The best compasses for hiking can be the difference between life and death not just for hikers but also for backpackers and survivalists. Compasses do not use batteries, meaning they are very reliable and the perfect unit to have when you are far away from civilization.
What’s more, top quality compasses for hiking are sturdily built to work even in the most extreme outdoor conditions. Most of them are waterproof, shake-proof, and impact-resistant for long-lasting performance. They are also easy to carry, so you can have them with you always. For great deals, keep on reading this post.
List of the Best Compasses for Hiking Reviews
1. Ueasy Prismatic Sighting Military Compass
The world is amazing and you can easily get lost while enjoying it. That’s why you should consider a quality compass for hiking like the Ueasy Military Compass. It is heavy-duty, waterproof, shake-proof, and sturdy. It is made of aluminum alloy, which enables it to work under extreme weather conditions.
Because of its great build quality, this military compass is great for all outdoor activities including hiking, camping, boating, motoring, hunting, exploring, mountaineering, and more. The compass features a high damping oil liquid-filled capsule, which, in turn, has a floating dial. The compass rotates very flexibly and the damping oil helps improve stability.
In addition, this military compass has a built-in bubble level that improves accuracy and decreases errors. It is a versatile device that you can use as a compass, inches ruler, and sighting telescope for accurate positioning. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee for peace of mind.
2. ARCHEER Multifunctional Metal Military Army Compass
When you buy the ARCHEER Multifunctional Military Compass, you get an English manual to help you understand how to use it. You also get a pouch for easy storage when you are on the go or not using it. It is a well-designed military army compass that is great for lots of activities including camping, hiking, hunting, exploring, boating, climbing, and geology, among others.
It is made of high-strength engineering metal; hence, it is capable of delivering even in extreme conditions. The 18-month hassle-free warranty means the manufacturer trusts this product. Also, ARCHEER promises to provide you with considerate customer service to ensure that your experience with this compass for hiking is a success. Another thing that will give you peace of mind during the purchase of this compass is the 40-day money back guarantee. The compass is accurate and has few to zero errors; thanks to the built-in bubble level.
3. Silva Ranger 515 Compass
With over 200 reviews, it is evident that many have tried out the Silva Ranger 515 Compass. And most of them are very impressed with the new luminous, which will not degrade over time. They also like the fact that the compass is four times more intense compared to watch grade.
The new luminous allows you to easily see the readings in the dark. Well, this means you can use this compass anywhere, anytime. The compass also has a classic bezel, lid, and mirror featuring more knurling for easier grip or rotation. Plus it boasts 0-degree to 360-degree dial and 2-degree graduation with luminous points that make it possible to use it at night.
It also has a clinometer, map magnifier that further makes it convenient to use. Another great feature is the one-piece mirror, which has a sighting line that is etched and is down the center of the compass. The one-piece mirror offers an accurate readout of bearing when sighting.
4. Silva Ranger SL/Mini Compass (Black)
The price of this compass is a bit on the higher side. Nevertheless, this should not deter you from buying it. It is a convenient device, which ensures that you do not get lost while on a hiking adventure. And it is not just hiking the compass is designed for; you can also use it for other activities like camping, boating, exploring, hunting, motoring, and many more.
The compass has small size; hence, it is easy to put away when not in use. It is easy to read, given that it has a simple design. In addition, this compass appears to be well made. We are certain that it will be of great help every time you step out of the door to enjoy an outdoor activity.
5. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass
Whether you are looking for a compass for emergency situations, survival or camping, this tactical compass is for you. It is a professional-grade compass for hiking that has everything you need to make sure you are not lost. It has an aluminum alloy housing that makes it durable and capable of standing the test of time.
Despite its great build quality, this compass is very lightweight for optimum portability. It is also conveniently folded since it measures just 75x57x30mm. Besides, the compass is available in two different colors, which are EK1001 Camouflage Compass and EK1001 Green Camouflage.
It is easy to read even at night plus it is highly accurate for outstanding results. What’s more, the compass is waterproof and shake-proof for peace of mind. Another thing that makes this compass the go-to device for many is the fact that it is tripod mountable.
6. Suunto MC-2/360/IN/D/NH Compass
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This is another great compass, which you should certainly consider if you like to interact with nature. Its price is on the higher side as well, but this should not scare you, as it is still affordable. Besides, the compass is worth it given that it is packed with numerous features. One of these features is the Baseplate with a magnifying lens, which makes it easy to read the direction.
Another feature is the adjustable declination correction and Clinometer for convenient use. What’s more, there is a liquid capsule, which ensures stable operation. Suunto is known across the globe for the good work it does. It supplies customers with quality products, and this compass for hiking is no exception. Having said that, go ahead and buy it with confidence knowing that it will be a hit in any hiking adventure.
7. SUUNTO MC-2 Compass
SUUNTO knows that you deserve better. That’s why it is more than happy to provide you with this highly advanced compass. It is a compact compass that you will not have problems carrying on a hiking adventure. Besides, it is mirrored and promises to take highly accurate and reliable directional measurements.
