A GPS running watch is there to help you keep track of your location and running distance. It also lets you know about your pace. If you are considering buying the best watches for men under 300 dollars and don’t know which one, then don’t worry because we are here to help you.
With so many models on the market, it can be a little intimidating to find the right GPS-running watches for men or women. We have this comprehensive guide in which we have discussed every question you can have about best-running watches under 300 dollars for Men or women.
We have also collected the best watches for men under 300 so you can pick out one that will match your requirements.
Best watches for men under 300 dollars
- Garmin Forerunner 945
- Garmin Forerunner 735
- Garmin Forerunner 45
- Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
- Garmin Forerunner 35
- Garmin Instinct
- Garmin Forerunner 55
- Garmin Forerunner 245
- Garmin Vivoactive 4
Smartwatches and fitness trackers provide much more than just tracking the location, distance, and pace. However, some people want something that is basic. Moreover, a GPS running watch’s primary objective is to track your running and all of its detailed stats so undoubtedly it does a better job and is more accurate than most smartwatches article will provide answers to the following questions about GPS running watches:
- Understanding what a GPS running watch is
- Why should you buy a GPS running watch?
- Do GPS-running watches actually work?
- How to choose the best GPS running watch that works best for you?
- Best GPS running watches
- Using your watch efficiently
- Conclusion – what actually makes a difference
Best watches for men under 300 dollars
Garmin Forerunner 245 is the best running watch under 300 dollars for men or women, that gives you advanced running stats and training features. It can train you while running and update your running data on Garmin Connect. It has built-in Music storage and can play songs.
Moreover, The battery life of Garmin 245 is 7 days in smartwatch mode and 24 hours in GPS mode. Garmin Forerunner possesses both a smartwatch and Spotify.
Best watch for 300 dollar
The Garmin fitness watch has a stainless steel bezel with a colored display screen and it is light in weight, the watch has a barometric altimeter, but what’s underneath that is what has amazed us. It displays time, weather, calendar, and temperature.
Moreover, it accurately tracks various activities such as steps, pace, distance, heart rate Zones, heart rate, sleep tracking, cadence, and calories as well.
GarminVenu offers music listening, you can play music including playlists from your Spotify, or Amazon through wireless headphones without a phone, and you can download 500 songs to your watch.
The watch gives accurate data on activity and sports tracking. There’s running, swimming, cycling, treadmill, indoor cycling, and workout tracking. The watch offers navigation so the GPS works amazingly as well.
The watch gives 20 hours of battery in GPS mode but you don’t need to switch it on all the time.
- Heart rate monitoring, a built-in GPS system.
- Well-designed menu – easy and logical browsing.
- 24/7 Activity tracking plus sports training sessions.
- Tracks swimming, treadmill, indoor cycling, and workout sessions as well.
- It is swim-proof and water-resistant up to 50M.
- 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode and weeklong and 6-day battery life in smartwatch mode.
- 24/7Heart rate zone tracking both resting heart rate and with a workout. intensity graph to tell you if you need to balance your pace.
- Accurate stats.
- Play songs through Bluetooth headphones by connecting a charging cable to your computer for uploading music and downloading up to 500 songs.
- Automatic sleep tracking will show you sleep score metrics.
All in all, Garmin Venu is amongst the best running watch for under 300 dollars for women and men as well.
Best watch for 300 dollars
- Lightweight design.
- A good GPS system connects very fast with wrist-based Heart rate
- Sports tracking is very good.
- Easy to access the metrics through the screen.
- You can make customizable workout sessions.
- Offers extra metrics in the Garmin Connect app.
- Works pretty well as an activity tracker.
- Built-in OHR.
- The display type is sunlight-visible.
- Receive audio prompts from your connected smartphone with laps and lap time.
- Smart notifications: emails, text messages, call alerts, and calendar reminders from your compatible smartphone.
- The design feels delicate and sticky due to the plastic.
- No VO2 metric present.
