11 Best Outdoor Watches For Your Next Adventure

NanaDC watch reviews

People who love the outdoors and all the activities nature brings know the value of telling the time.

Outdoor activities require extreme durability, as well as shock and water resistance.

Nowadays, watches have even more features, such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, etc.

It's easy to get confused when choosing your adventure buddy.

In this guide of the top 11 Best Outdoor Watches, we've narrowed down the options for you.

These watches will suit your every need, preference, and budget!

Garmin Instinct GPS Watch: Best Overall Outdoor Watch

If you're the type of adventurer or traveler who needs everything, this is the watch for you. The Garmin Instinct GPS Watch has thermal, shock, scratch, and water resistance of up to 100m. It is also extremely breathable and durable.

On Sale
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart...
  • Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments
  • Constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100...
  • Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, plus multiple global navigation satellite systems...

With a clean, black simple design and a flexible silicone-based wristband, it looks stylish and can be worn by anyone. Its display measures 1.2in, making it easy to use.

This watch can track your steps and has an altimeter [R] that measures altitude based on pressure. With smartwatch capabilities, fit watch applications, a compass, and 3 GPS systems, this watch will answer all your needs. You can even answer short texts and track your calories.

Even better, its battery life lasts up to 2 weeks on just one full charge!

PROS
CONS
  • Versatile design
  • Have all features you'll need
  • Affordable, considering all the features
  • Great for recreational diving
  • All-around sportsman watch
  • Difficulty in satellite communication under tree cover
  • Inconsistencies in tracking mileage

Suunto Core Watch: Best Value Outdoor Watch

The watch face of this digital Suunto watch is backlit and easy to read. It displays the time, altitude, and compass direction simultaneously. It also shows how much daylight you have left, with a display of 1.875 in.

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,...

The Suunto Core Watch also features a barometer that detects atmospheric pressure changes and can predict bad weather.

When trekking or spelunking, you won't have to worry. This watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters and even accurately measures pressure up to 30 feet underwater!

PROS
CONS
  • Contains most outdoor watch functions
  • Unisex design
  • Big display with simultaneous information
  • Easy to use
  • Storm warnings to keep you safe
  • New batteries last up to 1 year
  • Cannot track steps
  • No smartwatch capabilities
  • Not rechargeable

Timex Ironman 30-Lap Digital Watch: Best Budget Outdoor Watch

Let's face it. Not everyone needs all the features the best outdoor watches have. This Timex watch, aptly named after ironman, has all the essential functions you'll ever need in outdoor watches.

Its blue and black 38mm resin case is durable and straightforward. A backlight illuminates the gray digital display. In the dark, it lights up with an indigo light at the press of a button.

On Sale
Timex Men's T5H591 Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size Black/Blue Resin Strap Watch
  • Adjustable black 16mm resin strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference
  • 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory; 24-hour countdown timer
  • 3 daily, weekday or weekend alarms; 24-hour military time mode; 2 time zones; day, date & month...

The display measures 1.5 inches in diameter and displays the time in big, bold numbers.

The Timex Ironman is a reliable watch that can also record laps and time your run. It has a 100-hour chronograph with a 30-lap memory and a 24-hour timer. You can even set 3 separate daily, weekend, or weekday alarms,

If you prefer, you can opt for the 24-hour military time and set it to 2 time zones. As if that wasn't enough, it also displays a day, date, and month calendar.

The advantage of not having so many specs is long battery life. It's even water-resistant up to 100 meters!

PROS
CONS
  • Most affordable
  • Has all the essential, necessary functions
  • Long battery life
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • No fitness or smartwatch capabilities
  • No altimeter/barometer
  • Basic digital watch design
  • Looks a bit kiddy

Casio Pro Trek

The Casio Pro Trek outdoor watch has a rugged design. Its boldface display has both analog and digital elements. When illuminated, the mechanical components of this watch glow in the dark.

On Sale
Casio Men's PRO TREK Stainless Steel Japanese-Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 23.77 (Model:...
  • Case / Bezel Material: Resin / Stainless Steel
  • Silicon Band / Mineral Glass / NeoBrite
  • Screw Lock Crown / 100 M Water Resistance

Scared of losing power in the middle of a long hike? The Pro Trek is the only solar-powered watch on this list, which just goes to show that Casio really designed this outdoor watch for your adventures. Its Japanese quartz movement is sure to keep you on time.

Made of stainless steel, this outdoor sports watch is durable. It has various features like a world timer, thermometer, and altimeter/barometer. To top it all off, it is water-resistant up to 100 meters.

PROS
CONS
  • Solar-powered, so no charging hassle
  • Can be used for recreational diving
  • World timer, thermometer, altimeter/barometer
  • The rugged design may not appeal to women
  • No fitness or smartwatch capabilities
  • The display may seem too cramped

Suunto 9 Baro

The Suunto 9 Baro is equipped with GPS, a heart rate monitor, and weather information. It also has an altimeter/barometer and compass.

