CAMPING & HIKING

Best Outdoor Watches: Keeping Time While You’re Hiking

Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Now, the truth is that there are quite a few things that you would want to purchase when you are putting together your hiking gear. From camping equipment to proper thermal clothing, there are just so many things that you have to take into account.

However, one of the most important accessories that you need to consider is the watch. This is something which is going to be critical when you are out in the open. This is why you might want to take a look at the best outdoor watches in order to make an informed and comprehensive choice.

Outdoor watch

The truth is that there is an abundance of different hiking watches on the market. They are designated for different budgets and are going to cover various requirements. With this in mind, we’ve taken the liberty of preparing a list of some of the most impressive models currently available on the market.

They contain everything necessary you need to find the best hiking watch for your needs and personal style.

Important Features to Consider

The outdoor watch provides you with a lot more features than just telling you the time. Modern technology has turned the outdoor watch into a handy tool that can take care of all your needs, such as the inclusion of altimeters, barometers, GPS, radio, and several alarms that you can use for various things.

Outdoor watch with GPS

So what are some of the important features to keep in mind?

  • Water-resistance: you never know how your camping and outdoor activities are going to turn out. Having a water-resistant watch is going to ensure that it withstands even the worst weather.
  • Multiple alarms: multiple alarms are particularly beneficial when performing different tasks. Furthermore, they could be used as reminders.
  • Stop timers and chronometers: stop timers offer a great deal of utility, especially when you cook or have some other sort of task that requires perfect timing.
  • Durability and reliability: as it is with every outdoor solution, your hiking watch needs to be reliable. This is not your suit watch and you are likely to get it dirty once in a while, so make sure that it’s durable enough to withstand any punishment from the outdoors.
  • Impact-resistance: outdoor usage clearly means that your watch is going to be constantly exposed to threat of impact. That’s why you need a sturdy solution, capable of withstanding dramatic impacts.
  • Accurate date, time and world-time if possible: even though camping should be thoroughly planned and accounted for, you never know what may happen. With this in mind, having the accurate date as well as flawless time indication could be particularly helpful in extreme situations.
  • Long battery life: the last thing you’d want is for your watch to die out because it has ran out of battery.

Of course, you need to understand that there is simply no such thing as the best watch for hiking or camping. Every single person has his own preferences.

What might be perfect for one person could be something absolutely unnecessary for another. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of solutions which are designed to satisfy various demands and personal requirements. Without any further ado, let’s go ahead and take a look.

Top Products for 2017

Casio Men’s PRW-2500T-7CR Watch

Casio Men’s PRW-2500T-7CR Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch

Weight: 4 oz

Dimensions: The case diameter is 20.5mm while its thickness is 15mm. The width of the band is 20mm.

Design Features: The design is pretty sturdy and it brings that hiking appeal. It has a titanium band which is particularly reliable and durable and a grey dial.

Best Use: The best use is definitely for hiking, even though it’s also fit for diving, as it has 660 Feet water resistance.

Description: Casio Men’s PRW-2500T-7CR Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch is without a doubt one of the best hiking watches currently available on the market. This is because it’s packed with everything you might possibly need when you are out in the open.

The first thing that you need to consider is that it’s a multi-band atomic timekeeping watch which has the capability of withstanding pressure under 200M of water. It has a duplex LCD display designated for increased durability and longevity.

Furthermore, the display is specifically designed to be shock-resistant which makes it perfect for outdoor hiking activities.

Now, it’s also worth noting that the watch is solar powered. Even though this implies that at some point down the line you’d have to change batteries, this won’t happen anywhere near the first 10 years of usage.

The manufacturer promotes 5 months of usage on full charge without exposing it to light any further. What is more, if you fully charge it and use it with the power-saving function, you can expect it to work without any issues for 23 months, without exposing it to further light.

As you can suggest, this is impossible so you can rest assured that you won’t be charging it frequently.

