In this review we feature the top 10 best GPS watch for hiking with state-of-the-art yet user-friendly GPS navigation systems that ensure that you will always be able to find your way home. These GPS watches for hiking are themselves some of the very best GPS watches that exist, and are designed to be extremely durable and capable of withstanding the harshest outdoor elements, which guarantee their reliability even for the most adventurous of hikes. Moreover, these GPS watches for hiking are also helpfully equipped with barometers and altimeters, which enable you to monitor key weather changes and altitude changes so that you can make critical alterations to your hiking route as necessary, making them the best GPS watch for hiking. Further, these GPS hiking watches can also be connected to your computer and to other devices, which means you can upload your own maps and routes, and stream more information and data onto your wrist. At the time of writing, these top 10 best GPS watch for hiking are selling at very discounted prices and are highly value for money, so do check them out!
Be sure to check out our top picks for the best running GPS watches and best Golf GPS watches which are now selling at amazing discounts and are some of the most accurate GPS watches available on the market.
#1 Garmin Epix GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Epix is the first-of-its-kind, high resolution and colour touchscreen GPS hiking watch with worldwide, shaded relief basemap and a generous 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. This GPS watch is able to automatically upload data wirelessly to Garmin Connect, LiveTrack, and even to social media (via the Garmin Connect Mobile app), and features Smart Notification4 so you can receive texts, emails and alerts directly on your watch, making it one of the best GPS watch for hiking. The Garmin Epix also has a high resolution, sunlight-visible colour Chroma touchscreen display which complements its buttons controls, and comes with an expanded 8 GB internal memory that allows you to upload a whole variety of maps onto this incredible watch, including TOPO U.S. 24K and City Navigator NT.
We were awed by the GPS and mapping functions of the Garmin Epix, which easily make this watch one of the best GPS watch for hiking. The Garmin Epix actually comes pre-loaded with worldwide shaded relief basemaps, which allow you to view trails, roads, parks, points of interest, forests, lakes and rivers, and topography directly on your wrist even without any connection. You can even add more maps of your own into the Garmin Epix as you wish, to highlight special places or particular points of interest that may not be reflected on the pre-loaded conventional maps on that area. Further, the GPS and map functions of the Garmin Epix can be supplemented by BirdsEye Satellite imagery, which is available on subscription. Additionally, we were especially impressed by the blazing fast speed at which the GPS and GLONASS features loaded, which was a very pleasant surprise given the fact that we were in an extremely remote area. Even if in the unlikely event that you are somehow stuck with no GPS or GLONASS connection, you can still have 100% confidence in the pre-loaded maps to find your way around – the superb accuracy of the pre-loaded maps on Garmin Epix is proven by the fact that we successfully completed a challenging hike all the while referring only to the awesome pre-loaded maps on our Garmin Epix.
Apart from its GPS and mapping functions, the Garmin Epix is also equipped with a whole range of data sensors, such as an altimeter, barometer, accelerometer, and even a thermometer. All these means that this watch does not simply enable you to know where you are on the map, but also provides you with intimate information on your surroundings, enabling you to forecast weather changes, track your hike progress, and have a good understanding of the surrounding climate. This well-designed watch even gives you a vibration alert whenever there is a drop in pressure that indicates impending bad weather, making this watch easily one of the best GPS watch for hiking.
One thing lovely about the Garmin Epix is its very solid and weighty build. You might think its apparent weight and size is a disadvantage, but when we tried the Garmin Epix on, it is actually comfortable and light. Indeed, we hardly felt its weight when we hiked with the Garmin Epix. The sturdy built of the Garmin Epix makes it something of a manly watch, and enables it to be one of the best GPS watch for hiking that looks noticeably handsome on a photograph. Despite its chunkier built, the Garmin Epix is still small enough to fit under the sleeves easily. Furthermore, although the Garmin Epix is designed and programmed to minimise battery power use, its screen is still very clear and bright, and allows you to read the fine details such as altimeter markings even when it is dark. The magnificent built of this watch also offers excellent waterproofing and shock-proofing, which means you don’t have to worry about your Gamin Epix even if you need to swim across a river or even if you constantly knock your wrists against rocks.
The Verdict? The Garmin Epix is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that you can find at an affordable price point. It is a unique high resolution and colour touchscreen GPS hiking watch, which enables you to view your location and your path in vivid imagery. The Garmin Epix also comes pre-loaded with worldwide shaded relief basemaps, which enable you to navigate even without any GPS/GLONASS connection, and generously provides a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. The wide variety of other data sensors that are built into the Garmin Epix also means that you get access to a whole range of other vital information that are important for a successful hike. Moreover, the Garmin Epix is of a solid built that is both shock-proof and water-proof, yet is light and fitting enough to afford a comfortable hiking experience. Aesthetically, the Garmin Epix is a handsome watch that looks great on photographs, and is definitely one of the most worthwhile GPS hiking watches out there.
