Staff Pick: Suunto Ambit GPS Watch
At Eastern Mountain Sports, our store guides are passionate users of our products and they’re not afraid to tell us what they think of them. When they find something they really like, we share them with you here on our blog. In this edition of Staff Picks, Andre Lamothe from our Portsmouth, NH store is pretty impressed with the Suunto Ambit GPS watch and explains why in his own words:
Working at a gear store for 3+ years, it’s pretty rare that a new product comes in and totally wows me. The Suunto Ambit does just that. It’s Suunto’s first swing at a GPS watch, and they hit it out of the park. I have owned a few Suunto products in the past, namely the Core (adventure watch) and the M5 ( training watch), so when the Ambit came out offering the features of both plus a GPS feature at a size a bit bigger than the Core, I was excited. After putting an Ambit through the paces last summer, I’m ready to declare it a an easy to use, superior product.
I got to use one for a trail race this summer, and it did not let me down. I was underneath heavy tree cover the whole race, and not only did it track my speed, distance, pace, heart rate, and elevation, but at the end of the race (7 hours later) the battery still had 45% left! (This is impressive because most versus other GPS watches have only 6 hours battery life). When I got home, I loaded my race into Suunto’s free tracking website, where I was able to look at my paces all along the course, as well as a map of where I had been, which was particularly interesting to me since I’d gotten lost and had to turn around three times.
One of the best features, for me, is the waypoint option. Whenever I go explore a new area or go for a run somewhere I am not familiar with, I always get nervous about getting back. With the Ambit there are 100 programmable waypoints that you can set, one for your car, one for your house, one for your campground or hotel and then 97 other places. Let me explain why this is awesome: I went to Quebec for vacation and forgot my cell phone at home. Normally, I would have been a little nervous about getting lost in a urban, french-speaking jungle. With the Ambit, I just set a waypoint at my hotel lobby, and took off without a care in the world.
These are just a FEW of the things about the Ambit that I liked. This this amazing piece has many more features that I could talk about for hours, but to quickly list a few big ones: Back tracking your route and planned routes can be shown on the screen in map form, customizable workout screens (if you want to only see heartrate, time and pace you can do that too!), and best of all, upgrade able software. Every now and then Suunto comes out with a new patch for the watch, loading new features, and installing updates automatically. All in all, this watch is probably the coolest piece of electronics that EMS and indeed the outdoor industry will see for some time to come. It’s the essential piece to your ultra marathoner looking for the peak training watch, or, it’s the salvation for those who get lost in their back yard, like me. If you’re willing to spend the money, this is an easy to use piece of advanced outdoor technology that will not see a rival for some time to come. Prepare to be wow’ed.