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Handheld Compasses

The best handheld compasses, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on February 22, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

In order to show you the most useful information, we have omitted some unreviewed products. View the complete product list »

Recent Handheld Compass Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
Brunton TruArc 15

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 complaints...do your homework very well in learning the compass in this case. The destination arrow is black. Which means the… Full review

rated 2 of 5 stars
Cammenga Tritium Lensatic Compass 3H

Way too inaccurate. Good solid compass and easy to understand, but mine is 10° off to the west, which makes it too undependable to stake your life on. Cammenga says they'll repair it for $50??? Really? A new compass? Full review

rated 1 of 5 stars
Silva Ranger CL

It failed out of the blue and could have got me killed. Warranty is dependent on the merchant. Not impressed. Could have bought cheap Chinese and had same experience. Used it for about a year and it was fine. Then one day I was out in the bush and it seemed off and then I tested it and it had no accuracy at all. Good thing my partner found me or I would have been in big trouble because of it.   The warranty is a joke—totally dependent on the merchant. Not impressed with their product.  Full review

rated 3 of 5 stars
Brunton TruArc 5

Air bubbles at low temp. Unsure about durability of decal. I purchased 12 of these for our Scout Troop. We have found that large air bubbles form in each of them when at low temperatures. Once they warm back up to room temperature the bubbles go away. Have reached out to Brunton support, and depending on their response we may return them to the store we purchased them at and go with the Silva Explorer Pro. Full review

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Brunton TruArc 15

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Cammenga Tritium Lensatic Compass 3H

I have used the milspec/issue Tritium H3 clam since 1979. 4 stars for accuracy and occasional pivot point/card slip, but for the $, it's great. Lasts about 10-12 years, then donated to scouts. Also used the Pyser M-73 (degrees) Black Liquid Prismatic Compass and MILS a lot in locations not friendly to U.S. It too is 5 stars. A great compass. Beware of Amazon and eBay knockoffs. If it's a life support kit, DO NOT skimp.     Full review

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Brunton TruArc 15

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

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Cammenga Tritium Lensatic Compass 3H

Very well built, impressive compass, at least until the lens fell out. I bought two of these compasses over the years. The first one I lost on a hunting trip, and when I went back to look for it, well, the olive drab paint is difficult to spot in the grass. Take that as a plus or minus, depending on your perspective. The second one I bought I used for all types of activities. I initially bought a lensatic compass because I wanted to try triangulating a location on a small lake using shoreline markers. Full review

rated 1 of 5 stars
Brunton TruArc 15

Not designed by someone who ever used a compass. 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! Full review