You will, of course, be familiar with digital timepiece supremos Casio. However, some of you may not know that the Japanese company have, for some time, been making watches specifically for the outdoors market.

The Casio ProTrek, first launched in 1994, is now an established piece of outdoor gear and the update for 2017 has been hugely impressive. Paired up with the ViewRanger app, which we included in the Summer Outdoor 100, this smart watch is proving to be an indespensible bit of kit.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Casio ProTrek, or the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 if you prefer, is its somewhat chunky construction. It’s a fair old size sitting on your wrist. However, there’s a lot of brainpower behind the extra bulk. In fact, running on the Android 2.0 operating system, the Casio ProTrek is more like a computer that you can wear, rather than a watch.

"Paired up with the ViewRanger app, the Casio ProTrek is proving to be an indispensable bit of kit."

While there are three buttons on the Casio ProTrek (Tools, App and the nameless Home button) pretty much every function on the watch can be done with a touch or a swipe of its 3.3cm screen. Out of the box, there are a series of activity-specific apps that track your progress hiking, swimming, kayaking, skiing, or whatever else you get up to in the outdoors. These all work fluidly and intuitively, utilising the low-power GPS that’s built into the Protrek.

Casio ProTek Watch with Viewranger
Casio ProTek Watch with Viewranger
The Casio ProTrek is a solid, robust size, but well designed so it looks equally at home in the office as it does on the moors. Photo: Chris Johnson.
Casio ProTek Watch with Viewranger

The Tool button opens up, maybe unsurprisingly, a series of useful tools on the watch, including a tide graph, an altimeter, and a compass. We really liked the clock tool that not only showed sunrise and sunset, but also pinpointed where both would happen on the compass.

Via the Google PlayStore, you can download additional apps for the Casio ProTrek, including the ViewRanger App. There’s a version of Viewranger that’s optimised specifically for the Casio ProTrek, which features a host of maps, route information and trails and you can access this easily via the watch.

A massive bonus is that the ViewRanger apps are accessible offline, so if you’re somewhere really remote, you can still use your navigation skills to find your way back to base. The maps appear really clearly on the screen of the ProTrek, and can be zoomed with either a pinch of the screen, or using the Tool and App buttons.

Spend a morning with the Casio ProTrek with the ViewRanger app installed, and you’ll start to wonder how you coped without it by your side before.

Casio ProTrek Watch with Viewranger