We don’t make it a secret that we’re big fans of Davis weather stations. They might not be the fanciest home weather stations, but they have a proven record of reliability that few other companies can match. Their stations last for decades and measured the highest wind speed recorded by a personal weather station, 199mph!
Davis Instruments sells a cheaper model called the Vantage Vue, and a pro-grade model, the Vantage Pro2. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll explain in our Davis weather station comparison. We’ll also compare specifications, discuss WeatherLink Live (the company’s new connectivity offering), and touch on AirLink, which adds air quality measurements to your weather station setup.
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Davis Weather Station FAQ
Let’s get started with a few questions we frequently hear from readers.
Davis Vantage Vue vs Vantage Pro 2: what’s the difference?
The most significant differences are the sensor suite. The Vantage Pro2 features a separate wind vane and anemometer (with the option for a sonic anemometer). With the Vantage Vue, all the sensors are in a single housing, called an “integrated sensor suite.” The Vantage Pro2 also offers expandability, although the new AirLink air quality sensor works with either model.
Who should buy the Davis Vantage Vue?
We recommend casual weather observers purchase the Davis Vantage Vue, which is significantly cheaper than the Vantage Pro2. Even in a significantly smaller package, the Vantage Vue is still a very accurate weather station.
Who should buy the Davis Vantage Pro2?
We recommend weather enthusiasts, organizations, and commercial users purchase the Davis Vantage Pro2 over the Vantage Vue. This station’s accuracy is unmatched among consumer weather stations, and the option to add additional sensors is a huge benefit for specialized applications like agriculture and environmental monitoring.
How do I connect my Davis weather station to the internet?
Yes, both stations offer optional internet connectivity, but it requires an additional device called WeatherLink Live. Davis offers packages with the WeatherLink Live included, which we recommend. Unlike other weather stations, while Alexa is supported, you cannot use your weather station data to control your smart home devices.
Can I connect my Davis Vantage Vue or Vantage Pro2 to Weather Underground?
Yes, you can, as long as you have a WeatherLink Live base station. You’ll connect the station from within WeatherLink’s settings page. First, you’ll want to set up your account on Weather Underground, though. You can do that by clicking here.
What are the advantages of the Davis Vantage Pro2?
The Vantage Pro2’s expandability is its key feature. Among the additional sensors not available to the Vantage Vue are UV and solar radiation sensors. With the Vantage Pro2 there is also an option for a fan aspirated radiation shield for more accurate temperature and humidity readings. The separate wind vane and anemometer improve wind readings (for why see our weather station installation tips).
What are the advantages of the Davis Vantage Vue?
The Vantage Vue’s integrated sensor suite makes it much easier to install and better suited for those that might not have space for a more extensive setup. And despite its significantly lower price, the station’s sensors are no different than what is found in the Vantage Pro2.
What are some alternatives to Davis Instruments weather stations?
Davis’ stations are arguably the best personal weather stations on the market, but there are some excellent alternatives. If you’re considering either weather station, we’d recommend also considering the following stations as well from Ambient Weather:
Is there a difference in the accuracy of the Davis Vantage Vue and Vantage Pro2?
According to their spec sheets, no. But where you place your weather station significantly affects how accurate your readings will be. With the Davis Vantage Pro2, you can place the anemometer in an elevated location while keeping the rest of the sensors near the ground: you don’t have that option with the Vantage Vue.
How long do Davis weather stations last?
With proper maintenance, getting five years out of your device is easy. However, some Davis stations have been known to last over two decades.
Where are Davis weather stations made?
All Davis stations are designed, manufactured, and tested at the company’s Hayward, California headquarters.
Davis Weather Stations
Below we’ve listed the various Davis weather station packages currently available on Amazon.
Best Mid-Grade Weather Station
Best Pro-Grade Weather Station
While the Vantage Vue is showing its age, and its connectivity options limited, it remains the best mid-grade weather station on the market.
- Includes ISS only
You can't get any better than the Vantage Pro2 when it comes to accuracy in a home weather station. However, you'll pay quite a bit for it.
- Professional wireless weather station with weather data updates every 2.5 seconds
- Measures rainfall, wind speed & direction, temperature, humidity, UV and solar radiation
- 24-hour fan-aspirated radiation shield
- Includes console
- WeatherLink Live sold separately
The addition of WeatherLink Live seriously upgrades the connectivity options for both the Vantage Vue and the Vantage Pro2. Previously, you had to purchase an expensive (and outdated) ethernet dongle to connect your station to the Internet.
While real smart home connectivity other than an Alexa app is still missing, WeatherLink Live makes more sense. It appears that the newer sensors that Davis is releasing are built to be compatible with the WeatherLink Live directly, so options may grow with time on what you can do.
We like the live updating within the app when you’re on the same Wi-Fi network as your WeatherLink Live. It’s a nifty feature, and I’ll admit to watching it intently during some of our stormiest weather.
What’s nice is, from what we’ve seen, it isn’t any more expensive than the old dongle, which didn’t have the functionality the WeatherLink Live has. Unfortunately, it’s also not any cheaper.
If you own a Davis weather station, then WeatherLink Live is a must-have. It connects your station to the Internet, and when you're on the same network, the ability to monitor real-time weather conditions.
- Super quick setup
- Live in-app data when on your home network
- Adds expandability to your Davis station
- Ready for the smart home
- For current Davis users, no way to merge data
Davis’ newest device is an air quality monitor known as AirLink. It’s arguably the first of Davis’ “next-generation” weather stations and instruments, as it connects via the new WeatherLink base module. AirLink is one of the few air quality monitors that measure PM1 particulate matter and the more commonly found PM2.5 and PM10.
We found the sensors extremely sensitive in our tests (be careful where you place the AirLink sensor!) and accurate based on our experience for a consumer-grade air quality sensor. If you’re especially sensitive to particulate matter due to allergies or breathing issues, Davis’ AirLink is something you want to consider — especially because it can detect PM1.
- Can measure PM1 concentrations
- Integrates with WeatherLink Live
- Accurate readings, highly sensitive instrumentation
- Not a standalone sensor
Davis Vantage Vue vs Vantage Pro2: Our Verdict
Either Davis weather station is a great choice, but the Davis Vantage Pro2 is a solid station overall if you can afford it. With best-in-class accuracy and a track record of proven reliability, it’s one of the best weather stations available. But it’s very, very expensive.
We’ve owned a Vantage Vue since 2016 and love it. We’ve had no major mechanical problems with our station, and the accuracy is outstanding as long as you properly maintain it. And we’ve also purchased AirLink and are happy with its performance. But our next station is a Vantage Pro2, for sure.