When you are looking for a new watch, the first thing you should ask yourself is why you need a watch, apart from the basic needs like time and date of course.

It’s hard to deny that the best smart watches offer the best wearable technology available today. But do they fit your lifestyle? If you are an outdoor adventurer, at work and/or in your free time, an Apple or Samsung Galaxy Watch is not enough.

You need a rugged smartwatch that is both tactical and technological. The right tactical watch will give you all the PLUS features you need. They are made for those of us who appreciate the capabilities of a smart watch, but need a rugged military-grade watch.

With so many options, it’s not easy to know which one is the best. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Our smartwatch tactical tests and comparisons

1) Suunto Traverse Alpha

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Product Features

Outdoor enthusiasts will recognize the Finnish brand Suunto. Known for their quality, durability and versatility, they have been making reliable field watches, dive computers, compasses and other precision instruments for athletes and outdoor adventurers since 1936. The Suunto Traverse Alpha is one of the most durable tactical watches. It has been tested to U.S. military standards and is water resistant to 300 feet.

The functional and durable Suunto Traverse Alpha is designed for hunters, hikers and fishermen. This smart tactical watch features a durable composite case, a fluted stainless steel bezel and a high-quality, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The strap is made of water-resistant fabric for maximum comfort and durability.

It weighs 2.65 ounces and the battery stays charged for 14 days.

Features

  • built-in GPS
  • Compass
  • Barometer
  • Automatic fire detection
  • conformity check
  • Compatible with smartphones (iOS, Android)

What we like about the Suunto Traverse Alpha.

This smart watch offers many advanced features for tactical and outdoor activities, as well as excellent durability. Thanks to Suunto’s patented FusedAlti technology, it combines a barometric altimeter and integrated GPS for better readability.

It can instantly display the coordinates of your current position and supports MGRS (Military Grid Reference System) coordinates used by NATO troops. You can import routes in different formats and also set waypoints. When routes and waypoints are set, the watch helps you navigate by displaying your current position relative to a route or waypoint. Another useful feature for soldiers and hunters is automatic fire detection; the watch detects when a shot is fired and immediately records the coordinates as a waypoint.

Tactical enthusiasts also have a compass, altimeter, thermometer, moon phase calendar, moonrise/sunset alarm, sunrise/sunset alarm and backlight compatible with night vision goggles. The Suunto Traverse Alpha also displays real-time GPS information, such as current speed, distance, etc., and is equipped with a moon phase calendar, moonrise/sunset alarm, sunrise/sunset alarm, and night vision compatible backlight.

What we don’t like about the Suunto Traverse Alpha.

GPS allows you to track your activity and access detailed information, but only in the Suunto Movescount application. However, to access detailed activity information, you must pair your watch with your smartphone for synchronization, a process that can be quite time-consuming.

PROS

  • High quality GPS watch with useful features for daily use
  • A robust and reliable tool for the forest
  • Highly accurate storm alarm
  • Excellent quality and very durable

DELETED

  • Not the easiest with a big learning curve.
  • Reception of data from the watch is slow.

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2. garmin tactics delta

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Product Features

The Garmin brand is synonymous with mobile navigation. In 1989, Garmin introduced a portable GPS navigation device for the U.S. military. The development of this navigation technology has continued and personal and portable GPS products have made Garmin a household name.

The Tactix Delta is their flagship model; an advanced GPS watch with great functionality and durability for the tactical enthusiast. Featuring an incredibly rugged case further protected by a Diamond Like Coating (DLC) steel bezel and a dial protected by a sapphire crystal for maximum durability and wear resistance.

The silicone band is compatible with the Garmin QuickFit system. Thus, the band can be changed quickly and easily. Garmin offers a wide range of different silicone and nylon bands. The Garmin Tactix Delta watch has a built-in GPS system and offers many tactical features with regular software updates to continuously improve performance.

The battery life is impressive: 21 days.

Features

  • built-in GPS
  • Compass
  • Altimeter
  • Follow the activity in depth
  • conformity check

What we like about the Garmin Tactix Delta.

