We are living in an era of technology, and that has led us to become too dependent on it. Imagine you are out hiking in the mountains and you get lost, what will you do? Well, the wisest thing would be to open the GPS on your phone and get back on track or use a hiking GPS.
However, what if the battery of your phone dies? Then you are left with no options. But if you are carrying the best compass of 2020, then you can get out of this situation pretty easily.
But before proceeding with that, there are a few things that you should know before buying a compass. As these are the things that contribute to a product making it one of the best compasses available in the market. So, without any further ado, let’s begin:
Things To Consider Before Making A Purchase
Here are a few things you should know before purchasing a compass:
1. Speed And Stability
If you want to buy the best compass for hiking, then you need a product which is incredibly stable and quickly directs towards the north. As it is said, the faster the needle directs towards the north, the better it is.
You can get things done with a comparatively slower compass. However, if you are stuck in the middle of a bad storm, then the faster you get out of the situation, the better it is.
The durability of a product always plays an important role in any situation. But if you are buying the best compass for hunting or trekking, then the durability of the compass should be top-notch. It is possible that you might accidentally drop the compass on hard ground.
If the compass is not durable, it might easily break and become useless for you. And, there is always some possibility weather might get worse in the blink of an eye, especially in the woods or the mountains. There is no harm in taking extra precautions. And, go for the absolute best compass available in your budget.
Although some people prefer traditional compasses, there are many people who want their product with the latest features. Here are some features that improve the value of a compass:
Declination Adjustment: It is no new fact that every magnetic compass shows the magnetic north, not true north. And, the error might vary in different locations depending upon the presence of iron in the ground. To correct this error, the best compasses have a declination adjustment feature.
This feature will aid the owner of the compass to add his/her precise location and help in compass in point towards true north.
Needle Dip Correction: The earth’s magnetic field varies in every zone on earth. Due to this difference in the magnetic field, the needle of the compass can dip. To solve this issue, you can buy compasses which are designated for the specific zone on Earth.
There are 5 zones; you can check the zone in which you are residing and buy an appropriate compass for you. Another viable solution for this problem is the usage of a compass with a global needle. A global needle compensates the issue of needle dipping and works accurately all around the globe.
Misc Features: A compass with a luminescent needle and markers can always come handy at night. Moreover, some compasses have a set of magnifying lenses in the baseplate. These lenses can come handy while reading maps.
These were some of the major things that you should know before buying a compass for yourself. Now, the next important thing is to learn a few compass usage and storage tips.
Tips For Using And Storing A Compass
1. Using A Compass
If you are planning to go on an adventure and you are relying on a compass, the first thing you should do is to learn how to use the compass precisely. A lack of knowledge might result in fatal results for you or your friends and family.
The best way for learning the use of a compass is by taking a short course at your nearest local outdoor organization. Make sure you pay attention to the guidelines provided by your instructor.
2. Avoid Using Compass Near Metal Objects
Even the best compasses rely on the earth’s magnetic field. If you use the compass near your car or metallic objects, the difference in iron levels will throw off the accuracy of the compass. Hence it is advised to use any compass away from metallic objects.
3. Storing The Compass
The most crucial factor to consider while storing a magnet is to keep it away from magnetic and electric fields. If you store them near these fields, it can demagnetize the compass pretty quickly. Moreover, keeping the compass in your pocket near your mobile phone will result in the same thing.
So, make sure you keep your compass away from objects which can emit magnetic or electric fields.
We hope you now have a better idea about using and storing the compass. That being said, let’s move forward to the focal point of this article, i.e., best compass in the market. Below you will find the best pocket compasses, the best compass for money and much more. So, without wasting any more time, let’s begin:
Top 10 Best Compasses of 2020
1. EyesKey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass
If you are looking for a compass for hiking, trekking, hunting, etc. then this tactical compass by EyesKey is for you. Not only is it highly durable and accurate, you will find value with this product, as it won’t cost you more than $30 from your pocket to own this.
Coming to the features of this compass, this military-grade compass is made for rough usage. Hence it is waterproof and shockproof. The base and the cover of the compass are made of metal, which can last for several years without issues.
Moreover, to provide an easy and accurate reading, this compass comes with a floating dial. The dial has a 360 degrees scale and a liquid-filled capsule making it stable for usage. If you want to sight any bearings, then the optical eyepiece is there for you.
