7 Best Compasses

7 Best Compasses

14
Hours
Researched
95
Products
Evaluated

After 14 hours of research evaluating 95 products, we picked SUUNTO MC-2G Compass as our top choice.

Getting lost while hiking or backpacking can be dangerous!

You may wind up in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service to call for help, even with no battery life to use your cell phone’s GPS.

When that happens, you need a compass.

A pocket compass is the one navigational tool you absolutely can’t live without when out in the wilderness.

It’ll never run out of battery, doesn’t need cell service, and is very hard to break. Best of all, it will always tell you how to get back to safety, no matter how deep in the wilderness you are.

If you’re going out into the wild, always take a compass!

Below, we’ve got a complete list of the best compass options for you. After thorough research into hundreds of products and reading thousands of reviews, we’ve found the pocket compass choices that will keep you safe and on course when out in the middle of nowhere.

Happy navigating!

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

7 Best Compasses

  • 7. AceCamp Munkees Small Compass and Thermometer Keychain
  • 6. SUUNTO M-9 Wrist Compass
  • 5. Suunto Clipper L/B Compass
  • 4. Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass
  • 3. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass
  • 2. Cammenga Official US Miltary Tritium Lensatic Compass
  • 1. SUUNTO MC-2G Compass

Best Keychain Compass

#7

AceCamp Munkees Small Compass and Thermometer Keychain

Best Keychain Compass: AceCamp Munkees Small Compass and Thermometer Keychain
Design
9.0
Durability
8.5
Navigation Features
8.0
Value
8.5
Overall
85%
85 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
18 Bought

Why People Love it

  • A compass you can carry around everywhere you go
  • Clips onto your car keys, backpack, or fits in a pocket
  • Lightweight, compact, and ultraportable

Super lightweight, just 2 ½ inches long, compass and thermometer, durable, high quality materials, 30-day free return policy, and easy to read.

Functionality is minimal, and this compass is not the most accurate.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

At just 2.5 inches long, this little keychain compass is perfect for you to use wherever you are. Clip it onto your key chain, put it in your pocket, or wear it on a lanyard—however you wear it, it’s highly portable and easy to carry.

Durability

8.5 / 10

Built from durable plastic, it’s fully waterproof, damage-resistant, and scratch-resistant.

Navigation Features

8.0 / 10

The compass comes with basic navigation features, a mostly accurate needle (for magnetic north, not always true north), and a bezel displaying the 16 compass points. However, it also has a built-in thermometer (Celsius and Fahrenheit). It’s great for casual use when hiking or camping, and it’ll go wherever your car or RV keys go!

Value

8.5 / 10

At $5, this is a total steal! You’ll never be really lost when you’ve got one of these bad boys on your key chain.

Overall Editor Score

8.5 / 10

Best Wrist Compass

#6

SUUNTO M-9 Wrist Compass

Best Wrist Compass: SUUNTO M-9 Wrist Compass
Design
8.5
Durability
8.5
Navigation Features
8.0
Value
8.0
Overall
83%
83 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
17 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Easy to use even with heavy winter or work gloves
  • Highly durable, waterproof, and resistant to damage
  • Switch out wristbands if the included one breaks

Reliable, wear it on your wrist for hands-free portability, easily-rotated serrated bezel ring, compact, the perfect supplement to a larger compass, water-resistant, and highly accurate in the Northern Hemisphere.

Won’t work south of the Equator and too small to be the most accurate compass.

Expert Ratings

Design

8.5 / 10

Built like your classic sports watch, this compass is designed to be worn like a wristwatch, allowing for hands-free carrying and easy readings on the go. Though you have to hold it very level to get an accurate reading, it’s easy to use and will help you stay on track even if you don’t have a free hand to carry a compass.

Durability

8.5 / 10

Definitely a plus with this bad boy! It’s resistant to water, rain, snow, dust, sand, or dirt, and you’ll find it can take quite the beating before giving out. You can even switch out the wrist bands, making it easy to find a style that suits you best.

Navigation Features

8.0 / 10

Navigation with this compass isn’t quite as good as you could ask for, as it’s too small to get a truly accurate reading. However, you’ll love the fact that the rotating bezel can be ratcheted into place for quick and easy navigation, and the serrated bezel can be turned by even heavily-gloved hands.

Though it won’t work in the Southern Hemisphere, it’ll serve you well in the Northern Hemisphere, doubling as a back-up compass to use with your higher-grade orienteering compass. It’ll just be so much handier when trying to take quick measurements on the go!

Value

8.0 / 10

At $26, it’s a tad pricier than you might expect, but well worth the cost if you need a compact, highly portable navigation tool to add to your hiking gear.

