Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic hit the streets of the world, everybody has been spending most of their time indoors. But now that regulations are slowly being lifted, it’s time to venture in the wild sporting the best outdoor watches under 100 dollars.
As human civilisation began to develop, so did our need to keep track of time. We went from using obelisks, sundials, and hourglasses to discreet pocket watches. Ultimately, humans began needing compact devices that we just as accurate and durable. And so, the modern quartz wristwatch was born.
Modern watches do more than tell time. Even the best outdoor watches under 100 dollars have tons of clever features that monitor various aspects of your body while you trudge through unbeaten paths.
The number and variety of outdoor watches are mind-boggling, and it can get a little confusing deciding which one is best for your needs.
Luckily, we have simplified that process for you. This review outlines the best outdoor watches you can buy today for under $100. Some of them are truly remarkable in terms of ruggedness and aesthetic appeal. Nevertheless, the first thing you need to figure out is what you need from an outdoor watch.
Best Outdoor Watches Under $100 – Quick Snapshot!
- Timex Expedition Scout Military Watch
- Casio Men’s Multi-Function Sport Watch
- Men’s Casio G-Shock Green Power Trainer Watch
- Timex Expedition Grid Shock
- Garmin Forerunner 35
- Casio Men’s G-Shock XL Series Quartz Watch
- Letsfit Smartwatch ID215G-BK44
- Lad Weather Sensor Master V Watch
Why Do You Need an Outdoor Watch?
Watches are an invaluable timekeeping device. Nature follows a different rhythm over city life, and time moves differently. Any decent watch should help you keep track of time while venturing in the wild. But a great outdoor watch will help you conquer the outdoors.
Outdoor watches are often solidly built rugged devices that can take a beating. They tend to be digital, but there are also some outstanding analog timepieces for the wide outdoors. Moreover, most have convenient attributes like GPS, weather measuring instruments like a thermometer, and a compass.
- Men’s Casio G-shock Green Power Trainer Watch – Best digital outdoor watch
- Timex Expedition Scout Military Watch – Best analog outdoor watch
- Casio Men’s Multi-Function Sport Watch – Best for activity tracking
In general, if you’ve got $100 to spare for a neat, functional outdoor timepiece, check out our ten best examples. They are loaded with incredible specs and offer the best bang-for-your-buck on the market.
Survival Watches Under 100 Dollars Reviews
Timex Expedition Scout Military Watch
For the Timex brand, functionality should be a deciding factor when purchasing a watch. Traditionally, watches were meant to tell time. Nowadays, these gadgets have grown more complex and can do more than ever before.
Despite such monumental innovation, the Timex Expedition Scout Military watch keeps things simple enough. It has analog dials and a simple circular face. But don’t be fooled by this simplicity because what lies underneath is a rugged timepiece tested to its limits.
For starters, the Timex Expedition Scout has a solid build. The case is made from brass with a mineralized glass face. The straps are mostly fabric, but you can get your watch with leather straps at an additional cost. The straps are fully adjustable, with 20 mm to work with.
The case is built to last and extends to the watch’s water resistance. You can use it up to 50 meters underwater for shorter periods. It can withstand light rain splashes, snorkeling, and general splashes. So take care not to go diving with the Timex Expedition.
The standout features of the timepiece are its analog dials. They are luminous and driven by a quartz movement. Additionally, they feature Timex one-of-a-kind Indiglo backlighting. This allows you to view the watch’s parameters even in low-light areas.
The watch has a calendar function in addition to a 24-hour military time. All the dials work well and are bound to last you quite a while. Nevertheless, this is no G-shock, and you might miss out on all the fancy features. Luckily, it has everything you need and lacks nothing you wouldn’t miss.
- Simple but functional design
- Indiglo backlighting
- Solidly built
- Water-resistant up to 50 meters
- No GPS
- No activity trackers
- No wireless pairing with your mobile
Casio Men’s Multi-Function Sport Watch
Are you looking for something truly unique? Most of your hiking buddies are probably sporting G-shocks or Garmins out in the wild. Casio Men’s Multi-Function Sport Watch stands out against other notable brands as one of the best outdoor watches under 100 bucks because of its versatility and original design.
It is a digital watch that displays tons of information in a way that is easy to decipher. Apart from the time, this watch can show your mobile notifications due to its in-built Bluetooth pairing. Moreover, it is fast and uses minimal battery power.
Get your messages, calls and social media alerts easily without having to pull out your smartphone. You can select from three different alarm tunes for your notifications.