Lastly, to make sure you have no issues in using the compass at night, the north arrow and the display light up in the dark. This is possible due to the use of fluorescent light in them.
- Shockproof and waterproof
- Durable and robust construction
- Floating compass dial with a 360-degree scale
- None so far
2. Suunto MC-2 Compass
While most people tend to rely on the expertise of GPS, there are some people who tend to do things traditionally with a good quality compass. Suunto MC-2 Compass is for that section of the crowd. It consists of amazing features at an attractive price tag.
You can easily own this product, if your budget is somewhere around $60. If you have any doubts about the quality of the compass,.
Now talking about the major features of this product; it is a compact mirrored compass. This design helps the compass in taking highly accurate and reliable readings, even in the toughest situations. Additionally, it comes with a global needle that aids the compass in taking measurements anywhere on the planet.
Adding more to its value is the baseplate which comes equipped with a magnifying lens. The small size of this compass makes it arguably the best compass for backpacking in the market.
If you are travelling to a place with varying magnetic fields, then the fixed declination adjustment system will make things easier for you. Lastly, the luminous bezels and markings make it easier to use at night-time without any worries.
- Compact design
- Global needle
- Fixed declination system
- There is no instruction manual with the compass
3. Ueasy Military Compass
As the name suggests, this product is for people who love to own military-grade products. If you buy this compass by Ueasy, durability is guaranteed to you, as the company has used superior quality material in building this compass.
Moreover, this product won’t burn a hole in your pocket as it costs less than $20 online, making it an even more valuable product are the excellent ratings on Amazon by hundreds of happy customers.
Shedding some light on the features of this product, as expected from any military-grade compass, it is shockproof and waterproof. Combine that with aluminium alloy construction; you will get one of the best compasses in the market.
Due to this construction quality, it can be used in extreme weather conditions without breaking a sweat. The high damping oil-liquid filled capsule and a floating dial aid the compass in providing precise measurements. Moreover, the built-in bubble level increases its accuracy and simultaneously decreases the errors.
The compass can work easily in dark environments provided it absorbs enough sunshine during daytime. Lastly, the compass is multifunctional. It can be used as a sighting telescope, inches ruler and has a conversion chart on the back. What else can you ask for?
- Shockproof and waterproof
- Sturdy built quality
- None so far
4. TruArc 3 – Base Plate Compass
Looking for an entry-level compass? Then this is the product for you, as the company has kept it minimal and easy to understand. Due to that, even beginners can easily use this compass. Moreover, you will be surprised that this product won’t cost you more than $12 from your pocket.
The main feature of this product is definitely the global needle. TruArc has put extra efforts in this feature so it can be used in both northern and southern hemispheres. Moreover, the company claims it is better at keeping its polarity than any other product at the same price tag.
Also, the resistance to magnetic interference helps it in being accurate with measurements. Additionally, the compass has both the imperial and metric scales inbuilt. Lastly, due to its small size it is easy to carry anywhere with you.
Increased resistance to magnetic interference
- The design could have been better
5. EyesKey Multifunctional Military Compass With Inclinometer
EyesKey is known for making some of the best compasses in the market. And, they have done the same with this product, as it is filled with features and is quite affordable.
You can easily buy this product online for somewhere around $30. Moreover, there are a ton of positive reviews about this product on Amazon.
The Eyeskey Multifunction is compact, lightweight and extremely precise. Worked for all atmospheres and conditions, this compass will control you up mountains, down the path or any place your adventures take you. Made of tough metal, the compass weighs 287g. The compass is green with a military-like style.
There is a striking distinction between this compass and a customary military one, be that as it may. This compass doesn’t have a flip-up optic, similar to what you’d find in a lensatic compass.
Rather, this model has a genuine locating optic. You can peruse the inside compass card in the capsule straightforwardly. There’s a clinometer to gauge height contrasts, as well. In the event that exactness is one of your fundamental concerns, this compass merits a looking at.
- Strong and Sturdy Construction
- Built in Clinometer
- Excellent Choice for Adventurous activities
- Little Heavy
6. Coleman Pocket Compass
Although pocket compass is not in fashion as of today, there are some customers who love to keep them as collectibles or use during their adventures. If you are one of them, then make sure you check out the Coleman Pocket Compass.
