Best Ski & Snowboard Watch Reviews

Updated January 15, 2021

As two of the most popular extreme sports, the world of skiing and snowboarding are famously difficult to master.

As well as the skill, skiing requires some of the most intricate and specific equipment of any sport out there.

What if there was one device that helped you perfect the ski slopes, with incorporated maps, weather apps, and more?

Well, now there is.

Watches for skiers now offer more than just the time; they help you build your skills up to be the best they can be, keep you connected with the skiing community and even help you to monitor your own health.

Finding the best watch for skiing can be difficult; this is why we’ve broken down the best on the market, allowing you to find the best one for your skiing needs.

Best Skiing & Snowboarding Watches

#PREVIEWProduct
1 Garmin - Instinct Rugged Outdoor Watch
Best Overall
Garmin Instinct Rugged Ski Watch
Hide other buying options

2 Garmin Fenix 3 HR Skiing Watch
Hide other buying options

3 Apple - Watch Series 3 Apple Watch Series 3 Snowboard Watch
Hide other buying options

4
Best For Higher Budgets
4Garmin Fenix 6 Premium Ski Watch
Garmin - Fenix 6 Premium
Best For Higher Budgets
Garmin Fenix 6 Premium Ski Watch
Hide other buying options

5 Suunto - 9 GPS Sports Watch Suunto 9 GPS Skiing Watch
Hide other buying options

6 Casio - PRO Trek WSD-F30-BU Smart Blue Watch Casio Pro Trek Ski & Snowboard Watch
Hide other buying options

7
Best For Low Budgets
7Honor Magic Smart Ski Watch 2
Honor - Magic Watch 2 Smart Watch
Best For Low Budgets
Honor Magic Smart Ski Watch 2
Hide other buying options



1. Garmin Instinct Rugged Ski Watch

Highlights
  • Shock and water resistant.
  • Crafted from military grade materials.
  • Three axis compass and barometric altimeter.
  • Worldwide GPS built-in.
Best Overall
Garmin - Instinct Rugged Outdoor Watch

Crafted with military-grade materials, the Garmin Instinct Rugged Ski Watch is built to withstand the harshest and toughest environments.

Including features that wouldn’t look out of place on military equipment, you know you will be in safe hands when you’re hitting the slopes with one of these on your wrist.

A three-axis compass, barometric altimeter means you are sure to have all the tools you need to navigate your way around the slopes and be ready for any changes in the weather.

Compatible with any smartphone, this watch in itself is a smartwatch, meaning it can be linked up to your phone and you can receive updates as you go.

Specifications

Material:
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Size:
1.8 x 0.6 x 1.8 inches
Movement:
Digital
Case Diameter:
23 x 23 mm
Watch Strap:
Silicone
Battery Life:
Up to 40 hours in Ultratrac battery saver mode

Pros

  • Waterproof to 100m.
  • Built to withstand the harshest conditions.
  • Built-in trackback feature.
  • Up to 40 hours battery in power saving mode.

Cons

  • High price tag.

2. Garmin Fenix 3 HR Skiing Watch

Highlights

With the Garmin name, it’s not a surprise that GPS technology combined with GLONASS satellite reception is one of the key features of this watch. Put that together with an omni-directional stainless Steel exon antenna, and it can track your location in more challenging environments than GPS-only technology.

Great for outdoor adventures with navigation features such as a 3-axis compass, an altimeter and a barometer. It also has fitness features like wrist heart rate technology, advanced running dynamics, measurement of your Vo2 Max and more.

The Garmin Chroma display with LED backlight is easy to read in any conditions, including dim light and bright sunlight. The display digitally shows the different functions of the watch.

PVD-stainless steel bezel and buttons, treated silicone band and reinforced housing for extra durability.

The watch is water-rated to 328 feet (100 meters) and the ability to switch modes to save battery life: up to 40 hours of battery life in UltraTrac battery saver mode; 16 hours in GPS mode; and up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode. Simply adjust the settings to get the battery life you need.

Specifications

Material:
Black Titanium
Size:
2 x 0.7 x 2 inches
Weight:
4.8 ounces

Pros

  • Adjustable modes means you can set it to get the battery life you need.
  • The GPS, GLONASS and omni-directional stainless Steel exon antenna work together to provide ideal location tracking.
  • If you want a watch with navigation and fitness features, this is your watch.

