The problem with modern technology is that it is now possible to add a pretty much endless number of features and functionalities to a small device such as a wrist watch.
While many of the added features are useful, there is always the chance that the performance of a device may be affected negatively in a few ways. If a product is not designed to keep up with the intensive use of the CPU’s processing power, then the latter may crash.
Similarly, more features may make the user interface more complex and require getting used to.
It is important that you have a reliable device with you whenever you are out for a daily activity or on a proper adventure. When you’ll be dealing with features like a GPS, the last thing you want is inaccuracy and be caught up trying to figure out how to get the ‘back track’ feature on your device.
For hikers, climbers, trekkers, mountaineers or generally anyone relying on navigation for an activity- accuracy and reliability are crucial.
Many companies are adding a lot of features into one device and that of course makes this device easier to sell. However, accuracy and reliability are key when it comes to hikers, mountaineers and other people who rely on navigation.
The following detailed Suunto Traverse Review features this awesome GPS dedicated watch released by Suunto for outdoor activities enthusiasts who want a no-nonsense device. Suunto has omitted excessive and unnecessary jargon as well as the ability to customize or add applications.
However, the manufacturer has spruced up the simplicity and satellite sensitivity. In other words, going against the norms, a brand has finally decided to take a more ‘traditional’ route.
Product: Sunnto Traverse Watch
My Rating: 9/10
Price: Check on Amazon
The Suunto Traverse Watch Features
The Suunto Traverse Watch is perfect for everyday use as well as strenuous activities like mountaineering, trekking, hiking, backpacking, hunting and climbing. The watch is up to military standards and therefore, resilient and robust even in the worst conditions.
Let’s proceed to look at some of the features that the Suunto Traverse offers:
Design and Build Quality
Suunto’s Traverse Watch Collection features five different watches, which only differ exterior wise in strap material, color and price. The Black, White, Graphite and Amber models come with a silicone strap whereas the slightly pricier Slate model comes with a textile strap.
Other than this, there are no difference in performances or features of the watches, even in the more expensive model. Suunto also released an addition to the Traverse Watch line in 2016- equipped with a glass lens made of Sapphire.
You would think that balancing a great looking design with resilience to rugged conditions would be difficult, right? Well, even though the Traverse looks fantastic and elegant, its robust design is able to withstand some of the harshest conditions.
Composite materials are used for the case of the watch and is equipped with a scratch resistant stainless steel bezel. Additionally, basic scratches are minimized due to the lens being designed of mineral crystal. With the release of the Sapphire model by Suunto in 2016, the glass model offers much better protection.
The device makes use of an internal GPS antenna which makes the overall exterior of the watch appear more sophisticated as compared to devices that use external antennas. Considering that the watch is of military standards and built to last, the Traverse watch is surprisingly very light at 80 grams of weight.
The digital compass provides the user with a direction to true North and a cardinal direction. It is also tilt-compensated and the declination can be manually calibrated. A bonus feature is the bearing lock.
Altimeter & Barometer
The Altimeter and Barometer are combined together. You can select from the three alti-baro profiles which include altimeter, barometer and automatic. When the automatic profile is chosen, the altimeter and barometer profiles are toggled between based on the user’s motion.
It will switch to altimeter if the subject is moving up or down. When the user is stationary, the barometric pressure graph profile is selected instead.
A handy dandy feature is the FusedAlti which calibrates by using both GPS functionality and sea pressure. Additionally, the barometric graph plot points indicate a rise or decline in the barometric pressure. Weather patterns can be determined this way and display whether a storm is approaching in or out of the area or not.
The altimeter and barometer profiles generated are exactly as those on the Suunto Ambit3 Peak watch. Also, the watch has a built-in storm alert which goes off whenever a drop of 2 hPa or 0.59 inHg is present over a duration of three hours.
Another feature that we found really helpful in the altimeter and barometer department is the data log and overall trip summary. The total ascent and descent underwent by the user is shown, along with the speed at which these inclines or declines were achieved (provided that the GPS is turned on.)
Logged events of the past are a great way of tracking progress and with the Suunto Traverse Watch, you will be able to see a summary profile or the gain and loss of altitudes.
GPS Tracking and Navigation
This was the first watch released by Suunto which along with GPS, additionally supports GLONASS, which is a Russian version of Navigation. GLONASS allows for the GPS to readily adjust its accuracy as you move along your track, with regular updates from the satellite.
The watch allows the setting of three individual GPS intervals which increases battery drainage. The battery life can be increased by setting GPS intervals of longer durations but at the cost of a less accurate reading.
Many coordinate systems are also supported such as MGRS, WGS84 and UTM, making it easier to navigate through remote terrains with the aid of any map that you have.
The watch supports features like visual navigation and waypoint as well, with accessibility via direct installation or through Movescount app. The only that can only be planned through the Movescount app are Routes which are then synchronized with the Suunto Traverse.
