A watch’s primary function is, and always will be, to tell time. However, if you’re a lover of the great outdoors, you’re probably going to need something a little more robust that performs more functions than just telling time. The best survival watches are going to be able to help you find your way if you’re lost, tell you the temperature, and much more.
Today, we are going to look at four of the best outdoor watches and give you a brief rundown of their features and a summary of the customer reviews.
Our goal is to provide you with valuable information so that you can choose the best watch for survival situations, because when you know you have a reliable timepiece, you’ll be mentally prepared for whatever you may face outdoors.
Best Survival Watches
Winner: Casio G-Shock Rangeman Master of G Series
The Casio G-Shock Rangeman Master of G Series is designed to be one of the most resilient watches any outdoorsman would need. Casio’s G-Shock series has become one of the most well-known and well-loved for a reason.
The watch was created with the “Triple 10” concept, meaning that it can fall 10 meters without breaking, it has up to 10-bar water resistance, and the battery will last for 10 years.
It doesn’t matter what kind of conditions you may face, you can rest assured that the impeccable engineering of this watch will keep you going. The watch features a shock-resistant triple sensor that keeps track of the altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and direction readings.
Notable Features of the Casio G-Shock Rangeman Master of G Series include:
What Are Customers Saying?
The overwhelming majority of customers have great things to say about this survival watch. People appreciate the rugged design without the watching being too big and bulky on the wrist.
Several people remark that the wrist strap is comfortable to wear while others praise the button design, stating that the buttons are large enough to operate even when wearing thick gloves. In terms of the watch’s functionality, customers appreciate the negative display, the compass, and how easily it syncs up to the atomic clock.
On the other hand, some people have a few complaints about this particular watch. The most common complaint people have was the price. Some people feel that if you don’t get this unit on sale, it is too expensive.
Other than the price, some people have difficulty reading the negative display, and they need to shine a flashlight on the watch to be able to read the display.
Runner Up: Casio G-Shock X-Large Display Watch
When you need a watch that has a larger display than others, the Casio G-Shock X-Large Display Watch is a good option. This survival watch features both analog and digital functionalities. Even in the darkest of nights, the afterglow LED illumination featured on this watch allows you to view the face without any problems.
Although this watch is suitable for any use, it is primarily designed for sports, military and outdoor activities. The watch is water resistant up to 200 meters, which means you can get the watch wet without worrying about damaging it. Not only is the watch water resistant, but it is also magnetic and shock resistant, making it one of the best G-Shock watch for survival situations.
Notable Features of the Casio G-Shock X-Large Display Watch include:
What Are Customers Saying?
Many customers who reviewed this watch were impressed by the overall appearance of the watch. Reviewers love how rugged and large the watch is: larger than average but neither too cumbersome nor too heavy.
A few people report they were pretty rough with their watches and the watch never once stopped working, thanks to the case wrapping around the watch.
Many feel that because the display is relatively dark, this is the perfect stealth watch – making it a great choice for those in the military or in law enforcement. Unfortunately, not everyone was as impressed with this watch for that very reason.
One person even went on to say that the “light” that was designed to illuminate the display area wasn’t bright enough to see any of the digital readouts. Another concern some people have is that the analog hands block other features of the watch like the date and the stopwatch.
Best Survival Watches Under $100
Winner: Casio Men’s Twin Sensor Digital Watch
The Casio Men’s Twin Sensor Digital Watch is a newer model in the Twin Sensor line that includes temperature, direction readings and features a design that is water resistant up to 200 meters – perfect for any activity that involves getting wet.
The over all design of this watch is sleek and sporty, but still maintains that rugged look that one would expect from a Casio watch.
Along with the temperature and directional readouts, other functions of this watch include: world time, stopwatch alarm, basic timekeeping functions. The watch also features world time (29 time zones/48 cities), declination correction, four daily alarms, a snooze alarm, and auto calendar.
The face of the watch is made from mineral glass to keep the face becoming scratched up while you’re out and about.
Notable Features of the Casio Men’s Twin Sensor Digital Watch include:
What Are Customers Saying?
Across the board, customers feel that this watch is an excellent value because not only is it affordable, but it is durable, it looks good, it is practical, and it is waterproof.
