Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Suunto Ambit or Garmin Fenix??

Suunto Ambit or Garmin Fenix??
There aren’t many of us who run these long distances who aren’t partial to a gadget or two. This is supposed to be a relatively cheap sport, in its simplest form it is (trainers and simple running gear can be picked up for under £100. But to develop, and monitor the progress in our training there are all sorts of gadgets available.
Garmin and Suunto are the leading players and have brought out similar mountaineering/training/GPS devices at similar times. The Suunto Ambit and the Garmin Fenix both, impressive bits of technology. Now I have a Garmin Forerunner 910xt which is brilliant, but is geared more towards the triathlon market, but at the time of purchase had the longest battery life, long enough to work throughout the 50+ mile ultras I did this year.
I aim to get involved in triathlons in the future so will be keeping hold of the 910xt for that purpose.
Suunto Ambit
'2012 Suunto launched the first ever GPS watch combining the advanced training and heavy duty outdoor features. It has taken the market by storm, and is especially valued for its superior mechanical durability, reliable altitude measurement and water resistance. Hand made in Finland by Suunto, the original inventor of ABC watches and dive computers.'
Found these videos or the Ambit getting put through its paces, the video above is worth checking out, this guys must have some stones!!
Garmin Fenix
'With built-in GPS + ABC (Altimeter Barometer Compass) functions, fēnix gives you all the navigational tools you need in a rugged wristwatch - keeping your hands free for when you need them. Get accurate readings on your location no matter what position your wrist is in or how dense the foliage is around you.'
'Set up navigational activities to plan trips, create routes and record waypoints. Download routes from the BaseCamp™ desktop application or create them by marking your favorite spots as Waypoints - parking space, trailhead, mountain shelter, summit and more. And, best of all, fēnix will route you along your path with a clear visible navigational arrow or a track line.'
Having read both of these great in depth reviews by DC Rainmaker the American sports enthusiast im glad i opted for and ordered the Suunto Ambit, it has been targeted at ultrarunners whereas the Garmin Fenix more towards hikers. Ill give my own briefer review and thoughts when i get it....
Suunto Ambit
First impressions are good, easy to use straight out of the box, connected to Movescount and trialled it on the treadmill in the house. Below is the interface on the movescount website. Simple with all you need in one place to monitor and assess your training sessions. The firmware of the watch was updated on connection to movescount with useful changes suggested by Ambit users.

For me this is by far the the best piece of technology on the market for ultrarunners. The battery life for one is capable even for the longer ultras taking 24+ hours. The more i use it the more i realise its potential. As it is developed with the ultrarunner in mind, it fits perfectly with my requirements. Easy to use packed full of features which are continually being improved and added to. Its first indoor treadmill trial is above, the information shown is just a fraction of whats available on the Movescount site.

This weekend will be its first test in the lake district, ill update this post with how it performs.

I didnt make it to the lakes as planned unfortunately, but have used the watch on a couple of runs local to where i live and it doesnt disappoint, all information is easily accessible on the move and the information to analyse on the Movescount site is laid out well. Really good and useful piece of kit. 


  1. I still don't get it bud, I've never owned one and have never felt I needed one. But maybe the lack of benjimens makes it that way!

    1. I was the same mate, not a necessity agree with you there, but good for tracking progress long term along with the amount of info its gathers makes it pretty useful for me.