Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor

If you are looking for a top of the range heart rate monitor, the Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor with GPS is probably the one for you. It’s quite a stunner, so read on, and learn what makes this GPS heart rate monitor stand out in a crowd.

Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor

 

 Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor 1 Minute Review

For those of you who are not to familiar with Suunto, they are a Finnish company, producing high end technologies for those seeking a fairly top end product. The Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor is certainly that, and is now the flagship model.

Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate MonitorThe Good Stuff

  •  Built like a tank, but lightweight and well balanced
  • Amazing display quality, crisp and sharp
  • Press button switch between positive and negative displays
  • Adjustable back light, amazingly bright
  • Screen saver to preserve battery life
  • High quality multi tone alarm
  • Customizable for almost any activity via custom movescount software
  • USB lithium battery charging
  • GPS featuring latest SiRF Star IV technology
  • Custom training log profiles

I could go on and on with these, read the full review below for more specifications

What’s Bad?

  •  Instruction manual could be better, but all info is available online
  • Price is cost prohibitive for some, but it’s a hell of a lot of watch for the money.

Suunto Ambit GPS Heart Rate MonitorI tried to find some more bad points, and even browsed some online reviews. It was hard to find anything negative about the actual watch, it’s functionality, or it;s design and build. There were people who thought it cost too much, but, in reality, they should just look for a cheaper watch. The Suunto Ambit GPS Heart Rate Monitor is not for the cheap end of the market, it’s for people who want the best, the most customizable, the best built, the coolest looking etc etc. You get what you pay for in the most part, and you are paying for quality here.

Check the current availability and lowest price on Amazon

Read The Full Review Here

Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor Full Review

Ok, so this is a little more in depth, and will look at my personal experiences with the Suunto Ambit, and also give a few more specifications etc. I’ll also offer a comparison of another 3 watches in the same vein, so you can get a good look at what is on offer.

I also own a Suunto Core GPS watch, it’s an older version, and I will be posting a review of that in the coming week or so, but having tried the Umbit GPS watch, I have to say that it is world’s apart from the Suunto Core (which is an amazing watch in it’s own right).

The Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor watch is an ABC/GPS watch, built specifically for the purposes of training and navigation. It is certainly a lot more advanced in design and technology when I compare it to the Core and other similar watches. the sensors are better, the backlight is better, the GPS seems to update quicker, the button operation is smoother. The watch is bigger, but this is not an issue. It still feels light, and the screen size is perfect.

The strap is comfortable, and is constructed with waffle style cut outs, reducing weight, but more importantly, allowing your arm to breathe. You can also swim in it, and the pattern stops water from collecting behind the strap. I’ve sweated a heap in this watch, but have never come out in any sort of heat or sweat rash.

Amazon are offering an amazing price on this watch – Save up to $100

Display – Out Of This World!!

I have to have a rant on about the display on this Suunto model, it is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! The look and feeling of quality is very obvious as soon as you get it in your hand, let alone on your wrist. But the display really blows you away. The high density pixel count ensures an amazingly sharp display, with clarity not seen in many (or any?) other watches in this bracket.You almost look as if you are looking at a good quality LED TV or monitor display, it really is that good. I think that, even with all the other quality points, the display on the Suunto Ambit is the highlight, well for me anyway.

A cool feature is the ability to switch between positive and negative mode at the flick of a button, pretty cool. I like the negative display, it is clear and readable, both positive and negative are readable from a fair distance.

Screensaver

There is a built in screensaver with this watch, and this helps a lot with battery life. 30 minutes with no movement and the screen goes into hibernation mode, but the slightest movement has it bursting into life again

Back Light – Bright As You Like

A good back light is an important feature, not being able to read you watch display in low light does put a bit of a damper on things. The Ambit comes with the backlight set at 50%, and this was BRIGHT. When I moved it up to 100% I couldn’t believe just how bright it was., it’d almost double as a flashlight. I can’t imagine that there is another watch on the market with this level of illumination.

Power This Monster

Power to the Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor comes via an internal lithium battery, which is rechargeable via a USB source. I usually do this at home, but always make sure I have an in car USB adapter and a solar USB charger to make sure I can charge on the move.The charging point is not a plug in socket, but rather a couple of contacts on the bottom of the watch, a clip attaches the charging lead to these, it’s secure and effective, and a better solution that sockets and plugs in my opinion. Battery life is specified at 30 days when using as a standard ABC watch, this being reduced to a minimum of15 hours when the GPS is functional and in 1 second GPS fix mode. Change this to a 60 second fix, and you extend battery life to 50 hours or so.

