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Best Survival Watches in 2023: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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When embarking on an adventure or heading out into the great outdoors, a reliable timepiece is essential. The right watch goes beyond simply keeping time; it should offer various features that could aid you in survival situations.

Below, we’ll review some of the best survival watches available today, covering a range of prices and unique features to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re an avid outdoors enthusiast or a tactical professional, there is a watch that’s perfect for you.

Comparison Chart

41jf87E80dL. SL500
Casio Men’s SGW-100-2BCF Watch
51JYcjbzXoL. SL500
Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3741 Watch
41w0eJc4o9L. SL500
Suunto Core Classic Outdoor Watch
41ELSz+coZL. SL500
Garmin tactix Delta Solar Tactical Watch
51cQKQFcw3L. SL500
AVTREK Men’s Tactical Survival Watch

Best Survival Watches Reviews

1. Casio Men’s SGW-100-2BCF Watch

41jf87E80dL. SL500

The Casio Men’s SGW-100-2BCF is the ideal timepiece for outdoor enthusiasts who need a durable, water-resistant watch.

This watch is water-resistant to 200 meters, making it perfect for water sports, work, or any other water-related activities. Still, it doesn’t sacrifice style; the black digital dial with a colorful bezel is both stylish and practical.

Review

Among this watch’s best features is its twin sensors, which provide accurate temperature and direction readings. This is particularly useful for those who enjoy outdoor adventures and want to stay informed while exploring.

Along with the twin sensors, this Casio watch offers world time, a stopwatch, five daily alarms, a countdown timer, and a backlight, making it a versatile timepiece for everyday use.

The watch has a 45mm stainless steel case with a mineral dial window, so it’s durable and scratch-resistant. The quartz movement with digital display guarantees accurate timekeeping, and the resin band with buckle closure provides a comfortable and secure fit.

The watch’s large LCD is divided into three segments, making it easy to read and understand data. The direction readings and time are indicated by large, easy-to-read figures, so it’s convenient to check the information at a glance.

Pros:

  • Good quality materials
  • Sturdy construction
  • Good-looking design
  • Temperature and altitude functions
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Compass and thermometer may be less accurate
  • Adjusting can be tricky
  • Large and bulky

2. SUUNTO Core Sports Watch

51JYcjbzXoL. SL500

If you love to hike, bike, camp, or engage in any other outdoor activities, the SUUNTO Core is the perfect timepiece for you.

This classic outdoor sports watch features a long list of smart features you’ll love having. These include the Storm Alarm, Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass to keep you informed of outdoor conditions while exploring.

Review

SUUNTO is renowned for creating versatile and durable sports watches, making this watch an excellent choice for a range of outdoor sports.

Some of the essential features of this SUUNTO watch are its dual time, date display, and alarm functions. It has the ability to predict sunrise and sunset times to help maximize your outdoor experience.

The watch also has a depth meter accurate up to 30 feet, making it a useful tool for divers and snorkelers. With a water resistance depth of 30 meters, this watch is ideal for a variety of water activities.

Moreover, the SUUNTO Core boasts an innovative Scandinavian design and ultra-durable materials. With this watch, you can track your daily activities, sports, and sleep, helping you achieve balance in life, training, and recovery.

Pros:

  • Easy menu setup
  • Intuitive navigation system
  • Sleek and minimal design
  • Not too bulky on the wrist
  • Accurate compass compared to others

Cons:

  • Battery life could be improved
  • Dim display may be hard to read in certain lighting conditions
  • Temperature feature limitations

3. Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3741 Military Watch

41w0eJc4o9L. SL500

The Luminox XB.3741 is the perfect timepiece for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy testing their limits by putting themselves through various survival situations. Could this be the survival watch you’re looking for?

Review

What we like most about this watch is its water resistance, as it’s capable of withstanding depths of up to 300 meters. It is designed in collaboration with Bear Grylls, combining his extensive experience in extreme conditions with a reliable, cutting-edge timepiece.

The sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating ensures easy readability in any environment. Plus, the Luminox Light Technology (LLT) on the dial ring and hands allows self-powered illumination in any lighting condition.

It features a 45mm black CARBONOX case that gives it a modern look, while the black rubber strap ensures comfort and durability. Other technical features include a unidirectional rotating bezel, chronograph, date function, and protected crown.

Made in Switzerland, the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival XB.3741 comes with a two-year guarantee. You can trust in the watch’s quality and dependability for all your adventures, and authorized Luminox dealers can provide assistance if you encounter any issues.

Pros:

  • Stylish military design in black
  • Clear and easy-to-read face
  • Features date function, chronograph, and compass
  • Water resistant up to 300 meters
  • Durable sapphire glass
  • Comfortable to wear for everyday use
  • Excellent quality for adventure lovers

Cons:

  • Busy face design may not suit those seeking simplicity
  • Slightly more expensive than other watches

4. Garmin Tactix Delta Solar Tactical Watch

41ELSz+coZL. SL500

The Tactix Delta Solar is a specialized Garmin tactical watch built to military standards (MIL-STD-810). As such, you can be sure of its durability and reliability during outdoor adventures and missions.

Review

The best thing to love about this Garmin watch is its solar charging capabilities, allowing for weeks-long battery life. With a kill switch and stealth mode, the watch adds extra security to your activities.

The Garmin Tactix Delta Solar is built for the field and everyday life, making it an impressive tactical watch that can handle any adventure. Navigation features include preloaded public land maps, TOPO maps, ski maps, and advanced navigation sensors.

To add, the watch comes with Applied Ballistics Elite software for calculating aiming solutions for long-range shooting, waypoint projection, dual-position format, Jumpmaster mode, and preloaded tactical activity.

The watch’s 1.4-inch always-on display, black DLC-coated bezel, and rugged nylon band make it both practical and stylish. Smart features include enhanced wrist heart rate estimation, pulse ox sensing, smart notifications, and Garmin Pay contactless payments.

Pros:

  • Exceptional GPS navigation, even in remote areas
  • Solar charging capabilities
  • User-friendly Garmin Connect App for seamless integration
  • Clear display and easy-to-navigate menus
  • Suitable for diverse outdoor activities
  • Has sleep tracking, altitude reading, and phone notifications
  • Highly durable and ruggedly built to military standards

Cons:

  • Large size
  • Requires a slight learning curve
  • Watch bands may not be perfect
  • Higher cost

5. AVTREK TG2106 Tactical Watch

51cQKQFcw3L. SL500

The AVTREK TG2106 is the ultimate timepiece for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a rugged and feature-packed watch.

Its multifunctionality is impressive, with features like a pedometer, calorie counter, countdown timer, metronome, and atmospheric pressure measurement. These make it a versatile watch for all outdoor activities.

Review

The AVTREK watch has a military-style appearance that looks good and functions well. Plus, its long-lasting battery ensures you don’t have to worry about running out of power while exploring the outdoors.

We like that the large watch face features big numbers, making it easy to read the time at a glance. Despite that, the durable and breathable nylon band ensures it remains suitable for various wrist sizes.

Designed as an outdoor military tactical watch, it is perfect for tactical training, hiking, swimming, or any other outdoor sport. The watch is also calibrated during production, ensuring precision and accuracy.

It has a highly accurate digital compass that is crucial for wilderness survival. As for the barometer, altimeter, and weather forecast function, you will have all the necessary information to prepare for changing weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Large numbers for easy readability
  • Packed with useful features
  • Able to withstand impacts, scratches, and heavy usage
  • Great value for the money
  • Outperforms similar watches in its category

Cons:

  • The compass feature may require frequent calibration
  • The wristband may not fit larger wrists easily
  • Screen numbers might be dimmer than expected

Buyer’s Guide

A good-quality survival watch has essential features like a compass, barometer, altimeter, and GPS, which can be crucial for survival in emergency situations. It can also withstand extreme conditions and provide accurate timekeeping, making it a valuable tool for outdoor activities.