Overall Editor Score

8.3 / 10

Best Clip-On Compass

#5

Suunto Clipper L/B Compass

Best Clip-On Compass: Suunto Clipper L/B Compass
Design
9.0
Durability
8.5
Navigation Features
8.5
Value
8.5
Overall
86%
86 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
19 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Compact, easy to carry, and very reliable
  • Clip it onto your watch band, pocket, gloves, or hat
  • Easy to read, highly accurate

Highly compact, clip it onto anything, lightweight, accurate readings, luminous dial lights up in the dark, rotating bezel, 10-degree increments, made in Finland, durable, easy to read, and available for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

May fall off and get lost if not securely clipped in place.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

This little clip-on compass is ideal for hikers who are already loaded down with gear and want a back-up tool that doesn’t weigh a lot. At just 1 inch tall and 4 inches wide, you’ll find it travels easily no matter how heavy your pack. Just clip it onto your watch band, sleeve, map, backpack strap, or your pocket for easy portability.

Durability

8.5 / 10

Made of high-impact plastic, you’ll find this little compass can survive falls, drops, water, snow, rain, and heavy dust. It’s built to last, and you’ll find it does an amazing job of keeping up with you no matter where you go or what you do.

Navigation Features

8.5 / 10

It’s a very simple compass: liquid-filled jewel bearing with a rotating bezel that comes in 10-degree increments, and a luminous dial that lights up in the dark for nighttime navigation. No fancy frills with this little compass—just maximum portability and ease of use!

Value

8.5 / 10

At $15, this is definitely on the budget side, and you can rest assured that the compass will serve its job well every time you take it out into the wild with you.

Overall Editor Score

8.6 / 10

Best EDC Orienteering Compass

#4

Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass

Best EDC Orienteering Compass: Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass
Design
8.0
Durability
8.5
Navigation Features
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
86%
86 % Editor Score
88 % User Score
16 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Your ideal compass for everyday orienteering use
  • Highly reliable and accurate tool
  • Comfortable and lightweight, easy to carry

Lightweight and compact, global needle, inch/cm measurements, adjustable declination can be read without any additional tools, 2-degree bezel, made in the USA, perfect for EDC use, highly resistant to magnetic interference, and easy to hold.

Non-luminous face—you’ll need a light source to take readings in the dark.

Expert Ratings

Design

8.0 / 10

The design is simple: the compass housing (including bezel and declination tool) built atop a plastic ruler to take measurements. It’s small enough to sit in the palm of your hand and is so lightweight you’ll hardly feel a thing carrying it all day long.

Durability

8.5 / 10

Durability is about average with this compass—the plastic can handle a lot of daily wear and tear as well as shock, water, dust, and sand. However, if you’re expecting maximum durability, you’re better off considering other options—without a cover to protect the compass, the glass case is at risk of breakage.

Navigation Features

9.0 / 10

This compass comes with tool-free declination adjustment, making it easier to get accurate readings of true north without magnetic north interfering with your compass. It also includes metric and imperial measurements for more accurate orienteering, a responsible needle resistant to magnetic interference, and a rotary bezel marked at 2-degree increments. The only thing it doesn’t have is a luminous dial for easy night readings—you’ll need a flashlight for that.

Value

9.0 / 10

At $13, this is the sort of compass you can take with you everywhere you go and use it anytime. It’s conveniently lightweight and compact, inexpensive, and a great EDC choice if you’re hiking or backpacking.

Overall Editor Score

8.6 / 10

Best Pocket Compass for Boating

#3

Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass

Best Pocket Compass for Boating: Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass
Design
9.0
Durability
9.0
Navigation Features
9.5
Value
8.5
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
17 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Highly accurate long-distance readings; great for use on a lake or ocean
  • Durable, waterproof, and very reliable
  • Broad range of navigational tools make finding your way on land and water a breeze

Highly durable metal body, glows in the dark, highly accurate, waterproof, shock-resistant, shakeproof, includes clinometer, takes accurate long-distance readings, and includes lanyard to prevent it slipping into the water.

Heavier than your average compass.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

The metal body protects the compass itself, and the metal-built navigation tools won’t wear out or fade with regular use. It’s even built to stand on a tripod for hands-free orienteering.

It comes with a lanyard you can sling over your neck or around the steering wheel of your boat, keeping it from falling overboard as you sail or row.

Durability

9.0 / 10

Built from solid aluminum, this compass is waterproof, shock-resistant, shakeproof, and rust-resistant. You’ll find that it can be submerged in up to 30 meters of water without a single leak or crack.

Navigation Features

9.5 / 10

The compass lights up in the dark, allowing you to chart your course in even the darkest night. The bubble level and clinometer will help you measure the angle and elevation of slopes, and the adjustable diopter sighting lens is excellent for taking long-distance readings when out at sea. It even comes with a built-in measurement conversion chart to help you as you take measurements, and the magnifying viewer will make it easier to see your maps and charts.

Value

8.5 / 10

At $25, it’s not the cheapest compass on our list, but certainly one of the best! It’s durable, compact, and highly reliable as a navigational tool.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Military Compass

#2

Cammenga Official US Miltary Tritium Lensatic Compass

Best Military Compass: Cammenga Official US Miltary Tritium Lensatic Compass
Design
9.0
Durability
9.5
Navigation Features
9.0
Value
8.5
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
94 % User Score
17 Bought

Why People Love it

  • The toughest, most reliable compass on the market
  • Built to survive any weather, temperature, and hardcore use
  • Incredibly accurate and easy to use

Incredibly durable cast aluminum frame, fully waterproof, perfect for low-light conditions, 12-year lifespan on the built-in lights, shockproof and sandproof, incredibly accurate, performs in low and high temperature climates, and made in the USA.

