Altimeter watches are easy enough to define. Simply put, they are wristwatches with a built-in altitude meter or altimeter. While not 100 percent on point, altimeter watches are accurate enough, making them indispensable tools for hiking, mountaineering, skiing, skydiving, and other outdoor activities.
Besides an altitude meter, altimeter watches often include several other functions that outdoor enthusiasts will find useful and even life-saving, such as a thermometer, a barometer, a moon phase indicator, and a compass, among others. A watch with a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass is often called an ABC watch, with the acronym obviously referring to the initials of the three functions.
Considering the number of options on the market, shopping for the best altimeter watches for men can be daunting and time-consuming. That’s what this guide is for. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the ones that are truly worth your time and money, including a few budget-friendly options for those unwilling to spend over $100 on an altimeter watch. Starting with the affordable options, here are the best altimeter watches that you can get today.
This multi-function sports watch comes with a bunch of features, including a chronograph and a weather forecast indicator. It’s a full-fledged ABC watch, featuring an altimeter, a barometer, and a compass, all of which can be easily accessed with just a few clicks. While not on the same level as the premium products further down the list, the altimeter is accurate enough, which might surprise those expecting it to be subpar, considering the price.
It has a large frame, with exposed screws and four buttons around the case. A multi-function watch, this budget product includes an altimeter and a barometer, both of which are fairly accurate. It can display time in both 12-hour and 24-hour formats, with good readability all around. It has a thermometer, too, but don’t count on accurate readings on that one. Unlike most of the other products on this list, this Casio sports watch doesn’t have a compass.
Compared to the budget Casio sports watch above, this Lad Weather ABC watch has a slightly slimmer profile, with a less sophisticated face. It comes with a set of large buttons for easy navigation and a durable and comfortable buckled strap. It has a stationary bezel and an acrylic window, the latter of which might disappoint some people. Equipped with an accurate altimeter and barometer and a digital compass, this sports watch is a recommended outdoor gear for hikers and mountaineers who don’t want to break the bank for an altimeter watch.
Stylish and reliable, the Suunto Core has an altimeter, a barometer, and a compass. It’s a great tool for hiking and backpacking, with the weather indicator keeping you informed on whether or not it’s still safe to be out in the wilderness. It’s got sunrise/sunset times for over 400 locations, a useful function during multi-day outdoor trips. Although it appears to be a complicated device, the Suunto Core is an easy-to-use altimeter watch, with a set of buttons that allow for quick and precise navigation.
A sports watch that can tell time in both 12-hour and 24-hour formats, the Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR includes all the core functions you might expect from such a sophisticated-looking item. In addition to the altimeter, barometer, and compass, this outdoor watch has a countdown timer, sunset/sunrise times, a thermometer, and a calendar, among other features. It has excellent readability regardless of the light condition and boasts water resistance up to 330 feet, making it an all-around outdoor watch.
Unlike most of the products on this list, this rugged altimeter watch boasts water resistance up to 660 feet, making it ideal for both high-altitude outdoor activities and casual scuba diving. It’s got a well-secured dial, with textured buttons for easy navigation. It has an accurate altimeter and barometer and features a calendar, a countdown timer, and atomic timekeeping. Considering its rugged design, it’s not surprising that this altimeter watch is on the heavy side, so those with small wrists might find it uncomfortable to wear for an extended period.
A digital watch with a Japanese quartz movement, this multi-function sports watch includes an altimeter, a barometer, a digital compass, a thermometer, a calendar, a tide graph, a moon phase indicator, and a countdown timer, among others. It’s also solar-powered, with the ability to last up to 23 months while in power saving mode. Overall, it’s a fantastic altimeter watch that you can use for different outdoor activities, including water-related ones such as kayaking and snorkeling, with its excellent water resistance giving it optimum aqua protection.
The Suunto Traverse packs a number of useful features for outdoor enthusiasts, including an option to retrace your steps. It has an altimeter, a distance tracker, a compass, and sunrise/sunset times, among other functions. Composed of a stainless steel case and a silicone band, this sports watch is easy to use, with responsive buttons and a clear dial. It’s a recommended product for those who prefer a more discreet altimeter watch, one that carries a more modern design.
But the Suunto Ambit3 Peak isn’t just about style. It also packs a number of features that outdoor enthusiasts will find useful, including an accurate altimeter, a barometer, and a compass. It boasts water resistance up to 330 feet and comes with a tough band. Some might find it too large, though – the increased size is a trade-off for that exceptional battery life. Overall, this eye-catching sports watch is an ideal gear not only for hiking but also for running, cycling, and swimming.
Offered in different colors, including red and black, this altimeter watch has a built-in barometer and compass and includes a weather trend indicator, a countdown timer, and a thermometer. It’s an excellent watch for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities – except for scuba diving and other activities where you need to be underwater for long stretches. If both the Ambit3 Peak and the Traverse are too modern for you, then check out the Suunto Vector, which sells for a little over $300.
Designed for both indoor training and outdoor sorties, this touchscreen sports watch has an altimeter, a digital compass, a distance tracker, and a heart rate monitor, among other functions, all of which are easy to access with just a few button presses. Considering its battery life, this product may not be suitable for hardcore hikers, mountaineers, and skiers, but for casual ones, it can get the job done. It’s built for different sports and offers excellent screen readability.
The Garmin Fenix 3 is another example of an altimeter watch that offers a perfect balance between cosmetics and functionality. It has an uncluttered case, at least compared to traditional outdoor watches like the ones from Casio. The bezel is made of stainless steel while the band is made of silicone, with Garmin offering a model equipped with a titanium band. It has superb screen visibility, comes with a great battery life, and boasts water resistance up to 330 feet. It’s a fantastic modern outdoor gear for running, swimming, skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Like the Garmin Fenix 3, this expensive outdoor gear packs a bunch of tracking and navigation features, including an altimeter, a barometer, and a compass. It boasts a full-color topographic U.S. mapping system, allowing for a quick location reference. Overall, the Garmin Fenix 5X is a top-notch altimeter watch that not only offers a wide range of functions but also puts emphasis on durability. It has a well-secured case with a scratch-resistant window and a water resistance rating of 330 feet.
A GPS watch with a night vision mode, the Garmin Tactix Bravo has an altimeter, a barometer, and a compass, all of which can be easily accessed on the screen. Like with the other Garmin sports watches on this list, this particular model offers accurate altitude readings, making it a reliable outdoor gear for hiking and mountaineering. While not as popular as the Garmin Fenix series, mainly because of its lack of advanced fitness trackers, the Garmin Tactix Bravo is a top-notch altimeter watch that strikes a nice balance between style, durability, and functionality.
Water resistant up to 330 feet, this titanium watch includes a bunch of functions, including an altimeter, a compass, a chronograph, a thermometer, and a countdown timer, among others. The functions can be easily accessed via the touch-sensitive screen. Like the Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR, this altimeter watch is solar-powered, which basically means you get unlimited power.