Suunto Core

Tuomas Vohlonen invented and patented the production method for the ground-breaking liquid-filled compass, ensuring better readings and increased accuracy of measurement for all outdoor athletes. From that moment in 1936 when Suunto was just coming into being to today, this company has grown to manufacture dive computers, precision instruments, and sports watches. The innovations didn’t stop with new compass configurations either. In 1998, they introduced the now standard ‘ABC’ functions of altimeter, barometer, and compass in their hugely successful wrist-top computer. Today, the many variations of fitness watches, dive computers, and outdoor training products are still designed and hand-crafted outside Helsinki in Finland and are found on the highest mountains and deepest oceans on Earth. The Suunto Core fits perfectly into the history and accomplishments that have made this company famous. And you can see the history of innovation in its very features.

The Suunto Core is a fully featured altimeter watch. It has a stopwatch and a timer that run concurrently with the current time while in use. It has waterproof buttons for snorkeling and shallow diving, down to 100-feet. The altimeter and barometer functions are linked together for a predictive reading of weather and storm warnings. The compass can be set to record and follow compass bearings and you can track altimeter/barometer trends on the built-in graph option. This is the perfect watch or wrist-computer for committed outdoor hikers, climbers, and skiers as well as anyone who works on the water or enjoys water sports.

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners.

Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
See Deal
Moosejaw Link
See Deal Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
See Deal
Moosejaw Link
See Deal Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Displays elevation in 3-ft intervals
  • Tracks both weather and sunset/sunrise
  • Altimeter tracks vertical movement
  • Barometer tells the air pressure trend
  • Compass gives accurate directional readings
  • Stylish designs, color and variations
  • Cons
    • Battery life is just about a year but some functions are reduced when low battery notification appears
    • Reviewers report that in especially cold weather, the backlight may not work properly.
    • Key Features
      The Suunto Core is designed for outdoorsy people who enjoy pushing limits and experiencing the best and the worst that the planet has to offer. The barometer and altimeter will help predict weather and track distance ascended or descended. For skiers, the different sensors will help to log laps up and down the slopes. For hikers and climbers , the Core will tell true vertical height gained. The thermometer will tell an accurate temperature from -5F to 140F, so any winter sports enthusiast can find this product helpful for planning and enjoying their activities.
      Basic Features
      This watch, altimeter, barometer, compass, graph, timer and stopwatch is a welcome surprise. The Suunto Core holds the sunrise and sunset data for over 400 locations around the world. It measures elevation in 3-feet or 1-meter intervals, as opposed to the 10-foot industry standard. It logs laps for skiers and features an easy-to-use interface with a labeled, easy to understand menu. The screen is lockable to your chosen settings and the display is a large screen with big, easy-to-read numbers. The Core will hold an altitude log for up to 7 days so you can keep track of where you’ve been as well as where you’re going.
      Advanced Features
      The Suunto Core is a fully featured altimeter watch. One of the main features is the barometer that works together with the altimeter for many functions. The combination of the two will track altitude gains while ascending and read the increased air pressure as altitude increase as opposed to barometric pressure from an incoming storm. It also intuitively adjusts back to reading only typical weather changes, like when you’re sleeping. The barometer feature also calculates long-term pressure trends for a more accurate reading.

      The Core has graphing capabilities for showing altimeter/barometric trends for up to 7 days. The interface is simplified and easier to use than similarly styled watches. The menu is clearly labeled with easy to understand options. The display also shows 3 pieces of information at once. If you are using the stopwatch and a timer, the current time will also still show on the display.

