Best Smartwatch for Hiking
A smartwatch is the best accessory that you can bring on your hiking, trail running, and all other outdoor adventures. Smartwatches are equipped with a plethora of cool features that you need while hiking. The best example of that is a built-in GPS system that continuously monitors your location to help you figure out the right path in case you get lost.
However, that’s not all. You can also use the smartwatch to monitor how many calories you are burning, get in touch with your friends, and even listen to music. The possibilities are endless if you pick a premium smartwatch for hiking.
Whether you are planning to get the smartwatch for hiking or skiing, there are a couple of features and specifications that they need to offer to be considered reliable. Getting the best smartwatch is not as easy as heading into the tech store and picking the first device that you see.
If you don’t know what features to look for, then you don’t need to worry because here is where our expertise comes in. Today we will check out the top 5 best smartwatches for hiking. Make sure to stick around for the end because we will also be answering the internet’s most asked questions about this topic.
- 1 Best Smartwatch for Hiking in 2021
- 2 Best Smartwatch for Hiking Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
Best Smartwatch for Hiking in 2021
Garmin Fenix 6
Garmin was the first tech company to create smartwatches designed for outdoor activities. Thanks to this, the Garmin brand is now a household name in the industry, and the company has had more than enough time to perfect its devices to a tee. The best example of this is none other than the bestselling Garmin Fenix 6.
The smartwatch is fitted with an elegant design that is built from rugged materials that resist harsh environments. The display measures 1.3-inches, and it uses always-on technology that is paired with sunlight-blocker, bezels in stainless steel, titanium, and diamond-like carbon coating. We have to give it to Garmin; the design is sleek, and it looks good at any event.
The intuitive design makes Garmin Fenix 6 easy to use, but this is not the best thing about the device. What makes Garmin Fenix 6 ideal for hiking is its built-in GPS system that features a dedicated expedition mode. The mode lasts for 56 days, and it will monitor the movement of the wearer.
The smartwatch is equipped with a bundle of useful features such as advanced fitness training that provides users with detailed information about their pace, VO2 max, and other estimates. Long-distance running and hiking will be much more enjoyable with the Garmin Fenix 6 on your wrist.
We also want to mention that the battery lasts for 120 days, and therefore, you will have to worry about bringing an extra battery pack or charger on your hiking adventures.
Suunto 9 Baro
Suunto is another leader in the smartwatch industry, and its top-rated product is the Suunto 9 Baro. The company is renowned for creating gadgets for endurance athletes, and the Suunto 9 Baro doesn’t disappoint. This is one of the most durable smartwatches that you can find in this price range, and it is fitted with lots of features that help athletes push themselves to run that extra mile.
Suunto 9 Baro offers over 80 sports modes that users can select from, which includes hiking. Talking about hiking, we want to highlight that the smartwatch is equipped with a barometer that will constantly track the user’s altitude. That’s not all. The Suunto 9 Baro is also paired with a wrist heart rate monitor.
Since this is a rugged smartwatch designed for outdoor activities, it should come as no surprise to find out that it features built-in support for GPS. The cool thing about Suunto 9 Baro’s GPS system is that it is designed to work in any conditions, including up to 100 meters underwater. Safety is the biggest priority when hiking.
This is why the manufacturers of the Suunto 9 Baro made sure to equip the smartwatch with the ability to check sunrise/sunset times and alert the user of incoming storms weather changes. You will always be one step ahead of the competition with the Suunto 9 Baro on your wrist.
POLAR Grit X
While there are many features that a smartwatch needs to feature in order to be considered viable for hiking, long battery life is essential. Here is where the Polar Grit X comes in and saves the day. Polar is a reputable company that does a fantastic job of combining the pleasant aesthetics of modern watches with the rugged durability and features that an outdoor watch needs to be functional.
Polar Grit X features a massive battery that provides up to 40 hours of full GPS tracking. To make things even more impressive, the battery life can be expanded up to 100 hours by using the dedicated power-saving mode.
Polar Grit X features military-level durability, and it passed the standard 810G tests for extreme temperature drops, humidity, water resistance, and drop. While Polar Grit X’s durability and fitness features make it a great candidate for the best smartwatch for hiking, there is one specific feature that makes it stand out from the rest.
Polar Grit X helps users stay on the right track by providing them with the safest and fastest routes via Komoot. Another important feature that needs to be highlighted is Polar Grit X’s FuelWise system. This special system allows users to plan their adventures and stay energized throughout their sessions.
Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T
If you are a big fan of watches, this probably means that you are familiar with Casio. This is one of the biggest brands in the watch industry, and there is a good reason for that. All the products that this company releases are made from durable materials, sport elegant designs, and provide reliable performances.
The Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T is the perfect example of that featuring a durable exterior design that will not break at the first accidental drop. The smartwatch for hiking resists in harsh environments, including 200m underwater) and it is equipped with a duplex LC display that supports different modes. The display is full-auto EL backlit with afterglow, and it contains information about tide graphs, moon data, compass, altimeter, and so on.
The battery of Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T lasts for up to 5 months on a single charge. If this is not impressive enough, you should know that the battery can be pushed up to 23 months by using the smartwatch for hiking in power shaving mode. Now, this is impressive!
Even if you run out of battery charge, which is highly unlikely, you can always charge it just with exposure to the light. The battery is solar rechargeable, and therefore, you don’t have to worry about running out of charge. Moreover, the altimeter features a measuring range of -700m, and it goes up to 10,000m. You can even take manual memory measurements (up to 14 records), and they include altitude, date, and time.
Garmin Instinct is the best smartwatch for users outdoors enthusiasts who don’t want to spend too much money on gear. Even though the device falls into the mid-range category, you shouldn’t be fooled by its affordable price and believe it doesn’t offer access to essential features and sensors.
Garmin Instinct is water-resistant up to 100 meters. It features all the sensors you need for hiking, starting with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and ending the heart rate monitor. The design of the smartwatch looks sleek, and you can wear it to any occasion without any problem, be it a formal event or a long-distance running session on mountain topics. No matter the destination, you can rely on the Garmin Instinct to be at your side.
The built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter of the Garmin Instinct are paired with global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Galileo, and Glonass) to help users keep track of their movements at all times. You don’t want to get lost when hiking, especially on uncharted territories, and the Garmin Instinct will make sure that never happens.
In fact, the smartwatch is equipped with a dedicated trackback feature that allows users to navigate to the same route that they started.
Furthermore, the battery life of Garmin Instinct lasts for up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, in GPS mode for up to 16 hours, and up to 40 hours in battery saver mode.
Best Smartwatch for Hiking Buying Guide
Choosing the right smartwatch for hiking is not easy, but you don’t need to worry because we will help you out. Check out the buying guide below to see the top three features you need to look out for.
This should go without saying, but the best smartwatch for hiking needs to feature built-in GPS support. After all, you will be hiking on mountain tops, and getting lost is always an option. Therefore, it’s better to have a GPS function to track your movement and find the best routes. You can even export the data to check out how well you did during fitness activities.
Since we are talking about hiking, the altimeter is the second-most essential feature that your smartwatch needs to offer. The altimeter is a special sensor that lets you know how high above sea level you are. Thanks to this, you will always get an accurate reading of your elevation. You can use this information to find out how much more you need to climb until you summit.
- Battery Life
What takes most people by surprise when they purchase a smartwatch is the short battery life. The more features a smartwatch has to offer, the faster the battery will drain. GPS is infamous for draining battery and therefore, you should make sure to purchase a wearable device with a long-lasting battery. That’s not all. The smartwatch that you plan to buy for hiking should also have a battery saving mode. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Garmin watch for hiking?
Since Garmin makes some of the world’s best-rugged smartwatch, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the company offers a multitude of models. If we had to pick one as the best, we would certainly go with the Garmin Fenix 6. The smartwatch falls into the premium category, and there is no doubt about that.
Is Fitbit good for hiking?
Yes, wearing a Fitbit can actually help you become a better hiker. This is because Fitbit devices are equipped with special software that allows users to track their progress and find it easier to make progress. However, Fitbit’s smartwatches are usually smaller and not suited for extreme sports.
Is Suunto better than Garmin?
Even though both Suunto and Garmin are designed for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy pushing themselves to the limit, there is one thing that separates them. Suunto devices are designed for hardcore athletes that love challenging sports such as ultra-trail running. On the other hand, Garmin caters to a broader audience because it is equipped with a lifestyle many features.
What are the toughest watches?
All the smartwatches featured on our list are designed for outdoor activities, and they are equipped with durable exteriors. However, they are not the toughest ones. The most durable models are created by Casio, and they are available under the G-SHOCK brand. On the downside of things, G-SHOCK watches are not cheap.
Do smartwatches need SIM card?
You don’t need to use a SIM card on your smartwatch. However, you might want to install a SIM card if your smartwatch supports it. The reason behind this is that you will have access to a cellular network for calling, texting, and LTE. Therefore, you will be able to access the internet or getting in touch with your friends and loved ones wherever you might be.