4 Popular Garmin Watches for An Outdoorsman

Editor's Choice
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
Budget Choice
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical...
Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
Garmin fēnix 5s, Premium and Rugged Smaller-Sized...
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical...
Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
Garmin fēnix 5s, Premium and Rugged Smaller-Sized...
$789.95
$224.99
$569.85
$327.50
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-
-
1,339 Reviews
25,643 Reviews
1,239 Reviews
8,015 Reviews
Editor's Choice
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
$789.95
-
1,339 Reviews
Budget Choice
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical...
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical...
$224.99
-
25,643 Reviews
Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
$569.85
1,239 Reviews
Garmin fēnix 5s, Premium and Rugged Smaller-Sized...
Garmin fēnix 5s, Premium and Rugged Smaller-Sized...
$327.50
-
8,015 Reviews

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As an outdoors person, you’re probably practical. You like functional devices and items that make your work easier. A watch is no exception. When choosing one, you have to be careful that it can withstand your – often vigorous – lifestyle.

In this guide, we help you decide on how to pick your ideal watch. We also discuss some options you can explore right away if you’re looking to get started.

What Is An Outdoorsman?

If you spend plenty of time outdoors or enjoy activities like hiking, camping, swimming, cycling, and hunting, you’re an outdoorsman. 

What To Look For When Buying

Picking out excellent gear for your lifestyle is essential. Choosing your watch is just as important, and here’s what to look for:

Durability and Comfort

Living outdoors can be punishing sometimes. You need a resilient watch that won’t break or take structural damage, especially during moments of rigorous activity.

Chances are you may bash your watch against a hard surface and risk breaks or scratches. 

To prevent these risks from happening, get a scratch-resistant watch. Most outdoor watches use Corning Gorilla glass, an industry standard for durability.

Check your watch for a rigid break-resistant case, preferably made from a fiber-reinforced polymer.

The quality of the band is just as vital. Get a watch that uses either leather or silicon, or can change between both options. The last thing you want is to lose your device in the wild. 

What’s more, these band options are often comfortable around your wrist. You can wear your watch for hours on end without exhaustion.

Metal bands probably won’t work, as they get heavy quickly, and may rust if exposed to water often.

Water Resistance

If you’re into kayaking or like to swim, your watch will come into contact with water. Since most outdoorsman watches are water-resistant, you’ll need to pick out one that meets your needs. Ideally, let your watch be water-resistant to a depth of up to 50 meters.

Unless you’re an open water swimmer, a deep-sea diver, or a surfer, that’s probably enough. However, if you anticipate going that far, get a watch with higher water resistance. 

Battery Life

You’ll be outdoors for extended periods. Nothing’s worse than your smartwatch dying out on you, especially if you’re in unfamiliar territory.

With a low likelihood of a power source in the wild, pick a watch that has a long-lasting battery life once fully charged. 

On average, a Garmin watch will last you about 14 hours on GPS mode and up to a week on smartwatch mode. Anything below these metrics can be disastrous.

Also essential is a device that supports fast charging, so you can get going on a few minutes’ worth of charging.

Since some modern watches can charge using solar energy, some exposure to the sun may go a long way. 

GPS Tracking and Safety

Here’s another vital feature you can’t afford to miss when choosing a watch. Your watch should help you track your location and navigate back.

For this reason, find a Garmin watch with a GPS tracker and supports an in-built safety and tracking feature.

Many watch systems already combine GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite systems to help you navigate even the most remote locations. With this system, you monitor your real-time global positioning and speeds.

In case you face an emergency, your watch supports an emergency safety feature that notifies your family and friends to help you seek immediate help.

4 Best Garmin Watches for Outdoorsmen

If you’re an outdoorsman looking for a Garmin watch, you have multiple options to pick from. Here are some of the best we’ve seen recently:

Garmin Fenix 6 – Pro Solar Edition

Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
1,339 Reviews
Garmin fenix 6 Pro Solar, Multisport GPS Watch with Solar...
  • Multisport GPS watch with solar charging capabilities uses a Power Glass solar charging lens and custom power manager modes to achieve long-lasting battery life
  • Train with a rugged yet sophisticated watch, featuring an always-on 1.3” display and a titanium, stainless steel or DLC coated bezel
  • Track surfing sessions with a new dedicated activity profile, and even use Surfline Sessions, which creates a video of every wave you ride in front of a...

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Fenix 6 Pro is a top-notch watch that comes with outstanding features tailored to the needs of an outdoorsman. A single charge gets this device up to 36 hours in GPS mode and up to 40 hours when using solar charge.

Its rugged design prevents damage to your device, especially in hostile environments. Rigorous testing has the Fenix 6 meeting the U.S military standards for thermal, shock, and water resistance. 

Besides that, the Fenix 6 Pro supports both GPS and advanced satellite navigation systems like GLONASS and Galileo.

With these systems, you can keep track of your pace, distance covered, and real-time analytics as you perform your outdoor activities.

