Best Compass Watches For Hiking & Trekking – 2018

Compass watches are excellent companions on outdoor trips, telling time and keeping people from getting lost. If you’re looking for different reliable models for this unique timepiece, then you’re in luck! Here, we’ll be discussing the best compass watches that would match both your need and your style.

Our Top Picks
My Favorite Choice
Read Our Review
Casio PRW-2500T-7CR Pro Trek
  • Designed to survive harsh use
  • Triple sensor (Altimeter/Barometer, Compass and Thermometer)
  • Solar powered
9.6Outstanding Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Casio GA1000-9G G-Shock Gravitymaster
  • Extreme toughness (guided by Triple 10 concepts for all Casio G-Shocks)
  • Twin sensor (Compass + Thermometer)
9Outstanding Read Our Review
Best Budget Option
Read Our Review
Timex T49612 Expedition Trail Series
  • Budget-friendly
  • Designed For Outdoor Torture Tests
8.6Great Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Timex T2N720 Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch
  • Eye-catching analog dial
  • Easy-to-read compass
8.8Great Read Our Review
Trusted by military forces
Read Our Review
Luminox A.8832.MI Recon
  • Has a separate compass which can be removed from the band
  • Designed for military use
9Outstanding Read Our Review

What to consider when buying a compass watch?

There are a lot of considerations when buying a good quality compass watch. As this particular timepiece is essential in both time-keeping and orientation, it definitely should provide accurate information to avoid unnecessary situations.

Know what you want, analog or digital?

Types of compasses

Conventional Magnetic – Analog Compass: This is the most basic type of compass. If your taste runs into something classical, this is a good choice. Besides, you don’t have to worry about the power source. A magnetic compass is similar to an automatic watch in many ways: classic style, no need of battery and use the technologies of old.

Electronic – Digital compass: There’s no needle, your direction is presented by abbreviations and you need to translate them yourself:

  • N: North ; E: East ; S: South; W: West
  • NNE: North – northeast ; ESE: East – southeast ; SSW: South – southwest ; WNW: West – northwest
  • NE: Northeast ; SE: Southeast ; SW: Southwest ; NW: Northwest
  • ENE: East – northeast ; SSE: South – southeast ; WSW: West – southwest ; NNW: North –northwest

It might be a little more complicated and less accurate than analog compass, but it doesn’t take much space on your watch’s dial.

Electronic – Analog compass: This type of compass uses the modern electronic technology, but still maintains the traditional analog display. You can find them on many analog compass watches nowadays.

Both magnetic & electronic compasses are reliable if you just use them for normal outdoor activities. For other special uses, you might have to consider more factors.

Types of watches

As mentioned above, there’re main types of compass available to be featured on a watch. And we also have 3 types of watch dial display:

  • Digital
  • Analog
  • Ana – Digi

I guess you got the picture already. We have a lot of combinations between a watch & a compass. Which combination best suits your need & style? It’s not easy to decide, right? That’s why you should take a look at my reviews of the best compass watches below!

Is it sturdy enough for what you plan to use it for?

Because of its nature as an outdoor companion, compass watches are known for their sturdiness and capability against rough and rugged terrain. This is designed for trekking, backpacking, and outdoor travelling. You can rest assured that with quality compass watches, they can withstand travelling.

Opt to choose a watch that is rugged enough to withstand the intensity of where you’ll be using it for. Each compass watch has their own levels of sturdiness per model that you should know and utilize.

What are the features you can expect?

The common features of analog compass watches are limited. It includes:

  • The compass itself
  • A strong lume for night use
  • Water resistance that varies per brand
  • Solar power also depending per timepiece.
  • A few more depending per models

Features that you can usually expect on digital compass watches are more diverse. The most common include:

  • The compass
  • LED light
  • Water resistance
  • Shock resistance
  • Solar power depending on the timepiece
  • Thermometer
  • Chronograph
  • A lot more depending per models

Be sure to know what features you think might be necessary for your outdoor travels to ensure that you are fully equipped on your adventure may it be camping or trekking.  Thermometers, barometers, and other special features may come in handy on unique types of outdoor adventures.

Find the right size, design, and look for your use.

The size of the timepiece is an important factor that should be prioritized because if it is too big, it may be uneasy to move with and collide on surfaces, causing scratches and cracks; if it is too small, it will most likely have limited features and may be more difficult to read.

