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PRG80T or Vector?

  • PRG80T

    Votes: 39 69.6%
  • Vector

    Votes: 17 30.4%

  • Total voters
    56
  • Poll closed .
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

Another watch in the post this morning!

I recently got the Suunto Vector I have been coveting for a while.

It is very similar in size and functions my PRG80T but I am aware it is considered a more serious 'tool' amongst outdoor pursuits type people, I was wondering what makes it preferable ( if indeed it is ) to the good old PRG80T?

In the interest of fairness I have posted a similar thread on the Suunto forum.



The numbers look a bit wonky because of the flash/lighting
 

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This is a great question! Now that you have both in hand, what do you think of them?
I have been looking at the Vector for some time and wondering how it would compare to
my pag-40. Your Vector really looks great! Let us know your thoughts on 'em!!
 

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My concern about the Suunto is their lack of water resistance (only 30m)...the Casio wins in that department for outdoors watch.

It would be interesting to do a side by side testing of each watch's features against real gear (ie compass, baro, alto, therm) to see which is more consistently accurate. :think:
 

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Hi Hoochy,

Tough question actually. Thought Pro-Trek watches look are tough in my opinion, Suunto watches look tough by appearence. Also they are about standard for outdoor ABC use, although the Pro-Trek models are probably as good as Suunto. I believe that Suunto has smaller increments of the altitude measurement, but I don't believe that the accuracy is higher therefore. I also don't know the sampling specs as the Pro-trek usually samples every 15 minutes (OK for hiking and mountain climbing, worse for skiing, para gliding etc.). I think this is done to get a good function/battery life ratio. I have altimeters that can for paragliding. In Fly mode, they drain the battery very much.

Also Suunto is marketed vey much on TV here. There are several shows where contestants get a Suunto for navigating.

I read a test of a Suunto cycle computer/HRM/ABC watch, which was not very positive. In that section Polar and VDO scored much better. There were a lot complaints about the readability of the digits. I think they were different that those of the Vector. They seem good to me.

Well, I voted the PRG-80. I have the resin and the 80YT titanium version. They are pretty accurate. It's noticed where I am in the building (it's about 5m per floor, ha ha). That doesn't say I don't like the vector. I think I should get one one day. Did you know a lot of Dutch soldiers in Uruzgan, Afghanistan wear Suunto Vectors?

Cheers,

Sjors


 

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I posted my longish response over on the Suunto forum... but Im a big fan of Suuntos and use them a lot... and I think the Casios are great, but inferior. Then again, the Suuntos cost about twice as much! :)

Check out my response over there! :)

Great question!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the interesting response guys, Sjors I was aware of the fact about Dutch soldiers but only because I had read one of your replies in another post lol.

Initial thought:

Accuracy seems abiout equal when tested side by side with pretty much the same readings for temp, alt, bari.

Suunto

pros

Light
Shows day and date
easy navigation and settings
nice water bubble for playing with ahem.. levelling compass!
clear display
Tried and tested by various armies and used in lots of films/tv series
Comfortable rubber strap

Cons

Slightly more expensive
Initially feels a bit cheap and plastic
Not solar
Poor water resistance

PRG80T

Pros

Good solid chunky feel but still not too heavy
Nice clear compass display
Clear display in general
Very easy single button functions
Nice metal design
Good price on ebay
Solar
Good water resistance

Cons

Bracelet a hair puller
Doesn't show day and date at same time

Conclusion

Obviously I haven't had time to perform a rigorous test of the functions of both but my initial feeling is that the PRG80T is nicer looking, reaonably priced with all round good fucntions and the Suunto is a reputable make that may offer higher quality functions.

However if I had to pick one based on my initial opinion it would probably be the PRG80T

It's a close call though on two very different but very similar watches!




 

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Cost is a huge factor to me... :) Then again, I use a lot of the functions so I love the improved accuracy of the Suuntos..

But you are right on feel. Even with my 1200 it feels more like a G Shock than my Vector does. But the higher end Suuntos (X lander and Observer) are built like tanks! Then again, they cost a LOT more! I have both and prefer my Suuntos, but the Casio is a good all rounder at a great price and decent performance specs...

