Best Hiking Watch of 2024: Expert’s Choice for Every Adventurer





















As we approach 2024, the hiking watch technology available to adventurers has made navigating the great outdoors easier than ever before. Whether you’re scaling rugged terrains or exploring serene trails, the latest GPS watches are here to elevate your experience.

Packed with cutting-edge features for the tech-savvy or offering essential functionalities for the budget-conscious, there’s a perfect hiking companion waiting for every explorer. Let’s dive into the world of the best hiking watches, where innovation meets the wild!

Key Takeaways

  • We tested 9 of the best hiking watches on the market and found the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar to be the best hiking watch of 2024.
  • Investing in a reliable GPS watch can add a new level of safety for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts with features like navigation, fall detection, and SOS messaging.
  • This article reviews specialized watches to help users find the best option, from extended battery life models to budget options like the Garmin Instinct 2 Standard Edition.

Best Watches of 2024

  1. Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar: The pinnacle of GPS watch technology. It is the most advanced model available on the market today.

  2. Apple Watch Ultra 2: A stylish companion for iPhone-using adventurers.

  3. Garmin Instinct 2 Standard: The perfect balance of functionality and budget.

  4. Suunto Core

  5. Coros Vertix 2

  6. Garmin Enduro 2

  7. Garmin Forerunner 955

  8. Suunto 9 Baro

  9. Coros Apex Pro 2

Quick Overview of the Best Hiking Watches of 2024

If you are an experienced hiker, trail runner, or just a beginner when it comes to outdoor explorations, then there is the perfect watch for your needs. We’ve rounded up a selection of top-of-the-range hiking watches that cater to all sorts of requirements and preferences, no matter who you may be!

Hiking Watch

Best For


Battery Life

Solar Charging



Water Resistence




Overall Best


37 Days




100 Meters


1 Year

Advanced GPS Tracking, Continuous Health Monitoring, Military Grade Construction

IPhone Users


36 Hours




100 Meters


1 Year

ECG Capable, Blood Oxygen Tracking



28 Days




100 Meters


1 Year

Portable Charger Included










5 Years

Storm Alarm

Long Battery Life


60 Days




150 Meters


2 Years

Multi-Sport Tracking

Ultralight Hikers


46 Days




100 Meters


1 Year

Speed Hikers


15 Days







1 Year

Honorable Mention


7 Days




100 Meters


5 Years

Honorable Mention


30 Days




50 Meters


2 Years

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar: The Pinnacle of GPS Watch Technology

Best Hiking Watch

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    Why you need this watch:

    The Fenix 7 Pro Solar is like having your own personal guide, meteorologist, and rescue team on your wrist. You might think bringing all that into nature would be distracting, but it’s the exact opposite. Just like everything in the outdoors, the more prepared you are the more relaxed you’ll be.

The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar is the best hiking watch on the market. Its innovative solar charging feature extends the battery life significantly, which is especially beneficial for long hiking trips. The watch also boasts a rugged design, ensuring durability in various outdoor conditions.

In terms of navigation, this Garmin watch excels with its multi-band GPS and preloaded topographic maps. These features enhance accuracy in location tracking, which is vital for hikers exploring unfamiliar terrains. Additionally, the watch’s turn-by-turn navigation is user-friendly, providing clear directions and making it easier to stay on course.

Apart from navigation, the watch offers a range of health and fitness tracking options. It includes a heart rate monitor, a pulse oximeter for altitude acclimatization, and various activity profiles for different sports. While these features are sophisticated, they are presented in a way that is easy to understand and use, appealing to both beginners and experienced hikers.


