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mtn.climber

best altimeter?

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The Suunto X-Lander is issued to some enlisted military folk. It is, in my opinion, way more durable than the Vector. It has got a very good scratch-resistant crystal face.

 

If you poke around on craigslist, you can find one. Searching "Suunto X-Lander craigslist.org", I found a guy in North Dakota to sell me a slightly used one for less scratch than a new Vector. YMMV

 

 

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The 6-series Suuntos (X6, S6) are lower profile and durable in my experience. They are also have been/are being discontinued so can be found on sale at some places

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I like my vector. I have two friends with the Core, which they like, although it seems less durable to me.

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I've had my Avocet for like 10 years and it still rocks.

 

and it still doesn't have a lighted display

you'd think that would bother me, but I seem to always have a headlamp on or handy when I need to see it. I heard the new ones have light.

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I heard the new ones have light.

 

they don't. I sold mine because I was tired of hunting for a headlamp in the tent/on buses/in the moonlight/on airplanes and I was tired of returning it to Palo Alto to replace the battery

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I heard the new ones have light.

 

they don't

they still rock. Edited by Mikester

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The Vector's compass is pretty worthless, so check out the Altimax. Durable, light, and really bomber. I've beaten the piss out of mine for 3 yrs, and it still look great. The menus, backlight and alarm a little old school relative to the newer Sunnto line (cell phone style menus), but big legible digits are sweet. There are some idiotic prices on ebay, but you can find one for $75 or less pretty easily.

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My recommendation is a Casio Pathfinder. If you get the solar atomic model, you never need to replace a battery (can be a problem with Suuntos) because it's powered by sunlight (and has a huge power reserve). The clock gets synchronized automatically every night to be radio broadcast of the atomic clock signal, so it's always set correctly. The current generation of Pathfinders has a nice electroluminescent backlight, which is nice. My previous 11 year old Casio altimeter watch was (is) great and indestructible, but it had a crappy light which was nearly worthless. The alarms (there are multiple) on the Pathfinder are also much better (i.e. louder) than on the Suuntos I've tried. Has a world time function, so you can quickly/easily set it to any time zone for travel. Great water resistance. Multiple altimeter recordings. Some kind of low-temperature resistance. And so on. Pretty ideal for a climber, but kind of big. Smaller people would probably feel somewhat overwhelmed (at least with the model I got).

 

I got mine (model PAW1200T-7V) at Costco about a year ago for around $150 or so, which is quite a bit less than the usual retail for them. They're available in several different colors, with both plastic and metal versions.

Edited by gslater

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