Also, though it may be obvious, do find the exact fit that sits comfortably on your wrist without being too loose or too tight.

Find one that has a strong lume or LED light in case you need directions in the dark especially if you get lost after sunset.

Also make sure that your compass watch is checked up on beforehand. This can affect your travels greatly as travelling outdoors almost always require you to navigate during both day and night.

Best Digital Compass Watches

Casio PRW-2500T-7CR Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch

Overview

Casio continues to impress with the PRW-2500T-7CR Pro Trek Tough. The series features several timepieces developed under supervision from meteorologists to provide accurate, multiple, and useful features that measures different aspects of the environment on your travels.

The design goes for the rugged outdoor look with a classy silver color tone. Its appearance fits a traveller’s ideal timepiece that both looks and is actually sturdy for your next adventure.

This model is a digital watch that displays different information depending on what you need to know about your surroundings. It is durable, efficient, has multiple features, and budget-friendly all packed in one watch.

Some setbacks include its material that may be scratched after too much intense travels. It is also a big watch that may be a bit hard to use for first time watch users.

Pros
  • Multiple features that let you travel with information on high altitudes with the altimeter and barometer at hand
  • Knowledgeable at land travel with thermometer and compass
  • Provides information for watery travels through tide graph and moon date with 200m water resistance
  • Power saving feature maximizes battery life of watch
  • Solar powered and rechargeable
  • Water resistance lets you travel along terrain with rivers and streams

Cons
  • Buttons may be hard to locate during night time
  • Plastic case that may be scratched after long periods of travel
  • May have issues with the band and its pins
  • Size of the watch may be too large for some users

Specifications:

Casio PRW-2500T-7CR Pro Trek

ConsiderationsFeatures
Case Dimensions50mm wide – 15mm thick
Case MaterialStainless Steel
Band MaterialTitanium Band lighter than Steel
CrystalMineral
BezelAluminum (bi-directional)
LumeFull Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow
MovementJapanese Quartz
Resistance FeaturesWater Resistance for 200 meters
  • Has rechargeable solar power besides having batteries
  • Has an altimeter for measuring altitude
  • Has a barometer that measures atmospheric pressure
  • Has thermometer for the temperature
  • Has 1/100 second stopwatch, countdown timer
  • Full auto-calendar until 2099
  • 5 independent daily alarms
  • Saves energy with power saving function and battery level indicator
  • Provides a tide graph and moon date

Is it for you?

If you are a light to moderate traveller who likes a large piece then this is for you. It is durable and provides several features that inform of your surroundings. Short treks or outdoor camping may be more suitable for the watch.

It may weaken after continuous intense outdoor travels. However, it is still a durable watch overall that you may still bring in moderation to trekking activities as the features present in the watch help you with various important information on these kinds of travels.

Casio GA1000-9G G-Shock Gravitymaster Black/Gold Watch

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Overview

Casio’s G-Shock offers the Gravitymaster lineup built for the modern aviator. The GA1000-9G is the first timepiece in the series and offers multiple features fit for navigating through the great outdoors. It is a great companion for outdoor adventures and makes a great companion when lost.

The design has a cool appearance with a fitting look of black and a touch of gold at the bezel. It complements a lot of style preferences and is not too rugged in looks.

Besides having multiple features focused on navigating, it’s also a budget-friendly timepiece that lets anyone buy and utilize. The design provides flexibility that gives you a lot of options for your personal style. It combines flexibility, elegance, and function.

A few setbacks of the watch is its large size which limits its market and its lume which isn’t as bright as other models and only lights up at certain areas. The details on the dial may also be too much for some people who opt for a simpler design.

Pros
  • LED light lets you see the time brightly
  • Design and color fits most styles for flexible use
  • Shock resistance lets you travel in rugged terrain
  • Land travel or air travel temperatures can be measures with thermometer
  • Bearing memory lets you store data and use it for reference
  • An inexpensive watch that still offers a lot of features
  • Watch band is secure and durable

Cons
  • LED light only works in limited areas of the dial and not the entirely
  • Compass may be difficult to use in low light
  • Watch band is unique and may be hard to replace
  • Size may be too big for people

Specifications:
Casio GA1000-9G G-Shock Gravitymaster
ConsiderationsFeatures
Case Dimensions50mm wide – 16.7mm thick
Case MaterialResin
Band MaterialResin
CrystalMineral
BezelStainless steel
LumeAuto neon illuminator (black light LED) with Afterglow
MovementQuartz
Resistance FeaturesWater Resistance for 200 meters
Shock Resistance
  • Has large numbers and hands for ease of reading
  • Anti-magnetic structure
  • Bearing memory lets you store direction reading for reference
  • Has thermometer for the temperature
  • Has 1/100 second stopwatch
  • Full auto-calendar until 2099
  • 4 daily alarm and 1 snooze alarm

Is it for you?

