Gaia Outdoors is moving all of our article to our new site, OutdoorNomads.com. This site will no longer be updated, but we will continue to publish weekly article on OutdoorNomads. Here is our updated list of the best hiking watches under $100.
Watches aren’t just for corporate executives and businessmen…
In reality, watches provide tons of uses for people in all walks of life. Whether you are a camper, angler, backpacker, or hiker, a watch is a must-have tool and accessory.
In this guide, we will review five of the best hiking watches under $100 for hikers on a budget. In addition, we will go over a few of the key features and elements to look for when buying a new hiking watch.
Best Hiking Watch Under $100 – The List
Here are our votes for the best hiking watch under $100:
The Casio Triple Sensor digital display hiking watch is truly the jack of all trades. Of the five watches on out list, it is the only one the include ALL of the features listed above. If you are looking for one accessory to do it all, this is your winner.
One unique feature of this watch that we didn’t mention above is the daily alarm settings. You can program 5 daily alarms, a countdown feature, and even a calendar. When out in the wilderness for days at a time, this can be very useful.
In addition to all its great features, the watch is extremely durable. Being made specifically for the outdoors, this watch can stand up to anything you put it through.
For easy reading, here is a list of a few of its features:
- Water resistant up to 330 feet (not that you should ever be that deep!)
- Digital Compass
- 3 year battery life
As its name suggests, the Timex Expedition is made for those who really like to go off the beaten path.
Specifically designed to survive any outdoor torture test, this watch can withstand any sort of beating you throw at it. When climbing, hiking, or backpacking, durability is a must. This watch accomplishes that very well.
The Expedition Shock is completely waterproof up to 660 feet, so you will never have to worry about this watch in the rain. As someone who has been stuck in quite a few storms out on the trails (whoops), I know exactly how much peace of mind a waterproof watch provides.
In addition, the Expedition Shock features a digital compass. For those looking to go deep into the wilderness, this is a vital feature.
Finally, this watch features a luminous watch dial. After testing a few other watches, I noticed one common back draw…they were nearly impossible to read in the dark. The luminous watch dial on the Timex Expedition allows you to read it even in the darkest depths of the woods.
I am not going to lie; the G-Shock doesn’t have all the features of the previous watches.
That being said, not everyone needs a altimeter, barometer, and compass built into their watch. If you are just the casual hiker or already have these tools, this G-Shock could be the perfect choice for you.
The 100MB G-Shock undoubtedly tops every other watch on this list in one category; durability. It can endure pretty much anything you throw at it. You simply CAN NOT break this thing.
This watch is large and rugged, but not in a bad way. Despite its large size, the G-Shock is pretty lightweight. In addition, it features a multi-function alarm and a backlight, for easy reading in the dark.
Right off the bat, you probably noticed that the Expedition Grid Shock is unlike any other on out list. It is high-tech and caters more towards those who are technologically friendly.
To start off, lets cover some of the more basic features.
The Expedition Grid Shock is completely water resistant up to 330 feet. As with the other watches on our list, this is a necessity. The Grid Shock is also shock resistant. It may seem like the large screen would be a vulnerable point, but it is actually extremely tough. If you are worried about scratches, many users recommend buying a simple screen protector and cutting it to shape/size.
One of the more unique features of the Grid Shock is the hydration alarm. As I am sure we all know, it is easy to forget to drink when you’re busy on the trails. The Grid Shock will alert you every so often to stop and hydrate.
If you don’t mind passing up on the traditional dial watch, the Expedition Grid Shock is a great, affordable option.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that another G-Shock makes the list.
Like the rest of the G-Shock like, the Rescue Series is tougher than a box on nails. It is waterproof up to 660 feet and features a unique four point protection system. In addition, the buttons are large, easy to use, and durable.
Unlike the previous G-Shock we reviewed on this list, the Rescue Series displays tide and moon phase data. For hikers who also spend a lot of time on the water, you really can’t ask for much more!
Features To Look For In A Hiking Watch
Watches can be confusing, especially when trying to find one made specifically for hiking. In addition, hikers on a budget will want to keep costs down. Here are a few of the key features to look for when shopping for a hiking watch under $100:
As a fellow hiker, I am sure you can think of many times when you unexpectedly caught out in the rain. As a result, it is extremely important to make sure any watch you use while hiking is waterproof. There are simply too many other things to worry about while hiking than your watch getting wet.
A waterproof hiking watch will ensure that you can enjoy your hike, get maximum performance out of your watch, and always have the peace of mind that your watch is safe.
Any hiking gear is going to get dinged up quite a bit, that is for sure. When choosing a hiking watch, it is important to pick one that can stand up to the beating.
Fortunately, most hiking watches are pretty durable. As will you see in our review guide below, manufacturers have perfected the art of making durable, shock watches.
A compass is one of the most important tools for any hiker or outdoorsman. Fortunately, many hiking watches have compasses built right into them! When buying a hiking watch, this is definitely a feature that you should be looking for.
An altimeter, short for altitude meter, is a tool used to measure how high something us above a base level.
You have probably heard the phrase “above sea level” used before. This is the tool used to determine that measure. An altimeter works by measuring the air pressure in the surrounding area to calculate altitude.
Altimeters are such an important feature in hiking watches because they are not affected by the lack of GPS or internet connection. As great as GPS devices are, they are sometimes useless if the surrounding area is densely packed or remote. With an altimeter, you will always be able to gauge your altitude and position.
Much like altimeters, barometers also measure air pressure. The application and uses of barometers, though, are completely different.
A barometer tracks changes in surrounding air pressure to forecast weather conditions. For example, a shard drop in air pressure usually indicates that a storm is coming. Many hiking watches will automatically track and alert you of situations such as this.
Having a few minutes notice on large storm can be the difference between life or death out on the trails. As a result, you should definitely looks for a hiking watch with a built in barometer.
Being cold is one of the biggest danger a hiker can face when stuck out in the wild. As a result, it is important to closely monitor the temperature of your surroundings at all time. Luckily, a lot of hiking watches nowadays feature build in thermometers.
A good hiking watch is essentially a way for a hiker to combine all of their necessary tools into one, compact accessory. A lot of the models below include all of the features on this list, so you really can’t go wrong!
We have put in quite a bit of testing and effort to review the best hiking watches under $100. What it comes down to, though, is your needs and preferences.
If you are looking for a watch do do it all (altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer), the Casio Triple Sensor Hiking Watch is you best choice by far. For the price, you really can’t find something with better features.
No matter what you pick, we are confident that you will be satisfied with anything on our list. Enjoy your new watch and happy hiking!