A compass is an essential instrument for individuals who go camping or hiking. The main idea is to be able to get to your destination on time and get through a jungle with little or no difficulty. Besides helping you navigate with ease, the best compass will also help you understand what is surrounding you and where you currently are. Although the digital world has brought with it GPS receivers, campers and hikers will advise you against putting your life on a battery.
Best Compass Buying Guide
When shopping for the best compass in the market, you should take into account the factors discussed below.
Each navigation tool has extraordinary features that distinguish it from the others. It, therefore, is important to learn and understand the features and designs before settling on the best compass for you. Below are some of the different types of compasses.
• Card Compass
• Tubular Compass
• GPS Compass
• Solid State Compass
• Trough Compass
• Prismatic Compass
• Thumb Compass
• Lensatic Compass
• Baseplate Compass
Each type of compass varies from the other based on its features and uses.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Compass
Compasses are designed to be used in different circumstances. As such, it is important to understand what you need a compass for before narrowing your choices down to the best. Discussed below are some of the factors that can help you do so.
Before picking a compass, you should consider what your needs are, especially if you are into outdoor activities. If you love exploring outdoors, finding a compass with a more stable needle is essential. However, a more accurate compass like the advanced baseplate are best for finding locations easily. You should also learn how to read the compass without a hassle before leaving for your outdoor adventure.
The best compass is the one with a fluid-filled housing as it enhances the reading accuracy of the needle’s reading. This is because it reduces the unwanted movement of the needle as you try to get the desired direction. The fluid should also be clear for better reading.
Avoid cheap, unreliable compasses
Some compass brands have been designed with cheap features that make them inefficient and unreliable. Consider the accuracy of the compass and its sturdiness before purchase. The best compass is one that is large enough to allow for proper reading and is marked to 360°. It should also be rich in useful features such as durability and preciseness.
How to Find the Best Compass
Digital versus analog
Digital compasses are best for hiking activities due to features like whistles. They, however, come with a battery that needs to be powered every now and then after use. Analog compasses, on the other hand, have no extra powering source, which makes them more reliable, since you will not worry about them jamming.
The best compass is one with a declination adjustment because it helps calculate the difference between the magnetic and true north. It assures you of the accuracy needed to navigate safely across different locations.
The best compass for outdoor adventures is one with a global needle that is not common in most analog compasses. Global needles are ideal as they help account for the difference between the magnetic north and the true based on the location.
You should consider buying a compass that is durable since you need an instrument that you can rely on in any situation. For instance, you should be able to use your compass in high altitudes or severe weather conditions.
Digital compasses have sighting mirrors that you can use to view the surrounding alongside the compass readings. Besides enhancing accuracy and precision, a sighting mirror can be used to send a signal in emergency incidences.
Luminous and backlight features
The best compass is one with backlighting and luminosity. This means that you will be able to use it even when it gets dark while hiking or on your outdoor adventures.
The Ten Best Compass Reviews
This MC-2 compass has a needle that is made of high-grade steel and a jewel bearing for precise direction reading. As a digital compass, it is balanced for use in the Northern hemisphere with its accuracy enhanced by an adjustable declination. This helps correct the difference between the true and magnetic north.
The compass’ structure has a circular structure that is liquid-filled to enable stability during operation. It also has a sighting mirror that is effective for bearing.
• It has a sighting mirror that can be used for signaling in case of an emergency.
• It has an adjustable declination that enhances accuracy and precision in any situation.
• Some users find it hard to use in the dark or in severe weather conditions.
• It has no luminosity or backlighting, which reduces its usability.
Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass with Carrying Bag, Waterproof and Shakeproof, Army Green
This is a great compass if you are going camping, on military missions, or in emergencies. It is designed for precision and accuracy when reading the directions thanks to the lensatic rear sighting that will magnify all the you dial on the card. It is made featuring the military constructions that make it durable for use in all situations. The compass can be fixed on a belt loop attachment or a carrying case for increased portability. It has fluorescent features that make using it in the night easy and reliable, since it tends to glow.
• The compass is highly durable.
• It is made waterproof and shake proof.
• The compass is retentive and tough.
• The compass may not sit flat during use due to its metal frame that folds around the hinge.
• The built-in level may be somewhat unreliable.
It is constructed with a compact structure and the materials used are lightweight, which make it ideal for hiking and outdoor activities. It has a rugged metal case for durability. An adjustable luminous marching line boosts the reading accuracy of the compass. It also has a thumb hold and a magnifying viewer for better usability. The compass is made with a sighting hairline and a floating luminous dial, ensuring that it can be used even at night. It is fitted with a liquid-filled capsule that allows fast readability. It, therefore, is ideal for emergencies and outdoor adventures.
• Its performance is reliable and the readings accurate.
• It is portable and waterproof.
