Review by: Josh Middleton
Simply the do-everything watch. Whether you are going to CO for a backpacking/mountaineering trip, or wanting to track your weekend trail run, the Ambit has your back. This watch is loaded with outdoor sports features including navigation, altimeter, weather conditions, speed, distance, heart rate monitor, and advanced features for swimming, biking, and running.
For my personal use, I have utilized the biking GPS the most. I commute daily by road cycle and frequently go on long rides before or after work and on the weekends. The second I get suited up and on the bike outside, I go to the Exercises tab, choose cycling, and start tracking. Not only does this upload to Moveslink, which I then upload to my Strava account (a social network for runners/cyclists), but it gives me real-time stats during my ride. For example, the MPH screen keeps me on track if I am slacking or burning too much energy early on a ride. I can also see my feet ascended or descended, average speed, current time, etc.
On the navigation side of the watch, which I haven’t personally utilized except for the compass, you can really stay in the know on your mountaineering/backpacking trips. The altimeter lets you know what your current altitude is; if you are climbing a 14’er, you can log your feet climbed up the mountain so you know how far away from the peak you are. The barometer, with some basic barometric pressure knowledge, allows you to study weather patterns while you’re in the backcountry. In addition to the barometer, your watch will give you storm warnings when the pressure drops so many points in a certain amount of time, allowing you time to set up or find shelter. The compass is self-explanatory, but it is a 3D compass, meaning you do not have to hold it perfectly level to know which direction you are facing. The Ambit’s coolest navigation features include Points of Interest (POI’s) along with waypoint/route navigation. Before you even step foot in the backcountry, know your way and have the Ambit help you get there with waypoints already entered by you. Find a cool waterfall or bluff line hiking trail while out? Mark that as a POI in your watch so you know how to get back there the next time you adventure.
On top of all these tech features, it is just a great everyday watch. The Ambit includes dual time, stop watch, countdown timer, GPS time tracking, fantastic battery life, and many more features. As an example of how phenomenal the battery life is, which is charged via USB I might add, I left for a business trip with 64% battery on a Monday. Please note the GPS was turned off the entire time, but I went until the following Saturday without charging, and still had 45% battery left. Only 19% was drained in 6 days!
Considering how much the Ambit is capable of, MSRP of $400-$600 is very affordable. Rather than buying an everyday watch, a bike computer, a handheld GPS, compass, etc. separately, I spent $600 in one shot and got everything in one package that stays with me all the time. No more remembering that halfway down the road that I left the GPS in the gear closet, all my gear is right there on my everyday watch. Quite simply, my favorite piece of gear I own.