The watch displays the coordinates of your current position in MGRS format and supports navigation that leads you to waypoints or along preset routes. It also supports tactical modes that display your coordinates, map and other useful information while you are on patrol or hunting. Another advanced tactical feature is Jumpmaster mode, in which the watch guides you to your landing point after a jump.

The Garmin Tactix Delta is also equipped with a pulse rate monitor, compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, hunting/fishing calendar and displays information about the sun and moon.

It also tracks activity during workouts, and detailed information is available in the Garmin Connect application.

What we don’t like about Garmin Tactix Delta.

At 12 ounces, it is on the heavy side. We were disappointed with the durability of an expensive tactical watch designed for military use. Off the beaten path, they have quality control issues. There were many places on the DLC bezel where the DLC coating was incomplete, and on one of the lugs of the case where the bezel attached to the case. There was also some kind of glue pushed along the seam, which was quite visible when you looked at the watch from the side.

PROS

  • The battery life is remarkable, after a full charge the watch face indicates “21 days”.
  • Excellent GPS features
  • Designed to help you survive weeks offline
  • Highly accurate altimeter

DELETED

  • The quality of the construction is not as good as it should be
  • Scratches and chips despite DLC coating.

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3. casio pro tek WSD-F30

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Product Features

This is the third version of Casio’s Pro Trek WSD-F series, with a smaller body and more compact contours to fit around slimmer wrists. It weighs only 3 ounces, but is still rugged and reliable. Casio designed the watch with a protective bezel and safety buttons that meet the published U.S. military standard. As such, it works well in a variety of environments and meets the most stringent requirements of outdoor enthusiasts.

It features a highly responsive OLED touch screen with two layers, black and white and color, on which maps and data are displayed in great detail. The standard mode shows not only time, but also barometric pressure and altitude, and compass direction. This feature provides useful information for outdoor activities at a glance while saving energy. It can be fully charged in a few hours with the wireless charger.

Features

  • conformity check
  • built-in GPS
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Microphone
  • Porting the Google operating system

What we like about the Casio Pro Tek WSD-F30…

It is based on the Google Wear platform and is powered by a Snapdragon 2100 processor, which offers the highest performance of any smart watch. The device has 4 GB of internal memory and 512 MB of RAM. This allows storing color maps that can be recalled with a single keystroke. It has a microphone and supports Google Assistant.

With Pro Trek Smart’s Moment Setter program, you can set reminders and notifications to help you with your activities. Whether you want distance, altitude or just hydration reminders, you can customize them to suit your needs.

The Casio Pro Tek WSD-F30 has all the tactical features you need: built-in GPS, digital compass, altimeter, barometer, accelerometer and gyroscope. An ambient light sensor and heart rate monitor allow for more detailed monitoring of activities, including rest and recovery. Everything is well displayed on the highly visible 390 x 390 pixel screen.

What we don’t like about the Casio Pro Tek WSD-F30.

We don’t know if the plastic bracelet is durable. In addition, the battery life is disappointing at only 3 days.

PROS

  • Light, compact, comfortable yet robust
  • Good choice of colors and surfaces
  • The GPS turns on very quickly
  • A beautiful and highly responsive touch screen

DELETED

  • No backlight
  • Unreliable communication

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4) Garmin’s instincts

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Product Features

Garmin is perhaps the most recognizable name in the tactical watch market. The Instinct is one of their best products; a rugged watch designed for the outdoors and able to withstand the rigors of almost any environment. They are designed to be heat, shock and water resistant up to 300 feet in accordance with US Military Standard 810G.

This smart tactical watch tracks your exercise, heart rate and stress level. It offers a customizable fitness profile and can be downloaded from the Garmin Connect online fitness community.

The Garmin Instinct weighs just 1.76 ounces and has a battery life of up to 14 days.

Features

  • Multiple satellite navigation
  • 3-axis compass
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Sleep monitoring
  • conformity check

What we like about Garmin’s instincts ….

The Garmin Instinct is equipped with a 3-axis compass and a barometric altimeter. It uses several satellite navigation systems (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS) to ensure maximum map coverage, and its Tracback technology lets you return to the starting point by navigating in reverse along the same route. The Garmin Explorer application provides tools to plan trips in advance.

