11 Best Mountaineering and Hiking Watches In 2022

This post may include affiliate links, including Amazon Associate links. I may earn money if you click on one at no extra cost to you.

Mountaineering and hiking watches have so many features besides GPS tracking. Many are Bluetooth connected, measure barometric pressure and monitor your health by measuring your vo2 max and heartrate.

But it can be confusing to figure out which is the best one for your adventures. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you choose the best hiking or mountaineering watch for you.

Given all the features, it’s important to choose a mountaineering or hiking watch that does what you need it to do, without paying extra for features that you’ll never use. For example, some outdoor watches don’t even have GPS functionality – which I think is an aboluste must when heading outdoors. Don’t worry, all the ones I’m recommending have a GPS function. 

Check out the video below for further information on what features you should consider in a mountaineering or hiking watch, then see our recommendations below. 

Garmin Watches for Hiking Comparison Chart

Garmin is the global leader for GPS navigation in the outdoors (and other industries). They’re the most well known brand for rugged adventure watches. Check out our comparison chart below for the top Garmin watches.

Garmin fenix 5X Plus, Ultimate Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Features Color Topo Maps and Pulse Ox, Heart Rate Monitoring, Music and Contactless Payment, Black with Black Band
Garmin 010-01769-11 Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch Contactless Payments Built-In Sports Apps, Black/Slate
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
GARMIN WATCH FEATURES
Garmin fenix 5X Plus, Ultimate Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Features Color Topo Maps and Pulse Ox, Heart Rate Monitoring, Music and Contactless Payment, Black with Black Band
Garmin 010-01769-11 Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch Contactless Payments Built-In Sports Apps, Black/Slate
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements?
Pulse Ox Acclimimation, Heart rate
Vo2 max
Heart rate
Battery life
up to 13 hours in GPS mode with music
13 hours in GPS mode
up to 16 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?
Garmin Pay?
Garmin fenix 5X Plus, Ultimate Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Features Color Topo Maps and Pulse Ox, Heart Rate Monitoring, Music and Contactless Payment, Black with Black Band
GARMIN WATCH FEATURES
Garmin fenix 5X Plus, Ultimate Multisport GPS Smartwatch, Features Color Topo Maps and Pulse Ox, Heart Rate Monitoring, Music and Contactless Payment, Black with Black Band
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements?
Pulse Ox Acclimimation, Heart rate
Battery life
up to 13 hours in GPS mode with music
Water resistant?
Garmin Pay?
Garmin 010-01769-11 Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch Contactless Payments Built-In Sports Apps, Black/Slate
GARMIN WATCH FEATURES
Garmin 010-01769-11 Vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch Contactless Payments Built-In Sports Apps, Black/Slate
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements?
Vo2 max
Battery life
13 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?
Garmin Pay?
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
GARMIN WATCH FEATURES
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements?
Heart rate
Battery life
up to 16 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?
Garmin Pay?

Garmin Pay

Garmin Pay Watches is a contactless payment system that lets you make purchases quickly only using your watch. No wallet or phone necessary. When you’re trying to keep your pack weight down, or move quickly you’ll find that it’s a useful feature. 

Of the three Garmin watches our top pick is the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus. In addition to the features listed above, it also features color topographical maps and can store up to 500 songs. Perfect on a long day in the mountains when you need a pick-me-up during a challenging adventure. 

Hiking and Mountaineering Watches Comparison Chart

Suunto, Coros and Polar also make great watches for hikers and mountaineers. Check out our favourites below:

SUUNTO 9 GPS Sports Watch, Non-Baro, Black
COROS VERTIX GPS Adventure Watch (Fire Dragon)
POLAR Grit X - Rugged Multisport GPS Smart Watch - Ultra-Long Battery Life, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Military-Level Durability, Sleep and Recovery, Navigation - Trail Running, Mountain Biking
SUUNTO 9 GPS Sports Watch, Non-Baro, Black
COROS VERTIX GPS Adventure Watch (Fire Dragon)
POLAR Grit X - Rugged Multisport GPS Smart Watch - Ultra-Long Battery Life, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Military-Level Durability, Sleep and Recovery, Navigation - Trail Running, Mountain Biking
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements:
Heart rate
Heart rate
Heart rate
Battery Life:
up to 25 hours in GPS mode
60 hours in GPS mode
up to 40 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?
SUUNTO 9 GPS Sports Watch, Non-Baro, Black
SUUNTO 9 GPS Sports Watch, Non-Baro, Black
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements:
Heart rate
Battery Life:
up to 25 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?
COROS VERTIX GPS Adventure Watch (Fire Dragon)
COROS VERTIX GPS Adventure Watch (Fire Dragon)
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements:
Heart rate
Battery Life:
60 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?
POLAR Grit X - Rugged Multisport GPS Smart Watch - Ultra-Long Battery Life, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Military-Level Durability, Sleep and Recovery, Navigation - Trail Running, Mountain Biking
POLAR Grit X - Rugged Multisport GPS Smart Watch - Ultra-Long Battery Life, Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Military-Level Durability, Sleep and Recovery, Navigation - Trail Running, Mountain Biking
Bluetooth connectivity?
GPS tracking?
Topographic maps?
Measures barometric pressure?
Health measurements:
Heart rate
Battery Life:
up to 40 hours in GPS mode
Water resistant?

