When adventure calls your name, you need a watch that will go on the grandest expeditions of your dreams. You will need a watch with a built-in barometer to have real-time elevation information, GPS, and GLONASS coverage to track better in a challenging environment. That is where ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) watches come into the picture.
We understand what your adventure needs – more than just a regular fitness watch. For this reason, we have compiled a detailed review of the best altimeter ABC watches for you to decide.
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Best ABC Watches 2021 Product Reviews:
1. Garmin Instinct Solar – Best Overall
The Garmin Solar Instinct has an updated heart rate sensor and a significantly increased battery life even without solar charging. If you add the solar power option, too, you will get the best battery timing that any Garmin watch has yet to offer.
Disabling specific sensors and turning this only into a watch will give you 56 days of battery life, which is unlimited. Not only this, but The Garmin Instinct Solar also now sports a blood oxygen saturation monitor.
After thorough testing, we have a lot to share with you about the Garmin Instinct Solar. When it comes to the variations, this comes in three different editions.
You have the camo version that has a camo case, and then you have the surf edition. This one has tide data as well as a surf-specific profile. You also have a tactical version with night vision, stealth mode, and a jumpmaster profile.
The first thing you might notice is the new little chart on the watch face that shows the solar exposure the watch has had over the last six hours.
Hidden underneath that is the solar panel with a ten photovoltaic level. However, the real magic comes from these reflective bits surrounding the display. These solar panels get a full hundred percent photovoltaic level.
The Instinct Solar might have a black and white display, but you will notice that this is the easiest-to-read display out there. Especially in direct sunlight.
It comes with a wide variety of sports profiles and plenty of gym-based profiles too. The GPS performance will do everything well and leave you with zero complaints.
- Unlimited battery life.
- The heart rate sensor works well.
- Modern and sleek design.
- 3 different versions.
- Multiple sports profiles.
- The altimeter can be more accurate.
2. Suunto Core – Best Budget ABC Watch
The Suunto Core is an all-black military watch with a negative dial. This watch is neither heavy nor bulky. Even though this is on the larger watch size, you will have a very slim and lightweight profile.
Even though it’s supposed to be a tactical watch, it sometimes gets challenging to read the dial because of its negative dial feature.
With a reverse display, it is a bit challenging to see, especially in low lighting. You need to get the angle right with light reflecting on it to know the time.
If you are still reading, that means you have gotten past the visibility issue!
So, let’s have a look at some of its more interesting features. It has a rotating bezel and checkered buttons at its side.
These control the altimeter, barometer, and compass. The watch band itself is super flexible and soft. The Suunto Core has been on the market for a couple of years and is so far a really good option for people who want something low-budget and easy to use.
- Easy to use.
- Sleek and Slim Different color options.
- Limited visibility.
- Only has essential functions.
3. Coros Vertix – Best for Men
The COROS Vertix watch comes with a suitcase. It started gaining popularity when many elite runners and climbers started sporting it and reviewing it.
The company advertises a 60-hr battery life in a normal GPS mode and a 150-hr. battery timing in an ultra-GPS mode. If you look at this and some of the other features, you might find this a replica of the Garmin minus the more advanced features.
Talking about the things you will most probably like about this, the battery life tops the list. This watch’s battery life is phenomenal, beyond comprehension.
In 23 days of running 5- 6 days a week, this will only come down to a 4% at full GPS accuracy. So, you will not have to charge every other day. But, once it goes below the 10 percent mark, you will not like the experience.
The simplicity in the user experience is unmatched, and it lets you do all that you want without any complex steps.
Moving on, the COROS Vertix has straightforward and customizable software too. Updates are quick and set on auto. The app may be limiting but provides you with the basics you might need. Overall, this device offers consistency and is constantly working towards the better.
- Long battery life.
- Smooth interface.
- Sleek design.
- Shaky heart rate sensor.
