When winter comes, it’s prime time to get out there and prep for the skiing season.
And while there’s lots of gear to worry about, one thing that may get overlooked often is a good ski watch.
But with all the options out there and with technology evolving and changing by the second, finding the right model for you may be tough.
That’s why I scoured the internet and did all the research to find the best watches for skiing that you can wear while conquering hills and mountains wherever you are.
In this article, we take a look at some of the top models for both average and serious skiers, as well as some things you need to look at when looking for a ski watch.
Read on to find out more.
- Reviews of The Best Watches For Skiing
- What To Look For When Getting A Ski Watch
Reviews of The Best Watches For Skiing
1. Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor
Kicking off the list is this incredibly functional model from a classic brand.
For decades on end, Casio has been known for providing people with affordable, high-quality watches and this is exactly that.
This is one of the best non-smartwatch options for those who need a nice sports watch for skiing.
Unlike the old Pathfinder watches, this new model is much thinner, lighter, and consumes less power.
It has ABC features, meaning altimeter, barometer, and compass, so navigation shouldn’t be that much of a problem with this watch.
On top of that, it also has a sunset/sunrise display that could prove to be useful during long routes to help you plan your trip much better.
The watch is water-resistant up to 100m, which admittedly, could be better but this watch will definitely survive a long ski trip with ease.
But one of the most unique features of this watch is where it draws its power from.
On the face of this watch is a solar panel, which converts light energy into energy to power the watch.
So as long as you and your timepiece are getting regular exposure to the sun (which it probably will if you take this skiing), then you won’t have to worry about changing the battery.
This durability and longevity make this one of the best watches for Nordic skiing.
2. SUUNTO Core All Black Men’s Military Watch
Moving on, we have this beautiful smartwatch from Suunto, and what better watch to review than the one of the best Suunto watches for skiing you can get today.
This is another non-smartwatch option that’s great for those looking to save a little bit of money.
But before we get to all the great features of this watch, we have to start with one con: it doesn’t have GPS.
So if that’s a necessity for you, then this may not be the timepiece for you.
That being said, this watch does have a lot of great features such as an altimeter, compass, and a barometer, which can be huge plus when tackling mountains and trails during the winter.
You can learn about impending storms and how high up you are, both of which can be game-changers when skiing.
On top of that, the watch also has a wide-range thermometer to give you accurate temperature readings while you’re on your route.
All of these features are put in a beautiful black case that can rival the design of just about any sports watch out there.
It also comes with a large display that can be easily read in a variety of conditions.
So if you’re looking for a watch that can be a great partner for your next ski trip without busting the bank, this might be the ideal piece for you.
3. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire
If you’ve done any research on GPS sports watches this year, you’d know that this Garmin model is top of the line.
It’s packed with exercise programs and advanced metrics readings that can truly help you elevate your game.
It can calculate top speed, average speed, distance traveled, and even your heart rate.
Aside from all that, it also has some of the best GPS features available.
For example, those living in the US will have a great time planning their route using the topographic maps that are readily available on the watch at any time.
It also has a compass, gyroscope, and altimeter that make this an ideal partner for skiing.
This is also a smartwatch, so you can connect it to your phone to receive smart notifications and even track your progress using your phone.
And even if ski season is over, you can still use this watch for a variety of exercises such as running, swimming, and cycling.
A feature-packed smartwatch that is one of the best partners for the modern-day skier.
4. Casio G-Shock GW9200 Riseman
Before the rise of smartwatches, G-Shock models were always the go-to for those who needed a sports watch for a variety of physical activities.
This model has an altimeter, barometer, and thermometer, but it does lack a compass.
That being said, all these features are enough to help you out through the whole winter sports season.
Since this is such a tough watch and it can withstand a lot of different things, this is also one of the best watches for snowboarding.
It receives radio signals with accurate time on it, so you can be sure that you aren’t losing or reading inaccurate time while on the trail, which can be detrimental when doing winter sports.
The thermometer is great for giving yourself a better picture of the environment around you.
