Hiking is not easy. You need to have the right gear with you for you to be able to hike successfully. And aside from your gear, you need a company that will help you tell the time, what time the sun sets and rises, which part of the terrain you currently are and more.

What you need is a hiking watch.

A hiking watch is great for outdoor activities and sports because it’s engineered to be able to withstand extreme or changing outdoor conditions.

A good hiking watch can provide your current location, altitude, air pressure, sunset time, sunset time, and more.

These features help you assess the current and coming situation so you can plan accordingly, to move when you have to and to stop when you need to.

Some hikers though prefer their watches free of some of these features like GPS which can account for the watch’s weight and bulkiness.

So, we made this list to round up some of the best hiking watches for men out there. Read on to know more!

Garmin fēnix 5 Premium Multisport GPS Smartwatch

Okay so let’s start with something grand, shall we?

This watch has it all and more!

It helps you focused and on-course safely. Its altimeter, barometer, and compass will notify you of your altitude, weather conditions, and basic directions. To amp it up, it included GPS, GLONASS and Galileo connections to make tracking as accurate as it can be.

These three can also track new courses and the most appropriate trails according to your current position, including challenging ones.

Fitness-wise, it tracks, monitors, and records your current fitness status and the activities you do and evaluate them so you know if you’re overtraining, maintaining or peaking.

It also monitors your heart rate, gives notifications for calls, texts, emails, and social media alerts, and lets you listen to 500 songs through Bluetooth.

Its battery performance is also impressive at up to: 42 hours in UltraTrac mode, 12 days in smartwatch mode, 18 hours in GPS, and 8 hours in GPS with Music.

Pros
  • Built-in full-color TOPO mapping and navigation
  • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo navigation
  • Special preloaded activity profiles
  • Top-of-the-line materials
  • Listen to music through Bluetooth
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • Not the cheapest

Garmin Instinct Watch

This is pretty much the same as the fēnix, just without the built-in full-color TOPO mapping and navigation, advanced fitness performance metrics, Garmin Pay, and listening to music feature.

This is a military-standard hiking watch made to resist extreme heat and water pressure (up to 100 m).

It’s the same over-achieving watch when it comes to location and distance tracking and also impressive in fitness tracking and smart notification.

GPS, Glonass and Galileo satellite connection guarantee your precise location, new routes to take, exact distance covered, and more. If you’re in a secluded place, it can still track your location.

It also monitors your heart rate, stress, and activity for the entire day. And if you don’t know what sport or exercise to take on for the day, it has preloaded activities for you.

It doesn’t let you lose contact with the world too. It sends you notifications when you have messages, calls, and social alerts.

Pros:

  • Tracback feature
  • Advance trip planning
  • Automatic data upload
  • Fitness monitoring
  • Smart notifications
  • Great battery life
  • Superior-quality materials

Cons:

  • I didn’t find any

Timex Expedition Shock XL Watch

For hikers who don’t mind having trackers (both location and fitness) and notifications and just want a simple but reliable outdoor watch, this is a great option.

There are people who don’t really mind having an outdoor watch without all the GPS/fitness trackers or notification alerts. Although this isn’t exactly a “hiking” watch, it can definitely be used for hiking.

This is a 100-hour chronograph watch with a 50 mm resin case and a 22 mm band. It has a 24-hr countdown timer, hydration timer, month, day and date calendar, sound and vibrate daily/weekly/monthly alarms, and acrylic lens.

This resin construction makes the watch shock-proof. It’s also water-resistant at up to depths of 200 m (660 ft) which is great.

The Expedition line by Timex is designed for outdoor use. It’s a chronograph watch so it can still tell you if you out-bested your best. The Indiglo backlight makes night time use easier.

Pros
  • Negative digital display
  • Indiglo light-up watch dial
  • Water-resistant up to 200m or 660 ft
  • Vibrating alarms
  • Day-Date-Month calendar
  • Fits wrist size up to 8 inches in circumference
Cons
  • I don’t think it’s water-resistant up to 200 m

What You Want to Look For in a Hiking Watch

These aren’t ordinary watches. They should have features which will help you in hiking.

1. Barometer

Some hiking watches have a storm alarm. But for those without, you will want to have a barometer in your watch.

The barometer tells if the atmospheric pressure will change. This is what is used to predict the weather.

A falling atmospheric pressure means bad weather, e.g. rain or fog. Increasing atmospheric pressure means good weather, e.g. sunny or clear skies. A continuous drop means there will be a storm.

2. Altimeter

The altimeter tells you how far up you are from sea level. It depends on GPS data or atmospheric pressure. The former is more accurate.

An altimeter is helpful because it allows for easy location on the map if your altitude is determined.

3. Compass

It can be hard to tell where the sun rises and sets when you’re out in the jungle or mountain. But with a compass, you can easily find your way around.

Parting Words

Hiking watches are a must for hiking. You never know you need one or more features from a hiking watch until you’re already there. But if you are going outdoors to do some sports, camp in your car, or have a quick run, you won’t really need a hiking watch.

Other features of a hiking watch you might want to check are its weight, durability, depth of and water-resistance.