Last Updated on March 6, 2020
Camping, hiking, and backpacking are very popular outdoor activities. One aspect of these hobbies that people love the most is spending time outdoors and feeling at one with nature. The simplicity of these activities compared to the hustle and bustle of modern life is what appeals to people who camp, hike, and backpack in their leisure time. However, this does not mean that gadgets cannot play a role in your hobbies and enhance your experiences. One gadget you might find useful in an outdoor environment is a thermometer, and there are plenty of these to choose between Here is a guide to buying the best thermometers for backpacking along with reviews of the 10 best options right now.
Reviews of the Best Backpacking Thermometers- Analog
One type of thermometer you may buy is an analog thermometer. These are also often called a zipper pull thermometer of a keychain thermometer.
As this is a multifunctional item, it is one of the best hiking thermometers available. This gadget is a two-scale thermometer, a safety whistle, an LED Light, a compass, a signal mirror, and a magnifier. This means it serves many different purposes while on a camping trip or while hiking or backpacking. This affordable item will also save you money on buying all these gadgets separately. Similarly, it will save space and weight in your backpack, which is particularly important if you are an ultralight backpacker. Despite having so many functions, this is a compact and lightweight item that is ideal for all outdoor activities. The readings on the thermometer are accurate and the display is easy to see, so it is fit for purpose if the main aspect of this gadget you want is its thermometer. It comes with a lanyard clip, so you can attach it to your jacket or backpack.
- Two-scale readings
- Lights up
- Lanyard clip
- Accurate and easy to read
This multifunctional gadget is one of the best hiking thermometers as it gives you most of the information you need to hike safely throughout the year. It is a 4-in-1 item that includes not only the thermometer, but also a compass, a barometer, and an altimeter. These are four of the most important pieces of equipment that provide information for hiking and backpacking. The barometer and altimeter are both on the main circular display. The thermometer and compass are two smaller displays on the gadget’s strap. The readings are accurate and easy to read on all the displays. This gadget has a funky design and comes with a metal clip to attach to your backpack. This means you can easily check the readings whenever you need to without the need to search through the contents of your backpack. The product is made from durable materials that are suitable for use in outdoor settings.
- Multifunctional 4-in-1 gadget
- Durable materials
- Easy to read
- Funky design
- Comes with clip
A two-in-one item, this is great for camping, hiking, backpacking, and any other outdoor activities. The ball compass is large and easy to read. It shows two readings; cardinal points and direction-of-travel. This is attached to a sturdy carabiner clip with a thermometer built-in to the solid side of the clip. The thermometer is cushion-mounted with marking for Celsius on the left and Fahrenheit on the right. At a glance, you can easily read this clear thermometer. The carabiner allows you to attach this compass and thermometer combo to anything you like, such as your tent, your backpack, or another piece of equipment. It also comes with a split ring, so you can use it as a zipper pull thermometer. At just 0.8 ounces, this is a compact and lightweight option if you only want a small thermometer for your outdoor activities.
- Lightweight and compact
- Dual function
- Easy to read
- Carabiner and split ring
If you want a small, lightweight, and basic thermometer to take along with you when you are camping, hiking, or backpacking, then this is a reasonable choice. This is a simple key chain thermometer with a split ring that you can easily attach to your backpack, your jacket, your tent, or your bunch of keys. It is easy to ready with scales for both Celsius and Fahrenheit, so it is easy to understand regardless of which scale you prefer to use. An interesting feature of this thermometer is the wind chill chart, which is displayed on the back. At just one-inch squared and weighing under one ounce, this is a compact and lightweight item that is ideal for backpacking. However, they are just as good for many other activities, such as cycling, hunting, and fishing.
- Compact and lightweight
- Two-scale readings
- Wind chill chart
- Split ring key chain
This is a split ring key chain thermometer that you can hang on your backpack, jacket, or many other items. On the front of the key chain are a compass and a thermometer. The compass is liquid-filled and aids easy navigation. The markers and characters on the compass are luminous, so it is very easy to read during both day and night. The thermometer is also easy to read and gives the temperature in Fahrenheit. It has a reading scale between minus 20-degrees and 120-degrees. There is a small magnifying glass that will help you to read maps while you are out hiking or backpacking. On the back of the key chain is a wind chill chart, which is a useful piece of extra information you can use during your outdoor activities. The split ring is solid brass, so it will not affect your compass readings.
- Brass split ring
- Easy to read
Reviews of the Best Backpacking Thermometers- Digital
The other option if you decide to buy a thermometer is a digital backpacking thermometer. Here are reviews of five of the best digital hiking thermometers.
This useful piece of equipment provides you with various pieces of information that are important while enjoying outdoor activities in all conditions. Therefore, it is one of the best thermometers for backpacking or hiking. All the information is given on one digital display that is easy to read and has a backlight for reading in the dark. You can choose whether you want the temperature displayed in Celsius or Fahrenheit. The display also shows wind speed and wind chill. The readings are accurate and quickly adjust in changing conditions. There is a record and recall function that allows you to track maximum, minimum, and average readings for temperature, wind speed, and wind chill. There is also an indicator that lets you know when the battery is getting low. On the button, there is a hole to attach to a lanyard so that you can attach the gadget to your backpack or jacket if you wish.
- 3-in-1 display
- Record and recall function
- Low battery indicator
Suitable for most outdoor activities, this handy piece of kit is multifunctional and gives several useful pieces of information. It has just one, clear display that shows all the information. This display has an LCD backlight that makes it easy to read, even in the dark. It shows the temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. You can also read air velocity and wind speed. There is a function for date hold that tracks minimum, maximum, current, and average readings. The outer case of this handheld, lightweight item is rubber, which is durable and protects the anemometer from damage. It comes with a handy wrist strap, so you can wear it like a watch if you prefer. It has a low battery indicator, so you don’t need to worry about running out of power unexpectedly.
- Clear display
- Wrist strap provided
- Several measurements
- Low battery indicator
- Tracking function
A multifunctional device, this handheld weather station tells you almost everything you need to know about the weather. It provides temperature readings on a scale between minus 20-degrees and 158-degrees Fahrenheit. It is accurate to 1.8-degrees Fahrenheit. Along with temperature, it also tracks wind direction, wind speed, and relative humidity. It also predicts wind gust, wet bulb temperature, dry bulb temperature, dew point, heat index, Delta T, and wind chill. Furthermore, it also includes a heat index monitor, a psychrometer, and a directional compass. It has a jackknife design, so you can flip a cover over the display to protect it when not in use. This design also allows you to easily hold the device while reading information from the display. This portable device is rugged and durable, which are ideal features for outdoor activities. It is also lightweight and compact.
- Accurate to 1.85-degrees Fahrenheit
- Easy to read
- Durable materials
- Lightweight and compact
This anemometer gives you lots of data about the conditions and not just the temperature. The accurate temperature is displayed in either Celsius or Fahrenheit and this is shown on the large, LCD backlit display that is easy to read. It also gives measurements for wind speed and wind pressure, so it is ideal for activities such as kite surfing and sailing. You can use it as a hand-held device or for taking fixed readings. This device has a function to track minimum, maximum, average, and current data. It is made from durable materials, including a protective rubber cover. It also comes with a carry case that provides a further level of protection when you are carrying it around in your backpack. There is a low battery indicator that lets you know when you need to change the battery, so you don’t need to worry about losing power when you are away from home.
- Large display
- Quality, durable materials
- Carry case
Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, this handheld weather meter gives various pieces of information that are useful if you need to know about the environment and conditions. Not only does it tell you the temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, but it also measures wind gust, wind chill, wind speed, and Beaufort scale. All the information is shown on a large, LCD display that is easy to read. This compact and portable item has a feature that tracks the minimum, maximum, and average of each of the measurements. It also has a low battery indicator that lets you know when the batteries are running low. This is a rugged item that is made from durable materials, so it is perfect for using during outdoor activities. It comes with a lanyard if you want to wear the device and not carry it in your hand or backpack. It is possible to buy a tripod mount to use with this gadget.
