best-compass-for-hiking

7 Best Compass for Hiking with Detailed Buying Guide

When the visibility is poor during your hiking trip, a compass is a great tool. It also works very well when you get lost or hiking on trails. Sometimes you have to deal with signal loss while using an electric GPS system, compass is just a blessing for you at this time.

Outdoor adventurers need the best compasses by their side. It may be useful to keep energy bars on hand from becoming hungry, a sleeping bag for resting well, or a flashlight to keep you from becoming lost in the hills if you end up lost or trapped in a hazardous climate. 

Product
Best Overall
Sportneer Lensatic Military Compass, Compass for Easter Gifts, Baptism Gifts for Boys, Catholic Gifts for Men, Camping Survival Compass with Carry Bag for Hiking Hunting Outdoor
All Rounder
Orienteering Compass Hiking Backpacking Compass | Advanced Scout Compass Camping Navigation - Boy Scout Compass for Kids | Professional Field Compass for Map Reading - Best TurnOnSport Survival Gifts
Recreational Purposes
SUUNTO A-10 NH Compass
MecArmy CMP2-T High Sensitivity EDC Compass, Mechanical Instrument Inspired Design with Exquisite Engrave, Fluorescence Glow in The Dark Free Beaded Chain Worn as a Pendant (Sandblasted)
SUUNTO MC2 Navigator Mirror Sighting Compass with Built-in Clinometer, Quadrant
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Sportneer Lensatic Military Compass, Compass for Easter Gifts, Baptism Gifts for Boys, Catholic Gifts for Men, Camping Survival Compass with Carry Bag for Hiking Hunting Outdoor
Orienteering Compass Hiking Backpacking Compass | Advanced Scout Compass Camping Navigation - Boy Scout Compass for Kids | Professional Field Compass for Map Reading - Best TurnOnSport Survival Gifts
SUUNTO A-10 NH Compass
MecArmy CMP2-T High Sensitivity EDC Compass, Mechanical Instrument Inspired Design with Exquisite Engrave, Fluorescence Glow in The Dark Free Beaded Chain Worn as a Pendant (Sandblasted)
SUUNTO MC2 Navigator Mirror Sighting Compass with Built-in Clinometer, Quadrant
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Best Overall
Product
Sportneer Lensatic Military Compass, Compass for Easter Gifts, Baptism Gifts for Boys, Catholic Gifts for Men, Camping Survival Compass with Carry Bag for Hiking Hunting Outdoor
Image
Sportneer Lensatic Military Compass, Compass for Easter Gifts, Baptism Gifts for Boys, Catholic Gifts for Men, Camping Survival Compass with Carry Bag for Hiking Hunting Outdoor
Prime
Rating
-
All Rounder
Product
Orienteering Compass Hiking Backpacking Compass | Advanced Scout Compass Camping Navigation - Boy Scout Compass for Kids | Professional Field Compass for Map Reading - Best TurnOnSport Survival Gifts
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Orienteering Compass Hiking Backpacking Compass | Advanced Scout Compass Camping Navigation - Boy Scout Compass for Kids | Professional Field Compass for Map Reading - Best TurnOnSport Survival Gifts
Prime
Rating
-
Recreational Purposes
Product
SUUNTO A-10 NH Compass
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SUUNTO A-10 NH Compass
Prime
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Rating
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Product
MecArmy CMP2-T High Sensitivity EDC Compass, Mechanical Instrument Inspired Design with Exquisite Engrave, Fluorescence Glow in The Dark Free Beaded Chain Worn as a Pendant (Sandblasted)
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MecArmy CMP2-T High Sensitivity EDC Compass, Mechanical Instrument Inspired Design with Exquisite Engrave, Fluorescence Glow in The Dark Free Beaded Chain Worn as a Pendant (Sandblasted)
Prime
Rating
-
Product
SUUNTO MC2 Navigator Mirror Sighting Compass with Built-in Clinometer, Quadrant
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SUUNTO MC2 Navigator Mirror Sighting Compass with Built-in Clinometer, Quadrant
Prime
Rating
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Best Compass for Hiking

With a high-quality compass, you can put an end to your fears. We have gathered a list of the best compasses we found online, so you can pick the one you like best.

In addition, a good compass can help you find your way through a foreign place or even help you find your way home if you have lost your way.

