Garmin VS Apple Watch for Hiking (One Winner)

New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case...
New Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with...
Budget Choice
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS,...
Garmin fenix 6S Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch,...
The Best for Elevation Tracking
Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS...
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case...
New Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with...
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS,...
Garmin fenix 6S Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch,...
Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS...
$454.00
$249.00
$200.59
$648.00
$581.99
-
-
41,138 Reviews
29,774 Reviews
23,279 Reviews
214 Reviews
1,206 Reviews
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case...
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case...
$454.00
-
41,138 Reviews
New Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with...
New Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with...
$249.00
29,774 Reviews
Budget Choice
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS,...
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS,...
$200.59
23,279 Reviews
Garmin fenix 6S Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch,...
Garmin fenix 6S Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch,...
$648.00
214 Reviews
The Best for Elevation Tracking
Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS...
Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS...
$581.99
-
1,206 Reviews

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Having a smartwatch on your wrist when hiking helps you ease your journey. You’ll easily track your time, distance, fitness, and location.

With high-quality Garmin and Apple watches in the market, picking the right one for the job may be challenging. In this article, we’ll compare their performance and give you a reliable winner.

Garmin VS Apple Watches Compared

Battery Life

The Apple watch can last for almost a full day with a full battery. When put to maximum use, its battery can last anywhere between 14 and 18 hours. With its fast charge feature, you can boost it from 0% to 80% in just 90 minutes.

In comparison, the battery life of a Garmin smartwatch is nothing short of outstanding. On a single charge, you can get up t0 21 days of battery life on smartwatch mode.

With GPS use, battery life drops to about 60 hours, or just about two and a half days..

Garmin’s power saving mode restricts unused features from consuming battery power. Also, some of their watches harness solar energy and store charge  for longer, which is useful for all your hiking needs.

Verdict

Garmin’s  wins because of its power saving and solar charging capabilities. Garmin’s robust battery life also outdoes Apple’s, making it ideal for hiking.

GPS

The Garmin brand produces some of the best GPS trackers in the market. Garmin watches come with an inbuilt satellite navigation system that tracks your global positioning.

Also, it keeps tabs on your movement in real-time. 

In addition, the tracker can send the data to family members and friends of your choosing. In case of any emergency, they can locate and offer you quick assistance.

Apple watches have GPS trackers too, except they perform at a basic level. Cellular connectivity has to be turned on for the GPS to function. Also,an inbuilt electronic compass helps you find direction, especially during your navigation on a hike.

Verdict

Garmin watches win. Their advanced GPS tracking technology makes them more reliable when tracking your global position.

Connectivity

Apple watches keep you connected to your iPhone by using a cellular network. Doing so speeds up your response time to texts, emails, calls, and even when making payments using Apple Pay.

With the Apple watch, you’ll often give commands to Siri using your voice rather than using the touch interface on your smartwatch.

All Apple features in these watches are restricted to only Apple devices. As for Garmin watches, you’ll enjoy the same experience as Apple, except you can use any smartphone brand instead. Also, Garmin watches support both Google Voice Assistant and Alexa.

Verdict

Garmin wins. Garmin’s flexible compatibility makes their watches useful to different users.  

Sensors

Garmin watches use wrist-based sensors to monitor your heart rate, body energy levels, and sleep score levels.

Also, some Garmin watches use ABC sensors to help you track elevations and air pressure as you change altitudes in a hike.

Apple watches also feature sensors that monitor your blood oxygen levels although they require  you to have a Blood Oxygen App.

Also, these sensors track your heart rate and rhythm, and alert you in case any irregularity occurs. 

Verdict

Garmin also wins here.  Apple sensors cannot stand alone; they always need a third-part app to give better results.

Do you need a GPS watch for hiking?

Yes, you do. In case you get lost hiking in the woods, your GPS receiver will help you get back on track. Also, it helps you plan and plot your journey across new and unfamiliar places. 

Besides that, your family and friends can track you using your GPS coordinates and send urgent assistance to you in case you need it.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Watch for Hiking?

Here are some key features or aspects your watch has to have:

GPS Tracker

Ensure your smartwatch has a GPS tracker to help you plan and plot your journey. Also, it helps your family and friends keep track of you and send emergency help in case you run into trouble. 

Comfort

Check out for a watch with a flexible silicone band that fits securely on your wrist, This ensures maximum comfort throughout your hike. It also ensures that you get accurate sensor readings from your watch.

Battery life

Get a watch with reliable battery life. You may hike for days and you’ll need every ounce of power for your journey.

It also helps you receive notifications from your smartphone, keeping you in touch with your family and friends at all times.

Is the Apple Watch Good for Hiking?

Yes, it is. Even though these watches have an average battery life, hikers can still use them. Here are some of the reasons for that:

  • They come with a lightweight customizable wristband with exceptional ergonomics for extended use..
  • They are water-resistant, which means you can wear them to a hike in a wet environment without fear of damage..
  • They can also monitor your heart rate and rhythms and notify you whenever the heart rate is too low or too high.
  • It features a GPS tracker that will help you navigate through inaccessible areas.

Best Apple Watches For Hiking

Here are some stellar watch selections for lovers of Apple devices:

Apple Watch Series 6

New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case...
41,138 Reviews
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case...
  • GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist
  • Measure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and app
  • Check your heart rhythm with the ECG app

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Currently, The Series 6 is the latest and highest-priced Apple watch in the market. Fortunately, it comes with almost all the features a hiker would need in a watch. With its Retina Display you can easily read data without raising your wrist. 

