Oh, I’d love to write about tactical smartwatches; they are pretty different from regular smartwatches.
Tactical smartwatches offer extra tough features like a durable frame, shock-resistant body, excellent GPS navigation, and high-level waterproof resistance.
You are in the right place if you’re searching for the best tactical smartwatch for your outdoor journey. In today’s guide, I will share some of the most rugged smartwatches having cool outdoor features.
So let’s get started.
Consideration Before Buying A Tactical Smartwatch
Tactical smartwatches are quite different from casual smartwatches. They are built to survive in harsh environments and have a very rugged design.
Before purchasing any tactical smartwatch, you have to consider a few things.
1- Built-in Quality & Design
The design of a tactical smartwatch is one of the major reasons that make it different from other smartwatches.
Tactical smartwatches are made with strong polymers, or stainless steel cases, making them perfect for withstanding daily wear and tears.
Even though a few are bulky on the wrist, they are comfortable and last longer than casual smartwatches.
2- Water Resistant
Tactical smartwatches are water resistant, which means they can easily survive underwater for longer.
Most of these smartwatches are water resistant up to 100 meters, which means you can swim or snorkel with these watches.
3- Outdoor Features
Since tactical watches are made for outdoor use, they have dozens of outdoor features.
The most common thing you must consider in any tactical smartwatch is GPS and navigation features; their features help you find the right path during adventures.
Additionally, tactical watches should have Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass to find directions, elevations, heights, and temperature.
4- Battery Life
Compared to casual use smartwatches, Tactical watches offer long-lasting batteries because they are built for outdoor purposes.
If you want to buy a tactical smartwatch with long battery life, go for Garmin watches, they have incredible battery timings.
Best Tactical Smartwatches
|Smartwatch||Price||Battery Life||Display Size||Case Material||Weight||ABC Sensor|
|Apple Watch Ultra||$799||36 hours||1.92″||Aluminum/Stainless Steel/Titanium||61g||Yes|
|Garmin Fenix 7||$699||18 days||1.3″||stainless steel||79 g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Garmin Tactix Delta||$899 – $1099||Up to 21 days||1.4″||Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) Coated Titanium||97g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Amazfit T-Rex 2||$199||Up to 18 days||1.3 inches||Polycarbonate||60g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Garmin Instinct 2||$349||Up to 28 days||0.9” x 0.9||Fiber-reinforced Polymer||52g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Polar Grit X||$412||Up to 40 hours||1.2 inches||Stainless Steel||64g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Suunto 9 Baro||$400||14 days||1.34″||Stainless Steel||81g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Garmin Epix||$900||16 days||1.3 inches||Passivated stainless steel||76g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
|Suunto Core||$299||Up to 12 months||NIL||Aluminum||64g||Yes (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)|
1- Apple Watch Ultra
|Display||1.2″ Retina OLED, 2000 nits|
|Speaker & Mic||Yes|
|Battery Life||36 hours|
If you’re an outdoor athlete or enthusiast of outdoor adventures, the Apple Watch Ultra is our best option. This Watch features a durable titanium casing and Sapphire crystal front, making it the most durable Watch on the list.
Apple has added a lot of new elements to Apple Watch Ultra to increase its durability. The Watch is IP6X certified and tested under MIL-STD 810 for thermal and heat resistance.
As compared to other Apple Watches, the Apple Watch Ultra is up to 100m water resistant, so you can use it for extreme water activities.
The second big improvement in the Apple Watch ultra is the 2X bright display. It features 2000 nits peak brightness so you can easily read the display under direct sunlight or in water.
Despite durability, thanks to the premium fitness features of the Apple Watch Ultra helps me to track my fitness performance throughout hikes and outdoor adventures.
It measures your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, sleep stages, breath rate, body temperature, and more. You can also take an ECG on your Apple Watch Ultra, which is cool. But unluckily, the Apple Watch Ultra lacks a recovery feature, which I think is crucial for athletes.
In terms of GPS performance, I think Apple Watch Ultra is way better than Apple Watch 7. It has a dual-frequency GPS for more fast and more accurate tracking. But still, It can’t leave the level of Garmin’s GPS.
Another plus point of Apple Watch Ultra is LTE connectivity, which enables you to make calls and reply to a text without connecting it to a smartphone.
