Finding an outdoor watch model can be daunting when faced with the immense choice available on the market. Today’s outdoor watches are nothing short of amazing and combine the best tools in a small bundle at your wrist. They are made to be indestructible- ready for anything you may throw at them during your outdoor adventure time.
If you do not know where to look next, keep reading to discover the list of our top ten outdoor watches. Of course, we cannot say which particular model will be best suited to you. This will depend on your usual outdoor activities and the features you seek in a watch. Whether you decide to go for a classic timepiece or a smartwatch is the first important decision to make. There are many high-quality brands out there that offer a variety of features. The price difference between outdoor watches may also be quite significant. Even so, this article will guide you in understanding available options.
Before making any decision, determining the usage, you will make of your outdoor watch is key. Several aspects must be taken into consideration.
- Are you after a basic model, to track distance of hikes or runs?
- Do you need a watch suited to sub-zero temperature expeditions? Or one that will continue to work in humid areas?
- Does it need to be functional in remote locations and have a solar charging capacity?
- Do you need a robust model that will be waterproof and shockproof?
- Do you need your outdoor watch to have the capacity to connect with your smartphone, your heart rate monitor or any other tech gadgets?
If you are already an outdoor watch owner, you will know what features are most important. If this is your first purchase, do not panic buy and make sure you take the time to understand the different options and what you get. This guide is a great place to start and will introduce you to some terrific options.
Suunto 9 Peak
The Suunto 9 Peak watch is part of the newest generation of smart outdoor watches, boasting a lightweight for quite a big frame. The bulky look of the Suunto 9 Peak calls for adventure and is sturdy. This smart outdoor watch offers a wide variety of data for you to view in real-time. Like sports watches and fitness trackers, it displays time, pace, distance, calories burnt, and your heart rate. Other information includes data such as steps, average speed, and elevation gain. These key data points will be helpful if running is one of the things you will be doing with your watch outdoors. As well as this, the smartwatch boasts an accurate altimeter and an accurate integrated GPS. These two last features differentiate it from being a sports watch, making it a real contender for the outdoor.
Despite the bulky frame, the Suunto 9 Peak has a relatively high-tech look thanks to the touchscreen and high-quality display. Indeed, the LCD is specially designed for visibility outdoors, using minimal battery life. You can expect around 10 days of battery life, allowing you to take it along on your trekking expeditions!
This outdoor watch by Garmin comes in a total of nine variations. You can also add options to your watch, such as music, solar charging, Wi-Fi, or even sapphire glass. These add-ins allow you to tailor the watch you choose to match your needs. Depending on the outdoor activity you will be carrying out, you might want to consider sapphire glass and/or solar.
The accuracy of the integrated maps and GPS is impressive on the Garmin Fenix 7. Garmin is known for its high-end GPS watches, so if this is a feature you require for your outdoor watch- it may just be the ideal option. The smartwatch navigates through forested regions, and the altimeter is just as precise. The more expensive models of the Fenix 7 also feature high-quality topographic maps. You will even be able to use pre-loaded ski maps on some of the best Garmin models.
Garmin claims that the Fenix 7 watches have a battery life of 57 hours in GPS mode and 73 hours in solar mode, which is far longer than most of the top GPS watches. When using solar power, the battery life of the Fenix 6 watch may be increased to 40 hours.
This watch also sports a highly accurate wrist-based heart rate monitor and a good battery life. Its LCD is designed for outdoor visibility with minimal battery use.
The Vivoactive 4 and 4s are much more affordable than the Fenix 6 model and the only real difference between the 4 and 4s is the size. This is a mid-range outdoor watch offering great value for money. This outdoor watch comes in three different editions, and you will be able to choose from two different sizes. Its circular frame is available in a 40mm version or a 45mm version, making it comfortable, with a neat silicone strap perfectly adapted to exercising.
This smart outdoor watch is quite close to a regular smartwatch. It has got features such as step counting, guided breathing, sleep tracking, Garmin Pay through NFC, phone notifications, and more. As with a regular smartwatch, you can add many apps via your phone. Naturally, the features you use on the smartwatch will heavily influence the watch’s overall battery life. Garmin watches usually offer strong battery life, unlike some other smartwatches on the market that will last for no longer than a day at a time.
Lastly, the features that really set the Garmin Vivoactive watch apart from classical smartwatches are the ABC. Altitude, barometer, and compass, that is. These three tools together make it a functional daily watch that is also adventure-ready.
For the first time since 2015, Garmin has upgraded its Epix smartwatch. Seven years have passed since its first release. The new Epix 2 replaces the transflective screen of the Fenix 7 with a 1.3-inch always-on OLED display.
Contrary to popular belief, there are significant changes between the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin Epix Gen 2. To help you decide which of these high-end sports watches is best for you, we’ve put up a guide.
The Epix 2 may be seen as the result of combining the Venu 2 and the Fenix 7 Pro. Fenix versions come in a wide range of sizes and features, including solar charging and extra-tough sapphire crystals instead of glass for the face. Additional water resistance of at least 100m.
Small wrists, a lengthy battery life, or an interest in outdoor rock climbing may necessitate the purchase of a Fenix watch.
