CAMPING & HIKING

Best Compass Watch: Don’t Lose Your Way

Compass watches review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Were you even in a situation where you got lost, and your phone didn’t have a signal? Did you have a paper map in the back of your bag or a handheld compass that you tried to use? As you were trying to figure out just where you are so that the map can help, or while you were twisting your compass to get a good heading, you were still lost, right? Have you thought about getting the best compass watch to make sure you never get lost again?

When you head out for that next hiking or camping trip and you get turned around going the wrong way you can just look right at your wrist and you’ll have a compass right there waiting to direct you back where you need to be. It’s super convenient because you don’t have to dig through your bag to find it or figure out where you are by looking at a map. You’ll be able to head out each time feeling safe and prepared for anything with that great watch. Of course, with so many out there it can be a hassle trying to find just the right one. So what do you do?

Compass watches

We’ve actually found some of the absolute best of the best compass watches, but we’ve done more than just that. We’ve got the reviews you need to understand each of them and we’ve got the important features you need before you even start comparing the options. Plus, you’ll have the accessories you need to make sure that your compass watch is going to do everything you need it to and then some. Let’s get on with it.

Our top picks

Product NameWeightFace DiameterPower SourcePrice
Casio Master of G11.5 oz2 inSolarCheck price on Amazon
Casio Rangeman 10.4 oz2.1 inSolarCheck price on Amazon
Casio G900010 oz2 inCR2025 batteryCheck price on Amazon
Sony SWR50 2.6 oz2 inLithium-ion batteryCheck price on Amazon
Neptune Pine 3.5 oz2.5 inLithium-ion batteryCheck price on Amazon
Samsung Gear S8.6 oz1.57 inLithium-ion batteryCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Compass watches are exactly what they sound like, watches you can wear, which will help you find your way if you’re lost. You never know what it could help you with or why you might need it for yourself, but with these features, you’ll have the best one possible.

Power Type

The battery types that are most prevalent in these types of watches are solar-powered batteries, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and regular batteries such as CR2025 batteries. Standard batteries aren’t as common for these types of watches, but tend to have a long life.

Watch with compass

Solar power is convenient if you have the sun to power it. It doesn’t need additional batteries to purchase and it is environmentally friendly as well.

In contrast, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are often expensive to buy, but usually a one-time purchase. Those, along with the charger, do last a long time, but the need to recharge also calls for electricity which can be scarce in the wild.

Size

The category of sizes comes twofold. There is the size of the face of the watch which may change your opinion of the entire watch. The shape may also play a factor in this, being square-faced or circle- faced. The diameter of the face of the watch could change the minds of many hikers as well.

Compass watch for edc

Look for a watch that fits comfortably around your wrist. You want the strap to be thick enough that your watch feels secure, but not too thick that it seems to overwhelm you or get uncomfortable when you’re wearing it for an extended period of time.

Look at the size of the face also as you want something comfortable that you can easily see, but not something too large to work with. Find a good balance instead, though it may take a little bit of effort to do it.

Window Seal

It’s important that the seal on your watch is strong enough to protect the inner workings from anything that might otherwise get in You want to make sure that you can keep the watch working as long as possible, after all, you’re going to be spending a decent amount of money on it.

Watch with compass features

Watches that don’t have a strong window material may allow water or steam into the face of the watch which can ruin visibility and functionality, making it impossible to use properly. You want something that you can easily see through and that’s going to be completely sealed to the outside.

Crystal Materials

There are three main crystal materials that make up the window of the watch including acrylic, mineral, and sapphire. Acrylic crystal is the cheaper, more popular, almost plastic-like material that may allow for shallow scratches that can be buffed out easily.

The next strongest is mineral crystal. This is actually made up of a number of different elements and treated with heat to create extra hardness that helps prevent scratching altogether.

Compass watch features

Sapphire crystal is the most expensive and the most scratch resistant. This highly durable material is said to be around three times stronger than mineral crystal and 20 times stronger than the simple acrylic crystal.

Apps and Features

There are so many different things that watches and devices are able to do now that people are starting to wonder what they should do next. If you’re looking for a compass watch you should think about what you really want for additional features (or if you do).

If you’re looking for a smart watch you can easily find one that gives you the compass you’ve been looking for, the regular watch features and a whole lot of advanced features too, though it’s going to cost you a bit more for all of those things.

