Ranking the 10 Best Compasses of 2021

Matt Lewis
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What could be better than finding the best compass for your needs? Finding the 10 best. If there’s one tool that can help you “get down and dirty” if you find yourself stuck outdoors, it’s a compass.

I don’t care what you’re doing – hiking, camping, backpacking, rafting, mountaineering, caving, hunting, fishing, cycling, running, or just plain enjoying nature – a compass can help you get back home (so long as you know which direction that is).

NameCategoryProduct
Eyeskey Tactical Survival CompassBest OverallEyeskey Tactical Survival Compass
Coleman Pocket CompassBudget PickColeman Pocket Compass
SUUNTO CompassesUpgrade PickSUUNTO Compasses

1. Eyeskey Tactical Survival Compass

Our rating: 9 / 10

Eyeskey Tactical Survival Compass

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Pros:

  • Cardboard packaging is a plus
  • The lensatic sight is accurate

Cons:

  • The markings could be larger
  • The sighting loop could be bigger

You will like the Eyeskey Tactical Survival Compass if you are looking for a compass with a good feel. It looks like a professional class compass and probably is one.

The dots on the card are clear, big, and easy to read. The hinge has a tight closure and a good focus. The case is a pretty standard three-fold with a snap ring to keep it closed.

The lanyard makes it easy to wear around your neck, although it’s not possible to carry it in your pocket. The area for sighting is in the lower right corner. There is a thumb hold that allows you to place your thumb on the card and pull the compass toward you for a clear sight picture of the lense. The sighting area is large enough so that you can find it easily even if your eyes are older.

2. Coghlan's Map Compass

Our rating: 9 / 10

Coghlan's Map Compass

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Pros:

  • Easy to understand
  • Closely resembles a traditional map compass
  • Suitable for a variety of tasks
  • Solid construction

The Coghlan’s Map Compass has a simple design and only offers a single point rotational direction. Basically the Coghlan’s Map Compass is a traditional map compass with the addition of a plastic mirror and a sight on one side of the compass. This means that while the Coghlan’s Map Compass is a very durable and functional compass, it’s not as accurate as a traditional map compass … More accurately … it’s not as accurate as most more modern types of compasses.

If you’re planning on doing long hikes in the wilderness, the Coghlan’s Map Compass might not meet your needs. But, in general, it will be a good low cost compass for most outdoor activities.

This compass will also make a great gift for a preteen or teenager who is going on their first adventure exploring the great outdoors.

3. TruArc 3

Our rating: 8 / 10

TruArc 3

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Pros:

  • Available for the military grade or the civilian one
  • Features a magnetic needle protection and tracking
  • The most stable baseplate you can find
  • Redesigned the bezel and the orienting arrow for the easier reading
  • The best base plate compass that money can buy
  • User-friendly adjustments
  • Reliable compass that’s easy to use
  • The design is easy to use both under dusting and in the heat
  • Suitable for novice campers
  • Great for most outdoor activities

Cons:

  • It is a little bit heavy but still, it’s not a big deal
  • It is a little bit hard to read in low light.

Generally, the best products have both pros and cons but the pros of a product far outweigh its cons. I would like to advice you to try the product because I am sure you would really like it.

4. Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass

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Pros:

  • The compass is pretty tough which means that it can cope with some rough treatment
  • The compass comes with a nylon backpack and can be attached to your belt
  • It is easy to read and operate
  • It is affordable for all types of users
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty

Some users have complained that it is very bright. This can be a good thing as you won’t lose the compass to the night sky though.

The compass is made for many different uses and the lighting function is just one of them. It can be used as a reliable lensatic compass, a flashlight and a lantern.

You can use it to find directions at home, in the office, at night and even in the forest during camping trips. The gadget features a glow-in-the-dark nylon wrist strap. The wrist strap means that you can keep the compass in place when you need it. It also means that you can quickly find it if you drop it.

