Hunting is more than just a sport – it’s a wonderful way to get in touch with Mother Nature and just forget that the rest of the world exists. While you sit in that tree stand waiting for the perfect target to show up, you get to be alone with your thoughts and the forest – that is a magical feeling!
However, the forest can be misleading, especially if the terrain is new to you. So, it’s rather easy to get really lost while you’re chasing a buck. Sure, you could put those survival skills to good use and rely on the knowledge and basic instinct to find your way back. However, life in the civilized world is not exactly good at keeping our instincts sharp and ready.
So, if (or when) your instincts fail, it would be great to have a modern tool to find your way back, like a GPS hunting watch. This is a rugged, durable timepiece equipped with advanced features that let you track temperature, air pressure, weather conditions, and even make a map of your shots. Some watches come with impressive GPS modules, digital compass, and maps in order to provide accurate navigation data.
Now, given the number of available models, each with an impressive set of features, we decided to review some of the best hunting watches on the market and listed the ones that fit our criteria. So, if you are hunting for the best timepiece to fit your needs, make sure to read our reviews.
Best Hunting Watches
1. Suunto – Traverse Alph
A stainless steel case, durable nylon textile strap that repels water, and a knurled stainless steel bezel are the main elements to suggest the Traverse Alpha is a watch designed for rough conditions. There’s also the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass that protects the intelligent mechanism and a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
The watch resists at about 100m in water and has the necessary features to become a valuable resource for outdoor adventurers, hikers, hunters, fishers, and more. First, the GPS/GLONASS navigation module is paired with hunting & fishing tech tools such as automatic shot detection (keeps track of your shots), moon phase calendar, automatic breadcrumb trail (to find your way back), sunrise alert, and weather trend alert.
It also has a red backlight, so the dial is visible during nighttime without attracting attention. There’s also a built-in flashlight to illuminate surroundings and can connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth (to receive notifications).
Lastly, this is a great accessory for when you’re moving in unknown territory as it provides access to topographic maps, altitude profiles, and has built-in barometric pressure.
- Super-durable build and scratch-resistant lens
- It looks great on your wrist & is comfortable
- Advanced GPS features
- Lots of tools for outdoorsmen
- Good battery life
- GPS acquisition can be a bit slow
- It doesn’t change the time zone automatically
- The temperature sensor is placed on the back case
Why We Chose ThisThe reliable GPS feature and the various tools that cater to hunters and fishers make the Traverse Alpha the best GPS watch for hunting. Users will love its size and comfortable design and will appreciate the access to extremely useful information such as maps, navigation, and weather trends. In addition, you get to stay up to date with your phone without having to get it out of your pocket all the time!
2. LBJ – Compass Army Watch
The comfortable design and solid build (high-quality ABS & Hardlex crystal lens) make this a great watch for people in need of an outdoor-oriented timepiece. The digital display is powered by a Japanese Quartz movement and is large enough to provide a wide range of information.
This LBJ model can be used for measuring altitude, pressure, temperature, and can forecast weather. It can also be used as a digital compass and has a dual time feature. Lastly, it’s great as a fitness tracking watch as it can measure the number of steps, movement speed, calories burnt, and distance.
Other cool features are countdown timer, alarms, metronome, and stopwatch. As fat as the timekeeping feature goes, it shows the time of the day in digital format and the day of the week.
- Durable design & comfortable fit
- Lots of useful features for outdoor enthusiasts
- It doesn’t need to connect to a phone to keep track of your activity
- Accurate timekeeping
- Great value for the money
- No BT connectivity
- It can be a bit difficult to read
Why We Chose ThisIf you’re looking for a hunting watch that’s affordable, durable, and easy to understand and use, this LBJ model may be the right choice. While it doesn’t have a GPS module, it has useful features that let you understand the environment (altimeter, barometer, and more). It’s also great for tracking your activity and it doesn’t need to connect to an app to do so.
3. Garmin – Instinct
Whether you want it to keep track of your outdoor training routine or you’re looking for a rugged GPS smartwatch that can withstand tough conditions, the Instinct from Garmin is a great option. Built according to U.S. Military Standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance, this watch comes with tactical specific features.
The Instinct is equipped with a built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter and supports several global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo). It also has a heart rate monitor and pre-set activity profiles for fitness training.
