Best Suunto Watches Buying Guide
Suunto is a Finnish company founded in 1936 that specializes in premium outdoor and adventure watches. We had a chance to meet with reps from the manufacturer at CES this year, and we found ourselves astonished that we haven’t looked into this brand before.
The company has a history of crafting useful products, beginning with their liquid sighting compass in the 1940s. Today, Suunto boasts a range of watches for hiking, hunting, diving, and multisport tracking. Their long history of building reliable and well-designed watches makes them worth considering. Let’s take a look at some of the top Suunto watches available right now.
Sport and Fitness Watches
Suunto 3 Fitness (Releases Spring 2018)
Suunto announced their newest offering, the Suunto 3 Fitness, at the start of CES 2018, but offered up few specifics. The watches were available in the booth, but because they are still in beta mode, they did little for attendees to get the full effect. The Suunto 3 Fitness runs on the company’s own software and will be available in five different colors.
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It does include optical HR sensors and can connect to external HR straps. The primary objective of this watch is intensity workouts, which are guided and facilitate an increase of your V02Max to increase your fitness level.
It does not include GPS, however, which will likely be a deal breaker for some potential buyers. However, the absence of GPS helps keep the price low – it should be priced at under $200, with some versions just a bit more.
We’ll update when we learn more and when Suunto announces a launch date.
The Spartan line from Suunto includes (from least expensive to most expensive):
- Spartan Trainer HR (from $279)
- Spartan Sport HR (from $399)
- Spartan Sport HR/Baro (from $499)
- Spartan Ultra (from $699)
The first device, the Trainer HR, is a triathlon, multisport watch that is small and lightweight. It features GPS, optical HR, and smart notifications. This is one of the most popular watches from Suunto because its price is competitive yet it holds its own against some of the more expensive but similarly featured sports watches on the market.
Next up are the Sport HR and the Sport HR with barometric altimeter. As you can probably guess, the primary difference between these two is the addition of the barometric altimeter on the latter (and an extra $100). In the Spartan line, you’ll find that each device is essentially a next-step-up from the previous. So, the Sport models will feature everything that the Trainer has, with the addition of more data, extra functions, and GLONASS. The Sport models have touch screen and digital compasses, as well. The Sport HR/Baro has additional data related to the addition of the barometric altimeter. They are also water resistant to 100 meters.
Finally, the Spartan Ultra is the most expensive of the line and competes with watches like the Garmin Fenix 3 in price, size, and functionality. It boasts a slightly longer battery life and more comprehensive data and features. However, when it launched in 2016, reviews fell flat. Many complained about the bugginess of the app and the product itself, and return rates were very high. More recent reviews are mixed, with plenty of higher marks but still inconsistency across the board.
The Suunto Ambit3 is a multisport GPS watch that has been around for several years now. The Ambit3 is a great watch for marathon training. It also includes advanced training and recovery functions. The Ambit3 is designed to help you do a lot of planning and tracking, and the different models are more tailored to specific athletes or movements.
The Traverse is Suunto’s premier outdoor watch, with two available models: the Traverse and the Traverse Alpha. The original Traverse is designed for outdoors activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, and so forth. It has GPS and GLONASS, barometric trend to help predict weather patterns, and sunrise/sunset times. It is water resistant to 100 meters, includes a compass and built-in flashlight, and has smart features such as notifications, calendar, and more.
The Traverse Alpha has similar functions, but is geared toward hunters and outdoorsmen. It includes features like POIs, which lets you log locations with specific descriptions like trail camera or bedding area. It also has automatic shot detection to mark the time and location of the shot. Both Traverse models are durable and incredibly useful.
The Core is another outdoor watch from Suunto, but with some very different functions. It features altimeter, barometer, and compass, making it a go-to for adventurers traveling off the beaten path. Like the Traverse, it will give you estimates and warnings about the weather. It is water resistant up to 30 meters. The Core does not include GPS or any of the smart features of the other watches. This is a strictly outdoors/military style watch. It is well-priced, however, making it a strong candidate in that category of watches.
Dive Computer Watches
One of Suunto’s biggest claims to fame is their line of diving computers: their line is the world’s first watch-sized CCR dive computers. There are a few different models (from most expensive to least):
- DX Dive Computer: Featuring 3D compass and wireless air integration
- D4i Novo Watch: Four modes: air, nitrox, free and off
- D4f Freedive Computer: Ideal for freediving, snorkeling and spearfishing
Suunto offers several premier watches for a variety of activities and lifestyles. Most are priced competitively and all offer excellent engineering, design, and detail, so they are definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a new outdoors or sport watch. Sunnto is the only way to go when it comes to watch-sized dive computers.
Which watches do you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments below!