The Best Hiking Watches Under $200: Reviews & Buying Guide 2023
Are you a passionate hiker who loves exploring new trails and experiencing the beauty of nature? If so, you know that having the right gear can make all the difference when it comes to safety and enjoyment on the trail. And one of the most important pieces of gear you can have is a reliable hiking watch, aka outdoor watches. In this article we will help you by explaining what to look for in a hiking watch and list the coolest hiking watches under $200. Remember, a budget hiking watch does not mean less quality or features, it means finding the best deals.
A hiking watch is not just a timepiece. It’s a tool that can help you navigate your route, monitor your health, and keep you on track throughout your hike. However, with so many hiking watches on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs, especially if you’re on a budget.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of hiking watches under $200. This budget hiking watch list includes options that offer excellent value, durability, and functionality, without the hefty price tag of some high-end models. Whether you’re a casual hiker or a seasoned pro, there’s a watch on this list that will meet your needs.
Hiking Watch Smart Features to Shop For
When looking for a hiking watch, there are several smart features to consider:
A GPS watch feature (Global Positioning System) is useful for navigation and tracking your progress on a trail. GPS mode can help you if you get lost or are planning a route. I would always keep a spare paper map incase service is unreliable or your battery dies. Remember, GPS hiking watches do not have to break the bank. GPS mode can look different than what you use to drive a car, but it does help you see where you want to go and how far away you are from your destination. Despite what you may think, you can get a fully functional gps watch for less than $200.
Look out for an ABC Watch. You may want an altimeter in your hiking watch. A altimeter is useful for measuring elevation gain and loss, which can be important when hiking in mountainous areas. A barometer can help you predict weather changes and alert you to potential storms. a hiking watch that tracks weather will be so helpful when you are on long backpacking adventures with no technology. A compass is useful for orienting yourself and finding your way on a trail. A hiking watch should be water-resistant, so it can withstand rain, sweat, and other types of moisture.
What is an ABC Watch? ABC watch stands for: Altimeter Barometer Compass. The features Altimeter Barometer Compass track elevation, weather, and direction.
2. Battery life:
A long battery life is essential for a hiking watch, so it can last for the duration of your hike. Unlike smart watches that are designed to be charged every night with enough battery life to make it through a day, a GPS watch or hiking watches have a battery life meant to last. The battery life may require that you enter a battery life saving mode or limit activity to save battery life. Some hiking technology even has solar charging to allow you to extend your battery life just by being in the sun. In theory your hiking watches battery life will last several days without needing a charge. If you have room in your hiking pack you may consider bringing a fully charged battery pack to help in case your battery life runs low. You should test out how long your watch lasts before taking in on a no service hike.
A hiking watch should be light-weight and comfortable, so it doesn’t interfere with your movements or cause discomfort during your hike. A hiking watch should be durable and able to withstand rugged conditions.
4. Bonus Features:
Some bonus features to consider for your hiking watch should be:
Sunrise/sunset time, Knowing the time of sunrise and sunset is essential for planning your hiking trip, especially when hiking in the mountains or in remote areas. Heart rate monitor, A heart rate monitor is useful for tracking your heart rate and ensuring you are maintaining a safe and steady pace during your hike. Digital display, some watches have a black and white display to help with sun glare and battery life, and some watches come with fully color display. You can save some money if you buy a watch without color digital display.
Hiking Watches Under $200 Comparison Chart
Insert watch comparison chart here: GPS Mode, Battery Life, Battery Saver Watch Mode, ABC watch(Altimeter Barometer Compass), Max Battery GPS Mode, Digital Compass,
HERE is OUR LIST ON HIKING WATCHES UNDER $200
1. Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS
Battery Life: 14 days in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode.
Water Resistance: Yes, 100 Meters
Garmin is known for producing some of the best GPS watches for outdoor activities, and the Garmin Instinct is no exception. This rugged watch is built to withstand the toughest environments, making it an excellent choice for hikers.
One of the standout features of the Garmin Instinct is its GPS accuracy. The watch uses multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) to provide reliable and accurate location data, even in challenging environments. It also has a built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, making it easy to navigate and track elevation changes.
