If adventure is on your radar while traveling in 2020, a durable, reliable watch is a must-have.
However, watches today are getting more advanced; with ‘smart’ functionalities like GPS and connectivity becoming just as important as durability.
This can make choosing the right watch for your travels tricky. Especially given tactical and outdoors smart watches prices can range from $50.00 – $600.00+.
To help you make the right decision, here is a list of the top 7 watches specifically designed for adventurers on the move.
Lower-Level Price Range: T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond, AmazFit T-Rex, and Casio G-Shock
For those looking to spend less than $200.00, there are plenty of solid options that won’t break the bank.
T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond
First on the list is T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond. Priced at only $89.99, the Midnight Diamond is a perfect smart watch for traveling & adventure.
With the help of its Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating, the watch is durable, shock resistant, and waterproof up to 50 meters. It can even handle being burned in fire for at least 30 seconds according to their recent video (below).
Additionally, this watch also comes with all of the ‘smart’ technology features such as the ability to connect to smartphones. This enables the watch to receive push notifications, track fitness statistics, monitor sleep, and download apps.
Unlike other smart watches that need to be charged weekly, the T1 Tact Watch’s cell battery lasts up to 33 months.
Founder of the brand has ties to major fashion brands of A-list celebrities like Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and more (read here).
Beware of fakes. This is available exclusively on the brand website, T1TactWatch.com . The variant or knock-off smart watches have a long list of problems. This is according to hundreds of people who have been scammed on-line and shared reviews on the fake smart watch.
Another affordable option is the AmazFit T-Rex. This watch, priced at $139.90 on Amazon, is also built for rugged adventures.
Like the T1 Tact Watch, it is waterproof up to 50 meters. Additionally, it boasts a heat resistance of up to 70°C, a cold resistance of -40°C, and a 240h humidity resistance.
In terms of the watch’s smart features, it has a Sony GPS chip and is able to connect with iPhone and Android devices via bluetooth.
Unlike the T1 Tact Watch, which lasts up to 33 months, the AmazFit T-Rex’s rechargeable battery life varies depending on usage. In basic watch mode, the watch can last up to 66 days. However, in GPS mode, it only lasts 20 hours without needing a charge.
Casio G-Shock – GM6900-1
Priced at $180.00, Casio’s upcoming G-Shock GM6900-1 has been a reliable favorite among outdoors and military professionals for years.
Their latest edition, the G-Shock GGM6900-1, is made of stainless steel and is waterproof up to 200 meters. This watch is also shock resistant, making it a great companion for off-road trips that might get bumpy.
Although this edition of the G-Shock line does not come with Bluetooth or smartphone capabilities, it is digital and has an electro-luminescent backlight afterglow.
Additionally, it can set timers, sound alarms, display a calendar, and its battery life lasts up to 2 years.
Buy this on Casio’s official website. Also recognize that this was released as a collaboration with KITH NYC (see here).
Mid-Level Price Range: Garmin Instinct and Casio ProTek Smart
For those looking to spend between $200.00 – $500.00 on outdoors smart watches, Garmin and Casio have a few options worth considering.
Casio Pro Trek Smart – WSD-F30BU
Casio’s Pro Trek line of smart watches are now priced at $220.00, making them a solid mid-tier option.
These watches are powered by Wear OS by Google, and also come with a built-in GPS system. It is also equipped with all of the advanced sensors for air pressure, altitude, accelerometer, gyrometer, and compass.
Even with all of the advanced features, the Casio Pro Trek Smart is still water-resistant up to 50m and is 810g compliant.
One of the most disappointing features for this watch is its battery life, which only lasts 1.5 days on a charge.
Garmin’s mid-range option, the Instinct, is a perfect compromise for those who need a GPS but don’t want to splurge on the Tactix Bravo.
With its retail price set at $299.99, buyers receive a military-grade watch that can withstand tough conditions and also be a map.
Although it is a smart watch with a built-in GPS, its connectivity features are limited. Users can pair with their smartphones and receive push notifications, however they do not have access to Garmin’s app store.
Battery life is similar to other smartwatches, with 14 days the estimated maximum it can go without a charge. Purchase at Garmin.com and keep up with the latest app updates.
Upper Price Range: Garmin Tactix Bravo and Suunto 9 Baro Black
For those willing to spend $500.00+, there are definitely options with advanced features at a premium.
Garmin Tactix Bravo
The Garmin Tactix Bravo is pricey, however it is one of the most sophisticated smartwatches built for rugged environments.
Like the T1 Tact Watch Midnight Diamond, the Tactix Bravo also has Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating on the Bezel. This ensures durability and protects against scratches. As a more advanced option, it also comes with a built-in GPS, smartwatch connectivity, and 6 different sensors.
What really distinguishes this watch from the Instinct is its enhanced smart watch features. It can connect to the Garmin app store, track the weather, and also control smartphone music.
The watch’s battery life can last up to 2 weeks on Smartwatch mode, up to 20 hours on GPS mode, and up to 50 hours on UltraTrac mode.
This watch sells for $599.99 on the Garmin website.
Suunto 9 Baro Black
The Suunto 9 Baro Black is made of stainless steel and is one of the top outdoors smart watches known for durability. It is water-resistant up to 100m and can withstand extreme temperatures (-20°C to 55°C).
It also has all of the advanced features to be expected from a smart watch. For example, it can connect with almost all smartphones and has apps that can count steps, calories, and heart rate.
It also has built-in GPS navigation, barometer, and altimeter, along with many other navigational functions. This watch’s maximum battery life is up to 14 days. However, with 24/7 tracking mobile notifications, the watch can only last 7 days. If using GPS, battery life drastically decreases down to just over one day.
As the highest-priced watch on the list, this one will set buyers back $649.00. Worth it for those who love tech and adventure.