Products For The Best Compass For Hiking

1. Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass

Best Compass For Hiking:  Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass

Are you looking for a military lensatic compass? This compass is just made for you. It is a professional-grade military company that will take you in the right direction. Most surprisingly, it is famous for use in camping, hiking, running, backpacking, and even in emergencies. 

It also works well for you when you get lost in a place and are not getting the right direction. It also stands out in the market due to its ergonomic design, which has a lymphatic function that enhances reading accuracy. 

Keep in mind that the reading accuracy is increased with the lens on the rear, which magnifies the card dial. So definitely you will always get the accurate reading that you always want during your hiking trip. 

This gadget has unique military construction, which means it is tough and tenacious. So this military construction is fully waterproof and shake-proof and built to survive the hardest conditions. It is a portable hiking compass that you can attach to your body with a belt loop attachment. However, on the other hand, you can place it safely in your pocket with a carrying case.

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Waterproof Boy Scout camp
  • Perfect for hiking, hunting, outdoor camping
  • Comes in beautiful green color
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • The focusing of the lens could be improved
Sportneer Lensatic Military Compass, Compass for Easter Gifts, Baptism Gifts for Boys, Catholic Gifts for Men, Camping Survival Compass with Carry Bag for Hiking Hunting Outdoor
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE: This professional grade military compass will always lead you in the right direction. Ideal for camping, military usage, emergencies, and anywhere the beaten track takes you
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: The lensatic function increases the reading’s accuracy with a lens on the rear sight that magnifies the card dial – so you’ll always get an accurate reading
  • MILITARY CONSTRUCTION: Tough and tenacious, the military construction with waterproof and shakeproof properties is built to survive the harshest of hikes
  • PORTABLE: Keep the compass near you with a belt loop attachment, or place it safely in your pocket with a carrying case, so you can keep your hands gripped on the mountain you’re scaling
  • FLUORESCENT: The compass’ interface glows in the dark, so even when night falls, you can still soldier on

2. Orienteering Compass Hiking Backpacking Compass

The orienteering compass is a great backpacking compass called a manual magnetic compass. An acrylic base plate is present with 360 degrees rotating bezel and azimuth bearing. 

It consists of a magnetic needle and a liquid-filled capsule that helps swing fast and freely point toward the north. Keep in mind that if it is a liquid-filled capsule, it is 100% bubble free. 

It also gives you direction while hiking or camping and is a great magnifying glass used for reading and navigating geological maps. The composer is also present in this compass which gives you precise route mapping.

On the other hand, it is a portable and lightweight hiking compass. You will like its size as it is smaller and an essential piece of survival gear. 

As it is smaller than the size, you can easily put it in your pocket or hiking backpack. The good thing about this hiking compass is that adults and kids can easily use it to fulfill their navigating purposes. 

So on the whole, it is a very accurate, lightweight, and small hiking compass perfect for any purpose. It is a handheld compass with a magnetic needle and direction arrow with a lanyard and orienting lines compass. 

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Advanced scout compass
  • Perfect for map reading
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Magnetic needle with liquid-filled capsule

Cons

  • Sometimes, does not show the accurate direction
Sale
Orienteering Compass Hiking Backpacking Compass | Advanced Scout Compass Camping Navigation - Boy Scout Compass for Kids | Professional Field Compass for Map Reading - Best TurnOnSport Survival Gifts
  • KEY FEATURES: This manual magnet compass consists of Acrylic Baseplate with Azimuth bearing and 360 degree rotating bezel. With the help of a magnetic needle which consists of a liquid-filled capsule (bubble free) helps to swing fast and freely point you towards north. The Magnifying Glass is used for reading and navigating geological maps. Along with this, it has the compass Ruler Scale of 1:24000 for precise route mappin
  • PORTABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT: Boy Scout compass is small in size and an essential piece of survival gear to have in your pocket or hiking backpack. Both children and adults can use it, easy to carry during your trips especially for field trips. Portable Handheld Compass with magnetic needle and directional arrow, orienting lines compass and lanyard
  • PROFESSIONAL, ADVANCE COMPASS NAVIGATION: Our orienteering compass is constructed for accurate directions and making it an ideal all-around land navigation kit for hikers, campers, girl & boy scouts and survivalists
  • HIGH QUALITY: On every outdoor journey, a vital and high-quality compass keeps you feeling secure and can read topographic maps. Ideal for use with a kayak, camping trip, climbing expedition, or seeing animals outside
  • IDEAL SURVIVAL GIFTS FOR HIKERS: During any emergency situation where you feel stuck or forget the way, this device can turn out to be a savior to make you out of depth. So, this BSA compass is an ideal gift for beginner cub scout and eagle scout, adults who love hiking, outdoors, girl & boy kids and fishermen's