Best Products on Today’s Market

You’re definitely going to love each of these compass watches because they provide you with a whole lot of great features. They’re going to keep you from getting lost, but they are also going to make your next trip into the wilderness a whole lot more enjoyable.

Casio  Master of G Solar WatchCasio  Master of G Solar Watch

Price: About $200

Weight: 11.5 oz

Face diameter: 2 in 

Case thickness: 0.67 in

Specific features: Solar powered, water resistant, triple sensor (altimeter/barometer, thermometer & compass), solar rechargeable battery power

Best use: Camping, outdoors

Description: The Casio Master of G Solar Watch is made to be one of the toughest options out there. Able to withstand a fall of up to 10 meters as well as submersible up to 660 feet, it’s definitely one that you can take anywhere you want to go.

Of course, that’s not all that it can do in the way of strength and durability. This watch has a triple sensor that provides you with immediate access to an altimeter, barometer, thermometer and compass with a shock resistant sensor.

Add to this a battery that is powered by the sun and works for up to 23 months on a single charge and you’re definitely going to love putting on this watch and heading out into the woods or anywhere else. Even better, the sleek style means that you can easily wear this watch every day without any problems, whether casual or professional.

PROS:

  • Shock resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Heavy duty/oversized
  • Displays barometer, altimeter, thermometer and compass as well as sunrise and sunset and date/time
  • 7-month battery on full charge

CONS:

  • Is somewhat large
  • Alarm is somewhat quiet
  • Light doesn’t stay on long enough

Related: The drawback with solar watches is that they need sunlight in order to charge. If you’re not going to be outdoors much or if you’re in an area without a lot of sunlight for a while you may need something else to help and that’s where the Casio Solar Watch Charger comes in This charger is inexpensive and replicates the sun in many ways to get you a charge without needing the actual sun.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio Rangeman WatchCasio Rangeman Watch

Price: About $200

Weight: 10.4 oz

Face diameter: 2.1 in

Case thickness: 0.71 in

Specific features: Water resistant, digital display, full calendar function, shock resistant, solar rechargeable battery

Best use: Outdoors, sports

Description: The Casio Rangeman Watch is hard to compare to the rest because it provides so many features. This watch is resistant to just about anything being fall resistant to 10 meters and water resistant to 200 meters as well as coming with a 10-year battery life.

All of the data you could possibly need is right there when you need it including sunrise and sunset data, time recording, elapsed time measurement, altimeter, barometer, thermometer and world time. You can get time in absolutely any part of the world and, because it’s full auto LED, you’ll be able to read this watch any time of day or night.

The solar charging power of the watch means it’s easy to get up and going again whenever you need and it saves you money on replacing batteries frequently. The face is made of a mineral crystal that’s perfectly clear and all of the sensors are highly sensitive, so you can get right where you need to be, when you need to be there.

PROS:

  • 10-year battery life
  • Measures time, altimeter, barometer, thermometer and more
  • Fall and water resistant
  • Easy to use and learn
  • Strong metal cover

CONS:

  • Backlight lasts 3 seconds at max
  • Difficult to turn off snooze
  • Screen is not as scratch resistant as it should be

Related: The CASEBUDi Watch Travel Case is a great option if you’re going to be taking your watch anywhere, even for a short period of time. It keeps the watch protected and it’s inexpensive so you can definitely afford to have it on you all the time.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio G9000 Sports WatchCasio G9000 Sports Watch

Price: About $50

Weight: 10 oz

Face diameter: 2 in

Case thickness: 1.82 in

Specific features: Mineral crystal, digital display, durable black resin case, water resistant, CR2025 battery power

Best use: Outdoors, sports, exercise & fitness

Description: Another of Casino’s finest, the Casio G9000 Sports Watch is impressive in its own right. Though the battery may seem less impressive, when used for sports and fitness, and may not be depended on for days on end, its little CR2025 battery can be trusted for up to three years of charges.

Built with a tough black resin case with accented red buttons and a mineral crystal face that is super scratch resistant, this watch would be perfect for the outdoor athlete. It has a smaller face, which is great for those with smaller wrists, though it’s still plenty large enough to read everything you want.

