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Brunton TruArc 15

rated 2.5 of 5 stars
photo: Brunton TruArc 15 handheld compass

Such a pity about the previous reviews...This compass works well!


  • Global Needle
  • Tool-less declination
  • 2 map scales in metric and imperial
  • Dual inclinometer


  • Bearing printing is not amazing
  • No fluorescent markings
  • Bezel turns too easily

The sticker on the bottom is purely to protect the base of the capsule before the user receives it. Open the box take out the compass and peel the whole sticker off the base and there you have it, perfectly map worthy.

I'll admit that there are some small flaws like the rotation of the bezel (would be nice to have some resistance) and the printing of the bearings is not perfect, but the rest of the compass does a perfectly good job.

The reverse bearing is upside down (which I happen to see as an advantage) and allows you to differentiate between your true and back azimuths easily. The declination adjustment may seem difficult to get right at first but holding the bezel tight and rotating the capsule has produced very good results for me.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: R900

Do not buy this compass. Buy a better one. You will anyway if you buy this one.


  • Comes with a roamer


  • The compass can fall out of base, mine did
  • Two sets of degree scales, no explanation of use
  • Mirror on opposite end from travel arrow

I found nothing to compliment the actual compass. It is poorly constructed when the bezel falls out when trying to set declination. Loss of the bezel in the field could get you killed.

There are two degree scales on the bezel that confuse setting direction of travel because the mirror is on the wrong end of the base. If you align the north end of the needle with the red needle on the baseplate while sighting through the hole beneath the mirror and then attempt to use your direction of travel arrow without any further adjustments you will be going 180 degrees away from your destination. This is not explained in the instructions and could again cause death.

There is a reason why most companies put their mirrors on the same end that the direction of travel arrow points to. There should only be one set of degree markings on a bezel when you are cold, confused, and your life is on the line. The bezel also moved laterally in the base with slight pressure resulting in loss of accuracy.

Do not buy the mirrored compass. Buy the baseplate only compass and learn the right way.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $39.99

Not designed by someone who ever used a compass.


  • Global needle


  • The capsule does not have a transparent bottom
  • Difficult to read the bearing
  • No night time fluorescence

The idea of a compass with a global needle is always a good, one would presume. Pity is that the execution is horrible.

The declination adjustment angles/inclination angles and the grid lines at the bottom of the capsule are printed *on a sticker*, which means, that (1) you cannot align the capsule with the grid lines in a map and (2) it might just fall off. In most online images this is not obvious because the background is also white, buyer beware!

The compass could be very precise, possibly to half a degree but one is expected to read direct and inverse bearing from the small magnifying lens on the bezel. Sadly the inverse bearing is closer to the edge, and thus it is bigger and easier to read, if we ignore that it is upside down; the direct bearing is actually difficult to read. The lack of the N/S/E/W markings on the bezel is also annoying (you must at all times keep in mind 90 is East, 270 is West etc).  

In sum, the bearings are difficult and fiddly to read, the compass does not work easily with a map. It has a global needle apparently, but then who cares?

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: too much

Very well made. And before you complain as many have done regarding the double bearings...LEARN THE COMPASS VERY WELL!

Somebody has commented that the double azimuth is confusing and the mirror in this compass is placed wrong. 

Well do not make a conclusion, unless you have made your homework very well. 

Before a product is made, professionals are involved. So before your your homework very well in learning the compass in this case.

The destination arrow is black. Which means the black bearings are made for this. 

But when you look through the sighting hole to locate a landmark then the green or blue...the inner bearings should be followed. 

It's pretty easy and profesionally made.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 55 $

Literally useless as a compass.


  • Glows well enough in the dark I guess


  • Needle did not point to Magnetic North straight out of the package
  • Needle's direction is influenced by the bezel itself when rotating, pulls off of bearing

Compared its bearing to a Cammenga Lensatic compass as well as two electronic compasses and found this to be off by almost 20 degrees sometimes.

The bezel's two glow dots actually affected the needle itself, pulling it away from North and along with the direction of the glow-dots as you rotate and would actually pull the needle around off North.

Not sure if this is a batch of lemons as I cannot understand how some people give 4-5 star reviews and others like me have apparently broken compasses. 


Plenty outdoors backpacking/hiking with other analog compasses—this doesn't even make a decent paperweight.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65

Not something I'll recommend.


  • Lots of different good functions come with this compass.


  • Chintzy plastic make it about worthless, unless you're careful.

All the different tools and function that come with this are a good idea in theory but, when you put it together with chintzy plastic it doesn't matter how good of a cool idea you have. When you put it into play it can become a piece of trash really quick.

And that is my experience with this compass.  They could have used some better lightweight material to snap things together. The center piece pushed out so easily and the plastic holding it in broke too. I couldn't believe I just spent $50 on something made so damn cheaply.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: About 50$

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Price MSRP: $59.99
Current Retail: $59.99-$79.95
Historic Range: $32.97-$79.95
Reviewers Paid: $39.99-$65.00
Weight 3.2 oz / 91 g
Overall Dimensions 4 x 2.5 x 0.6 in / 10.16 x 6.3 x 1.5 cm
Features TruArcTM Global Needle, Ever-North Magnet, Map Magnifier, Sighting Mirror, Bubble Level, Clinometer, Magnified Readout, 1° Resolution, high visibility cling for enhanced performance in low light which can also be removed to facilitate taking a bearing from a map
Product Details from Brunton »