Not sure where to start when it comes to selecting a trail running or outdoor GPS Watch? This advice is here to support your decision making.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A GPS Watch?

When choosing your GPS Watch, it is essential to keep in mind a number of factors:

  • The battery life of the watch so that it lasts the desired distance of your events, training and adventures.
  • The features of the watch
  • The size of the watch face
  • The look of the watch
  • Whether you would like wrist HR (less accurate) or chest HR (most accurate)

 

USE OUR COMPARISON CHART TO HELP YOU SELECT YOUR GPS WATCH:

This is our list of the best GPS Watches available on the market. We have described:

  • The duration of the watch's batter life.  Please note, the first figure represents the battery life of the watch if it is recording your locality every 1sec which is great when high accuracy is desired.  The range then extends to the battery life of the watch if it is recording less frequently (normally every 1 minute) thus reducing the accuracy.
  • Who the watch is intended for
  • What we feel are the best or most unique features of the watch

Our list is ranked by the battery life of the watches, from the largest battery life through to the smallest battery life.  We begin with the Sport GPS Watches and then extend to the Outdoor Specific Watches.

 

SPORT WATCHES BATTERY LIFE WHO IS IT FOR BEST FEATURES
Garmin Fenix 5X Multisport Battery life: 24-100hrs Individuals who prefer running focussed data on a colour screen with built in Australian & New Zealand maps. Ideal if you prefer a larger face on your watch. Bullt in colour topographic maps and wrist heart rate recording. You can purchase an additional chest strap with this watch if you wish. Covers all sports with an altimeter-barometer, and we love the large face.
Garmin Fenix 5 Multisport Battery life: 24-75hrs Outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for the combinatin of a sports watch with highly accurate heart rate functions as well as navigational capabilities High resolution colour screen for easy visibiity to your personal data. The watch face is easily customisable to your needs and will cover all sports & acrtivities in high detail. This watch has an altimeter-barometer.
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire Multisport Battery life: 24-75hrs If you like a comprehensive sports GPS watch but it needs to be tough, this watch is for you. High resolution colour screen for easy visibiity to your personal data. The watch face is easily customisable to your needs and will cover all sports & acrtivities in high detail. This watch has an altimeter-barometer. The biggest point of difference is the sleek look with plenty of 'bling', and the super tough sapphire glass with robust metal housing.
Garmin Fenix 3 HR Battery life: 20-50hrs A great starting point for the Garmin Fenix lineup. This watch has wrist heart rate recording and uses the altimeter-barometer for accuracy. This is the watch that came before the new Fenix 5 series.
Suunto Spartan Ultra Battery life: 18-65hrs Athletes who enjoy a wide range of sports up to 20hrs in duration and who want a smart lifestyle watch too Compass & barometric altitude recorder with all the functions for a wide range of sports. Amazingly light on the wrist and you can customise the face of the watch to not look like a sports watch. We also love the touch screen technology.
Suunto Spartan Ultra Copper Limited edition Battery life: 18-65hrs Men & women who enjoy a wide range of sports up to 20hrs in duration and who want a super good looking lifestyle watch too. Compass & barometric altitude recorder with all the functions for a wide range of sports. Amazingly light on the wrist and doesn't look like a sports watch - beautiful sleek design & colouring. We also love the touch screen technology.
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Battery life: 20-200hrs Ultra Runners and epic missioners Has all the same virtues as the Suunto Ambit3 Sport.  However, it includes a barometer, compass and altimeter.  This allows for the most accurate readings.  
Garmin Fenix 5S Multisport Battery life: 14-40hrs A high spec watch for individuals who would like a smaller faced watch without loosing the functionality of a great multisport watch. This watch has wrist heart rate recording, highly accurate due to its altimeter-barometer and has advanced running data capabilities.
Garmin Fenix 5S Sapphire Multisport Battery life: 14-40hrs If you like the 'normal' Garmin Fenix 5S Multisport watch but need an uber robust facing, this watch is for you. This watch has wrist heart rate recording, highly accurate due to its altimeter-barometer and has advanced running data capabilities. The biggest point of difference is the sleek look with plenty of 'bling', and the super tough sapphire glass with robust metal housing.
Suunto Spartan Sport HR (wrist sensor HR) Battery life: 8-30hrs Athletes who enjoy a wide range of sports up to 10hrs in intensity and who do not wish to use a chest heart rate strap. Touch screen technology with all the functionality that you require for a range of sports. The wrist heart rate removes the need for a chest heart rate strap. However, you can still add a chest heart rate strap if you desire.
Suunto Spartan Sport Battery life: 10-40hrs Athletes who enjoy a wide range of sports up to 10hrs in intensity and who want a smart lifestyle watch too Touch screen technology with all the functionality that you require for a range of sports. Some of the colour ways are very feminine and you do not feel like you are wearing a sports watch. Very comfortable for living in 24/7.
Suunto Ambit3 Sport Battery life: 10-100hrs Runners who also love all sports such as triathlons, swimming or cycling Designed to measure distance, elevation and speed across all sports.  It will also record lap times, cadence and even count your laps in the pool.  
Suunto Ambit3 Run Battery life: 10-100hrs Runners who love all things running Comprehensive understanding and super accurate measurements of distance, elevation and speed for all running related sports.  
Suunto Ambit3 Vertical Battery life: 10-100hrs Mountain Goats who predominantly love to train and race by measuring the hills A specific vertical measuring watch, hence the altimeter built into it for more accurate readings.  Shows vertical profiles and height measurements whilst you run.
OUTDOOR WATCHES BATTERY LIFE WHO IS IT FOR BEST FEATURES
Suunto Core Ultimate Non-rechargable battery operated Hikers and fast packers not requiring a GPS watch This watch comes with a compass, barometer and altimeter but no GPS tracker.  Non-USB rechargeable.
Suunto Traverse Battery life: 10-100hrs Nerdy outdoor enthusiasts :) This watch has the altimeter-barometer, GPS tracking and is a great watch for navigating and recording your routes.