The watch is packed with different features such as a thermometer, altimeter, barometer, digital compass and whatnot. You can basically measure everything you might need to while you are out in the open. It also has independent daily alarms as well as a time signal for every passed hour and a 1/100 stop watch, which is pretty convenient.

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch- Retail Packaging

Weight: 9.9 ounces

Dimensions: 4 x 4.2 x 3.3 inches

Design Features: It comes with rubber band and chrome AMOLED dial which is rather stylish, capable of fitting different appeals.

Best Use: Even though it’s usable in a lot of different ways, its functionality makes it perfect for camping and outdoor activities

Description: This is a glimpse in the future, so to speak. The Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch is particularly designed to be your perfect hiking companion. It is contemporary and modernistic and it comes packed with different features which were once considered unthinkable for regular watches.

The first thing that you need to know is that the watch is fully compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 as well as with other smart phones from the Galaxy line. This means that you can easily sync it with these devices and share useful information.

What is more, you can transfer data from one device to another seamlessly and without any significant hassle.

Another thing to note is the 1.63 inch Super AMOLED screen. It allows for a tremendous amount of usability and convenience. You can place and answer phone calls directly from your watch without having to take out the mobile device.

Furthermore, there is a 1.9 megapixel camera which is located on your writs – yes, it’s that comfortable. Also, you will be able to enjoy the comprehensive and impressive S Voice assistant in order to make the usage of the smart watch particularly hassle-free.

The watch has everything that you might think of and it’s also capable of providing you with pretty comprehensive metrics such as steps, heart rate and tons of other things. You can connect the device to your computer easily and relocate necessary information.

It comes with a wall charge, charging cradle as well as a convenient starting guide for you to fully understand how to use it.

TAG Heuer Men’s WAH1110.BA0850

TAG Heuer Men’s WAH1110.BA0850

Weight: 2 pounds

Dimensions: Case: 41mm diameter 12.6mm thick. Band: 20mm wide.

Design Features: The entire watch is made out of stainless steel for sleek appeals. The dial window is made out of sapphire which is scratch resistant.

Best Use: Diving/hiking/outdoor activity

Description: TAG Heuer is a watch-making company which needs absolutely no introduction. Pioneering the field and being particularly reliable, it goes without saying that this particular watch is no exception. It has the characteristic Swiss quartz movement in order to ensure absolute 100% accuracy.

As far as the dial goes, it’s made out of extruded, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal which guarantees that you wouldn’t be able to damage it that easily. This is particularly important and one of the reasons for which we decided to place it on the list.

Being outside in the open means that you are likely to expose your watch to certain risks of physical contact but this particular one wouldn’t get even slightly scratched. In fact, it’s more likely that you damage the stainless steel band than the dial.

Talking about the band, you should know that it’s also considerably durable. There is a solid and particularly strong 41-mm brushed stainless steel case which has checker flag decoration.

The band itself is made out of fine-brushed stainless steel and it has three rows for additional durability. The watch has a date function set at 3 o’clock conveniently and the dial itself is colored in black.

The entire thing is water resistant to 200 meters and it’s particularly appropriate and suitable for scuba diving undertakings which are rather recreational. This is without a doubt one of the best hiking watches which are currently available.

Casio Men’s GA110-1A XL Classic Analog-Digital Black Watch

Casio Men’s GA110-1A XL Series By G-Shock Classic Analog-Digital Black Watch

Weight: 4.96 ounces

Dimensions: Case: 51mm diameter, 16.9mm thickness. Band: 16mm wide.

Design Features: The watch comes with resin bands and resin case. The dial window is made out of minerals and the entire watch has the typical G-Shock impressive appeal.

Best Use: Diving/hiking/outdoor activities/fitness

Description: When it comes to reliable outdoor watches there is one name which almost always pops into mind, especially throughout the last few years. That’s Casio’s G-Shock line.

These particularly large, shock resistant watches might be the only thing you want to consider when shopping for your outdoor gear. With tons of features and interesting assets, the watches from the G-Shock line are particularly convenient for outdoor activities.

