If you’re an avid outdoor adventurer or need a smartwatch that can keep up. So you may need to upgrade your current tracker to a more rugged smartwatch. However, finding the right model for your needs can be difficult, with so many options saturating the market right now. To help you with your decision making, we’ve reviewed 10 popular rugged smartwatches. But first, a quick buying guide to help you.
Before purchasing a rugged smartwatch, the first thing to consider is its durability. If the device is not robust, it will not survive long in the harsh conditions you may encounter. Look for a watch with a shockproof and water-resistant case (at least 10 ATM). If you want to use the watch for a long time, the screen should be scratch-proof or have Gorilla Glass protection.
Because you’ll be wearing these watches outside, you’ll want one with a decent navigation system. Having a GPS or any other satellite navigation system on your watch, such as GLONASS or Galileo, will help you remain on track and stay on track. A rugged smartwatch must also include ABC sensors (Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass), which stand for Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass.
This is responsible for providing the data related to the elevation, which is helpful when you are hiking or rock climbing with this watch.
The barometer detects variations in atmospheric pressure and forecasts weather changes, as well as warning you of impending storms.
A compass will identify your direction of travel and ensure you do not get lost.
A rugged smartwatch might also have some more sophisticated tactical capabilities such as night vision, which enables you to see the display in the dark, in addition to navigation sensors. In addition, some watches employ atomic timekeeping, which uses radiofrequency to adjust the time accurately.
Some advanced rugged smartwatches also feature a stealth mode that turns down the GPS and wireless connection to prevent you from revealing your position when it’s not safe. Some tactical military timepieces include a Jumpmaster function that assists you while in the air so that you may land safely. However, not every rugged smartwatch has all of the capabilities, so choose one that has all of the characteristics you need for your job.
Long Battery Life
Last but not least, your tactical smartwatch’s battery life must be enough so that it does not run out of juice when you need it most. For added battery life, look for a tactical rugged smartwatch that offers solar charging.
OK, now onto the 10 best-rugged watches on the market.
1. TicWatch S2
A superb rugged smartwatch is what you get with the Mobvoi TicWatch S2. Especially for anyone that needs a trusty device in the toughest of conditions. It has military-grade protection, two-day battery life, and a waterproof design.
- Smartwatch for Outdoor Activities - Certified by US Military Standard 810G, the perfect sidekick as...
- 24hr HRM and Build-in GPS - Workout without your phone. Google Fit and TicMotion make it easy to get...
- 5 ATM Waterproof - Your swimming companion with up to 50 meter underwater waterproof.
It is affordable for most budgets. Especially if you’re looking for a device that will last rather than replacing it every year. The only drawback is that there is no contactless payment. Nor does it feel like a premium device when you wear it, despite having removable straps and being lightweight.
2. Suunto Core All Black
- Suunto Core: This classic outdoor sports watch is packed with intelligent features like a Storm...
- Essential for Adventure: This watch has dual times, a date display, and alarm, plus predicted times...
- Suunto Sports Watches: Versatile and durable, Suunto sports watches are great for running, swimming,...
This is a substantial timepiece. Big battery, robust aesthetics, and a lengthy list of multi-sport capabilities that will give virtually any other watch a run for its money on the run, bike, swim, or stand up paddleboard. It’s pricey, and the software and design should be better, but the Suunto 9’s incredible longevity outweighs all of those flaws.
There aren’t many companies that cater to your tracking requirements like Suunto if you’re into endurance. Suunto watches are tough, durable, and multi-sport capable, making them ideal for taking on the great outdoors. The upscale Suunto 9, the newest member of the family, takes this to new heights.
It has one key feature that will help runners of all abilities sit up and pay attention – a battery life that will endure even the longest trials. It will hold its own even on the most severe excursions.
We know battery life will be at the top of every runner’s desire list when it comes to running watches.
With Suunto, however, this is not the case. The Finnish firm claims to have solved the issue, providing a watch with 120 hours of sports monitoring and sensor-assisted GPS tracking that is as precise as many complete GPS watches.
But this isn’t just a one-trick pony; in addition to the impressive battery life, there is a slew of other features ranging from sleep and activity tracking to performance tracking in 80 different sport modes. This includes running, trail running, pool and open water swimming, cycling (and, separately, triathlons), mountain biking, triathlon, and obstacle racing. It goes on.
