Waterproof and rugged smartwatch are already commonplace, with most major brands offering models with a 50-meter (also known as 5 bar or 5 ATM) water resistance. Most smartwatches used to have an IP68 classification and were certified to resist submersion in shallow water for a short amount of time, but they weren’t meant to be used for swimming or water sports. IP68-rated watches are meant to endure accidental water exposure and the occasional dunking, but they are not designed to be used regularly underwater or for water-based sports such as swimming. If you want to swim with your smartwatch or expose it to water on a frequent basis, it should have a water resistance of at least 50 meters.
Note: When it comes to electronics, the phrase “waterproof” is used as a marketing term and should not be taken literally (since increasing depth, pressure, and time will eventually overcome most waterproof devices). When it comes to classic timepieces, the phrase “water-resistant” is a better description. This list only includes smartwatches that are at least 50 meters water-resistant. Swimming is possible with a water resistance rating of 50 meters. A watch with 100-meter water resistance is suitable for more strenuous activities like snorkeling and surfing. Consider the following smartwatch models for the best water resistance currently available.
Best Rugged Smartwatch of 2023
Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch
Garmin 010-01733-00 Fenix 5X Sapphire Smartwatch
TicWatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch
SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit Smartwatch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Amazfit T-Rex Smartwatch, Military Standard Certified
Garmin Venu, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display
You won’t lose your way when you’re wearing this military-grade smartwatch since it has various global satellite systems working to its advantage, including GPA, GLONASS, and Galileo. There’s also a 3-axis compass on the display, a barometric altimeter, and a TracBack tool for retracing your tracks.
Furthermore, its long battery life will keep you running without the need for a charger. You can track your heart rate and stress levels along the way, and with preloaded activities on the watch, you can keep active whenever and wherever you want.
This smartwatch is appropriate for both men and women since it is available in a number of strap and bezel colors, as well as customization choices. Furthermore, the smaller display, combined with the stainless steel bezel, may be more comfortable on female wrists. It’ll be difficult to get lost with this bad boy, which has GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, a 3-axis compass that can read gravity vectors, an altimeter, a barometer, and a gyroscope.
You’ll also see workout numbers and activity profiles that have been preloaded. It also has excellent water resistance and is lightweight, making it one of the best GPS outdoor smartwatch options available, whether you’re a swimmer or a runner. However, be aware that this Garmin smartwatch is not cheap.
The AMOLED display and compatibility with the Google app are two elements that set this TicWatch apart. This is the digital Android wear for you if you need to stay connected. You can download thousands of apps from the Google Play Store, use Google Assistant to call and text from your watch instead of your phone, and use the built-in Google Pay app to make purchases from your wrist.
On top of that, you get all of the anticipated features like Bluetooth, fitness tracking, and GPS, but Google android technology allows you to completely customize your timepiece. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive, which is always a plus. You can’t take it swimming, though, because it’s not waterproof.
This waterproof GPS smartwatch model has a 200-hour battery life, allowing you to enjoy all of its capabilities for up to 24 hours! Multilingual support, exercise tracking, and a heart rate monitor are all included. Furthermore, there is excellent news for sporty persons and fitness enthusiasts who enjoy more than one activity, as the multisport data log option is available.
Another exciting feature is that you can easily capture photos and make movies of your motions while swimming. Although I’m not certain that this is the most important feature, some people may find it useful for documenting their trips.
The Galaxy Watch 3 isn’t exactly a tough smartwatch – at least not on the outside. The exterior is primarily constructed of stainless steel that has been welded together to create a long-lasting wearable with a sleek appearance. The revolving bezel of the watch is mainly made of stainless steel, and it may be used for app navigation.
The watch is available in two sizes: 45mm and 41mm. Regardless of which choice you choose, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 boasts a long-lasting battery that will keep you active for more than a day. A linked Galaxy smartphone with Wireless PowerShare technology can also provide a boost to the watch.
Despite being made of stainless steel and having a larger display than the Galaxy Watch 2, the Galaxy Watch 3 is comfortable to wear and light. The larger screen is also easier on the eyes, particularly while viewing in direct sunshine.
This Smartwatch meets military standards and comes with 12 military certificates. With its tough exteriors, the Amazfit T-rex Smart Watch is extremely durable. It can survive any harsh environment, including extremely hot and freezing temperatures.
It comes with a 1.3-inch AMOLED screen with an always-on display. There are five different display colors to pick from. It has a Sony GPS chip that is 28nm in size and consumes extremely little power. It contains excellent detailing and metal buttons, as well as a sweat-permeable silicone band.
Walking, jogging, treadmill, cycling, trekking, elliptical trainer, pool swimming, exercise, skiing, triathlon, and more are among the 14 built-in fitness modes on this SmartWatch. Its body is water-resistant to 5 ATM, so you can wear it while swimming without fear of getting damaged.
This is an incredible smartwatch with a stunning display that is ideal for your active lifestyle. Receive emails, texts, and alerts straight on your wrist watch with smart notifications. You may also download songs to your watch, including Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon playlists (a subscription may be required).
If your phone and watch are paired, you may send your location to your contacts — either manually or automatically with built-in incident detection. Garmin Pay allows you to make contactless payments at participating merchants. You may personalize your watch using Connect IQ Store by downloading apps, widgets, watch faces, and more. With the most comprehensive set of all-day health monitoring capabilities
The most common types of rugged smartwatches
When you initially start looking for a smartwatch, they all seem to be the same. When it comes to durable smartwatches, though, you need to pay special attention to even minor differences between models. Some smartwatches function similarly to the popular non-rugged models you’re familiar with, such as the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Others are designed expressly for harsh settings or needs, with functionality and features tailored to them.
Traditional smartphone smartwatches and fitness tracker smartwatches are the two main categories of tough smartwatches available. Learn more about what each type has to offer in the sections below.
Smartwatches are more usually referred to as “smartwatches” than “smartphone smartwatches.” These timepieces are jam-packed with features. They link to your smartphone and can even take the place of your phone when you wish to leave it at home. Your smartphone can be used to make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, open apps, and much more. Fitness tracking is also included in these robust smartwatches, which keep track of everything from your steps to your heart rate and more.
The most well-rounded and adaptable alternative is a smartphone smartwatch. The only drawback is that many standard smartphone smartwatches aren’t genuinely resistant to water. To discover if a watch is durable, check the materials and see if it has been tested against drops, impacts, water, dust, and extreme wear.
Fitness tracker smartwatches
A fitness tracker watch is an alternative to a smartphone smartwatch. These smartwatches come in a variety of forms, ranging from basic fitness trackers with watch functionality to fully featured fitness trackers with additional apps. Most fitness tracker smartwatches, on the other hand, are focused on gathering parameters such as heart rate, steps, workouts or activity level, and GPS.
If you’re looking for a durable fitness tracker smartwatch, you’ll find ones that are built to withstand harsh situations and wear and tear. Additional tactical functions, such as location data, GPS tracking, and altimeters, are frequently included in these. If you want to get the most out of your fitness tracker smartwatch, seek for ones that can do more than just track your steps.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Durable Smartwatch
When looking for the finest tactical smartwatch on the market, there are a few factors to keep in mind before making a purchase. Of course, every product has advantages and disadvantages, and merely noting how good or bad something it won’t help you grasp the big picture.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch, it’s likely that staying connected to the outside world is vital to you. If you want notifications sent directly to your watch and want to engage with a larger community about your fitness goals or outdoor activities, these are the features to look for in our smartwatch evaluations.
Make sure your future smartwatch is compatible with your present smartphone and other smart gadgets, as well as having an app because they aren’t always on the same page.
For most of us, the price is a big deal. And smartwatches are definitely a gadget that can run you a pretty penny. Watches on their own are known to be rather expensive. Add technological innovation, and we’re only racking up the bill.
However, all you really need to do is keep the numbers in mind while you’re shopping around. If you’re crunched for time and want to get your husband one for his birthday that’s only a few months away, you may have to be more realistic about your budget. If you’ve got all the time in the world, pick the watch and app you like and make a plan to save up for it.
