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Best Hiking Watches in 2024

In the world of outdoor adventures, the importance of a reliable hiking watch cannot be overstated. These specialized timepieces have evolved significantly over the years, transforming from basic navigational aids into multifunctional gadgets equipped with GPS functionality, advanced health metrics, and durability suitable for rugged conditions. Today, hiking watches are essential for anyone serious about exploring the great outdoors, from casual trekkers to avid backpackers.

The evolution of hiking watches has been remarkable. Initially, they only featured basic navigation tools like altimeters, barometers, and compasses. Modern versions now include sophisticated GPS tracking, solar charging, and robust construction materials like titanium and sapphire crystal.

In 2024, selecting the best hiking watch involves several crucial criteria: comprehensive GPS functionality, extended battery life, rugged durability, and advanced features such as health tracking and solar charging. This article will guide you through the top options, helping you find the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures.

Why Use a Hiking Watch?

Hiking watches offer a suite of features that can make your adventure safer and more enjoyable. Here’s a closer look at the key benefits:

1. Navigation 📍 Modern hiking watches are equipped with advanced GPS functionality, ensuring you never lose your way, whether on a well-marked trail or deep in the wilderness. These devices provide accurate coordinates, track your route, and even offer topographic maps.

2. Health Metrics 🩺 Many hiking watches come with comprehensive health monitoring features, such as heart rate tracking, sleep analysis, and even oxygen saturation levels. These metrics help you stay in tune with your body’s needs during strenuous activities.

3. ABC Features (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) 🧭 The inclusion of Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass (ABC) functionality can’t be overlooked. These tools measure elevation, atmospheric pressure, and direction, proving invaluable in navigation and weather prediction.

4. Durability and Usability in Rugged Conditions 🛡️ Built to endure the harshest environments, hiking watches often feature robust materials like titanium and sapphire crystal. They are water-resistant, shockproof, and designed to function reliably in extreme temperatures.

Are GPS Watches Worth It? 🤔

Absolutely! GPS watches bring unparalleled navigation and safety features. They offer real-time location tracking, making them indispensable for serious hikers and mountain climbers. Plus, with long battery life and solar charging options, they keep you connected even during extended trips.

Do I Need a Watch for Hiking? 🕒

Investing in a high-quality hiking watch is highly recommended. While smartphones and traditional maps are useful, they can falter in rugged conditions. Hiking watches provide reliability and a compact, wrist-worn solution for navigation, health monitoring, and weather prediction, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable hiking experience.

Summary Table

FeatureBenefit
NavigationGPS functionality, route tracking, and topographic maps
Health MetricsHeart rate, sleep analysis, oxygen saturation
ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)Elevation measurement, weather prediction, directional guidance
Durability & UsabilityRobust materials, water-resistant, shockproof, extreme conditions

Equipped with these features, a reliable hiking watch is your ultimate companion in the great outdoors.

Key Features to Look For

GPS Functionality 📍

A hiking watch's advanced GPS functionality is crucial for accurate navigation and route tracking, ensuring you stay on course even in the most remote and challenging terrains.

Battery Life 🔋

One of the most critical aspects of a hiking watch is its battery life. Here's an overview:

  • Smartwatch Mode: Typically lasts weeks, perfect for daily wear.
  • GPS Mode: Provides several hours to days of continuous use, essential for long hikes. Many models also offer solar charging, extending battery life for extended outdoor expeditions.

Durability 🛡️

Durability is key for hiking watches, with many models featuring robust materials:

  • Titanium: Lightweight yet exceptionally strong, ideal for rugged conditions.
  • Sapphire Crystal: Highly scratch-resistant, ensuring the watch face remains clear and unscathed.

Advanced Features 📊

Modern hiking watches come packed with advanced features designed for optimal performance:

  • Health Metrics: Track heart rate, sleep patterns, and oxygen levels to monitor fitness and well-being.
  • Solar Charging: Prolongs battery life, making it highly convenient for long treks.

Technical Specs 🔢

Important technical specifications to look for include:

  • Display Size: Larger displays offer better readability in various lighting conditions.
  • Weight: Lightweight designs enhance comfort during prolonged wear.

Summary Table

FeatureBenefit
GPS Functionality 📍Accurate navigation and route tracking
Battery Life 🔋Weeks in smartwatch mode, hours/days in GPS mode
Durability 🛡️Titanium and Sapphire Crystal for robustness
Health Metrics 📊Heart rate, sleep, oxygen monitoring
Solar Charging ☀️Extended battery life
Display Size 🔢Improved readability
Weight ⚖️Enhanced comfort

These features make a hiking watch not just a tool, but a reliable companion on all your outdoor adventures.

Best Hiking Watches of 2024

QUICK LIST OF PRODUCTS

BEST FOR SERIOUS HIKERS AND MOUNTAINEERS

Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar, Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Built-in Flashlight, Solar Charging Capability, Black

★★★★★
An advanced GPS smartwatch with exceptional battery life, solar charging, and robust construction utilizing sapphire crystal and titanium, perfect for serious hikers and mountaineers seeking top-tier performance.