#2 Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a military-grade GPS hiking watch that boasts a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix for improved performance and reception even under heavy tree cover or in deep canyons, and allows you to keep track of routes, tracks and waypoints. The Garmin Foretrex 401 also comes with the wildly popular TracBack feature, which can retrace your path all the way back to where you began your hike, making it one of the best GPS watch for hiking. Furthermore, this watch supports dual position readout, so you can view your current location in multiple formats. The Garmin Foretrex 401 can even be supplemented by a heart rate monitor that allows you to track your heart’s exertion, making it one of the most versatile GPS hiking watch.
No matter where you are planning to hike to, you can count on the excellent GPS feature on the Garmin Foretrex 401, which has been tested in such extreme places like warzones in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Foretrex 401 is armed with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that is waterproof, which enables perfect all-terrain and all-weather GPS tracking. We found that the GPS of the Foretrex 401 connected very swiftly, and was able to provide near-instant updates on our movements with pinpoint accuracy. Apart from providing real time live updates on your location, the Foretrex 401 also keeps track of your path and displays it as a dotted trail on the screen, meaning it is super easy to monitor your hike and ensure that you are following your planned route. This awesome watch even has an outstanding TracBack feature which you can turn on to retrace your path back to where you started. You can save locations in the Foretrex 401’s memory as waypoints, thus allowing you to easily find your way back to any place of importance, such as your campsite or your vehicle. Aside from pinpointing your exact location and keeping track of your route, this GPS watch is also equipped with an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter, making it one of the best GPS watch for hiking which offers further vital information relating to your hike and your surrounding environment. We found that the Foretrex 401’s electronic compass is very easy to read, and its barometric altimeter dead accurate – it never failed to warn us of an impending storm, which is an ability that is crucial for anyone planning to hike in areas, or during seasons, with higher variations in weather conditions.
Despite its slightly retro look, the Foretrex 401 is a highly advanced and user-friendly GPS watch that is regularly used by military specialists in active warzones around the world. The Foretrex 401 is built with an easy-to-read LCD display, which allows you to read and digest critical information in the shortest possible amount of time. Further, the Foretrex 401 boasts a unique structure and design – instead of the usual design of watches (i.e. a normal-looking watch face and a watch strap), the Foretrex 401 is essentially a GPS that has been mounted on a watch strap. The great durability of the Garmin Foretrex 401 also makes it one of the best GPS watch for hiking over long distances, with up to 17 hours of battery life that can be extended substantially with a supply of spare AAA batteries. Additionally, the olive green and black colours of the Foretrex 401, along with its non-reflective screen, also makes it the perfect camouflage GPS watch for military users worldwide.
Nevertheless, the truly amazing thing about the Foretrex 401 is its data ability and connectivity, which really makes it one of the very best GPS watch for hiking. This impressive watch allows you to create and store routes to each and every one of your favourite places, and even allows you to share waypoints, routes and tracks wirelessly to another Foretrex 401. In fact, the Foretrex 401 can be connected to any wireless accessory, such as a heart rate monitor or a cadence sensor, thereby allowing you to monitor any real-time information that you like directly on your wrist. Moreover, if you connect the Garmin Foretrex 401 to your computer and the Internet, you can even get a detailed analysis and breakdown of all your activities, which you can upload and share on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
The Verdict? The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a highly durable and rugged watch that provides an excellent suite of functions. This GPS watch is built with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix for best performance, and is one of the best GPS watch for hiking in areas where GPS connectivity tends to be weaker. One of the great things about this watch is that it supports dual position printout, which gives you the option of viewing your current location in multiple formats. You can save special locations as waypoints on the Foretrex 401, which enables you to easily find your way back to them. With its olive green and dark colours, as well as its non-reflective screen, the Foretrex 401 can be easily camouflaged, and is an ideal GPS watch for hunting and military uses. In addition, the Garmin Foretrex 401 has good wireless connectivity with other wireless devices, thereby enabling you to conveniently monitor multiple devices from a single point on your wrist. We would highly recommend the Garmin Foretrex 401 to anyone looking for a GPS hiking watch with very high functionality.
#3 Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Fenix 5 is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that comes with built-in outdoor sensors, which include GPS and GLONASS satellite reception as well as 3-axis compass with gyroscope and barometric altimeter. The Garmin Fenix 5 also boasts connected features such as smart notifications and automatic uploads to the Garmin Connect online fitness community, and personalisation via free watch faces and apps from Garmin’s Connect IQ store, thus cementing its position as some of the best GPS watch for hiking. Furthermore, the Garmin Fenix 5 has a rugged design that features stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case, which makes it a chic GPS hiking watch. This GPS watch even comes with Elevate wrist heart rate technology, and is suitable not only for hiking, but for all other types of outdoor sports and activities.
