Life involves taking risks and going on extreme adventures. To no one's surprise, hiking, hunting, and camping emerge as the top activities among tourists and outdoor enthusiasts.
While these can bring enjoyment, it is not fun getting lost at any juncture of the trip. You will need to bring a companion that helps navigate the way.
Enter the Altimeter, Barometer, Compass (ABC) watch, your one-stop-shop for everything travel-related. Indeed, I'll discuss watches that can record altitude, barometer pressure, and exact location.
Suunto 9 GPS Watch - Best Overall
Suunto is no stranger to producing high-end ABC timepieces with GPS functions. Hence, it is the best overall ABC watch on the list. Its features are second-to-none.
The Suunto timepiece blends a Scandinavian design with premium materials. A silicone strap offers maximum elasticity, while a 100-meter water-resistance can combat immense water pressure.
Key features such as an altimeter/barometer profile, pressure resolution, and move altitude graph enhance the user experience.
The watch's FusedTrack algorithm provides superior accuracy of both the GPS and motion sensor data. In terms of battery life, it boasts of 25, 50, and 120-hour lifespans.
Online and mobile compatibility is made possible with Bluetooth Smart connectivity and the Suunto Movescount application. These allow both Apple and Android devices access to the recorded data.
- Durable silicone strap
- Water-resistant of up to 100 meters
- Easy-to-read interface
- Altitude graph track changes in height and air pressure
- Long battery life (25 hours min. ; 120 hours max.)
- Bluetooth offers compatibility with mobile devices
Casio Pro Trek PRG-270-1 Solar Powered Watch - Best Value
Unfortunately, most ABC timepieces will cost you big bucks.
Despite that, the features each timepiece possesses are worth every single penny. If you want to get the best value for money, try out the Casio Pro Trek watch.
It is a solar-powered watch, meaning any light source can fully charge the timepiece. As a result, the Pro Trek watch does not operate with batteries.
The right side contains three large and user-friendly buttons that give you access to ABC features.
Speaking of, Casio has a built-in Barometric Pressure Tendency Alarm, which keeps users updated on the different air pressure changes.
The altimeter has a measuring range of around -2,300 to 32,000 feet, while the digital compass can plot points from 0 to 359 degrees.
Want to see all the data at night? The full-auto LED Illuminator backlight with afterglow allows for easy readability in poorly lit areas.
Finally, a Japanese quartz movement ensures maximum accuracy and reliable time readings.
- Solar-powered; does not require replacing batteries
- User-friendly buttons
- Barometric Pressure Tendency Alarm records changing air pressure
- Digital compass provides full 360-degree access
- LED backlight illuminates digital display in dark areas
- Precise and accurate Japanese quartz movement
AOSLSI ABC Watch -Best Budget Pick
The AOSLSI ABC watch is one of the few altimeter watches below $100. It is no secret that it is the cheapest option among the rest.
For starters, it uses military-inspired elements for its design. Components such as a polyurethane strap and stainless steel tang buckle ensure maximum protection during outdoor activities.
Case dimensions such as a 53 mm case diameter and 17 mm case thickness enhance the timepiece's durability.
The altimeter records current height, while the altitude graph gives updates on the changes over the past 24 hours.
The AOSLSI watch also contains a track mode, which measures rising or declining altitude from the start of the journey until the end. The digital compass gives accurate directions in out-of-coverage areas.
The built-in thermometer displays outside temperature from -10 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius. Lastly, a pedometer tallies the total steps, speed, and calories burned.
- Durable polyurethane strap
- Altimeter gives updated recordings
- Digital compass displays out-of-coverage spots
- Thermometer provides accurate temperature measurements
- Pedometer stores data (speed, calories burned, etc.) for seven days
- 53 mm case diameter may be too chunky for some
LAD Weather Swiss Sensor Altimeter, Barometer, Compass (ABC) Watch
One other watch that goes for a reasonable price tag is the LAD Swiss Sensor watch. Its rugged design and many features can hold its own among other featured watches.