With up to four separate daily alarms you’ll be able to keep track of everything with no problems. Plus, you get an LED backlight that ensures you can read the screen at any time of the day or night. What’s even better for some is that it’s water resistant up to 200 meters, making it great for those who like to head into the water.

PROS:

  • Excellent quality light
  • Strong and durable overall
  • Low price for introductory watch
  • Works fine when wet
  • Offers world time

CONS:

  • Not ideal for those with larger wrists
  • Buttons can be hard to press
  • Not as good for more advanced needs

Related: If you like to have more than one watch the SONGMICS Watch Box is a great option because it lets you store nicer watches and more rugged watches all in the same place. For a moderate price, you definitely won’t have a problem keeping everything stored away and ready to go.

Check the price on Amazon

Sony SWR50 SmartwatchSony SWR50 SmartWatch

Price: About $200

Weight: 2.6 oz  

Face diameter: 2 in

Case thickness: 0.39 in

Specific features: Water resistant, voice command, Android connectivity, 1 lithium-ion battery power

Best use: Outdoors, exercise & fitness

Description: Taking tech specs to the next level, the Sony SWR50 SmartWatch brings new life to a simple watch. Boasting new technology by being able to connect directly with your smartphone will allow the user to learn its uses and update it faster as the technology changes.

You’ll be able to get all the information that you need right on this watch because it’s designed to sync directly to your Android device and provide you with more than just a compass and accelerometer. It will also provide you with notifications for anything happening on your phone.

This high tech design is unique and stylish and gives you a more modern feel. With all the notifications sent directly to your device, it’s also great for those who don’t want to pull their phone out for every single sound. You can see what’s going on easily.

Whether you’re looking for something to direct you through the wilderness or something that just gives you notifications walking through town, you’re going to love this watch.

PROS:

  • Provides all notifications as they come
  • Available in three colors
  • Works with voice commands
  • High-quality sensors
  • Built-in GPS

CONS:

  • Require more frequent charging
  • Ideal with Android only
  • Charging is not ideal

Related: A screen protector is definitely important when it comes to any kind of smartwatch and the ArmorSuit MilitaryShield Screen Protectors here are definitely a great choice. You get 2 in a pack at a low price and you can count on them to protect your screen from scratches and anything else.

Check the price on Amazon

Neptune Pine SmartwatchNeptune Pine SmartWatch

Price: About $100

Weight: 3.5 oz

Face diameter: 2.5 in

Case thickness: 0.56 in

Best use: Outdoors, fitness & exercise

Specific features: GPS pedometer, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, full-color touchscreen, android connectivity, front & rear facing camera functions, 16 GB memory, built-in rechargeable 810 mAh lithium-ion battery power

Description: This smart watch is definitely one that’s going to get you all of the features that you’re looking for in one place. The Neptune Pine SmartWatch offers all of the things you could possibly want in an outdoor watch including a pedometer, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.

Also great as a fitness watch, you’ll be able to get your steps, pace, speed, time, location, calories burned and a whole lot more. Plus, on top of all of that, this watch, lets you share photos, videos and write emails as well as taking pictures itself. Complete with a voice to text, it lets you listen to music for up to 8 hours or talk for up to 6.

There are even internet capabilities on this watch so you’re not going to be without anything and since it has built-in storage you can keep everything right here. Easily paired to your phone, it can provide you with all of your notifications and even take voice calls and more with no problems at all.

PROS:

  • 16 GB storage
  • Up to 120 hours of battery
  • Can be used separately from a phone
  • Tethers with WiFi, Bluetooth and USB
  • Built-in camera

CONS:

  • Can be somewhat bulky
  • Speaker is somewhat small
  • No Play store

Related: A screen protector is always important with a smartwatch and the Ace Armor Shield Screen Protector here is going to keep your device safe. It’s inexpensive and still provides high-quality touch sensitivity while protecting your screen from any type of scratches.

Check the price on Amazon

Samsung Gear S SmartwatchSamsung Gear S Smartwatch

Price: About $200

Weight: 8.6 oz

Face diameter: 1.57 in

Case thickness: 0.47 in

Specific features: Samsung smartphone connectivity, map app and GPS functions, fitness tracking functions, 4GB memory, lithium-ion battery power

Best use: Outdoor, exercise & fitness

Description: The Samsung Gear S Smartwatch is yet another watch that functions like a phone with plenty of features and options. Operating with a Tizen operating system, it works with Android devices and offers you 4 GB of memory for whatever you want to store, including apps.

