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See Our Top 8 Rated – The Best Suunto Watch for Hiking

outdoor adventure

As you shop around for a quality military or tactical style watch for all of your outdoor adventures, you should strongly consider the Suunto brand. Since 1936, the brand has impressed customers with the quality of their watches. This Finnish company offers a wide-range of products which includes sports watches, dive computers, tactical watches, compasses, and much more.

As you sort through the breadth of Suunto watches on the market, make sure you focus your attention on the models that fit your lifestyle and activities you’ll be using it for. Consumers have a tendency to be mesmerized by the Suunto brand and sometimes forget why they started looking at the watches in the first place. So, for example, if you’re looking for a military-style watch to use on your hikes, be sure to focus your attention in that direction.

Buyer’s Guide

outdoor adventureReading through the specs of each watch can be intimidating. To help you complete your search as quickly and efficiently as possible, we have done much of the legwork for you and compiled a list of some impressive options. The Suunto watches listed below have received excellent reviews from previous hikers, and each should make for a durable and reliable choice.

But before you read through the reviews, we’ve highlighted four things you should know about Suunto watches and how each one may vary from product to product.

Durability

Close up of adventure woman feet walk on a mountain path.The one thing Suunto promises to deliver in all of its watches is dependability and durability. A robust watch is a must when it comes to hiking. The last thing you want is for your watch to break if you fall or if you drop it hard enough.

Suunto will not disappoint, so don’t ever worry about your watch breaking on you in the most critical moments of a trek or hunt. For example, the best suunto watches use sapphire or mineral crystal for the display cover, which is generally scratch resistant and can handle a pretty devastating impact.

Person hiking in mountainsSome Suunto watches use stainless steel for the bezel, and sometimes a composite material for the casing. Suunto watches generally feature a nylon or silicone wristband, which will last for a long time. One general complaint about the nylon strap among hikers and hunters is that the nylon develops a stench or odor, so try to clean it every so often.

Also, one thing we noticed here at Off The Grid Guru is that silicon straps are robust, but not as robust as their nylon strap counterpart. To top all that off, these digital watches are waterproof. Prior to being put out for sale, each Suunto watch is rigorously tested in the lab and out in the field.

So, as you can see, a quality Suunto watch features high quality construction. So when you see the price of some of these watches, just remember the quality and durability you’re investing in.

Battery Life

man hiking wearing gps watchBefore you buy a Suunto watch, it is good to research how long the battery will last on a single charge. Looking at the specs and the estimated battery life of one of these watches can be confusing if this is your first time shopping for a Suunto product.

Think of a Suunto watch like you would a smartphone. For example, if you stream videos or music all day on your phone, the battery will drain much faster. And the same applies to a Suunto GPS watch.

person posing on mountainFor instance, in GPS mode, you have the option to control the accuracy of your GPS tracking. The best Suunto watches, at their highest setting, are capable of updating by the second, which in turn will drain the watch’s battery much faster. When skimming through the specs, you’ll see the battery life in the following format: 10/15/100 (Best/Good/Ok).

So, what these set of numbers tell you is that on its highest or “best” GPS setting, the watch will last 10 hours on a single charge, and then 100 hours on its lowest GPS setting. On a single charge, a Suunto watch can last for days on its basic settings. Make sure to check the battery consumption levels prior to purchasing a Suunto watch.

Connectivity & Compatibility

Suunto GPS tracking watchSuunto has done a tremendous job in the area of connectivity, implementing Bluetooth technology on its watches. Now, don’t get it twisted. These watches aren’t loaded with the advanced features like your average smartwatch on the market, but the bluetooth connectivity on these watches allows you to put your phone away and keep your hands free while on a hike. 

For instance, you can sync your smartphone to your Suunto watch and have notifications and alerts pushed to your watch. That way you don’t have to miss a step on your journey by pausing to check your phone. 

These Suunto watches are compatible with applications on iOS and Android phones. Suunto’s Movescount application allows you to connect with others by comparing your personal achievements and training experiences with your peers in the Suunto community or transfer Heatmaps created on your app onto your watch.

Tools

It’s also important to highlight other advanced features and the functionality of Suunto devices. Their watches are perfect for hiking because of the various tools to help you on your next trip. First, the navigation on these watches are extremely sophisticated and precise, running on GPS and GLONASS technology.

