Brunton 8099 Eclipse

rated 3.5 of 5 stars (4)
photo: Brunton 8099 Eclipse handheld compass


Price MSRP: $78.00
Historic Range: $24.95-$106.00
Reviewers Paid: $15.00-$75.00
Weight 3.6 oz
Overall dimensions 4.1 in x 2.5 in x 1 in
Scales Feet, mile, meter
Map scale USGS 1:24k UTM


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
  • Clineometer
  • Magnified lens alows for readings as accurate as 30' of a degree.
  • Azimuth and Back-Azimuth listed, no addition or subtraction needed.


  • Klunky
  • Rubber boot gets in the way
  • Pricepoint

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.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $15

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.

Easy to use compass. Very intuitive. Customer support is the best.


  • Very intuitive
  • Durable
  • Customer support is the best


  • Needle housing group may need to be replaced

I have had this compass since 2006 or 2007. I first learned map and compass in the military and I think that this compass is more intuitive than military compasses. The declination is very easy to set and needs no tools. It comes with a lifetime warranty. Normally, I would have given this a four-star rating, but because of the great customer support, I upgraded to five stars.

After 3 or 4 years of use, the needle started sticking to the housing group. I called Brunton support and they immediately sent me a new needle housing group with no questions asked. A few years later, a bubble formed in the new needle housing group and again Brunton support sent me a new needle housing group and so far no new problems. It has been 5 or 6 years with the latest needle housing group and it works just like new.

I haven't compared the accuracy with other compasses, but with the sightings that I have taken with my topo maps, it seems to be right on.

It is made of a durable plastic. I try to take good care of my gear and it seems to be in mint condition after 11 or 12 years.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75


Thanks for the review, Pointman!

2 years ago

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.

Price Paid: $69


Silvas are not what they used to be my friend. Dont trust your life to it!

7 years ago

The 8099, like other Eclipse models, was made in China, and some had issues with bubbles developing in the relatively shallow capsule. The newer O.S.S. models from Brunton have been redesigned and are all made in the USA

6 years ago

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