In May we were working alongside Suunto as Dani, co-founder of Mountain and Co, recently embarked on an arctic adventure 300km across Norway and Sweden. The arctic has been the perfect place for us to test out this watch in much colder conditions to see if it lives up to expectations.

About Suunto

Suunto was born in 1936 when Finnish orienteer and engineer Tuomas Vohlonen invented the mass production method for the liquid-filled compass. Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and sports instruments used by adventurers all over the globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.

Suunto’s headquarters and manufacturing plant is in Vantaa, Finland. Employing more than 400 people worldwide, Suunto products are sold in over 100 countries.

Putting the Spartan to the test in Sweden and Norway

Watch design & Colourways

The Suunto spartan is a nice sized watch, which is larger than your average watch face but is comfortable on the wrist. The rubber watch strap makes for a comfortable fit and when used in arctic conditions, does not freeze your wrist. The watch also has a heart monitor on the backside, that can monitor your heart rate if doing high intensity training such as running or hiking.

The Suunto spartan trainer comes in various colourways. This includes Black, Gold, Sandstone, Amber, Steel, Ocean and Blue.

Battery life

After being in the arctic for a whole week, the watch not leaving Dani’s hand, the battery life sustained for the whole expedition. This was helped with the protection of warm clothing and sleeping bags. This battery lasted on the general watch, with only using the GPS tracking once.

Charging the watch is straightforward, and takes a few hours to full charge, with the Suunto charger. You can charge the Suunto through a USB port, through the use of a portable charger and connect it to the plug of a phone charger.

Watch navigation

The watch itself is is very straightforward to use, with the buttons both on the left and right of the watch.

This official video by Suunto below explains how to use the watch navigation.

GPS Tracking

Whilst in the UK Dani tested the GPS tracking in various places, all of which were successful. When out on Swedish Lapland the GPS tracker did not pick up as easily, with various attempts at different locations. One attempt was successful but the GPS did not last too long. I would still take with you as well as a much larger GPS tracker.

The Suunto movescount app

Accompanying all of Suunto watches comes the Movescount app. This is an app that you download separately and can connect your desired Suunto watch up to. The app itself is very straightforward. When connected it saves all of your watches data. So if you have gone on a long hike, a swim or a bike ride you can see the total amount of time as well as the milage covered.

The app also has a world map where you can see trails other Suunto users have completed. This can be useful if you are looking for somewhere new to try out on your holiday or maybe close to home.

Connecting the watch to the app is very straightforward, following the instructions on the app. I did have one glitch where the watch was connected but the app wasn’t recognising the watch itself, so I did have to uninstall and reinstall the app.

Conclusion

Overall the Suunto was a great companion to have in arctic conditions. The watch battery lasted even when temperatures were down to -20 (however this did help with the extra layers of clothing on the body and sleeping bags). The watch is hardy, comfortable and also has great colourways. This accompanied with the Suunto movescount app makes it much easier to track any training that you do and see who else may have used the same pathways. The only disappointment was the GPS connectivity in Swedish lapland, after many tries, connecting was not straightforward and did not work.

If you are looking for a watch that is great for everyday training in the city or hiking close to home this watch would be great, but for much longer expeditions in places that are far away, getting a professional GPS tracker is the way to go.

Tech Specs

Compact and durable
  • Battery life 10h with best GPS accuracy (up to 30h with power saving options)
  • 14 days battery life in time mode
  • Convenient wrist HR measurement
  • Compact size and optimal fit for sports and daily wear
  • 50 m water resistant
For versatile outdoor and indoor training
  • Ready to go: swimming, running, cycling, gym, hiking, and more
  • GPS tracking with speed, pace and distance
  • Customizable sport modes with graphs and automatic laps
  • Create intervals on watch and follow on-screen guidance
  • Heart rate zones on watch
  • Find back safely with breadcrumb view of traveled route
  • Route navigation with Points of Interest (POI) and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
Activity tracking & mobile notifications
  • 24/7 tracking of your daily steps, calories and sleep
  • Track your daily rest-HR value to know if you are stressed or over-trained
  • Personalize your watch with customizable watch faces
  • Get incoming calls, text and calendar notifications to your watch