Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: No batteries, labled buttons and fairly easy to use interface.
Cons: Expensive, feels bulky on your wrist.
Best Uses: Hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, trekking, skiing.
The Casio Pathfinder PAG240T-7 has the same multitude of features as the Pathfinder PAG240-1 but features a titanium band and case. The Titanium will be a lot tougher and a little lighter but will also set you back $100 more. One of the coolest things about the Pathfinder series of watches is that they are solar powered and can even run up to six months without any exposure to light. The titanium case and band look more normal than most altimeter watches and would be at home in any office, a nice feature for people who don't want to buy or own multiple watches.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This and the PAG240-1 measure altitude in 20-foot or 5-meter increments. We found it to be relatively accurate but not quite up there with the Suunto watches. How important is 3 feet vs. 20 feet to you? In both Pathfinders, the memory holds up to 40 records of altitude, date, month and time (Suunto watches hold 100).
The Pathfinder does the basics well and graphs the pressure to tell you what the weather is trending towards. It has a graph on the upper left part of the screen to show you the barometric trend. We thought this was a pretty cool, easy to understand feature and the graph was way better than the one on the Sunnto Vector.
Similar to the competition, the Pathfinder has a compass with adjustable declination. You can set it to record and follow compass bearings. In all the models we tested, if you are doing more serious off trail travel, don't bring this as your only compass. The compass feature on this watch is better for use as a general point of reference and not serious orienteering.
Other Cool Features
The PAG240T-7 is made out of titanium. Need we say more? No, really though, both the case and the watch band are made out of titaniumm which will be a little lighter and a fair amount more durable than the base PAG240 model. For folks who want to wear the watch to work or around town, the PAG240T-7 looks the most "normal," much like any other fancy watch.
The standout feature of the Pathfinder series is that they are solar-powered. It has a thin strip of solar cells that circle around the outside of the screen that keep it powered up to six months between exposures to the sun
The thermometer only goes down to 14F and we wish it went lower. Both the Vector and the Core go to -5F. With all the watches we tested, you have to take the watch off your wrist got a while to get an accurate reading.
Ease of Use and Interface
The nicely labeled buttons are easy to read and help identify function options. Navigating in each menu option wasn't quite as easy as in other watches in our tests but still wasn't that hard. There is a graph in the upper left corner that shares information depending on what you are doing. This graph is far better than the Suunto Vector's and as good as Suunto Core's. And this graph is much easier to get to than the Core (the Core involved several menu pages). As with most alti watches, the Pathfinder generally gives you three pieces of information displayed at the same time.
Both Pathfinder models blow away Suunto watches for quality of the back light. It is easy to turn on and quite bright. In very bright light (like on a glacier) this watch is easier to read than the Suunto Core and nearly as good as the Vector.
The Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1, $200, is a popular and fully featured altimeter watch. It is relatively easy to use, has nicely labeled buttons, a killer back light and, at $200, is a great price.
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 9, 2012
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