Best Hiking Watches under $200 and $300

Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Do you love to hike, camp, or just spend time in nature? If so, then you know how important it is to have a good hiking watch. A hiking watch can help you keep track of time, distance, and location. It can also be a great safety tool, as it can help you stay aware of your surroundings and keep track of your progress.

Hiking watches don’t come cheap, though. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best hiking watches for under $200 and $300. These affordable and mid-range watches are vetted by our team to ensure they offer features that are essential for any hiker or outdoor enthusiast.

So, whether you’re looking for your first hiking watch or an upgrade to your current one, we’ve got you covered.

WeightGPSBattery LifeAltimeterBarometerCompass
Timex expedition grid shock77 gramsYesApproximately three yearsNoNoNo
Garmin Vivoactive 343.0 gYesUp to 7 days | GPS mode: Up to 13 hoursYesYesYes
Casio Pro Trek PRG-270317.5 gramsYes9 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)YesYesYes
Casio PAG240T Pathfinder53 gramsYes6 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)YesYesYes
Garmin Instinct52 gYesUp to 14 days | GPS mode: Up to 16 hours | UltraTrac mode: Up to 40 hoursYesYesYes
Amazfit T-Rex Pro59.4g (with strap)Yesup to 18 days | Heavy usage: up to 9 days | GPS continuous working time: up toYesNoYes
Garmin Fenix 382 gramsYes Up to 14 days | GPS mode: Up to 20 hours | UltraTrac mode: Up to 50 hoursYesYesYes
SUUNTO Core64 gramsYes12 monthsYesYesYes
SUUNTO Ambit 374 gramsYesUp to 14 days | GPS mode: Up to 100 hoursYesYesYes
Tomtom Adventurer77 gramsYesup to 3 weeks | GPS: up to 11 hours (up to 24 hours while hiking) | GPS + Heart Rate + Music: up to 5 hoursNoYesYes

Best Hiking Watches under $200:

 Timex expedition grid shock

Timex expedition grid shock

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: approximately three years
  • Altimeter: No
  • Barometer: No
  • Compass: No
  • Weight: 77 g

If you are looking for the most basic options in the watch that get you through your day, Timex expedition grid shock is worth looking into.

This is quite a watch to wear as it puts even the largest of the wrists to shame. The squarish design comes in quite large dimensions. Overall a resin build but the bezels are protected by a stainless steel cover providing extra rigidity and strength.

The display itself is just an acrylic crystal display as it is hard to get a sapphire crystal in this range. The straps are 28 mm wide but very comfortable to fit on your wrists.

The obnoxiously large quartz crystal display puts a lot of info for you to view. The viewing angles are good enough to be used even under direct sunlight. There is also a pretty cool indigo light to let it be used even in pitch black situations. 

Before talking about the features one thing that should be kept in mind this is not a smartwatch. So you are not going to get heart rate monitoring or the fancier sleep tracking out of it. With that being said, let’s get on with it.

The watch shows the time very boldly. The format of the time can be set from 12 hours to 24 hours. There is also a GMT function that lets you have dual time zones. Just above the time, there is a relatively smaller date and day section.

A plus point is that the watch is waterproof to 100 meters, which is equivalent to 10 ATM of water pressure. So you can always take it to your swims and water-related activities without caring.  There are also timers and chronographs included. So you can time your activities quite conveniently.

You can set 2 different alarms and the coolest thing about them is that you get vibration alerts. There is also a third type of alert system called hydration alerts. This is a very nifty little feature to have. You basically set an interval during your training which then lets you know that you have to hydrate yourself. 

These quartz-operated watches are known for their longevity rightfully due to their featureless approach. So the Timex expedition will last you anywhere from 3 to 5 years depending upon your usage of that indigo light. Which is the most battery-draining feature in it.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Garmin Vivoactive 3

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 days | GPS mode: Up to 13 hours 
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 43.0 g

Garmin is a watch famous for its premium and expensive sports watches but a mid-range affordable watch with some quality Garmin features is something any hiker would take. 

Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a smartwatch having a sleek design. It has a low weight of 49 grams which makes it easier to carry for daily use. This watch is also water-resistant up to 5 ATM water pressure. The fiber-reinforced polymer body along with the stainless steel bezel for extra protection makes it a good choice for hikers in a budget segment.  

The heart monitoring features notice our heart rate during different activities and alerts you about our fitness level. The altimeter and barometer will work together to alert you about your surroundings and guide you about atmospheric pressure and height from sea level.

Related Post: Apple vs Garmin For Hiking

We can also check weather conditions using this watch. This watch supports GPS tracking and global navigation with high accuracy. Above mentioned features will be useful if you are trapped in some new track during hiking or mountain biking. 

Battery endurance is a key factor that defines the worth of a watch. Its battery life is only seven days in smartwatch mode which is reduced up to 13 hours with the usage of GPS. When you compare battery life with other products’ features, battery life becomes a deal-breaker. 

When the device uses all the features and we use it in harsh mode; our battery is more affected and cannot survive lengthy training sessions. Watch also introduces some sports features which record each and every step and save the statistics.

We can use the stats to analyze our workout process and performance efficiency. Just like any premium watch, Garmin also targets triathlete beginners and sports enthusiasts to buy this watch. 

Battery endurance is a key factor that defines the worth of a watch. Its battery life is only seven days in smartwatch mode which is reduced up to 13 hours with the usage of GPS. When you compare battery life with other products’ features, battery life becomes a deal-breaker.  When the device uses all the features and we use it in harsh mode; our battery is more affected and cannot survive lengthy training sessions.

Casio Pro Trek PRG-270

Casio Pro Trek PRG-270

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: 9 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 317.5 g

Like the PAG240T, Pro Trek PRG-270 is also one of the finest hiking watches out there, but a lot improved. 

Build quality and display-wise, not a lot is different. The case is made of steel and there is extra rigidity added to it. The watch is not very light but a lot of adjustments are available on the strap that makes it a perfect fit for a variety of wrists.

Hikers can be very convenient wearing it. This is the same crisp one that Casio calls a Duplex LCD which basically are 2 displays overlapping. As other we’ve seen from Casio, this is also resistant up to 100 meters.

It has all the digital watch features you can expect. Time and date are displayed very clearly in a big enough font. You also have different time zones to choose from in case you are hiking in a different locality than your hometown. The alarm, Stopwatch, countdown timer are there to facilitate you in your treads. 

The same 3 sensor setup that we’ve seen in the PAG240T has been installed here but a bit better. There is a major improvement in the altimeter department as now the reading increases or decreases in increments of 1 meter as compared to the 5 meters.

Related Post: Best Altimeter Watches

It can measure the altitude from -2300 to 32800 ft. It can store up to 30 records stating the ascent or descent, high or low altitude along with the date and time. This makes it more accurate for competitive hikers. 

The barometer now has another new feature where it alerts the wearer whenever there are sudden pressure hikes. It has quite a high-pressure range spanning from 260 to 1100 hPa.

Quite convenient to have when the hikers are in areas where there can be a potential storm. Compass readings are now displayed with 60 seconds of continuous measurement which is an improvement from the previous 20 seconds only.

There are no user-replaceable batteries but like the PAG240T, there is a solar bezel around the actual display that charges the watch and essentially provides an unlimited lifetime. It lasts 6 months in complete darkness though.  

Casio PAG240T Pathfinder:

Casio PAG240T Pathfinder

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: 6 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 5.3g

Casio is one of the industry leaders when it comes to braving the conditions thrown at them. PAG240T is one such watch that is affordable everyday wear for hikers. 

The first thing that comes into mind when you hear the word Casio is their over-the-top rugged builds. The body is made of resin that prevents shocks and looks straight from the wrist of a futuristic soldier. The straps are comfortable and the watch itself is light enough not to bother you during your long and intense hikes.