In contrast to the Fenix watches, the Epix offers one key benefit. A brilliant, high-resolution AMOLED always-on display that truly pops charts, maps, and graphics. It’s more colourful than the memory-in-pixel (MiP) displays seen in Fenix 7 watches, but it drains the battery faster, necessitating more frequent charging for Epix watches.
If you’re using a smartwatch, you may expect to get 16 days out of it (though, note, only 6 days if using the always-on feature). 42 hours in GPS mode (again, less with always-on, around 30). It’s possible to get up to 21 days of use out of the device by using the battery saver mode. There are many ways to utilise a watch, and the final answer is that it depends on what you’re using it for and how long you want to keep it on for.
The Fenix 7 or the Epix Gen 2?
When it comes to features, the Epix 2 is nearly identical to the Fenix 7, with five physical buttons, touchscreens and Real-Time Stamina. There is no LED lights and no solar charging in the Epix line, which is the most notable difference between the two models. On a single charge, the Epix may last up to 16 days, and with the display always on, it can last up to 6 days.
On both ranges of smartwatches, Garmin Pay, music storage, and safety features are included. Health monitoring activities such as sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring are included in the standard Garmin health features.
Even though Garmin’s top-of-the-line GPS smartwatches cost a pretty penny, the Fenix 7 series was no exception. As a premium multisport GPS watch, Garmin considers the Epix 2 to be priced comparable to its Fenix siblings.
Slate steel or sapphire black titanium, chestnut leather band, or white titanium are the available colours.
Polar Grit X
As a fourth outdoor watch, we come to you with the Polar Grit X. This model is designed as a real outdoor activity watch. You will not have the ability to add applications to the watch as you would with some other smartwatches. Instead, you will quickly see it is designed specifically for treks on mountains and trails. Integrated to its system are useful adventure tools such as Weather Watcher or Hill Splitter. The Polar Grit X has quite a large frame and is robust, boasting up to 40 hours even when in full activity.
The Suunto 7 outdoor watch is perfect for those searching for an option on a smaller budget. It is perfectly adapted to being an outdoor watch while also blending with being the perfect everyday watch. It boasts good mapping and tracking features, as would sturdier outdoor watches.
Built for Adventure VAER
This sixth watch is something quite different from the models we have mentioned until now. Indeed, it is not a smartwatch but a classical three-handed, mechanical watch. If the idea of authentic adventure, undisturbed by technology, appeals to you, this might just be the one for you. After all, the first explorers were successful without LCD screens, so why not give it a try? If this is something for you, then you will definitely need to consider the VAER watch. Its case is extra sturdy, boasting a sapphire crystal and 100m of water resistance. The hands on the watch have got five layers of Super-Luminova for incredible specs, making this a great outdoor watch all-round.
Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400-1
This seventh watch is another terrific option for those wanting to stay away from a smartwatch. This digital outdoor watch is as good as it gets in terms of rugged survivability and is an iconic adventure watch. It has an altimeter, a thermometer, a barometer, and a digital compass. Its 53mm frame resists pretty much any weather conditions and can withstand water up to 200m. It is mud and damage resistant and benefits from Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping. This shockproof adventure watch is the one you need for true outdoor treks and trail routes. It is affordable and will not disappoint.
Seiko Prospex “Alpinist”
The origin of this outdoor watch goes all the way back to 1961. It was one of the first watches built for Japanese alpinists and mountain climbers in general. Naturally, the watch has undergone several upgrades since then but is just as well suited to the outdoors in 2021. Like most adventure watches, it boasts a resistant sapphire crystal, is resistant to water up to 200m depth, and has an integrated rotating compass. It is both sleek and robust and a favorite by Seiko.
Luminox bear Grylls Survival Chronograph Master Series
This 9th watch will be a favorite for all Bear Grylls lovers. The famed explorer co-designed this fabulous adventure watch with Luminox. Known as the toughest watchmakers, Luminox has brought us an absolute beast of a watch, ready for just about anything. It sure is on the costlier side, featuring a CARBONOX case, water resistance up to 300m depth, and an integrated physical compass. It also benefits from Luminox’s always-on illumination, known to last for over twenty-five years.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro
This 47mm case watch is pretty much a military-certified watch with regards to sturdiness. It is specifically built for rugged outdoor conditions and can go up to 100m underwater. It is the perfect blend between an outdoor adventure watch and a sports watch, given it has 100 different sports modes. Furthermore, it tracks heart rate and blood oxygen through its BioTracker sensor to go with you in your physical efforts. Not just this, but it encompasses a built-in GPS also supported by satellite systems for accurate positioning. As well as this, it contains a built-in barometer to track your elevation. This T-Rex outdoor watch will last 18 days for standard usage and 9 days for heavy GPS and sports mode usage.
What choice to make?
All in all, it will depend on your budget and the functionalities required. As you will have realized, all types of watches offer some great models, so the choice is yours. Whether you need an all-around daily watch suited to the outdoors, a sports watch, or an adventure-only watch is up to you! Deciding between a smartwatch, a digital, or a mechanical watch will also be key. Whatever you decide, rest assured that out of these 10 top outdoor watches- no decision will be a bad one.
If rugged watches are your thing, check out these great military-grade watches.
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