The interchangeable band is compatible with other Garmin smartwatches. The smartwatch’s advanced features for outdoor activities include integrated sports applications, stress and sleep monitoring, heart rate measurement and health data. There’s even the option to store music.

What we don’t like about Garmin’s instincts ….

It all depends on personal preference, of course, but the no-frills design probably gives the impression of obsolescence. It also doesn’t have a color screen, just a high-contrast black and white screen. However, for some people this will be a good thing, as it will allow you to see details better and the battery will last longer. It depends on your expectations and/or what you are used to.

With only 3 colors available, there is no better choice.

PROS

  • Accurate altimeter, barometer and GPS.
  • Highly responsive menus
  • On-line keys to prevent unintended activation
  • Excellent visibility on the screen

DELETED

  • Inaccurate fitness monitor data
  • The clock is locked in the middle of the activity recording.

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5) Suunto Core

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Product Features

The Suunto Core All Black Military SmartWatch offers a more affordable entry into the tactical smartwatch arena. It is very popular with military personnel, police officers, hunters and other tactical enthusiasts because of its high durability and functionality.

Suunto Core has an excellent display and a very user-friendly interface. Weighing in at 2.26 ounces, the lightweight design falls between elegance and tactility, making the watch suitable for everyday use. And although the watch technically has an “All Black” finish, the Suunto Core is available in several style options.

It does not need to be charged because the battery can be replaced by the user and lasts about 12 months with normal use.

Features

  • Compass
  • Altimeter
  • Weather trend indicator
  • conformity check
  • Waterproofing

What we like about Suunto Core

With its built-in compass, altimeter, thermometer and barometer, the Suunto Core keeps the user informed of weather trends and location.

A map with weather trends and predefined sunrise and sunset times for more than 400 locations helps you stay safe and plan your activities. Intelligent Storm Warning, based on barometric measurements, detects changes in air pressure and warns you of approaching thunderstorms.

This intelligent tactical watch records altitude, inclination and declination at the touch of a button.

It has a depth gauge for diving and snorkeling that measures the underwater depth to an accuracy of 30 feet.

What we don’t like about Sunto Kor.

The Suunto Core is a good basic tactical watch, but it does not connect to satellites, so there is no GPS, and the time is not automatically accurate or updated. You set it like any other normal watch.

Compared to others, it is less robust and its power supply is less efficient.

PROS

  • Simple configuration
  • Light but durable
  • A large and clear dial for easy reading
  • A comfortable and adjustable belt

DELETED

  • No pairing and notification from GPS or smartphone
  • The keys eventually jammed completely and had to be pulled out by hand.

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6. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

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Product Features

The lithium-ion battery in this high-end Garmin smartphone can be fully charged in 2 hours and last up to 46 days in power-saving mode. The battery life in more functional modes is also impressive.

Perfect for high performance work, with an advanced yet rugged design, it features a 1.3-inch (18% larger than previous Fenix models) 260 x 260 pixel sunlight-readable display. It is protected by Corning’s Gorilla glass and you can choose from a stainless steel, titanium or DLC coated bezel.

The Adventure Garmin Fenix 6 Pro supports multiple global satellite navigation systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) and has built-in sensors for a 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

Advanced training functions and advanced wrist heart rate monitoring provide full support for activity and fitness monitoring and sleep control. It also has a “body battery” that monitors your energy level and gives you an indication of your daily energy consumption.

Features

    • WiFi connection
    • Multiple satellite navigation
    • Heart rate sensor
    • Sleep monitoring
    • 10 ATM water resistant

What we like about Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.

There are many opportunities for fitness and outdoor enthusiasts.

Advanced training features include PacePro for tilt-adjusted speed control throughout the activity, as well as environment-corrected VO2max and evaluation of training conditions. Preloaded topographic maps are available for navigation, and Pulse Ox is available for altitude acclimatization. And if you’re skiing, maps are available for more than 2,000 ski areas worldwide.

The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro has 32GB of internal memory. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity support Garmin, contactless payment, music storage, smart notifications and more.

What we don’t like about the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.

There are certainly watches with better screen resolutions, especially in this high-end market.

We also found that the Bluetooth connection was unstable.

