What is the Best Hiking Smartwatch for 2020?

A good Smartwatch for hiking not only shows the date and time but also offers you essential information such as location, air pressure, altitude, sunset/sunrise time, etc. There are watches specially designed for telling time, tracking fitness, and then they’re watches that help you hike. They’re not the typical fitness band designed for people who like to workout in the gym. They closely resemble a Smartwatch in looks, but they are designed for outdoor activities.

Are you a hiker searching for the right Smartwatch for hiking? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, here are some tips on how to select the best hiking watch to suit all your hiking needs.

Reasons to Use a Hiking Watch

A hiking watch does more than monitor your steps, and that’s why they are every hiker’s favorite companion.

Finding Directions

The main function of a hiking watch is navigation that helps you find both your position and direction of travel using the altimeter, GPS, or the built-in digital compass. Do you want to know how high and how far you’ve hiked? These GPS and ABC sensors can also track the elevation and distance of your trek.

Anticipating the Weather

A hiking watch helps you keep track of the weather conditions of your hiking area. Most Smartwatches are equipped with a temperature sensor or a barometer, which can detect changes in your vicinity. Others connect to your phone to show the full weather forecast. Others also show the sunset or sunrise times, which is useful if the trip takes longer than expected.

Tracking Health, fitness, and Performance

These Smartwatches are ideal for tracking your health and fitness. Although they are specially designed for outdoor activities, most hiking watches have similar fitness features as fitness watches. Hiking watches count your daily steps, track your sleep, and monitor your heart rate 4/7. Additionally, they can accurately calculate the calories burned. What’s more, many hiking watches can sync to your phone to help you receive notifications right on your wrist.

Best Smartwatch for Hiking: Buying Guide

To be eligible for hiking, a hiking watch must feature a number of specifications. Nowadays, Smartwatches come with various features, so it’s very easy to get confused when buying one. However, the fundamentals are what make a difference.  Here’s an overview of some top features to look for in the best hiking watch.

GPS

The best part of Smartwatches is that you can wear a GPS tracker on your wrist without carrying one separately. GPS is crucial if you’re unfamiliar with the hiking area. If you’re alone and you feel lost, you’ll appreciate a GPS watch for hiking.

Always go for a watch with high responsive GPS signals to help you identify where you are and where you head next.

Ease-of-use

This is a crucial feature to consider when choosing a Smartwatch for hiking. Do the watch use buttons or a touchscreen for navigation? A touchscreen display seems more intuitive, especially if you’re used to a tablet or a Smartphone. However, wet hands or gloves can reduce the effectiveness of the touchscreen. Buttons are easy to operate, but it’s not easy to navigate as a touchscreen. You’ve to press the buttons in a specific order.

Compass

A high-quality compass will help you get the bearings when in the outdoors. If other features fail, you’ll need a map and compass to help triangulate your present location.

Altimeter

If you love hiking in the hills, this sensor will help you know the exact height or altitude above sea level. It will also help you determine your location on the map. Once you know your typical ascent or descent speeds for a certain gradient of hills, you can use this info to determine the time you’ll take to hike a certain area.

Barometer

Some Smartwatches for hiking come with a barometer, which measures atmospheric pressure and can be used to determine the altitude and forecast the weather.

Smartphone Compatibility

Always look for a Smartwatch that has Bluetooth connectivity and one that’s compatible with your phone. Most Smartwatches works with certain Smartphones. Ensure you check whether your chosen watch is compatible with your phones.

Battery Life

Battery life is a crucial feature to consider when buying a watch. No one wants a watch that drains power after a few hours of use. However, how often you charge your watch depends on how you use your watch. If you use GPS all day, you’ll need to charge your watch frequently.

If battery life is an issue, opt for a non-GPS watch that can take you for weeks or months on a single charge. Additionally, you can opt for solar-powered watches to extend their battery life.

Water Resistance

Most hiking watches today are water-resistant, so you can wear them even on a rainy day. However, you should check the degree of water-resistance of the watch since they come with varying specs. If you want to bathe with a watch, go for one with more than 50m of water resistance.

Best Smartwatch for Hiking Reviews

Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch

The Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch is the best bet for all outdoor adventurers. It comes with all features you need for successful hiking. This affordable hiking watch comes with a perfect size-not too big and not too small.

It has a silicone strap that fits comfortably on your wrist, and you can replace it if it breaks. It features a rugged design with strong glass and hard polymer covering.  However, it comes with a monochrome display that may not impress you. Some users may not like the plastic feel of the polymer casing, although the polymer casing makes the watch comfortable and lightweight.

Features

  • 3-axis compass
  • 3-satellite tracking systems
  • Barometric altimeter
  • 100% cotton jersey material

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Fitness tracking function that measures steps, heart rate, etc
  • Easy viewing in bright sunlight
  • Easy pairing with Garmin Explore

Cons

  • You can’t be on GPS and Smartphone at the same time

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire

The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire comes with a solid black band that gives it an attractive design. It comes with a three-axis compass that helps you get back on track when you get lost. It has a lightweight design that makes you feel like it’s not on your wrist, and the band is super comfortable. This Smartwatch is comfortable to wear during the entire duration of your hike.

Features

  • 3-axis compass
  • 9.6oz weight
  • Stainless steel bezel
  • Routable cycling maps
  • Built-in navigation sensors
  • Barometric altimeter

Pros

  • Smart notifications and automatic uploads
  • Super durable
  • Long battery life
  • LED backlighting guarantees great readability in ambient conditions
  • Interchangeable wrist bands

Cons

  • The battery doesn’t come charged

Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch

The Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch is specially designed for outdoor activities. It comes with three-core ABC sensors with sunrise/sunset times that make it the ideal watch for long-term hiking. Since it’s not a Smartwatch, you can use it for 6 months on a single charge.

This hiking watch comes with a solar charger that keeps the watch powered. It has a bright backlight that makes it ideal for day and night use. It features four buttons that represent compass, altimeter, barometer, and modes. The buttons are clearly labeled and easy to press.

Features

  • Plastic band type
  • Triple sensor
  • Integrated solar panel
  • Full-auto LED Backlight
  • 51-mm stainless steel case
  • Resin band

Pros

  • Water-resistant up to 100m
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Highly durable
  • Easy viewing in low light

Cons

  • Lacks a touchscreen feature

Anmino Smart Watch (GPS + Barometer + Altimeter + Compass)

If you’re looking for the best hiking watch on a low budget, this is a good choice. The Anmino Smart Watch comes with GLONASS and GPS that ensure that you don’t lose track of your current position and where you’re going. It has a built-in altimeter, compass, and barometer and comes in various strap colors and sizes.

The Anmino Smart Watch comes with amazing features that help you monitor your blood pressure, breathing rhythm, heart rate, and sleep quality. This Smartwatch is compatible with a wide range of Smartphones and operating systems. What’s more, it has Bluetooth connectivity that helps you receive callss, SMS, and notifications from various apps.

Features

  • Full HD touchscreen
  • Bluetooth support
  • 22mm in size
  • GPS and GLONASS
  • 5 workout modes
  • Stainless case material
  • Liquid silicone strap material

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Affordable
  • A built-in compass, barometer, and altimeter
  • Tracks calories burned, blood pressure, breathing rhythm, and quality of sleep

Cons

  • All measurements are metric

GPS Smart Watch for Android

This Smartwatch is not only affordable but also great for outdoors and hiking. It has great GPS tracking that is linked to two other positioning systems and has a built-in barometer, altimeter, and compass. The GPS Smart Watch for Android monitors fitness and health measurements such as blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep quality. This Smartwatch is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about hiking on a rainy day. What’s more, it’s compatible with both Android phones and iPhones.

Features

  • Bluetooth support
  • 3-satellite GPS positioning systems
  • Multiple sports modes
  • Built-in GPS

Pros

  • IP67 excellent waterproof performance
  • Full HD touchscreen
  • Excellent music control
  • Heart rate monitoring

Cons

Best Smartwatch for Hiking Reviews and Buying Guide 2020
  • It’s hard to get a replacement battery

Conclusion

The above guide will help you buy the best Smartwatch for hiking that will suit all your hiking needs.

However, always take some time to think about the features you’ll want in your favorite hiking watch.

Uninformed decisions may land you a low-quality hiking watch.