MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Suunto X9

Tool photo.

A technological tour-de-force (and priced accordingly), this huge but comfy GPS watch also includes the usual Suunto complement of outdoor gizmos: barometer/altimeter, compass, and thermometer. Well-integrated GPS receiver can automatically set and correct the time, set compass declination, and reduce altitude/barometer ambiguities. A necessarily terse user interface demands practice before you head out. Power and antenna constraints translate to a relatively long GPS acquisition time, but that’s a good excuse for a quick drink on the trail. A serial interface cradle lets you type in waypoints and routes on a PC, but doesn’t support data import from other programs.

-Bob Scott