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The Best Hiking Compasses - 2021

Last updated on July 12, 2021

We looked at the top 6 Hiking Compasses and dug through the reviews from 21 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hiking Compasses.

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Our Picks For The Top Hiking Compasses

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Our Top Pick

TurnOnSport Advanced Scout Orienteering Compass

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TurnOnSport

Advanced Scout Orienteering Compass

Overall Take

Great for BeginnersThis easy-to-use compass is perfect for beginners, with a ruler and directional arrow to help you learn how to use it.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Marine Approved, Best Hiking Reviews, BestCamping, Gear Junkie, Wilderness Today, Families Love Travel. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Fantastic for beginners and kids alike. With a price under $10, it’s going to take you a long way for the price. It also makes a good backup compass to keep in your car or pack."
Cons
"No compass housing. Not ideal for beginners. No lanyard included."
  Runner Up

Sun Company TempaComp Ball Compass & Thermometer Carabiner

Sun Company

TempaComp Ball Compass & Thermometer Carabiner

Overall Take

Built-in ThermometerKeep an eye on the temperature while navigating with this thermometer-compass combination.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus America’s State Parks, BestCamping, Best Reviews Guide. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" We like the low tech aspect of this thermometer. When you are in the back country backpacking, it just simply works. Another great feature is the carabiner clip making it easy to attach to your pack or your jacket using..."
Cons
"A mercury-based thermometer also sits along one of the clip’s sides. That produces a little bit of a risk if you shatter it onto your skin or in a closed environment,"
  We Also Like

Eyeskey Tactical Survival Hiking Compass

Eyeskey Tactical

Survival Hiking Compass

Overall Take

Waterproof and ShockproofThis compass's waterproof, shockproof design holds up even in extreme hiking conditions.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Outdoor Command, Spy, Survival Front, Flip To Outdoor. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Features a base and cover constructed of quality metal for extra toughness and durability. According to the manufacturer and Amazon reviews, the compass is waterproof and shockproof, making it suitable for use in extreme conditions, for example during mountaineering."
Cons
"For the fluorescent light to work, the compass must first be exposed to an ample amount of light."
  Strong Contender

YEHOBU Survival Military Hiking Compass

YEHOBU

Survival Military Hiking Compass

Overall Take

Lights Up for Nighttime UseThe vertical light on this compass can help you see the readout even in poor lighting conditions.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus MOOZ Reviews, Peak Wilderness. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This professional grade military compass will always lead you in the right direction.Ideal for motoring, boating, camping, mountaineering, exploring, hunting, and other outdoor activities."
Cons
"Reading not that accurate."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
13

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hiking compasses available to purchase.
6

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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21

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: MOOZ Reviews, Best Reviews Guide, The Guidr, Flip To Outdoor, Outdoor Command.

17,342

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 6 Hiking Compasses and also dug through the reviews from 21 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hiking Compasses.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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The Best Overall

TurnOnSport Advanced Scout Orienteering Compass


Our Expert Score

8.5
6 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
3,155 user reviews

Our Take

The lightweight build and included lanyard make this a great compass for backpacking. It comes with a magnifying glass to help you read maps and a small ruler built into the acrylic base. A 360-degree rotating bezel will keep you oriented at all times.

What other experts liked

Fantastic for beginners and kids alike. With a price under $10, it’s going to take you a long way for the price. It also makes a good backup compass to keep in your car or pack.
- Marine Approved
If you need a lightweight compass that is easy to use and store, this may be the best backpacking compass for you. It’s easy to use if you know how to adjust a navigational course by sight. The scratch resistant...
- Best Hiking Reviews
Cheap, reliable, and easy to store just about anywhere. The compass is extremely accurate. It does have a magnifying glass and a small ruler built into its base. The extra features make this reliable compass a little more versatile, and...
- BestCamping
Has all the features needed for learning compass-and-map navigation without the restrictive cost of higher-end compasses. The durable acrylic baseplate sports an adjustable bearing, a compass ruler, a magnifying glass, and a 1:24,000 scale.
- Gear Junkie
This compact compass is a portable, durable, and compact compass which works well as a reliable back-up. Perfect for hunting, camping, industrial use and practically any other situation. Each product is field tested.
- Wilderness Today
Aspiring boy or girl scouts will love this waterproof Orienteering Compass from TurnOnSport, small enough to fit in any backpack. It even has a magnetic needle and attached magnifying glass for reading maps on-the-go.
- Families Love Travel

What other experts didn't like

I don’t recommend this compass to anyone looking for a serious compass that they want to travel to the ends of the Earth with.
- Marine Approved
No compass housing. Not ideal for beginners. No lanyard included.
- Best Hiking Reviews
It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that a military-grade compass has, and it doesn’t have any electronic functions.
- BestCamping
No declination feature, no direction box.
- Gear Junkie
This isn’t a compass you’ll want as a primary compass for exploring the unknown.
- Wilderness Today

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Sun Company TempaComp Ball Compass & Thermometer Carabiner

Our Expert Score

7.9
3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.0
934 user reviews

Our Take

A thermometer is attached to this compass to help you monitor the weather while you're out and about. A carabiner clip lets you attach this set to your backpack or jacket to keep it handy. It also includes a split ring in case you want to attach it to your zipper or keyring.