Of the above 3 mountaineering and hiking watches the Coros Vertix GPS Adventure Watch is our top recommendation. In addition to the features mentioned above, this titanium watch is a great choice for hikers or mountaineers because it also includes a pulse ox monitor, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and thermometer with 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep, step, and calorie tracking.

In addition, you get training programs created by Coros athletes and coaches, helping you reach your mountain goals even faster.

The Best Solar Powered Watches for Hiking and Mountaineering

Solar-powered watches are a great choice for multi-day adventures like hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc or backpacking. When you’re carrying your own gear, it’s nice to not have to carry a charger.

They can be charged easily under most light sources so you’ll never run out of battery. You also don’t need to worry about fighting a charger for them, which is ideal if you’re going off-grid or on a backpacking trip with no electrical outlets.

They’re also eco-friendly. Another plus is that GPS can drain batteries so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ll never run out of battery. The only downside is that they can be more expensive, but I think that’s a small price to pay for all the benefits that a solar-powered watch offers.

Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar

The Fenix 6X Pro Solar is a great extensive mountaineering watch that includes Garmin Pay. With an improved display that uses solar energy to help preserve battery life, this watch won’t let you down on long multi-day treks. You can preload topo and ski maps from almost anywhere in the world. This watch includes great functions such as an altimeter and accurate GPS tracking.

✅ comes with preloaded TOPO maps

✅ rechargeable lithium battery for 15 hours in GPS mode

✅ rechargeable lithium battery for 15 hours in GPS mode

✅ Advanced training features including PacePro plus environmentally adjusted VO2 max and training status estimates

Garmin Instinct Solar

With a rugged shock-resistant exterior and solar charging, the Garmin Instinct Solar is a great entry-level mountaineering and hiking watch. It includes an altimeter, barometer and GPS tracking, and is water-resistant up to 100 meters. Note: it does not include Garmin Pay.

✅ Affordable

✅ Integrated Wrist-based Heart Beat Tracking

✅ Military toughness level

Related Reading: The Best Hiking Backpacks

Coros APEX Pro Premium

The Coros APEX Pro is an all-around outdoor watch. It’s water-resistant, so you’ll have no problem with water crossings. It also has an accurate GPS, making it perfect for hiking or mountaineering. This outdoor watch includes 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring in altitudes. You can count on good battery life, and the Coros APEX Pro Premium comes with its own power bank.

✅ made of titanium

✅ 40-hour battery life in GPS mode

✅ includes a barometer

✅ includes training plans created by Coros athletes and coaches

Related Reading: The Best Lightweight Sleeping Bags, Pads and Liners for every Hiker

Suunto 9 Non Baro, GPS Sports Watch

The Suunto 9 has an incredible 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking and is water resistant to 100 m.

✅ Has multisport capabilities

✅ Intelligent Power Management

✅ Integrated Wrist-based Heart Rate Monitor

✅ Accurate GPS Tracking

Related Reading: The Best Hiking Footwear for Every Hiker

POLAR Grit X

This watch is military-grade durability, so you’ll be free to use this mountaineering watch for tough adventures. The Polar Grit X offers real-time turn-by-turn navigation and integrates with Komoot to import your hiking route.

✅ Provides In-depth training data

✅ 40-hour battery life in GPS mode

✅ Water resistant to 100 m

✅ Extremely responsive buttons

Recommended Reading: Day Hiking Packing List: The Essentials to Bring on Every Hike

Coros Vertix

The Coros Vertix offers unparalleled battery life that will last you up to 60 hours in GPS mode. With its tough exterior, it is the perfect mountaineering watch. This watch also offers you 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring, perfect to help you with altitude acclimatization.

✅ Accurate GPS Tracking

✅ Tough Exterior

✅ 24/7 Blood Oxygen Monitoring

✅ Great Battery Life

Related Reading: The Best Hiking Poles

7 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Hiking/Mountaineering Watch

  1. Look for a watch with a long battery life

  2. Ensure that it has a GPS and an accurate one (by looking at reviews)

  3. Choose a watch with a barometer to warn you of storms

  4. Consider if you want your hiking watch to also track your vitals (blood oxygen, heart rate, etc)

  5. Look for a watch that’s waterproof or at least water-resistant

  6. Select a watch that’s easy to use and set up (so that you’ll actually use it

  7. Choose a multi-sport watch so that you can use it for other activities besides hiking or mountaineering

Related Reading: The Best Snowshoes: How to Find the Right Ones for You

A good hiking or mountaineering watch is a critical part of your hiking gear so choose the features that are important to you (like GPS functionality, Bluetooth connection, etc) and decide if you’ll use other features like heart rate monitoring. That way, you’ll have the right watch for your outdoor adventure.

Leave a comment