Best Suunto GPS Watches

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Suunto 7
Test Winner: Suunto 7
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If you are looking for a GPS watch for hiking, there is no better brand than Suunto. Suunto is a company from Finland and is known for manufacturing sports watches that not only are able to track your progress and fitness goals but also track your location as well. They have been around since the '40s and have been making quality sporting equipment ever since. The great thing about looking at investing in the best Suunto watch is that since they have been around for a number of years, their equipment has been tested and perfected from years of use in the field.

Below, we have listed the ten best Suunto GPS watches of 2020 and also explained what to look for when looking for the perfect watch for you, and what makes these watches the best over the rest.

Standout Picks

Suunto 7
The Suunto 7 was released in January of 2020 and has created quite a few waves since hitting the market. If you want something that is able to have all of the functionality of a smartwatch with a few advanced features that help you in your daily life, this design is well worth the steep price point.
Amazon Link
$342.59
SUUNTO 5
The Suunto 5 Multisport was released in late 2019 and boasts a sleek and modern design that transitions easily from the office to the trails. We love this design because it provides all of the functionally you want from a smartwatch and also has excellent GPS functions that ensure that you never lose your way even when you are far away from cell phone signals.
Amazon Link
$238.23
Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR
The Ambit3 is probably the most popular GPS watch from Suunto and they have various types. Their best Ambit3, though, is their Peak GPS unit. Once you see all its functionalities and design, you will begin to understand why.
Amazon Link
$271.00
Suunto Traverse GPS
The original Traverse is as terrific and competent as any GPS watch that Suunto has ever made. But, one major drawback prevents it from being any higher. While this does not hinder it to the point of unusable, it may be something to be wary of.
Suunto Traverse Alpha
This option seemingly does everything right and should be at the top of everyone’s list, no matter the manufacturer.
Suunto Ambit3 Sport HR
This is another variation of their Ambit3 GPS watch, but the Sport HR GPS unit is more suitable for fitness gurus. It sports many of the goods of the previous Ambit3, with only a few drawbacks to worry about.
Amazon Link
Suunto 9
This is one of the newest additions to Suunto's GPS watches and is packed with all the newest features to bring you a high tech GPS watch. It comes in a couple of designs so you can choose which style best fits you and your personality.
Amazon Link
$445.90
Suunto Spartan Ultra HR
The Spartan Ultra HR GPS watch has all the potential in the world to be the very best and while it does not quite do everything to perfection, its technology and software are highly-advanced.
Amazon Link
Suunto Ambit3 Vertical HR
Nope, the variations of the Ambit3 are not quite over yet and while the Vertical GPS unit is not quite up to par with the other versions it remains an extremely high-quality watch.
Amazon Link
Suunto 9 Baro Durable Multisport GPS
What we liked most about the Suunto 9 Baro is that it comes with a lot of extra features that help you stay in control when out on the trails, This design boasts a sleek design and comfortable fit that is ideal for harsh weather conditions. It also boasts an extended battery life for those that aren’t able to give it a charge at home at the end of the day. It’s one of the most expensive designs on our list, but we feel that it is worth every penny!
Amazon Link
Suunto Quest
While not a wide-known or popular watch from Suunto, at least in regards to some of the models they have manufactured, their Quest GPS Pack is more than capable of holding its own in the GPS watch market.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

At the heart of every single GPS device, no matter if it is a watch, handheld, or mounting system, is the GPS technology.

This is what allows you to enjoy the convenience of it and without it, these watches would be nothing more than standard, hybrid smartwatches (for some of them). Plus, the personal GPS tracker is probably the entire reason why you want to invest in one in the first place. If there is one commonality between all the watches on this list it is that they all are highly capable in the GPS department.

Whether you are looking for a watch to display fitness metrics such as speed, cadence, heart rate, distance, and pace or for simple route navigation these watches will cater to your needs. If you are apprehensive about the GPS, then a good reference is to prioritize watches with both GPS and GLONASS technology; as this ensures a faster and more efficient satellite signaling. But, just keep a sharp eye out for anyone who complains about the response time of picking up signals from the satellites in the sky.

