Brunton 8099 Eclipse
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $15
Loaded with features. Clineometer, bearing and back-bearing protractors, correctable for declination, comes with UTM grids for most major US series. Signal mirror. Fluid won't freeze (I tried).
- Roamer grids included
- Survival cards and first aid instructions (does not replace proper certification)
- Fluid won't freeze EVER
- Magnified lens alows for readings as accurate as 30' of a degree.
- Azimuth and Back-Azimuth listed, no addition or subtraction needed.
- Rubber boot gets in the way
This product works as smoothly as any compass that I've used. The lense rotates smoothly and remains grit free/doesn't stick. Allows hyper accurate readings that I've used for first order, amature surveying. Includes roamer grids for UTM/coordinate work in the most commonly used scales/series.
I've put >200 miles on this compass in 4 seasons of Northeast US backpacking. Freeze proof, shock proof, you'll snap it if you abuse it though, it's an instrument not a piece of kevlar. Sighting mirror can be used as signal mirror. Clineometer is a novelty until you need it, then you're glad they included it, can be used as a primitive sextant.
It's a bit of an average compass for all the hoopla. The mirror used to take a sighting is small, and the degree readings are printed on cardboard and aren't visible at all in low light (not luminous). Also, the degree readings are reversed in the 8099's mirror which is a bit of a pain, and the declination adjustment is by friction only, not by geared wheel; slight slippage was a problem on mine and I had to keep checking it when in use. The orienting lines (used to orient the compass to map north) are tiny hashmarkes around the tsa and difficult to use - because the Brunton's style of declination adjustment rotates the compass dial relative to the capsule, they weren't able to put orienting lines in their usual position at the bottom of the capsule.
Biggest problem I found is the compass is clumsy and bulky when it's needed for use with a map or to wear around your neck. You must strip it of its rubber cover and all its cards and impedimentia to get the baseplate to work with the map, find a place to put everything, then re-assemble once you're done. It's advisable to keep the cover on the baseplate otherwise, since the ink markings appear to be simply printed on, not engraved, and have a tendency to wear off with use.
Price Paid: $69
The compass came with a huge bubble, rotation of the proprietary no needle system is suspect as it hangs up and does not free spin when level. Overall quality is poor. Wish I had gotten the Silvia Ranger. Do not recommend purchase.
4.1 in x 2.5 in x 1 in
Feet, mile, meter
USGS 1:24k UTM
Where to Buy
We found the Brunton 8099 Eclipse at 1 outdoor retailer: