Monday, June 1, 2020
Spartan Race

Suunto 9 Review

Must Read

Some people get into running when they’re at school. Some don’t get the bug until they’re in their 30s or 40s. For Virginia Pawlyn,...
Many of us dream of running the Virgin Money London Marathon. It’s an iconic race that attracts runners of all abilities and every walk...
Now that the UK lockdown is continuing for a few more weeks at least, I thought I would discuss inspirational films you can watch....
Amy Robson
Amy Robsonhttp://thekindpeach.com/
Amy Robson is a personal trainer and health and wellness writer. Having well and truly caught the running bug, Amy's preferred distances are marathons and ultras, where she'll often be seen sporting her Bad Boy Running gear and a Vegan cap. Amy specialises in reviews and race reports and has been reviewing products professionally for over eight years.

The Suunto 9 is a colourful wearable GPS tracker and fitness tracker, looking to catch a runner’s eye and provide them with all the data and information they could ever need.

Sale
Suunto 9 Unisex Multisport GPS Watch, 25+Hours Battery Life, Waterproof to 100 m, Wrist Heart Rate Monitor, Colour Display, Mineral Glass, Green, SS050144000
  • The athlete's training companion, for 80+ sports, waterproof to 100 m, smart battery life control for up to...
  • Colour display with three buttons, graphic pulse display, 7-day step and calorie count, tracking and...

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

But what is it about runners and analytics anyway?

- Advertisement -

Runners seem to be constantly looking for the next piece of data; the next way to track race pace, heart rate and even temperature. I’ve been at many a race start where, when the RD shouts ‘Go!’ the simultaneous beeping of watches is so strong you can almost detect a communal beep in the air. I’ve also been at many a race finish where a runner has crossed the line jubilantly, their face filled with joyous emotion, only to suddenly break in to a tirade of profanities when they realise they hadn’t stopped their running watch.

But, really, it’s understandable.

Suunto 9 running data screenshots
What’s a run without data?

For the average individual there is mounting evidence that fitness trackers do not produce tangible long-term results. However, for a dedicated runner (with a strong motivational system in place), they can be a valuable way of keeping track of key analytics, such as mileage per week, minute per mile pace, heart rate, and other splits. Additional features such as GPS tracking (and guidance), app-based social media and cross-app integration (hello Strava!) also offers valuable ways for runners to connect and to navigate both the digital and physical landscape of their running career.

Given all of this you’d be a rare runner not to have a fitness tracking watch, but the crucial question is always where to throw your hard-earned money on what is (let’s face it) some pretty pricey tech. The Suunto 9 is one option well worth considering.

Introducing the Suunto 9

Suunto 9 Review
The Suunto 9 Lime reveal

The Suunto 9 is an attractive piece of running tech for anyone looking to invest in a new multisports GPS watch, especially if distance and data are your thing.

Coming in a variety of colours (including a custom option), this watch has a non-porous, hypoallergenic silicone strap and a stainless steel bezel, which stylishly protects its mineral glass watch face.

- Advertisement -

The watch faces can be customised via the app or via the PC/Mac application available via the Suunto site. The watch weighs about 72g and feels substantial on the wrist, meaning you’ll either get along with its chunky exterior or you’ll end up with some gripes about it. I personally found myself in the gripe camp, as my teeny tiny wrist felt weighed down during running by the bulk of this watch, but the it’s the type of watch where you can adjust to its shape and weight through wearing it for a time.

All about the tech

Suunto 9 Details
This watch comes in a variety of colours with changeable watch face options to boot

More important than appearance, however, is the performance of this bad boy.

The Suunto 9 has a lot of different features which will be of immense value to both new runners and seasoned performers.

This wearable fitness tracker has an estimated wrist HR monitor, over 80 sports modes, fully built in GPS navigation, is water resistant up to 100m (great for OCRs or rainy races), and can deliver from 25 hours to 120 hours of recording time, which is pretty much going to cover most ultra events.

Suunto 9 Specifications

The Suunto 9 is also fully aware that crazy ultra runners exist and it is practically designed to cater to our needs. Using its specially designed FusedTrack algorithm, the Suunto 9 can optimise battery life while using its GPS and motion tracking to keep the battery going while its user covers the miles. It also has a low battery reminder, which makes sure that you’ll never get caught out before a big race (or during if you somehow need to charge on the go).