4. Garmin Fenix 6S Pro – Best for Women
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is packed up with the best of everything Garmin has to offer. With a weight of around 10.4 oz., top-quality GPS, lithium-ion battery, and top-notch navigation with preloaded topographic maps, this beauty is a must-have for adventure seekers out there.
Like the Garmin Instinct Solar, this too has solar power charging. The Fenix 6S pro has a hundred percent solar efficiency around the edges but a 10 percent efficiency in the rest of the display.
It might not be designed to power your watch indefinitely, but it comes pretty close in some scenarios. Turn off the sensors you don’t need at the moment and turn this into a regular watch, and you will end up getting a dramatic increase in your battery life.
Another fantastic feature is that it syncs all the data it receives from active GPS users and highlights the most used and trending hike routes for you. Now, this is an amazing feature but shows accurate data up to only a mile.
Overall, The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro has several notable features like heat mapping and pace pro racing. However, it is not something you would want for your everyday casual use.
- Topographic maps.
- 2000 Preloaded Ski maps.
- Music streaming.
- Top-Notch Navigation.
- Good battery life.
- It’s a bit of an overkill for everyday use.
5. COROS Apex 46mm – Best ABC Watch for GPS
The Coros Apex is a GPS multi-sport watch with an impressive price tag and a specification list to match.
While this might not have brand recognition like Garmin and Suunto, you will notice the increasing popularity amongst the hiking and ultra-running community. So now, what makes this so unique?
The apex comes in two different sizes. There is a 42 mm and a larger 46 mm watch. The only other significant difference between the two is battery life and cost.
Let’s start with the design and build quality of the watch. From an aesthetic standpoint, this is a very sleek-looking device. It has a shiny subtle silver bezel on the front, giving a very minimalistic appearance.
When it comes to its features, you will feel right at home if you are familiar with Garmin watches.
Instead of the standard five-button layout, Coros uses its unique digital knob. It comes with several sports profiles, but you cannot customize these widgets.
Overall, this is a great watch with its barometric altimeter, 20 sports modes, and a durable titanium alloy bezel.
- Great GPS accuracy.
- Premium feel and design.
- Multiple sports profile.
- Widgets cannot be customized.
- Shaky heart rate reading.
6. Casio Pro Trek Prt-B50 – Best value for money
Casio is one of the biggest names when it comes to watches of all kinds. So, let’s find out if Casio Pro Trek is a good outdoor watch, too, or not.
In four different color highlights, 58-millimeter diameter and 15.8 mm thick, The Casio Pro Trek comes featuring a thermometer, a compass, an altimeter, a barometer, and a step counter.
More importantly, it has a Bluetooth smartphone that can be linked through the Pro Trek app. Once you have It hooked, the application gives you access to all sorts of data your watch records.
It records your steps., has a world clock for up to 300 cities, and lets you set up to 5 alarms a day. It features mineral glass with a soft and durable strap, and it is 100-meter water-resistant and has amazing battery timings.
The Casio Pro Trek is fabulous for outdoor use; whether swimming in the waterfalls or climbing up mountains, you never have to worry about damaging your watch. It is perfect for all services.
The only drawback is that even though the Pro Trek is reasonably priced, it doesn’t have a GPS device.
- Great build.
- Bluetooth connection.
- Useful application.
- No atomic timekeeping.
The Suunto 9 is very similar to the Suunto Spartan Sport. However, the Suunto 9 is also one of its kind when it comes to sports watches.
Let’s dig into its most spectacular specs. Talking about its battery, it has one of the best battery timings in the market today. It can provide you with over 5 days of continuous backup, not only this.
It also has different battery modes, which you can set according to your own needs. So if you hate charging your watch all the time, this is definitely for you.
Next, you have your screen customization. This is the only Suunto watch that is currently giving you this option. You can control what data you want to display on your screen and customize your workout screen.
Moving on, you will notice that this is also the first Suunto watch that ticks offal the features you would want to have in an ABC watch.
It has your heart rate monitor, GPS accuracy, battery life, and the barometer too. It takes all of that and puts It into one watch. Suunto 9 Baro also has an amazing and quick interface.
