Having a watch that provides you with reliable information when you’re in the backcountry can be the difference between a long cold night or drinking beers with your friends, safe and warm. A trustworthy altimeter can help you determine your location on a map, or not miss the crucial traverse to avoid the gnarly unskiable terrain below you. A working barometer can help you anticipate incoming weather, an accurate compass assists in route finding. And a watch with a built-in GPS system and access to a touch screen map is freakin’ awesome as found on the Casio Pro Trek Smartwatch.
Casio Pro Trek Tech
Upon first receiving the Casio Pro Trek WSD F-20 Watch I was a little overwhelmed, it seemed way too high tech for me with too many extra bells and whistles, and I was dubious about having to plug in my watch and charge it each night. As someone who relies on my phone very little, I was also concerned about having to link the watch to my phone. Turns out I was just being a technophobe and the setup was super easy.
The battery life seems solid, lasting 3 to 4 days on a single charge. The daunting amount of screens and options are actually very intuitive and within a short amount of time, I had quickly become familiar with navigating the apps and tools on the watch.
Pro Trek Maps
The map app on the watch is pretty cool, with the ability to switch between map sources, satellite imagery, and various contour maps. You can download maps so that when you’re offline you still have map access, and the storage on the watch allows for ALOT of maps to be downloaded. You can choose to track your map data throughout the day or disable it for battery preservation. There’s a mark function where you can drop pins on the map at important locations, and you can save trip data to upload to a computer and track your route on google earth.
With previous watches I’ve had to constantly calibrate the altimeter, but with this one, due to the fact that it has built-in GPS, it stays fairly accurate with minimal calibration. Two options are provided, one using the GPS location to determine altitude, the other being manual calibration and the watch uses the barometric pressure to determine altitude, which can be less reliable due to weather systems changing quickly. The elevation tool also shows you a profile of loss and gain throughout the day which is handy to determine total ascent and descent measurements.
Casio makes one of the best outdoor watches with Compass.
The compass and barometer both are accurate, and can be calibrated at any time. The barometer graph shows the trend and gives you an idea of what the weather will bring.
Overall the Casio Pro Trek Watch ($249.99) is excellent, it’s by far the most accurate watch I’ve had. Don’t be dismayed by the seeming amount of tech, it’s incredibly user friendly and easy to navigate. All the key elements you’d want a watch to have this one does, and all work exceptionally well. Great altimeter, baro and compass. Super useful map capabilities, oh yea, and it tells time!