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Hiking is an activity that is about appreciating the outdoors and getting back to nature. For many people, it is also about getting back to basics and simplicity. However, you can also enhance the hiking experience by using gadgets. Many modern hikers now see a decent hiking watch as an essential piece of hiking equipment.The functions on these watches give them useful information that improves hiking. There are plenty of options available on the market to suit different budgets, including lots of cheap hiking watches to choose between with many hiking watches under $100.
Quick Overview of The Best Budget Hiking Watches
Best Hiking Watches Under $100
|Timex Men's Expedition Shock Digital Compass||6.08 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|LAD WEATHER German Sensor Digital Compass||2.08 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|Casio Men's Sport Multi-Function Watch||1.60 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|Timex Expedition Grid Shock Watch||4.8 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|SUNROAD Men's Smart Digital Sports Watch||4.8 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
Best Hiking Watches Under $200
|Casio Men's Pathfinder Triple Sensor Sport Watch||3.2 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch||2.26 Oz.||Yes||
|Casio Men's Pro Trek Solar Powered Sport Watch||1.60 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|Suunto Regular Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch||2.88 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
|Casio Pro Trek Men's PAG240T-7||4 Oz.||Yes||Check Price|
Review of The Best Hiking Watches Under $100
For everyday hiking when you just need the basic features, this watch is simple but practical. It also has a modern design targeted at men and looks smart even when not enjoying outdoor activities.
This model meets the hiking watch criteria for durability. It has a strong resin 48 mm watch case and a resin strap.
This watch has water resistance up to 200 meters. This means it is suitable for outdoor use but and surface water sports but not scuba diving.
The large digital compass is the main feature of this hiking watch. It is accurate and clear to read.
- Great compass feature
- Durable materials
- Light-up watch dial
- Shock resistant
- Small display
- Not many functions
If you just want a basic watch for everyday hiking, then this is possibly the best hiking watch under $100. Although it doesn’t have many functions, it has a great digital compass that is clear to read and the dial lights up for easy reading in the dark. The fact that it is durable, shock resistant, and waterproof makes it ideal for hiking and other outdoor pursuits.
For anyone who loves a gadget with lots of features but doesn’t have a big budget, this is a fantastic multi-functional option.
Multiple Useful Features:
The major selling point of this watch is the multiple features. Some of these include a digital compass, an altimeter, track mode, barometer, thermometer, chronograph, alarm, timer, calendar, dual time mode.
This is a waterproof watch that is water-resistant to a depth of 30 meters. Therefore, it is good for outdoor activities that involve wet conditions.
- Seven color options
- Lots of features
- Easy to read
- Cheap materials
- Inconsistent temperature readings
A smart-looking and multi-functional budget hiking watch that won’t break the bank but includes some handy features that are good for outdoor activities.
This watch is made from durable materials, such as a mineral dial window and a resin case, making it a durable option.
Suitable for a range of outdoor and water-based activities as it is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters. It is not suitable for scuba diving.
It has a Japanese quartz movement with both analog and digital displays.
Just some of the functions on this watch include a barometer, an altimeter, a thermometer, and a stopwatch.
- Luminous Hands
- 31 time zones
- Plenty of features
- No compass
- Small display characters
This budget hiking watch has plenty of features that will appeal to outdoors enthusiasts. It is also water-resistant and made from durable materials, making it a good choice for outdoor pursuits. The main negative to not with this watch is that the list of features does not include a compass, which is a feature most hikers want. If you are happy to take a separate compass with you, then this is a decent watch to buy.
The Grid Shock is designed specifically with people who have a passion for the outdoors in mind. The basic yet modern design means that it is also ideal for regular wear.
This watch boasts multiple useful features, such as a stopwatch, hydration alerts, a vibration alarm, and a countdown timer.
It is a decent choice for outdoor activities, even in wet conditions, as it is water-resistant to 100 meters. You can use it for snorkeling and swimming but not for scuba diving.
This is easy to reads the display is clear. For reading the dial in the dark, there is a light-up feature.
- Shock resistant
- Water resistant
- Stainless steel top plate
- Multiple features
- Easy to read
- Plastic face
- No compass feature
This is another budget hiking watch that does not have a compass feature, and this means that this is better suited to people who enjoy occasional hiking rather than serious hikers who enjoy long-treks over varied terrain. However, it has many other features that will appeal to everyday hikers. The only other negative of this watch is the plastic watch face which can scratch easily.
This cool multi-functional watch is ideal for a wide range of sports and outdoor activities, from swimming to cycling and from hiking to mountain climbing.
This watch boasts a long list of interesting features that are useful for a variety of activities. Some of the features include a compass, a barometer, an altimeter, a pedometer, a clock, a stopwatch, a log record, a thermometer, a calendar, and world time.
Good Water Resistance:
It is water-resistant to 100 meters, so it is good for swimming, snorkeling, and outdoor activities in wet conditions.
Despite the low price, this watch is manufactured using quality materials. It has an ABS+ stainless steel case, a high anti-friction mineral glass watch face, a strong nylon watch strap, and stainless steel clasps. These materials mean the watch is durable.
- Water resistant
- Wide range of features
- EL backlight
- Difficult to read
It is the wide range of features that appeal to people who buy this watch as the information it provides is versatile and is useful for many types of activity. The quality of the materials used makes it difficult to believe that this watch is so cheap. The one downside is that people have found the display difficult to read as the contrast of the backlight is not strong enough. Despite this one negative, this is probably the best hiking watch under $100 in terms of its functions and quality.
Review of The Best Hiking Watches Under $200
Serious hikers looking for a cheaper option will love the useful features on this watch and the modern design will also appeal to most men.
There is a vast array of useful functions. These include a digital compass, a barometer, an altimeter, a thermometer, a stopwatch, daily alarms, a calendar, world time for 31 zones, and a power saving function.
Although you cannot use it for scuba diving, you can swim, snorkel or enjoy outdoor activities in wet conditions wearing this watch. It is water-resistant to 100 meters.
This watch has a clear display that is easy to read and boasts an EL backlight for reading in the dark.
The durable materials mean this is a long-lasting watch that can withstand different conditions. It has a stainless-steel case, a mineral watch face, a resin bezel, and a resin strap.
- Easy to read
- Useful functions
- Difficult to calibrate
- Quiet alarms
Considering the array of features, this is probably the best hiking watch available under $200. It has everything that a serious hiker needs on a hiking trip despite its reasonable price. Mostly, people think this watch is amazing. However, there are just two negatives that buyers have noted. The first is that it is tricky to calibrate. The second is the alarms are rather quiet. These are two very minor criticisms in comparison to what this watch offers.
The design of this watch is aimed at people who enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits. It helps you to plan your trip, keep things running smoothly, and stay safe in all conditions.
Selection of Functions:
There is a decent range of functions. Just some of these includes digital compass, an altimeter, a barometer, and sunrise/sunset times.
This water-resistant watch is durable as it has a silicone strap and a 49-millimeter stainless-steel watch case.
- Use for various activities
- Lots of functions
- Easy to read
- Weak backlight
- Tricky buttons
The reason this watch appeals to outdoors enthusiasts is the great selection of functions. It means that this watch is a good choice not just for hiking, but for many other activities. The durable materials mean that this is a long-lasting watch and buyers say the display is easy to read. The buttons have received some criticism as people say they are a bit tricky to use. Another negative is the backlight. While the display is easy to read in the day, it is harder at night because the backlight is weak. Overall, this is a decent model and many consider it the best watch in its price range.
Casio is a trustworthy watch brand that has not disappointed with this model. The design and functions mean that this is a strong choice for people who enjoy sports and outdoor activities.
Useful Functions for Hiking:
Amongst the many functions of this watch are a digital compass, a barometer, an altimeter, automatic timekeeping, a thermometer, an LED backlight, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, sunrise/ sunset data, daily alarms, and world time.
Long Battery Life:
This solar-powered watch has a long battery life of seven months without the need for further exposure to light other than general wear. It also has a power-saving function.
The Casio Men’s Pro Trek is water-resistant to 100 meters. Although you cannot go scuba diving in this watch, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and outdoor activities in wet conditions.
It is made from good quality materials that mean it is durable. It has a stainless-steel watch case, a mineral dial face, and a resin band with a buckle fastening.
- Solar powered
- Range of functions
- Easy to read at night
- Needs regular resetting
- Hard to read in daylight
This solar-powered hiking watch is all-around watch for active people. The functions are useful for various activities and gives accurate information. Although this is a reasonably priced watch, the quality exceeds expectations. Buyers seem to have the reverse problem with reading this watch to other watches; it is easy to read at night but not in the daylight. Another criticism is that the watch needs resetting regularly, but this is more of an inconvenience than a problem.
Intended for both water sports and outdoor activities, this watch provides relevant informationthat gives traditional outdoor activities a modern edge.
While many of the best hiking watches stick to giving numerical data, this watch gives graph displays, including a weather trend graph. These are easy to read and show progress, improvements, and changes to conditions.
This watch has lots of useful features. Some of these include a digital compass, a barometer, an altimeter, sunrise/sunset times for 400 locations, and depth meter.
Quality materials are used, including a mineral dial window, a stainless-steel case, and an elastomer strap.
- Good features
- Water-resistant to 30 meters
- Great displays
- Good quality
- Easy to read
- Sticky buttons
Starting with the negative aspect of this watch, it has sticky buttons. It would seem that this is a common problem across the Suunto range. However, this is the only criticism that buyers have about this watch as the rest of the feedback is positive. They like the useful range of features and its versatility as you can use it for many activities. It is also a good quality and durable watch that looks good and is easy to read.
