GearHiking
Q:

What's a good hiking watch?

I'm looking for a good hiking watch. I've heard that Suunto is good and I'm willing to spend $100 to $150, but want to make sure it's a good watch. Any advice?
—Rebecca
Mechanicville, New York

A:

A few years ago, Suunto debuted the Lumi, an outdoor watch for women that was part timepiece, part piece of art. But Suunto is phasing out the Lumi in favor of a few equally well-designed timepieces that are geared more toward training. The digital T1c ($139; suunto.com) gives you real-time heart rate, average heart rate, real-time calories burned, at-a-glance zone-training, dual time, alarm, stopwatch, and workout totals for the past two months. Plus, Suunto offers a special goo called Polywatch Cleaning Paste ($8) that buffs away blemishes.

If you do a lot of wilderness hiking, don't mind spending a few extra dollars, and aren't swayed by the fact that this option isn't women-specific, I recommend the Wenger Nomad LED Digital Compass watch ($375; wengerna.com). With both analog and digital readings (time, date, day, and compass), the Nomad combines a classic Swiss Army look and excellent craftsmanship with ease of use. I tested this on a mountain hike in New Mexico and was thrilled by how easy it was to take a compass reading. Just point the watch in the direction you want to go, press the "Compass" button on the top right, and you'll get a digital bearing in degrees, accompanied by a red arrow. It's hard to get lost if you've got this gadget.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Hiking and BackpackingSport Watches
Lead Photo: Courtesy of Suunto
More Gear