Suunto 9 Peak: The Fitness Tracker for Those Pursuing Their Peak

Meet Dave, a mid 50s father of five and grandfather of four. Dave works as a vice principal at a jr. high school and has no problem getting his daily 10,000 steps patrolling the halls. Dave has been somewhat active his whole life. He played sports in high school and participated in intramural competitions in college. He coached youth teams that his kids participated in and was involved on and off with local chapters of the Boy Scouts of America.

Through the years, Dave has worked to maintain his physical health. He’s worked with nutrition specialists, doctors, personal trainers and family to try and learn what his body needs to reach optimal health. He doesn’t feel that he’s reached that yet, but despite some difficulties along the way, he hasn’t given up on himself. He recently purchased an E-bike which he rides to and from work and along mainly flat, scenic trails. He enjoys setting goals for himself and tracking them using the tools he currently has, an old, Fitbit Charge 3, his iPhone 8 and a few apps like Strava. He’s been researching an upgrade to these tracking tools and agreed to share his thoughts on what would make a good fitness tracker for him.  

While Dave isn’t pictured below, the Suunto 9 Peak is.

GPS

The first need Dave is looking for is GPS tracking. He enjoys sharing the traced path on a map of the trails he rode with his friends and family. This helps him stay motivated and keeps his stoke for riding high. Dave recently participated in a month-long Strava challenge tracking his miles ridden and elevation gained. His current tools meet this need; however, he feels that his current technology has become outdated. New GPS tech in the newer trackers can find his location much more consistently and in more remote places. The Suunto 9 Peak is designed with adventure in mind; in contrast with Dave’s current kit, the Suunto 9 Peak has its own GPS technology, rather than relying on the GPS in his phone. The Suunto 9 Peak works seamlessly with the Suunto app which gives an incredible amount of detail on the trails you’ve ridden in addition to some trail planning features highlighted in the next paragraph. It can be set up to automatically sync with his Strava app. Even though Dave isn’t concerned about sharing rides with followers, he really enjoys using the stat tracking and reporting features of Strava. So, finding a fitness tracker that works seamlessly with that app is a priority for him. With all these tools, the Suunto 9 Peak is much better equipped to show Dave where he’s been than his current setup is. 

Navigation

Dave also wants a tool that will help him know where he’s going. Currently, his method is to research the trail before he sets out and get as good of an understanding about where he’s going to try and minimize stops to check the map on his phone. In the upgraded toolkit he’s looking for, the screen of his fitness tracker would be big enough so that he can quickly see the trail he’s on, where he is and what turn to make. This isn’t possible on his current fitness tracker whose simple screen just shows time of day and heart rate. His vision isn’t fantastic, so he doesn’t anticipate being able to read the map without stopping completely. But having this trail information available on his wrist takes away the need to fetch his phone out of a pack. A feature of the Suunto 9 Peak that might enhance Dave’s experience even more is its ability to offer turn by turn directions on the trail. The Suunto 9 Peak can download objectives to the watch, eliminating the need for cell service to find the path. Dave can schedule waypoints like mile markers and points of interest to plan out resting points that will help him push himself.  

Health Stats

Dave is a little competitive with himself. He likes finding measurable ways to see that he is a stronger rider today than he was last month or even last week. His current tools allow him to track his heart rate. He can compare this ride to ride and even repeat a trail to see his improvements. He knows that fitness tracker technology has improved, however, and would like to see data on his blood oxygen levels and even approximations of his VO2 MAX level. He admits that he’s not studied enough to know everything those figures are useful for but he does know watching those numbers get better is a good thing. He feels that if his fitness tracker can tell him that his numbers are getting better week after week, it will be massively useful helping him stay motivated to continue his journey toward better health. The Suunto 9 Peak has an elevated ability to report these metrics because of its size. It sits on the wrist in an optimal position to get consistent readings and measurements of your heart rate and blood oxygen levels. Seeing these stats might help him take his fitness to a whole other level!  

Durability

Dave has had his current tool kit for a long time. He’s not careless with his things and works hard to take good care of them. Life still happens, however, and he’s noticed that even little things like brushing against the walls and lockers at the school where he works has left little marks on his current and previous watches. As he looks for a new fitness tracker, he pays close attention to their durability. He wants to feel confident that his new fitness tracker will be tough enough to handle his day-to-day AND his bike rides in the brush. He can show you scars he has from bushes and tree branches that have slapped his forearms as he rode by. The Suunto 9 Peak is purpose-built to be the toughest fitness tracker on the market. It features sapphire glass and grade 5 titanium construction. Dave knows new phone screens are made of sapphire glass and don’t crack as easily as other glasses. He also knows titanium is a crazy light and strong metal that is used in airplanes. So, knowing the Suunto 9 Peak is made from these materials should help him feel confident that it is more than capable of surviving his daily life and the bike rides he’ll take. 

Battery

A big concern of Dave’s is the battery life of the fitness trackers. He doesn’t want to be forced to charge his fitness tracker every night. He likes looking at his heart rate while he’s sleeping to help measure his sleep health. Obviously, he needs to be wearing the watch in order to get this data. So, re-charging every night wouldn’t be ideal. The Suunto 9 Peak has a few settings to choose from to help maximize battery life. This is accomplished through the GPS part of the watch. At maximum performance, the Suunto 9 Peak battery will last 25 hours. In this GPS mode, the tracker is looking for satellites frequently. So, to extend battery life, you can tell the fitness tracker to look for satellites less frequently. You can extend the life of your battery up to 170 hours. Dave might use this ability by turning the watch to a higher performance mode while he is on a ride and ease off the “throttle” while he’s at work or asleep. 

Size

Dave specifically looks at the size of fitness trackers. He isn’t as concerned about the extra weight on his wrist, although he sees that as a valuable consideration others might have. He’s concerned about the profile of the tracker. If it sticks out more, it may be more likely to have a collision with a wall or even another wristwatch as he passes someone in the hall. He also doesn’t want to feel like the watch is impeding his wrist mobility. He wants to remove the fitness tracker as little as possible. So, he doesn’t want to have a fitness tracker that he will need to remove or adjust on his wrist to gain mobility in that joint. The Suunto 9 Peak is the smallest fitness tracker in their lineup. It is the thinnest, smallest, and toughest watch that Suunto has ever made. The diameter of the face is a mere 43 mm and protrudes just 13 mm off the wrist. It weighs just 52 grams. With these measurements he can rest assured that the overall profile of the watch won’t get in the way of his day-to-day life or while he is out on the trail.  

Dave’s biggest hesitations selecting a fitness tracker have come from his concerns about the size and durability of the watches. The Suunto 9 Peak isn’t the only capable activity tracker on the market. It has all the same features as other Suunto fitness trackers. But what makes it stand out as the clear winner for Dave is its size and durability. Clearly, Dave isn’t alone in his needs. Suunto has developed the Suunto 9 Peak for people like Dave. He may not be pushing the limits of what’s humanly possible or chasing fastest known times, but he is pushing the limits of what’s possible for him. That’s why it’s the ultimate support tool for anyone chasing their peak performance. 

*All photos owned by Suunto*

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