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Think you’ve seen this altimeter on someone’s wrist before? That’s because since its introduction in 1998, the Suunto Vector Altimeter Watch has served as the altimeter, barometer, and electronic compass of choice for hard-core adventurists from mountaineers to Marines. Since then, Suunto has greatly simplified the watch interface on this wristop computer to be more user friendly, upgraded the compass to be more precise, and added weather functions for peace of mind.

  • Highly sophisticated altimeter provides detailed data on your current elevation and elevation change over time—usable up to 29,000 feet
  • 24-hour altitude log keeps track of your elevation gained and lost for you—so you can focus on the climb at hand
  • Keep an eye on approaching storms with the barometer—includes four-day weather memory and trend indication system
  • Take a step in the right direction with the digital compass which allows you to set your bearing in degrees, track that bearing over time, and adjust for local declination
  • Additional features include timekeeping, date, chronograph, time alarm functions, and altitude alarm
  • Water resistant to 30m
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Altimeter Problems

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

The watch is great for barometric pressure but changes in pressure throw the altitude reading off. I have set it at a reference of 0 meters when I go to bed and it can be off by over 50 meters 8 hours later just due to, I assume, changes in pressure. Or I just got a lemon.

Love it.

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

About a month after I received the watch it started acting really strange. The time would jump around and the altimeter wouldn't be very in accurate but a new battery solved those issues.

Great watch.

good watch with great features

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

The features of the watch are great. Navigation through the different features is also very simple. Setting the watch, compass, alarms, etc are very easy to do.

I did manage to tear the band up, but that was my fault. Doffing a 100 pound ruck, and it got caught on my watch and ripped it off. a NATO band and pins got it back together on the cheap and works well.

Actually, speaking of the band and compasses... the Suunto compass doesnt fit on their watch bands. WTF. But, fits well on that nylon strap band, so all is well that ends well.

Never leaked on me in flooded swamps, so shes water tight too.

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  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

Compared to the Highgear (which is no longer made) this watch stands alone. I've used it on several mountaineering, backpacking and climbing trips and it has yet to fail in any way.

Alarm: Loud enough to wake me up.

Altimeter: Easy to adjust and fairly accurate.

Barometer: Also easy to adjust and use.

Compass: Is also easy to read, use and calibrate.

Data Logs: Haven't really used but they do work and it's pretty cool.

Time: Hey, it also keeps time and date!

Size: Big, but not too big. It is also light on the wrist and looks great.

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Outdoor Gear Lab Best Buy

Outdoor Gear Lab tested five of the best altimeter watches on the market in side-by-side tests over a year. These watches feature the key functions that hikers, backpackers, and climbers use the most: altimeter, barometer, digital compass, and standard time-keeping features.

Outdoor Gear Lab Best Buy

Long term review

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

It still works fine.

I got mine in 2006 , i think. No problems. Band has not broke, all functions work. I have only replaced the battery twice so far. Bezel does not really move much, but i never have used it.

I don't wear it daily, it is big. That is the only negative comment i have ever had.

The Perfect Outdoors Watch

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

This is my first Suunto watch and it is spectacular in every way. Many, many settings that allow the user to track altitude, barometric pressure/sea level pressure as well as a very accurate compass. Yes, this watch will require you to manually adjust these settings when you first use it and may require you to calibrate them in the near future.

I also purchased the Suunto velcro strap with this watch because I read the stock, rubber strap is annoying and isn't that comfortable. I would highly recommend purchasing the Suunto velcro strap if you really want this watch to feel comfortable on your wrist.

Superb watch. Exactly what I was looking for.

Also, ordering this item was fast and easy. Backcountry shipped the watch the same day I ordered it and it arrived super fast (2 days).

nice watch

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

This watch does it all, but requires a bit more research from the user. While I like it now, initially I had to get the majority of the instructions from the SUUNTO website, as a lot of the details do not come with the instructions with the watch. If you don't mind going to this extra effort you might get frustrated.

