Feature: Casio Pathfinder at top of Loveland Pass

March 21, 2011 | $1,000 or less, Casio

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I recently had a chance to test out the newest Casio Pathfinder, which is one of the most popular rugged multi-function outdoor/sports quartz timepieces on the market. It features many useful functions, such as a digital compass, altimeter, thermometer, barometer. The analog/digital display is powered by a solar powered quartz movement. Plus, it has a 6-Band Atomic timekeeping, which automatically sets itself using the nearest atomic clock (needs to be within 1,800 miles of 1 of the world's 6 atomic clocks).

Since the Casio Pathfinder is made for demanding conditions, and because it has features like an altimeter, I figured it would be great if I drove up the Loveland Pass, in Colorado, to test out the Pathfinder (pictures from the trip are shown above). Some of the pictures did not come in as clear as I would of liked, mainly due to poor weather conditions. I live in Denver, CO (which is at about 5,280 ft) and the day I left for Loveland, CO it was 55 degrees and very sunny in Denver, but as I got closer and closer to Loveland Pass, the temperature kept dropping, and once I reached the top of the pass, at 12,260 ft, the temperature was 22 degrees, which is cold, and to be expected. But it was the cloud cover, snow and strong winds that I did not expect, and created less than ideal photography conditions.

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Even under the extreme weather conditions, the Casio Pathfinder operated flawlessly. I tried numerous functions while I was atop of Loveland Pass. My favorite function is the altimeter, and it displayed changes in altitude of only a few hundred feet. Another notable feature of the Casio Pathfinder, is that most of the important functions have a big dedicated button, and this is surely a feature that outdoorsman will love. The big buttons allow the watch to be operated even with gloves, a feature that was very useful the day I was at Loveland Pass, especially considering wind an snow were blowing hard, with temperatures well below freezing. Without gloves, your hands would freeze in a very short period of time. And with gloves, most watch functions cannot even be activated (forcing you to remove at least one glove in order to operate its functions).

Basically, if you need a rugged tool watch for outdoor recreation activities such as camping, climbing, hiking, skiing and snowboarding - then the Casio Pathfinder is one of your best options on the market. Not only do you get a barometer, altimeter, digital compass and thermometer -- you also get solar power, 6-Band Atomic timekeeping, countdown timer, 1/100th of a second stopwatch, 29 time zone world timer, hour time signal, 12/24 hour time formats and an LED backlight. This is the ultimate outdoor sports watch.

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Ref PAW5000-1

Retail $450

Source: Casio