When you are out hiking you want your experience to be as comfortable and convenient as possible. From proper gear to choosing the best clothing for the occasion, these are amongst several aspects that you can control in the outdoors to better your experience.
Hiking watches are a great example of gear you can choose. These bad boys come in very handy in your trip by providing extra crucial information that regular watches will not necessarily provide. In fact, if you follow and plan your day by the guidance of your hiking watch, you are guaranteed a successful trip. Other than acting as your weather guy, they offer information about your environments such as elevation and temperature.
Listed below are the 10 best watches for hiking in 2021 – each offering its unique features that outline why they made the cut.
The toughest hiking watches will be shockproof or drop-proof, with thermal resistance, a reinforced or scratch-resistant display, and a high IP rating. An IP label includes two numbers, with the first signifying the object's resistance to intrusion by physical objects (e.g., dust) and the second signifying its resistance to intrusion by water. The higher each number is, the better-protected your watch will be.
Watches and other portable tech these days are amazing! But please don't forget your basic map-and-compass route-finding skills. You'll need them if the watch screen breaks or the battery runs out.
Hiking watches and smart watches are like the Swiss army knives of mobile devices -- they can do a little bit of almost anything. Save money by focusing on the top two or three functions that are most important to you, them shopping with those in mind.
How To Choose A Hiking Watch – Buying Guide
The best hiking watches must be fitted with a GPS. GPS comes as an instrumental tool because synchronizes information from satellites to constantly update you on your current location thus, preventing you from getting lost.
Even the best hiking watch may experience limitations especially if you are walking in extremely remote areas such as deep woods or even high altitudes. Additionally, the majority of watches equipped with GPS functions tend to lose battery power much faster due to its battery crazed function.
However, because they are important, it is good to invest in a hiking watch that does both – GPS t its best and reasonable battery time. Watches such the Garmin Fenix hold the battery for a reasonable amount of time depending on how you use them. Watches such as Casio which are solar-powered also work great.
Altimeters are perhaps another important feature found in a top-rated hiking watch. Altimeter help to gauge the exact level of elevation you are at. They use atmospheric pressure to do this. As a mountaineer or hiker, altitude information is very handy. Hiking watches will work to their highest altitude limit; the best will function up to 10,000 meters.
Related Review: Altimeter Watches
If you are a hardcore outdoor enthusiast, it is wise to invest in the best hiking GPS watch with multi-sensors. A hiking watch fitted with a barometer is very useful. Barometers are great at gauging the weather by measuring atmospheric pressure. As a basic rule, increased pressure means better weather and vice versa. Additionally, the higher you go, the lighter the pressure.
Hiking watches that are equipped with a compass are great direction finders. Compass work by following earth’s magnetic field to determine the direction around you, i.e. where is the north, south, east, etc. the best GPS watches for hiking are fitted with a 3-axis compass which is very accurate.
Related Review: Compass Watches
A thermometer is the easiest way to determine the environment’s temperature. Some of the best hiking watches feature low-temperature resistance functions. This allows them to work within a range, most commonly between 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, with this information, a thermometer comes in handy to help you track the temperature.
Hearth Rate Monitor
Many hiking watches come fitted with a heart rate monitor for activity and cardiac tracking. They come fitted in several models most notably on the wrist or chest transmitter.
Related Review: Garmin Watches
The majority of hiking watches are waterproof however, their limit varies. Top-rated hiking watches will have a depth capability of up to 100 meters, also measured in pressure ratings of 10 atm. More affordable non-smart watches go as low as 30 to 50 meters. However, most watches are only water friendly to a certain point. You can recreationally swim, snorkel or fish whilst wearing them but they cannot be worn or used in scuba diving.
To ensure durability, much focus is put on construction and material. Many hiking watches are made with polymer plastic bands, metal alloy bezels, and treated scratch-free and shatter-free mineral screens. The main focus being properties such as UV protection, high/low temperature friendly, and impact-free and secured fit. Your care and maintenance of the watch also determine durability. If not well look after, your hiking watch will most definitely deteriorate in quality over a short period.
As a standard norm, the more features included in the watch, the more battery power it consumes. The Garmin Fenix 5 Plus for example can operate on the same battery power for up to 14 days if used in minimal mode with little to no app used, however, on GPS and streaming music, it will only work for 8 hours. Casio watches on the other end don’t entirely depend on the battery because of their solar power source. Thus, when picking the right options for you to examine how battery life works for you.
Most hiking watches come with extra standard features such as an altimeter, compass, and barometer. Depending on how deep you can deep into your pockets, the best watches for hiking will come equipped with many extra features. The smartwatch feature, for example, lets you connect to your Smartphone; watch App, Wifi, and Bluetooth. Additionally, this feature may be equipped with a lot more other features such as music download and streaming abilities, and weather forecasting.
Q: Does Cold Weather Affect Hiking Watch Battery Life?
Yes. When you are hiking in extremely cold weather, they are a high risk that your batteries will die just like with any other battery operated devices. Wear the watch under your sweater or jacket sleeves so it’s covered and insulated from the cold. Putting your hands in deep pockets of your jacket or pants also helps to keep the watch and batteries warm. Add a hand warmer to make it even more effective.
Q: What Type Of Watch Band Is The Best For My Watch?
It all depends on the environment to which you want to use your hiking watch. Material such as leather and rubber/resin is used for watches and tend to be extremely sturdy and rugged. Leather may not be the best material with water, whether you are swimming or rained on.
Thus, rubber and resin make excellent hiking watch band material. They can be used in any environment without risking damage, they are waterproof and can withstand the harsh abusive of the outdoors without ripping, tearing or weathering. Additionally, rubber and resin band watches tend to be more affordable compared to leather bands.
Q: Can I Wear My Hiking Watch As Regular Watch?
Absolutely. The bottom line is that they are watches, thus, even for everyday function, they work great. In fact, hiking watches come with additional advantages such as calendar, stopwatch, countdown timer, and alarm features.
Additionally, more advanced ones come with new age features that you will enjoy on any given day such as Smartphone notifications and music streaming abilities. Besides, who doesn’t want to rock a durable, strong and high-quality hiking watch regularly?
Q: What Is The Difference Between Regular And Hiking Watch?
Hiking watches are built with additional features that boost and make your hiking experience a lot easier. They do this by providing extra data that regular watches don’t. Additionally, their construction makes them highly resilient in the outdoors.
The most common features that come with hiking watches are GPS sensors, altimeters, thermometer, barometers, and compass. The more innovative and slightly costly options allow you to connect to your Smartphone, so you can easily operate and monitor your phone as you move.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Hiking Watch?
Accurately track your activities. Provide vital data such as weather, elevation, pressure. Prevents you from getting lost by providing GPS and compass directions. Tough rugged construction to withstand the outdoors
Globo Surf Overview
The watch reviews above outline how handy these bad boys get to be in the outdoors. Of course, they come with several standard features that are similar. However, each of the best mountaineering watches comes with features that are unique to it and how they are helpful to you depending on your outdoor endeavors.
The buying guide above also sheds light on what to look for to get the best outdoor watch for you. And in retrospect, it becomes clear and easy for you to choose the right option based on your needs. At such varying and excellent prices, why not? The list above is a good route, to begin with – in fact it is the best place to begin.