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GPS Sports Watch suggestions.

My wife wants go get a hiking watch and would like one that at least has breadcrumb navigation ability.  We were looking at the garmin instinct and the garmin Fenix series and wanted to see if you have any recommendations.  We also saw the Suunto watches today and saw they have some similar features, but we just aren't as familiar with that brand.

2 Replies

@AustinV Thanks for reaching out!

We've had a couple of good threads get started around this topic, feel free to check them out:

In terms of Suunto watches, they are also a high quality brand of GPS watch. You really can't go wrong with either. A couple of the big differences between the two is that Garmin allows you to make some changes to your display within the watch functions, whereas Suunto requires custom displays to be changed within their app. Also, some Garmin watches come is smaller sizes, if that is something your wife is interested in.

Hope this helps, feel free to reach out with any other questions!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

do you have a cell phone?  then you don't need a gps watch to track your route.

Instead, use an app designed for that purpose.  I have an iphone, so use the Gaiagps app, which is probably the best on the market.

before going into the woods, download your maps via gaia, then use the app in airplane mode to track yourself or to ensure you're following your intended route.

you can create your own route, i.e. create a colored line over a trail on the map you intend to take, then upload it to gaia, that way, you can see your intended route on the map you downloaded onto your phone, and ensure you are following it.

I create my own 'routes' on (a free and premium version)

That said, using any app, you aren't really practicing any navigation skills.

I love my 'hiking watch', primarily for the altitude, barometer, and compass functions, so I can just glance at my wrist, check the elevation and compare with my paper map, to find my current posting on the trail, more or less, so I don't have to keep pulling out my phone and turning it on.

REI Member Since 1979