The best hiking watch is more than just a timepiece for your wrist. It will give you vital, up-to-date information which will help you navigate and plan your next step (literally!). The best hiking watch will inform you about altitude, location, air pressure, sunrise and sunset. Hiking watches are packed with great features, but this doesn’t have to come at a huge cost. As popularity in hiking watches has grown the manufacturers have developed more advanced technology and at a lower cost. This means that you can pick up the best hiking watch under $100.
There are several considerations you should think about before deciding on your perfect hiking watch. To help you decide we have set out some of these considerations and what the pros and cons of each one is. Now, we know that sometimes you want those extras and are willing to pay a little extra so we have not just included the best hiking watch under 100 in this article – we have also found you the best hiking watch at various price points so you can compare different watches at different prices.
So let’s get going!
Best Hiking Watch Under $100 - the Details
Ease of Use
- Features include Altimeter, Barometer, Digital Compass, Thermometer, Low Temperature Resistant (-10C/14F), LED Backlight (Super Illuminator) with Afterglow, World Time 31 time zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time), daylight saving on/off option
- You can set 5 daily alarms and 1 snooze alarm
- Long lasting battery life of 3 years
- Water Resistant To 330 Feet
- The large LCD is divided into three segments for a clear, easy-to-understand presentation of data
- Strong mineral glass is used to protect against scratching making this a durable hiking watch
- Weight: 136 Grams
- World renowned Casio brand
Ease of Use
- LED backlight for the digital display (Full auto LED light, selectable illumination duration, afterglow)
- 5 daily Alarms: sounds each day at the time you set
- A stopwatch that counts backwards: When 0 minutes, 0 seconds is reached, the timer emits a 10-second signal tone
- 10 Bar Water Resistant means that the watch is also suitable for swimming or snorkelling
- No fuss, no fancy, bulletproof option
Ease of Use
- Features include an Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Thermometer, Weather forecast, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, Water resistant
- Glass: Acrylic
- Weight: 57g
- Weather icon gives up to date readings to inform you next step
- Records the altitude history of the last 34 hours so you can reflect on your walk before planning your next adventure
Ease of Use
- Functions include: Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, EL Backlight, Thermometer, Clock, Stopwatch, World time, Countdown timer, Hourly chime and a Calendar
- Waterproof up to 50m which makes this perfect for hiking, camping and swimming
- High quality mineral glass and thin dial offers a simple sports design making It easy to read
- Durable stainless-steel case of back cover and buckle
- A valuable tool for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and wilderness travel
Best Hiking Watch between $100 - $300 - the Details
Ease of Use
- Constructed to U. S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters)
- Built-in navigation sensors including multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) support helps track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
- Built-in heart rate monitor offers real time health data to ensure you stay safe on the trail
- Chemically strengthened, scratch-resistant display is readable in bright sunlight
- Battery life: up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 40 hours in battery saver mode
Ease of Use
- Features include Altimeter, Barometer, Thermometer, Alarm, Stopwatch and Digital Compass Measures
- 100M Water Resistant
- Powered by solar energy
- Full Auto LED (Super Illuminator) Backlight with Afterglow
- Battery Life: 9 months on full charge without further exposure too light
Ease of Use
- Features include a Barometer, Altimeter and a Compass
- Includes a weather trend graph and storm alarm along with preset sunrise/sunset times for over 400 locations
- Weight: 64g
- 2 year warranty gives you peace of mind when purchasing
Best Hiking Watch Over $500
Ease of Use
- Sophisticated design makes this a versatile watch for any circumstances
- Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox to support advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation at high elevations
- Built-in sensors for 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter; supports multiple global navigation satellite system (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
- Battery performance: up to 9 days in smartwatch mode, up to 25 hours in GPS mode, up to 20 days in expedition GPS activity mode, and up to 34 days in battery saver watch mode
- Weight: 54g
Must have features in the best hiking watch under $100
A hiking watch should have features beyond those of an ordinary watch. The most important features that every hiking watch should have are barometer, altimeter and compass.
