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Suunto triathlon watches compared: Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9

by Philippe Baudoin © Copyright (published 18/05/2021)
Suunto 5 and 9 watches compared

Differences, which one to choose?

Suunto offers two multi-sport and triathlon watches with comprehensive functions for training and competition. The top-of-the-range model, Suunto 9, with or without an altimeter, offers more advanced functions and a long battery life, and is also available in a lightweight titanium version. Which model should you choose according to your budget and your objectives? Check out our comparison and our opinion.

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2 complete triathlon watches designed for all sports

Among Suunto's models, the Suunto 5 and Suunto 9 are particularly well suited to triathlon and its activities. These watches are true multi-sport watches that can handle multiple activities without interrupting the recording. They both offer a dedicated triathlon profile.

Suunto also offers the Suunto 3, which is also designed for triathlon, but its more basic functions and lack of built-in GPS make it more suitable for moderate sports use, especially fitness activities. For a comparison of the Suunto models, see our article Suunto 3, Suunto 5, Suunto 7 and Suunto 9 comparison: the differences, which one to choose.

Here's a quick overview and comparison of these 2 sports cardio GPS watches to help you choose the one that best suits your goals.

Suunto 5: a compact triathlon watch with everything you need to train

Suunto 5 watch

Released in 2019 and replacing the Spartan Trainer, the Suunto 5 is a mid-range multi-sport and triathlon watch with great battery life, offering multiple sports functions for training and daily monitoring.

It's sleek and rugged, with GPS, an optical heart rate monitor on the wrist and powerful navigation features. It offers over 80 sports profiles and everything you need to analyse and track your progress. Most importantly, it offers a personalised training plan that updates as you progress.

Its other advantage is that it offers intelligent battery management (like the Suunto 9) with a display of the remaining battery life and the possibility of changing the battery mode while under way.

It should appeal to sportsmen and women who are looking for a watch that is beautiful to wear, relatively light and has the essential functions for GPS navigation, tracking and training.

Read our detailed Suunto 5 review and opinion
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Suunto 9: a multi-sport and triathlon watch with great autonomy designed for competitors and demanding athletes

Suunto 9 watch

Suunto 9 is a multi-sport and triathlon watch with a colour touchscreen display, long battery life (up to 170 hours in power save mode) and high accuracy thanks to FusedTrack. FusedTrack is a function that combines GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to refine the GPS track when the signal is weak or when the power saving mode is activated, provided it is used for slow sports such as cycling, walking or running. The watch also offers intelligent battery management, which evaluates the remaining battery life and allows you to change the battery mode on the move. So no more worries about low battery!

The "Baro" model also includes a thermometer and an altimeter. With these sensors, the watch offers weather functions (pressure, temperature, storm alarm) and accurate measurements of elevation gain and climb rate. The Suunto 9 also displays sunrise/sunset times, an altitude graph and other functions of interest to explorers. It is also available in a lighter version with a titanium bezel.

With more than 80 sports profiles, advanced GPS navigation, weather functions, impressive battery life and high measurement accuracy, Suunto 9 is perfect for competition, intensive training, ultra-deep sea racing (ultratrail, ultra-marathon, etc.), outdoor and exploration. Demanding athletes will appreciate it.

Read our detailed Suunto 9 review and opinion
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The main differences between Suunto 5 and Suunto 9

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9Suunto 9 Titanium
 montre triathlon Suunto 5montre triathlon Suunto 9 Baromontre triathlon Suunto 9 Baro Titanium
Price330 €480 €600 €
Sports profiles80+80+80+
True multi-sports
Autonomy
++
++++
++++
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, BEIDOU
Wrist cardio
Customizable training
X
X
Interval training
Evaluates recovery
Fitness and stress monitoring
24/7 activity monitoring
Waterproofing50 m100 m100 m
GPS Navigation
Barometric altimeter
X
mp3 player
X
X
X
Payment function
X
X
X
Comparison Suunto 5 vs. Suunto 9: key differences

Design and technical features

Suunto 9 Titanium robust and lightweight
Suunto 9 Baro Titanium, lightweight and stylish, with fabric strap

Suunto offers two robust watches with a metal bezel. The glass of the Suunto 9 is made of sapphire crystal, a very shock-resistant material.

The new Suunto 9 Baro Titanium is particularly popular, with a titanium bezel that makes the watch as light as the Suunto 5 (66 g). The standard version weighs more than 80 g, which is noticeable on slim wrists.

Suunto's strength, compared to Garmin and its rather sporty looking Forerunner series, is that it offers watches with a relatively elegant design that can be worn for sports as well as for going out or working. The colours of the bezel and the choice of straps (silicone, leather, fabric) make these models more attractive than in the past. The Suunto 9 has a light and stylish nylon braided strap.

