TomTom Adventurer Review – Great for Winter Sports Enthusiasts?

AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS

Heart Rate Functions

85%

Fitness / Sport Features

75%

Ease of Use

75%

Battery Life

90%

Where To Get It

A Deep Dive Into TomTom Adventurer

The TomTom Adventurer builds on the brilliant Spark3 with additional sports modes and a barometric pressure sensor. The addition of this sensitive barometric altimeter gives winter sports enthusiasts feedback on ski run and ski lift time. The Adventurer has all the great features of the Spark 3 including Route Explore (GPX tracks) and 3Gb of internal memory for local music store. The TomTom Adventurer GPS sports watch has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka Cardio Critic.

  • Who Is It For?

  • Video Review

  • Pros

  • Cons

Main Features and Functions

The highlighted features are NOT found on the Spark 3 (aka Runner 3)

  • Snow Sport modes including Ski and Snowboard
  • Barometric Pressure sensor for accurate altitude (better than GPS alone)
  • Automatic detection of Ski Lift time versus Ski Run data
  • Wrist Based heart rate (optional 24/7 HR monitoring)
  • Built-in music player (3gB up to 5oo songs) works wqith Bluetooth headphones
  • 10-12 hour battery life expectancy with GPS and Heart Rate on … can be extended to 20 hours in HIKE mode. In my real-world tests I got 5 days using it for 1-2 hours training per day.
  • Internal GPS for accurate speed and distance measurement
  • Route Exploration – follow breadcrumb trails
  • Import GPX routes from other sources to use in Route Explore
  • Multiple training modes including Zone Control (HR or Pace), Intervals & Virtual Racing (race against a saved session)
  • Swim-Metrics – get feedback on laps/lenths, stroke per minute and speed in the pool
  • Sport Modes : Run, Treadmill, Trail Run, Hike, Cycle, Indoor Bike, Swim, SkiSnowboard, Gym & Freestyle
  • Standalone Stopwatch mode
  • Supported by a solid and competent TomTom Sports App
  • Watch my VIDEO REVIEW
  • Review Conclusions

New Sport Modes – Ski, Snowboard & Hike

The Adventurer, like the Spark 3, also feature route exploration. With route explore it is possible to follow a breadcrumb trail of a route you’ve already completed or someone else’s downloads in GPX format. Simply add the GPX route to your TomTom My Sports library of routes and it will be added to your watch’s memory (up to 15 in total can be stored at one time).

Adventurer for Skiing & Snowboarding

Honestly, we don’t get much snow in Hunstanton (Norfolk, UK) … but I managed to test the TomTom Adventurer in SKI mode by cycling UP the steepest hill (ski lift style) and rolling down the adjacent roads to simulate downhill skiing. It worked too as can be seen from the images below. The Adventurer accurately recognised time spent ascending on the Ski Lifts and descending while Skiing.

The images below show how the Adventurer’s barometric pressure sensor has recognised LIFT time and SKI runs. This is all managed automatically in the snow-sport modes. No user intervention required, leaving you time to enjoy your skiing.

Interval Training

Another great training feature is the ability to quickly set up an ad-hoc interval training session. This works in a very similar way to the Garmin Forerunner 35. Simply select INTERVAL following Sport Mode selection and entry to the TRAINING options (down button) Then run through the 5 steps of the interval setting process. eg WARMUP – 10 mins > WORK – 1 mile > REST > 10 mins > #SETS x 5 > COOLDOWN – 10 mins. Each segment can be set to a DISTANCE or TIMED objective. I found this feature very useful and easy to use.

Race Yourself

The RACE feature utilises your pre-saved ROUTES and also some TomTom Sports system default options. In this mode you get to either race yourself over a trail you have previously rode/run (similar to TRAIL explore). Or, you can race one of the targets set by TomTom eg 3 miles in 25 mins or 5km in 26 mins. It’s a great feature and it uses some very clear graphics to show if you are AHEAD or BEHIND the virtual racer.

Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, you cannot set your own RACES in TomTom MySports eg – 5K in 24 mins for example … but you can copy anything your already done from training history …

Set a Training Goal

Don’t just train blind, set a training goal. With the TomTom Adventurer you can set either a DISTANCE goal, a TIMED goal or a CALORIE burn goal. The session is ended when you achieve your GOAL.

TomTom for Running

The TomTom Adventurer is aimed at people who ski and snowboard, however, all the multi-sport features found in the Runner 3 (aka Spark 3) can also be found in this watch. It’s a great watch for anyone who runs and cycles. For cyclists it can be paired with BLUETOOTH cadence sensors (not Power though) to give extra feedback when on the road or turbo training. The post training feedback on both the APP and the TomTom MySports website is excellent. I have criticized it in the past, but it’s totally fit for purpose now. It’s up there with Garmin Connect and Polar Flow.

More Features

Route Exploration

Selecting your Trails in the Adventurer

Wrist Based Heart Rate

Heart Rate Accuracy

Activity Tracking Functionality

Train, Run & Ski to MUSIC

TRAINING MODES

TomTom Sports App

Top Alternatives

Next Model DOWN

The next model down is the TomTom Spark 3 (aka Runner 3).  The Spark 3 is VERY SIMILAR to this model. The main difference being the inclusion of the barometric pressure sensor and the snow sport modes found in the Adventurer.

If you don’t partake in winter sports it’s worth considering the cheaper Spark 3. Also, if you don’t want the Route Explore option, then the Spark (aka Runner 2) is also great value for money.

Closest Alternative Watches?

This is a tricky one because the TomTom Adventurer is quite a unique watch with it’s internal music store, wrist based HR, built-in GPS and route explore … I am not aware of any competitor’s watches that offer almost identical functionality. You really have to look at something like the Garmin Fenix 3 HR to get similar functionality (without the music store)… alternatively, the Polar M600 has GPS, wrist based HR, Google Music (via Android Wear) but no route explore…

  • Garmin Fenix 3 HR One of the best outdoor adventure sports watches on the market. No internal music store
  • Polar M600 Android Wear GPS sports watch with wrist based HR and music store

TomTom Marketing Images

These banners were some of the most commonly used by TomTom during the marketing of the Adventurer watch. They highlight 4 of the most important features of this great outdoor sports watch..

Route Explore

Outdoor Sports Orientated

Wrist Based Heart Rate

REVIEW SUMMARY

Bringing this review to a conclusion is easy … the TomTom Adventurer gets a solid 4.5/5 star review from me. I also awarded the TomTom Spark 3 the same review score of 4.5/5 stars, so it’s no surprise this model gets the same. I have seen some people complain about the price of this unit? If you want the barometric pressure sensor and auto-detection of your Ski runs, then this is what you’ve got to pay for, which in my opinion is a fair price. If you don’t want the skiing functions, get the Spark 3 and save some money … if you don’t want the Route Explore, get the Runner 2 (aka Spark) and save even more money

The TomTom Adventurer is a well designed, easy to use, stylish GPS sports watch aimed at the winter sports enthusiast. With a real-world battery life expectancy of 3 – 5 days (GPS activity tracking for a couple of hours per day) it’s the perfect watch for those spending time on the piste.

Last Updated on March 28, 2019

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