Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

Which devices can handle your elevation needs?

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.

Altimeters don't always come as standard on all sports watches, so 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.

Garmin Fenix 5X

Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

The Garmin Fenix 5 stable gives you a wealth of options to choose from, with your preference likely dependent on how much bulk your wrist can handle and whether the added features offset this.

With the Fenix 5X, you're receiving the daddy of the pack. The device houses the same features you'll find in the Fenix 5 and Fenix 5S, but mapping is an entirely different equation. Garmin has loaded its biggest watch with full-colour topography, as well as cycling and golf course maps which you can fire up at any time.

Of course, you're given the full ABC, GPS/GPX and GLONASS offering throughout litter, as well in the cheaper predecessor, the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, but those who want the ultimate adventure companion and are happy to spend big should explore this watch.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Fenix 5X review

From $699.99, | Amazon

TomTom Adventurer

Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

The Adventurer manages to cram in many of the same features as the TomTom 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. 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.

Wareable verdict: TomTom Adventurer review

$349.99, | Amazon

Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20

Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

After opting to leave GPS out of its original multisport effort, theCasio Smart Outdoor WSD-F10, the Japanese watchmaker returned with an Android Wear sequel earlier this year.

Now you'll be able to track yourself wherever you roam, with additional sensors packed inside including an accelerometer, pyrometer and magnetic compass. You can also keep tabs on pressure (air and altitude), meaning tackling hiking, trekking and water sports is a cinch with the WSD-F20 on your wrist.

Wareable verdict: Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20

$500, | Amazon

Suunto Traverse

Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

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.

From $469, | Amazon

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Best altimeter watches: Top devices for scaling the heights

If you want a stylish outdoor option, the Gear S3 flagship comes with all the bells and whistles you could need in 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.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Gear S3 review

From $349, | Amazon

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