Watches Buddy

Top 8 Best Watches for Skiing

Like most other sports, skiing comes with its own individual set of needs when it comes to smartwatches.

Some are obvious, but others aren’t, so let’s give them a quick rundown before we get into the best watches for skiing.


It’s not required for every skiing scenario, but if the slopes you’ll be visiting are of the backcountry type, you’ll need your GPS to be as reliable as possible.


This one’s huge. Glare from the ice/sun combination can challenge even the best sports watch, so pay extra attention to this one when you start your shopping.


This is another obvious one, especially if you’re one of those self-challenging types who may struggle to stay upright on the slopes. Simply put, your watch needs to be able to take whatever pounding you do.

Heart Rate Monitor

It’s not as important for skiing as it is in other sports, but it’s still a good thing to have, especially if you’re putting in a long day on the slopes.

Water Resistance

You obviously don’t need the depth that divers do, but you do need some kind of reliable water resistance for when you take a tumble. And the more hardcore you are as a skier, the better the water resistance needs to be.

Integrated Maps

This one won’t matter if you’re going to a lot of self-contained ski resorts, but if the location is remote, the maps are important. You can get some of this via app store access, too, so keep that in mind.

SUUNTO Core, Outdoor Sports Watch


The SUUNTO outdoor reputation precedes this watch, and it’s got some very cool features for skiing, including an altimeter and an altitude log. It logs laps for skiers, along with the total number of runs, plus total ascent and descent numbers. You have to go through a few pages to get to the log, but once you do you’ll be a happy camper.

  • Versatile, with plenty of skiing features
  • Altimeter plus altitude log is a serious plus
  • Great accuracy in showing elevation
  • Screen is tough to read in bright light conditions

Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch


Fitbit keeps making slow, incremental improvements in its products, and while they may not be fast enough for cutting-edge types, at least they’re going in the right direction. This one leans into health and fitness features, including stress monitoring based on electrodermal activity (EDA) and the conductivity of your skin. You also get what Fitbit calls “mindfulness features that prompt you to record your mood after doing an EDA scan.

  • Bright, easily readable display
  • Lots of health-related advances
  • Versatile set of sports-related workouts
  • A little pricey considering the lack of skiing features

Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic XL.1001


If you’re an adventurous skier, this is the best watch for skiing if you’re going by durability and toughness. It’s used by Iceland’s search and rescue team, so it’s tough enough to take whatever the conditions on the mountain dish out. It’s also surprisingly light and easy to read, and the band is long enough to allow you to wear it on the outside of your ski jacket. The actual fitness and tracking features are geared more toward general outdoor and sports use, so what you’re paying for here is the combination of ruggedness and durability.

  • Can handle a variety of skiing-specific scenarios
  • If it’s rugged enough for search and rescue, it’s tough enough for you
  • Any watch used to rescue picnickers who got trapped on a glacier that drifted out to sea gets our vote, hands down
  • Too big and clunky to be a go-to watch for social situations
  • Lack of altimeter and altitude log is a bit puzzling
  • A little pricey

POLAR Ignite 2


This watch is designed for general all-around fitness use, and it’s got a full array of fitness features. These include heart rate monitor, GPS route tracking, and loads of training aids and fitness apps. It’s a stylish watch that will look at home wherever you go, and the price is solid, but it may not be tough enough if you’re a hard-core skier going into rough terrain.

  • It’s got fitness-related features galore
  • Good-looking watch, but you’ll need to get a new band to replace the cheap looking original
  • Solid price points given the fitness features
  • If you’re a casual skier, you’ll like this watch. If you’re hardcore, maybe not so much.

Polar Grit X Pro


This is a premium sports watch, and the added navigation features and ultra-reliable GPS make it one of the best watches for skiing. It’s smaller and more attractive than its Garmin cousins that constitute the primary competition, and the fitness features are great if you’re a multisport type who’s into running, cycling, swimming, etc. Skiers will love the altimeter/compass combination, but at $500 it’s not a cheap choice at all.

  • Great altimeter and compass combo
  • First-rate GPS based on satellite, solid navigation capability
  • Full array of sports features, too
  • A little on the pricey side
  • Could use better mapping

Garmin fenix 7 Sapphire Solar


Great running watch with excellent fitness tracking, and the bells-and-whistles types will love the touch screen possibilities along with the solar charging. The chief appeal for skiers will be the ability to load data for ski resorts around the world, and when you’re off the slopes it’ll give you golf courses to add to that list. The larger sizes are a little clunky, and at $600-1000, depending on the exact model, it’s defiantly a luxury entry in this particular category.

  • If you’re a fan of the Fenix series, this has plenty of common-sense upgrades
  • Great fitness related features, especially the sleep tracking and VO2 max numbers
  • Topographic maps are excellent for skiers
  • GPS tracking comes up a bit short if you’re not in a great solar-charging environment
  • Pricey

Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smart Watch with GPS


Budget watches usually force you to make some serious compromises, but the T-Rex Pro makes up for a rather boring design by giving you a lot for your money when it comes to running, hiking, skiing and swimming. The battery life is especially impressive—it’s rated for 18 days, and it’ll give you at least a week—and the combination of fitness and smartwatch features is especially impressive for the price. You can get lots of data with over 40 hours of GPS, and the only thing that’s missing there is navigation features. Buy it for the overall sports capabilities, then use it for skiing. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Great bang for the buck in the feature set
  • Easy to use and read
  • Excellent price point
  • Button layout and the alarms can be somewhat frustrating

Apple Watch Series 7


Apple loves collecting lots of money for basic upgrades, and this version of the Series 7 definitely falls into that category. It’s got a larger screen with a QUERTY keyboard (i.e., you can write that novel you’ve been pondering out on the slopes, or catch up on your emails), a more durable design and it charges faster, plus you get new casing color options if you want to look especially spiffy out on the slopes. The array of fitness features and reliable GPS is still impressive, but the big attraction for skiers is the access to the Apple app store for skiing-specific apps.

  • The usual impressive array of Apple features
  • If your Series 3 watch is starting to age, this is a great upgrade
  • The bright, easy to read screen is friendly out on the slopes
  • Not exactly a quantum leap upward, and there are other choices that may be better for skiers

About the Author: Bob McCullough is an author, journalist and freelance writer, you can check out his work at