If you are like me, it is pretty much impossible to keep track of time when out hunting. Besides the relaxing feel of being out in nature, I also typically get pretty involved in tracking animals, staying alert, and waiting for the perfect moment to bring home that long-awaited trophy prize. The only problem is that I usually do not become aware of the time until the sun is dipping below the horizon. When my family was expecting me home for lunch at midday, this usually causes some friction.
To avoid this problem, I have tried to bring my everyday work watch along with me, but after a brief rainstorm, or getting muddied up by some dirt, those cheap watches eventually end up in the garbage. The best hunting watches on the market are not only stylish and designed for the hunter, but also offer quality durability that can withstand even the toughest hunting conditions. Read on for our complete review of the top hunting watches on the market today.
Best Watch For Hunting Comparison
- Suunto Hunting Watch / Our Top Pick
- Casio Path Finder
- Garmin Fenix 2 GPS
- Casio G Shock
- Luminox 3051 Navy Seal
- Lad Weather Sports
- Casio WSD-F20
- Apple (We suggest reading our review before purchasing)
Top Features Hunters Shoot For:
Typically, when folks are talking about these types of watches they are really talking about ABC watches (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) with some additional features. The general concept, one of a handful of tools to help you keep you safe and out of a bad situation.
Compass & GPS
These are always something you should look for. Firstly, its always a good idea to have a second compass. When you lose or your regular compass breaks for whatever reason, you’ll always have a digital back up on your watch.
Clearly, the GPS is an awesome feature to have. Personally, we’d suggest using it as a back up to a larger GPS. As the watch GPS is often a bit small and hard to read.
Something that is rarely brought up, how long will your watch last in the wilderness? If you have your GPS and a handful of other features running, your watch WILL run out of battery power. Pick a watch that has a high battery rating.
If you plan on having on this being your main means of navigation, perhaps consider not buying a second-hand watch, as its battery life will be shorter (or at the very least replace the battery right away.)
This should go without saying, but whenever you get something you need to rely on, get something that will last. Often good watches are a blend of stainless steel and similar materials that can take a beating. If the price seems too good to be true, it often is.
Surprisingly, this is often an overlooked feature. You want to make sure the band is comfortable and durable. Whenever you buy a watch, make sure it’s a good fit and something you’ll happily wear all day.
Let’s face it, bad things happen. Always be prepared for a bad rain storm.
Although, more realistically, most hunters moonlight as fishermen. If you are buying this as a gift, get something they can “have one too many beers with” and “accidentally” fall in the water.
Looks Good On Your Wrist
This one might be a little self-serving, but some of these watches cost a pretty penny. Get one you like and will make you feel like you belong in a movie.
Suunto Hunting Watch Review
Our top pick!
What we liked about it:
- Suunto makes watches specifically for hunting & fishing.
- Top hunting watch on the market
- Highly dependable, will get you out of large wooded areas
Who should buy it?
- Those want top performance, this watch is a workhorse
- Those with a decent sized budget, although its totally worth it, these watches will cost you a pretty penny. Expect to drop $300 – $1,000+
Let’s face it, if you are a serious hunter who needs help getting out of remote areas, don’t play around, this beautiful price of engineering is for you.
Some Sweet Specs:
- Suunto is one of a handful of companies that produce watches for hunters (think, for us by us.) Not only will it accompany you in the woods, you can take it on all your other outdoor adventures (fishing, running, heck, even skiing settings.)
- The display is just awesome and reviewers agree it does really well in sunlight.
- The screen is easy to customize.
- Can save your tracks to the watch, showing the distance and what not.
More Notable Features:
- Sunrise & sunset alerts
- Fishing & hunting POI types
- Auto Shot Detections
- Night Vision Google Compatible.
- The list goes on forever…
Casio Path Finder Review
What we Liked about it:
- Over 655 Positive Reviews On Amazon
- Only weights 60g/2.12oz.
- Digital Compass
- Altimeter You Can Calibrate
Who is it for?
- Someone Looking for a watch under $200
- Some reviews said it’s bulky, make sure you want a big watch.
You might remember your grandparents giving you a Casio as a kid, however, they have since stepped up their game since your pubescence years. To our delightful surprise, they released quite a few watches targeting the outdoor and adventure market.
Would we said it is the best Casio watch ever made? I’m not too sure we would go that far, however, this smartwatch will not only make your pre-teen self-jealous, its very durable, relatable, and more importantly serve you on your next hunting trip.
Perhaps most importantly (actually not really, but its cool), lots of Amazon reviewers agree the pictures don’t do it justice, it’s a beautiful watch and a workhorse.
Some sweet specs:
- Comes with a huge manual (might remember that when you are a kid)
- Lets you display multiple things at the same time (ie day of the week or barometric pressure, etc)
- Really sweet compass, you just need to keep your wrist super level. However, it is pretty cool how it shows the compass directly over the time. Allowing you always keep an eye on the time & where you are going.
- All that cool stuff you remember you Casio did as a kid.
Okay thats great, why should you buy this watch?
It comes with a flurry of features, timers, digital compass, all the normal stuff you can expect from a high-quality watch. Unlike many other products on the market, this bad boy comes with an altimeter, barometer and even a thermometer. All great features to keep modern and advanced (and soon to be advanced) hunters safe.
Bonus points, its water resistant and is solar powered. The battery life is rated to last up to 6 months without exposure to light.
Garmin Fenix 2 GPS Watch Review
What We Liked:
- Can do everything… (even tell your Grandma where you are on Social Media)
- Best GPS watch for hunting
- Super slick and still made to take a beating.
- Fitness settings, waterproof, running, almost anything your hunting heart desires.
- Over 400+ Amazon Reviews
Who is it for:
- Higher End Watch, although you can find certified refreshed for around $200’ish, typically under $500-$600.
- Analytically minded people
- Gearheads, those who want the coolest from a well-known brand.
- A watch that looks great on your wrist.
Remember when you were a kid, watching your favorite futurist action movie. Well, that character you fantasied as a youngling, probably wore a watch like this.
For the true gearheads, this is the watch you’ll want if you are planning to start the hunt with analytics. Often this watch is used for fitness, but this bad boy can certainly hang with you on your next hunt.
Some more Sweet specs:
- Tacks just about every sport you can think of. Apparently even skydiving.
- Battery rated up to 15 hours when all apps are running. (ie you GPS)
If you are not too familiar with the brand Garmin, they are pretty well known for producing the latest and the greatest. To put it mildly, they put a lot of engineering. effort into giving us the best possible analytics (and much more) to reach your sports goals. A very impressive piece of gear.
Casio G Shock Review
What We Liked:
- Decent watch, good for the money.
- Under $50 – pretty cheap.
Who is it for?
- Those who want a good sports watch on a budget, not made for hunting.
- Anyone who is active.
Alrighty, this watch is certainly great for its price tag and is perfectly fine if you want a solid piece of gear without too many features. However, compared to the other pieces of gear on this list, you certainly get what you pay for.
Some more sweet features:
- Great field watch, all use type watch.
No compass or any other features that will get you out of a hairy situation. Get it because its a reliable watch, not much else.
Luminox 3051 Navy Seal Review
What We Liked:
- Sweet Military Watch
- Originally developed for elite Military personnel.
- Great for low or no light situations
Who is it for?
- Someone who wants a watch that was originally developed for military/combat use, as opposed to just hunting.
Have a family member (or yourself) who is a bit obsessed with both hunting and the military? Well, this watch would make a great gif and would light up (no really, its super bright in the dark) their day.
Some Sweat Features:
- Originally it was made for deep sea diving. Might not be the best pick for this article, but it is an old-school favorite.
- Ton of different colors, although the black is the most popular.
Just keep in mind, unlike many of the other watches we listed, it doesn’t have as many features. Rather it is made perform under stress and still look amazing.
Lad Weather Sports Watch Review
Great work watch that comes with a lot of basic features. Features that will normally run you an arm and a lot, will get done with this bad boy, despite its even-tempered price tag.
What We Liked:
- Great tech watch for the money.
- On the cheaper end, around $50’ish.
- Lots of great features
Who is it for?
- Hunters on a budget.
- Someone who wants the same features & durability, but doesn’t want to spend a lot of bling.
This ABC watch is not that complex, it has a single button that helps you run through most of the features. Allowing you to flip through the Thermometer, compass, the time, alarm, and whatever else your heart desires.
Some cool features:
- The thermometer tracks the temperature over a 24 hour tracking period.
- The altimeter calibration setting is super easy to set up (this is super annoying to set up sometimes!)
- Can check the weather (super useful if you are in the woods and not sure how the day will go.
- Tells when you sunrise/sunset will take place. Being caught in the woods at night isn’t often a good feeling.
Casio WSD-F20 Review
Okay, we couldn’t help ourselves, we had to add another Casio to the list. This one just looks freaking sweet and we had to check it out. Looking at it made us feel like we were about to embark on an epic adventure. Can you blame us?
What We liked:
- Aggressive looking
- Android Wear
- Feels similar to a smartphone, can easily flip through all the features/options
- Offline tracking, great when you are deep in the wilderness with no internet
- Lots of amazing features
Who is it for:
- Serious gear head – think millennial hunter.
- A higher end watch goes for around $500+
Okay, first things first:
What is Android Wear?
Not gonna lie, we felt silly and had to look this one up.
Basically, it a series of watches that are compatible with the Android framework. Meaning, its watches powered by Google computer stuffy.
Allowing you to do some cool things like:
- Switch the watch face
- Some models bring Google Assistant to your wrist (ie maps & such)
- Download Apps to your watch (I guess the future really is here)
To be frank, we got the feeling it is similar to when you put a tablet into a baby’s hands. For some reason, they are just able to figure it out, expect a similar feeling when you play around with this bad boy.
Some sweet specs:
- Android wear 2.0, makes
- Rated for up to 25 hours of battery when the GPS is active.
- Point of interest meter, it lets you save points of interest, allowing you to come back to the same spot when you return.
Apple Watch for Hunting
Okay, we kept getting emails about this one, so we thought we’d tack in a bonus review to this article.
At least at the time, we wrote this article, there are currently no Apple watches that are made specifically for hunting. Rather, their watches allow you to download a bunch of different apps to improve your outdoor abilities.
Meaning, if you are missing a GPS, you can download, if you need a map, download, need something else? the download button is right around the corner (or we suppose if you swipe left.)
What we liked:
- Tons of apps to support your hunting actives (seems like a new app is coming out every day!)
Who is it for:
- Someone who is already a fan of Apple products
Some apps ya might wanna download to your watch:
- Tons of different maps, you can layer a lot of different maps.
- Private Land Ownership layer, it will tell you if you are mistakenly approaching on someone else land)
- Great tracking, tracks every step you take and your average
- Tells you the time of year you should hunt
- Where/when you should go
Okay, that wraps up our review. Here are a few quick tips you should take into account before you buy a hunting watch:
- What is your price range?
- Where are you going? Do you really need all those extra features if you are hunting locally? If you are going deep into the wilderness, can a higher end watch help get you out of a hairy situation?
- Who are you getting this for (assuming its a gift) – Are they a huge gear head or are they looking for something simple they can wear both on a hunt & around town?
Hope you found this article helpful, as always, feel free to email us any questions.