Digital Altimeter Survey Results

You were heard! We had exactly 160 of you take our digital altimeter survey the first 2 weeks of February 2020!

Before we dive into the results, we are thrilled to announce that the winner of the ChutingStar Swag Pack is Jake Forest of Raleigh, North Carolina (randomly selected with a blind scroll & click through the 160 responses)! We've sent him his large pack of ChutingStar goods. A huge thank you to Jake and the rest of you for taking the time to fill out our survey! We've also sent this survey results blog post to all the altimeter manufacturers in hopes they will incorporate your suggestions in future altimeter development.

The quick and dirty is that while L&B's ARES and VISO digital altimeters were the most used by you we found that Alti-2 Atlas was more likely to be your favorite altimeter and it was the Dekunu One that has piqued your interest as being your next altimeter.

Check out these response charts below as well as specific feedback from your fellow skydivers.

The first question we asked did have a logic mistake on our part where it wouldn't allow you to select more than 1 choice, although many of you used the Other selection to specify multiple altimeters. If we calculate in those Other responses. the main 3 all get bumped up the same amount, and we did get single responses for the X2, ION, Suunto and VOG. The Larsen & Brusgaard digital altimeters clearly are the most used by you.


But, when we contrast/compare the next question on what is your favorite altimeter, we find the L&B altimeters drop slightly, while the Alti-2 Atlas and Dekunu One get more support as  your favorite. The X2 also got 3 responses in the Other section, along with 1 for the VOG.

And then when we get to the altimeter you are considering purchasing next, it's clear the Dekunu One is at the top of your radar. The X2 received 3 responses in the Other section as well.

But what we loved hearing the most was all of your comments on what you love, hate and want in a digital altimeter.

Here are the features you love most about your digital altimeters:

Alti-2 Atlas/N3

  • Ease of use
  • User friendly setup/operation
  • Long battery life
  • Overall ruggedness
  • Works all the time
  • Data Storage
  • Backlit
  • Reversible for each arm
  • Logbook
  • Simple to read in freefall
  • Indestructible
  • Precision and design
  • Big numbers
  • Charges quickly by cord
  • Perfect size
  • Waterproof
  • Multiple alarms that can be heard under canopy
  • Charge it and forget it
  • Various data points
  • 1000 ft climb alert
  • Interchangeable as visual/audible
  • DZ altitude difference setup
  • Good service from manufacturer
  • High volume alerts
  • Numbers font
  • Simplicity of navigation
  • Automatic switching between freefall and canopy mode
  • Simple without unnecessary functions
  • Ease of access to the log

L&B VISO/II/II+

  • Readability
  • Big screen
  • Detailed information
  • Easy to read display
  • Reliable and simple
  • Altitude warning signals
  • Numbers are big
  • The jump count and speed
  • Simplicity, low cost and low maintenance
  • Being able to swap out battery instead of waiting for a charge
  • Reliability of L&B, customer service
  • Lightweight
  • Works as logbook
  • Clear and easy to read in freefall
  • Size, fit and style
  • Accuracy
  • Price, size and many other people use it so if I need help accessing settings or jump profiles there is always someone to help me get into the settings
  • Pattern alarms
  • Ability to track my speed

L&B ARES/II

  • Battery lasts a real long time
  • Large display without being too big
  • Ruggedness, tough
  • Size, design and technology
  • Comfortable to wear and program
  • Metal shroud
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to setup
  • Build quality
  • Just what you need; not too much and not less

Dekunu One

  • 3D jump feature
  • Graphical display
  • Full of options and GPS
  • GPS data to cloud in GPS
  • Plane mode helps inform exit seperation
  • Easy to use
  • Backlit touchscreen
  • Freefall time record
  • Emergency contact info
  • Large display
  • So much data
  • Automatic logbook
  • Like a smartphone
  • Jump info being visualized
  • Warning colors at different altitudes
  • Info on flight direction and speed before exit as well as landing information has helped me become more accurate

AON2 X2

  • GPS feature to view jump stats on map
  • It works well

Parasport AltiX

  • Large easy to read display

VOG

  • VOG gets out of my way, removes the need for a screen. Technically an audible, but I consider it my primary altimeter.

