User Review: Brunton 8096 GPS Eclipse
Pros: Mechanically accurate, lightweight, affordable. Lots of map scales. One of the few compasses with a 1:24K right-angle romer scale for use with USGS topo maps, making it ideal to plot one's position when traveling in the U.S., especially when using GPS. One-degree compass markings, adjustable declination.
Cons: Baseplate markings wear off with use. The 8096's degree markings are printed on cardboard, and the circle-on-circle indicators are NOT luminous, so the compass is entirely unreadable in low light (a flashlight is a must). The direction-of-travel arrow is TINY and difficult to precisely align with a small landmark to take a precise compass bearing from the waist. While the 8096 may be GPS friendly, it is NOT really MAP friendly in my opinion. Its curved shape loses you the valuable upper straightedge normally most used to trace routes on the map, and the large 'circle-of-error' position marking holes just waste space. The declination adjustment is weird and rotates the compass dial in relation to the capsule, so that the compass cannot be properly used as map protractor unless reset each time back to zero, then reset again when used to take field bearings (forget to reset the declination just one time, and all your field bearings are going to be off). Also, there are no orienting lines on base of capsule, just a couple of tiny red lines on the compass dial, which makes it rather difficult to align the compass with map north.