I chose to start my post 2015 hiking gear review with one item that never failed me and was used constantly during our travels: my watch.
I am sure many people would tell you that having more than a $10 watch that tells time is pointless and for many they would be correct. For those of us who appreciate unnecessary things without additional significant weight, this watch is for you. a few specs:
-Water Resistant to 100m
-Solar recharging battery that lasts 7 months without exposure to light
-Never have to set, receives RF signal from Atomic CLock
A few key features that made this watch great were it’s comparatively light weight, navigation with Altimeter and compass, battery and time non-issues and tank-like toughness. It’s a constant quick reference guide to generally help you navigate on the fly, which helps save time as you keep moving. It allowed me to check my phone or map less often and just enjoy the hike. More expensive options with Heart Rates monitors are available, but unless you have a medical condition, just deal with a high heart rate while hiking:)
Negatives are limited, but notable. Without shining some light on the screen at night, it is unreadable, this is the most glaring issue by far with the watch. Hard to wake up and check it, when its black. Secondly, the Altimeter technically needs to be calibrated. That said, I found with use that I could estimate how far it would be off based on my general elevation and still get within about 50 feet of the actual elevation…so I didn’t even bother after the first couple weeks.
Bottom line, if you want extra options on your watch, but understand Heart rate and GPS are pointless battery hogs for this type of activity, this is the watch for you.