And then here's what you don't like or want to see improved:

Atlas/N3

  • Wish it had constant "on" light
  • Add GPS
  • Ability to set time by current location
  • Add louder canopy alarms I can hear
  • Quicker charging
  • Has a lot of errors when i go to different places and altitudes
  • Clear screen in the sun
  • Overlays
  • Bluetooth
  • Mounting points
  • Waterproof rating
  • Easier night jump setup
  • Recognize and ignore commercial airliner flights instead of logging them
  • Being able to download a .csv file with all the jump data
  • Stability
  • I love the stability of the N3, however - it is a shame that they have totally failed to create a tool to download and configure the altimeter without paying to a third party.
  • Better display for polarized sunglasses
  • Mobile app to sync all my jump data
  • 4th alarm
  • Spotting info
  • Color display
  • Ability to instantly turn me into a badass head down ninja
  • GPS tracking for a cutaway
  • Wireless sync to an audible
  • Volume adjustment
  • Sunset times
  • Wind information
  • Wish Alti-2 would fix the "Date and Time" problem

Viso/II/II+

  • Add GPS
  • Add display of ft per second while climbing to altitude
  • Bigger face
  • Ability to transfer info to an e-logbook
  • Internet interface
  • Better explanation of all the settings
  • Better way to navigate through the settings
  • More memory for jump stats
  • Add a buzzing alert
  • Camera
  • Increase the usability
  • Easier to navigate functions
  • More data collection
  • Canopy flight tracking
  • Compatibility with polarized sunglasses
  • G force measurement
  • Wingsuit specific features
  • Bluetooth/usb download
  • Strava connection
  • Automatic turn on
  • Data transfer by bluetooth to a log book
  • Easier shutoff button sequence
  • Would be great to have an app for mobile where you could put all info together and analyse in a bigger screen.
  • Higher jump logging
  • Better finish on the Viso2. They tend to get very gunked up when in the mount, and that seems to be the result of heat, sweat, and the rubberized outer coat mixing together over time.
  • More accurate battery indicator. I've had my Viso 2 go from half battery to basically no charge almost overnight.
  • More common battery type would also be great, as the CR size for altimeters are nearly impossible to find and are more pricey than the common sizes.
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Price should come down
  • Wish there were more buttons because they are hard to navigate. It would be cool if they were a little more friendly and easy to operate.
  • Brighter screen
  • Increased low speed alarm to 10 feet
  • Better battery life. I can change the batteries to new batteries and it sometimes still says its low.
  • Bluetooth connection to iPhone for information review

ARES/II

  • Add GPS
  • Add a ground speed readout
  • Make the screen bigger
  • Add horizontal distance
  • Add cloud logbook
  • Better screen under sunglight condition
  • Way to transfer jump logs to computer or app
  • Screen brightness adjustment to help see
  • Navigation
  • Bigger display
  • Average glide ratio and canopy speed
  • Lower pricing and better reliability
  • Light indicator set as altitude alarm
  • EMS button if you have a bad landing far from anyone or in a tree
  • Bluetooth/usb download
  • Color
  • Sounds/alerts
  • Speedometer
  • Would be amazing if any of them synced to a phone app for graphs and digital logbook and such
  • Wish there were more buttons because they are hard to navigate. It would be cool if they were a little more friendly and easy to operate.
  • Brighter screen

Dekunu One

  • Lower price
  • Alternative mounting platforms
  • GPS landing data
  • Spot finder with winds
  • More color choices
  • Better touch screen
  • Longer battery life
  • Paragliding mode
  • Interface with Paralog software
  • I love the features on the Dekunu One, but since I'm a petite female, I hate that the device's size takes up half my forearm. This doesn't work well with other fliers docking on my left arm.
  • Glide ratio
  • Less bulky
  • Manually activated compass
  • Weather proof
  • Arrow pointing to dz under canopy
  • Wind information
  • Dekunu needs to finish up its bluetooth support
  • Sync with email

AON2 X2

  • Better software for analysis
  • Speed

Parasport AloXs

  • Ability to log/transfer info to an e-logbook

VOG

  • Needs logging

Lastly, here are some other comments and suggestions you had for the digital altimeter manufacturers:

  • LB products are the standard but I wish they would come up with a modern design similar to the Dekunu
  • L&B make The Best Altimeters hands down with superior customer service and support!
  • Digital display kills your attention to skydive, burns time
  • The biggest factors are readability, accuracy, reliability and ruggedness
  • Afraid to trust digital. Change my mind about this.
  • Don't wear polarized sunglasses and expect to read the digital altimeters!
  • Want it to interface with the audible in my G4 and my wrist watch
  • ChutingStar Rocks!
  • Excited to see how the Dekunu changes the trajectory of altimeters
  • I like the idea of smart altimeters, but the risk of distraction, need for constant charging, and absurdly high price is just too much for me at my current skill level and financial situation. I've also heard of a lot of issues with the Dekunu. There have been issues with the correct altitude showing, privacy concerns with cloud data, and build quality concerns that make me want to wait a bit more on pulling the trigger. Maybe once they are tried and true in the field and costs have come down, I'll be willing to shell out some money on a smart alti, though I think I'd prefer the X2 from Aon2 as their service for my Brilliant Pebbles has been impeccable. Otherwise, my Viso2 as a visual and my Atlas + Brilliant Pebbles as audibles work as intended.

For additional manufacturer info, and to purchase any of these altimeters, see our Digital Altimeter section on ChutingStar.com at this link.