Top Hunting Watches 2020 – Best Watch for Hunters

Best Hunting Watch

Gone are the days of carefully triangulating your position with a cup of water and a pin needle. Say goodbye to sticking your thumb out to measure the remaining daylight.

Now that hunting watches are lightweight, durable, and relatively inexpensive, they've replaced less precise methods of time-telling and navigation.

Designed for the most harsh environments, many hunting watches come with convenient GPS, tracking, fitness, and weather functionality. There's almost no limit to the ways that hunters can benefit from the dynamic data collected from the environment and stored right on their wrist.

Depending on the type of outdoorsmen you are, the right watch for you may be distinct from anyone else's ideal product.

Quick Picks - Our Top Hunting Watch Choices

Product

Summary

Our Rating

Suunto Traverse Alpha

  • Features automatic shot detection
  • Comes with convenient altimeter, barometer, and temperature reading functionalities
  • Constructed with water-repellant and scratch-resistant materials

LBJ Compass Army Watch

  • Watch memory can store up to seven contiguous days of user health data
  • Water resistant up to 50 m (164 feet)
  • Includes sport, hunting, and weather forecast functionality

Garmin Tactix Bravo

  • Features both tactical and fitness functionality
  • Waterproof up to 100 meters
  • High resolution chromatic display lets you view watch in any lighting

Casio Men's G-Shock Sport Watch

  • Waterproof up to 200 meters (or 660 feet) and shock resistant
  • Afterglow EL blacklight and programmable dial keep watch easy to use
  • Very affordable

Best Hunting Watches Reviewed

Suunto Traverse Alpha - Best Hunting Watch


Featuring rugged, stainless steel beveling, the hardy Suunto remains solid against weather, scratches, and other accidents. Although it's lightweight, the Traverse Alpha strap is built with water repellent nylon while the watch face is secured with sapphire crystal glass for extra durability.

Hunters like the Traverse Alpha since it features automatic shot detection tech, keeping track of where you shoot for later viewing. The watch even keeps track of your coordinates during every step of the hunt, which is especially handy for archers.

The Traverse Alpha is also compatible with the Suunto Movescount App for iOS and Android, allowing you to find your way back using a data-free breadcrumb trail.

Many buyers find the location-based moon phase, rise, and set calendar that helps them determine the best hunting times. Paired with the temperature and barometric pressure reader, the Suunto is a worthy asset for any hunt.

Ultimately, this Suunto model is valued for its hardiness. Without recharge, the battery can last up to two weeks, or ten days in full functionality GPS mode.

The only common complaint is that the time zone doesn't change automatically. Depending on your location, GPS acquisition may be somewhat slow or unresponsive.

Additionally, the temperature reading can be artificially inflated by your own body heat. It's recommended that you take off the watch and leave it in the shade for a minute before trying to read the ambient temperature.

PROS

  • Features automatic shot detection
  • Comes with convenient altimeter, barometer, and temperature reading functionalities
  • Constructed with water-repellant and scratch-resistant materials

CONS

  • Time zone doesn't change automatically
  • Temperature reading may be disrupted by body temperature

LBJ Compass Army Watch - Top Watch for Hunters


The all-in-one LBJ army watch comes with enough fun functionality to keep any hunter happy. With a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass, experienced outdoorsman should have no trouble navigating the wilderness.

With in-depth air pressure and temperature readings, it's possible to forecast upcoming weather without needing any data connection. Though it can take some getting used to, the LBJ is a worthwhile tool during a long hunting expedition.

Aside from outdoor activity measures, the watch also comes with a sport function, which includes a stopwatch, countdown, pedometer, and dual time measure. The compact memory storage records the previous seven days of step, distance, and calories burned without needing to pair to any app.

Water resistant up to 164 feet, the watch is constructed with durable Hardlex crystal and ABS casing.

The only consistent complaint some have is that the display. For those with poor vision, the light lettering on a medium-toned background can be difficult to see in full daylight.

PROS

  • Watch memory can store up to seven contiguous days of user health data
  • Water resistant up to 50 m (164 feet)
  • Includes sport, hunting, and weather forecast functionality

CONS

  • Digital display is difficult for vision-impaired wearers
  • Limited dual-tone case color options

Garmin Tactix Bravo - Best Garmin Watch


It's hard to beat the built-in tactical, navigation, and smart device functionality of the Garmin Tactix. Combining specialized hunting tools with fitness tracking, this Garmin model is meant to serve you both on and off the field.

The watch is equipped with altimeter, barometer, and compass sensors that provide accurate information. Moreover, the comprehensive navigation allow you to veer off the trail safely: simply use the "track back" tool to find your starting point again.

When your smartphone is connected to data, you're able to automatically receive emails, texts, and alerts - even if you're on the trail.

Most importantly, this Garmin is rife with features just for hunters. In particular, buyers appreciate the projected waypoints, GPS coordinate data page, and full GLONASS reception system.

Considering just how functional this watch is, consumers should note that the battery life is less compared to competitor brands. In GPS mode, the watch lasts up to twenty hours.

PROS

  • Features both tactical and fitness functionality
  • Waterproof up to 100 meters
  • High resolution chromatic display lets you view watch in any lighting

CONS

  • Battery life is drained quickly when connected to satellite navigation
  • Some complain about sunlight glare on watch face

Among outdoorsmen, the Casio G-Shock series has become one of the most popular brands of the past decade. It's no wonder why, either: G-Shock watches are just as hardy as they are affordable.