And they have... that look! I have to tell you, wear a Suunto or a Protrek and they get noticed! And they kind of have an image! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And they have... that look! I have to tell you, wear a Suunto or a Protrek and they get noticed! And they kind of have an image! :)
So one on each wrist it is then!:-d
 

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So does Suunto use different quality sensors over their model/price ranges?

Just wondering if the higher end Suuntos are necessarily more accurate than the lower priced ones. :think:
 

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I've got a Suunto Altimax and here's what it does that none of the Pathfinders I've had have been able to do.

1.) Better resolution. The Suunto measures in feet and it also is pretty much instantaneous.

2.) Way better tracking of data on the Suunto. For the Suunto, I can go skiing and the Suunto can tell me:

1.) How many vertical feet I've skiied, I can switch this function to trips up or down the mountain. I can track this info by day or by season or by week. You name it. The Pathfinders can't do taht.

2.) How many runs I've skiied this is another thing I haven't found that a pathfinder can do. At the end of the day, I can look down at my Suunto and it tell me exactly how many times I skiied a run.

3.) How fast I skiied. Here's another thing the Suunto does that the Casio's don't. It can tell me how many vertical feet per second I've skiied. Pretty cool feature.

In the Casios favor, I will say that the Casios are much easier to use and feel more rugged. Bottom line, if you are just looking for a cool multi function watch and you really aren't serious about utilizing those functions in multiple ways, I'd go with the Casio. If you are really looking to utilized every last inch of the functions available, the Suunto wins.

Take an hour...it will take that long, and look at the manuals. Really read through them and you'll get a better understanding of the merits of each model.
 

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Between those TWO, I would go with the Suunto, I actually do not have the Vector, but have the X-Lander Military, and it is phenomenal. I have pulled the altitudes of most of my regular locations from Google Earth, and when calibrated correctly the Baro is spot on (the worst reading off from the local station was ).02 inHg a couple of days ago. Went skydiving yesterday and compared it with my Skydiving altimeter, from take off to the jump level the Suunto was off by 12 feet, not bad at all for an ascent of 14500 feet, and I attribute the difference to the fact that the Suunto displays the altitude in 10 ft increments. Compass is absolutely capable of performing navigational tasks, but with me it will always be a backup, I like my simple Silva.
About the WR-already swam with itand took a shower with it, and with the aluminum body, this think feels SOLID, and at the same time, scary light. I love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cheers Guys,

Just a quick question about the altimeter, is it accurate from the start or does it need to be calibrated. Obviously its made in one place and shipped to another can this have any bearing on the initial settings?

I have just looked at google earth for some readings and the readings are quite different from my watches. Maybe I'm not using google earth right or my watch calibration is off. I don't really want to have to mess with the calibration?
 

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I dont think so, but they are (IMHO) more accurate than the Casios... I guess its not really a sensor issue, but more a resoloution / sampling issue.

For example, my Casio 1200 has a resolution of 20 feet! My Vector has 10 foot resoloution, my Observer has 3 foot resoloution. With the Observer you can actually watch the altimeter change as you move your hand up and down, or go up and down stairs! :)
 

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I had planned on doing just that this summer. I just havent had the time. I have sevearl ABC watches... High Gear, Suunto, Nike, Casio and I planned on putting all of them through a series of tests... Maybe one day.
 

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ALL of these watches (unless its a GPS model) will have what Nike calls barometric drift. the barometer and the altimeter are linked. Many environmental issues will affect the alti calibration. If anyone tells you one brand doesnt have this issue they are fibbing. :)

That said (and Ive written this about 100 times LOL) the Suunto Obsever and the new Core models have come up with some neat ways to deal with this. The Observer requires the user to lock one or the other. In other words only one feature is working at any one time. This SOUNDS like a flaw but its pretty cool. They give the example like this... Say you are hiking or climbing. While moving you would use the Altimeter... then while in base camp, or sleeping, or maybe even at lunch you would switch the feature to the Baro mode... it takes its readings, gives you a good idea of the trends, and then you switch back... Uh oh.... if you forget... yep... ok it may be a flaw if you forget to switch the lock back.

