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GPS watches for multifunctionality when you need it most

A GPS watch is a great addition to any outdoor training toolkit. But how do you pick the right one for you?

For starters, entry-level GPS watches help you track time, distance, speed, pace, and calories. They’re also usually equipped with step counters, heart rate monitors and sleep monitors. Most of them can connect to a companion app on your phone for even more options, including incident detection that alerts emergency contacts if you get into trouble on the trail.

If you need something beefier, a mid-level GPS watch might fit the bill. Here you’ll find upgrades to activity profiles, workout customizability and navigation. Great for tackling switchback routes, many watches at this level include an advanced compass and barometric altimeter. For max accuracy when you’re out and about, you can pair them with chest strap heart rate monitors for running or bike computers for any two-wheeled journeys.

High-end GPS watches are the most advanced of the bunch, which you might need if you’re gearing up for a tough triathlon or other endurance sport. Route finders, breadcrumb trackers, instant reporting, waypoints and detailed maps make these devices champs in the navigation department. They've got enhanced monitoring and tracking across a ton of activities, and a mix of solar tech and power management for top-notch battery life.

What time is it? Time to check out some watches from Garmin, Coros, and Suunto.