There’s optical heart rate, barometer and GPS, altitude, intervals, training load and recovery time advice. All of this technology has been through rigorous tests for drop, freeze/thaw, humidity, and immersion.
On paper, it seems to be a very powerful tool, but it comes at a high price.
3. Suunto 9 Peak
Suunto unveiled its newest premium sports watch this year, the Suunto 9 Peak. It’s the company’s thinnest and lightest gadget to date.
Small and light fitness trackers have become more popular in recent years. For example, Garmin’s most popular sports watches now come in ‘S’ variants for runners (including the new Garmin Venu 2). Furthermore, the Polar Ignite 2, which was just unveiled, packs a lot of training power into a little container.
- Suunto 9 Baro: This durable multisport GPS watch is designed for athletes who demand the best;...
- Built To Last: Made for training, racing and extreme adventures, this GPS watch delivers up to 120...
- Get Connected: Connect to your favorite sports apps and services from the Suunto app to get more...
Suunto 9 Baro vs. Suunto 9 Peak
The Suunto 9 Peak replaces the Suunto 9 Baro, which is 37 per cent thinner and 36 per cent lighter. It also maintains the decreasing trend. Our best guess is that the Suunto 9 Peak will be 10.5mm thick and weigh roughly 52g, but this is only an informed guess; the exact specifications have yet to be revealed.
The Suunto 9 Peak has a SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen saturation monitoring (which is particularly helpful while exercising at altitude), an ambient light sensor that adjusts the screen brightness automatically to balance visibility and energy use, and quicker charging (the watch can be fully charged in just one hour).
The Suunto app enhances the functionality of watch faces by presenting sport-specific heatmaps (similar to Strava) and allows users to upload routes to the device for offline navigation.
Suunto 9 Peak vs. Garmin Fenix 6
In other words, the Suunto 9 Peak is a watch that is the same size as the Fenix 6S but has longer battery life.
The Garmin Fenix 6 series is your best option when it comes to GPS. With a 42mm casing that weighs 60g in steel, the Fenix 6S is the most equivalent in size. It is, however, 14.2mm thick, and the battery life in maximum GPS mode is between 25 and 50 hours.
Yes, it may seem tight if you’re accustomed to bigger displays. The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is another watch with a 12.2-inch screen that we may find on the market.
The Suunto 9 Peak can track basic metrics like steps and calories, but it can also track a lot more. The watch learns your training loads, VO2max, HR, recovery, and sleep lengths. HRV feedback is also used for 24×7 ready states (body battery). The same data is represented in the app, where there is a greater possibility to acquire deeper insights – for example, via bigger format graphs.
Garmin’s features are extensive, complex, and sometimes difficult to understand. Suunto, on the other hand, has the necessary measures in place for rookie or recreational athletes.
In the end, your decision will be based on the amount of data you need.
4. Casio WSD-F30 (Pro Trek Smart)
With a seriously clever layered screen and a robust casing, this rugged smartwatch is not for the fainthearted! Casio worked hard to deliver a great smartwatch for serious hikers and adventurers. But it is also a great choice for those who love to fish, kayak, and run.
Casio created the ProTrek Smart WSD-F30, a wristwatch that integrates smartwatch features with maps and GPS capabilities. It’s perfect for both adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The WSD-F30 has a dual-layer monochrome LCD touchscreen for better battery life and usability. When GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, and the colour display are all turned on, the watch will last up to 1.5 days. Without Bluetooth or WiFi, you can extend this to 3 days, and Multi-Timepiece mode offers up to a month of battery life while still showing key sensor information like time, compass bearing, altitude, and ambient pressure.
Full-colour maps can be downloaded and viewed offline. Plus built-in sensors such as breadcrumb detail, compass, altimeter, and barometer to display your direction of travel, altitude above sea level, and atmospheric pressure can help you never get lost again.
You can download a variety of apps from the Google Playstore (Android phones only), including popular outdoor and exercise apps like Viewranger and Strava. You can also use the built-in microphone to access and respond to text messages, enabling you to leave your phone at home while you’re out and about.
4. Casio G-Shock G-Squad
The first G-Shock smartwatch. The new wristwatch is intended for use in a variety of sports, including jogging, indoor workouts, road riding, and swimming, as well as more extreme pastimes such as surfing and snowboarding. It has an optical sensor for measuring heart rate, a compass, an altitude/air pressure sensor, an accelerometer, a gyrometer, GPS capabilities, and other features.
