Tech4O Traileader One Watch Review
I have always wanted a multifunction outdoors watch and was happy to test out the Traileader 1 watch from Tech4O. The watch packs a ton of features into a reasonably sized package including an altimeter, barometer, digital compass, and speed/distance tracker among others. All this in a design that is just stylish enough to wear as your day to day watch. This definitely depends on your taste but I would be comfortable wearing the Traileader 1 with a business outfit.
The Tech4O Traileader 1 model that I tested out was made of a black plastic body with a white rim around the LCD face. It is definitely a conservative style with little to distinguish it from a ton of other watches besides the small Tech4O logo in the white face rim. Personally, I don’t mind this fact because I’m not looking to make a fashion statement with a multifunction outdoors watch. The strap is made of a comfortable rubber and has a ton of holes allowing the watch to be tightened or loosened to accommodate any wrist size. The hint of red that shows through the holes is a touch that I really like. Rounding out the design is the 4 utilitarian buttons that surround the face providing access to all the functions offered by the watch. The button design is the most important part of usability for a watch like this that is intended to be used in varying conditions and the Traileader 1 did not disappoint in this regard. The buttons are large and tactile enough to be pressed even when wearing gloves.
Tech4O put almost every feature you could need in the outdoors into the Traileader 1 and it’s likely you won’t be left wanting more. The only prominent omission from this model is a heart-rate monitor but Tech4O offers this in a step up model. If you like to track your heart-rate during your workouts, look into the higher end model. The altimeter, barometer and compass were the main features I wanted to test with this watch and I had the chance during a 3 day trip from Wyoming back to my home of Colorado. The Traileader 1 uses the barometer to offer weather predictions based on the relationship between pressure systems and weather patterns. There is a great little readout that you can assign to be on your main clock screen that shows a symbol representing the weather prediction. When I was driving to Yellowstone National Park, the symbols displayed a cloud and sun indicating partially cloudy. This turned out to be perfectly accurate when we arrived in the park. Throughout the rest of the trip, the weather readout was pretty reliable. I found the altimeter to be a little too inaccurate to be truly useful because it was usually off by more than 3-500 feet when I referenced an elevation sign. This is more of an inherent problem with the method used to measure altitude than the watch itself. The altimeter works off the theory that at higher altitudes, there is less pressure and references a table of known pressures at given altitudes. The problem with this is that weather affects the pressure (thus the weather prediction feature) and the watch cannot distinguish between a change due to weather or altitude. Another feature I tested while at Yellowstone was the digital compass and I found it to perform admirably. It is important to set your magnetic declination based on what part of the world you’re in and the Traileader 1 allows for this in the menus. There is also a calibration feature which is important to use before a trip. There is a bearing lock feature that allows you to set a heading to follow and I tested this out and it worked perfectly for checking that I was heading back to the trailhead.
With all of the features available, I was very impressed with the usability of the Traileader 1 watch. Tech4O did a great job of making the menus intuitive enough to figure out with only a glance over of the user guide. You can access all the functions in multiple ways and with good speed. Probably my favorite aspect of the Traileader 1 watch is the way Tech4O organized the display to always show you a lot of information in a readable way. The best part is that each screen can be customized to display the information that you find most useful to you at a given moment by hitting the upper right button. For example, in the default clock view screen, there are 3 lines displayed with the bottom being the date, the middle being the time, and the top being any of the following: weather prediction, temperature, barometer graph, altimeter graph, or the day. To scroll through these options, just hit the upper right button.
Overall, I found the Tech4O Traileader 1 watch to be a solid option for a multifunction altimeter /barometer/ compass outdoor watch and it is a very good value at $140. While there are features I personally wouldn’t take advantage of, it’s nice to know there are enough to cover most people’s needs. Tech4O offers a range of watches and you should be able to find one that suits your needs. Find out more at http://www.tech4o.com/