10 Best Compass Watches for Hiking Guide 
Jean Arevalo13 October 2023 | 14 min read
For outdoor enthusiasts, a high-end, reliable compass watch is an absolute staple device they can use for any adventure.
This type of watch provides accurate and detailed timekeeping, including essential information for outdoor activities such as altitude, location, sunrise and sunset times, etc.
A good and dependable compass watch needs to be equipped with more useful functions than a regular watch.
The altimeter, barometer, and compass, also known as the ABC triple-sensors, should be incorporated within the compass watch alongside a GPS function.
These days, there are numerous respectable watchmakers who produce high-calibre compass watches loaded with the best features.
As a result, deciding which particular watch model is perfect for you might be pretty challenging.
Don’t worry; in this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best compass watches available right now on the market.
So keep browsing if you want to discover your next cutting-edge compass watch!
What is a Compass Watch?
As previously mentioned, a compass watch is outfitted with more advanced functions than conventional timepieces.
Compass watches are made specifically for outdoor activities, enabling outdoorsy people and anyone with an active lifestyle to enjoy their outdoor escapades.
Compass watches are built to survive tough environments and challenging conditions, with major features such as ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) sensors and GPS built in. If you’re not that familiar with this feature, the altimeter is used to estimate elevation.
The barometer, on the other hand, is a feature that allows you to monitor both air pressure and changes in the weather. A compass, as the name suggests, can be used to find your right direction while hiking in the mountains, forest, or wilderness.
In addition, some compass watch models are also supplied with maps for easy navigation, alarms, and a stopwatch. Another thing is that you have two options to choose from when it comes to compass watches: digital and analogue.
What Features Should You Check Before Buying a Compass Watch?
For outdoorsy and watch enthusiasts, here are some basic features you should check before buying a compass watch:
Durability is one of the main requirements for a decent compass watch. It implies that, when used outdoors, it should be strong and durable enough to handle whatever conditions or environment.
So make sure to meticulously check each part and material used in a particular model you’re eyeing to purchase.
At the very least, a decent compass watch is equipped with basic, important features like ABC sensors, otherwise known as an altimeter, a barometer, and a compass. Make sure to check these sensors, along with time, distance, and map features.
Depending on your necessities and preferences, you may opt for a compass watch model that includes a wide range of cutting-edge features and capabilities, such as smart notifications, heart rate and activity tracking, and music.
Other versions include preloaded maps and breadcrumb navigation built-in, giving you access to an overview of your path and directions back to your starting place.
When deciding on a compass watch, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the battery life. You should choose a timekeeper that comes with a battery that can keep up throughout your outdoor adventures.
Some compass watches are integrated with solar power technology that eliminates the need for a battery. You may check watch brands that offer this practical feature.
Ease of Use
When utilising a new device for the first time, we know that there’s always a learning curve involved. And it would be no exception when owning a feature-rich compass watch, as you need to spend some time getting familiar with how the timepiece’s features and buttons function.
That said, make sure to look for a compass watch with not-overly-complicated features, allowing you to have the best timekeeping experience. Check if any companion apps offer a user-friendly interface for you to easily navigate and use.
Another vital feature of a compass watch you should check is if it glows in the dark. Even if you don’t intend to go hiking or trekking at night, this feature is quite handy in low-light settings. If something goes wrong and you’re trying to navigate in the dark, this will be beneficial.
Most compass watches are equipped with luminous dials. All you need to do is choose those with the most legible dials that do not require you to push any buttons to use this certain feature.
Among all things, make sure to consider your estimated budget first before deciding which compass watch model you’ll buy. If you have enough money to splurge for a good compass watch packed with top-grade features, then it is definitely worth investing in, especially if you’re heavily using a compass for navigation.
10 Best Compass Watches in 2023
Now let’s take a closer look at the features of the 10 best compass watches you can buy on the market today.
1. Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1
Casio is famous for its extensive collection of high-calibre watches packed with top-of-the-line features. The Japanese brand has been in the watchmaking scene since 1946, crafting some of the best timekeepers that the horological industry has ever seen.
If you’re a hiker searching for an extremely reliable compass watch, we recommend checking out this Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1.
The rugged Pathfinder watch is offered in a 50.9mm size, which makes it an ideal choice for those with big wrists. Its case and bracelet are both made of resin.
At first glance, the Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1 may look pretty complex with its numerous buttons, but it’s actually very easy to manoeuvre, even for first-time users.
