The compass remains an indispensable tool for any self-respecting hiker or adventurer. Indeed, despite the appearance of digital navigation systems such as GPS, it remains practical. However, few people know how to choose a good model from the various offers on the market.
We, therefore, wanted to list a few products to help you find a high-performance item. On the one hand, the Brunton Pocket Transit Classics Compass with 0–360° scale stands out for its durability. On the other hand, the E.S Ritchie FN-201 Navigation Compass is popular for its convenient LED light function at night.
The 10 Best Compass for Hiking (Reviews & Tests) of 2022
1. Brunton Pocket Transit Classics Compass with 0-360° Scale
To accompany you during your hikes or even while camping, you will need the most powerful compass. This model from Brunton seems ideal for this kind of activity.
With a solid construction and a successful design, this instrument will guide you on your journey. It will come in handy so you can plan the best route on your wilderness adventures.
The dimensions of this module have also been adapted to suit easy portability. Indeed, it weighs less than 300 g and is conveniently held in hand.
You can put it in your pocket or if you prefer, put it in your bag. This instrument displays relevant information for reference in the woods.
The markings in degree remain precise so as not to be mistaken in your movements. You may also fall in love with its classic appearance.
Solid material: This compass is resistant to shocks. The elements that compose it are of good quality.
Suitable for camping: It would be suitable for people enjoying adventures in the forest or in the bushes.
Compact: With its fairly small size, this item can easily be stored in a bag or satchel when you are on the move.
Accurate: This instrument integrates reliable inscriptions and information with a degree from 0 to 360°.
Authentic appearance: Its design remains similar to classic compasses, which adds an original vintage note.
High price: Some people consider this product to be expensive.
Would you like to know where to buy the best compass for your maritime adventures of all kinds? In this case, we offer you this professional and efficient model signed ES Ritchie.
The latter fits conveniently on the front of your boat or other means of transport such as a car. It has a precise dial to guide you and help you reach your destination as quickly as possible.
One of the main advantages of this item is its 12V green LED light function. So even if you are sailing in the middle of the night, you will always have excellent visibility on this instrument. It also incorporates compensators. These elements mainly serve to facilitate your diversion.
In addition, the manufacturers of this product have equipped it with a sapphire jewel, which increases its added value. The magnets that compose it are of good quality to easily lock the magnetic North and guide you.
High- performance instrument: It is suitable both for great amateurs of navigation at sea and for professionals in the field.
LED light function: This will allow you to have some readability and clarity in the middle of the night.
Fairly easy installation: Since this model is built-in, you will have to mount it. Rest assured, this operation remains simple to perform.
Material of excellent craftsmanship: It incorporates elements suitable for geographical referencing such as powerful magnets or a tempered steel dial.
Exorbitant cost: You will have to invest a fairly large sum to take advantage of this device and its features.
3. Suunto Ss020417000 Compass Unisex Adult
For some people, buying a compass is not as obvious as it sounds. And if you have this kind of problem, why not turn to this Suunto article?
At first glance, this product stands out above all for its compact dimensions. It therefore remains easy to hold and transport during your outings in the great outdoors.
It is also an instrument displaying with precision the measurements and the directions to be taken to orient you. It is thus practical for reading a map of a place.
In addition, this model gives you accurate and relevant information to establish a route without making mistakes. Also note that this item mounts on a tripod for added stability. Moreover, for a camping or hiking enthusiast, it is very useful for locating oneself.
Ergonomic element: Its fairly small size helps in gripping this material. You can hold it in one hand while having a card in the other.
Not bulky: You will have no problem storing this instrument in your bag or in your schoolbag.
Ideal for hiking: It will be suitable for people who like long walks in the forests or the undergrowth without getting lost.
Good precision: This compass displays exact measurements of directions and will facilitate the optical reading of your map.
Missing lighting function: This is not present on this product.
4. Silva Compass Expedition 4 SS19
This “compass” style tracking instrument will help you orient yourself for your various adventures. Its needle is fitted with a sapphire bearing which prevents creases.
As a result, it will point the exact direction of magnetic North. You can thus follow a reliable route so as not to get lost in the middle of the forest or in the mountains, for example.
In addition, be aware that the numerical indications on this module light up when the light is missing. You will therefore have good visibility of the details written on it at night or in dark areas such as the undergrowth.
This compass adapts to French IGN maps with a scale of 1/25,000 or even 1/50,000. It also has a magnifying glass that will help you better see the writings in degrees more precisely. This is why this article includes our comparison of the best models of the moment.
Sapphire bearing: This system prevents the needle of this instrument from rubbing in motion.
Stable material: Its silicone underside is used to immobilize it on a support. Thus, you will easily put it on a map to orient yourself.
Light indications: When you pass through shadows or use it at night, the numbers remain visible.
Magnifier present: This element is useful to have a clearer readability on this tool. It is useful for maps with a scale of 1:50,000 for example.
Strength: Made largely of plastic, you should be careful not to break this variation.
5. Silva Ranger Compass Unisex
This Silva compass has been adapted to help you in all your trips in nature. This mixed model is easy to handle since the inscriptions are easily readable. In addition, it adopts luminous marking for better information clarity at night. The scale sheet remains in mm and inch.
That said, this specimen is suitable for maps with a scale of 1/10,000 or 1/20,000. In use, this module is not likely to slip on its support thanks to its Dryflex-type rubber grip.
The declination numbers are located inside the capsule of this instrument. This seems practical so that this material remains usable anywhere and in all conditions.
With a security lanyard, this attaches to your neck so you don’t lose your gear on the way. But if you wish, you have the possibility to remove it.
Good readability: Not only do the numbers turn out to be visible, but the luminous markings also improve their clarity. So you can use it at night without any problem.
Practical: If you have an adventurous spirit, this compass will help you establish the best route on standard French maps. Its graduations in inch and mm adapt for this.
Easy handling: This element is conveniently placed on a support and is stable thanks to its rubber grip. It is then easier to position it on a map.
Fairly dark dial: Too bad this element does not have a luminosity like the numbers.
If you like to venture into unknown areas, you should have the best compass to orient yourself. Regarding this model, it is intended for means of transport such as cars or boats. You will easily install it on the front and it will help you define the direction to take.
Rest assured, fixing this instrument is quite easy. Apart from that, the figures listed on this module are precise enough to give you good readability.
In addition, this article remains solid thanks to its manufacture made of ABS material of excellent quality. This one is not afraid of the scratches and shocks that it could suffer along the way.
It should also be mentioned that this specimen has an adjustable base to optimize its location. So you will comfortably set the route during your trip and all your adventures.
Resistant product: The compass is made of quality and durable ABS plastic.
Easy to read: The dial has a good design to locate all the information written on it.
Easy mounting: This instrument is conveniently attached to any type of surface with screws or even a sticker.
Adjustable base: This will allow you to immobilize it according to its support and to orient you wherever you go.
Versatile use: This marine compass can be placed on the front of a boat as well as that of a car.
No user manual: One person said that a notice would have been practical to understand the operation of the “switches” present on this equipment.
7. Delaman Diving Compass Waterproof Night Vision Wristband
This model of diving compass will be adapted to equip you in all circumstances. This element is worn like a bracelet or a watch. So you will have a quick reading when you are at the bottom of the water.
It will therefore allow you to orient yourself in your position. Moreover, if you enjoy speleology, apnea or maritime explorations, it will suit you. And even if you are a hiker or a fan of camping, this instrument is also suitable for this kind of activity.
Made with a quality ABS type material, this article is resistant and durable. In addition to this, the dial of this device lights up when there is a lack of light.
As you will have understood, it is waterproof and does not fear shocks. This detail makes it easier to read the numbers in degrees and the information on them. It also has a red line that can be identified in all circumstances.
Robust: This element is made of quality ABS material which gives it good resistance while being durable.
Luminescent dial: This greatly improves the clarity of information when in dark areas or at night.
Ergonomic: Presented in the form of a bracelet, this compass remains light to take it anywhere without difficulty.
Suitable for aquatic activities: This model is suitable for sea diving, snorkeling or caving. It is therefore waterproof.
Unreliability: The dial does not display very detailed information.
8. Etmury Multifunctional Portable Compass for Hiking
If you are looking for a practical instrument to guide you in your outdoor activities, we recommend this compass. It will allow you to effectively define your route, regardless of your position. This model with a military style offers you an accurate reading with useful information to find the right path to follow.
In addition, it is equipped with a magnifying glass to clearly see the degrees especially when you have an IGN type map. An aluminum alloy shell protects its dial.
This material has a “Scale” used to calculate the exact distance of your map. You will therefore be able to aim for a given target and determine which direction to take next thanks to this instrument.
Not to mention the fact that this model remains ergonomic, it is also compact and easy to hold. This compass is still less expensive than many of the items you will find on the market.
