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Highgear Axio Mini Altimeter/Barometer Watch

Highgear Axio Mini Altimeter/Barometer Watch

I bought a Highgear Axio Mini Altimeter/Barometer watch a few weeks ago. This isn’t the first multi-function watch I’ve owned, but it is the first one I actually enjoy wearing because it is so small. I owned a Highgear Summit a few years ago but hated it because the watch face was huge and I kept smacking it against door jams.

In addition to it’s small size, the Axio Mini caught my eye at because the watch face is not heavily ornamented like so many other watches available today. At first, I thought it was downright ugly, but it’s modesty has grown on me. If you are looking for function, rather than making a fashion statement, you should check this little guy out. It dresses up quite well actually.

I should warn you (if you are a man). The Axio Mini is labeled by the manufacturer as a ladies watch. But you’ll soon see that this is irrelevant.

Highgear Axio Mini Watch

Despite its small form factor, the Mini is loaded with functionality including an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, stop watch, and is water resistant to 100 meters. It has multiple times zones and alarms, as well as data logging capabilities for tracking elevation gains during a day.

As with all altimeter and barometer watches, the values the watch returns require that you calibrate your elevation at least daily. Don’t expect this capability to remain magically accurate.

If you’ve never used an altimeter, it can be an extremely useful navigational aid for keeping track of your position when used with a contour map.

The barometric display on the Mini includes icons with clouds, sun and rain which can help you interpret the watch’s barometric readings. Personally, I think you’re better served by learning how low and high pressure fronts interact and how they impact weather and wind so you can forecast your own conditions if you’re out for a few days. It’s a very useful skill. I got a good introduction to it in a winter mountaineering class I took last fall, but it requires practice and discipline to master.

Unfortunately, the thermometer on the Axio is not accurate when worn on your wrist because it picks up body heat. However, that’s not a showstopper for me – I always keep a mini thermometer attached to the outside of my pack.

When I bought this watch, I was told by the sales person that it has been a slow seller. I got a good deal on mine as a result and you should be able to find it on sale too.

Specs: AXIO MINI

  • ALTIMETER
  • BAROMETER
  • THERMOMETER
  • CHRONOGRAPH
ALTIMETER / BAROMETER

  • Swiss Air Pressure / Temperature Sensor
  • 1m / 1ft Local Altitude Resolution
  • Working Range: – 2303 ft to 30045 ft (-702m to 9158m)
  • 12 Hour Weather Forecast Icon
  • Sea-Level & Absolute Barometer Display
  • Mercury Inches and Millibar / Hectopascal Barometer Display

THERMOMETER

  • Digital Thermometer
  • User option for Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • Working range from +14°F to +122°F (-10°C to +50°C)

CHRONOGRAPH

  • 100 Hour Chronograph
  • 1/100 Second Resolution

DATA LOG

  • 10 Run Memory
  • Starting Altitude Record
  • Accumulated Altitude Record
  • Maximum Altitude Record
  • Total Exercise Time Record
TIME

  • 12/24 Hour Time Display
  • Time/Day/Date
  • Dual Time Zone

ALARMS

  • 2 Daily Alarms
  • 1 Rest Alarm
  • 1 Hydration Alarm
  • 2 Altitude Alarms

OTHER

  • Glass reinforce Nylon Case
  • Mineral Glass Lens
  • 50m Water Resistant
  • EL Backlight
  • User Replaceable Battery

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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3 comments

  1. I picked this up on steepandcheap a couple weeks ago and I love it! I brought it on a trip out to Arizona with me, and it was tons of fun for both hiking and driving around!

    It is a bummer about the temp reading, but it is accurate when you get up in the morning and want to see what the temp is inside the tent before you strap it on :]

  2. Great review. I checked this watch out at my local retailer and liked it quite a bit. Unfortunately, it's missing one two features that I need: the compass and a countdown timer. Sure wish I could find a watch with all the features you describe the Axio has, along with those two others (without being outrageously expensive or like wearing a hockey puck on your wrist). At this point, the best compromise for me is the High Gear Enduro (fewer features, but a reasonable compromise while i continue my search for the ultimate ABC).

  3. I find compasses in watches to be unusable and I'm happy to carry a plastic Suunto instead. How can I ask do these watches adjust for declination?

    I still love the Axio.

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