  • Advanced GPS tracking (MULTI GNSS)
  • Variety of activity profiles
  • Comprehensive health metric stats
  • Premium topo maps for navigation


  • Expensive


  • Multi-band GPS with max battery GPS mode, which extends battery life

  • Built-in LED flashlight with four power levels

  • Full body and health tracking features, including sleep tracking

  • Nearly unlimited battery life

  • Full face touch screen

  • Extremely accurate GPS

  • Ultra-durable and ultralight

  • Garmin Connect mobile app

  • Full-color topo maps

  • Live update weather mapping

  • Safety tracking software

  • Altimeter barometer and compass

  • Remarkable battery life and solar charging capabilities

  • Dual-band GPS for accurate tracking

  • Various activity profiles and comprehensive health metric stats for a wide range of outdoor pursuits

  • Premium topo maps for excellent navigation assistance during hikes

Although the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar GPS watch is more expensive, for those willing to invest in top-notch quality, it offers great value.

  • Design: 5/5

  • Features: 5/5

  • Battery Life: 5/5

  • Value for Money: 4/5

Apple Watch Ultra 2: A Stylish Companion for iPhone Using Adventures

Apple Watch Ultra 2


  • Extremely Bright Display
  • Comprehensive Health and Fitness Tracking
  • Water-resistant up to 100 Meters
  • Smart Features for Daily Use


  • Expensive compared to other watches on this list
  • Not compatible with Android phones


  • Updated Compass app with new features

  • Cellular connectivity for calls and messages without a phone

  • These indicators are necessary for navigation purposes

  • Miliary-grade environmental resistance

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is an ideal accompaniment to my wife’s iPhone, as it seamlessly blends style and functionality. It’s rugged and designed with outdoor adventures in mind, with a bright display that’s easy to read in sunlight. This watch is perfect for long hikes because it has a long battery life of 36 hours in GPS mode and 72 hours in battery saver mode. Plus, it’s water-resistant and can handle rough conditions.

Compared to other watches in its price range, which boast a longer battery even in low power mode, the short-term duration offered by my Apple Watch is inferior. However, if you’re looking for a top hiking watch that maximizes daily use, its attractive design, coupled with plenty of features, more than makes up for any shortcomings. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a great addition for those established within the Apple ecosystem.


  • Design: 5/5

  • Features: 4.5/5

  • Battery Life: 3/5

  • Value for Money: 4.5/5

Garmin Instinct 2 Standard: The Perfect Balance of Functionality and Budget


  • Affordable price point
  • Durable and reliable
  • Excellent battery life
  • Everyday health tracking features


  • Watch face not customizable
  • Bulky
  • No solar charging


  • OLED display

  • Battery life of 28 days

  • Solar charging capabilities

  • Tactical features

  • All-day health monitoring


The Garmin Instinct 2 Standard GPS watch is an affordable yet feature-rich option for outdoor enthusiasts. It boasts an accurate GPS location and has health-tracking capabilities. Unlike the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, the Standard edition does not include solar charging but still has excellent battery life.

It could be more customizable when it comes to its watch face design, as you can’t always get all the information you would like onto one easily viewable face. Despite being a bit bulky compared to other models on the market, this cost-effective choice still has good usability and features.


  • Durability: 4/5

  • Features: 3/5

  • Battery Life 4.5/5

  • Value for Money: 5/5

Suunto Core: The Simple Choice for Outdoor Enthusiasts


  • Simple, rugged design
  • Essential outdoor features
  • Great value for the money
  • Changeable batteries


  • No GPS


  • Altimeter, barometer, and compass

  • Water-resistant up to 30 meters

The Suunto Core watch is a minimal hiking watch for hikers who don’t need advanced features. It offers the all-important altimeter, barometer, and compass features without any unnecessary extras or frills. This device is waterproof up to 30 meters, which makes it suitable even for snorkeling trips. All in all, I really appreciate the core’s straightforward approach that prioritizes must-have essentials while dropping GPS tracking functions, etc.


  • Design: 4/5

  • Features: 3.5/5

  • Battery Life: N/A

  • Value for Money: 4.5/5

Coros Vertix 2


  • Exceptional battery life
  • Very accurate GPS tracking
  • Wide variety of sport modes


  • High price point
  • Heavy


  • Dual-frequency GPS

  • Atmospheric altimeter

  • Compass

  • Barometer

  • Heart rate monitor

  • ECG

  • Offline music storage

The Coros Vertix 2 GPS watch is an ideal choice for those who crave impressive battery life and exact tracking. With its extensive array of sport modes, it stands out from the rest due to its incredible longevity on a single charge. This device may not be suitable if you’re looking for something lightweight or affordable. Those willing to pay more will benefit immensely from having this powerful watch in their toolkit.