If you want to explore new routes on unknown terrain, the TrackBack feature provides a safe way of return to the starting point. The watch can also connect with various Garmin apps and the Garmin community to keep you up to date and to help you plan.
Lastly, the watch has a Stealth feature that allows you to become untraceable by disabling wireless connections and hiding your GPS position.
Overall, the Garmin Instinct is a reliable and durable timepiece equipped with a scratch-resistant display that’s visible in direct sunlight but can also be checked during nighttime due to the ‘night vision’ mode (reduced backlight).
- Reliable GPS features
- Lots of features geared towards outdoor activities
- Rugged design that’s resistant to harsh environments
- Comfortable to wear for a long period of time
- Amazing value for the money
- Low-resolution display
- It can look huge on smaller wrists
- It only works with Garmin apps
Why We Chose ThisWhile Garmin promotes it as an adventure watch, Instinct is a model with lots of versatility. Its reliable GPS features and the possibility to pair with Garmin-provided apps make it useful for more specific activities (such as hunting, sailing, fishing) as well. We also love its endurance and features that make it useful during the day and night.
4. Casio – Men’s Pathfinder
As part of the Pro Trek PAG-240 Series, the Pathfinder is a timepiece designed for the outdoor adventurer. It is durable (100m water-resistance), it comes with full auto EL backlight and is equipped with Self-Charging Tough Solar Power (no need for batteries as long as the watch is exposed to sunlight or UV light).
In addition, the Pathfinder is fitted with a series of features for people who need to manage in the outdoors. As such, it has a built-in triple sensor (Altimeter, Barometer/Thermometer, and Digital Compass), time information on 31 times zones (48 cities with city code display, daylight saving on/off), and the bezel is imprinted with directional markings for taking bearing measurements.
Other features that make the Pathfinder a great accessory are 5 daily alarms, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, 12/24-hour formats, and a battery power indicator. Lastly, the watch is comfortable on your wrist and the side buttons are easy to access.
- User-friendly interface
- A solar-powered timepiece with quartz movement
- Lots of features for outdoors adventurers
- Automatic EL backlight
- Durable & comfortable design
- The temperature sensor is on the back, against the skin
- The strap is a bit short for large wrists
Why We Chose ThisThe Pathfinder may be marketed for outdoor adventurers, but it can also be a great hunting watch with compass. The Triple Sensor also allows for accurate readings of altitude, pressure, and temperature, which is useful in predicting weather trends. We also love its durable build and large face that’s easy to read even in low light conditions.
5. Luminox – Evo Navy Seal
The Evo Navy Seal from Luminox features durable polyurethane case and band, resists under 660ft (200m) of water, and glows 100 times brighter than other luminous timepieces on the market. This makes it the ideal design for people who need to tell the time in low-light or no-light conditions or for professional marine activity.
The large face, durable mineral dial window, and white hands and markers make it easy to read the analog black dial with one date complication by the 3 o’clock position. The watch features both 12h and 24h formats and the unidirectional textured bezel is adorned with minute indexes for easier timing.
At its core, the Evo Navy Seal is powered by a Japanese Quartz movement, which means it is highly accurate. In summary, this is a highly durable, comfortable to wear, reliable timepiece that can be used by professionals with demanding jobs like US Navy Seals, Air Force pilots, medical personnel and more.
- Durable build & protective case
- Reliable & accurate quartz movement
- Easy to read face
- Good water resistance
- The glowing markers are bright
- The band breaks in time
- The glowing markers will lose power in time
- Replacement parts are quite expensive
Why We Chose ThisThe Evo Navy Seal makes for a great EMT watch because it is easy to see even in no-light conditions and features a durable build (polyurethane band and case). It’s also resistant to deep underwater conditions and has a Japanese quartz movement that is reliable and accurate.
6. Garmin – Tactix Bravo
The Tactix Bravo from Garmin is a watch built for the tactical environment but also packs features that keep track of a user’s fitness activity.
It is durable due to the non-reflective, all-black design and 1.2-inch high-resolution, sunlight-readable dial protected by a high-strength domed sapphire lens. The dial can also be seen during the night due to the night vision system that is compatible with goggles. In addition, the watch is water-resistant (up to 100m) and supports WiFi connectivity (which allows it to automatically update its software and apps). The
The watch can be used for orientation and localization due to the high-sensitivity GPS/GLONASS with automatic calibrating altimeter, barometer and 3-axis compass. Also, due to the omni-directional stainless steel EXO antenna, the watch can keep track of your location even in more difficult terrains.
