Best Outdoor Watches: 8 Products for Superior Outdoor Timekeeping

Outdoor watch
Written by Sean Nelson

If you refer to yourself as a true outdoorsman, then it goes without saying that you know how important it is to have a reliable timekeeping tool with you. When you are outdoors, a standard watch just won’t cut it. You need the most advanced, versatile and the toughest timepiece while in the wild. Don’t you agree?

However, shopping for a good, reliable outdoor watch can be quite a hassle. Most beginners won’t even know where to start. In this article, we will give you some great tips on how to shop for the best outdoor watches. For good measure, we have also thrown some great recommendations for you.

Our top picks

Casio Pro Trek 2.6 ounces2.3 x 2 x 0.5 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Epix GPS3 ounces2.09 x 2 x 0.7 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Vivoactive1.3 ounces1.72 x 1.52 x 0.32 inchesYes Check price on Amazon
Suunto Traverse2.9 ounces2 x 2 x 0.6 inchesYes Check price on Amazon
Suunto Vector1.9 ounces2 x 1.8 x 0.6 inchesYes Check price on Amazon
Casio Pathfinder2.3 ounces2.2 x 2.0 x 0.6 inchesYes Check price on Amazon
Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire3.2 ounces1.9 x 1.9 x 2.7 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Fenix 32.9 ounces2 x 2 x 0.6 inchesYesCheck price on Amazon

Features to consider when purchasing

Most outdoor activities consist of different adventures and so one of the first things you must do before buying a watch for the outdoors is to make a list of the features you would want for each activity.

For example, for hiking you will need certain features that will help you on the trail. For running you will need other features such as the tracking metrics that can track your heart rate as you jog. If you are doing deep sea diving, you will need an outdoor water resistant watch that can still keep working when you are deep under water.

Therefore, be specific about the type of outdoor activity you will be taking on when you are buying a watch to compliment the outdoors and you will find life much easier.

How much money can you afford to spend?

Money is a major issue that you need to consider when you are thinking of buying a great watch for your outdoor activities. A watch that comes with the major equipment might not be cheap but it will definitely do its job well.

It will help to keep you safe outdoors because of special features it has such as the capability of keeping track of how fast your heart is beating, GPS tracking that makes it easier for you to navigate your route and so on. Therefore, consider your budget and buy an outdoor timepiece that fits in well with what you can afford.

Consider battery life

How long your timepiece can work is essential when you are outdoors, especially if you are considering such dangerous sports as rock climbing and deep sea dives. No one wants to take a watch along with him or her only to see it stop working in the time when it is really needed. You cannot access the badly needed features the watch carries when the battery runs out.

So therefore, you will be left on a limb hanging with no way of checking your heart rate or breathing and so on. To make it safer for you when you are outside hiking, running or camping in the wild, buy a watch that has a long battery life.

Consider durability

Durability is a necessary factor when buying a watch to keep you company while hiking or camping out. To be honest, most manufacturers put durability as one of the most outstanding features in outdoor watches.

However, it is to your best interest that you buy a timepiece that can take the pressure and stress of outdoor life and not buy one that will crank up on you at the least little bounce it gets. After all, some of the activities you might be participating in may have to do with rugged terrains and so you need a timekeeper that can keep up with you every step of the way.

Best Products on Today’s Market

The type of watch you wear when you go hiking or camping can make a difference to your outdoors adventure, especially if you fancy yourself to be an avid out-of-doors devotee. So, below are some top-notch outdoor watches you should consider owning if you are a passionate outdoors person.

Casio Pro Trek WatchThe Casio Men's PRW-6,000Y-1A Pro Trek

Price: Approx. $387

Weight: 2.6 ounces

Dimensions: 2.3 x 2 x 0.5 inches

Durability features: Stainless steel or resin case mineral glass, carbon fiber insert resin band and 100-meter water resistance

Specific features: Triple sensor, barometer/thermometer, compass, altimeter, low temperature resistant (14 degree F) and tough solar

Best use: For hiking, running, swimming and more

The Casio Pro Trek Watch comes with an array of features that you will love. Although the original color is usually led white, the watch can come in slightly different color variations. In addition, it has a triple sensor feature attached to it so that you can always get thorough barometric pressure readings.

The beeper alarm will sound the signal and will show light-up digital display on the indicator. Furthermore, there is a dual led feature that will cause the watch face to illuminate so that the digital display can be seen properly.

Other features that make this watch suitable hiking watch to own is its operating functions such as the tough solar, smart access and a radio controlled timekeeping device that truly makes it the best hiking watch worn by outdoor enthusiasts today.


  • Great carbon fiber resin straps
  • Solar powered
  • Compass


  • Has a gigantic crown on the right
  • Uncomfortable wings on the underside of the watch

Related: Customers who buy this great watch also buy the Casio Tempered Glass Screen Protector. It has been specially made for Casio watches and provides full coverage and will ensure your watch does not get damaged during your day to day activities.

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Garmin Epix GPS WatchGarmin Epix GPS Watch

Price: Approx. $296.34

Weight: 3 ounces

Dimensions: 2.09 x 2 x 0.7 inches

Durability features: Waterproof to 164 foots, rugged, 0.7 inches thickness

Specific features: GPS location tracking and TOPO Europe maps, 1.4 inches color touch screen and 205 x 148 pixels. 50m waterproof resistance, built in memory amounting to 8GB, ANT+ and sensor supports, PC or Smartphone connection via USB, ANT+ or Bluetooth

Best use: Hiking, running, swimming, cycling and more

The Garmin Epix GPS Watch is a timepiece every outdoor lover should own. As the name GPS implies, the watch has mapping devices to help you navigate the great outdoors. Although it looks a bit bulky at first glance, still, it is a comfortable fit on your wrist and once you put it on you will want to wear it every single day.

Some of the watch’s top features are its 164 foots water resistant capability that allows you to take a nice swim without taking it off, touch sensitive screen, backlight, menu, configurations and power off option as well as activity history details that allow you to backtrack and see what your recent activities were.

An outstanding feature of this watch is its Garmin Connect Website that operates through the Smartphone app. The app allows you to set the kind of goals you want when you are outdoors and as an additional bonus you can use it to share information with friends.


  • Has navigational abilities
  • Has a sleep monitor
  • It beeps when you go off- course
  • Bluetooth sync


  • Appears huge
  • Nerdy like

Related: Customers who buy this watch also buy the Garmin Epix Fabric Wrist Band. In case your wrist band fails you, it’s good to know that you have a reserved one.

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Garmin Vivoactive WatchGarmin Vivoactive Black

Price: Approx. $127.18

Weight: 1.3 ounces

Dimensions: 1.72 x 1.52 x 0.32 inches

Durability features: 164 foots water resistant

Specific features: Clock display, water resistance, notifications, incoming notifications options, notification methods, Smartphone remote features, average battery life, sensors, heart rate monitor, GPS, camera, shutter control

Best use: Running, biking, swimming, golfing and activity tracking

Unlike most outdoor watches worn by nature lovers, the Garmin Vivoactive Watch timepiece is more like a fitness watch when compared to other Garmin forerunner watches. It carries in its array of features a GPS tracking device that allows you to stay on course when you are traversing the outdoor scenes.

However, its most awesome attraction is its color screen, which is an LCD panel measuring 204 by 148 pixel. The screen’s glare is awesome during sunlight hours but works with a front light at night.

Still, if you find yourself in a dark spot when outdoors, you can always manually turn on the light or better yet allow the light to automatically come on when you use the Vivoactive.

To make the watch remain on your wrist, it carries strap screws that are invisible to the eye. It is light and can fit very comfortable on your wrist. What better way to face the outdoors than to wear the Garmin Vivoactive Black timepiece on your person.


  • Easy to read display
  • Downloadable applications for different watch faces
  • Waterproof


  • It does a lot of things but you can’t use them at the same time
  • Sleep analysis is only available if you sync to your phone or PC then connect data
  • The alarm in a dark room is difficult to turn off

Related: Customers who buy this Garmin watch also buy the Garmin Vivoactive Screen Protector which of course, protects their watch from all sorts of bumps and scratches.

