The 5 Best Outdoor Watches: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

A man looking at his watch

When looking to purchase the best outdoor watch, there are many factors to consider, including price, quality and features. There are many options available depending on your needs. Durability is important for many people, but maybe you need to stay within a specific price range. Our team did a deep analysis of the top 5 Best Outdoor Watches so you don’t have to, and here they are:

In a hurry? Here are our Top 3 picks:

Top Pick
Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)
Runner Up
Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010
Best Budget Pick
Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band
Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)
Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010
Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band
$45.99
$120.00
$14.96
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Top Pick
Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)
Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)
$45.99
-
Runner Up
Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010
Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010
$120.00
-
Best Budget Pick
Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band
Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band
$14.96
-

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reviews of the 5 Best Outdoor Watches

Let’s dive into the best outdoor watches that you can use on your next hiking, fishing, hunting or camping trip.

1. Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 Watch

Sale
Timex Men's T49961 Expedition Scout 40 Green Nylon Strap Watch
  • Adjustable green 20 millimeter nylon strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference
  • Black dial with date window at 3 o'clock; Full Arabic numerals
  • Gray 40 millimeter brass case with mineral glass crystal
  • Indiglo light-up watch dial; Luminous hands
  • Water resistant to 50 meter (165 feet): In general, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but not diving or snorkeling

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

By far one of our favorite watches, the Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 Watch has many excellent features at an affordable price point and deserves a spot on our top 5 Best Outdoor Watches list. This watch is durable and comes with a fabric band, making it excellent for outdoor use. It can withstand a beating, either in the outdoors or in a working environment and still function well. It has a backlight feature which is excellent for those starry nights with no moon.

This watch also has a good water resistance, with a maximum depth of 50 meters, allowing for comfortable use in heavy rains or a swim in the lake. Many sportsmen enjoy using this watch not only because of its functionality, but also for its stylish looks. It can be a temporary switch between sporty and casual for those that are always on the go.

The Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40 watch also holds up well with overall durability. Whether you are taking it into the woods, on the beach, or in the snow, the glass face and functionality hold up very well. Its ability to adapt to a variety of environments over time is impressive to say the least. It is the kind of watch that you could throw around for the fun of it just to see how durable it is.

Due to this watch being analog, you can get away with wearing this to a small dinner party or on a date without too much pushback. Consider the band when choosing which events are considered acceptable for this watch. Otherwise, the analog display is simple and works outside of your evening run.

Pros:

  • High-depth waterproof
  • Durable
  • Bright display

Cons:

  • Loud ticking
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Timex Weekender Watch

Sale
Timex Unisex T2N651 Weekender 38mm Olive Nylon Slip-Thru Strap Watch
  • Adjustable olive green 20 millimeter nylon slip-thru strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference. The case finish is polished
  • Cream dial with full Arabic numerals; 24-hour military time
  • Silver-tone 38 millimeter brass case with mineral glass crystal
  • Indiglo light-up watch dial
  • Water resistant to 30 meter (100 feet): In general, withstands splashes or brief immersion in water, but not suitable for swimming or bathing

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Timex Unisex Weekender 38mm Watch makes our list of Best Outdoor Watches due to it being absolutely awesome. As the name states, this is a unisex watch and is more than acceptable for men and women and does not lean one way or another. One of our more affordable watches on this list, it is an excellent choice as a tester item, as there is little risk in lost funds if something does happen to the watch. However, it has shown time and again to be durable and stylish.

One of the best things about this watch is that it has an extreme level of durability. One user of the Timex Weekender Watch mentioned its durability in temperatures from freezing to scorching, multiple bodies of water, having it fall out of a moving car and even throwing it off a cliff for laughs. Besides an understandable amount of scratches, the Timex Weekender Watch still works.

As with most Timex watches, it has a strong backlight, water resistance up to 30 meters, and a fabric band. While the features on this watch are excellent, it is a little loud. Otherwise, this is an excellent choice for those that are looking to add a great outdoor watch to their collection. We really like this watch for its analog display and is one of our favorites as far as looks are concerned. This is definitely a watch that could be used outside of outdoor use, and your spouse probably wouldn’t complain if you wore it to dinner or to a casual friends party.

Pros:

  • Extremely Durable
  • Price Friendly
  • Unisex

Cons:

  • Loud ticking
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. SUUNTO Core Military Men’s Outdoor Watch

Sale
Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010
  • An altimeter tracks your vertical movement, a barometer tells the Trend in air pressure, and a compass points the way
  • Suunto core tracks both the weather and the sun for you; Operating temperature: 20° C to +60° C / 5° F to +140° F; Storage temperature: 30° C to +60° C / 22° F to +140° F
  • A weather Trend graph and storm alarm along with preset sunrise/sunset times for over 400 locations help you stay safe and plan your activities
  • With stylish designs in more than a handful of variations, you are sure to find just the right Suunto core for your style
  • Wrist top computer watch with altimeter, barometer, compass and weather indicator

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch is a real mans man watch and is well deserving of a spot on our Top 5 Best Outdoor Watches list. Built from carbon fiber and aluminum, this watch was built to take a beating. With a temperature range of -5 to 140 F, barometric range up to 1,100 mbar, altitude range up to 29,500 feet and 30 meters of water resistance, this a watch that deserves to have the name “Military” in it. This would be the kind of watch that Rambo would love to have.