Garmin Forerunner 35 is one of the best watches for under 300 dollars for men and women. It displays time various stats such as pace, distance, heart rate Zones, heart rate, cadence, and calories as well. It’s easy to access the metrics as you can use buttons to tap up and down the screen even mid-run. By cycling around the screen, you get a current heart rate zone.
Another feature that’s synced from Garmin’s web app is customizable workouts that you can plan according to your desired time, distance, workout intensity, and even heart rate. The plan is then sent to the watch. The app is called the “Garmin Connect mobile app” which is available on iOS and Android. If you use the Express Software, you can even use the app on Mac/PC.
OHR is a benefit in activity tracking as the watch is able to provide the current heart rate throughout the day. Due to the watch’s lightweight design, it’s comfortable enough for you to wear while sleeping. It’s just a single tap and you’re able to access your steps, pace, and calories.
Garmin Forerunner 35 displays calendar updates and notifications of calls, messages, and texts on the wrist, by pairing it with a Smartphone.
best Watch for 300 dollars
- The watch has integrated apps for swimming, running, hiking, golfing, tracking and rowing
- It measures your distance, and speed thus improving your running form.
- It can automatically track your sleep record.
- It can also track steps and calorie burn.
- It calculates your heart rate accurately with the wrist.
- The battery lasts for 14 days in smartwatch mode
- It has a built-in optical Heart rate sensor.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is the best sports watch under 300 dollars for men that offers features inspired by a multisport-watch, advanced running metrics, and tracks your speed, distance, routes, and worldwide maps for up to 2000 resorts and analytics to help you improve your running form; However, is it really worth $371? Let’s see…
The watch has a touchscreen display. The screen size is 1.3 inches with a soft smooth silicon band. It’s a strong watch that you can take with you in rough weather as well.
With the watch being waterproof by 10ATM swim rate, you can take it to swim the optical Heart rate sensor works in swimming modes too and the analytics it offers are way better. Keep in mind that there’s a built-in optical heart rate sensor as we mentioned before.
It’s said to be one of the best watches for heart rate tracking and GPS. It picks up the signal quickly. The watch also does a great job as an activity tracker. There’s a Move bar feature that displays your activity and alerts that send vibrations to your device to tell you to start moving when you’re inactive for too long.
Moreover, the Garmin Fenix 6 pro watch can completely sync with global satellite systems such as Galileo and GLONASS to track unknown places conveniently and synced with your phone. You can view all your stats, upload them, and share them with friends and users online.
best watch for 300 dollars
- Comes with a built-in GPS and optical heart rate sensor.
- It notifies you of missed calls, text messages, and incoming call alerts from your paired compatible smartphone.
- The watch comes with live tracking and music playing on your smartphone.
- It’s easy to use.
- The watch tracks distance, pace, cadence, heart rate zones, stress level, and biking pace.
- Monitor your sleep and wake with a silent alarm
- Battery life is 14 hours in GPS mode and up to 7 days in smartwatch mode.
- It is the best budget running watch.
Garmin Forerunner 45 is one of the best sports watches for men under 300 dollars with a heart rate monitor. It is light in weight. The people who love cycling, running, hiking, biking, and working out; all at the same time, Garmin Forerunner 45 is the right choice as a GPS watch for running and cycling. The watch comes with a rubber strap with a choice of three colors; White, black, or red. The grasp is secured and comfy. On the 1.04-inch display screen, the round face comes with five buttons 3 on the left and two buttons on the right.
The watch can track calories burned, steps, duration, climbed floors, and elevation and can download workouts from Garmin Connect. The device gives 24/7 heart rate monitoring. You’ll also be able to train efficiently through heart rate zone tracking and cardio workout tracking.
The device offers a sports app for various tracking of runs, laps, cycling, cardio, Yoga, or treadmill. Like most high-end GPS running watches, it offers a cycling track. However, the recent update now consists of a Bike Mode as well. Just like running, the bike mode provides the same level of details of time, heart rate zones, and pace. The device proves useful for cyclists.
best watches for men under 300 dollars
- It is extremely wallet-friendly at just $249.
