Best Hiking Watch Buying Guide - What To Look For?
Modern watch models for hiking have many built-in functions, ranging from GPS to alarms and weather forecast. Before you buy a hiking watch, you should carefully study all its characteristics and decide which set of functions you need. If you plan to buy a watch for workouts, you should give preference to a device that has a built-in step counter and calories counter. If you are looking for a watch for long hikes, then choose a watch with a good GPS navigator and weather alarm.
If we talk about the functions of traveling watches, the main thing that is worth noting is the compass altimeter and barometer. Such watches are also known as ABC. In addition, some basic models may have a built-in temperature sensor or a timer, for example. Remember that you have to pay money for the device that gives you more information. So, let’s take a closer look at all the functions that a quality hiking watch should have. Which of them are necessary for you, and which ones don’t you really need?
A watch that has a built-in altimeter is an even more reliable device than a GPS navigator that just changes the height. The GPS may not be able to catch the signal because you are in too low terrain or in a dense forest, and some men’s hiking watch models can monitor the height and download this data to a computer. This is especially appreciated by those who track data after hiking.
The barometer is important as you can get information about an approaching storm or rain by measuring atmospheric pressure. If you go hiking for a long distance and for a long time, then you need a hiking watch that has this function. Therefore, you will know about any approaching bad weather and find refuge.
This is one of the most useful functions of a hiking watch, and almost all models of a traveling watch have a built-in compass. You only need to determine the type of compass. There’s a 2D compass and a 3D compass. The 2D compass will work in conditions if your watch is in a perfectly horizontal position. The 3D compass does not require this and will show accurate data in any position of the clock. However, if you want to be sure of your direction, take a standard compass.
Not all models of hiking watches have this built-in function because it is hard to maintain. This is because the temperature of the human body can affect the overall temperature reading.
You can buy a GPS watch for hiking with a built-in GPS-navigator that will allow you to wear two devices in one on your wrist. GPS can not only show you the way in which you are heading but also provide data on the distance, location, and speed of the hike.
There is an added advantage to match your watch with a laptop or smartphone because you can send data from the watch directly to these devices. You can also load some useful data directly into your watch’s memory.
Mostly, all hiking watch models are water-resistant. The difference will only be that the depth determines the level of water resistance. This is important not only in order for your watch to withstand the water but also for triathletes to whom it is important that the watch withstands the pressure of water.
Design and Style
Many hiking watches have a stylish look that allows you to wear them with any clothes. Many survival watches were created to work in the wild, so they do not always have a stylish appearance and the ability to wear them with everyday clothes is practically impossible.
At present, the cost will depend on a particular model, which may differ in scale. The price range ranges from $100 to $600. As a rule, the more functions there are in a watch, the more expensive it is. If you are looking for the best hiking watch that has a built-in compass and serves as a watch, you can buy an inexpensive watch. The more functions it has, especially if there is a navigator, the more the cost of hours increases.
- $70-$200. These ordinary watches are marked with ABC. This device will be an excellent companion for lovers of outdoor activities and those who do not want to spend big money on such watches.
- $200-$500. This GPS watch for hiking has a GPS function, a stylish design that increases its practicality and makes it possible to wear every day. Therefore, the watches in this price range are suitable for those who want to wear them not only on trips but also in everyday life.
- $500 and more. This watch is more like a wrist computer because it has a high-quality GPS, which is equipped with many functions. Such watches can measure your heart rate and are a great option for skiers, triathletes and lovers of long hikes in deserted areas.
In addition, an important criterion is to read hiking watch reviews from real users before buying a device because you can find out all the pitfalls of using a particular model.
The Best Hiking Watch. Final Advice
The best hiking watch is an irreplaceable device when you are going on a long trip. Such a device usually has a number of additional functions. These include a barometer, GPS-navigator, altimeter, built-in maps, and many others. These devices are essential to take with you on a long hike, especially in places where there is no connection. In addition, you can be aware of the weather forecast and be ready for any natural circumstances. In choosing the best watch for hiking, you need to pay attention to criteria such as the quality of the built-in functions, the ability to connect via Wi-Fi, water-resistance, and cost. If you choose a device carefully, it will work for many years and really help you during long trips into the wild. The best hiking watch plays the part of a watch, GPS, altimeter and many others. The best option in the rating “The best hiking watch, 2019” is the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, which has the best functionality and durability.