Best Watches for Backpackers

Latest watches do not just allow you to keep track of time but also let you do a lot of other things too including routing, monitoring heartbeat and blood pressure, steps you have taken, and even take calls. Such watches are excellent for backpackers because they would not want to keep their smartphone in their hand all the time. A smartwatch is functionally and aesthetically appealing – and can certainly be used for a number of applications.

If you are a backpacker looking for the right watch for your backpacking journey, you might need to consider these factors first before making a purchase decision:

  • Material

There is a wide range of materials available when it comes to watches, making it one of the most crucial factors to take into account. Highly durable watches come in stainless steel while cheaper alternatives might also consist of base metal. If you want to rock a sporty look, you can invest in a G-shock or military-style watch that boasts high-quality silicon straps and is water-resistant/water-proof. Silicon is capable enough to withstand abuse –an excellent choice for backpacking in and around the cities.

  • Width of Band

Just like various sizes in clothing, we have different widths in bands (watch straps). If you are a person who has a big wrist, you should probably look for a wrist band ranging between 22mm and 24mm. Backpackers with smaller wrists would find a bandwidth ranging between 15mm and 20mm the most suitable.

  • Specifications and Features

Simple analog watches will just show you the time or may also have a chronograph and time/date feature. But backpackers should get a watch that offers smart features including GPS, various time zones, barometer, etc. Some other useful features might also include wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), checking emails, attending calls, and see to-do tasks. Such features are highly recommended for backpackers and they are present in most of the latest smartwatches.

Here is the List of best watches for backpackers:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)
Amazfit Stratos Multisport Smartwatch
Suunto Ambit3 Vertical
Suunto Traverse
Garmin fēnix 5 Plus
Casio Men's Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sports Watch


1. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)


Apple Watch Series 3 has some of the best features that make it an ideal choice for backpackers. You can use GPS/cellular connection, route or re-route your tracks in real time, make texts/calls, check heartbeat, and do many other activities with this smartwatch. It rocks an S3 dual-processor that provides high-speed performance. It is a swim-proof watch, which means you can dive into the pool without worrying about it getting water-damaged. Once fully charged, it can provide up to 18 hours of battery life. A premium choice for backpackers.

2. Amazfit Stratos Multisport Smartwatch


Amazfit Stratos smartwatch packs advanced performance tracking technologies and smart convenience features in a compact, sleek design. It will take your game to the next level with GPS + GLONASS route tracking. These two features will help in making your trekking and trail running much more accurate. If you don’t want to use your smartphone more often on your backpacking journey but still want to receive important emails and notifications, Amazfit Stratos smartwatch will help you there too. You can receive notifications on watch straight from your smartphone without even interacting with it.

Its crystal-clear touchscreen display, polished ceramic bezels, housing, and 5 ATM water-resistance capability makes it a great choice for adventure lovers.

3. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical


Suunto Ambit3 boasts an amazing design along with a number of useful features including waterproofing, GPS, Glonass route tracking, and in addition to the normal tracking, you can even plan climbing-specific missions with its built-in altitude profiles. For more convenience, you can connect this smartwatch with your smartphone and receive all your important notifications right on your wrist.

Ambit3 Vertical can provide about 100 hours of battery life with ‘strong GPS accuracy’ and up to 15 hours of battery with the ‘highest GPS accuracy’. Best choice for backpackers looking for a tough and solid smartwatch.

4. Suunto Traverse


Another hit from Suunto is the Traverse smartwatch. It packs a number of useful features for backpackers and adventurers. You can explore new terrains and places by uploading routes to your watch with the help of GPS and Glonass satellite navigation systems. It is equipped with a barometer that helps in predicting the weather changes so you can decide your backpacking journey better.

Connect this smartwatch with your smartphone and stay up to date with the incoming calls, texts, and important push notifications. It water-resistant to 330ft, plus it has a backlight that can be used as a flashlight to lit the dark areas. A pretty good choice for backpackers looking for a feature-rich watch with strong build quality.

5. Garmin fēnix 5 Plus


Garmin fēnix 5 Plus is a premium GPS-enabled, water-resistant smartwatch that includes color TOPO maps, featuring trend line popularity routing that can help backpackers decide the best path to follow. It features stainless steel housing with diamond-like carbon titanium bezel, making it a rugged choice for adventurers. You can even store up to 500 songs in this watch and enjoy them on the go by connecting it with your Bluetooth headphones. Besides GPS, it has multiple built-in navigation sensors and satellite systems that enable you to efficiently track routes in challenging environments.

In smartwatch mode, you can get up to 10 days of battery life while in GPS mode with music, the battery can last about 8 hours.

6. Casio Men's Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sports Watch


If you love sporty and hardcore looking watches, Casio Men’s Pathfinder sports watch is the best fit for you. It is solar-powered and highly water resistant to 330ft, which means you won’t get disappointed even if you wear it during downpour or dive into the pool wearing it on your wrist. Once fully charged through solar power, it can work for about 6 months without requiring sunlight. It packs all those specs and features that are required by backpackers. Some of those features include a compass, barometer, altimeter modes, world time covering 48 cities and 31 time zones, low temperature-resistant, stopwatch, alarm, sunset/sunrise time, and calendar.

Certainly, a superb option for backpackers looking for a tough watch.  

Final Verdict

Regardless of what your requirements are when looking for a watch, you can easily find the best fit in the market. Being a backpacker, whether you want a solid, tough watch for your backpacking journey through forests and woods or looking for a smartwatch that can help you navigate through lots of routes and alleys, the above list has the best collection of watches for you.