The LCD is quite substantial at 1.25 inches. It shows the distance traveled, your step counter, and the calorie counter in addition to your alerts.
The watch has a solid build with PU silicone material. It feels sturdy and is also water-resistant up to 50 meters underwater. However, if you’re going to go diving, make sure not to press any buttons while you are submerged. The battery is another marvel. It doesn’t need charging and will last up to one year. Once exhausted, get the original batteries, and your Casio Men’s Multi-Function Sport Watch will last you a lifetime.
- A versatile device that includes activity trackers and a pedometer
- Waterproof and Shockproof
- Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
- Chronograph functionality
- Robust build
- Several buttons make it complex for some people
- It is a big watch
Men’s Casio G-Shock Green Power Trainer Watch
Casio is a celebrated watchmaker the world over. The G-Shock line caters to outdoor enthusiasts, whether they be campers or extreme sports buffs. The Men’s Casio G-shock Green Power Trainer Watch is one of the best outdoor watches under 100 dollars you can own today.
It is a barebones digital timepiece with plenty of amazing features that will satisfy any activity buff. It has a rugged design featuring a green case and black dial. The gadget’s colors will blend perfectly with most outdoor gear.
At 4.95mm, the case is large and provides excellent visibility. The mineralized glass screen is tough and will withstand substantial knocks and scratches.
Also, the screen has LED backlighting, so it will serve you equally well in the dark. During daylight hours, the Negative display screen is well-lit, and you can even decipher smaller bits of information like the timer.
Besides its aesthetics, the Power Train watch has a trove of cool features to support your health and fitness. It is equipped with an accelerometer that powers your step-counter. It also has a calorie counter and a Multi-timer.
The Multi-timer allows you to create multiple combinations and holds enough memory for hundreds of lap records.
This watch connects to a G-Shock phone app that records and presents this information on your handheld device. You can then tailor your workouts, target specific muscles and generally improve your activities.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the G-shock Power Trainer is a steal. The timers keep track of your movement through the woods, whether hiking or cycling. It is also water-resistant, and you won’t have to worry about rainy weather interfering with your time outdoors.
As with most modern digital watches, this G-Shock has Bluetooth connectivity. So you can pair up your phone and receive your activity information in an instant.
- Stellar water resistance up to 200 meters
- Impressive battery life
- Seamless smartphone sync
- Solid build quality
- Requires Bluetooth pairing every time you want to view information on your phone
- Visibility during the day is not the best
- The step counter isn’t accurate
Timex Expedition Grid Shock
While Casio might be a potential cockerel in the outdoor watches roost, other similar brands keep up. One of the most notable outdoor watchmakers is Timex. The Timex Expedition Grid Shock Watch is every bit an outdoor enthusiast’s piece.
The brand’s capability is on full display on the face of the Timex Expedition. The watch is solidly built and packed full with all the bells and whistles needed to ensure a truly fulfilling outdoor excursion.
The Expedition comes equipped with a resin strap that is adjustable to fit even up to 8-inch wrists. What’s more, you also get a resin case shipped with the gadget.
Water is life. It also happens to be an electronic appliance’s worst enemy. That’s why Timex made this watch water resistant up to 100 meters below water. So whether you are wading, swimming or unexpectedly getting caught in the rain, the Timex Expedition will be able to take it all.
The watch bears a 100-hour chronograph that allows you to track your trips. The face features a digital display and dials that light up. The screen is grey and visible even under direct sunlight. At night, the innovative Indiglo dials light up, and you won’t miss a second. Most watches have alarms, and most even make a sound when the time comes. However, few makers like Timex opt to fit a vibrating element in the Expedition. This ensures that you will hardly miss your deadlines.
- Sturdy build and comfortable to wear
- Bigger display
- Indiglo backlight
- Three time zones
- 100-hour chronograph
- 24-hour military time mode
- The display surface is a scratch-magnet
- No GPS
- Misses activity tracking features
Garmin Forerunner 35
You can never go wrong with a Garmin smartwatch on your wrist. These gadgets are worth more than your regular timepiece despite costing less than $100.
The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes, owing to its fitness-focused support platform. Additionally, the watch boasts a wealth of cool features and specs tailored to making outdoor excursions well worth the effort.
This watch has a heart rate monitor, step counter, calorie counter and a host of other activity metrics. While hiking, knowing the time is pretty convenient. However, knowing how far into the woods you’ve walked is an invaluable guide on your outdoor trips.