  • Design: 4/5

  • Features: 4.5/5

  • Battery Life: 5/5

  • Value for Money: 3.5/5

Garmin Enduro 2: The Ultimate Thru Hikers Watch


  • Exceptional battery life
  • Nearly indestructible build
  • Large display
  • Compatible with multiple third-party apps


  • Large size may be uncomfortable for some
  • High learning curve


  • Solar-powered battery life: up to 46 days in smartwatch mode

  • 81 hours of GPS tracking on one charge

  • Durable design: fiber-reinforced polymer case, titanium rear cover and bezel, sapphire lens

  • Robust mapping and course-tracking capabilities

  • Customizable watch faces and data profile

The Garmin Enduro 2 GPS watch is a top choice for hikers who need a durable and feature-rich timepiece. It’s designed for long adventures, with a solar-powered battery that can last up to 46 days in smartwatch mode and 81 hours with GPS and music. This watch is tough, with a fiber-reinforced polymer case and titanium parts, and it’s packed with features like advanced pacing metrics, a real-time ascent planner, and even an LED flashlight. It’s also great for tracking your location accurately, even in challenging environments like mountains or cities.

However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The watch is quite large, which might be uncomfortable for people with smaller wrists, especially in colder weather when you’re wearing long sleeves. Also, the heart rate monitor works best with the silicone strap, not the nylon one, so you might need to get a separate heart rate strap for more accurate readings. Despite these points, the Garmin Enduro 2 is an excellent option for hikers looking for a high-end GPS watch that can handle tough conditions and long trips.


  • Design: 4/5

  • Features: 4.5/5

  • Battery Life: 5/5

  • Value for Money: 3/5

Garmin Forerunner 955: The Lightweight Champion for Ultralight Hiking


  • Lightweight
  • Robust design
  • Excellent GPS accuracy
  • Long battery life


  • Unreliable heart rate monitoring
  • Complex setup


  • 1.3-inch transflective (MIP) LCD touchscreen display

  • Silicone and fiber-reinforced polymer body

  • Battery life up to a maximum of 15 days

  • Health and fitness tracking, including heart rate variability (HRV)

  • 32 GB of internal storage

  • Lightweight at 1.9 ounces

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar is a great choice for hikers looking for a reliable GPS watch. It’s packed with features like multi-band GPS for better accuracy and a new running power metric. The watch also has a touchscreen and a long battery life, which is perfect for long hikes. It includes detailed health and fitness tracking, like heart rate variability (HRV) and a daily training readiness score, to help you better understand your body.

However, there are a few things to consider. The watch is a bit complex to set up and use, so getting used to its features might take some time. Also, while solar charging is helpful, it depends on how much sunlight you get during your hikes. Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar is a solid choice for hikers who want a watch that can keep up with their adventures and provide useful insights into their fitness and health.


  • Design: 4.5/5

  • Features: 4/5

  • Battery Life: 4/5

  • Value for Money: 4/5

Suunto 9 Baro: The Robust Choice for Extreme Adventurers


  • Touch screen face
  • Extreme weather resistance
  • Durable build


  • Lacks some features found in other watches at price point
  • Slow interface
  • Limited choice of watch faces


  • Endurance event-ready battery life

  • Touch screen

  • Tracks sports, daily activity, and sleep quality

  • All the features you need for a successful adventure

The Suunto 9 Baro GPS watch is designed for athletes and outdoor adventurers. It has over 80 sports modes, a barometer for accurate altitude information, and a wrist heart rate monitor. This watch is tough, water-resistant up to 100 meters, and its battery can last up to 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking. It’s great for activities like running, hiking, and cycling. The watch also connects to sports apps and services through the Suunto app, which lets users share their activities and get training advice.