The navigation system also has find back and track back features. The track back displays a visual route back to the point where you started from and the find back points the users in the direction towards the starting point.
It is honestly a sigh of relief that the Suunto Traverse comes with a Bluetooth adapter. This will allow you to connect various devices with your watch, making this a great feature.
The watch can be connected to both iOS or an Android, after which you can receive notifications from your mobile device directly on to your watch. Alternatively, your smartphone can be used as a secondary screen for the statistical data of the watch. A Bluetooth enabled heart rate belt can also be synchronized and connected with the watch.
Perhaps the one main distinction made by Suunto between the Traverse and Ambit Watch series is that the former does not support cadence POD otherwise it connects easily to devices via Bluetooth.
The Ambit series is however, compatible and this difference highlights the fact that the Traverse is geared more towards recreational adventurers whereas the Ambit is more for athletes.
Suunto has executed a balance between a user-friendly interface and useful features in a manner which exceeds expectations. The watch allows the user to configure five sport modes that display everything that you need to know about your workout- speed, ascent, heart rate, pace and so on.
In case you want to see an in-depth analysis of your workout after it is done, you may do so on the Movescount app (again, provided that GPS track is enabled.) You can even download and use three different sports app on the watch.
The apps are available from the Movescount App zone or can be created by yourself. With the extra apps, you will be able to obtain even more information both during and after the workout.
In certain cases, I think it is safe to say that visibility in dark and light conditions is more important than a watch loaded with a ton of features. The mineral glass large display is easy to read on and the font size is large.
Contrast can be adjusted and the colors can be inverted, which is excellent for broad daylight and night conditions. Additionally, for night time use, there are three backlight options: normal, toggle and night.
This is also the only watch which features a flashlight mode to keep the display at its full brightness until manually turned off. This too is a great add-on feature for when you are finding something in your backpack or dark dungy conditions.
Comfort and Fit
Again, this is an important device trait which I am sure many people would like to know. The watch has a slim face and the band design is made of silicon which fit perfectly around one’s wrist- both over and under clothing. However, it is ever so slightly uncomfortable to have this watch on in extreme hot weather.
Suunto Traverse Watch Usage In Outdoor Activities
There is a lot more to the Suunto Traverse Watch, but the main features are covered. Moving on, let’s talk about how the Traverse performs in some of the activities it is specifically built for.
The Suunto Traverse Watch is a rugged watch designed for the great outdoors and those who want all the essentials in a compact, durable exterior. For some, the features may be limited despite the essentials being present, but the existing functions are as accurate as can be and perform outstandingly.
Not only is the watch great for extreme outdoor conditions and be helpful at the ready whenever needed, the output statistics and data obtained after the activity is done is one of the most in-depth you can get.
The Suunto Traverse Watch is one of the most reliable devices for mountaineers. The built of the device is extremely durable and scratch resistant, which is what one should get if they are planning on mountaineering. In case of an emergency, the damage to the watch will be minimum and it will still operate well and get you out of any unforeseen situations.
Another remarkable feature worth noting is the user interface which is kept as basic and responsive as possible. When you are mountaineering, you want to make sure that both your hands are free and not occupied with pressing and navigating features on the watch.
Also, the display of the watch is excellent and there will be no visibility issues in hypothetical situation such as if sunlight is hitting against your watch or there is not enough light.
The activity will be monitored down to the most minute details and can be obtained from both the watch or the MoveScount app. You can track the incline or decline progress and see your heart rate over the time as well. You will be able to track your speed as you develop your climbing skills.
The watch is also a great choice for Hiking, trekking and backpacking. The GPS system works flawlessly so you can explore forests, trails and hills without needing to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind for getting back. The find back and track back features help finding your way back really simple.
Also, the barometer can alert of an upcoming storm in the area, so you know when to turn back or seek shelter.
Again, the statistics obtained after your hike will be immensely detailed and useful. Not only will the progress be monitored, but visual representations of routes taken or can be taken next time will also be generated. The inclines and declines taken with each workout session will also be monitored.
If inclines are not your thing and you want to use the watch for simple activities like running, you can definitely do that. The heart rate, information regarding the routes taken, the weekly progress of incline and decline rates, speed, and everything else will be satisfactory for you to build up your strength and stay in great physical shape.
Here’s a YouTube video by RIZKNOWS on the Sunnto Traverse Watch:
The Suunto Traverse is a remarkable watch which caters well to the requirements of serious outdoorsmen. Not only is the design superb, the features are advanced yet kept to the absolute essentials to avoid cluttering.
This watch will be your best friend in all kinds of adventures but due to the somewhat shorter battery life as compared to other watches, it is best for activities of moderate durations.
Still, it is suitable for day long hikes or backpacking trips that last a week or two. Access to a portable USB charger will eliminate all battery problems of course.
I hope you liked my Suunto Traverse Review. Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment in the comments section below 🙂