Skiing is no cheap activity. To fully enjoy this experience, you need to invest in equipment such as boots, jackets, and a skiing watch.
A skiing watch, however, does more than tell time.
It navigates your path, keeps track of your altitude, and monitors your other activities along the way. It's an essential appendage for every skier.
That said, you need the best watch for skiing to complete your skateboarding experience.
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire Watch for Skiing: Best Overall
Garmin fitness watches have received mostly positive reviews among its consumers.
The Garmin Fenix 5X is no different. Here are various reasons why I believe the Garmin watch for fitness separates itself from most watches.
For starters, the watch is made of a waterproof stainless steel case. It also has a Chroma display that comes with multiple colors and LED backlighting.
This makes it easier to track your location and distance, and it's especially useful when it gets dark.
It features the Garmin Elevate Heart Rate technology, which serves as a heart rate monitor without additional chest straps.
Regarding battery life, the Garmin Fenix GPS watch offers a sufficient length of time when skiing. If it's in GPS mode, your watch can last for up to 13 hours while playing music.
If you decide to switch to smartwatch mode, it has a lifespan of up to 20 days without charging.
You can also connect your GPS watch with the Garmin Skiing App Professional, which allows you to access all your data and activities. These include calories, distance, steps, alarm, and intensity minutes.
The app also gives your Garmin Fenix watch the best routes and trails which you can try out.
It has a starting price of $499.99. The price may be steep, but consider it a substantial investment should you venture into activities for the winter season.
All in all, the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire Watch For Skiing is the one you should go for, whether you are a beginner or an expert in this sport.
- Multiple sensors and tools for tracking
- Allows background music while using a GPS tracker
- Durable strap
- Accurate readings of your heart rate
- The metal case may be too heavy
- Too many features, which may hinder ease of use
Apple Watch Series 3: Best Value
I usually associate Apple watches for their lifestyle and aesthetic value. Little did I know, however, that the billion-dollar company produces watches for skiing and snowboarding.
Enter the Apple Watch Series 3, the best apple product for such activities. Here are some of its main features.
One remarkable feature is it has a sleek, waterproof strap that makes it an all-weather type of accessory.
It also has a multicolored display, making it easier for you to track time, distance, and access other information.
The best characteristic of the GPS watch is its ability to track your accidents and injuries thanks to the accelerometer. It allows authorities and emergency units to respond to the situation immediately. [R] Other GPS watches may lack this particular feature.
Since this is an Apple product, expect Siri's voice to either guide or annoy you throughout your adventure. You also have the privilege of accessing third-party apps that can give you the best ski experience.
It costs around $264.95, nearly half the price of the first watch I reviewed. Although it is one expensive GPS watch, you can't go wrong with the Apple Series 3.
Quick Verdict: Experience the ultimate adventure with the Apple Watch Series 3 for skiing and snowboarding – sleek design, advanced tracking, and unmatched style.
- Comes with altimeter, barometer, and compass
- Sleek design makes it easy to wear anytime
- Gives you new routes per trail
- Access to 3rd party apps
Armitron Sport Men's Digital Chronograph Watch for Skiing: Best Budget Pick
Some of the best watches featured on this list come at hefty prices.
Enter the Armitron Sport Men's Digital Chronograph, the best budget watch for your skiing and snowboarding experience.
It applies the Japanese Quartz mechanism. This feature makes sure time runs as accurately and precisely as possible, so you don't have to worry about being either 5 minutes too late or too early.
The product also is made up of a sturdy resin band, which makes it durable against any outdoor factor that can pose risks to your watch.
Since it is the best budget option, it also means the watch is the most basic of all the other watches I reviewed. It is a one-dimensional watch that only caters to the tracking of time. It does not have GPS and ABC features.
You also will not be able to find out your heart rate due to the lack of a monitor.
It only costs $23, but you will be missing out on so many features and information that the other five watches cater to skiers.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 5/5
- While the watch does not have a mineral glass, it still maintains its strength and durability. I [wish] it had a mineral glass, but I am still satisfied with its robustness.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 1/5
- This watch, while reminiscent of G-Shock watches, still manages to have a unique and distinguishable appearance. I appreciate its individuality and style.
- Budget-friendly watch
- Japanese Quartz: accurate and precise time readings
- Resin Band and other durable materials for the watch's construction
- It only tracks time
- No ABC and GPS features
- No heart rate monitor display
Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Watch
The Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Watch is the most lightweight out of all the watches.
It is 95 percent slimmer compared to its counterparts. It weighs about 2.12 ounces, which means it does not feel heavy on your wrist.
It's also waterproof thanks to its stainless steel design and the addition of resin bands. These two materials protect your watch from possible damage caused by either water or snow.
Based on the name, Casio manufactures this product as a triple sensor watch.
It senses temperature, direction, and pressure via the altimeter. You can also change the time based on your current location, thanks to the world clock feature.
For example, if you are a New Yorker visiting the hills of Lake Tahoe, you can adjust your time from Eastern to Pacific with the time adjusting feature. Cool, right?
You also won't have to worry about short battery life. The Casio-based watch comes with a built-in solar panel, which makes charging the watch easier.
Just position your solar-powered watch to the nearest light source. Before you know it, you'll have a fully-charged watch in no time!
One downside to this product is it does not have a GPS function. It may be difficult for you to navigate routes without it. [R]
Another negative aspect is that it is not compatible with accompanying apps that can track your data and statistics.
It costs around $157.75, neither too cheap nor too expensive. Other than these disadvantages, Casio's state-of-the-art features and lightweight construction make this watch one of the must-have equipment when going for a ski ride.