Other features include: 

  • The Backcountry SKI feature monitors your activity while in snow. Amazingly, it can distinguish between skiing and climbing while showing you metrics on both ascent and descent.
  • A recovery time feature on this smartwatch helps you keep tabs on your rest periods and suggests times for hard activity
  • When paired to a compatible device, the Fenix 6 keeps you up-to-date on your emails and texts right on your wrist.

Pros 

  • Corning Gorilla Glass screen
  • Long battery life
  • Supports music apps
  • Water-resistant 

Cons 

  • Expensive compare to other Fenix watches
  • Complicated map navigation
  • Power glass needs 3 hours of strong sunlight to charge

Garmin Instinct

Sale
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical...
25,643 Reviews
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical...
  • Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments. The display size is 0.9 x 0.9 inches
  • 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 2021-11-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a military-style watch capable of withstanding tough environments, also check out the Garmin Instinct. Its case uses fiber-reinforced polymer material that guarantees durability for eons.

Its Corning Gorilla glass screen protects its internal components from damage. Besides that, this smartwatch uses a high contrast screen, keeping it bright enough even in direct sunlight.

The watch uses a removable silicone wristband. You can wear it comfortably for long periods during outdoor activities or replace it with a sturdier alternative.

On smartwatch mode, your battery lasts up to 14 days. If you’re using GPS, no worries. You have about 16 hours to find a power source.

Navigating challenging environments isn’t a problem, since the Instinct uses an advanced global navigation system.

It supports satellite systems like GLONASS. In terms of health and fitness, instinct watch tracks your heart rate, stress levels, body energy levels, hydration, and sleep.

Other amazing features this device include: 

  • Comes with preloaded sports apps such as running, hiking, swimming, and biking
  • You can get your dog status when you pair the dog tracking device with Astro or Alpha

Pros 

  • Scratch-resistant Gorilla glass screen
  • Waterproof up to 50M
  • Long-lasting battery
  • In-built sport app

Cons

  • No music App
  • Inaccurate sleep tracking

Garmin Forerunner 945

Sale
Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
1,239 Reviews
Garmin Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon...
  • 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 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runners and triathletes love the Forerunner 945, but so can outdoorsmen. Its ergonomic silicone band keeps you comfortable even for long periods. 

The Forerunner uses a Scratch-resistant gorilla glass screen to protect your smartwatch from all the impacts you may face on the trail.

A GPS tracking system on this watch helps you track your movements in real-time, sharing that data with your family and friends on request. 

On smartwatch mode, you’ll get a reasonable two weeks of functionality out of this device. If you’re more active, you’ll get up to 10 hours of use on GPS mode with music. Looking to keep it alive for longer? Use its power-saving feature.

Other features you’ll love on the Forerunner include:

  • A heart rate sensor that alerts you if your heart rate is too low or high.
  • An inbuilt full-color map that helps to keep you on track while on a hike
  • A sensor to monitor your body energy levels and sleep score levels
  • Women can use this device to track their menstrual cycles or pregnancy
  • You can download up to 500 songs from Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and listen to them.

Pros 

  • Live track features 
  • Robust navigation satellite system
  • Comes with a music app
  • Women’s health tracking

Cons

  • Doesn’t track hydration
  • Has limited resolution for the map
  • Its interface isn’t user-friendly

Garmin Fenix 5S

Sale
Garmin fēnix 5s, Premium and Rugged Smaller-Sized...
8,015 Reviews
Garmin fēnix 5s, Premium and Rugged Smaller-Sized...
  • Premium smaller sized (42 mm) multisport GPS watch with Elevate wrist heart rate technology
  • Preloaded activity profiles for all of your sports and adventures. Battery life - Smartwatch mode: Up to 9 days. GPS/HR mode - Up to 14 hours. UltraTrac mode -...
  • Put key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget that shows the effects and progress of your workouts

Last update on 2021-11-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Fenix 5S is a multi-sport watch suitable for outdoor activity. This watch uses an advanced GPS to measure your distance, track your pace and monitor your time.

A battery can last up to 9 days in smartwatch mode and up to 14 hours in GPS mode. You can get some extensive use out of this smartwatch before recharging it.

A high-resolution LED backlighting keeps your screen readable, even in direct sunlight. Although not for extended use, it features lightweight Stainless-steel bands that are just as sturdy as its Gorilla glass screen.

The watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters, and you can use it in wet conditions without much worry.

A Fenix 5S smartwatch also keeps you up-to-date on weather patterns which helps you choose the right time to go outdoors.

The Fenix 5S can also:

  • Give you email and text notifications from your mobile device
  • Preload an activity profile for all your sports activities and adventures

Pros 

  • Water-resistant
  • A fast-charging system
  • High-resolution watch screen

Cons 

  • Does not support music 
  • Lacks some health sensors

Final Thoughts and Best Pick

Love the outdoors? Then a Garmin watch is just what you need. 

Our best pick is the Garmin Fenix 6–Pro solar Edition. Its functionality is undisputed, even among the Garmin brand. It has an excellent battery that will last you hours of use, and charge using solar energy if all else fails.