High Gear AltiTech


The AltiTech digital altimeter/compass/barometer/thermometer/chronograph (whew, what a mouthful) offers a clip-on design that is easy to use and easy to handle at a budget price. We immediately noticed the LARGE numbers, making the display screen very easy to read. Large mode and function buttons are easily operated, even while wearing gloves. The backlight is a bit dim, but adequately illuminates the screen for a steady three seconds.

Features at a glance:

  • Digital altimeter is accurate to within 3.3 feet, with a reported working range from -2,296 feet to 29,500 feet, and no, we did not test it to the maximums in either direction. It is worth noting that we tested two units — an old version and a new version. The new version significantly corrects the altitude drift problem that was a real pain with previous High Gear altimeter units. The new unit required very little recalibration and, thankfully, now features all the numbers displayed in the same size and not with two smaller digits that left users, including us, scratching heads.
  • Digital electronic barometer utilizes nifty little images to state the weather forecast — sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy and rain — and is surprisingly accurate.
  • Digital electronic compass displays bearings in degrees and cardinal points and features a leveling bubble for increased accuracy. Resolution is an outstanding 1 degree and the declination is adjustable with an easy-to-use option for single or continuous reading. The weakness here is that there is no straight-edge, making the unit difficult to use in conjunction with a map.
  • Digital thermometer has a working range from -10°F to 150°F and switching from either the Fahrenheit or Celsius option is very easy. Since the unit clips to a belt loop or pack strap, the thermometer is less affected by body heat and is therefore very accurate. When compared to more sophisticated and advanced stand-alone thermometers, the AltiTech was always within a degree or two.

Suggested Retail: $140
4.5 hands clapping (out of a possible 5)