BEST FOR BUDGET-CONSCIOUS HIKERS

Garmin 010-02626-10 Instinct 2, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Built for All Elements, Multi-GNSS Support, Tracback Routing and More, graphite

★★★★
Affordable yet robust with multiple GNSS support and superior durability, ideal for budget-conscious hikers looking for reliable performance without breaking the bank

BEST FOR ULTRA-ENDURANCE ATHLETES

Garmin Enduro™ 2 – Ultraperformance Watch, Long-Lasting GPS Battery Life, Solar Charging, Preloaded Maps

★★★★☆
Offers endless battery life in smartwatch mode, advanced health, and fitness tracking with solar charging, perfect for ultra-endurance athletes needing a reliable and long-lasting companion.

BEST FOR ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKERS AND LONG-DISTANCE HIKERS

SUUNTO 9 Peak and Peak Pro Sports GPS Watch for Demanding, Performance-Driven Athletes and Adventurers

★★★★☆
Offers extreme battery life and comprehensive health metrics with an intuitive interface, making it ideal for ultralight backpackers and long-distance hikers prioritizing endurance and reliability.

BEST FOR TECH-SAVVY HIKERS AND IPHONE USERS

Apple Watch Ultra 2 [GPS + Cellular 49mm] Smartwatch with Rugged Titanium Case & Blue Alpine Loop Medium. Fitness Tracker, Precision GPS, Action Button, Extra-Long Battery Life, Carbon Neutral

★★★★☆
High accuracy GPS and advanced health tracking with seamless Apple ecosystem integration, perfect for tech-savvy hikers and iPhone users seeking a versatile and powerful smartwatch

BEST FOR CASUAL HIKERS AND OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS

Casio Protrek PRW6000Y-1A Atomic Solar Wristwatch

★★★★
Equipped with triple sensor (ABC) technology, solar-powered, and robustly constructed for casual hikers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking reliable and durable performance.

BEST FOR MULTI-DAY HIKES AND MOUNTAINEERING

COROS APEX 2 Pro Outdoor GPS Watch, 1.3

★★★★☆
High-end navigation, excellent battery life, and compact lightweight design, catering to multi-day hikers and mountaineers requiring precise and continuous performance.

BEST FOR ADVENTURE SEEKERS AND TRAIL RUNNERSBEST FOR TIDE TRACKING 

COROS VERTIX 2 Adventure GPS Watch, Ultra-Long 43 Days Battery Life, Dual-Frequency GPS, On-Wrist Navigation, Offline Maps, Heart Rate Monitor, Track Sleep, Running, Biking, Skiing, Climbing-Obsidian

★★★★☆
Features top-tier GPS tracking, rugged design, and excellent battery life, catering to adventure seekers and trail runners who need robust and reliable navigation tools.

BEST FOR REMOTE EXPEDITIONS AND EXTREME CLIMATES

SUUNTO Vertical: Adventure GPS Watch, Large Screen, Offline Maps, Solar Charging

★★★★★
Boasts long battery life with solar charging, advanced GPS functionalities, and high durability, suitable for those embarking on remote expeditions and facing extreme climates.

BEST FOR HARSH ENVIRONMENTS AND ROUGH USAGE

CASIO GWG-2000-1A3JF [G-Shock Carbon MUDMASTER Radio Solar Triple Sensor]Shipped from Japan

★★★★
Extreme durability with mud and dust resistance and ABC sensors, ideal for harsh environments and rough usage by demanding outdoor adventurers.

BEST FOR SERIOUS HIKERS AND MOUNTAINEERS

Display Size: 1.3” (33.02 mm) diameter
Display Resolution: 260 x 260 pixels
Weight: 73 grams (case only: 50 grams)
Physical Size: 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm
Battery Life: Smartwatch Mode: Up to 18 days / 22 days with solar
GPS Mode: Up to 57 hours / 73 hours with solar

1. Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar ★★★★

PROS +Phenomenal Battery Life
+Solar Charging Capability
+Advanced Navigation Tools
   
CONS -Overkill for Casual Users
   
SIMILAR MODELS View At Amazon (010-02777-00)
View At Amazon (010-02776-14) 
View At Amazon (010-02778-14)      

Short review

The Garmin fēnix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar is a top-tier multisport GPS smartwatch that stands out as an exceptional hiking companion in 2024. Key features include advanced GPS and mapping capabilities, providing precise navigation and topographic data for your adventures. Its long battery life is bolstered by solar charging, ensuring the watch remains powered even on extended trips with up to 22 days in smartwatch mode.