The watch collects data on distance, speed, and pace, and its dual-layer monochrome and colour display has an interface with a three-tier layout that you can adjust to meet your needs.
Combines toughness with workout functions. The complex tough form protects the glass and buttons from direct shock. It has a waterproof charging connector and a built-in optical sensor that measures heart rate at the wrist, as well as a 20-bar water resistance. For convenient button pressing, resin portions cover the metal bezel. The design incorporates resin and aluminium, as well as bigger measuring buttons. The other buttons have a non-slip design for ease of use.
Heart Rate Monitor – an optical sensor on the case back of the watch that detects blood flow beneath the skin and measures heart rate.
Receives current location data from GPS satellites, measures distance travelled, speed, pace, and other data. The watch collects data from the GLONASS and Michibiki (QZSS) satellite systems in addition to GPS. Connect to a smartphone to display the movement track on a map via an app.
Smart features – Vibrates simple alerts for training time and heart rate zone, as well as smartphone email receipt and other notifications. Displays Bluetooth-connected smartphone call, email, and social media message receipt notifications so you may see them even while exercising.
Time mode (which includes step count measurement and notification functions) can be powered only by solar charging. USB charging is even faster. Training functions can be used constantly for up to 14 hours after around 2.5 hours of charging.
6. Garmin Instinct Solar Tactical
- Solar charging capabilities allow you to extend battery life beyond traditional charging
- Rugged GPS Watch is water-rated to 100 meters and constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for...
- Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems...
Garmin is a sports watch pro. And the Instinct Solar is even more brilliant than we first thought it would be! For one, it keeps itself charged. Also, it offers a range of power modes so you can maximize the battery life to suit your needs.
It also comes with a range of quality features, including an oxygen sensor and a heart rate monitor. It is made from seriously tough materials so you can depend on it wherever you are. The battery life last weeks between charges in. Particularly handy if you’re out and about sucking in that solar energy. A great choice for anyone with a decent budget to spend.
7. Amazfit T-Rex Pro
The Amazfit T-Rex is for outdoor enthusiasts. It was released a few years ago and packs a lot into a design that can withstand a lot of abuse. The Amazfit T-Rex Pro, its replacement, now has a few upgrades that make the wristwatch superior and more robust.
- 【TOUGHNESS FROM THE INSIDE OUT】The Amazfit T-Rex Pro comes with a 1.3" HD AMOLED always-on color...
- 【YOUR PARTNER IN EXPLORATION】The Amazfit T-Rex Pro smartwatch is high-level exploration partner,...
- 【Ultra-long 18 Day Battery Life】When fully-charged, you can relax and enjoy up to 18 days of...
If you’re looking for a tough smartwatch that can correctly monitor and map your workout while also measuring your heart rate and sleep, this is a terrific bargain option. However, its frenzy of data is frequently nonsensical, and it does not communicate with third-party apps.
In short, the advantages are that the HRM and SpO2 are nice advanced features. Data readouts are crystal clear. Battery life of a week and waterproof to 100m. However, there is no GPS navigation, third-party app integration and not everyone likes the rugged design.
8. Garmin Fenix 6 Series
Of all the rugged smartwatches we tested, the Fenix 6 really blew our minds! It offers an exceptional design that is solid and dependable even in the most difficult terrains. It has a wide range of outdoor tracking options that will tell you how hard you are hitting your goals each day. Not only is there a wealth of tracking options, but we feel that it will be unbeatable on tracking accuracy. This is great if you need accurate stats to measure your progress.
- Fit for performance with rugged, sophisticated design that features an always-on 1.3 inches (18%...
- Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox to support advanced sleep monitoring and altitude...
- Advanced training features include PacePro for grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your activity...
It is an upgrade on the Fenix 5, but it feels like a brand new device! Unfortunately, it is a costly one that will set you back a fair amount. Though, if that’s your budget, you’ll not be disappointed.
9. Garmin Fenix 7
For quite some time, the Garmin Fenix 7 has been highly anticipated. The earliest rumours about a release date were made in 2020. Rather than providing us with a new gadget, however, the firm improved the Fenix 6. They also created the Fenix 6 Pro and 6 S Pro. Later in the year, the solar versions were also available. Here’s a link to our guide to the whole Fenix line.
