If you aren’t familiar with the Suunto brand, take note. The Suunto 9 Baro
is the best multisport watch in Suunto’s lineup.
It usurped the Suunto Spartan Ultra as Suunto’s No.1 during the latter half of 2018. It is Suunto’s response to the Fenix 5 Plus, and it can also grapple comfortably with the Forerunner 935 and the Polar Vantage V. So let’s just say that it’s a pretty big player.
Let’s take stock of the best features of the Suunto 9 Baro:
1) Insane Battery Life – In terms of battery life, the Suunto 9 is literally as good as it gets. Depending on what setting you choose, the battery can last from 25 – 120 hours, depending on what setting you choose. This puts the Fenix 5 Plus, the Forerunner 935 and the Polar Vantage V to shame. So if you’re looking for the triathlon watch with the longest battery life, it’s safe to say you’ve found it.
2) FuseTrack Technology – This is the technology that allows the Suunto 9 to achieve such amazing feats with the battery. Here’s how it works. In ultra saving battery mode, the GPS signal is intermittant (approximately every 60 seconds). FusedTrack fills in the dots between each GPS communication, using motion sensor data from the built-in accelerometer.
3) Pairs well with Stryd Sensor – Yes, you need to purchase the Stryd sensor in order to actually benefit here. The point is, the Suunto 9 does a great job of displaying running power and cycling power stats, essentially allowing you to customize the watchface when you switch from running to cycling.
4) Excellent Multisport Features – Like the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR, the Suunto 9 can guide you through any triathlon race. The biggest difference is that the Suunto 9 Baro includes a Barometric Altimeter, which essentially means that it is much better for trail running and hill training. Then obviously the battery life of the Suunto 9 is much better than the Spartan Trainer, and it also comes in a bundle with a chest strap (a must have for triathletes).
Biggest Drawbacks of the Suunto 9 Baro
a) Suunto dropped GLONASS reception. The industry trend is to have GPS, GLONASS and even GALILEO, so a lot of Suunto fans will be left disappointed by this decision. It’s a noticeable chink in the armour.
b) No female friendly version – The Suunto 9 is very similar in size to the men’s Fenix 5 Plus. A lot of women might find it too big for a smaller wrist. This is not the end of the world, but if you are looking for a female friendly version of the same thing, the Fenix 5S or the Fenix 5S Plus might be the better option.