3.SUUNTO A-10 Compass

SUUNTO is a great brand regarding hiking compass, which you can also use for recreational purposes. Most surprisingly, it is very easy, safe, and ideal for hiking. It is a high-quality compass balanced for the Northern hemisphere. You can use this gadget with inches, centimeter scales, and a fixed declination. 

If you are looking for a base plate compass, then you are at the right place, and it is also ideal for navigating with the compass and map. It is a very compact device made of high-grade steel needles with a jewel bearing. 

Remember that it is a liquid capsule for stable operation. It is a high-quality compass for hiking made in Finland. Now you can easily and safely navigate the great outdoors. In other words, it is accurate in its function. 

This is why this hiking compass is perfect for mountain biking, trail running, trekking, hiking, skiing, etc. 

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Simple to use recreational hiking compass
  • Made up of high-quality plastic
  • Essential navigation tools

Cons

  • Much lighter than other hiking compasses
SUUNTO A-10 NH Compass
  • Recreational Compass: Minimalistic and straightforward, the A-10 compass is the ideal hiking and orienteering compass that is fast and simple to use; Balanced for northern hemisphere use with inch/cm scales and a fixed declination
  • Baseplate Compass: Ideal for navigating with a map and compass, the A 10 is compact and features a high grade steel needle with jewel bearing and a liquid filled capsule for stable operation
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; Great for Alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products

4. MecArmy High Sensitivity EDC Compass

The MecArmy EDC compass is a highly sensitive compass for hiking and navigating. Keep in mind that MecArmy is a renowned brand regarding compass. It stands out in the market due to its innovative design and functionality. 

The main purpose of the manufacturers is to produce high-quality designs with innovation and accuracy. So it comes up with an original design that is high-quality and innovative. Most surprisingly, the design of the compass gives it great environmental protection.

Moreover, it is an excellent compass with fluorescence glow-in-the-dark with a maximum run time of up to 6 hours. To make the compass glow in the darkness, you should place it under the sunshine or light for about 1 to 3 minutes. 

The d-shaped key ring is also present in the compass, which you can connect with the carabiner. So are you getting it easily and it in the waste or backpack? 

Another great thing about this compass is that you can wear it in multiple ways. So will you use this compass conveniently and take it anywhere you want?

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • It comes with a built-in clinometer
  • Advanced engineering and thoughtful design
  • Precise directional measurement
  • Declaration adjustment is good

Cons

  • The bezel does not go 0 to 360 degrees
MecArmy CMP2-T High Sensitivity EDC Compass, Mechanical Instrument Inspired Design with Exquisite Engrave, Fluorescence Glow in The Dark Free Beaded Chain Worn as a Pendant (Sandblasted)
  • 🧭【Material】:Available in either TC4 Titanium or Brass; Free beaded chain-may be worn as a pendant; Designed for everyday carry.
  • 🧭【POCKET COMPASS】: Small size but accurate, this compass hiking sizes is 1.48'' x 0.925'' x 0.51''. Use tips: Using the compass alone is more accurate. (When using the compass, remove it from the keychain and keep it away from magnetic devices, such as mobile phones, keychains, flashlights, etc., which will affect the compass's magnetism and may cause the compass inaccurate.)
  • 🧭【Fluorescence】:Fluorescence-glow in the dark, max runtime up to 6 hours.
  • 🧭【High Sensitivity】:Uses special encapsulation technology to give high sensitivity.
  • 🧭【Accessory】:D-type keyring, beaded chain

5. SUUNTO MC2 Navigator Mirror Sighting Compass

SUUNTO is a great brand of hiking compass. It is a high-quality navigator mirror sighting compass made up of high-quality materials. In other words, it is an advanced navigational composite made for serious hikers.

So if you are a professional hiker or backpacker you should purchase this great hiking compass. It is a professional mirror compass designed for precise directional measurements. 