Spending so much money on a watch may seem absurd, but it depends on the circumstances. I’d think it’s worth it if acquiring that perfect g6 tactical smartwatch that checks all the boxes means waiting a few months to make sure you have the funds.
The look and feels of your future durable smart watches, such as the color and material of the band or even the screen display size, is another crucial factor to consider. So, if you do want something rugged for your rugged outdoor lifestyle, make sure the watch you purchase represents that.
What you’ll want to look for is something strong and long-lasting, with a focus on functionality rather than frills. That isn’t to suggest that tough can’t be stylish or high-quality. It just signifies that your watch shouldn’t be pushing itself too hard.
That being stated, stick to your preferences and choose a timepiece that complements your personality. Let’s say you need a piece of clothing that you can wear from work to the gym. A Navy sailor on deployment will wear a smartwatch that is considerably different from that.
You’re far more likely to find what you’re looking for if you know what you’re looking for. So, it’s time to figure out which style is best for you and start looking for smartwatch reviews.
Which characteristics are the most essential to you? That’s something you’ll need to know before purchasing a smartwatch. You might even want to write them all down in order of importance, from the most important to the extras. That way, you’ll be able to make an informed selection while purchasing.
Are you a seasoned hiker who relies on an altimeter to keep track of altitude and backtracking? Perhaps the most significant aspects of your smartwatch will be those linked with GPS usage.
Are you a runner that enjoys going for a run? Or maybe you’re a die-hard swimmer? Then it’s probably time to look into a sports watch with fitness monitoring software designed specifically for runners or swimmers that can track speed and calculate strides. Additionally, if you are a swimmer, be sure the watch you choose is waterproof.
Waterproof /Water Resistance
You buy a tough smartwatch for its durability, and water resistance is a key element that adds to that durability.
When working in a humid environment or on a construction site, this capability is critical. The terms waterproof and water resistance are synonymous in the context of smartwatches.
There is no tough smartwatch that is entirely waterproof on the globe. In truth, they all resist water to some extent, which is usually measured in the number of meters they can be submerged in water.
In a fully waterproof smartwatch, not even a single drop of water can seep in, and the watch can be worn in the water for an indefinite period of time. A smartwatch like this does not exist.
Water resistance is tested under numerous settings for rugged smartwatches, and in general for all smartwatches. The IP rating is one of the most prevalent features in smartwatches.
“IP (or “Ingress Protection”) ratings are used to describe the effectiveness of electrical enclosures in sealing off foreign bodies (tools, dirt, etc.) and moisture.”
IP is made up of two numbers: one for dust resistance and the other for water resistance. Consider three different smartwatches with IP ratings of IP66, IP67, and IP68 for context.
Shock resistance is a relatively new term in the world of smartwatches, but it is one of the most crucial considerations when shopping for a robust watch.
If you enjoy trekking or extreme sports such as BMX riding, skating, or mountain biking, a shock-resistant smartwatch is a must-have. Throughout your journey, your smartwatch must be dependable. If not, why not? The watch, in that case, ought to be thrown away.
When you play energetic sports like cricket or tennis, your watch is subjected to a lot of shocks. However, if it can survive a moderate amount of abuse, you shouldn’t be concerned.
The term “drop test” is used to describe how shock resistance is measured. A smartwatch with an appropriate level of shock resistance is one that can be dropped from 5 feet multiple times without being damaged.
MIL-STD-810 is another more dependable standard to employ. It evaluates electronic equipment for extreme temperature, stress, vibration, and corrosion resistance, among other things, and is primarily used by the US air force, navy, and army. A smartwatch with the MIL-STD-810 designation is extremely shock and vibration-resistant.
The smartwatch’s case material contributes to shock resistance. Although a strong case provides high resistance, it is also heavy and bulky. Innovative strategies have helped some well-known businesses circumvent this barrier. They make use of materials that are completely pliable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Toughest & Most Durable Smartwatch?
The toughest and most durable smartwatch is the Garmin Instinct Rugged Outdoor Smartwatch.