Altimeter Watch Comparison Tables
To develop criteria for how to choose a Altitude, Barometer, Compass and GPS Watch, we aggregated and analyzed comparative reviews from DC Rainmaker, Road Trail Run, Navigation Professional, and Outdoor Gear Lab. We also aggregated customer reviews from Reddit , Amazon, and REI. For general information about watches, how GPS or other functions of these watches work, we relied on work from Momentum Watch, Runners World, and Andrew Skurka.
We used our own experience long distance hiking (aka “thru-hiking”) with GPS and ABC watches on the Great Divide Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, Grand Enchantment Trail, and GR20 in Corsica. These routes and thousands of additional miles were accomplished with our experience using the Suunto Core, Ambit3, and other watches mentioned here.
See the Comparison Tables
GPS / ALTIMETER / THERMOMETER / BAROMETER / MAPPING
Looking for a watch with a specific set up? Sort the table below.
battery life / dimensions / water resistance
Battery life, weight, diameter, and water resistance are summarized below.
PROS / CONS / WARRANTY
Our research pointed to the following pros and cons for each model.
|Has the most essential hiking functions...ABC. A built-in 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo). Garmin InReach support. The Instinct can be used to read incoming messages, send messages, and even initiate an SOS during an emergency.||Doesn’t have Connect IQ support: No data fields, apps, or widgets. Doesn't have on-board maps. No pulse-ox||1 year|
|Full ABC functionality, GPS and GLONASS satellite compatibility, and wrist-based heart rate monitoring. But what sets the 5X apart from other Fenix models like the 5 and 5S is the inclusion of detailed TOPO mapping. The contour lines provide impressive insights for hiking, mountaineering, and other serious backcountry use.||Shorter battery life due to the heart monitor, expensive.||2 years|
|Comfortable, high quality, easy-to-use, highly accurate, GPS, many features, rechargeable battery||No fitness tracking features.||1 year|
|Long battery life, durable aluminum finish, great fit, precise, easy-to-use interface||Altitude and barometric graphs are sub-par, no GPS, lag on button presses.||2 years|
Watch Face Size
If the size of the watch face is a concern, we show the relative sizes of the watch faces of our top picks in the graphic below.