PROS

  • Significant improvement over previous Fenix models
  • Excellent battery performance
  • Everything you need to live an active life
  • Sophisticated design that looks good on the wrist

DELETED

  • Inadequate customer support
  • Problems with the backlight

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7) Crossing the Suunto

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Product Features

It’s probably not the thinnest or most elegant tactical watch on the list, but the Suunto Traverse is certainly one of the strongest and best.

Every new Suunto product is subjected to rigorous testing during development, both in the laboratory and in the field, in accordance with military standards (MIL-STD-810G).

The Suunto Traverse features a knurled stainless steel bezel and a durable, water-resistant nylon strap. A high-quality, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protects the 320 x 320 pixel display. Water resistant to 100 meters.

Features

      • Integrated GPS/GLONASS navigation
      • conformity check
      • Storm Warning
      • Automatic fire detection
      • 100 meter water resistance

What we like about Crossing Swanto

Load routes into your watch and you’re ready to explore new territory with GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation systems. You can track your progress with distance and elevation statistics, record points of interest and find your steps with the breadcrumb trail feature.

The barometric trend indicator helps you predict weather changes, and the storm warning alerts you when it’s time to take shelter. There’s also a moon phase calendar, a sunrise warning, and a red light for nighttime.

For hunters, automatic fire detection technology tracks the time and location of a shot by matching the GPS coordinates of the location for later review.

With Suunto Traverse, you can track GPS time, incoming calls, SMS and push notifications from your smartphone.

What we don’t like about Crossing Swanto.

Some will find the watch large and heavy, with a large bezel that is much larger than the dial used. The nylon strap is neither pretty nor comfortable.

The Movescount website and watch sync application are confusing. And if you’re an Apple user, the connection to your iPhone is a bit inconsistent.

PROS

  • GPS functionality worked better than expected.
  • The compass, altimeter and barometer are very accurate for a wrist unit.
  • Go around the country and record your walks.
  • The monochrome screen is clearly visible in the sun.

DELETED

  • The application does not work well together
  • In many parts of the United States, local service is not possible.

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8. garmin tactics charlie

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Product Features

The Garmin Tactix Charlie features a rugged and durable design with a DLC-coated black titanium bezel, black titanium back plate and stainless steel buttons for maximum wear and corrosion resistance.

This multi-sport watch combines special tactical functions with smart fitness features and offers comprehensive navigation and tracking functions to help you in difficult conditions. And of course the normal time and date with automatic daylight saving time, alarm, timer, stopwatch, time for sunrise and sunset.

Battery performance is very impressive – up to 50 hours in GPS mode, 3 weeks in sensor mode and 5 weeks in watch mode.

Features

      • Integrated GPS/GLONASS navigation
      • Topographic maps in color
      • Monitoring of physical fitness
      • Optical heart rate sensor
      • 5 weeks battery life

What we love about Garmin Tactics Charlie.

It comes with topographic color maps supported by GPS and GLONASS navigation systems. It is equipped with several sensors: barometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer and heart rate monitor.

In addition, tactical features include Jumpmaster, waypoint projection, two-position GPS layout, and pre-installed tactical features.

What we don’t like about Garmin Tactics Charlie.

The watch is big and heavy, so you’ll have to get used to it.

It is not the most intuitive and a bit outdated compared to other tactical smartphones, including the Garmin.

PROS

  • Good maps and GPS tracking capabilities
  • Excellent battery life
  • Customizable with dials, widgets and datasets.
  • Everything an adventurer, explorer or active sportsman needs.

DELETED

  • Problems connecting to the iPhone
  • Not the most comfortable

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END OF REVISION

We picked out the best tactical watches at the moment and put them to the test. The tests and competition were fierce, but in the end only one watch won.

If you need a reliable smart watch for tactical and technical purposes, our choice for the best tactical smart watch is the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best tactical watch?

Top 5 Tactical Watches for Athletes …

What is the strongest smart watch?

The most sustainable smartphones – 20 seats – ShapeScale

What kind of smart watches does the military use?

The Garmin Instinct tactical watch meets US Military Standard 810G for extreme heat, shock and water resistance (up to 100 meters) – the Garmin Instinct series is a smart, rugged outdoor watch, similar to the Garmin Fenix series models.

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