The excellent Suunto 9 Peak Pro GPS multisport watch is what happens when you take almost a century of expertise and combine it with cutting-edge tech. Founded over 80 years ago, Finnish brand Suunto built a reputation as one of the world leaders in navigation tech and equipment. The last ten years have seen them craft ever more sophisticated watches, devices that rival the likes of Garmin and Apple at the vanguard of sports watch innovation.
Taking the best of the already heralded Suunto 9 Peak, the updated Pro features a more powerful processor and improved chipset for a smoother interface, more sports modes (there are now over 95 pre-installed modes) and remarkable battery life. This makes it a hugely practical watch for all manner of adventurous activities, rivalling the likes of Garmin’s Fenix 7X as one of the best outdoor watches on the market.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro Specifictions
- Dimensions: 43mm x 43mm x 10.8mm / 1.69” x 1.69” x 0.43"
- Weight: 64g / 2.26oz
- Materials: Stainless steel (or titanium) bezel, sapphire crystal glass and glass fibre reinforced polyamide case
- Water resistance: 100m
- Battery type: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS GALILEO, QZSS, BEIDOU
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: price and release date
The Suunto 9 Peak Pro was released on 25 October 2022. I tested the stainless steel case version, while there is also the slightly more expensive option of a titanium case. In the UK the RRP is £419.00 (£529.00 titanium version), in the US it’s $549.00 ($699.00 titanium version) and in Australia it is $759.00 ($959.00 titanium version).
The Pro’s lightweight, streamlined body is crammed with features that are designed to the make it the go-to watch for adventurous activities.
One of the real standouts is its hugely impressive battery life. In normal mode, you can go up to three weeks without having to charge, while you get 40 hours of GPS tracking — more than enough for ultra-marathons and big peak bagging expeditions. This is one metric where the Pro outshines more expensive options like the Apple Watch Ultra, despite all the bells and whistles boasted by the latter.
It's tough as nails too. Any watch that’s designed to perform just as well deep underwater as it is on a far-flung ice climb needs to be robust and capable in a range of scenarios. Tested to US military standards, both the stainless steel and titanium versions are waterproof up to 100m and will keep everything ticking along regardless of conditions – it’s rated to cope in temperatures between -20°C and 55°C (-5°F to 130°F).
So, we’re dealing with a tough operator here, but how much substance does it have beneath the surface. Well, it does all the usual step counting, heart rate measuring, activity tracking and sleep monitoring you’d expect but also has loads of handy navigation features and the wealth of statistical analysis it gives you for your chosen sport is dizzying.
Unlike on the Garmin Fenix 7, there’s no music storage here. However, the Pro can be used to remotely control a smartphone’s music output.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: user experience
This interface is still not quite as slick or the visuals as bright and clear as on Garmin’s Fenix 7X or as on an Apple Watch. There were times when I would revert to using the side buttons, particularly if I had just finished an activity, when I found the Pro’s touchscreen a little unresponsive. However, these are only minor gripes.
Weighing in at just 64g, the 9 Peak Pro feels nice and light on the wrist, which is exactly what I want from something I’m going to hike, cycle, run and dive with. The touchscreen interface is more responsive than ever and works in tandem with three side buttons that can also be used on menu pages to scroll and select.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: route planning
One of the Pro’s most useful applications is its ability to guide the wearer through a planned route from the Suunto app. The app has a great planning tool, which can be used to create a route from scratch. Alternatively, there’s the option of connecting your Suunto account with over 200 partner apps, such as komoot and Strava. I made use of routes I had planned in komoot, by using the Suunto App to upload them to the watch.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: navigating on the hill
The Pro is a great little nav companion for a day spent in the hills. Once at the start of the route, I selected Navigate from the Pro’s menu and selected the route I wanted to follow. This provided me with various useful displays that helped me find my way on the trails, including visual route navigation – a line that shows the forward direction of travel – and a real time breadcrumb trail, if I needed to retrace my steps.
When a change in direction was coming up, the Pro would buzz and give the appropriate instructions and it also would give a little warning If ever I strayed from the correct course. It uses four simultaneous satellite systems, so I always had confidence it knew exactly where I was on the route.
Thanks to the accurate altimeter, the Pro also provides an altitude profile of an entire hike or ride and, as I progressed along a given route, I could see the exact point I was at along the undulating profile line. This was great for viewing how much elevation gain was yet to come, to help visualise the overall character of a hike or ride, or to reassure my buddy that most of the ascent was behind us.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: environmental considerations
Suunto have gone to great lengths to make sure their manufacturing process is a sustainable one. The 9 Peak Pro is made using 100% renewable energy and, in order to understand the impact of the product, Suunto carried out a Life Assessment Cycle to calculate the amount of carbon emissions each watch would be responsible for during its lifespan. They’ve taken this calculation and compensated for it with Verified Carbon Units, offsetting its impact.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: also consider
The Garmin Fenix 7X. For many, the Fenix 7X is the ultimate outdoor watch, with a dizzying range of features and battery life that can hold its own against the 9 Peak Pro. It’s got all the fitness data and navigation features your heart could desire and also boasts music storage and Garmin Pay. However, this premium sport swatch has a premium price point, so you’ve got to ask yourself whether the additional features are worth the extra splurge.
The Apple Watch Ultra. Apple have pulled out all the stops to achieve credibility among outdoorsy folk with their Watch Ultra. This is a watch that holds nothing back and it costs a pretty penny, at around double the price of the 9 Peak Pro. Features include a vibrant, responsive display, oversized buttons for gloved hands, a loud siren for attracting help in an emergency and an advanced microphone for legibility in challenging conditions. However, its battery life is nowhere near as impressive as the 9 Peak Pro.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro: overall verdict
The 9 Peak Pro is a faster, tougher, and more streamlined step up from the previous iteration. It’s a GPS multisport watch with everything outdoorsy types need to enhance their adventures without the eye watering price tag of more fully featured options like Garmin’s Fenix 7X or Apple’s Watch Ultra. Its display may not be as glitzy and its touch screen not quite as smooth but for a rugged and capable sports watch that won’t let you down when the going gets tough, it’s a solid option.