The best hiking watch under 1oo will comes with a barometer as standard. A barometer is an instrument measuring atmospheric pressure (air pressure). This is a must have on your best budget hiking watch. But why does a hiker need to measure air pressure? Air pressure is used to predict the weather forecast and weather patterns. This is great when you’re planning your route and whether to press on forward or to call it a day and return to base.
The importance of a compass needs no explanation. It is essential to beginners and experts alike. Furthermore, the time to realise you need a compass is before you begin your hike – not when you’re lost out on the train. So, having a compass built into your hiking watch is a must have.
An altimeter is used to determine altitude. It does this by measuring air pressure. It compares the air pressure at sea level to your current air pressure in order to determine your position. This is vital when trying to place yourself on a map or when deciding whether to continue climbing. Furthermore, if you are lost, you can use an altimeter to begin a descent which (hopefully) allows you to re-find a trail closer to sea level.
Optional features and considerations when picking your best hiking watch under 100:
The list we have compiled includes watches which have GPS in-built and some which don’t. GPS is great and undoubtably comes with added benefits such as excellent navigational tools and a modern interface. But it does have a few downsides. GPS lowers battery life increases cost and brings with it added complexity. GPS undoubtably takes your watch to the next level and whilst we would recommend it for its location settings it is ultimately your choice whether this is worth the costs.
A thermometer is great feature on a hiking watch. Not only will it allow you to check the temperature, it will inform you on weather patterns such as higher humidity being a sign of incoming storms. A thermometer compliments the barometer feature giving you a complete picture of the weather.
Heart Rate Monitor
A heart rate monitor is a must have for those with a heart condition. It can inform you if you are doing too much and need to take a break. For those without, it is great for monitoring health and wellbeing including weight-loss. Heart rate also reflects your overall health – an unexpected spike may be a sign that you are starting to get sick
When deciding on your best hiking watch under $100 you should look carefully at the weight of the watch. The more gadgets and features you watch has, the heavier it is likely to be. The sweet spot for a hiking watch is around 50g. Anymore and it will feel like your wrist is being weighed down and restricted. Any less and your watch is likely to be missing key features.
Buying a hiking watch under $100 does not mean that you should compromise on durability. When you are undertaking your next adventure, you will need equipment which can stand up to the toughest conditions. Most expensive hiking watchers have a sapphire glass watch face. This is extremely durable and is far beyond the traditional glass face on your standard watch. However, this is extremely expensive. The next best thing is gorilla glass. This is chemically strengthened glass which should stand up to the rigours of a good hike. Best of all, gorilla glass is a lot cheaper.
Whenever or wherever you hike, moisture is unavoidable. This may be because of rain or sweat. Therefore, it is important to have a watch which is waterproof. This will give you peace of mind as well as a durable watch which will stand up to the conditions. Fortunately, the most basic hiking watches are waterproof. Most are up to 100 meters (330 feet) but some are more. As a result, you can be confident that your best hiking watch under $100 will stand up to rain, sweat and anything else the weather chucks at you.
Ease of use
When you are lost, wet and cold the last thing you need is a hiking watch which you cannot work. This means you need to decide on what type of watch you would prefer. This is completely a personal preference. The main decision is on whether to choose a touch screen watch or one with buttons. The touch screen is a nice feature and is certainly more modern but is this ideal when wet and your fingers are numb from the cold? Probably not. Equally, buttons are vintage and can withstand more but they offer limited functionality and can be a pain when there are loads of settings and options. Ultimately, this choice is yours and your own preferences.
Conclusion: Best Hiking Watch Under $100
We have reviewed some amazing options for the best hiking watch under $100 available. Our favourite is the Casio Men’s SGW-1000. This watch has all of the great features of some of the more expensive watches whilst being manufactured by a world class brand. With an impressive battery life and long lasting durability this hiking watch is a great option at unbelievable value.
If you decide you want even more features the Garmin range is a great option with the enhanced navigation system which would make your watch the ultimate guide book whilst being a sophisticated time piece.
Remember, the best hiking watch under $100 for you will have loads of great features which will make your day out on the trail safer and more enjoyable.