A watch for backpacking that most people use every day. An upgraded altimeter watch is also recommended that has more features and longer battery life.
Hiking watches are more than just a timekeeping device. It offers numerous features that keep hikers safe on the trail. Special features like altimeters and barometers help hikers get information about their surroundings/
There are plenty of affordable hiking watches that offer the same features and functionality as the more expensive models. In this guide, we review some of the best backpacking watches under $100 to help you make the best buying decisions.
Why use a hiking watch when backpacking?
A hiking watch will keep your adventures organized. Backpacking can be dangerous if the weather is bad or if you get lost. So a hiking watch keeps you on your route, provides weather forecasts, gives you information about your location, and tells others where you are.
Wearing a hiking watch when backpacking without carrying many of the gadgets and equipment that can burden your hike offers many additional benefits to lessen the hassle.
Why these under 100 dollar Backpacking watches are best?
These backpacking watches are the best because not only they are cheap, but they come with a lot of features to meet your hiking needs. These watches on this list provide important information that can be very important to survival, especially when backpacking.
List of best-hiking watches for Backpacking under $100 2022
1. Casio SGW1000 triple sensor
The Casio SGW1000 Triple Sensor tops our list as the best hiking watch for Backpacking for under $100 because we analyzed this model offers the best combination of features and functionality. Especially in the price range, no other brand can match it.
Between rain, snow, and heat, hikers tend to wear out their watches quite quickly. Luckily, this watch can handle any type of beating. For us, the biggest selling point in terms of durability is the fact that it is water-resistant up to 330 feet.
The Casio Triple Sensor includes all the characteristics typical of a high-end hiking watch. Equipped with an altimeter, barometer, and digital compass.
The compass is accurate and can go days without recalibration. The watch also displays temperature and barometric pressure with fair accuracy. However, the altimeter can use a little work. There is a bit of a learning curve to get the ABC functions working, but it’s rather painless once you get used to it.
Needless to say, Casio’s build quality is always top-notch. Whether you’re hiking in the snow or hiking in the desert, the triple sensor is incredibly accurate. The manual states that the watch can operate at temperatures as low as 14°F.
Screen quality is a feature that many hikers overlook when choosing a watch. Sometimes conditions can be harsh (dark, rainy, snowy), so having a watch with an easy-to-read face can be very useful.
2. Timex T49612 Expedition Shock
The Timex T49612 Expedition Shock is a popular outdoor watch. Well, mainly because it’s the best hiking watch under $100 with a lot of features.
The watch is I.S.O. Resistant to impact. It is standard and designed to withstand all outdoor testing. This is the type of watch you want to wear on your wrist when backpacking, hiking, or camping. However, it is sturdy and stylish enough that anyone will have no problem wearing it as an EDC watch. The durable resin case serves to protect the face.
It comes with a digital compass. The compass works fine but requires significant calibration. However, it is recommended to use the compass only for direction and direction. A compass is not accurate enough to use for navigation.
The face is quite large with a negative display. There are many complaints about the readability of the face, but it is perfect for me. The only downside I can think of is that the nylon straps are fragile.
Whether you are looking for a hiking watch or simply a rugged EDC watch, the Timex Expedition Shock is highly recommended.
3. Casio SGW450H
The Casio SGW450H is somehow similar to the SGW1000. It has some (but not all) of the same amazing features, but at a much lower price, making it a perfect choice for those on a budget.
The Casio SGW450H is a dual-sensor watch with both an altimeter and a barometer. For those who already own a compass, this watch offers significant savings by eliminating that single function.
Another advantage of the Casio SGW450H is its zero gravity. At just 4.6 ounces, you won’t even notice it’s on your wrist.
Overall, the Casio SGW450H is a high-quality choice for hikers looking for a few key features but works well without a compass.
4. Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch
The Sunroad outdoor sports watch is the perfect affordable ABC watch if you don’t have a budget for Suunto Cores. You can’t expect advanced features and quality from this model, but it’s the best hiking watch under $100 that’s well worth a look.
One of the biggest differences is that the Sunroad watch has a separate button for accessing ABC functions. I’d say it’s very similar to the Casio ProTrek series. You must press the mode button to switch between the altimeter, barometer, and compass functions.
After calibration, Sunroad’s compass mode works very well. Unlike Suunto Core, the compass appears to work even while the backlight is active. For barometer mode, the watch displays barometric pressure, graphs, and ambient barometric pressure.
Like a compass, the barometer impresses. When you switch altimeter modes, the altitude is displayed in the middle and the time is displayed on the top of the face.
For a budget ABC watch, the Sunroad’s build quality is surprisingly decent. If you’re looking for an affordable Suunto Core alternative that cost 100 dollars, it’s worth it.
5. Fanmis military multifunctional watch
The Fanmis Military is a backpacking watch you can use anywhere. It can be used not only for various outdoor activities but also for style statements.
Among its many features, Fanmis watches can change the backlight to 7 colors and are also water resistant. These features prove that this watch is interesting but fun.
