Wearable tech is a growing and increasingly diverse market; they all track distance and calories, and most tell time. They all have their pitfalls — battery life, compatibility, reliability, size, price — but what determines the best device is your individual needs. Do you need to streamline your workflow or measure how streamlined your backstroke is? Do you need a sleek timepiece or do you dig the outright nerdy look? Weigh your responses and use our guide of the best options.
A Big, Bad Watch Gets Bigger and Badder
We get our hands on the Ambit2 from Suunto, the best watch in the business for serious outdoor adventurers looking to track all of their data over an entire weekend trip.
Today in gear, we find an affordable mirrorless camera, a GPS watch for runners, a phone case that (technically) pays your bills and much more.
Adventure-ready multifunction watches
Mechanical diver’s and pilot’s watches may have been indispensable instruments for explorers in decades past, but nowadays, state-of-the-art wristwatches have shifted toward lightweight, battery-powered and largely digital pieces. These are wrist-top computers, designed for wear during mountaineering, skiing, sailing, surfing and flying. We rounded up six of the best for your next adventures.
Gear for the Top of World
Sometimes the mountains just call your name. Whether you’ve got a season to train for a summit bit up Mt. Rainier or just a Saturday afternoon to log some miles hiking up the local ski hill, the right gear can mean the difference between enjoying the majesty and struggling through misery (or worse). Here’s the gear we used for our recent solo free climb of Mount Olympus in Utah — but it’s perfect for any ultralight mountain mission.
There once was a watch from Nantucket
There are few scenes that conjure up summer more than white sails against a blue sky, whether you’re cruising in a 12-meter out of Newport, rounding buoys in a Laser at your lake’s weekend regatta, or just sitting on the beach watching the action. Our country’s lore and style are steeped in sailing culture, and watch companies haven’t ignored the nautical theme. Even if the closest you come to a boat all year is your company’s annual booze cruise, you can still channel a little bit of the maritime vibe and look like an old salt with any of this year’s fleet of nautical watches.
The Gear for Rainier
To take on our recent ascent of Mount Rainier, we rounded up some of the latest and greatest mountaineering gear. And after two days, 9,000 vertical feet of climbing and weather that ranged from downright scorching to subzero wind chills, we’ve got a thing or two to say about each piece. So whether or not you plan to use any of this gear in your urban, or more rustic, adventures, you can be assured we’ve put it all through rigorous testing in a worse place. Just don’t take an ice axe on the subway.
See you in T1
For gearheads and Quantified Selfers triathlon is a chance to ride bikes that look like DARPA prototypes and collect more personal information about themselves than a Stasi collaborator, respectively; for Alphas it’s a chance to get ripped and grab bragging rights; for some people it’s just a fun way to get in shape. Whatever the reason, the tri gear is abundant. Sure, you could swim in your skivvies, hop on your Schwinn for the bike leg and run in some old Nike Mac Attacks — but we’ll do you one better with this kit.
An Ambit-ious watch for triathletes
There are three reasons to wear the Suunto Ambit2 S, specifically: swim, bike, run. This GPS watch from Finland-based Suunto is designed specifically for the multisport athlete, capable of capturing all of the important data in each of the triathlete’s disciplines. All of this data can then be uploaded to an account on Suunto’s movescount.com, where you can analyze it, track progress over time and see how you stack up to other users. Jeremy Berger strapped it to his wrist for some grueling brick workouts.
12 gifts for the adventure seeker
He shows up at Christmas dinner with new scars and less digits from his latest cage dives and winter Alpine ascents. His tales, most of them true, scare Aunt Betty to tears and enchant the kids. And while the adventurer’s gifts for you usually amount to a carved tribal trinket or a rock from a…
Because eventually the batteries will die
It goes without saying that technology has the ability to enhance your outdoor experience, but too much reliance can also be a curse. Limitations like battery life, the weather and even Earth’s magnetic regions can affect your adventure tech’s performance. So, when determining your navigation needs, consider the Suunto MC-2G Global Navigator Compass. The MC-2G…
Surviving a Cold Romance
Should you ever be in the unfortunate situation of being stranded in the winter, most survivalists advise that you stay in your vehicle and wait for help. This, of course, is the wisest course of action. Should you find it absolutely necessary to leave your vehicle to get help (for a loved one in medical…
A Watch For Your Black Ops Maneuvers
Suunto pretty much invented the “ABC” watch – that’s Altimeter/Barometer/Compass – and they have a different model for just about any use, from golf to sailing to skiing. But when you want utility in a super hard-ass tactical package, there’s only one choice – the X-Lander Military ($350).
The Finns Go Upmarket
There was a time, believe it or not, when dive watches were actually worn for diving. The forebears of those Rolexes and Omegas you see in the boardrooms and at ballgames were once necessary equipment for divers to track bottom time and decompression stops. Today they are largely symbols of adventure and masculinity, though they…
Sports Laboratory On Your Wrist It’s like running with an army of scientists on your wrist [click to enlarge image] The Suunto t6c is a Gear Patrol editor’s wet dream. The t6c features a plethora (yes El Guapo, a plethora) of technology that Suunto somehow managed to cram into a sporty watch. This may…