The Best Hiking Smart Watch For 2024

Jonathan Wilson By, Jonathan Wilson
Best Hiking Smart Watch
Best Hiking Smart Watch

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Garmin Instinct Watch

"The Garmin Instinct Watch is a durable and reliable fitness tracker designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Built to U.S. Military standard 810G, this watch is resistant to thermal, shock, and water damage, making it perfect for any adventure." Read Review

2. Best For The Price: Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Watch

"Elevate your lifestyle with the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Watch – a fusion of elegance and functionality. Its blend of advanced features and sleek design is a testament to wearable technology's sophistication." Read Review

3. Best Durable: Apple Watch Ultra 2

"The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the ultimate companion for endurance athletes, outdoor adventurers, and water sport enthusiasts. This rugged and capable smartwatch is built to meet the demands of your active lifestyle, with specialized bands for every activity." Read Review

4. Best Technology: Garmin fenix 7X

"Embark on endurance and exploration with the Garmin Fenix 7X, a solar-powered multisport GPS watch. Crafted for the intrepid adventurer, this timepiece combines cutting-edge technology with robust durability, ensuring seamless performance in any terrain." Read Review

5. Best Battery: COROS PACE 2 Watch

"The PACE 2 is the ideal training buddy, assisting you in planning your workouts, providing fast feedback, and tracking your effort. It also provides a thorough picture of your performance over the previous 42 days, allowing you to track your progress and reach your objectives." Read Review

In the world of outdoor exploration, a reliable friend on your wrist can make all the difference. While traditional timepieces keep you punctual, these innovative gadgets elevate your outdoor experience to new heights. From tracking your steps on rugged trails to monitoring your heart rate as you conquer mountain peaks, the best hiking smartwatches blend form with function seamlessly.

Gone are the days when a watch merely told time; today's hikers demand more. They seek devices that integrate GPS navigation, altimeters, and even weather forecasting into their compact designs. With an array of options flooding the market, from established brands to emerging contenders, finding the perfect hiking smartwatch can be overwhelming.

At Kris Van Assche, we've curated a selection of the finest hiking smartwatches for 2024, each meticulously tested and reviewed to help you make an informed choice. Join us as we delve into outdoor tech, uncovering the top picks to accompany you on your next adventure.

We think the best hiking smart watch of 2024 is Garmin Instinct Watch. With its robust construction meeting the U.S. Military 810G standard, it's impervious to thermal, shock, and water challenges, diving into depths of 100 meters. However, to provide the reader with a wider variety of alternatives, we recommend adding Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Watch if you are interested in purchasing another appealing one.


TOP Choice #1 Garmin Instinct Watch
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The Garmin Instinct Watch, built to military specifications and equipped with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite technology, is a durable marvel designed to live in the harshest environments. With its robust construction meeting the U.S. Military 810G standard, it's impervious to thermal, shock, and water challenges, diving into depths of 100 meters. Its 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter ensure precise navigation, augmented by preloaded activity profiles for various endeavors like running, biking, and swimming.

This watch has a continuous monitoring of heart rate, activity levels, and stress and provides insightful feedback on your exertions, enhancing your training regimen. Seamlessly integrated with smart notifications, it connects to your smartphone for real-time updates without requiring you to halt your activities. Nevertheless, it doesn't have a touchscreen, but it is not a big deal.

For intrepid explorers and outdoor enthusiasts who demand reliability and performance, the Garmin Instinct Watch stands tall. If you're venturing into the wild or embarking on adrenaline-pumping escapades, this rugged GPS timepiece is tailored for you.

TOP Choice #2 Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Watch
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Embrace the future with the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Watch, featuring built-in Alexa for hands-free convenience and an offline voice assistant for uninterrupted functionality. Its ultra HD AMOLED display delivers stunning visuals even under bright sunlight, setting new standards for clarity and readability. Equipped with high-precision GPS and a 5 ATM water resistance rating, it's ready for your most demanding outdoor adventures, accurately tracking your routes and monitoring altitude changes.

Boasting over 150 sports modes, it caters to every fitness enthusiast's needs, tracking essential metrics like heart rate and calories burned. Despite its powerful features, its battery life remains impressive, lasting up to 12 days on a single charge with typical usage. Additionally, its ability to test four health metrics in one tap offers unparalleled convenience, empowering you to monitor your well-being effortlessly. 

For individuals who seek a harmonious blend of style and functionality, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Watch is a beacon of sophistication. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or a tech-savvy professional, this watch complements your lifestyle with its versatility and elegance. While the app can be a little hard to use the first time, its myriad features and elegant design make it a standout choice in the smartwatch market.

TOP Choice #3 Apple Watch Ultra 2
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The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is tailored for endurance athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and water sports lovers alike. With a carbon-neutral footprint, it is consistent with Apple's commitment to environmental responsibility. The S9 SiP facilitates seamless interaction via a super bright display, introducing a touchless interface for effortless navigation. Furthermore, its 100m water resistance ensures reliability amidst aquatic escapades.

Its expansive, sunlight-readable Always-On Retina display provides ample space for customizations and comprehensive data visualization. Cellular connectivity liberates users from the tether of their iPhones, enabling calls, texts, and music streaming on the go, a boon for globetrotters. It also has advanced health monitoring capabilities, including heart health notifications and fall detection, prioritizing your safety and well-being, underscoring Apple's commitment to holistic care. Unfortunately, it doesn't have offline maps without the phone. However, preloading maps before venturing into remote areas can circumvent this constraint, ensuring uninterrupted navigation.

You should consider purchasing the Apple Watch Ultra 2 if you are an individual who is interested in experiencing a combination of ruggedness and sophistication. Endurance athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and water sports fans will find a steadfast companion in this timepiece. Though priced slightly above mid-range, its features justify the investment for those prioritizing performance and durability over budget constraints.

4 Garmin fenix 7X
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The Garmin Fenix 7X redefines endurance with its solar-powered design, offering unparalleled battery life for extended expeditions. Its scratch-resistant Power Sapphire lens and always-on display withstand the rigors of outdoor exploration, while the built-in LED flashlight provides illumination during nocturnal escapades. With up to 30-plus built-in sports apps and advanced performance metrics, this watch caters to the needs of athletes seeking to elevate their training regimen.

Moreover, health and wellness monitoring, including wrist-based heart rate and enhanced sleep tracking, empowers users to optimize their fitness journey. It also has preloaded TopoActive maps and multi-band frequency support, enhancing outdoor navigation accuracy and making it an indispensable tool for adventurers. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity facilitates seamless map downloads and smart notifications, further enriching the user experience. 

The Garmin Fenix 7X appeals to the modern-day explorer seeking a companion for their outdoor pursuits. Nevertheless, it would be best if the screen could be a little more vivid. Despite this, this watch is a worthy investment, ensuring seamless performance in the most demanding environments.

5 COROS PACE 2 Watch
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Weighing just 29g, it's the lightest on the market, ensuring you're not bogged down during workouts. It boasts an impressive battery life of up to 20 days with regular use and 30 hours in full GPS mode. The customizable training modes cater to various workout styles, from interval training to triathlons, ensuring versatility in your fitness regimen. Its advanced training features also offer real-time feedback and comprehensive performance tracking, empowering you to meet your fitness goals effectively.

Multi-sport support means it's suitable for any activity, whether running, cycling, swimming, or strength training. Additionally, its daily tracking capabilities, including heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking, help you maintain overall health and wellness. One minor drawback is that the clips on the watch are quite thin, so you need to use them carefully.

If you're a fitness enthusiast seeking a lightweight GPS watch packed with advanced training features, the COROS PACE 2 is your ideal companion. With its affordable price compared to other high-end GPS watches, it's a smart investment for anyone committed to achieving their fitness goals.

6 SUUNTO 9 Peak Watch
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The SUUNTO 9 Peak Watch is a multisport GPS timepiece that marries durability with sophistication. Its titanium bezel and sapphire glass ensure both style and resilience, making it the thinnest, smallest, and toughest watch in Suunto's lineup. With a rapid one-hour charge time, it's always ready for action, offering up to 25 hours of battery life in GPS mode. Waterproof up to 100m, it's suitable for even the most extreme conditions, while its 80 sports modes cater to a wide range of activities. Stay connected with your favorite sports apps and services, sharing your achievements and accessing valuable training analysis. 

For adventurers and athletes seeking a reliable GPS watch that can withstand the rigors of extreme sports and training sessions, the SUUNTO 9 Peak is the ultimate choice. The only issue is that the font is a little small to read. But this minor inconvenience doesn't overshadow the overall functionality and durability of the watch.

7 AVTREK Watch
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The AVTREK Watch is a reliable companion for the intrepid explorer. This watch not only tells the time but also improves your outdoor experience, thanks to its extensive feature set. The digital compass, calibrated for accuracy, ensures you stay on course during hikes or wilderness expeditions, while the barometer and altimeter keep you informed about changing atmospheric conditions and altitude, which is crucial for safety and planning.

The watch's military-tactical design not only adds a rugged charm but also speaks to its durability. It's a watch that can endure the rigors of tactical training, hiking, swimming, or any outdoor pursuit you undertake. The sizable watch face with prominent numbers ensures easy readability even in challenging conditions, complemented by a durable nylon band designed for comfort during extended wear. The only downside is that the instructions are not very easy to follow. However, it is easily overcome with a bit of patience, and once familiarized, the watch's myriad features become readily accessible.