For those who want notifications and things like YouTube and a calendar alongside email and a whole lot more. Strong enough that you can trust it anywhere you want to go, this device has plenty of light to see and the touchscreen features are strong and durable.

You can get turn-by-turn directions and set your goals for your next workout. Plus you’ll get a screen that’s curved to fit better around your wrist. You definitely won’t have any problems keeping track of what’s going on with this one.

Lightweight and completely customizable, this is a watch that you’re going to want to travel with and use to improve your experiences and help you stay connected to everyone around you.

PROS:

  • Excellent quality screen
  • Can call directly from watch
  • Lasts up to a few days at a time
  • Charges quickly
  • Stylish for wear at any time

CONS:

  • Not as much storage as some others
  • Requires smartphone for programming
  • Can be somewhat large

Related: Charging your new smartwatch will be easier than ever with the Galaxy Gear S Charing Cradle Dock. Inexpensive, it’s super easy to use and it charges your device quickly and easily, so you’ll be ready to go in no time at all. This is definitely easier than your regular wall charger.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

With the Samsung Gear S Smartwatch, we have reached the end of our article. By now, you realized that having a trustworthy compass watch during a time of need is key in some serious cases of survival. With the many other features that have now been added to these compass watches, they are definitely improving our lives and creating a whole new experience.

So, now that you know what to keep an eye on when looking for a new compass watch, you definitely found our reviews useful. Once you have decided which features are the most important ones, picking the perfect model was a piece of cake, right? If you were looking for a rugged, virtually indestructible watch with advanced features, then the Casio G-Shock Master of G series definitely caught your eye.

Compass watch Suunto

On the other hand, if you were looking for a more elegantly designed, yet packed with features that would help you out in case you got lost, then the Sony SWR50 turned out to be the perfect one for you. All in all, no matter which model you choose, rest assured that it is one of the finest ones on the market and that you made the right choice.

But, we would also like to know if you have specific features you look for in a compass watch or maybe even features that you wish would be included in one? Maybe you really love one of the watches we’ve mentioned and want to tell us all about it? Maybe you have a different compass watch that you think should have made the list? We want to know all about it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Mike Walker

    Casio just outdone themselves with the G-Shock Rangeman Master Series Watch. This watch out-performs other G-Shocks as well as any rivals. It looks TOUGH too. The shade of green is so nice and subtle. Like a WW2 green if that makes sense! This watch is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. If you like being outdoors, and being actively engaged outdoors, this watch is for you. I can really say that Casio has really gone above and beyond this time.

  • Mark Foster

    I agree with you on this one. This G-Shock Rangeman Master Series watch is top of the line. It’s functional and gets the job done, while at the same time, it looks so good! The Samsung Gear S Smartwatch is also worth mentioning. It’s sleek and looks modern and stylish. However, don’t let that fool you, it’s AMOLED, so expect it to be awesome.

  • Jim Clark

    I have to agree with both of you on this one. The G-Shock looks really tough and it’s just a piece of art. On the other hand the Samsung Gear S Smartwatch is something new for me. Didn’t use a smartwatch until I got the Gear S. As Mark said, the AMOLED display is one of the best things that happened to the smartwatches. In my opinion is just about the tastes. For me the Gear S is a bit more useful, to be honest.

  • Mark Foster

    No discussion about these products Jim – both are stellar and top-of-the-line. Most of my friends have both, so I think I know why. You can’t really decide on just one because these watches get the job done. Love how the G-Shock looks, but I equally marvel at the AMOLED display of the Samsung Gear S.

  • Louis Stiltner

    I love all your recommendations but my favorite will always be the G-Shock Rangeman Master Series watch. It is very comfortable to wear and it looks good too. Its functionality is excellent and the brand’s quality has been proven already. I think the color is perfect as well. Highly recommended!

  • Mark Foster

    What a great watch!

  • Harry Tomlinson

    My pick on the list is Sony Smartwatch. First of all, I like its sleek and stylish design, which is very important. Aside from this, it also helps that the watch has an excellent display. You can make the font larger so that it will be easier to read. I do not have stellar vision so this is perfect for me.

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