Each model comes with a colour display. The Suunto 9's display is touch-sensitive and high resolution. These watches are rather large, especially the Suunto 9 with its 50mm diameter case, almost the size of a Fenix 6X, and a thickness of 1.8mm (1.6mm for the Fenix 6X).

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9Suunto 9 Titanium
 montre triathlon Suunto 5montre triathlon Suunto 9 Baromontre triathlon Suunto 9 Baro Titanium
Case diameter46 mm50 mm50 mm
Thickness14.6 mm16.8 mm16,8 mm
Weight66 g81 g66 g
Screen resolution (px)218 x 218320 x 300320 x 300
Touch screen
X
Colour screen
BazelStainless SteelStainless SteelTitane Grade 5
GlassMineral crystalSapphire crystalCristal de saphir
Waterproofing50 m 100 m100 m
Bracelet size22 mm24 mm24 mm
Bracelet interchangeable without tools
X
Wristband material
Comparison Suunto 5 vs. Suunto 9: design and key technical features

Autonomy

Intelligent battery management display
On the Suunto 5 and Suunto 9, the athlete is alerted to the remaining battery life and can change the mode at any time

The battery life is a key parameter in the choice of your triathlon watch, especially if you plan to do long rides (ultrafond, ironman, etc.) while preserving the accuracy of the measurements. Suunto is constantly improving the battery life of its models. The Suunto 9 is the model to choose if you are looking for record-breaking battery life. And if that's not enough for you, turn to Garmin and its new Garmin Enduro, a triathlon watch with record autonomy (80 h in GPS mode and up to 300 h in Ultra mode thanks to solar charging!)

Manufacturers are playing with the Ultra and Economy modes to offer longer battery life but at the expense of accuracy (less frequent recordings) and/or by disabling certain sensors and features that are a little too power-hungry.

GPS track versus real track
Illustration: the inaccurate track (in yellow) is corrected (in pink) by FusedTrack by combining the GPS data with the data from the other sensors of the watch.

At Suunto, they go further. The Finnish company had the idea of combining the energy saving mode with an ingenious system that improves the accuracy of measurements despite the reduced number of readings. This is the FusedTrack system. It combines data from the GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and digital compass to extrapolate missing data. This ensures correct accuracy in UltraTrac mode or when the GPS signal is weak. This innovation on the Suunto 9 is therefore very interesting and a definite advantage over the competition.

In addition to FusedTrack, Suunto offers intelligent battery management on the Suunto 5 and Suunto 9. The function analyses activities to better estimate the watch's usage. It estimates the remaining battery level and issues alerts when battery life is low or insufficient for the planned run. The user can then change modes, for example from Performance mode (recording every second) to a more economical mode.

ModelSuunto 5Suunto 9
Watch mode14 days14 days
Watch mode + 24/7 monitoring + mobile notifications7 days7 days
GPS mode20 h / 40 h25 h / 50 h / 120 h / 170 h
Intelligent charge reminders218 x 218320 x 300
FusedTrack
X
Comparison Suunto 5 vs. Suunto 9: autonomy

Sensors

Both watches are equipped with an All-GNSS compatible GPS chip (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS and BEIDU) and an optical heart rate monitor on the wrist.

optical wrist cardio

They have all the instruments needed for most sports activities. The more comprehensive Suunto 9 offers everything you need for outdoor activities such as hiking and trail running: barometric altimeter for reliable elevation and rate-of-climb measurements, barometer, thermometer, compass.

These watches can be coupled with external sensors (cadence, speed, power) for running and cycling. A gyroscope also allows the Suunto 9 to improve the accuracy of GPS readings (FusedTrack mode described above).

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
FC at wrist
Accelerometer
Compass
X
GPS Altitude
Barometric altimeter
X
Gyroscope
X
Thermometer
X
Suunto Smart Sensor Belt Compatible
Stryd power sensor compatible (running)
Rate sensor & running speed
Cycling speed sensor & cycling speed
Bicycle power sensor
Comparison Suunto 5 vs. Suunto 9: sensors

Sports features

These functions provide valuable assistance to the athlete in training and performance monitoring.

Personalized training screen
Suunto 5: training that adapts to your progress

Training functions

The two Suunto triathlon watches compared offer the basic tools for training but few tools to help the athlete. This is the big difference with Garmin watches (Forerunner series for example). On the other hand, at Garmin, triathlon watches are rare, whereas at Suunto, almost all models have this profile.

Suunto 5 offers adaptive personal training, a useful feature for athletes who need guidance in their training. The watch assesses your physical condition and takes into account the goals you have set to propose a 7-day training plan. All you have to do is respect the number of outings, the duration and the intensity of the exercises proposed.