For the avid adventurer or outdoor enthusiast seeking a reliable timepiece that seamlessly integrates vital outdoor functionalities, the AVTREK Watch is an ideal choice. At a price point that competes favorably with similarly equipped outdoor watches, the AVTREK offers exceptional value for those who demand both performance and durability.

What to Look For in a best hiking smart watch?

Some of you may be reluctant to select one of the best hiking smart watch, to be honest. The main reason is that you didn’t study that before. There are pretty lots of factors that must be considered when investing in best hiking smart watch. You are expected to count on our expertise in best hiking smart watch to make the right choice. 

So now we move on to the significant factors related to best hiking smart watch you must keep in mind:


The main purpose of a barometer on a watch is to track changes in air pressure, which can help determine elevation and predict approaching storms. Simple barometers display atmospheric readings, while more advanced watches show a visual representation of pressure changes. Some watches also have a storm alarm to warn of significant pressure drops. When pressure falls quickly, it's a good idea to seek shelter or prepare for severe weather.


The altimeter in a watch is utilized to track altitude while ascending, aiding in determining one's location on a map. Some watches come equipped with a barometric altimeter that gauges atmospheric pressure, with lower pressure indicating higher elevation. These barometers can measure altitudes ranging from -2,000 to 30,000 feet and are typically accurate within +/- 50 feet.

For watches lacking a barometric altimeter, altitude can be estimated using GPS data. However, the measurements from the altimeter sensor are generally more precise than those derived from GPS coordinates. GPS accuracy is contingent upon signal strength, and any interference with the signal can also impact the barometer's readings.


A GPS-enabled watch contains a receiver that can connect to multiple satellite systems, ensuring a strong signal even in challenging conditions. Accuracy of GPS is within 3 meters when a strong signal is obtained, but obstacles like dense forest cover or deep ravines can hinder connection. It is ideal to have an unobstructed view of the sky for optimal signal strength. A strong GPS signal is crucial for real-time tracking and orienteering while hiking, allowing you to know your location and navigate effectively. GPS can also record position data for the entire hike, including distance, time taken, and elevation change, which can be saved and analyzed later.

Battery Life

Traditional watches are typically powered by a replaceable watch battery, kinetic energy, or solar charging. On the other hand, smartwatches require a significant amount of energy to support various advanced features like GPS tracking, music storage, and fitness tracking, so they are usually equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. If you intend to use a smartwatch for activities like long hikes that require continuous GPS tracking, it is important to choose one with a long battery life and GPS battery life.


Most GPS watches now come equipped with a digital compass that can assist you in determining your general direction. Some have a 2D compass that needs to be held horizontally, while others have a 3D compass that functions in any position. While a watch-based compass can aid in walking in a specific direction, it is not as precise or compatible with maps as a baseplate compass.

Heart Rate Monitor

Nearly every watch includes a heart rate monitor that continuously tracks your heart rate. This information can be utilized to measure how hard you are working. A heightened heart rate indicates increased effort. Certain hikers monitor their heart rate closely in order to maintain a low level of exertion while walking. This heart rate data enables them to walk at a slower pace for a longer period of time, rather than overexerting themselves early on in a hike. Additionally, heart rate is indicative of your general health - a sudden increase could be a signal that you are beginning to feel unwell.


What features should I look for in a hiking smartwatch?

Look for features such as GPS tracking, altimeter, barometer, compass, heart rate monitor, and long battery life. These features will help you track your location, elevation, weather conditions, and physical activity while hiking.

Can I use a hiking smartwatch without a smartphone?

Yes, most hiking smartwatches can be used independently of a smartphone. However, having a smartphone connected can provide additional features and functionality.

Can I track my hiking routes with a hiking smartwatch?

Yes, most hiking smartwatches allow you to track your hiking routes using GPS tracking. This feature can help you navigate and retrace your steps while hiking.

How durable are hiking smartwatches?

Hiking smartwatches are designed to be durable and withstand outdoor conditions such as rain, dust, and extreme temperatures. Look for watches that are water-resistant and built with rugged materials.

Are hiking smartwatches suitable for beginners?

Yes, hiking smartwatches can be suitable for beginners as they provide valuable information and tracking features to enhance the hiking experience. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with the watch's functions before hitting the trails.

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About Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson is a former pro football player and tech reporter who now serves as the editor of Kris Van Assche's website. He is a dedicated fitness enthusiast who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts and running.

Jonathan's athletic career began in college, where he was a star running back. He went on to play professionally for several years before injuries forced him to retire. Afterward, Jonathan transitioned into a career in tech reporting, where he quickly made a name for himself as a knowledgeable and insightful commentator on the industry.

In addition to his work with our website, Jonathan remains active in the world of sports. He regularly competes in martial arts tournaments and running events, and he is always looking for new ways to challenge himself physically. Jonathan is an inspiration to many people, and he is proof that it is never too late to pursue your passions.

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