10 Best Compasses – Reviews And Buying Guide

by Sucharita Mishra
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Hiking or camping are great ways to enjoy yourself and also the outdoors, but they have a catch – you have the risk of getting lost. While most people use smartphones to find their way out, a compass can act as a better navigation device. A compass does not rely on wireless signals or batteries. Here we have listed out the top 10 best compasses you can find online. Keep reading!

10 Best Compasses – Reviews

1. Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass

Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass

The Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass is ideal for camping, military usage, and emergencies. The compass has an ergonomic design. It increases the reading accuracy. The compass is made of tough material. It is waterproof and shake-proof and survives the harshest of hikes. The compass can be kept with a belt loop attachment or placed safely inside the pocket. Its interface is made of fluorescent coating. This makes it glow in the dark and is suitable for night use as well.

Specifications

Weight – 0.39 lbs

Pros

  • Ergonomic design increases reading accuracy
  • Waterproof
  • Shakeproof
  • Interface coated with fluorescent to glow in the dark

Cons

  • Heavy

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2. Eyeskey Multifunction Military Lensatic Tactical Compass

Eyeskey Multifunction Military Lensatic Tactical Compass

The Eyeskey Multifunction Military Lensatic Tactical Compass is known for its durability. The base and cover of the compass are constructed with metal. The compass is both waterproof and shockproof. It is suitable for motoring, boating, camping, mountaineering, exploring, hunting, and other outer activities. The floating compass dial has a 360-degree scale with a liquid-filled capsule for stable operation. It is featured with a level bubble to improve accuracy. The north arrow and display of the compass have a fluorescent coating and glow in the night. The back of the compass has a conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance. It also has a rotating bezel ring that allows you to lock in your bearing.

Specifications

Weight – 8.2 ounces

Pros

  • Constructed with metal ensures durability
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • 360-degree scale with liquid-filled capsule for stable operation
  • Comes with conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance

Cons

  • Fluid leaks

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3. SUUNTO A-10 IN Metric Recreational Field Compass

SUUNTO A-10 IN Metric Recreational Field Compass

The SUUNTO A-10 IN Metric Recreational Field Compass has a basic design and is ideal for beginners. It is compact and has high accuracy. It is made from clear, scratch-resistant acrylic. The compass has an ergonomic design that fits into the palm of your hand perfectly. The lightweight compass features a fixed declination correction scale. The compass employs SUUNTO’s two-zone system for reliable readings in the northern hemisphere.

Specifications

Weight – 1.41 ounces

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Compact
  • High accuracy
  • Employs SUUNTO’s two-zone system for reliable readings in the northern hemisphere

Cons

  • Not durable

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4. CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass

CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass

The CMMG Official Lensatic Compass is battle-tested through rigorous shock. The compass is waterproof and shockproof. It can function between temperatures of -50℉ to and +150 ℉. It has seven tritium micro lights that allow for navigation in low-light conditions without the need of any other light source. The tritium micro lights remain luminous for over twelve years. The compass is equipped with a magnifying lens, sight wire, and dial graduations in both degrees and miles to ensure accurate readings. The compass is built with an aluminum frame and waterproof housing.

Specifications

Weight – 8.8 ounces

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Functional from -50 ℉ to +150 ℉
  • Seven tritium micro lights allow for navigation in low-light conditions
  • Tritium micro lights remain luminous for over twelve years
  • Accurate readings

Cons

None

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5. Brunton TruArc 3 – Baseplate Compass

Brunton TruArc 3 - Baseplate Compass

The Brunton TruArc 3 – Baseplate Compass is a reliable entry-level compass. It can be used for basic orienteering and mapping. The compass resists magnetic interference better than any competitor and will not lose its polarity. The compass has a TruArc global needle system that is accurate in both northern and southern hemispheres. It has imperial and metric scales for a tool-free declination. This feature makes it a good learners’ compass.

Specifications

Weight – 1.12 ounces

Pros

  • Used for basic orienteering and mapping
  • A good learners compass
  • Resists magnetic interference
  • Global needle system accurate in both northern and southern hemispheres
  • Has both imperial and metric scales

Cons

None

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6. TurnOnSport Orienteering Compass

TurnOnSport Orienteering Compass

The TurnOnSport Orienteering Compass is an acrylic baseplate compass with an azimuth bearing and a 360-degree rotating bezel. The compass has a magnifying glass, a compass ruler, and a compass scale. The compass is lightweight. It is ideal for hiking and backpacking. The compass is easy to use and can be used by kids as well. It will make a good cub-scout compass too. The compass is portable and handheld. It comes with a magnetic needle, a directional arrow, orienting lines, and a lanyard. The magnetic needle is made by vacuum technology and is filled with a liquid oil.