The LAD watch puts a premium on accurate GPS navigation. Once everything is set-up, the pointer will aim towards the active waypoint.
Both the average speed and total distance appears on the upper-right hand corner.
The Workout Mode tabulates and collects the data while navigating directions or doing separate exercises. It displays speed, total distance, etc.
If you need to know your BPM (beats per minute), the LAD Swiss Sensor timepiece does just that with its built-in heart rate monitor. It gives readings that range from 30 BPM to 180 BPM.
One of the features that give the LAD timepiece an upper hand over the rest is its ability to connect with the computer. Statistics like speed, altitude, heart rate, and distance appear on the PC.
- Durable polyurethane band
- Accurate GPS settings
- Workout mode tracks statistics from exercises
- PC compatibility can connect data to the computer
- Heart rate monitor provides accurate readings
SUUNTO Ambit 3 Peak HR Running Watch
SUUNTO comes through with another high-end digital watch. The Ambit 3 Peak HR Running watch offers GPS and ABC features that compete with other outdoor timepieces.
In terms of battery life, it houses one of the best with its 200-hour lifespan. That's roughly eight days of superior battery performance without any charging required.
Polyamide fiber makes up the case material, so expect guaranteed comfort for the wrist. The Ambit 3 Peak watch allows syncing with any smartphone device.
The watch has access to calls, notifications, and other data. It also boasts a 1-minute accuracy that delivers reliable and exact time readings.
Additional features such as a heart rate monitor, altimeter, barometer, compass, and weather information make up the rest of the timepiece.
- Long battery life (200 hours)
- Compatible with smartphones and other mobile devices
- Superior 1-minute accuracy
- ABC features ensure exact readings
- Polyamide fiber case may not be as strong compared to stainless steel or brass
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire Watch
Garmin is another formidable provider of GPS timepieces. It handcrafts watches with high-quality materials and features. The Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire watch is a prime example of the brand's excellence.
Outdoor tracking devices such as GPS, GLONASS satellite reception, barometric altimeter, and a 3-axis compass provide a holistic user experience. With these features, getting lost will not be a problem.
Wi-Fi compatibility allows quick access to data and activity uploading. These include smart notifications, text messages, and instant uploads via the Garmin Connect online fitness community.
The Garmin watch contains a VO2 max estimator, which breaks down more advanced performance metrics such as beats per minute, running speed, and estimated oxygen intake per minute.
Reading time becomes easy with its digitalized analog display, luminous hands, hour, and minute markers.
Battery life ranges from about 24 hours (GPS mode) to 2 weeks (smartwatch mode) based on the watch settings.
- GPS and GLONASS satellite reception can track out-of-bounds areas
- Wi-Fi connectivity delivers access to smart notifications, texts, messages, and uploads
- VO2 max estimator presents advanced statistics
- Easy-to-read dial and analog display
- Long battery life (24 hours to 2 weeks)
Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch
The Garmin Fenix 3 timepiece may have slight differences from the Garmin Fenix 5, but it still contains features that are essential for your traveling needs.
The 1.2 Chroma display enables visibility under direct sunlight. Sapphire lenses offer a high-resolution color.
Wireless connectivity is another asset of the Garmin watch. It allows users to utilize multiple Wi-Fi hotspots for automatic data syncing with the complementary Garmin connect app.
Outdoor navigation tools such as a 3-axis compass, altimeter, and barometer round up the watch features. You can use it while swimming or doing other water activities because of its 100-meter water-resistance rating.
- Chroma display offers easy readability
- LED backlight can glow in the dark
- Wi-Fi connectivity can instantly sync data to any device
- Digital 3-axis compass plots exact location
- Water-resistant of up to 100 meters
- Some models may not have a heart rate monitor
- Wi-Fi connectivity may be spotty at times
COROS may be an underrated brand, but it can cater to watch fans and travelers with high-quality GPS timepieces. The Apex Premium Multisport watch is no exception.