The GPS/GLONASS technology is perfect if you’re the “outdoorsy” type and looking to push yourself to more difficult hikes and trails, but still want to be prepared. Also, some other useful tools to look for in these watches are an altimeter, a  compass, and weather tracker. All these are meant to help you plan your hikes accordingly and help you stay ahead of any obstacles. 

Top Eight Rated Suunto Military-Style/Tactical Watches

Suunto 9 Multisport GPS Watch with BARO and Wrist-Based Heart Rate

This Suunto watch is ideal for hiking and constructed for extended, arduous training and racing, and extreme adventures. If you’re wondering what the main difference is between this model and the original Suunto 9, it’s in the name.

The barometer combined with GPS tracking gives a more accurate altitude reading, whereas the Suunto 9 only uses GPS to deliver altitude information. This Suunto watch uses a unique FuseTrack software to deliver better track and distance accuracy.

The featured barometer also helps provide sea level air pressure. You’ll never have to worry about the battery dying on you while you’re hiking. Its battery is reliable and built to last with its intelligent battery life management system.

The technology helps ensure your watch doesn’t die on you when you need it most. On one charge, this battery will record up to 120 hours of exercising. This Suunto watch is durable and will survive the most extreme conditions.  

It is water resistant up to 100 M, and the LED backlight makes it convenient to read your timepiece in any condition. It is on the pricier side, but it’s worth every dollar.  

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SUUNTO Spartan Sport BARO 

This multisport GPS watch is perfect for hiking and built to meet the demands of all types of athletes. It features over 80 sports modes pre-installed, which is just one of many reasons why athletes prefer this wristwatch.

The heart rate monitor tracks your rate and steps throughout the day to deliver accurate daily level activities, so you can really optimize your activities and workouts.  This product is battle tested and guaranteed to withstand all training conditions.

Just like the previous Suunto watch, it is water resistant up to 100m. The battery lasts up to 10 hours in training mode and extends to 40 hours in other power saving modes.

The product’s battery life and customizable activity and display settings is something all hikers and athlete’s will love.  The accuracy of the watch while trail running in the mountains is amazing.

Also, we promise you’ll get compliments while sporting this stylish yet comfortable timepiece. This product is perfect to wear during workouts and to the office. This GPS watch is definitely one of brand’s finest watches on the market today.

It comes with Bluetooth and connects effortlessly with the app on an Android or iOs device. The Spartan Sport GPS watch is on the pricier side but is an excellent investment for those that want to take their outdoor workouts to the next level.

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SUUNTO Spartan Ultra GPS Watch

The black Spartan Ultra wristwatch is the top performer in the Suunto Spartan line. This GPS watch is reliable and battle-tested to withstand any conditions. Its functionality combined with its advanced features make this the one to buy. 

It’s built for all athletes, featuring the Spartan lines 80 pre-installed sport modes and sport-specific displays. The watch combines GPS, barometric altimeter, and heart rate monitor to provide optimal tracking data to optimize your workouts and hikes.

This Suunto GPS watch can track weather patterns and even alerts you in the case of a storm. Also, to really help plan your excursions, it tells you when the sun will rise and set. As you can see, this watch really can do it all.

The Suunto watch display size is impressive and is also a touchscreen. This Spartan Ultra gps watch is the ideal combination of fashion and function so you can use it all day, anywhere. We love the ease of use, the intuitiveness of the watch, and its sleek look.

It links without problems to the heart rate monitor and phone app. The price point is rather high, but you’re getting a reliable and rugged watch that will surely live up to all your expectations.

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Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Traverse Alpha is the Swiss Army knife of watches and made for those that love to be outdoors. It’s not only ideal for hiking and trail running, but a great watch to have while hunting, fishing, camping, and anything else you can think of outdoors.

With the use of GPS/GLONASS navigation, you have the security of knowing you’ll never get lost in the woods or mountains. The features and tools of this item are amazing, especially if you’re on a hunting or fishing excursion.

With all of its features and modes, it is effortless to toggle and navigate through. It can track the moon phases, sunrise/sunset, weather trends, and provides shot detection for hunters.

Also, the Suunto Movescount app allows you to plan your hikes with topographic maps. With the app, you can also log your fishing and hunting trips, so you’ll never have problems finding your favorite spots. 