It is one of the best pocket compasses available in the market at an affordable cost. As of now it is available for somewhere around $20 price bracket. e.
Coming towards the features of this product. The most notable feature of this pocket compass is accuracy of measurements with the liquid filled design. Moreover, the compass is made with tough and impact resistant material. An easy turned needle with jewel bearing is another great feature of the product. There are 8 directional reference points, namely; N, E, S, W, NE, SE, NW, SW.
To make sure you can use this compass at night, the needle is covered with a luminous element. There is indeed a lid to protect the face of the compass during transport. Lastly, you can hang the compass on your belt or a keychain.
- Durable and strong construction
- Glow in the dark needle for night use
- Small in size, easy to keep
- Only one-color option
7. GWHOLE Military Lensatic Compass
Are you a fan of military like compasses? If yes, then this product by GWHOLE is perfect for you. It has everything needed in the top quality compass. From sturdy built quality to shockproof and waterproof guarantee. It is everything one can ask for.
And, the most amazing thing about this product is it won’t cost you a fortune. It can be bought online for somewhere around $11 which is just amazing.
This Lensatic compass will assist you with finding out of the wilderness, on account of its great features. It accompanies a heavy-duty army camouflage print cover. It has a change outline for distance, gradient, and angle on the backplate.
The compass features locating lines on a cover. What makes this thing cool is that it accompanies a customizable diopter locating focal point. Other cool features that accompany this product are tripod screw gap on base, collapsing thumb ring, built-in bubble level and many more.
Lastly, the compass can be used during night times without any worries. However, only one condition needs to be fulfilled that the compass has absorbed enough sunlight. So that it can shine without any worries during nighttime.
- Affordable Price Tag
- Robust built quality
- Can’t be used on Magnetic Fields
8. AOFAR Military Compass
The AOFAR Military Compass is the top picks of compass for hiking long, harsh trails. In case you’re anticipating going on a through-climb or multi-day trip, at that point this is something that you should consider. It’s sturdy and it won’t lead you off track. Moreover, this product by AOFAR is quite affordable and easy to buy online.
Now, looking at the features of this compass. This one accompanies a transparent covering glass and a leveler. These two increases can have a universe of an effect for individuals who appreciate the accommodation of compact multitools.
The unit likewise incorporates a clearing material to wipe off the outside of the compass just as a carabiner to connect it to your apparel. There’s even a little conveying pocket on the off chance that you need to store it in your rucksack. The front magnifying glass zooms in to show you the way in case you’re experiencing difficulty seeing it.
- Strong construction
- Only one color option
9. Silva Lensatic 360 – Compass
In our list, we have mostly discussed military grade compasses. However, most of the products were quite fancy. If you wish to go for something casual, then this is the product for you. The Silva Lensatic 360 compass is one of the top compasses in the market in its price range.
Now shifting out focus towards the features of this product. The best feature of this compass is undoubtedly the classic military style look. Additionally, the case of this compass is made of aluminium which is coated with black powder to increase its durability. Furthermore, this compass uses a sighting arm to magnify the dial readings.
To increase the height of the compass it is filled with liquid. By doing so, the company has achieved an increment of 2 degrees. Lastly, to make sure you can use the compass at night time too, the rotating bezel has luminous points.
- Classic military design
- Luminous points on bezels
- Great features at an affordable cost
- Product could have been more robust
10. Suunto M-3 NH Compass
If you enjoy the feeling of adventures then why not go for a nice trek or hiking with your friends? And, enjoy that trip you will need only the top compass with you. The Suunto M-3 NH compass is one such product. Just like any other product by the company, this product has excellent features and is quite affordable.
Now talking about the features of SUUNTO M-3 NH compass. This product is specifically designed to show directions in the northern hemisphere. Alongside that, the company has used high quality steel needles with jewel bearing for the compass. If you are worried about the declination adjustment then worry no more, as this product has got it covered too.
The metric scale on the compass makes it multifunctional as a scale too. Moreover, you can find a small magnifying glass on the baseplate. Lastly, the compass comes with a liquid filled compass for stable operation while measurement.