Each button has designated functions, which are all meticulously labelled for wearers to remember easily. The digital display also has an electro-luminescent backlight that allows you to read time even if the watch is exposed to dark environments.
Crafted as a hiker’s best time-telling companion, the Casio Pathfinder watch is packed with the famous ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) triple sensor function.
Aside from that, it is also equipped with a whopping number of practical features, such as world time displaying in 31 time zones (48 cities), a full auto-calendar up to the year 2099, a sunrise/sunset display, and many more.
When it comes to mechanisms, Casio is famous for its state-of-the-art solar power technology.
As such, you can expect that this Pathfinder PAG240-1 is driven by cutting-edge solar power capability. This means that the watch can power itself by converting any light energy into electrical energy.
As Casio claimed, when fully charged, the watch has a battery life of up to 6 months. By spending as low as $280, you can already own this rugged and highly multifunctional watch that can make your hiking adventure a lot easier.
2. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Carbon Grey 010-02410-23
Garmin is a reputable manufacturer of smartwatches that always stand out due to their distinct and top-grade features.
Their collection of highly wearable smart devices, like the Garmin Instinct Tactical, Garmin MARQ, and Garmin Forerunner, is made of high-quality materials that deliver superior performance. They’re a perfect companion for any outdoor escapades and sports events.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Carbon Grey 010-02410-23, which is the upgraded version of the brand’s flagship Garmin Fenix 5, is a must-have compass watch for every hiker out there. This particular smartwatch is specifically designed to survive extreme outdoor conditions.
This Garmin smartwatch has a classic sporty appearance with its round stainless steel case and grey titanium band.
It is paired with a high-tech touchscreen display with the best resolution that offers the best timekeeping experience. It is also driven by solar power technology, which eliminates the need to change batteries occasionally.
Performance-wise, the Garmin Fenix 6 has been proven to deliver unrivalled practical functions, being equipped with GPS functions to help easily find your location. The smartwatch is also integrated with an altitude, a barometer, a 3-axis compass, and a thermometer.
Other than that, this stylish and versatile smartwatch also comes with additional features, such as 20+ built-in sports apps, a heart rate monitor, a sleep and hydration levels monitor, and so on. It is also equipped with a whopping 100-metre water resistance rating.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Carbon Grey 010-02410-23 sells for around $799.99.
3. Timex Expedition North Tide-Temp-Compass 43mm
Timex is known as one of the largest watchmakers in the world, with a particular lineup of rugged and tactical watches for every outdoor enthusiast.
In particular, the Timex Expedition North Tide-Temp-Compass 43mm is one of the brand’s best offerings and retails for just $249.
Right off the bat, the Timex Expedition North Tide-Temp-Compass 43mm has a rugged, sturdy build meant for outdoor activities.
The hefty 43mm round case is made of solid stainless steel with a brushed and beadblast finish. It is paired with a striking black dial and a comfortable black fabric strap.
For a legible dial, the Timex Expedition North watch is integrated with the brand’s very own INDIGLO Light material.
By simply pushing its button at 3 o’clock, you can already access this feature, allowing you to easily read time even in a dark setting. On top of the dial, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal is also incorporated to protect it against any external threats.
Thanks to its built-in compass, you can conveniently navigate your way in the mountains or wilderness while hiking.
Plus, it also comes with Timex’s patented Tide-Temp-Compass movement’s bidirectional centre hand that can be adjusted to match the tide levels in your area.
Additionally, you can also read the air and water temperatures with the assistance of this Tide-Temp-Compass movement. To complete its robust build, Timex equips the watch with a 100-metre water resistance rating.
4. Suunto Traverse Alpha SS022292000
Next up, we have the Suunto Traverse Alpha SS022292000, which oozes a classic rugged look. Coming from the reputable brand Suunto Watches, with its extensive collection of high-end timepieces like the Suunto Core and Suunto 5, this particular watch ensures to offer the best timekeeping functions.
The Suunto Traverse Alpha SS022292000 is made to withstand any of your outdoor adventures with its durable, extremely built features.
The beefy 50mm round case is made of glass fibre composite, which is coated with a stainless steel material to ensure its rigidity. The round digital dial is furnished with a sapphire crystal that protects it against any damage or scratches.
The dial also comes with an LED backlight that offers optimal legibility. What completes the whole sturdy feature of the watch is the water-repellent nylon textile, which is quite comfortable on your wrist.