We are impressed by the accuracy of the Garmin Fenix 5’s GPS function, which made it practically impossible for us to lose our way even when we tested it in dense forest. We also found that the GPS feature of the Garmin Fenix 5 is very easy to understand and use, and you do not need to be tech saavy in order to take full advantage of the GPS function on this wonderful watch. The excellent GPS feature of this superb watch is also coupled by this watch’s bright, high-resolution and full-colour Garmin Chroma Display complete with LED backlighting, which made it very easy to read the GPS information on the screen even under the severely decreased visibility and lighting that we encountered in the middle of the forest. We even discovered that the Garmin Fenix 5 makes use of transflective technology that reflects and transmits light at the same time, which makes the watch face easily readable even under intense sunlight.
In addition to its ability to deliver first-rate GPS data, the Garmin Fenix 5 is also designed for maximum comfort. Despite its seemingly rugged design, this wonderful watch is very light and small, and fits the wrist perfectly, and it is easy to forget its presence if you do not look at it. The outstanding comfort and lightness of this super watch is certainly something you would be thankful for if you are going for a long, all-day hike. Additionally, the Garmin Fenix 5 is very durable, which is makes it ideal for outdoor use. The Garmin Fenix 5 is built for practicality – instead of having a touch screen, the interface of the Garmin Fenix 5 is controlled by buttons which are far easier to use when you have sweaty or gloved hands during a hike. The Garmin Fenix 5 is water-resistant to 100 meters, which is significantly better than many of its competitor watches.
The truly awesome thing about the Garmin Fenix 5 is its fully advanced tracking system, which places this watch well within our list of the best GPS watch for hiking. This activity tracking system of the Garmin Fenix 5 is able to access your pace and the distance you covered, and you can even key in route uploads and have a live route plotted for you. Further, the Fenix 5’s tracking system can also be used to track your performance real time for a whole range of other outdoor activities such as running, cycling, swimming, and golf, which makes it a one-stop watch that is truly value for money. The Garmin Fenix 5 is also one of the best GPS watch for hiking that has a very high durability – it is capable of more than 20 hours of battery life, meaning you hardly need to worry about the Fenix 5 running out of battery even if you are heading off for a full day hike, or a full day of outdoor activities.
The Verdict? The Garmin Fenix 5 boasts a highly accurate and easily readable GPS system that makes it easy to use even under difficult hiking conditions. The Fenix 5’s GPS and GLONASS satellite systems, along with its 3-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter, means that you get access to a whole range of quality vital information real time throughout your hike. The Garmin Fenix 5 even comes with a fully integrated tracking system that allows you to monitor your movements and your progress on the route, making it one of the best GPS watch for hiking, especially in remote areas. In addition, the Garmin Fenix 5 is durable and practically designed, which allows you to enjoy a pleasant hiking experience without having to worry about the watch. If you’re looking for a GPS hiking watch that packs maximum value, the Garmin Fenix 5 would be your best choice.
#4 Garmin Fenix 5S GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Fenix 5S, while sleeker in design than the Fenix 5, is equipped with similar top-notch GPS tracking technology and functionality as the Fenix 5. Effectively, the Garmin Fenix 5S is designed to be a perfect fit for users who prefer a sleeker version of the Fenix 5. With a watch face size that is only 42 mm, which is smaller than that of the Fenix 5, wearing the Garmin Fenix 5S feels little different than wearing air. That said, the Garmin Fenix 5S performs just as well as the Fenix 5 and is definitely one of the best GPS watch for hiking in its category.
The Garmin Fenix 5S comes fully equipped with state-of-the-art outdoor sensors, and offers the latest GPS watch technology that enables you to pinpoint your location wherever you may be. Having brought it along for a number of hikes, we can confirm that the GPS system of the Garmin Fenix 5S is as good as, if not better than, that of the Fenix 5, thereby making it one of the finest and best GPS watch for hiking. We found that there is no need to worry about the fact that the watch face size of the Garmin Fenix 5S is somewhat smaller than that of the Fenix 5 – the information on the Garmin Fenix 5S’ GPS feature is still extremely clear and readable, and remains easy to read even in especially bright or dark conditions. The display on the Garmin Fenix 5S is crisp and clear and there were times when we did not pick up any difference in its watch face size with that of the Fenix 5. In addition to its GPS feature, the Garmin Fenix 5S also boasts GLONASS satellite reception, which is Russia’s version of the GPS, and which effectively means that the Fenix 5S has not one, but two independent GPS systems that you can switch between at your desire, and which backs the other one up. Moreover, the high-tech Garmin Fenix 5S even comes with a barometric altimeter, which enables you to monitor vital changes to the atmospheric pressure and forecast the weather ahead.
As mentioned, the Garmin Fenix 5S is specially designed to be an elegant GPS hiking watch for those who wish to couple beauty with functionality. This GPS watch fits splendidly for slender and smaller wrists, which makes it ideal for women who need GPS functionality while hiking. Furthermore, the superior comfort afforded by the Garmin Fenix 5S makes it one of the most luxurious best GPS watch for hiking and adds a thrill to the overall hiking experience. The sleekness and chicness of the Garmin Fenix 5S also makes it the perfect social GPS hiking watch to wear for any other occasion, such as in the office or even at functions and dinners, making it one of the best GPS watch for hiking that is truly versatile.