- Tracks activity even when you’re stationary.
- The watch alerts you when you’ve been immobile for too long.
- It also guides you back to your home location through the nearest route through a GPS marker.
- It consists of an accurate calorie count.
- Waterproof fitness trainer.
- Vivoactive 4 tracks heart rate, sleep, menstrual cycle, and stress
Garmin Vivoactive 4 is one of the best watches for men under 300 dollars. The best thing about this device is that it offers the basics of a running watch at a reasonable price. It’s an accurate GPS running watch with some cool extra features like a Pulse OX sensor. It has a better design with extra metrics like running cadence and sleep quality but without a Heart rate monitor.
The watch has a small face and a very comfortable strap for the wrist. You’ll be able to see your stats even in direct sunlight through the high-contrast display.
You don’t need a unique charging cable to charge it; a simple USB cable does the job. It gives the basic pace, burned calories, distance, and altitude tracking. Through an internal accelerometer, the device will track your steps, sleep, and activity even when you are mobile.
The recent update of the device will not only give iOS notifications, but it will also give notifications of other smartphone apps such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
When it comes to syncing and connectivity, the data on your Vivoactive 4 can easily be transferred to your connected Smartphone with Bluetooth technology. The watch also gives you 8 days of battery if used as a tracker or a general watch. With GPS, it will run out at 16 hours, which is even better than most watches in this range.
best watches for men under 300 dollars
Garmin Forerunner 945 – Smartwatch+SPOTIFY
- The device is a GPS-running smartwatch that works amazingly as a sports watch too.
- The watch provides a full offline colored map that will guide you in the right direction.
- Accurately track your runs, pace, and distances. The same goes for walking, swimming, and cycling.
- Syncs with Garmin Connect Smartphone app.
- Monitor Heart rate.
- 3 weeks of battery time with 10 hours of GPS tracking.
- It is quite expensive.
Garmin Forerunner 945 is not just a smartwatch that accesses Spotify but works great as one of the best sports watches for men under 300 dollars. The display resolution is 240 x 240 pixels. You can download songs to your watch through Spotify. It measures accurate Vo2Max, and analyzes, and monitors your training activity.
When it comes to activity tracking, the watch does a fairly good job. There are steps and sleep tracking which works quite well. One of the significant features of Garmin Forerunner 945 is the full offline map that guides you on the right track and navigates while running or hiking etc. The map tells you the distance and the direction of where to go.
The best thing about this device as a running watch is that it’s one of the best GPS-running watches for men and women under 300 dollars. It gives you great stats for cycling, running, walking, and swimming. There’s also Golf tracking with the back, front, and center of the green yardages. The ecosystem is incredible and the device pairs with your Smartphone to give you all the notifications on your wrist.
Best watch for 300 dollars
- Gives advanced running, swimming, and cycling dynamics including stride length, ground contact, time balance, and vertical ratio.
- It has an 11-day battery as an activity tracker and a watch.
- The device is Waterproof at 5 ATMs.
- It gives you 24 hours of GPS tracking.
- Also gives you a Bike sensor.
- 24/7 Heart rate monitoring(wrist-based heart rate monitor). no additional strap required
- No Barometer and altimeter.
- Poor OHR.
- It has Poor tracking of swimming at times.
With a heart rate monitor, the Garmin Forerunner 735XTwatch is the best GPS watch under 300 for men or women. It comes with a sleek design with a large display so the users can view the stats with just a glance during their workout. The silicone bands are also soft and comfortable on the wrist. It’s available in frost blue and midnight blue or black-grey colors. The battery lasts for 11 days in general watch and activity tracking mode, and 14 hours if all features are used. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT offers heart rate monitoring and tracking of activities such as; cycling, swimming, cardio, paddle sports, XCskiing, hiking, multisport, and strength training as well.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT is one of the best sports watches under 300 dollars for men that offers advanced metrics for running, swimming, and lots of other sports. The watch is waterproof up to 50m and is a great tool for tracking swimming. You can take the watch during your swimming training and workouts in the water and it will guide you through. Though at times the tracking gives inaccurate results, there are many options to choose from. The watch also offers GPS tracking for 24 hours.