Cons

  • Comes with a lithium ion battery that must be charged; some people prefer a replaceable battery.

3. Apple Watch Series 3 Snowboard Watch

Highlights
  • Combines a cell phone and watch all in one.
  • OLED Retina display.
  • Links up with Apple certified apps.
  • Sleek and lightweight design.

Coming from a well known tech giant, the Apple Watch Series 3 provides something a little different from their normal iPhone or Macbook.

Designed with continuous physical use in mind, users can link a variety of skiing apps to their Apple watch and have it there among the slopes while skiing.

The sleek and lightweight design means you will barely feel the watch on your wrist, yet it is always there recording and helping as you go.

One of the best things about this watch is that it has its continual uses once the skiing has ended; not only is a skiing watch, it is also an everyday one too.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
2 x 1 x 1 inches
Movement:
Digital
Case Diameter:
1.5 inches
Watch Strap:
Nylon
Battery Life:
18 hours

Pros

  • Apple protection.
  • Automatic workout detection.
  • Irregular heart rhythm notification.
  • Value for money.

Cons

  • May not withstand physical harshness for long.

4. Garmin Fenix 6 Premium Ski Watch

Highlights
Best For Higher Budgets
Garmin - Fenix 6 Premium

This outdoor sportwatch has GPS, and other navigation features that make it ideal for multiple outdoor sports. The crystal is protected by a rugged stainless steel bezel (the top ring on the watch that surrounds the crystal) and the watch is tested to U.S. military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance.

There are satellite navigation and tracking functions, along with a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter.

The GPS combines with GLONASS and Galileo to track your position more accurately than GPS alone, meaning you can hike or trail ride in more challenging environments.

Activity features include enhanced wrist heart rate, built-in activity profiles, Vo2 Max estimates and more. The built-in activity profiles are for trail running, swimming, running, biking, hiking, rowing, skiing, golfing and more.  There’s also performance metrics and training load balance readings, advanced sleep monitoring and the ability to read altitude acclimation at high elevations. Use the watch to track your training load balance, training status, and running and cycling dynamics.

A great feature is the customizable power manager, where you can monitor how various settings and sensors impact battery life, allowing you to adjust to extend your battery life. The battery has four modes with different performance life depending how you use it: up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 36 hours in GPS mode, up to 28 days in expedition GPS activity mode, and up to 48 days in battery saver watch mode.

The display is readable in sunlight and is “always on,” meaning you can easily check it while climbing or cycling. When paired with a compatible smartphone, you can receive notifications and use Garmin Pay™ contactless payments. Also when paired with a smartphone, the watch will sense an incident and send your location to emergency contacts.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Bezel and Black Band
Size:
1.85 x 1.85 x 0.58 inches
Weight:
2.82 ounces

Pros

  • GPS combines with two other systems to provide accurate tracking capability.
  • A multitude of activity monitoring, including built-in activity profiles.
  • Customize what features you’re using to extend battery life.
  • Garmin is known for its GPS products.

Cons

  • Despite the ability to adjust battery modes, this watch will need lithium battery replacement on a regular basis if you use the advanced features on a regular basis.
  • The multitude of features may be too much for some users.

5. Suunto 9 GPS Skiing Watch

Highlights
  • Features over 80 sports modes.
  • Up to 100m water resistant.
  • Up to 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking.
  • Links up to cell phones.

A combination of Scandinavian design and a brand name with heritage lasting over 90 years, the Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch is the only sports watch you’ll need.

Created with all sports in mind, you can set the watch to 80 sports modes, depending on the one you need.

This, combined with the ability to link it up to your cell phone, means you can record data as you train.

Both lightweight and robust, the Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch is the perfect accompaniment to any sporting event.

Tracking your events as you go, this watch is great for monitoring your training and setting yourself goals as you go.

Specifications

Material:
Reinforced Polyamide
Size:
1.97 x 1.97 x 0.67 inches
Movement:
Digital
Case Diameter:
1.2 inches
Watch Strap:
Silicone
Battery Life:
120 hours

Pros

  • Reliable make.
  • Lightweight yet durable.
  • Touchscreen.
  • 24/7 recovery tracker.