Battery Life

With a standard wristwatch, battery life is not a concern. However, when you start talking about watches that implement GPS technology it becomes paramount.

GPS has been known to consume a lot of juice when used on a device, whether, on your smartphone, handheld or watch. On a long journey, you may not want to constantly charge your watch over and over again. Thus, analyzing the battery life capacity on a single charge.

As you noticed, most of the Suunto watches on this list have a determining factor in battery life. Depending on how accurate you have the GPS, you can either increase or decrease the battery life. For example, if you set the GPS to update every five seconds as opposed to every minute, you will suck down the battery faster. In certain circumstances, say hiking or biking, it may not be necessary to have the GPS update as frequently as five seconds.

So, you could milk the battery for as long as possible by having the GPS update less frequently. No matter, though, some watches will have a poor battery life period. As such, keep it at the forefront of your mind.

Connectivity

Bluetooth has become as dominant a technology as any in this modern world.

It has reached the point where devices that can’t wirelessly sync data with other devices are arbitrary. While, in all technicality, Bluetooth has nothing to do with the operation and functionality of a GPS. Instead, it is mostly used as an additional asset to add to the overall convenience of a watch. If you are familiar with smartwatches, GPS watches with Bluetooth are essentially the exact same thing.

For instance, Bluetooth technology could allow you to sync your GPS watch with your smartphone to see incoming notifications and alerts from your phone directly on the watch. Any device that has Bluetooth-enabled can be synced, so you can get pretty creative. Of course, there are a few models on this list that have something called ANT or ANT+ compatibility. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is also a wireless technology that allows compatible devices to monitor and talk to one another. Essentially, it works much as Bluetooth does.

Advanced Features

GPS watches typically will offer you more software features and functionality past the basic GPS installed.

This is going to vary from brand to brand and some features can become every day one’s for you, while some you will never use more than once. Some examples would be the ability to see sunrise and sunset times, which could lead a helping hand if you want to witness a romantic sunset, receiving updates on any weather changes and upcoming storms so you can proceed to shelter, or being water-resistant for a certain number of meters to ensure it can be used in the water.

Sometimes, you will even see watches that are pre-installed with various modes for training purposes. Or, in other cases, some that allow you to create applications based on criteria that you desire. However, one staple with Suunto watches is the Suunto Movescount App. This application can give you the power and means to plan your upcoming workouts and even receive voice guidance during your exercises. Although they are small in nature, when you begin to operate a Suunto GPS watch you will start to understand that these babies are (depending on the model) loaded with features.

Top 10 Suunto GPS Watches

1. Suunto 7

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$342.59
Suunto 7
Suunto 7 2
Suunto 7 3
Amazon Link

The Suunto 7 was released in January of 2020 and has created quite a few waves since hitting the market. If you want something that is able to have all of the functionality of a smartwatch with a few advanced features that help you in your daily life, this design is well worth the steep price point.

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What we liked about this design is that it is so easy to use. When you are within Wifi range, this design automatically downloads all available maps and heat maps that you can access when out on the trails. Even if you are far away from cell service, this design has all of the current maps already loaded and ready to go. It boasts a large face that makes reading detailed maps just a little bit easier.

In addition to an advanced GPS system, this design boasts helpful features to aid you in your everyday life. It is able to be paired with your phone so that you can use this watch as a simple extension of your phone. Track your steps, heart rate, and activity level on your health app, or even make phone calls or send text messages. You can even access your google assistant while out on the trails!

If you are in the market for a watch that has advanced functionality unlike anything else out there on the market, the Suunto 77 is one of the best pieces of wearable tech that money can buy. Just keep in mind, however, that this design is one of the most expensive options making our list.

Amazon Link
$342.59

2. Suunto 5 Multisport

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$238.23
SUUNTO 5
SUUNTO 5 2
SUUNTO 5 3
Amazon Link

The Suunto 5 Multisport was released in late 2019 and boasts a sleek and modern design that transitions easily from the office to the trails. We love this design because it provides all of the functionally you want from a smartwatch and also has excellent GPS functions that ensure that you never lose your way even when you are far away from cell phone signals.

