Long remained an object of style; the watch has evolved in ranges and technologies over the years to become an electronic sports instrument. Today, it has become genuinely essential for water sports, hiking, etc. It is vital for all hiking enthusiasts in time, geolocation, waterproofing, and heart rate control.
And to help you choose the best GPS hiking watch, we suggest discovering our best models here. You will also have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the criteria that founded our selection.
What’s the best hiking GPS watch?
A good GPS hiking watch must meet the conditions related to geolocation, waterproofing, and resistance. It should also be equipped with a barometer, altimeter, compass, and most importantly, a heart rate monitor. It is on this basis that we have chosen the following GPS hiking watch models:
1. HUAWEI Watch GT Connected Watch
This hiking watch model is simply a marvel of technology with its “Android” operating system, Bluetooth, and GPS. So Watch GT offers you excellent connectivity and three geolocation systems via satellite: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO. Besides, this hiking watch leaves you speechless with its 1.39 inch AMOLED touchscreen and super slim design.
It offers an autonomy of 2 weeks thanks to its Lithium-ion battery strong enough to run its heart rate monitor. Which makes this watch a better health companion for continuous heart rate monitoring ( HUAWEI TruSeen 3.0 ). You will gain more battery life (30 days) when the heart rate monitor and GPS are deactivated. You can also monitor your sleep thanks to its “HUAWEI TruSleep” technology and use it for outdoor and indoor activities. Finally, this Smartwatch or 46mm case is so waterproof to 5 ATM that it is the best swimming professional choice.
2. SUUNTO Traverse
Best value for money and best brand, this model of GPS connected watch could guarantee you an unparalleled long-distance adventure in nature. It offers versatile functions, including its integrated GPS navigation system for you on pleasant hikes. Its GPS / GLONASS geolocation system translates faster and more precise position calculations and speed measurements. It offers route plotting, a topographic map, Bluetooth, and an altitude display because of its “FusedAlti” technology. It also allows you to:
- measure your calories and steps
- save speed, altitude, and the time of sunrise and sunset;
- be alerted by the storm alarm. It, therefore, remains the current trend in terms of warnings linked to weather changes;
- enjoy a good autonomy of 100 hours and a durable watch with its Silicone strap.
3. GARMIN FENIX 6 PRO
It is one of the high-end models of GPS connected watches for hiking. It is sold at an affordable price on the market despite its characteristics, making it the dream of most discerning sportsmen. It commands attention with its rugged design matched with a highly legible 1.3-inch screen made of stainless steel. It adds maps, music, and smart planning. This allows you to speed up your pace and achieve somewhat better performance. In a nutshell, it boils down to:
- its innovative heart rate sensors with a wrist and pulse oximeter. It becomes easy to listen to your heart and improve blood oxygenation;
- its “PacePro” functionality for a smarter race, regardless of the type of terrain. It is possible to gauge your performance in running, cycling, trail or running
- its Ski map or topographical maps previously loaded, bringing together more than 2000 resorts around the world. This makes it easier for you to navigate outdoors, even in the mountains
- its GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO sensors to more easily explore your environment
- a configuration of streaming services to listen to music without a mobile
4. GARMIN FENIX 3 Sapphire Gray
It is a “cheap” GPS connected watch whose particularities arouse rare enthusiasm among users. She is seen as the jack-of-all-trades model that can accompany you in your sports activities both outdoors and indoors. It is ideal for several endurance sports such as running, cycling, skiing, hiking, swimming, or mountain climbing. Its screen resolution of 218 x 218 pixels ensures excellent image quality, while its built-in lithium battery gives you 1008 hours of battery life. GARMIN FENIX 3 Sapphire never goes unnoticed with:
- its dark gray EXO antenna with PVD coating
- its stainless steel control knob
- its robust chain bracelet
- its scratch-resistant mineral glass
- its very resistant fiber casing.
All this guarantees a long lifespan in addition to its connection at hand, as indicated by its Bluetooth and Wifi.
5. SUUNTO AMBIT 2 S HR
It is the cardinal model with exceptional performance metrics. It can display advanced training data involving remarkably better running dynamics. GPS, barometric altimeter, compass, and heart rate monitoring system highlight this hiking watch. You can pinpoint your position quickly and with extreme precision in any corner of the planet. Also, this GPS watch model perfectly meets the vision of the Suunto brand in terms of autonomy. In clear terms, it promises to be the best choice for its round design, but also to benefit:
- a good chronograph
- a countdown
- upward navigation
- from a good recording distance
- a geolocation measure
6. SUUNTO Spartan Sport Wrist HR
This GPS watch model once again confirms the leading position occupied by the SUUNTO brand in the manufacture of hiking cases. There is no doubt that it is your privileged partner for your sports training and competitions. It can be useful for about 80 sports. This easy-to-use GPS hiking watch is waterproof enough for swimming and finely configured for fitness. It is also strong and functional enough for running races and many other sports. It stands out on several points such as:
- fast and precise GPS / GLONASS geolocation (FusedSpeed)
- a Bluetooth from 4.0, a GPS altimeter, and a compass
- a geographic coordinate system
- a color touch screen with three selection buttons
- good battery life and silicone design
- a vertical speed difference.
7. SUUNTO AMBIT3 PEAK HR GPS watch
Which GPS watch to choose for hiking? This is the question that keeps coming to your mind. So, it’s time to deliver yourself with SUUNTO AMBIT3 PEAK HR GPS Watch. It is a right quality product when we refer to its storm hour and its sun temperature displayed on its screen. It joins all Suunto GPS watch models in terms of functionality. As shown by :
- it is level of impermeability (up to 100 m)
- its heart rate control system
- its autonomy
- its Bluetooth connectivity
- its GPS navigator for fast and precise geo-location.
- it is a Multisport and unisex outdoor watch with mapping that informs you of your calories and exact calculations of break times.
What is a hiking watch?
A touring watch is nothing less than an electronically perfected version for more style and durability than classic watches. The idea behind this construction is optimized resistance to rigors and potential shocks when hiking. But in addition to being robust, these outdoor watches are very waterproof and sometimes rechargeable using solar energy. Thus, the dependence on the battery is reduced. In any case, the altimeter, barometer, compass, and GPS are their significant features.
Hiking watches against individual devices
Can a GPS smartwatch provide the same performance as a compass, altimeter, or individual GPS? The answer to this question is rooted in the concerns of users. Indeed, many people are apprehensive about the accuracy of the data provided by the best hiking watches. They wonder if it is not better to go for the individual devices.
Indeed, when it comes to travel long walk trails or explore the mountains, you should avoid overloading. However, individual instruments take up more space in addition to their additional weight. In this case, a device that combines several functions at the same time should be the best solution. The best hiking watches can give you pretty fast and accurate data. They can even guarantee you military precision as long as you get used to using their multiple features properly.
We must also add that buying a hiking watch is less expensive than buying the different hiking tools individually. At the most, you can also acquire the most crucial sensor watch on the list of hiking equipment. And in case you are highly dependent on hiking GPS, we would recommend an ABC hiking watch.
How to choose a hiking GPS watch?
Features – The finish of the design is primarily the first element of appeal in hiking watches. Thus, the appearance of these instruments is elegant with exceptional color diversity. Indeed, beyond their dimension of sports tool, they remain the objects of style.
GPS – It is considered the most essential of the features. It aims to be the most efficient geolocation system for hiking. It allows you to identify your position and spaces in any area of the world. Thus, it is easier to explore the most spectacular landscapes like the unknown mountains. It receives information from the satellites, which are synchronized with each other. It decodes their signals to display all the information available on the map. They have the technical magic of continuously informing us of their precise position. This is why some call them notorious benchmarks for land navigation. Only,
Altimeter: The operation of the altimeter differs from model to model. Who says an altimeter displays a pressure sensor that can measure atmospheric pressure in a much more objective way. We note here an approximate calculation of the altitude with said pressure. These calculations are made according to the ISA “International Standard Atmosphere” values. It must be noted that the majority of models offer route information.
Barometer: This is our way of knowing the exact weather. It is essential to find yourself cut off from the world in an environment where it is difficult to judge the time. It is the instrument that tightens to measure the atmospheric pressure to allow you to apprehend the climatic trends. This pressure drops as you gain altitude. But when it increases, the climate generally improves. Therefore, it is imperative to protect yourself with a raincoat in the event of a decrease in atmospheric pressure, as this announces thunderstorms.
Compass: In our opinion, it remains the ultimate way to orient yourself in an unfamiliar or foreign space. It is mainly characterized by a sensor having a terrestrial magnetic field. The purpose of the latter is to indicate the direction with surgical precision. However, there are many models of GPS watch with a 3-axis digital compass. And still, others involve the real compass hanging on the strap.
Thermometer: Measuring temperature is the significant role of this instrument. In certain situations, it would be challenging to do without it. He has the power to anticipate the next meteorology. Hiking watches often have a thermometer that can tell you about a temperature level between -10 ° C and 60 ° C.
Heart Rate Fitter – It serves as a technology to help the health of hiking enthusiasts. It is ubiquitous with most modern hiking watches. This characteristic deserves all the attention in that it allows to limit cardiac arrests due to intense sports activities. Now you can look forward to being able to control your heart rate. However, chest strap transmitters are recommended in certain circumstances. They help in better the possibility of tracking your fitness exercises.
Water-Resistant: This feature has featured prominently in our review of the best GPS hiking watches. Waterproofing is the strong point of hiking watches. There is hardly a trekking watch without moisture resistance. The only difference in height relates to the depth of resistance, although it should be remembered that the majority of hiking watches are water repellent at 100 meters.
Durability: Durability should characterize all hiking and sports equipment in general. Most manufacturers are aware of this. And it binds through incredibly rugged hiking watches to survive certain situations of shock, scratches, humidity, and too high temperature. The long lifespan of GPS watches can also be explained by their construction materials, such as stainless steel.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hiking GPS:
Is the Apple Watch suitable for hiking?
Undoubtedly, Apple hiking watch models are especially suitable for short runs. We want to prove this the Apple Watch 4, which remains the most sophisticated and the most advanced because of its incorporated ECG sensor. She hardly ever stutters when she needs to display active minutes, heart rates/minute, calories, distance traveled, and altitude reached thanks to the built-in altimeter.
Do I need a GPS watch for hiking?
Absolutely “yes” to avoid getting lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Except that you have to choose a durable, resistant, and practical model of hiking watches. You will also have to keep an eye on the barometer, the compass, the altimeter, the GPS…
Can I use my phone’s GPS for hiking?
Affirmative, we say since this is now possible thanks to the “Cliff Notes” application. It promotes the transformation of your phone into a hiking GPS. It is even recommended to plan your route and print your maps before the adventure using the “CalTopo.” So it would be ideal for installing GAIA GPS on your mobile. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to realize one thing: your printed maps will be entirely similar to the maps as well as to the “waypoints” of your Smartphone.
Can a car GPS be used for hiking?
Geolocation in the streets remains the strong point of car GPS. On the other hand, this type of navigator is not suitable for locating hikes outside the road sector. However, particular models like “Magellan CrossoverGPS” or “Garmin Nuvi 500” can turn the tide. The portable GPS is then conducive to activities of the hiking routes.