Cons

  • No music apps.

6. Casio Pro Trek Ski & Snowboard Watch

Highlights
  • Ultra-rugged.
  • Military tested, covering all wear and tear.
  • Prolonged battery life.
  • Tracks routes.

From US army testing to your humble wrists, the Casio PRO Trek is more than up for any physical task.

Bashed or dropped, this model of digital watch is ideal if your exercise takes you through the most hazardous environments.

Created by the famous Casio brand, you know you’ll be in safe hands with both the maker and the technology the watch has.

Apart from its bulky exterior, the watch has a lot to shout about, from its prolonged battery life to its atmospheric sensors and features such as route tracking and multiple home screen settings.

Specifications

Material:
Resin Urethane Stainless Steel
Size:
6.4 x 5.2 x 4.4 inches
Movement:
Digital
Case Diameter:
2 inches
Watch Strap:
Silicone
Battery Life:
40 hours

Pros

  • Practically unbreakable.
  • Atmospheric sensors.
  • Multiple home screen facades.

Cons

  • Possibly over bulky.

7. Honor Magic Smart Ski Watch 2

Highlights
  • 454 x 454 resolution.
  • Great value for money.
  • Training course uploaded into the watch.
  • All day heart monitoring.
Best For Low Budgets
Honor - Magic Watch 2 Smart Watch

The Honor Magic Watch provides everything you could hope for in a sports-focused ski watch, yet for a third of the price of its competitors.

With heart monitoring and GPS tracking, you are sure to get the best out of your excursions and skiing trips without your bank balance on your wrist.

Linking up to your phone, you are able to text and call as well as tracking the best of your jogs, skiing trips and more.

The high resolution of the Honor Magic Watch also provides users with a crystal clear image that can be easily seen and interpreted at speed.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
1.57 x 1.57 x 0.39 inches
Movement:
Digital
Case Diameter:
2 inches
Watch Strap:
Silicone
Battery Life:
A possible two weeks

Pros

  • Low cost compared to other brands.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • Links up to cell phones.

Cons

  • Music handling is prone to bugs.

Skier Watch Buying Guide

Type Of Watch For Skiing

Recent advancements in technology have branched out into all sorts of different fields, and watches are no exception. 

The variety and types of sports watches are ever-changing and have brought more to the enjoyment and satisfaction of sport as they have grown.

Taking skiing, for example, certain watches designed specifically for skiing have integrated a range of technologies and features that cater specifically to the sport. 

Whether this is something as simple as being solar-powered or something more advanced such as monitoring the weather, there is a watch that can do it all.

When we take the problems associated with such a hazardous sport as skiing they will include things such as high altitudes, violent changes in weather, and conditions that affect the human body.

If there was a watch that could deal with all these things and provide you with vital body readings, you would say, ‘that’s the watch for me on the mountain’.

These skiing watches range from the simple to the more complex, but all have that one thing in common; they are designed to be worn during extreme sports such as snowboarding and skiing.       

Skiing Apps

The advancements in smartwatches for skiing have been egged on and encouraged by the development of a range of skiing apps. 

These apps, combined with the smartwatch technology, can rate things such as speed, heart rate, positioning, and even estimated blood oxygen levels.

‘Ski Tracks’ is an app that works both for android and iOS; its main features are the ability to track a skier’s speed, total daily distance, separate run data, and even the angle of the slope you’re skiing down.

SkiLynx is another app favorite amongst skiers. SkiLynx’s best feature is its ability to keep you in contact with your fellow skiers and works with a skiing watch to provide the perfect ski tracking device.    

Epicmix is an app designed to bring a more social aspect to your skiing sessions. Not only does it allow you to keep in contact with your friends, but it also enables you to make new ones. 

With Epicmix, you can earn points for being out on the mountain and share your status with fellow skiers, ideal for when you’re staying at large skiing resorts and wish to add a little competition and make a whole new set of skiing friends.

Features

As we’ve already noted, skiing and snowboard watches have really come into their own with their multiple features and technological breakthroughs. 