Now, the new Core models take this application a bit farther! When you are active and the altimeter is moving a lot it switches automatically! Then when you are sedintary or at one altimeter for a while it takes the oppurtunity to go grab the pressure data... :) Very cool, although the Cores were jsut released and those of us who have pre-ordered are anxiously awaiting delivery. When they come we will see how well it works!

By the way, temp data is (TO ME) kind of frivolous. Yes, all models are affected by your wrist temp. I jsut usually subtract about 15 degrees and boom... its a good guess. But heres the thing. In ALL my years of outdoor activity I have never NOT climbed/hiked/run/or whatever because of the temperature... What are you going to do? Roll over in your tent and decide your not climbing that day because its too chilly? Thermometers are a fun gadget but hardly THAT effective in a field environment. Even snow pack conditions can be checked with a test pit. Plus you can FEEL the really DRAMATIC shifts in temp!

I was in France a few years ago and the temp dropped from 85 to about 50 in 30 minutes as a MASSIVE thunderstorm came through. As I summited La Mongie I coudl see it coming... I down hilled like a mad man to get into the next little town. I got stuck in a garbage lean to with 3 Kiwis... It POURED and I was freezing... the poor pros had to ride THROUGH that hail! But even if my watch had been SUPER accurate its not like I wouldnt have ridden on LOL.. i guess I coudl have taken up residence in my lean too! LOL...
 

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woah that was a little long... LOL... if you dont want to deal with altimeter drift you better consider a GPS enabled model... Like the Suunto X9 models.
 

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Cheers Guys,

Just a quick question about the altimeter, is it accurate from the start or does it need to be calibrated. Obviously its made in one place and shipped to another can this have any bearing on the initial settings?

I have just looked at google earth for some readings and the readings are quite different from my watches. Maybe I'm not using google earth right or my watch calibration is off. I don't really want to have to mess with the calibration?
Yes it wants calibrating. This is covered in exhaustive detail in the manual for module 2894, starting at p E31.

To comment on a comment above, the watch can show altitude in feet, and takes a measurement every 2 minutes (at the start of even-numbered minutes) not every 15.

I love the PRG80T but find these to be major annoyances:

could they not find room on a face that size to show day of week, month and day date all on one line, and hrs min secs all on another, all the time in timekeeping mode?

why no sighting arrangements (notches or raised sight) at 6 and 12 on the bezel?

why no records of temperature to show e.g. overnight minimum?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the excellent and detailed replies, much appreciated, I have now calibrated it to what Google earth states is right for my street, be interesting to see how accurate it is in other locations.
 

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Thanks for the excellent and detailed replies, much appreciated, I have now calibrated it to what Google earth states is right for my street, be interesting to see how accurate it is in other locations.
As all these watches use barometric pressure as the main factor in deciding altitude they all need calibrating to a reference altitude if they are to be accurate over more than a few hours. Once they are calibrated, assuming no big changes in weather conditions, they are reasonably accurate.

Planes use this method after all during flight, but not for landing.

Mitch
 

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By the way, temp data is (TO ME) kind of frivolous. Yes, all models are affected by your wrist temp. I jsut usually subtract about 15 degrees and boom... its a good guess. But heres the thing. In ALL my years of outdoor activity I have never NOT climbed/hiked/run/or whatever because of the temperature... What are you going to do? Roll over in your tent and decide your not climbing that day because its too chilly? Thermometers are a fun gadget but hardly THAT effective in a field environment. Even snow pack conditions can be checked with a test pit. Plus you can FEEL the really DRAMATIC shifts in temp!
AFAIK the temp sensor is needed to correct the pressure readings since the pressure sensor is affected by temperature changes. The thermometer is used automatically to correct the signal from the pressure sensor. I think all the manufacturers belive that if the temp sensor is in there you may as well let people see the output.


Luke
 
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