Alex Roddie reviews the Suunto 9 Baro Titanium as part of his test of the best GPS watches for hillwalkers
The Suunto 9 Baro first came out in 2018, but has been reissued with a titanium shell and new strap. It remains a quality watch, durable and suitable for mountain use, but is still thick and bulky on the wrist. The screen is dim in anything less than full sun. It comes with a very good nylon strap, including an optional extension strap.
Although it has a touchscreen, it can be entirely operated via buttons. In general it is easy to use. The interface is nice and simple, and hiking screens can be customised in the phone app. Operation feels less responsive than expected; it can be a bit slow to respond to swipes and taps.
It’s possible to get an OS grid reference, but this isn’t very intuitive. Once set up to your liking, the hiking screens are powerful, with breadcrumb navigation and clear data fields. It will navigate a synced route and is capable of replacing a basic GPS. Komoot integration allows you to navigate Komoot routes on the watch too. The watch syncs to the Suunto app and has all the expected fitness and training features.
Battery life is good, with 25-40 hours on usable settings; ‘Tour Mode’ lasts much longer but only activates GPS every hour. You can turn off features to extend battery life. While it has enough juice to cope with the hills, cheaper competitors now offer better battery life. Overall this is a good mountain watch, but expensive for the features offered.