5 Best GPS Watches for Hiking (2024)

Best GPS Hiking Watches

Whether you’re a passionate mountaineer or a weekend trekker, having the right gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable journey. One indispensable tool for hikers is a GPS watch, which helps navigate the wilderness and tracks vital information about your progress. With recent technological advancements, the market now offers the best GPS watches tailored specifically for hiking.

From budget-friendly, entry-level hiking watches to ultra-sophisticated outdoor watches equipped with mapping capabilities, our ranking is here to assist you in selecting the best GPS hiking watch. We’ll discuss their key features, advantages, and potential limitations to help you make an informed decision.

Best GPS Hiking Watches In 2024

  1. Polar Grit X Pro GPS Multisport Smartwatch
  2. Suunto Traverse Amber GPS Outdoor Watch for Hiking
  3. Garmin Fenix 3 silver Cardio Wrist Hiking Watch
  4. Suunto Spartan Sport HR BARO Watch for Hiking
  5. Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar Premium GPS Hiking Watch

1. Polar Grit X Pro Multisport


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

I’ve owned several prominent sport smartwatches, and the Polar Grit X Pro GPS watch stands out as my favorite. Ideal for various outdoor activities, its stylish and elegant design ensures optimal use during hikes. Notably, its powerful battery ensures an impressive runtime of up to 100 hours.

As a GPS watch, the Polar Grit X Pro 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. Even in challenging locations, its exceptional satellite connectivity, capturing GPS+, GLONASS+, and GALILEO, ensures swift and precise positioning worldwide.

The ultra-thin design enables easy portability on your wrist. With scratch-resistant sapphire glass and FKM wristbands, this watch is even more robust than its predecessor. The carefully crafted rubber ensures durability without hindering your activities during use.

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. It has functions to monitor if you’re sitting for too much time, count your steps, and calculate your activities throughout the day.

In the box, you will have:

  • Your Polar Grit X Pro watch
  • Charging Cable
  • Getting started guide
  • Automatic and intelligent measurement
  • Multiple power-save options
  • Comprehensive tests
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Good Value
  • Nothing to Say!

2. Suunto 9 Peak Pro: Premium


  • 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 mute. The band is super cool and highly functional and offers a lightweight and powerful experience.

The Suunto 9 Peak Pro has come out with the latest technology. It is compatible with a smartwatch. Thanks to the advanced 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.

The Suunto hiking watch goes beyond recording just speed and altitude; it also keeps you connected throughout your session by allowing you to receive messages and calls. Additionally, it serves as a reliable companion by alerting you to weather changes and providing warnings for potential thunderstorms.

In the box, you will have:

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

3. Garmin Fenix ​​3 GPS Watch


  • 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 designed to be a high-end sports GPS watch, seamlessly blending functionality with everyday elegance. With dimensions of 51.0mm x 51.0mm x 17.0mm and a 1.2-inch domed crystal glass screen having 218 x 218 pixels, it strikes a balance between size and clarity. Despite its advanced features, its lightweight design at 70g ensures comfort on the wrist.

It is manufactured to be massive and robust throughout its lifetime. The strap is made of rubber for maximum comfort. Therefore, 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.

The wrist-based cardio technology continuously measures heart rate throughout the day. This will allow you to monitor your cardiovascular health effectively. Also, the included stainless steel Exo antenna ensures instant and precise location tracking.

The Garmin Fenix 3 Silver utilizes GPS+ and GLONASS satellites for robust satellite positioning. In terms of navigation, it features a barometric altimeter, the TracBack function, and a 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

  • Chroma optically-bonded display
  • Advanced & versatile design
  • Quick fit watch band compatible
  • Suitable for swimming
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Large and heavy

4. Suunto Spartan Sport HR BARO


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

The Suunto brand specializes in crafting watches tailored for hiking or camping enthusiasts. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional athlete, the Spartan model is a perfect fit. Its versatile design ensures it can effortlessly complement any outfit.

With a screen size of 50 millimeters and Color Touch screen technology, the Suunto Spartan offers a visually engaging experience. Constructed with quality materials, it ensures resistance against cold, heat, water, and dust. Moreover, it can be your versatile training partner, accommodating more than 80 disciplines.

Its lightweight design goes unnoticed on your wrist. 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.

This device caters to multi-sport runners and boasts water resistance up 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

  • Multisport GPS watch
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy App tracking system
  • Very user-friendly
  • Only 20 hours of battery life

5. Garmin Fenix ​​7X Sapphire


  • 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 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. As with all Garmin watch lines, it exhibits a perfect balance of robustness and elegance.

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 allows you to locate yourself more precisely and accurately. 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

  • Large display
  • Very functional and feature-rich
  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • Off-grid connectivity
  • Good battery life
  • NFC reader is only supported by certain banks

Best Hiking GPS Watch Buyer’s Guide

Best GPS Watch for Hiking Buyers Guide

When selecting your GPS hiking watch, you must consider factors such as the functions it offers, robustness, reliability, battery life, and user comfort and simplicity. Let’s see all the essential features in detail…


The top-tier hiking watches come equipped with essential features such as an altimeter, barometer, compass, and potentially a thermometer. These instruments play a significant role in identifying your location and orientation on a map, as well as predicting changes in the weather. For instance, the GPS functionality provides real-time information on position, speed, distance traveled, and other data. Additionally, this information can be recorded for later review 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. It allows us to evaluate the acclimatization to the altitude and to indicate if the ascent can continue without risk.


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.


A hiking watch 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

A user-friendly interface is essential, especially when you’re on the go. Touchscreens can be convenient, but physical buttons may be more reliable in adverse conditions. 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.

While some feature-rich watches can be expensive, there are also reliable options at more affordable price points.

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.


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.

Can I use a GPS hiking watch for other activities besides hiking?

Yes, GPS hiking watches are versatile and can be used for various outdoor activities. They are commonly used for trail running, mountaineering, backpacking, and even cycling. The navigation, tracking, and health monitoring features are valuable for any outdoor pursuit where location and performance metrics are important.

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