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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    679

    Garmin, Suunto or?

    Hi,

    I'm a certified tech geek. I live and work in an IT tech buble when I'm not skiing and of course I love data and metrics as much as all computer programmers do. Now, I was out skitouring two days ago, and one of my buddies asked me how many vertical meters we had been going. I could ballpark that within 50 meters going from the memory of the map, but it bothers me that I didn't know _excatly_ how many.

    So, I'm thinking one of those smart watches look more and more interesting. But what works good for skiing? I have been looking at the upcomming Garmin Fenix 5 and Suunto Spartan Ultra. I do want it to track my skied vertical meters in the resort. The meters climbed and skied down when skitouring, estimated calories, heart rate, barometer etc.

    Any advice?

    Edit: Anyone with a Fenix three, who can say a few words about how it works for tracking backcountry missions?
    Last edited by LiveLarger; 03-13-2017 at 06:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    the big dirty
    Posts
    684
    Lezyne micro gps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    prb, co
    Posts
    64
    suunto ambit3 peak

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Couloirfornia
    Posts
    8,761
    Quote Originally Posted by turbomike15 View Post
    suunto ambit3 peak
    Ditto. I wish it had the pretty colors, but battery life is way more important to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,203
    I've loved my garmin fenix 1 for years. Pretty cheap on eBay. $75 or so.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    6,139
    My Garmin Fenix (2? 3?) was buggy for a long time. Hasn't crashed in a while, but it sure pissed me off a few times. I'll try Suunto next time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    759
    No experience with newer ones but my fenix 2 is a POS.
    Crashes regularly. There is a lengthy thread on garmin forums about it and garmin hasnt done anything about it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    FEMA Region X
    Posts
    782
    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    My Garmin Fenix (2? 3?) was buggy for a long time. Hasn't crashed in a while, but it sure pissed me off a few times. I'll try Suunto next time.
    Ditto. Returned mine after a notification going off constantly with no way to turn it off, just let the battery drain. If you read the garmin forums, it takes many updates after release to get most devices functioning properly. It felt as if I was paying to be a beta tester. Buy it at REI for their return policy alone.

    Ended up going with an Apple Watch and use Gaia GPS, Avanet/Mountain Hub and the Ski Tracks apps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Where everything's a dollar
    Posts
    2,507
    Epic Pass...you don't have to wear a watch and you get cool virtual badges. Doesn't work everywhere yet but it's just a matter of time before it does.
    The Sheriff is near!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    1,166

    Garmin, Suunto or?

    Quote Originally Posted by turbomike15 View Post
    suunto ambit3 peak
    Ditto, battery life is key- take it on multi day hut trips/backpacking trips and not worry about it dying halfway.

    Not to mention using it to route find is a breeze with Movescount website/app, can input others .gps files and it will point me where to go!

    Oh and their customer support is insane!

    2 years into owning it- I noticed the altimeter was as sensitive. They said send it it, 2days later sent me a brand new one, lost some loops to hold the extra watch band down, they sent me free ones! Just a great company that stands behind their bomber product.

    But in reality, just get the red one.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    6,139
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiLyft View Post
    Ditto, battery life is key- take it on multi day hut trips/backpacking trips and not worry about it dying halfway.

    Not to mention using it to route find is a breeze with Movescount website/app, can input others .gps files and it will point me where to go!

    Oh and their customer support is insane!

    2 years into owning it- I noticed the altimeter was as sensitive. They said send it it, 2days later sent me a brand new one, lost some loops to hold the extra watch band down, they sent me free ones! Just a great company that stands behind their bomber product.

