GPS Watches

  • Creator
  • #6776

    Hi all

    I’m in the process of choosing a GPS watch to track my outdoor workouts, mainly I’d like to get an accurate account of altitude gain/loss, HR zones, etc and use it for my alpine and ski outings as well, and I’m a bit confused. Right now I just have a basic sport watch with a chest band to monitor HR, it would be my first “gps smart sport” watch and I’m wondering what are you guys using….

    I think I’ve narrowed it down to the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, what do you think?

  • Participant
    jakob.melchior on #6780

    if you don’t need navigation maybe check out the Garmin Viviactive HR.

    It is quite cheap, has barometric altitude and an optical wrist HR measurement (not as accurate as a strap so not ideal for intervals but for me good enough to get a general idea of the intensity during long outing where I wouldn’t want to wear a strap).

    Works well for me and I wear it as an everyday casual watch as well.

    In any case the best watch reviews are on DC Rainmaker.

    ilbuiz on #6783

    I have a Garmin Fenix 3 and I really love it! I use it for everything. The latest version is the Fenix 5, which looks amazing and also has a wrist heart monitor – so you don’t have to wear the chest strap (of course you can also use the chest strap if you prefer). The wrist monitor is probably less precise, but it can be convenient in some occasions (e.g., I don’t like to wear the strap while ski mountaineering because it may possibly interfere with the avalanche beacon, or so they say).
    Anyway, as suggested above I recommend DC Rainmaker reviews, which also allow for quick comparison between different products.

    carlosdvg on #6786

    DC Rainmaker is a great discovery, very helpful. I was looking something more like the Fenix 5 or the Ambit Peak, with more tracking options…

    What about reliability issues with the Garmin? I’ve read that they are not as accurate and reliable as suunto watches… But I guess it depends on the user… I’m sure both work great, wich doesn’t help me get decided…


    Land on #6789

    I have been using the Ambit3 Peak and it is fantastic, with all the features I need and more.

    The level of customizability is particularly useful. Heart rate zones can be set easily. Screen data fields can show any number of readings. I’ve even started using an app that calculates a running total of TSS, which can be useful during workouts. Can’t really speak to the level of accuracy, as I don’t use any superaccurate instruments to calibrate, but it seems consistent, which is what matters most.

    Movescount is a good service which uploads automatically to TrainingPeaks and Strava. And the videos showing workouts are fun to send to your friends.

    Previously, I’ve had a Polar M400 and the Suunto’s battery life is vastly superior. I pretty much always record with maximum accuracy and frequent position points and I still only have to charge it every few days. When recording, it will last hours and hours no problem.

    Mariner_9 on #6794

    I have an Ambit3 Peak which I bought last fall to replace a Polar FT7 (a much more basic watch).

    In general, I like the Ambit3 Peak though I haven’t used the GPS for navigation or the altimeter – just the basic functionality for recording workouts.

    My only gripes are that Movescount has twice disconnected from TrainingPeaks and that there are problems with the HRM. But that latter problem is not specific to Suunto (see this thread and the DCRainmaker link therein). And in fairness, Suunto sent a replacement HRM free of charge, so can’t complain about the service.

    Overall, I’d recommend it.

    ilbuiz on #6798

    I can’t compare the accuracy of my Fenix3 with other watches, unfortunately. I think there is something about it on DC Rainmaker though.
    Anyway, in rare occasions the GPS track is off, but it recovers pretty quickly normally. Overall I am quite happy with the GPS functionalities, also for navigation.
    Sometimes it happens that the HR readings are completely wrong (like it reading begins skyrocketing and after some times it returns to normal level). I don’t understand exactly why it happens, I think often it is because of a bad contact of the strap with my skin, so I try to wear the strap very tightly. Anyway, I find it very annoying given how much these things cost, but it does not happen frequently.

    Just as a side note, Garmin and Training Peak cooperate quite closely, so I have my workout directly updated to TP without needing third party app.

    Frantik on #6815

    I was in the same position as the OP for the past month trying to decide. I ordered the ambit3 peak two days ago. I have couple of friends that use it and suggested it and after looking at forums and reviews it seems to have one of the best battery lifetimes out there which I thought pretty important for use out in the mountains especially for those 2-3 day trips.GPS is also said to be very accurate.

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