Being used to wearing my watch wherever I go, I almost broke it recently while camping. It isn’t branded, expensive, or flashy – I just hold it dear to my heart because it was a gift from a very special person.
Traumatized by the thought of breaking it, I figured I should get a watch that I’ll wear specifically when exploring the great outdoors. But, I was taken aback by the price of outdoor watches! Although they do come with some fancy features and attractive design, I’m afraid my budget doesn’t allow me to splurge. Luckily, I was able to find a ton of solid options that cover all my needs and won’t do that much damage to my bank account.
Today, I’ll present you the 10 best outdoor watches under $100 that you can make a great use of.
1. Casio Men’s G7900-1 G-Shock Rescue Digital Sport Watch
Casio has established a reputation in the wristwatch world, and the G-Shock line has managed to take outdoor watches to an iconic level.
As every other watch from the line, it comes with a sturdy, yet masculine design that can’t go unnoticed. The black case and wristband are made of resin material to handle bumps and bruises. Casio chose light colors for the display’s background, while the figures come in dark gray so you can easily read the time. I especially like the red side button so I can easily detect it when I need to adjust some of the many features. It comes with a mineral dial window for scratch protection. Be noted that, with its 50 mm case it’s rather large, so I’d recommend it to those with big wrists.
As the name itself suggests (Gravitational or G-Shock), it is designed to resists mechanical shock and vibration. The watch comes with an auto-illuminator and world time features. These allow the user to turn on the backlight of the watch to easily read time in the dark – in 29 different time zones and 48 cities worldwide!
Moving on, it has five daily alarms. You can use four of them as multi-function alarms for specific events, while the fifth is a regular alarm generally used to wake you up. Whenever an alarm is activated, a visual flash alert is also triggered.
As for additional features, aside from being shock resistant, it is water resistant to up to 660ft. and resistant to extreme temperatures. Among other features, I also liked the pre-programmed calendar, countdown timer, and stopwatch! Casio made sure to improve the watch with moon-phase data which not a lot of watches in its price range come with!
- Great value for the money
- Shock and water resistant
- World time
- 5 independent alarms
- Pre-programmed calendar
- Countdown timer and stopwatch
- Moon-phase data
- Japanese Quarts movement
- Masculine design
2. Timex Expedition Grid Shock Watch
Timex is another brand that has a long history on the American market. Known for their superior watches, Timex has managed to establish as a brand over the course of the last 165 years. Today, our focus is on one of the most famous Timex outdoor watches – the Timex Expedition Grid Shock watch!I always found circular watches to be generally more comfortable. But, I’ve noticed that the Timex Expedition Grid Shock watch has received positive feedback, so I decided to give this rectangular model a chance. Despite the fact that its unorthodox design is not my first choice, it does provide with some amazing features. After all, it’s an outdoor watch, not a fancy Rolex!Coming with a resin case and stainless steel top plate, as well as being shock-resistant, it is built to last. The water resistant nature of the watch allows you to go up to around 330 ft. under water. Similar to the above mentioned Casio outdoor watch, this one also comes with a backlit clock face so you can easily read time in the dark.Of course, it comes with built-in stopwatch, a countdown timer, an alarm, and a hydration alert. As a person who forgets to regularly drink water, I find this feature extremely useful, especially when I’m outside and I have to keep myself hydrated. If you’re all about accuracy, this Timex watch is rated as a chronometer. A watch that is rated as a chronometer has passed intense precision tests over a 15-day periods and it is a superior timekeeper as well as accurate to the millisecond.
- Durable design
- Backlit clock face
- Stopwatch and countdown timer
- Alarm and hydration alert
- Superior accuracy
- Some might find it unappealing
3. Sunroad Smart Digital Sports Watch
Although relatively unknown in the world of outdoor watches, the Sunroad Smart Digital Sports watch deserves the attention of sport enthusiasts. Not only does it come for a friction of the price as compared to other smart watches, but it boasts some great features that not a lot of watches in this price range have. As a matter of fact, it is designed as a multi-function watch, and as such can be of great help to hikers, cyclists, climbers, swimmers, campers, mountaineers, joggers, etc.The strap is made of high-quality nylon which feels surprisingly soft on the hand. The case and the clasp are made of stainless steel. To prevent friction and scratching, the face of the watch is made of high-quality mineral glass.It is loaded with extraordinary features such as a super-accurate barometer, a pedometer, step counter and an altimeter that calculates a 7-day altitude trend chart and climb rate. For those who are looking to lose some weight, you can even keep track of your calorie burn. Moreover, it shows the air pressure trend charts for the latest 48 hours, and it also has an in-built compass. The watch can forecast weather for the upcoming 24 hours.Moving on, it calculates the sunrise and sunset time of 28 different cities. The watch comes with a backlight which is not particularity noticeable when in bright environments, while when in the dark, it is a bit brighter, but not glaring. To be honest, I feel like the display is difficult to read at night, but that’s just one drawback I’m willing to overlook.Of course, it comes with a stopwatch and countdown timer, alarms and calendar. As far as its water-resistance properties (up to 160 ft.) are concerned, it is best suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not diving.
