ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING WATCHESHIKING WATCHES REVIEWSSUUNTO TRAVERSE GPSGARMIN FENIX 3 HRGARMIN TACTIX BRAVOGARMIN FENIX 3 SAPPHIREGARMIN EPIXSUUNTO CORE OUTDOOR MATRIXCASIO PRO TREK TOUGH SOLARCASIO PRO TREK CASIO PATHFINDERLAD WEATHER’S SENSOR MASTERCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST HIKING WATCHESHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING WATCHESFEATURESALTIMETERBAROMETERCOMPASSTHERMOMETERGPSWI-FI CONNECTIVITYWATER RESISTANCEDESIGN AND STYLEBUDGET Are you looking for an easy way to navigate or to keep track of essential data like your altitude while on the trail? Forget about old-school compasses, maps and notepads. What you need is a altimeter watch for hiking. But, how do you know what’s the best hiking watch for you? One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to help make your life easier when it comes to buying outdoor gear. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose a hiking watch and show you our selection of the best models of the year. For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Tents | Hammocks | Bivy Sacks | Tarps Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Pads | Stoves Backpacks | GPS | Headlamps | Poles| Watches Boots | Shoes | Sandals | Pants | Shorts Base Layers | Fleeces | Down Jackets | Rain Jackets LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSE QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING WATCHES SUUNTO TRAVERSE GPS CHECK ON AMAZONCHECK ON REI GARMIN FENIX 3 HR CHECK ON AMAZONCHECK ON REI GARMIN TACTIX BRAVO CHECK ON AMAZONCHECK ON REI GARMIN FENIX 3 SAPPHIRE CHECK ON AMAZONCHECK ON REI GARMIN EPIX CHECK ON AMAZON SUUNTO CORE OUTDOOR CHECK ON AMAZON CASIO PRO TREK TOUGH SOLAR CHECK ON AMAZONCHECK ON REI CASIO PRO TREK CHECK ON AMAZON CASIO PATHFINDER CHECK ON AMAZONCHECK ON REI LAD SENSOR MASTER CHECK ON AMAZON MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.UNLOCK THIS LIST HIKING WATCHES REVIEWS SUUNTO TRAVERSE GPS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Outdoor and indoor sports & fitness enthusiasts GPS: Yes ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Barometer, digital compass, calorie and step counter, wireless connection, sunrise and sunset times, heart rate monitor connection PROS: Versatile, comes with five different sports modes, data tracker and overviews, Bluetooth connection CONS: Short battery life when using the most advanced features GARMIN FENIX 3 HR Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Fitness enthusiasts GPS: Yes ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Black silicone band, wrist-based heart rate monitor, chroma display, wireless connectivity, 100-meter water resistance, barometer, digital compass, step and calorie counter PROS: Built-in heart rate monitor, has basically every possible feature CONS: Shorter battery life due to the heart monitor, expensive GARMIN TACTIX BRAVO Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Adventurous hunters and fishermen GPS: Yes ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: GPS that calibrates altitude and air pressure, compass, 100-meter water resistance, wireless Bluetooth connectivity, hunting and fishing calendar, information about tides, sunrise and sunset, and moon phases PROS: Loads of useful and accurate information, 50-hour battery life, durable CONS: No thermometer GARMIN FENIX 3 SAPPHIRE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Every outdoor pursuit GPS: Yes ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Sapphire lens, chroma display, EXO GPS antenna, wireless connectivity, digital compass, barometer PROS: Can be personalized with widgets and apps, Bluetooth connection, numerous easy-to-use functions, detailed data tracking CONS: Expensive GARMIN EPIX Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Everything from cycling to hiking and mountaineering GPS: Yes ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: No FEATURES: Touch screen, built-in maps, 50-meter water resistance, 8GB memory, 3-axis compass, customizable with widgets, apps and watch faces, Smart Notification PROS: Wireless connection, detailed worldwide maps, exceptionally long (16-week) battery life CONS: Expensive, no thermometer SUUNTO CORE OUTDOOR MATRIX Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Adventurers who want to disconnect GPS: No ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Barometer, digital compass, sunrise and sunset times, accurate 10-meter underwater readings, storm alarm function PROS: Weather tracking and storm alarms, stylish design CONS: Thermometer may be off a few degrees, no wireless connection, no GPS CASIO PRO TREK TOUGH