Water Resistant

The Suunto Ambit GPS watch is water resistant to a depth of 100 meters, I’ve used it down to around 15, and it was fine. No signs of damage at all.

What’s It Like To Use?

Three words……….. I LOVE IT. I guess you probably want a little more than that? I thought so. The ABC functions are excellent, altitude is accurate and changes quickly, and has a 12 hour graph, which is surpassed by the 27 hour barometer graph. The barometer is something I use quite a lot when considering the weather conditions, and what might be coming to bother or surprise me. There is also a tilt-correcting compass, no longer do you need to hold it flat like a traditional compass, another good improvement.

There is also a temperature reading, which they recommend you take with the watch removed from your wrist, for obvious reasons. It’s no drama, and to be honest, temperature has not been that important to me as yet.

GPS Function

movescout softwareThe Ambit GPS is sensational, using the latest SiRF Star IV technology. The lock-up times are amazing, I reckon on around 15 seconds or so max when started up, then almost instant after that. You can hold 100 way points in the internal memory. These can be pre-entered via the custom movescount program on your computer, or entered on the fly as you move. I like to use it to mark secret fishing spots and placed or such beauty that I need to visit them again.

Custom training logs allow you to set your Suunto Ambit up for almost any activity, hiking, running, climbing, motocross, whatever you like. There are a stack of options, and for a tech geek like me, this is the icing on the cake.

Check Out This Video Of The movescount Software

Movescount.com Powered By Suunto

Amazon are offering an amazing price on this watch – Save up to $100

Conclusion

If there is a takeaway from this review, it is that I believe that this is probably the best GPS watch on the market, and I have tried a few. Garmins, the Suunto Core, and a few others that I have borrowed, and this on is IT. I personally do not think there is a better GPS watch than the Suunto Ambit Multifunction Heart Rate Monitor with built in GPS.

 What Other People Say About The Suunto Ambit…………

Amazon are offering an amazing price on this watch – Save up to $100

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Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill

Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding TreadmillWelcome to the Wild Runner review of the Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill. I never used to consider treadmills in line with my running ethos, thinking it was always better to hit the trail than stand on a moving belt for hours on end. I then discovered base building, and in particular the low intensity aerobic training system of Phil Maffetone. This set me on a round to stunning aerobic fitness, and I used this treadmill to get there.
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I’ll talk about my training protocol a bit later, and in a lot more detail in a future post, but, being a somewhat impulsive being, I read a fair bit, and decided I needed a treadmill. The Smooth Fitness 5.65 stuck out like a sore thumb, with some really good feedback from people who own it. I bought one, and the rest is history. I use it for aerobic base building in the winter months, and then for sprints and intervals at other times of the year. Trail running is still my love, and the predominant training mode when the weather is good. Anyway, back to the real story, the Smooth Fitness 5.65 treadmill.

Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill -30 Second Quick Look

All The Good Stuff

  • Sleek design, f0lds to save space
  • Efficient 2.75 HP motor, provides all the power you need
  • 14 programs that really challenge you
  • Built in heart rate control with a wireless heart rate strap
  • Soft drop deck with gas struts
  • Lifetime warranty on frame and motor – 4 years on parts – 2 years labor
  • Ease of use and routine maintenance

The Not So Good Stuff

  • Complaints about customer service
  • Not a lot else really, in my opinion and experience

Regarding the bad points, I think this needs to be qualified. Since owning this treadmill, I have had not a single issue with it. But, in an effort to offer you an objective review, I checked out the Amazon customer reviews section here. The Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill gets a 4.2 out of 5 star rating, with 197 customer reviews. Most people give it 4 or 5 stars, but there are a few who don’t like it. Complaints of poor customer service account for most of the issues. One woman even gave it a 1 star because the calorie count seemed to be way off. Made me laugh! Calorie counters on even the top end treadmills in health clubs are next to useless, there are so many personal variables that will affect this. Don’t rely on the calorie counter, it’s a VERY rough guide only.

Read all the reviews here for a fuller picture

Takeaway – You are never going to find a product that everyone likes. There are always going to be genuine, and not so genuine reviews on Amazon. The best advice I can offer is to take a broad perspective on what people say and make an informed and well guided decision. This review is aimed at helping you put the pieces of the jigsaw together.

