Michelle Bartonwrote a review of Suunto Suunto 9 Baro on September 13, 2018
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have been using the Suunto 9 on a daily basis for training and for my races for almost 3 months. I received the watch for free for being a SUUNTO ambassador, I am on the Suunto Pro Team as an ultrarunner athlete. I ran three of the biggest and hardest races is in Canada this summer and had the opportunity to test the Suunto 9 at each race. I have been using Suunto gps watches for three years. I have used the Ambit 3 Peak, Suunto Spartan Ultra, Suunto Spartan Sport HR and Suunto Vertical.
I have run many Ultramarathons where my gps battery does not last the duration of the run, so I re-charge it on the fly. Running with a charging cable and charging box is kind of a hassle during 100 mile race. I was happy to learn the Suunto 9 was designed specifically with ultrarunners in mind: designed to last for 120 hours with GPS on.
My first race of the summer was Sinister 7 100 mile in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada. I wore the Suunto 9 on my right wrist and the Suunto Spartan Ultra on my left wrist. I wanted to compare data between the two watches at the end of the race. I also wanted a backup just in case the Suunto 9 had a glitch. I ran almost 28 hours at Sinister 7. I set the Suunto 9 to ultra mode (longest battery life). On this mode youâre not able to see the watch screen unless you tap the touch screen. So I was actually happy to have the Spartan ULTRA on my left wrist to see what time it was. Needless to say after almost 28 hours, there were no glitches, The Suunto 9 had 21% battery life left. Total gamechanger! Finally a gps watch that will outlast my legs and my races!!
I am a believer in the Suunto 9. I am surprised the price point is less on the Suunto 9 then on the spartan ultra considering it has better battery life and some different improved features.
My next race was the 125km Canadian Death race in grand cache, Alberta. I trusted in the Suunto 9 and only wore that watch for my race. I set my Suunto on endurance mode which is the middle setting because I knew I was going to be running less than 24 hours. The race took me 23 hours and two minutes. I ended on 11% battery life. The cool thing is about the Suunto 9 is It will alert you if your battery is starting to die and then you can switch the mode to ULTRA setting and have the watch last you much longer.
I did not use a heart rate strap or the built in wrist heart rate at these races. If I do use HR, I prefer using the HR strap because it is more accurate to use the classic HR strap than the wrist HR for running. I was impressed with the accuracy of the vertical gain and distance data from performance mode setting.
My last race was the Blackspur 108km in Kimberley, BC Canada. I set my Suunto 9 on the middle battery setting Performance Mode. The race took me 21 hours. I ended with 18% battery life. The distance and vertical gain was accurate. I did use trekking poles for Blackspur, Canadian Death Race and Sinister 7 and I believe the data is a little different when using poles on Ultra mode versus not using poles because of the arm swing.
I love many of the features of the Suunto 9 including sleep tracking which tells you how long you slept and how much deep sleep you got. It is super accurate. I also like seeing your resting heart rate tracking when you are sleeping. It gives you a 24 hr average.
The Suunto 9 has this storm alarm based on barometer. If the sea level air pressure drops fast enough it will sound an alarm, so you know a storm is coming. The storm alarm did go off at my Blackspur 108K - and within 20 minutes it started to rain.
You do not need to charge the Suunto9 very often. When the Battery does drop, the watch will alert you and ask if you are training soon and tell you to re-charge.
I also do a lot of mountain biking, road biking and swimming with the Suunto 9. I am 100% happy with it for all of my activities.
The Suunto 9 baro is the best GPS watch for UltraRunning, endurance adventures and long or multi day events. The Suunto 9 is my favorite Suunto now. It is reliable, accurate with amazing battery life!!