Solid: With an aluminum alloy shell, this reference is resistant to shocks and is durable.
Accurate material: This specimen displays accurate information to orient you during your journey and easily reach your destination.
Multiple functions: This model incorporates a magnifying glass as well as a line of sight for reading numbers.
Ergonomic: Not only does this device remain light, but it is conveniently held in the hand for more suitable use on the go.
Versatile use: It is suitable for camping, hiking or hunting.
Not waterproof: Do not use it in wet weather to avoid damaging its mechanism.
9. Etmury Waterproof Brass Pocket Compass
Wondering where to buy a new compass to explore landscapes and have an adventure? Why not opt for this model from Etmury which is practical for this?
This is a compact item and can easily be pocketed. So you will have no trouble carrying it anywhere. You can also hang it around your neck thanks to a grip that accommodates its cord.
With its quality copper and brass alloy construction, this item seems to hold its own. It resists shocks well, especially to protect its dial from scratches and breakage.
This product also incorporates a rotating bezel at an angle of 360° for better orientation. It will then be easier for you to navigate to your destination thanks to this system. In addition, its design is pleasing to the eye.
Easy to carry: You can put it in your pocket conveniently or wear it around your neck using its cord.
Compact: This material has an ergonomic shape and is easily held in the hand.
Excellent visibility: Its dial clearly displays the figures necessary for navigation. Plus, it lights up in the dark.
Resistant exterior: Made of copper alloy and brass, this article is solid against all tests.
Pleasant design: We appreciate its vintage side which strongly resembles old watches.
Sensitive dial: This part of the compass is easily scratched. Close it when not in use.
10. Mengonee Outdoor Camping Directional Ski Race Hiking
All great hiking enthusiasts know how useful the compass is for not getting lost on the way. This flat-based model seems particularly suitable for this kind of activity.
Indeed, it is easily placed on a map or a map in order to orient you. In addition, its underside remains stable so as not to distort your direction and follow a correct route when traveling.
The inside of the dial of this item turns out to be luminescent. As a result, the fluorescent color remains visible even if you are in a fairly dark place. Not to mention the fact that the information on it is graduated to the nearest mm.
You can also use this tool with maps with a scale of 1:10,000 (IGN). It will be useful for you to accurately calculate the distance between one place and another and thus quickly reach your destination.
Stable element: Its flat base keeps it immobile once you place it on a support, in this case a map to locate you.
Luminescent effect: The interior of this inexpensive fluorescent-type compass offers better reading in dark places.
Handy for orientation: This instrument will give you a lot of relevant information to guide you along the way.
Information graduated in mm: This makes it suitable for IGN maps and distance calculations.
No manual: Beginners may find it difficult to understand the use of this item without a manual.
Purchase guide for Best Compass for Hiking and hunting
The compass is a necessary tool for orientation in unusual places. For hikers and budding survivalists, this item is the tool you absolutely need to have before setting off on an adventure. Here we give you some basic selection criteria to help you find the right model.
The type of compass
Depending on the activity you practice, it is normal to wonder which compass to choose for this purpose. There are also offers that meet different needs. Concretely, if you are a seasoned hiker, we recommend the compact models that can be put in your pocket or transformed into a necklace. They are distinguished by their small size and low weight, among other things. These seem easy to hold so you don’t have to worry about using them.
For survivalists who like the challenge, we recommend devices incorporating a sight and a magnifying glass. These devices seem useful for establishing the best route and not getting lost on the way. Moreover, you will have the possibility to calculate the distance from one place to another. This comes in handy for going on an adventure in unknown lands. And if you are one of the people who enjoy scuba diving, equip yourself with a waterproof instrument. Generally, these products are worn on the wrist for more convenient use.
What is the best compass on the market then? If one were to compare digital and analog devices, their main difference remains in their usefulness. Indeed, the first category can be practical since models of this type incorporate an altimeter or a barometer. So if you like to venture into the mountains or go rock climbing, we recommend them.
On the other hand, the second classification seems more functional and precise. Modules like this never run out of battery and won’t let you down on the way. So, if you prefer to have a reliable compass, turn to these products.
Resistance and readability
How to choose the best compasses of 2022? When you go on an adventure, the roads and paths to take can be strewn with pitfalls. This is the reason why you should consider the strength of your acquisition. You guessed it, elements made of copper or brass seem the most reliable in these terms.