One thing we love about this watch is the long list of features. This goes well beyond your basic, get-you-by type of watch. This best outdoor watch comes with countdown timer, altimeter, barometer, weather indicator, stopwatch, compass with north indicator, language capabilities of English, German, French, and Spanish, rotating bezel, weather alarm, and logbook function, to name a few features. Basically, it will do everything you need and a more.

While being a digital display, this watch is surprisingly fashionable. The variety of display sizes, the adjustable face and sleek, black military looks shows that you mean business. This is not your typical digital watch and will most likely turn heads if you wear it outside of normal outdoor activities. While you might not wear it on a dinner date, it might work in certain office environments and turn the heads of some coworkers.

Pros:

  • Many features
  • Great look
  • Weather Indicator

Cons:

  • Price
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Casio Classic Sport Watch

Sale
Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band
  • 10-year battery life
  • 100-meter water resistance
  • LED backlight
  • Dual time
  • Approx. battery life: 10 years on CR2025

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I guarantee that you could see this watch in your mind the second that you read the name. The Casio Men’s W800H-1AV Classic Sport Watch with Black Band is a classic Best Outdoor Watch for a Reason. This watch provides you with everything you need in a watch with proven durability. Casio claims a 10-year battery life, which can be proven by someone you know (because someone you know owns one of these) that hasn’t had to change the battery in literally decades. The classic resin material not only feels good, but is also extremely durable in many environments. With an unbelievable 330 feet, or 100 meter water resistance depth, the Casio Classic Sport Watch is by far one of the most water resistant watches on this list.

Basically, everyone loves this watch. While it does not have as many features as some other modern watches, it gives you the basics that you need (date, time, alarm, day of the week, and timer). If you are looking for something simple, light, durable and functional, then this is definitely the watch for you. If you don’t want to buy one, just ask your father or crazy uncle for his if he isn’t using it, since chances are high he will have a spare one in a drawer somewhere.

The only downside to this watch is that it isn’t exactly at the forefront of fashion. This watch was built with durability in mind, and it shows. However, with the excellent price point and proven longevity, it is pretty easy to see that the beauty of this watch is in the fact that it may be the last one you ever buy.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Light
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Old design
  • Lacks variety of features
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Casio Men’s G-Shock 20

Sale
Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)
  • With its high-tech functions, shock resistance, and comfortable resin strap, this Casio watch is a reliable go-to timepiece.
  • Quartz digital movement with accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month
  • Functions include multi-function alarm, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12- and 24-hour formats
  • Protective mineral dial window
  • Water-resistant to 200 m (660 feet)

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

So you asked your father or uncle about the extra Casio Classic, and it turns out they didn’t have one? It’s because they are awesome and bought the Casio Men’s G-Shock 20, the top of our list for Best Outdoor Watches. The original G-Shock was released in 1983, and chances are high that many of them are still functioning today. This watch outlasts marriages, survives through wars, and might keep functioning longer than you will. With a mind blowing 660 feet of water resistance, this watch was designed from the very beginning to take an absolute beating and is loved by many outdoorsmen for many years. This is the kind of watch that can become a family heirloom.

The great thing about this watch is that it’s a classic. Easily recognizable everywhere, it is obvious that the wearer of this watch is ready for some sweet outdoor action. Just make sure to take it off if you are going to the office or dinner. Lightweight, waterproof and simple, the G-Shock is built to take a beating. Bring it with you on all your adventures.

Similar to the Casio Classic Sport Watch, the G-Shock wasn’t exactly built for fashion. However, the fact that it is extremely durable and proven to be so for so long makes it easy to overlook this detail. Just don’t wear it on a date.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Simple features
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Buying Guide

Before purchasing an outdoor watch, there are several factors which should be considered to make a proper decision. Remember, chances are good that you will have this watch for years, so choose wisely and consider which features are most important to you.

Water Resistance

Are you someone that regularly participates in water sports? Is there a chance that your watch will get wet regularly? If so, consider getting a watch with high water resistance. While many watches have resistance that fits most peoples needs, those that spend a significant amount of time in the water should consider getting a watch with 50 meters or more of water resistance. While you may never go to this depth, repeated water exposure could lead to eventual water damage. For those that are surfing, swimming, or diving on a regular basis, make sure you get a watch with even higher water resistance, as longer periods of exposure increase your chances of water damage.

