This is a review of the Coros Vertix 2 in 2023. Specifically, this is a review of how this watch performs when hiking, backpacking, trail running, and ultra running.
For longer than anyone can remember the biggest issue with watches used for hiking and backpacking has been the battery life, or should we say the lack of it. Enter the Coros Vertix 2 with a battery life that backpackers and hikers on multiday trips will appreciate. But is that enough for you to buy this watch? How good are the features? Are the maps and GPS accurate? Is it easy to use?
I tested this watch over a period of months on backpacking trips, trail runs, and in cities with limited ability for the GPS watch to be accurate. And the results left me impressed. Keep reading to find out more about the Coros Vertix 2. Find out if this watch is better than the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar or Garmin Instinct 2 to take out the spot as the Best GPS hiking watch. Is this the best watch for you to use for hiking, backpacking, trail running, and ultra-marathons?
Follow along on Social Media
In-Depth Review: Coros Vertix 2
Weight: 3.14 oz / 89 grams
> 60-day battery life for normal use and 140 hours with full GPS mode
> Large watch face
> 100-meter water resistance
> Good offline color maps
> Not cheap
> Not everyone will like the very large watch face
It wasn’t that long ago that a GPS watch could hardly have enough battery for most people to finish running a marathon without the battery running out. Over the years, things improved as they always do. And now we have GPS watches that are significantly better than only a few years ago.
Coros went all in with the battery life on the Coros Vertix 2. It seems like they placed the feature of battery life above everything else on this watch.
Compared to the competition from Garmin and Suunto there is nothing that can compete for battery life and GPS accuracy. For that reason, it is possible to go on a week-long backpacking trip and use all the functions including GPS and tracking and come home without having to recharge the battery. Nothing short of extraordinary.
With battery life being the best in class by far, there must be something stopping this watch from being worn by every runner, hiker, backpacker, cyclist, and trail runner in the world. The major reason is cost. It is not cheap.
Keep reading to learn more about the good and bad things about this watch. Hint, I like it so much I now use this watch in favor of all the others on the market.
When it comes to features let me say one thing right from the start. This has the best battery life of any hiking watch on the market at the moment. And secondly, it is not cheap. Considering the price there would be an expectation that this watch should be packed with features, and it is.
It also has an ECG but it is not as good as the one from Apple Watch linked to the Apple Health App. But it is an interesting feature to have on the watch.
Not sure how many times I’ve mentioned how good the battery is on this watch, so I’ll mention it again. It is the best in class by far. If you want a hiking watch that has everything and will not leave you stressed about having to charge the battery halfway through a hike or ultra-marathon then this watch is for you.
Even when using all the functions on the watch including the highly accurate GPS and tracking functions you can easily go for a week-long backpacking trip and still not use all the battery.
Another cool thing about the battery is the fact that it charges very quickly.
GPS and Accuracy
After battery life, the next best feature of this watch is the accuracy of the GPS. The GPS accuracy is better than any other watch on the market with only a couple of Garmins and the new Suunto Vertical coming close. Generally, it is only handheld GPS units can come close. When testing this unit I found I was able to pick up GPS signal while inside my house!
With the GPS in use, you can get up to 140 hours of use with the battery when using the GOS and QZSS systems.
The Coros Vertix 2 also uses all the major satellite systems for GPS including GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS. When using all these highly accurate satellite systems it will give you 90 hours of battery life. The dual frequency and MULTI GNSS capabilities make for a very accurate GPS navigation system.
When using the dual frequency mode which is the most accurate GPS system available, you will get 50 hours of battery life in this GPS mode. Essentially that means that the watch can use two GPS frequencies at the same time for increased accuracy. I’m not sure how they do it but this watch is as accurate as the Apple Ultra watch and anything from Garmin, Polar, or Suunto.
So, best-in-class Battery life and GPS accuracy.
Altimeter, Barometer &Compass
All the best GPS watches have the ABC features of Altitude, Barometer, and Compass. There is nothing special about any of these features other than they work as promised and are on demand when you need them.
The altitude feature has the ability to track your acclimatization to the altitude as you climb above 2500 meters / 8200 feet. At the time of writing, I have not had the chance to test this feature, and will update you when I have fully tested it. When using this feature it links in with the inbuilt blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)feature. I used it several times to measure my oxygen saturation which was helpful when I has Covid among other things!
The barometer feature is accurate and has the ability to track rapid drops in pressure which are usually associated with an approaching storm. At the time of testing, there have been no storms in my area so I have not been able to fully test this feature.
The Compass is accurate and compared to a magnetic compass it works well.
Maps and Navigation Features
The Coros Vertix 2 has the ability to navigate, use topo maps, save tracks and waypoints, use breadcrumbs, and all the features you may want in a GPS watch. When using the maps there is a bit of lag but it is no different from any other GPS watch on the market. But not as fast as a Handheld GPS or GPS app on your smartphone.
You can load tracks onto the watch via the Coros smartphone app and use it to navigate when out on the trails. The 32 gigs of internal storage will hold a lot of mapping data.