Like other G-Shock devices, this sport watch is resistant to most forms of impact, vibration, and crushing. Whether you're jet skiing or bathing, the 20-bar (or 200 meter) water resistant watch can withstand most wet activities.

Moreover, the Casio uses battery-friendly EL blacklight so that you can see the watch face in any lighting.

Although its functionality is a little simplistic, the Casio functions are still worthwhile for hunters. Satisfied buyers appreciate the multi-function alarm, 1/100-second stopwatch, and countdown timer for manual tracking.

At the end of the day, you're not going to find a more affordable watch with a better track record. It's suitable for fishing as well as serious outdoors activity.

PROS

  • Waterproof up to 200 meters (or 660 feet) and shock resistant
  • Afterglow EL blacklight and programmable dial keep watch easy to use
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • Lacks more sophisticated features
  • Resin band may sustain slight cracks over years of everyday use

Luminox remains one of the premier manufacturers and distributors of Swiss watches. With the dial face coated in fluorescent paint, the watch face captures light in the day and gently glows in the darkness without requiring any battery power.

For up to twenty-five years, the Evo Navy is guaranteed to continuously read the time accurately without needing a battery change. The quartz-based watch relies on extremely efficient, precise internal movement to provide the time.

Even more importantly, the Evo Navy is built to be both durable and lightweight. The case is based off a carbon composite material that makes it several times lighter than titanium yet with the exact same impact resistance.

Paired with the hardened crystal casing, the Evo Navy boasts strong chemical and temperature resistance. It is even water resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet), making it suitable for fishing and deep sea diving.

This watch is recommended for hunters that want to forgo extra functionality in favor of a reliable, no-recharge-needed watch. On extended hunting trips, low watch battery can make the difference between life and death.

Potential buyers should know that the watch strap is made from polyurethane. Though the strap is very tough, some buyers have found it becomes uncomfortably hot when subjected to direct sunlight.

PROS

  • Solar-charged, fluorescent dials and numbers keep watch readable in any lighting
  • Very lightweight construction keeps watch comfortable
  • Battery is extremely efficient and requires no recharge

CONS

  • Lacks extra alarm, sport, and tactical functionality
  • Polyurethane strap can become uncomfortable in extreme weather

Built to withstand diverse conditions, the Garmin Instinct carries all the fancy navigational tools you need without the price. The watch is constructed with military-grade shock, thermal, and water resistance up to 100 meters.

Many customers appreciate the fiber-reinforced polymer case, which lends extra strength without the extra weight of hardened crystal cases. The high contrast watch face is very easy to read in both bright sunlight and darkness.

Aside from the three axis compass, barometer, and altimeter, the Instinct also comes with support for GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo navigational systems.

Although some may find the multiple satellite navigational systems overkill, the combination of different systems help hunters track safely in the most challenging environments. It's even fitted with a patented TrackBack feature, allowing you to find a mapped trail with ease.

The watch also features robust activity tracking, monitoring your heart rate, stress, and step count. This data, along with previous navigation, can be synced with an online Garmin fitness account.

In smartwatch mode, the Instinct can last up to fourteen days without needing recharge. Users should be aware that GPS mode could fully drain the battery in as little at sixteen hours.


PROS

  • Lightweight polymer design keeps watch comfortable for all day use
  • Built with navigational, tracking, and fitness capabilities
  • Users can stay connected with smart device notifications out on the trail

CONS

  • Some have difficulty porting planned routes to the Garmin Instinct GPS
  • Battery life is drained in full navigational mode

The Timex Expedition Scout is a hardy watch that's still dressy enough for work. With water resistance up to 100 meters and fluorescent backlighting, the durable Scout is meant to last up to ten years before ever needing a battery change.

The strap is made from military-grade, thick cut canvas, while the watch face is held secure with scratch-resistant mineral glass. Like most Timex pieces, the case is made from 400 mm brass with Japanese quartz movement.

Customers should keep in mind that this Timex doesn't come with any fancy functionality, aside from a programmable alarm and countdown timer. If you purely want to rough it in the outdoors, this Timex is right for you.

Satisfied buyers like how the Timex features a wide set watch face with large lettering, making it easy to read in any lighting condition. The fluorescent dye coats the dials and numbers.

After charging at least twenty minutes in direct sunlight, the fluorescence should glow continuously for ten hours in dark conditions.

PROS

  • Watch face covered with patented Indiglo fluorescent paint for power-free backlighting
  • Battery lasts up to ten years without needing any replacement
  • Very cost effective

CONS

  • Lacks more advanced navigational features
  • Some complain that the programmable alarm is too quiet

The Verdict: What's the Best Hunting Watch?

Out of all the multi-functional watches on the market, it's difficult to find one that's more fit for hunters than the Suunto Traverse Alpha.

The energy efficient, sturdy watch is the only one that helps you determine the best time to hunt and fish. With dynamic moon phase calendars and temperature measurements, experienced trackers can always make informed decisions on the trail.

Pair the watches' accurate measurement of the sunrise times with barometric pressure graphs and real time storm alerts.

Once you're on the field, you can rely on Suunto's automatic shot detection tech to keep track of where you shoot. Later, map the GPS coordinates of your location for even more effective tracking.

Hopefully it's clear why the Suunto Traverse is the most competent choice for any hunter.

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