The Fenix 6 has, however, reached the end of its useful life. It’s past time for a fresh edition. We do know that Garmin often releases new products in the late summer and early fall. In other words, an announcement might be made at any moment.
Furthermore, we are certain that the organisation will keep to its mid-high budget when it comes to pricing. Various variations are available for different requirements. In the end, the new model will almost certainly be more costly than the old model in the existing market. Customers will be able to purchase older versions at a lower price.
10. Garmin Tactix Delta Solar
The Tactix Delta Solar is the fourth edition of the Tactix line. It was primarily based on the Fenix series. The Tactix Delta Solar was developed to military standards and incorporates solar technology to extend battery life as well as Power Mode to offer you 24 days of outside sunlight exposure and 21 days inside.
The stealth mode, which is shared with the Instinct Tactical, is available on the Tactix Delta Solar. Wireless connections will be disabled, location sharing will be disabled, and user data will be deleted from the memory.
The design is intended to be tough. It sports a 1.4-inch Always-On display, a scratch-resistant sapphire glass, a black steel bezel, a reinforced tactical nylon band with quick-fit technology, and PVD-coated steel back. All of this is finished in a dark black colour.
With an APC – applied ballistic calculator – there is a unique model. However, this will come at a cost, and it will only be required by true military people.
You’ll enjoy this if you’re seeking a multisport watch with GPS and some great features to flaunt. It’s more of a lifestyle item with tactical elements and useful features. It’s of exceptional quality and will last a lifetime.
- The solar charging lens uses sunlight to extend battery life and custom power manager modes to...
- Carry out the mission, and train with a rugged yet sophisticated watch, featuring an always-on...
- Includes preloaded TOPO maps, a public land map, ski maps for 2,000 ski resorts worldwide,...
11. Suunto Traverse Alpha
Suunto’s Traverse Alpha watch has a lot of tactical/military capabilities and is very durable. The watch has a stainless-steel bezel and a casing constructed of robust composite materials. For optimum comfort and durability, the strap is constructed of water-repellent material. The Traverse Alpha also has a built-in GPS (it also supports GLONASS) and therefore provides a number of advanced capabilities that are useful for tactical and hunting sports.
The watch, for example, will display coordinates of your present position in real-time — it also supports MGRS (Military Grid Reference System) coordinates, which are used by NATO troops. It also enables you to import routes in a variety of formats (GPX, KML, etc.) and create waypoints. When you create routes and waypoints, the watch helps you navigate by displaying your current position with respect to the route or waypoint. This is quite useful for hunting, patrolling, and other similar tasks. Another helpful feature is automated shot detection; when a shot is fired, the watch recognises it and records the locations as a waypoint right away.
The GPS also allows you to monitor your activities, and the Suunto Movescount app provides detailed statistics (distance, time, speed, and map) for each one (available as a web and a mobile app).
- Upload routes to your watch, and you're ready to explore new terrains with the help of GPS and...
- Follow your Progress with distance and altitude statistics, save points of interest and re trace...
- Barometric Trend helps predict weather changes, and storm alarm alerts you when it's time to find...
You’ll need a smartphone
However, to see the specifics of the action, you must synchronise the watch with your smartphone. When you connect the Suunto Traverse Alpha with your smartphone, you can control the watch’s settings directly from the phone, and the watch can also display alerts from your phone (incoming calls, messages etc.).
Also, it comes with a Compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, moon phase calendar, moonrise/moonset alarm, sunrise/sunset alarm, and a backlight compatible with night vision goggles are all essential tools for tactical enthusiasts and hunters.
The watch also displays real-time GPS data such as current speed, distance, and other metrics. The Suunto Traverse Alpha is one of the finest military timepieces available, with enough features to please even the most ardent tactical fan. The brand launched the Traverse Alpha Woodland and Traverse Alpha Concrete versions in August 2017.
12. Suunto Core Alpha Stealth
Suunto, a worldwide leader in sports watches, dive computers, and precision instruments, brings to its all-new Suunto Core Alpha Stealth over 85 years of high-quality legacy craftsmanship, unrelenting accuracy, and pioneering innovation. The Suunto Core Alpha Stealth is designed, constructed, and tested to military standards, with critical mission-ready capabilities like red light mode’ enabling uncompromising usage in the dark with night-vision goggles. The rugged structure, seamless simplicity of use, and 12-month battery life in time mode without the need to charge for ultimate off-grid use will appeal to military, tactical, survival enthusiasts, and hunters.