People like that the design of this watch is very intuitive and appreciate that the backlight lights up the numbers instead of the face – which makes it easier to read in the dark.
Customers love that the battery lasts for three years and the fact they don’t have to carry any spare batteries or a charger. They can go about their activities knowing their watch isn’t going to die on them.
Some of the concerns people had were in regard to the temperature and compass features. Several customers mentioned both of these features are unreliable and inaccurate. One person reported that when they tried using the compass, the watch gave you several readings before the display going completely dark.
Also, a few people mentioned they had trouble hearing the alarm because the volume was too low and it couldn’t be adjusted.
Runner Up: Timex Men’s Expedition Gallatin Watch
Casio isn’t the only top rated watch company that make survival watches, and the Timex Men’s Expedition Gallatin Watch is a perfect example of another wonderful watch company. Like the others on this list, this watch is water resistant, but it is only water resistant up to 50 meters.
This lightweight model is comfortable to wear for long periods at a time and the Velcro strap ensures that you have a secure fit, making sure that your watch isn’t going anywhere.
While other watches on this list have a slew of bells and whistles by way of features, this watch does feature rugged resin construction that will withstand the rough treatment that coincides with outdoor activites.
Notable Features of the Timex Men’s Expedition Gallatin Watch include:
What Are Customers Saying?
Going in, many customers didn’t seem to expect very much from the Timex Men’s Expedition Gallatin Watch, but after using the watch, they were soon singing its praises. People feel like this watch can compete with other pricier survival watches on the market with no problem.
Several reviewers state they appreciate the indiglo backlight, which makes it easy to see the time, even in the pitch black of night. They were pleasantly surprised by how lightweight the watch was and they also were grateful for the Velcro strap because they could get a snug fit, no matter the size of their wrist.
While many people raved about this watch, there were a few customers who had some concerns. The main problem people seem to have is that the backlight on the watch is too dim and they couldn’t see the numbers clearly.
Others commented on the size of the date window, stating it is too small to see the date because there isn’t enough contrast between the blackface and the grey text. Many of the critical reviews also mentioned that they wished it was water resistant to a greater depth than 50 meters.
What To Look for In The Best Survival Watches
When you’re looking to purchase one of the best watch for wilderness survival, there are some things you’ll want to take into consideration:
Every survival watch must have a display that is going to be easy to read. The display shouldn’t be cluttered, and it should offer both analog and digital displays for added flexibility.
Although the watch’s design is really based on personal preference, you should still be mindful of what is appealing to you, so look thoroughly at the watch's style, color, strap design, and ruggedness.
The movement describes the mechanical process through which the watch works. Most analog watches will feature a quartz movement, whereas a digital watch will have electronic components.
Many watches have become more than just a simple timepiece. Today, you can find a variety of features on G-shock watches that include Triple sensor, Multi-Band 6 technology, shock resistance and vibration resistance.
Look for straps that are made from a material that is strong, durable, and easy to fasten. Stay away from overly bulky straps because they can be heavy and uncomfortable, both of which make for a bad survival watch.
Watches are either self-winding or battery operated. Most G-Shock watches require batteries, so we recommend looking for a model whose battery can last at least 3 years before needing replacing. Bonus points if you find a watch with solar charging capabilities.
As an outdoor enthusiast, you can never be too prepare should you encounter an unexpected turn of events. While the best survival watch may not be able to teleport you to safety, it can help you keep a level head until you can find help.
All of these watches are great timepieces, but we feel the Casio G-Shock Rangeman watch by far exceeds expectations.
Not only is this watch water resistant, but it was designed using the Triple 10 concept described above. You can drop the watch from 10 meters and it can be submerged under 200 meters of water without any problems.
If you’re looking for the best survival watch, you’re going to pay a bit more for the Rangeman, but in our opinion, it is well worth the price. We love that this watch uses solar power to recharge the battery, thus ensuring that it’ll last for a decade! Yes – 10 full years without ever having to replace a battery.
These are our top picks, but we want to know if you have any watches you’d like for us to review. Who knows, one of your favorites may become one of ours! Leave us a comment below!