Outdoor activities are good to finalize a day, tasks, or wind up your school holiday. Cool huh? However, they are inclusive of various uncertainties regarding terrain and weather conditions. These conditions are unforgiving yet so demanding of a full and top-notch gear camping checklist. Among these gears is a hiking watch. Even though efficient outdoor watches are somewhat expensive, it is possible to get cheap hiking watches under 100 dollars.
If you search for a cheap hiking watch, then you’re in the right place! In this article, we’re going to tell you what is the best hiking watch under 100 in 2021 and which products features, and brands you need to adhere to get the best deal on the market. Shall we start?
What Is a Hiking Watch?
Basically, a hiking watch can be described as a gadget with an interpolated GPS receiver strapped onto wrists like a bracelet. It is also known as a GPS watch. Utilizing ordinary watches is okay, but such an outdoor excursion will require you to have the best GPS watch for hiking. It is durable, monitors heart rate, tells altitude, time, pressure, and distance, tracks your performance, anticipates the weather, and possesses GPS mapping to tell direction when you’re hiking et al. Therefore should you be camping or hiking, it is vital to invest in the best navigation watch. That said; let us jump straight into the features you need to consider while purchasing an affordable best outdoor watch.
Top-rated Hiking Watches Under 100 in 2021: Comparison Table
|Product||Water Resistance||Shock Resistance||Case Diameter||Case Thickness||Weight|
|Casio G-Shock GD-100-1B||Up to 660 ft||Yes||5.1 centimeters||16.9 millimeters||6.28 ounces|
|Timex Expedition Grid Shock||Up to 330 ft||Yes||5 centimeters||15 millimeters||2.72 ounces|
|VECTORCOM Portable Digital Wrist Watch||No||No||2.9 x 1.8 in.||1 inch||n/a|
Best Overall: Casio G-Shock GD-100-1B
Starting off the list is GD-100-1B from G-Shock undoubtedly. It’s fantastic, affordable, durable, and sturdy and has a reliable designation. Casio is peculiar as it offers nighttime visibility to use it if you are in the dark. We loved the quality shock resistance and waterproofing seal that made the watch undeniably breathe taking. Casio’s luminosity and digital display bolster its usefulness precisely in a stressful moment. It’s perhaps a great choice for the money.
- Quality construction
- Features a 5 alarm and calendar
- Enables nighttime vision
Top Durability: Timex Expedition Grid Shock
Timex can be referred to as a great hiking and camping watch because it offers everything needed for hiking trips. Featuring its WS4 designation, backlight, times and alarms, et al., Timex makes hiking a smooth excursion. It’s also durable and resistant, thanks to its stainless steel and impeccable waterproof construction. Never disappoints.
- Impressive rugged construction
- Squared designation for vision
- Alerts and alarms
Most Affordable: VECTORCOM Portable Digital Wrist Watch
Suppose you are aware of great typical hiking watches. In that case, you know Vectorom can’t miss the list as it’s a technological giant. Famous for being a mountaineering watch, it’s a great deal for running and training. Thus, it impressively performs while hiking like tracking everything needed, like your sleep and calories. Featuring a RouteSense GPS, the Vectorom watch is unmatched in various aspects undeniably. It is unique in its aesthetic looks and possesses great unmatched features.
- Top-notch battery
- Quality inbuilt GPS
- Inbuilt speaker
- Clearer and stronger signal
What To Look For In The Best Hiking Watches For The Money
We first hand know that hiking requires a GPS watch without compromise or second thoughts. That is why we made this buying guide to note when purchasing a backpacking watch. These features will serve their importance no matter where the place or trail. Have a look.
This is a typical mark stamped at the watch’s back used to indicate how a watch is sealed well against water ingress. Firstly having a water-resistant watch is impeccable. Most outdoor watches are currently water-resistant; thus, they can’t be easily damaged during hiking in rainy seasons. It is noteworthy that each watch features various water resistance extents. It’s wise having a watch that isn’t less than 50 to 100m water resistance.
The test pressure indication regarding water depth doesn’t imply that it is durable for repetitive use in the designated water depths. Such indications were made after a one-time test. Therefore due diligence is needed here when purchasing a waterproof watch from various brands.
Shockproof and Overall Durability
Ordinarily, hiking watches feature sturdy and durable straps wherein some have sapphire glass types of lenses to prevent scratches. Others have mineral crystal type of lenses to boost their lifetime durability. The sapphire lenses are a bit expensive but still worth it nevertheless. To bolster durability you need a wireless watch, curated from metal or resin material.
