If you love the outdoors and activities like camping, hiking or hunting, then you need a great outdoor watch. Luckily, this doesn’t need to put a huge hole in your budget – so today, we’re here to help you find the best outdoor watch for under $100.
Do you need an outdoor watch?
You might wonder if you need an outdoor watch if you’ve got a regular watch or a smart phone. The answer is definitely yes!
A regular watch is usually designed for style as well as time-keeping, and is bound to be expensive. You don’t want to damage your regular watch by taking it out into rugged terrain. Plus, the other risk is that your watch will stop working entirely, leaving you without a timepiece outdoors.
You might think that your phone is a good backup. However, your phone is likely to fare even worse in the wet than a regular watch. Phones also often struggle during the very hot and cold conditions, so there is a very good chance you’ll be unable to tell the time if you’re relying on a smart phone.
Not to mention the risk of doing serious damage to your phone if you drop it and shatter the screen or internal mechanics.
Clearly, investing in an outdoor watch is a very good idea.
What to look for in the best outdoor watch under $100
|Brand Name||Waterproof to||Material||Functions||Style|
|#1. Casio G7900 |
Our Best Pick
|200 metres (656 ft)||Japanese quartz||Timer, alarm, stopwatch, tide/moon||Digital|
|#2. Timex Expedition|
|100 metres(328 ft)||Mineral crystal||Timer, alarm (inc vibrate), stopwatch||Digital|
|30 metres (98 ft)||Mineral face/leather band||Chronograph||Analog|
|#4. LAD Weather|
|100 metres(328 ft)||Hardened plastic/stainless steel||Alarm, pacer, stopwatch, timer, calendar||Digital|
There are a lot of watches out there for under $100 – but you want to spend your money wisely. Although $100 isn’t a fortune, you still don’t want to throw it away on a bad watch.
The most important thing to look for in an outdoor watch is durability. It is absolutely crucial that your outdoor watch can withstand the conditions of the outdoors, including the rain, wind, sun and even hail. It needs to be able to go with you through water, and withstand cold temperatures.
In addition, a good outdoor watch should be impact and scratch resistant to avoid damage or the watch ceasing to work all together. It should also not become rusty or discoloured, even when it is exposed to the elements for long periods.
Analog vs Digital
One thing to consider is whether you’d like an analog or digital watch. For the most part, this will come down to personal preference and what you prefer to look at and read. An analog watch has a classic clock face, where a digital watch will show you the numbers.
Many people think that digital watches are easier to read, especially at a glance, however the choice is really yours, as both have their own pros and cons. Analog watches sometimes go flat, whereas digital watches can have issues with their internal electronics.
Obviously, you need your watch to be able to tell the time! That’s definitely the most important job of a watch. However, many watches have additional features that may also come in handy if you are a keen outdoorsman or woman.
This includes features such as a compass, alarm or a stopwatch/timer. These can be especially useful if you do activities such as orienteering or jogging where you may need these features. Often, they do come at a cost, but many of the watches under $100 include great features.
Just because the emphasis is on durability doesn’t mean the watch has to be ugly. It is true that many outdoor watches tend to be more rugged looking than their dress counterparts, however if style is important to you, you can still find watches that look great.
With all that in mind, let’s have a look to find the best outdoor watch for under $100.
The best outdoor watch for $100 at a glance
Let’s take a closer look.
To decide which watch is the best, let’s take a closer look at each option.
#1. Casio G7900 Shock Sports Watch
This watch is all about the features and durability, and is a great choice for those who love adventuring outdoors. Casio is a hugely respected name, and you can expect that this watch will be of high-quality and last for a long time.
In fact, it’s made from ultra-durable Japanese quartz, which is resistant to scratching and impacts. This watch is also water resistant up to 200 metres, so it is suitable for most watersports like kayaking and windsurfing – although it’s not recommended for use while scuba diving.
It is also shock resistant, and testing in temperatures up to –20 degrees celsius.
This Casio watch also packs a punch when it comes to useful additional features. As well as the digital clock-face, the watch has a back light so you can tell the time in the dark. In addition, the watch has other useful features including an alarm (with multiple settings) and moon/tide information. It’s a great companion to your outdoor adventures.
This watch emphasises features and durability over style, so it has more of a practical, rugged look. It features a round, black face with red accents.
#2. Timex Expedition Watch
Timex has been manufacturing great quality watches since the mid 1800s, including for soldiers during World War I. This goes to show just how reliable and durable their products are. That’s why we’re including their Timex Expedition watch on our list of the best outdoor watches under $100.
The face of this watch is made from an ultra-durable mineral crystal lens that is scratch resistant, so perfect for using outdoors. In addition, the band features a tough resign that is comfortable to wear and totally resistant to rugged conditions.
Plus, this watch is water resistant to a maximum of 100 metres.
The Timex Expedition also includes some handy additional features. It is a digital watch with a back light, so it’s easy to glance at it and be on the go. One of the best features includes the ability to set a vibrating alarm, which is ideal for people who are hard of hearing or if you don’t want the sound of the alarm to create a disturbance (e.g. while hunting). It also has a chronograph function.
The design of this watch is quite sleek for an outdoor timepiece. It is a more stylish option than the Casio, and would be suitable for those who are looking for durability and well as something with a bit of style.
#3. Benyar Sports Watch
If you want a durable timepiece without sacrificing style, then you’ll love this offering from Benyar. With a sleek leather-look band and minimalist face, it’s a great looking watch that is also super durable and suitable for the outdoors.
This watch is designed for use in the outdoors or while playing sport, so it is scratch resistant and also impact-proof. That said, it is a little less durable than the others on this list; for example, it is only water proof until 30 metres. Therefore, if you are planning to do a lot of very extreme sports, this may not be the ideal watch. However, for general outdoor use, it is a great option.
The watch face is analog, so if you prefer that style then you’ll love the Benyar. It does also have a chronograph function where you can keep track of the time using hours, minutes and seconds.
What separates this watch from the others on the list is its good looks! The watch has a rustic yet sleek look that is ideal for those who still like to look fashionable while in the outdoors. The face itself is minimalistic, yet large enough to make it easy to tell the time.
#4. LAD Weather Powerful Military Watch
If you want a watch the just looks like it belongs outdoors, then you can’t go past this masculine watch from LAD Weather. As well as its great looks, it also offers practical and useful features.
This watch is made of a hardened plastic front, and stainless steel in the back. Both are resistant to scratching and bumps, and waterproof to an impressive 100 metres. This means this watch is ideal for outdoor activities including watersports like kayaking and snorkelling.
The large, 55mm face features an easy to read digital clock. In addition, there are many extra features including a 100-year calendar, alarm, timer, stopwatch and pacer.
This watch comes in eight different colours, however our favourite is the tough-looking camouflage face that is ideal for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.
And the winner is…
All four of these watches offer durability and great features for a total price less than $100. Which one you should buy does depend a little on your own style and whether you prefer analog or digital watches.
Overall, however, our pick for the best watch of all is the Casio G-Shock. We love the excellent durability of this watch, as well as the many handy features. All of this makes it our pick for the best outdoor watch under $100.