The battery life of the Apple Watch Ultra is also improved, it gives 36 hours of battery life on normal use. On a Multi-day adventure, give up to 60 hours of battery backup.
2- Garmin Fenix 7
|Water resistance||10 ATM|
|Battery Life||18 days|
Garmin Fenix 7 is an exclusive tactical smartwatch known for its insane durability. It has a stainless steel bezel making it a more heavy-duty watch. Fenix 7 includes all the essential features to track your outdoor journey and fitness.
Garmin has also tested the Fenix 7 to US Military Standards to ensure that the Watch is perfect for the US Military.
I love its battery performance, it gives you 18 days of long-lasting battery life in smartwatch mode. And last about 57 hours in GPS.
For sports enthusiasts, Garmin Fenix 7 offers dozens of premium features. Unlike Apple Watch Ultra it includes various recovery features that help you to better understand your health.
Fenix 7 is also the best option for outdoor runners or hikers. The Watch comes with Running dynamics that give comprehensive data about your runs or hike.
If you are involved in a strength training program, Fenix 7 also supports you. The performance metrics, Real-time stamina, HRV status, and respiration performance feature are very useful for strength training folks.
In terms of navigational features, no one can reach the level of Fenix 7. It features Multi-GNSS and GPS that works instantly, even in more challenging areas.
The Watch is also packed with Golf maps, Ski maps, and Topo maps. The latest Nextfork map guide helps you to identify your next stop, shows the distance t the next trail and more. Using its navigation feature, you can also lock certain areas, which are also best for hunters.
Unluckily, Garmin Fenix 7 lacks some smart features like answering phone calls, texts etc. Instead, it gives you smartphone notifications, which you can view on your wrist.
You can also stream Spotify on your Fenix 7. The built-in storage allows you to store your favorite track for offline listening.
3- Garmin Tactix Delta
|Bezel Material||Diamond-like Carbon (DLC)|
|Battery Life||21 days|
The Tactix Delta is one of the high-end Garmin watches. Among the best tactical smartwatches, it keeps the top rank. Even though the Tactix Delta is an expensive Watch, it’s a worthwhile option for military forces.
Tactix Delta is a very durable Watch, and it has Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated steel and Domed Sapphire Crystal glass, making it more shock resistant. You can use this Watch in any harsh condition.
The 10 ATM Water-resistant design makes it best for underwater activities like; horse surfing, sea walking, scuba diving, etc.
Read the Full Review Of Garmin Tactix Delta
The majority of the features in Tactix Delta are identical to Fenix 7 except for four main military features. These features include Night Vision, Stealth mode, Kill switch mode, and Jumpmaster mode. All these four features are useful for military forces but not too useful for civilians.
It has built-in topographic maps that help you with outdoor activities like hiking and hunting. You can also navigate different golf courses around the globe.
The navigational system in Tactix delta is so advanced it also gives your routes suggestion based on your data, which also brings you back to your initial point.
Considering the safety of military forces, Tactix Delta offers advanced safety features like LiveTrack, Group track, incident detection, and turn-by-turn navigation. Using these features, you can ensure your safety.
Besides its durability and navigational features, Tactix Delta performs much better in sports tracking. It can track your running, cycling, hiking, swimming and more.
With a glimpse, you can read your health status, heart rate, Pulse Ox performance and much more. Luckily, Tactix delta also supports recovery features that help you find the best training time.
Overall, Garmin Tactix Delta is the best tactical smartwatch, and if you want some useful Military features, it’s the most recommended option. Otherwise, the Fenix 7 is a good option for civilians.
4- Amazfit T-REX 2
|Water rating||10 ATM|
|Battery Life||24 days|
|Sports Mode||158+ sports modes|
Amazfit T-Rex 2 is the best option for you if you are on a budget. This affordable tactical smartwatch includes many advanced outdoor, strength training, and health-tracking features that help you stay on the right path.
T-Rex 2 is a successor of T-Rex; it’s made with polymer, making it more rugged and robust. The Watch only weighs 66.5g, which feels more comfortable during outdoor adventures and various operations.
The water resistance capabilities of the Amazfit T-Rex 2 are similar to Apple Watch Ultra and Fenix 7. It has a 10ATM water-resistant rating.