The watch also has the option to automatically adjust the calendar and is so light that you can take it with you anytime, anywhere.
6. Casio GD100-1BCR G-Shock
This is a powerful wrist piece with amazing features. A watch that can withstand water pressure up to 200 meters deep speaks for itself. When you’re on an intense hike, you probably don’t want to stop to press a little button.
The buttons on this watch are huge. This makes the watch easy to use. An inverted digital display with a backlight lets you see the time where you can’t see it.
The cool thing you can do with this watch is that you can set the time for several cities around the world. You can also set different alarms and have the date adjusted automatically. There is also a timer and stopwatch to record the time it took to reach the summit.
7. Casio SGW100-1V twin sensor
Casio is a real competitor when it comes to high-performance watches that cost no arms and legs. The Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor is a rugged hiking watch for less than $100.
For starters, the Casio SGW100-1V matches well with standard sports watch designs. So many people will have no problem wearing it every day. The digital display is large, easy to read, and shows the day, date, and month.
What makes the Casio SGW100-1V great for hiking is the compass. If you devote some time to calibration, the compass is very accurate. Using the watch with a map has already met your navigation requirements.
It also comes with a thermometer. The watch uses a back plate to measure temperature, so it will be inaccurate when worn.
For accurate temperature readings, the watch must be secured to a belt loop or backpack. Despite some notable shortcomings, the Casio SGW100-1V is a high-performance outdoor watch in a durable package.
8. Timex Expedition T2N721
The Timex T2N721 is a quartz movement watch with an analog display. A brown leather strap that matches the silver case and an off-white dial protected by durable mineral glass give it a more elegant design. The round face of the watch is surrounded by a bidirectional bezel.
Of the top 3 features mentioned throughout this article, this Timex model only provides a compass. However, it tries to make up for the absence of an altimeter and barometer with other features like the Tide Tracker.
This unique tool provides up-to-date information on the Moon’s apparent motion around the Earth and counts down to high or low tide. Apart from that, the watch has a thermometer that measures both air and water temperature.
And since we are talking about water, it is waterproof up to 100m. Timex exclusive Indiglo night lights make sure you can count on it after dusk.
For me, the impressive and stylish design of this watch is a huge seduction. The lack of an altimeter and barometer is disappointing, but some of the other features the watch offers can be considered a reward.
9. Timex Men’s TW4B02500 Expedition Grid Shock
With a square body and large screen, the Timex Expedition Grid Shock is the most unique product on our list. It also offers some of the most unique features imaginable in a hiking watch priced under $100.
The moisture alarm warns the user if too much time has passed since the last drink. This feature is especially useful for people who have forgotten to stay hydrated because of nature.
The vibrating alarm works surprisingly well too. Although it is shock-resistant and handles shocks well it does not break, the screen is prone to scratches very easily.
10. SALECasio G-Shock GWM5610-1
If you are looking for a durable watch, this is a good place to stop. The Casio G-Shock is almost unbreakable. It’s big, sturdy, and tough, but doesn’t feel overly heavy on the wrist, making it great for long hikes.
That said, the Casio G-Shock doesn’t include all of the cool features that are common in most hiking watches (eg altimeter, barometer, or compass). If these features aren’t a big deal, or if you’re looking for a durable under 100 affordable backpacking watches that’s easy to hike, the G-Shock is the answer.
12. Casio GA 100-1A1 military
A stylish watch made specifically for military service. So, don’t be fooled by your appearance. The strap is made of resin and doesn’t absorb sweat, blood, or any other fluids that may leak from your body, so you stay fresh at the end of the day.
Most watches made for hiking are digital, but these watches can be set to display digital or analog time. The watch is also unaffected by blows or blows and can fall from a free distance of about 10 meters.
If that’s not enough, the watch can also display the time in 48 different cities. And best of all, the life of the watch is very long.
12. Timex Unisex T49658 Expedition
One of the typical features of most hiking watches is their large face. Of course, not everyone likes big watches. There seems to be a shortage of low-profile, small hiking watches on the market. Where the Timex Expedition Classic shines.
At just 27 grams (0.96 ounces), the Expedition Classic is the smallest hiking watch on our list for under $100. Due to its small size, the Expedition Classic works well as an everyday watch without being overly cumbersome and bulky.
Timex Expedition Classic does not have ABC features (altimeter, barometer, or compass). If you care more about size than function, this is a perfect choice.
End of backpacking watches
No need to spend hundreds of dollars on a search to find the perfect backpacking watch. There are quite a few high-quality hiking watches under $100 on the market.
With the detailed review above, you can choose a good backpacking watch for under 100 dollars to meet all of your unique needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are GPS watches good for hiking?
All the best GPS watches from popular brands are great for hiking and backpacking. The watch with GPS, altimeter, barometer, and compass gives you everything you need to navigate when you wear the watch and hike.
Are hiking watches better than GPS?
Overall, a top-quality standalone GPS unit is usually better than a hiking watch. However, the best quality GPS hiking watches from top brands are the same as most standalone GPS units.