Read Our Full Review

Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill Review


The Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill is a treadmill primarily designed for the home market. I bought one and on delivery, I was quite impressed with the sturdiness of the unit. It’s not one of these really flimsy treadmills that rocks about as you run on it. Storing it is simple, the treadmill is designed with a folding deck, that is easily raised and lowered, with the help of powerful gas struts. So there is no concern about having to lift and raise a heavy running deck every day.

The design is primarily targeted at walkers and light running, which is what I do on it most of the time. That said, I use it for occasional sprints and have had no issue. I think that the serious runner who wants to train really hard might be better off with a more heavy duty model, see my comparisons lower on this page.

Transporting the Smooth Fitness 5.65 is easy too, it has  an effective pair of wheels, you can tip it up and roll it, the unit is quite well balanced in that respect.

Let There Be Music

Music is one of the important things to me when running on a treadmill. I also have a TV set up in front of it, but the ability to plug in the iPhone for some sounds is good. There is an auxiliary jack to allow you to do this. Some would say an iPod dock would be useful, but how about all the other people with different mp3 players? The jack socket works for everyone.

Heart Rate Monitoring

When training for improved aerobic capacity, a lot of people fall into the trap of going out too hard. Aerobic adaptations, like increase mitochondria numbers and efficiency can all be improved at relatively low heart rates. By adding a heart rate chest strap, this treadmill can offer accurate bio feedback through heart rate. For walking or light running, a heart rate of around 180 minus your age should put you in the ballpark. This is not a max heart rate calculation, but one that sports scientist Phil Maffetone devised having performed tests on a large number of subjects. Read more about that here.

Product Specifications

  • Folding treadmill deck with soft drop technology
  • Auxiliary jack socket for connecting MP3 player or iPod
  • Display showing  time, total distance, heart rate, calories burned , speed and incline.
  • Cushioning system reduces impact on joints
  • Powerful 2.75 HP treadmill motor
  • 20 inch by 55 inch walking/running surface
  • Footprint dimensions: 31 by 73 inches (W x L)
  • 300-pound maximum user weight

Warranty

  • Lifetime – frame and motor
  • 4 Year – parts and electronics
  • 2 Year – labor

As you can see, the warranty is fairly comprehensive, and this provided me with piece of mind. I haven’t used it yet, and I put the unit through it’s paces on a more than regular basis. It does everything it says it will, in a quite, no fuss sort of way. I’m perfectly happy with mine. I would definitely recommend it to a friend, which is not something I say lightly :-)

Alternative Treadmill Options

Here are a few alternatives to the Smooth Fitness 5.65 Folding Treadmill, two are $300 cheaper or so, one is more expensive. Click any of the links to read more.

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Title Proform 505 CST Treadmill LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill (2013 Model) Precor 9.23 Treadmill with Ground Effects Technology
ListPrice $999.99 $1499.99 $1999.00
Title Proform 505 CST Treadmill LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill (2013 Model) Precor 9.23 Treadmill with Ground Effects Technology
Price $629.99 $899.00 $1599.00
NumberReviews
Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars 4.3 out of 5 stars 4.3 out of 5 stars
Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
Link More Info More Info More Info

Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jan 24 9:05:56 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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Garmin Oregon 550 Waterproof Hiking GPS

Garmin Oregon 550 Waterproof Hiking GPSExploring is fun, and if you are anything like me, you like to get right out into the wilderness sometimes, for hiking, running or camping. It’s great to be self sufficient, able to read a map etc, but taking a GPS like the Garmin Oregon 550 Waterproof Hiking GPS can make your trip a lot safer, and actually a lot more productive and enjoyable too.

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Introduction To The Garmin Oregon 550 Waterproof Hiking GPS

The Garmin Oregon 550 is a hand held GPS, designed by Garmin, probably the world leader in GPS technology. The Oregon 550 is simple to use, far more so than the GPS receivers of just a few years ago. It has color touch screen display, readable in all light settings, including strong sunlight. A robust unit that is expected to take a few knocks, and also designed to be resistant to almost whatever the weather may throw at you.

