Every long-range precision shooter can benefit from an accurate, full-featured portable wind and weather monitor. Right now the relatively new Kestrel 4500 is the best hand-held weather station on the market. Introduced at the 2007 SHOT Show, The Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker is a complete weather instrument, offering instant and accurate measurement of wind speed, wind direction (including crosswind and headwind/tailwind), temperature, humidity, density altitude, barometric pressure and numerous other derived functions. The Kestrel 4500 has a built-in digital compass, a feature not found on other Kestrels. This allows you to track and log wind direction as well as wind speed. Wind direction is displayed in degrees and cardinal compass points.
Weekend shooters and military snipers alike have been calling for a Kestrel Meter with crosswind calculation for years — and the Kestrel 4500 now offers that capability. By means of its built-in digital compass, the Kestrel 4500 provides Wind Direction and velocity, Crosswind direction and velocity, and Headwind/Trailwind direction and velocity. In addition to these wind functions, the Kestrel 4500 will also display: Max Wind Gust, Average Wind Speed, Temperature, Wind Chill, Relative Humidity, Heat Stress Index, Dewpoint Temp, Wet Bulb Temp, Barometric Pressure, Altitude, and Density Altitude. These features are illustrated in a handy flash-based "Virtual Tour" that shows all the Kestrel 4500's product features.
The bright yellow Kestrel 4500 is available for $289.00 from Kestrelmeters.com. An olive drab version with Night Vision-friendly backlighting is offered for $309.00 from the same vendor.
Full Review of Kestrel 4500 by SniperWorkx.com A very detailed field-test of the Kestrel 4500 was conducted by Sal Palma for SniperWorx.com. In his write-up, Sal Palma explains why a precision shooter needs a tool such as the Kestrel 4500: "Altitude, temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity are critical pieces of data. As is wind speed and direction. What used to be a good 300-yard zero may now be a full minute or more off. At a range of 300 yards, a one minute error makes a 3" difference in the point of impact. The [Kestrel 4500] has some major and significant new features not found in any of their other models. To start with, the 4500 offers a built in electronic compass, the compass can be configured to indicate true bearings as well as magnetic. In addition to the basic wind functions the [Kestrel 4500] also provides crosswind, headwind and tailwind data."