Survival watches, in particular, may seem like ordinary accessories, but the best survival watches come equipped with functions that can help you figure things out when it gets rough outdoors. We’ve created a list of the best survival watches available to get you through every survival situation, tested and rated based on their basic elements and extra functions.
Top 10 Best Survival Watches Reviewed
- Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Survival Watch – Best Overall
- Suunto Core Military Outdoor Sports Watch – Best Value
- AOSLSI Military Outdoors Sport Digital Watch – Editor’s Choice
- Casio G-Shock Rangeman solar-assisted GPS Watch
- Timex Expedition Gallatin Watch
- Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Watch
- BlueStraw Digital Survival Sport Watch
- Equipped Outdoors Paracord Survival Safety Watch
- Casio Pro Trek PRW-50 Version 3 Watch
- Suunto Traverse Alpha Outdoor Watch
#1. Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Survival Watch – Best Overall
- Shock, mud, and water-resistant
- Twin sensor capabilities
- 25 months of battery life
- Functions: temperature, direction
Casio is a famous and top-rated brand for creating top-quality watches, including those you can utilize for survival. It’s a big player in the field of best survival watches, and its crowning glory is the G-Shock Mudmaster. This high-quality survival watch is well-known for many survivalists and outdoor adventurers for many reasons.
In terms of overall quality build, Casio is no stranger to delivering the best of the best, and that’s something you can expect from this survival watch. It comes with an extra-durable body made of tough plastic material. Casio built the G-Shock Mudmaster with a rugged housing and some shock-absorbing features. This watch can bump and tumble around in the wild, and it won’t damage. It’s also water and shock-resistant, perfect to wear for every adventure.
But that’s not all because this outdoor watch boasts a high-capacity battery that can last for around 25 months, even when kept in total darkness. It features a remarkable solar charging system that efficiently works to give you more power on the go.
When it comes to survival functions, you get what you’re paying for the G-Shock Mudmaster. It’s a feature-rich outdoor watch with offers barometric pressure data, temperature readings, and directional information. It’s an analog watch, but there’s a tiny digital screen to help you out with extra survival data. The LED lights also come in handy when you need direction and other survival data during the night. Plus, the dial numbers come with glow paint for easy time checking in low-light conditions.
Overall, it’s one of the best survival watches money can buy without being too expensive.
|Fantastic solar-charging system||Awkward fit for tiny wrists|
|Tough and durable design|
#2. Suunto Core Military Outdoor Sports Watch – Best Value
- Minimal design
- Full LCD screen
- With storm alarm and weather trend graph
- Functions: compass, barometer, altimeter
If you’re looking for a sleek watch that can do more than just a cool accessory on your wrist, the Core Military Outdoor Sports Watch from Suunto fits that description well. It boasts a low-profile and streamlined design, without the bulk that you find in most survival watches nowadays. Its minimalistic style makes it an ideal choice for everyday wear. It features a full LCD screen, taking the look a bit more modern than analog watches. It’s also more convenient to view data than its traditional analog counterparts.
In terms of functions, you get a lot from this survival watch. You can use it to track your altitude and check out the weather. You can also use it to monitor your climb with the real-time altitude data on the watch. However, it’s most notable feature is the weather-tracking system. It predicts the changing weather patterns, thanks to the built-in standard barometric pressure. But there’s more because you also get a smart weather alert feature. It’s the notification that you need to avoid getting stuck in tricky situations when a storm is coming. It alerts you once the atmospheric pressure drops, allowing you enough time to find shelter before the bad weather hits.
The sunrise and sunset data are also cool features in the mix, which records the time from more than 400 locations worldwide. It’s one of the best survival watches, a great companion for your journey and adventures.
|Affordable outdoor and survival watch||Not the most durable band|
|Impressive weather-tracking system|
|Cool sunrise and sunset data feature|
|Efficient weather alert feature|
|Easy-to-use minimal design|
#3. AOSLSI Military Outdoors Sport Digital Watch – Editor’s Choice
- Polyurethane band
- Waterproof up to 30 meters
- Sport tracking features
- Functions: thermometer, altimeter, barometer
The best survival watches doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are on a budget but want quality functions for survival in the wilderness, the Military Outdoors Sports Digital Watch from AOSLSI is a great option. It’s a feature-packed survival watch with a low price tag, one of the reasons why it’s appealing to many adventurers and survivalists.
This survival watch comes with a built-in altimeter that can tell you your current elevation. It can also track your 24-hour elevation history through an altitude graph. Meanwhile, the barometer feature can tell you the local pressure and the sea level pressure. It also comes with an impressive built-in thermometer that shows a pretty accurate temperature.
Another notable function of this quality watch is telling weather conditions through the weather forecast feature. It will show you one of the four symbols for the upcoming weather condition.
