Last week I had the perfect opportunity to try out my new Kestrel 2000 pocket anemometer/thermometer during an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor Certification Workshop I was co-teaching in Manteo, NC on the North Carolina Outer Banks. I had sought a reliable unit like this to measure and establish wind conditions during my ACA coastal kayaking courses since these courses specify allowable wind conditions in the course venue specifications. The Kestrel units have a positive online reputation for reliable service and the features of this unit, including wind speed (mph or Kn and current/max/avg), temperature (air or water, °F or °C), wind chill calculation, and water resistance to an IP67 standard gave me the features I found most useful at a reasonable MSRP of $94 USD (This unit was provided me by the company for evaluation).
Before the course, I tossed the meter in the day-hatch of my kayak (not worrying overly about doing so since the meter is water resistant, drop-Tested to MIL-STD-810F and protected in it own plastic slip-case), ready to pull it out once we had paddled out into Shallowbag Bay.
The meter responded quickly to both wind and temperature and it was simple to switch between modes. While I don’t have a direct comparison of another on-site source for accuracy, the unit compared very favorably with prevailing conditions being reported by nearby NOAA readings in near real-time as checked by cell phone.
The included slip case does a great job of protecting the face and workings of the meter without adding difficulty breaking it out and using it. I’m going to get a lot of use out of this; not only for the obvious practicality of measurements, but also from the educational standpoint of helping my students and mentored instructor candidates calibrate and refine their “eye” for both wind speed (and relating such to Beaufort wind force) and water temperature out on the water. Great, convenient product.