For those of us who still know how to use a compass (which really should be EVERYONE), the Garmin Oregon 550 Hiking GPS unit has a digital compass built in. The cool thing about this is that it has a tilt compensation mechanism so you don’t have to worry about holding it dead level like on a traditional compass. Add a built in altimeter to give you altitude readings, and you are all set. The air pressure display can help you to keep an eye on possible changes in the weather too.

WASS – Enabled GPS Receiver

The GPS receiver in the Garmin Oregon 550 GPS is WASS enabled and also uses HotFix satellite prediction software, to accurately pinpoint your location quickly and effectively. Even in heavy cloud cover and in canyons, the Garmin 550 will keep you safe.

Integrated Camera

A 3.2 mega-pixel camera is integral with an autofocus and a 4 times digital zoom. You are probably not going to take all your holiday pics with it, but I like to use it to photograph way points, places of interest etc. Each photo is geo-tagged with the location it was taken, so it is easy to record and save those special places of beauty and inspiration, and then take your friends back later. An 850 mb memory will hold plenty of those pics for later use. The Garmin Oregon 550 Waterproof Hiking GPS also accepts an SD card to upgrade the memory capacity.

Worldwide Base Map

I think this area, the mapping, is what really stands out with the Oregon. A worldwide base map is built in, and this features shaded relief. A MapSource micro SD card allows for more detail, and the variety is great. Street maps, topo maps allow you to utilise the 3D mapping and elevation details that the Garmin GPS offers.

Garmin Oregon 550 Product Specifications

  • 3.2 megapixel digital camera with 4x digital zoom and photo geo-tagging
  • Sunlight readable, color touch screen – 3 inch
  • Electronic compass with built in tilt compensation
  • Altimeter tracks changes in air pressure to help you keep an eye on the weather and pinpoint exact altitude
  • Preloaded with a worldwide basemap using shaded relief; you can add more detailed maps with a MapSource microSD card

Check Availability Of This Awesome GPS On Amazon

Garmin Oregon 550 Review

Conclusion

There is no doubt that this GPS rocks!! Not much more I can say. Having used it in a variety of country settings, and over mixed terrain, it has been a fantastic tool for me as an adventurer. I am sure you will love the Garmin Oregon 550 Waterproof Hiking GPS too. Thanks for taking the time to read the review.

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What Others Say………………..

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Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle Review

Camelbak Podium Chill Water BottleThe Camelbak Podium Chill water bottle is one of the best selling hydration bottles on the market, getting a bundle of great reviews from customers. Hydration systems are getting more and more sophisticated, and the use of hydration backpacks have made a world of difference to endurance athletes as well as to recreational athletes and hikers. But, the ‘simple’ water bottle still has a very important spot in the hydration arena, and although relatively cheap, there is still a fair amount of design and technology built into them.

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A well regarded favorite amongst the cycling fraternity, runners also enjoy this water bottle, and there is a version with handholds to allow you to run or hike without having to physically be holding the thing. This is called the Camelbak Quick Grip Podium Chill and is the ideal one for runners and walkers. Scroll down for more details.

Overview Of The Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

So, this will be a relatively short review, there is not THAT much to say on such a simple product, but here are some details to clue you up.

Specifications:

  • Double Wall Construction keeps water cold for longer
  • Jet Valve system to aid spill free drinking and leak free usage
  • 21 ounce capacity
  • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
  • Sleek design
  • Lightweight
  • Quick Grip version available for non-cycling sports
  • Certified to reduce chlorine, taste and odor by NSF International
  • Plant-based filter lasts around 3 months or 48 gallons of water
  • CamelBak Got Your Bak TM Lifetime guarantee

The Camelbak Podium Chill water bottle is also available in a variety of colors in the quick grip version, so if aesthetics is important to you, and you want to personalise things a little, here are a few of the options.

Camelbak Quick Grip Podium Chiil Colors

Here is a short video providing some useful visual analysis of the Camelbak Podium Chill with Quick Grip

2012 Quick Grip

Where To Buy The Camelbak Podium Chill

At Wildrunner.net we do spend a fair bit of our time checking out online retailers to get you the best deal, if someone is offering a better price or service, we will direct you there. That said, there is no doubt that Amazon are pretty much at the forefront of the price and service wars, so we recommend them for a lot of products. It’s not just the price and free shipping they often include, but their NO QUIBBLE returns policy gives great piece of mind.

Check Availability For The  Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

Customer Reviews – See What Others Have To Say

 Check Availability For The  Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

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