We couldn’t wait to introduce the Suunto D5. Suunto was an early entrant into the market for electronic dive computers. Having launched its SME-ML model back in the late 1980s. This innovative unit was considerably smaller than its rivals. Around the same size as a depth-gauge so that it would fit neatly onto the wrist. Even better, it was more affordable. It’s no wonder that the Suunto brand is still around while its two main rivals from back then are long gone.
Today, the Suunto brand remains one of the top contenders in the dive computer field. It offers a diverse variety of products. These suit both the requirements of recreational divers and those who want to push the boundaries of technical diving. The D5 is one of Suunto’s latest releases – a wristwatch-style computer that is designed with recreational divers in mind. Despite being created for this market, it’s capable of handling advanced recreational diving. It’s possible to switch between 3 air/nitrox mix notifications when underwater.
What’s The Suunto D5’s Design Like?
The Suunto D5 is designed for wear as a dress watch. For this reason, the brand has really focused on its choice of straps. For diving, its Zulu strap is designed to be just as secure as a NATO strap. It passes through two pins to guard against loss of the device. There are even extension straps available to accommodate people with larger wrists and thicker dive suits. With so many different casing colours and straps, it couldn’t be easier to keep track of your own unit even when you’re diving with someone else who owns one.
The D5 features relatively large numbers, and this makes it quite simple to see the information onscreen. Thanks to the custom functions, it’s possible to change the layout of the screen to suit your own needs and preferences. The screen is illuminated at all times by a powerful, adjustable-intensity LED.
What About The Suunto D5’s Features?
The D5 features an RGBM algorithm – the Fused 2 Buhlmann 16gf – which was designed by the Suunto brand itself to minimize silent bubbles.
The D5 is different from its other dive computers since it allows shorter decompression times after a deep-air dive. It’s capable of handling nitrox and regular air along with two extra switchable nitrox decompression mixtures up to 99% oxygen. It’s possible to adjust the algorithm to allow for different amounts of liberalism or conservatism. Altitude ranges can be manually selected and so can maximum oxygen partial pressures.
Dives can be logged and viewed onscreen, transferred onto paper or sent wirelessly to a smartphone thanks to the Suunto app.
It’s also possible to integrate the D5 with your stage tanks and main cylinder thanks to the Suunto POD. You’ll need one for each cylinder to predict how much gas remains, based on the breathing rate. There is even a gauge mode to suit those who want to plan dives with tables as well as a freediving mode.
What Are The Suunto D5s Dive Capabilities?
Alarms are integrated into the Suunto D5’s design which can be pre-set to give an alert at set times and depths. There is both an audible and a graphic warning to make sure that the alert is noticed by the user. The device even vibrates to ensure that you remain informed about your air, depth and time.
The deco feature allows you to link with the POD to the gas supply so you can see roughly how long you can expect it to last. You’ll also be able to view your total ascent time so you can judge whether you have sufficient breathing gas to cover that time. The D5 will indicate your optimal decompressing depth and ceiling so you have the information at your fingertips to help you decide how far you want to take things. There’s even a deep-stop option that comes into use on a no-stop dive to ask for a short stop at about half of the greatest depth attained.
Another excellent feature is the electronic compass. This has an easily visible degree scale which is set around the perimeter of the device. You’re also able to present your heading so you can easily navigate back to the exit point.
What Are The Main Advantages of The Suunto D5?
- A long-life rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
- The software can be updated
- Water-resistant down to 328 feet (100 meters)
- Several modes including gauge, digital compass, free dive and air/nitrox options
- Wireless tank pressure can be monitoring
- There is a wireless Bluetooth mobile connection with the Suunto app for syncing data
- A choice of straps including exchangeable leisure and silicone straps
- There are vibrating, audible and visual alarms and alerts
What Are The Main Disadvantages Of The Suunto D5?
- The Plan mode may be too simple – there’s no ability to run a complete depth/time simulation
Should I Buy The Suunto D5 Dive Computer?
If you’re a keen recreational diver who tackles a range of dive types including those which are more advanced, the Suunto D5 could be the ideal choice for you. Its well-thought-out design allows users to easily read the display, even in the darkest areas while its audible, visual and vibrating alarms ensure that you won’t miss key alerts for your own safety. Always worth comparing Suunto vs Garmin and more specifically you may want to review Garmin Descent MK1.
This device boasts user-updatable features as well as the capability to switch between three nitrox/air mixes. This makes it an excellent choice for more able divers who are keen to push their boundaries underwater. There is even the facility to sync data to social media from the D5, so this adds up to one pretty impressive dive computer.
The interchangeable straps only add to the style and visual appeal of this device. It can be worn out of the water just as easily as in it, and this makes the Suunto D5 a great choice for all kinds of recreational divers.
Last Updated on February 28, 2022
Mirai Vanessa is a graphic designer and video editor who enjoys traveling and taking photos underwater while freediving. Mirai is responsible for creating all the beautiful images on the blog, and all videos on both the blog and our Youtube Channel. She is very creative and hard working. You can see the results of her work…
JR Black says
Interesting review. Context: I am a marathon and ultra runner. More than 100 marathons and more than 50 ultras completed over past 20 years. Switched from Polar to Suunto about 15 years ago. Have been a loyal Suunto customer/owner/user for close to 15 years and until last year have been satisfied with the Suunto products.
Recently Suunto seems to have adopted the the Apple approach of driving older products into redundancy by ceasing to support them.
So my Ambit3 watches no longer have the functionality they had previously. Throw in the recent changes and cessation of the moves count app and replacement with something that doesn’t really function and the mess gets worse.
Finally any and all attempts to contact Suunto for help are met with the reply “we are very busy” and no help can be found.
Conclusion is that new products may be pretty and look great. However, they also will get old. So unless you are willing to upgrade your perfectly functional products every time a new model is released you will lose functionality and you will find the whole Suunto experience very frustrating.
FOR me, it’s time to change. Sad but necessary.