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Suunto Clipper

photo: Suunto Clipper handheld compass

Specs

Price MSRP: $19.95
Current Retail: $19.89-$20.00
Historic Range: $4.93-$20.00
Reviewers Paid: $8.95-$19.00
Measurements 30 x 24 x 11 mm / 1.18 x 0.94 x 0.43 in
Weight 5 g / 0.18 oz

Reviews

5 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   2
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   1

The Suunto IS available again. Good small compass. I put a small lanyard through the clip and put it in my pocket—not on a 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 ultralight backpackers.

Pros

  • TINY, weighs under .25 ounce
  • Rotating bezel to set direction of travel like a full size compass

Cons

  • Unpainted direction arrow hard to see with old eyes. (I put a streak of white nail polish on it.)
  • I wish it had a straight edge parallel to "go" direction to make use with map easier.
  • Direction indicator must be held level, and takes a few moments to settle—a fine tradeoff for the small size.

Unlike eBay knockoffs, markings are engraved (not just printed) onto the plastic bezel, direction indicator works better, faster, and is less sensitive to tilt.

A great choice for backup of GPS.

A great choice for the ultra light backpacker.

Experience

Very experienced with baseplate compasses from Suunto, Silva, and Brunton.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, J. Barleycorn! Thanks for sharing your first gear reviews with us.


1 month ago

A handy compass, easy to read, can be clipped on to backpack shoulder straps, bike packs, whatever.

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Swings north quickly every time (keep it away from ferrous metal).
  • Easy to clip on anywhere for a fast direction check.
  • Luminous

Cons

  • Not intended for precise navigation (not really a negative as that's not what it was designed for).
  • Be careful how you clip it on. Some straps are too thin or not the right width.

I've had my Clipper since 2009. I bought it from Brunton, where my niece and sister-in-law worked assembling the classic Brunton Pocket Transit, which I used many years ago for surveying along with a plumb bob, surveyor's chain, and of course, topo maps. My niece was the production manager at Brunton, and when they downsized she was the only one assembling the Pocket Transit, in Riverton, Wyoming.

Anyway, along with the Clipper I have a couple other compasses—one is a Brunton, and the other is a Suunto. I also have some very good Brunton compact binoculars. All that is to say that the Brunton and Suunto prodcts I have have served me very well.

I clip it onto whatever pack I'm carrying or onto my bike's handlebar bag. The Clipper gives me a very fast look at whatever direction I'm going, and I don't have to use my hands to check direction. It has proved valuable out in the woods, on the road, in cities, especially where nothing is written in English (as in China), and even for helping me get out of the mall.

Mine has a little bubble which doesn't really affect the function. That came from being up to 17,400 feet in Tibet. So the bubble is a little souvenir. It fared much better than my Seiko waterproof watch which exploded at that altitude. The crystal popped off and all the guts came out. I also had the Clipper at 15,300 feet in Sichuan, China. All told, it still does the job very well.

This little compass has no doubt saved me many wrong turns. It is so helpful to be able to do a fast check on my direction. I also carry a larger compass on longer trips.

Experience

Have used this for years, also different Lensatic, Suunto, Silva, and the Brunton Pocket Transit.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Maybe $15, don't remember

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing the story of your Clipper, and your connection to Brunton!


27 days ago

This along with the basically identical 'Silva' Wrist band 340 (sold in North America by Johnson Worldwide under the Silva label) is the best add-on wristband compass I have tried. Rotating dial, sapphire bearing, and surprisingly detailed degree markings for such a tiny compass. Great as backup to a larger protractor compass.

While I agree with the other reviewer that the 'Clipper' design beats out the Brunton and Silva of Sweden models of wristband compass, make no mistake - ALL of these small liquid-filled compasses are relatively prone to bubbles when they are exposed to high altitudes - don't put them in checked luggage on the airplane!

These Clippers are great. They are rugged and do not develope air bubbles or cloud up like some other brands I have used. Great little item during hunting season when in unfamiliar territory. I have tried the Brunton 9068 watchband compass and it develops bubbles after a few weeks of use. Also, the Clipper's dial movement is smoother.

Price Paid: $8.95

Do not waste your money. I have used this compass for about a year. I purchased extras and gave them as gifts. Now I have to tell all my friends that they need to get rid of them.

Two of the ones I own have changed directions by 180 degrees. The north arrow now points to the south. If this had happened while depending on the compass for direction I could have spent many an hour walking the wrong way.

Price Paid: $10.95

Deserted

This sounds like you have been using the compass located next to your wristwatch or other source of ferrous metal or electromagnetism (watch battery). This will frequently cause the compass to reverse polarity. Always keep all your compasses at least 2-3 feet away from any ferrous metal or battery-operated equipment.


8 years ago

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