However, there are some downsides to the Suunto 9 Baro. Users might find it hard to set up and use at first, and there are only a few watch faces to choose from. The display can be too dark, even with the backlight on high, and the software feels clunky. Also, the heart rate monitor may not always be accurate. Despite these issues, the watch is still a good choice for those who need a durable and feature-rich GPS watch for outdoor sports.


  • Design: 4/5

  • Features: 3.5/5

  • Battery Life: 4/5

  • Value for Money: 4/5

Coros Apex Pro 2


  • Up to 75 hours battery life in GPS mode
  • Quick charging (93 minutes from dead to full)
  • Compact design
  • Clear visible screen
  • Very accurate heart rate monitoring


  • Large size may be uncomfortable for some
  • High learning curve


  • Sensor upgrades, including heart rate, HRV, and electrocardiogram

  • Upgraded antenna

  • Advanced optical sensor

  • Extended battery life

  • Large touchscreen display

The Coros Apex Pro 2 GPS watch is really good for its long battery life, easy-to-use design, and great mobile app, all at a lower price than many expensive watches. It’s got a strong battery that lasts up to 75 hours with GPS, which is a lot more than other watches. The Apex Pro 2 also has new features like a better heart rate sensor, music storage, and special modes for climbing.


  • Design: 4/5

  • Features: 4/5

  • Battery Life: 4.5/5

  • Value for Money: 4/5

Choosing the Right Hiking Watch: A Comprehensive Guide

Picking the best GPS watch for your outdoor adventures relies heavily on various elements such as comfort, planned use, and the attributes it offers. As a dedicated hiker myself, I have learned first-hand how essential it is to choose one that matches my personal needs and preferences, whether you go with an expensive version offering superior features or opt for a more budget-friendly option comprising of basic functions. Having the perfect GPS watch while hiking can make all the difference in enjoying your expedition.

Comfort is paramount when dealing with extended period wear, so ensure factors like size, weighting & wristband material are examined meticulously prior to making a purchase decision. Consider what specific purposes these GPS watches meet, whether it’s trail running, thru-hiking, etc. Use this knowledge base to provide guidance when choosing from a range of options available out there today.

Key Features of Hiking Watches

Long Battery Life

A watch that lasts a long time without needing a charge is important for long hikes. It makes sure your watch keeps working the whole trip.

Durability and Water Resistance

Hiking watches should be tough and able to handle rain or splashes. This makes them last longer and stays reliable no matter the weather.


A barometer tells you about changes in air pressure, which can give you a heads-up about weather changes. This is super helpful for hikers to get ready for sudden rain or storms. Check out our complete guide on How a Barometer in Your Hiking Watch Can Predict Weather Changes.


An altimeter measures how high up you are. This is really useful for people hiking in the mountains to see how far they’ve climbed and to plan their path better.


A compass in your watch helps you find your way, especially where there’s no GPS signal. It’s an old-school but important tool for not losing your direction.

Comfort and Fit

It’s important that your watch feels good to wear for a long time. A watch that fits well won’t bother you, so you can just enjoy your hike.

Accurate Timekeeping

It might seem basic, but every hiker needs a watch that keeps time accurately. Tracking the time you’ve spent hiking can help estimate the distance you’ve covered, how much daylight remains, or when to expect sunrise.

Other Hiking Watch Features

GPS Functionality

GPS in hiking watches helps you find your way on trails and keep track of where you’ve been. It’s really important to stay safe and not get lost when you’re exploring.

Heart Rate Monitor

Keeping an eye on your heart rate helps you manage how hard you’re working while hiking. It’s good for making sure you don’t push yourself too hard, especially on tough trails.

Breadcrumb Trail Navigation

This lets you see the path you’ve taken so you can go back the same way. It’s useful if you’re in complicated or new areas.

Solar Charging

Watches that can use sunlight to stay charged have a very long and sometimes unlimited battery life, which means less worrying about charging.

Route Navigation

This helps you follow a path you’ve planned ahead of time, which is good for complicated hikes or big adventures.

