Being a bit of an aviation nerd I’ve been lusting after a good anemometer for a while. We sell the Kestrel range at work so in the interests of knowing our products well I decided that I needed one. Well that was my justification anyway.

All I originally wanted was wind speed, mostly for slope soaring. In my usual fashion I looked at the prices and features and for each model said “that’s all I want/need, but look, for just a few extra dollars I can have one that does XYZ too”. I ended up settling for so close to the top of the range that I thought “what the heck, I may as well have the top model so I’m familiar with all their features”. For the customer’s benefit of course.

So that’s how come I’m the proud owner of a Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker. I really can’t say enough about the quality of these little critters. So many features, most of which have come in useful, or at very least, fascinating. For example I can’t get over how sensitive the barometer / altimeter is. It can detect altitude changes of only a few feet! The logging function is useful, I hope to get the PC interface for it and then it’ll be even better. If I wanted, I could set a really short logging interval then send it up with a model, or take it in the full size glider. Then I’d have an altitude trace of the flight.

Here’s a feature list I’ve pulled from the manufacturer’s site.

Kestrel 4500 Measures

  • Heading (true & magnetic)
  • Wind direction
  • Crosswind
  • Headwind/tailwind
  • Altitude
  • Pressure trend
  • Barometric pressure
  • Wet bulb temperature
  • Relative humidity in %
  • Heat stress index
  • Dewpoint
  • Wet bulb temperature
  • Density altitude
  • Wind chill
  • Air, water, and snow temperature °F or °C
  • Current, average, and maximum air velocity

Kestrel 4500 Features

  • Waterproof and floats
  • Time and date
  • Easy- to-read backlit display
  • Data Logger (automatic and manual)
  • Customizable data storage – 2900 data points
  • Minimum, Maximum and Average values
  • Multi-Function 3-line display
  • Humidity sensor can be recalibrated in the field with our Relative Humidity Calibration Kit.
  • Exterior temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors for fast and accurate readings
  • Customize screens to display user-selected measurements
  • Graph and recall trends
  • User-replaceable impeller
  • Flip-top impeller cover allows use of other functions while protecting the impeller
  • Data charting
  • Upload to a computer (with optional interface)
  • Five languages (English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian)
  • US Patent Nos. 5,783,753 and 5,939,645 and 6,257,074
  • 5-year warranty
  • Assembled in the USA

Kestrel 4500 Includes

  • Soft carry pouch
  • Neck lanyard
  • Batteries – 2 AAA
  • Kestrel Certificate of Conformity