Camping and hiking are both great ways to unwind and exercise and explore the wonders of Mother Nature. However, things will go upside down from there when you get lost in the middle of nowhere. Sure, you can just whip out your phone for navigational help. However, when you are miles away from the city or civilization, where there is no cell signal, the best way to find yourself is through the best backpacking compass.
When you are off-grid, you need a navigation device that will get you home safely without the need for wireless signals or batteries. Your adventures should end with happy memories, not ones where you get lost. That is pretty dangerous, too. In this article, we gathered seven of the best backpacking compass in the market.
|Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Navigation Compass||This is a multifunctional compass and a perfect companion when you go backpacking or hiking. You can accurately and quickly use it to measure the azimuth angle, slope, and deviation angle. Overall, this is one of the best navigational compasses in the market.|
|SUUNTO A-30 NH USGS Compass||You will see several Suunto products on this list since this brand has already proven itself to be reliable. This is a compact and well-designed compass for orienteering and hiking. It has luminous markings and bezel that you can see even in the dark. Also, it is a highly accurate instrument that you should carry with you anywhere.|
|SUUNTO A-10 NH Metric Recreational Field Compass||This hiking and orienteering compass is ideal for hikers and scouts. Also, the Suunto baseplate compass is fast, accurate, and straightforward. You can easily use it since the whole thing is minimalistic and straightforward.|
|Suunto MC-2 Compass||You can take this compass, whether to the northern or southern hemisphere. Suunto MC-2 has a global needle that allows it to operate from anywhere in the world. It is one of the most highly-regarded backpacking compasses for that reason.|
|TruArc 3 – Base Plate Compass||With the TruArc 3 compass, you can stay on track anywhere in the world. Each compass has a tool-free declination system, making it one of the most precise finds out there. If you are on a tight budget, this is also an excellent steal for you.|
|Silva Ranger 515 Compass||Silva Ranger compasses never fail to deliver top-notch accuracy even in the most difficult situations. It has a sighting mirror for accuracy when it comes to the navigation of distant landmarks. The three scales are also handy for quick and easy plotting with any topographic map.|
|SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass||SE Military Survival Compass is made to be durable and contains a variety of features. It has a rugged die-cast body, making it sturdier than other brands. Moreover, this compass also features a thermo-elastic capsule and a floating dial to the rotating bezel. This is a must-have for every backpacker.|
Best Backpacking Compass Reviews
Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Navigation Compass
This is a multifunctional compass and a perfect companion when you go backpacking or hiking. You can accurately and quickly use it to measure the azimuth angle, slope, and deviation angle. Overall, this is one of the best navigational compasses in the market.
This hiking compass is different from the rest in terms of its multi-functionality—eyes key measures the azimuth angle, deviation angle, and slope without any problem. The sighting window also measures horizontal distances effortlessly.
It can still operate in freezing weather as well. Try placing it at a temperature of -15 degrees, and you will be surprised how it always works even after the ice melted.
Eyeskey multifunctional hiking compass is heavy-duty, and the military-style canvas bag is so attractive. Every aspect of this compass is something you need to look forward to.
The device weighs heavy and is not suitable for ultra-light backpacking.
- You can use it to quickly and accurately measure the slope, azimuth angle, and deviation angle
- The dial is a 360-degree scale. Its accuracy up to 0.5 Degree. The calibration can be seen clearly through the lens
- The Sighting window with a reticle can easily measure the horizontal distance of objects
- It can perfectly fit in your pocket. You won’t be easy to feel tired while you are on the trip
- This compass has been tested at zero degrees. It is placed at -15 degrees with ice. It can still be used normally after the ice is melted
- Compass is too heavy for backpacking
SUUNTO A-30 NH USGS Compass
You will see several Suunto products on this list since this brand has already proven itself to be reliable. This is a compact and well-designed compass for orienteering and hiking. It has luminous markings and bezel that you can see even in the dark. Also, it is a highly accurate instrument that you should carry with you anywhere.
This Suunto hiking compass should be included in your next pile of outdoor gear. It only weighs 1.12 ounces but is still constructed with durable materials such as acrylic. That means that you do not have to worry about the compass getting scratched at all.
For reliable readings, this compass makes use of Suunto’s two-zone system, particularly in the northern hemisphere. The luminous markings are convenient when navigating in the dark with poor visibility.
This high-quality hiking compass is lightweight and has a bezel rings and markings to help you read it even in the dark. The built-in magnifier at the center also allows you to read the compass without using your reading glasses.
The compass does not automatically adjust for declination.
- Lightweight, versatile compass made of durable, bright, scratch-resistant acrylic
- Employs Suunto’s two-zone system for reliable readings in the northern hemisphere
- Fixed declination correction scale, jewel bearing, and marking holes for control points
- Luminous bezel and markings for navigating in poor visibility; a lanyard with detachable snap-lock
- Compass does not automatically adjust for declination
SUUNTO A-10 NH Metric Recreational Field Compass
This hiking and orienteering compass is ideal for hikers and scouts. Also, the Suunto baseplate compass is fast, accurate, and straightforward. You can easily use it since the whole thing is minimalistic and straightforward.
If you are into simple gizmos without complicated operation and such, then this is the perfect hiking compass for you. It only weighs 3.52 ounces and is very durable. Also, it is constructed with acrylic, making it scratch-resistant. The item perfectly fits in the palm of your hand.
