This little pocket or lanyard time and temperature instrument has a lot of features for only $10, and if it breaks... you haven’t lost a fortune.
I asked for this for Christmas about four years ago, and it has been perfect for my hiking needs. I am sort of a fanatic about knowing the temperatures of the days that I’m backpacking, and this little gizmo keeps it close at hand, and fairly accurately.
I had previously owned a rather expensive “electronic wrist instrument” that had time, temperature and altitude functions. It died after three years, and the temperature was not accurate when it was on your wrist, and the altitude function was a joke. So I already knew that to get an accurate temperature you needed to carry the instrument away from your body. I replaced the lanyard on this tool with a small carabiner and clip it on my fanny pack.
The shape is rather like a flattened egg with a hard rubbery casing. It has stood up really well to abuse. There is a little bit of a scratch on the face, but given the way I have treated this that is pretty minor. I keep it clipped on my belt pack, and must confess that it just gets slammed down on the ground whenever I drop my gear, with no regard for its well-being.
It is oriented so that when it is hanging down you just lift the face toward you and it will be right side up for viewing. In other words, when it is hanging straight down the numbers are upside down. This is hard to describe, but makes it easy to read, especially on a clip rather than a longer lanyard (which I removed and can’t picture because I don’t know where it is)
In addition to backpacking, I’ve clipped this to a belt loop and used it as a pocket watch a lot. But the temperature function will measure the inside of your pocket and not ambient air if you do this.
The features on this instrument are:
LCD display- black against a gray background
Time in 12 or 24 hour formats
Alarm with 5 minute snooze
Temperature in C or F (range 14 to 112 degrees F)
Updates every 5 minutes
Max / Min memory
It takes a 3V CR2032 battery. You need a coin or other tool to open the battery compartment.
So, I give this high marks based on the value for the money, and how well it has met the need that I have. But it does have some issues.
First of all, it is difficult to set without a pen or stick or something to poke the set button with. The set button is a small rubbery button on the back that you have to push, and then scroll through the functions. That said, it is thus difficult to push it by accident.
The time is supposed to be accurate to within 30 seconds a month. This would allow it to gain or lose 6 minutes a year. I think I’ve reset it once in the time I owned it.
The thermometer is quite sensitive to being in the sun vs shade or being next to your body. And I’ve noticed that it adjusts quite slowly. So if you want an accurate reading you need to pay a little bit of attention to that. It would not take accurate ambient temps at all if you hung it around your neck. And, I don’t think that 14 degrees F is a low enough range. I am outside sometimes on days that are colder than that. To get the max-min reading you just push and hold the select button. This is a larger button on the side, and it is very easy to push even with gloves on. If you hold it longer it will reset the max-min reading. The fact that it takes 5 minutes to get the next temperature reading can be annoying if you are just feeling impatient (which I try not to be in the woods... but sometimes...) I just compared its temperature reading to a higher quality thermometer I own, and they are within one degree the same.
I thought that the alarm would be great, and it might be if you don’t sleep like the dead (as I do), but it is not loud enough to wake me up. This isn’t a big issue for me as I rarely care to wake up at a specific time when I’m hiking.
It can be difficult to read in certain light. And I can’t read it at all without my glasses, but this is becoming true of any watch (bummer). One arm of the main LCD display has gone out, but it’s still readable, and not a crisis until I place another order with Campmor.
This has a one-year warranty which seems reasonable for a cheap little timepiece. They say the battery life is two years, but I’ve not replaced it yet.
It is water resistant, but says to not submerge. It has been hanging outside my pack in all kinds of rain, and has now gotten so the face gets a little foggy if it stays wet too long. But it dries out and keeps working. There is a warning about possible damage if it is exposed to temperatures outside its range for long periods of time.
For any backpackers reading this, the weight without the lanyard, but with a small carabiner is 1.9 ounces. The overall size is 1.75 x 2.125 inches, and 0.625 inches thick.
All in all, I’ve been very happy with this $10 toy, and will definitely buy another one when this one dies.