If you’re a mountain biker, you likely know how important it is to have an excellent quality GPS watch. GPS watches can speed up your trail navigation because they give more accurate information about your ride.
There are many types of GPS watches on the market, but not all of them are as accurate as they claim to be.
In this article, I have listed the best smartwatches for mountain biking in 2021. The best part about this list is that all the watches are quite durable, and they also have excellent features. If you are looking for a smartwatch for cycling, then check our latest article on the best cycling watches in 2021.
An ideal smartwatch for mountain biking must have the following features.
- The presence of built-in GPS mode
- Long battery life
- Starve compatibility
- A wrist-based heart rate monitor
- and many more.
8 Best Smartwatches for Mountain Biking in 2021
Now let us start with the best smartwatches for MBK in 2021.
The Garmin Fenix 6 is the best smartwatch for mountain biking. With a built-in GPS, you can navigate faster on your trail and monitor your health while you are biking with advanced features such as a wrist-based heart rate monitor and blood oxygen level monitor.
You just need to look at your wrist to check how far you have gone or how fast your heart is beating. There are many other features on this watch, such as a barometer and compass, which are extremely important for mountain bikers.
The watch also has onboard music storage so that you can store up to one thousand songs and play them directly from your wrist or via Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer if desired.
The Garmin Fenix 6 is the best when it comes to battery life. The battery life lasts up to 36 hours in GPS mode, which gives plenty of time for even the longest bike rides without needing to charge it often – but when combined with its other features, this may not be enough power for all users.
The best smartwatch for mountain biking is Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar edition for those looking for a smartwatch with longer battery life. With solar energy, its battery will last up to 48 hours with GPS without being charged.
In a nutshell, compared to Garmin Fenix 5, the Fenix 6 is the best smartwatch for mountain biking because it provides all the features that a biker needs to navigate and monitor their health.
It is the latest smartwatch from the family of Suunto, crafted explicitly for outdoor enthusiasts. It is a smaller yet durable, lightweight watch than other GPS watches like Fenix 6 or Suunto 9 Baro. It is ideal for people who are looking for a smaller GPS smartwatch for their smaller wrist.
Its advanced navigation system powered by GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, and BEIDOU is highly accurate. You can use an advanced navigation system that allows you to plan the route in advance. The onboard map gives you turn-by-turn navigation while you are on the trail.
Altimeter and weather reporting are the most important features of this GPS watch. This smartwatch comes with decent battery life compared to Apple Watches. With GPS, the battery can last for 25 hours, and it can go up to 170 hours in tour mode.
Unfortunately, it does not have music streaming or onboard storage capability, which is most important in a GPS watch. But if you are not looking for a GPS watch with music streaming, then it is a good choice compared to Fenix 6 or Suunto 9 Baro.
Garmin Enduro is another best Garmin watch for MTB. This lightweight yet durable solar-powered GPS tracking smartwatch is designed for those who are focus on their health.
This sports watch is suitable for mountain biking and other outdoor adventures such as trail running, swimming, hiking, golf, and many more.
Its optical heart rate sensor can monitor your heart rate throughout the day, including heart rate variability. This best Garmin watch has a water resistance of up to 100 meters. The underwater heart rate monitoring feature makes this smartwatch one of the best watch for swimming as well.
The Garmin Enduro comes with advanced safety features similar to the fall detection feature in Apple Watch Series 6. If an incident like a fall is detected, it automatically alerts emergency contact with your live location to reach you for help.
Advanced health and fitness tracking features by PacePro Technology and VO2 max make this smartwatch the best choice for mountain biking. Moreover, it also supports third-party apps such as Starva.
Garmin Instinct is one of the best-rugged smartwatches engineered for endurance with more than a few features in store. This best GPS watch with many features help you stay on track and never get lost.
With this fitness watch, it won’t matter how far you are from home because you can share your location with your loved ones via the Explore app at any time. The Apple watch 6 also has a similar safety feature called fall detection.
It comes with an optical heart rate monitor like Garmin Enduro, which can track your heart rate underwater and monitor your blood oxygen levels while climbing heights.
This MTB watch features a 10 ATM water resistance which means that you can safely swim up to 100 meters deep in water. With its long-lasting battery life, you no longer have to worry about charging your watch every few days! You can wear it for weeks without charging it and still be able to track your activities and health metrics.
In smartwatch mode, the Garmin Enduro battery can last up to 24 days on a charge. In Max Battery GPS Mode with solar, the battery can go up to a whopping 145 days.
Together, these features make this Garmin smartwatch one of the best GPS watches for mountain biking, trail running, swimming, and even golfing!