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9
GPS speed and distance
Customizable sports modes and displays
Interval training
Personalized training
X
X
Adaptive training
X
Running Dynamics
X
X
Training load
Race time predictor
X
X
Audio instructions
Strava, TrainingPeaks, Endomodo compatible
Comparison Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9: functions for training and analysis

Physiological measurements

Although Suunto uses Firstbeat data, the physiological measurements are few and far between but the main thing is there.

The Body Resource function, which is also found on the Garmin Forerunner series, is designed to prevent overtraining. It helps the athlete to find the right balance between training time and recovery time. To do this, the watch estimates the level of recovery by taking into account physical activity, rest time, stress level and sleep quality. It is thus able to tell whether or not it is wise to go training.

Both watches estimate the recovery time after an effort, i.e. the number of hours it will take for the body to recover after a ride.

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9
Calories expended
VO2max
Body resource
X
Stress and recovery assessment
Recovery time depending on training
Comparison Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9: physiological measurements

Heart rate

Both watches can measure heart rate directly from the wrist except underwater where a Suunto Smart cardio belt must be worn. To date, only the Suunto 7's sensor works underwater.

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9
Hear rate zones
Real-time HR graph
Real time average HR
Calories expended
Registers HR while swimming
Comparison Suunto 5 vs. Suunto 9: exploiting heart rate

Sports and outdoor functions

Unlike Garmin and its Forerunner series, which are more geared towards running (with the exception of the Forerunner 945 which is designed for almost any sport), Suunto offers versatile watches. They are suitable for a large number of sports (70 to 80 registered profiles), especially endurance sports (running, trail, cycling, swimming, triathlon, cross-country skiing, cardio, rowing, etc.).

The advantage of the Suunto 9 over the Suunto 5 is that it offers the instruments needed for mountain outings (trail, hiking, climbing, trekking, etc.), exploration, or extreme sports (paragliding, diving, mountaineering, etc.). This model has a barometric altimeter, a compass and a thermometer. The watch can detect changes in the weather and alert its user to the risk of a storm.

FunctionSuunto 5Suunto 9
Sports profiles80+80+
Display 1 to 7 fields1 to 7 fields
Running  
Interval training assistance
Race pace
Stroke power
Tour comparison
Average speed, max. per lap in real time
Speed and cadence sensor support
Bike  
Speed
Average real time speed
Power Sensor Compatibility
Average and maximum cycling power
Revolutions and maximum power per revolution
Real-time laps with average HR, average power and average speed
Support for fractional training with power, speed and CF
Swimming  
HR measurement and monitoring
Swimming rhythm in pool and distance
Open water swimming rhythm and distance
Swimming type detection
Swimming efficiency (SWOLF)
Swimming time per length (pool), laps, total
Cadence and number of movements
Automatic intervals
Interval training tours
Interval training training assistance
Outdoor  
Route registration
Real-time trace (\"Thumbnail\")
Navigating to a POI
ETA (estimated time of arrival)
Recording and viewing GPS track
GPS track analysis
Zoom levels in navigation
Heat maps
Heat maps on the watch
X
X
Route planning with altitude profile
X
X
Route planning with heat maps
Vertical speed
GPS Altitude
Total ascent/descent
FusedAlti (combined GPS and barometric altitudes)
X
Temperature
X
Sunrise/Sunset Herbs
Storm alarm
X
Sea level pressure
X
Comparison Suunto 5 vs. Suunto 9: sports functions

GPS navigation

The Suunto 5 and 9 watches offer powerful GPS navigation functions to find your way around and get anywhere without getting lost (track, navigate to a point of interest, follow a programmed route, etc.). Suunto does not offer mapping on these models (only the Suunto 7 offers it).

FunctionSuunto 5Suunto 9
Route registration
Real-time trace (\"Thumbnail\")
Mapping
X
X
Navigating to a POI
ETA (estimated time of arrival)
Zoom levels in navigation
Heat maps
Heat maps on the watch
X
X
Route planning with altitude profile
X
X
Route planning with heat maps
Comparison Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9 :GPS navigation

Activity monitoring

Like most sports watches today, the two Suunto watches compared have a 24/7 activity tracking function including detailed sleep analysis.

Suunto 5 also offers a Body Resource function (see above) and Physiological Age estimation (another way of representing VO2max, i.e. fitness, by comparing the user's VO2max with that of other people and indicating the average age of people with the same value). These functions are interesting for monitoring progress, measuring the impact of training and adapting training.

FunctionSuunto 5Suunto 9
Number of steps
Physical activity goals (steps, calories)
Calories burned
History of activities
Detailed sleep analysis
Physical age
X
Body resource
X
Stress level measurement
Comparison Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9: activity monitoring

Connectivity

Both watches display smartphone notifications (SMS, incoming call, email). They are compatible with the Suunto application and with the most popular online sports communities: Strava, Endomondo, TrainingPeaks, etc.

