Best smartwatch for hiking and cycling

If your favourite hobby is both hiking and cycling, it may be hard to find the right smartwatch on today’s market. There is a lot of choice and the market is booming. Further in this text, you can find the best smartwatch for hiking and cycling for you among the selection of the current smartwatches in the market. 

The main criteria for the selection of the best watches for both hiking and cycling were these:

  1. Having a  rugged, water-resistant build to endure the outdoors without damage and different weather conditions.
  2. Long lasting battery that you can use for your activities the whole day without running out of power.
  3. GPS navigation with maps to help you follow the route during your rides and hikes.
  4. Comfort so that the watch feels good on your arm.
  5. The ability to track your cycling and hiking metrics.

Check out the selection of the watches to find the best smartwatch for hiking and cycling for yourself:

Suunto 9 Baro

Suunto 9 Baro
Suunto 9 Baro

This is a durable rugged watch with a resistant build that will withstand all weather conditions and types of adventures. It’s also waterproof up to 100 meters.

It has an incredibly durable battery that will last from 25 to 120 hours. Suunto has three battery modes to help preserve battery power. If you are using GPS, which drains the battery faster, Suunto 9 Baro will advise you to switch modes to prolong battery life when it’s running short.

Additionally, the watch combines GPS and motion sensors data in its FusedTrack feature to improve GPS accuracy while still preserving battery life.

The battery preservation modes and FusedTrack ensure you can choose how long your battery should last on long hikes and rides, so that you can still use all the features of the smartwatch.

By using the accurate GPS, you can use breadcrumb trail for navigation and create routes.

The smarwatch also has an optical heart-rate sensor, and the Suunto watch can connect to heart-rate strap to be even more accurate.

You can check sunset/sunrise times on the watch. You can receive storm alarms too when there is a drop in air pressure. This feature is useful when hiking or cycling outside to warm you if you need to find a shelter.

Suunto watch includes over 80 sport modes, including cycling and hiking.

It supports apps like MapMyFitness, Strava, and TrainingPeaks. You can use the new Suunto app as well to track your adventures, sleep, make routes etc. on a nice UI.

You can listen to the music via a headset connected to the watch via Bluetooth. It can also connect with your smartphone so you can receive notifications, calls and messages. In that way, you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket.

With all of this, Suunto 9 Baro is a great watch for all types of outdoor adventures. And it’s especially recommended for people who like to hike or cycle long distances and need great battery life.

Garmin Fenix 6 series

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Edition
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Edition

This series is one of the best smartwatches on the market, and it will satisfy even the most extreme adventures.

It supports almost any sport that exists, including hiking and cycling. It also has a tough build that will endure any adventure.

This is the smartwatch with the best GPS navigation. You can import GPX routes from almost any other app. On some versions of Garmin Fenix 6 (Solar, Pro and Sapphire) there is a possibility of using topographical maps in full color, and even find many places near you directly from your watch.

It has a long battery life. It can last up to 46 days when not using all the fancy features. When using the watch with GPS navigation, the watch can last up to 42 hours. This is enough for two days of full usage. There is also a Garmin Fenix 6 Solar model that will use solar energy to prolong battery life. This is great if you go on multi-day hikes or bike rides.

Garmin has many features that can measure your heart rate, track VO2 Max, your recovery and many more metrics..

Pro, Sapphire and Solar models can also store many songs and have Spotify integration including offline listening. 

You can choose between various watch sizes and weights (Fenix 6S, 6 and 6x) with different battery life. You can also choose between Gorilla Glass which is very hard, and Sapphire crystal glass that is even harder than Gorilla Glass but will have less brightness and readability.

You can also use Garmin’s Connect IQ app store to get various Garmin apps and use Garmin Explore for route planning and storing maps.

There is Pulse Oximeter as well for measuring your adaptation to high altitude, and the ClimbPro feature that shows stats of upcoming ascents. This is useful if you want to measure performance when hiking or mountain biking.

Because of lots of functionalities, like full color topographical maps, the Garmin Fenix 6 series is more expensive than others. But for those who need the best smartwatch on the market, Garmin Fenix 6 watches are definitely worth it.

Polar Grit X

Polar Grit X
Polar Grit X

Polar Grit X is a great watch for both cycling and hiking. It doesn’t have as many features as Garmin Fenix 6 but it’s cheaper, and provides great value for its price.

First, it has a great battery life. It lasts about 40 hours when using GPS and about 100 hours when saving power. This is enough for most of your rides and hikes. The watch itself is also very durable and water resistant.

It’s also way lighter than other smartwatches.This is very important because your arm won’t feel heavy wearing it.

It has a simple turn-by-turn navigation and ability to import routes by using the Komoot app, but it’s still good for this price level. This app is paid if you need to use maximum navigation capabilities. It also exists on smartphones and it provides a lot of useful info about hiking trails and bike routes. The watch also has an altimeter and compass.

The Hill Splitter feature detects automatically when you move uphill and downhill. This feature is useful if you want to know your performance when hiking or cycling on ascents and descents.

Another useful feature is FuelWise, which tells you when to refuel your body during a longer session. This helps you optimize your hikes and rides for maximum performance.

Nightly Recharge feature helps you track sleep quality and your recovery periods while wearing Polar Grit X.

Polar Grit X works with Strava, MyFitnessPal and Training Peaks, apps that are used commonly among cyclists and other fitness enthusiasts. You can also use the watch with Polar’s own training platform Polar Flow which is often praised by its users.

It has a heart rate monitor. And also VO2 max measuring, to help achieve maximum power when cycling. It doesn’t have ANT+, which limits the connectivity to certain sensors. This can bother some cyclists.

All in all, Polar Grit X is a great durable smartwatch for hiking and cycling. It’s main advantage is being cheaper while still having most important functionalities like long battery and navigation as other high-end watches. Not to mention, it has a light mass and doesn’t feel heavy on your arm, which is very important to some users.