Beyond Limits

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

So, the Vector is a great watch. The face is large enough to read in low light and not too big that you can not wear it with a jacket. The band can have issues as it will trap sweat and moisture beneath it, the one down side, but minimal considering the discomfort.

The buttons are pretty easy to work with gloves on and the back light is quick and a nice feature. Here in the Rockies everything is uphill, the altimeter is as accurate as it can be without GPS input.

Overall I am glad I got this watch, I just should have done it sooner.

High Quality, Accurate

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

As far as functionality, comfort, look, and durability go, this watch is top tier. I have slammed this thing around and I only have a tiny scratch on the face. It takes a little bit to get used to the buttons and what they do. I like the size of this watch as well. I have a small wrist, and most Suunto's are a little too big for me. This is just perfect. I wish it would sync with my heart rate monitor, but everything else is great.

I have the XBlack model and some reviews have said it's hard to read. I haven't had any issues reading this watch at all. It would be nice if the internal light were easier to operate, though.

Durable, comfortable, and informative

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I have had this watch for several months now and at first it was a bit overwhelming trying to figure out all its cool tricks. Now I have most of them down and love this watch. I have used it in several mountain marathons and on many trail runs and mountain bike races.

Naturally I have taken some nasty spills and even fell on the watch pretty hard- it took it like a champ and looked better off than I did after the falls! The altitude log is an awesome feature and adds even more of a feeling of accomplishment after a long climb.

Great watch, has a low profile fit and is one tough time keeper.

Durable, comfortable, and informative

Not much has changed

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I started wearing suunto watches back in 1999 when I purchased my first one In Graffenwoehr, Germany right before going on a field exercise for the military. I bought a Suunto Vector and I took it everywhere. I took it to Afghanistan on 2 tours and I took it to Iraq for 2 years. It survived all of the heat, sand, dust and rattling of the track vehicles we cruised around in. I had that watch until 2010 when I finally retired it and upgraded to the Core. I was looking at my buddies vector the other day and nothing has changed on this model at all. If it is not broken then don't fix it. The case is a hard plastic. This watch is much lighter than the steel casings of the Core. This model is a little less bulky than other suunto models. The band can sometimes trap moisture around the wrist because it is form fitting. The functions themselves are basic with an altimeter and a barometer, alarm functions and of course an analog. Aside from that this watch is awesome and if taken care of it will last you a decade.

Hey, which watch do you like more, the Vector or the Core? I had my Vector for 10 years and it's time for a new watch, but I'm trying to decide if I should get the Core instead of the Vector. Any feedback is appreciated.

JR, between the two the Vector is noticeably lighter and the suunto core crush fits a little differently. One problem I had with the vector as opposed to the Core crush is the band on the Vector caused water and sweat to be trapped between the band and my wrist which caused skin breakdown from time to time. The core crush ventilates a little better. Back to the weight, the Core Crush feels more heavy duty, and not as cheap as the vector feels. Changing the battery is much easier with the core you only have to replace the battery and not the whole cap every change like recommended with the vector. They have also come down in pricing since first released so they are more affordable then when they first launched them. Last point is the vector degrades much quicker than the core. All of my letters and numbers around the bevel and compass wore off on my vector, where the metal on the Core Crush has definitely outlasted the vector 5 fold. The only noticeable wear on my core is the black paint wearing away on the bevel, but really not an issue. I definitely think if you had the vector for a decade, then I would definitely go with the Core series. I recently purchased an alu core and absolutely love it.


  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

I'll just list what I like about the watch. Very light. Great big size that's not too big. Very easy to setup time, alarm, stop watch, etc (go to youtube). The wrist band is very comfortable. Very ACCURATE time. I got the yellow one, sold it, then got the xBlack, and now miss my yellow one. Two cons: 1. the band screw came off I don't know when, so take notice of your loose screw before it's gone (I called Suunto and they sent me a new one). 2. The bezel gets tight when you turn from time to time, perhaps it has to do w/ the weather you in. Good luck w/ your decision. Link to my watch here


  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

I got this at a large discount from the outdoor store I work at. I have used it all over Colorado and Wyoming, including a very windy day on the grand...did not let me down!! lately there is quite a bit of delay when flipping through the features so a new battery is in my very near future.