Other outstanding features include:

  • An advanced revolutionary sensor that measures your blood oxygen levels. All these records appear in the Blood Oxygen App.
  • Also, come with an ECG app that records heartbeats and rhythm using an electrical heart sensor. This data can be presented to a doctor in case of a complication.
  • 75 million songs, podcasts, and audiobooks on Apple Music, which help you keep yourself entertained while hiking.
  • Comes with a soft stretchable lightweight silicone rubber wristband that is ultra-comfortable, and easy to slip on and off.
  • A 50-meter water-resistance rating, with which you can swim without fearing damage to your watch  

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Always-on display
  • Waterproof
  • Connect with Apple devices
  • Comfortable wear and fit

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average battery life

Apple Watch SE

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New Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with...
29,774 Reviews
New Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with...
  • GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist
  • Large Retina OLED display
  • Up to 2x faster processor than Series 3

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another excellent watch with features a hiker would love is the Apple Watch SE. It has an expansive Retina display that gives you clear access visibility. Also, its advanced sensors will track and keep a record of all your moves.

Some unique features of this watch include:

  • An inbuilt GPS tracker which uses cellular data and a compass. You navigate easily in remote areas wearing it.
  • Lightweight construction alongside soft silicone and a braided yarn wristband. No buckles or clasps, making it easy to slide on and off your wrist. 
  • An altimeter that can tell current weather conditions and also predict it. In addition to that, you can measure air quality, UV index, and acquire wind speed information. 
  • 50 meters water-resistance feature that protects your watch from water damage.
  • Sensors that monitor your heart rate and rhythms. In case of any irregularity, you’ll get a notification.  

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable wrist-bands
  • Retina display
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • No blood Oxygen App

Best Garmin Watches for Hiking

Here are some excellent Garmin watches for hiking:

Garmin Instinct

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Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS,...
23,279 Reviews
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS,...
  • Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments
  • Constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters)
  • Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass and Galileo) support helps track in more...

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Instinct is one of many military watches that can withstand tough environments. It meets the U.S military standard for thermal, shock, and water resistance. It comes with a fiber-reinforced polymer case that guarantees durability.

Besides that, it has a scratch-resistant watch screen that displays in high contrast to help you read even in the sunlight.

Other than that, it also features: 

  • Fully vented removable silicone bands comfortable to wear for long periods. 
  • A  rechargeable battery that can last up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, and 16 hours in GPS mode.
  • With its advanced global navigation systems such as GLONASS, it track you with exceptional accuracy even in the most remote environments.
  • ABC sensors guide you through weather patterns, keeping you prepared for your hiking in advance.
  • You can link your watch with your smartphone and get direct text, call and email notifications to your wrist. You won’t even need to carry your phone.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable wristband
  • Bluetooth link to your phone
  • Waterproof
  • Scratch resistant watch face.
  • Robust construction

Cons

  • No music App

Garmin Fenix 6S

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Garmin fenix 6S Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch,...
214 Reviews
Garmin fenix 6S Pro, Premium Multisport GPS Watch,...
  • Fit for performance with rugged, sophisticated design that features an always-on 1.2 inches sunlight-readable display with bezels in stainless steel, titanium...
  • Enhanced estimated wrist heart rate and Pulse Ox to support advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation at high elevations (this is not a medical device...
  • Advanced training features include PacePro for grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your activity plus environmentally adjusted VO2 max and training status...

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Fenix 6s is a multisport watch mostly used by athletes. It also meets U.S military standards for thermal, shock, and water resistance, and is proven to last longer in harsh environments. Looking at these features t, the Fenix is suitable for hikers.

Other exceptional features include:

  • A battery that can last up to 9 days on smartwatch mode and 25 hours on GPS mode. A power manager feature makes battery-extending changes, helping your watch last up to 34 days.
  • ABC sensors which help you forecast the weather and plan your hike.
  • A navigation satellite system and  GPS  system that helps you navigate your hiking.
  • Heartbeat, stress, hydration, and body energy tracking that keeps you updated on your health and fitness status.
  • A women’s health tracking feature that tracks their menstrual cycle and pregnancy. 

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Women health tracking
  • Safety and tracking features
  • Waterproof
  • ABC sensors

Cons.

  • No music App
  • Expensive

Best Garmin Watch For Elevation Tracking

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS...
1,206 Reviews
Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS...
  • Premium GPS running/triathlon smartwatch with music
  • Download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer (may require premium subscription with a third party music provider)
  • Performance monitoring features include Vo2 Max and training status with adjustments for heat, altitude Acclimation status, training load focus, recovery time,...

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Forerunner 945 is a top-notch device that tracks your elevation with exceptional accuracy. It’s an ergonomic fit on your wrist with its silicone band. It also features a scratch-resistant gorilla glass screen which can withstand impacts

It also has:.

  • A heart rate sensor that alerts you if your heart rate is too low or high.
  • Advanced GPS tracking system which gives accurate global positioning data. It can also track you in real-time and send that data to your family and friends.
  • 2 weeks of battery  on smartwatch mode and 10 hours on GPS mode with music. Turn on the power saver mode to enjoy long hours of the battery.
  • An inbuilt full-color map that helps to keep you on track during your hike
  • Also has a sensor to monitor your body energy levels, sleep score levels which helps assess your health and fitness.

Pros

  • Other in-built sport App
  • Live track feature
  • Has music App
  • It’s durable

Cons 

  • Expensive

Final Verdict

Garmin watches win. Not only do their batteries last longer than Apple watches, but they also have better GPS and compatibility.

You can use a Garmin watch with almost any phone. They’ve got better water ratings than Apple watches and can withstand rough weather.