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What a great GPS watch Suunto have made. Not perfect, but every GPS watch on the market has its glitches. The Suunto 9 Baro is a stylish and robust watch, with superior battery life, lots of sport tracking functions and a great navigational tool.



Having used the Suunto 9 Baro for the last month and a half, it has been my companion for skiing, general training, winter climbing and winter walking.  And what a fun toy to play with.



  • Intelligent battery modes
  • GPS navigation
  • Fusedtrack
  • Over 80 sport modes
  • Estimated wrist heart monitor
  • 100m water resistant
  • Barometer
  • Weather functions
  • Built-in digital compass
  • Acivity tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • And probably other features not yet explored
  • For wrist sizes from 13cm to 22cm
  • Weighs 81g

The watch has so many features, that writing this review, its hard to figure out where to start.  More than likely I have tested the ones I would normally use, but will not do it any justice regarding any of the other options available.   Lets just start with the design and the way it looks.



The Suunto 9 Baro is a sleek and stylish looking watch, available in 5 standard colours.  Or if you prefer, on the Suunto website, you can customise your watch, from the case, bezel, strap and buttons, to the buckle, charging cable and heart rate sensor. So there is the potential for a complete unique design that no-one else has.   The silicone stretchy wrist straps, create a comfortable and soft feel. With the option to change the straps, for a different colour, or replace them once worn out.  The large face makes reading the information presented very easy.


The way you operate the watch is through its touch screen, or the three large buttons, on its side.  Easily operated whilst wearing even the big winter gloves.  Easy to work as a righty (watch on the left arm, using the right and to operate), not sure this would be the same for a lefty.   The sapphire crystal glass used on the screen, makes it scratch resistant. As the Suunto 9 Baro is designed for the adventures and activities industry, this is an important feature to add to its longevity.


The Suunto 9 Baro is also water resistant up to a 100m deep.  I have no way of testing this out, and have no curiosity to ever find this out either.  I played around with it in snow, sleet, rain, cold and warm conditions, and it all worked fine.  As long as the watch can deal with these conditions, I’m happy, as a mountaineer.



The suunto 9 Baro will track your heart rate and calculate your calorie consumption.  (I assume the calorie consumption, is an estimation, based on movement, and heart rate). Again, for the intricate or the curious this is a great option.  It analyses, from an outing, how intense the exercise is/was.


The Suunto 9 Baro has an amazing battery life.  One function that stands out as fantastic, is when tracking, the user gets the option whether to track in Performance, Endurance, or Ultra mode. Meaning, collecting more or less information at regular intervals, or less so.

For accuracy purposes, I used Performance mode on all of the activities.   The battery life of the Suunto 9 Baro is far superior than any of its current competitors on the market, especially on tracking mode (up to 120h).  And when out in the hills for multiple days, this is of great benefit.  Not having to carry extra batteries or a charger just in case.

If you forget to either charge the watch or put it in the wrong tracking mode, when it gets to 10%, it gives you the option to put it into a setting that makes the battery last longer.  Also, if you regularly workout/exercise on specific days, the Suunto 9 Baro will remind you to charge it beforehand.  Its like having a small PA inside, organising that part of your life.


Some of the other general functions the Suunto 9 Baro has, are it displays when the sun comes up, tells you when it goes down.  It has a step counter, a calorie counter, and a sleep tracker.  Which are all great functions for the right person, and can see how this can contribute to some.   I can see this as a very encouraging tracker for anyone that likes to compete with themselves.  Or see how they can improve their lifestyle, or maintain it.



The Suunto 9 Baro has a digital compass.  As a mountaineer, I may be a bit old school, but somehow feel reluctant to use a compass that uses batteries.  I have always used a normal compass, and it has never let me down, and will always continue to use this.  Once the compass was set up on the Suunto 9 Baro, it was fairly accurate to within 1 degree.  But personally, feel it is not as functional as a normal compass.  On the Suunto website it states that the digital compass accuracy is to within 5 degrees.  In my mind that is 5 degrees too much, but did not find a 5 degree inaccuracy when tested.


The Suunto 9 Baro, has a barometer built in.  I really like this function, as it can confirm the weather forecast is correct, or change is due.  There is an option to turn on the storm alarm, notifying you when the air pressure drops by 4hPa within a 3-hour period, taking into account any changes due to height gain, alerting the wearing of bad weather coming in.


