Some Important Concepts about Altimeter Watches

[easyazon-image align="right" asin="B005FU5RVW" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="160"]People engaged in hiking, biking, cross country skiing or other similar outdoor activities will surely find a wrist altimeter a useful buddy in doing their leisurely interests. Also known as altimeter watches, these gadgets can give an estimate of a person’s elevation at the particular point where he is standing.

Wrist altimeters do not really measure the altitude but rather make use of the barometric data, specifically air pressure, to calculate the elevation. These watches are equipped with a barometric sensor capable of measuring atmospheric pressure at a certain location. Measured in millimeter mercury or millibars, air pressure readings are being converted to units of meter above sea level.

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How does Altimeter Watch work 

[easyazon-image align="right" asin="B003LSU0K8" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="120"]These devices work based on the concept that atmospheric pressure or the weight of atmosphere at a particular location varies with altitude. Remember that higher altitudes have lower atmospheric pressure. However, air pressure is also affected by weather conditions.

During fair weather, atmospheric pressure is relatively high while stormy conditions lower the air pressure.

For this reason, altimeter watches may display changes in elevation even if they are unmoved. In fact, a change in air pressure may cause about 100 feet change in elevation. Thus, these devices have to be calibrated to ensure the accuracy of the data they generate.

During stable weather conditions, calibrating the altimeter once a day will be enough. But during weather changes, hourly calibration may be necessary.


It is advisable that calibration be made before starting a trip at a certain location with a known elevation. It is also recommended to note the elevation displayed on the altimeter before going to bed and then recalibrating the device in the morning to that elevation to ensure accuracy. Atmospheric pressure may change overnight and eventually affect the accuracy of the readings.

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[easyazon-image align="left" asin="B004KK63UC" locale="us" height="160" src="" width="160"]Most wrist altimeters have additional features that enable the gadget to provide more useful data. One example is the ascent/descent rate measured in feet/hour.

Knowing the elevation of current location and the altitude of the target place, the data can be used to approximate the time of arrival. Another feature is the weather alarm or forecast. One may set an alarm for significant air pressure changes that may signify weather changes.

Built-in compass in these gadgets may not be useful due to its inaccuracy. It is still best to use the conventional hand held compasses for direction telling purposes. Wrist altimeters with altimeter/barometer lock feature can minimize frequent calibration especially when stationary for an extended time.

There are also available wrist altimeters that are based on GPS or Global Positioning Systems and not on barometric pressure. Using the latitudes and the longitude coordinates of a certain location; these devices can generate an altitude read out.

With these types, there is no need to worry about weather and recalibration. However they are generally more expensive than the barometric types.

Where to buy Altimeter Watches

There are many altimeters available in the market offering different features. But to get the most of these altimeter watches, it is important to know how to use them and understand the concept about how they function.

Finding a suitable altimeter watch may take times. In the market, there are different types and models. Thus, I list out the most popular ones so that you can be easy to compare in terms of prices and functions. Best thing is that the discount is quite attractable and fast shipping is available.

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