The buttons on the watch are protruding enough to be used with gloves. The digital display is very crisp and clear and it is very convenient to be used in direct sunlight. It is also water-resistant up to 100 meters. 

The watch tells the time and date which are some of the features that are just there without question. They are displayed quite visibly and clearly. One of the best backlights exists in this watch so nighttime viewing is not a problem.

You can set up to 5 alarms along with the stopwatch and timer. There are about 31 time zones translating to about 48 cities enabling you to set sunrise/sunset alarms.

Casio went with the triple sensor approach, the three sensors being the altimeter, barometer, and compass. First, talking about the altimeter, it measures the height in increments of 5 meters and is relatively more accurate than most altimeter watches on the market. The records will hold up to 40 logs of altitude, date, and time.

For the barometric activity, there are graphs to tell you what the trend in air pressure is going to be and it was comparatively better than its competition like a Suunto Vector. The compass works, just like any compass should.

It will give you a general point of reference and can be adjusted to the map’s angle of declination. This triple sensor layout is what a hiker needs at a basic level. There is also a thermometer with a range of 14F to 140F.

Battery timing is supported by a neat little solar bezel right around the display which keeps it going on and on. In total darkness, Casio claims it to be going for 6 months. 

Garmin Instinct: Best Budget GPS Watch For Hiking

Garmin Instinct

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 14 days | GPS mode: Up to 16 hours | UltraTrac mode: Up to 40 hours
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 52 g

It is rare to see a budget sector hiking watch from Garmin withholding all the features an enthusiast may look for. Garmin Instinct is a good example.

Lots of good stuff is happening in the build of Garmin Instinct. Fiber-reinforced polymer body, with really rugged and tough-looking vibes to it. It has a really bearable weight i.e. 52 grams.

A waterproofing of 10 ATMs has been provided which makes it suitable for both pool and open water swims.

The catch is that the display is just a monochrome, transflective MIP display. But, understandably, you have to cut some corners in order to target that 300$ audience.

Features wise, this watch has got all you can expect from a 300$ watch. It has a standalone GPS, with support from GALILEO and GLONASS which makes the GPS as quick as it can get.

But due to the monochrome display, there aren’t any proper mapping features available but it does give a breadcrumb trail in real-time along with the Barometric Altimeter and the compass for more refined bearings.

The barometer also comes with storm indicators which is a real plus for outdoor enthusiasts like hikers, mountaineers, runners, etc with an accuracy that matches the top dogs like Enduro or Venu 2.

There is a lack of onboard memory but nonetheless, you can use it to control your smartphone music. You’ve still got the more obvious stuff like sunrise/ sunset times, alarm, stopwatch, timer, etc, and everything is under 300$s.

The watch is also loaded with smartwatch health and fitness features. There is no limit to the activities you can track with it. Runners can make use of the multiple running profiles and lots of running profiles to choose from.

It also provides in a lot of other departments like cycling has cycling profiles, support for speed and cadence sensors, and swimming where it tracks both indoor and outdoor swims with a bunch of available sports profiles. You can consequently monitor your heart rate with the best in business Garmin Elevate sensor along with advanced sleep monitoring.

To conserve the battery in the GPS mode, Ultratrac mode is there which utilizes the GPS data less frequently than in GPS mode. Ultratrac mode extends the battery up to 40 hours compared to 16 hours in the full GPS mode which is quite sufficient. In the normal smartwatch mode, you can expect around 14 days.

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: up to 18 days | Heavy usage: up to 9 days | GPS continuous working time: up to 40 hours
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: No
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 59.4g (with strap)

 Amazfit T-Rex Pro is a complete package from an underdog known as Huami. They are known to put out excellent budget smartwatches.

The watch has a military level built with military environmental standards. So needless to say, it is quite a tough nut to crack while hiking. It offers excellent temperature, humidity, and shock resistance. It has a premium finish with a super AMOLED display and anti-fingerprint coating. It is very lightweight and feels like a feather on the wrist. It has 10 ATM water resistance which is extraordinary in this price range.