SOLAR Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Adventure racers GPS: No ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Stainless steel rotating bezel, titanium band, water resistant to 200 meters, barometer, digital compass, sunrise and sunset data, stopwatch, power-saving function, weather alarm PROS: Solar-powered, great value for money, atomic clock, solar-powered, lots of features CONS: No GPS, not for hikers on a budget CASIO PRO TREK Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Trekkers and mountaineers GPS: No ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Barometer, compass, analog-digital LCD display, 100-meter water resistance, LED light, 58-mm resin case with anti-reflective sapphire window PROS: Lightweight, weather alarm CONS: No GPS, pricey CASIO PATHFINDER Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Day and long-distance hiking GPS: No ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: 51-mm stainless steel case, resin band with buckle closure, 100-meter water resistance, barometer, stopwatch, backlight with afterglow, digital compass, solar-powered PROS: Amazing value for money, affordable, solar-powered battery, incredibly long (6-month) battery life CONS: No GPS LAD WEATHER’S SENSOR MASTER Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Hikers on a budget GPS: No ALTIMETER: Yes THERMOMETER: Yes FEATURES: Weather sensor function, negative display, digital compass, barometer, 24-hour graphs PROS: Very accurate compass, affordable, great price/quality ratio, useful weather sensor function CONS: Thermometer can be off a few degrees, no GPS Gear up for hiking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Hiking GearSent straight to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR HIKING COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST HIKING WATCHES PICTUREWATCHGPSALTIMETERTHERMOMETERPRICERATING PICTUREWATCHGPSALTIMETERTHERMOMETERPRICERATING Suunto Traverse GPSYesYesYes$$4.1 Garmin Fenix 3 HRYesYesYes$$$4.4 Garmin Tactix BravoYesYesNo$$4.0 Garmin Fenix 3 SapphireYesYesYes$$$4.4 Garmin EpixYesYesNo$$$4.1 Suunto Core Outdoor MatrixNoYesYes$$4.1 Casio Pro Trek Tough SolarNoYesYes$$$4.3 Casio Pro TrekNoYesYes$$4.4 Casio PathfinderNoYesYes$4.5 LAD Weather's Sensor MasterNoYesYes$3.7 HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING WATCHES The newest hiking watches come with a wide variety of features, ranging from GPS functions and compasses to weather alarms. Some even have heart rate monitors. Finding the best hiking watch for your specific needs involves some consideration. Some have unique functions that make them more suitable for particular outdoor pursuits. Fitness-focused people might consider getting a watch with a calorie and step counter. Adventurers heading to remote areas, on the other hand, will want to look for a watch with a built-in GPS and weather alarm. FEATURES Hiking watches have three main features an altimeter, barometer and compass. That’s why they are also known as ABC watches. Basic models will have a temperature sensor and lap timers. What does more money buy you? More information. You’ll get more advanced tracking of elevation gained and lost. They will display graphs for changes to barometric pressure. Here will talk about common watch features so you can decide which ones are essential for you and which ones you can live without. ALTIMETER Altimeters measure the air pressure to calculate your approximate altitude. The great book, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills puts why an altimeter is useful simply, “Since mountains are not two-dimensional…the altimeter is sometimes as helpful as the compass, particularly where topographic maps are available. With altitude known, point-position can often be found with only one visible feature recognized; in any other case, altitude provides a check against map and compass orientation.” Often times an altimeter is more reliable and more accurate, than a GPS device for measuring altitude. This is because you might not always be able to get a GPS signal if you are inside a canyon or in the bush. Some hiking watches let you track your altitudes and upload them on a computer. Providing an informative overview of your hike, this fun function is great for data junkies. BAROMETER A barometer measures atmospheric pressure. These readings can help you determine if there is a storm coming. You will be able to tell that rain is on its way if the pressure suddenly drops. If you plan on heading deep into the wilderness for a few days of time, you’ll want this extra feature. If you’re in an exposed area you’ll be able to use the pressure reading to decide if you should hurry up and seek shelter. COMPASS Arguably the most useful feature on the trail is a compass. Nowadays, essentially all hiking watches come with a compass. What you should consider is the type of compass you want on your hiking watch. There are 2D and 3D compasses. 