That said, there are several essential factors you need to consider when searching for the best survival watches. Here are some of the most critical features that should be at the top of your list:

Durability

A high-quality survival watch needs to be rugged and durable, capable of withstanding tough conditions, scratches, and impacts. Look for watches made from sturdy materials like titanium or stainless steel with a scratch-resistant display.

ABC Features

An altimeter, barometer, and compass are essential features for any outdoor enthusiast. These tools can help you navigate through unfamiliar terrain, monitor the weather, and track your altitude. Ensure the watch you choose has these features for maximum functionality.

Battery Life

Battery life is a crucial consideration when choosing a survival watch. You want a watch with a battery that lasts for extended periods, depending on your usage. Some watches offer solar charging or kinetic energy functions to extend battery life further.

GPS and Navigation Functions

GPS tracking and navigation features are valuable tools for outdoor activities, especially in unfamiliar environments. Watches with GPS-enabled tracking, waypoint marking, and breadcrumb navigation can be invaluable in survival situations.

Fitness Tracking (Optional)

Some survival watches also feature fitness-tracking functions, including step count, heart rate monitoring, and calorie burn estimation. While these added features can be helpful, they may also impact battery life.

Legibility and Display

A survival watch needs to have an easy-to-read display, even in low light or adverse weather conditions. Look for a watch with a large, clear screen, possibly featuring a backlight or sidelight for improved visibility.

Strap and Comfort

A watch that is uncomfortable to wear can be a distraction during your outdoor activities. Hence, look for a watch with an adjustable strap made from durable materials like rubber or nylon, and consider a quick-release or interchangeable strap in case of damage.

Survival Watches FAQs

1. Are solar-powered survival watches reliable in the long run?

Solar-powered watches are generally reliable and can provide a sufficient amount of power when regularly exposed to sunlight. This makes them a suitable option for outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists.

However, it is important to remember that solar charging may not be as efficient in overcast conditions or when the watch isn’t directly exposed to sunlight.

2. How important is water resistance in survival watches?

Water resistance is a crucial feature for survival watches, especially for those who are likely to encounter wet conditions or be submerged in water. It is important to look for a watch that can resist water pressure up to a certain depth (measured in meters).

A general guideline is that a 50m water-resistant watch can withstand splashes and regular swimming, while a 100m water-resistant watch is suitable for snorkeling and other water sports.

3. What is the ideal material for survival watches?

The materials used in survival watches should be durable, lightweight, and resistant to scratches and damage. Stainless steel, titanium, and polymer composites are common choices for watch cases because they provide a robust build without being too heavy.

Sapphire crystal is often used for the watch face due to its scratch resistance. On the other hand, mineral glass and reinforced plastic are also good alternatives.

4. How accurate are the sensors in survival watches?

Sensors in survival watches can vary in accuracy depending on the brand, model, and even the conditions under which they are used.

While most survival watches provide reasonably accurate measurements, it is important to note that they may not be as precise as specialized instruments. Therefore, it is best to look at the sensor readings as helpful guides rather than definitive measurements.

5. Can survival watches replace a dedicated GPS device?

Survival watches with built-in GPS functionality can sometimes replace a dedicated GPS device, depending on the user’s requirements. They may be sufficient for general navigation or tracking routes but may lack detailed outdoor maps or advanced tracking features.

In most cases, a survival watch with GPS can be a useful addition to a traditional GPS device, offering backup navigation and simplified tracking capabilities.

Which Survival Watch Is Best for You?

The best survival watch for you will ultimately depend on your specific needs and preferences. Don’t forget to consider factors such as water resistance, battery life, and additional features when making your decision.

Whether you require a rugged, durable timepiece like the Casio Men’s SGW-100-2BCF or a highly sophisticated tactical watch like the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar, there are options available to suit every adventurer.

With the right survival watch by your side, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer any challenges that come your way.  Use our complete reviews and comparisons to guide you in selecting the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures this 2023.

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