Whether you’re going on a daily run or training for a marathon, GPS sports watches can help you achieve your goals. Not only do you have convenient wrist-wear, but it works well to monitor your daily progress. You’ll run light because you won’t have a huge phone weighing down your run. You can use various programs to mix things up and keep your sessions interesting. They also make a stylish accessory to your workout gear. Many of the best GPS watches in 2021 are solar-powered to recharge easily in sunlight. As a result, you can use them throughout the day without needing a charger! Below are our picks for the best GPS watches you can find on the market.
Battery, that's probably the most important part, especially if your life is going to depend on it. Comfort is a close second; you don’t want to hate yourself for wearing it all day. Style is up there; a lot of people want to look good when they're out there in the wild. Me personally, you know, that's not my biggest factor, but I think for a lot of consumers it would be. The battery also needs durability because a lot of them are sensitive, can you bang it around and wear it in the rain? I wouldn’t rely on “solar” powered ones yet; you can get a solar powered charger though.
The Garmin GPS sports watch allows you to personalize it with various watch faces, apps, and widgets to make your daily life a bit easier. You can use indoor sports apps to track your progress for activities like yoga and swimming. It also sends automatic updates to compatible smartphones, syncing your progress for easy review. The watch has a long-lasting battery life of up to 7 days, although this time is reduced to 13 hours on GPS mode.
This GPS sports watch helps you function in your active life. It features sports apps to help you stay on top of your workouts and monitor your progress. You can also make purchases with this watch, as it comes integrated with Garmin Pay that allows for seamless contactless payments, so there is no need to carry your wallet with you as you go out and about.
The Polar sports watch monitors steps, calories, and sleep to help you achieve your workout goals. The optical heart rate monitor provides superb accuracy with six LED sensors that continuously report your heart rate throughout the day. The Polar Flow app helps you see your training platform via the connected mobile device or desktop. The battery life is a bit short, but you can easily recharge it with the accompanying cable.
Keeping your heart healthy is a priority when it comes to fitness. This GPS sports watch monitors your heart rate with each run. You can track your routes and distance to measure running patterns over time.
The Casio sports watch uses solar power to recharge the battery, which is good for those who enjoy being in sunlight. Daily alarms help you schedule your outdoor activity. It works underwater up to 330 feet, which is great for those who like to swim or snorkel. The bezel can scratch easily, so the watch should be used with a bit of care. The watch features plenty of sensors including a thermometer, altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass. It is solar rechargeable and can run for over five months on a single charge. In fact, it can run on a full charge for up to 23 months if you operate it on the power-saving mode.
When it comes to tech for working out, it’s better to keep things simple. This practical GPS sports watch is light and reliable to use for all types of exercise. It’s perfect for people who aren’t tech-savvy and want to monitor their progress.
The watch provides battery backup time for up to ten hours, which is impressive considering the amazing features it offers especially pertaining to golfing. It seamlessly connects over Wi-Fi to update stats and scoring, and also accurately monitors your heart rate and steps taken. For golfing, the tracker allows you to zoom in as well as pan to reveal extra information, providing critical distances to layups, carriers, and hazards. Also, the watch has easy-to-read large numbers so you can use it without needing glasses.
The large-sized color touchscreen on this GPS tracker allows you to easily navigate through all the amazing features offered by this watch. The watch comes with a three-years prepaid membership that provides verified golf course maps for over 35,000 grounds around the world, allowing you to significantly enhance your golfing experience.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or biker, or you just want to get around more efficiently, a GPS watch can be a helpful solution. Powered by smart technology, modern GPS watches give you the info you need to stay on course wherever you go.
What Is A GPS Watch?
A GPS watch is a type of watch that, as the name suggests, provides users with GPS data to let them know their location in real-time. Often, this also comes with many other tracking features and sensors to give as much accurate information to the user as possible. They are commonly used among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike, although GPS trackers offer plenty of useful information for all kinds of users regardless of activity level.
