Suunto Ambit

Long time lover of Suunto, I've always sported one on my wrist. From the Vector on the Appalachian Trail to the Core on the Pacific Crest Trail, I think I found my next Suunto for the ever growing elephant in the room -- The Continental Divide Trail.

Suunto's Ambit, which was just released this month, takes the best of both worlds; outdoor specific watch (not training specific) with an integrated GPS. While not the first time this is done by Suunto (see their X10), it is the first time that a GPS watch is realistically usable for an outdoor traveller. 

Coined as the "GPS for Explorers" it has all the functions that I love about the Core: barometer, altimeter, compass, watch, alarm, etc. However, it adds a function that most don't see in a trekkers watch: GPS, training elements, and connectivity to Suunto Pods. 

The reason why the x10 didn't catch on -- in my opinion -- was because of the training aspect to it. The GPS watch was used to track and record runs, cycling loops, etc. and did not have the battery life or adaptability that the Ambit has. The x10 only had a 14 hour battery life and had to be charged daily for anyone who wanted to use it regularly. The Suunto Ambit has three modes to combat this lack of battery life; training mode where the battery lasts 15 hours, and is most similar to the x10, Outdoor mode where the battery lasts 50 hours and records intervals less regularly, and watch mode which lasts 30 days. This gives you the versatility to use your watch as you need it. Track your daily pace every few days on the long expedition, or track your pace up a climb to see how fit you are getting. What it comes down to, is having a versatile watch you can rely on. I believe this is it. 

I'm looking forward to getting the Ambit. I still wish Suunto customer service was a little more understanding to those on expeditions (tried to get mine replaced on the PCT, but they required it to be sent in before they could send out a replacement... what kind of trekker wants to go weeks without their navigation and time tracking tool?!) The best part is it charges via USB. Making it easy to plug into portable battery you may carry on long trips.


Suunto Ambit $525