Top positive review
131 people found this helpful
Casio PathFinder PAW2000T
on January 5, 2010
I've had it about a month and I'm very happy with it. The altitude/barometer sensor is accurate provided you give it a good initial reference, which I always do when climbing/hiking. I've read some complaints that the altitude is not accurate. But one should try to understand that outside air pressure can change with altitude and/or temperature. Cold air is more dense and pushes on the sensor harder than warm air. So if a cold front rolls in while I am on my climb, the altitude is going to read a bit lower than actual (as if I was further down in more dense air). Likewise, a warm front will cause the sensor to read a bit higher. Either of these situations is often obvious as you will feel & see a change in the weather around you. ALL pressure-based altitude sensors have this vulnerability. That's why pilots constantly adjust their altimeters based on local sea-level barometric pressure data along their path. The best thing you can do is set an initial reference before you climb and be advised of local forecasts. Just common sense stuff really. The compass is plenty accurate enough for routine navigation, and a good backup to the GPS in the canyons and back-country.
I've read other reviews about the alarm not being very loud on some pathfinders. This one seems quite loud - haven't slept through it yet and I use it every day. All the features are very easy to figure out - never had to crack open the manual (but I did anyways). It syncs up every night with the atomic clock, no problem (Houston, TX). Based on the specs, I thought it was going to look monstrous on my wrist but it doesn't. Looks really good to me. I did have to pull out several links to get the right fit (more on this below).
The watch is very light! for it's size. The band is a nice satin gray titanium with an effective locking mechanism on the clasp. Very comfortable, doesn't pull hairs, etc. PLEASE NOTE that even though the product specifications above state that the "case material" is titanium, it isn't. There seems to be quite a bit of misleading internet info regarding the case material. To me, the case appears to be an assembly of stainless steel (back), mystery metal (black knurled ring around the face - maybe aluminum) and plastic/resin (all the gray-ish part). I have to admit that, based on the description, I thought all the gray-ish stuff would be titanium. A little disappointment there but not much. Actually the case still looks new, it's the satin finish on the titanium band that scratches/scuffs quite easily. Some will probably cry about this. I am of a practical sort and this to me is a tool. I actually enjoy the battered, well-used look of my adventure gear. I'm very happy with my purchase and would definitely recommend this watch to others. Ordered it from Amazon one afternoon, had it the next morning with free overnight shipping. Practically instant gratification.
TITANIUM BAND ADJUSTMENT:
I'm adding this because it took a while searching goog to find out how to do this. Basically you need a pair of needle nose pliers and one of those larger paper clips. Using the paper clip held by pliers, you push the pin on the link IN about 1/8" in the direction indicated by the arrow on the inside of the band. Then grab the pin with the pliers where it's sticking out on the other side and pull it out with a steady action. Do this over a cookie sheet or something with edges. This is important!!! - There is a tiny metal tube that sits inside the hole in the smaller (male) side of the link. Do not lose this - it acts as the locking mechanism to hold that pin in place. To re-assemble - replace the tube in the hole if it fell out, align the links and push the pin back through in the direction of the arrow. Good idea to use the paper clip and pliers to counter sink the pin a bit so that it's equal on both ends. This should all make sense when you have it in front of you. This procedure may sound intimidating but it's really pretty easy. Just be thankful you heard about that tiny metal tube beforehand.