Regarding preventing shock, backpack watches have a shockproof jewel casing. If it dropped or fell off mistakenly from a certain height, it can still function normally. Some watches can also withstand vibration, gravitational shock, mechanical stress, et al.
It’s great if a watch is effortless to read. All best navigation watches under 200 need to have a bold, bright, and big display. Also, one with a backlit display for nighttime hiking is crucial. With an arduous display reading, it’s easy to lose your focus. You shouldn’t compromise on the display quality because you will be prompted to purchase another one eventually.
In addition to highly visible display quality, your ideal outdoor watch has to be user-friendly. You need to easily control your backpacking watch so that you can wear it often. The technology behind it needn’t be complex, just easy enough to comprehend.
Extra Features to Consider
The altimeter aids in indicating how low or high you are above the sea level, depending on the barometric pressure or GPS data. GPS altimeter is typically more clear and precise. It’s handy to consider this feature should you be trekking, because it aids in effortless navigation.
Compass will indicate cardinal points to help you understand your navigation as well as the way in forests and mountains. Therefore with a compass incorporated watch, you can easily find your way if you get lost. If you’re sailing, swimming, or just in water, look for waterproof watches with a compass to give you an additional advantage.
Barometer detects changes in atmospheric pressure, therefore it can easily predict weather conditions. Should the pressure dramatically drop, then it implies that there’ll be an oncoming rain and storm. Whereas a rapid pressure rise indicates warm and sunny weather. Other brands come with a barometer alarm feature that tells fast shifts in air pressure.
A watch with a thermometer will help measure your temperature so that you know if you’re getting ill. To get an accurate temperature measurement, a hiking watch under 200 should be appropriately placed. This is important because you may never know when times would call for it.
Side note: look for a hiking watch with an altimeter, barometer, compass, and thermometer. Versatility is cool.
GPS is amongst the top price deciding factors of the best outdoor watch under 100. If you fancy accurate directions and positions, then GPS is crucial. Besides, it indicates the distance and speed from your destination. This is smart and nifty. According to study, GPS watches possess a 0.6±0.3% up to 1.9±1.5% accuracy levels in indicating distance covered. Hence GPS watches are feasible and valid for hiking purposes to track and measure training load and performance. Nonetheless, small errors with various brands should be considered during data interpretation when looking for the best GPS watch for hiking.
Heart Rate Monitor Accuracy
Over recent years, wearable technology development for tracking energy expenditure and heart rate has improved courtesy of photoplethysmography. It is crucial to consider this part if you are avid about your health. Various studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of hiking watches on accurately and inaccurately monitoring heart rate.
For example, the 2017 paper undoubtedly proved that tested watches had accurately measured about 89 percent of sampled beats when they were on rest and not during activity.
According to the 2018 study, various brands showed errors of up to 8% dependent on intensity levels and the device. Another research showed that wrist monitors accurately reported heart rates compared to energy expenditure when hiking. Nonetheless, these devices’ accuracy to measure hikers’ heart rate isn’t eligible to be considered in use for precise, accurate heart rates by athletes.
Finally, according to 2019’s Journal of Sport Sciences Sports study indicated error measurements of 2.4% up to 13.5%. Don’t get us wrong. These statistics advise you not to wholly depend on these watches’ heart rate measurements if you are so concise about your heartbeat and energy expenditure. Nevertheless, a hiking watch with a heart rate monitor is better than one without.
Should you utilize a digital or analog hiking watch?
They can function well because it depends on what you prefer. A digital watch is way more accurate and gives precise reading compared to its counterpart. As mentioned earlier, if you want exact numbers, a backpacking watch will do.
Can chilly weather affect a hiking watch’s battery life?
Typically chilly weather affects batteries, even that of a digital outdoor watch. Having this in mind, the colder your battery becomes, then the lesser its efficiency. To curb this, ascertain that your watch is always covered and near a heat source. If you’re concerned about battery then have a spare one while hiking.
Can outdoor watches be utilized without connecting to smartphones?
Yes, other brands can be utilized without connecting to a smartphone. However, the backpack watch might not function appropriately without accessing smartphones. It’s noteworthy that hiking watches under 100 don’t serve via a smartphone connection because it needs LTE/W-Fi/Bluetooth access, which is pricey.
And that’s about it. Conclusively we have proved that you can find a quality hiking watch under 100 on the camping gear market. Keep these pieces of advice in mind to prudently get your best backpack watch. We can’t wait to see what new features various companies will bring forth with hiking watches under 100. With that being said, we hope you enjoyed the review and share it with your hiking enthusiasts to gain insight.
Good luck with your hiking adventures!