It is fit for outdoor activity thanks to its sapphire glass and stainless steel bezel finish. These are capable of withstanding scratches, rust, and other forms of damage.
Top-tier battery life is another strong suit of the sports watch. The lifespan can last from about 25 hours (Full GPS mode) to 24 days (regular use).
A Satellite Signal Strength tool improves GPS compatibility according to the available satellites and their respective signal connectivity.
The COROS watch also keeps track of the sunrise and sunset times. It enables the gesture sunlight setting to be activated 1 hour before sunset and 1 hour after sunrise.
Extra features such as the AI Trainer, Nutrition Alerts, and Storm Alert complete the user experience.
Quick Verdict: Experience unrivaled durability, precision, and performance with the COROS Apex Premium Multisport watch - the ultimate companion for adventurers.
- Rust-resistant stainless steel bezel
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
- Long battery lifespan
- Satellite Signal Strength enhances GPS settings
- AI Trainer determines the remaining energy
- Nutrition Alerts vibrate when body refueling is required
- Storm Alert ensures safety from turbulent weather
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Watch
Last but not least, I cannot leave out a watch from the Casio G-Shock series. After all, military veterans, professional divers, hiking experts trust the Casio collection.
Unlike most ABC timepieces, the G-Shock Mudmaster watch exhibits reliable shock-resistant qualities.
Indeed, rough surfaces, confusing trails, and multiple forms of impact are no match for the sturdy Casio timepiece.
Durability continues to be the main asset of the watch due to the mineral glass, stainless steel bezel, and rugged watch face design.
A dual analog-digital display gives outdoor enthusiasts easy-to-read time derivations throughout the trip. Multiple global time zones also surround the outer dial.
- Superior shock-resistant qualities
- Scratch-resistant mineral glass
- Rust-resistant stainless steel bezel
- Easy-to-read digital and analog display
- World time feature consists of multiple time zones
- Water-resistant of up to 200-meters
- 6-ounce size may be too heavy on the wrist
- 56 mm case diameter may be too chunky for some
What Are ABC Watches?
As you can see in each product review, the best ABC watches have an abundance of features. Therefore, it can be hard to go over the timepieces one by one.
You need to understand the basics to simplify our understanding of the ABC watch.
The altimeter tracks the current altitude, which can be measured by your current location and standard sea level. The best altimeter watches can be used for activities like skydiving or parasailing.
The barometer is in charge of sending instant notifications on the changing air pressure. Watches with a built-in barometer can come in handy when the weather starts getting unpleasant.
The compass navigates your current location. Most ABC watches come with a 3-axis digital compass for more precise points and readings. [R] Take note that most compasses will point directly towards the north. [R]
Despite the many features ABC watches contain, these are not too difficult to operate thanks to the user-friendly interface.
When choosing an ABC watch, make sure to go for one that will not give you headaches from the menus. It also helps that the buttons of most ABC watches are easy to find and evenly spaced out.
Why Should You Buy an Watch With Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass Features?
Here are some of the reasons why you should buy a watch with features such as an altimeter, barometer, and compass.
Most travelers carry backpacks with a lot of stuff like a map, compass, thermometer, etc. While it is essential to equip these items, your back may start feeling discomfort due to the bag's excess weight.
With the ABC watch, you don't need to bring extra stuff because it has all the features at your fingertips and wrist. Indeed, you don't need to think about misplacing your items and feeling uncomfortable.
Some old-fashioned items may provide inconsistent readings. The pocket compass may have some defects, while the paper map may be difficult to read in the dark.
These lapses cannot happen when traversing a complicated trail. Fortunately, ABC timepieces apply modern technology and meticulous craftsmanship to give you all the accurate data you need.
While ABC watches pack useful and abundant features, these also let you travel in style. Each ABC watch presents a unique look designed for each traveler.
Through a colorful analog display or illuminating digital interface, these adventure timepieces also serve as fashion statements.
I hope you had fun going over the best ABC watches. May you buy the one that fits your style and fulfills your travel needs. For more questions and inquiries, feel free to contact us.