Once in a while, or even every weekend, a specific bug will bite. The effects of the bite start manifesting when you start feeling the need for an adventure. The more you try to suppress this feeling, the more it grows in intensity until finally, you’re forced to give in to the tempest that is raging within you.

Going out into the wild is not something that the faint of heart can do, and you being a stoic and having the heart of a lion, know what to do to enjoy yourself in the outdoors. Out there though, you will need a number of tactical gears to get you to where you need to go, and back.

Aside from a knife, proper boots, and other tactical gears you will need, perhaps the most important piece of gear to have is a smart watch. The best survival watches will not only tell you the time, but also give you precise coordinates and directions if you are lost. It’s the other features they have, that will be of use to you while you’re out doing your best impression of Bear Grylls.

While the properly smart people can tell the direction they’re going to just by sing an analog watch, it’s not everyone’s forte. That’s why survival watches come with features such as GPS/GLONASS/BEIDOU, altimeters, barometers, and thermometers. Some of the best in class also comes with topographical maps to endure that you would have to try really hard just to get lost.

Top Tactical Smartwatches In 2020

Product Name

Price

Rating


Garmin Instinct

$$

Casio Pro Trek Pathfinder PAG240-1

$$

Timex Expedition Shock

$

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400

$

Estwing Citizen Promaster AltiChronAxe

$$$

Suunto Traverse Alpha

$$$

Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30

$$$

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR B-1000-1JR

$$$$

1. Garmin Instinct Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Have you ever looked at some of these vehicles with big, hollering V8 engines, and then someone goes ahead to put two turbos in it? Don’t you think they’ve been overbuilt? And that’s the exact same thing Garmin has done with this survival smartwatch, and that’s why we love it.


They have crammed the Garmin Instinct with a number of features that can only mean they’re most probably meant for special forces and others who do such risky jobs. This device is built using titanium coated with DLC and has onboard GPS in dual format. The battery also can last up to 14 days before needing a recharge making this perfect for your survival needs.


Okay, Garmin, we get it.

Pros

  • The build may be over the top, but the utility it offers is one of a kind
  • Here’s to never getting lost in the woods again
  • Definitely a fashion statement, very tacticool

Cons

  • Some features may never be useful to certain kinds of outdoors people

2. Casio Pro Trek Pathfinder PAG240-1 Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Casio is a name that has long been associated with performance watches. It would be amiss if they were not on this list. This particular model carries a number of useful tactical features for its price.


As it is a digital display, you can’t really use it to find the direction you’re heading into by using the clock hands, but you can find the direction by switching to its onboard compass. And that’s not all, it also comes equipped with a barometer, altimeter, thermometer and also a world time function. All this power means it needs a constant source of power to keep it going, and that power source is the sun.


This solar powered survival watch also has the added advantage of being capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions making the Casio Pro Trek Pathfinder a perfect tactical survival watch.

Pros

  • Easy to set up straight from the box
  • Easy to read and operate
  • Has a multitude of functions

Cons

  • Display can be a problem to read when attempting from an extreme angle
  • The plastic case is easily scuffed

3. Timex Expedition Shock Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Here is a tactical watch that strives to be simplistic, yet absolutely necessary for any adventure seeker out there. The watch face is easy to look at as there are no busy compartments and markings on it. But that’s not why you buy a survival watch.


The Timex Expedition Shock features a digital compass to get you going in the right direction. It is also water-resistant up to a depth of 200 meters. And to make it multi-functional, it also comes with an IndiGlo nightlight to make reading it at night an easy thing to do.

Pros

  • Size is perfect for many
  • Can take a beating in your adventures
  •  It will still operate normally after that beating

Cons

  • The size may be perfect, but the weight may be a problem
  • The quality of the wrist straps needs work

4. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400 Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Casio makes another entry in this list and this time it’s for its famed G-Shock line. This line of products is world-renowned for their extreme durability, and that’s what makes them an excellent option for the intrepid adventurer. They have multiple tactical color options to help you blend in with your surroundings, which is an essential factor for a survival watch.