Read more

This design goes above and beyond simple maps and directional guidance. It automatically updates your maps and heat maps when you are in WiFi range. What users love about this design is that it even lets you set training plans and route maps before you set out on your adventure.

What we also love about this design is that it is able to be paired with your phone so you can access most functions of your phone from your wrist. This design tracks your heart rate and stress levels and works with helpful fitness apps such as Strava, Training Peaks, and Endomondo.

If you are in the market for a smartwatch that has advanced GPS functionality, this design is a great option. We love that it comes in at a slightly more affordable price point than the Suunto 7, and boasts a more modest and sleek design. The battery life isn’t as long, but it is still enough to get you through the day before it needs to be recharged.

Amazon Link
$238.23

3. Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$271.00
Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR
Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR 2
Amazon Link

The Ambit3 is probably the most popular GPS watch from Suunto and they have various types. Their best Ambit3, though, is their Peak GPS unit. Once you see all its functionalities and design, you will begin to understand why.

Read more

Included in this best Suunto GPS watch are an altimeter, barometer, compass, and GPS. What this allows is for you to enjoy stable and accurate altitude and weather information; in addition to having navigation capabilities at your fingertips.

Depending on how frequently you want the GPS to refresh will determine your battery life. For example, having a five-second GPS accuracy will last up to 30 hours. Bring this down to a minute and you could potentially get up to 200 hours out of it.

Coming equipped with Bluetooth technology, you can sync it to any compatible device that you wish. If you choose your smartphone, you could see upcoming calls and notifications directly on the watch.

With the Movescount app, you can take photos and show your current speed and distance metrics. Then, you could create a movie and share it with any of your social media networks.

Besides the options for black, sapphire and sapphire blue, you can also choose to buy the watch with or without a heart rate monitor.

The saying, “nobody remembers second place” could not be more inaccurate when talking about this Suunto GPS watch. It has a great selection of design choices and impeccable software to boot.

Amazon Link
$271.00

4. Suunto Traverse GPS

Where to buy
Suunto Traverse GPS
Suunto Traverse GPS 2
Amazon Link

The original Traverse is as terrific and competent as any GPS watch that Suunto has ever made. But, one major drawback prevents it from being any higher. While this does not hinder it to the point of unusable, it may be something to be wary of.

Read more

With the power of GPS and GLONASS technology, you can upload routes directly to the Traverse to explore new areas and terrains. In addition, distance and altitude statistics can be progressed and you can retrace your steps with the breadcrumb trail. The battery life has a practical life of around eight hours in GPS mode. Compared to other models, this is a minuscule amount.

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stay up-to-date with everything that is happening with your smartphone (notifications, incoming calls, texts, etc.). Through the power of the barometric trend, you will be alerted of storm alerts and weather changes near your current area. Plus, you can see sunrise and sunset times right on the interface. Various color options are open for you to choose from including sapphire black, amber, white, black and graphite.

If you look past the below-average battery life, there is not much to dislike with the original Traverse GPS watch. For the time, it lasts, it will provide you with tremendous GPS capabilities and features to keep you safe from mother nature.

5. Suunto Traverse Alpha

Where to buy
Suunto Traverse Alpha
Suunto Traverse Alpha 2
Amazon Link

This option seemingly does everything right and should be at the top of everyone’s list, no matter the manufacturer.

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The GPS and GLONASS technology will allow you to keep track of your exact positioning and map coordinates for later viewing. When you need to find your way back to where you started, the re-tracing capabilities come in handy. The battery can last up to 10, 15, and 100 hours in GPS mode, respectively.

Using Bluetooth connectivity, you can receive incoming calls and notifications from your synced smartphone. Outside of its general GPS functionality, there are plenty of software features for you to utilize. This includes a sunrise alert, weather trend alert system, moon phase calendar, and the most adequate times to go hunting and fishing.