Apart from measuring your travel distance, the Garmin Forerunner also processes a substantial amount of data related to your various activities. Find out how many calories you’re burning, the pace you are walking at, and your heart rate with this nifty gadget.
If you;d like, you can upload this data to an online fitness community. While there, you can compare the numbers with like-minded individuals and even set up competitions that are bound to improve your athleticism, eventually affording you a worthwhile outdoor experience.
The smartwatch also connects to your mobile handset and supports both iOS and Android platforms. This way, you’ll always have notifications popping up on your wrists. Additionally, the watch affords users an array of hands-free controls for their music, messages and calls.
While exploring the general outdoors, you need to be as comfortable as possible. This means that you have to avoid unnecessary luggage and ill-fitting clothes to preserve your energy for the adventure ahead.
Luckily, the Garmin Forerunner weighs a measly 1.6 ounces. It is also incredibly slim and wraps nicely around your wrist; you might even forget you’re wearing a watch. Moreover, the watch comes equipped with control buttons because touch screens attract smudges and fingerprints most times. And if you’re running, having to fiddle the touch screen can be pretty annoying.
- Slim and lightweight build
- Activity tracker and heart rate monitor
- Links to Garmin Connect
- 5ATM Waterproof
- Can pair with external sensors
- Basic music controls
- GPS is slower than pricier options
Casio Men’s G-Shock XL Series Quartz Watch
Arguably the gold standard of outdoor watches, Casio’s G-Shock line has what it takes to satisfy your natural side of living. They are rugged watches loaded with excellent features and incredibly functional. The XL Series quartz watch is one of the best outdoor watches under 100 measly dollars.
The watch has the classic G-shock look and feel. You will instantly recognize it by its rugged, militarized aesthetic. What’s more, its appearance goes well with a wide variety of outdoor camo wear and hiking gear.
Casio’s G-Shock XL Series is a robust piece of equipment. It is water-resistant up to 660 feet and should serve you well even under heavy downpours or swimming and even while participating in water sports. Furthermore, the watch has an impressive battery that lasts for quite a while before you have to replace it. Additionally, the G-shock is impervious to various forms of impacts owing to its robust build quality.
The watch has an analog-digital display characteristic. The analog dials are illuminated to improve visibility under low light and include an afterglow feature once the lights go out. Moreover, the display has a backlight that allows you to check out its information at any time during the day.
While the G-Shock XL watch lacks some cool features and app-support of other outdoor watches, it makes up for them with its remarkable build quality.
- Sturdy watch
- Backlit display and analog dials
- 20-bar Water resistance
- Lacks an activity tracker
- Backlight illumination is poor
Letsfit Smartwatch ID215G-BK44
The natural world does not accommodate electrical sockets to charge your mobile devices, including smartwatches and mobile phones. That’s why battery life is a crucial aspect of any outdoor gadget. The Letsfit Smartwatch is a well-equipped timepiece you should have when camping because it won’t die off as you are out relaxing in your tent.
This watch has an impressive battery life that needs only 2 hours for a full charge. And once fully charged, the gadget can go for up to 40 days on standby. It has a magnetic mount that helps speed up the charging process and the time taken to boost the battery.
Letsfit fitted additional sensors and trackers o this watch to complement your outdoor excursions. There is a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation monitor. These quickly help keep track of your fitness while hiking.
Besides the sensors, the watch has an in-built GPS tracker. The off-beaten terrain is worlds apart from city streets. It is pretty easy to lose your way hence the need for global positioning. The GPS ensures that you will always find your way home.
Knowledge of prevailing weather conditions also guides your hiking trail. You should know when to keep moving by quickly glancing at your watch display. In addition, the weather forecasting feature ensures you won’t get unexpectedly soaked while camping.
The watch is a solidly built device that is waterproof up to 5ATM. However, while it can withstand a little splash of water, you should be wary while going underwater. Also, you are better off not taking a bath with this watch.
- Impressive battery life
- GPS tracker
- Heart rate and sleep monitors
- Full touch screen
- Several sports modes
- Solidly built
- Heavier than the competition
- It pairs seamlessly with Android devices but is selective with iPhones
Lad Weather Sensor Master V Watch
There was a time when you had to fork over hundreds of dollars to get an adequately equipped outdoor timepiece. Luckily, the Casio G-Shock line no longer rules the roost as competition for this market segment stiffens.
Born from an American and Japanese collaboration, Lad Weather specializes in outdoor clothing, gear and accessories. The Lad Weather Sensor Watch offers superior value for money as it is packed with exciting features to make a memory out of your next outdoor excursion.
The Lad Weather sensor master V is a beautiful outdoor timepiece to have in your outdoor arsenal. It is packed with many neat features to help you get by while enjoying the wide outdoors.
For starters, it is solidly built with a polyurethane strap. The case consists of an amalgamation of stainless steel and robust plastic. This watch won’t be coming apart any time soon.
It has a mineralized dial window and weighs a tantalizing 2.29 ounces. The round display means that it goes well on either male or female wrists.
With a 22 mm diameter, the Lad Weather watch is nicely sized and displays all the information you need. The timepiece displays not only the current time but also a wealth of other helpful information. You’ll know the date, the prevailing temperature, air pressure and even the weather.
Like most other activity watches, the Lad Weather Master V also has an activity tracker. This is a crucial aspect that helps you keep track of your body parameters. For example, you can count your steps and monitor your heart rate while hiking to keep your body in check in the great outdoors.
- Weather forecast
- Budget-friendly watch
- Luminescent background
- Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature readings
- Build quality could be better
- Sub-par water-resistant
- Unappealing battery performance for an activity watch
Things to Look Out for in an Outdoor Watch
Outdoor watches come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Also, there are tons of timepieces at various price points under $100. Each one is equipped differently. If you are shopping for an outdoor watch, there are some features you should have in mind before selecting from the enormous pool of outdoor gadgets.
Ability to Withstand the Elements
Have you ever wondered why Casio’s G-shock line of watches is so successful? They are robust timepieces held together by excellent craftsmanship. These watches will take a thorough beating before breaking down.
Luckily, they aren’t the only solidly built watches on the market. Generally speaking, exploring the outdoors means that you will come across water splashes, mud, dust and sometimes shock from a fall or two. Your wristwatch should withstand these forces and still be able to tell the time correctly.
Daytime legibility is non-negotiable. Most of these outdoor watches convey a ton of information besides the time. Others are fitted with an activity tracker and GPS. Some even link up with your smartphone to display notifications.
But you still need to tell the time, even when it gets dark. Watches with backlit displays and dials are your go-to option.
Getting lost out in the woods can be catastrophic. You might find yourself hiking in circles without a clue where you’re headed. Modern smartwatches come equipped with global positioning technology to help you chart the best routes. Moreover, others have an inbuilt compass to assist in navigating the wild outdoors.
The natural world does not have running water and electricity. You certainly won’t find charging sockets for your gadgets. Therefore, you must prep your devices before heading for the woods. Having a watch with excellent battery life is paramount. It allows you to get comfortable with the excursion without the fear of suddenly dropping off the grid.
Also, these watches can hold a ton of information. So it makes sense that they should be able to stay active as long as possible.
This feature is primarily a reserve of regular smartwatches. Still, some of the best outdoor watches under $100 are equipped with a step counter, calorie counter and pedometer to monitor your body’s performance.
Mountain roads can be a dangerous place if you’re not careful. Exhaustion slowly takes over your body, weighs you down and makes it challenging to achieve your goals. Luckily, a solid outdoor watch should help track your performance. By monitoring your hiking distance and how many calories you’ve burned, you can plan your routes most effectively.
Proper prior planning allows you to complete any hiking course you set out for safely. Moreover, while measuring your outdoor performance, you can also compare the data with like-minded individuals. Some watches are linked with fitness platforms where outdoor buffs can set challenges to help improve their fitness.
Analog or Digital
It all boils down to personal preference. A digital watch holds a significant amount of data over the traditional analogs. However, the analogs have a straightforward design and are often operated using buttons. Digital watches may have a touchscreen that can get dirty over time.
Digital watches are usually packed with features. Most of them can pair up with your mobile phone via Bluetooth while transmitting data. As a result, their battery life may take a hit, especially if you exploit their full potential.
The analogs have a stellar battery performance and can go for months without needing a replacement. This is because the cells are only powering the quartz mechanism and maybe a chronograph.
Whether you are a casual hiker or a serious outdoor enthusiast, an outdoor timepiece will keep track of your movements, sometimes even record where you’re going. They may be small gadgets but are definitely a worthy addition to a camper’s arsenal. You can learn how your body copes with the vagaries of the natural world using the capable activity trackers on these timepieces.
There isn’t a perfect one-size-fits-all watch out there. Nevertheless, depending on your hiking or camping needs, one of these best outdoor watches under 100 dollars will cut it.