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Smartwatches For Outdoors – Review for Garmin, Suunto and TomTom

Smartwatches are available on the market for quite some time now and they gained many different features. This includes smartwatches for outdoors. From activity tracker to GPS and music storage – the outdoor smartwatches by Garmin, TomTom, etc. have many great features to offer. This comparative test will show you what outdoor smartwatches are capable of.

Table of Contents

Garmin Fenix 5

The Fenix 5 smartwatch by Garmin is the most expensive model in our comparison. It provides every sports enthusiast a great mix of real outdoor suitability with features such as GPS, as well as features of a good smartwatch, and the design of a normal watch. At the bottom of the housing, there is a heart rate sensor with Elevate Technology so that you can check your pulse regularly. The smartwatch has an antenna for GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, a barometric altimeter and a 3-axis compass for navigation.

The Fenix 5 automatically recognizes various different sports – from playing golf to paddling and skiing. It assesses statistics with the BeatYesterday function so that you can compete with yourself. In order to keep a focus on activities, the outdoors smartwatch shows notifications and can be used to control music.

The display is always on and adjusts to the light conditions so that you can comfortably read the display in the dark as well as in strong sunlight. The app Face It by Garmin enables to change the background images of the watch display individually by using one of your own shots. The Fenix 5 works well without a touch display because the buttons on the side are all you need. Thanks to the Always-On display and the usual watch design, you can wear the outdoor smartwatch in your daily life and to the office. The battery lasts for two to three weeks, depending on the usage.


  • Waterproof up to 300ft deep
  • Watch design
  • Quick lock for armband exchange
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with many other apps (AccuWeather, Uber, etc.)


  • Expensive
  • No replying to WhatsApp messages
  • Charging port on the back side of the watch

Order Garmin Fenix 5 on Amazon!

Suunto Spartan HR

The Spartan HR by Suunto has the widest range of sports disciplines with 80 different sports modes. Suunto focuses on detailed analysis of the sports activities. This is why the outdoor smartwatch has a GPS and GLONASS antenna, as well as an altimeter, heart rate monitor, and many features for outdoor sports and interval training. In order to keep the wearer motivated, they have a strong community. It helps to exchange experiences and to compete with other athletes in matches.

Navigation and sport are the two strong points of the Spartan HR. Different navigation modes can help to get to various points of interests (POI) or to walk a route that consists of breadcrumbs. The Spartan HR always measures the pulse and counts steps. It even converts steps into burned calories so that you can set a personal daily goal. Like other smartwatches, the Spartan also recognizes sports automatically and has 80 pre-installed sports disciplines, which makes it the perfect buddy even for mountain climbing, skiing, swimming or for a triathlon.

The Spartan HR has a colorful touch display with lock feature and three additional buttons. The scratch-resistant display made of sapphire glass can show notifications from the smartphone so that it belongs to the smartwatches. After Suunto showed weaknesses in the software, the manufacturer improved it completely so that the data transfer and updates work perfectly now. The battery of the Spartan HR lasts for 2 weeks with an average use.


  • Waterproof up to 300ft deep
  • Wide range of features
  • Watch design
  • Exchangeable wristbands
  • Long battery life


  • Color gradation with lack of contrast
  • Bulky design
  • Updates only available via PC synchronization

Order Suunto Spartan HR on Amazon!

TomTom Adventurer Outdoor GPS Watch

TomTom is well-known in the area navigation and so they transferred this expertise into an outdoor watch with GPS. The TomTom Adventurer cannot show notifications from a smartphone and rather looks like a very good Fitness Tracker in combination with a watch. However, it works great for the outdoors and sports usage and you can analyze detailed data via the TomTom Sports app.

The Adventurer can give you data about the distance, altitude, and speed in real time, thanks to the GPS and altimeter.  In addition, it also checks your heart rate and has different sports modes. It recognizes and tracks outdoor activities, such as hiking and skiing, and indoor activities like gym training. The Adventurer has an own storage so that you can plan trails beforehand and save them. Trail deviations are no problem for TomTom’s watch because it can just route back to the starting point. An integrated storage of 3GB for music and a pair of Bluetooth headphones give you the option to leave your smartphone at home.

The display of the TomTom Adventurer is made of Gorilla glass and is encased in rubber to make it more durable. All features and ports are built in a way that it can dive down to 70ft deep. An automatic recognition of light conditions adjusts the display brightness to the surroundings. The battery life of the Adventurer varies between one and two weeks, depending on the intensity of use.


  • GPS
  • Waterproof up to 70ft deep
  • Integrated music player with 3 GB storage
  • Automatic Descent Summary
  • Exchangeable wristbands


  • Sound quality of music player
  • No smartphone notifications

Order TomTom Adventurer on Amazon!

If you are already planning the next camping trip, you can check out our article about useful iPhone gadgets for camping!

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