Best Suunto watch 2022 for tracking your treks and triathlons with precision

The ultra-rugged alternative to Garmin and Polar, the best Suunto watches ranked

The best Suunto watch: Pictured here, an MTB rider looking at his watch, covered in mud
(Image credit: Suunto)

The best Suunto watches are famous for their sturdy build quality, long battery life and customisable battery management options. Should you decide to run an ultra-marathon, Suunto watches should be on top of your list of what to take on race day, but they're also great when running in the park or hitting the gym.

You'll find Suunto watches throughout our best running watch, best outdoor watch and best triathlon watch guides for a good reason: up until recently, the Finnish manufacturer's watches, especially the Suunto 9 Baro, were one of the only options for athletes who needed a rugged fitness wearable with battery customisation options for longer races/treks.

Things have changed ever since, and now the multisport watch market is way more competitive than it was just a few years ago. Nevertheless, Suunto is still going strong and offers various watches for people who need a sturdy fitness watch wrapped around their wrist.

The company has come a long way since it was established 80 years ago. Although the best Suunto watches are still not as popular as the best Polar watches and the best Fitbits, they are held in high esteem in performance sports circles.

Still not convinced you want a Suunto? Have a look at our comparison article between Suunto and Garmin here: Suunto vs Garmin. Also, check out the best Garmin watch guide, for reference.

Best Suunto watches to buy right now

Suunto 9 Baro Titanium on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Suunto)
Sleeker and more refined version of the 9 Baro

Specifications

Weight: 66.9 grams
Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
Water rating: up to 100 ATM
Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels
Battery life: up to 170 hours with battery saving options

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek premium design
+
Streamlined functions
+
Brilliant battery

Reasons to avoid

-
No music and payments
-
Premium pricing

As noted in our Suunto Baro 9 Titanium review, this watch is an excellent choice for those who need a premium multisport watch for their outdoor adventures. It can also be used as a backup/emergency GPS unit. However, the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium is a bit on the pricey side. It also lacks convenience features other watches in the same category have, such as music storage and NFC payment. 

While you’ll be missing some of the bells and whistles of other models, there is certainly an argument that these add complexity and distraction to the inevitably limited watch interface, and ‘simple’ training tools and navigation are more than enough. Whichever side of that argument you sit on, the Suunto Baro 9 Titanium is a competent outdoor watch with great training tools attached.

Suunto 9 Baro on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Suunto)

2. Suunto 9 Baro

All the top features for a reasonable price tag

Specifications

Weight: 81 grams
Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
Water rating: up to 100 ATM
Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels
Battery life: up to 120 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Barometer
+
Sapphire crystal glass

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite bulky

The Suunto 9 Baro is identical to the Suunto 9, apart from two key factors: the Baro has a barometer – as the name suggests – and comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass at the front. You will need to pay around a 20% premium for these two features, but it'll be worth it.

The Suunto 9 Baro's extra features will be appreciated most by trail runners who scale mountains and would like to keep track of the altitude gain/loss of their runs. Even better for them, the Suunto 9 Baro features a storm alarm, so you can find shelter in time, or skip outdoor training, as you wish.

The extra features offered by the Suunto 9 Baro don't compromise the excellent battery life, another bonus for people who like running in mountains and do it for long periods of time each time. We understand that we are talking about a niche market here, but for those, the Suunto 9 Baro is heaven-sent.

Suunto 9 on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Suunto)

3. Suunto 9

The non-barometer version is still a decent offering, compared to the flagship model

Specifications

Weight: 72 grams
Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
Water rating: up to 100 ATM
Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels
Battery life: up to 120 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing battery life
+
Large screen
+
Precise

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky

For the price, you get a whole load of watch with the Suunto 9. And we mean a big watch, the Suunto 9 being one of the bulkiest smartwatches on the market. You will feel it on your wrist as you exercise.

Although it misses out on the barometer, it has a few useful features, such as an optical heart rate sensor, touch screen, vibration motor, etc. It's also water-rated up to 100 metres and has a range of battery management options, with which the Suunto 9 can last up to 120 hours in tracking mode.

The digital compass and the GPS are precise, with the GPS utilising four global positioning systems: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO and QZSS.

Suunto 7 on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Suunto)

4. Suunto 7

Wear OS-powered touchscreen watch with many casual features

Specifications

Weight: 70 grams
Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
Water rating: up to 50 ATM
Display resolution: 454 x 454 pixels (AMOLED)
Battery life: Up to 12 hours in GPS mode, up to 2 days in smartwatch mode

Reasons to buy

+
Offline routes and navigation during workouts
+
Large and vibrant screen
+
Low power always-on sport display

Reasons to avoid

-
Laggy touchscreen
-
Confusing navigation (at least first)
-
Short battery life

The Suunto 7 occupies a strange space on the fitness wearable market: it is too expensive and overpowered to be a fitness tracker and to some degree, too casual to be taken seriously as a running watch. It is more expensive than many of the latest Apple Watch models and also its direct competitor, the Garmin Venu.

Yet, the Suunto 7 has plenty to offer: a sharp display, plenty of smart functionality, a good heart rate sensor and built-in GPS, not to mention the offline maps and the really cool running/cycling heatmaps.

