< Go to Altimeter Watches

Hands-on Gear Review

Casio SGW300HB Review

Casio SGW300HB-3AV
Best Buy Award
Price:   $65 List | $38.63 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, simple, accurate, light, functional
Cons:  Lacks features, lacks comfort, no compass, ugly, poor display
Bottom line:  The least expensive altimeter option for the recreational hiker and backpacker.
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Casio

Our Verdict

The Casio SGW300HB is the best option for those on a shoestring budget. As one of our Best Buy award winners, this $65 watch features a dual-sensor that shows altitude, barometric pressure, time, and temperature. It's simple, accurate, and easy to use. That said, with a low price comes a lack of quality and performance. Even though the altimeter is fairly accurate, it has an altitude interval of 5m/20ft, so readings aren't always exact. In addition, unlike all the other watches tested, it does not feature a compass. Even though we love how lightweight it is, the watch face quality is small, while the nightlight is poor at best. The screen is also hard to see in bright light and scratches easily. We did like how the battery can last up to three years and that it's pretty easy to figure out. Overall, we thought this watch is perfect for those just looking for a simple timepiece that also has a barometric pressure and altimeter sensor. Even though it's not the most accurate, it still works great with regular calibration. Take it with you on everything from day hikes to big mountain explorations. Just leave it at home for super-cold adventures as it's hard to use with a pair of gloves.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Altimeter Watches Review

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
79
$499
Editors' Choice Award
The Sunnto Ambit3 Peak is the Editors' Choice because of its fantastic accuracy, reliability, and great features.
78
$600
Top Pick Award
This Top Pick for Features is one of the best multi-sport fitness based watches out there.
74
$429
Best Buy Award
This Best BuyAward winner is the best option for those looking for a classic altimeter watch at an affordable price.
69
$469
The Suunto Traverse is a great option if you're looking for GPS-enabled functionality and few features. That said, the battery life is terrible.
66
$600
This solar-powered altimeter watch is the best option for those looking for limitless battery life and great durability.
59
$65
Best Buy Award
The least expensive altimeter option for the recreational hiker and backpacker.

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amber King
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Saturday
November 12, 2016

Share:
The SGW300HB is a simple, cheap, and easy to use. It provides decent accuracy and does well in most climates. A great (and affordable) option for the outdoor enthusiast on a shoestring budget.

Performance Comparison


This Casio is a great option for any adventurer on a shoestring budget. Though it doesn't have nearly as many features or share the same level of performance as other watches tested  it's still a great option for those looking to determine altitude and barometric pressure.
This Casio is a great option for any adventurer on a shoestring budget. Though it doesn't have nearly as many features or share the same level of performance as other watches tested, it's still a great option for those looking to determine altitude and barometric pressure.

Features


This dual-sensor watch is truly the best if you're looking for something cheap and simple. It features an alti-barometer, temperature sensor, and a timekeeper but lacks a compass. This watch has the fewest number of features tested. If you're looking for something with lots of features, check out our Top Pick for Features, the Garmin Fenix 5. Or if you want something that is still simple, but with a few more basic features, check out the Suunto Core Alu (our other Best Buy Award winner).

Checking the altitude while climbing high into the sky in southwest Colorado.
Checking the altitude while climbing high into the sky in southwest Colorado.

Altimeter and Barometer
The alti-barometer allows you to view your barometric pressure (in hPa or inHg) and altitude (meters or feet) at your current location. It does not have graphing features, but it does allow you to determine a barometer or altitude differential between two locations. In comparison to all the watches tested, it has the most limited and simplest features.

Timekeeping
This digital timekeeper has a few basic features. World time (31 time zones), a stopwatch, countdown timer, and five daily alarms. The time is simple to change manually and also has a daylight savings time setting. You can choose between a 12hr/24hr display, and you can check the time in different time zones. All other watches have most of its features with the exception of the five alarms (found only in the Casio watches).

The timekeeper is simple and comes with all the basic functions: world clock  stopwatch  countdown time. Additionally  it has five daily alarms.
The timekeeper is simple and comes with all the basic functions: world clock, stopwatch, countdown time. Additionally, it has five daily alarms.

If you're looking for an accurate temperature reading, take the watch off for a little bit and wear it on a jacket or backpack. This will ensure your skin temperature does not throw the temperature sensor off.

Battery Life


Utilizing a simple watch battery, it has the second longest battery life. Estimated to last up to three years, this is a great option for long excursions into the backcountry. If you need to change the battery, just hop over to the store for a simple watch battery, unscrew the backplate, and voila, new battery is ready to go for another few years. This watch scored second highest in the battery life metric. The solar powered Casio PRW-6000Y is the only option that will last longer with its minimal charge time in the sunshine.

If you're looking for a watch with a long battery life, check out any watch that features either a solar panel or a simple watch battery.

Ease of Use


Of all the watches tested, we thought this was one of the easiest to get to know. The buttons are well marked and the basic functions are super simple to figure out. More complex functions like determining altitude differential required a little finagling and consultation of the user's manual.

The buttons are small and fine to use in warm weather. However  when gloves are needed  we found it incredibly difficult to use.
The buttons are small and fine to use in warm weather. However, when gloves are needed, we found it incredibly difficult to use.

Even though we liked its ease of use, we didn't think it was the greatest option for winter wear. The smaller buttons are very difficult to press with a pair of gloves on. If you're looking for watch that is easy to use with gloves, check out our Editors' Choice, the Suunto Ambit3 Peak or the Garmin Fenix 5. Both have much larger buttons and have easy-to use-interfaces.

