The 6 Best GPS Watches of 2024 for Active Users available in USA

Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch with GPS

This roundup post titled “Top 6 GPS Watches for Active Users” aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the best GPS watches available in the market for individuals engaged in active lifestyles. Whether you are a runner, cyclist, hiker, or simply someone who enjoys outdoor activities, this list will help you choose the perfect GPS watch to track your performance, monitor your health, and enhance your overall fitness experience.

Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch with GPS
✯ Rugged and reliable ✯
Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) 40mm GPS Smartwatch
Conclusion: Improved and stylish smartwatch
Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch
Conclusion: Mixed bag
Garmin Forerunner 45s GPS Running Watch

1. Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch with GPS


Rugged and reliable

The Garmin Instinct is a rugged outdoor watch that offers durability, GPS functionality with Glonass and Galileo support, heart rate monitoring, a 3-axis compass, and a long battery life. However, it has limited GPS coverage in remote areas and the temperature sensor may be affected by layers of clothing.

Key Benefits

  • Rugged and durable design
  • GPS with Glonass and Galileo support
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • 3-axis compass
  • Long battery life


  • Drawbacks:
  • Limited GPS coverage in remote areas
  • Temperature sensor affected by layers of clothing

The Garmin Instinct is a rugged outdoor GPS watch designed to withstand tough environments. It meets the U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance, making it suitable for outdoor activities and adventures. The watch features a fiber-reinforced polymer case for added strength and durability, and a chemically-strengthened, scratch-resistant display that is easy to read even in bright sunlight. It includes a built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, as well as heart rate monitoring. With its long battery life and ability to control music and receive text notifications, the Garmin Instinct is a reliable and practical watch for outdoor enthusiasts.

Top-notch Outdoor Navigation Watch

  • Rugged design for durability in tough environments
  • Meets U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance
  • GPS functionality with support for Glonass and Galileo
  • Heart rate monitoring for fitness tracking
  • Built-in 3-axis compass for navigation
  • Barometric sensor for altitude tracking

2. Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) 40mm GPS Smartwatch


Conclusion: Improved and stylish smartwatch

The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) offers a sleek and modern design with improved performance compared to its predecessor. It excels in health and fitness tracking capabilities, and its intuitive user interface makes navigation a breeze. However, its limited compatibility with non-Apple devices and the absence of advanced health features may be a drawback for some users.

Enhanced Features

  • Sleek and modern design
  • Improved performance compared to previous generation
  • Excellent health and fitness tracking capabilities
  • Intuitive user interface and easy navigation
  • Decent battery life for a smartwatch


  • Limited compatibility with non-Apple devices
  • Lacks advanced health features like blood oxygen monitoring and ECG

The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) [GPS 40mm] Smartwatch with Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Loop is a sleek and modern smartwatch that combines style with functionality. It features a refined design that seamlessly integrates the case and band, offering an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable fit. The updated processor ensures quicker responses and smoother command executions, providing users with an enhanced user experience. With expanded health tracking features, improved notifications, and a longer battery life, this smartwatch is a stellar choice for those seeking a budget-friendly alternative without compromising on quality and performance.

Key Features

  • Fitness & Sleep Tracker
  • Crash Detection
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Carbon Neutral

3. Garmin Instinct Solar Smartwatch


Conclusion: Mixed bag

The Garmin 010-02293-10 Instinct Solar is a rugged outdoor smartwatch with solar charging capabilities, built-in sports apps, and health monitoring features. It is designed to withstand tough conditions and offers an extended battery life of up to 32 days. However, the monochrome display and lack of built-in music storage may not suit everyone’s preferences.

Positive Features

  • Rugged and outdoor design
  • Solar charging capabilities
  • Built-in sports apps for tracking outdoor activities
  • Health monitoring features, including heart rate and blood ox sensors
  • Long battery life, up to 32 days of use with smartwatch features turned on


  • Mono chrome display may not appeal to those seeking a color touch screen
  • Lacks built-in music storage, which may be a drawback for some users

The Garmin 010-02293-10 Instinct Solar is a rugged outdoor smartwatch with solar charging capabilities. Designed for adventure, this smartwatch has a durable design that can withstand the elements, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and swimming. The solar charging feature allows for extended battery life, so users can enjoy their favorite sports and activities without worrying about running out of power. With built-in sports apps and health monitoring features, including heart rate tracking and sleep monitoring, this smartwatch provides users with valuable insights into their fitness and wellness. Compatible with various Garmin devices, the Instinct Solar offers multiple global navigation satellite systems to track adventures anywhere. Overall, the Garmin 010-02293-10 Instinct Solar is an ideal companion for those with an active and adventurous lifestyle.