On the other side, it is also balanced for another hemisphere used. It also comes up with quadrant scales, so you can use them freely to search in any direction.

Overall, it is a very precise and accurate compass that is also operable in low-light conditions. 

There is a notch and sighting hole in this compass for accurate bearings. An adjustment tool is also available with a clinometer in this compass. No one can deny its quality as it is made in Finland, where you can safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors. 

So most conveniently, it is a great hiking compass perfect for mountain biking trails, Alpine skiing, etc. Overall it is a great combination of style and accuracy made with advanced engineering and thoughtful design. 

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Made up of high-quality plastic
  • Lightweight and precise hiking compass
  • Rugged construction
  • Precision engineering

Cons

  • Readings are not frequently repeatable
Sale
SUUNTO MC2 Navigator Mirror Sighting Compass with Built-in Clinometer, Quadrant
  • Advanced Navigational Compass: Made with serious hikers in mind, this professional mirror compass was designed for precise directional measurement and is balanced for Northern Hemisphere use with quadrent scales
  • Precise And Dependable: Operable in low light conditions, the MC-2 Compass includes a sighting hole and notch for accurate bearings, declination adjustment tool, and a clinometer
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; Great for Alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products

6.SUUNTO Yellow Compass

SUUNTO is a very beautiful yellow color compass, and it is actually a floating compass ideal for professional outdoor use and marine environments. The best thing about this compass is that it is very lightweight, so you can easily hold it. 

So if you can say that it is a hand-bearing compass with great construction, on the other hand, it is the best hiking compass with a lanyard. It is very lightweight and also gives you accurate results. 

The most wonderful thing is that it is only 2 oz in weight with a globally flat needle. It also comprises a directions scale in degrees and sighting tools that take you in an accurate direction.

So, on the whole, it is an excellent mechanical compass so that you can safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors. Overall, it is a very durable and long-lasting compass made up of durable mating deals. It is a very fast device and very easy to use.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The idea for professional hikers
  • Lightweight and precise
  • Safely and accurately navigate the outdoors
  • Ultra-durable materials

Cons

  • Not very fast
Sale
SUUNTO KB-20/360R G Yellow Compass
  • Floating Compass: Ideal for marine, professional and outdoor use, the SUUNTO KB-20 is a floating, light weight, hand bearing compass with a rugged construction; Comes with a lanyard
  • Light Weight and Precise: Weighing less than 2 ounces, the SUUNTO KB 20 features a globally balanced needle, direction scale in degrees and sighting tools for accurate direction taking
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; ideal for marine, professional and outdoor use
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products

7. Sun Company TempaComp – Ball Compass and Thermometer Carabiner

Sun company hiking compass is unique and different from other compasses described above. The reason is that this compass comes with a thermometer carabiner. 

After looking at its design it is called a large ball compass with a thermometer. It is very easy to read and shows two types of readings. If you hold the compass up to eye level, you can view the larger side card for the direction of the travel compass. 

On the other side, if you look down on the top, a smaller card compass is available to view general orientation Cardinal points. Along with the compass, an easy-to-read thermometer is also attached to it. 

Keep in mind that it is beautifully cushion-mounted and provides temperature when you see it. Another impressive thing about this thermometer is that it can easily read down to -30°F. With the help of a carabiner clip, you can easily clip your compass to anything, which is very helpful for easily holding the compass. 

Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Perfect for hiking, camping, and backpacking
  • Accurate compass for orienteering and navigation
  • Easy-to-read ball compass

Cons

  • The clip is very narrow
Sun Company TempaComp - Ball Compass and Thermometer Carabiner | Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping Accessory | Clip On to Backpack or Jacket | Ultralight, Accurate Compass for Navigation and Orienteering
  • Large Ball Compass - Easy to read ball compass shows two readings. Look directly down on the top (smaller card) of compass to view general orientation cardinal points. Hold compass up to eye level and view larger side card for "direction-of-travel" compass.
  • Easy-to-Read Thermometer - Cushion-mounted thermometer provides an "at-a-glance" temperature. Thermometer reads down to a chilly -20°F or -30°C. Perfect for outdoors, camping, backpacking, or hunting.
  • Handy Carabiner Clip - Carabiner allows you to clip TempaComp onto any gear of your choice. From hiking and camping gear to backpacking and climbing, the TempaComp is the perfect accessory for your adventure. Just clip and go!
  • Split Ring Included - TempaComp comes with a split ring so you can attach to your zipper or keychain. One of the essential EDC survival accessories for outdoorsmen/women, hunters, or boy scouts.
  • Note: DO NOT USE THE SIDE CARD FOR GENERAL ORIENTATION PURPOSES. DOING SO WILL CAUSE READINGS TO BE OFF BY 180°

What To Look For When Choosing A Compass

Magnetized Needle

There should be no difficulty in pointing the needle north. Despite being encased in liquid, it can still spin freely. 

If the liquid is at a low temperature, ensure it doesn’t freeze! You should be able to navigate in any season, including winter, with your new compass.

Baseplate

In order to see a map beneath the compass’s baseplate (when you place one on top of another), the compass’s base plate should be transparent. In addition to median lines, side rulers, direction arrows, and a magnifying glass, the baseplate should have additional features. 

Your trek will be easier if you take into account all of these factors. On your hiking trip, a lanyard should also be attached to the baseplate, making it easier for you to carry the compass around.

High-Resolution Bezel

The rotatable bezel surrounds the compass housing, preferably with 360 degrees or even 720 half-degree markings. You will be able to navigate more effectively with a higher resolution.

Declination Adjustment

There is a difference between magnetic north and true north, as you probably know. The difference between two directions (in degrees) is known as declination. 

A compass declination adjustment tool is usually attached to the compass, which helps adjust it for your location.

Luminescence

Your compass should have luminescent markings and a bezel if you need to orient at night. Be sure the model has reliable, long-lasting luminescence.

Longevity

Your priority should be to find a compass that will last. Make sure you choose a sturdy model that won’t break easily. Please ensure the parts of your compass don’t shatter when accidentally dropped or banged against another item in your survival kit, as we’ll see in the next point.

If you want a durable compass, you should get one with an anodized metal housing. Due to anodization, metal does not rust, which prolongs the life of the compass. Additionally, the compass should be able to withstand harmful conditions, such as being immersed in water or sand particles.

Clinometer

The purpose of a clinometer is to measure slope, tilt, angle of the ground, and elevation. You can use this when you want to find out how steep the hill or mountain is or if you need to determine whether you might be in danger of an avalanche.

Sighting Mirror

With this feature, you can see the compass and your target landmark at the same time. In most cases, mirrors have a notch at the top. 

You align the compass with the target by opening the mirror at a 45-degree angle. Once you align the orienting arrow with the mirror, you look into it.

Global Needle

A compass needle can tilt independently of its magnet in some cases. The needle retains its position when the magnet moves up or down with the magnetic field. This means that the tilting magnetic field of Earth doesn’t affect the global needle.

Extra Features

It is necessary to be aware of these features, even though they are unnecessary. Using your compass to its full potential is always possible.

When reading a map and you don’t want the compass to slide, silicone feet under the baseplate are extremely useful. 

Compasses sometimes include whistles. A hiker without a compass can be directed to you by its high-pitched call. 

In reciprocal scales, the landmarks you’re walking toward are positioned at opposite degrees. Using this information, you can draw intersecting lines on the map and pinpoint your position.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Advantage Of A Liquid-Filled Compass?

I think you should pick a compass with a liquid-filled needle so that the needle swings slowly and stops quicker. Button compasses are small compass capsules with no frills. It depends on whether they are liquid filled or not. Only liquid-filled ones are recommended.

How Does The Military Use Compass?

Lensatic compass

The lensatic compass is often called a military compass, first used by the U.S. Military. A lensatic compass is composed of different parts than a baseplate compass.

What Is The Purpose Of Water Inside A Compass?

Fluid-filled compasses are liquid compasses. The fluid absorbs any shocks or vibrations. This step must be taken to prevent any damage to the elements of the liquid compass. Additionally, it improves the readability of the compass needle by stabilizing it.

Final Thoughts

Among the three hiking compass options, the Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass stands out as the best. As well as being ergonomically designed and lightweight, it is also the least expensive and most convenient to carry. 

Additionally, the Sportneer compass is easy to use and will help you stay on course without any issues, so your hiking day on the hills will be more successful and enjoyable. 

If simplicity is what you’re after, then the SUUNTO A-10 compass is a perfect choice. Despite being lightweight and easy to pack, it has all the features a hiker/backpacker needs in a compass.

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