7 Best Suunto Watches For Running, Military & Other Outdoor Activities

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Tom and his team mentions and reviews only those products that they find good enough after using & researching them for several weeks. By doing this we make sure that you get a well rounded review and recommendations to make the best decision for yourself.

Suunto is a Finnish brand well known for its dive computers, compass, and sports watches. And it is best appreciated for creating a liquid-filled compass that was way more accurate and reliable in extreme weather conditions than any other compass of the time. In fact, during World War II a Finnish soldier survived a bullet from a Russian sniper as instead of hitting him the bullet hit the compass in his pocket.

What we wanted to tell you with this interesting tidbit is that Suunto products are durable and built to last. Even after so many years, Suunto still hasn’t compromised with its quality which is why most athletes consider that Suunto makes the best watches for activity tracking. And, that’s why Suunto watches are the best for runners, hikers, military personnel, or just about anyone who lives an active lifestyle.

So if you are looking for the best Suunto watches then we have listed not one but 8 Suunto watches for hiking, running, cycling, and so on.

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Best Suunto Watch Comparison Table





Best Overall

Suunto 9 watch for running

Suunto 9 Baro

  • 120 hour battery life in GPS mode

  • Robust build quality

  • Training load and recovery feature

Best Suunto Watch For Military

Suunto watch for military

Suunto Core

  • 12-month battery backup in time only mode

  • Inbuilt ABC sensors

  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Best Suunto Watch For Hunting

Suunto Traverse Alpha tactical watch

Suunto Traverse Alpha

  • Automatic shot detection feature

  • Sunrise and sunset alert

  • Moon phase calendar

Best Suunto Smartwatch

Suunto watch for outdoors

Suunto Ambit3 Peak

  • 200 hours battery backup with GPS enabled

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Perfect for swimming, cycling and running analysis

Best Suunto Watches

1. Suunto Core All Black

Suunto watch for military

The first watch on our list is Suunto Core designed for military personnel or anyone who is looking for a tactical smartwatch. What makes it perfect for military application is the elastomer material used in the strap. It is a highly durable and heat-resistant material that ensures the watch remains light without compromising its durability. Moreover watch is protected by a mineral crystal and aluminum bezels.

Since the watch is also water-resistant up to 100m you can also use the watch for swimming and even do light snorkeling up to 10m underwater.

Also, it features a negative display so you won’t bring unnecessary attention to yourself when you are out on the mission at night. However, if needed the watch comes with electro-luminescent light which illuminates the display allowing you to read the time in the dark.

Suunto Core also comes with inbuilt ABC sensors (Altimeter, barometer, and compass). A barometer sensor on the watch would allow you to avoid sudden storms as it can detect changes in atmospheric pressure. Compass on the other hand would be useful when navigating new and unexplored terrain. The watch also has luminous marking for North on the bezel so you can even find your way out despite the pitch darkness of night. With an altimeter, you can also measure your hiking session as you would be able to measure total ascent and descent.

Furthermore, it can keep track time of your home as well as the location of your active duty simultaneously as it comes with a dual time feature. Also, the watch can show the sunset and sunrise time of your location so you can set up camp or go back to your base before the sunset.

Now you might be wondering all these features are great but how would I charge the watch every week when I am on active duty? Then let us tell you this watch uses a replaceable coin cell lithium-ion battery. And in the time-only mode it would last up to 12 months, on the other hand, enabling all the senors will reduce battery backup to only 1-2 months.

To sum it up, features like long battery backup, ABC sensors, robust build quality, and so on make Suunto Core the best Suunto watch for military purposes. However, we would also like to add that you don’t have to be in the military to use the watch if you are a fan of G-Shock like rugged and durable watches then go for it.

The Good
  • Inbuilt ABC sensors for outdoor activities
  • Keep track of two timezones at once
  • 12-month battery backup in time only mode
  • Highly durable watch
  • Reasonably priced available for around $100

The Bad
  • No GPS
  • Dim brightness of the display

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2. Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit

Suunto watch for outdoors

If you are a triathlete who is looking for the best GPS watch for hiking, running or cycling then Ambit 3 peak will be a great option for you. Some of the hardcore Suunto enthusiasts consider it the best Suunto watch altogether and I would be happy to tell you why.