What we really loved was the optical heart rate monitor on the Fenix 5S. The highly advanced heart rate monitor of this GPS watch is capable of accurately assessing average heart rate with incredible precision, and is even able to map complex fluctuations in the heart rate. Its easy-to-use heart rate monitor can be employed for all sorts of outdoor activities and exercises, irrespective of whether you are hiking or not. Indeed, the heart rate monitor of this wonderful watch can even double up as a convenient health monitor indoors. We also loved the fact that you can pair the optical heart rate monitor of the Fenix 5S with a chest strap, though if you do so, do allow for just a couple of additional minutes for the Fenix 5S’ heart rate monitor to accurately hone in on the chest strap reading.
The Verdict? If you are looking for the best GPS watch for hiking that is attractive-looking, comfortable, and extremely functional, we would strongly recommend the Garmin Fenix 5S. The Fenix 5S is designed to be sleek, chic, and light, and still has all the top-notch features that you would expect from the most advanced GPS hiking watches. With its excellent GPS/GLONASS and barometric altimeter navigation systems that are highly reliable and very user-friendly, the Fenix 5S is an indispensable companion for a hike which you can count on to guide you safely through your route and back. The optical heart rate monitor of the Fenix 5S also means that you are getting extra value for the money, and you can use it to monitor your pulse and exertion level for whatever outdoor activity that you engage in. At the time of writing, the Fenix S5 is selling at a good discounted price, so don’t forget to check it out.
#5 Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Fenix 3 is built with omni-directional stainless steel EXO antenna with both GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, and is fully geared to ensure that you can never get lost with it. The Fenix 3 contains fitness training features such as advanced running dynamics with vertical oscillation and vertical ratio, VO2 max, and recovery advisor, making it the likeliest candidate to be your best GPS watch for hiking. True to its reputation as the workhorse of the Garmin Fenix family of GPS watches, the Garmin Fenix 3 is built with unique high-strength domed sapphire lens to guarantee the long-lasting durability and clarity of the information display on its watch face. All in all, the Gamin Fenix 3 is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that is good value for money.
We were amazed by the GPS feature of the Fenix 3, which confirms its position as one of the best GPS watch for hiking. The Fenix 3’s GPS systems operate with complete accuracy and precision even when we made very frequent and significant directional and altitude changes to our hiking path. Moreover, we were stunned by the long battery life of this super watch even when it is operating with its GPS feature – the Fenix 3 can last a good 20 hours with GPS turned on, and even up to a whopping 50 hours in lower power hiking mode, which literally means that you can bring the Garmin Fenix 3 on a long multi-days/weekend hike without having to worry about bringing additional batteries. The reliability of the Garmin Fenix 3’s directional systems is further reinforced by its specially tailored altimeter, barometer and compass sensors, which are auto-calibrated and fine-tuned to maximum accuracy by the Fenix 3’s GPS system. As if all these are not enough, the Garmin Fenix 3 also comes fully equipped with a TracBack feature which can navigate you all the way back to your starting point in the exact same way that you came, making it practically impossible for you to lose your way home with this best GPS watch for hiking. Oh and did we mention – the Fenix 3 even records a GPS track log that creates a “bread crumb trail” as you move, thereby allowing you to mark locations such as a start/finish line, course checkpoint, campsite, vehicle, or any other points of interest.
The Garmin Fenix 3 has a sunlight-visible high-resolution Chroma colour display, which means it is very easy to read the information displayed on the watch face of the Fenix 3 regardless of the visibility level of the surroundings. This awesome GPS hiking watch also comes with an ultra soft and flexible black silicone band, which provides a luxurious comfortable feel to the watch. The special black silicone band of the Fenix 3 is even resistant to discolouration, thereby enabling the Fenix 3 to keep its shine for a very long time. The Garmin Fenix 3 is also water rated up to 10ATM / 100 meters, making it perfectly capable of handling the rough water conditions that you may find when hiking in remote areas. We also enjoyed the fact that the Garmin Fenix 3 has excellent wireless connectivity, which allows the Fenix 3 to automatically sync its data with Garmin Connect and with important software updates.
Above all, we loved the Fenix 3’s Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, which accurately measures your heart rate at the wrist and allows you to closely monitor your body’s exertion without having to wear a cumbersome chest strap. Apart from counting your steps and monitoring your sleep quality, the Garmin Fenix 3’s unique heart rate technology even uses information on your heart rate to calculate calories burned information and to quantify the intensity of your fitness activities. Further, the Fenix 3 also has a VO2 max estimator, which crunches data such as your running speed, beats per minute and heart rate variability to estimate the maximum volume of oxygen that you can consume per minute.
The Verdict? The Garmin Fenix 3 is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that is tough, reliable, and highly functional. This excellent GPS watch is armed with an accurate and precise GPS system that is extremely long-lasting, making it an ideal GPS hiking watch for long multi-day hikes in remote regions. We loved the fact that the Garmin Fenix 3 is able to record a detailed GPS track log, or “bread crumb trail”, of the paths we took, which made it very easy for us to find our way back to our start point. The excellent wireless connectivity of the Garmin Fenix 3 is a great plus point, and we liked the Fenix 3’s Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology which allowed us to easily measure our heart rate conveniently without having to put on a chest strap. If you are looking for a good GPS hiking watch, the Garmin Fenix 3 is probably your best bet.
#6 Garmin Tactix GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Tactix boasts a full-fledged high-sensitivity GPS positioning system that comes together with an automatic calibrating altimeter, barometer and 3-axis compass. Navigation systems aside, the Garmin Tactix is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that is highly scratch-resistant, rugged and durable, and is built with a solid forged stainless steel rear case that is specially designed to withstand the ravages of the outdoors. Additionally, the Garmin Tactix comfortably secures its place as one of the best GPS watch for hiking with its negative mode liquid crystal display with green LED backlight that is specially designed for night vision compatibility, thus allowing it to be perfectly suited for night hikes.
Its highly sensitive GPS navigation system makes the Garmin Tactix the ideal watch not just for hiking, but also for a whole range of activities such as field training, exploration, outdoor exercise, and much more. It is far more than an ordinary GPS hiking watch – the superior GPS navigation system of the Garmin Tactix allows you to create routes, record up to 1,000 waypoints (including rally points and potential campsites), and even allows you to record GPS bread crumb trails on the move, thus letting you create a tracklog. In fact, the GPS feature of the Garmin Tactix is so advanced that it can navigate to coordinates, along a track or route, toward waypoints or, indeed, along any other selected bearing. We took a chance with our Garmin Tactix and brought it into one of our hikes in a mountainous area which we had little prior information on and zero experience hiking in, and sure enough, it didn’t take long for us to easily navigate and locate our waypoints around the area with the superb GPS system of the Garmin Tactix. The awesome GPS navigation system of the Garmin Tactix also has the popular TracBack feature, which guides you back along your previously recorded tracklog so that you can very easily find your way to the end of a tactical training course, a campsite, or to the safety of a vehicle, even in difficult conditions.
We would also note that the Garmin Tactix has an impressive built that makes it the best GPS watch for hiking in the roughest conditions. The all-black, rugged and high durability design of the Garmin Tactix was inspired by the strict requirements of military tactical units for their field gear, and is more than capable of withstanding the tough conditions that may occur under non-military settings. The Garmin Tactix is also armed with scratch-resistant curved lens that is super durable and prevents reflection, thereby enabling you to read the information on its watch face with clarity. Further, the Garmin Tactix comes with a robust polyurethane wristband that is designed for maximum durability out in the field, and is waterproof to 50 meters. It is also one of the best GPS watch for hiking that can have a battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode, and up to 5 weeks in watch mode, which means the Garmin Tactix is amongst the top club of hiking watches that have the highest longevity.
If you are looking for an ultra cool watch, this is definitely it: the Garmin Tactix comes pre-loaded with the Jumpmaster software for skydivers, as well as tide data (applicable for US users), making it the ideal watch of choice for military specialists conducting airborne and amphibious operations, and the funkiest watch for anyone who simply wants to have a GPS watch that has wow functions. In addition, the Garmin Tactix even provides sun/moon information and a hunt/fish calendar, and is even capable of controlling VIRB and VIRB Elite action cameras, making it the perfect choice for any action-seeking hiker who is looking for a highly value-added GPS hiking watch.
The Verdict? The Garmin Tactix is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that is highly value-added. It comes with a high-sensitivity GPS navigation system that is crucial for outdoor hiking, and offers an excellent memory that is capable of recording up to 1,000 waypoints, which is easily more than what most hikers would need. The Garmin Tactix even has a built-in TracBack feature that enables you to find your way back to your start point with ease, and we found it to be exceptionally reliable when we tested in on a hike in a mountainous area. Importantly, the Garmin Tactix is rugged and durable, and is equipped with scratch-resistant lens and a battery life of up to 50 hours even in GPS mode. Furthermore, the Garmin Tactix comes value added with a pre-loaded Jumpmaster software for divers, and is even able to control VIRB and VIRB Elite action cameras. If you are looking for a cool GPS hiking watch that has a wide range of top-notch functionality and high durability, we would strongly recommend the Garmin Tactix.
#7 TomTom Adventurer GPS Watch for Hiking
The TomTom Adventurer has a fantastic GPS and map feature that gives you real-time navigational statistics, and allows you to plan and upload a trail onto your watch before your adventure. This watch even comes with a built-in music player that can blast your favourite songs to keep you motivated on a difficult hike, and provides audio feedback on your performance. The TomTom Adventurer also comes equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor that enables you to track the intensity of your hiking exercise, as well as the calories that you have burned, without you having to put on a separate chest strap. Given its versatility, the TomTom Adventurer easily ranks as one of the best GPS watch for hiking in its category.