Besides all these survival functions, this digital watch is also a perfect companion if you love getting fit and active. It comes with a health monitoring feature that can tracks how many steps you’ve taken, how far you’ve walked or run, and the number of calories burned for each activity. What’s even better is it features a 3 ATM waterproof rating. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting wet when using this watch.
|Tracks steps, mileage, calories, and time||Difficult to read with low lighting|
|Measures sea level and local pressure|
|Feature-rich survival watch|
|Low price tag|
|Easy to use|
- Digital display
- Triple sensor system
- Built-in solar charger
- Functions: compass bearing, temperature, barometric pressure
This one is from Casio, so you can expect to get a good deal out of it, especially considering the price you have to pay. The G-Shock Rangeman solar-assisted GPS Watch is our premium picks out of many best survival watches for many reasons, but mainly because it’s a top-quality watch rich in features and functions you won’t find in many models.
The G-Shock Rangeman comes with GPS technology, which alone makes it a worthy purchase for emergency and survival purposes while in the wilderness. This watch can easily connect to satellites to provide accurate location data. The built-in GPS feature also allows you to track your location information in real-time. In cases that you need to backtrack or go back to where you came from, there are convenient data points to lead you to your destination.
Besides the GPS, the Rangeman also comes with a Bluetooth connectivity option, allowing you to connect it to your smartphone. You can then access the 3D maps, your location, and create travel routes through the Casio app to download on your mobile.
In terms of sensors, you can get everything you need to survive from this watch. It comes with barometric pressure, compass bearing, and a thermometer.
And like most Casio survival watches, you can expect nothing but top-quality built for the Rangeman. It’s water-resistant up to 200 meters and comes with shock-resistant features. Plus, the battery can run for 33 straight hours on GPS, and once it drains, there’s always the built-in solar charger to help.
|Durable water and shock-resistant build||Pricey|
|Water-resistant up to 200 meters|
|Accurate GPS navigation|
|Easy-to-read watch face|
|Excellent build quality|
- Analog quartz movement
- 44mm resin case
- Water-resistant up to 165 feet
- Light-up watch dial
Timex is another popular brand if you want a dependable watch for outdoor use. The Timex Expedition Gallatin Watch, in particular, is a fantastic choice at an extremely affordable price tag. If you can go without the best survival watches’ bells and whistles, this should fit your requirements.
This low-cost watch packs a punch in terms of quality built. It boasts a tough 44mm resin case with a luminescent back and a scratch-resistant dial window. It’s a perfect companion that can brave through the rugged outdoors and other survival scenarios.
While Timex designed this watch’s housing for rugged use, it doesn’t look nor feel overbearing. It’s beautifully designed, especially as it lights up, adding excellent visibility in low light conditions. It comes with a double nylon strap that is comfortable and fits securely on the wrist. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting it wet and heavy as the nylon strap doesn’t soak up much water. The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters deep. You can use it if you go swimming or diving in shallow waters.
|Scratch-resistant dial window||No other functions|
|Excellent budget option|
|Robust resin material|
|Durable overall build|
- Eco-Drive watch movement
- Built-in compass
- Water resistance up to 200 meters
- Bi-directional rotating bezel
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster is one of the most beautiful watches available. And while it looks great on your wrist in any situation, its advantages don’t stop there. This sporty and sleek watch that looks professional and well-made boasts multifunction, making it an ideal accessory whether you are in a boardroom or the wilderness.
This watch is every survivalist and adventurer’s dream, made for enthusiasts and hobbyists who love braving the outdoors. It offers tons of functionality, from an altimeter and date clock to a compass. The altimeter feature, in particular, deserves some shout out because it can measure altitude from 1,000 to 35,000 feet, which very few survival watches can do.
Forget about your watch dying out on you because this one won’t, and no battery replacement needed either. It captures solar energy, powering up the Japanese quartz at all times. So what if there’s no blazing sun outdoors. This watch also responds to artificial light, making it extra convenient.
The black ion steel body, on the other hand, gives this watch its tough build designed for rugged use. The mineral crystal at the face comes with anti-reflective features, also made with high-quality craftsmanship. As a bonus, you get a water-resistant survival watch, at least up to 200 meters.
|Measures altitude from 1,000 to 35,000 feet||Fewer functions than other models|
|Efficient compass and altimeter features|
|Scratch-resistant mineral crystal|
|Strong anti-reflective face|
|Affordable price tag|
- Three interchangeable straps
- Water resistance up to 30 meters
- LED backlight
- Functions: whistle, fire starter, compass, scraper, fishing hook
When it comes to emergency and survival while in the wild, you’d wish you’re wearing a watch that does more than simply telling the time and day. Fortunately, you can get a dependable survival watch like the BlueStraw Digital Sport Watch, and you will never look back. It’s one of the best survival watches for a reason.
