If you ask anyone who loves hiking, what the top essentials one should have are, a hiking watch will be at the top of their list. Hiking gurus often like to ensure that they have one of the best hiking watches for every hike.
It is not only just any hiking watch but one with the best features which make hiking very convenient and fun.
A good hiking watch provides very crucial information which is very important when navigating the outdoors especially if you are hiking a path or area, you are not familiar with.
In addition, it is a vital device when it comes to weather predictions.
Essential design features you can look for in a hiking watch:
- An altimeter to know your height or elevation
- Barometer, for atmospheric pressure and accurate weather conditions
- A compass to help you stay on the right track
- Thermometer to assist you in knowing your temperature
- Shock absorbing ability and durability
- Water resistance will come in handy in adverse weather conditions
- Heart rate monitor to measure your heartbeat during high and low altitudes.
Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Hiking Watch;
Hiking in itself is a tiring activity and you do not want a watch that is irritating to your skin or a watch that adds significant weight to your arm.
You should therefore look for a comfortable band that fits well on you and does not cause any irritation.
A hiking watch should also be somewhat light with the recommendation of fewer than 60 grams in terms of its weight.
Depending on what type of hiker you are, you will need to look at various features that are offered by the hiking watch brands and select one with the functions that best suit your style and needs.
Hiking varies in many ways. You could decide to take a hike in a very dense forest with thick branches that you’ll need to cut to create a path for yourself; hike a very rocky mountain where you will need to use your hands for more assistance, or pass through very moist areas and deep waters on your way.
All these can easily damage your device which is why you should choose a very durable watch that has features such as water resistance or shock absorbers that will come in handy when trailing such areas.
A hiking watch should not only show you time but also have features such as a compass to assist you in navigating your path, a barometer that detects the change in atmospheric pressure which will assist you in weather prediction, a GPS which will give you the coordinates of your current location and also your destination, Altimeter which indicates the height above sea level which makes it easier for you to find your location on a map.
There are very many high–end hiking watches out there but there are also very many budget-friendly watches too with the same features or even better features compared to expensive watches.
Bearing that in mind, let us now see a list of the best hiking watches under $100 in 2022;
This is the best hiking watch model in regards to its functionality and features that you can buy on budget of under $100. It’s got a stainless steel black and an overall real manly look.
It has a built-in altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass; all of which are the features that a hiking watch, especially one under 100 dollars, could possess. These key features make it more functional than the other watches on this list.
Durability is another key feature that this watch has which is very helpful when it comes to hiking in all weather conditions.
The Triple sensor is very accurate regardless of the weather being experienced. It is also waterproof for up to 330 feet under and does not wear out quickly either.
The easy-to-read screen quality is an incredible feature that you will experience with this watch. Regardless of whether it is raining, snowing, or very dark, you can easily read the digits being displayed on the screen since it has an LED backlight which is a super illuminator.
Lastly, it is equipped with an alarm system that has up to 5 daily alarms and 1 snooze alarm ensuring that you are always alerted of all important activities in your schedule.
It comes in various colors ranging from brown, black, blue, green, and mossy oak with different durable strap options. It is a watch made for exploration, from hiking trails to climbing mountains.
This watch is one of the bestselling Timex watches due to its incredible key features.
It comes with adjustable straps that fit any wrist size up to 8 inches and is water-resistant up to as low as 50 meters underwater, meaning you can wear it when swimming, diving, or snorkeling.
It is very durable as well with very strong construction and its scratch and fall resistance feature.
With its black brass case, it is an eye-catcher that makes you look very classy whether you are wearing it with an office outfit, outdoor outfit or you are wearing it for hiking.
The leather or nylon straps are comfortable on your wrist causing no pain even when worn for a long hiking trip and in addition, being lightweight makes it advantageous when it comes to comfort.
Lastly, the Quartz movement ensures accuracy when you are reading time, and its Arabic numeric numbers, combined with military timing make this a unique feature.
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If you want to explore a path that is less traveled by people or you just get off the grid for a while, this is the watch that will be your companion throughout your exploration.
It is made of hardened steel surrounded by firm rubber making it a shock-resistant device. It also has water resistance up to 100m underwater making it suitable for swimming and snorkeling but not suitable for diving
The numbers on it can be read quite clearly even when the watch isn’t so close to your face.
It is best known for hikers that are at the beginner level since it focuses less on navigation and more on accuracy and other features.
It has a timer, reminder, and vibrating alarm features such as the audible hydration alert, and INDIGLO, a night light that is very helpful for reading figures on the display after dark without blurring it.
It does however have some cons for example the sizing is not suitable for people with small arms, plus it is not attractive to look at.
Casio is a brand known for the accuracy of its watches along with a quartz digital movement. The Casio Men’s GD100 – 1BCR G–Shock comes with all that and more.
It is very durable, with a robust construction making it capable of enduring harsh weather conditions.
The key features include a multi-function alarm, stopwatch, countdown timer, and auto calendar, among others.
The multi-time zone feature makes it convenient to adjust time within four different cities or states.
The downside to it is that it does not come with hiking features such as an altimeter, a barometer, or a compass, meaning it won’t cut it for a hiking guru.
It is best, however, for beginner hikers who are just looking for a durable and affordable watch to help them start their hiking journey.
This watch has a very sophisticated look that is suitable for both male and female hikers. It does not have that rugged, manly, and rough look like all the other watches on this list.
It also has a quartz movement digital display which makes it easier to read the time accurately.
It is made of nylon straps making it very comfortable on the wrist and it does not leave marks or cause irritation to the skin.
The key features of this watch are; Pedometer, altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, stopwatch, world time, calendar, and sunrise and sunset times.
It has all the features that belong to higher–end hiking watches.
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Last on our list is a hiking watch from a brand that is not very popular, but has great features that beat some of the hiking watches from known brands. It is a multifunctional watch that is available in many colors.
Its key features include an alarm, alerts, and tracking features. It also has a very sophisticated long-life battery that will serve you for a long period.
It has a reliable digital compass, a barometer, thermometer, altimeter, and a chronograph, all of which are among the main features that a hiker looks for in a watch for a safe and convenient trip in the jungle.
The only con to this watch is that it is not very durable and is not water resistant as all the other watches on this list.
If you are looking for a more sophisticated watch with the best features then you will have to spend a little more than $100. But, if you are looking to grab yourself a watch with similar features and at a lower price, you can always choose one from the above list depending on the features you want the most.
Some of these hiking watches have more features than others and some lack the main key features required by a hiker but I believe a couple of selections on this list will cut it for you.
Good luck in your watch hunt!