Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kestrel 4500 Weather Meter - Hands on Review

The best hand held weather meter I have ever used, bar none. The versatility is awesome; I've used these both in my professional life as a weather observer and forecaster, as well in my off time at the shooting range. The potential of this meter is best realized alongside a good GPS (for approximate elevations above sea level, location, etc.) combining to make a trained weather observer even more effective.

The interface takes some getting used to, but is fairly intuitive. It took me less than an hour to master navigating and updating the settings, at which point I was able to complete an hourly observation in under a minute. The meter itself is fairly tough (I wouldn't drag it behind the ole 4 wheeler or anything, but I wouldn't worry about the occasional drop into a puddle or some rough treatment by TSA); the only weakness I see is the little piece of plastic that flips down to cover the anemometer. I have broken a few in the past, just being clumsy, but I don't seem to be the only one; you can buy a spare cover online for about 5 bucks.

Overall, plenty of bang for your buck (~$300). I don't know of another weather meter out there that will give you this much information with this degree of accuracy for this amount of money.

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