      The thermometer has a wider range, from -5F to 140F but must be off the wrist to get an accurate reading, as body heat could impact the correct readings. The Suunto Core even holds the sunset and sunrise times for over 400 global locations.
      Suunto was founded because Tuomas Vohloner, the founder, was frustrated with the inaccuracy of dry compasses. He created and patented a production method for a more accurate, liquid-filled compass that would lead the company into many more products and designs. The Suunto Core is the perfect example of what began this incredible company. Using both an altimeter and barometer together, the watch is able to measure ascending hikes and descending inaccurate, 3-foot or 1-meter increments. The industry standard is currently 10-feet. This is a great improvement over the larger approximation. Having a wider range thermometer is also a more accurate measurement with the Suunto Core. Most watch temperature measurements bottom out at 20 degrees Fahrenheit but the Core boasts a range from -5F to 140F. Even the menu agrees with a more accurate design. The easy-to-use interface is clearly labeled and easy to understand.
      The Suunto Core is a standalone watch. It has an internal battery that typically lasts around a year. Any graphing capabilities remain in the watch and can be reviewed through the menu functions on the display screen.
      While Suunto does feature the Movescount app that is compatible with many of the watches they have available, the Core has built-in Storm Alarms, Sunrise/Sunset times, Temperature and stopwatch functions. Each of these are add-ons you can use for other products.
      The Suunto Core is designed with a medium weight wristband for comfort and support. They come in a wide range of colors with 13 holes to adjust to individual wrist sizes. The body of the clock is wrapped neatly into the band with a smooth transition from display to band. The external buttons are small yet still large enough for easy selection of menu items and the crown around the display is notched for ease of use.
      With a round watch face, external buttons and a compass crown, the Suunto Core is a clean, attractive design. You can choose between all black or a white, silver or gold accent around the display to go with the standard black wristband. You also have the option of switching the black band out for a leather watch band, a range of colors and materials that suit your personal style, or you can match it to your new ski jacket. The display itself can be kept on time or can be locked to any of the screens you prefer for a simple glance at your current goals.
      The Suunto Core altimeter watch is waterproof up to 100-feet, has a thermometer that measures from -5F to 140F and will tell the true vertical height gained on trails. This is an outdoors watch for all weather, burning hot or freezing cold. In order to be able to function under such intense ranges, it has to be built to last. And it is. The Core has a sturdy rubber wristband with protected watch pins to hold the watch base solidly in place. It has an internal battery so no external power source is needed, and it is made by the company that upgraded the standard compass into a more accurate design worldwide. This is a durable watch that functions well.
      The face of the Suunto Core is a black background with white writing. The graph appears as a white outline as well. The menu scrolls from top to bottom via the buttons on the outside and you select the option the same way. Storm alarms appear on the display as well as a sound emitted from the base. The display can show up to 3 pieces of information at one time, such as a stopwatch, timer and current time.
      The medium rubber wristband is not so hard as to be uncomfortable and not too soft to be easily damaged or reshaped. The ridged design is formed to fit a range of wrists with many holes for a personalized fit.
      Sizes Available
      There is only one size available in the Suunto Core, but the wristband does have multiple holes for adjusting sizing. There are many options of wristbands available for individual sale so additional sizing can be found with additional research.
      Ease of Use
      The Suunto Core is a standalone device. With no dependency on apps or Bluetooth, this watch is ready to go right out of the box. Even the interface is easy to use with clearly labeled, easy to use menus that allow you to lock the screen or revert back to time at any point.
      Power Source
      The Suunto Core is powered by a watch battery housed in the casing of the display. You can order the kit and an additional battery for backup. The battery itself lasts around a year.
      The specialization in the Suunto Core would make one expect to pay a higher dollar amount but the reality is that this model is accurately priced for its capabilities. Compared with competitors in the same class, the Core is right in line with expected pricing.
      The Suunto Core does not come with any external accessories. It is a stand-alone watch that functions independently of apps and charging needs. You can order separately if you would like any additional watch bands in a variety of colors and materials as well as battery kits for easy installation and to have a backup on hand.
      Key Features
      • Waterproof to 100-feet
      • Pre-programmed sunset and sunrise times
      • Altimeter/barometer combination for storm alarm and accurate ascent/descent recording
      • Stopwatch, compass and timer functions
      • Easy-to-use interface with clearly labeled, easy to understand menus with screen locking options
      Bottom Line
      Suunto is a company that embraces the outdoors. The founder, Tuomas Vohloner, was a championship-level outdoorsman. He appreciated all of the challenges that nature threw at people and he enjoyed them. He set out to create a better compass, a tool that had been used for hundreds of years. And he did. He helped to revolutionize something as simple, or maybe not so simple, as finding North. He may not have realized at the time that he was starting a business that would continue to celebrate nature in all of its harsh realities and beautiful sceneries for over eighty years and still counting. He may not have had even the most remote thought that his company would globalize and his products would be used in the depths of the ocean and the highest summits. He may not have, but at the same time, he may have had the hope or even the expectation that the kinds of products he was building would be used by other outdoor athletes and oceanic explorers. With or without intention, his company has helped to make the Earth more explorable and the miracles of nature more easily accessible.

      The word Suunto comes from the Finnish word meaning “direction.” This is fitting for the Suunto Core as the watch is also a compass. It is a combined altimeter and barometer so it has the ability to measure the distance traveled up or down the mountain with accuracy, taking into account air pressure and weather trends. This watch will allow you to set and follow compass bearings so you can be exactly where you want to be to watch the sunrise or sunset on the top of the highest peak or along sea level. It is built to guide you and assist you at the same time. You can swim and snorkel and even dive with this equipment, up to 100 feet, and you will be able to measure the depth you reached. The many features on the Suunto Core make this watch one that you need to have on your next excursion. But it also stands up against time and wear. You can wear this watch every day, all day and you will be happy it’s there with you.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      See Deal
      Moosejaw Link
      See Deal Link
      See Deal
      By Jennifer Frazier
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

      Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

      Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.