The Spartan series is growing in depth and diversity this season. We have had the pleasure of doing an exhaustive wear test of the Spartan Trainer. Our test has included a month of daily use.
Some quick positives to point out are the price point, weight, and functionality. At a reasonable $279, the Spartan Trainer provides a ton of features. While not certainly an entry-level watch, this is a great option for most runners. The watch features a slim and lightweight sporty lifestyle appearance. And for those with tiny wrists, this is a perfect option. Long gone are the days of the brick on the wrist. Speaking of weight, the watch comes in at a feathery 56 grams, the lightest in the Spartan series.
Despite its modest appearance, we were very impressed with the functionality of the watch. The Spartan Trainer comes with a solid performance package. Features include a valence wrist heart rate monitor, Bluetooth capability, navigation and 10 hour GPS battery life to say the least. For a more extensive review of the features, check out the Suunto product website.
What it is not…
This is not a high-performance technical watch for technical ascents or complex navigational tools. Nor is this a watch for those wild and crazy 200-mile ultra runners looking for 100 hours of battery life. This is the perfect watch for those looking to pay under $300 and still hoping to get a ton of features – really a good bang for your buck.
Don’t get us wrong, you can still customize this watch and set some of the defaults in Movescount. The Movescount App is continuing to make some serious strides and is a great resource for heat maps, routes, training information, analytics and more.
Another side note, the Trainer has the capability to do 24-hour heart rate monitoring. We enjoyed playing with this feature, but note that we saw significantly diminished battery life during daily use and intermittent training.
How we used it…
We used this watch for daily use, as a watch should be used. Except for charging it, we left the watch on 24/7. This is a significant compliment because the size, shape, and feel of the watch were not prohibitive to all day wear.
We included short, mid, and long distance training for this month. Workouts included bike rides, swims, and runs. The Trainer exceeded in all formats and maintained regular heart rate recording at an expected accuracy for any wrist monitor. The GPS even worked reasonably well on a (GASP!) indoor track.
One of the training runs included a blind run of the TNF Park City 50 miler. This is a complex and tricky route to follow, even for those very familiar with the wide terrain and trails of Park City, Ut. The navigation was on point and barely diminished the battery life of the watch. We would strongly recommend this watch for those in the under 50-mile distances – it also doesn’t hurt to have a 10-hour battery limit on a 50k or 50-mile race, its great motivation to get it done!
In the end…
We highly recommend the Suunto Spartan Trainer for those seeking an everyday watch with a diversity of functions and modest size. The Spartan Train sure does pack a punch.