Smartphone Connectivity

Connecting your watch to your phone lets you do more things, like getting messages and using your phone’s GPS. It makes your watch a more useful tool when you’re hiking and provides additional safety features.

Advanced Health Metrics

Some watches can check things like your heart rate, how well you’re sleeping, and other health stuff. This is important to keep an eye on your health when you’re doing a lot of physical activity.

Pulse Oximeter

This tool checks how much oxygen is in your blood. It’s especially important when you’re hiking high up where the air is thinner.


A built-in flashlight in your watch can be very handy when it gets dark or in emergencies.

Dual-Frequency GPS

This type of GPS is really accurate, which means it’s great for making sure you know exactly where you are.

Multiple Workout Profiles and Creation

These watches let you choose from different types of workouts and even make your own, which is great for all kinds of activities.

How to Extend the Battery Life of Your GPS Watch

Optimizing the battery life is crucial to maximize the performance of your GPS watch. There are several ways to extend the battery life of your watch, such as adjusting the GPS accuracy settings, turning off non-essential features, and activating battery-saver mode.

Additionally, you can conserve battery life by minimizing the use of the watch’s backlight and reducing the frequency of smartphone notifications. Implementing these strategies, including using the low-power mode, ensures that your GPS watch has enough power to last throughout your entire hike or mountaineering expedition.


When it comes to selecting the right hiking watch for you, factors like comfort, purpose of use, features offered and battery life should be taken into consideration in order to make sure that your purchase matches all requirements. Both high-end choices like the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar and budget-friendly options such as Garmin Instinct 2 Standard have been designed with adventurers’ needs in mind. Be sure to take some time when making a decision. Armed with this article’s knowledge, anyone can pick an ideal watch suited for exploring outdoor adventures.

About the Author: Why You Should Trust Us

Andrew Burke: A Lifetime of Outdoor Expertise

Growing up in the majestic Pacific Northwest, Andrew Burke has always been at home in the great outdoors. With over 30 years of experience in hiking, hunting, fishing, and camping, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge to this blog. His deep connection with nature, combined with his extensive outdoor activities, makes him a reliable source for all things related to hiking and wilderness adventures.

Safety and Rescue Expertise

Andrew’s expertise goes beyond just enjoying the wilderness; he is also a trained Paramedic specializing in safety and rescue operations. This training has equipped him with vital skills to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience for all. His advice on this blog is based on personal experience and professional training in emergency response and outdoor safety.

Your Trusted Guide to the Great Outdoors

With Andrew’s extensive background in both enjoying and safely navigating the wilderness, this blog is your go-to source for reliable hiking advice. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’ll find invaluable tips and insights here. Trust in Andrew’s expertise to guide you through your next outdoor adventure with confidence and safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best fitness watch for hiking?

For hikers seeking the most suitable timepiece, the optimal GPS Watches for Hiking provide an ideal blend of practicality and convenience to make exploring in nature enjoyable and safe. These top-rated watches offer all that is necessary from a best GPS watch, making them perfect choices for any hiking enthusiast!

Do I need a GPS watch for hiking?

GPS Watches can be a valuable tool for hiking, providing navigation, weather updates, and route-finding assistance. They are also helpful for tracking physical data such as recovery and sleep metrics. If you are an experienced hiker, a GPS watch might be a worthy investment.

What is the best smartwatch for walking?

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the best smartwatch for walking.

What is the most important factor to consider when selecting a hiking watch?

When picking out a hiking watch, it is critical to look at what features the product has and whether or not it fulfills your requirements. Consideration should be given to how suitable the watch’s capabilities are for you specifically.

Are all hiking watches compatible with smartphones?

When buying a hiking watch, it is important to check that it works with your smartphone in order to ensure full compatibility.

Do GPS watches work in the mountains?

GPS watches can work in the mountains, although their accuracy may vary depending on the terrain and environmental conditions. Tall peaks, dense vegetation, or deep valleys can obstruct or weaken the GPS signal, resulting in reduced accuracy or temporary signal loss.

