Sun Company MiniComp II

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

Dimensions 1.1 in x 2.0 in / 2.9 x 5.1 cm
Weight 0.4 oz / 9 g

Reviews

4

At 9g/.32 oz, the Sun MiniComp II is a surprisingly…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $10

Summary

At 9g/.32 oz, the Sun MiniComp II is a surprisingly well-featured mini-compass that takes up little space and virtually no weight. A great backup to digital technology or a lightweight backup option when you need to check direction.

Don't swap out your go-to Suunto or Silva, but if the ultralight bug has bitten you, this is something to consider for quickly orienting maps or taking a bearing.

Pros

  • Small size and weight
  • Rotating bevel
  • Accurate, within reason
  • Readily packed or carried
  • Liquid-filled
  • Low cost

Cons

  • 10˚ increments on bezel are not very precise
  • Not as accurate as others due to size
  • Luminescent markings fade quickly

When I am in the backcountry, I make it a point to have map and compass with me. I generally carry these even if I am familiar with my surroundings. As I have sought to reduce weight, though, I have sought out lighter and lighter items, and it was this pursuit that made the Sun MiniComp II catch my eye.


Image.jpg

The MiniComp II comes in a cardboard and plastic package with a lanyard; I traded the existing lanyard out of a cord of my own preference. Directions on the back of the packaging instruct one in the basics of taking a bearing and map-to-field and field-to-map orienting.

The compass itself sports a liquid-filled, luminous compass in an acrylic housing. It also has a feature that drew me to this mini-compass: a 360˚ rotating bezel, an unusual feature for inexpensive compasses. The bezel moves easily left and right. The two long sides of the compass feature inch and centimeter rulers which--given the dimensions of the compass itself--are of limited usefulness. The base plate is a fairly thick slab of acrylic; one would be hard-pressed to break this without trying. Physical quality of the compass, then, is good.


Image-3.jpg

Another feature that drew me was the luminous dial—it is always nice to be able to see what you're doing, even if backcountry night navigation is a daunting undertaking. Unfortunately, this feature was disappointing: the glow fades almost as soon as the light source goes out. While it lasts it is nice enough, though.


Image-4.jpg


Image-2.jpg

To test the accuracy, I paired it with my Silva Ranger. The Sun MiniComp II pointed in the same direction as the Ranger, suggesting a basic level of accuracy. The problem, of course, with a compass this size is that the degree markings on the bezel are lumped together by 10's. It would be easy to lose 5˚ or even 10˚ and never realize it due to the small size of the compass bezel. Orient your map, yes, but I wouldn't rely on this for tricky backcountry navigation.


Image-1.jpg

Overall I have found this compass to be useful if one is mindful of its limitations. It is not intended to rival larger compasses in accuracy or functionality, but as a spare or a what-if gear add-on to your day pack, it works reasonably well.

I find it useful for quickly orienting maps, and its light weight makes it easy to forget you are wearing it (I've actually slept with it on because I forgot about it). I like having the functionality of the rotating bezel even if I am not likely to rely on it for complicated navigation. This would be a great intro compass for kids or, for preppers, for a bug-out bag. It is also handy for the quick direction check when moving on-trail. 

G00SE MODERATOR

Another great review. I know I've said that a couple of times, but it's true.


5 months ago
Bill "L.Dog" Garlinghouse

As an old subscriber to the Mountaineer's Ten Essentials, I find it a little incredulous that people would choose to hike the AT without a compass. I have to admit, that I sometimes look at mine; sitting there; rarely touched, and I think how I could cut a couple of ounces if I mailed it home ... This might just meet the requirements of getting reoriented.


5 months ago

Manufacturer's Description

  • Made in USA
  • Liquid-filled luminous compass
  • Rotating 360 degree bezel
  • Acrylic housing is embossed with inch/cm rulers
  • 16" lanyard (41 cm)

Visit Sun Company's MiniComp II page.

Sun Company MiniComp II

MSRP:
$10.00

The Sun Company MiniComp II is not available from the stores we monitor.

If you're looking for a new compass, check out the best reviewed current models.