The watch syncs automatically to Garmin Connect and you can track your workouts, and trends and join challenges with communities online to compete against friends and earn badges for achieving fitness goals.
Best Hiking watch under 300 dollars
Garmin Instinct is the best watch for under 300 dollars. It is built for thermal shock and water resistance. If you’re a swimmer, hiker, or runner and looking for a running watch that gives you detailed metrics; Garmin Instinct is the best GPS watch for hikers that you have been looking for all this time. It tracks distance, pace, heart rate, and stress as well. The battery life is up to 16 hours in GPS mode.
Moreover, Garmin Instinct has a built-in heart rate monitor. It also has a built-in mini-map and 3-axis compass, track back feature to navigate a similar route from where you started your journey;
How to pair a Garmin Instinct watch
There is the Garmin Explore website and app to guide you and the Garmin Connect App online fitness community automatically uploads your activity data. It also gives you a 100% accurate running cadence. Indeed, it’s a marvelous GPS running watch when it comes to activity tracking and sports metrics.
- Great for the most challenging environment, thermal shocks, and water resistance.
- lightweight but strong and solid.
- Battery life is up to 14 days in smartwatch mode
- Built-in GPS keeps track of your ride, run, or hike measuring your speed, distance, and route.
- It is waterproof up to 100 meters.
- It features a 3-axis compass, a barometric altimeter, and Global satellite navigation,
- It notifies smart notifications with a compatible smartphone.
- There is no music support and no music storage option.
- There is no VO2 max in this watch.
- It has only a monochrome display.
best sports watch under 300 dollars
Garmin Forerunner 55 is the best GPS sports watch for under 300 dollars for men or women and an activity tracker that is specially designed for running exercise, and heart fitness. The running watch is light in weight and has a high-resolution display easily be seen in the sunlight.
- Garmin Forerunner 55 has a built-in optical Heart rate sensor.
- It is water-resistant up to 5ATM.
- It tracks sleep, distance, pace, cycling, running, elevation changes, calories burned, and training sessions.
- Garmin Forerunner 55 has 2 weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode.
- Alerts smart notifications from your smartphone.
- Garmin Forerunner 55 has a built-in GPS.
1. Understanding what a GPS running watch is:
Speed & pace tracking to let you know how fast you are:
The device shows current speed by calculating distance through its GPS and time. The results can be inaccurate if you use this function for basic exercises. It works well for running, walking, and perhaps swimming as well. However, the best option is “average speed” as the current speed’s calculation can be shaky.
Heart rate monitoring for pulse control:
A heart rate monitor measures the heart rate through optics with the help of infrared light. There’s a sensor that measures the amount of light darkened by the blood. The darkness is proportional to the pulse. Another way to measure heart rate is a smart fabric that works as a conductor with the assistance of built-in microprocessors which record the EKG signals and analyze them to calculate heart rate.
These systems are installed within GPS running devices so that along with speed and distance, heart rate would be displayed to the user, so they run at a healthy pace. It’s a great feature for people having heart disease. They can monitor their heart rate while performing exercises and sports.
At the end of the day, it is a “watch” after all. So, the display of time is essential. Besides, while performing activities like sports, running, and exercising, time is the main key.
Route choice and tracking:
Route tracking tracks down your location during any activity that involves you being mobile. You can view various routes through the map and select your current and destination point and it provides you with a highlighted route that leads you to your destination.
Map to display coordinates:
There’s a map always present in the software of a GPS running watch. It displays all elements of space including regions, themes, and objects. Routes and destinations are displayed on the Map.