The Instinct is also designed to be tough and durable. It has a fiber-reinforced polymer case and a chemically strengthened, scratch-protected display. It’s also water-resistant up to 100 meters, so you can wear it while swimming, snorkeling, or in the rain.
In terms of battery life, the Garmin Instinct won’t disappoint. It has a battery life of up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode. This means you can use the watch for extended periods without worrying about charging it.
Another great feature of the Garmin Instinct is its health and fitness tracking capabilities. It can track your steps, calories burned, and sleep quality, as well as monitor your heart rate and stress levels. This makes it a great all-around watch for both outdoor activities and everyday use.
Overall, the Garmin Instinct is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a rugged and reliable GPS watch for outdoor activities. It offers accurate navigation, durable construction, long battery life, and advanced health and fitness tracking, all at an affordable price point. If you’re looking for a high-quality outdoor watch that won’t break the bank, the Garmin Instinct is definitely worth considering.
2. Garmin Instinct Esports Edition, GPS Gaming Smartwatch with Esports Activity Profile
Battery Life: up to 80 Hours
Water Resistance: Yes, 100 Meters
The Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is a unique smartwatch designed specifically for esports enthusiasts. It comes equipped with features that are tailored to gaming, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to improve their performance and take their gaming to the next level.
One of the standout features of the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is its Esports Activity Profile. This feature allows you to track and analyze your gaming performance, including your heart rate, stress level, and body battery. It also tracks your calories burned and provides recommendations on how to optimize your gaming performance based on your biometric data.
The watch is also designed to be comfortable and durable, with a fiber-reinforced polymer case and a silicone strap that’s easy to adjust for a comfortable fit. It’s also water-resistant up to 100 meters, so you don’t have to worry about taking it off while swimming or showering.
The Garmin Instinct Esports Edition also comes equipped with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo positioning systems, providing accurate location data that can help you navigate to tournaments or other gaming events. Additionally, the watch has a battery life of up to 80 hours in esports mode, meaning you can use it for extended gaming sessions without worrying about running out of battery.
Aside from its esports-specific features, the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition also offers the usual smartwatch features, including smartphone notifications, music controls, and health and fitness tracking. It can track your steps, monitor your heart rate, and provide insights into your sleep quality, making it a great all-around watch for everyday use.
Overall, the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a smartwatch that’s specifically designed for gaming. It offers advanced features that can help you improve your performance and optimize your gaming experience, while also providing the durability, comfort, and battery life you need for extended gaming sessions. If you’re a serious gamer looking for a high-quality esports smartwatch, the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition is definitely worth considering.
3. AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watches Hiking Digital Wrist Watch Smart Swimming Military Army Altimeter Barometer Compass Watches
Battery Life: 18 M
Water Resistance: Yes, 50 Meters
The AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watch is a multifunctional timepiece designed for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With its rugged and durable design, this watch is perfect for hikers, campers, mountaineers, and other outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable and functional watch to accompany them on their adventures.
One of the standout features of the AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watch is its multifunctionality. It comes equipped with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and thermometer, making it easy to navigate and monitor weather conditions. Additionally, the watch has a countdown timer, stopwatch, and multiple alarms, allowing you to keep track of time and manage your schedule.
The watch also features a durable and water-resistant design, with a stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant mineral glass face. It’s water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and other water-based activities.
In terms of battery life, the AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watch won’t disappoint. It has a battery life of up to 12 months in normal use, meaning you can use it for extended periods without worrying about recharging it.
The AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watch also offers a comfortable and adjustable fit, with a flexible and breathable resin strap that’s perfect for active lifestyles. The watch is designed to be lightweight and easy to wear, making it an excellent choice for everyday use as well as outdoor excursions.
Overall, the AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watch is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a multifunctional watch that’s designed for outdoor activities. It offers reliable navigation and weather monitoring, durable construction, long battery life, and a comfortable and adjustable fit, all at an affordable price point. If you’re looking for a high-quality outdoor watch that won’t break the bank, the AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watch is definitely worth considering.