The premium build quality boasts a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal display and robust titanium housing, making it both durable and rugged. This watch is best for serious hikers and mountaineers who demand reliability and functionality from their gear. Additionally, the built-in flashlight with variable light intensities and red safety light adds further value for night-time activities. Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, the fēnix 7 Pro is designed to withstand harsh conditions, making it a highly recommended choice for your wilderness excursions.

MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

✅ You Require Detailed Hiking Data- Features like hill score, grade-adjusted pace, and visual race predictor provide valuable insights and data to enhance your hiking experience.
You Use Interactive Maps for Outdoors - The ability to download Outdoor Maps+ for premium mapping content such as satellite imagery and topographic maps ensures you always know your surroundings.

DON'T MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

❌ Minimalist Design is More Your Style - If you prefer a simpler, less feature-packed watch, the multitude of functionalities might feel overwhelming.

BEST FOR ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKERS AND LONG-DISTANCE HIKERS

Weight: 64 g / 2.26 oz
Bezel Material: Stainless steel
Glass Material: Sapphire crystal
Case Material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
Strap Material: Silicone (with options for different sizes and accessory straps)
Water Resistance: 100 meters

2. Suunto 9 Peak Pro ★★★★☆

PROS +Military-Grade Durability
+High-Precision GPS and Navigation
+Elegant and Slim Design
   
CONS -High Price Tag
   
SIMILAR MODELS View At Amazon (Forest Green)
View At Amazon (‎Ocean Blue​) 
View At Amazon (Pearl Gold)      

 

Short review

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro watch is an exceptional choice for hiking enthusiasts in 2024, known for its extreme battery life, comprehensive health metrics, and intuitive interface. Designed to cater to ultralight backpackers and long-distance hikers, this GPS watch offers up to 40 hours in the best GPS mode and 21 days in daily use, ensuring you remain connected during extended outdoor adventures.

Its health monitoring features, including heart rate variability (HRV), sleep tracking, and stress management, provide critical insights to help you maintain peak performance. The intuitive and fast user interface, complemented by a sleek design, makes it easy to navigate through 95+ sport modes, including hiking. Built with durability in mind, it meets U.S. military standards and features materials like sapphire crystal and titanium. Combining style, functionality, and resilience, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro is perfect for performance-driven athletes and adventurers braving the wilderness.

MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

✅ You Value Style and Elegance in Tough Gear - Despite its rugged build, the Suunto 9 Peak Pro maintains a sleek and elegant design, making it suitable for everyday wear and not just outdoor excursions

✅ You Appreciate Customization and Connectivity - The compatibility with the Suunto app and the SuuntoPlus™ Store allows for extensive customization and connectivity with over 200 partner apps, enhancing your exercise and adventure experience.

DON'T MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

❌ You Have Small Wrists - Even though it’s slim, the 43 mm case size might feel bulky on smaller wrists, potentially causing discomfort during extended periods of wear.

BEST FOR ADVENTURE SEEKERS AND TRAIL RUNNERS

Display Size: 1.4 inch
Display Resolution: 280 x 280 pixels with 64 colors
Display Type: Touch Screen Always-On Memory LCD
Battery Life:
Up to 127 hours in full GPS mode
Up to 60 days in regular use
Navigation Systems: Supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS

3. Coros Vertix 2 ★★★★☆

PROS +Advanced GPS Accuracy
+Robust and Durable
+On-Wrist Navigation with Offline Maps
   
CONS -Bulky Design
   
SIMILAR MODELS View At Amazon (Pace 3)
View At Amazon (Apex 2) 
View At Amazon (Apex 2 Pro)      

Short review

The Coros Vertix 2 Adventure GPS Watch is designed for adventure seekers and trail runners, making it one of the best hiking watches in 2024. Prominent for its top-tier GPS tracking, this watch supports multiple satellite systems, including dual-frequency GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and Beidou, ensuring precise navigation even in challenging terrains. The rugged and durable design features a grade 5 titanium alloy bezel and a sapphire glass screen, built to withstand extreme outdoor conditions.

With an ultra-long battery life of up to 43 days in regular use and 127 hours in full GPS mode, it's perfect for extended hiking trips without frequent charging needs. The watch also offers on-wrist navigation with offline maps, adding to its comprehensive navigation capabilities. Additional functions like the heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and over 30 activity modes including running, biking, skiing, and climbing make the Coros Vertix 2 a versatile choice for adventurous and performance-driven athletes.

MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

✅ You want on-wrist navigation with offline maps- The Coros Vertix 2 provides free global offline maps, so you can navigate directly from your wrist without relying on a phone or internet connection.

✅ You participate in a variety of outdoor activities - The watch offers over 30 activity modes, including running, biking, skiing, and climbing, along with performance insights like Recovery Timer and Training Status.

DON'T MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

❌ You frequently engage in deep-water activities - Although it has a water resistance of 10 ATM, it is suitable for surface water activities and not designed for diving or other deep-water endeavors

BEST FOR BUDGET-CONSCIOUS HIKERS