The best GPS device I’ve owned to date. It’s a light, comfortable and feature rich GPS watch for training, everyday use and adventure tracking that won’t break the bank to purchase either. Highly recommended!
A little background first. I’ve been using GPS devices for about 6 years now from stand alone bulky GPS’s, built in Smartphone GPS’s to more recently a Suunto Ambit3 Peak. The majority of that use has occurred while I was out on an adventure for tracking of my route. I wasn’t really interested in statistics or personal records.
Out of the box the first thing I noticed is that the Spartan Trainer watch is both small and really light. It feels like a normal watch, not a watch with a GPS unit and Heart Rate monitor built in. Wow! My Ambit3 Peak is not exactly heavy, it only weighs 89g’s, but the Spartan Trainer, with the standard bezel weighs in at a mere 56g’s. A weight saving of nearly 40%!
The next aspect I noticed about the Suunto Spartan Trainer watch was the considerable size difference. It’s small enough that I don’t even notice wearing it. It has since become my daily watch for this reason. I find myself geeking out and checking my heart rate now during different moments of my day due to the ease of using the built in wrist heart rate monitor.
Further to that, the built in wrist heart rate monitor on the Spartan Trainer is amazing! It’s an excellent way to track which HR zone I’m staying in during activity. Different heart rate zones can affect if your body is burning fat or not, and if you are making advancements in fitness. Honestly I wasn’t really tracking it before, as I never found the chest HR monitors convenient. I definitely do now! The HR monitor is always with me.
Finally, something I’ve been using a lot more with this watch in comparison to my Ambit3 Peak is the different Sport Modes as well as custom Sport Modes that I create on the movescount.com website and sync to my watch.
Below is an image of a custom Sport Mode I created for a multi-day mountaineering trip I went on. I changed the display face to show my altitude and cumulative elevation gain as well as tweaked the GPS accuracy and display timeout to give me a greatly increased battery life (up to 32hrs).
This allowed me to track the three separate days of that trip without needing to charge the watch. Awesome!
Overall I highly recommend this GPS watch. It’s simple, but that’s what makes it close to perfect in my opinion. I haven’t worn a watch consistently in over a decade. The Spartan Trainer changed that, I wear it every day.
- Size: Small form factor. Hard to believe this thing has a GPS and HR monitor built in!
- Weight: I can’t even feel it on my wrist it’s that light!
- Comfortable: The silicone straps stretch and fit the wrist, and the light weight of the watch does not cause it to move around.
- Feature Set: It has all the needed tracking modes for training and exercise. You can create your own custom modes if you need them also.
- Cost: This is a big one. At $379.95, this is an affordable option for those looking for a GPS watch, HR monitor and tracking, navigation options all in.
- Displaying Altitude: I personally spend a lot of time at different elevations in Canada and would love to be able to see my elevation on the fly without needing to enter a tracking mode. The Spartan Trainer does track elevation, and display it while tracking in some Sport Modes, but there isn’t currently a way to display it on the main face of the watch. It’s a minor peeve and could be added in with a future firmware update.
Buy it if:
You are looking for your first GPS watch and don’t know where to start or you already have a large full featured GPS watch and are looking for a lightweight, comfortable GPS watch for everyday use and training to compliment the one you already own.
- Suunto Link: Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
- Cost (at time of writing): CA$379.95
Spartan Trainer Menu’s: