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Suunto watches
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Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Suunto watches on 03/18/2012 13:42:37 MDT Print View

Can any of the Suunto watches (Vector, Core, etc.) automatically record temperatures (hourly or max/min)? I'd like to know nighttime minimum temps so I can evaluate my quilt/pad/bivy combination.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Ti eZ430 Development platform on 03/18/2012 16:33:30 MDT Print View

This looks pretty amazing if you like high tech tinkering. It appears there is already code available for various functions but is a little more involved than programming a Suunto.

Edited by aviddk on 03/18/2012 16:47:58 MDT.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Core on 03/18/2012 17:04:20 MDT Print View

Colin, I don't believe there is that function on my 2007 Core. That said, even if there was, the watch would never survive a night with low temps. The first few times I left my watch out in the open in my tent (for the same purpose as gauge my sleep system rating against the actual temp) the watch either froze up, drained entirely, or malfunctioned in some other regard around 40 degrees and under.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Suunto on 03/18/2012 22:00:07 MDT Print View

Wow. Thanks for that, Konrad. I would never have expected that. That's a strange limitation. I hope that isn't the case for the watch I just bought.

After a lot of reading, I decided to gamble. I bought a cheap Pyle alti/baro + thermometer watch today for $35. It has all of the functions of a $500 Suunto and, in addition, it records temperature minima and maxima.

It may stop working the day it arrives, but I couldn't identify any more promising option given my criteria. I'd like something that I feel more confident in, but I had to rule all of the other options out.

A Casio would be ideal. I have gathered that they are by far the most waterproof alti/baro/thermo watches on the market, they have very long battery lives, and malfunctions seem to be very uncommon. But none of the Casio alti/baro watches can record temperature. None of the Suunto watches can, either (and there are a large number of Suunto malfunction stories, anyway).

The HighGear, Silva Tech4O, La Crosse, and Timex watches have water resistance problems that seem embarassing. Most of them are only rated to 30 meters (some as little as 10 meters), and they sometimes fail to achieve that. There are plenty of stories (particularly about the Tech 4O's) about water inside the screen of a new watch after wearing it for a few minutes in a drizzle, then customer service reps explaining that they don't recommend allowing the watch to get wet. The Casio watches are all rated to at least 100 meters and I have yet to read about leakage.

The Pyle PAW1 has low water resistance, but it can't be worse than a HighGear or Tech4O. It has better claimed battery life than any Suunto, and all of the same functions. I'll post updates once I've used it a bit.

Cody Croslow
(Graelb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
for what its worth... on 03/18/2012 22:15:15 MDT Print View

My 2006-2007 vector has served me well down into the single digits outside of my tent. i'd recommend them over and over

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Suunto watches on 03/18/2012 23:00:33 MDT Print View

If temps are your only concern


no batteries and $12

I have no experience with this item

Edited by kthompson on 03/18/2012 23:01:20 MDT.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Suunto on 03/18/2012 23:20:18 MDT Print View

Cody, glad to hear that yours seemed to work in the cold. Maybe my Pyle will as well.

Ken, I appreciate that suggestion. I prefer to use non-electronic gadgets whenever gadgets are called for. It just happens that I need a new watch, though. I could get a wind-up watch, an analog (needle and dial) altimeter/barometer, and a max/min thermometer like the one you mentioned. Then I wouldn't have to worry about batteries or electronic malfunctions at all. But, for simplicity and lighter weight, I'd like to find one gizmo that will do all three. Hopefully the crappy Pyle pseudo-suunto I ordered will do the trick.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Pyle on 03/19/2012 07:16:26 MDT Print View

Once you get it I would be really curious to read a review. I have contemplated buying one of those Pyle watches for the same reasons. I read bad reviews on the altimeter function but I read bad reviews on all watches with altimeters except when you get something with GPS (like a high end Suunto).

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Min temp on 03/19/2012 14:47:55 MDT Print View

Consider the minimum temp usually happens in the early morning, just before the sun is out. We can usually get the min temp quite accurately by just checking the temp when we wake up.

Konrad's experience should not be expected from any watch, not to mention a quality one like a Suunto. Might be a battery problem, might be the watch itself, I don't know, but that kind of cold should not be a problem.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Min temp on 03/19/2012 14:53:11 MDT Print View

Actually in my experience min temp happens around 3 am, could set an alarm? Huh guess it technically is at sunrise, learn something new every day. I can tell you in my head that that 3am is way colder than 7am.

Edited by justaddfuel on 03/19/2012 14:56:19 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Min temp on 03/19/2012 15:00:50 MDT Print View

There is also a minimum-recording liquid thermometer. I probably have one around here somewhere. As the liquid in the column dips, it pushes a needle downward. Then when the temperature increases, the liquid goes up, but it leaves the needle at the lowest spot. That was state-of-the-art about forty years ago.


Johan Engberg

Locale: Wrong place at the right rime
Suunto low temperature on 03/19/2012 16:17:31 MDT Print View

My experience with suunto is that while the watch technically works (back light functional) it's lcd display doesn't due to low temperature. Back on the arm a few minutes and it was fine. This applies to all lcd crystals though not only suunto.
Conclusion is that it's absolutely worthless off the arm in cold temperatures. And no I can't tell how cold it was... Obviously :)

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Suunto on 03/19/2012 18:07:43 MDT Print View

Yes, I have set an alarm for myself to check the temperature in the early morning, but I rarely get back to sleep. As a grad student, I get up early and work late seven days a week, and the only time I get to sleep in a little is when I'm camping. Sleeping in until 8am when backpacking is a precious luxury that I am loathe to sacrifice.

Hopefully, as Johan suggests, my new watch will continue to work (and record minimum temp) even if the screen fails on cold nights.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
suunto on 03/19/2012 19:34:03 MDT Print View

I should clarify... when my watch is not on my wrist (and standing alone inside my tent) around 40 degrees, it begins to behave the way Johan describes. In particular, it gets sluggish, the lcd doesn't really display correctly, and the backlight sometimes freezes "on." Around 25-30 degrees, the watch stops responding to most button pushes, or freezes on certain settings. Left out overnight, in colder temps around 32, for the 2 times i've done this in the past, the battery drains entirely by morning.

I figured this is pretty typical of batteries in the cold, and not the watch itself. My camera and gps battery performance dramatically drops in cold temps as well. The LCD screen on my gps starts acting sluggish/quirky around freezing as well.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 03/21/2012 14:22:13 MDT.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: suunto on 03/20/2012 08:11:53 MDT Print View

I was just about to use my REI dividend on a Suunto, you have me reconsidering that now.