Another reason why this compass is highly rated is that it has a global needle, which works anywhere in the world. Plus there is a base plate that has a magnifying lens to further make this compass easy to view. The compass can be used anywhere including regions where magnetic variation is large; thanks to the fixed declination adjustment system.
Its other features include an extra sighting hole, which provides added precision and luminous bezel and markings for easy viewing in the dark. The compass is exactly what you need, considering that it is packed with exciting features.
8. SUUNTO A-10 Recreational Field Compass
Before reading the review of this recreational field compass, it is important to note that it is not for sale in Catalina Island. That aside, the compass is designed to be a reliable unit while you are outdoors. It is lightweight, meaning it is very easy to carry during an outdoor adventure.
Additionally, the compass is designed to combat anything the outdoor environment throws at it. That being said, it is made of clear and scratch-resistant acrylic, which is durable and capable of remaining intact season in season out. The compass also boasts a fixed declination correction scale, dual scales, and jewel bearing. The dual scales are in centimeters and inches.
Moreover, this field compass is ergonomically designed, so you can comfortably use it. Plus it has a lanyard with a detachable snap-lock to make it easy to carry when on the go. It weighs 0.48 ounces and measures 11.5 by 5.2 by 1 in.
9. Reliable Outdoor Gear Professional Boy Scout Compass
If compasses for hiking were to be ranked based on the price, the Reliable Outdoor Gear Boy Scout Compass could have no doubt been one of the best. It is a very affordable compass that makes a wonderful purchase for anyone who likes outdoor adventures yet is on a budget.
It is lightweight and small; hence, you will have zero problems carrying it to any outdoor activity. The compass is also accurate, so it can provide you with great results every time. It plays a huge role in making your trip a success. What’s more, the compass has a liquid-filled capsule that makes the needle swing fast and freely as well as accurately pointing you north.
It also has a swivel bezel, which rotates not to mention making the adjustment of inclinometer bearings with 20 graduations effortless. The base plate is made of strong plastic (acrylic); therefore, it is sturdy enough to last for years.
10. SUUNTO A-30 Compass
Last but not least, we bring you the SUUNTO A-30 Compass. Like other compasses in these reviews, the SUUNTO A-30 Compass is loaded with great features that enable it to perform as expected. It has a luminous bezel & markings to ensure that even darkness cannot stop you from navigating.
It also has a lanyard featuring a detachable snap lock to make it very easy to carry during hiking. Another thing we like about the SUUNTO A-30 Compass is that it employs Suunto’s two-zone system to provide reliable readings in the northern hemisphere.
The compass is made of durable and clear acrylic for easy viewing. Ideally, the acrylic is scratch-resistant for long-lasting performance. The compass is available in a variety of colors, which are the NH USGS Compass, NH Metric Compass, and SH Metric Compass. It is important to note that the prices of these colors vary.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Compasses for Hiking
The following factors will further make it easier to settle for a suitable compass for hiking.
Because we don’t know what the outdoor environment has in store for us, it is important that you go for a heavy-duty compass made of sturdy material like an aluminum alloy or stainless steel. The compass should be impact-resistant and shake-proof for long-lasting performance.
You are buying a compass because you do not want to get lost in the middle of nowhere. With that being said, it won’t make any sense to go for a compass that is less accurate. So, before buying a compass, ensure that it is accurate and reliable.
Apart from choosing a sturdy compass, you must be keen enough to settle for a waterproof unit. This is because, as mentioned before, you never know what the outdoor environment has in store for you. Sometimes it can rain out of nowhere, meaning if your compass is not waterproof, get ready for a tough time without a compass to watch your back.
Portability and Ergonomics
A compass that is compact and lightweight is easy to carry. You can fit it effortlessly in your backpack when it is not in use. Furthermore, your compass for hiking should be ergonomically designed to make it easier to hold during a hiking adventure.
Luminous Bezel and Markings
Directions are read all the time including at night. As such, it is necessary that you go for a compass for hiking with luminous bezel and markings. Such compasses are easy to view in the dark; hence, are very reliable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I learn how to use a compass?
There are specific classes for learning how to use a compass. Moreover, you can know how to use a compass from someone knowledgeable.
Apart from using a compass, what other ways can help me find north if I’m lost?
You can use the path of the sun as a rough E-W line; an analog watch face to bisect the sun; regional constellations or a magnetized paper clip and a floating leaf.
Which factors affect the accuracy of a compass?
A compass may be inaccurate because of a car, magnetic rocks, and cell phone, among others. Power lines can also make your compass behave in a strange way. With that being said, it is advisable that you be in the open and clear of electrical or large metallic objects when using a compass.
What are the different types of compasses?
The commonly used compasses are simple baseplate compass, liquid-filled compass, and orienteering compass.
One tool you should never forget when going on a hiking trip is a compass. These devices can prove really handy in the event that you get lost. Well, losing your path during a hiking adventure is very easy, given that, in most cases, you are unfamiliar with the environment. So, a compass is not optional but a necessity for any hiking adventure.