Kasper & Richter Meridian Pro
Price Paid: US$158
This is a compass/hand transit made by the German firm Kasper & Richter. This compass is similar to the Brunton hand transit (also known as the M1 or M2 compass), but is about $60 - $150 less expensive-depending on the Brunton model used for comparison.
I've been using mine now for several months and love it. The accuracy is +/- 1 degree or better. The Meridian Pro is easy to read, has a leveling bubble, international needle, sapphire bearing, near indestructible capsule, and many other features that will make this a compass for a life time of use! I've been up and down 6000 plus feet in under 24 hours and tested the Meridian Pro from freezing temperatures to +20C degrees and no bubble forms as promised. As for navigation the accuracy is extreme and this compass really performs.
It comes in two models: the Meridian and the Meridian Pro. The difference is an inclinometer on the Pro. I like this feature. The K & R line has other models that are less expensive, excellent quality, and precise enough for anyone adventuring into the hinterland; but if one can be spoiled once in a while, the Meridian and Meridian Pro are the ticket.
The K & R Meridian Pro is an extremely accurate and near bullet proof compass that will last a lifetime and is designed for the serious outdoors person. I do not believe anyone who reads these reviews or subscribes to this website is anything less than serious about the outdoors or the gear we need and love. This is your compass!
Update: April 22, 2011
I've had this compass for three years now. It is one tough and useful tool. I've used it to rough survey my property, our trails, and just plain navigate in our rugged mountainous Coastal Rockies.
The accuracy is outstanding, durability excellent, and ease of use wonderful. Yes, I know, it is overkill for most trail walking and trekking in parks but what the heck it was a gift and I love having such a beautiful precise piece of equipment. Besides, where we live we do not have the trails that other places have, so a little overkill isn't a bad thing.
My kids and I also do some prospecting and laying out a claim calls for a bit of accuracy so as not to overlap onto another claim accidently (there are some pretty cranky old prospecters up here).
Anyways, a simple quality baseplate model will do or most trail walking and trekking, a good quality sighting compass is just that much better, and this is a Ferrari where a Ford will do, but once in awhile ain't it nice to drive a Ferrari?