The controls are slightly confusing at first thanks to the combination of touchscreen and push-button operation. On top of this, the lag of the Wear OS software can cause slight frustration, but it will only last a short period until you get used to the shortcuts in navigation.

On a scale from Garmin Forerunner 945 to Fitbit Versa 3, the Suunto 7 sits closer to the former but still gives the impression that it's the latter on steroids. One thing that pushes the Suunto 7 towards the Versa 3 end of the scale is the battery life.

You will be lucky to go two days between two charges, which is not too bad for a Wear OS watch with a huge display, but it is not great compared to running watches like the Suunto 9 or even the aforementioned Garmin Venu which can last up to five days (it has a smaller display, mind).

Suunto 5 on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Suunto)

5. Suunto 5

Feature packed but display could be better

Specifications

Weight: 66 grams
Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polycarbonate
Water rating: up to 50 metres
Display resolution: 218 x 218 pixels
Battery life: up to 40 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Touch screen
+
Advanced training features

Reasons to avoid

-
Small display resolution

What do we like in the Suunto 5? For one, it's a lighter, more compact version of the Suunto 9, so if you are concerned about the weight of the watch dragging your wrist down, definitely go for the Suunto 5.

Although it is lighter, it still features most of the features from its older sibling, like the up to two weeks battery life in 'Time' mode, the improved global positioning system, the intelligent battery modes, wrist heart rate sensor and more.

Some corners needed to be cut, though, to keep the price low, which is quite apparent when you look at the screen: it only has a 218 x 218 pixels resolution, which wouldn't necessarily be an issue, but for an unknown reason the messages are displayed with tiny little fonts, so especially if you are exercising, it could be challenging to read the screen.

But for everyday activity tracking – which the Suunto 5 was most likely designed for – it works just fine. And once you stopped running, the Suunto 5 will provide you with handy metrics, like the advanced training load features (move summary with lap details, training logbook for long term overviews, training load with totals by sport, etc).

Suunto Traverse Alpha on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Suunto)

6. Suunto Traverse Alpha

One for hikers, hunters and people who love tracking their fishing

Specifications

Weight: 75 grams
Case material: Composite
Water rating: up to 100 metres
Display resolution: 128 x 128 pixels
Battery life: up to 100 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Built-in altimeter

Reasons to avoid

-
Low resolution screen

The Suunto Traverse Alpha might have a lower-than-usual screen resolution, but how many other smartwatches out there can track fishing and hunting, eh? Not many.

As Suunto puts it: "Specific fishing and hunting features provide useful tools for your activity, including moon phase calendar, shot detection, sunrise alert, weather trend, and red backlight for nighttime use". And that, in itself, is probably enough for many sportspeople who probably felt left out before.

On top of these, er, special features, for the price, you will also get scratch-free sapphire crystal glass at the front, water resistant stainless steel casing, an up to 100 hour battery life in tracking mode and much more.

The only downside is the blocky display, but there is only so many details you can display with a screen resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. But in return, the backlight of the screen can be used as a flashlight in the dark!

Suunto Spartan Wrist HR on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Suunto)

7. Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

Variation on a theme – in this case the Suunto 9

Specifications

Weight: 74 grams
Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
Water rating: up to 100 metres
Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels
Battery life: up to 40 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Large display
+
Suitable for larger wrists

Reasons to avoid

-
Only GPS + GLONASS tracking
-
No intelligent battery modes
-
No VO2 estimation

The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is a peculiar watch from Suunto. It is basically a slightly-less smart version of the Suunto 9, with the same screen and more or less the same built, but without the updated GPS or the intelligent battery modes. even the price is the same, so it's a bit puzzling why it's still on the market.

Not saying that the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is not a capable multi-sport smartwatch, on the contrary. For the price, you get a watch that looks and feels sturdy, has a large touchscreen display, is water resistant to 100 metres and will last for up to two weeks in 'Time' mode.

Since the intelligent battery management function is missing, you won't get the extremely good battery life with the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR but you'll still get up 40 hours of juice, even in activity tracking mode.

And between you and me, the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR looks slightly sleeker than the Suunto 9, so there is that, too.

3D render of a Suunto watch on a yellow surface


(Image credit: Suunto)

How to choose the best Suunto watch for your needs

Before buying your first Suunto smartwatch, there are a few things you might want to consider. Probably one of the most important criteria will be the price of the watch. Not everyone needs all the functionality the Suunto 9 Baro has to offer and therefore it might be harder for some to justify the higher price tag.

The Suunto 5 and the Suunto 3 represents a good balance between price and features, both being reasonably priced (with the Suunto 3 being cheaper, selling for around £150-200 in general) and offering your standard fitness tracking capabilities, like wrist-based heart rate, among other features.

We highly recommend getting a model with integrated GPS, like the Suunto 9 or the Suunto 5, which will save you from having to carry around your smartphone if you want to track your route outdoors. Of course, if you prefer listening to music as you devour the miles, you might still want to have your phone on you since no Suunto watch offers music storage.

Mid- to high-end Suunto smartwatches track all the most popular sports activities in great detail, including running (e.g. average/max/lap pace in real-time), cycling (e.g. speed) and even swimming (e.g. pace and distance).

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym reviews.