On top of all that, the Riseman is another G-Shock model that has a solar panel on the watch’s face, so as long as you use this watch regularly and give it regular exposure to sunlight, you can be sure that this watch will be ticking for years to come.
5. Coros Pace GPS Watch
This watch may stand out amongst the rest because of its design, but there’s a lot more to this model than a pretty face.
But before we get into all these features, let’s take a look at the watch’s design.
It features a very stylish red and black colorway, which can be really fun to pair with winter sports attire, yet another reason why this watch is one the list.
But this smartwatch can receive notifications from your phone, read the altitude, give you accurate air pressure readings, and help you navigate using its top-of-the-line GPS.
One cool feature of this watch is that it doesn’t have the standard 3-4 day battery of your regular smartwatch.
Instead, the battery of this watch can last you up to 30 days on a single charge, which is great if you’re planning on going on a long ski trip.
It also has a heart rate monitor, which can keep you from overworking your body, or it can even give you an idea of how much further you can push yourself while exercising.
This is a watch designed for the stylish athlete and can handle multiple sports, be it summer or winter.
6. Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire
This is the second Garmin model on this list, which just shows how the brand makes quality sports watches for the modern athlete.
While we’ve had two of them on this list, the Fenix 6X is by far the best Garmin watch for skiing.
It has a sleek, all-black design with a large display, which makes reading the time or whatever information is displayed on the watch very easy.
That’s a huge plus since a lot of smartwatches nowadays tend to have smaller displays that are difficult to read and navigate through.
This watch is loaded with features.
So if you’re a techy skier, you might find yourself having a lot of fun with this watch.
It has multiple navigations systems, topographical maps, phone connectivity, a heart rate monitor, and just about everything you’ll need when going on a long ski trip in the winter.
This is a premium device, so it does come with a steeper price tag than some other models on this list, but with all the things it can get done, this watch is worth every penny.
Since it is a higher-end model, even the construction is top tier.
This right here might be the best GPS watch for backcountry skiing out there, since it has a lot of navigation tools that can help you through your trip.
It has a stainless steel case that can withstand just about anything and very high water resistance, so don’t worry about this watch failing on you during your next trip out to the mountains.
7. Armitron Sport Chronograph Watch (40/8284)
This watch is much simpler than some of the other entries on the list, but sometimes that can work to its advantage.
The watch has a tough resin case which has a great shock-proof rating.
That means that even if you take a hard fall when you’re skiing (and let’s admit it, it’s happened to all of us), you don’t have to worry about the watch breaking apart.
It also has a chronograph and 100m of water resistance, which is just about all you’d need on the trail.
Not all of us can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a watch, and that’s completely fine.
This is why this model is one of the best budget ski watches out there.
It lacks a lot of the features that one might want in their sports watch, but if you’re really looking to keep things simple and uncomplicated, then there’s nothing wrong with going with this Armitron model/
8. Timex Expedition WS4
This is truly one of the best ski watches out there.
It has a very wide display, which is great since you don’t really want to spend too much time trying to look at your watch while skiing.
It has all the features you’ll need.
For starters, it has the complete ABC’s, which is just about standard for a quality ski watch.
It isn’t exactly a smartwatch, since it doesn’t connect to the phone, but Timex has done a great job of incorporating the features that you won’t really need phone connectivity anymore.
It also has a thermometer, heart rate monitor, activity tracker, INDIGLO light, and has two view modes: analog or digital.
This watch really has you covered with all your needs, which is why it has been praised by skiers all around.
Despite it being a bit larger and easier to read than a lot of other smartwatches, it’s surprisingly light and comfortable on the wrist, which is great especially when you’ve been skiing or snowboarding the whole day.
The features are really easy to navigate through, which can sometimes be all you can ask for in a watch like this, making this one of the best fitness watches for skiing.
9. Polar Vantage M
Capping off our list is this very lightweight and simple model from Polar.
It was designed for running, so it has a lot of features to track your fitness activity.
The heart rate monitor is one of the best on the market, so all the metrics you want to be tracked, including distance and time will be managed easily with this fitness partner.
This is one of the best fitness trackers you can get at a relatively affordable price.