5. SUUNTO Compasses

Our rating: 8 / 10

SUUNTO Compasses

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Pros:

  • Easy to set up- Easy access to the functions without having to visit each area separately
  • Durable- Suunto is known for having one of the most durable designs, these are no different
  • All you need- Uses a convenient retractable needle
  • Concentration- Most Suunto styles have level indicators for accuracy
  • Sturdy case design- The case is strong and durable
  • Simplicity- Suunto has simplified a compass to just about anyone can rely on

Cons:

  • Needle- It’s not as accurate as a sighting needle
  • Needle- It’s hard to rotate the needle
  • Needle- Can be hard to see the readings
  • Needs compass- Not a good choice for hiking without a compass

(Editor’s Choice)

Next time you venture out into the wild, take a moment to remember the reason you’re there in the first place: to enjoy nature and outdoor beauty.

Having gear that takes care of your other needs will minimize your chances of getting in trouble. A compass is necessary for many activities in the wilderness, and Suunto has some of the best options.

6. SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass

Our rating: 8 / 10

SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass

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Pros:

  • Has two scales for general use and special purpose
  • Features a sighting mirror and luminous points
  • Easy to operate under emergency situations
  • Basic compass features
  • Affordable and lightweight
  • High quality product

This is a compass made from a special material that is both durable and reliable. It is also made up of a material that will reduce friction and can function and react well in your hands. The special material used in creating this compass will provide you with the comfort and pleasure of using it. The compass can be used under any conditions because of its special properties. The compass is available in a range of colors, which provides you with an opportunity to select your favorite color.

This is an inexpensive compass. It is available at a lower price and you can use it for a long time. The compass can fulfill all your needs once you use it. It is a quality compass as it is manufactured using sturdy material. The accuracy of this product is questionable. As a result, you should be careful about using it in your outdoor activities.

7. UST Deluxe Map Compass

Our rating: 7 / 10

UST Deluxe Map Compass

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Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Includes a built-in magnifier
  • Case and lanyard included
  • Rotating base plate
  • Easy to operate without a map
  • Super bright and readable fluorescent markings for each dial

Cons:

  • You have to hold the compass steady until you can find north
  • The swivel bezel operates with force

This UST Deluxe Map compass is a useful tool for hikers, backpackers, or anyone else who's out in the wilderness and has to navigate by land. It also comes with a rubber cover which protects it from water.

It's made by United States Topographical Warehouse and is specialized for marking grid lines, bearings, and other reference points on a map.

The base plate is marked with a built-in sight line so that you can estimate the distance between two points.

8. Sharp Survival Best Camping Survival Compass

Our rating: 7 / 10

Sharp Survival Best Camping Survival Compass

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Pros:

  • Comes with a luminous plate
  • The needle won’t be blocked by your fingers
  • The compass is completely water-proof
  • Amazing durability
  • It’s one of the brightest compasses you can find
  • All the features are sealed inside a gasket for extra security
  • Available at an amazing price when you consider what you get
  • It’s a bestseller at Amazon and other online retailers

Cons:

  • It doesn’t float
  • Doesn’t come with meridian lines

For Hiking, Hunting, Camping, Climbing, Traveling, Caving, Geocaching.

We really couldn’t find anything bad to say about this amazing compass.

The Sharp Survival compass has all the features you would want from a compass. It’s made from durable materials and it has clear lines, which make it easy to read.

9. Coleman Pocket Compass

Our rating: 5 / 10

Coleman Pocket Compass

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Pros:

  • Doesn’t fall off a pocket
  • Easy to adapt to the problem
  • Useful and functional
  • Cheap
  • Not designed for climbing but it will work
  • It functions well
  • Durable

Cons:

  • It looks good but it’s not made for climbing
  • A lanyard should be attached to it
  • It’s not more precise or functional than others

Coleman has been one of the most trustworthy brands in the U.S. and people are happy to use its products. This is an aluminum capsule that is ideal for camping and suitable to be used at a low temperature. The weight of the product makes it about 77.5 grams. The main function of the product is to help people to find the bearing. Sometimes, it’s challenging for people to move in the wild or on the land. The way to solve this problem is to buy a compass or at least try to find one.