While the maps are good I found that when I wanted to use a mapping feature I would instinctually use my phone instead as it is better when it comes to maps. But the smartphone will quickly use the battery if using it for tracks which is where the Coros Vertix 2 is so much better.
In comparison to the competition, it is not quite as good as Garmin in the mapping department but the maps are free and the use of the digital dial to zoom is a good feature. Having said that, most people, myself included prefer to use a smartphone or handheld GPS for advanced mapping and navigation features.
Ease of Use
There is a learning curve with all GPS watches as they each have their own quirks that need to be learned. The Coros Vertix 2 uses a large main button with a dial that can be locked to prevent accidental scrolling. Of note I found this system to work very well and I did not accidentally scroll through functions by accident. When paired with the Coros App there are multiple watch faces that can be selected. And a near-infinite number of ways the data can be displayed on the screen. Whether it is mapping data, fitness data, or data that is displayed when hiking, running, cycling or whatever form of activity you are doing.
When hiking I like to use the following functions, altitude, altitude gained and lost, time to sunset, time of day (of course!), heart rate, battery life, and distance covered. While there are many other things I could add, I found this to give me almost anything I needed when on the trail. All the features are fully customizable and easy to change.
The Coros Vertix 2 is big and heavy in comparison to many other GPS watches. Not everyone will like that. For me, I didn’t really notice the weight and loved the large size as my eyes are not as good as they used to be.
The Coros Vertix 2 is made from titanium alloy, has a Sapphire Glass watch face, and uses a silicon nylon watch band. The watch is built tough for lots of abuse. During testing, I took a fall on the road while running. Despite scratches on my arm and elbow, the watch remained unscratched despite hitting the ground quite hard.
The watch face and band work together well. But I did find the watch band to be a little annoying. I found I needed to have the watch band a bit on the tight side to ensure it didn’t slip around and provide inaccurate heart rate data. But it is no different from a Garmin GPS watch which also does the same for me.
The Coros Vertix 2 has the ability to play music from the watch but I can’t see too many people using this feature. Firstly, the music must be loaded onto the watch, just like in the old days before apps such as Spotify.
Speaking of Spotify, the Coros Vertix 2 does not sync with Spotify or any other music app at this time. Coros have advised that this may change in the future but at the time of review, it is not possible. Maybe then you could take advantage of the ability to pair the watch to bluetooth headphones.
I did not use the music feature and to be honest I probably never will. I’ll use Spotify linked to my phone when out on the trails hiking or running. Overall, a bit of a useless feature that most people will not use.
The Coros App is the bridge that pairs the watch with the history of your runs, hikes, and more. It updates the phone and you can upload and download routes. It also allows you to customize the watch face and customize what features you want to see when running hiking or cycling. For example, when hiking you might want altitude, time to sunset, distance covered, and more. When running you might want to see your current pace, overall pace, distance, time, and more. Whatever you want, this watch can customize the display to your needs.
The Coros App works well and like almost everything else it is regularly updated with new features and updates for the current features.
Coros Vertix 2 Updates
Coros has been quite active when it comes to software updates. So all the features listed at the time of the release of the watch have changed quite a lot and in all likelihood will change quite a lot over the coming months and years.
The list of updates in recent months is very extensive. Some of the notable ones include time till sunrise and sunset, improved sleep tracking including REM sleep, and find my phone/watch feature. All of that and constant minor improvements and bug fixes.
Overall, they have been very active with continuous improvement and with no sign of slowing down.
Coros Vertix 2 Vs the Rest
The Coros Vertix is an impressive bit of kit for anyone interested in spending time outdoors and who wants a fully functioning GPS watch. No other watch can compare with battery life or GPS accuracy. For that reason, this is a great watch for hiking and backpacking. It is ahead of the current competition for quality, features, and accuracy. But it comes at a price that is quite high. If this watch was a bit more affordable I could see everyone using this watch and making the switch from whatever brand they currently use. I recently made the switch from Garmin to Coros due to the better battery life, better GPS accuracy, large screen, and more.
Overall, the Coros Vertix 2 is the best of the new breed of Coros watches. It is an impressive watch for the outdoors within the GPS watch market place. If you are looking for a hiking watch, backpacking watch, or a watch for your ultra marathon-type activities then there is nothing else on the market with a battery that will last as long as this.
The Coros Vertix 2 could be more affordable to make it more attractive. With the continuous improvement of the App and software, this watch is already good and will get better with time. Overall, this adventure watch is the best watch for hiking and backpacking. And those that are into ultra marathons and multiday adventures will also find this watch very attractive. I like the watch so much it is the watch I currently use on all my adventures.g
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Coros Vertix 2 a good watch for hiking and backpacking?
The Coros Vertix 2 is one of the best hiking and backpacking watches. It has the best-in-class battery life and the most accurate GPS on any watch on the market. Those two features alone make it a great watch. Add to that quality maps, altimeter, barometer, compass, and more making it a great watch for outdoor adventures.
BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process
The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.
BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.
The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.
BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.