I'm curious how big this watch looks on a female, or someone with small wrists...?


I honestly have no idea how it looks on a small wrist. The best way to know how is to try it on for yourself. It's a sweet watch and I hope it's not too big. I can setup the order for you and hook you up with a free return label. Email me - and I can set it up for you :)

I work with watches all the time (at my day job as a jeweler). An average women's watch is typically 20-30mm and an average men's watch is 35-50mm. This watch may be a little bulky for your size wrist. I may recommend the HighGear Axio Mini to you. Unfortunately most other altimeter watches on the market today appear to be geared towards men.

Where can I purchase a replacement watchband...

Where can I purchase a replacement watchband for a Suunto Vector

Where can I obtain a replacement Suunto...

Where can I obtain a replacement Suunto Vector watchband ?

Are these solar powered? or battery...

Are these solar powered? or battery powered?

I have a Suunto Vector watch/altimeter and...

I have a Suunto Vector watch/altimeter and need a new battery. Suunto has a kit with battery, 0 ring and back of watch. Do you sell those kits including a new back for the battery cover? I damaged mine changing the battery the last time and not sure it is still waterproof.

Hey I'm looking for a watch that also has...

Hey I'm looking for a watch that also has a pedometer or some kind of "distance traveled" function in addition to all the other specs that the Suunto Vector comes equipped with. Does anyone have a recommendation for a quality watch that will measure altitude, barometric pressure, and distance?

Where is this watch manufactured?

Where is this watch manufactured?

I have the core suunto & use it for my...

I have the core suunto & use it for my airplane. It seems to work well and I have to set the alt. at the airport at which I am home based , and it works well sofar. ant thoughts on the baro??

I was wondering if this watch would be a...

I was wondering if this watch would be a good dive computer? Does the compass work during dives and is the depth gauge work great underwater?
If not. Could I get some advice on Dive computer watches around 200?

There isn't a depth gauge on the Vector. The compass does work under water, but it times out after a short period of time to save battery, so not a good replacement for a compass underwater. The Suunto Core has a depth gauge, but it isn't automatically activated. It takes a manual profile switch from either Alti/Baro, Compass, or Auto to engage the dive mode. The mode is good for 15m under, which is a pretty shallow dive. You're better served with Suunto's D series watches, which are dedicated diving devices.

Would this watch work to record elevations...

Would this watch work to record elevations over short distances, 100' to 1000', and small elevation changes, 0 to 50'?

If the distances you mention 100' to 1000' ft are vertical distances then yes, the Vector will log them. But the Vector's altimeter resolution is 5 meters, roughly 16ft, so it's not going to be the best for logging the very small elevation changes. The Core, however, has a resolution of 1m, or 3.2ft. My Core will accurately show my elevation changes from going downstairs in my house. If you're needing that kind of accuracy, you're better served with the Core.

Does this unit contain a stop-watch? How...

Does this unit contain a stop-watch? How really water-resistant is this watch? I have read several reviews both here and on from folks who have stated that their Suunto Vector or Core watches have failed after taking them in the swimming pool! I intend to wear this watch kayaking and I do have a roll. Thx.

It has both a stopwatch and a countdown timer. I have yet to actually come across a Vector that failed underwater, or a Core, and I've had two of them. Most of the hoopla comes from Suunto's conservative 30m water resistance rating. Most watches rated 30m aren't wearable even in the shower. More on the myth of water resistance here:

Fresh from reading that, you should know that Suunto builds quality watches, but their marketing department didn't want the Vector and Core lines to compete with the D Series dive watches, and thus got a lower 30m rating, rather than the 100m it would likely be otherwise.

