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Altimeter watches: Made obsolete by the GPS sport watch?

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2016 /

For over a decade I wore daily an altimeter watch like the Suunto Core, also known as an ABC watch because most models feature a barometer and compass, too. My favorite was the now-discontinued Highgear Summit, which had the three basic functions, plus a stopwatch with 100-lap memory, easily navigable screens, oversized type, and quick-glance…

Preview: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, plus Ambit development plans

By Andrew Skurka / January 13, 2017 /

Suunto had one major product release, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. And I learned of future development plans (or, more accurately, non-plans) for the Ambit collection. Spartan Sport Wrist HR The first GPS sport watch with a wrist-based heart rate monitor was the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, which was announced 12 months ago. But according…

GPS sport watch settings for road running races & the Boston Marathon

By Andrew Skurka / April 24, 2017 /

A GPS sport watch like the Suunto Ambit3 Peak and Garmin Fenix 5 offers pace, distance, heart rate and other data on a current, average, cumulative, and lap basis. I consider my GPS watch an indispensable tool for training and racing, especially in longer events like marathons and trail ultras, when early on I need…

Suunto Ambit3 vs. Garmin Fenix 5 || Core differences + ideal uses

By Andrew Skurka / January 24, 2018 /

For a week I have been wearing a borrowed Garmin Fenix 5X, which is Garmin’s flagship multi-sport GPS sport watch. I’m a longtime user of the Suunto Ambit3 Peak (and, before that, the Ambit2), and this first-hand experience with a competing brand and product has been informative. I’ve always been curious how the Ambit3 compares to the…

Long-term review: Suunto Ambit3 Peak || Unmatched performance for the price

By Andrew Skurka / February 13, 2018 /

Last August I upgraded to the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, after using for four years the previous iteration, the Suunto Ambit2 (read my long-term review). Since I train regularly based on heart rate, I bought the HR package, which includes the Smart Sensor Belt. To date I have worn the Suunto Ambit3 Peak for more than 150 runs or…

Review: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro || What am I missing?

By Andrew Skurka / February 22, 2018 /

For a few weeks I have been using a friend’s Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro. I am a longtime user of Suunto’s original GPS watch family, the Ambit, but this is the first Spartan series model that I have worn. It has a few nice features, but my recommendation is to stay away from…

Accuracy of Suunto Ambit3 Peak at Okay/60-second GPS pings (200-hr)

By Andrew Skurka / February 24, 2018 /

Following my long-term review of the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, friend and fellow guide Alan Dixon sent me an email with the title, “Suunto 200 hr mode not cutting it,” and shared that on a recent 8.2-mile hike his Ambit3 shortchanged him by 1.5 miles (18 percent). He had set the GPS accuracy of the Ambit at “Okay”…

Heart rate monitor troubleshooting: Suunto Smart Sensor & Ambit3 Peak

By Andrew Skurka / March 16, 2018 /

Last November my heart rate monitor was not working properly. Readings were regularly inconsistent and inaccurate during training runs. I use the Suunto Smart Sensor and Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review), which I purchased together in August and used together without incident for the first 150 hours. Here is an example of its behavior: The readings are…

Long-term review: Suunto 9 Baro || Legit flagship watch, needs firmware fix

By Andrew Skurka / November 29, 2018 /

For five months I’ve been using the Suunto 9 Baro GPS Sport Watch on a near daily basis, mostly while trail and road running, and occasionally backpacking. With few exceptions, it has supplanted my trusted Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review). It’s the nicest Suunto watch that I’ve used yet, but has one significant blemish that…