5 Best GPS Hiking Watches for 2023

With technological advances, there are the best GPS hiking watches designed specifically for outdoor use. These multifunction devices allow you to orient yourself and find your way around during your outings.

From the cheap low-end hiking watch to the ultra-sophisticated outdoor watch with mapping, our ranking going to be helpful for choosing the best GPS hiking watches.

Best GPS Hiking Watches In 2023

We make this list easier for you (top 5 Pick)

1. Polar Grit X Pro – GPS Multisport Smartwatch

Polar Grit X Pro

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Style: Modern | Screen Size: 1.2 Inches | Special Features: GPS | Age Range: Adult | Compatible Devices: Smartphone | Battery Life: 100 Hours | Connectivity: GPS

Polar Grit X Pro GPS watch is good for your different outings. With a stylish and elegant design, it promises optimal use during your hike. Thanks to its powerful battery, it will run up to 100 hours.

As a GPS watch, it has many options that will leave you speechless. It is made of waterproof material which is resistant up to 100 meters. Its 1.2-inch display amazed you with the quality of the displayed image.

Its ultra-thin design allows you to easily carry it on your handle. The rubber is carefully crafted to be durable and not get in your way during use.

You can be located even in places where location is difficult. It can capture 3 satellites including GPS +, GLONASS +, and GALILEO. This allows you to be positioned faster and more precisely anywhere in the world.

The polar Grit X Pro watch can also be your best health ally. It can measure your heart rate, the number of steps taken during a day, monitoring the quality of sleep.

In the box, you will have:

  • Your Polar Grit X Pro watch
  • Charging Cable
  • Getting started guide
Pros
  • Automatic and intelligent measurement
  • Comprehensive tests
  • Long lasting battery
  • Good Value
Cons
  • Nothing to Say!

2. Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Premium GPS Hiking Watch

Suunto 9 Peak & Peak Pro

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Style: Sports | Screen Size: 43mm Touch| Special Features: GPS | Age Range: Adult | Compatible Devices: Smartphone | Battery Life: 25 Hours | Connectivity: App

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is an innovative watch designed for an adventure in hiking or trekking. The resistance and robustness are guaranteed. Its full screen allows you to display several options that will leave you speechless.

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro has come out with the latest technology. It is also compatible with a smartwatch. Thanks to the best GPS mode, the location of your position will be more precise.

However, its 25-hour battery life doesn’t allow you to go on long excursions. To make it easier to handle, it comes with a button.

This model also allows you to take care of your health by measuring calories burned and steps taken daily. Suunto app allows you to display several options like route tracking with breadcrumb view.

It records the speed and altitude of where you are. You can receive your messages and calls throughout the session. Suunto hiking watch also allows you to warn of the weather change and warns you of a possible thunderstorm.

In the box, you will have:

  • Your Suunto 9 Peak Pro hiking watch
  • A USB cable as a charger
  • The user manual
Pros
  • Versatile and premium choice
  • Small, slim and light
  • Waterproof touchscreen
  • Build to last
Cons
  • Screen is not as bright as a non-touchscreen watch

3. Garmin Fenix ​​3 silver Cardio Wrist Hiking Watch

Garmin Fenix ​​3

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Style: Sports | Screen Size: 1.2 Inches | Special Features: N/A | Age Range: Adult | Compatible Devices: Smartphone | Battery Life: 20 Hours | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

The Garmin Fenix ​​3 silver watch is intended to be a GPS watch for high-end sports. The brand was able to combine a watch and a jewel to wear on a daily basis. The quality of this GPS watch will leave you speechless.

The size of the item is 510mm x 170mm x 510mm, matched with a 1.2-inch domed crystal glass screen displaying, 218 x 218 pixels. Its light weight of 70 g does not bother the hand.

It is manufactured to be massive and robust throughout its lifetime. The strap is made of rubber for maximum comfort. Thus, you will get a 2-year warranty. A 300mAh rechargeable Lithium-ion battery is matched for long time use. 50 hours in Ultratrac, 20 hours in training mode, and up to 6 weeks in classic mode.

Wrist-based cardio technology measures heart rate for an entire day. So you can monitor your heart rate to keep track of your health. A stainless steel Exo antenna is included for instant and quick location.

As satellites, it uses GPS + and GLONASS. As for the navigation function, it includes the barometric altimeter, the TracBack function, and the 3-axis electronic compass.

You can also personalize your watch with Connect IQ. You just need to download widgets from your phone. A Bluetooth function may be useful to you.

In the box, you will have:

  • Your Garmin Fenix watch
  • A USB cable
  • A user manual
Pros
  • Chroma optically-bonded display
  • Advanced & versatile design
  • Quick fit watch band compatible
  • Suitable for swimming
Cons
  • Large and heavy

4. Suunto Spartan Sport HR BARO Hiking Watch

Suunto Spartan Hiking Watch

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Style: Modern | Screen Size: 50mm| Special Features: GPS | Age Range: Adult | Compatible Devices: Smartphone | Battery Life: 20 Hours | Connectivity: GPS

The Suunto brand adopts watches that are used during hiking or camping. If you are an amateur or professional athlete, this one is for you. It can always match any outfit.

The screen size is 50 millimeters with Color Touch screen technology. It combines quality materials for resistance against cold, heat, water and dust. It can also be your partner thanks to training with more than 80 disciplines.

Its light weight of 17 grams does not feel. You will no longer need other equipment for your training, a single watch is enough. The progress of your journey will be displayed with the most detail.

Suunto Spartan Sport HR Baro hiking watch is also made for multi-sport runners and is water resistant to 100m. A FusedAlti digital compass allows you to easily locate yourself. The battery lasts up to 20 hours non-stop.

