The Best Tactical GPS Watches [2019]

Best Overall
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features...
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch (Bluetooth), SM-R760NDAAXAR
Suunto Ambit2 Black GPS and Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Suunto Traverse Alpha
Polar RC3 GPS Sports Watch
Our Score
9.4
9.1
8.7
8.7
8.0
MSRP
$195.49
$89.99
$600.00
Price not available
Price not available
Material (window)
Silicone
Gorilla Glass SR+
Mineral
Sapphire crystal
Mineral
Display
Digital
Digital
LCD
Digital
LED
Case
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Stainless steel
Polyamide
Glass fiber reinforced composite with stainless steel coated, knurled bezel and pushers
Resin
Band Material
Silicone
Silicone
Elastomer
Nylon Textile
Rubber
Water Resistant
100 meters
5 Feet
330 Feet
100 Meters
NO
Best Overall
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features...
Our Score
9.4
MSRP
$195.49
Material (window)
Silicone
Display
Digital
Case
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Band Material
Silicone
Water Resistant
100 meters
More Information
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch (Bluetooth), SM-R760NDAAXAR
Our Score
9.1
MSRP
$89.99
Material (window)
Gorilla Glass SR+
Display
Digital
Case
Stainless steel
Band Material
Silicone
Water Resistant
5 Feet
More Information
Suunto Ambit2 Black GPS and Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Our Score
8.7
MSRP
$600.00
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
LCD
Case
Polyamide
Band Material
Elastomer
Water Resistant
330 Feet
More Information
Suunto Traverse Alpha
Our Score
8.7
MSRP
Price not available
Material (window)
Sapphire crystal
Display
Digital
Case
Glass fiber reinforced composite with stainless steel coated, knurled bezel and pushers
Band Material
Nylon Textile
Water Resistant
100 Meters
More Information
Polar RC3 GPS Sports Watch
Our Score
8.0
MSRP
Price not available
Material (window)
Mineral
Display
LED
Case
Resin
Band Material
Rubber
Water Resistant
NO
More Information

Last update on 2021-03-03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Choosing a tactical watch may seem an impossible mission. 

Timepieces evolved over time and, if only a few years ago any watch equipped with an altimeter, barometer and maybe with a daily alarm was considered sufficient for military or outdoor activity, nowadays we are speaking about modern tactical GPS watches.

This type of outdoor watches is ultra-technological, being typically equipped with much more than a simple GPS. 

In the simplest models, we find the traditional ABC function in addition to the GPS, while the most advanced models integrate heart rate monitors, weather detectors and even operating systems that allow you to synchronize the watch with the mobile phone.

The many excellent functions of these watches made them extremely requested on the market. 

As an answer to the demand, many popular or less popular manufacturers launched their own lines of military or outdoor GPS watches.

And since it is never easy to decide which timepieces to buy, we decided to put up this list of tactical GPS watch reviews. Hopefully, it will help you find the GPS watch you’re looking for.

Quick Look: Best Tactical GPS Watches

In a hurry? Here are our top picks.

  1. Garmin Instinct GPS Watch
  2. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
  3. Suunto Ambit2 GPS Watch

Our Reviews Of The Best Tactical GPS Watches

#1 Garmin Instinct GPS Watch

The Garmin Instinct GPS watch is definitely one of the most popular tactical watches on the market. 

The watch is characterized by a sporty yet casual design. It has a scratch-resistant display and a fiber-reinforced polymer case.

The Garmin Instinct GPS watch is water-resistant at 100 meters, it has a built-in 3 axis compass and a barometric altimeter, which are great tools during your adventures.

The Garmin Instinct’s rugged construction ensures its durability in the harshest environment. That’s guaranteed as it’s built based on U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance.

You can also perform exercises that are preloaded on the device. Consequently, you can also monitor your stress level and heart rate while doing your daily activities.

The Garmin Instinct is also compatible with smartphones.

Garmin’s reliable GPS is also equipped with a TracBack feature so you can never get lost while on trips.

Its battery life can also last up to 14 days when in smartwatch mode.

Garmin Instinct is the best GPS watch for us as it provides reliability and value for your money.

#2 Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

The renowned manufacturer Samsung is famous worldwide for its state-of-the-art technological solutions, and things are no different when it comes to tactical GPS watches. 

The Gear S3 Frontier is a reliable and durable smartwatch developed to resist to any type of outdoor activity.

The design is attractive, the watch being defined by sleek lines and a classic analog dial. But don’t be fooled by the accurate imitation of the traditional watches. 

The Gear S3 Frontier is a full tech watch equipped with Android system and that can be easily synchronized with your mobile phone.

Thanks to this feature you will be able to have almost all your smartphone functions on your wrist, including the integrated GPS that can keep track of your activity.

Other than this, the watch is water and dust resistant and it also resists well to extreme temperatures and shock.

#3 Suunto Ambit2 GPS Watch

Suunto Ambit2 GPS Watch

Suunto is a brand renowned worldwide for its tech tactical watches, one of the most popular being the Ambit2.

This watch follows the stylish, minimalist, slightly sporty line of the other Suunto watches. 

The wristband and case are made of high-quality plastic, while the display shows the essential information using the same minimalist style characteristic of the brand.

Among the many useful functions we can mention, in addition to the GPS, the altitude log with difference altitude measurement, the barometer with storm alarm and the weather trend indicator. 

The switch between alti and baro functions is made automatically, while a compass with semi-automatic calibration will help you stay on track.

According to the users, this watch really has what it takes to be a top tactical GPS watch, and the only drawbacks highlighted are related to some minor design flaws and expensive price.

#4 Suunto Traverse Alpha

Another excellent tactical GPS watch from Suunto is the Traverse Alpha.

It features a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window, a knurled stainless steel bezel, and a water-resistant nylon strap.

This Traverse Alpha comes equipped with a ton of useful tactical functions, beginning with the extremely reliable automatic breadcrumb trail. This feature allows you to trace your route back to where you came from, to keep you from getting lost in unfamiliar territories.

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is also perfect for hunters and tactical shooters because its automatic shot detection technology allows you to record your shots’ location and time.

This watch is also equipped with a location-based moon phase calendar so you can check the best times to fish and hunt.

Finally, Suunto ensures the Traverse Alpha’s premium quality as it complies with US Military Standard 810g.

#5 Polar RC3 GPS Watch

GPS timepieces almost never come at low prices, but if you’re looking for a reliable tactical GPS watch for sale then the Polar RC3 might be the right choice.

This model by Polar has a modern design and gadget performances. 

It comes with an integrated heart rate monitor, an altimeter and the device tracks and keeps a log of many variables, including speed, distance, and route.

The model is compatible with a series of other devices and it can be used either as activity tracker during exercise or as a tactical watch when hiking or on the field.

However, the rather low price comes at a cost. The RC3 is not water resistant and it doesn’t have a compass. 

For these reasons, you will not be able to use it for all purposes and for orienting you will have to rely on external tools.

Final Thoughts

It was a tough decision, but we decided that the best tactical GPS watch is the Garmin Instinct.

This tactical watch impresses with the accuracy of the GPS, with the long-lasting battery and with all the other features designed both for training and outdoor activity.

We also like the fact that it can be synchronized with a wide range of devices and that it can be used as a smartwatch.

Once you discover its features, the Garmin Instinct becomes a hard-to-replace watch.