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Reviews > Electronic Devices > Watches > Casio Pathfinder PAW1300-1V > Owner Review by Nancy Griffith

CASIO PATHFINDER PAW1300-1V
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
OWNER REVIEW
September 13, 2014

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) and use a tent, stove and quilt.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Pathfinder PAW1300-1V
Photo courtesy of Casio
Manufacturer: Casio America, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.casio-usa.com
MSRP: $300 US
Listed Weight: 60 g (2.1 oz)
Measured Weight: 61 g (2.2 oz)
Comes in one Unisex Size/Style only

Case Diameter: 56.9 x 47.4 mm (2.24 x 1.87 in)
Thickness: 11.5 mm (0.45 in)

Watch Type: Digital
Band, Case and Bezel Material: Resin
Display: Dark figures on a light background


FIELD USE

Atop Whitney
Atop Mount Whitney (14,496 ft)
I purchased the Casio Pathfinder PAW1300-1V in late 2012 after I dropped my previous watch on a busy beach on a gorgeous winter day. It wasn't turned in to the park headquarters, so I began a search for a new watch. I wanted something that had all of the features of my old watch: altimeter, barometer, timer, and alarm. I saw good reviews on this watch and liked the idea of a solar charge since batteries inevitably die at the worst possible time. I also really liked the atomic clock automatic calibration of time so that I would know that my watch is always accurate. With my old watch I was always showing a different time than my companions but now I know if that happens that MY time is the correct one.

I have used the watch on nearly every hiking, biking and backpacking trip ever since I bought it. The only times that I haven't taken it have been when I forgot it. The watch is too large for me to wear comfortably on my wrist, so I always hang it from the sternum strap of my pack.

Overall I've used the watch for 51 days of backpacking over 11 trips and approximately 70 day hikes, 20 mountain bike rides and 10 snowshoe hikes. Temperatures ranged overall from 22 to 85 F (-5 to 29 C) with mostly sunny conditions but also rain, snow showers and high winds.

Some of my uses include:

Backpacking:
John Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 21 days; 225 mi (362 km); 4,035 ft to 14,496 ft (1,230 to 4,418 m); 35 to 80 F (2 to 27 C); mostly sunny with wind and thunderstorms.

Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite National Park, California: 4 days; 32 miles (52 km); 3,900 to 7,400 ft (1,189 to 2,256 m); 35 to 70 F (2 to 21 C); sunny conditions.

Emigrant Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 days; 24 miles (39 km); 7,160 to 8,930 ft (2,182 to 2,722 m); 55 to 85 F (13 to 29 C); sunny conditions.

Rubicon Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 2 days; 10 mi (16 km); 6,327 to 6,500 (1,928 to 1,981 m); 21 to 57 F (-6 to 15 C) with clear conditions; light breezes.

Snowshoe Backpacking:
Loon Lake Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 3 days; 16.2 mi (26 km); elevation 6,327 to 7,030 ft (1,928 to 2,143 m); 22 to 50 F (-5 to 10 C); clear to cloudy conditions with light wind. Camping was on 4 ft (1.2 m) of packed snow.

The watch has two main modes: Timekeeping and Sensor modes. The Timekeeping mode consists of Data Recall, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, Alarm and Receive modes. The Sensor mode consists of Digital Compass, Barometer/Thermometer and Altimeter modes.

Timekeeping Mode:
The watch is designed to receive calibration signals so that it automatically adjusts its time setting. For this reason it is necessary to set the 'home city' based on what time zone applies. The automatic updating also takes into account Daylight Savings time. This is a big plus for me since that makes one less clock that I have to change at those times of the year.

Alarm: I used the alarm nearly every day on the John Muir Trail so that we would hit the trail at an early hour. Even at maximum volume, I occasionally haven't been awakened by the alarm and my husband rarely hears it despite his generally having better hearing than I and us both being light sleepers.

Stopwatch/Countdown Timer: I occasionally used the stopwatch and countdown timer but not that often. Even without using them on a regular basis it was always easy to figure out how to use and reset them.

Sensor Mode:
Barometer/Thermometer:
The watch uses a pressure sensor to measure barometric pressure and a temperature sensor to measure temperature. These are displayed together. Barometric measurements are automatically taken every two hours and a graph shows the previous measurements over the past 24 hours. Since I carried the watch on my pack, it was still close to my body, which had some small effect on the temperature readings. But I found it to be more accurate and not as affected by my body temperature as other watches that I have used.

Reading at WhitneyAltimeter:
The pressure sensor is also used to estimate altitude based on International Standard Atmosphere preset values. I found the altimeter to be more accurate and need less resetting than other altimeters and watches that I've used. It is nice to not have to recalibrate at every known elevation. I can forget to recalibrate for literally months and only be off by a few hundred feet at most. The photo shows the elevation reading on top of Mount Whitney which is actually 14,496 ft (4,418 m). It isn't far off considering that I hadn't recalibrated it for at least the entire 225 mile (362 km) trip and probably not for the entire summer!

Compass:
The built-in bearing sensor detects magnetic north and indicates the direction in the display. The magnetic declination correction can be input for the specific area that I'll be in. A direction reading can be stored in Bearing Memory and then referred to during travel.

Battery Life:
The manual recommends keeping the watch exposed to bright light to keep the battery from running down. After the first charge upon receiving it, I have never worried about where the watch was with respect to light and it has always maintained a full charge. It is really nice to never need to change batteries or to worry about whether they are getting low and will die on a trip.

Ease of Use:
I found the Pathfinder to be pretty intuitive in how to access and adjust settings. I did need to refer to the manual when my alarm was going off despite my thinking that it was turned off. However, most of the time I was able to figure out how to do what I wanted to do. As compared to other watches I found it to be more intuitive and easier to use.

Durability:
The durability has been excellent with the watch appearing nearly new. There is one small scratch on the face but it is minimal. Since I carry the watch on my pack, it certainly has many opportunities to contact granite and other hard surfaces when I set my pack down but there are just a few dings around the outer edges of the bezel.

SUMMARY

The Casio Pathfinder PAW1300-1V watch is a sport watch with multiple functions that make it ideal for backpacking and outdoor activity.

THINGS I LIKE

Automatic time adjust (including Daylight Savings Time)
Altimeter seems more accurate (and requires less adjustment)
Intuitive
Solar charge

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Bulky (but good for a multi-function watch)
Alarm could use a louder setting

SIGNATURE

Nancy Griffith

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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