4. SUUNTO Core, Outdoor Sports Watch
Battery Life: 12 M
Water Resistance: Yes, 30 Meters
The SUUNTO Core is a versatile and reliable outdoor sports watch that’s designed for hikers, climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. With the Suunto Core rugged construction and advanced features, this watch is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to stay safe and navigate confidently while exploring the great outdoors.
One of the standout features of the SUUNTO Core is its altimeter, which provides accurate elevation data and allows you to track your ascent and descent while hiking or climbing. The Suunto Core watch also features a barometer, which can help you predict weather changes and detect sudden drops in air pressure. Additionally, the SUUNTO Core has a compass that provides accurate direction data and can help you navigate in unfamiliar terrain.
The SUUNTO Core also offers a variety of other useful features for outdoor enthusiasts. the Suunto Core has a storm alarm that can warn you of approaching storms, a sunrise/sunset function that helps you plan your day, and a temperature sensor that provides accurate temperature data.
In terms of construction, the SUUNTO Core is built to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. the Suunto Core has a durable and water-resistant design, with a scratch-resistant mineral crystal face and a reinforced composite case. The Suunto Core watch is also water-resistant up to 30 meters, making it suitable for swimming and other water-based activities.
The SUUNTO Core also offers a comfortable and adjustable fit, with a flexible and durable elastomer strap that’s designed to stay in place during rigorous activity. The Suunto Core watch is also lightweight and easy to wear, making it an excellent choice for everyday use as well as outdoor adventures.
Overall, the SUUNTO Core is a reliable and versatile outdoor sports watch that’s packed with features for exploring the great outdoors. With its altimeter, barometer, compass, and other advanced features, the Suunto Core is an excellent choice for hikers, climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable and functional watch to accompany them on their adventures. If you’re looking for a high-quality outdoor sports watch, the SUUNTO Core is definitely worth considering.
5. Garmin 010-01689-00 Forerunner 35; Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch
Battery Life: 9 Days
Water Resistance: No
The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a GPS running watch designed for runners of all levels. This Garmin watch has a simple and easy-to-use interface, accurate GPS feature, and reliable heart rate monitoring, this watch is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to improve their running performance.
One of the standout features of the Garmin Forerunner 35 is its GPS, which provides accurate distance, pace, and speed data for your runs. The watch also has a built-in accelerometer that can track indoor runs and other activities without the need for GPS. Additionally, the watch features a wrist-based heart rate monitor that provides accurate heart rate data without the need for a chest strap.
The Garmin Forerunner 35 also offers a variety of other useful features for runners. It has a run/walk feature that can help you improve your running endurance, as well as a virtual pacer that can help you stay on track with your target pace. The watch also has a variety of customizable data fields, allowing you to see the data that’s most important to you during your runs.
In terms of construction, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is built to withstand the rigors of running and other physical activity. It has a durable and water-resistant design, with a scratch-resistant display that’s easy to read even in bright sunlight. The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it suitable for swimming and other water-based activities.
The Garmin Forerunner 35 also offers a comfortable and adjustable fit, with a flexible and breathable silicone strap that’s designed to stay in place during rigorous activity. The watch is also lightweight and easy to wear, making it an excellent choice for everyday use as well as running and other physical activities.
Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is an excellent choice for runners of all levels who want a simple and easy-to-use GPS running watch. With its accurate GPS feature , reliable heart rate monitoring, and customizable data fields, it’s an excellent tool for improving your running performance. If you’re looking for a high-quality GPS running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is definitely worth considering.
6. Timex Expedition Grid Shock
Battery Life: 10 years
Water Resistance: Yes 30 M
This watch is for those who want to keep it simple. The Timex Men’s Expedition Grid Shock 50mm Watch is a rugged and durable timepiece that is designed for outdoor adventurers. The watch features a sturdy resin case and band that can withstand shocks, drops, and impacts, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and mountain biking.
The watch face is easy to read and features a digital display that shows the time, date, and stopwatch functions. The watch also includes a timer and alarm functions, making it a versatile tool for any outdoor activity.