Advanced Outdoor Functionality

  • Solar charging capabilities for extended battery life
  • Built-in GPS for accurate location tracking
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless communication
  • Water-rated to 100 meters for underwater activities
  • Constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for durability
  • Integrated sports apps and health monitoring features

4. Garmin Instinct 2X Solar – Tactical Smartwatch


Excellent choice

The Garmin Instinct 2X Solar – Tactical Edition is a rugged GPS smartwatch that offers accurate and reliable features, including a built-in flashlight and ballistics calculator. Its solar charging capability is a standout feature, although there is limited information on its durability and longevity. Overall, the watch’s rugged and durable design make it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.


  • Accurate and reliable features
  • Solar charging capability
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Ballistics calculator
  • Rugged and durable design


  • Drawbacks:
  • Takes some time to understand and get used to all the features
  • Limited information on the durability and longevity of the solar charging capability

The Garmin Instinct 2X Solar – Tactical Edition is a bold and rugged GPS smartwatch built to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock, and water resistance. It features a large solar-charged display and a durable 50 mm polymer case. With solar charging capabilities, the Power Glass lens extends battery life, producing 50% more energy than the standard. This smartwatch offers dedicated tactical features, such as night vision goggle compatibility, waypoint projection, and dual-position GPS format, making it mission-ready. It also includes all-day health monitoring for energy levels, stress, sleep, Pulse Ox, and heart rate.

Cutting-edge Tactical Smartwatch Features

  • Tactical Edition
  • Rugged GPS Smartwatch
  • Built-in Flashlight
  • Ballistics Calculator
  • Solar Charging Capability
  • Coyote Tan color

5. Garmin Forerunner 45s GPS Running Watch


Highly capable

The Garmin 010-02156-00 Forerunner 45s is a highly capable GPS running watch that offers accurate tracking, a comprehensive range of activity monitoring features, and seamless integration with the Garmin Connect app. It boasts a sleek design, long battery life, and real-time heart rate monitoring. However, potential buyers should note the limited color options and potential connectivity issues with the initial firmware update.

Efficient GPS Tracking

  • Accurate GPS tracking for precise distance, pace, and route information
  • Highly accurate built-in heart rate monitor for real-time heart rate data
  • Impressive battery life that lasts for several days on a single charge
  • Sleek and comfortable design with an easy-to-read display and responsive touchscreen
  • Wide range of activity tracking features, including step counting, sleep tracking, and advanced metrics such as VO2 max and training load
  • Smart notifications for receiving calls, texts, and alerts directly on the watch
  • Seamless integration with the Garmin Connect app for reviewing workouts, setting goals, and analyzing training progress

Drawbacks of Garmin Forerunner 45s

  • Limited color options for the Garmin 010-02156-00 Forerunner 45s
  • Connectivity issues with initial firmware update

The Garmin 010-02156-00 Forerunner 45s is a sleek and lightweight GPS running watch that is perfect for runners of all levels. With its smaller size, it offers all the necessary running-related features in a comfortable design that can be worn all day and night. The watch includes Garmin Coach training plan support, allowing users to receive personalized training plans. It also features GPS, fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, and music player capabilities. The Forerunner 45s estimates heart rate during workouts and offers accurate GPS tracking for distance, pace, and route information. The watch has a long battery life, charges quickly, and is water-resistant, making it suitable for various activities. With the Garmin Connect app, users can easily sync their workouts, set goals, and analyze their training progress. Overall, the Garmin 010-02156-00 Forerunner 45s is a reliable and easy-to-use GPS running watch that provides essential features for runners and fitness enthusiasts.

Advanced GPS Technology

  • GPS running watch
  • Garmin Coach training plan support
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Sleep monitor
  • Music player
  • Bluetooth connectivity

6. Rugged GPS Smart Watch with Heart Rate Monitor


Conclusion: Versatile and Reliable

The GPS Smart Watch for Men Women offers a rugged and outdoorsy design with accurate GPS and compass functionality. It also has comprehensive fitness tracking features, although the controls may not be very intuitive and the functions are somewhat limited. Additionally, it has a long battery life and is compatible with Android, iOS, and iPhone devices.


  • Long battery life
  • Rugged and outdoorsy design
  • Accurate GPS and compass functionality
  • Comprehensive fitness tracking features


  • Not so-intuitive controls
  • Limited functions

The GPS Smart Watch for Men Women is a rugged outdoor watch designed to be an adventure companion for outdoor enthusiasts. It features a 1.32-inch HD round screen with a remarkable 360*360 resolution, providing an immersive visual experience with accurate color reproduction. The built-in GPS and compass are reliable for navigation, while the 1.32″ touch screen remains responsive even in challenging conditions. Additionally, the fitness tracker monitors heart rate, blood oxygen, and sleep, adding a health dimension to the watch. With an IP68 waterproof rating, it is suitable for various activities. The sleek design allows for everyday wear, and although daily charging may be needed, the watch impresses with its rugged build, accurate features, and the perfect blend of functionality and style.