What other experts liked

We like the low tech aspect of this thermometer. When you are in the back country backpacking, it just simply works. Another great feature is the carabiner clip making it easy to attach to your pack or your jacket using the split ring keychain design.
- America's State Parks
Another great budget option, and it’s a little more robust, too. It’s designed to function as a carabiner clip. The actual compass section of it isn’t overly large, but it sits right at the tip of the clip, and it’s an accurate ball design.
- BestCamping

What other experts didn't like

One disadvantage is the lack of windchill and windspeed information.
- America's State Parks
A mercury-based thermometer also sits along one of the clip’s sides. That produces a little bit of a risk if you shatter it onto your skin or in a closed environment,
- BestCamping

Overall Product Rankings

TurnOnSport Advanced Scout Orienteering Compass

1. TurnOnSport Advanced Scout Orienteering Compass

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 8

Sun Company TempaComp Ball Compass & Thermometer Carabiner

2. Sun Company TempaComp Ball Compass & Thermometer Carabiner

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 7

Eyeskey Tactical Survival Hiking Compass

3. Eyeskey Tactical Survival Hiking Compass

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 7

YEHOBU Survival Military Hiking Compass

4. YEHOBU Survival Military Hiking Compass

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 4

TurnOnSport Hiking & Backpacking Compass

6. TurnOnSport Hiking & Backpacking Compass

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 3

Our Hiking Compass Findings


TurnOnSport Advanced Scout Orienteering Compass

What We Liked: The lightweight build and included lanyard make this a great compass for backpacking. It comes with a magnifying glass to help you read maps and a small ruler built into the acrylic base. A 360-degree rotating bezel will keep you oriented at all times.

Simplemost Media


Sun Company TempaComp Ball Compass & Thermometer Carabiner

What We Liked: A thermometer is attached to this compass to help you monitor the weather while you’re out and about. A carabiner clip lets you attach this set to your backpack or jacket to keep it handy. It also includes a split ring in case you want to attach it to your zipper or keyring.

Simplemost Media


Eyeskey Tactical Survival Hiking Compass

What We Liked: With a base and cover constructed of metal, this compass is built for years of reliable use. You’ll also get a lanyard and pouch to make it tote around. The compass itself has a liquid-filled capsule and a level bubble to provide stability and accurate readings.

Simplemost Media


YEHOBU Survival Military Hiking Compass

What We Liked: A built-in lensatic function will ensure you get accurate readings each time. There’s also a lens on the rear sight that magnifies the reading to help you better use it. The compass has a waterproof, shake-proof build to help protect it during rough conditions.

Simplemost Media


SharpSurvival Glow In The Dark Hiking & Camping Survival Compass

What We Liked: With a compact, durable design, this compass will easily tuck into your pocket or backpack. The bezel glows in the dark to help you read it in poor lighting. A notch makes it easy to flip open the compass, even with one hand.

Simplemost Media


TurnOnSport Hiking & Backpacking Compass

What We Liked: This handheld compass includes a lanyard so you can carry it around your neck or tie it to a backpack. The lightweight, brightly colored design makes it a great compass for children. It also has a magnifier and ruler to help make map reading easier.

 

Our Hiking Compass Buying Guide

If you hike or camp, a compass is an essential tool to add to your backpack. On a hiking trail, you won’t always have access to GPS, requiring you to rely on maps and compasses for navigation. A compass uses a magnetized needle that rotates to line up with the Earth’s magnetic field, allowing you to determine, at any time, which way is north, east, south or west.

There are different types of compasses, with the baseplate compass being the most common. With a baseplate compass, the compass itself is filled with liquid and mounted on a rectangular base. This type of compass will sometimes also include a magnifying glass to help you read maps.

Most good compasses have features built in to improve accuracy. Declination adjustment helps account for the difference between true north and magnetic north for a better reading. When combined with a sighting mirror, declination adjustment can boost the accuracy of the readout. Sighting mirrors also can help you signal for help in an emergency and, on a less important note, can provide a handy way to check your appearance. One last useful feature is a clinometer, which can help you look out for avalanche hazards.

DWYM Fun Fact

These days, you can download an app to your smartphone that will act as a compass. Modern smartphones have magnetometers, which are sensors that measure the strength and direction of magnetic fields. This sensor allows your phone to detect direction, which also makes it possible to use your phone as a compass.

But can you depend on your phone as a compass for a long, tricky hike? A phone can be accurate for light use, but the accuracy isn’t going to be as good as a dedicated compass. Accuracy can also vary from device to device, since the hardware plays a role in how well a phone’s magnetometer does its work.

The Hiking Compass Tips and Advice

  • Pay attention to the weight of the compass you choose. If you’re taking it hiking or even for a long walk, a little extra weight can become a burden after a while.
  • Although the magnifying glass can be useful on the trail, it does make it a little less portable. If you won’t need magnification, consider skipping this feature.
  • Some compasses come with lanyards or carabiners to make them easy to wear around your neck or attach to your pack.
  • Compasses can be useful tools for kids to learn to use. If you are choosing one for this purpose, look for one that’s designed for children, using bright colors and easy-to-read bezels.
  • A thermometer-compass combination can come in handy if you’ll be on the trail for a while. This tool will help you keep an eye on the weather while you’re navigating.
  • Hiking gear can be subjected to extreme conditions. If it rains while you’re hiking or you have to go through a body of water, it might get wet. Look for one with a waterproof, durable case if you think your hikes might put you in those conditions.
  • You won’t always be using your compass in daylight. One with a built-in light or one that glows in the dark will prove helpful when things are a little dark.

About The Author

Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.