One of the standout features of the Expedition Grid Shock is its Indiglo backlight, which illuminates the entire watch face for easy readability in low-light conditions. The watch is also water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Overall, the Timex Men’s Expedition Grid Shock 50mm Watch is a reliable and durable timepiece that is designed for outdoor adventurers who demand a rugged and reliable tool for their outdoor pursuits. Its shock-resistant construction, versatile functions, and Indiglo backlight make it a great choice for anyone who spends time in the great outdoors.
Other Watches for a Larger Budget:
1. Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Ultra has an altimeter barometer and compass ready to go with an extremely user friendly interface. When you buy apple you get all the luxury of Smart notifications and apple details, but this watch is a different beast than previous Apple Watches.
The Apple Watch Ultra [GPS + Cellular 49mm] is a rugged and durable smartwatch that comes with a titanium case and a green alpine loop band in the large size. The watch features a precision GPS system that allows for accurate tracking of location and distance, making it a great choice for outdoor activities like hiking or running.
One of the standout features of the Apple Watch Ultra is its action button, which can be customized to perform different functions depending on the user’s needs. This allows for quick access to frequently used features or apps without having to navigate through the watch’s menus.
The watch also boasts an extra-long battery life, which means it can last through extended periods of use without needing to be recharged. This is particularly useful for outdoor activities or situations where access to a power source may be limited.
In terms of display, the Apple Watch Ultra features a brighter retina display than previous models, making it easier to read in bright sunlight or other challenging lighting conditions. The watch also includes a variety of fitness tracking features, including heart rate monitoring and activity tracking, which can help users stay on top of their fitness goals.
Overall, the Apple Watch Ultra [GPS + Cellular 49mm] is a powerful and rugged smartwatch that is well-suited for outdoor activities and sports enthusiasts. Its combination of precision GPS, customizable action button, and long battery life make it a great choice for those who need a reliable and durable smartwatch that can keep up with their active lifestyle.
2. Garmin Fenix:
The Garmin Fenixoffers all the outdoor watch features you love with the luxury of a smart watch. use Garmin Pay, Garmin Connect App, smart notifications and more with this luxury watch.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is a top-of-the-line multisport GPS watch designed for serious athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Its premium features include mapping, music playback, grade-adjusted pace guidance, and pulse ox sensors, making it a versatile and powerful tool for tracking fitness and navigating outdoor activities.
The watch features an advanced mapping system that allows users to plan and follow routes using full-color maps and topographical data. The maps are preloaded onto the watch, so users can navigate even in areas without cell phone coverage. In addition, the watch includes turn-by-turn directions, which are especially useful for hiking, cycling, or running in unfamiliar areas.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro also features music playback, allowing users to stream music from services like Spotify and Amazon Music or transfer their own music files to the watch. This makes it easy to enjoy music while working out without needing to bring a separate device.
Another standout feature of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is its grade-adjusted pace guidance, which takes into account changes in elevation to provide more accurate pace data for running and hiking. This helps users maintain a consistent pace regardless of changes in terrain, making it easier to meet fitness goals and monitor progress.
The watch also includes pulse ox sensors, which measure blood oxygen saturation levels. This is particularly useful for high-altitude activities like mountain climbing, where low oxygen levels can be a risk to health and performance.
Overall, the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is a premium multisport GPS watch that is well-suited for serious athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Its advanced mapping, music playback, grade-adjusted pace guidance, and pulse ox sensors make it a versatile and powerful tool for tracking fitness and navigating outdoor activities.
3. Casio Pathfinder now Pro Trek
Casio Pathfinder is a beast of a watch but us unavailable in most places so you now will see the Casio Pro Trek. With the Casio Pathfinder/Pro Trek you get altimeter barometer and compass as well as style and multifunction.
The Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW-3500T-7CR Tough Solar Triple Sensor Digital Sport Watch is a high-performance outdoor watch designed for those who demand durability, functionality, and reliability in their timepiece. Its advanced features and rugged construction make it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.
The watch features Casio’s Triple Sensor technology, which includes a compass, altimeter, and barometer. These features make it easy to navigate and monitor changing weather conditions while on the go. The watch also includes a thermometer, which is particularly useful for outdoor activities where temperature changes can have a significant impact.
