22 December 2015

suunto traverse

Suunto Traverse Amber 
Are you planning a skiing trip or a hiking expedition next year? Perhaps you are looking to rid the excesses of the festive period with a bracing walk or run? When Sketches was given the opportunity by the good people at Suunto to test out their new Traverse range of watches I just couldn't refuse. The weather hasn't been the kindest but after getting my head around how to use its functions we set about testing the watch. Here is our tale..


GPS watch
Suunto Traverse Amber
Walking in the hills 
Living in a rural area (The Chiltern Hills) didn't present too many problems when thinking about setting about testing the traverse. Perhaps not the most challenging of landscapes but a useful place nevertheless to test the watch and our compass reading skills. Suunto wanted us to test the watch against the old map and compass. So with M and K in tow we headed out for a bracing walk. It wasn't particularly hard; muddy yes, undulating definitely not. For the most part we were on the tops of the hills. Immediately it was clear that using a compass and map can be cumbersome, especially with the wind blowing. A great way for the kids to understand maps and how a compass works, but for the more seasoned user with the advancement in technology people want instant help or readings without the hassle of getting out maps. This is where the watch comes into its own. 


On a road to nowhere?
Sunset approaches in the Chilterns
M getting to grips with the compass

Using the watch
We decided, to do compass work and using the Suunto Traverse at the same time. The watch can have programmed routes via the Movescount app or as we did on this particular occasion you can record your route. Initially this proved tricky, well I'm not the most tech savvy person out there. So after a bit of fiddling around and a short practice at recording a route, actually done whilst cycling home from work. I felt confident enough to use it for our test. 

Throughout the duration of the walk we checked the watches functions and found them easy to read, informative and fun (as the pictures below demonstrate). M and K especially liked comparing the compasses to check they were accurate (the watch has one).  A touch of a button changes the screen to the information you require, whether that is co-ordinates, the route or timings. So even though this was a simple test I would feel very confident about using the watch in more demanding terrain.


Suunto Traverse Amber in action at the start of the walk

The watch creates a map of your route

The Suunto Traverse 
The Review 
First impressions are everything these days and the Traverse delivers that from the moment you open the box. Yes its chunky, but aren't most watches nowadays? It's very well built and light for its size. The watch almost demands to be put through its paces. The Alps are calling! After initial set up and charging up the watch (the battery lasts approximately 100 hours between charges). Its advisable to create an account with the Movescount app. This way you can sync the watch with your phone and/or PC and also work on planning routes. Which can be shared in the growing community of walkers. Just remember to turn the Bluetooth on your phone! It took a while to get used to the watch (size mainly) but after a few days it felt comfortable. Would I wear it all the time? Probably not but there is no reason why you can't. It's eye catching that's for sure. For more information please visit Suunto's website, where you can also download the user guide and find the nearest retailer Suunto Traverse Collection

The watch has a many functions, including GPS, a compass, it measures your steps daily, tells you the sunrise and sunset times and of course the routes you've planned can be stored on them. You can also record whilst walking. Giving you plenty of details as you progress, calories burned, distance walked, average speed. For the hiker or trekker its the perfect accessory. So you could conceivably say goodbye to the map and compass. 

The Verdict
If you are an adventurous traveler then this watch is the perfect accessory. Whether you are skiing, hiking, walking, cycling or running it will also meet with your needs. Suunto have added a great watch to their growing family of products. With the Traverse coming in a variety of colours (amber, black, white) it also has a certain amount of chic. A quality product that I will use again and again. 

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your continued support. 


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