracking and navigation capabilities. On the other hand, Apple Watch Ultra focuses more on general fitness and lifestyle features, with a wide range of apps and connectivity options. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your priorities and intended use.
Can we extend battery life of a GPS tracking watch?
While the battery life of a GPS tracking watch is determined by various factors, there are some strategies you can follow to extend its longevity.
- Choose a watch with the best battery life or specifically advertised as having great battery performance.
- Adjust GPS settings to reduce battery drain by using power-saving modes or adjusting update intervals.
- Disable unnecessary features like constant heart rate monitoring, notifications, or app syncing.
- Reduce screen brightness or use power-saving display modes.
- Take advantage of smart battery management features offered by some watches, such as battery-saving modes or customizable profiles.
Are GPS watches worth it?
Yes, GPS watches are worth it for all the features outdoor and fitness enthusiasts want. They offer accurate tracking, navigational assistance, training metrics, outdoor-specific features, and connectivity, providing value and enhancing one’s outdoor activities and fitness pursuits.
Does low power mode enhance battery life?
Yes, activating low power mode or a battery saver mode on a device can enhance its battery life. By reducing or disabling certain power-consuming functions and features, the device optimizes power usage, allowing the battery to last longer before requiring a recharge.
What does the Altimeter barometer compass do?
The Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass are essential features found in hiking GPS watches. Here’s what they do:
- Altimeter: The altimeter measures altitude or elevation. It uses atmospheric pressure to estimate the height above sea level. This feature allows hikers to track their vertical ascent or descent, monitor changes in elevation, and determine their current altitude.
- Barometer: The barometer measures atmospheric pressure. It helps hikers predict weather changes and detect trends in weather conditions. By monitoring barometric pressure, users can anticipate approaching storms or shifts in weather patterns, enabling them to make informed decisions about their outdoor activities.
- Compass: The compass provides a directional reference, allowing users to determine their heading or bearing. It helps hikers navigate and find their way by indicating magnetic north. This feature is particularly useful in situations where GPS signals are unavailable or unreliable.
Is Garmin Fenix 7 better than Garmin Instinct 2 Solar?
In terms of features and capabilities, the Garmin Fenix 7 is considered a higher-end model compared to the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar. While both watches offer impressive functionality, the Fenix 7 tends to offer a more extensive range of advanced features, making it a preferred choice for those seeking top-tier performance and capabilities. However, the specific needs and preferences of the user should be taken into account when making a decision.