Meant to accompany you in the wilderness, the Suunto Traverse Alpha SS022292000 is packed with lots of key features, such as a GPS feature, an altimeter, a barometric pressure graph, a compass, a weather trend alert, and many more.
Not to mention, the watch can withstand temperatures from 5°F up to 140°F, allowing you to enjoy even hiking in the snow. It is also integrated with a whopping 100-metre water resistance, which is definitely more than what you need.
Perhaps the only drawback of this Suunto Traverse Alpha is its battery life, which can only sustain between 10 and 15 hours when used on the main GPS tracking setting.
However, setting it to its lowest setting allows you to enjoy it for up to 100 hours or more. And when used in time mode only, you can enjoy wearing the watch for up to 14 days.
Depending on the luxury watch site or retail store where you’ll get a piece of this Suunto Traverse Alpha SS022292000, expect to shell out at least $470.
Given its long list of high-end features, this is definitely a very reasonable price for a versatile timekeeper.
5. Coros Vertix 2 B09CLR9V32
Coros has been at the vanguard of manufacturing the best entry-level and premium GPS running watches.
This Coros Vertix 2 B09CLR9V32, in particular, is one of the sophisticated, top-grade compass watches that offers a spectacular 140-hour battery life in full GPS mode and 60 days in normal use.
The Coros Vertix 2 has an oversized 50.3 mm case, which is made from a Grade 5 titanium alloy. The bezel is also crafted with the same material with a PVD coating that is claimed to be three times more scratch-resistant compared to steel.
The digital dial is fully furnished with a layer of DLC sapphire crystal to protect against any damage.
Like other Coros watches with large screens, this watch is also presented in a 1.4-inch size that offers up to 16% higher resolution. This feature alone allows you to read various pieces of information at once.
Besides, its LCD touchscreen is equipped with a backlight to offer the highest legibility.
As a hiker’s watch, the Coros Vertix 2 B09CLR9V32 is jam-packed with impressive advanced dual-system GPS functionality, a barometric altimeter, a compass function, an accelerometer, a thermometer, and a lot more.
Plus, it comes with numerous daily fitness tracking features, including steps, sleep, and heart rate monitoring.
That all being said, the Coros Vertix 2 B09CLR9V32 is an excellent choice for those searching for a highly reliable compass watch with incredible features.
Just prepare to splurge around $700 before you can own this timepiece.
6. Tissot T-touch Expert Solar II T110.420.44.051.00
If you’re hunting for a Swiss quartz compass watch, this Tissot T-touch Expert Solar II T110.420.44.051.00 is definitely a must-have timepiece for you. This watch comes with a modern, rugged design and is fully equipped with lots of practical features.
For a sturdy build, Tissot uses antimagnetic titanium with a black PVD coating to create the 45 mm case of this Tissot T-touch Expert Solar II watch.
Affixed to the top of its watch case is a brushed ceramic bezel ring, which safeguards the watch face from any impacts.
The grey titanium bracelet comes with a folding clasp with push-buttons to fit on your wrist securely.
This multifunction timekeeper is presented on a touch-screen digital dial that is integrated with Super-Luminova finishes, so it is a lot easier for you to read time, even in low-light settings. It is fully equipped with a tactile scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating to boost the case’s resistance to scratches.
Like the previous compass watches, this Tissot T-touch Expert Solar II T110.420.44.051.00 is jam-packed with all the essential features for outdoor adventures. That said, you can expect to use the famous ABC triple sensor or altimeter, barometer, and compass.
It also has a countdown timer, a perpetual calendar, a day/date display, a dual time zone, an accumulator charge indicator, and daily alarms.
Ticking inside this Tissot watch is a cutting-edge ETA Calibre E84.301 quartz movement that delivers unrivalled accuracy. This watch is also highly water-resistant, with a 100-metre in-depth rating that can keep up even when engaging in some water-type activities.
For a price tag of $1,195, this Tissot T-touch Expert Solar II T110.420.44.051.00 is the best option, considering its superb features.
7. Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC091
The Japanese brand Seiko launched its first line of Alpinist watches in 1961, which immediately gained a favourable response from watch enthusiasts and the general public due to their highly functional and durable features.
In fact, it was specifically crafted to meet the needs and requirements of Japanese mountain climbers.
As such, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC091 is surely one of the best analogue compass watches available on the market today.