As an ultimate survival watch, this one comes with a bunch of built-in tools to help you brave the harsh and unpredictable outdoors. It’s among the most feature-rich watches available, with interchangeable band designs to serve a different purpose in keeping you alive in dire conditions.
You can get three options for the straps, silicone, survival, and paracord. If you have all three, you get many features like a compass, whistle, thermometer, fire starter scraper, and a flint. It comes with everything you need to start a fire, find out your location, check your temperature, and call for help.
The paracord bracelet, in particular, gives you hundreds of feet of rope, while the survival strap includes alcohol pads and a fishing hook. Overall, it’s one of the best survival watches if you want to prepare yourself for any possible disaster in the wild. It’s a multifunction watch and a survival kit in one.
|Suitable for military, first aid, and outdoor adventures||Not the best quality|
|Three multifunctional watch straps|
|Impressively versatile design|
|Multifunction watch face|
|Survival kit on your wrist|
- Paracord band
- With magnesium fire starter
- Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
- Functions: compass
You can find many expensive survival watches, those filled with bells and whistles that can help you in case of emergencies. However, you don’t always have to pay a premium price to get the best survival watches. The Equipped Outdoors Paracord Survival Safety Watch, in particular, is one of the cheapest options for adventurers and survivalists on a budget.
It comes with a basic watch design, nothing out of the ordinary. However, its lightweight and durable construction make it a quality option for the rugged outdoors. It also comes with a built-in compass that offers impressively accurate navigation.
If you have set up a survival kit before, you’ll know that paracord is a must-have, and you conveniently get that in this watch’s bracelet. You can cut it open to get a sturdy rope to use in multiple applications. But that’s not all because there’s also a magnesium fire starter. Building a fire wouldn’t be any trouble, even if it’s your first time.
Another notable feature about this survival watch is the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, which is rare for a low-cost product like this one. Still, it’s a wonderful bonus to have.
|Suitable for survival situations||Short battery life|
|Multipurpose safety watch|
- Solar-powered survival watch
- Power-saving function
- Water resistance up to 100 meters
- Functions: compass, barometer, thermometer, altimeter
Another impressive model from Casio if you’re looking for the best survival watches is the Pro Trek PRW-50 Version 3 Quartz Watch. Its remarkable performance is primarily based on its ultra-sensitive monitoring systems, giving you accurate data when you need it.
Although this watch still uses the traditional quartz technology, it boasts multi-band atomic time-keeping. This unique feature allows the watch to receive a radio signal five or six times a day, which keeps it calibrated for optimum time accuracy.
This Casio survival watch is also well-known for its accurate triple sensor that collects all sorts of data like barometric pressure, altitude, and temperature. It’s an overall better sensor compared to what you can find in most survival watches. In terms of displaying your direction using a traditional analog gauge, this watch utilizes the digital display to offer precision.
Like other Casio watches, this one also packs a punch in terms of build quality. It has stainless steel housing, designed to be rugged and hold outdoor wear and tear. It’s also water-resistant for about 100 meters deep. Using this watch won’t be disappointed, especially with the battery charged even with its high-powered sensors. The integral solar panel is what’s behind that, one of the selling points of this model.
|Tough stainless steel housing||Less robust than Casio G-Shock models|
|Excellent value for money|
|Extremely durable build|
- Scratch-resistant glass
- Built-in flashlight
- Supports GPS, GLONASS
- Battery Life: 14 days (time mode); 10/15/100 hours (GPS mode)
The Traverse Alpha from Suunto is another favorite for its rugged build and many survival functionalities. You can expect a top-notch build made from quality materials in this model. It features knurled stainless steel housing with a brown finish coating for extra protection. This watch looks great and performs excellently in the outdoors too. It’s a tough number, especially with the sapphire crystal glass. This watch won’t shatter anytime soon, thanks to its ultra-durable material and craftsmanship. The crystal glass also offers impressive clarity.
The Traverse Alpha is primarily a survival watch for hunters, but it can also work for many survivalists and outdoor adventurers. It boasts a built-in GPS that tracks your current location and path. And in case you made a wrong turn, you can easily backtrack as the GPS feature also creates a breadcrumb trail of your previous stopping points.
Overall, it’s one of the best survival watches with a durable design and craftsmanship and accurate GPS feature.
|GPS works in the background||Small readout design|
|With a moon phase calendar|
|Rugged stainless steel bezel|
|Extremely durable design|
|Accurate GPS feature|
Best Survival Watch – Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Survival Watch
There are many choices for the best survival watches, but our top pick is the G-Shock Mudmaster Survival Watch from Casio for obvious reasons. It’s a well-made watch that can brave the harsh outdoor conditions and give you tools to survive as well. It can tell you the temperature, direction, and barometric pressure, a fantastic watch you can rely on when facing dire situations.
Best Survival Watches Brands
If you are looking for trusted brands for the best survival watches, come and look at our best picks.
