The Best Portable Weather Stations

Portable weather stations offer versatility and mobility, unlike any other weather station type. There are industrial applications for these devices’ accurate on-site weather readings. They are also widely used by outdoor enthusiasts, bikers, and researchers.

However, selecting the best portable weather station might be a tricky business. There are more than a few available models and their prices can come very close to some high-end full-size weather stations. To point you in the right direction, I’ve made a selection of the top portable weather stations for a range of needs and budget.

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What Is a Portable Weather Station?

As the name suggests, portable weather stations are weather measuring devices that can be deployed in the field. There are a few different types including tripod or car-mounted and small handheld weather stations. For the purposes of this write-up, I will stick to the handheld models since they are by far the most popular.

In addition, handheld weather stations are not wanting of measuring features, which brings them one step closer to their full-sized counterparts. They usually measure temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, UV index, and a few other parameters.

What to Consider When Buying a Portable Weather Station?

Like all other types of weather station, there is a certain set of desirable features that you should look for in portable weather stations.

The Design

Handheld weather stations tend to look like a slim multimeter except for the built-in anemometer. But those who wish to take the station on an outdoor adventure and expose it to challenging weather conditions would benefit from some extra protection.

Some of the models featured here have a protective jackknife design for when the station is not in use. If the unit doesn’t come with its own carrying case, you can always store it in somewhere safe while you’re in the field.

Durability

Durability and build quality may vary significantly. Top-of-the-line models would naturally feature ironclad waterproofing and even military-grade impact protection. But you can’t go wrong if you get a reasonably priced unit with a protective case.

Features

Most handheld portable weather stations give accurate temperature, wind speed, humidity, and altitude measurements. There are also models which offer compass, dew point, and barometric pressure readings. It shouldn’t be a problem for you to find a unit that fits your specific needs.

Reviews

AcuRite 00256M

AcuRite 00256M Portable Anemometer with Flashlight
  • Wind speed meter features a precision anemometer that measures current wind speed, average and peak wind speed, and offers a wind speed alarm
  • Measures wind speed, temperature, humidity, altitude, wind Chill and heat index
  • Accurately provides 1-second updates of wind speeds from 0 to 60 mph, 0 to 97 km/H, 0 to 52 knots, 0 to 27 M/s, and 0 to 1990 ft/min
  • Extendable design allows for measuring wind velocity in hard-to-reach places
  • Integrated inspection light and backlit display for visibility in dark areas

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Those looking for a budget-friendly portable weather station should surely consider the AcuRite 00256M. The unit comes with a set of great features for an entry-level model and is capable of precise temperature, altitude, wind speed and chill, humidity, and heat index measurements.

Another neat feature is the extendable anemometer which can be pulled out for more accurate wind velocity readings. The wind speed updates every second, altitude every 5 seconds, and temperature every 30 seconds.

The AcuRite also comes with a rather large backlit LCD screen (for a handheld model) that features all of the vital weather information. The unit is powered by 3 AAA batteries that don’t come with the package. This portable weather station is also ergonomically designed and sits really well in the hand with all the buttons within easy reach.

Specifications

  • Budget-friendly model
  • Extendable anemometer
  • Great update intervals
  • Large LCD screen
  • Enhanced measurement capabilities

Ambient Weather WM-4

Ambient Weather WM-4 Handheld Weather Station w/Windspeed, Direction, Temperature, Humidity, Compass, Dew Point, Comfort Index, Psychrometer
  • The Ambient Weather WM-4 is a comprehensive handheld weather station, directional compass, heat index monitor and psychrometer, all in one compact, portable, rugged package.
  • The WM-4 measures wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity and compass direction, and calculates wind gust, dew point, wet bulb and dry bulb temperature, Delta T, wind chill and heat index.
  • It has a USA-made fluxgate compass for precise digital wind direction measurement, and it can also be used to calculate crosswind & head/tail wind readings with the built in wind vane.
  • The WM-4 measures wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity and compass direction, and calculates wind gust, dew point, wet bulb and dry bulb temperature, Delta T, wind chill and heat index.
  • The jack knife case design protects the unit, and allows you to hold the case while taking precise temperature measurements, avoiding false readings from your hand temperature.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The Ambient Weather WM-4 is one of the most comprehensive compact weather stations. First off, it gives users precise temperature, wind direction and speed, humidity, and wind chill readings. On top of that, the WM-4 can calculate dew point, temperature difference, and dry and wet bulb temperatures.

If you need a portable weather station with a built-in compass, this Ambient Weather is one to consider. In addition, there is no need to worry about the integrity of the unit since it sports a jackknife case for some added protection. The case also prevents false temperature readings by eliminating temperature transfer while taking measurements.

It is worth noting that the Ambient Weather WM-4 features precise Swiss-made impeller and humidity sensor. This portable weather station is no slouch in terms of response times either. The wind measurement interval is around one second.

Specifications

  • Comprehensive measurement
  • Protective jackknife case
  • Swiss-made impeller and humidity sensor
  • Reliable response times

Kestrel 2500

Kestrel 2500NV Pocket Weather Meter
  • Accurate, rugged handheld wind /airflow meter with large, replaceable impeller, responsive temperature sensor and digital pressure altimeter; optional night-vision-preserving backlight
  • Measures and displays barometric pressure & 3-hour pressure trend, altitude, wind chill, air/water/snow temperature, current/average/maximum wind speeds on large, clear LCD
  • Waterproof (IP-67), floats, drop-tested to military standards (MIL-STD-810G), patented
  • Includes slip-on protective cover, neck lanyard, CR2032 coin cell battery and 5-year warranty
  • Used in hunting, fishing, animal behavior prediction, varmint hunting, military operations, law enforcement, backpacking, camping, climbing, mountaineering, research and more

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Judging by its features, the Kestrel 2500 is perhaps the best portable weather station you can currently find. This weather station sports an extremely durable military-grade case. It is also waterproof and comes with a protective cover for safekeeping when not in use.