Since T-Rex is an outdoor Watch, it includes various outdoor sports tracking features. Overall it has 158+ sports modes, including; running, swimming, hiking, trekking, and more.
Amazfit T-Rex 2 offers heart rate tracking, blood oxygen saturation, and stress tracking in the health tracking department. The feature I love the most in this tactical smartwatch is the PAI health assessment that gives an overall score of your daily health data.
Unlike Apple Watch Ultra, T-Rex 2 has various training and recovery features like Vo2 max performance, recovery time, and training load and training effect. Using these features, you can easily maximize your performance and achieve your goals.
Like any high-end tactical watch, Amazfit T-Rex 2 give high-level battery performance. The 500 mAh battery lasts for 24 with typical usage. At the same time, it gives 45 days of battery life in power-saving mode.
The Watch supports many third-party apps, and you can even connect with a GoPro camera to record your adventures.
Amazfit T-Rex 2 has a dual-band & five-satellite positioning system that gives more precise navigation for runners, hikers and climbers.
T-Rex 2 is a better option if you want a mid-range tactical smartwatch. It includes all the essential features to make your outdoor adventures memorable.
5- Garmin Instinct 2
|Bezel Material||Fiber-reinforced Polymer|
|Display||Two-window design; 0.9” x 0.9”|
|Battery Life||28 days, Unlimited with solar|
Garmin Instinct is a flagship Garmin Watch offering many improved and new features. The Watch is identical to the predecessor but has a slim profile design.
Thanks to its powerful battery life that lasts for months. According to the brand, the Solar version gives unlimited battery life, but you need to constantly expose it to sunlight.
The display of Instinct 2 is similar to the original Instinct, but the flagship has a higher resolution, which gives you a brighter outdoor display. But unluckily, the Watch still lacks a color display.
Compared to its predecessor, Garmin Instinct 2 comes with new health and training features like VO2 max, sleep tracking, pulse Ox, HIIT workouts, body battery energy etc.
With a wide range of training and sports features, you can use this legendary Watch for outdoor sports and fitness tracking.
Intensity Minutes is one of my favorite features that tell you how much time you have spent in any heart-pumping activity. The more Intensity minutes you have earned, the greater your performance will be.
Apart from health tracking and outdoor features; it offers various smartwatch features like Garmin pay to make a contactless payment, notifications, calendar, stopwatch and more.
Overall, Instinct 2 is a perfect mid-range tactical smartwatch. It has good GPS performance, ABC sensors, Pulse Ox sensors, and more.
6- Polar Grit X
|Display||1.2″ MIP, Mas on display|
|Battery||345 mAh, 40h with training mode, 168 hours with Watch mode|
Polar Grit X is a mid-range tactical smartwatch with dozens of premium tactical and sports features. From navigational features to tracking your sports activities, Polar Grit X performs very well.
The design of Grit X is very sporty and rugged, and it has a stainless steel bezel with Gorilla Glass protection. The Watch easily survives in harsh environments and underwater.
Like Fenix 7 and Tactix Delta, Polar Grit X also passes several MIL-STD-810G tests, ensuring this Watch is perfect for Military force.
Polar Grit X has a 1.2″ display with 240 × 240 resolution that seems bright and vibrant. Unlike Garmin watches, this one has a color display.
The navigational features of Polar Grit X are excellent, and it gives GPS with Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS support. Additionally, you can use its Barometric sensor to measure weather conditions and altitudes.
Moreover, Grit X offers a global navigation feature, turn-by-turn guidance and route guidance that helps you to stay on the right path.
Concerning training and health features, Polar Grit X performs like a high-end tactical watch. It gives various recovery features, training load pro, energy sources, running power and more.
The advanced FitSpark feature is your training guide that gives on-demand daily workout suggestions to meet your goals.
7- Suunto 9 Baro
|Bezel Material||Stainless Steel|
|Glass Material||Sapphire crystal|
|Battery Life||14 days in watch mode, 7 days with 24/7 tracking|
Suunto is a well-known brand in making the best tactical smartwatches. The new Suunto 9 Baro is a very sophisticated smartwatch with many outdoor features.
The design of Sunnto 9 Baro is rugged, giving you the confidence to hit your goals. It has Sapphire glass crystal that protects the Watch from wear and tear.
To meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, Suunto 9 Baro is tested against US military Standard 810H. This rugged Watch feels a little bulky on the smart wrist; that’s why it is only recommended for females and small wrists.
The GPS and navigation features in this Watch are more powerful. The GPS is paired with GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, and BEIDOU, giving you precise data.
You can also check the breadcrumb trail in real-time, plan routes, mark points of interest, and more. Even Suunto 9 Baro gives global heatmaps for 20 sports.
As the name suggests, Suunto 9 Baro has powerful barometric functionalities. You can measure barometric pressure, altitudes, heights, vertical speed, and more. That’s why Suunto 9 Baro is the perfect option for professional hikers.
Besides outdoor features, Suunto 9 Baro includes various training functions that help you train effectively. It has over 80+ sports modes to choose from.
Overall, Suunto 9 Baro is the best option for athletes. It gives comprehensive data on your runs, hikes, and cycling.
8- Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
|Bezel Material||Carbon grey DLC titanium or pure titanium|
|Battery Life||16 days with smartwatch mode, 42 hours in GPS|
|Ambient Light Sensor||Yes|
Garmin Epix is another high-end tactical smartwatch, and it’s jam-packed with sports and outdoor features. Even though it’s an expensive wearable, it’s a worthwhile option for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes.
The rugged shape looks interactive and features DLC titanium bezels with Sapphire crystal glass protection. The watch test against military grade to ensure it’s perfect for harsh environments.
Thanks to its powerful battery life that lasts up to 16 days in smartwatch mode. So if you are on a long adventure, this is the best option.
Garmin Epix is full of outdoor features, and the GPS technology is insane, giving you more precise navigation in challenging environments. The latest SQTIQ technology gives you accurate positioning considering the battery life.
For hikers, and mountaineers, Garmin Epix brings an exclusive ClimbPro feature that tells real-time information about upcoming climbs, gradients, distances, and elevations.
In terms of training features, Garmin Epix gives all the essential training features like training load, readiness, Interval training and more. You can view the detailed analysis of your training in the Garmin Connect app.
Overall, Garmin Epix is the best tactical smartwatch and best for strength training folks. It has animated workouts, daily workout suggestions, HIIT workouts and much more.
9- Suunto Core
Suunto Core is an entry level tactical smartwatch. It has a basic interface which is easy to navigate for beginners.
Suunto Core has a very robust design, and it feels comfortable during outdoor adventures. The bezel is made of Aluminum, and the screen is protected with mineral crystal glass.
Suunto Core includes common outdoor features like Altimeter that shows an Altitude graph during hikes, weather forecast, temperature, sea level pressure, and more.
The Watch is water resistant up to 100 meters and best for snorkelling and other water activities.
Unfortunately, Suunto Core doesn’t have a built-in GPS. You can use a compass to measure directions.
Suunto Core is a very basic Watch, and it lacks major smartwatch features like heart rate tracking, training, and recovery features.
Overall, Suunto Core is an affordable tactical smartwatch and a good option for beginners.
Which is the best tactical smartwatch for the iPhone?
Apple Watch Ultra is one of the best tactical smartwatches for iPhone users. It’s a premium, rugged design and Titanium case, making it best for outdoor adventures.
Which is the best tactical smartwatch for women?
Even though tactical smartwatches are bulky, Apple Watch Ultra and Polar Grit X are the best tactical watches for women giving a very comfortable experience.
Which tactical Watch has the longest battery life?
If you want to buy a tactical smartwatch with the longest battery life, the new Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is the best option. According to the brand, this Watch gives unlimited battery life with a solar version. But to get unlimited battery life you have to expose it to sunlight once or twice a week.
Tactical smartwatches are very useful for outdoor lovers and Military forces. Despite just telling time, they are your virtual training couch and fitness gadgets.
I hope after going through the above guide, you have found the best tactical Watch for your wrist.
Hi, I’m Saad Dastagir. I’m a tech and fitness enthusiast who loves writing about smartwatches and fitness trackers. When I’m not testing out new gadgets, you can find me out on a hike or exploring new adventures. My passion for technology, fitness, and the great outdoors has led me to create a platform where I can share my experiences, insights, and reviews on the latest gear.