The UI and interface are not buggy or slow. It works efficiently. These are the things that you will enjoy about the Suunto 9 Baro.
Let’s have a look at a couple of things that you might find a tad bit annoying. First, it does not give accurate data recordings; you will observe that it will sometimes inflate and deflate your actual data. Second, it also tends to hang for a couple of seconds in the middle.
- Sleek Design.
- Extended Battery.
- Different Battery modes.
- GPS accuracy.
- Inaccurate data recording.
When it comes to watches, Casio is a name we all love and trust. The Casio G-Shock Move is the first watch that will have a built-in wrist-based optical heart rate sensor. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it!
They also have trading features like vo2 max, training status, recovery time, and a bit more. You have a few different color options available in this model. The design is unique, and you will either end up hating it or loving it altogether.
It is on the larger end of things, a bit bigger than the last version of the G-Shock watch. However, it weighs 3.5 oz., which is not necessarily the lightest watch you will find out there.
But it does then provide you with extreme shock and vibration resistance.
The construction is a combination of plastic and stainless steel that may be polarizing but should be functional. The Casio G-Shock Move HR GPS has a total of 5 sensors.
It includes the heart rate sensor, barometric altimeter, compass, and three-axis accelerometer. It’s supposed to last for 12 months if you just our day-to-day functions.
However, it does have only one profile and not the multiple sports profiles available to you these days in all the other watches. Overall, the Casio G-Shock Move HR GPS is an amazing and durable option within this price range.
- Multi-tool on your wrist.
- Heart rate monitoring.
- Suitable for runners.
- Good looking on large wrists.
- Long-lasting battery life in GPS mode.
- It doesn’t look great on small wrists.
ABC Watch Buyers Guide
The majority of the Altimeter watches rely solely on the accuracy and precision of the heart rate monitor to give you other results.
For example, your watch may be able to measure your blood oxygen levels, your heart rate, count the number of steps you take, and so on. But, if the said data is not accurate, then the watch is of no use.
Especially if you hike and run regularly, keeping track of your heart rate and your burnt calories is crucial.
Similarly, if you go trekking up in the mountains relying on your smartwatch to help you with the temperatures and directions, but the data is faulty, you might end up in big trouble.
Whatever watch you choose, make sure it gives you accurate results.
Another important thing you need to be careful about is the durability of your ABC watch. Most of you out there looking for a watch like this we are sure might be adventurous people.
Going out on hikes, exploring the mountains, running daily, and even working. Even if one of these things is in your daily routine, you want something durable and reliable.
You do not want to worry about sweat going in your watch or mud damaging the watch in any way while you are involved in these activities.
You need to be on the watch for such watches, and your priority should be durability- a design comes next.
Now, fitness watches are always on our wrists. Even when we sleep or go out to parties. The only time we usually take these off is to charge them. So, keeping this in mind, look out for something comfortable to wear.
Soft straps, lightweight and shockproof watches will provide you with the comfort your wrists need.
Ah, yes! Readability. You would think that this is something fundamental. A watch needs to be readable to be successful.
But that is not the case; you will be surprised that different watches offer different readability ranges. With a negative dial, you will only see the screen from a particular angle.
Other colored screen watches provide you with optimal readability. However, be careful; you don’t want to be stuck with a watch; you can only take help from certain angles.
Besides this, some options have the backlight feature. These help a ton during the nighttime or in a dark space.
ABC watches come sporting a ton of features. With multiple profiles and hundreds of time zones, the number of features these have can be overwhelming at times.
Here is what you need to do, choose what is best only for you. If you are someone who will be needing 30 different sports profiles, then there are multiple options available for you.
But, if a basic sports profile is enough for you, then there are options for you too. You need to be sure of what you want and filter through the 10s of options available in the market.
There you have it. All that you might need to know about Altimeter watches and so much more. We understand, investing in a good-performing watch is crucial. So, with the help of all the information above, we hope you will be able to make an informed decision.