Follow Your Wrist for Directions – Best Hiking GPS/GPS Watch

Best Hiking Gps / Gps Watch - Buying Guide Review

Hiking is one of those experiences that everyone should try to have. It allows you to get back to your roots and really reconnect with nature so that you can find a sense of peace and relaxation. Whether alone or in a group, it is an unmissable experience.

However, even the best and most experienced hikers can get lost on occasion, and it is rarely a pleasant experience – especially if you end up without a map.

A GPS watch can help you to keep on the path by letting you know where you are at all times and also mapping your route. It can do this, and much more, all from the comfort of your wrist.

In order to help you find the best hiking GPS watch, we have put this guide together, compiling all of the relevant hiking GPS watch reviews in one place, so you can find the perfect model for your home. 

Best Handheld GPS for Hiking – Garmin

Garmin is one of the biggest and most well-known brands when it comes to GPS devices and similar pieces of kit.

If you are in search of a handheld GPS as opposed to a watch, you could be in luck with this model. Take a look at the reviews and see if this is the one for you.

The Good
This handheld GPS will fit comfortably in your hand while you are on a hiking trip, but will also slide into the pocket of your coat or backpack when it is not in use.

The screen is a good size and has been made so that you are able to read it in both direct sunlight as well as when it starts to get darker.

The GPS itself is very sensitive, and the antenna helps to receive data much faster. It has 4GB of internal memory as well as a micro SD card, so you can upload all the maps you need.

It comes preloaded with UK and Ireland maps, as well as optimised routing, a barometer, and a compass with accurate elevation readings.

It can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth for live tracking, and is also incredibly robust and waterproof – so it can withstand almost anything.

The Not So Good
It can be a little clunky to hold and use, but you get used to this over time.

Our View
This handheld GPS comes at a good price, and from a brand that is reputable, so you know you are getting value for money. While it can be a little clunky, this is something that you will get used to, and you will soon discover how well it can work.

Plus, there are loads of online videos to help you unlock its true potential. With a massive memory for maps, as well as the option to load up new ones (as well as update them), you are well on your way to hiking success.

Best GPS Device for Hiking – Suunto

Suunto is another great brand for GPS and hiking equipment, so they are certainly worth looking at for your next adventure.

This particular watch could be everything you need and more, so make sure you take some time to read the reviews and see if we’re on the right track.

The Good
This GPS watch for hiking comes in black with silver detailing, making for a very snazzy piece of adventuring equipment. However, you can choose from a range of colours if this one isn’t quite you.

It has a brilliant battery life that makes it perfect for long days spent trekking, and the integrated GPS navigation is incredibly accurate and ready to guide you with the addition of the built-in compass.

You can use it as a fitness tracker too, as it will measure things like your steps and calories. Plus, it connects to social media so that you can share your travels with friends and family. It will even record the altitude and tell you when the sun will rise and set.

It has Bluetooth compatibility for hooking up to your smartphone, and the real-time tracking helps you to stay on top of things.

The Not So Good
You have to input your coordinates using the laptop app as opposed to putting them straight into the watch.

Our View
This GPS watch comes at a reasonable price, and is a brilliant hiking companion to take with you on all of your travels.

While the process of inputting coordinates can be a little lengthy and cause some hassle, it is a minor setback and the rest of the great features that this watch offers make it well worth the effort.

Perfect for tracking your every move and ensuring that you are always on the right path, there isn’t much more you need from a hiking watch. Definitely one of the top picks.

Best GPS Hiking Watch - Garmin

Returning to Garmin, this brand is one that will not disappoint due to its good quality and durable build.

If you are in need of a smartwatch, you don’t need to look any further for the perfect match. Below, we have one of the best GPS watches for hiking, so take a peek at the reviews and see.

The Good
This GPS smartwatch for hiking comes in black for a sleek and minimalist look while you are out and about. However, there are several different strap colours to choose from if you want something more vibrant. 

Made with a combination of forged steel and stainless steel, it is a robust piece of kit that will be able to withstand a lot. Plus, it is waterproof for those unexpected showers while out.

The GPS antenna is built into the watch and helps to provide an incredibly accurate reading while you are travelling. It also has a compass, barometer, and gyroscope built into it so that you have all the information you need at all times.

It comes preloaded with activity profiles for a number of different sports activities, and even has a performance widget to show you how you are doing.

The Not So Good
Some customers feel that the Fenix 3 was a better model due to the maps and navigation system.

Our View
This could be one of the best waterproof smartwatches with GPS, and it has been manufactured by a leading brand that is known for their GPS devices. While the price is a little high, if you are an avid hiker or sportsperson, this could be just what you need.

Some do argue that the Fenix 3 has better navigation and mapping software, but this does depend on personal preference and your hiking style as there has been a lot of debate over the issue. Overall, it makes for a great piece of tech to have.

Further Models of GPS Hiking Watch

Here are some further models of GPS watch, just in case the ones above do not quite meet your requirements.

Suunto Spartan ULTRA GPS Watch

Another model from leading brand, Suunto, this GPS watch is entirely black, which gives it a very sleek and stylish appearance.

Of course, there is the option to choose a white strap as well if it’s your preferred colour. It features real-time tracking and navigation so that you always know where you are.

It can even tell you the current altitude and doubles up as a fitness tracker. You can share your experiences on social media and compare results with your friends.

This touchscreen GPS watch is sturdy, robust, and ready for action.

UWEAR Multi-Sport Smart Watch GPS

This watch from UWEAR also comes in a classic black, keeping you looking good while you are off hiking. It is also resistant to water and robust, ensuring that it can withstand being thrown around a little.

The battery is powerful, and the built-in GPS will make sure that you don’t get lost on your travels – especially with the compass feature.

It can double up as a fitness tracker so that you can keep count of your steps and calories, but it also has ten sports modes for you to choose from.

Compatible with iOS and Android phones, it can keep you connected to social media as well as receive texts and calls.

Garmin eTrex 10 Outdoor Handheld GPS

Another great model from Garmin, this GPS unit fits perfectly into the palm of your hand, but it can also slide right into the pocket of your coat or backpack without taking up much room at all.

The monochrome screen is easy to read in all lighting, so you don’t have to worry if your hike takes you into dusk hours. Plus, it has been made to withstand just about anything that hiking can throw at it, making it both robust and waterproof.

It’s easy to use and also has a sensitive satellite that will accurately pinpoint your location. On top of it all, you can download all of the latest data with ease for the most accurate hiking map.

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find the best hiking GPS, and that the hiking GPS reviews have given further aid, allowing you to discover the perfect model for your next hiking trip.

Whether you are in search of a watch or a handheld GPS device, we have a great selection here that features the best of both worlds for you to browse.

From well-known and reputable brands to those that have less of a public image, we have made sure to include an excellent variety so that you can find a brand you know and trust, but also have the option to try out something new.

Additionally, we have made sure to cater to a range of prices so that you can find something in your budget.

What did you think of our GPS watch guide? Are there any that you would have liked to see or recommended? We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comments below. 

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.