First and foremost Suunto Ambit3 is known for its reliable and long-lasting battery backup as it can easily last for up to 2 weeks despite being used extensively. Also, the watch offers 200 hours of battery life with GPS-enabled, only watches that come close to Suunto in this department are Garmin and Polar watches.

Furthermore, ABC (Altimeter, barometer, and compass) sensors on the watch make it a perfect companion for adventure.

Besides that, you can also measure your average speed, running speed, stride length, and more using the watch itself. And, for swimmers, it can measure various performance metrics such as swim pool pace & distance, open water pace & distance, swimming stroke style, stroke efficiency, and more. For cyclers, it can tell them their cycling speed, average cycling speed in real-time, and more.

Suunto Ambit 3 also comes with Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect the watch with your smartphone. It also allows you to connect Bluetooth-enabled devices such as a heart rate sensor, Bluetooth-enabled footpad, Bike POD, and so on.

Overall, we would say this is the best budget Suunto watch for runners or anyone who is looking for a multi-sports watch. It can provide you with an in-depth analysis of your sports activities allowing you to focus on improving more on your efficiency. And, at this price, there are not a lot of devices that can do that.

The Good
  • 200 hour of battery life in GPS mode
  • In-depth analysis of sports activities
  • Good battery backup
  • Bluetooth connectivity

The Bad
  • Doesn’t support ANT+ Accessories

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3. Suunto 3 Fitness Tracker Sports Watch

Suunto 3 Fitness Tracker

Not everyone prefers a full-fledged smartwatch some users just want a fitness tracker to track their daily fitness activities. It allows them to simply wear the watch and analyze their daily fitness routines such as swimming, running, and so on without spending hundreds of dollars. And, Suunto 3 fitness tracker is for users who want just that.

It comes with an adaptive training guidance feature which gives users three options: to either to maintain your present fitness level, increase it moderately or start doing intensive workout to increase your performance. Then depending on the option, you have selected the watch will create a 7-day training plan for you that would help in achieving your fitness goals.

Also, depending on your selected activity Suunto 3 would also give you an in-depth analysis of your sports activity. For instance, if you are a runner then using the watch you would be able to track your speed, distance covered, steps per minute, and other useful metrics. Therefore with the help of those metrics, you would be able to focus on improving your performance. Apart from that, you can even use this fitness tracker for rowing, it will tell you the distance covered, heart rate while rowing, average speed, elapsed time, and more.

Most watches have the problem of ghost touch when they come in contact with water. However, this watch doesn’t have a touch screen and is operated entirely using buttons available on the watch. Along with that, 30m water resistance makes it perfect for water-based sports like swimming, rowing, kayaking, etc. Besides that, the watch can track 70 different sports activities so no matter which sport you are into, Suunto has got you covered.

There is no doubt that leading an active lifestyle is crucial but you also need to take a break every once in a while and Suunto 3 helps you do exactly that. Therefore using the watch you can see how much time it will take for you to recover after an intensive workout session so you can avoid any workout-related injury.

Moreover, you can also monitor the quality of sleep you are getting along with the duration of your sleep. Using this data you can better plan your day and ensure that you are well rested so you always feel fresh the next day.

The watch also comes with Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect the watch with any 3rd party accessories like a foot pod, cadence support, and other Bluetooth-enabled accessories.

Note: The watch doesn’t show your activity stats on the watch face as images on Amazon might suggest. Images here are only used to give you an idea of what this watch will look like in real life.

The Good
  • Tailored fitness plan according to your requirement
  • In-depth analysis for your fitness activities
  • The watch comes with built-in 70 sports profiles
  • Sleep tracking
  • Reasonably priced fitness tracker

The Bad
  • Some users find it difficult to set up and use
  • User interface difficult to use
  • No inbuilt GPS

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4. Suunto 5

Suunto 5

Suunto 5 is the elder sibling of the Suunto 3 and comes with several significant improvements. It comes with an inbuilt GPS so you won’t need to carry your phone when you’re out on a run. Also, the watch can work up to 20 hours in GPS mode so you can even wear this while hiking, trekking, or other outdoor activity.

