Being able to tell time is important while you’re out on the slopes. So is being able to determine your location, track your activities, and figure out your altitude. Though many regular watches can perform such tasks, they cannot do it while braving the ice, wind, and snow.
I’ve been skiing for decades, and I’ve used just about every type of accessory you can imagine over the years. I know what to look for in high-quality watches that can help give skiers other advantages than simply telling time.
The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro is my pick for the best watch for skiing and snowboarding. This is a high-end option with many features that skiers can take advantage of. It also gives you the benefit of solar charging, meaning this watch will always be reliable in the wilderness.
There are a few other great watches that skiers can use to their benefit on the slopes. I’ll show you all the best models in this post. My goal is to get you equipped with something that will help improve your overall skiing experience.
Let’s dive in.
Who Should Get This
Watches are great accessories for all skiers across all disciplines. Regardless of where you like to ride or how long you like to be out, it is always a good idea to stay on top of the time.
That not only helps you track your day, but it also means you won’t miss out on any dinner reservations or other planned activities back at the lodge.
The following models are especially useful for any off-piste or backcountry skiers. Blazing your own trails through uncharted territory is a wonderful experience, but it is also easy to get lost.
A watch that comes with extra features, such as a compass or altitude reading, ensures you know where you are at all times.
Best Watch for Skiing & Snowboarding: Top Picks
Here are all of my top picks for the best watch for skiing and snowboarding. The models you see here are built to handle inclement weather and provide you with many functional features.
1. Garmin Fenix 6x Pro
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: GPS equipped, large display, preloaded ski maps, solar-powered recharging
- Display: LCD
- Battery Life: 15 hours
- Cost: $$$$
The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro is a fantastic piece of technology that skiers can take advantage of, and this model earns my pick as the best watch for skiing and snowboarding of the season.
You can immediately benefit from preloaded ski maps and a highly functional GPS system. This gives you the ability to easily track where you are skiing, whether you just want to be safe or track vertical distance.
It also comes with a heart rate and pulse ox feature that can monitor key health factors when doing a strenuous activity at higher elevations. Another awesome feature is solar-powered charging which can extend battery life for a long time.
This is a pretty expensive watch, and it’s relatively bulky. But if you want high-end features and innovative tech, it’s highly recommended.
2. Suunto Core
- Best for: Durability
- Key features: Durable construction, altimeter, barometer, tracks vertical movement, weather-resistant
- Display: Digital
- Battery Life: 12 months
- Cost: $$
When it comes to durability, it’s hard to find a better watch for skiing and snowboarding than the Suunto Core.
This watch can take a beating on the mountain and is able to resist temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also comes with a weather indicator to warn you of any big storms headed your way, and the effective compass helps you avoid getting lost.
This isn’t a GPS-equipped option, but its durable and rugged construction make it a great value.
3. Apple Watch Series 7
- Best for: Tech
- Key features: Great tech features, comfortable, sleek design, good connectivity, many apps available
- Display: Retina Display
- Battery Life: Up to 18 hours
- Cost: $$$
The Apple Watch Serious 7 is a solid option for any skier or snowboarder who wants the latest tech features at their disposal.
This option lets you connect to many health monitoring and outdoor-related apps to track where you are skiing and how your body is doing out in harsh conditions.
It also has a durable design that can withstand winter weather and keep on ticking. The retina display screen is also a nice feature.
The battery life on the Apple Watch can be affected by the cold, so you might not see a full 18 hours when skiing.
4. Casio Pathfinder
- Best for: Features
- Key features: Solar-powered charging, triple sensor tech, durable construction, compass
- Display: Digital
- Battery Life: 6 months
- Cost: $$$
If you are searching for a rugged and reliable watch for your winter activities packed full of features, check out the Casio Pathfinder.
This watch comes equipped with a solar-powered battery, pressure sensors, temperature readings, and a compass – all of which come in useful on the mountain.
It also has a very durable construction and solar-powered charging for long-lasting reliability.
This one is expensive, especially for not having GPS, but it’s still an excellent watch for skiers and snowboarders.
5. Armitron Sport
- Best for: Budget Option
- Key features: Affordable, waterproof, weather-resistant, easy to read display, good fit
- Display: Digital
- Battery Life: Months
- Cost: $
The Armitron Sport is the way to go if you are looking for an affordable ski or snowboard watch.
This is a durable and reliable option that is easy to use and built to withstand rough winter conditions.
It has a highly effective waterproof design that will keep the watch safe from any winter weather you encounter, and the easy-to-read display will provide you with information quickly.
This model isn’t packed with many high-end features, but if you just need a watch’s essential functions, it’s a great budget pick.
How to Choose a Watch for Skiing or Snowboarding
This section will show you all the essential factors to consider when choosing a watch for skiing or snowboarding.
Regular watches don’t always work on the mountain because they can’t stand up to the elements. As such, when purchasing a ski watch, you want a model that can take a beating from the sleet and snow without ever slowing down.
Durable construction, premium materials, and a hard shell are essential here. Water-proofing is vital as well. You need a watch that can handle severe winter weather without worry. All of the options here will do just that.
A watch’s primary function is to keep time. However, in today’s modern age, you want an item that goes far beyond that. Always pay attention to any features that may come in handy while you’re out on the slopes, and note how they might work with your skiing style.
Do you only need the basics? What about a watch that can measure air pressure and altitude? What about a compass? Maybe you want apps that can track your altitude and distance and pair with your smartphone. Answer such questions before making your final purchase.
Appearance should never be the first thing on your mind when choosing a ski watch, but the look is important. There are many slim options out there, but plenty of large, chunky ones as well. In addition, many ski watches come in a range of different colors and styles.
Do not be afraid to choose an option that matches the rest of your gear, especially if it can be worn with other outfits off of the slopes. There’s a good chance you’ll wear this watch in situations other than skiing, so make sure you get something you actually want to wear.
Useful Tips & Resources
Skiing watches with location tracking keep you safe no matter how far you travel. Safety should always be your number one concern, especially if you ski in alpine or off-piste areas. The tips listed in this article outline some ways to protect yourself in any skiing situation.
In addition, it helps to be prepared out on the mountain. Watches are a great accessory, but there are plenty of other interesting ways to enhance your time in the snow. If you want a look at some of the other new and exciting ski additions in the current market, check out this video.
The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro is my pick for the best watch for skiing and snowboarding of the year. This amazing device will provide you with plenty of different features to take advantage of on the slopes. It also can charge using the sun, which is pretty sweet.
A good watch can come in useful for various skiing situations, other than simply telling time. All of the models you see here are packed with innovative technology and design features that will help you make the most of your time on the snow.