Open main menu


Types of Altimeters

photo of a handheld altimeter

Handheld Altimeters

photo of a altimeter watch

Altimeter Watches

Top Picks

How we choose: The best altimeters highlighted here were selected based on 61 reviews of 15 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a altimeter that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

Disclosure: Trailspace never accepts payment for gear reviews, product placement, or editorial coverage. When you buy through affiliate links on our site, Trailspace may earn a small commission, which helps cover the costs of running the site.

Top Altimeter Watch

Casio PRW3500-1

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Solar-powered altimeter, barometer and compass (ABC) watch with radio time calibration, temperature sensor, world time, stopwatch, and timer.

Reasons to Buy

  • Solar-powered—no need to recharge or change battery
  • Basic ABC functions accessible with a single button-press
  • Keeps accurate time with radio time calibration (if within range of transmitting stations)
  • Other functions including world time, stopwatch, timer, alarms etc
  • Glass is recessed below the bezel for protection

Reasons to Avoid

  • Interface not user-friendly: this limits use of advanced ABC functions

  The Casio PRW3500 digital hiking watch in compass mode, with three dots representing north and single dots representing the other points of the compass The Casio PRW3500 is one of the older models in Casio’s Pro Trek series of hiking watches (previously known as the Pathfinder series). I believe it has been discontinued, but it is still available for sale. This watch looks basic. It has no fancy graphics, just a digital display reminiscent of the 1980s. It is an altimeter–barometer–compass (ABC) watch with a temperature sensor and world time.

Read more: Casio PRW3500-1 review (1)

Altimeter Watch

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400-3

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Features for days! Altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, sunrise/sunset data, and much more. Ease of Use: This is something that I felt could use some help. I may be spoiled on the ease of touch screens now, but cycling through all the menus is a pain. Price For a solar powered "ABC" watch with a ton of features that can stand up to the abuse the Rangeman can and still look great, I think the price is a steal.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ton of features
  • Can really take a beating
  • Solar powered
  • Great price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Display isn't easy to read
  • Features can be overwhelming

While the Rangeman may be the best G Shock watch on the market, it doesn't mean it's the best choice for everyone. Don't know if it's right for you? Just take our little test and see which side you fall on: It's for you You enjoy the outdoors You need a watch that can take some abuse You like knowing things like your current altitude, the exact minute the sun will set, or exactly which way North is You own at least one article of camo clothing It's not for you You have bad eyesight You don't ever leave your house You don't know what a barometer is You've never spent more than $100 for a watch G Shock Rangeman Watch Features Barometer Before the days of weathermen and weather apps, we had to figure out ourselves if it was going to rain.

Read more: Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400-3 review (1)

Top Handheld Altimeter

Celestron TrekGuide

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Inexpensive curiosity, excellent gadget on the field! Reliable readings make this device an excellent option at a bargain. Altimeter w/forecast, barometer, thermometer, compass, time/date, alarm, backlight.

Reasons to Buy

  • Inexpensive
  • Reliable in the field and at home

Reasons to Avoid

  • Might break if dropped...

I am always in the market for new things, IF they make the cut... The Celestron TrekGuide (model #48001) is a handheld device that shows altitude, barometric pressure, weather forecast, temperature, a digital compass, time, date, and an alarm clock with an LED backlight. It is available in several colors. I found it online for under thirty bucks, the deciding factor on my color choice. Anything I have found that's similar, be it a wristwatch or otherwise, costs $100 or more. I tend to rely on mechanical gear, and typically only carry about three devices that rely on battery power when backpacking.

Read more: Celestron TrekGuide review (1)

Altimeter Watch

Highgear Altis TI

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

To start out...The Altis ti and Altis SS are the same watch except that one is made of titanium and the other out of stainless steel. Both watches have heft and are built like a brick. The band is high quality rubber with breath slots cut into them and are fitted seamlessly to the watch. The Altis Ti Tactical is from Highgear's tactical line of watches for the police and military. It is a large attractive, premium watch from Highgear but much lighter than the Altis SS. It has a crisp and clear negative display (similar to Suunto Core) that wears very nice and can be used for all occasions (unlike a lot of other bulky brand watches with these features).

Read more: Highgear Altis TI reviews (2)

Altimeter Watch

Highgear Altiforce

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Altiforce is from Highgear's Tactical line of watches for military and police. The most noticeable is the light weight of the Altiforce compared to the Stainless steal Altis SS (see my other review of the Altis). I hardly notice wearing it. That said, it seems to be built very solid out of plastic but the heft and weight of the Altis feels indestructible. The weight of the Altiforce is similar to the Suunto. Display is Negative (or reversed) on the Altiforce. It is sharp and can be viewed off axis without any distortion or number shift.

Read more: Highgear Altiforce review (1)

Altimeter Watch

Highgear Altis SS

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

To start out...The Altis ti and Altis SS are the same watch except that one is made of titanium and the other out of stainless steel. Both watches have heft and are built like a brick. The band is high quality rubber with breath slots cut into them and are fitted seamlessly to the watch.The Altis SS is a large attractive, premium watch from Highgear. that wears very nice and can be used for all occasions (unlike a lot of other bulky brand watches with these features). I found the strap to be very comfortable.

Read more: Highgear Altis SS review (1)

Handheld Altimeter

Highgear AltiTech 2

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

I enjoyed this toy very much. However, some vallet in Las Vegas decided he needed it more than me. Anyhow, I liked the large number readings on the front panel. I loved the light weight and the clip to hook onto my pack. I also enjoyed having the temp. Information is always fun. I did not use the compas much, but I was dissapointed that the compass only displayed for about 15 seconds. Twenty to twenty-five seconds would have been better for me. Over all, I have the feeling I am going to replace my AltiTech 2 with another AltiTech 2 -John Update: October 29, 2006 I just wanted to add that at 10,000' in 20 degree weather that the display is slow when changing between options.

Read more: Highgear AltiTech 2 reviews (3)

More Altimeters

Trailspace reviewers have shared 61 reviews of 15 different altimeters. Narrow your search and view more specific altimeter recommendations in these categories:

Handheld Altimeters

Altimeter Watches

All Navigation Tools

Other Types of Navigation Tools

Find more navigation tools reviewed in these related categories:



GPS Receivers

+2 more types

Review Your Outdoor Gear

If you've found this site helpful — or if we've missed something important — please consider paying it forward by some of your favorite outdoor gear.

Why? From professional gearheads to outdoor novices, everyone has an important point of view to contribute. will support the outdoor community and help others find the best gear.

Trailspace reviewers are outdoor enthusiasts like you: hikers, climbers, paddlers, backcountry skiers, and trail runners who share our experiences with the gear and clothing we rely on to get outside. Learn more about Trailspace