If you are a light or intense traveller who want the basics in one budget-friendly, stylish, and large watch then this is a great fit. It is a cool-looking ana-digi watch with an analog compass which may pique your interest. There are a lot of features in the watch including a thermometer, compass, alarm, stop watch, calendars, and the bearing memory feature that stores important information as reference.

The shock resistance and water resistance makes it a good companion for any type of outdoor travels as it can withstand the impact on how it will be used and what it will face. It is a stylish, functional, yet inexpensive watch that fits not only the modern aviator, but also the general outdoor enthusiast.

Timex T49612 Expedition Trail Series Shock Digital Compass Watch

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Overview

A modest offering from Timex, the T49612 Expedition Shock is an excellent digital watch companion for the average traveller. It is designed to withstand shock during outdoor travels and treks while providing time and orientation. It offers the basic functions on a digital compass watch at a very inexpensive price.

The design of the timepiece is casual and complements most styles as it dons a neutral gray color. The look fits people with an active lifestyle and looks great as a travel watch. With that, it’s not meant for formal occasions.

It is a companion that fits the tough and rugged terrain of challenging treks and outdoor adventures with a straight-forward and durable design. This ana-digi compass watch is a great timepiece that allows any kind of outdoor activities you prefer. As the band is made of resin, it may become tiring after long periods of use.

The size may also be too big for some people. For its dial, the numbers may be difficult to read against the exposure to direct light and at times during night if it’s too dark.

Pros
  • Indiglo dial lets you see the dial during night time
  • Shock resistance lets you travel on any rugged terrain
  • Water resistance allows trekking through rivers or currents
  • Very inexpensive for a digital compass watch
  • Watch band is durable for outdoor travels
  • Useful watch for marathons and outdoor sports

Cons
  • Band may be too stiff and gets tiring after long use
  • Numbers on dial may be a bit difficult to read on exposure to sun and night time
  • May be too big and bulky for some users

Specifications:
Timex Men’s T49612 Expedition
ConsiderationsFeatures
Case Dimensions48mm wide – 16mm thick
Case MaterialDouble Resin
Band MaterialResin
CrystalMineral
BezelResin
LumeIndiglo Light-Up Watch Dial
MovementQuartz
Resistance FeaturesWater Resistance for 200 meters
Shock Resistance
  • Designed for outdoor torture tests
  • 1-hour chronograph with lap and split times
  • 24-hour countdown timer
  • Shows day, date, and month
  • 3 daily, weekend, or weekday alarms
  • Has 99-lap counter

Is it for you?

This watch is purely for the outdoors – sports, travelling, camping. If you want a watch that lets you travel through light to intense trekking or travelling and prefer the rugged design of the watch, then this is for you.

At a very inexpensive price, this timepiece only offers the very basic functions of a digital compass watch. However, it is made to be worn outdoors and is durable for any activity you may want to do. Its rugged appearance lets it operate on any preferred terrain.

Best Analog Compass Watches

Timex T2N720 Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch

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Overview

Analog watches are a popular choice despite the surge in digital timepieces, mostly due to their appeal. Mixing both function and appeal, Timex offers the Tide Temp Compass Watch, an elegant timepiece meant for the tech savvy adventurer.

This timepiece features a very classy and sporty look with its black color tone with red features. The dial has a very unique appeal that makes the overall look of the timepiece a perfect match for being brought on outdoor adventures.

There are multiple features that let you know what’s up with your surroundings as it provides information on orientation tide, and temperature. A sporty and elegant watch, the Tide Temp Compass Watch combines design and function with a very budget-friendly price tag.

Despite its looks, it may be too big and tiring for some after long periods of use. It is also a very basic compass watch that lacks the special features usually present in modern digital timepieces.