The Kestrel 2500NV Pocket Weather Meter offers precise temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, and wind chill data. It is worth noting that it comes with a rather large replaceable impeller and exceptionally responsive temperature sensor (for a handheld device).

This weather station only requires a CR2032 battery. Another high point of the Kestrel is its versatility. It is equally suitable for demanding outdoorsmen, educational purposes, and industrial facility management.

Specs Recap

  • Military-grade durability
  • Waterproof
  • Responsive temperature sensor
  • Protective case
  • Replaceable impeller
  • CR2032 battery

WeatherHawk SM-19 SkyMate

WeatherHawk SM-19 SkyMate Hand-Held Wind Meter, Orange/Black
  • Measures wind speed, temperature, and relative humidity
  • Displays current temperature and current, maximum, and average wind speed
  • Calculates wind chill and dew point
  • Has all the features of the SM-18 plus an accurate hugrometer for relative humidity and dew point.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The WeatherHawk SM-19 SkyMate features great measuring capabilities and a jackknife case for extra protection. What’s more, the unit is reasonably priced.

When it comes to measurements, the WeatherHawk SM-19 SkyMate records temperature and wind speed. In addition, a precision hygrometer is responsible for accurate dew point and relative humidity measurements. The device also estimates wind chill and displays the average, current, and maximum wind speed.

This unit is primarily designed for forestry and agriculture professionals. However, it should also be suitable for outdoor enthusiasts like fishermen, hunters, hikers, etc.

Specifications

  • Jackknife case
  • Competitive pricing
  • Precise hygrometer
  • 2-year warranty

ennoLogic Anemometer eA980R

ennoLogic Anemometer eA980R – 8 Parameters: Wind Speed, Wind Chill, Air Temperature, Humidity, Heat Index, Dew Point, Barometric Pressure, Altitude – Digital Weather Meter with Backlight
  • THIS POCKET-SIZED MOBILE ANEMOMETER MEASURES A LOT MORE THAN JUST WIND SPEED: The ennoLogic anemometer eA980R registers wind speed, wind chill, air temperature, humidity, heat index, dew point, barometric pressure, and altitude. With all that its hard to believe that this little weather station is smaller than a cell phone and easily fits into your pocket. But its main purpose is to deliver accurate wind readings and it does so reliably between 0.4 mph and 65 mph.
  • WANT TO TEST IF ITS SAFE TO FLY YOUR DRONE? Press the power button, hold the anemometer into the wind and within seconds you know the wind speed. Use the Average function to get a more accurate reading in changing conditions, or the Max function to measure gusts. Whether youre flying RC planes, drones, wings, helicopters or quadcopters - this compact ultra-light tool can help you figure out how much headwind youre dealing with, which direction you should launch, or if its too windy to fly.
  • USEFUL FOR HVAC DIY WORK: Measure HVAC register flows in various rooms to help balance out your system. This anemometer does not measure cfm directly, but you can use its Average function and an online conversion tool to estimate cfm from the air speed and size of your register or grille. If your vents are the same size, you can simply use air speed as a comparative relative measurement to balance air flow of your A/C. Or check air speed before and after improvements you made.
  • LIMITATIONS TO BE AWARE OF: TEMPERATURE RESPONSE MAY BE SLOW AT ZERO AIR FLOW (5 to 10 minutes) due to the location of the sensor inside the unit. ALTITUDE is PRESSURE ALTITUDE, based on barometric pressure. It requires calibration at a known altitude to get true altitude and changes without changing your position if barometric pressure changes. BATTERY is a LIR2032 LITHIUM BATTERY (included). Replace it with a new LIR2032 or recharge it with a suitable charger. Do NOT use CR2032 batteries.
  • POWERFUL FEATURES IN A SUPER SMALL PACKAGE: 8 weather parameters. Multiple units: mph, m/s, ft/min, knots, km/h, °F, °C, %RH, inHg, mbar, hpa, ft, m. Beaufort Scale. Max, Min, Average, and Hold functions. Backlight. Auto power off with override option. Calibration function. Comes with carrying case, lanyard, LIR2032 battery and user manual. 10 YEAR WARRANTY.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Besides having an excellent anemometer, the ennoLogic eA980R records the temperature, wind chill, humidity, and barometric pressure. In addition, this budget portable weather station measures altitude, dew point, and heat index, which puts it among the most well-rounded portable units.

Another feature that’s in favor of this unit is the small form factor. It is pocket-sized and the 4.3 x 1.8 x 0.8-inch dimensions make it one of the smallest devices in this write-up. The ennoLogic eA980R also comes with a few extras including a LIR2032 battery, carrying case, and lanyard. On top of that, this pocket weather station is very easy to use.

Once you get the device, install the battery and then press the power button, and you’re ready to thrust the anemometer into the air. The unit will start displaying the measurements almost instantly.

Specifications

  • Excellent anemometer
  • Measures 8 parameters
  • Pocket-sized
  • LIR2032 battery
  • Comes with carrying case and lanyard
  • Easy to use

Conclusion

Portable weather stations are useful for a variety of people who enjoy the great outdoors or need an onsite measuring device. The above options are all excellent but the Kestrel 2500NV Pocket Weather Meter may just be the best portable station.

The device features premium build quality, measuring capabilities, and waterproofing at a level that’s beyond most portable weather stations.

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