To ensure maximum accuracy when navigating in mountainous areas, it is important to have a clear view of the sky and use a GPS device with strong signal reception capabilities.

At what altitude does GPS stop working?

GPS operates optimally at a maximum altitude of approximately 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, where the GPS satellites are situated. However, it is worth noting that altitude can impact the accuracy of GPS altitude readings, and at higher altitudes, the GPS altitude and barometric altitude may diverge due to the constraints of barometric measurements.

How accurate are GPS watches in measuring elevation?

Overall, GPS watches can be fairly accurate for measuring elevation when conditions are optimal. However, their accuracy may be reduced at higher altitudes or in challenging environments.

Are there any GPS watches specifically designed for long-distance hiking and ultra-endurance activities?

Yes, the Garmin Enduro 2 is a GPS watch specifically designed for long-distance hiking and ultra-endurance activities, offering an impressive battery life of up to 150 hours in GPS mode with solar charging.

What are the top-rated hiking watches available in the market?

The top-rated hiking watches include the Garmin Fenix series, Suunto 9, and Casio Pro Trek.

How to choose the best hiking watch for my needs?

Choose a hiking watch based on features like GPS, durability, and battery life that match your outdoor activities.

What features should I look for in a hiking watch?

Look for GPS, altimeter, barometer, compass, water resistance, and long battery life features.

Are there hiking watches with GPS tracking?

Yes, many hiking watches have GPS tracking to map your routes accurately.

Which hiking watches have altimeter and barometer functions?

Hiking watches like Suunto 9 and Casio Pro Trek have altimeter and barometer functions.

Can I find a hiking watch with a built-in compass?

Yes, some hiking watches come with a built-in compass for navigation.

What is the importance of water resistance in a hiking watch?

Water resistance is crucial to protect your watch during rain or water crossings.

Are there hiking watches with long battery life?

Yes, hiking watches like Garmin Fenix can have a long battery life for extended outdoor adventures.

Do hiking watches have smartphone connectivity?

Many hiking watches offer smartphone connectivity for notifications and data sync.

Are there hiking watches with heart rate monitors?

Yes, hiking watches with heart rate monitors help you track your fitness during hikes.

What are the benefits of having a hiking watch with a thermometer?

A hiking watch with a thermometer helps you monitor temperature changes while hiking.

Can I track my hiking routes with a hiking watch?

Yes, hiking watches with GPS can track and record your hiking routes.

Are there budget-friendly hiking watch options?

Yes, there are budget-friendly hiking watches with basic features available.

Which hiking watches offer sunrise and sunset times?

Some hiking watches provide sunrise and sunset times for better planning.

What are the durability standards for hiking watches?

Hiking watches are designed to be durable, with rugged build quality to withstand outdoor conditions.

Can I find hiking watches with customizable watch faces?

Yes, some hiking watches allow you to customize watch faces to your preference.

Are there hiking watches with SOS or emergency features?

Certain hiking watches come with SOS or emergency features for safety.

How do I calibrate the altimeter on my hiking watch?

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to calibrate the altimeter on your hiking watch for accurate readings.

What is the difference between a hiking watch and a fitness tracker?

Hiking watches offer outdoor-specific features like GPS and navigation, while fitness trackers focus on health and activity monitoring.

Can I use a hiking watch for other outdoor activities like camping or fishing?

Yes, hiking watches are versatile and suitable for various outdoor activities.

Are there hiking watches with offline maps?

Some hiking watches allow you to download offline maps for navigation without internet connectivity.

How accurate are the GPS functions in hiking watches?

GPS functions in hiking watches are generally accurate for tracking your location.

Choose a watch size that feels comfortable and fits securely on your wrist.

Are there hiking watches designed specifically for mountaineering?

Yes, some hiking watches are designed with mountaineering features like altitude tracking.

Do hiking watches come with a warranty?

Many hiking watches come with warranties to cover manufacturing defects. Check the manufacturer’s warranty policy for details.

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