Fitness watches are all the rage! From Fitbits to Garmin to Apple Watches, there are so many out there. In the last 5 years I have had 3 Fitbits, 1 Garmin, and 2 Suuntos. Hands-down both Suuntos have been my absolute favorites! Stay tuned and find out why.
First, a little background:
Suunto began in 1936 in Finland when Tuomas Vohlonen invented a way to mass produce liquid-filled compasses. This new way of making a compass made for better readings and more accuracy. By 1953, Suunto is exporting their compasses to over 50 different countries. In 1965 Suunto creates the first diving compass and by 1987 they release their first dive computer and in 1997 they release the first watch-sized dive computer that also functions as a watch.
In 1998 the Suunto Vector is released and, according to Suunto, is so popular among mountaineers that is has “probably seen more of the Himalayas than any other watch.” The 2000’s saw the birth of training watches with altimeter, barometer, and a compass.
In 2010, Suunto goes live with Movescount.com. This allows owners of Suunto watches to upload, rate, track, and share their activities as well as search activity routes and follow other members.
In 2014, the world’s smallest Bluetooth Smart compatible heart rate sensor is released in the Suunto Ambit3. It even records heartrate while swimming! 2016 saw the introduction of the Suunto Spartan series which sports a durable and bright touch screen and is supplemented by Movescount services.
What I have:
I started my Suunto journey with the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR. I got it in an Ocean color and loved it. I was living in a very humid climate and my wrists would sweat a lot so I would wipe under the band (while wearing it) frequently. Eventually it caused the strap to break. But Suunto was great about getting it fixed at no cost to me. And then I did it again.
This time they decided to upgrade me to a watch with a different attachment system and again, at no cost to me. The upgrade I received was to the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR (nearly $200 more than my original watch). I have now had this one for over a year and it is amazing. I changed out the band on it because I wanted one a bit more breathable.
I am a CrossFitter and a runner. I run sprints, 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons and I have testing this watch throughout 2 years of running. It works amazing. I can use the app to load up my run or to look for logged routes others have done. It also creates a video of my long runs which is pretty cool. I don’t need to have my phone with me for it to utilize the GPS either. When I was in Northern Michigan for a little over a month last year, I had no reception on my phone. My main form of exercise was running, and it was great to still be able to log my runs when I had no reception on my phone.
As I said, I also CrossFit which means that I am running and climbing, lifting things, and am fairly rough on this watch and there are no marks or scratches in it. One of the best parts is that you can actually log the workout as “CrossFit.” The other watches I have tried have only had the basics on it; running, rowing, biking, swimming, etc. The Suunto watch has over 80 different activities to choose from. CrossFit is just one of them. It also has running (trail, treadmill, outdoors, track, and more), rowing, biking, soccer, swimming, triathlon, weight training, climbing, yoga, Pilates, and so much more! I love being able to analyze my workouts; how hard I worked, what heart rate zone I spent the most time in, the calories I burned, my estimated recovery time based off of the intensity of the workout, etc.
Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR features:
My watch has a customizable watch face and I can even change the colors on it. It is water resistance to 100m, and I’ve taken it for a few swims. I prefer not to press any buttons while underwater just in case but otherwise have had no issues with it. It has a heartrate monitor, so it tracks my heart rate and my sleep. There are more than a dozen languages available on it. It is touch screen. Without using any tracking on it, the battery will last up to 14 days. With 24/7 tracking and notifications, the battery can last for 7 days. It counts steps and calories burned both during exercise and not. There are more than 80 preset activities on this watch!
Originally published January 2020. Edited April 2020.