It is presented in a 39.5mm stainless steel case, a size ideal for those with average-sized wrists. With its well-polished case finish, this timekeeper exudes a perfect balance of elegance and sportiness, allowing you to wear it on any occasion.
When it comes to aesthetics, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist comes with a handsome green sunburst dial. The hands and Arabic numeral indices at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 are all presented in polished gold and coated with Lumibrite for optimal legibility.
Completing the watch’s whole vintage-style, aesthetic-pleasing look is a brown alligator leather strap with a buckle clasp.
As made for outdoor adventures, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC091 is integrated with a useful inner-rotating compass, allowing you to navigate in the right direction. Plus, it also comes with a magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m and a date function at 3 o’clock.
What runs inside this timepiece is a high-grade in-house calibre 6R35 automatic movement that delivers a superior 70-hour power reserve. Held by 24 jewels, it claims to deliver up to +25/-15 sec per day. Lastly, it has a 200-metre water resistance capacity.
The Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC091 retails for around $610.
8. Citizen Attesa Satellite Wave GPSCC4004-58E
For more expensive entries, we recommend checking out this Citizen Attesa Satellite Wave GPSCC4004-58E.
This particular Citizen model is a long-lasting compass watch with Eco-Drive technology features. If you want to eliminate the work of changing batteries from time to time, you should consider buying this hiking timekeeper for around $2,495.
The Citizen Attesa Satellite Wave GPSCC4004-58E is presented in a 44mm case and bracelet crafted out of super titanium.
The watch has a lightweight build, which makes it a very handy tool for hiking escapades. Attached on top of the striking black dial is a sapphire crystal with superior scratch resistance and hardness.
Speaking of its advanced features, the Citizen Attesa watch is integrated with the world’s fastest timekeeping signal reception speed from GPS navigation, a perpetual calendar, a world time in 27 cities (40 time zones), a chronograph, etc. Aside from that, it also comes with an altimeter with the capacity to measure from 1,000 feet up to 32,000 feet.
Finally, the best feature of the Citizen Attesa Satellite Wave GPSCC4004-58E is its state-of-the-art solar charging technology, which converts any light source into electrical energy to run itself. For you to enjoy some water activities, the brand has added 100-metre water resistance.
9. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF
This list will not be complete without adding a rugged compass watch from the most sought-after G-Shock watch collection. In particular, the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is an ultimate timepiece worth paying attention to.
The Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is available in a 53.5mm resin case and strap with shock and mud resistance.
The digital dial is equipped with the LED backlight “Super Illuminator” for highest legibility. Affixed on top of the dial is a mineral glass that protects it from any scratches.
Like the previous Casio watch, this G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF has an ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) triple-sensor feature that allows you to access information related to direction and temperature.
Aside from that, it is also fully integrated with 31 time zones (48 cities), an alarm, a calendar, and many more.
As one of the best solar watches today, the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is driven by a tough solar-powered technology that offers up to 8 months of battery life on one charge. Plus, it delivers an accuracy rate of ±15 seconds per month. A whopping 200-metre water resistance capacity is also incorporated into the watch.
You can purchase this high-end Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF for as low as $690, depending on the watch retail store.
10. LAD Weather Watch LAD004
Last but certainly not least, the LAD Weather Watch LAD004 is another multifunctional compass watch fully packed with exceptional features. It is the cheapest watch in our rundown, with a selling price of just $44.
The 45mm watch case is made of plastic, which is paired with a legible dial and a black polyurethane strap.
On top of its digital dial, you can find a layer of acrylic glass that protects the watch from any damage. It also has an in-depth rating of 30 metres of water resistance.
Despite its lower price tag, the LAD Weather Watch LAD004, like the previous compass watches, is highly equipped with the ABC triple-sensors (altimeter, barometer, and compass). It is also integrated with other essential features, such as live weather forecasting, a pedometer, an alarm, a thermometer, etc.
With all being said, the LAD Weather Watch LAD004 is a great option for those seeking a budget-friendly, reliable compass watch.
When searching for a top-notch, dependable compass watch on the watch market, make sure to go for timekeepers packed with GPS and ABC triple-sensor features. After all, these are the important features necessary for a decent, reliable compass watch.
With many watchmakers offering their versions of compass watches, we know that it can be difficult sometimes to pick what suits your needs the most. That’s why we have made this list of the 10 best compass watches for you to choose from.