Why Do You Need A GPS Watch?
GPS watches are the ideal partner for sports and fitness lovers. Here’s why.
They track your location
When you’re traveling in the wilderness, there’s a good chance you’ll end up getting lost. Luckily, you’ll know exactly where you are with a GPS watch, even without an internet connection. It tracks both your current location as well as your movement, giving you real-time information on where you are.
Some GPS watches take this even further by planning out the entire route for you. All you have to do is input your desired destination, and it will plan a route for you.
They’re more convenient than GPS smartphone apps
Have you ever found it annoying that you have to pull out your phone and open up a GPS app before you can get the information you need? GPS watches give you immediate access to your location as well as other useful information, saving you precious time especially in cases of emergency.
They track other information
For a lot of people, GPS data might not be enough reason to wear a tracker. For example, if you jog on a daily basis, you may want to not only track your location but also know your heart rate and more. Luckily, many GPS watches these days come packed with added features that enhance your fitness lifestyle. These include tracking your temperature, BPM, and more. Some GPS watches are also smartwatches, which give you access to many other features that you’d normally find on a smartphone.
Things To Consider When Buying A GPS Watch
GPS watches are pretty expensive, and there are a few other things to take note of other than price when buying one.
For most people, the dealbreaker for purchasing a GPS watch is its price. While the technology has certainly become more affordable in recent years, they’re still a hefty investment, especially for those who don’t get to save all that much.
Luckily, there are GPS watches for just about any budget, so you can get yourself a new GPS watch even if you don’t have a lot to work with. However, these cheaper watches do have drawbacks to them, such as fewer features and overall questionable build quality. But, if you’re in need of a GPS watch, there are suitable and affordable options that you should definitely consider.
GPS watches vary not only in price but in the features that come with them, too. As they are GPS watches, you’ll be able to track your location, but other watches provide more than just location tracking. Some watches, for example, can synchronize with your phone through a mobile app so you can use information that you obtain through the watch more efficiently.
Some watches also have fitness trackers that work well with the GPS feature. For example, pedometers track your steps, whereas BPM monitors show your heart rate. These can be useful if you’re going on a walk and want to track your performance.
Not all GPS watches have the same level of durability. Some GPS watches cater to more urban usage, prioritizing style and features over durability. Other watches are best suited for outdoor use and hiking, so they are usually water or shock-resistant. Depending on your lifestyle and purpose for using the GPS watch, you may want either the former or the latter.
Color And Design
Being in fashion is never a bad thing, so it’s good to choose a GPS watch that suits your style well. If you prefer sleek and classy clothing, then GPS watches with matte finishes and smooth designs may be ideal, whereas outdoorsy and active people may prefer a more heavy-duty-looking watch. If you’ll be using the watch for general purposes, though, then you may want to go for something more generic.
GPS Watch Price Range
GPS watches have become more affordable over the years, with some of the cheapest ones selling for as little as $25. Branded models cost double or more at $50, although you should expect to shell out around $100 for premium, well-known brands. Then, there are the extremely high-tech and specialized watches that go for at least $200 but come jam-packed with useful features and trackers to maximize your walking experience.
How We Choose The Best GPS Watch
We choose our GPS watches based on the design and look of the watch, the features available, and the brand’s history.
GPS Watch FAQ
Are GPS watches good for running?
Many GPS watches have built-in heart monitors and pedometers, so you can track your running sessions with a GPS watch as you would with a regular fitness tracker.
Should I get a fitness tracker or a GPS watch?
In short, if you want something more general-use, go for a GPS watch as they offer more than just fitness-related features. Fitness trackers, however, are cheaper so they may be better if you only use them for that purpose.
What do GPS watches do?
GPS watches track your location and show where you currently are on the map, though many watches also come with other features to enhance user experience.
Drew likes to say that he grew up in the wild, which is partially true. He grew up in a farmhouse, surrounded by woods, fields, and a creek. Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature. Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend goes by where Drew isn't out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents' farm.