The Best Hiking Watches

The Best Hiking Watches
A good hiking watch is more than just a timepiece; it's an important tool that can be used for navigation and safety in the wilderness. Good hiking watches combine a number of outdoor-related features with standard watch features to provide a multifunctional device that can help your performance on a hike or backpacking trip. Here are some hiking watches from top manufacturers.

Suunto X10

Suunto is known as a leader in outdoor timepieces and its X10 is one of its top offerings. This is the only watch on this list that includes a GPS for navigation and performance. Use the watch to track your journey, calculate your speed, distance and altitude or track your way home with the Track Back feature. The X10 is an outdoor sports watch and basic GPS unit rolled into one. When you arrive home, you can connect the watch to your computer to download and share your route. You can also view your trip on Google Earth, where you can pull up satellite imagery. The watch provides up to 50 routes and 500 way points and includes an altimeter, barometer and compass. This X10 was rated 2009 Best of Adventure Gear by "National Geographic Adventure Magazine." In early 2010, the retail price is $599.

Timex Expedition WS4

Not quite as advanced as the Suunto X10, but a few hundred dollars less costly, the Timex Expedition WS4 includes all of the important hiking functions in a large, easy-view package. The wide-screen display allows users to view four readings at a time, eliminating the need to flip through function after function to get the information you need. The watch also includes a thermometer, a compass, a barometer and an altimeter. The WS4 was tested in the Himalayas by world-renowned climber Conrad Anker. Other watch functions include an altitude alarm, a 100-hour chronograph and an Indiglo night light. The 2010 retail price is $200.

Tech 4o Trail Leader 2

The Tech4o Trail Leader 2 is the least expensive watch on our list at $149.99. Like the two aforementioned watches, the Trail Leader 2 has the standard ABC functions of altimeter, barometer and compass. The Trail Leader 2 also adds a thermometer and an accelerometer to provide speed and distance measurements without the expense of GPS. The watch delivers solid functionality for a very reasonable price. A stainless steel casing and a recessed lens provide durability for rough adventures. For a slight style variation, the Trail Leader Jet features a black watch face.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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