Very high price tag.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

Built with a powder-coated aluminum frame, this compass is guaranteed to survive just about anything you can throw at it. The metal case snaps tightly shut, protecting the compass, and the navigation tools are built into the durable aluminum frame.

Durability

9.5 / 10

The compass is fully waterproof, shockproof, and sandproof, and it works perfectly in temperatures ranging from -50F to 150F. The non-liquid-filled needle housing won’t be affected by temperatures or climate, guaranteeing an accurate read anywhere you are. And, thanks to that tough aluminum frame, you can always rest assured the compass will stand up to any conditions!

Navigation Features

9.0 / 10

The compass is fairly simple—it has a magnifying lens, sight wire, and dial graduations in both degrees to guarantee the most accurate readings. The copper induction ring on the compass also stops the needle’s rotation quickly, allowing you to take faster readings. And, thanks to the seven built-in tritium micro lights, you can navigate easily in the dark.

Value

8.5 / 10

At a starting price of $110, this is definitely the most expensive compass on our list, but it’s absolutely worth the cost if you want a compass that will keep up with any outdoor activity you throw at it, no matter how rough or rugged.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Compass Overall

#1

SUUNTO MC-2G Compass

Best Compass Overall: SUUNTO MC-2G Compass
Design
9.0
Durability
9.0
Navigation Features
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
97 % User Score
24 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Luminous outer rings makes for easy nighttime navigation
  • Highly precise navigation tool, dependable and easy to use
  • Easy-grip design, lightweight, easy to carry

Global needle works anywhere in the world, high quality product, excellent durability, sighting mirror included, wrist-locking lanyard, multiple rulers, 2-degree bezel increments, glows in the dark, and lightweight.

On the pricier side and does not include a tool for declination adjustment.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

Lightweight (at just 2.65 ounces) and measuring just 2.5 inches by 3.98 inches by 0.71 inches, this is a navigator’s dream. It’s designed to be highly effective to use day and night (thanks to the glow-in-the-dark bezel ring), and it’s compact enough to fit in any pocket, pouch, or pack.

Durability

9.0 / 10

The plastic base plate is highly durable, and you’ll find it’s easy to grip and comfortable to hold for long hours as you use your compass to navigate. The numbers will wear out with regular use, however.

The compass comes with a cover to protect the mirror, base plate, bezel ring, and the compass’ glass case. While it’s not the sturdiest cover, it’s more than strong enough to keep your compass from being damaged by water, dust, snow, or debris, and it will ensure you get many happy years of use from the compass.

Navigation Features

9.0 / 10

Not only does the plastic base plate come with a magnifying lens (to make map-reading easy), but you’ll love the inch-marked straight edge ruler, the adjustment key that comes built into the included wrist lanyard, and the two-degree bezel increments.

Though this compass doesn’t include a declination adjustment tool, it does come with a mirror for more accurate and reliable readings. The global needle will also work anywhere in the world (Northern or Southern Hemisphere) and its bearings are as accurate as it gets!

Value

9.0 / 10

At just under $60, this is definitely on the pricier side, but well worth it if you’re looking for a compass that offers maximum precision and a user-friendly design.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 7 Best Compasses

7 Best CompassesDesignDurabilityNavigation FeaturesValueOverall
SUUNTO MC-2G Compass Thumbnail
Best Compass Overall
#1SUUNTO MC-2G Compass
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
90
Cammenga Official US Miltary Tritium Lensatic Compass Thumbnail
Best Military Compass
#2Cammenga Official US Miltary Tritium Lensatic Compass
9.0
9.5
9.0
8.5
90
Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass Thumbnail
Best Pocket Compass for Boating
#3Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass
9.0
9.0
9.5
8.5
90
Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass Thumbnail
Best EDC Orienteering Compass
#4Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.0
86
Suunto Clipper L/B Compass Thumbnail
Best Clip-On Compass
#5Suunto Clipper L/B Compass
9.0
8.5
8.5
8.5
86
SUUNTO M-9 Wrist Compass Thumbnail
Best Wrist Compass
#6SUUNTO M-9 Wrist Compass
8.5
8.5
8.0
8.0
83
AceCamp Munkees Small Compass and Thermometer Keychain Thumbnail
Best Keychain Compass
#7AceCamp Munkees Small Compass and Thermometer Keychain
9.0
8.5
8.0
8.5
85

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Article Staff

Fitness has come hard for Andy; he's had to work for it. But, his trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, a NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise and healthy living. That’s why he’s our resident fitness expert.

His favorite food is lettuce-leaf steak tacos – though he’ll admit to a love of hot wings if you leverage the right pressure.

We know him as the guy who understands British humor and wishes everyone was as passionate about life as he is. His previous forays into the worlds of international business and education have left him wildly optimistic. And, if that wasn’t enough, he's also a best-selling, award-winning author of fantasy novels! Can you say renaissance?

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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7 Best Compasses

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