The 10 Best Wind Meters

Updated April 28, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Wind Meters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Wind speed affects countless applications, including weather forecasting, aircraft and maritime operations, construction projects, ballistic crime analysis, and the growth rate of many plant species. One of these meters will give you the accurate readings you need for whatever your next project is, and many come with a handful of other helpful features as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wind meter on Amazon.

10. SkyMate WeatherHawk SM-18

The SkyMate WeatherHawk SM-18 is housed in a durable flip-open case that makes it highly portable, and it's accurate within 3% in its speed measurements. Its range of sensitivity is from 0.5 to 99 miles per hour, and it's powered by an easily replaceable lithium battery.
  • impeller is corrosion-resistant
  • floats if dropped in water
  • difficult to change unit settings
Brand Skymate
Model SM-18
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Kestrel 2000

The Kestrel 2000 features an innovative design that promises stability and accuracy even in abrupt condition changes. Its impeller is shock-mounted in a tough plastic housing, and it also measures temperatures down to -49º Fahrenheit.
  • has a data hold function
  • sure-grip molding
  • a bit expensive given its features
Brand Kestrel
Model 0820
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. WeatherFlow WFANO-02

The WeatherFlow WFANO-02 connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and then records information to its suite of included weather tracking apps, so you can take measurements from up to 100 feet away and avoid exposing yourself to cold or gusty conditions.
  • can be handheld or tripod mounted
  • measures magnetic and true direction
  • can't be turned on remotely
Brand WeatherFlow
Model WEATHERmeter
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Caldwell Crosswind Professional

The Caldwell Crosswind Professional is perfect for ballistic operations, as the unit's 90-degree rotating anemometer head allows you to measure how atmospheric conditions will affect a bullet's trajectory. It's a good choice for investigators and hunters alike.
  • automatic power-off function
  • includes a protective holster
  • inaccurate at low speeds
Brand Caldwell
Model 112500
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. HoldPeak 866B

The HoldPeak 866B measures wind speed in your choice of units from meters per second to knots and just about everything else you might want, plus it accurately reads temperature and windchill with ease. It can report maximum, minimum, average, and current conditions.
  • runs on two included aa batteries
  • backlight for night use
  • included instructions are lacking
Brand HOLDPEAK
Model HP-866B
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Speedtech WindMate 350

The Speedtech WindMate 350 measures speed, direction, air temperature and relative humidity, plus it calculates head, tail, and crosswinds as well as dew points. With a wide array of units to choose from, it's like having a meteorologist in your pocket.
  • compact and portable design
  • graphs 48-hour reading history
  • buttons are a bit stiff
Brand WeatherHawk
Model WM-350
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Petcaree Anemometer

The Petcaree Anemometer has a large, easy-to-read LCD with a backlight, and is protected by a removable rugged yellow rubber case. It features a simple two-button operation and can be used to effectively measure the speed and temperature of airflow.
  • great value for the price
  • data hold function
  • temperature reading is a bit slow
Brand Petcaree
Model pending
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Vaavud Mjolnir

The Danish-made Vaavud Mjolnir mounts to your smartphone's auxiliary jack and reliably tracks gust speeds from 4 to 48 knots with its included app, which works on both Apple and Android operating systems. Simply hold your phone up on a windy day and let it spin.
  • reliable analog measurement
  • includes a neoprene storage pouch
  • battery-free design
Brand Vaavud Mjolnir
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Ambient Weather WM-2

The Ambient Weather WM-2 features a versatile LCD that allows you to switch between units of measurement quickly and easily. It is rugged and very well priced, making it a great choice for kids with an interest in meteorology.
  • measures accuweather comfort level
  • low battery indicator
  • includes a neck lanyard
Brand Ambient Weather
Model WM-2
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Kestrel 5500

The Kestrel 5500 has Bluetooth technology that works seamlessly with its included LiNK app, allowing you to wirelessly transmit your logged data in real time. It's mountable and extremely accurate, not to mention IP67 rated, meaning it's virtually water- and dust-proof.
  • measures cross head and tailwinds
  • 100-foot wireless range
  • backed by a five-year warranty
Brand Kestrel
Model 0855LVYEL
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Choosing the Best Wind Meter

A wind meter is a valuable tool useful for collecting data that can be used to further science, education, and commercial development, as well as for recreational purposes. Most wind meters -- which are technically called "anemometers" -- feature a rotary blade set into a handheld case. They operate simply by being held aloft while facing into the prevailing wind. Any decent wind meter will be able to give you a reading of the speed of a gust or breeze, and if you only need the ability to calculate the present wind speed (which might affect the imminent launch of a kite or drone aircraft), even the simplest, lowest-cost unit will suffice.

