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Handheld Compasses

The best handheld compasses, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on September 24, 2021. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

In order to show you the most useful information, we have omitted some unreviewed products. View all handheld »

Recent Handheld Compass Reviews

rated 4 of 5 stars
Suunto M-3D Leader Compass

Very good well made compass. Hard to see in dim light. Nice choice for regular long distance navigation use. Unlike old model, new models lack outline box to center southern portion of needle over. I like the older model. Very good well made compass. Hard to see in dim light.  Nice choice for regular long distance navigation use.    Unlike old model, new models lack outline box to center southern portion of needle over.   I like the older model. Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Suunto Clipper

The Suunto IS available again. Good small Compass. I put a small lanyard through the clip and put it in my pocket - not on wrist. Excellent for general direction finding. I would have preferred the old "Comet" model - which was the same compass, but mounted on a small baseplate instead of a clip on. Takes a few moments for direction indicator to settle - not for racing. A great choice for backup of GPS, or ultra light backpacker. The Suunto IS available again.  Good small Compass.  I put a small… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Cammenga Tritium Lensatic Compass 3H

An accurate and tough compass that will give a lifetime of service. The Tritium won't, but this can be replaced by Cammenga every 13 years or so. I have used this compass for the past year but have tried out a phosphorescent version for some time. I use the 3H mainly for navigating at darker times as we move to lookout areas for early morning calling. I do take it out on hikes and walks to keep skills up and really like the lensatic compasses for navigation. When they are quality built they are… Full review

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