SPARTAN TRAINER $379–449 The Finnish brand Suunto started off by making some of the most accurate and rugged compasses in the world. Over the years, they’ve fittingly transitioned into the world of extreme endurance sports. Their Ambit and Spartan series are go-to devices for trail, ultra and mountain runners. If you’re heading out for a long run in a mountain range, a Spartan watch is probably on your wrist.
The issue with these robust GPS units is that, because they can do basically everything and must be able to survive a lot of abuse, they are big. Also, the typical road runner, training for a marathon or less, doesn’t often need the feature set they would be paying premium dollars for with something like the Spartan Ultra. Enter the Spartan Trainer. The silhouette has been slimmed down for pretty much any wrist size, and the price is a jaw-dropper for the features on offer.
At under $400 for the base model, the Spartain Trainer delivers a solid 10 hours of GPS per charge, route navigation (and even bread crumbs so you don’t ever get lost while out for a run in a new location), 80 different sport modes and fitness as well as sleep and calorie tracking. It also sports a cookedin optical heart rate monitor made by Valencell, which is the most accurate on the market.
The truth is, Suunto are offering a product very similar to their robust Spartan Ultra software in the Trainer at a crazyaffordable price. Roadrunners looking for a hardcore yet affordable running and endurance sport-focused device will be enticed by this impressive balance between feature set and price.— CR