- Changeable units of measure
- Large LCD display
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Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Backpacking Thermometers
Before deciding which the best camping thermometer to buy is, you should consider the following points as these will help you to make the right decision.
Type of Thermometer
There are several different types of thermometers available for camping, hiking, and backpacking. Some of the options include:
- Digital backpacking thermometers- These are the most technological options when it comes to buying a thermometer. They show you an accurate digital temperature display in either Celsius or Fahrenheit.
- Keychain thermometers- These are usually analog thermometers on a keychain that you can attach to your backpack or your bunch of keys.
- Zipper pull thermometers- Similar to a keychain thermometer, a zipper pull thermometer is usually analog and attaches to any zipper pull, such as those on your tent, your sleeping bag, or your backpack.
The accuracy of your thermometer is one of the key features as there is little point in having this gadget if it does not give you the right temperature.
- Read reviews for the item as people comment on the accuracy of thermometers.
- Check the accuracy of the temperature as soon as you buy the item
- Check the accuracy periodically and reset the gadget if necessary.
The best thermometers for camping, hiking, and backpacking are those that are durable as these activities involve spending lots of time outdoors. There are several factors to consider regarding the durability of these items.
- Materials- The materials from which the thermometer is made make a big difference to the ruggedness of the item
- Water-resistance- If you spend time outdoors in wet conditions, then it is important that your thermometer has some water-resistance.
- Breakability- While in the outdoors, your thermometer may get banged or dropped. It is important that it does not break at the slightest knock. For example, an old-fashioned thermometer with mercury in a glass tube is not suitable for outdoor activities.
Weight and Size
Generally, thermometers are a smaller item anyway, so they do not tend to weigh very much. Therefore, the weight is not a big concern to most people. However, think about the following:
- Weight is important to ultralight backpackers who will shave off weight wherever possible.
- The smaller the thermometer is, the less it will usually weigh.
- If you need a large display, then the thermometer will probably weigh more.
- If the thermometer is an add-on feature to another gadget, then the gadget will probably weigh more than a thermometer on its own.
- Smaller is better unless you have problems with your eyesight and need a thermometer with a large display.
- Some of the best hiking thermometers also have extra features.
- Having extra features can save you money on buying extra items but the hiking thermometers with extra features cost you more than those that do not have extra features.
- Some of the most common extra features you will find on the best backpacking thermometers include a compass and a safety whistle.
Other features you may find on digital thermometers are barometers, altimeters, and data tracking functions.
Advantages of Having a Thermometer while Camping, Hiking, or Backpacking?
If you are wondering whether you need a thermometer for camping, hiking, or backpacking, then you should consider the following advantages of having this gadget.
- Increases safety- Digital hiking thermometers can increase your safety as you have a better understanding of the conditions you face and can plan appropriately.
- Planning activities- If you know the temperature, you can decide which are the best activities to enjoy on your camping trips or which are the best routes to take if you are backpacking or hiking in accordance with the conditions.
- Dressing appropriately- What you wear while hiking or backpacking is important, and a keychain thermometer can quickly give you the temperature and help you decide how many layers you should wear that day.
- Predicting ground conditions- A digital or zipper pull thermometer are handy pieces of equipment to have for hikers and backpackers as knowing the temperature will help them to predict the ground conditions on their planned route.
A thermometer is useful piece of kit to take along when enjoying many outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, trekking, and backpacking. There are plenty of options to choose between and each of these has its own pros and cons.
If you prefer an analog thermometer, then the best option is the Coghlan’s Function Whistle. Not only do you get an easy to read two-scale thermometer, but this multifunctional gadget also includes a compass, a signal mirror, a magnifier, a safety whistle, and an LED light.
For those who prefer a digital thermometer, one of the best backpacking thermometers is the HOLDPEAK 866B Digital Anemometer as this shows the temperature, wind chill, and wind speed in one clear display. It is an affordable option that you can attach to a lanyard, so you can secure the thermometer to your backpack or jacket.
However, if you want a wide range of weather-related information in addition to the temperature, then the best option is the Ambient Weather WM-4 Handheld Weather Station. Not only is this the best option in terms of the data provided, it is also a rugged device with a functional design.