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  1. #1
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    Default Watch Recommendations - Looking at Suunto Traverse

    I've decided I need to upgrade to a more functional hiking/mountaineering type watch.
    I'd like GPS, Altimeter, Compass, and barometer.
    My early research has led me to the Suunto Traverse.
    Anybody have experience with this watch? Pro's or Cons?
    Any other suggestions or recommendations based on personal use?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I had a Suunto for many years, certainly a nice watch. About 10 years later the sensors started becoming wonky. A good run for a watch, sure. However, it was bulky for what it is, and I didnt think the value was there. Hard to program, etc. For the $, I bought his watch, and have been quite happy.
    https://www.amazon.com/LAD-WEATHER-A.../dp/B00JPWT5T6

  3. #3
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    I'd look seriously at the Garmin Forerunner or even Garmin Fenix family of watches if you want reliable and well put together GPS watches. Personally, I use a non-GPS altimeter watch for winter climbing. Suunto is more stylish but not more functional. FWIW, the higher end Forerunner watches have the same electronics as the non-mapping Fenix watches, just lighter plastic cases, and therefore lighter if less stylish overall.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  4. #4
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I'd look seriously at the Garmin Forerunner or even Garmin Fenix family of watches if you want reliable and well put together GPS watches. Personally, I use a non-GPS altimeter watch for winter climbing. Suunto is more stylish but not more functional. FWIW, the higher end Forerunner watches have the same electronics as the non-mapping Fenix watches, just lighter plastic cases, and therefore lighter if less stylish overall.
    Yes, I'm familiar with Garmin quality. I have (read) that the Sunnto's are solid too.

    The Garmin Instinct looks interesting as well. I'll have to research that one a little more.
    Last edited by DSPeabody; 08-20-2019 at 10:16.

  5. #5

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    DC Rainmaker has some great reviews and comparisons of Suunto’s and Garmin’s. I found his reviews invaluable when choosing my last watch.

    ..which is a Suunto Ambit3 Sport (previous owner of multiple Garmin’s and never owned a Garmin for as long as I’ve owned my Suunto) I wanted the Traverse but the larger battery capacity meant a larger watch and I have small wrists.

    my only complaint is my watch uses the alligator clip charger which is sometimes fiddly. When charging in my car, it often gets knocked off kilter as it does better on a level surface.

    Ive only moderately used Suunto’s map/route feature and find the lesser known trails aren’t always on their maps.

    I recommend making an account with MovesCount and exploring the app before making a decision. No complaint with movescount on my end but it may help with your decision.

  6. #6
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    MovesCount, I'll look into that.

    DC Rainmaker - I'm somewhat familiar with from the Tri community.

    Thanks TJ.

  7. #7

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    The new Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar is pricey but looks promising for thru-hiking since it's solar powered. I'll be eager to see the reviews as hikers try it out. I've had a Fenix 3 HR for almost three years and I love it.

    https://gizmodo.com/garmins-new-sola...ays-1837451307

  8. #8
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I used to own and love Suunto watches for hiking and mountaineering (I had 2 of them, long story....). Good watches but pricey.

    And I know do-everything-smart watches are ALL the rage, but here's a much cheaper but still very robust alternative, get a cheap but still excellent altimeter watch and use your phone for your GPS, since chances are you'll have your phone with you. A good app on your phone, like Backcountry Navigator, Gaia, or Caltopo will treat you very well for navigation. I completely believe that my current phone's GPS is more accurate than a late model Garmin (a 30x model).

    For a cheap, but still excellent and very accurate altimeter watch, I now use this Casio:

    https://www.amazon.com/Casio-Sensor-...7VB1WC0DJPSV1W

    Honest to doG, I think this line of altimeter watches is more accurate than my older $200 Suunto altimeter watch. Sure, of course, it has to be calibrated to a know altitude often, as do all altimeter watches that run off of barometric pressure. But once calibrated, it seems to be very accurate. My old Suunto used to drift low as you climbed, my tests showed about 5-7%, meaning on a 2000 foot climb, it would drift low by 100 feet or more. My casio does NOT have this drift. My theory is that Suunto is a Finnish brand, and the atmospheric profile at very northern latitudes is different from our more modest USA (or Japanese, where I assume Casio is made) latitudes. Just a theory.