Accelerometer to help you know your steps:
An accelerometer is very important both in GPS running watches as well as fitness trackers. It helps in tracking steps as it measures how much you accelerate. The purpose of the accelerometer is to monitor the movement of your feet as it hits the ground and then how many steps it takes while running or walking through a sensor. The final tracking is the number of steps and a pace estimation which results in the distance covered and speed.
Cycling Cadence sensor for cyclists:
Cycling Cadence means the revolution number made by the crank arm and pedals in your bicycle per minute. It is an important count for professional and regular cyclists. A cadence sensor measures your cadence and rear-wheel revolutions as well. The sensor works by having a magnet detector within which detects movements of two magnets that are relatively small in size, integrated into your bicycle.
Footpod compatibility for indoor treadmill workout:
This device is great in case you don’t go out for running/walking and prefer to do it indoors on your treadmill. Now, before the GPS was invented, Footpod was used to give an estimate of distance covered and speed as well. However, now this device has been modified to be very small and simple. It can be easily fitted within your shoe as its size is a quarter.
The device then is able to broadcast ANT + protocol signals to various fitness devices and Smartphones as well. This device is great for telling accurate data on pace and distance while working on treadmills (since treadmills aren’t very reliable when it comes to stats). The information can be stored and used later on to create good workout routines.
Goal set-up to help you attain the perfect fitness routine:
This feature allows you to set up daily fitness goals or receive them from the device i.e., the number of steps you walk, the distance you cover while running, etc. Usually, GPS running watches create goals on the basis of weight, heart rate, and stamina of a person as well.
Coaching and training program:
This feature offers a program of weekly, monthly, and yearly programs that enable people to attain the perfect fitness goals. The program gives a routine and helps the user to achieve it through reminders. Smart Coach is an app that is often installed within smartwatches and fitness trackers serving the same purpose.
There are some extra metrics that will help you improve your running form. To have such metrics you would need to expand your budget a little. The metrics include HR Max, lactate threshold, Orthostatic Test, Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). However, the most important are Vertical oscillation, VO2 Max, and heart rate zones.
1. HR max:
This is the highest number of times your heart is supposed to beat per minute when you’re going through the most intensive workout level.
2. Lactate threshold:
When the maximum level of uric acid builds up in the bloodstream during an intensive workout after which fatigue kicks in, the pace gets affected, and the efficiency of the workout gets affected.
3. Orthostatic Test:
An orthostatic test is supposed to measure your heart rate while you’re at rest and while you’re standing up before. This gives you a standing, rest, and peak heart rate. This gives your device enough information to tell you when you’re physically ready to train again and go out.
4. Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR):
Now, instead of getting a highly expensive test, there are watches that will give you the rate at which you burn calories by just breathing and being alive with basic info such as age, height, and weight.
5. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC):
The boost received in metabolism right after your body is done with a workout. Also known as the “afterburn”.
6. Vertical oscillation:
While running, the bounce degree in your motion. It’s one of the optical running metric measurements.
7. VO2 Max:
This is the maximum oxygen volume (mm) you’re body can consume per minute per kilogram of body weight during the highest point of workout/running. Running watches use a smart algorithm along with the heart rate monitor to give you an estimate of your VO2 max on the basis of your latest workout performance and vital stats.
8. Heart rate zones:
Different GPS running watches break down your heart rate tracking into segments based on your sports activity.
Do GPS-running watches actually work, and are they accurate?
It is proven that GPS-running watches display 100% accuracy when it comes to pace, especially during irregular intervals or unfavorable conditions. They are currently the best solution for tracking your workouts.
Whether you want to buy the watch for general fitness or you’re a member of the 100 Marathon Club, by tracking your stats you will be able to improve your performance and get your daily dose of motivation as well.
However, just like picking out the best tracksuit or running shoes can be tricky, buying the perfect GPS running watch that fills in your requirements and expectations can be tricky too. Lucky for you, we have done the research for you so you can choose the best device that works well for you.
