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 its small size, the Axio Mini caught my eye because the watch face is not heavily ornamented like so many other watches available today. At first, I thought it was downright ugly, but its 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 lady’s watch. But you’ll soon see that this is irrelevant.
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|
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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