The Rangeman GW9400 comes with the three basic sensors required for any outdoor adventure. These are the thermometer, altimeter, and barometer. Its extreme durability is demonstrated by the fact that it is waterproof up to a depth of 200 meters. If you’re done playing in the mountains and the woods, you can take this watch with you while you swim with the turtles, not the fishes.


This watch has been a favorite of outdoors-men and law enforcement personnel for years, and this latest one will just cement its place in their hearts.

Pros

  • G-Shock and Durability is interchangeable words
  • Multi functional
  • Water resistance is a useful feature to have

Cons

  • The cost may be prohibitive
  • The watch face may be a bit hard to get used to if you're not used to a G-Shock

5. Citizen Promaster AltiChron Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Yes, the digital watch will have you feeling like a Delta Force trooper out there searching for bad guys. In certain cases though, you want to feel like James Bond; fit in at the high roller event, but still, be able to find your way out of a tizzy if you’re left out in the countryside.


The tactical Citizen Promaster AltiChron utilizes analog dials to relay information to you. That in no way means that it is not as functional as a digital watch. This survival watch packs an altimeter that can tell you height accurately up to 32,000 feet.


Underneath the clock dials is another one that is dedicated to telling you the direction you’re heading in.

Pros

  • The styling immediately screams class
  • Best for the classy skydiver
  • Has loads of features

Cons

  • The price is eye-watering
  • The style may not be everyone’s jam

6. Suunto Traverse Alpha Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Suunto Traverse Alpha utilizes a digital display in conjunction with an on-board GPS to give you accurate positioning information.


This survival watch will then use this information to lay breadcrumbs as you move along so that in case you do get lost, you can find your way back.


What’s more, that GPS is compatible with any Android and iOS device you may carry with you on your escapade.


All these features are powered by a rechargeable battery that can have a life of 14 days. This is a tool made specifically for hunters and adventurers and comes packed with a variety of features to help them survive and thrive.

Pros

  • The rugged design is just perfect
  • The features are just amazing
  • Additional features will definitely trigger dormant nerd tendencies

Cons

  • The price is eye-watering
  • It can take some time getting used to

7. Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

Here come Casio again with a product that’s meant to obliterate anything the competitors may have. This time, the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 is a tactical smartwatch that’s been engineered to overcome the weaknesses of traditional survival watches.


With a normal smartwatch, battery life is usually terrible and your investment disappears when you expose them to undue amounts of moisture.


Casio decided to encase this smartwatch in a design that makes it water-resistant up to 50 meters. It can also give you a day and a half of heavy use, including having the GPS on the whole time.


This also comes with a range of tools to help you navigate your adventures but the best of them all is the ability to download topographical maps in full color.

Pros

  • Versatility, versatility, versatility
  • The build design is worth chasing after
  • The design of the OS has added to the beauty of the device

Cons

  • Using it might take some time getting used to
  • As this is a smartwatch, the prices in comparison with others may have it at a disadvantage

8. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR B-1000-1JR Survival Watch


Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The G-Shock again with the Rangeman GPR B-1000-1JR that’s meant to help you go spearfishing to depths of 200 meters. And that’s just the start of things.


Included are the standard triple sensors of the barometer, altimeter, and thermometer. The world time function is one of the most popular and can be used in combination with the other onboard features. Also, an onboard GPS system gives you an accurate position and also tracks where you’ve been.


For the hardcore survivalist, there’s nothing more satisfying than having a G-Shock strapped to your arm.

Pros

  • An excellent take on what a smartwatch should be
  • The ruggedization makes this a truly durable smartwatch
  • The features on it are a must-have for the outdoors enthusiast

Cons

  • Reading full-color maps on that small screen can be a bother
  • This here becomes an investment and not just an accessory

Bottom Line

While you’re out and about fulfilling your traditions as an adventurer, you will need all the survival tools available to help get you through to your next point in your journey. These tools have now been replicated in digital form, and come in the small and neat package, that is the watch.

Out there, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is perhaps the best balance between battery life, and the tools that can be crammed into a device. That breadcrumb feature on the GPS is pretty nifty for the hardcore adventurer who loses their way and needs to get back. Definitely, a top emergency watch to have with you.

So, for your next adventure, no amount of thought will beat what the Suunto Traverse Alpha offers for the best survival watch. Check it out for yourself now.