Well I'm not an adventure racer, just an ordinary hiker. But I do know this: there's a big difference between equipment suited for people competing in a specialized event, where broken equipment is just a bummer, not something that can cost your your life, and hikers who need reliable equipment for day-to-day navigation in remote wilderness.
My 8096 may be suited for a race, but I don't trust it for remote wilderness. For one thing, the compass seems definitely more prone to developing a bubble at cold, high elevations than other similar-price compasses I own (Silva 4, Suunto M-3 Leader). For another, the compass declination adjustment is not that positive on mine and I have to keep double-checking it to make sure it hasn't moved. Also, where are the alignment lines on the bottom of the capsule for use on a map like every other baseplate compass? All you get are a couple of red lines on the outside of the dial that are really hard to line up with a map meridian. The curved 'ergonomic' baseplate isn't of any use in drawing a course on the map, so for west-to-east routes you must remove and reverse the compass on the map, or else use a separate straightedge which is a pain (the 8096 does have a removable, too-short 'ruler' edge that can be used, but it quickly loosens up with such behavior, and then is lost). Whoever designed that curved edge obviously didn't use map and compass together in the field.
The circle-over-circle design 'needle' seems an answer to a problem that doesn't exist. Compared to a normal arrow-style magnetic needle, the circle design floats quite a bit, is more sensitive to small movements, and doesn't come to rest as quickly. The thin acrylic baseplate has printed markings that quickly wear off in use, because they're not engraved into the baseplate.
As to 'lifetime warranties', all name-brand compass companies offer this type of service. Thing is, one shouldn't have any problems to begin with with any reputable compass costing $20 or more. This is the difference between needing a compass for a race versus one that works when hiking remote country. Remember, you can't exchange a sticking compass with a bubble while atop a mountain or deep in wilderness!
Price Paid: $40
I’m an adventure racer and an adventure race director. As a racer this is the compass I have settled on after trying many. As a race director I often hold navigation clinics in conjunction with our events. Therefore I wanted a compass that worked for everyone. This compass is ideal.
It has the standard declination adjustment so there is no need to remember if I need to add or subtract when I’m in a sleep deprived race state. It has the baseplate scales to allow you to recheck plots in the field. It has the circle in the circle system so you can’t confuse which end of the needle points north.
But what I think is best about the compass is the awesome support from Brunton. The compass has a lifetime warrantee so if there is ever a problem, just send it back. I’ve never had any problems with anyone at Brunton. (I've posted this review in several locations so I apologize if you've read it elsewhere - I love the compass and am happy to say so in any review forum).
Where to Buy
The Brunton 8096-AR is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
On Sale. Brunton 8096-AR Adventure Racing Compass DECENT FEATURES of the Brunton 8096-AR Adventure Racing Compass Circle-over-circle alignment system Fast settling needle Tool-free declination adjustable Magnified read-out for 1deg accuracy Reversible slide scale 100 m confidence circles Wrist lanyard Latitude/Longitude/UTM map tool Graduations: 1deg Baseplate Scales: Inch and mm Map Scales: 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36k Roamer Scales: 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36 k and 1:250 k UTM Template tool Scales: 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36k Lat and Long Scales: 1:100k UTM Scale: 1:100k Overall Dimensions: 5.2in. x 2.8in. x 0.5in. Weight: 1.7 oz Warranty: Limited lifetime
Brunton built the Eclipse Adventure Racing Compass especially for adventure racers. Brunton's patented circle-over-circle system prevents tired competitors from accidentally taking a reading in reverse, and a global needle ensures this compass works anywhere in the world. UTM roamer scales and template scales make the Eclipse Adventure Racing Compass a great companion to your GPS. The Eclipse also includes several map measurement scales for easy map reading. The extra-thick baseplate holds up under challenging course conditions. A wrist lanyard comes with this compass.
Our 8096 AR is the first compass built specifically for adventure racers. The patented circle-over-circle system gives this compass Eclipsea status, and the UTM roamer scales take this tool to the next level. A global needle makes this compass a world traveler and an extra-thick baseplate ensures strength on the course. This compass includes a latitude, longitude and UTM template for those critical details and is the perfect companion for a GPS.5.2x2.8x0.5 1.7 oz Circle-over-circle alignment system Tool-free declination adjustable Magnified read-out for 1 degree accuracy 1 degree graduations Baseplate scales - Inch & mm reversible slide scale. 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k 1:63.36 k & 1:250 k UTM roamer scales & 1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36k map scales 100 m confidence circles Includes latitude, longitude & UTM map template tool Template tool scales -1:24k, 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:62.5k, 1:63.36k & 1:100k latitude-longitude scales & 1:100k UTM scale Wrist lanyard Lifetime warranty Additional Information Brunton Manufacturer Website
- Mountains Plus
The Adventure Racing Compass from Brunton is the first compass built specifically for adventure racers. The patented circle-over-circle system gives this compass Eclipse status, and the UTM roamer scales take this tool to the next level.
- Mountain Gear