The watch is equipped with all the handy sensors. The watch helps you keep track of yourself with the help of a global navigation system that supports rapid positioning. You can trust this product during hiking and mountain biking as it alerts you about oxygen saturation levels with the increase in height.

This watch has a barometric altimeter that guides the user about the height and atmospheric pressure in the environment. These features attract the attention of people with young hearts and adventurous souls.

Amazfit T-Rex Pro is also a good option for people searching for smartwatches for daily use. The features like weather tracker rise, sunrise, and sun monitor make it a very user-friendly watch for daily life use. The features like the current moon display and compass will guide you to find your way even in an ocean. It has algorithms that will collect data and suggest exercises and activities that make your life healthier.

It has 100 plus sports modes. So, it will help beginner athletes to train themselves. The watch will keep track of your every activity and also records your workout heart rate. Amazfit T-Rex Pro has features that make daredevils, as well as athletes, become curious about this watch. 

The typical smartwatch usage makes this watch last up to 18 days. With the continuous working of GPS, the time reduces up to 40 hours. These are quite sufficient numbers from a hiker’s perspective at a small price.

Best Hiking Watches under $300:

Garmin Fenix 3: Best Budget Garmin

Garmin Fenix 3

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 14 days | GPS mode: Up to 20 hours | UltraTrac mode: Up to 50 hours
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 82 g

Garmin Fenix 3 is a present for people with athletic and adventurous interests, and they want something premium but are facing budget issues.

It is crafted using stainless steel with high strength and has a scratch-resistant body. The watch contains all the features and sensors one would find in a premium watch. It has a GPS mode and global navigation system to guide you properly in a new neighborhood.

The GPS is accurate and can guide you in vacant or natural places like mountains and forests. The compass is present along GPS to guide you during hiking and is used by seaman during sailing. 

The barometer and altimeter are also present in the watch to aid you in knowing your surrounding conditions. You can check your height from sea level and the atmospheric pressure around you. The built-in thermometer will measure the temperature and inform you about that. The sensors help you become fully aware of the environment you are present in and secure you from various mishaps during adventures.

Related Post: Best Garmin Watch For Hiking

The watch also offers assistance in the case of sports, athletics, and daily exercises. It will track your every movement during any exercise and provide you with a performance report. The watch introduced different features specific to various sports.

This gadget contains an accelerometer that will record your pace and help you during athletic training. It has a water resistance of 10 atm that is only present in premium products of Garmin.

It has an extraordinary battery endurance in this price range. It can be used for 14 days without charging. In GPS mode, the watch will be in your service for 20 hours. When the watch has an ultraTrac feature, we can use it for a long time of 50 hours. 

The watch will not take care of your needs in adventures but also in daily life and training. It is a complete package offering a lot in this price range and a gadget worth having.

SUUNTO Core 

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: 12 months
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 64 g

Suunto is known as one of the companies that try to rival Garmin in the outdoor activities segment. Their Suunto Core is one of the top choices for hikers. 

Suunto Core is a digital watch having vigorous resistance against bumps. This smartwatch touches all the features considering the needs of daily life.  The watch has a low price as compared to other premium smartwatches.

The device has a water resistance of 30 m which is good in this price range but you have to be careful during swimming or holding it underwater for a larger span. The watch has those sweet sensors that are necessary for a hiker i.e. Altimeter, Barometer, and compass. 

The compass will be there to guide you if you can find the way using old-school techniques. This thing spoils this watch for many young users and travel vloggers. The barometric altimeter is accurate up to 29500 feet and provides hikers with necessary metrics like current elevation, elevation gain or losses, etc.

This watch also contains a temperature sensor to measure the temperature of the surroundings. The storm alarm is also a unique concept in this watch that it alerts the person depending upon the weather forecast. Moreover, it also gives you sunrise and sunset time to plan your day and routine accordingly.