The directions that this compass gives are excellent, based on customer reviews. The needle will point accurately, even when placed on uneven surfaces. You can carry this around in your pocket since it is durable and scratch-resistant.
The product comes with a detachable snap-lock lanyard. This is easy to detach while you are working on the map.
This compass does not come with a magnifier and is not designed to glow in the dark.
- High-grade steel needle with jewel bearing
- Balanced for the northern hemisphere
- Fixed declination correction scale
- Liquid filled capsule for stable operation
- Detachable snap-lock lanyard. Easy to detach for working with the map
- Does not have a magnifier
- Not glow in the dark
Suunto MC-2 Compass
You can take this compass, whether to the northern or southern hemisphere. Suunto MC-2 has a global needle that allows it to operate from anywhere in the world. It is one of the most highly-regarded backpacking compasses for that reason.
Suunto MC-2 has a global needle that allows it to operate from anywhere in the world. There is an additional sighting hole, large mirror, and a bezel ring so you can read it even in the dark. Moreover, magnifying is also a big help when you do not have your glasses with you.
Overall, this is an excellently built compass. Some essential features, such as the mirror reflection, needle pointing north, declination adjustment, and many more are beneficial even for starters.
This compass works excellent for both the wilderness explorer and the beginner. It also does an exceptional job of magnifying. You won’t have any problem with reading directions.
The bezel ring is a little loose on edge.
- Compact mirrored compass for taking highly accurate and reliable directional measurements
- Global needle works anywhere on the planet; base plate with a magnifying lens
- The fixed declination adjustment system is ideal for areas with large magnetic variation
- Extra sighting hole for added precision; luminous bezel and markings for nighttime viewing
- The bezel ring is a little loose
TruArc 3 – Base Plate Compass
With the TruArc 3 compass, you can stay on track anywhere in the world. Each compass has a tool-free declination system, making it one of the most precise finds out there. If you are on a tight budget, this is also an excellent steal for you.
This hiking compass is cheap but not in quality. It has a global needle system, which is a typical feature for the more expensive compasses. The global needle ensures that the direction the compass gives is accurate in both the northern and southern hemispheres. It also has advanced navigation, which means that it resists magnetic interference.
The compass is very easy to use with its metric and imperial scales. Moreover, the multi-zone needle is useful in both hemispheres.
The needle in the compass is steady enough for you to use the compass accurately, even when walking. Also, the nylon lanyard and reference guide come in handy when traveling.
It does not light up nor glow in the dark.
- Entry-level compass for your basic orienteering and mapping that can travel anywhere
- Resists magnetic interference better than any competitor, and will not lose its polarity
- Accurate in both northern and southern hemispheres
- Easy to use
- Does not light up in the dark
Silva Ranger 515 Compass
Silva Ranger compasses never fail to deliver top-notch accuracy even in the most difficult situations. It has a sighting mirror for accuracy when it comes to the navigation of distant landmarks. The three scales are also handy for quick and easy plotting with any topographic map.
If you are the type who is into the rugged lifestyle, then this compass is your new best friend. This compass delivers exceptional accuracy even in the worst conditions imaginable. Also, its baseplate contains three scales so you can easily navigate with the map. The map contains silicone feet so you can have a tight grip on it without slippage.
The compass has a clinometer so you can measure different angles of inclination. This is an excellent compass for the winter hiker as well since you can measure slope angles. Such a feature can help in the danger estimation on avalanche-prone slopes.
Reviews state that the declination adjustment works excellently and that the dial spins smoothly. Also, the compass comes with a mirror, which is an excellent addition to an already beautiful compass.
The sighting options make it difficult for the user to read the headings while aiming at the object.
- The Silva Ranger compasses deliver superior accuracy, even in the most demanding conditions
- 0-Degree – 360-Degree dial with 2-Degree graduations, luminous points for night use
- Clinometer, Map magnifier, and Sighting mirror
- Geared declination adjustment
- Lanyard with adjustable slider and screwdriver
- Headings are difficult to read
SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass
SE Military Survival Compass is made to be durable and contains a variety of features. It has a rugged die-cast body, making it sturdier than other brands. Moreover, this compass also features a thermo-elastic capsule and a floating dial to the rotating bezel. This is a must-have for every backpacker.
This compass is great for beginners. It is effortless to use, thus making it a low-risk and low-cost way to learn and practice being off-grid. The price is so reasonable, and one would not even think twice about buying it. You do not have to worry about dropping the compass, too, since it is very durable.
It comes with a tripod mounting screw and a plastic base to keep the fluid inside free of air bubbles. That also allows it to give more accurate readings.
SF Military compass is perfect for those who are still learning how to use one.
Some users said that the construction is a little unreliable but good enough for its price.
- Thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule with floating dial
- Great for camping, scouting, hiking, training, and anything else you may need it for
- Tripod screw on-base, adjustable diopter sighting lens, sighting lines on the cover
- When accuracy matters most, sighting lines on the cover, as well as a conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance on the backplate, ensure you get where you need to be
- Heavy-duty digital camouflage printed cover and water-resistant nylon pouch ensure that your compass will last through the harshest conditions
- Not very tough construction
The best backpacking compass should function like the olden days, with its undoubted practicality and utility. Having a compass in your survival kit is essential if you are planning to venture into unfamiliar territory. With these products in mind, you already have adequate knowledge of the best compasses in the market. Choose one that suits your fancy. Get more tips on survival kits.