Stacking Up The Latest Digital Altimeters

The digital skydiving altimeter market was shaken and stirred the past couple of years. The changes included:

  • The launch and quick demise of the Ion
  • Alti-2 discontinuing the N3 and replacing it with the sleeker Atlas
  • L&B updating its ARES to the larger ARES II with a metal case
  • Parasport releasing the AloXs and AltiX to replace the bulky Altitron
  • Alti-2 announcing the yet-to-be-released Alti-2 Chronos

Through all of this, the VISO II+ stood strong and continued to be the best selling digital altimeter.

Skydivers in the U.S. essentially have four digital altimeters to choose from. 

So what are the features of each that would make you choose one over the other?

For starters, the digital altimeters currently available include:

What all of these altimeters have in common is a visual digital display that can be worn on the hand or wrist in a variety of available mounts. All of these altimeters have buttons that allow access to a screen menu and generally have the same size of numbers on the visual display, which can be set to show feet or meters.

After that ... well ... each is quite a bit different depending on which altimeter you choose. Below you can visually see the size differences with the altimeters, stacked from top to bottom: the AloXs, VISO II+, Atlas and ARES II.

For example, the Atlas can be used as an audible, but the AltiX, AloXs, VISO II+ and ARES II are visual altimeters only. The VISO II+, ARES II, AltiX and AloXs use replaceable batteries, but the Atlas is rechargeable through a USB cable.

The VISO II+, ARES II, AloXs, AltiX and Atlas all come with at least one basic hand mount. These all have several additional mounting options separately available.

All but the AltiX have a night jump backlight.

Of the currently available altimeters, The AltiX is the least expensive at $199 and the Atlas and ARES II the most expensive at $399. The ARES II is the largest with the AloXs being the smallest and the VISO II + and Atlas right inbetween. The AloXs and VISO II+ have plastic cases, while the ARES II, AltiX and Atlas have aluminum cases. The AltiX is the only digital altimeter with a traditional round shape.

The N3 and the Atlas are the same altimeter, just with a different case and charging port. The Neptune (since discontinued) was the original altimeter in this line manufactured by Alti-2 in the USA. The ARES II is basically a VISO II+ in a metal case with additional features, which all started as the VISO for Denmark manufacturer L&B. The AloXs has similar features to the previous Altitron altimeter from Parasport, but is now slimmed down with updated software. The AltiX is the most basic of all the digital altimeters focusing on displaying altitude, but also gives you info on your last jump and includes a simulation mode for ground training students.

Here are some general specs of each that you can use to compare which altimeter is best for you.

AtlasAlti-2 Atlas Altimeter

  • $399
  • 4 colors
  • Visual & Audible
  • Up to 8 different alarms
  • USB rechargeable
  • Wrist & Hand Velcro Mount included; Elastic Wrist Band Mounts available separately.
  • Logs more than 200 jump profiles and 2500 jump summaries
  • Waterproof to 6 feet for 1 hour
  • Downloadable info; compatible with Paralog
  • Size: 2.44" x 1.69" x .47"
  • Atlas User Manual
  • Order Here!

VISO II+L&B VISO II+

  • $310
  • 18 colors
  • Visual only
  • Two replaceable CR-2325 batteries
  • Velcro Hand Mount included; Several mounting options and colors available separately
  • Stores up to 200 jumps in the logbook
  • Playback of altitude/speed for last jump
  • Water resistant with replaceable air filter
  • Speed-Meter option
  • Size: 2.2"  x 1.61" x .53"
  • VISO II+ User Manual
  • Order Here!

ARES II

  • $399
  • 1 color
  • Visual only
  • Two replaceable CR-2325 batteries
  • Velcro Hand Mount included; Several mounting options and colors available separately
  • Stores up to 200 jumps in the logbook
  • Playback of altitude/speed for last jump
  • Waterproof and shock resistant aluminum case with reinforced glass
  • Quick setting for Altitude Offset, Ground Zero & Backlight
  • Alti-Meter or Speed-Meter options
  • Size: 2.5"  x 1.73" x .59"
  • ARES II User Manual
  • Order Here!

AloXs

  • $255
  • 1 color
  • Visual only
  • 1 replaceable CR2032 battery
  • Jump counter can be set to match your current jump numbers plus records detailed jump log for last 300 jumps
  • Water resistant
  • Break-Off Altitude setting where icons on altimeter will flash at break-off altitude
  • Can be used as watch with date/time display
  • Accurate altitude up to 33,000 feet
  • Comes with a wrist mount, but separately available mounts include the Hand Mount, Finger Mount and Patch Mount.
  • Size: 2” x 1.54” x 0.39”
  • AloXs User Manual
  • Order Here!

AltiX

  • $199
  • 5 different color wrist straps
  • Visual only
  • 1 replaceable CR2450 battery
  • Gives info on last jump, including exit and deployment altitude as well as frefall time
  • Simulation altitude mode for ground training
  • Accurate altitude up to 33,000 feet
  • Comes with wrist mont, but a hand mount is available too
  • Size: 1.96" x .59"
  • AltiX User Manual
  • Order Here!

Chronos

  • $283 (Manufacturer Alti-2 originally said it would be available in October 2017. ChutingStar is  still awaiting our initial shipment.)
  • Bluetooth wireless data transfer
  • Rechargeable battery with full recharge in less than 1 hour with USB Type C charging cable
  • Accurate to 40,000 feet
  • Water Resistant (with USB plug installed)
  • Size: 1.75"x1.12"x3/8"
  • Comes with black wristwatch style strap, and 7 other colors available separately

IonElemental Ion Altimeter with Finger Loop Strap

  • Was $199 (Production ended; discontinued)
  • 7 colors
  • Visual & Audible
  • Up to 99 different alarms; able to set as duration zones
  • USB rechargeable
  • No mount included; several available separately
  • Detailed data logs for up to 1500 jumps, tracks total jumps up to 16,000.
  • Accelerometer logs your max G force.
  • Size: 2.32" x 1.5" x .74"
  • Ion User Manual

N3Alti-2 N3 Altimeter

  • Was $369 (Production ended; discontinued)
  • 5 colors
  • Visual & Audible
  • Up to 8 different alarms
  • USB rechargeable
  • Wrist & Hand Velcro Mount Included; Elastic Wrist Band Mounts available separately.
  • Logs more than 200 jump profiles and 2500 jump summaries
  • Waterproof to 6 feet for 1 hour
  • Downloadable info; compatible with Paralog
  • Size: 2.45" x 1.7" x .48"
  • N3 User Manual

Finally, all of these altimeters do fit in our Wedge Mudflap Mount with the Digipouch addition for all you wingsuit flyers and swoopers who like the mudflap mount option for altimeters.Wedge Mudflap Altimeter Mount with Ion Digital Altimeter! Order your ChutingStar Wedge Mudflap Mount here!