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Brunton 3DLU

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The 3DLU has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best handheld compasses for 2023.

photo: Brunton 3DLU handheld compass

The Brunton 3DLU - or as it is known outside North America, the Silva 3 - is one of Silva of Sweden's most famous compass models. The name change is the result of a trademark ruling. In 1997, Silva of Sweden AB, the Swedish manufacturer and originator of the Silva compass, lost the right to market this compass under the 'Silva' name in North America. Consequently, it now markets the Silva 3 as the Brunton 3DLU in the USA and Canada (Silva of Sweden has owned Brunton since 1996).

A standard, no-frills baseplate or protractor compass, the 3DLU has scales appropriate for USGS (USA) topo maps instead of the metric scales on the Silva 3 version. This is a reliable, accurate compass - the basic type has changed little over the years, having been used in both North America and Europe for recreational navigation by thousands of people (Silva even sells a Silva 3 'Militaire' version for use by military forces).

It has a magnifying glass for reading small map print, a manual declination scale (this is NOT a presettable mechanism, but rather a scale used for manually adding/subtracting declination each time a bearing is taken), a good-size direction-of-travel arrow, and a rubberized grip for convenience in adjusting the compass dial.

No thermometers, rubber booties, or mirrors to fall off - just a good, basic baseplate compass. Providing that presettable declination is not a requirement, this is all the compass most wilderness navigators will need.

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Price Historic Range: $16.99-$26.20

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