If you are looking for the best GPS watch for hiking that is very affordable and great value for money, the TomTom Adventurer is just for you. The TomTom Adventurer offers an impressive GPS system that is user-friendly, and provides a very precise live update on your exact location. Even though we brought our TomTom Adventurer to one of our hiking adventures deep in South America, we found that the GPS feature worked fantastically, and was able to tell us exactly where we were even when we were confused by our own maps. In fact, we ended up ditching our maps and simply followed the GPS on our TomTom Adventurer. Also, we found the display of the TomTom Adventurer to be exceptionally user-friendly, and this certainly helped to reduce some of our stress when we thought we had accidentally hiked off our planned route. In addition to its wonderful GPS function, you can also plan and upload your own map, and even your own trail, onto your TomTom Adventurer, which will make your hike even easier. Indeed, the ability to upload your own route and see that you are actually sticking to it, real time, is an amazing experience, and we would highly recommend the TomTom Adventurer as one of the best GPS watch for hiking.
The TomTom Adventurer is also remarkably light, which makes it the ideal companion for a long and tiring hike. This great watch feels just as light as a basic running watch, and fits very comfortably on the wrist. It is extremely easy to navigate the TomTom Adventurer’s menus using its four-way button under the screen, which allows you to switch between the various features and modes of the TomTom Adventurer with immense ease. We also loved the fact that the TomTom Adventurer’s four way button can be easily used irrespective of whether you have gloves on or have sweaty hands. Overall, our experience of using the TomTom Adventurer felt easy and intuitive, and there is no doubt that the TomTom Adventurer is the best GPS watch for hiking that can be swiftly mastered and used by anyone regardless of your hiking experience and regardless of whether you have ever used a GPS hiking watch.
We also enjoyed the fact that the TomTom Adventurer comes packed with special Bluetooth headphones that can be paired with the watch. It is clear that the TomTom Adventurer Bluetooth headphones are carefully designed with the user in mind, with contoured ear hooks that enable the headphones to be held firmly in place even under the most vigorous of physical activity, and are sweat and weather proof. The TomTom Adventurer is able to play, via the headphones, your favourite inspirational songs to keep you motivated throughout your hike, thereby making your hiking experience that much more enjoyable and awesome. Not to mention also, this incredible watch has a built-in heart rate monitor, which allows you to track your pulse real time and adjust the intensity of your hiking speed accordingly.
The Verdict? The TomTom Adventurer has a particularly reader-friendly display, and is exceptionally user-friendly. It is very easy to navigate the TomTom Adventurer’s menus using its four-way button, which remains convenient to use even when your hands are gloved or sweaty. This watch comes with a very accurate GPS system, and we loved the fact that we could plan and upload our own maps and our own trails onto the TomTom Adventurer, which allowed us to monitor our progress on our route in real time. The TomTom Adventurer is surprisingly only as light as a basic running watch, which we appreciated greatly when we brought this watch along for our long hikes. The user-friendliness of the TomTom Adventurer is further enhanced by its ability to play your favourite music via the special Bluetooth headphones that comes along with it, making it one of the best GPS watch for hiking that is tailored for the maximum enjoyment of users. If you are looking for an easy-to-use GPS hiking watch that has great functionality, the TomTom Adventurer is likely your best choice.
#8 Garmin Fenix GPS Watch for Hiking
The Garmin Fenix is the first wristwatch to come with the Garmin GPS navigation system, and is complemented by an altimeter, barometer and a 3-axis compass that offer automatic sensor calibration. The Garmin Fenix allows you to mark up to 1,000 waypoints, and store up to 10,000 track points, meaning that you can use the Garmin Fenix for a great number of hikes throughout your lifetime. The Fenix also allows you to share data wirelessly with other compatible Garmin GPS units and smartphones, making it the best GPS watch for hiking in a team. The Garmin Fenix also has a temperature sensor to help you monitor the surrounding climate, and can even be paired with a heart rate monitor or a speed/cadence sensor.
Designed for outdoor enthusiasts, the Garmin Fenix has a precise GPS system that makes it one of the best GPS watch for hiking. This GPS watch is able to guide you far off the trail and back to the safety of your campsite, vehicle, trailhead, or your home, all the while just conveniently strapped to your wrist. We decided to do something daring and went very far off our planned route without referring to our map, and to our great satisfaction, we were able to find our way back to our route very easily by following the GPS on our Garmin Fenix. We also found that the GPS on our Garmin Fenix loads and updates itself very swiftly, which is always nice. In addition, the Garmin Fenix is capable of recording a track log by creating a GPS “bread crumb trail” as you move along, thus enabling you to easily trace your path and progress. You can even create routes with the Garmin Fenix by downloading routes to your Fenix from BaseCamp, which is a free trip-planning software, so you can always create a new hike route every weekend!