Lesser-known brands and affordable watches come equipped with only a small selection of features, whereas others have the whole package.

Apart from telling the time, modern watches are already awash with features that extend their usefulness, and when it comes to skiing and snowboarding watches, the features are far more in-depth.

Let’s take a look at the most common features on modern ski & snowboarding watches. 

GPS

Arguably one of the most desirable features when it comes to extreme sports watches, GPS is not only a handy feature when it comes to sport but can also save the wearer’s life in an emergency.

GPS or Global Positioning System, allows the wearer to accurately pinpoint their location, relative to their surroundings. This is ideal for finding the way to your favorite skiing slope or even saving your life if you get lost.

The GPS feature shouldn’t be as expensive either, as many sports watches come with this feature already built-in as standard.     

Heart Rate Monitor

A more advanced feature, the heart rate monitor, keeps track of heart rate as you partake in extreme sports. To do this, the wristwatch monitors your pulse when worn around the wrist, a fantastic safety feature.

Those with preexisting health conditions will benefit from constantly tracking their heart rate. 

Even perfectly healthy skiers who are ascending to higher altitudes will also do good to monitor their heart rate as it is a good indicator of your overall health status out on the slopes. 

A heart rate monitor is not your standard feature on ski watches, so if you are in need of such a feature it is important to shop around to find the right design and make of watch that provides this.  

Altimeter & Barometer

The calling card of any good skiing or extreme sport watch is its inbuilt altimeter and barometer. An altimeter will provide the wearer with exact measurements of their location according to altitude. 

This is great for skiers who are skiing upon quite high mountain ranges and will stop you from reaching low-oxygen levels of altitude.

A barometer feature will allow wearers to monitor the weather while skiing. 

Changes in pressure will be picked up by the barometer, allowing users to know if it is about to rain, snow, or even if a storm is coming in. 

This is a great feature for overall safety out on the slopes. If your watch tells you of an imminent storm coming in over your position, you’ll have more than enough time to evacuate the slopes. 

Water Resistance

Water-resistance is a must-have feature in any extreme sports watches, especially that of a skiing watch. 

Although you may not be swimming or taking the device below depths of hundreds of meters, having a water-resistant feature will ensure that the snow and ice that will undoubtedly be surrounding the user will not interfere with any of the watch’s instruments.

Water resistance can vary from watch to watch, with some only splash resistant while others a few meters. 

Some top of the range watches for skiing can be water-resistant to thousands of meters. 

Digital Compass

Another much-appreciated feature that is often found on skiing watches is an inbuilt digital compass. This compass is a fantastic way of keeping track of your route and ensuring you do not get lost on your way.

Being digital watch compasses, you can generally rely on the accuracy of the cardinal directions, another way of keeping your bearings out on the slopes. 

Battery Life

The majority of ski watches will contain a battery of lithium ion. Although this is somewhat indestructible in most watches, when it comes to a watch heavily laden with features, it can run out after a while.

Digital ski watches that have top of the range features may need charging after around twenty days of use. Others with fewer power responsibilities can withstand far longer without recharging. 

Materials

As is the case with your everyday watches, whether they’re stylish, practical, or a little of both, ski and snowboarding watches are made up of a variety of different materials.

Though it may offer something in the way of style, opting for a leather strap on your watch may encroach on your ability to take it through the snow.

More often than not, the watch faces and bezels will be crafted from stainless steel and protected by scratch-resistant sapphire glass. 

This is the ideal craftsmanship for a watch that is designed to be put to the test physically.

Our Verdict

After looking closely at this selection of ski and snowboarding watches, it is clear that there are a lot of designs and models on the modern market.

Understanding your own criteria will help when it comes to choosing the right watch for you.

Whether it’s the price tag that sways your choice, or the inclusion of certain features such as GPS or altimeter and barometer, it has to be more of a personal choice to the user.

Another way of narrowing down your best skiing and snowboarding watch is to put it into more context.

If you are an avid skier who will constantly be out on the slopes, then choosing a more practically focused model should be paramount.

If you are, however, swayed more by the look of the watch, then you should take other factors into consideration; the materials, the price, and the aesthetic of the watch.

Related Posts