Best GPS Watches
Best GPS watches for hiking: Never get lost in the woods again:
Hiking in the woods can often time be a dangerous thing to do and you might find yourself either lost or in need of directions. Since there are not any gas stations to stop by and directions, you will need to have something with you that can easily be carried and still allow you great accessibility.
A GPS can be a good thing to carry around, but it will limit your functionality and versatility significantly as it needs to be in your hands. This is where we come in and the best GPS watches for hiking are designed to simplify life and put all the power of details and direction on your arm. These GPS watches will not only be comfortable to wear, but they are capable of giving you so much detail that you might forget about enjoying nature.
We have decided to look a little deeper at how these watches work and what they offer. We have also looked at the most important features that you might need to consider when choosing one and this could help ensure that you choose the right one and get the best possible value for your money.
Key Features to consider when looking for the best GPS watches:
Since these watches are much more intricate than the standard outdoor and waterproof watch that you usually buy, you will need some information to ensure that you do get the best possible one. Choosing the right one will definitely be simplified with the knowledge of these features. Here are the top features that you need to look into when searching for a GPS watch for hiking:
The fit of the watch is one of the most important things you need to look for. Since you will have it on your arm for prolonged periods of time, comfort is essential and the strapping will greatly ensure that you have this comfort. Wider straps might cause some more sweat, but they can certainly resist abrasions much better than these narrow one.
The altimeter might not be that important to everyone, but having one will allow you to measure the air pressure when scaling up mountains. The altimeter can also be more accurate than the GPS when on top of mountains and it could potentially lead you from high altitude to low altitude during the night times. We would certainly recommend an altimeter in all GPS watches for hiking.
The barometer is one of our favorite features and it measures the atmospheric pressure. This can be extremely useful when looking to avoid possible storms that might come. This feature is definitely something to have if you plan to go backpacking deep into the jungle. The barometer might also be the difference between being caught up in a storm and avoiding it altogether.
The compass is arguably the most important feature on a GPS watch and it can keep you from going off the trail. If you feel like heading into a certain direction for some added sightseeing, the compass will certainly be your friend.
While we love the compass that can be found in these watches, it might not always be as accurate as a standard compass and you might need to bring a standard compass for these purposes. 3D compasses are a little more expensive, but they certainly are much more effective and accurate.
This feature is quite nice to have if you are looking to track the temperature, but they are not always found on GPS watches. Since the watch is essentially strapped to your wrist, it can be hard for the watch to accurately discern between your body temperature and the actual outer temperature. If you want more accuracy, we recommend taking the watch off and leaving it on a rock in the shade for a while.
The GPS is the feature that we are most concerned with and this will be perfect for hiking. The GPS is capable of tracking your route and whenever you are lost in a remote place, the GPS can easily help you get back on track. The GPS is also capable of tracking your speed and giving you an estimated time of arrival. This should be essential when it comes to making camp for the night or continuing.
If you love keeping the information of your trip and sharing them with friends, this will certainly be a handy feature to have. The Wi-Fi can connect with your mobile phone and your laptop. This also lets you plot waypoints and make the trip that much easier if you need to digress into a certain direction for some added sightseeing.
We believe that any watch or electronic item that you use in the wild should be water resistant to some degree. The weather might often time take a turn for the worse and you might not have anywhere to keep the watch from getting wet. If you manage to find a water resistant watch, you will also be able to continue your journey in the water and keep it on at all times.
The functionality of the watch is also really important and you will need to be able to operate it. The watch will not be of any use if you are unable to operate it in the wild, or if you do not know how to operate it. A functional watch will certainly make life so much easier for you on your trips and you will have the power of adjusting it in an instance.
TOP GPS WATCHES FOR HIKING THAT YOU COULD FIND IN 2017:
Now that you are somewhat of an expert on the topic, you should be able to tell a good GPS watch from a bad one. If you do not where to start searching for one, we have decided to select five that we believe will certainly ensure that you never get lost and get the best value for your money. That said, here are our selections for the best GPS watches for hiking in 2017:
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS Watch
Weight: 3 ounces
Batteries: 2 AAA
Description: The Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS watch is one of the more basic GPS watches. It features a large display system and the wrist strap is adjustable to ensure that you do get the comfortable fit. The GPS receiver also includes HotFix technology and this is incorporated to ensure that you still have maximum coverage in dense locations.
The GPS makes use of two AAA batteries to keep you powered up and these can basically be found anywhere in the world. A heart rate monitor can also be bought separately, which will make the watch perfect for runners and joggers as well.
The GPS also includes a barometric altimeter and this will not only do the job of the altimeter but the barometer as well. Checking the air pressure and knowing when to head for shelter has never been easier.
The GPS can also be connected to your PC with the USB cable and you will be able to set sunrise and sunset times, by synchronizing the watch with the map. While this GPS watch is quite expensive, we would definitely still recommend it for the value it offers and the multifunctional use it offers when combined with a heart rate monitor.