The Garmin Fenix is further equipped with a built-in barometric altimeter, which provides you with precise elevation information so that you can keep an accurate track of your ascent and descent and ensure that you are keeping to the correct contours, which is particularly important when you are hiking in hilly and mountainous terrains. The barometer that comes with the Garmin Fenix can also enable you to monitor and forecast weather changes by indicating the changes in barometric air pressure – for instance, if the barometric pressure begins to decline steadily, that would be a warning that there is a good chance of an impending storm. The Garmin Fenix’s barometer is also coupled by a temperature sensor, which provides you with insights on the surrounding temperatures and offers a further indication as to impending weather changes. Not to mention also, the Garmin Fenix has a 3-axis electronic compass, thus allowing you to track and keep your bearings in all 3 dimensions.
We were pleasantly surprised by the wireless unit-to-unit communication feature of the Garmin Fenix, which allows you to wirelessly share waypoints, routes, tracks, and geocaches with other Garmin GPS units and smartphones. This makes the Garmin Fenix the perfect, best GPS watch for hiking in a group, as it enables you to easily share vital information with the rest of the hike group. This cool watch is also equipped with both ANT capabilities and Bluetooth technology, which allow you to pair your Garmin Fenix with external devices such as a heart rate monitor or a speed/cadence sensor, thereby giving you access to even more information and data via your wrist.
The Verdict? The Garmin Fenix is one of the best GPS watch for hiking with a team. The connectivity of the Garmin Fenix enables you to share data with the rest of the team, and vice versa, which is a great plus when hiking in rough terrain where it may be difficult for the whole group to gather closely on a frequent basis. The GPS on the Garmin Fenix is fast and highly reliable, and records a track log by creating a GPS “bread crumb trail” as you hike, allowing you to easily monitor your path and progress, and easily track back when necessary. The nice thing about the Garmin Fenix is that you can download your own routes onto the Fenix, which makes it a lot easier to follow and stay on your ideal route throughout your hike. Further, the Garmin Fenix can be paired with a heart rate monitor and a speed/cadence sensor, which enables you to track your pulse and your pace conveniently from your wrist. The Garmin Fenix is also more affordable than its later siblings such as the Garmin Fenix 5/5S or the Garmin Fenix 3 (which we have reviewed earlier above). If you are seeking an affordable option without compromising on advanced functionalities, the Garmin Fenix is one of the best GPS watch for hiking to go for.
#9 Tech4o Discover GPS Watch for Hiking
The Tech4o Discover is a swanky GPS hiking watch that allows you to create up to 10 paths with 99 waypoints each, which enables you to locate and return to particular points of interest. This sleek watch also comes with a heart rate monitor strap, and is designed to fit very well on both small and large wrists. The watch face of the Tech4o Discover is extremely clear and legible under any conditions, thanks to a powerful electroluminescent backlight, making it a highly reliable watch that is one of the best GPS watch for hiking. In addition, the watch face of this excellent watch is made using scratch resistant mineral glass crystal, and it is extremely difficult to affect the clarity of the Tech4o Discover’s watch face display.
The GPS of the Tech4o Discover connects exceptionally quickly, invariably in less than a minute. You can set the data display fields of the Discover’s GPS to record distance, pace, and altitude, which allows for a very helpful and organised monitoring of personal movement that goes way beyond just the mere pinpointing of location. With its ability to create up to 10 routes with 99 waypoints each, the Tech4o Discover easily makes the list as one of the best GPS watch for hiking. If you want to hike with the minimal fuss of navigation, you can even set the Tech4o Discover to guide you from waypoint to waypoint, and all you need to do would be to simply follow this amazing watch’s directions – this means you would hardly even need to look at the GPS to navigate yourself! For those who would prefer to navigate with a compass, the Tech4o Discover also comes with a dynamic electronic compass that has 16 direction cardinals on its readout and a north indicator, for which you can set the declination based on your location.
We were pretty attracted to the build and design of the Tech4o Discover. This GPS watch is a smooth solid black, which gives its wearer a sleek and fashionable feel. Further, its watch face display is tastefully done – although significant amounts of information are presented on the display, the Tech4o Discover manages to do it without causing the information to appear cramped or crowded. The Tech4o Discover comes with five function buttons, two on the left of its watch face and three on the right, and can be recharged with the USB cable that comes together with it. The USB cable can also be used to transfer data back and forth the watch, which enables you to upload your hike data onto your computer.
Unlike many other GPS watches, the Tech4o Discover is one of those best GPS watch for hiking that is not simply designed for hiking – it is also designed for use for a wide range of other outdoor activities, such as running, sailing, and cycling. The Tech4o Discover allows you to set five customisable workout profiles, three of which are able to show you three data sets each, and enables you to customise the watch so that you can see the data that you want for each individual workout. Although not related to the features of the Tech4o Discover per se, we would also note that we are extremely happy about the swift and good customer service that we received in relation to our Tech4o Discover, which is always a plus point for any watch, and a must-have for any of the best GPS watch for hiking.
