Whether you're a serious thru-hiker or simply someone who enjoys wandering into the woods from time to time, a sport watch is a reliable way to track your metrics, improve your performance, and stay safe when you're off the grid. The best hiking watches have a rugged construction with scratch-proof components along with a certain degree of water-resistance (if it can be fully submerged in water, that's even better). Aside from these basic requirements, there are a few other features to consider:
- Barometer and altimeter: These tools measure elevation via metrics like atmospheric pressure and distance from sea level. The former not only tracks altitude but helps provide weather forecasts, too.
- GPS navigation: Although not absolutely critical, it's helpful to have a GPS monitor on your watch to track where you've been and identify your location in an emergency. As an alternative, a three-axis compass works well, too.
- Robust battery life: This factor is especially important for a hiking watch since you likely won't have access to electricity or charging stations. All of the watches below have a battery that can last at least 30 hours while using more demanding features like GPS navigation.
To help connect you with an option that best fits your style and budget, I made a list of the best hiking watches on Amazon below.
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