Moreover, the watch also comes with the Komoot app which helps you plan your route for hiking, trekking, or cycling and get real-time turn-by-turn directions. Also using the POI(Point Of Interest) feature you can save any location during your trip. So if you want to save the starting point of the trip just in case you get lost or save that beautiful spot you found to revisit it on your way back, then using the POI you can do that.

Talking about the health tracking features of the Suunto 5, it comes with VO2 max which helps you track your oxygen intake during athletic performance. Also, the watch can also track your heart rate all day and also during workout sessions. Also, you won’t need a dedicated wearable sleep tracker as using the Suunto 5 you can track your sleep accurately.

Besides that, what makes it probably the best Suunto watch for cycling and running is its ability to automatically start recording your activity. So you can focus on improving your speed efficiency and performance rather than playing with your watch for it to start recording.

Furthermore, you can sync all your activities to the Suunto app which is available for both iOS and Android devices. Using the app you would be able to get a detailed analysis of all your fitness activities such as your heart rate, sleep analysis, in-depth performance metrics for 80 sports activities, and more. You can even join communities with like-minded fitness users, discover new locations for cycling, running, and enjoy your fitness journey.

Overall, we would say at this price very few watches with as good a brand name as Suunto offer VO2 max and GPS tracking. So give this watch a look, it will grow on you.

The Good
  • Point of interest feature to save any location
  • In-depth sports and workout analysis
  • Inbuilt profile for 80 sports activities
  • VO2 max and heart rate tracking

The Bad
  • The dim display makes it difficult to read under direct sunlight
  • Difficult to use for some users

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5. Suunto Traverse Alpha

Suunto Traverse Alpha tactical watch

If you are looking for a smartwatch for hunting then Suunto Traverse Alpha is the best Suunto smartwatch for hunting. And one of the many reasons for that is the watch meets military standard 810g that means it won’t be affected by high or low temperatures, humidity, water, rain, and other similar situations.

The watch dial sports a stainless steel bezel and sapphire glass for protection which is highly durable and scratch-resistant. Most watches that come with nylon straps remain wet for hours if not minutes if it gets exposed to water but not this one as it is built using durable textile material which is water repellent in nature.

What makes it perfect for hunters is the automatic shot detection feature. It automatically detects when the shot has been fired using the accelerometer sensor of the watch. Also, you can see all the locations later where you fired the shot along with shot distance using the Suunto app.

Furthermore, the watch comes with sunrise and sunset alert so that you can find camp before it’s dark. And, if you like fishing then the watch comes with a built-in barometer that can detect sudden changes in atmospheric pressure and warn of potential storms. It is very useful when you are out on the boat alone or on the top of the mountain.

Also, the watch comes with a moon phase calendar so you can keep track of the moonrise and moonset timing of your location. As we all know that there is more fish activity due to high tide during the full moon so using the watch you can ensure that you don’t come back empty-handed.

Not just hunting and fishing the watch can also be used in tactical situations as it features a night vision compatible red backlight. Also, the watch also comes with an inbuilt GPS, Altimeter, and compass sensor making it all in one watch for all your adventures.

However, the watch also comes with several other smart features such as mobile notification sync, vibration alerts, and activity tracking. Therefore if you are someone who is passionate about hunting and fishing then this will be a great option for you.

The Good
  • Automatic shot detection
  • Military-grade build quality
  • Sunrise and sunset alert
  • ABC sensors(Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass)
  • Moonrise and moonset feature

The Bad
  • Some users find the screen to be dim
  • Expensive

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6. Suunto 7 GPS Sports Smart Watch

Suunto 7 GPS Sports watch

Some users prefer a smartwatch that is versatile and can track your sports activity without sacrificing smart features like Google Pay, 3rd party app support, etc. And if you are one of those users then we are happy to report that Suunto 7 is the best Suunto smartwatch for the job.

This watch is powered by Wear OS by Google which gives it access to all the apps available on the Play Store. So you can install apps like Shazam, Google Maps, Gboard, Gmail, calendar, audio recorder, and many more. Also, you can leave your wallet behind as this smartwatch comes with Google Pay which allows you to make contactless payments.

The watch also supports the Komoot app which makes this Suunto watch perfect for mountain biking and trail running. Using the app you can download the map for offline navigation and get turn-by-turn directions for several locations around the world. Don’t worry you won’t need to carry your smartwatch with you as it comes with a built-in GPS.