Suunto 9 Multisport GPS Watch with BARO and Wrist-Based Heart Rate (Black)
  • Three predefined battery modes – Performance, Endurance and Ultra – deliver from 25 hours to up...
  • On long ultra runs, battery life is often the limiting factor for recording distance and track...
  • Suunto 9 is designed and built to meet the demands of professional athletes. Tested to the extreme...

It can accurately measure up to 30 feet depths and is water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it great for recreational swimming.

The Suunto 9 Baro can record all data as to workload, intensity, biomechanics, and activities. It then analyzes the data, sends it to its thousands of Suunto Sports apps, and lets you know how you performed.

PROS
CONS
  • Clean and simple design
  • Great for both men and women
  • Gives off storm signals
  • Displays a weather trend graph
  • Can be used for recreational diving/swimming
  • Data recording and analysis
  • No smartwatch capabilities
  • Only comes in an all-black design

Casio G Shock Mudmaster GG1000 Watch

The ruggedly designed Casio G Shock is resistant to mud, shock, and water (up to 200m). This watch is durable, even down to its mud and dirt resistant buttons.

Its large LED design measuring 2.21in. Simultaneously displays the time, temperature, compass direction, and more. However, it has no fitness or smartwatch capabilities.

PROS
CONS
  • Usable for recreational diving
  • The battery lasts up to 2 years
  • Extremely durable
  • No altimeter
  • Not a great design for women
  • Not rechargeable
  • No fitness tracking or smartwatch capabilities

Suunto 7 GPS Fitness Watch

The Suunto 7 GPS is one of the best outdoor sports watches you can buy. It has so many features, like having more than 70 pre-configured sports modes, perfect for health buffs and adventurers.

It is equipped with a wrist heart rate sensor and GPS, too.

On Sale
SUUNTO 7 GPS Sports Smart Watch
  • SUUNTO 7: This versatile, smart watch combines SUUNTO's sports expertise with smartwatch technology;...
  • Make Life Easier: Compatible with Android and iOS phones, the SUUNTO 7 is powered by a Wear OS by...
  • Battery Life: SUUNTO 7’s battery will give you a full day of smartwatch use and still have enough...

Its software is Google-based and features Google Wear OS, Google Fit, and even Google pay, so you can get yourself that kale smoothie after a good run. It also automatically downloads local maps the moment it's connected to wifi and can control your music!

You can even download and sync fitness apps to record your workouts. All in all, this is one of the best smartwatches you can buy.

Its display is protected with scratch-resistant gorilla glass. The Suunto 7 GPS is versatile with water (up to 50m), dirt, and shock resistance.

PROS
CONS
  • Smartwatch capabilities
  • This watch is meant for the active city dweller
  • Interchangeable straps to fit any occasion
  • Downloadable apps and maps
  • Not for diving
  • Battery life only lasts up to 48 hours
  • May require daily charging

Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Multisport GPS

The Garmin Fenix outdoor sports watch can track everything for you. It can seamlessly transition from fitness to a hiking watch with the push of one button. You can even pair it up with your smartphone to play your favorite song.

On Sale
Garmin fenix 6X Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch, Features Mapping, Music, Grade-Adjusted Pace...
  • Solar Powered Multisport GPS Watch with large 1.4 inches display (36% larger than previous fenix...
  • 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...

A gorilla glass face protects the Garmin Fenix. Water resistance up to 100 meters makes this extra durable, too.

To ensure you don't get lost, it features satellite navigation, a 3-axis compass, multiple global navigation systems, road maps, and topographical maps! It can also display storm warnings and measures altitude accurately.

Garmin definitely built this watch for outdoor sports and hiking.

PROS
CONS
  • Long battery life
  • Multiple navigation systems
  • Storm warnings to adequately prepare you
  • 100-meter water resistance
  • Expensive
  • No smartwatch capabilities
  • Not rechargeable

Omega Seamaster Watch

If you're really looking to splurge and reward yourself, the Omega Seamaster is the way to go. This watch, equipped with an automatic movement, is sought-after by adventurers, collectors, and watch enthusiasts alike.

Its beautiful and elegant design is stunning. It can be used for diving up to 30 meters for up to two hours. Its screw-down cap also prevents unwanted water damage and pull out.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300 Antimagnetic Black Dial Mens Watch 210.30.42.20.01.001
  • Ceramic Black Dial with Wave Pattern
  • Black Ceramic Bezel with White Enamel Diving Scale
  • Anti-Magnetic, Helium Escape Valve on Edge of Case at 10 O'Clock

The case measures 41mm, and it features a chronograph. To protect that handsome face, it uses scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

It's entirely made of stainless steel with a black-on-silver design that will never go out of style. Its transparent case back lets you see the expertly assembled gears.

This premium outdoor watch has luminous rhodium-plated skeleton hands and a uni-directional rotating bezel, making it very easy to read and use.