Hopefully, you are not too picky with colors and only stealth and foliage are available. However, they both should accommodate most people.

The usefulness of the Traverse Alpha suunto smart watch is completely through the roof and its rugged stainless steel bezel is a nice touch. All in all, it does not get much better from Suunto GPS watch.

6. Suunto Ambit3 Sport HR

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Suunto Ambit3 Sport HR
Suunto Ambit3 Sport HR 2
Suunto Ambit3 Sport HR 3
Amazon Link

This is another variation of their Ambit3 GPS watch, but the Sport HR GPS unit is more suitable for fitness gurus. It sports many of the goods of the previous Ambit3, with only a few drawbacks to worry about.

Read more

The GPS implemented in the Sport Ambit3 makes it perfect for fitness and sports enthusiasts. It delivers all the metrics you need including speed, heart rate, and distance. Runners can also track their performance and anyone can analyze their sleep recovery.

As with the other Ambit3, the battery life depends on the way the Suunto gps is used. For five-second accuracy, expect around 15 hours of battery life. With one-minute accuracy, this skyrockets to 100 hours.

Being Bluetooth smart, it is capable of connecting to various Bluetooth-enabled devices. This can allow you to sync your activities, but to also receive smartphone notifications and incoming calls.

With the Suunto Smart sensor, you can record your heart rate when you are swimming. In addition, through the power of the Movescount App, you can plan all your workouts and receive voice guidance during your exercise.

The option is available to buy this with or without a heart rate monitor. Plus, you can choose between a few different colors including blue, black, sapphire, and white.

This is a fantastic addition to any athlete’s wrist as it provides top-of-the-line metrics to analyze your workout. Some may say it could have been a little lighter, but you can’t argue with its functionality.

Amazon Link

7. Suunto 9

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$445.90
Suunto 9
Suunto 9 2
Suunto 9 3
Amazon Link

This is one of the newest additions to Suunto's GPS watches and is packed with all the newest features to bring you a high tech GPS watch. It comes in a couple of designs so you can choose which style best fits you and your personality.

Read more

The GPS is quite accurate but if you are constantly using this feature it can drain your battery. So try and use the GPS only when needed. This GPS is quite accurate and can even track you while you are out on a run. Great if you want to know where you are or the distance that you have run.

You can adjust the battery settings on this watch as it has battery modes. Wit ha click of a button you can adjust the battery mode, and if the battery is starting to die it will automatically switch to a power-saving mode. Again, as stated above, if you are constantly using the GPS feature this can drain your battery quite a bit, so only use when needed. With max battery settings on, this watch will last you about 120h on a single charge. This watch can connect using Bluetooth. It also is able to connect to the Suunto app.

This watch is made for sports lovers and athletes in our life. It easily tracks your progress and has over 80 different sports expertise. Another great feature is that this watch also can inform you when a storm is on its way and what the weather is. It comes in 3 colors. Black, Lime, and white.

Overall for one of the newest watches in Suunto's line, this Suunto smart watch is packed with the newest features and is great if you plan on getting outdoors this summer season.

Amazon Link
$445.90

8. Suunto Spartan Ultra HR

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Suunto Spartan Ultra HR
Suunto Spartan Ultra HR 2
Amazon Link

The Spartan Ultra HR GPS watch has all the potential in the world to be the very best and while it does not quite do everything to perfection, its technology and software are highly-advanced.

Read more

It has both GPS and GLONASS technology ensuring the most accurate route navigation possible and always keeping you on course. In addition, the digital compass will guide you even when you are on uncharted terrain. Having as prominent of GPS technology that this watch has would seem to insinuate a shorter battery life. However, it is rated to last up to 26 hours in training mode and 15 days in the “time of day” mode.

All the power and convenience of Bluetooth is present here, meaning you can connect any Bluetooth-enabled device you wish to transform it into a smartwatch. Though, it has been known to struggle with this.

Already pre-installed on this watch is 80 sports modes that you can navigate and test out. Mess around and try them out as they should accommodate for nearly every activity that you can think of.