Specifications

Weight – 0.6 ounces

Pros

  • Comes with a compass ruler and a compass scale
  • 360-degree rotating bezel
  • Magnifying glass
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Magnetic needle made by vacuum technology

Cons

  • Fragile

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7. SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass

SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass

The SE Military Compass is great for camping, scouting, hiking, and training. The compass is built to be durable. The dial of the compass is a thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule that is visible at night. The compass gives a very accurate reading. It offers a conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance on the back plate. The compass has a heavy-duty digital camouflage printed cover. It comes with a water-resistant nylon pouch.

Specifications

Weight – 3.68 ounces

Pros

  • Thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule is visible at night
  • Conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance
  • Heavy-duty digital camouflage printed cover
  • Water-resistant pouch
  • Durable

Cons

  • Heavy

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8. Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass

Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass

The Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass is water- and sand-proof. It is also functional from -50oF to +150oF. The compass is equipped with a magnifying lens, sight wire, and dial graduations in both degrees to ensure accurate readings. It has a copper induction damping system that slows the rotation of the magnet without the use of liquids.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Sand-proof
  • Functional from -50oF to +150oF
  • Magnifying lens, sight wire, and dial graduations in both degrees
  • Copper induction damping system

Cons

  • Not long-lasting

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9. AOFAR AF-4580 Military Compass

AOFAR AF-4580 Military Compass

The AOFAR Military Compass is waterproof and highly accurate. The product works well in all weather conditions. The compass has an optical eyepiece for sighting the bearings easily. It has an azimuth 360-degree and reversed 360-degree scale. Hence, you can take bearings from you to objects or vice versa. The compass has ruler units on the sides that measure in inches and centimeters. The package includes 1 AOFAR compass, 1 pouch, and 1 lanyard manual.

Specifications

Weight – 5 ounces

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Highly accurate
  • Works well in all weather conditions
  • 360-degree and reversed 360-degree scale
  • Comes with a pouch and a lanyard manual

Cons

  • Small in size

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10. DETUCK Outdoor Compass

DETUCK Outdoor Compass

The DETUCK Outdoor Compass has a very stable magnetic needle. The compass has a fluorescent coating that will be luminous after it absorbs light. This makes it visible in low light areas and at night. The compass comes in a high quality brass case that gives a vintage feel to it. It is lightweight and compact. It can easily fit in the palm of your hand. The compass is great for camping, hiking, hunting, mountaineering, boating, navigation, and other outdoor activities.

Specifications

Weight – 0.8 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Fluorescent light makes it visible in low light areas

Cons

None

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These are top compasses available online. We have included a buying guide in the following section. It will help you make the right purchase. Ensure the compass has most or all of the requirements met.

How To Choose The Best Compass – A Buying Guide

  • Declination Adjustment – A declination adjustment gives you accurate bearings. This is done by adjusting the offset of true north from the magnetic north.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Markings – A compass that has glow-in-the-dark markings will always be handy. They are easy to read in low light areas and even in pitch darkness. Hence, look for a compass with luminescent and phosphorescent features.
  • Water Resistance – The environment may also be wet or damp. Hence, it is important to have a compass that will work even when exposed to water.
  • Weight – A compass that is lightweight and less bulky is easy to carry around. Look for a lightweight compass that is easy to store in your pocket, or on a lanyard or on your waist.
  • Various Scales – A compass with imperial and metric measurements is considered ideal.
  • Global Needle – A global needle will give you accurate readings in every side of the equator.

You will be surprised to know that there are different types of compasses available. We have listed a few of them below.

Types Of Compasses

Astro Compass – An astro compass is ideal for finding the true north instead of the magnetic north. The compass uses time, date, longitude, and latitude to find the true north.

  • GPS Compass – A GPS compass uses a collection of satellites to determine the accurate position you are in.
  • Solid State Compass – The Solid State Compass utilizes the magnetic sensors to discover the north direction.

If you are using a compass for the first time, being aware of the following features can help.

What To Know In A Compass

  • Scales – The scales of the compass help you determine the distance.
  • Magnetic needle – The magnetic needle moves to point out the magnetic north at all times.
  • Direction of travel indicator – It is an arrow marked in the baseplate that guides you towards the direction you are headed.
  • Declination scale – The declination is the scale between the magnetic north and true north. Though not always essential, it can make your planning route accurate.
  • Bearing marker – This helps in keeping the bearing relative to the magnetic or true north, or both.
  • Housing – The housing envelops the basic walking compass and holds the liquid filled chamber that contains the magnetic needle.
  • Baseplate – The baseplate is used to place the compass on a map for accurate reading.

Conclusion

While you wander in the outdoors, staying safe is a top priority. You may not always rely on your smartphone compass. A handy compass is always reliable. Pick the compass from the list that suits your needs the best. We are sure it will make your outing more adventurous and fun!

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Sucharita Mishra

Sucharita Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has worked on determining various heavy metals present in green tea for her Master’s dissertation at CSIR- CFTRI, Mysuru. After completing her degree, Sucharita decided to pursue her passion for writing. She is addicted to all things black and aspires to become a bat one day.
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