The best watches for outdoor use


More than anything else, because today this family of equipment has become extremely wide, collects instruments that offer the most diverse functions and meet the most diverse needs.

In the beginning it was the altimeter/barometer, perhaps combined with the ability to calculate the height difference and an alarm clock… just so as not to remain quiet while everyone else is already walking on the glacier at the usual antelucan time… It was enough to make a normal watch a mountain clock.

Then came the compass, the thermometer, the GPS (and even the Glonass), the heart rate monitor, water resistant divers and maybe some refinement from “always connected” as the SMS and email notifications from your smartphone …

As time went by, dozens of pieces of equipment, which previously weighed and weighed in the backpack, magically went into that little thing tied to the wrist.

In short, at this point we realized that a good trekking clock does not only show the time and date, but provides many other crucial information (such as altitude, position, atmospheric pressure, time of sunrise / sunset, etc..) that can follow the path, to bake the path and keep track of the weather.

Trekking and outdoor watches, given their usefulness for outdoor activities, are rapidly increasing in popularity and as a result manufacturers are making great progress in designing new models.

All the watches we present in this article are equipped with GPS, compass, altimeter and barometer – features that we consider essential for activities such as hiking and trekking.

We hope to help you find a watch that meets your needs.

But magic is never free, especially that of miniaturization. The price is paid first of all in “euri” sonanti: if you want to buy an outdoor watch that really works you have to be ready to scucire more than a few hundred!

Even the quality, however, struggles to get all that into the cramped spaces of a watch and even this is a price to pay. For example, the Gps condensed in your watch, along with a few dozen other gadgets, will hardly have the same efficiency and the same functions available in a navigator that does only that job and takes all the space and weight necessary to do it at its best.

As usual, it is a matter of having a clear idea of what our expectations and needs are and evaluating them accordingly.

That said, the outdoor watches offered today by the leading brands certainly offer excellent performance and it is really fascinating to go and find out how many things these things can do (well)!

In the following we propose a small review of the best models of outdoor watches on the market today.

TOM TOM – Adventurer

The Tom Tom Adventurer has a look and a gadget supply (integrated cardio, very “fashionable” Mp3 beds, sharing with social networks, audio motivator, etc…) very modest, which brings it very close to the category of smartwatches. Alongside these “whims”; however, it offers the essential features of a real outdoor watch (compass, altimeter, barometer, GPS detection), guaranteed by a brand that has made the history of satellite navigation.

The device is designed for multiple sports modes (skiing, trail running, hiking and snowboarding).

GARMIN – epix™

epix™ is the outdoor watch as interpreted by Garmin. The imprint is clear from the first glance. There are all the things you’d expect (high, barometer, compass, etc. …) but above all there is a navigation function with a cartographic base definitely new.

Garmin was able to create the first smartwatch outdoor GPS with auto routing navigation functions integrated with Garmin TOPO or City Navigator® maps and a preloaded 1:100,000 topographic map of Europe.

GARMIN – Fēnix 3 HR

Another jewel of Garmin’s house, designed for use in the most adverse environmental conditions.

The Fēnix 3 series features a PVD-coated EXO™ antenna for GPS/GLONASS satellite reception and a high-resolution, anti-reflective colour Chroma™ display with LED backlighting, allowing data access in all lighting conditions.

GARMIN – Fēnix 5 Plus

Excellent performance and precision Garmin available to lovers of outdoor (color maps TopoActive Europe and Trendline routes), more comfort and good gadgets for every occasion: from the ability to listen to your favorite music to the functionality for payment contactless.

SUUNTO – Ambit3 Peak

For many years now, Suunto has been the ultimate outdoor watch for many mountain enthusiasts.

Ambit3 Peak is the new model created by the Finnish company to meet the needs of lovers of outdoor sports, enriching its traditional qualities of precision and reliability with the now indispensable dose of technological “divertissement”.

CASIO – Pro Trek PRG-270

No GPS or such devilry, therefore, on the more classic models of the established Casio Pro Trek line. Simply reliable essential functions, such as barometer, thermometer and digital compass. All managed by the Triple Sensor technology.

Several models in the Pro Trek line, such as the PRG-270 that we present here, have the Tough Solar System solar cell, which makes battery life virtually infinite.

Suunto Spartan Ultra

A trinket for those who want to be always connected, but not only! The Gear S3 Frontier is the smartwatch that Samsung has designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts, starting with the features of the hardware with steel case and IP68 certification for water resistance and dust. Even the battery is adequate to the needs of those who can not have a power outlet at all times, with a range of at least 4 days and fast wireless charging.

Suunto Core

Clock suitable for trekking and mountaineering but also for daily training. The Suunto Core Crush is an excellent choice for those who want a watch with numerous functions for trekking, in addition to GPS.

It has a lower price than the other watches we reviewed but does not skimp on functionality and technology, in fact even this model is equipped with a compass, altimeter, barometer and thermometer.

If the weather is worsening, the watch detects it and signals it with a special alarm. The basic functions of the watch are time, alarm, dual time zone and sunset/dawn.

The battery is replaceable and has a life of approximately 1 year. Unfortunately, the Suunto Core watch is not compatible with a heart rate monitor that would be really useful during excursions.

The features of this instrument, both simple and feature-rich, is perfect for those who want to have a watch with long life and durability.

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