2D compasses work only if the watch is held perfectly horizontal while 3D compasses are accurate in every angle. This built in compass is designed to be used solely for a general point of reference. If you’re planning a more serious backcountry adventure, bring a standard compass because it will be much more accurate. THERMOMETER Not all hiking watches have a thermometer. Probably the main reason for this is that it’s difficult to keep them accurate. Because a watch is worn on your wrist, your body temperature might influence the temperature readings. Nevertheless, this might be a nice additional feature to have. GPS While there are specific GPS devices for hiking, some hiking watches offer you the chance to hit two birds with one stone. A wrist-wearable GPS is one of the greatest innovations in outdoor gear. Some of the best hiking watches have a built-in GPS, which is exceptionally useful in remote areas. The GPS feature doesn’t only show you the way. Often, they are also able to track valuable data, such as distance, speed and location. WI-FI CONNECTIVITY Being able to connect your hiking watch with your smartphone or laptop definitely has its perks. This way, you can exchange data between your devices. You can upload trail data such as distance, altitude and route to your laptop for a detailed overview of your adventure. Additionally, it’s possible to download useful information such as GPS updates and the weather forecast to your watch. WATER RESISTANCE Almost all hiking watches are water resistant. The only difference between them might be the depth up to which they keep their water resistance. Water resistance isn’t just for keeping your watch safe during a downpour. Some watches like the Suunto Ambit3 Sport, are designed for triathletes. These watches can resist 10 ATM of water. DESIGN AND STYLE Are you worried you won’t be able to wear your hiking watch everyday? No worries, many of these watches blend in well with casual wear and even business casual. If design and style is a real concern for you, be aware of the face size. You’ll want to look for one that has less plastic and has a lower profile design. For a watch you can take from the trail to the office, we recommend the Suunto line of watches. Some watches survival-style hiking watches are designed specifically for outdoor adventures. They’re durable and tough, but don’t always look stylish. Women will want to have a look at the Garmin Fenix or Suunto Core. Both of these options have a sophisticated design and don’t look as bulky on a smaller wrist like many other hiking watches tend to do. BUDGET The variation in price between the cheapest and the most expensive hiking watch can be huge. With a price range between $150 and $600, you should really consider all the features mentioned above. Typically, a hiking watch’s price increases greatly if it comes with a GPS. So, if you’re comfortable using a map and compass, you should be able to save a good chunk of money while still keeping all the other features. On the other hand, a GPS can be extremely useful on the trail. It’s also worth considering that a hiking watch with built-in GPS is basically two expensive pieces of gear in one. This may make it worth your money. Here’s a break down of what you can expect to get for your money. $70 -$200: Basic no frills ABC hiking watch – Altimeter, barometer, compass, timers and alarms. Watches that fall into this price range are the LAD Weather’s Sensor Master and the Casio Pathfinder. These options are great for hikers on a budget or the outdoorsman who just likes to keep things simple. $200 – $500: Atomic timekeeping for greater accuracy and GPS capability in some models. Watches in this price range also tend to have more stylish designs (less plastic, low profile and sleek look) than less expensive models. This makes these watches more practical for everyday wear. The Suunto Core, Suunto Traverse and Garmin Tactix are all great options for adventurers who want a quality watch they can wear on the trail as well as at the office. $500+: High-end watches that are basically a GPS wrist computer – think downloadable routes, GPS tracking to load your profiles and travels, heart rate monitor capability and bike sensors. The Garmin Fenix 3 and Garmin Epix fall into this price range. These watches are great for ultra marathon runners, triathletes, and extreme backcountry adventures such as ski touring and remote trekking. HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.