Suunto Traverse vs. Garmin Fenix 3 – Which GPS navigation watch is more ideal for your prolonged outdoor activities?

Suunto and Garmin are among the most renowned brands that manufacture GPS Navigation watches to cater for almost all of your outdoor activities including sports, hiking, camping and hunting among others. This brings us to a comparison between Suunto Traverse watch and Garmin Fenix 3 smartwatches.

Outdoor adventures are more fulfilling when you are able to keep track of your daily activities and continually navigate throughout your journey. So, if you like camping and outdoor travels it would be ideal for you to purchase a reliable gadget to serve as a digital guide. Perhaps, one that comes with an accurate GPS that can help you determine your location and at the same time, one that is versatile enough to meet your activity needs.

Among the outdoor GPS navigation watches in the market are the Suunto Traverse GPS smartwatch and Garmin Fenix 3 GPS smartwatch which come in different designs and they both offer unique features to provide you with a seamless user experience. Let us highlight their top features and outline their differences in the table below.

What are the differences between Suunto Traverse and Garmin Fenix 3?

Suunto Traverse
Garmin Fenix 3
Ideal for
Hiking, Expedition, Adventure sports
Running, Hiking, Adventure sports
Lens material
Mineral Crystal
Sapphire glass
Watch size
50 x 50 x 17 mm
51 x 51 x 15.5 mm
Display resolution
128 x 128 pixels
218 x 218 pixels
Water resistance
100 m
80 g
82 g
Connectivity options
Bluetooth Smart , Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Smart, ANT+ , Wi-Fi
GPS Tracking and Navigation
GPS and GLONASS satellite systems
GPS and GLONASS satellite systems
Battery life
Time mode: up to 14 days

Training mode with GPS: 10-15 hours

Battery saver mode: 100 hours

Smart watch mode: up to 14 days

GPS mode: up to 20 hours

Battery saver mode: 50 hours



Suunto Traverse vs. Garmin Fenix 3- How do they compare?

Design and Structure

The Suunto Traverse and Garmin Fenix 3 watches are both waterproof, dustproof and sweat resistant which makes them ideal for all your outdoor activities and for prolonged wear. The difference in their design and structure is in the material used on their lenses, their size and their weight. The Garmin Fenix 3 has a more durable material, is slightly bigger and is heavier than the Suunto Traverse by a small margin.

The Garmin Fenix 3 lens material is made of sapphire glass which is more scratch resistant and can withstand higher level of force than the Mineral Crystal lens material on the Suunto Traverse. However, the Suunto Traverse is still able to withstand high levels of force and remains scratch resistant. Aside from that, the Suunto Traverse has its size dimensions 50 x 50 x 17 mm and weighs 80 grams while the Garmin Fenix 3 has its size dimensions at 51 x 51 x 15.5 mm and weighs 82g. Considering the relatively small margin, the difference in portability and comfort is not too big.

Display and resolution

Generally, the display on your smartwatch would need a high resolution so that you are able to access easy to read texts and fine graphics. Also, the resolution determines legibility of the images on your watch against the sunlight. The Garmin Fenix 3 has higher resolution and a wider display margin than the Suunto Traverse making it better than the Suunto Traverse. The display resolution of the Garmin Fenix 3 is at 218 x 218 pixels while the Suunto Traverse has its display resolution at 128 x 128 pixels.

Connectivity options and battery life

The Garmin Fenix 3 has more connectivity options than the Suunto Traverse. The Suunto Traverse only offers connectivity options via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi but the Garmin Fenix 3 offers connectivity via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi alongside ANT+. ANT+ is important in determining data seamless data transfer and communication between your smartwatch and synced devices.

When it comes to the battery life, the Suunto Traverse has as longer battery life when on battery saver mode than the Garmin Fenix 3 which makes it ideal for prolonged outdoor activities such as mountain climbing and camping. However, the Garmin Fenix 3 has a better battery life on GPS mode.

Suunto Traverse vs. Garmin Fenix 3- A Comparison Overview

Suunto Traverse

The Suunto Traverse is a compact and versatile watch for your outdoor activities. It has been optimized in such a way that you can upload routes to your watch which gives you a chance to seamlessly explore new terrains using the help of GLONASS and GPS Satellite navigation systems. In addition to that, it gives you a chance to follow up your progress with altitude and distance statistics, trace your steps and save your points of interest during your journey using the breadcrumb trail.

It is fitted with the Barometric trend which helps predict weather changes so that you can plan your day and storm alerts which guide you towards finding shelter before a thunderstorm. Its sunrise and sunset times keep you informed to the daylight hours that are available. On the brighter side, it provides you with up to 100 hours of battery life and allows you to stay up to date with push notifications from your smartphone to your watch and GPS timekeeping.


  • User friendly interface
  • Scratch resistance screen
  • Approved for military expeditions
  • Comfortable watch straps
  • Good GPS tracking and navigation
  • Impressive battery life for prolonged outdoor activities


  • Short battery life when GPS is enabled
  • Does not have a heart rate monitor


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Garmin Fenix 3

Featured with a Chroma 1.2 inches sunlight visible display, the Garmin Fenix comes with a compact and sophisticated design which fits comfortably over your wrists. It is waterproof, dust proof and water resistant which make it ideal for all your outdoor activities and fitness plans. Its water rating is up to 10 ATM which makes it suitable for swimming. Additionally, it is scratch resistant and can withstand high levels of force.

It is fitted with the Exo antenna which is paired with epo and GLONASS to provide you with an even faster fix and a more accurate position than when using GPS alone. It allows you to connect to your devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You are also able to make use of multiple Wi-Fi hotspots to sync your devices automatically with Garmin connect and also update your watches software when in range. It has a sustainable battery life of up to 20 hours when it is on GPS/ training mode and up to 50 hours when it is on battery saver mode.


  • Sustainable battery life
  • Multisport watch
  • Has good monitoring features
  • Compact and luxurious watch design
  • Comfortable watch straps


  • Does not have a built-in heart rate monitor
  • Slow loading GPS and navigation


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The Suunto Traverse and Garmin Fenix 3 both offer unique features and have different performance levels. The Suunto Traverse however takes the upper hand for prolonged outdoor activities.

Final Verdict: so, which is better- the Suunto Traverse or the Garmin Fenix 3?

The Suunto Traverse is a better outdoor watch than the Garmin Fenix 3. Prolonged outdoor activities are those such as mountain climbing, hiking and camping which may need you to be away from your charger for some time. In as much as the Garmin Fenix 3 has outstanding features, the battery life of the Suunto Traverse makes it a better option for your outdoor activities.


Is my Suunto Traverse watch touchscreen?

No, it is not. To navigate, you would need to use the buttons on the side.

How long would I need to charge my Suunto Traverse watch?

You would need to charge it for a one- 2 hour run and then use it through the week.


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