Even though they are also commonly used as fashionable sport watches, the provide a great amount of value out in the open.

The Casio Men’s GA110-1A XL Series By G-Shock Classic Analog-Digital Black Watch is magnetic resistant apart from being shock resistant as well. This means that even if you accidentally get it close to a magnet when you are out there camping, the performance of the unit would remain intact.

The watch has an automatic LED light which will turn on when it gets dark outside, but it’s also controllable so you can conveniently turn it off when you go to sleep.

It also has the capability of showing you world time in order for you to adapt to different camping destinations. It features 4 comprehensive daily alarms as well as the snooze function.

As far as the additional features go, the G-Shock GA110-1A XL comes with a stopwatch and a countdown timer which makes it perfect for detecting intervals of time when you are cooking out in the open, for instance.

It is also convenient and widely used for recreational scuba diving as it is water resistant as long as you don’t dive deeper than 200 meters.

TAG Heuer Men’s Aquaracer Quartz Chronograph Dial Watch

TAG Heuer Men’s CAF101F.BA0821 Aquaracer Quartz Silver Chronograph Dial Watch

Weight: 15.84 ounces

Dimensions: Case: 44.5mm diameter, 13mm thick. Band: 21mm wide.

Design Features: Traditional stainless steel design 

Best Use: 990ft water resistance – diving/hiking/outdoor activities

Description: This is another great solution brought to you by Tag Heuer – a word renowned brand when it comes to watches. TAG Heuer Men’s CAF101F.BA0821 Aquaracer Quartz Silver Chronograph Dial Watch combines quite a lot of comprehensive assets and features which combined make it the perfect outdoor watch to complement your hiking gear.

What is more, unlike the majority of different solutions available on the market, this particular one is water resistant to 300 meters and it’s capable of withstanding up to 2 hours of pressure under 30 meters of water which is particularly impressive.

Now, as far as the watch goes, it delivers particularly strong advantages. Right off the bat, it has a quartz movement mechanism which is guaranteed to provide you the highest levels of accuracy.

The dial is silver and particularly reliable in order to provide you with the durability and longevity which are to be expected from an outdoor watch.

The Tag Heuer Aquaracer comes with stainless steel case as well as a 3-row stainless steel bracelet. The latter can be adjusted to fit the width of your forearm in order to customize it to fit perfectly. This is particularly convenient.

Now, as the name suggests, this particular watch is obviously designated for underwater usage as it has impressive water-resistant qualities. However, it’s also a great hiking watch as it is reliable, durable and most importantly – quite functional.

Garmin Unisex Vivoactive

Garmin Unisex Vivoactive

Weight: 1.3 ounces

Dimensions: 0.3 x 1.6 x 10.1 inches

Design Features: Square digital dial with a convenient rubber band bring sleek sport design

Best Use: Hiking/golf/walking/swimming/biking/running/camping

Description: With the advancement of modern technologies, smart watches are definitely on the rise. They have their impact on the survival niche as well as they pose quite a lot of advantages.

The Garmin Vivoactive, for instance, is one of those watches which come packed with absolutely everything you might need.

It is undeniable that the features delivered by a smart watch are simply incomparable with those delivered by a regular one. However, let’s take a closer look at the Garmin Vivoactive and why it is amongst the best choices out there.

Right off the bat, it’s particularly convenient and it delivers a great sensation when you wear it. It has an ultra-thin GPS display which is readable even under the conditions of sunlight glares. The touch screen is colorful, responsive and most importantly – highly functional.

The watch comes with built-in sports applications which are designed to make your life a lot easier. They include GPS-tracked running, swimming, biking and other forms of activity tracking.

The device is designed to pair with your smart phone quickly and conveniently. What is more, it makes a slight vibration and displays an alert when you get an incoming text, email or call. It has calendar items as well as different options when it comes to all sorts of notifications.

You can easily customize the watch with widgets and face designs which are free and downloaded on the internet.