Besides the navigation capabilities, it also comes with various sports and health tracking features. One such feature is sleep tracking that gives you in-depth detail of your sleeping pattern and sleep quality. Using it over time you would be able to identify your sleeping habit and bad bedtime rituals that are affecting your sleep quality.

Furthermore, the watch can also track your sports activities such as running and give you various performance metrics like average speed, distance covered, the time elapsed, and other useful data. If you prefer the Google Fit app over Suunto then you can also sync your workout details to the Google Fit app. Moreover, the watch can also keep track of heartbeats per minute during working sessions as it comes with a heart rate tracker.

The only shortcoming that we could find with this smartwatch is that it offers sub-par battery life when compared to other Suunto watches. However, that’s not an issue exclusive to Suunto as all Wear OS watches suffer from the same issue. But what sets it apart from the other Wear OS watches is its in-depth sports activity analysis.

The Good
  • Access to Google Play Store
  • Sync your fitness activity to the Google Fit app
  • Sports as well as health tracking features
  • Supports wireless payment with Google Pay

The Bad
  • Subpar battery life
  • Sports activity analysis not as good as other Suunto watches

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7. Suunto 9 Baro

Suunto 9 watch for running

Suunto 9 is the best Suunto watch for Triathlon and we are not saying it just for the sake of it. This is the flagship smartwatch that Suunto has to offer so it comes with all the features athletes may need. For triathletes, the watch comes with continuous running or workout recording up to 120 hours with GPS enabled. So whether it’s multi-day hiking or marathon you won’t need to charge the watch again and again.

Moreover, the Suunto proprietary FusedTrack algorithm can give accurate data of distance covered, route taken without taking a toll on the battery.

Suunto 9 is also water-resistant up to 100m so you can track your swim session and analyze swim pace, swim distance, stroke rate, stroke count, stroke type, and even stroke efficiency. You can also connect a heart rate belt to watch and monitor your swim sessions and get a 360 view of your swim performance. With the help of the Suunto app, you can also sync notifications.

One common mistake that athlete makes is that they don’t know when to stop and this may lead to injury or fatigue. That’s why Suunto 9 comes with Training Load and Training Recovery.

Training load helps you assess the overall toll that your daily fitness activity such as running is taking on your body. On the other hand, the Training Recovery feature predicts your energy level using your heart rate variability and other workout metrics. So if you feel tired and the watch also shows that you haven’t fully recovered your energy after a high-intensity workout session then pushing yourself is probably not a great idea.

It would be useful for athletes who don’t know when to stop and using this feature will ensure that you are not exhausted due to the previous day’s workout sessions.

The Good
  • Perfect Suunto watch for triatheletes
  • Continous 120hr backup with GPS enabled
  • FusedTrack algorithm for accurate distance tracking
  • Can be connected to other accessories like a heart rate belt
  • Training load and recovery feature
The Bad
  • Heart rate measurement inaccurate on the watch
  • Big watch face not suitable for small wrists

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What Is The Best Suunto Watch For the Military?

Suunto Core is the best watch for military personnel as it is highly durable and comes with tactical features like a compass, altimeter, and barometer. Also, the watch battery can last up to 12 months in the time-only mode.

Is The Suunto 7 Watch Worth It?

Yes, Suunto 7 is powered by Google’s Wear OS and comes with access to Play Store so you can install several apps like Telegram, Shazam, and more. It gets better as it also comes with Suunto sports and tracking features that most Wear OS watches lack.

What Is The Difference Between Suunto 7 And 9?

Suunto 9 is geared towards users like adventurers, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts. However, Suunto 7 is geared towards users who want access to third-party apps and also track your sports along with your fitness activities. But tracking features on Suunto 9 is better than 7.

Do Any Suunto Watches Store Music?

Suunto 7 can store hundreds of music tracks on the watch itself and you can even connect Bluetooth-enabled headphones and listen to the music on the go.

Which Suunto Smartwatch Is The Best?

Suunto 9 is the best smartwatch that Suunto has to offer as it can track your activities with GPS enabled for 5 days. It also provides the best sports and fitness activity analysis.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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