Various color options are available including all-black titanium, gold, stealth titanium, white and black. In addition, the choice is yours for an included heart rate monitor.

It is a shame that the Ultra HR GPS watch could not have been higher on this list, but drawbacks have to be taken into consideration. However, do not get it twisted, this is worth an investment.

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9. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical HR

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Suunto Ambit3 Vertical HR
Suunto Ambit3 Vertical HR 2
Amazon Link

Nope, the variations of the Ambit3 are not quite over yet and while the Vertical GPS unit is not quite up to par with the other versions it remains an extremely high-quality watch.

Read more

Once again, this Suunto GPS watch is ideal for athletes. It provides you with the most advanced running, biking and swimming features and metrics. For example, speed, distance, and pace. Of course, GPS technology also allows for route navigation and the ability to retrace your steps.

As is the theme with the Ambit3 watches, if you use it with faster GPS accuracy the battery life will lower. In specific, 15 hours with five-second accuracy and 100 hours with one-minute accuracy. No matter the reasoning for connecting this watch, whether you want to sync your activities or view notifications from your smartphone, you can as it does have Bluetooth functionality.

Straight from the Suunto Movescount app, you can create custom and unique routes using both topographic maps and altitude information. With the real-time hill incline feature, you can also track and progress your climbing capabilities.

Just like its counterparts, you can choose to have a heart rate monitor come with it. Plus, you can choose between black, blue, lime, and white color options.

Honestly, all the Ambit3 models are more similar than they are alike. The Vertical Ambit3 is just another example of a fantastic GPS watch with superb functionality.

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10. Suunto 9 Baro

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Suunto 9 Baro Durable Multisport GPS
Suunto 9 Baro Durable Multisport GPS 2
Amazon Link

What we liked most about the Suunto 9 Baro is that it comes with a lot of extra features that help you stay in control when out on the trails, This design boasts a sleek design and comfortable fit that is ideal for harsh weather conditions. It also boasts an extended battery life for those that aren’t able to give it a charge at home at the end of the day. It’s one of the most expensive designs on our list, but we feel that it is worth every penny!

Read more

One of the most notable features of this design is that it has a battery life that lasts quite a long time. It hosts a battery life indicator that lets you know how much juice is in the tank, and adjust that estimate when apps such as GPS are active. It even comes with an extra battery pack to give it a quick charge when far from home.

It hosts all of the smartwatch features that help you stay on top of your progress. It is able to calculate your heart rate and steps and send all of the information to the health app on your phone. It also measures the barometric pressure and compiles all of that information on the GPS coordinates as you use this device.

It is important to note that this high-end design packs quite the price tag. However, if you are willing to spare no expense for the best of the best currently out there on the market. You can’t go wrong with the Suunto 9 Baro.

Amazon Link

11. Suunto Quest

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Suunto Quest
Suunto Quest 2
Amazon Link

While not a wide-known or popular watch from Suunto, at least in regards to some of the models they have manufactured, their Quest GPS Pack is more than capable of holding its own in the GPS watch market.

Read more

This is an athlete’s dream as the GPS technology and POD will store your distance, speed, and tracks. Plus, when using FusedSpeed, it will provide incredibly responsive real-time distance and speed readings.

At its peak, updating every second, you may get up to 15 hours of battery life. Drop that down to a one minute update and then you could see up to 60 hours of battery life.

It is capable of syncing between devices that have ANT compatibility. No matter, though, you can always transfer data with the Movestick Mini.

For additional measurements, it is compatible with Suunto PODs. Built-in is a heart rate monitor that will provide you with real-time information for excellent performance-oriented training. In addition, you can personalize this watch with specific training plans. You have two options at your disposal; you can either get a yellow or black version of the Quest GPS.

While it is definitely not without its flaws, which will soon be addressed, there is no reason why you should be ashamed if you invest in this Suunto smart watch. Even though it is not as fancy and hi-tech as some of the other Suunto GPS watches, it is highly functional.

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Sources

  1. Jane McCullough, Best Suunto Running Watches, Website