Among the most-appreciated features, there are the ones that make it a tactical watch like Jumpmaster, projected waypoints, dual-format GPS coordinate data and TrackBac (to get back to your starting point). But the Tactix Bravo also comes with features for tracking fitness activity which is why many outdoor adventurers prefer it.
In terms of style, the Tactix Bravo is not bulky but it is rugged and fulfills its durability promises. It is comfortable to wear, the face is large and easy to read, and there’s no need to worry about charging. The battery life is up to 50 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode, 20 hours in GPS mode and up to 3 weeks for regular use (as a smartwatch).
- Slim, all-black design with a ruggedness to it
- Lots of useful features
- The provided information is reliable and accurate
- Easy to read screen
- A great fit for any outdoor adventurer
- The nylon strap retains odors
- It is a bit pricey
Why We Chose ThisAs far as GPS watches for hunting go, the Tactix Bravo from Garmin is a great fit. Its GPS module is highly sensitive and provides accurate information even in difficult terrain, while the battery life is quite good. Also, the watch comes with a series of features that help predict weather trends and it can connect with various apps on your phone. Lastly, it is easy to read and wear, regardless of your activities.
7. Garmin – Fēnix 5 Plus
The fēnix 5 Plus series from Garmin was designed for athletes and outdoor adventurers. Both durable and visually attractive, the watch is a great fit for anyone who wants comfortable wear and access to advanced features.
Equipped with multiple satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) this smartwatch has the capability to provide navigation in more challenging environments than regular GPS systems. There’s also a heart rate monitor (situated close to the skin), a three-axis compass, a gyroscope, and a barometric altimeter. All these sensors and advanced systems are put to good use in keeping track of physical activity, orientation, and more.
Users have access to the Connect IQ store, where they can download various watch faces, apps, and other useful tools. As such, this is truly a versatile watch that can be adjusted to fit your needs.
The smartwatch also comes with topographic maps with highlighted popular routes and Garmin Pay, which makes it easier to get what you need when you’re on route. It also allows users to store and play up to 500 songs and can connect to wireless headphones via BT. This way, you can listen to your favorite tunes while jogging or hiking without having to get your phone.
Lastly, this fēnix 5 Plus model is powered by a powerful battery (lasts 10 days in time mode) and features a strong build that can withstand a harsh environment.
- Durable build & comfortable to wear
- Multiple satellite systems
- Wrist heart rate monitor for accurate readings
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Storage capacity and contactless payments
- Some connectivity issues with iOS devices
- The menus are a bit complicated
Why We Chose ThisThe Garmin fēnix 5 Plus can be a fantastic smartwatch for hunting! Since users can install apps, the watch can be used according to anyone’s purpose. As such, this can be a fitness monitoring device, a device used for navigation, or one that keeps track of your shooting activity. It’s also durable and easy to read and use (once you get used with the menus).
8. G-Shock – Rangeman GW-9400
The Rangeman is one of the larger G-Shock models on the market and, if you add the classic case protection, it’s also one of the bulkiest. However, the large face accommodates a series of extremely useful features and has an integrated solar cell that keeps the watch going with regular exposure to everyday light. In fact, there is a battery status indicator right in the middle of the watch’s face (the L-M-H / Low-Medium-High bar).
In addition, once you set the timezone, you don’t have to worry about setting the exact time. The watch communicates with the closest Worldwide Atomic Time transmitters in order to keep extremely accurate time. The GW-9400 is designed to communicate with six such transmitters all over the world.
The watch features 11 modes, among which you have the regular timekeeping mode (with 12h and 24h formats), world time mode (timekeeping in a different time zone), stopwatch (it can go on for 1,000 hours), 24h countdown timer, alarm (5 of them), and more.
Lastly, the watch comes with triple sensor technology with a built-in compass, thermometer, and barometer. It can also save some of the information so you can check it at a later date and it can be influenced by outside elements. The controls are easy to understand (each button on the side of the case has multiple functions), but it’s best to play with them until you learn how to make all the settings.
- Extremely durable build
- Lots of features and modes
- Solar-powered mechanism
- Extremely accurate when it communicates with one of the pre-set transmitters
- Large face that accommodates a series of information
- It has a bit of a learning curve
- It is rather bulky
- The illumination could stay on longer