Recommended mountaineering watches

  • Creator
  • #59514

    Hi Guys,

    Has anyone tried and tested the ‘Suunto Core ABC watch’ in the mountains? I think Suunto Ambit 3 Peak recommended by some folks is no longer in production.

    I would appreciate if you can share your views on the best navigation watches, based on your experience.

    Most grateful,


Posted In: Mountaineering

  • Participant
    lfjsa on #63107

    A little late to the party, but it’s never too late.

    Over the years I’ve used the Suunto Core Black (simple ABC watch, no tracking), Suunto Ambit 3, Suunto 9 Baro, and am now using the Garmin Fenix 6X. For context, I use it for track workouts, skimo, ski alpinism, mountaineering, but mainly trail and sky running.

    Overall: the Fenix 6 is a superb thing. Now that Garmin released the 7, you might get a good deal on the 6. Suunto 9 is an option too if you get a good price for it.

    Both Suunto 9 and Fenix 6 have very long battery lives, decent sports modes, configurable screens, don’t look too vulgar, can be used with frozen fingers in big gloves, and have accurate GPS tracking.

    What Fenix 6 does better than Suunto 9:
    – workout mode: sync TrainingPeaks to the watch, zones, times, etc all there
    – the HR strap is reliable. I’ve had serious issues with the Suunto 9
    – while in workout mode, you can use any other aspect of the watch, like stop watch, timers, etc
    – it displays an actual map
    – the music player is surprisingly handy
    – the software on the watch is just better in lots of little ways

    What Fenix 6 does worse than Suunto 9:
    – there’s no way to display lap average vm/h (I used that a lot)
    – the app is awful to use
    – the Fenix’ clever sport modes (climb pro, etc) are too buggy and clever. I don’t like clever when I’m tired.
    – the Garmin app has a lot more outages than Suunto’s

    Regarding size and variant: I chose the large version (58mm?) to see more at a glance and sapphire glass as I bash it around at all times. You might want something else.

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