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Top Five Watches For Hiking

Updated on February 8, 2015

There were times when a watch was used for one purpose only - knowing the time. Today most watches offer you much more. It is a little computer you wear on your wrist. It can offer you advanced functions like compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, GPS, heart rate monitor etc. Of course it should also provide you with basic functions like time and date. Watches with advanced functions offer you information which is very useful for outdoor activities like mountaineering and hiking.These watches are appropriate for everyday use too. They are good looking and they reveal your lifestyle to others.

So which are the best hiking watches?

Best Five Watches For Hiking

Best Hiking Watches
Best Hiking Watches

Comparison

Model/Specification
Garmin Fenix 2
Suunto Ambit 3
Suunto Core
Casio PRW 2500T-7
Casio PAG 240T
Battery
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Rechargeable
User Replaceable
Solar Rechargeable
Solar Rechargeable
Battery Life
5 Weeks (Watch Mode)
4 Weeks (Watch Mode)
1 Year
5 Months (Without Light Exp.)
6 Months (Without Light Exp.)
Waterproof
50m
100m
30m
200m
100m
GPS
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Maps
Basemap
Basemap
No
No
No
History
100 Tracks
Unlimited
No
No
No
Barometer
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Altimeter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Compass
Yes (3-Axis)
Yes (3D)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Data transfer
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Heart Rate Monitor
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Thermometer
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Garmin Fenix 2
Garmin Fenix 2

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Garmin Fenix 2

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Garmin Fenix 2

With Garmin Fenix 2 you will have navigation and tracking during your hike. It has altimeter, barometer, 3D compass, thermometer and all other functions you will need. You can predict weather changes with historical readout or read how high above sea level you are from the altimeter. The compass will provide you current heading and will help you navigate to the waypoints. With built in GPS your hike will be tracked but that's not all. Garmin Fenix 2 also supports mapping which allows you to see tracks, and waypoints. You can also connect it to the heart rate monitor and employ fitness functions like changes in calorie burning. Basic functions included are time, date, alarm, timer, chronograph, sun and moon information.


PROS:

  • Battery life
  • Comfortable strap
  • Watch shape

CONS:

  • Contrast
  • Complicated setup

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming


Garmin Fenix 2 Video

Suunto Ambit 3
Suunto Ambit 3

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Suunto Ambit 3

Suunto Ambit 3 is the ultimate watch with built-in GPS and heart rate monitor for outdoor activities. It has an altitude meter and a barometer with automatic switch, so that it switches to altitude meter when you are moving and to barometer when you are still. It also has a 3D digital compass which shows you heading in degrees. Built in GPS offers you to track distance, find a route back to your starting point as well as showing you grids and speed. With the heart rate monitor you can see heart rate in real time, average heart rate and calories burnt.The battery is rechargeable and the watch has battery power indicator. Even the thermometer is not missing. These are the special functions of Suunto Ambit which you will use as a hiker. Of course Suunto Ambit supports basic functions like time, alarm, dual time, date and chronograph too. The most interesting features of the Suunto Ambit 3 are smart phone integration and Bluetooth support. Using the Suunto Movescount App on your smartphone allows you to get notifications from the phone directly to the watch. For example calls, messages and Facebook notifications can be seen on your Suunto Ambit 3 watch. Bluetooth support provides you connectivity with Bluetooth sensors like heart rate monitor.

PROS:

  • Display technology
  • Long battery life (in reduced GPS interval mode)
  • Watch shape
  • App support
  • Integration with smart phones
  • Bluetooth chip

CONS

  • Complicated setup
  • Size

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming


Suunto Ambit 3 Video

Suunto Core
Suunto Core

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Suunto Core

Suunto Core is a watch appropriate for hikers and mountaineers. It is cheaper than the Suunto Ambit and has fewer functions. It supports altimeter, barometer and also automatic alti/baro switch. A thermometer and compass are also built in. You will get weather information from a trend graph or trend indicator which is shown on your watch while the barometer is on. If a storm is rising, the storm alarm will warn you. The battery is replaceable but not chargeable. The basic functions are time, alarm, dual time and sunset/sunrise times. Due to its cheaper price it has no GPS or heart rate monitor.


PROS

  • Accurate
  • Easy to set up
  • Well built / quality

CONS

  • Short battery life
  • Often to be returned because of malfunctions
  • No gps support
  • No heart rate monitor support

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Everyday use

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Suunto Video

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Casio PRW 2500T-7
Casio PRW 2500T-7

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Casio PRW 2500T-7

This high performance watch was developed in cooperation with meteorologists to make your hike safe and enjoyable. It is radio calibrated so you won't have problems with time accuracy. The watch has altimeter, barometer, compass and thermometer.The barometer offers you a pressure tendency graph which will help you to predict weather. Predicting the weather gets even easier with the barometric change indicator. The compass will display your bearing and make navigation easier. The battery is solar rechargeable and with its battery level indicator you will avoid a surprise shut down. The basic functions are time, date, alarm, timer and chronograph. This watch doesn't support GPS or heart rate monitor.

PROS

  • Accurate
  • Quality
  • Solar Rechargeable

CONS

  • No gps support
  • No heart rate monitor support

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Everyday use

Casio Pro Trek 2500T Review Video

Casio PAG 240T-7CR
Casio PAG 240T-7CR

Casio PAG 240T-7CR

This watch is a bit cheaper than the Casio PRW 2500T-7 but has fewer functions. It has compass, altimeter, barometer and thermometer. The compass will show your bearing and with the altimeter you will know how high above sea level you are. With barometer you will predict weather. The battery is solar rechargeable and with its battery level indicator you will avoid a surprise shut down. The basic functions are time, date, alarm, timer and chronograph. This watch doesn't support GPS or heart rate monitor.

PROS

  • Quality
  • Solar Rechargeable

CONS

  • No gps support
  • No heart rate monitor support

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Everyday use

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Casio Pro Trek Video

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    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      A very timely hub for me. I hike a lot and am planning on buying a watch that goes along. This hub will definitely narrow down my search.

      Found useful and awesome!

    • BobbySD profile image
      Author

      BobbySD 3 years ago from All around the world

      Thanks and I hope your new watch will serve you good!

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