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Suunto Traverse WatchSuunto Traverse

Price: Approx. $351.75

Weight: 2.9 ounces

Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 0.6 inches

Durability features: Stainless steel, the glass material is mineral crystal, case material is composite, strap material is made from silicone and it can be submerged in 3278 foots of water

Specific features: GPS and GLONASS tracking for route and navigation, speed distance and altitude tracking, recorded track, heat maps

Best use: Mountaineering, hiking, trekking, walking, hunting, climbing and backpacking

The Suunto Traverse Watch was released in 2015 and since then has been making a splash on the market. The watches comprise of five collections and they include the Suunto Traverse Amber, White, Black, Slate and Graphite. Apart from their awesome features, they tend to look attractive on the wrist of their owners.

The casing for the watch is made of stainless steel and the watch itself carries a weight of 2.9 ounces. It has a 328 foots water resistance capability. The lenses are made from mineral crystal that makes it difficult to bend under certain kind of pressure.

To top it all, on the inside of the timepiece there is a barometer, digital compass, altimeter, thermometer and GPS tracking system attached to it.

The outside of the watch is designed to withstand severe conditions. For your outdoor adventures, choose a timepiece that can go the distance such as this watch and thus you will have all the tools you will need when it comes to keeping proper time in the great outdoors.


  • Easy to use
  • Allows you to plan routes online
  • Accurate readings


  • Display is difficult to read in bright light
  • Does not connect to some devices
  • Poor battery life

Related: With a smart watch such as this, you need to have the right accessories. That is why customers also buy the Zeagle Stiletto Package. The package comes with 5 different items which you will certainly need in your day to day living.

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Suunto Vector WatchSUUNTO VECTOR

Price: Aprox. $80

Weight: 1.9 ounces

Dimensions: 2 x 1.8 x 0.6 inches

Durability features: Composite bezel material, acrylic glass, composite case, 98.4 foots water resistant, elastomer strap

Specific features: Altimeter, barometer, compass, temperature, weather trend indicator, altitude log, vertical speed, altitude difference measurement

Best use: Mountaineering, military use, backpacking, law enforcement, military, hiking

The Suunto Vector Watch is a great outdoor watch to own! It has everything you need to give you that edge when you are tackling the outdoors. It is mainly designed for mountain trails and climbing. With an altimeter, compass and barometer systems as part of its inside attachments, you will have no problem keeping good time and finding your way around the mountain.

In addition, the design of the timepiece makes it durable so that you can tackle the harshest conditions outdoors. Other key features include temperature keeping, altitude log, vertical speed, weather trend indicator, altitude difference measurement, multiple watch use, user replaceable battery and date as well as a cool timepiece.

This watch is designed for professional outdoor enthusiasts to wear so they can tackle the harsh conditions of the great outdoors.


  • Provides accurate real time readings
  • Replaceable battery
  • Easy to use


  • Pricey

Related: Another fitness item that will help you alongside this watch is the 3D FitBud Simple Step Counter. It has a lanyard so you can easily hang it as you go.

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Casio Pathfinder WatchCasio Pathfinder PAG 240-1

Price: Approx. $149. 99

Weight: 2.3 ounces

Dimensions: 2.2 x 2.0 x 0.6 inches

Durability features: 328 foots water resistant, resin case made from bezel material

Specific features: Compass, barometer, altimeter, tough solar power, triple sensor, world time

Best use: For mountaineering

Without the Casio Pathfinder Watch available to outdoor lovers, life in the great unknown would not be always so enjoyable.

It has a solar fuel power attribute and is created to run for up to six months without the help of any sunlight. Its capabilities are worth noting and features consist of an altimeter, time performance piece, barometer, compass, thermometer, solar power and an easy to use display section.

This is an attractive military watch for the outdoors that carries a cutting edge to it. With an affordable price tag, an array of features, functions and outstanding performances, your outdoor adventures could not be any better.