Another look at the left side of the watch. The buttons are much smaller than on other watches tested.
Another look at the left side of the watch. The buttons are much smaller than on other watches tested.

Altimeter Accuracy


The SGW300HB scored the lowest in altimeter accuracy. Despite its low rating, we were surprised by how close its readings were. Most of the time it was only 50 to 200 feet off the actual altitude when properly calibrated. In fact, we noticed that its accuracy was similar to its cousin, the Casio PRW-6000Y. It scored lower than the rest because of its altitude increment. All other watches had an altitude increment of 1m/3 - 5ft, while it has an altitude increment of 5m/20ft. Thus, it couldn't provide altimeter readings that were as accurate as other watches tested.

Here the actual altitude was 11 740 feet. The Suunto Ambit3 Peak proves to be the most accurate  while the Casio SGW300HB proves to be the least accurate.
Here the actual altitude was 11,740 feet. The Suunto Ambit3 Peak proves to be the most accurate, while the Casio SGW300HB proves to be the least accurate.

Display Quality


Once again scoring the lowest in the category, we were not super impressed with the display quality compared to others in our selection. The font and display are small, the face material seems less durable, and it is very difficult to read in direct sunlight.

A look at all the displays tested. From top left to right: Casio SRW300HB  Casio PRW-6000Y  Garmin Fenix 3. From bottom left to right: Suunto Core Alu  Suunto Ambit3 Peak  Suunto Traverse
A look at all the displays tested. From top left to right: Casio SRW300HB, Casio PRW-6000Y, Garmin Fenix 3. From bottom left to right: Suunto Core Alu, Suunto Ambit3 Peak, Suunto Traverse

In addition, the light option only has a one to three second display option (similar to the Casio PRW-6000Y). The nightlight is also poor, providing an orange light that is hard to see at night. All in all, this is the worst display quality of any watch tested. However, this is a reflection of the price. If you want something that is easier to see and larger, check out the Garmin Fenix 5 instead.

A comparison of the nightlights of each watch. From top left: Casio PRW-6000Y  Suunto Traverse  Garmin Fenix 3. From bottom left to right: Casio SGW300HB  Suunto Core Alu  Suunto Ambit3 Ambit.
A comparison of the nightlights of each watch. From top left: Casio PRW-6000Y, Suunto Traverse, Garmin Fenix 3. From bottom left to right: Casio SGW300HB, Suunto Core Alu, Suunto Ambit3 Ambit.

Comfort and Fit


This watch features a nylon woven strap, small watch display, and light weight. Even though many of our testers liked the lightweight, no frills design that is easy to wear underneath a jacket or long sleeved shirt, many of our testers still thought it was the least comfortable of all tested. The nylon woven strap is stiff with a plastic border that abrades the skin. The holes in the strap seem cheap and itchy, while the strap doesn't provide much breathability. Even though it fits well under clothes, we didn't like that it couldn't be put on top of a jacket layer — the strap was just too short.

The strap is made from a cloth-like material that seems cheap. The fabric does not feel that great on the skin  nor does it fit well overtop of clothing.
The strap is made from a cloth-like material that seems cheap. The fabric does not feel that great on the skin, nor does it fit well overtop of clothing.

If you're looking for our top pick for fit and comfort, check out our Editors' Choice - the Suunto Ambit3 Peak. It has an ergonomic design that is nice to wear and fits both over and under clothing.

Best Application


This watch is meant for the money-savvy adventurer who is looking for a simple timepiece that can also show altitude and barometric pressure. It does great on both long and short missions into the wild.

Multipitch climbing on Red Mountain Pass  CO is a great way to use the Casio. Also take it hiking  biking  mountaineering and more. It's great for both short and long missions.
Multipitch climbing on Red Mountain Pass, CO is a great way to use the Casio. Also take it hiking, biking, mountaineering and more. It's great for both short and long missions.

Value


Even though this watch scored fairly low in all the comparative metrics, we still think it offers great value. For only $65, you can get a watch that shows the current altitude and barometric pressure. The accuracy of the watch is decent and if the intervals weren't so large, would be similar to its $600 cousin. It's also the best option for those on a shoestring budget.

If you're in the market for a good deal, also check out the Suunto Core. Without the aluminum finish, you can find one for as low as $300 (and less with sales pricing). It provides better accuracy and features.

Conclusion


If you're on a shoestring budget and looking for a simple altimeter watch, this is your best bet.

Amber really loves this watch for its simplicity  lightweight design  and low low price.
Amber really loves this watch for its simplicity, lightweight design, and low low price.

Other Versions


Casio SGW100B-3V
Casio SGW100B-3V
  • Cost - $70
  • Water resistant up to 200 meters
  • Includes direction and temperature sensors on top of basic functions

Casio PRW-6000Y
Casio PRW-6000Y
  • Cost: $600
  • Solar-powered and featuring alerts for significant changes in barometric pressure
  • An extremely reliable watch for extended missions in remote areas, though we're not quite sure that you really get what you pay for
Amber King

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?

Seller Price  Shipping Cost Visit
Amazon
$38.63  -  41% off! Check Site

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 12, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Casio SGW300HB?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $38.63  -  41% off!
Compare prices at 1 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us

Other Gear by Casio

Unbiased.