Once set up, the Suunto Quest is an easy-to-use heart-rate monitor with handy extras. However, its training features are a better fit for advanced users than for beginners.
A solid performer. The Suunto Quest performs great on all fronts, reviewers say. It syncs well with the chest strap and foot pod, which is included in the Suunto Quest Running Pack (*Est. $250) . The unit is well built and rugged, say testers from FitnessElectronicsBlog.com. After a thorough and extensive evaluation, they didn't even notice the monitor or chest strap because it's so "soft and comfortable."
The Quest has a stopwatch feature for interval timing plus a unique tapping interval timer; users need only tap the watch face while training to record a lap time. The tap sensitivity is adjustable, as are many other features of the monitor. It also functions as a standard digital watch with time and alarm capabilities. When training, the watch reads and displays real-time heart rate, heart-rate zones, arrows to indicate heart rate relative to target zones, suggested recovery time and more. The LCD is backlit and large, making it easy to read on the go.
A major advantage of the Suunto Quest is the inclusion of a wireless computer uplink. The Move Stick Mini USB adapter plugs into a PC or Mac so users can wirelessly sync their heart-rate monitor to upload data to Suunto's training community, MovesCount.com. The site allows Suunto heart-rate monitor users to create training programs, upload their workout data and view progress in graphical form. They can also connect or communicate with other owners.
The foot pod included in the Running Pack is used to measure distance, speed and cadence. Once calibrated, the pod is very accurate, reviewers say. The foot pod can also be purchased separately (*Est. $75).
Computer upload has never been easier. After setup, the three-button control interface is easy to use on a day-to-day basis, most owners report. The Quest offers three fields of display: outer rim, row one and row two. Users can view recovery time, heart-rate percentage, training completion and much more, and the monitor can save up to five different display configurations.
Experts do warn that this heart-rate monitor isn't for beginners. The Suunto will analyze your workout, but doesn't create a training plan for you. Instead, the monitor is used in conjunction with an already created plan by tracking your progress and indicating proper intensity to meet daily and overall goals.
Owners can upload or create their plans online at Movescount.com to synchronize them with the monitor. After each workout, data can be uploaded literally with a push of a button. Reviews say the website is visually appealing, complete with colorful, easy-to-read graphs and diagrams.
Customer service takes some knocks. The Quest is well built and rugged, says FitnessElectronicsBlog.com, whose testers love the comfort of the monitor and chest strap.
The Suunto comes with a one-year limited warranty that doesn't cover "normal wear and tear, defects caused by rough handling, or defects or damage caused by misuse contrary to intended or recommended use." Few user reviews address customer service, but those that do are generally negative. One owner complains that he has been constantly rerouted when calling customer service to replace his wristband, which "fell apart after six months use."
Review Credibility: Very Good This triathlete thoroughly reviews the Quest from opening the box to extensive use, and includes graphics and videos in his blog post. He's impressed with the online training portal Movescount.com and recommends the monitor as a "powerful training tool."
Review: Suunto Quest In-Depth Review, Ross Middleton, Oct. 30, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good Warner, an ultra-runner, puts the Suunto Quest through a detailed evaluation, paying special attention to how its foot pod distance measurement compares to that of a Garmin FR610 GPS. He gives the Quest 3.5 stars out 5, and suggests combining it with the foot pod for "all you will ever need to enhance your training for anything up to a 100km race."
Review: Gear Review – Suunto Quest Heart Rate Monitor, Marcus Warner, Oct. 14, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good Site editors review the Suunto Quest extensively, and include pictures and graphics detailing the entire process from unboxing the unit to using the Movescount.com user website. They also explain the foot pod option, and post an introduction and setup video. Overall, they like the Quest's look and feel.
Review: Suunto Quest Heart Rate Monitor In Depth Product Review, Editors of FitnessElectronicsBlog.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good The Suunto Quest receives relatively little user feedback compared to other heart-rate monitors on Amazon.com. Various models are offered and the Suunto Quest Running Pack gets the most reviews, but only less than a dozen. Most users seem happy with the Running Pack, giving it 4 stars out of 5. They compliment the product's build, look and features, but a few complain of it breaking quickly or receiving a lemon.
Review: Suunto Quest Running Pack, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good This blogger gives the Quest an extensive review, and includes a detailed look at the Movescount.com website with screen shots. He tests the Quest for a "few months," and enjoys its recovery time and heart-rate zone guidance. He doesn't recommend the unit to total beginners, calling it better for those who will follow their own planning and use heart-rate zone based training.
Review: A (Suunto) Quest in the Cloud (Review), Gerald Zhang-Schmidt, Oct. 30, 2011
Review Credibility: Good On the manufacturer's website, the Suunto Quest receives feedback from about a dozen users. They post both positive and negative feedback, with 75 percent saying they would recommend the unit, which earns an overall score of about 4.2 stars out of 5. A customer question and answer section is also helpful.
Review: Suunto Quest Black, Contributors to Suunto.com, As of March 2013