All the replies above look solid and, if I were to buy an altimeter watch just for backcountry use, I'd probably buy the Suunto. However, when I went to buy a watch with an alitmeter, I always needed a nicer looker watch that I could wear in the city, so I bought a Tissot T-touch. I've been really happy with it--altimeter, compass, chrono, etc. It is more limited that the others mentioned (no light, heavier, etc.) but it's been a better fit for me since it's the watch I usually wear with a suit, which I wear about 3x a week. In contrast, I only use it mt. biking or hiking once or twice a week max. For my schedule nowadays, thought, that's been an adequate comprimise.