The four main questions to ask yourself before buying a GPS watch:
There are many factors to consider while buying a GPS running watch under 300 dollars for men or women. But we believe all the focus should be narrowed down to these 4 basic questions before looking at other aspects. If the watch offers answers to these, it means it fulfills its purpose.
What’s my location?
What’s my pace?
How much distance did I cover?
What is my current cadence?
Price ranges and the features that they offer:
Well, GPS-running watches start at $50 and reach a 300 price tag. We don’t recommend extra-high-range watches as they contain some unnecessary features. Here’s what you get at different ranges:
Watch Under $150: If we talk about GPS running watches, in this range there are very few running watches that come with GPS. There’s Garmin Forerunner 35 which gives you all the basics including pace, calories, distance, and GPS. Often watches under this range must be paired with your smartphone to display the stats.
best watches for under $150 to 300 dollars: You’ll find nice watches like the Fitbit Versa 3, Garmin Forerunner 245, and Garmin Forerunner 55 in this range. They offer built-in accelerometers, heart rate tracking, and advanced training features like interval session programs and heart rate zone training. You’ll be able to leave your smartphone at home.
Above 300 dollars: GPS running watches like Garmin Fenix 6 will cost you around $366 but will offer pretty much every sort of tracking regarding sports
Using your watch efficiently:
So, now that you know what to buy…are you aware of how to use it so it gives you maximum results? It’s important to know that these watches aren’t as simple as they often seem. I mean…we have already explained to you the key and some additional features they offer and what they mean, but how you use them is entirely up to you. However, we’ve come up with a guide to help you use these watches in the most efficient way possible.
Create a workout diary:
Well, yes the watches do come with their own web tools and apps for analysis, progress reports, and records but it’s essential for you to keep a separate record that helps you in a motivational way. You can use a Google calendar and create a training calendar. You can note down the information that’s most relevant to you, i.e. heart rate, goal achieved, what activity you performed, and your feeling towards the experience.
Keep track of your heart rate and know your MHR:
It is important that you find your maximum heart rate (MHR). Your GPS running watch will use this information to divide your heart rate into segments called the “heart rate zones” according to the stages of your workout, depending upon your workout type.
You can also use the BPM and heart rate zone feature to find out when you’re working out too much or when you’re being sluggish. You can also set automatic alerts for this purpose.
Use the VO2 max:
What the VO2 max does basically is that it tells you what your maximum rate is during exercise by which your heart, muscles, and lungs can use oxygen efficiently. It’s more like your individual aerobic and workout capacity after which you could faint.
If you want your accurate VO2 max, you’ll probably need to go to a lab and have a gas exchange mask attached to your face. The test is quite expensive. However, our Polar and Garmin have used incredibly clever algorithms to find a way to give an estimate of your VO2 max without the need for costly tests. There’s a test within Polar’s running watches that gives you a set workout that calculates your VO2 Max. Garmin Forerunner 620 will just use your stats during race times and run to give you an estimate of your VO2 Max.
Keep track of your BPM:
As with any part of a training plan, it’s essential to know when to stop. This is where Heart rate tracking comes in handy. What you need to do is use either a chest strap or built-in OHR in your watch lie down, and stay still for at least 5 minutes. When you’re fully relaxed, your device will give a reading of your resting heart rate and you need to note it. Each morning for at least two weeks, repeat the same process. You’ll then have your average resting heart rate.
So, whenever you’re exercising the next time, in case your heart rate comes higher than 10 beats per minute (BPM), it probably means you’re over-training yourself and you need a break.
Conclusion–what actually makes a difference
best watches for men under 300 dollars both men and women are amazing fitness wearables. They can really help you keep better track of your fitness routine and help you excel at it. Hopefully, this ultimate guide on GPS running watches will help you pick one that will match your needs. However, if you want to get fit buying a fitness wearable is only the first step towards a long strenuous journey.