This is a great plus because when winter ends with the ski and snowboarding season, you can still use this watch for just about any physical exercise you’ll be doing throughout the year.
10. Apple Watch Series 3
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard of the Apple Watch.
A smartwatch that can handle almost anything and the latest release in this series has features that make it great for skiing too.
It’s incredibly powerful, using Apple’s signature technology to power the watch and has loads of features such as the ABC’s, a heart-rate monitor, and even an accelerometer that can all be used when skiing.
Since it connects to your phone, you’ll find it very easy to track your metrics, plan your routes, or even simply change the song your listening to without having to take out your phone.
It’s also Siri capable, so if you have an iPhone with you and you’re willing to shell out a little bit more money, this could be the best watch for you.
When it comes to durability, Apple really did try its best with this model.
It has 50m of water resistance, which can easily handle skiing and even swimming, and since there are so many electrical components to this watch it’s a miracle they were able to put any water resistance at all.
The case is made of aluminum, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally breaking your watch with an accidental drop.
This isn’t a watch made for skiing, but it definitely packs enough features to make it a great partner for winter sports.
What To Look For When Getting A Ski Watch
In this section, we take a look at the important characteristics of a good ski watch.
This is one of the most important features a top-quality sports watch should have.
There are so many things you can do with a proper GPS.
For starters, if you’re going to meet up with your friends for a nice ski session, the GPS can help you find the exact meet-up point.
Aside from that, having a map on your wrist will help you navigate while you’re en route, and if ever you find yourself off the common trail or path, a GPS feature could prove not just useful, but lifesaving.
You need to be able to properly read what’s being displayed on your watch.
This is because a high-quality sports timepiece will be displaying very valuable information that can help bring you to the top of your game.
But all of that becomes useless if you can’t read it while skiing.
The winter sun can be bright, and that can be even more amplified with the white snow, so having a nice display that’s easy to read in any condition is essential in a ski watch.
3. Heart-Rate Monitor
No matter what sport or exercise you’re doing, having a heart rate monitor on your wrist can greatly improve your performance.
It can accurately show how much effort your body is putting in so you know if you can up the intensity or if you need to slow down a bit to avoid fatigue.
Luckily, most sport watches nowadays have an HR monitor built right in to help you turn into the best athlete you can be.
4. The ABC Features
Now, these features are more optional than anything else, but they’re still very valuable to have, especially when out in the field.
The acronym stands for an Altimeter, Barometer, and a Compass.
If you have a good GPS system on your watch, these features aren’t exactly essential.
But having these tools at your disposal opens a whole new range of possibilities that will make your skiing experience not only more fun, but it can also help you take it to the next level.
In this section, we take a look at some common questions have regarding ski watches.
1. Do I Need To Buy A Smartwatch For Skiing?
The short of it is no, you don’t.
A standard sports watch with GPS features and a heart rate monitor that fits right and you’re comfortable is really all you’d need.
However, with a smartwatch, you open up a world of features and possibilities.
So it isn’t a necessity, but a smartwatch will come with a ton of benefits.
2. Can I Use A Standard Sports Watch For Skiing?
Yes, as long as you feel comfortable with it.
3. How Long Do The Batteries Last?
This all depends on the watch you buy.
Some watches that don’t have a lot of features have batteries that can last for years without needing a change.
But if you choose to go with smartwatches, then you’re going to have to expect to charge the watch every couple of days.
4. Are Ski Watches Durable?
As they were made to be worn outdoors while doing physical activity, sports watches and ski watches are made to be tough.
That being said, there are still some models with more durability than others so it’s important to really pay close attention to the materials used in making the watch before going out and buying one.
5. How Long Do Ski Watches Last?
If you take care of it and maintain your watch properly, the watch can last you years and multiple winters.
So there you have it, all the best ski watches you can get today.
They all have different features, made for different people.
Some of you might need to prioritize the navigation features, while others may want to focus more on the heart rate metrics, while some simply just need a strong watch to keep accurate time.\
Whatever your horological needs may be, they will be handled by the watches on this list.
So all that’s left to do is make the choice, get the watch, and start skiing!