With the best GPS for hiking (speed and accuracy), as well as a price tag far below what you’d expect, the Suunto GPS watch strikes the perfect balance between performance and budget. The Suunto Traverse is also our Best Choice in our Recent Best Hiking Watch Review
The Suunto Traverse is our absolute winner for value, weight, comfort and gps functionality!
There are features like “storm alarm” and “sunrise and set” times but these pale in comparison to the one thing Suunto is really known for… Navigation! It has a lightning fast satellite connection to GPS and GLONASS with insane accuracy. You can track your position and record an active cookie crumb trail for reverse navigation. (The satellites connect slightly faster than with the Garmins.)
We loved the large, clear display which can also be inverted for better visibility.
Color options include Black, Graphite White and Amber.
The rechargeable lithium ion battery keeps the watch running for around 2 days while in GPS tracking mode but it can also last around 11 days in normal mode. UltraTrac mode (which doesn’t refresh GPS as frequently) extends the battery life to about 80 hours!
It can be used as a hiking watch and a fitness tracker. It even tracks your steps and the amount of calories you burn. It doesn’t have a built-in heart rate monitor though.
Honestly we could not find anything really wrong with this watch… If you are on a slightly tighter budget, this is a perfect choice and will make the greatest GPS watch for hiking. Long battery life, no fuss navigation and all at a spectacular price!
- Sensors: ABC & Thermometer
- GPS: YES with Breadcrumb Trail
- Water Rating: 100 Meters (330 Feet) Swimming only
- And many more features
The spirit of adventure and exploration has never died out in humanity and there are people all over the world pushing the limits with wilderness trekking and other extreme adventure sports.
In days gone by, explorers had to rely on old fashioned navigation methods and usually had to carry a boat load of instruments and equipment on their expeditions. Fortunately with modern technology, we now have smaller instruments that are capable of performing multiple functions.
Imagine having the capabilities of multiple navigation instruments and weather monitoring devices all rolled into a wrist watch. Well Suunto brings you their Traverse wrist watch which has multiple functions for the wilderness explorer and trekker. We think that the Suunto Traverse is absolutely awesome!
Suunto is a Finnish company that has led the world in compass manufacture since 1936.
Today they manufacture world class navigation instruments, dive computers and sports watches. Top quality and precision are evident in their products.
The Traverse is built for Hiking & Exploring
The Suunto Traverse is a beautifully crafted wristwatch loaded with an amazing array of functions to aid the adventurer and explorer on expeditions into unknown territory. There are several different styles to choose from including Black, White, Amber and Graphite. You could also upgrade to the powerful Traverse Alpha. (Note the Suunto Traverse Alpha has a few more specialized features for hunting and fishing but has not been included in this particular review.)
It is small and compact without the dials and heavy bezels familiar on other sports watches, making it stylish and elegant enough to wear in the boardroom at a meeting and suitable as an everyday wristwatch. At first glance it does not seem to be a watch that is capable of so many amazing functions.
There are also 2 screen modes. Light and dark.
Let’s take a look at a few key features that sets the Suunto Traverse in a class of its own.
GPS with Smartphone Connectivity
We think this feature is pretty epic! The Suunto Movescount App for smartphones connects the Traverse wristwatch to your IOS or Android smartphone.
With the app you can upload maps and coordinates of new trails and routes, making it easy to access them on the watch while out in the wilderness. It also stores information as you are trekking g along a new trail and provides you with a breadcrumb trail so you can retrace your steps easily without getting lost. This is a brilliant aid for those avid explorers who tackle a virgin trail without any coordinates or maps!
The connectivity between watch and smartphone doesn’t stop there. Via the app, the watch gives you notifications of incoming phone calls, text messages and e-mails so you can keep abreast of what is happening elsewhere while you are out in the wilderness. This is also a good safety feature for emergencies back at home or for yourself while on the trail.
App Saves Your Tracks
The Traverse saves all the information of your journey. This means when you get back home or to the camp, you can wirelessly transfer this data to the Movescount app, saving routes and trails for future reference or for sharing with other trailblazers.
Think of it like a smartphone… The amount of apps available are endless. You can install apps for incoming storms, incline tracking, estimated time of arrival, water intake and even “beers burnt off”. Note, these apps pull info from your Suunto and display the data on your smartphone.
Weather Station in a Wrist Watch
Well not quite a weather station, but the barometric trend and weather predictions on the Suunto Traverse are fairly accurate.
A handy storm alert will go off to indicate when there is a drastic turn in weather conditions and that it’s time to take shelter. The watch also records and gives daily sunrise and sunset times. What’s great about this feature is that you know how much daylight you have left, so you can plan ahead to set up camp for the night before the darkness sets in.
• Altimeter, accurate to within 2 or 3 feet.
• Water resistant to 100 meters/ 330 feet.
Suunto Traverse Battery Life
The Suunto has a rechargeable battery which will keep the watch powered for at least 3-4 days in the GPS mode. If this is turned off then you can expect the watch to stay powered for at least 10 days. This is probably not so great if you are exploring unknown territories for an extended period. A solution would be to carry a fully charged power bank to charge the Traverse.
Here’s our Conclusion
This top notch instrument is definitely made specifically with the wilderness explorer in mind. The lightning fast GPS sets the Suunto worlds apart from other sports watches.
Although the Garmin Fenix 3 and 5 both have more features, in terms of accuracy, quality and style combined with rugged construction, the Traverse is our absolute best choice for an adventure wristwatch. The value for money blows the Fenix range out of the water. If you want something reliable and accurate, this is the one.
So can you swim with it?
Although it’s water resistant, you should definitely consider the Suunto Spartan or the Ambit instead, if you want to submerge it for longer periods such as swimming.