We therefore advise you to favor these metal accessories so as not to have any unpleasant surprises during use. For plastic products, they turn out to be more manageable and lighter. So if you want to have a simple, but practical module, these will suit you.
By consulting this buying guide for the best compasses, you will have more information on the criteria to consider. In the range of models, it would always be wise to choose an article equipped with a luminescent system.
That said, go for a device with a neon-colored dial if you want readability to stay on top. You may even come across modules incorporating LED lighting. These will prove useful especially if you make night trips in the middle of the forest or in unknown landscapes. As a result, you will have no trouble seeing the information written on your hardware, no matter the circumstances.
Accuracy and the price factor
Would you like to know how to buy a compass with better value for money ? In this case, we recommend that you do not neglect the accuracy of the information given by the device in question. We advise you to equip yourself with an element with millimetric graduations. This will allow you to use it mainly for reading IGN type maps and maps.
As for the price factor, you should know that the items offered on the market all have a different cost. This varies according to the quality of the product considered, as well as the manufacturing brand. To give you an overall idea, a compass can be worth from 5 to around 600 euros. This range includes simple devices for hiking and professional devices for cars or boats. In short, you will be spoiled for choice according to your budget while taking into account the activity you practice. We therefore invite you to consult our price comparison.
Note that we have made a list of some models on the market. Admittedly, it is not exhaustive, but you will find many offers corresponding to various needs. We have included products from the best brand of compasses of the moment while giving you interesting information.
frequently asked Questions
Q1: How does a compass work? Why does the compass point north?
Out of curiosity, many people wonder how this device really works. In fact, planet Earth is traversed by a magnetic field from the North Pole to the South. It could therefore be considered as a magnet of substantial size. At the same time, the needle of this instrument remains sensitive to this phenomenon.
A certain attraction then occurs and it always points to the North. It should nevertheless be specified that this element does not indicate the geographical North, but magnetic. These two concepts turn out to be different and if one were to locate them, they separate by a distance of a hundred kilometers.
Q2: How to use a compass?
Here are some tips that will help you master the use of your compass. First, place it on a hand or on top of a flat card. You will notice that the needle oscillates and eventually stops after a while. The direction it points is magnetic north.
After that, turn the dial to that same line. Now identify a landscape or location as your “azimuth” for reference. Depending on the destination you wish to take, you should observe the graduation of the arrow. If it indicates 25°, it means that you are going or that you are looking northeast and so on.
Q3: How to use compass on phone?
Currently, there are digital compass versions. To put it simply, they are most often installed as a feature of a Smartphone. To use it, you should first activate the location service or setting. In this tab, tap on “Compass” and repeat the same operation when the application is running.
Next, hold your device flat so that the viewfinder aligns to the center. Then, lock the pointed direction by changing the dial. Normally, a red band is displayed if you ever go the wrong way.
Q4: Who invented the compass?
Even if the origin of the compass remains a controversial concept, we can still consider that Felipe Guillén was its inventor. The latter turns out to be a pharmacist born in Seville in the years 1492.
Endowed with talents in mathematics and physics, he became aware of the movements of the famous magnetic needle. He then had the idea of making a dial while graduating it with different markers. His device helped to locate the longitudes to facilitate travel at sea. This man therefore went to present the product of his imagination to the King of Portugal who recognized its effectiveness.
Q5: How to find north without a compass?
Before the use of the compass, we used to look for the North by referring to the North Star. To put it simply, if we look and head towards it, we are going in the desired direction. But it is still necessary to identify this constellation. To achieve this, you should be able to determine the famous “Big Dipper” and “Little Dipper”. Know that the North Star is part of the latter and it is the largest of them.
- 1 The 10 Best Compass for Hiking (Reviews & Tests) of 2022
- 1.1 1. Brunton Pocket Transit Classics Compass with 0-360° Scale
- 1.2 2. ES Ritchie FN-201 Navigation Compass
- 1.3 3. Suunto Ss020417000 Compass Unisex Adult
- 1.4 4. Silva Compass Expedition 4 SS19
- 1.5 5. Silva Ranger Compass Unisex
- 1.6 6. Dioche Digital Marine Compass Electronic Navigation Compass
- 1.7 7. Delaman Diving Compass Waterproof Night Vision Wristband
- 1.8 8. Etmury Multifunctional Portable Compass for Hiking
- 1.9 9. Etmury Waterproof Brass Pocket Compass
- 1.10 10. Mengonee Outdoor Camping Directional Ski Race Hiking