• It is not as durable as its competitors are because its ring may be easily damaged.
• It may be a bit pricey for some users.
This compass has a global needle that is made of steel to enhance its durability. It is designed for use in two zone systems and it is balanced for the Northern hemisphere. The compass has an adjustable declination that increases its accuracy. It also has a magnifying lens that makes it easy for you to view the readings for all locations. The snap lock lanyard is detachable for use based on your preference. It has luminous settings that allow you to use it effectively in the dark or in extreme weather conditions.
• It has features that facilitate maximum accuracy and precision.
• It can be used in emergencies and during the night.
• The compass has a global needle that helps account for the change between the true north and the magnetic north.
• Some users find it to be 25° off in the hemispheres.
• The edges may be damaged within a short duration of use.
This compass is highly reliable as it is constructed with a global needle that will give readings after determining the difference between the magnetic and true north. It comes with a 2° resolution that makes it ideal for use in all outdoor activities like camping. It is designed in inch and cm scale allowing you to read in the units you understand best. You will also get a U-proof warranty after purchasing it. It weighs approximately 1.12 ounces, making it highly portable.
• It is highly reliable.
• It is ideal for use even in harsh weather and in the dark.
• Has modern features that update its functionality.
• In some hemispheres, the users may find the compass to be some degrees off.
• It may be a little too pricey for some users.
This digital compass has a capsule that is liquid-filled for enhanced stability. This allows the global needle to provide accurate readings. It also features an adjustable declination that gives you an opportunity to use it in varying hemispheres, since it caters for the difference between the true and magnetic north. It has a magnetic heading that is ideal for navigation in varying locations. This compass is a great instrument for orienteering and survival activities.
• The bezel adjustment is designed with a 2° graduation to provide accurate bearing.
• It has an accurate inclinometer that provides readings for the true north.
• The ruler and scales are ideal for reading topographic maps.
• It may break after using for a short while.
• The compass is a bit heavy for some users.
It comes with great tactical features that make it ideal for use in a range of military situations. The compass is housed in a metal case that enhances its durability. There is also an adjustable luminous marching line that provides accurate readings even in the dark. It is made with a thumb hold and a magnifying viewer that make it easy for use in all outdoor activities. The sighting hairline is great for precise readings in all hemispheres. You can rely on the readings obtained from this compass, since the global needle operates on a floating luminous dial and a liquid filled structure.
• It is made from heavy-duty metal for durability.
• It is ideal for emergencies thanks to the tactical control functionality.
• Its accuracy and precision makes it highly reliable.
• The heavy duty metal structuring makes it a bit heavy limiting its portability.
This compass comes with a classic bezel lid and mirror that make it simple to rotate and give it a great grip. The one-piece mirror complemented by the etched sighting line effectively allow you to obtain accurate bearings as you go about your navigation process. It is constructed with luminous features and a 4X magnification that is more aggravated and durable. This compass provides readings within a bearing of 0° to 360° dial and 2° graduations. It can be used effectively even at night thanks to its luminous effect. The clinometer and map magnifier make it easy for you to view the readings easily in all situations.
• Ideal for emergencies, all weather conditions, and various outdoor activities.
• The readings obtained are highly accurate and precise.
• The making of this compass’ structure may compromise the angles obtained during the reading as you navigate.
Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Army Aluminum Alloy Compass with Map Measurer and Distance Calculator
This compass features two dials where one is applied in the distance reading on maps while the other one obtains the azimuth degrees. The floating compass dial is used to get accurate angles within a scale of 360°. It also feature a measuring wheel that provides precise distance measurements in maps. Most users find it ideal for a range of outdoor activities due to its reliable and unique features. It is made from an alloy of aluminium and the structure is liquid filled for reliable reading.
• It is highly durable due to the metal used.
• The aluminium makes it lightweight and compact enhancing its portability.
• The compass can provide distance readings on curvy and straight paths on a map.
• Some users find its build a bit inferior.
This compass is designed with amazing features that include lensatic functions that increase its accuracy and precision. It is waterproof and shake proof allowing you to use it even in severe weather conditions and for all outdoor adventures. There is a carrying bag that enhances its portability and makes it easy for you to bring it with you as you go out. It has a reliable slope meter and a table on which you can compare the gradients obtained. This makes it ideal for rock climbing activities. It also has a high quality and effective magnifying glass that makes it easy for you to view the readings obtained.
• Its features allow it to be used for various outdoor activities.
• The slope meters make it reliable.
• It features an efficient lensatic technology.
• It may breakdown after a short period of use.
With the above compasses, you should consider the unique features of each before choosing the one best suited to your needs. Before buying a compass, make sure that its features will meet your needs. Our article provides a reliable list of the top ten compasses that you will find in the market today. We hope that the list will help you find the best compass for your adventures.