One of the functions I used the most for referencing onto a map, was the altitude meter.  Which I have found to be very accurate, and made the accuracy of navigation so much easier.  Again, this can be used in combination with using coordinates, confirming that you are accurate in locating yourself on a map.  I compared these with a Garmin, they were almost spot on (within one meter of one another, please see picture below).



I took the Suunto 9 Baro skiing.  I will not expand on my ability or lack of skiing ability, but found it a great little toy to record speed with.  Although this can become deadly, trying to compete with yourself.


I found myself trying harder and harder each time.  And had images of ploughing into a tree, or off the side of a cliff.

So decided to call it a day, before it ended up in hospital.  The information then put on Movescount is great for analysis.

Heart rate and speed

The route followed on a map. I do see there is a slight glitch, i.e. starting point.  I started to record at the top of the ski lift, not where the ‘play’ icon is.  So some extra distance has been added. I recorded several routes when out winter climbing and winter walking in Scotland.  Below is just one of them.

The colours represent the intensity of the exercise.  Which is fantastic, but if you follow the same route down as up, the up gets covered over by the route on the way down, not a big issue, just have to look a little harder.  At quick glance, there are two areas that stand out, please see below.

For some reason either the software, or the recording of information put us way off the path, and if anyone knows the walk up into Stob Coire nan Lochain, it’s a pretty obvious path.

Apparently we also crossed the river, which never happened.  So apart from these, the Suunto 9 Baro was pretty accurate. One of the other representations of a particular workout is in the form of a graph.  See below:

The white line presents altitude, the green line speed.  Not sure what happened there, but apparently I travelled at 54km/h and nearly 30km/h, at just two instances to mention.  I mean, I am fit, but with a 10Kg rucksack on my back, not sure I could run that fast.  Even if it was downhill. I also used the Suunto 9 Baro when doing one of my workout sessions. It is great that you can have all of this information available.  You can even compare this with previous session, etc…

The Suunto 9 Baro has plenty of other sport modes options, from running to swimming and yoga to sailing, and climbing to cheerleading and paragliding. Too many to name.  It even has to option to personalise your sport if not available as an option, how and what you record.



For the analysis of the data, you link your watch up with your laptop/computer, having downloaded the correct support Software.  I used Movescount, which I found easy to use, and a great tool for analysis purposes.



  • Easy to use – very user friendly
  • Great addition to your training, and tracking it
  • You can manually pre-set settings for different workouts
  • 3 option of battery life/tracking
  • Stylish
  • Easy to attach charger cable
  • Water resistant to 100m
  • Baro meter
  • Altitude meter
  • Touch screen
  • Big buttons (easy to use with big gloves on)
  • Stretchy silicon wrist band, sits comfortable
  • Heart rate monitor
  • GPS tracking
  • Storm alarm
  • Sunrise alarm
  • Sunset alarm
  • Tells you when reached 10,000 steps
  • Digital compass
  • Scratch resistant glass
  • K/cal consumption



  • Have to adjust the time manually when going to a different time zone (only a case of pressing a few buttons)
  • I have noticed that on tracking mode, it is not always accurate


Been playing with the Suunto for the last month and a half now. It seems very accurate in giving coordinates, altitude, and the time. When recording a route walked, climbed, skied, etc… there seem to be a few glitches in the system. And there are a few inaccuracies in giving the exact route, and is sometimes a little off. As an instructor/mountaineer, I would never use an electronic device to tell me where to go, it only aids what I do, and rely on a map and compass.


The Suunto 9 Baro is a great teaching tool, but if you are dead set on super accurate plotting of routes you have completed, then Suunto do need to sort out some of the issues. I do feel I am not doing the Suunto 9 Baro any justice in all of the other options and features that are available.  There are lots of other reviews on the internet, detailing its performance in other sports, and use of other functions.



The Suunto 9 Baro is a stylish looking watch, with lots of exciting features on it.  A superior battery life, and a great navigational tool.  Although Suunto have a few software issues to iron out. It is an incredibly cool GPS watch, and offers a lot more for your money than some of its competitors.


If you are interested in the Suunto 9 Baro, please click the link below: