Best Outdoor Watches for Van Lifers

Grabbing yourself one of the best outdoor watches is the best thing you can buy yourself, especially if you’re an outgoing person who tends to venture off-grid or take off on a long road trip. We’ve had a number of watches in our time, but none stand out quite like these.

What are the best outdoor watches?

We’ve compiled a list of the 5 best outdoor watches for all of you adventurers out there. Whether you’re into counting those steps, tracking your progress, or just into that old fashioned hobby of telling the time, we’ve got a watch that will make passers by take a ‘second’ glance (obligatory time joke).

#1 – Garmin Fenix 3

Outdoor Watches - Garmin 1

The first Outdoor Watch on the list is the Garmin Fenix 3, an uncompromising GPS sport watch designed for demanding athletes and outdoor adventurers. It’s definitely the perfect companion for those who like to get wild in nature.

As a watch, it shows the time and date, and also has an alarm and time. Other functions include –  Navigation: GPS location, electronic compass, barometer, altimeter.

If you’re looking for fitness tracking, you can take advantage of the following settings: Distance, time, pace, laps, swim strokes, VO2 max, advanced running dynamics, recovery advisor, cycling power & cadence, daily activity tracking, Garmin Elevate wrist based heart rate monitor.

The Fenix 3’s athletic, rugged design and high quality build is perfected for demanding sport and outdoor activities while it retains great wearability and style for everyday use. The watch face casing is 51mm, which makes it a nice size and not too bulky on the wrist. It’s waterproof to up to 100m, and can hold a whopping 3 weeks of charge in normal watch mode.

You can purchase the Garmin Fenix 3 from Amazon for £299!

#2 – Suunto Ambit3 Peak Watch

If GPS navigation is your bag, then the Ambit 3 Peak from Suunto should definitely be one of the main outdoor watches to ask for on your christmas list.

Take photos during your Move showing your current speed, distance, create a Suunto Movie of your Move with 3D map, key metrics and images. Share your experience instantly to your social media networks. And tell the time when you’re trying to race to the nearest pub for last orders!

The Ambit 3 boasts up to 50 h battery life in GPS navigation mode, a compass, altitude monitoring (FusedAltiTM), sunrise/sunset, temperature, heart rate in swimming, activity based recovery time, speed, pace and distance, bike power support (Bluetooth Smart), multiple sports in one log and extra training programs that can be downloaded from your phones app store.

It’s touchscreen, it’s got a Barometric Altimeter, and you can check all of your calls and texts on the go. No more missed Instagram notifications!

You can pick up the Suunto Ambit3 Peak Watch for £235.77 on Amazon!

#3 – Casio Men’s G9300-1 Mudman G-Shock Shock Resistant Multi-Function Sport Watch

Not only does this watch have the longest title, but it’s also one of the cheapest watches in our list. Don’t let the low price fool you though; this Casio watch is well up there with the rest.

Whilst the Mudman might sound like a villain from an early Batman episode, it’s actually a solid little watch that can outdo the features of some of the top price models. At 50mm in diameter its plenty big enough and very easy to read. Whats more, with a water resistant depth of 200m, you can jump into this thermal pools safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to be calling the insurance company on the ride home.

As outdoor watches go, this one is pretty rugged. This watch is primarily named because its stainless steel and resin case is designed to be mud resistant, as well as the usual G-Shock trademark toughness. In addition, it now features an electronic compass and thermometer.

The Mudman is recharged by natural and artifical light. The watch has a perpetual calendar, stopwatch, alarm, countdown timer, as well as world time function. The backlight is a Dual Illuminator, so perfect for dealing with low light conditions when you’re off grid in the middle of a forest, trying to work out whether its too early to call your folks to wish them Merry Christmas.

This Casio Watch comes in at around £140 on Amazon.

#4 – Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS Watch

No, this isn’t what David Hasselhoff used in Knight Rider, but I bet he wishes he’d had this cool device when he was hunting down all of those bad guys!

If hiking, climbing or general outdoor activities are your thing, then these outdoor watches are going to change your world. They measure altitude, weather conditions and navigation, and are perfect for activities that require the use of both hands.

Foretrex 401 combines a high-sensitivity waterproof GPS receiver, electronic compass and barometric altimeter into a lightweight device ideal for hikers, skiers, campers and military personnel.Even in heavily wooded areas, you will be able to pick up signal as the technology in this super gadget is so incredibly sensitive.

The Foretrex 401 also lets you create and store routes to all of your favourite places and provides other helpful information, including a trip computer, sunrise/sunset times and hunting and fishing information. For even more data, connect Foretrex 401 to a wireless accessory (optional extra), such as a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor, or clip it on your bike with the accessory bike mount. Simples

The Foretrex 401 is on Amazon for a reduced price of £134.99. Grab a bargain now!

#5 – Breitling Emergency II

best outdoor watches

This is the world’s first wristwatch with a dual frequency locator beacon. Breitling has reaffirmed its pioneering role in the field of technical watches and instruments for professionals by creating the very first wristwatch with a built-in personal locator beacon (PLB).

The Emergency is a high-tech gem equipped with a dual frequency transmitter compliant with the specifications of the Cospas-Sarsat international satellite alert system and serving both to issue alerts and to guide search and rescue missions.

Developed in conjunction with major scientific institutes, the Emergency is distinguished by numerous microelectronic and microtechnical innovations, including a revolutionary rechargeable battery, a miniaturized dual frequency transmitter and an unprecedented integrated antenna system – three features specifically developed for this model. As the first ever wristworn dual frequency PLB, it establishes itself as a safety and survival instrument in all distress situations on land, at sea and in the air.

Out of all of the outdoor watches above, this is the most traditional looking, with digital and analog time displays. It’s also the most expensive, coming in at a staggering £14’660! The case is 51mm, and it comes in a stylish titanium finish.

Parting Words

Do you own any of the products above? Let us know in the comments how suited they are for what you do. Also tell us what you think should be on this list if we didn’t include your favourite watch.

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