- High grade steel needle with jewel bearing
- Designed for northern hemisphere
- Declination adjustment system
- No luminous points on the compass
- Not usable for southern hemisphere
Types Of Compasses
For every product there are always a few variations in the models. And, compasses are no different. As there are several types of compasses available in the market. And, you can choose the top compass from them.
That being said, let’s have a look at the different types of compasses available in market:
As the name suggests, these are the very basic variants of compasses. And, these products are not very accurate with their measurements. The reason being they only direct towards north approximately. Due to this reason, they are not reliable for trekking or hiking. Also, they won’t cost you much and you can buy one such compass as a spare in case of emergency.
Another use for such types of compass is while looking for a direction or cycling. As you will need only an approximate direction and this compass can at least fulfil that purpose.
If you are a fan of military styled compass then a sighting compass is for you. Although they are extremely accurate, they are quite difficult to use. Hence it is advised to do a detailed study about using this compass. So, you can use this compass in the wilderness.
The main purpose of this compass is to sight distant objects using a bearing. Also, these compasses are most commonly used by military personnel only. There is one drawback of this compass that is they are not loaded with features like any other compass in the same price range. However, as we said earlier, they are quite accurate and that’s why people buy this type of compass.
If you want a compass which can be used for multiple purposes, then baseplate compasses are for you, as they are can be used for several things such as taking bearings, measuring distances, setting a heading and many more. Most of the baseplate compasses have clear bases. The reason being, they have to be placed on top of a map to be used precisely.
You can also find some compasses that have qualities of both sighting and baseplate compasses. Those types of compasses are commonly used by people who love to do mountaineering, trekking, camping, hunting and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is quite evident that customers have a few questions before buying any product. And, buying a compass is no different. Keeping that in mind, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding compasses down below.
If you too have a question related to compasses then today is your lucky day -because chances are you will find the answer to your question right here. So, without any further delay, let’s begin:
1. What Is The Purpose Of Liquid In A Compass?
During this review of the compasses, several great compasses have a feature called liquid capsule for stable operation. If you are wondering what’s the use of the liquid? Then the liquid is used to measure accurate reading. Moreover, it is also used to save the compass from any shocks or sudden impacts. Most of the compasses you will find in the market are liquid filled to fulfil the above-mentioned things.
2. Why Does My Compass Point Toward The South?
We are sure you must have heard this one place for another that a compass always points towards north. But what if your compass is facing towards the south? There are some people who face this problem with their compass. The most probable reason for this issue is that there are two or more compasses near your compass. As the needle of the compass is basically a magnet, it is being repelled by another needle in the proximity. So, try taking your compass further from the nearby compass and it will solve your problem.
3. What Is The Most Accurate Compass?
We have reviewed several compasses in this review so far. And, we are sure a question might pop in your head. Which is the most accurate compass among these compasses? Due to advanced features all the modern compasses are quite accurate in measuring readings. However, SUUNTO M-3 C is the most accurate compass among them all, as it is a baseplate compass is made for measuring accurate measurements on maps.
4. What Are Lensatic Compass?
Every compass has some sort of unique features which make them stand out from the rest. That being said, some compasses have magnifying lenses in them. Those compasses are known as lensatic compasses. In our review of the top compass available in the market, we have included some lensatic compasses too. The main purpose of a magnifying lens in compass is to read points on a map with precision.
5. What Is The Use Of A Mirror In A Compass?
There are several compasses that come equipped with a mirror in the compass. However, not everyone knows the use of a mirror in a compass. If you too have a doubt about the use of a mirror in a compass then you are at the right place. Basically, the mirror is used to sight a direction or an object in a compass same time on the mirror. To do so, you should keep the mirror at an angle of 45 degrees to achieve the goal.
Best Compass – Your pick?
That wraps up our review of the top compasses available in the market. We took several measures such as money, features and build quality of a compass in account to compile the list. If you are looking to buy a compass in the near future then make sure to have a look at our list. We are sure you will find the top choice of compass according to your needs right here.
Before buying a new compass for your next adventure, make sure to properly learn how to use a compass. As without knowing how to use a compass in the wilderness, it is as good as nothing for you.
Another thing which is as important as learning how to use a compass is to know the types of compass available out there. You can find several different types of products but every compass is designed to fulfill a certain job. And, won’t do any good for you, if that is not your requirement.