Pros
  • Design is elegant and sporty at the same time that suits any style
  • Indiglo night light enables use at dark places
  • Very inexpensive compass watch equipped with the basic features
  • Sturdy and can endure travels

Cons
  • Size is large and may be too bulky
  • Although the watch is big, dial text may be small for most users
  • Strap may be uncomfortable after long periods of use

Specifications:
Timex Men’s T2N720 Intelligent Quartz
ConsiderationsFeatures
Case Dimensions45mm wide – 13mm thick
Case MaterialStainless Steel
Band MaterialSilicon
CrystalMineral
BezelResin (bi-directional)
LumeIndiglo Night Light with night mode feature
MovementQuartz
Resistance FeaturesWater Resistance for 100 meters
  • Has air/water thermometer
  • High tide and low tide tracking function
  • Quick date feature
  • Adjustable declination angle for accuracy of compass

Is it for you?

If you are a light to moderate outdoor traveller who likes large watches with an elegant and sporty look to it, then the Timex Tide Temp Compass Watch may be your good fit. The basic features of analog compass watches are present in this timepiece which is sturdy for outdoor trekking adventures.

The watch is a modest and inexpensive piece that may not the usual choice for everyday wear due to its size and functions. It is best brought on outdoor trips even on those which may traverse rivers or streams as has water resistance.

Luminox A.8832.MI Recon Analog Display Quartz Black Watch

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Overview

Built for intense outdoor adventures, the Luminox A.8832.MI Recon is a highly-requested timepiece by elite military forces around the world such as the US Navy Seals, US Coast Guard, Royal Dutch Armed Forces, and many other law enforcement groups. It is considered a good military style dive watch that is proven to be a great outdoor companion. May it be trekking, traversing forests, or camping outdoors; the timepiece is proven to be a durable and recognized compass watch.

The look and design of the timepiece is fitting for outdoor adventures or work. It is a great compass watch that exudes a rugged yet simple appearance with its black color tone with some variations at the dial and the hands. These variations make it stand out at night and make it easier to look at.

The Luminox A.8832.MI Recon is a very durable timepiece that lets you travel freely without worrying about it breaking. It is a sturdy watch that is equipped with multiple basic features for your next journey.

A downside for the timepiece is that it may become uncomfortable after long periods of use. Also its size may be too big for some people.

Pros
  • Made of quality materials making it durable for the outdoors
  • Night vision tubes provide ample light
  • Scratch resistance keeps watch from getting damaged
  • Water resistance helps against strong water currents
  • Good design and color

Cons
  • Large watch at 46mm case diameter may be too big
  • For a big watch, numbers are a bit small
  • May be uncomfortable after wearing for long periods

Specifications:
Luminox A.8832.MI Recon
ConsiderationsFeatures
Case Dimensions46mm wide – 13mm thick
Case MaterialCarbon reinforced polycarbonate
Band MaterialSilicon
CrystalSapphire with anti-reflective coating
BezelStainless Steel (uni-directional)
LumeNight Vision Tubes
MovementQuartz
Resistance FeaturesWater Resistance for 200 meters
Scratch Resistance
  • Double security gasket crown
  • Shows day, date, and month
  • 24-hour function
  • Walk speed scale around watch rim

Is it for you?

If you are a light to intense outdoor adventurer who likes large watches then this is for you. The strength and durability of the Luminox A.8832.MI Recon are its main selling points, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about traversing any outdoor destination with your timepiece. It also has the appeal of being a popular military style dive watch that also reassures its good quality.

The materials of the watch are of great quality with a moderate price tag for the usual compass watch. However, this price compensates for the assurance that it will be a timepiece you will be using for quite a while.

If you want a dive watch with a separated compass that can be easily removed & embedded anytime, this  timepiece is an ideal choice for you!

The compass watch for you

The first thing you would want to decide on is the type of compass watch you prefer. Is it analog where there is an arrow that moves on the watch or digital where a numerical value is shown?

The next thing you would opt to decide on is your budget for the type of compass watch that you want. As you have to pay for some other equipment before your outdoor trip, such as water filter, survival knife, flashlight… don’t opt for high-end outdoor watches if you don’t really need extremely advanced features (like 1000m water resistance), the timepieces reviewed above are more than enough for most outdoor trips.

The features go next. You can go with the basic features for a more straightforward watch or a more complex timepiece which can measure air pressure and temperature depending on your trips. The design and style will be your personal choice that may ultimately decide on whether you’ll buy it or not.

No matter what your decision is, choose what you think fits best to your needs, would be perfect for where it would most likely be used for, and if it suits your personal opinions on its style and design. This ensures you’ll find the best compass watch on your next adventure.

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