    But in reality, just get the red one.
    I'm jealous. Garmin just told me a bunch of different ways to reboot/reinstall/delete everything and start over.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    360
    I've been looking at the Tom Tom Adventurer...Has a dedicated ski mode and good review plus it's cheaper. Not sure how well it will work in the Backcountry though.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    215
    I've had a fenix 3 about a year now and absolutely love it. Never had any buggy issues or difficulties connecting to GPS like many reported when the watch was initially released. Works great for route finding on tours, and can track almost anything. I like the ability to make custom tracking modes on the watch itself, rather than on a computer. The built in HR monitor is very accurate (have compared to medical devices at work and gotten consistently within 5-10 BPM). My only complaint is battery life. I've killed the battery when tracking on a few longer (12+hr) tours When not tracking and only using the BT smartphone connection the battery life is excellent and lasts ~2wks. The watch charges very fast, so bring an external battery for multi day trips and you're good to go.

    Here is a little satellite image overlay I made from skiing the North Pole area at ABasin a few weeks ago. The spine on Narrow North Pole was skiing great! Took about 2min in the smartphone app to make this.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Zurich
    Posts
    119
    I use a Suunto Ambit 2 and am happy with it. Today I would of course go with the Ambit 3 (basically the same watch, with added Bluetooth support), the Spartan still seems to be buggy according to various reports...

    Also: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/ is the definitive resource for GPS watch talk/reviews

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    679
    I noticed that dcrainmaker (love his reviews) recommended the fenix3 (and I'm guess the fenix 5 then) But going from what I read here, I'd say the fenix 5 could be a big gamble? Lots of people have trouble and customer service is crap?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Summit County
    Posts
    325
    Hate to say it but I'm done with garmin..had to put their support number in my contacts list due to issues over the years..small things but annoying. And terrible UI.

    Gonna look at suunto based on this thread.
    Last edited by cycology1; 03-14-2017 at 09:58 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    15
    If you are looking for best HR measurement and analysis and probably by far best GSP, check Polar They are the one who started HRM some 30+ years ago, and are still leaders in that, and their V800 has by all tests most accurate GPS of all HRM watches. But battery life of V800 is not around some Suunto/Garmin watches, yet I still never had issue with it, even when going for some 8-9h skiing or mtb trips. I never tried anything longer myself, but official specs says 12h, which I somehow doubt, at least with 1sec GPS sampling.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    555
    Anyone has any recommendation picking between sunnto ambit3 peak vs vertical?

    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    837

    Garmin, Suunto or?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dkla52 View Post
    Anyone has any recommendation picking between sunnto ambit3 peak vs vertical?

    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app
    the peak has way more battery life but is a touch thicker I think? I don’t know why one would take the vertical over the peak. Well, maybe the vertical is a bit cooler looking?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    555
    Quote Originally Posted by Andyski View Post
    the peak has way more battery life but is a touch thicker I think? I don’t know why one would take the vertical over the peak. Well, maybe the vertical is a bit cooler looking?
    From what I'm reading vertical is more tailored towards mountaineering but I'm not sure if that's just a marketing pitch. The longer battery life is definitely a huge plus.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    21,306
    Late to this thread, but just about any smart phone does this now. Can get fancier with some free or paid apps, but it is all there without a new gadget.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    679
    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    Late to this thread, but just about any smart phone does this now. Can get fancier with some free or paid apps, but it is all there without a new gadget.
    No, any smartphone won't do. It's lacking barometer, pulse and runs out of battery. And yeah, I bought a Suunto last year, because the smartphone didn't do.

    Edit: Sorry if that came a cross a little harsh. It's just that a smartphone wont replace a good watch yet.
    Last edited by LiveLarger; 03-30-2018 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Rudenes

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    555
    ^^Which one did you end up getting?

    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    679
    Quote Originally Posted by Dkla52 View Post
    ^^Which one did you end up getting?

    Sent from my SM-G935V using TGR Forums mobile app
    I'm using a Suunto Spartan Ultra. Pretty happy with it.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    6,139
    I should update based on my earlier post. I now have a Fenix 3 HR. It's much better than Fenix 2. Stable, works well. Wrist based HR monitor is just ok.

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