  • Multi functional
  • Temperature gauge
  • Easy to use


  • Display is not readable in bright light

Related: Customers who buy this watch also buy the Casio Replacement Band. Enough said, it’s always good to have a replacement band in case your current one gives up on you.

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Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire WatchSuunto Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire

Price: Approx. $347.75

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.9 x 2.7 inches

Durability features: 328 foots water resistant, bezel material made from steel, sapphire crystal glass, polyamide case, 30 days battery life

Specific features: Route navigation and track back, compass, heart rate for swimmers, weather information, altitude, route navigation and track back

Best use: Multiple outdoor sports, running, swimming, cycling

Having the Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire Watch as your traveling companion when you are outdoors is a dream came true. It can be used as a sports watch and today many sportsmen are depending on it mainly because of its awesome performance record. It has all the features that you will need to make your time outdoors a pleasant one.

Key features include heart rate reading, mobile connections, GPS and weather functions. Other powerfeatures include a compass, altitude, 30 hour battery usage, track back and navigation, activity recovery time, speed, distance and pace movement and language choice as well as more.

In addition, it is good for connectivity purpose and you can upload as well as share your activities with friends or family members in other locations. The connectivity system also gives you the ability to see your messages and calls as well as you can see notifications.

Furthermore, you can take memorable photos and send them to friends or record those unforgettable outdoor experiences and share then on social media sites.


  • Simple to use
  • Measures temperature
  • Has a digital compass


  • Big
  • Bulky
  • May not pair with all phones

Related: As you buy this watch it is advised that you also get the Ace Armor Screen Protector. It’s a great screen protector that will help toughen up your watch while you’re in the wild

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Garmin Fenix 3 WatchGarmin Fenix 3

Price: Approx. $549.99

Weight: 2.9 ounces

Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 0.6 inches

Durability features: 50 hours battery life, water resistant case, rugged

Specific features: Compass, barometer altimeter, high sensitivity receiver, GLONASS, GPS enabled, vibration alert

Best use: Outdoor activities, swimming, golfing, hunting, fishing, cycling and running

To enjoy your outdoor visits more, you can wear a Garmin Fenix 3 Watch timepiece so that you can keep abreast of the time of day and take advantage of other top features that the watch has to offer.

You can use it for any outdoor activities such as to track your biking, running, rowing hiking, triathlon, climbing, snow skiing, stand up paddling, swimming, golfing and airplane skydiving as well as more. The watch is rather chunky built and really stands out as rugged, yet, it looks attractive on the wrist. This famous timepiece packs enough features to stand up to any outdoor watch competing against it.

One feature that it boasts very well is the tracking metrics, which is used to track your breathing when cycling, running, swimming, hiking, skiing, hunting, paddle rowing, golfing, working out at the gym and much more.

The heart rate monitoring is another essential feature to have when you tackle the outdoors because it allows you to keep track of the pace your heart is beating when you are outside doing outdoor activities. Another cool feature is the activity tracking that makes it possible for you to track what you do during the days when you are outdoors.

The notifications app is another tremendous feature to carry around with you because you can see who is trying to get you on your Smartphone anytime of the day. The battery life of this watch is to be commended as well because the GPS can function properly for up to 16 hours nonstop.

The UltraTrac training can go up to 40 hours and the smart watch can continue working for up to two weeks straight. What better way to conduct your outdoor activities than to have this watch as your companion.


  • Multi functional
  • Temperature gauge
  • Easy to use


  • More expensive

Related: Customers also buy it with the Garmin Fenix 3Screen Protector and the Garmin Fenix 3 Watch Band. These items are specially made for this watch and will serve you a great deal.

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Wrapping up

Owning a good outdoor watch will allow you to stand out from the crowd of hikers and campers. Not only that, but the watch you wear when you are doing your strenuous outdoor activities will help you stay in touch with the outside world and make you feel in control at the same time.

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Sean Nelson

Sean was backpacking since he was 7. He was born close to the RMNP and his father was a ranger, so life surrounded by mountains and wildlife is a norm for Colorado. He likes to explore, but prefers to stay in USA. In his opinion, there are too many trails and options in US to go abroad.