The functions are good for people enjoying various activities. It has an altimeter, a digital compass, a barometer, a thermometer, a stopwatch, power-saving, and a backlight.
Good for Travel:
If you hike in locations across the globe, this is a good choice. It has world time for 31 zones and 48 cities. There is also a city code display.
It is made from good quality materials. The dial window is mineral and the 51-millmeter case is stainless-steel. It has a titanium bracelet with a double-locking fold-over clasp.
- Solar powered
- Plenty of functions
- Ideal for traveling
- Quality materials
- Classic style
- Weak clasp on the bracelet
- Poor contrast
There are two main downsides to this watch. The first is the clasp, which people say comes undone easily as it is weak. The second is the poor contrast of the backlight which makes it tricky to read the display at times. Other than these two issues, this watch has plenty of features that will appeal to hikers. Another reason to choose this watch is its design. While many hiking watches have a sports watch design, this has a more classic look which some people will prefer.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Hiking Watch
Hiking watches vary greatly, both in their appearance and the functions they offer. If you are buying a hiking watch for the first time, it may seem like a minefield trying to work is the best hiking watch for you. However, there are some key points that you should consider when buying your new watch.
Hiking watches come with a range of features that should enhance your hiking experience and keep you safe. Some hiking watches have more features than others. Depending on when and where you hike, you might not need all the features and could pay more for features you will not use. For everyday hiking, you only need the basic features. However, if you hike in extreme conditions or go mountaineering, you should opt for watches with more features. The most common basic features of a hiking watch in addition to the time, include:
- A barometer for predicting the weather
- An altimeter to tell you the altitude
- A thermometer that displays the temperature
- A compass to guide you
Some hiking watches also come with a GPS function. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. This uses satellite to guide you while hiking or enjoying other outdoor pursuits. Some important points to note are:
- Hiking watches with GPS can cost more than those without, so some budget hiking watches do not have GPS.
- GPS is sometimes unreliable. If there is an obstruction in the way, you may not always have GPS connection. This means you will potentially get inaccurate information.
- Prices of hiking watches vary greatly. You can get some of the best hiking watches under $100 while others can cost thousands.
- You might pay more for a brand name, but a cheaper option can offer the same quality and features.
- Compare the prices available and see if there are any deals and discounts. You could get a cheap hiking watch that usually costs a lot more.
- Hiking is an activity that involves spending time outside in various conditions. Therefore, it is important that you buy a watch that is durable and water-resistant.
Reading the Functions
- There is little point in buying a hiking watch with lots of features if you do not need the functions or you don’t understand them.
- If buying a watch from a bricks-and-mortar store, ask for advice from the sales assistant.
- When buying online, read any information given thoroughly.
- Take time getting to know the functions of a watch before setting off on a hiking trip. It is important to understand the features before going on a hike.
Not all watches have the same purpose and it makes sense to get a watch that best fits its purpose. Just some of the purposes of different hiking watches include:
- Everyday hiking
- Long-term treks
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do You Need a Hiking Watch?
Many hiking novices may wonder why they need a hiking watch instead of buying a standard watch. Any experienced hiker would tell them that there is a world of difference between the two. A hiking watch includes a range of features that are specifically targeted at the needs of a hiker based on the type of environments in which they hike. The useful features aim to help hikers over various terrains and give them extra information they can use about their surroundings. One benefit of these features for hikers is that the watch can help them to hike safely.
Is it a Good Idea to Buy a Cheap Hiking Watch?
Hikers are often worried that if they opt for a budget hiking watch, it will not meet their needs or that it will not last. However, cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean of lower quality. It is possible to buy a cheap watch that is decent quality and still has the features expected on a hiking watch. Before buying a cheap watch, compare it to other watches online and find out what people say about the watch. If it compares favorably against its more expensive competitors, then it makes sense to save money and choose the cheaper option.
How Is a Budget Hiking Watch Different from an Expensive Hiking Watch?
There are three main factors that affect the price of a watch; the brand, the features, and the materials used. Often, a cheap hiking watch is from a lesser-known brand. Other hiking watches are cheap because they only have basic features or because they are made from cheaper materials. Usually, expensive hiking watches are manufactured by well-established brand and have innovative features. Also, the higher price can relate to using expensive materials. In some cases, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the cheap and expensive watches if you are not an expert.
Wrapping it Up
What one person considers the best hiking watch can differ greatly from the opinion of someone else. However, it is good to know that you can buy a cheap hiking watch that does the job just as good as an expensive hiking watch.
Our recommended hiking watch under $100 is the Timex Men’s T49612 Expedition Shock Digital Compass. It has a nice look, it is durable, and it has all the features you would expect from a hiking watch.
The best hiking watch under $200 is the Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Sport Watch. Once you get over the tricky calibration process, this is a long-lasting watch that has far better function than you would expect for its price.