It is not only one of the best watches you can buy, but it's also an excellent investment.

PROS
CONS
  • Stunning design
  • Durable
  • Long battery life
  • Investment piece
  • Very expensive
  • No fitness or smartwatch capabilities

Luminox Recon 8831

Very old-school, the Luminox Recon is an analog watch. It is one of the most beautifully designed on this list. The black on black design is classic and timeless.

Luminox Men's 8831.KM Recon NAV Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Watch
  • Black dial with luminous hands and index / Arabic numeral hour markers 24 hour markings
  • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Analog-quartz movement

Powered by a quartz movement, it features a reinforced case measuring 46mm in diameter. Its display is protected with sapphire crystal, and it is water-resistant up to 330 feet.

A real compass will keep you going in the right direction. The luminescent markers and anti-reflective coating also ensure excellent readability.

PROS
CONS
  • Elegant, classic design
  • Analog movement
  • Real compass
  • No GPS, altimeter/barometer, etc.

Polar M430

The Polar M430 is one of the most popular outdoor watches for runners. It's equipped with an optical heart rate monitor and a GPS that can track speed, distance, pace, and even your route!

With 24/7 activity tracking, you can stay in shape by counting your calories, steps, and hours of sleep.

On Sale
POLAR M430 GPS Running Watch, Black (90066335),Medium/Large
  • Optical heart rate monitor - continuous, accurate heart rate without a chest strap via a 6 LED...
  • Integrated GPS - running watch tracks speed, distance, pace and routes. Display resolution: 128 x...
  • 24/7 activity tracking - Track your daily activity, including steps, calories and sleep with the...

For the busybodies out there, this watch can give off vibrations for all incoming calls and messages. It can even notify you when you've been inactive for too long.

The Polar M430 also lets you choose between 3 different GPS modes so that you can conserve your battery for up to 30 hours.

And for the really hardcore runners out there, this watch can give you a personalized running program to keep you motivated and help you train for your next big race!

PROS
CONS
  • Fitness and smartwatch capabilities
  • Personalized running program
  • Specifically built for runners and their needs
  • Polar fitness test takes only 5 minutes
  • The battery only lasts up to 30 hours
  • Not water resistant
  • Not versatile for other, more demanding activities

How Do I Choose the Best Outdoor Watch for Me?

When choosing among the best outdoor watches, it's easy to get confused. Their prices and features, like smartwatch capabilities, are so varied that you might just buy a watch that doesn't suit you.

So how do you choose the best outdoor watch for you?

Determine What Your Needs Are

The features and design you'll need significantly depends on what activities you'll use them for. A watches' outdoor purpose varies greatly depending on the user.

determine what your needs are

For example, if you want a sporty looking watch with essential functions, there's no need to spend extra cash on features like a heart rate or a GPS watch.

If you plan to use it for regular running or exercising, you won't need watches with extremely deep water resistance or even an altimeter/barometer.

If you plan to use it when hiking or going off the grid, then that's an entirely different story.

Determine Your Budget

Watches range from very affordable and basic ones to costly investment-level pieces. Finding the one that gives you the best value is critical if you don't want to face the dreaded buyer's remorse. Consider your purchase carefully, and don't be afraid to compare watches.

Find the Watch that Fits Your Intended Use

As you've seen from this list of best watches for outdoors, watches can be equipped with different features. It's just a matter of finding the watch with everything you need. Also, researching the accuracy of their features is critical.

There are also particular features like depth measurement, heart rate monitoring, and more that adventurers need to use watches outdoors.

Don't Overbuy

Don't buy a watch with extra features when you don't even know how or when to use them. In fact, you might not even be looking for outdoor watches at all.

Maybe a casual watch is more appropriate for your needs. This is why determining your intended use is critical.

Think long-term. You may be buying what you think is one of the best outdoor watches now, but you might outgrow it due to your changing needs.

Figure Out the Style That Fits You

Even the best outdoor watches have something in common: their style. They're simple, rugged, and bold, with big faces and rubber, silicone, or steel bands.

Some offer customization, while others do not. Some look very 'manly,' while others are for both men and women.

Buy a watch that best fits your aesthetic.

Do I Need Smart Technology?

In this day and age, most of us remain connected to our mobile phones. But having this smart technology [R] in your outdoor watch comes with a hefty price bump. So consider whether you really need these features, like music control, or the ability to answer texts.

do I need smart technology

Suppose you're planning to mainly use your outdoor watch for hiking or going to remote locations. In that case, these smart features may not even be useful. If you need it for daily indoor or outdoor fitness activities, then this may be useful.

Conclusion

This list has all the information you need to choose the best watch for you. From a basic watch with extra-long battery life to a GPS watch with heart rate monitoring and smart technology, there's a watch here for every outdoorsman.

If you make the right choice, you may just be buying a watch that will last you a decade.

Happy watch hunting!

Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2021-07-25.

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