Hands-on Gear Review

Suunto Vector Review

Suunto Vector altimeter watch
Best Buy Award
Price:  $200 List
Pros:  Nice display, inexpensive, easy to read in intense light.
Cons:  Doesn't have as many features.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Battery life:  1.5 years
Alarms:  3 time, 1 Alti
Elevation interval:  10 Ft
Manufacturer:   Suunto

Our Verdict

On the market for 10+ years, the extremely popular Vector is a tried and true altimeter watch at a great price. It has few frills but has all the features you actually need and use. At $200 is $100 less than the Suunto Core or the Casio Pathfinder PAG240t-7. It is the winner of our Best Buy award and is almost as good as the , which won our Editors' Choice.

Suunto Vector Discontinued - October 2016
We have confirmed with Suunto that they have discontinued the Vector in 2016.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Altimeter Watches Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
Wednesday
March 20, 2013

Share:

Altimeter


The Vector measures elevation in 10-foot or 3-meter intervals, which puts it in the middle of the competition in our tests. We love the altitude log. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is one of the features we use most. For up to 24 hours, the watch logs your total ascent, descent and number of runs. For skiers, it will log how many laps you take. For hikers and backpackers, it tells you true vertical gained. The only bummer is the log only goes for 24 hours where the Core goes for seven days.

Barometer


The Vector uses a small two part graph in the upper left corner of the screen to help you follow weather patterns. What does this mean to you? Well, for folks at most middle latitudes (lower 48 United States) in a 12-hour period if you loose four millibars then its going to storm; minus six millibars, then its going to storm pretty bad, eight or more millibars, you might as well go home because you are going to get pounded. Unfortunately, it doesn't work the other way for predicting good weather. While this graph was cool, the graph on the both the Casio Pathfinder models was way better.

Compass


The compass lets you adjust its angle of declination and will help you follow your bearing. This isn't appropriate as the only compass on an expedition, but it will give you a point of reference.

Ease of use and interface


The interface appears complicated at first and it's a little harder to navigate through than all the other watches we tested. But after to some time you get used to it. The mode button navigates you through the primary menu and the Start/Stop button navigates you through all the options within that menu. For example, the alarm, stopwatch, and timer are all under the Time function on the menu. There are also + and - symbol buttons to further help you navigate.

Display


Except at night, the display was the easiest to see, even during low or intense light. But at night, the back light is one of the low performers in our tests.

Ian Nicholson

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 28, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.7)

67% of 3 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 25%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 25%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Skier

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Feb 28, 2016 - 05:42pm
Owl · Skier

Apparently the abuse I give this watch in my mild activities of swimming, snorkeling, x-c skiing is too much. The outer ring was lost within days. The face scratched badly and is now very hard to read. Finally the battery gave out and I could not get a new one anywhere except on line, it's an odd size. Putting the battery in was easy, but the internal computer went stupid and the altimeter, barometer, temperature all had to go back to the factory to be reset. That's too much maintenance required.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Oct 21, 2014 - 06:50pm
richnyc · Climber · NY

Great ABC watch. Battery last forever, it takes some abuse. My own has been with me all over the world for the past 13 years climbing, trekking, cycling, backpacking and it is still going strong… Barometric sensors are very reliable after re-calibrating to known altitudes, from time to time. Still recommended despite its age.

I actually prefer it to Suunto Core, it's smaller, fits my hand better, doesn't catch on my sleeves all the time. Had Suunto Core, too, sold it after one month;)



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Backpacker

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Aug 15, 2013 - 06:52pm
JHJ · Backpacker · CANELA - RS - BRASIL

Cheap, complete and strong watch.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...