The Suunto Core Alpha Stealth underwent comprehensive and harsh testing to fulfil military requirements (MIL-STD-810), including vibration and shock management, varying temperature exposure, and long-term liquid submersion scenarios, among other things. The watch’s cloth strap complies with the Berry Amendment, providing unquestionable durability while also proving that the watch was made in the United States.
Built to last
Suunto has a long history of producing rugged wearables for tactical and outdoor applications. The new Suunto Core Alpha Stealth is another step toward offering a flexible and all-around performance-oriented non-connected sports watch, with rich capabilities like the new night vision goggle compatibility.
The accurate built-in compass, which has changeable declination, digital and mechanical bearing locks, 30m water resistance, altitude, barometer, and depth recording, allows users to confidently traverse uncharted territory. Measurements of sea level pressure with graphing, a weather trends indicator, dawn and sunset timings, temperature data, and a storm alert are all included in the detailed weather insights.
Suunto’s Core Alpha Stealth is a 67-gram watch with an aluminium bezel, composite casing, and mineral crystal glass that will cost about $300.
13. Ticwatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 is a pleasant surprise. Not only does it come with a Snapdragon 4100 chipset, but it also offers an amazing high-resolution display for you to enjoy. With good fitness tracking and notification options, you will track your efforts and stay in touch with your loved ones with ease.
- Innovative Technology Ensures Longer Battery Life - Dual-layer Display 2.0 supports Smart Mode and...
- Updated Chipset, Better Experience - The 1st wear OS by Google smartwatch with the Qualcomm...
- Advanced Health and Fitness Monitoring - Multiple sports modes, with built-in GPS, barometer and...
This is a great all-rounder. Plus it has a decent battery life that will last up to three days before needing to be charged. The only real issue is that sleep tracking is not 100% accurate. So if this is a deal-breaker for you, then it may be worth looking elsewhere.
14. Casio G-Shock Mudmaster
- Shock resistant, neobrite, mineral glass, mud resistant, 200-meter water resistance, led backlight...
- Countdown timer, 5 daily alarms, hourly time signal, low battery alert, full auto-calendar,...
- Quartz Movement
Is it really fair to speak about tough military timepieces and not include G-Shock? Not in the least. So, here’s the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster, a watch to consider if you’re a Navy SEAL, in the military, or in any other job that requires a lot of physical exertion.
The G-Shock Mudmaster may not be your flashy smartwatch with all the bells and whistles, but it does include all the essential tactical capabilities you’ll need to stay alive on the battlefield.
Although this watch lacks a built-in GPS, it does have an Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass, which are all useful in outdoor situations.
The watch’s highlight, and the reason we call it a superb tactical watch, is that it has Atomic Timekeeping. You won’t have to manually set the time or date on your watch if it has this function.
At regular intervals, the watch receives radio signals that update or synchronise the time to the most accurate one. Every second counts in military activities, therefore a watch like the G-Shock Mudmaster with atomic time is often utilised.
Furthermore, this watch will never run out of power since it is capable of solar charging, which means it will automatically charge while you are monitoring activities outside in the sun.
Day or night
Also, you may wear this watch at any time of day or night, in broad daylight or in the dead of night. When there isn’t enough light, two tiny LEDs integrated within the watch dial let you see the time. The watch hands and numerals are also luminous, making it easy to read the time at night.
Aside from these tactical qualities, its durability is another quality that makes it a superb military watch. The G-Shock brand is renowned for its rugged timepieces, and this one is no exception. As a result, even if you use it every day in the most severe circumstances, it will easily last you years.
Overall, if you’re searching for a true military resistant watch with sophisticated tactical capabilities, this G-Shock watch is unrivalled.
Rugged Smartwatches – The Verdict
It’s clear that all these rugged smartwatches have something special to offer. But we’d be lying if we didn’t point out that the Garmin Fenix 6 is particularly special. With great battery life, range of functions and comfortable, yet stylish design, you can be certain that your daily life will only ever be enhanced by what this rugged smartwatch has to offer.
No matter what model you choose, take the time to find the device that can meet your needs in full. You’ll soon wonder how you ever coped without it! Whichever you opt for, we wish you the happiest adventures with your new rugged smartwatch.
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Last Updated on October 25, 2021