Choosing the perfect outdoor watch to suite your needs can be a challenging task. We investigated all the different features to look at in order for you to make the correct decision for the watch that fits your specifications.
Typically, when folks are talking about these types of watches they are really talking about ABC watches (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) with some additional features. The general concept, one of a handful of tools to help you keep you safe and out of a bad situation.
These are always something you should look for. Firstly, its always a good idea to have a second compass. When you lose or your regular compass breaks for whatever reason, you’ll always have a digital back up on your watch.
Clearly, the GPS is an awesome feature to have. Personally, we’d suggest using it as a back up to a larger GPS. As the watch GPS is often a bit small and hard to read.
Something that is rarely brought up, how long will your watch last in the wilderness? If you have your GPS and a handful of other features running, your watch WILL run out of battery power. Pick a watch that has a high battery rating.
If you plan on having on this being your main means of navigation, perhaps consider not buying a second-hand watch, as its battery life will be shorter (or at the very least replace the battery right away.)
This should go without saying, but whenever you get something you need to rely on, get something that will last. Often good watches are a blend of stainless steel and similar materials that can take a beating. If the price seems too good to be true, it often is.
Surprisingly, this is often an overlooked feature. You want to make sure the band is comfortable and durable. Whenever you buy a watch, make sure it’s a good fit and something you’ll happily wear all day.
Let’s face it, bad things happen. Always be prepared for a bad rain storm.
Although, more realistically, most hunters moonlight as fishermen. If you are buying this as a gift, get something they can “have one too many beers with” and “accidentally” fall in the water.
Fishing is a nice relaxing way to spend a Sunday, but it´s even better when you get a catch. Now, you could spend hours tracking tidal cycles and wind conditions, then calculating how they relate to different directions and locations. Or, you could let your watch do the work for you.
Function to keep in mind for the best fishing watch for your next trip:
Suunto Traverse Alpha combines strong build quality with a full set of outdoor features. It is your guide in the wild, keeping you on track with GPS/GLONASS navigation. Specific fishing and hunting features provide useful tools for your activity, including moon phase calendar, shot detection, sunrise alert, weather trend, and red backlight for nighttime use. Plan your routes and keep a diary of your fishing and hunting trips with Suunto Movescount.
Location based moon phase calendar with moonrise and moonset times helps you determine the best fishing times, while the barometric pressure graph allows you to closely follow weather changes.
Automatic shot detection keeps track of the number and location of shots. When scouting, use hunting specific POI types to mark trails and important locations. Sunrise and sunset alerts help plan your day, while the customizable red backlight does not interfere with night vision.
Shop for your Suunto Traverse Alpha at Safari Outdoor.
A hiking watch should have features beyond those of an ordinary watch. The most important features that every hiking watch should have are barometer, altimeter and compass.
The barometer detects changes in the atmospheric pressure and thus allows you to easily predict the weather; if the atmospheric pressure is increasing, the weather will improve and reversely; if the atmospheric pressure is falling, the weather will worsen (clouds, rain etc.). A rapid drop in the atmospheric pressure normally indicates a storm rising. All watches listed in this review show the atmospheric pressure and its tendency graph (how the atmospheric pressure has changed in the last hours). Furthermore, they also all have a storm alarm feature which warns you if the atmospheric pressure drops significantly.
An altimeter shows you how high above sea level you are and is based on barometric pressure or GPS data. A GPS altimeter is much more precise than a barometric altimeter and doesn’t require any calibration. The altimeter feature comes in handy for navigation – it is easier to find your location on a map if you know how high above the sea level you are.
A compass shows you the four cardinal directions (North, East, South and West) as well as bearing and is thus crucial for navigation. With the compass feature and a proper map, you can easily do triangulation to determine your current location.
Some hiking watches are also equipped with a thermometer which comes in handy on multi-day trips. You can, for example, measure the temperature outside the tent in order to appropriately layer your clothes before you set out on the trail again. However, it is important to note that the thermometer will normally measure temperature most accurately when the watch is not on your wrist as your body heat otherwise affects the measurements.
Watches for hiking ordinarily feature robust cases and highly durable straps. Some watches are also equipped with Sapphire glass lenses for increased resistance against scratches – in comparison to the more common mineral crystal lenses. However, watches with Sapphire glass lenses are also significantly more expensive.
Many advanced hiking watches support GPS (some support GLONASS as well) which is currently the best solution for navigation and tracking. A GPS watch allows you to instantly get the coordinates of your current location. Furthermore, it can also show current speed, distance, ascent, descent and other GPS-based information. You can import routes in GPX or similar formats to most GPS watches. These routes can then be used for navigation as the watch shows your current location in relation to the GPX route. GPS watches also track (record) your activities and allow you to export the details (duration, distance, average speed, total ascent, total descent and other parameters) to web or mobile apps such as Suunto Movescount for analysis. However, GPS watches have a much shorter battery life than watches without GPS. Nevertheless, they are normally equipped with rechargeable batteries.
Heart Rate Monitor:
Many hiking watches also show and record the heart rate. The most sophisticated hiking watches feature wrist-based heart rate monitors while others require a chest strap transmitter (sometimes to be purchased separately). The heart rate monitor feature comes in handy on hiking trips as it allows you to maintain a steady pace throughout the hike.
Logic says we should not be here. It says it’s not logical to step outside when everyone else is still asleep. It says two minutes faster is not realistic. Logic tells us to rest when we are tired and to give up when it hurts. But we choose to ignore it because we are not logical beings.
The Suunto Spartan solution for athletic and adventure multisport comprises of Suunto Spartan GPS watches, renewed Suunto Movescount.com and mobile smart phone application for iPhone & Android.
Shop for your Suunto Spartan at Safari Outdoor.
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