The Verdict? The Tech4o Discover is one of the best GPS watch for hiking that has fully integrated functions which are very useful not just for hiking, but also for many other outdoor activities. You can customise the watch to different modes depending on the activity that you are undertaking, which enables you to monitor your progress and performance on the activity. As a hiking watch, the Tech4o Discover comes with an excellent GPS system that connects swiftly, and allows you to create up to 10 routes with 99 waypoints each, thereby enabling you to easily re-hike a previous route and return to the special points of interest. The information display of the Tech4o Discover is also helpfully lit up by a bright electroluminescent backlight, and remains clear and easily readable at night. We also liked the fact that the Tech4o Discover is aesthetically well-designed, which makes it a good choice if you are planning to look good on your hike photographs. If you are looking for an easy and nice GPS watch that has high-quality functions, the Tech4o Discover is a good bet.
#10 Suunto Traverse Alpha GPS Watch for Hiking
The Suunto Traverse Alpha is a GPS hiking watch that has been tested against military standards, and comes with one of the world’s most advanced GPS which tracks your path precisely, and which helps you find your way back using the breadcrumb trail that is automatically generated by the Traverse Alpha. In addition to its GPS system, the Traverse Alpha is also equipped with a built-in GLONASS system for maximum accuracy, and features a rugged stainless steel bezel, a durable textile strap, as well as a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. In addition, the Suunto Traverse Alpha has an excellent water resistance of up to 100 meters, and has a battery life of up to a whopping 100 hours even on GPS mode, making it one of the very best GPS watch for hiking.
The advanced built-in GPS and GLONASS systems of the Traverse Alpha makes use of the SIRFStarV chip, which enables super-quick connection and highly accurate and precise pinpointing of location. We found it easy to use this GPS/GLONASS system of the Traverse Alpha to follow a route, find a point of interest, or locate your coordinates, making the Traverse Alpha the best GPS watch for hiking in an unfamiliar terrain. The GPS/GLONASS system of the Traverse Alpha is so smart that it also automatically generates a bread crumb trail of the path that you have taken so far, which you can follow to find your way back. Furthermore, the Traverse Alpha allows you to plan your very own routes with topographic maps on the watch itself, and even lets you keep a running diary of your trips on the Suunto Movescount webapp. The Traverse Alpha also has a barometric pressure sensor, which provides highly reliable altitude and weather readings which are crucial to the success of any hike.
This GPS watch boasts a tough built – the bezel of the Traverse Alpha is forged from rugged stainless steel, and its watch face is painstakingly handcrafted using scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass, making the Traverse Alpha very suitable for rough hiking conditions. Further, each and every Traverse Alpha is tested against military standards (MIL STD 819G), so that you can be sure that you are getting the best GPS watch for hiking when you opt for a Suunto Traverse Alpha. The watch strap of the Traverse Alpha is also specially made from durable textile that is water repellent, which makes it difficult to wear and tear. Although a rugged watch, the Traverse Alpha is also exceptionally high-tech and smart – simply turn on the Bluetooth connection of the Traverse Alpha, and you will be able to receive mobile notifications and see incoming calls.
A truly special feature about the Suunto Traverse Alpha is its unique functions which are geared towards hikers who would like to do some hunting during their hikes. One of these is the automatic shot detection technology of the Traverse Alpha, which enables this watch to automatically keep track of when and where you have fired a shot, and map the GPS coordinates of those locations so that you can review your hunting performance afterwards. The Traverse Alpha even comes with a night-vision-goggle-compatible red backlight that helps you stay unnoticed by hunt animals at night, and enables you to conduct your hunt with maximum stealth. Interestingly, the Traverse Alpha is also equipped with a location-based moon phase calendar function, which can help you determine the best hunting and fishing times.
The Verdict? If you’re looking for the best GPS watch for hiking that has cool added functionalities for hunting, the Suunto Traverse Alpha would be a good choice. With its automatic shot detection technology, you no longer need to pause your hike just to record the locations where you have fired shots, thereby allowing you to seamlessly combine your hike with a hunt. The Suunto Traverse Alpha is also one of the most durable GPS hiking watches, and is tested against stringent military standards so you won’t need to worry about it. Crucially, the Traverse Alpha comes equipped with a highly advanced GPS/GLONASS system that is boosted by a SIRFStarV chip, which enables swift connection and maximum accuracy. The Suunto Traverse Alpha is also a very smart watch that allows you to plan your own routes on the watch itself, and also automatically generates a bread crumb trail which you can follow home. We also loved the fact that the Traverse Alpha even allows you to stay in touch with the rest of the world with its Bluetooth connection, which lets you receive mobile phone notifications and see incoming calls directly on your wrist. If you are looking for the best GPS watch for hiking that is worth every single cent, and more, we would highly recommend the Suunto Traverse Alpha.