The Pro Trek PRW-3500T-7CR also features Casio’s Tough Solar technology, which means it is powered by sunlight and can last up to seven months on a single charge. This is particularly useful for outdoor enthusiasts who may not have access to a power source while on the go.
In addition to its outdoor features, the watch includes standard timekeeping functions like a stopwatch, countdown timer, and multiple alarms. The watch also has a calendar function that can display the date and time in 31 different time zones.
The watch has a sleek and rugged titanium band and a mineral crystal face that is scratch-resistant and durable. The watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters, making it suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
4. Garmin Instinct Solar, Solar Charging Hiking Watch
The coolest feature of this Garmin Instinct Solar watch is its solar charging abilities. No need to pack a power bank or rely on battery when you have solar charging at your disposal.
The Garmin Instinct Solar is a rugged outdoor smartwatch that is built to withstand even the toughest outdoor activities. It features solar charging capabilities, built-in sports apps, and health monitoring, making it the perfect companion for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes alike.
The watch’s solar charging capabilities are a standout feature, as it can last up to 54 days in smartwatch mode with solar charging enabled. This means that users can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors without worrying about running out of battery life. Additionally, the watch is built to military-grade standards for thermal, shock, and water resistance, ensuring it can withstand even the harshest outdoor conditions.
The watch also includes built-in sports apps for activities like running, swimming, and biking, making it a great choice for athletes. The watch can track distance, pace, and heart rate during workouts, and the Garmin Connect app can provide users with in-depth analysis of their performance.
Health monitoring is another key feature of the Instinct Solar, as it can track steps, calories burned, and sleep quality. Additionally, the watch includes a Pulse Ox sensor that can monitor blood oxygen levels, which is particularly useful for high-altitude activities like hiking and mountaineering.
The watch has a sleek and lightweight design, with a fiber-reinforced polymer case and a silicone band that is comfortable to wear for extended periods. The watch face is scratch-resistant and easy to read, even in bright sunlight.
There are many great hiking watches under $200 that offer a wide range of features to help you navigate the great outdoors. From GPS and heart rate monitoring to altimeters, barometers, and compasses, these watches provide a wealth of information to help you stay safe and explore with confidence.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, investing in a great hiking watch can help you make the most of your outdoor adventures. With so many hiking watches available, it’s important to consider your specific needs and priorities when choosing a watch. Some watches may be better suited for runners, while others may offer more advanced features for mountaineers and climbers.
Ultimately, the best hiking watch for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. However, the Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, the Garmin Instinct Esports Edition, the AVTREK Mens Outdoor Sport Tactical Survival Watches, and the SUUNTO Core are all excellent options to consider. With their durable construction, advanced features, and reliable performance, these watches offer a great value for their price and can help you stay safe and informed on your next outdoor adventure.
When it comes to choosing a hiking watch, there are a lot of options available on the market. From basic models that offer little more than time and date to high-tech watches that offer a range of features like GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, and weather forecasting, the choices can be overwhelming.
However, for those who are on a budget and looking for a great hiking watch under $200, there are still many excellent options available. The watches that we have reviewed in this blog post are all great choices, offering a range of features to help you stay safe and informed during your outdoor adventures.
One of the key features that you should look for in a hiking watch is GPS tracking. This is especially important if you’re hiking in unfamiliar territory or planning to explore off-trail. GPS tracking can help you stay on course and ensure that you don’t get lost.
Another important feature to consider is heart rate monitoring. This can help you track your fitness levels and ensure that you’re getting a good workout during your hike. It can also be useful for pacing yourself during long hikes or ensuring that you’re not overexerting yourself.
Other features that are worth considering include altimeters, barometers, and compasses. These can help you track changes in elevation and weather conditions, as well as navigate through tricky terrain.
Of course, when choosing a hiking watch, it’s also important to consider factors like durability and comfort. An excellent hiking watch should be able to withstand the rigors of outdoor activities and offer a comfortable fit that won’t interfere with your movements.
Overall, investing in a good hiking watch can be an excellent way to enhance your outdoor experiences and ensure that you stay safe and informed on your adventures. With so many great options available at an affordable price point, there’s no reason not to add a hiking watch to your gear collection. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, a good hiking watch can be a valuable tool to have on your wrist.