Outdoor Sports

5 Best Rugged Smartwatches for Outdoor Activities

Smartwatches bring a host of features in a tiny package. You can check your notifications, track your steps, and even get insights on vital information like heart rate and SpO2 levels. If you’re out for adventurous activities like hiking or diving, you will surely appreciate the health data overturned by a smartwatch. And to accompany you on such activities regularly, you would need a rugged smartwatch.

best rugged smartwatches

Not all smartwatches can sustain harsh conditions. You may end up scuffing up the dial or shattering the display if you’re on rocky terrains. A ruggedized smartwatch is generally constructed with materials that can sustain such abuse.

In this post, we’ve curated a list of some of the best tough and durable smartwatches that you can buy for adventurous activities. Make sure you pick one up before your next trek! Here are some other articles that we think you may like before getting to the heavy-duty smartwatches –

Let’s get to some tough smartwatches now!

1. Meoonley Military Rugged Smartwatch

If you already have a smartwatch and don’t want to spend too much on another one, the Meeonley rugged smartwatch is the way to go. It’s affordable and has a bunch of useful features.

The first thought that would come to mind when you see the Meeonley smartwatch is that it’s rugged. It has a metallic exterior with boxy edges. The screws on the chassis are exposed to emphasize the rugged look. You can wear the Meeonly watch to the pool as well thanks to the wearable’s IP68 rating.

The watch comes with 100+ sports modes and can track steps, distance, and calories burnt. Since the watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth, you can also answer calls on the smartwatch itself. Many users mention that the Meeonley Rugged smartwatch fared better than they anticipated.

The metallic exterior does pick up dings easily but even then, the device should outlast a run-of-the-mill, fashion-centric wearable.

2. Garmin Instinct

Garmin is a well-known brand specializing in rugged smartwatches. The Garmin Instinct is one of the more affordable smartwatches from the company. Despite that, the device comes with a healthy array of features. To that end, you get GPS, Mil. Std. 810G certification, and an altimeter.

Garmin’s smartwatches are generally known for excellent precision and accuracy. So, if you’re someone who really cares about metrics and recording proper data, you will be pleased with the Garmin Instinct. What’s more, the tracker’s built-in GPS, compass, and altimeter should come in handy when you’re on a hike.

The wearable’s Trackback feature is extremely useful for your outdoorsy adventures too. To that end, the Garmin Instinct tracks your path so that it’s easier for you to return to the starting point. With over 20,000 user ratings on Amazon, the Garmin Instinct is one of the best-rated rugged smartwatches that you can buy.

Long-term owners of the smartwatch have said that they are happy with the performance and have no major complaints. The software is slightly basic and the app library is limited so don’t expect the same level of functionality as say, an Apple Watch.

3. Amazfit T-Rex 2

Amazfit’s smartwatches are aimed at users who want a reliable fitness tracker that doesn’t break the bank. Case in point, the T-Rex 2, which is a rugged military-grade smartwatch that can sustain harsh environments. At the same time, the wearable looks the part of an old school G-Shock.

Aside from the regular health-tracking features found on smartwatches, The Amaxfit T-Rex also offers dual-band GPS, real-time navigation, and heart rate monitoring. It goes without saying that you can view your notifications, answer calls, and track regular workouts with the T-Rex 2 as well.

Another big advantage of the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is its insane battery life. You can go up to 24 days without charging the smartwatch which is a huge plus. And, on the off chance you’re planning to swim with the watch, the wearable should be fine till a depth of 100m.

While the rugged construction of the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is what makes it close to indestructible, there are several reviews that say the smartwatch looks rather bulky. So, make sure to factor that in before you purchase the device if you have small wrists.

4. Casio G-Shock Move GBD-H2000

Casio’s G-Shock lineup needs no introduction. The standard watches that belong to the series have a rugged construction and sport a bold look. The GBD-H2000, on the other hand, is a smarter G-Shock with techy innards. Understandably, the unit costs more than most G-Shocks too.

If you fancy a G-Shock’s aesthetics, then you will be impressed with the G-Shock Move GBD-H2000 too. The reinforced chassis should cushion most blows, thereby keeping the display in mint condition.

You’ll also be impressed with the Move GBD-H2000’s capabilities. To wit, the wearable is water-resistant up to 200m and supports solar charging, which means you can go without connecting it to a charger for two months. There’s a built-in GPS module for activity tracking and the watch links to your phone to display notifications as well.

As per the user reviews, the only downside of the watch is that the UI takes some getting used to. The Casio app for your phone isn’t very feature-rich either. If you want a smarter watch, we suggest picking up something else from this list. But, if your priority is a rugged watch that can also track your health metrics, the G-Shock GBD-H2000 will serve you well.

5. Apple Watch Ultra

Apple recently announced the most advanced version of the Apple Watch, aptly dubbed the Apple Watch Ultra. The primary difference compared to a standard Apple Watch is the titanium frame which adds to the durability of the watch and makes it substantially more rugged.

The Apple Watch Ultra is undeniably the most versatile and functional rugged smartwatch on this list. It’s backed by Apple’s app ecosystem, so you get everything from an app to track your workouts to fun games when you’re stuck in a boring meeting. Standard features like GPS, compass, and barometer are present and accounted for as well.

It’s important to note though that while the Apple Watch Ultra is certainly more rugged and durable compared to previous iterations, it’s still not invincible like the G-Shock. Hence, we would recommend getting a case for the Apple Watch Ultra to further its shelf life. If you have the budget for it, the Apple Watch Ultra is truly the ultimate rugged smartwatch in terms of features.

FAQs for Rugged Smartwatches

1. Is the Apple Watch waterproof?

None of the Apple Watches that are currently on the market are waterproof. The Apple Watch Ultra and the standard Apple Watch are water-resistant up to 40m only.

2. Does Samsung have a rugged smartwatch?

Samsung doesn’t specifically make a rugged smartwatch. If you do want a smartwatch from Samsung for outdoor activities, we suggest picking up the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with a rugged case.

3. Is a rugged smartwatch better than a rugged fitness tracker?

A rugged smartwatch offers more features when compared to a fitness tracker. Elements like a larger screen, GPS, the ability to answer calls, etc. can turn out to be extremely helpful in certain situations.

Strong and Smart

A rugged smartwatch can bear the brunt of extreme conditions while providing you with the smarts required to track your activities or even keep you safe in some situations. So, instead of wearing your regular watch when on an adventure, we suggest picking up a rugged smartwatch.

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