- Durable build
- Barometer, pedometer, altimeter
- Calorie tracker
- Built-in compass
- Weather forecast
- World clock
- Poor backlight
4. ETEVON Men’s Captain Stylish Outdoor Sport
Arguably the perfect choice for anyone looking for a solid combo between an outdoor’s watch and an everyday piece, the ETEVON Captain watch offers the best of both worlds. I couldn’t believe the features that you get considering its low price point, which is exactly what may make you opt for this watch.The 45mm stereoscopic dial has a 3D space structure, while the pointers are designed with the shape of a ship anchor. The digital display has an ocean blue background, and along with the pointers, it really gives out some serious captain vibes – hence its name.As far as outdoor activities are concerned, it is fit for running, climbing, swimming, and fitness. If you’re into any kind of sporting, you’re going to make a great use of the stopwatch. It can go 98ft. underwater, but do not press any buttons or pull out the crown in water.It comes with an EL backlight which will help you tell the time in dark, and although it distributes high lightness, it consumes little to no power. The 12/24 hour format makes it easy to tell the time regardless of your location. Thanks to the built-in calendar, you can also tell the date, week, and even month. The alarm clock has an hourly chime and snooze function.The acrylic crystal glass is scratch-proof and non-glare, while the silicone watch band has an anti-friction texture and 3mm shockproof thickness. Its battery life is estimated at around 2 years due to the fact that it is an imported Japanese MAXCELL lithium battery.Overall, I really like this watch both for its hardcore design and features. To top things off, the imported Japanese movement provides precise and accurate time with +/- 1s deviation per day.
- Attractive design
- Works as an outdoor watch and an everyday piece
- Stopwatch, countdown timer, alarm
- EL backlight
- Built-in calendar
- Tough build
- Long battery life
- Some find it bulky
5. Aposon Men’s Digital Sports Watch
Aposon’s digital sports watch is among the cheapest options you can find which don’t lack the features you’d expect from an outdoor watch. I came across a customer review saying that the watch survived through Army basic combat training, so I had to check for myself whether it will survive my sadistic hands.I was a little surprised to learn that the case front is made out of plastic, and is yet so durable. The cast back cover is made of stainless steel, while the band is made of polyurethane. The brand chose high transparent resin glass for the watch’s face, and I have to admit that it doesn’t scratch easily.You can view the time a 12-hour or 24-hour layout due to its digital nature. It also shows the exact date. I really like the 7 different color LED backlights so you can pick your preferred color.Aside from this, it is perfect for both indoor and outdoor activities as it comes with alarm and hourly chime, stopwatch and countdown timer. It’s highly shock resistant too, and it can go underwater up to 98ft.It’s important to mention that while it doesn’t come with all the features that the above reviewed models have, this is probably the toughest watch I had the pleasure to test. Therefore, if ruggedness is your top priority, look no further than the Aposon’s sports digital watch!
- Extremely cheap
- Rugged design
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities
- 7 different backlight colors
- Built-in calendar
- Alarm, stopwatch, countdown timer
6. Seiko Men’s SNK809 Seiko 5
Seiko watches enjoy a great reputation, and for a good reason. The unique hardlex material Seiko uses for constructing most of their watches is proof enough that you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.Now, let’s be clear. The Seiko SNK809-5 is not going to win beauty pageants any time soon. It sports a simple design that you’re either going to dig or no. It has a simple black dial with white printed numbers marking the hours on the inner circle and minutes on the outer circle. As far as unique design features go, I have to admit that night time visibility on this Seiko is better than any backlight I’ve seen in previous models.A huge deal-breaker for many buyers is the black canvas strap that just doesn’t go along with the dial. I was happy to learn that you can easily change it, but at the moment, I really don’t have the budget for that.As previously suggested, Seiko used Hardlex to cover the dial, which is a material known for its great scratch resistance properties and remains cleaner as compared to regular mineral crystal. Seiko’s SNK809 watch is rated among the best military watches, and I can really understand why. Much like the Aposon Men’s Digital Sports Watch, it does not have some otherworldly features, but it will show the time through thick and thin which ultimately is what we need from a watch!
- Proven quality
- Hardlex covered dial
- Unique night time visibility
- Long battery life
- Canvas strap looks unattractive
7. Lad Weather Outdoor Watch
The Lad Weather outdoor watch is among the most versatile watches available on the market today, but it’s in no way a looker like Casio or Timex watches. It has a round dial with a case diameter of 22mm, and every component of the watch is made of durable materials since its purpose is to serve as an outdoor watch.Since I’ve recently got into hiking, I was amazed by the opportunity to calculate the altimeter through collected barometric data with my Lad Weather watch. It also comes with a compass (graphical and numeric), a thermometer, and it can even predict the weather. As expected, it has an alarm, countdown timer, stopwatch, and back light.I really liked the negative display too, but you’d still need to use the backlight if there’s not enough ambient light. Although it beeps, you can turn the beeping off for silent time keeping. Another pleasant surprise for me was the rubberized band. I’m not a fan of rubbers, but this one felt extremely comfortable and didn’t make me sweat or caused me itching.My only complaint is the acrylic crystal glass. I thought I’m the only one that can scratch a watch in less than a week, but I searched for customers reviews and I found that other users report the same problem. However, the thin scratches are really hard to see unless it catches the light. If this is not a deal-breaker for you, then I’d most certainly recommend this watch to outdoor enthusiasts.
- Thermometer, barometer, altimeter
- Weather forecast
- Scratches easily
As my countdown of the best outdoor watches under $100 is coming to an end, I have to say that I am impressed with what the market has to offer. From well-established brand names, to up-and-coming watch manufactures, there’s a watch to fit everybody’s needs.
While I can’t say with certainty which one is the ultimate winner, I decided to stick with Casio G7900-1 G-Shock Rescue digital sport watch. It checks all the right boxes for me, and it offers more than I originally anticipated.
That said, I’d advise you to once again think about the features you expect from an outdoor watch. If you’re into hiking or swimming, I’d suggest you to purchase a watch that’s specifically built to serve hikers or swimmers. But, if you’re generally into all kinds of sports and you don’t know what your next outdoor adventure might be, you might want to look at the more versatile options on this list!