This device is the best companion for everyone who travels. It is easy to use. The person who uses it has a clearer direction to decide where to go. The device may not be suitable for special teams such as the military. However, it is the best instrument for tourists.

10. Multifunctional Military Compass

Our rating: 5 / 10

Multifunctional Military Compass

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Pros:

  • Uses a magnetic sensor which is more accurate than liquid filled compasses
  • Simple and easy to use; there’s no need to wait for it to function as the second hand is rotating
  • Very lightweight and compact so you can carry it wherever you go
  • Two buttons for the needle and for the mirror for enhanced convenience
  • Perfect for any type of adventure from camping to hiking and looking at the stars
  • The design is fun yet also very reliable and handy

Cons:

  • Not for use where it will come into contact with water
  • The price is a little higher than other compasses in its class

Etc.

We would highly recommend that you get yourself a quality compass to help you find your way during adventure. If you’re looking for something lightweight, this is a fantastic option that won’t disappoint. It comes with two useful tools: a compass and a mirror.

If you are a backpacker or an adventurer, this compass fits your needs very well. It’s handy, compact and unique design makes it ideal for use in all kinds of situations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the most accurate compass?

There are several factors that contribute to a compass’ accuracy. One of which is the shape. Liquid-filled compasses are more accurate than dry-compasses. Liquid compasses are more accurate, because moisture reduces the temperature. So, liquid-filled compasses are always very close to the actual reading.

Another factor is having a needle that is balanced inside the housing. Avoid compasses that have loose needles.

Check the quality of the needle’s pivot. Make sure that the screws holding the parts together aren’t lose. If it’s loose, your compass will be inaccurate. In addition, a compass with good quality will also have a clear view.

What are the best compasses?

Before you make a purchase, you have to know what makes a compass special. Different compass models have different features. What one does, the other probably doesn’t. This makes it necessary to know what you need so you get the feature-filled option that’ll undeniably work best to your needs.

We’ve listed below top quality compasses in the market to provide you with a comprehensive review. With this, you’ll get a better grasp on what makes each of them special.

Which Silva compass is best?

The Silva Ranger CL Compass is one of the most popular compasses currently on the market. It is specifically manufactured for purposes of orienteering, but can also be used by other outdoorsy individuals who like to travel and are interested in geology.

It is a reliable, and easy to use compass that can be used in any type of landscape and for any purpose. It guarantees a high quality magnetic needle and a protective case for its durability.

This compass’s new and improved backplate technology also makes it wearable and extremely stylish, by providing grip and texture, helping you to hold it securely. It has a warranty of a lifetime, which makes it even more valuable.

The Silva Four PA Compass is a high quality compass that will make your outdoor experience even better. It guarantees accuracy in measurement and has a simple to read compass dial.

Is a liquid filled compass better?

A liquid filled compass is a compass with a clear liquid being used as a dial to help determine the cardinal points of our surroundings. The liquid gives better visibility than the standard dry type of a compass.

Maybe in a perfect world the liquid filled compass would be the best compass, but there are simply too many things that could go wrong with it, just as there are with any compass.

Hands-free compass navigation is no more, if the liquid leaks or gets knocked about. Even if everything looks okay, who is to say that the liquid is still centered? Distance and direction can become a major issue.

Now apart from compass fluid which is viscous, the liquid filled compass does have one very good aspect; it is completely waterproof. That means it will always read accurately and stays that way, unlike a compass that is exposed to water, which would soon become useless.

Conclusion

This compass buying guide is here to help ensure your compass purchase ends well for all the right reasons. We hope that our information is useful to know when choosing to make a purchase. It’s also our hope that you’ll learn something before you purchase your compass and make an able decision that will allow you to enjoy years of quality use with your compass.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Eyeskey Tactical Survival CompassBest OverallEyeskey Tactical Survival Compass
Coleman Pocket CompassBudget PickColeman Pocket Compass
SUUNTO CompassesUpgrade PickSUUNTO Compasses