I had a Suunto Vector xBlack for almost 6 years. I just had it flood on me during a dive trip to Honduras. I have had almost no problems with it until then, but accidentally took it to 30.5 meters and it is dead. Be conservative and keep it to shallower depths than the 30 meter rating and you should be okay.

Best Answer

In terms of water resistancy for kayaking/pool: I do a lot of high level whitewater and Sea Kayaking. Works Great, even after changing the battery. I'm also a swimming instructor and spend about 4 hours a day in the water, since my 'city' watch died I've been wearing this in the water a lot and it holds up well. Very good watch.

Is there a Suunto Vector available with a...

Is there a Suunto Vector available with a white background face?

how accurate and sensitive is barometer...

how accurate and sensitive is barometer?

Best Answer

Hi Robbie, this watch is a little less accurate then some others with a altimeter resolution of only 5 meters (determined from the barometer). The barometer has a resolution of millibar, so small changes in atmospheric conditions/weather can be tracked easily. All of these instruments have an inherent drift and a rule of thumb is ~ +/- 60 meters depending on the weather changes and how much elevation changing you have done. To keep it as accurate as possible always calibrate to references around you; i.e. summit markers, GPS, etc...

Does this watch have a temperature...

Does this watch have a temperature reading

Best Answer

A buddy and I have both have the same Vector, and we used them in the Grand Canyon in July. He attached his to his shoulder strap and I wore mine on my wrist. We compared readings every time we checked the temperature, and each time it was either the same, or within a degree or two of each other. We have done similar experiments in other conditions, including much colder temps, with the same results. In my experience, there is no real need to take the watch off to get a temp reading, unless you are concerned about the possibility of a degree or two of difference.

Two questions: Fill it fit rather slim /...

Two questions: Fill it fit rather slim / skinny hand? 2. If I buy it in US will it work in Europe (I dont know maybe there is something that wouldt work on the oder continent ;P)

Best Answer

About 2" in diameter and 5/8" thick. The band will have enough adjustment to fit a pretty small wrist. Both metric and standard settings for all functions, and it will work anywhere in the world that has time, altitude, barometric pressure, and a position relative to the magnetic poles.

At 50mm diameter this watch isn't for the faint of heart, Mike. I wear a Suunto Core, also a big watch. I've noticed that most people that wear these don't care how they look, they're using them as a tool. Even if you don't depend on the features, it's a super solid functioning piece. It will work all over the world, like Phil said, its sensors are dependent on atmospheric pressure and the earth's magnetic field.

As a woman I don't mind larger watches but...

As a woman I don't mind larger watches but some can get out of control. What is the size of the Vector's face? It's not listed in the specs. Thanks!

It's a beast, Hornet. Around 53mm. The Suunto Lumi series are Suunto's concession to women, with smaller and thinner design. Unfortunately, the strap design sucks. If you need an ABC watch that isn't super large and desire the accuracy and top notch support of Suunto, check out the Observers, otherwise there are some other companies that make smaller and thinner watches, but don't have the accuracy that Suunto does.

I own a Vector X-Lander Black, just about...

I own a Vector X-Lander Black, just about new. A very nice watch, but I find the black background white lettering very tough to read, especially when using it as a stopwatch in the sun. I have been told you can switch out the colors to white background/black lettering, perhaps aftermarket. Anyone know how? The folks at Suunto customer service were not in the least bit helpful and were actually kind of rude. Thanks

Fred, it has to do with switching a polarizing film on the lcd module. People switch the polarizing films on G-Shocks often, to turn a positive face watch into a negative face watch, but I've never heard of anyone doing it on a Suunto. I suspect that the Vector isn't able to be disassembled far enough to remove the film from the module. You can see the process to take it apart here (copy and paste the URL):

And the G-Shock polarizing film tutorial:

Is there an elastic band for the watch so...

Is there an elastic band for the watch so you can wear it on the outside of your jacket. It does me no good in the winter on the inside of the jacket on a stormy day

I am looking for a hiking / outdoors watch...

I am looking for a hiking / outdoors watch that has the usual set of features PLUS a humidity sensor. Is there such a thing?