Apple watch series 6 is another most powerful and sophisticated premium-level smartwatch for MTB. Along with smart features, it comes with advanced health and fitness tracking features to monitor both indoor and outdoor activities.
The advanced health tracking features such as irregular heart rate detection, ECG monitoring, and sleep monitoring makes Apple watch a compelling option for riders.
It is compatible with Strava to provide enhanced stats on your various activities like running and cycling.
It is water-resistant up to 50 meters and has a built-in GPS. The Apple watch will notify your emergency contacts with its fall detection feature if you have sustained a fall.
Battery life in this watch is around 19 hours with mixed usage, which gives you enough juice to last even a long ride. However, it is not up to mark when compared to Garmin watches.
Moreover, this Strava compatible watch provides you with smartphone notifications, Apple pay support, Apple Music, Siri, and many more. If you use an LTE model, you can even make calls and send text messages from the Apple watch even when you are nowhere near your phone.
Apple Watch Series 6 is meant for people who want all smart features and advanced health and sport tracking capabilities.
Fitbit Versa 3 is another best GPS watch for mountain biking, swimming, and running. Fitbit’s latest GPS watch model, the Fitbit Versa 3, costs less than Garmin watches.
Fitbit Versa 3 comes in multiple colors with many band options to choose from. It features advanced tracking capabilities such as VO2 Max, automatic activity detection, and Fitbit Active Zone minutes calculation.
Moreover, Fitbit works with apps such as Strava so that you can get enhanced stats on your activities like cycling and running.
Versa 3 also has a dedicated sports mode that tracks cycling-related metrics, including your speed, location, and distance traveled. However, it does not have a map for navigation.
Like all other Fitbit wearables, the Versa 3 is waterproof up to 50 meters. It streams music but doesn’t store music like other Fitbit Versa Series watches.
Battery life is excellent at up to 4 days, making Fitbit Versa 3 one of the best GPS smartwatches for mountain biking and other outdoor activities.
Fitbit Versa 3 is an ideal smartwatch if you are looking for a smartwatch for mountain biking at an affordable price range. At this price, it can still give you a lot of features like the Fitbit app, Fitbit Pay support, Fitbit Coach and Fitbit Community.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro is a tough smartwatch for biking and other challenging outdoor activities. It comes with features best suited for mountain biking, such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou.
If you are on a tight budget and looking for a cheap alternative to Garmin Fenix 6 or Enduro, it is worth considering the new Amazfit T-Rex Pro.
The watch is compatible with Google Fit and Starva, two fitness applications that will give you more insights into your workout.
If you are hunting for a biking watch with longer battery life, you should consider this smart watch. With GPS, the battery can last for 40 hours.
It features a 10 ATM water resistance rating which means it is water-resistant up to 100 meters. The smart features include notifications for messages, calls, alarms, and notify you about calendar events.
Garmin Venu 2 is your ultimate fitness and adventure watch for mountain biking. With its built-in GPS, you can track all of your movements without carrying a bulky phone while on an outdoor hike or in the gym.
This smartwatch also has sensors designed specifically for tracking health metrics such as heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level monitoring, calories burned, steps taken, etc.
Garmin Venu 2 has an AMOLED display which offers clear visibility of the screen even when outside under direct sunlight – plus, it is water-resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM), perfect for those who love adventures by both land and sea.
When it comes to battery life, the Venu 2S offers 10 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 7 hours in GPS mode + music.
- What is Garmin watch best for mountain biking?
Garmin has a lot of models that are perfect for mountain biking. The Garmin Fenix 6 Series and Enduro are our top picks.
- Can an Apple watch track mountain biking?
Yes. It can. Its built-in GPS and other sensors track your ride, distance, speed, and calories burnt. It is also compatible with third-party cycling apps such as Starva.
However, its poor battery life makes it undesirable for mountain biking.
It’s essential to have a smartwatch that can keep up with your active lifestyle. That’s why we have compiled this list of the best and most popular GPS-enabled watches for mountain biking and other outdoor activities like cycling, running, swimming, hiking, or any other outdoor activity you enjoy!
The Garmin Fenix 6 is the best in terms of performance and its long battery life – perfect for those long days on the trails where there may not be an outlet nearby.
Similarly, Apple Watch Series 6 is perfect if you want all the smartwatch features combined with advanced health and sport tracking capabilities. Fitbit Versa 3 is another excellent option if you are on a budget but still want advanced features like the Fitbit app, Fitbit Pay support, Fitbit Coach and Fitbit Community.
Saneesh VS is a Registered Nurse by Profession and Wearable Tech Enthusiast by Passion. He loves to write about fitness, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. He also loves reading books on wearable tech, technology in healthcare, artificial intelligence etc., which he has been writing for the past 5 years.