When it comes to the GPS and course data I tested it on at the Crafty Fox Half Marathon in September and found that it seemed pretty well tuned with tracking the distance and all other data that I needed. The Suunto app that links with the watch gave an extensive amount of data. This includes duration, distance, pace, heart rate, calories, recovery time (ha!), ascent, steps, cadence, descent, the highest point, how long I had spent descending and ascending (now that’s a new one), EPOC and even a pre-generated video of my run on a map. Colour me impressed with the amount of data that I gained from a single run, and that I could make accessible to my friends through the Suunto app should I choose to.

Visual of a map for the Crafty Fox trail race
The Crafty Fox Half in perspective.

Navigation

Navigating the Suunto 9 was probably my biggest fear when I first used it. I’m a Garmin user by standard and the Suunto 9 buttons are distinct to the brand (as is to be expected). It didn’t help that, at first, my Suunto wouldn’t connect to my phone but, in this area, the customer service team were swift and very helpful, advising a soft reboot and I was good to go.

As it happened, my fears over navigating the Suunto 9 were completely unfounded. This watch has a touchscreen as standard, which handily locks during exercise so that you don’t accidentally press it. Once I put running as my default exercise, all I needed to do before a run was a few simple swipes, a button press and I was good to go.

The Suunto 9 will helpfully buzz (or beep) away the km/miles as you go, which I always find helps my frame of mind during a run, but this feature can also be disabled.

Beyond watch navigation, the watch also has a built-in digital compass, an altimeter and GPS waypoint and visual route navigation. These all worked with extreme accuracy and acted as a reassuring safety net during unknown runs or self-navigating events.

If you’re worried that you’ve lost your way when it comes to your running, the Suunto will guide you, in more ways than one.

The Suunto 9 offers so many features that it’s hard not to be in awe of its performance or, to be more precise, in yours. If you want to know more about yourself as a runner and are looking for the right tech to guide you, then you’d be making a wise choice considering the Suunto. It’s a chunky addition to the wrist, but big plans sometimes require mighty tech.

Sale
Suunto 9 Unisex Multisport GPS Watch, 25+Hours Battery Life, Waterproof to 100 m, Wrist Heart Rate Monitor, Colour Display, Mineral Glass, Green, SS050144000
  • The athlete's training companion, for 80+ sports, waterproof to 100 m, smart battery life control for up to...
  • Colour display with three buttons, graphic pulse display, 7-day step and calorie count, tracking and...
Sale
Suunto Unisex's 9 BARO Watch, Black, One Size
  • The training companion for serious athletes, Support for 80+ sports such as swimming (waterproof to 100 m),...
  • Colour display with 3 action buttons, Graphic heart rate wrist display (even while resting), Step and calorie...
Sale
SUUNTO Unisex's Spartan HR Sports Wrist, Black, One Size
  • The daily workout and competition companion for over 80 sports such as swimming (water-resistant to 100 m),...
  • Tracking plus route navigation with waypoints and breadcrumb navigation in real time, measuring of heart rate...
SUUNTO Unisex's Spartan Sport WHR Baro Stealth Watch, Grey, One Size
  • Support for 80+ sports and outdoor activities such as swimming (waterproof to 100 m), cycling or running,...
  • Graphic heart rate wrist display (even while resting), Step and calorie display (last 7 days), tracking +...

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We were provided with a watch for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are the writer’s honest and personal own.

Add Your Comments

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
- Advertisement -

Newlatest articles

The COVID Diaries: Running in the time of Coronavirus (part 2)

Welcome to the second week in our new blog series, catching up with runners as we navigate this weird...

Canicrossing at an event: here’s what you need to know

Together with the team at DogFit, we've put together our top tips for taking part in a trail event with your dog. Main photo ©...

What are the best sunglasses for runners?

The yellow ball of heat has returned to UK skies! Well, for now at least. Finding decent sunglasses for runners is harder than it...

The COVID Diaries: Running in the time of coronavirus (part 1)

Welcome to our new blog series, catching up with runners as we navigate this weird time in the UK. With no races on the...

Meet the new White Star Running ambassadors

Our friends over at White Star Running have recently announced a brand-new team of ambassadors to spread the word about White Star races, White...
- Advertisement -
craft fox races july 2020

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -