Model: Watch Series 4
OUR TAKE We know, we know—how original. But hear us out: The newest member of the Apple Watch family is the best one yet for hikers. It’s slimmer, but with a 30 percent bigger screen—meaning we could read it while running—and this year, it comes with a much-improved battery life. With continuous GPS tracking, the Series 4 lasts more than six hours (a two-hour improvement on the Series 3); it’s even longer when you fiddle with the settings. In airplane mode with low brightness, the watch was still at roughly 50 percent after tracking a five-hour summit bid in Colorado’s Tenmile Range. New this year, the watch comes equipped with an electrical heart-rate sensor. As before, the watch has the satellite trifecta of GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo for precise navigation; an altimeter; and it’s waterproof to 50 meters. Dings: As with all smartwatches, the Apple Watch needs cell service to run weather-related functions, and you still need a power bank if you want to use it on an overnight.
TRAIL CRED “I fit the weather forecast, wind direction, heart-rate monitor, timer, and battery life all on the customizable watch face,” one tester says. “They’re small, but I can quickly scan all of them while on the move.”