Suunto offers a sports community where you can create your own sports diary, share your activities, create or find routes, download training plans and customise your watch. The manufacturer offers millions of moves (routes recorded by the Suunto community of users) and heat maps showing the paths most frequented by the community. It is possible to plan your outing using the topographic maps, by creating a new route or searching for a route already completed by a member, and then downloading the route to your watch.

This is a far cry from the connected functions offered by Garmin on its sports watches or those offered by the Suunto 7 which, thanks to Wear OS, has unlimited possibilities.

FunctionSuunto 5Suunto 9
Smart notifications
Weather functions
X
Smartphone Music Control
X
X
Embedded mp3 player
X
X
Comparison Suunto 5 vs Suunto 9: connectivity

Our opinion: Suunto 5 or Suunto 9: which one to choose?

These two multi-sport watches offer a comprehensive profile and functions for triathlon. The top-of-the-range model, the Suunto 9, is more comprehensive and will be more suitable for athletes who aim to use it for more than just triathlon and its activities, including outdoor sports.

Suunto 5
Suunto 5, grey bracelet and gold bezel

If you are looking for a watch that is only suitable for triathlon and its activities and occasionally for other sports, the Suunto 5 is more than sufficient. It is cheaper than the Suunto 9, smaller and lighter. Its adaptive training will delight athletes who need support to train and progress. It is the best value for money model that also meets the needs of the majority of regular athletes.

Suunto 9 Baro titanium
Suunto 9 Baro Titanium with fabric strap and titanium bezel

If you are looking for a more versatile model, especially for sports where altitude measurement is important (trail running, climbing, etc.) or for extreme sports, then the Suunto 9 is better placed thanks to its barometric altimeter (much more accurate than a GPS for altitude differences) and its weather functions. If budget allows, opt for the lighter Titanium version, which is more suitable for triathlon, competition and endurance sports. The Suunto 9 also benefits from longer battery life and reliable measurements even in Ultra mode thanks to FusedAlti. These features make the watch suitable for very long-distance running. Its screen is also more comfortable and robust.

In order to help you make your choice, we offer you the following summary table.

FeaturesSuunto 5Suunto 9Suunto 9 Titanium
 montre triathlon Suunto 5montre triathlon Suunto 9 Baromontre triathlon Suunto 9 Baro Titanium
Price
$$
$$$
$$$$
AssetsPrice, height and weight, adaptive trainingMore instruments, more suitable for outdoor useA lighter Suunto 9 Baro
Recommended sportsTriathlon, running, cycling, swimming, outdoor, many other sportsTriathlon, running, cycling, swimming, outdoor, hiking, trail, many other sportsTriathlon, running, cycling, swimming, outdoor, hiking, trail, many other sports
Comfort (weight, size, elegance)
+++
++
+++
Autonomy
++
++++
++++
Useful functionsBody resource, GPS navigationWeather, altimetry, GPS navigation functionsWeather, altimetry, GPS navigation functions
Training and analysisCustomized adaptive drives, power measurement (running, cycling)Power measurement (running, cycling)Power measurement (running, cycling)
SensorsGPS
Wrist HR
Accelerometer
Wrist HR
Accelerometer
Compass
Gyroscope
Thermometer
Barometric altimeter
Wrist HR
Accelerometer
Compass
Gyroscope
Thermometer
Barometric altimeter
External sensorsSmart Sensor, cadence / speed / running and cycling powerSmart Sensor, cadence / speed /running and cycling powerSmart Sensor, cadence / speed /running and cycling power
Suitable for running
+++
+++
+++
Adapted to the mountain
+
+++
+++
Suitable for swimming
+++
+++
+++
Suitable for cycling
+++
+++
+++
Suitable for outdoor use
+
+++
+++
Suitable for triathlon
+++
+++
+++
Suunto 5 and Suunto 9 compared: how to choose?

Price and availability

You can find these watches on the Internet (see below) or in specialist shops. Sport Passion and its partners offer you discount coupons.

Buy Suunto 5

Merchant
Price (from)
 
Alltricks
249,00 €
159,00 €
Lepape
329,00 €
159,00 €
i-Run
199,00 €

 

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Buy Suunto 9

Merchant
Price (from)
 
i-Run
599,00 €
299,00 €
Bikeinn
599,00 €
314,00 €
Alltricks
349,00 €
323,19 €
Lepape
599,00 €
349,00 €
Amazon
599,00 €
442,00 €
Attention : si vous ne voyez pas certains liens, codes promos, boutons ou images, veuillez désactiver votre bloqueur de publicité (AdBlocker) pour notre site

Commercial links. Prices are not contractual. Please visit the merchant site.

Découvrez notre sélection des meilleures promos !
, c'est parti ! Découvrez notre sélection des meilleures promos actuelles. De bonnes affaires à saisir rapidement !
 
Découvrez notre sélection des meilleures promos !
Philippe Baudoin
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