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Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch with Exclusive Tracback Feature
Weight: 2.9 ounces
Description: The Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch is a little smaller in terms of the design. What makes this watch so unique is the memory capacity it carries. You will be able to store up to 10,000 track points on it while plotting up to 1,000 waypoints for your trips.
The watch also includes a 3-axis compass and this will include an automatic sensor for calibration. The map also includes the whole world, but as things start to update, you can easily just update the map on your PC using the USB cable. The watch is also waterproof up to 164 feet under water and this should ensure that you could travel anywhere you need to.
While this watch includes everything from an altimeter to a compass, the altimeter is not all that accurate. From time to time, the watch does not accurately get the right altitude or it takes an extremely long time to do this.
In terms of pricing, the watch has been well priced when compared to many of the competitor brands on the market today. We would certainly recommend this for hiking in all conditions, but it might not be ideal for scaling mountains with the weak altimeter.
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Garmin Epix GPS Watch, TOPO U.S. 100K
Weight: 3.04 ounces
Batteries: Lithium-ion battery
Description: The Garmin Epix TOPO US 100K GPS watch is designed to give you as much detail as possible in your environment. The watch includes a big 8GB memory and this can be loaded with multiple maps. In the US version, the watch has already been loaded with 24,000 maps to make life easier and have you ready from the get go.
The 1.4-inch HD display screen is also fully touch screen and it has been designed to ensure that you have a good read out even when you are in the sun. The watch also includes a Wi-Fi connection and this ensures that you can do all your updates wirelessly. Once a new update is available, the watch will also notify you as soon as it is connected to a network.
While the watch has a ton of features, navigating through them can be quite tough at first. The watch is not that easy to use and you will need to spend a lot of time with the user manual to ensure that you fully understand every feature. The temperature is also off and this is not something we recommend using.
With all of these unique features, it should come as no surprise that the watch is quite expensive. We would still recommend it for the value of the features and we do recommend that you study the manual. This GPS watch should be perfect for avid hikers and backpackers; you should only ensure that you keep the battery charged.
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Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch
Weight: 3.03 ounces
Batteries: 1 CR2 battery
Description: The Garmin Fenix 5 GPS watch is one of the most liked sports watches that you could find, but it also serves a purpose for shorter hiking trips. The watch is quite compact and the screen size is around 1.2-inches.
The watch includes a heart rate monitor for the fitness enthusiasts and the multiple stats it offers are definitely great for checking your progress. The GLONASS satellite receptors have been designed to ensure that you have excellent connectivity in dense areas and the 3-axis compass with automatic calibration will ensure you never get lost.
The watch does not include a barometer and altimeter and even though this might be essential, the GPS will ensure you never get lost. The watch is built to focus mostly on stats and ensure you never get lost. Garmin’s Sapphire version will also be perfect for those in need of a Wi-Fi connection, but this one is a little more expensive.
While the watch is more for sports purposes, it will make an ideal hiking watch, we would recommend this for short trips, but if you need more detail, you might need to consider buying a different watch. We also love the multifunctional use and versatility it offers.
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Suunto Traverse GPS Watch
Weight: 2.82 ounces
Battery: 1 CR2 Battery
Description: The Suunto Traverse is expensive, yet very well designed watch for hikers. It also includes the GLONASS GPS system and this feature includes a POI system. This should make it easy for you to see points of interest allowing you to detour from your route.
The altitude meter is extremely accurate and the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality makes the watch perfect for uploading new maps. The watch can even be connected to your Smartphone and should notify you of any messages and calls that are coming through when busy with daily activities.
The GPS also indicates the sunrise and sunset times and this should be really important when going back to your camp. The trackback option also allows you to track multiple routes and store them for future use.
This GPS watch is quite expensive, but we would still highly recommend it for all the unique features it offers. If you are an avid hiker, the watch should definitely be part of your outdoor equipment.
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Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Watch
Weight: 3.14 ounces
Battery: 1 CR2 Battery
Description: The Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit is a great option for those loving to hike and go backpacking. The watch was designed with durability in mind and the outer casing is quite robust and rugged as well.
Like all Suunto watches, the Altimeter and the Barometer are two of the main features. These two are extremely accurate in all tests and they should notify you when as storm might be approaching. The battery is also capable of lasting up to 200 hours and this should be ideal for the avid backpacker.
The watch is connectable to your Smartphone and this means that messages and calls are viewable on the watch. This gives you a hands-free experience throughout the day. The only real downside is the weight and the bulky design. This might take some getting used to.
Most of the Suunto watches are extremely expensive, but this one is really affordable and we would definitely recommend it for the avid outdoor enthusiast. The watch is also extremely multifunctional and is usable for day-to-day activities as well.
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