The battery of this watch is also unique from most of the smartwatches on the market. It contains a replaceable non-rechargeable battery. The battery life of the watch is twelve months in time mode. The battery endurance is reduced with the usage of other features. 

SUUNTO Ambit 3:

SUUNTO Ambit 3

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  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 14 days | GPS mode: Up to 100 hours
  • Altimeter: Yes
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 74 g

A leap from digital watches to actual smartwatches, Suunto has come a long way but is it good enough 

SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit is a companion you must have during long adventures. It has a sturdy body to protect it from accidents during harsh hikes and climbs. It has all the advanced features and sensors that will alert you in case of any calamity. 

The navigation and GPS are highly accurate and will detect every move. There is a digital compass installed in the watch which is a unique feature. The digital compass has excellent precision and is user-friendly. The altimeter and barometer will be there to guide you about precautions one should consider regarding atmospheric pressure and oxygen level due to height.

There is a storm alarm that will observe the environment based on the above-given features. The alarm system will smartly use that information and alerts you before any critical weather conditions. 

The temperature sensor makes it possible to observe the temperature and make plans during adventures accordingly. The features regarding the weather section are also capable of showing the sunset and sunrise time. This feature came in handy to plan your stops during the journey. The altimeter can be used to find the vertical speed. These features call the attention of adventurous people.

This watch has a water resistance of 100 m which indicates it has outstanding water resistance and can be used in deep water. The features in smartwatches are always inclined toward sports and similarly, we get ten sports modes in this watch.

The battery life of this watch is the most remarkable feature in this watch. The watch has an endurance of 30 days in sports mode. The GPS mode will not disappoint you as you can’t lose it for 200 hours in GPS mode. We will always prefer it over other watches as it has all the features and has an extraordinary battery span. 

Tomtom Adventurer: 

  • GPS: Yes
  • Battery Life:  up to 3 weeks | GPS: up to 11 hours (up to 24 hours while hiking) | GPS + Heart Rate + Music: up to 5 hours
  • Altimeter: No
  • Barometer: Yes
  • Compass: Yes
  • Weight: 55 g

Usually, when you are searching for a budget watch, you look towards the smaller companies. Tomtom is one such underdog that is capable of putting out useful stuff for budget watch seekers. 

Tomtom adventurer has the looks you are not most familiar with. A square body with the bands extruding from the case with a rather large button on it. The button is pressure-sensitive, usable even with gloves.

The watch’s build quality is not comparable to that of Garmin or Suunto as it feels a little plasticky, but the price at which it is sold justifies it. The watch is a bit hefty at about 55 grams. The watch is waterproof up to 5 ATMs so it is very convenient for swimming-related activities. 

Tomtom made this watch specifically for adventurers and people who are more interested in outdoor activities, hence the name. Now outdoor adventures most surely include the altitude-oriented activities where this watch shines.

The barometric altimeter along with the watch’s GPS does an incredible job of providing you with whatever metrics you would want. A compass is also there to aid. 

Tomtom is trying to compete with the market. They’ve got the optical heart rate monitor that is working 24/7 to give out your heartbeat. Tomtom has also tried to induce sleep monitoring but the awkward design and the weight makes it quite a task to wear at night while asleep. Also, a bit of refining is needed in the actual monitoring.

The watch is great though for sports, as it tracks a lot of activities. You can upload .gpx file formats for hiking, trail running, and cycling routes. Tomtom’s MySports app does need a lot of refinement but nonetheless gets the job done at a price not too heavy on your pocket. 

The watch comes with the onboard memory for songs which wasn’t available in the Garmin Instinct. You can upload the files in MP3 and AAC format. Another perk is that the Bluetooth connectivity provided is equally suitable for the wireless headsets as well as any external sensors you might want to connect to your watch. 

The battery life of adventurers is heavily dependent upon the features you use. Full-on usage with GPS and music may reduce it to about 7 hours. But the maximum you can get is 3 weeks in daily activity and smartwatch mode.