Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

Which devices can handle your elevation needs?
Best altimeter watches

There are plenty of things to consider when diving into the world of smartwatches. Thankfully, if you're looking for a rugged wrist companion that can join you on hikes, lots of options feature ABC — that's an altimeter, barometer and compass.

With these not being completely standard features, though, knowing which devices can offer you the most accurate elevation and barometric readings can be tough.

Read next: Best outdoor smartwatches

The familiar names of Casio, Garmin and Suunto run much of the adventure space, and we've trawled through some of their offerings to bring you the best watch to keep tabs on your altitude.

TomTom Adventurer

The TomTom Adventurer manages to cram in many of the same features as the Spark 3 while combining handy outdoor extras, making it a serious option for those in need of an altimeter watch.

You can track hiking, trail running, snowboarding and skiing, with GPX routes able to be uploaded in order for you to follow along. And thanks to some solid altitude tracking, the device will even pause if you're going up a lift after a ski or snowboarding run.

And if you're the kind to make a weekend out of your adventures, the TomTom will support you with 24 hours of continuous use in hiking mode.

$349.99, tomtom.com | Amazon

Garmin Fenix 3 HR

The Fenix 3 HR may have been upstaged by a newer sibling, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of its strong ABC offering. Thanks to its GPS and GLONASS compatibility, you're able to enjoy solid accuracy to track the various modes available, including hiking, running and even skiing.

We haven't had chance to test out the altimeter action on the fresher Garmin Fenix 5 just yet, but it's fair to assume this offers a similar package.

$549, garmin.com | Amazon

Suunto Traverse

Suunto is no stranger to dedicated outdoor watches, and the Traverse, as its name indicates, is one made for hikers.

The built-in topographic maps offer you a glance at trails, and the device will also keep an eye on storms thanks to its biometric data. Even the amount of remaining sunlight is registered, giving you an indication of when to start setting up for the night or running back to civilisation. If you don't make it back in daylight, there's also the flashlight mode available for you harness.

Like many on this list, the Traverse also offers GPS and GLONASS for added accuracy when calculating your location and altitude.

$469, suunto.com | Amazon

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

If you want a stylish outdoor option, Samsung's Gear S3 flagship comes with all the bells and whistles you could need on an outdoor expedition.

Tizen is able to offer your atmospheric pressure and altitude, with this info stored and synced to S Health once you're connected to the internet.

This isn't perfect by any means, and you'll definitely get some readings that will leave you scratching your head, but this can still offer you some marginal use if the altimeter can shake hands with the sea-level data from AccuWeather and lock onto your GPS. Just make sure to manually calibrate the watch from time to time.

From $349, samsung.com | Amazon

Casio Smart Outdoor WSD-F10

Yes, there's no GPS, but that doesn't mean Casio's Smart Outdoor WSD-F10 offering is completely useless. It still manages to house plenty of other sensors to aid you when venturing the great outdoors.

Sitting around the bezel are sensors for altitude and air pressure, while the accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetometer all help provide you with a compass.

This is all well and good, but obviously pointless if you're not able to harvest the data. Thankfully, Casio allows this through its Tool apps and third-party options.

Much like the Fenix 5, we haven't had chance to fully test Casio's upcoming watch, the Smart Outdoor WSD-F20, but with GPS (finally) and an altimeter on board it promises to be a solid addition to the lineup.

$399.99, casio.com | Amazon


Shop for recommended smartwatches on Amazon

Samsung Gear S3
Samsung Gear S3
$299.99
Pebble 2
Pebble 2
$86.25
Apple Watch Series 2
Apple Watch Series 2
$308.88
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Garmin Vivoactive HR
$249.99

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