- Contains world time options (approximately 31 time zones)
- Water-resistant of up to 330 feet
- Solar-powered battery, which means you don't need to buy a charger
- Lightweight (4 ounces)
- No GPS function
- It cannot connect to your phone due to the lack of complementary apps.
Timex Expedition WS4 Men Grid Shock Resin Strap Watch
For beginners in need of the best watches for skiing, you may want to look into the Timex Expedition WS4. It features the most durable construction of all the watches I have discussed so far.
The first thing to clarify is that the Expedition WS4 is different from the Timex Expedition, the more basic version.
The WS4 contains an altimeter and temperature reader, two important features the Expedition does not have.
Unlike other round-shaped watches, Timex decided to go for a widescreen feature with an analog display for easy readability. You also can look at two time zones simultaneously.
It also comes with an INDIGO night light, giving you an easier time to view the data even during dusk. Despite its widescreen and durable strap, the watch is thin and lightweight.
One problem of the watch is you cannot integrate it with your smartphone due to the lack of apps.
However, Timex focused on giving its consumers the best and most optimized experience when handling the watch's user interface and the information it contains.
It also does not help that it has no GPS function, which may confuse anyone trying out skiing for the first time. It costs around $199.99, around half the price of the more high-end skiing watches.
- Widescreen design making it easy to view the data
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Great user interface
- User-friendly design
- You get to view 2 time zones at a time
- Inaccurate temperature readings
- Lacks compatible apps to connect to your smartphone
SUUNTO Spartan Sport HR Watch for Skiing
For a watch that does more than the bare minimum, the SUUNTO Spartan Sport HR Watch For Skiing is a worthy pick.
For starters, it has a stainless steel frame, so you don't have to worry about damage from external factors such as extreme heat and changing weather conditions. [R]
It also contains full GPS compatibility, meaning you will always have a high-quality signal wherever you are.
You can choose from up to around 80 sports modes that will give you the most optimized experience when skiing.
The watch features a built-in heart rate monitor. Most consumers receive accurate readings, but it has its inconsistencies, given the constant weather and body temperature change.
If you enjoy planning and organizing your activities, the Suunto Movescount App will be handy. The app also gives you a rundown of activities that you've accomplished for the past 30 days.
The one drawback to this product is you have to buy the Li-ion battery separately. Although you can find this type of battery in most supermarkets, it is still a hassle compared to other watches that come with built-in batteries.
The good thing about this battery is that it is rechargeable and has a long battery life. It can last for about 26 hours. If you switch it to savings mode, it can last up to 80 hours!
It costs $316.19, so you will have to pay quite a hefty tag to experience all these features.
Despite the high price tag, I still believe the SUUNTO Spartan Sport HR Watch is a worthy investment for your winter essentials.
- Made out of stainless steel
- Rechargeable battery and long lifespan
- Compatible with your smartphone (Suunto Movescount App)
- Fully compatible with GPS
- Contains a heart rate monitor, but readings may fluctuate at times
- You need to buy the Li-ion battery separately
Are Skiing Watches Any Good?
After reviewing these six watches, I can honestly say each watch has its benefits and drawbacks.
Amidst the different features, user reviews, and sales, it is important to note these watches are handcrafted by some of the industry's best manufacturers.
Well-known brands such as TIMEX, Garmin, and Apple create these watches to give skiers the best and most optimized experience.
Besides the shiny display and fancy LED lights, each product makes sure you get high-quality treatment, especially when it comes to tracking time, altitude, and heart rate.
Although not all products have GPS features, it's worth noting that most watches can withstand external risks. This is all thanks to the stainless steel casing and resin bands that make up each watch.
What to Look for in the Best Watches for Skiing?
Before purchasing your skiing watch, these are some of the main considerations you will need to factor in:
Although some of the watches we reviewed have alternatives to GPS tracking, GPS is one of the essential aspects to consider.
Trails can get confusing, and the weather is always unpredictable. The last thing you want is to get lost or trapped in a snowstorm in the middle of your ski adventure.
Just like runners, a GPS watch can be beneficial. That's not all. It's vital to choose technology that suits your needs best.
The GPS enables you to locate your exact position, keep track of your distance, measure your speed, and gather all other important information.
A GPS watch acts as the heart and soul of a ski watch. Without it, you'd feel naked in the snow.
ABC is the acronym for Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass. Here are the respective functions of each tool.
If your watch doesn't have a GPS, your compass can come in handy. It redirects you using north, south, east, and west directions when you get lost. [R]
ABC is another important watch component, especially when you are situated in extreme weather and trail conditions.
Always go for the most durable watch. Do not settle for flimsier and low-quality watches just because they are much cheaper compared to their contemporaries.
Bear in mind that highly durable skiing watches can withstand bumps from tree branches or the ground. Therefore, you'd want a watch that doesn't easily crack.
Based on my personal experience, nothing beats 100 percent stainless steel.
Is a waterproof watch as crucial as GPS functions? Yes, it is. Even though skiing is considered a winter activity, snow becomes water when it melts.
The last thing you'd want is for your watch to absorb snow, which eventually turns into water once you reach a warmer area. Your watch may malfunction if you are not wary of the risks.
Adaptability to Different Temperatures
Last but not least, it's best to invest in a watch that can adapt to extreme changes in temperature. Even if skiing is a predominantly winter activity, the differences in altitude can alter the temperature.
For example, the lower your location, the higher the temperature, and vice versa. Regular watches may not be able to handle such changes.
For their part, skiing watches are built to withstand extreme weather patterns, allowing it to function regardless of the weather.
So there you have it. Given the different watches that can complete your entire skiing experience, I hope you could find the right one!
The choice is entirely yours, but it pays to follow some tips and considerations presented and then go for the watch that best suits your needs.
With the winter season fast approaching, I would consider buying a ski watch before you head out to the slopes.