One of the biggest concerns of people when it comes to smart watches is the battery life. Taking proper care of this issue, the Garmin Vivoactive makes it possible for you to use the watch for up to 3 weeks even if you are using all of the applications as they are particularly sparing when it comes to it.

However, if you are constantly using the GPS, the battery is going to last you for up to about 10 hours.

Citizen Men’s BL5250-02L Titanium Eco-Drive Watch

Citizen Men’s BL5250-02L Titanium Eco-Drive Watch with Leather Band

Weight: 2.56 ounces

Dimensions: Case: 42.9mm diameter, 13mm thick. Band: 19.05mm wide

Design Features: Pig skin brown leather band with traditional yet stylish titanium case and mineral dial glass. Timeless appeal and design features

Best Use: Hiking/Outdoor/Casual

Description: You know how they say that first impressions are really important? Well, Citizen Men’s BL5250-02L Titanium Eco-Drive Watch with Leather Band makes the most flawless first impression.

Bringing in stylish looks yet sturdy appeal at the same time, the Titanium Eco-Drive is without a doubt one of the best units to watch.

Of course, it’s not only the outside which makes the time piece particularly convenient and one of your best bets when it comes to a hiking watch. The functionality and convenience that it brings are also enviable, to say the least.

The unit has a round dial in a titanium casing which has textured chronograph sub dial. Furthermore, the movement is relying on a Japanese movement mechanism and an analog display in order to secure high-end accuracy.

Also, the dial is protected by a crystal dial window made out of protective minerals which are designed to withstand to a lot of pressure and different impacts.

The watch has quite a lot of features such as unidirectional bezel and a tachymeter inner chapter ring as well as the common date window.

It has an alarm feature as well as a buckle closure which is also particularly convenient. The watch is water-resistant and it can withstand pressure of up to 200 meters of depth.

Summary

You need to make sure that you find the watch which suits you. This is going to be a time piece which is not only functional but also comfortable, convenient and, most importantly, a pleasure to wear. Your watch should be something that you look forward to putting on, not a burden.

This is why you need to actually try the watch on your hand and make sure that it feels as if that’s where it belongs. Of course, the features are also particularly important, and they should be highly regarded and thoroughly considered. This is especially true because out there in the open, you are going to need quite a lot of functions in order to be comfortable.

Choose your Smart outdoor watch

With all this in mind, the watches that we listed combine comfort and convenience and are designed to fit different price ranges. From more affordable units to ones which are rather costly, we have made sure to include solutions for the different pocket. That’s why we reviewed a few different units for you to take a look at.

So, the only thing which is left for you is to pick the one which is perfectly suitable for your own necessities. Going through the specifications of the watch in details as well as actually putting it on your hand is going to provide you with everything you need to make a properly informed decision.

And don’t forget to leave a comment down below, sharing your stories with us about any of these products you’ve had experiences with or other products we haven’t included in this list. Who knows, we may include your suggestions in a future article.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Debra Davis

    I use Garmin vivoactive all the time. It leaves my wrist only when I charge it! So as far, as an electronic running companion, I really can’t think of anything more I could ask for. All functions I use are there, and work well (I like how it works for swimming!) 🙂

  • Daniel Carraway

    Everyone loves the Garmin – because this brand is so reliable and consistent. You won’t be disappointed with its performance. The price is also affordable and just right.

  • Joe McGowan

    I wear a Garmin Vivoactive mainly to track my runs rather than having to carry my phone around though, that I can also use it as an everyday watch is useful also. The watch isn’t overly large and can be worn in a professional setting which is essential in my line of work. Not used it for anything other than running as of yet so I’d love to know how people are incorporating it into their outdoor activities. No doubt that it’s value for money with all the features it includes.

  • Daniel Carraway

    Well, it’s a great pedometer and the live tracking is also cool. My buddy has the Garmin and he has been using it on his golf games – you’ve got to sync it properly though and make sure your settings are correct.

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