Casio is a Japanese electronics company that designs many products, from digital cameras, calculators, mobile phones, and wristwatches. G-Shock and Edifice are two of its most popular wristwatch lines, boasting quality technology and craftsmanship. In particular, the G-Shock line is a wide collection of sports watches designed for toughness that works great as a survival companion.
Suunto has been around since 1936, starting from producing a liquid-filled compass. Since then, the brand grew into a well-known innovator and designer of dive computers, sports instruments, and wristwatches for adventurers worldwide. Suunto survival watchers, in particular, are prized for their quality design, dependability, and accuracy.
What to Consider When Buying Survival Watches
Before buying the best survival watches, make sure that you know your options. Many watches are marketed for adventurers and survivalists, but not every one of them is cut out to help you survive the most challenging situations.
Here are some important features to consider before buying the best survival watches.
Technical vs. Paracord
You can categorize a survival watch in two. Paracord models give you essential survival equipment on your wrist. That includes the good old paracord that you can use for a multitude of applications. Sometimes, it will also include a fire starter, whistle, and a compass.
Meanwhile, technical survival watches are more focused on sensor capacity and performance. This type usually comes with features like a compass, GPS, barometers, thermometers, altimeters, and timers.
Both types can be helpful in dire situations, and choosing the best survival watches for you will primarily depend on the functions you’re looking for.
You might not know it, but not all watches give you accurate times, especially full-featured models. They usually have tons of components that use the same power source, which affects the watch’s time-keeping abilities.
Every second count, especially in emergencies. Only buy the best survival watches with accurate time-keeping abilities. If there are available accuracy ratings, get one with the highest rank or something around 99.9%. If not, your best bet is getting a quartz watch as it gives more accurate time-keeping than its mechanical counterparts.
If you’re going into the wilderness, you’re most likely to face rain, mud, and other water bodies. In that case, a water-resistant feature is a must for a survival watch. You can get something that is water-resistant up to a certain depth or something fully waterproof.
Most of these watches are submersible, allowing you to use them while swimming or diving, but check out the depth limits.
Features and Functions
You might not think that a thermometer would be essential to have in a watch until the time that you need it. The more features and functions you have on your survival watch, the better.
Among the features that should be on your survival watch is a compass to find your position or path. The altimeter and barometer are also useful to have when outdoors. You can also find a survival watch with a GPS feature, making navigating convenient, although they come at a significant price.
A survival watch that alerts you of upcoming storms or rain is also remarkable to have, so is the watch that can get power from the sun instead of solely relying on battery power.
While some survival watches have a built-in compass, one with a GPS feature can make navigation much hassle-free. It comes in handy if you need accurate coordinates of your location or destination. It can also record your trail and previous stopping points when you need to backtrack. A GPS feature is a luxury to have, especially if you spend most of your time in remote areas.
Durability is a must for outdoor gear, including the best survival watches. It shouldn’t break at the first sign of the rugged outdoors. Keep an eye on the overall durability of the watch. If it has a plastic casing, make sure it’s made of tough materials that won’t easily tear or break. A stainless steel casing is a common option for many survival watches as it’s naturally rust-resistant. Meanwhile, the face can either be made of sapphire or mineral crystal, both scratch and shatter-resistant.
A shock-resistance feature is also a fantastic sign that a survival watch is suitable for outdoor use.
If you’re going in the wild, you have to make sure that your watch won’t give up on you in the middle of the trek. Aim for the best survival watches with efficient power consumption. Many of them solely rely on the battery for power, while others use batteries but with a solar charging system. The latter is the best option to keep your watch always powered on the go.
Band materials for survival watches come in varying options. There are various styles from nylon, rubber, leather, steel, and even paracord. The band type you choose will often base on your personal preference and comfort.
The best survival watch will be the one that has the features you need and can rely on during emergencies. The G-Shock Mudmaster from Casio is our top pick for the best companion on any outdoor adventure. It’s a tough number that can brave the wilderness and gives you accurate navigation and support when needed.
Still, there are a few things you need to remember when shopping for the best survival watches, like a durable design, reliability, accuracy, and other necessary survival functions.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a survival watch?
A survival watch looks like any other wristwatch but offers more functions that help you survive dire situations. They usually come with water-resistant features and GPS and measure temperature, altitude, and barometric pressure.
Why do I need a survival watch?
If you love outdoor adventures, the best survival wristwatch should be on your kit. It’s a perfect companion that helps you navigate the wilderness without hassle. It’s also equipped with features and functions that can help you survive any adverse situation.
Can I submerge my survival watch in water?
Yes, but only to an extent, and it depends on the watch model you buy. Some survival watches are water-resistant up to 100 meters, while some can handle deeper than that. There are also survival watches that can barely withstand splashes from the rain, which aren’t the best options outdoors, so we don’t have them on our list of the best survival watches.