This Suunto watch is extremely comfortable, durable, and scratch resistant. Suunto definitely got it right with the combination of a nylon strap, stainless steel, and sapphire crystal glass.

All watches are made in Finland and tested to military standards, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product. For night hikes and excursions, the Traverse Alpha has a built-in flashlight and a digital compass to keep yourself oriented.  

Also, its red backlight makes it ideal for nighttime use, without bringing attention to yourself. Another convenient feature is that the product can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to notify you of calls. The Suunto Traverse Alpha is definitely one of our highest rated devices for hiking, and a great value at its current price point.

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Suunto Traverse

This Suunto watch is perfect for hikers and trail runners that are not afraid to explore the unbeaten path. The Traverse is a slight step down from the Traverse Alpha, in that it does not include the tools for hunting and fishing.

But, the Traverse GPS watch is still packed with some of the same perks and useful tools like the Alpha. For example, just like the Alpha model, it has GPS/GLONASS navigation.

Also, you have access to the Suunto Movescount app so you can plan your hikes with the use of topographic maps. You can even preview your route, and get an altitude profile of said route. The watch’s accuracy is impressive, tracking your speed, distance, and altitude in real time.

The watch even keeps a log of your daily, monthly, and yearly activity and the calories you burned. If you’re looking for a watch strictly for hiking, then choose the Suunto Traverse. You won’t be disappointed.

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SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak 

The SUUNTO brand went above and beyond when they created this watch, the Suunto Ambit3 Peak. The watch is easy to use and intuitive.  

Navigating through the watch’s functions/settings is very straightforward. Adding custom displays for specific activities is fantastic, and the Movescount software is a joy to use.

This watch is durable, reliable, and has a long-lasting battery (up to 200 hours) that can go on for days if the settings are just right.  The GPS is fast and accurate in even the harshest conditions like if you’re trekking through heavily forested trails or in the snow.

This Suunto GPS watch doesn’t have a heart rate monitor built in, but it will pair with the belt (sold separately). The FusedAlti allows you to track your elevation and weather patterns accurately.

Also, you can plan and preview your hiking routes with topographic maps available through the Movescount app. You won’t be disappointed if you buy the Ambit3 Peak watch by Suunto.

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Suunto Ambit3 Vertical Watch For Multi-Sport Athletes

The Suunto Ambit3 Vertical is more than a military style watch with GPS function. It also includes a built-in barometric altimeter, which will track the barometric pressure of your ascent with accuracy.

Check your overall progress throughout the year and for each day. Plan your workouts with the Suunto Movescount app and let the watch’s alert system guide your movements as you exercise.

Connect the Ambit3 vertical to your smartphone for syncing your activities, customizing on the go and seeing calls and notifications on the watch. This wrist accessory is waterproof up to 100m and has 15-hour battery life.

The Suunto Ambit3 Vertical is your daily training and competition companion for sports such as trail running, mountain biking, and many other outdoor activities, ranging from very low to high impact. The GPS function is ideal for any outdoor enthusiast who finds themselves in the mountains or forest.

Keep in mind you do not need to be an athlete to use this watch; customers have raved about the product’s utility at all levels. Lastly, you can choose a watch with or without the heart monitor.

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Suunto Men’s Digital Core Multi-Function Black Silicone

For something more affordable, the Core model from Suunto is a great-looking watch that is also mainly black including the face and the band. With just ten reviews to its credit so far, this isn’t a product that has received a lot of attention, but the comments have been largely positive to this point. The appearance of this watch is one of the points that many buyers love, in addition to its ability to perform a variety of tasks.

As far as technical specs, this is a watch that runs on quartz movement, is is water resistant to 30 meters, and the band is made from silicone. It has a mineral face to resist scratching and other forms of damage, and there is a traditional buckle clasp to keep the wristband connected. If you don’t need a whole host of military functions, but would still like a durable, reliable watch from a quality brand, the Suunto Core is a strong pick.

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Conclusion

The Suunto brand has risen to near the top of the watch world for a reason, and the eight items on this list are a great representation of the quality and durability that the brand has to offer. Whether you truly need the altimeter, barometer, and compass functions that are available, or you simply want a quality field watch that you can rely on time and again, check into each of the three Suunto options above. If you are anything like the many previous reviewers, you won’t be disappointed.

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