For those who require more comprehensive airspeed data, look for a device that can take longer readings and that can store information from multiple readings. Some lower-cost options can log only a minute's worth of wind speed information, which may be insufficient to create any accurate modeling of the airflow patterns in a given area.

A different type of wind meter has seen greater popularity since its development a few years back: these connect directly to a smartphone or tablet, using the software on your device to calculate the data captured using external hardware. These options vary in form, with some utilizing the traditional spinning cup design first seen in the middle of the 1800s. While use of these options by definition necessitates ownership of (or at least access to) additional hardware, it also means much easier access to the data thereby collected. Many apps that partner with smartphone wind meters simplify and enrich the process of interpreting the information you collect.

Who Needs a Wind Meter, Anyway?

When it comes to a surprisingly large range of professions and hobbies, the answer truly is "blowing in the wind." For a meteorologist to make accurate predictions of imminent weather patterns, accurate readings of wind speeds are critical. Proper forecasting relies partially on an established knowledge of regular weather patterns based on location and season, but is largely predicated on collecting and analyzing immediate data. Recorded wind speeds are a crucial piece of that data set.

Many architects and engineers also must invest a great deal of time and energy into calculating wind speeds, the potential power of gusts and steady breezes, and the frequency with which wind will blow in certain areas. Wind can have powerful and potentially devastating effects on tall buildings, bridges, power lines, and other types of construction, and the airflow of a given area must be fully understood before any construction project is ever commenced. So, too, must a designer and/or builder consider how they structure they plan to erect might alter or intensify the movement of air in proximity.

Those involved with aviation are also intimately familiar with air currents, as the direction, speed, and frequency of wind plays a huge role both in planning flights and in safely managing aircraft that are already aloft. A change in wind speed or direction can have a dramatic effect on a plane or helicopter during takeoff and landing, and must be checked precisely. While any established airport will have myriad monitoring devices in place at all times, a wind meter can help ensure a safe takeoff or landing of a helicopter used for a medical evacuation or for a smaller plane operated at a private (or simply less-developed) airstrip.

Boaters also have an intimate relationship with wind, especially those who rely on it as their primary source of propulsion. Safe sailing necessitates ready access to accurate information on wind speed, and no sailor should ever take to the water without a wind meter.

Finally, a wind meter is a great tool for many hobbyists to own. Whether you are involved in model rocketry, flying an RC airplane, or you use a drone/quadcopter, knowing how fast the wind is blowing can help you have a safer, better-controlled flight. And in fact, as some flying objects are only safe when operated in certain conditions, knowing wind speed might be critical for participation in your hobby.

A Few Words on Wind

Wind is an amazing thing, too often overlooked in the course of our daily lives. Thanks to the careful work of the people who design our cars to exhibit minimal wind resistance, we hardly notice a stiff crosswind as we drive. Thanks to the expertise of the architect who develops plans for a skyscraper, we never worry about a downtown disaster caused by a violent wind storm.

While our modern skills in engineering and design can help mitigate many of the effects air currents would otherwise have on our lives, one can still appreciate the awesome, raw power of this elemental force by learning just a few staggering statistics.

First, a few words on the terminology commonly associated with wind. Any air flow between zero and 27 knots (about 31 mph) is considered a breeze and can be further described as light, moderate, and strong. The next category of windspeed is called a gale and pertains to winds blowing between around 27 and 60 knots. These are broken down as moderate, strong, and whole gale-force winds. Once windspeed is above the 63 knot mark (or 72 mph) the wind has reached hurricane force.

Despite the fact that the tallest mountain in the continental United States, Mt. Whitney (which stands at just 14,500 feet in elevation) is in California's Sierra Nevada range, the fastest mountain windspeed ever recorded was on New Hampshire's much lower Mount Washington, elevation 6,288 feet. On April 12, 1934, a wind gust on Mount Washington was recorded at 231 mph. This is, in fact, the fastest ever recorded windspeed not caused by a tropical storm. Hurricane force winds have been recorded at 253 mph, while tornadoes have been known to reach speeds of just over 300 mph.

As far as an impressive daily average speed, in April of 1951, the remote Port Martin research outpost on Antarctica experienced a period of such ferocious storms that the average wind speed for the day was 108 mph.



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Last updated on April 28, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


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