It comes with a software update. You can update your watch in just 3 steps. The download of Suuntolink, a connection via your PC, and finally the connection with Suunto Movescount.

In the box, you will have:

  • Your Suunto Multisport GPS watch
  • A USB cable
  • A beginner’s guide
  • Guarantee
  • Software update
Pros
  • Multisport GPS watch
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy App tracking system
  • Good build
Cons
  • Only 20 hours of battery life

5. Garmin Fenix ​​7X Sapphire Solar Premium GPS Watch

Garmin Fenix ​​7X Sapphire

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Style: Outdoor | Screen Size: 1.4 Inches | Special Features: N/A | Age Range: Adult | Compatible Devices: Smartphone | Battery Life: 122 Hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi,GPS, Bluetooth

This Garmin Fenix ​​7X Solar watch is released from the latest generation of technology. As its name suggests, its power is guaranteed by the solar glass. It meets all the criteria of a classic watch and a GPS watch at the same time.

Like all lines of Garmin watches, it is robust and elegant. The screen display size is 1.4 inches. Its weight is 82 grams with a dimension of 510 x 510 x 149 mm. It is ideal for a trek or an adventure in the mountains.

A touch screen and buttons will make your job easier. With the solar range, you will no longer run out of batteries, and a guarantee of + 300% power would be expected.

It helps you to follow your heart rate and your daily steps. Your daily sleep time, breathing and stress will all be displayed. A music option also allows you to listen to your favorite songs.

If you are in places where it is difficult to access, the GNSS system and navigation sensors will help you get by. The GPS system of this watch allows you to locate yourself more precisely.

With the innovation of contactless payment technology, the Garmin Fenix 7X watch comes with a flashlight feature. As night falls, an LED flashlight helps illuminate you or guide your way.

In the box, you will have:

  • Your Garmin Fenix 7X watch
  • A USB cable
  • A user manual
Pros
  • Large display
  • Very functional and feature-rich
  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • NFC reader is only supported by certain banks

Hiking GPS Watch Buyer’s Guide

To choose your GPS hiking watch, you must take into account the functions it offered, robustness, reliability, battery life, comfort of use and simplicity of use.

Functionalities

The best hiking watches are with Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, and possibly a thermometer. These instruments make it possible to identify and orient you from a map and to predict changes in the weather.

For example, the GPS indicates the position, the speed, the distance traveled, and other data that it can record for display on a PC or Smartphone.

Some watches can even display topographic maps. The best hiking watches also display the slope or even the altitude profile and indicate your vertical or ascent speed.

Besides these functions, GPS hiking watch can inform you about sunrise and sunset times, and weather trends and alert you in the event of a risk of thunderstorms or even display the weather forecast for several days.

Finally, the pulse Oximeter or Saturometer is an interesting instrument for high altitude hiking (mountaineering, etc.). It allows us to evaluate the acclimatization to the altitude and to indicate if the ascent can continue without risk.

Robustness

Prefer a hiking watch that is solid and water resistant (at least 30 meters). The most robust models even display compliance with the reference standard MIL-STD-810G.

Some brands offer interchangeable straps in various materials (leather, metal, silicone) to best adapt your watch to its environment.

Reliability

A watch for hiking must be reliable. The best GPS hiking watches offer compatibility with the main satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) and have a barometric altimeter with manual calibration and well-designed software.

For increased precision, the dual-frequency GPS corrects reverberation errors (rocks, trees, buildings). This is an interesting aspect of the mountains. It begins to equip the top-of-the-range models.

Battery life

GPS watches are power hungry, especially with the use of GPS. Be sure to choose a watch with sufficient battery life, especially if you are planning a hike over several days (hiking, trekking, bushcraft).

Some watches offer a power-saving mode that can easily double or even triple the battery life without significantly altering the quality of the data. Thanks to an intelligent algorithm to extrapolate the missing data.

Comfort of use

Watches for hiking can be more or less thick and heavy. Garmin and Suunto offer some of their models in several case sizes to fit thin to wide wrists (Fenix ​​7 for example).

Also check the display and its ease of use (size, definition, with or without color, anti-reflective, readable in the sun, tactile or not).

Ease of use and price

The versatile multisport watch can be a little more complex to use than a watch dedicated to the mountains. It will cost you more for functions that you will not use. But if you plan to use your watch for activities other than hiking, opt for a versatile model.

The Verdict!

Despite its shortcomings, the GPS watch remains the most practical option for hiking. It will be able to meet all the needs of short and long hiking sessions. It can fulfill the functionality of a smartphone in a place without a network.

All the hiking watches in this comparison offer a barometric altimeter, and other essential features mentioned above.

FAQs

What is the best brand for GPS hiking watches?

Garmin is an American company. It was founded in 1989 by two engineers. The sturdiness and resistance of their products have resonated all over the world. Garmin took its specialization in the field of GPS navigation. Its goal is to give satisfaction to its customers on the quality of its products.

What are the best operating systems for GPS hiking watches?

There are currently three main operating systems found on almost all smartwatches on the market: Google’s WearOS, Tizen OS, and Apple’s watchOS.

How to maintain your GPS hiking watch?

For extra cleaning, take a soft cloth or damp if necessary. And wipe down the screen, bezel, and band.

Please don’t use detergents! When you come out of a swimming session, clean your watch with tap water.

Is battery optimization mode necessary?

The GPS function of your watch very often synchronizes with the satellites to be able to provide you with the necessary information. This consumes your battery and greatly reduces its power. The battery optimization feature spaces out syncs. In this way, the GPS only makes contact with the satellites every 10 seconds or 1 minute.

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