How to change strap on Suunto 9, 5, 3 or Spartan Sport WHR watch?

How to change strap on a Suunto watch?

How to change strap on a Suunto watch?

I have been using Suunto watches since 2011, starting with the Suunto Core. Later I switched to Suunto Ambit 2 and now I’m wearing Suunto 9 Baro. Straps have always been the Achilles heel of Suunto watches. All my Suunto watches needed strap replacement at some point. However, the strap is not the first thing that fails. It usually starts with the strap loop – the piece that holds the strap in place when you’re wearing the watch. Most Suunto watches luckily have two strap loops. Nevertheless, those in my experience have a lifetime of no more than a couple of years. So, chances are that if you buy a Suunto watch you’ll have to replace them at some point.

Now, if you have Suunto 9, 5, 3 or Spartan Sport WHR watch, you’re in luck. On these watches it’s easy to change the strap loop or the complete strap because these watches come with quick release straps. In the following I’ll explain how to change the strap loop, how to temporarily fix a broken strap loop and how to change the complete strap. If you have any questions or want to share the frustration with Suunto straps, drop me a line in the comments below.

Table of Contents:

How to temporarily fix the strap loop?

The strap loop typically fails at the most inconvenient time (like one day before a marathon) and thus you’ll probably want to apply a quick fix, so you can continue wearing the watch. There are numerous ways to secure the strap. Nevertheless, what worked best for me was black elastic. It’s discreet and secure. You simply put it over the strap as shown in the images below. I often didn’t change the strap loop for a few months as this solution worked so well for me. However, it should be mentioned that elastic can fail and thus you should change the loop as soon as possible. If the strap is not secured the watch could fall off your wrist.


Use elastic to temporarily fix the strap loop

Use elastic to temporarily fix the strap loop

Attach elastic to the strap tightly

Attach elastic to the strap tightly

Elastic will keep the strap secure instead of strap loop

Elastic will keep the strap secure instead of strap loop

How to change the strap loop or the complete strap?

Push the metal hinge towards the middle of the strap to detach it

Push the metal hinge towards the middle of the strap to detach it

Suunto does not sell strap loops separately; only complete straps are available. Unfortunately, these straps are quite expensive, ranging from $50 to $100 for a new original one. Therefore, if only the strap loop is broken, I recommend purchasing a replacement strap loop rather than a new strap. I bought a new strap loop from Amazon for only $6. Unfortunately, the strap broke half of a year later but if it wouldn’t, I’m sure that that strap loop would still be in use.

To replace the strap loops you need to first detach the part of the strap with the buckle. Detaching the strap is easy. Turn the watch upside down and with a flathead screwdriver move the tiny hinge towards the middle of the strap. Then just pull the strap out. Now, put the new strap loops on the strap from the side where the strap is normally attached to the watch. The buckle is wide so you can’t get the strap loops on the watch from that side. See details in the video below.



Changing the complete strap is not much more work. You should detach both parts of the strap from your watch. Both parts detach the same way. Position the watch upside down and move the tiny hinge with a flathead screwdriver towards the middle of the strap. Pull the strap out. To get the new strap on, move the hinge again and put the strap into position. Release the hinge to secure it. The whole procedure takes no more than 10 minutes. The video above shows how to detach and attach the strap.

Which Suunto strap to buy?

A new original Suunto strap is expensive

A new original Suunto strap is expensive

If your strap broke, you’re probably wondering which one to buy. Suunto’s straps differ in materials, design, size, and color. When it comes to design and color, you should just go for something you like. However, you should make sure that the strap fits your wrist. The sizes of the straps are typically M and S+M. M is suitable for all except those with very small wrists. So, if you have a small wrist, you should get a strap in size S+M.

Now, let’s look at different materials. Suunto straps are available in silicone, textile and leather.


Silicone is the most common choice because it’s easy to wash and dry. It also doesn’t get smelly, which is indeed a huge benefit when it comes to sport watches. However, silicone straps are not very durable and have a limited lifetime. It’s a benefit, if a silicone strap is smooth on the side that touches the skin. Some silicone straps have grooves that accumulate dirt and are sometimes hard to clean.


Leather provides better durability than silicone and is also more elegant. However, leather is not as water-resistant as silicone. It will deteriorate and stain if it’s often exposed to water. Furthermore, it quickly becomes stinky.


Textile straps are also more durable than silicone straps. However, they dry longer and tend to become stinky if they’re not washed regularly. So, while textile straps do look good, they’re not the best option for sport watches.


Changing the strap on Suunto 9, 5, 3 or Spartan Sport WHR watch is relatively easy because these watches use quick release straps. However, Suunto straps are quite expensive and thus it’s important you choose the right strap for your wrist and needs (size, material and design). If only the strap loop broke, then you’re in luck. You don’t have to buy a new strap but just a strap loop which costs only a few dollars.

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on Suunto straps. Write them in the comments section below.

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Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

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