Luminous

While a seemingly unimportant feature, having your watch be luminous or not can be a huge lifesaver. You might say that you do not spend time outdoors at night (sorry campers) but having a luminous watch can come in very handy. Many people always decide to wear their outdoor watches and having the luminous feature can come in handy for late nights when the lights have gone out. It can also prove useful when visibility is low for a variety of reasons, and some can even function as an emergency light if your regular flashlight is unavailable.

Display Type

The debate between analog and digital has been going on for quite some time, but it really comes down to personal preference. Digital provides a nice functionality and is easy to quickly read, saving fractions of seconds over a long period of time. However, analog is generally considered more stylish and multifunctional. Choose wisely when making this decision. If you are only using your watch for sports and sports only, then go with digital. If you want your watch to be used outside of sports and outdoors, choose an analog. Learn about analog watches here or digital watches here.

Material

While the bands of watches are almost always replaceable, check into the material of the watch itself. This can indicate how long the watch will potentially last, as years of abuse can take its toll on even the most durable of watches. Consider if you are participating in sports that have high levels of surface scratching, such as rock climbing. This will result in higher durability materials being needed. If your outdoor activity is very low impact, then the material may not matter as much to you.

Features

Do you need a watch that only tells the time, or do you need one that measures pressure and has a compass? These are important questions to consider when choosing your next outdoor watch. If you only need to tell the time, then the decision is fairly simple. However, there are many watches that come with a variety of features, from built in compass to weather indicators. Hikers and campers generally prefer to utilize more features on their watches, as the need for survival may arise. If you just need to time your runs, then having a compass may not be as important for you. Or perhaps you are someone that just enjoys having features for the sake of having them. Regardless, prioritize which features are needed for you and pick a watch that offers them.

Sound

While this may not bother some people, the sound of a watch can drive others crazy. If the constant ticking and tocking of a clock is not for you, then skip analog watches altogether and grab a digital watch. However, if you must have an analog for the look or fashion aspect of it, then check to see if a watch is considered to be loud or not. Even if you don’t mind the sound of a watch, it may bother other people, such as a spouse or coworker. Be mindful of others in this situation, as it is something that is subtle and may affect their feelings towards you without it being apparent.

Band Material

While most watches can have the band replaced fairly easily, others may have trouble finding one that looks decent with the watch. Regardless, it is nice to have to skip the need of having to replace a band in the future and saves a little bit of money to have a nice band upon buying a watch. Most outdoor watches are needed for functionality, and the bands are fairly affordable compared to high end watches. Consider any allergies you may have and be very particular about the comfort of the band, as it will spend a significant amount of time against your wrist.

FAQs

Here are a few FAQs in regards to the best outdoor watches:

Why is water resistance important?

Water resistance is important as you will almost certainly come into contact with water at some point. Even if you rarely come into contact with water during sports, many people will forget that they are wearing their watch and take a shower. This happens more often then not, as a watch eventually becomes part of you. It can also happen that you wash or hands or do dishes while your watch is still on. While low levels of water exposure won’t do much to watches, repeated water exposure can eventually get into the watch if the water resistance rating is too low. Learn more about water resistance here.

Is it easy to replace a band?

It is easy to replace bands. People change the bands on their watches for a variety of reasons, either due to wear, discomfort or simply a change in style. If you are looking to replace your band, many watchmakers or jewelers are able to replace your band for a very low price and can have it done quickly. Additionally, you may be able to purchase a new band from these places as well. If a store is unavailable to you, check out online resources such as YouTube (you can check out a tutorial on how to replace most bands here) so that you can replace a band yourself. It is a fairly simple task to learn and can help you with having more comfort.

What is the most important thing when buying an outdoor watch?

While everyone has different needs that are important to them, the most important things to consider when buying an outdoor watch are durability and features. Due to the fact that you will be using your watch under a considerable amount of stress, regardless of your sport, it is important to consider those watches that will be durable for a significant amount of time. While you may consider your sport to be low impact, everyday wear and tear can add up and affect the lifetime of your watch.

Otherwise, the features that you will using on a regular basis are key when purchasing your outdoor watch. Do you need navigational features? Are you going to be using timers and stopwatches regularly? Do you need to know the weather or other critical pieces of information for your outdoor activities? All of these factors should be considered, as they will play a big role in you buying a watch to begin with. Think about the reason why you decided to purchase an outdoor watch to begin with and the need that has to be fulfilled with your purchase.

Conclusion

Overall, there are a variety of outdoor watches available to you. Consider price, durability and features when making your purchase. Remember, there is a good chance that this will be a watch that you will use for a long time. We hope that this list helps give you a good clarity on what you should purchase.

Our top pick for Best Outdoor Watch is the Casio Men’s G-Shock 20. This watch has stood the test of time for its simple, yet key features and high levels of durability. Our affordable choice is the Casio Classic Sport Watch. This watch is a classic for a reason, and your cost to lifetime ratio is extremely good.

Not matter which watch you choose, we feel that this list gives you excellent choices that will fulfill your outdoor watch needs. Which one are you going with? No matter which one you pick, you are guaranteed to be in good hands.