    I resist buying a multi-hundred dollar watch, who needs all those electronics when your phone has this already. Just my own M.O.

  9. #9
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I used to own and love Suunto watches for hiking and mountaineering (I had 2 of them, long story....). Good watches but pricey.

    And I know do-everything-smart watches are ALL the rage, but here's a much cheaper but still very robust alternative, get a cheap but still excellent altimeter watch and use your phone for your GPS, since chances are you'll have your phone with you. A good app on your phone, like Backcountry Navigator, Gaia, or Caltopo will treat you very well for navigation. I completely believe that my current phone's GPS is more accurate than a late model Garmin (a 30x model).

    For a cheap, but still excellent and very accurate altimeter watch, I now use this Casio:

    https://www.amazon.com/Casio-Sensor-...7VB1WC0DJPSV1W

    Honest to doG, I think this line of altimeter watches is more accurate than my older $200 Suunto altimeter watch. Sure, of course, it has to be calibrated to a know altitude often, as do all altimeter watches that run off of barometric pressure. But once calibrated, it seems to be very accurate. My old Suunto used to drift low as you climbed, my tests showed about 5-7%, meaning on a 2000 foot climb, it would drift low by 100 feet or more. My casio does NOT have this drift. My theory is that Suunto is a Finnish brand, and the atmospheric profile at very northern latitudes is different from our more modest USA (or Japanese, where I assume Casio is made) latitudes. Just a theory.

    I resist buying a multi-hundred dollar watch, who needs all those electronics when your phone has this already. Just my own M.O.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I may give the Casio a try before I spend bigger on a smart watch.
    I've used my phone in the past but the issue is battery life with it as well. I usually just turn the phone off when I know I will be in areas without a signal and save the battery for if I may need it such as walking out to a road in an emergency situation. My phone battery won't make it 2 days running GPS.

  10. #10
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSPeabody View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I may give the Casio a try before I spend bigger on a smart watch.
    I've used my phone in the past but the issue is battery life with it as well. I usually just turn the phone off when I know I will be in areas without a signal and save the battery for if I may need it such as walking out to a road in an emergency situation. My phone battery won't make it 2 days running GPS.
    I assume you're leaving your phone in Airplane Mode, correct? The phone's GPS should still work when in airplane mode.

    Not sure what app your running to look at your GPS, but check a couple of different ones out, unless you have an old phone and old battery in it, you should get 4-5 days in airplane mode, using the phone for pics and navigation, maybe occasional actual communications. I always have, on my third of various phone models using such apps.

  11. #11
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    Yep, It's a Galaxy S5, so several years old. I should probably upgrade soon.

  12. #12
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aberfoyle View Post
    The new Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar is pricey but looks promising for thru-hiking since it's solar powered. I'll be eager to see the reviews as hikers try it out. I've had a Fenix 3 HR for almost three years and I love it.

    https://gizmodo.com/garmins-new-sola...ays-1837451307
    $750-$1000 ...ouch. Out of my price range for watches.

  13. #13
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSPeabody View Post
    Yep, It's a Galaxy S5, so several years old. I should probably upgrade soon.
    Well, the Galaxy S5 actually has a replaceable battery, about $15 on Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Battery-LCLEB...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    Most phones sold in the last few years do not have replaceable batteries, alas. If I had an S5 that still worked, I'd nurse it along with a fresh battery.

  14. #14
    Registered User DSPeabody's Avatar
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    For anyone else researching this topic, here's a pretty good breakdown that I found.

    https://www.switchbacktravel.com/bes...er-abc-watches

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    Quote Originally Posted by aberfoyle View Post
    The new Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar is pricey but looks promising for thru-hiking since it's solar powered. I'll be eager to see the reviews as hikers try it out. I've had a Fenix 3 HR for almost three years and I love it.

    https://gizmodo.com/garmins-new-sola...ays-1837451307
    Just bought a 6x pro but couldnít justify $250 more as the solar doesnít add much power and most carry a battery pack...only added 3 days in full sun over the normal 21 days...also didnít like the color...like all black. $750 not cheap but had a big dividend to burn at Rei....


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