Advanced GPS and Heart Monitoring

  • 1.32-inch HD round screen
  • GPS and compass functionality
  • Fitness tracker with heart rate, blood oxygen, and sleep monitoring
  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • Compatible with Android, iOS, and iPhone devices

Comparison of GPS Watch Alternatives

Frequently Asked Questions about GPS Watches

What is the price range for GPS watches and what factors affect their cost?

The price range for GPS watches can vary depending on several factors. Generally, GPS watches can be found in the range of $100 to $500, with some high-end models exceeding $500.

Several factors can affect the cost of GPS watches. The brand and reputation of the manufacturer play a significant role, as established brands often have higher price points. The features and functionalities offered by the watch also impact the price. For instance, watches with advanced tracking capabilities, built-in heart rate monitors, or music storage tend to be more expensive.

The quality and materials used in the construction of the watch, such as the type of display, band material, and durability, can also influence the price. Additionally, the availability of additional accessories and compatibility with other devices may increase the cost.

It’s important to note that pricing can also be influenced by market demand, sales promotions, and the retail outlet where the watch is purchased.

How long does the battery of a GPS watch typically last?

The battery life of a GPS watch typically varies depending on various factors such as usage, settings, and model. However, on average, most GPS watches can last anywhere from 8 to 12 hours with the GPS feature continuously enabled. If the GPS feature is used sparingly or turned off when not needed, the battery life can be extended to several days or even weeks. It is important to note that this estimation may vary among different brands and models of GPS watches.

What are the main features of a GPS watch?

A GPS watch is a wearable device that combines the functionality of a traditional wristwatch with GPS (Global Positioning System) technology. The main features of a GPS watch typically include:

  1. GPS Tracking: The watch uses satellite signals to accurately determine the wearer’s location in real-time, allowing for precise tracking of outdoor activities such as running, cycling, hiking, or even swimming.
  2. Distance and Speed Measurement: GPS watches can calculate and display the distance covered during a workout or activity, as well as the current speed of the wearer, providing valuable data for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
  3. Heart Rate Monitoring: Many GPS watches come equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor, which tracks the wearer’s heart rate during exercise. This feature helps users gauge their intensity levels and optimize their training for performance or health goals.
  4. Navigation and Route Planning: GPS watches often include navigational features such as route planning, turn-by-turn directions, and breadcrumb trails. These features are especially useful for outdoor enthusiasts exploring unfamiliar terrain.
  5. Workout Metrics and Analysis: GPS watches provide detailed workout metrics like pace, elevation gain, calories burned, and more. This data can be analyzed to monitor progress, set goals, and improve performance over time.
  6. Connectivity and Smart Features: Many GPS watches can be connected to smartphones or other devices, allowing users to receive notifications, control music playback, and even sync their workout data to fitness apps or online platforms for in-depth analysis and sharing.
  7. Durability and Water Resistance: GPS watches are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, making them durable and often water-resistant or even waterproof. This ensures they can be used in various weather conditions and during water-based activities.

What is a GPS watch and how does it work?

A GPS watch is a wearable device that combines the functionality of a traditional watch with GPS (Global Positioning System) technology. It is designed to track and display the user’s location, speed, distance, and other related data during outdoor activities such as running, cycling, hiking, or even swimming.

The GPS watch works by utilizing signals received from multiple satellites in the GPS network. These satellites orbit the Earth and constantly transmit precise timing and positioning information. When a GPS watch receives signals from at least four of these satellites, it can accurately calculate the user’s latitude, longitude, and altitude.

Once the watch determines the user’s current location, it can then calculate their speed, distance traveled, and provide navigation instructions. This information is typically displayed on the watch’s screen in real-time, allowing the user to monitor their progress and make informed decisions during their activity.

In addition to GPS functionality, many GPS watches also offer other features such as heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, workout metrics, and even smartphone notifications. These devices are powered by built-in batteries and usually come with companion software or mobile apps to analyze and store the recorded data.

Overall, a GPS watch is a reliable tool for outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts who want to keep track of their performance, navigate unfamiliar routes, and monitor their progress in real-time.

What are some popular brands that offer GPS watches?

Some popular brands that offer GPS watches include Garmin, Apple, Suunto, Polar, and Fitbit.

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