A compass is probably the last thing one would think about when packing for a tip out in the wilderness. Even hikers rarely think about getting a compass on their trips. Most people look at compasses as accessories and do not think about them for their utility. In reality is a very useful tool. A lensatic compass can be a great companion for the ones that like to get away from the city and explore the great outdoors.
Lensatic compasses, also known as military compasses, are very simple precision tools that can be used to guide a person in the right direction by using it along with a physical map. It is capable of orienting itself and indicate a direction with great precision. It is not as fast as an orientation compass, but it is much more accurate.
The lensatic compasses that were picked mainly for their durability and accuracy. They are not that expensive and they are very easy to use. Sadly there is not a great deal of diversity of models but there surely is a suitable compass for every need.
Best Lensatic Compasses in 2018
Table of Contents
- 10. NDuR Lensatic Compass with Whistle
- 9. Tsumbay 10 in 1 Multifunction Pocket Compass
- 8. SVBONY Comping Military Compass
- 7. Silva Lensatic 360 – Compass
- 6. Eyeskey Waterproof Multifunctional Military Compass
- 5. Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass
- 4. Cammenga Military Tritium Lensatic Compass
- 3. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Compass
- 2. Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass
- 1. SharpSurvival Survival Compass
- Things to keep in mind when looking for lensatic compasses
10. NDuR Lensatic Compass with Whistle
NDuR lensatic compass is a great companion for a trip out in the wilderness. When there is no smartphone around, this compass can surely help in a time of need. It was made to be rugged, durable and easy to use.
The compass is made with an ABS housing and uses a floating luminous dial. It has a few additional features that prove to be useful such as a built-in whistle and an attachment for a string. It also has a cutout on the lid that makes it possible to read the direction without actually opening it.
Overall, the construction is fairly decent. The lens is a bit foggy, but it is still usable and practical. For the price it is being sold for, it offers a good deal and will prove to be used mainly to the ones that need a basic compass.
- Durable ABS housing
- Very easy to use, practical design
- Has a built-in whistle
- Quite inexpensive and practical
9. Tsumbay 10 in 1 Multifunction Pocket Compass
Tsumbay made a great little tool that can be used by anyone. This 10-in-1 pocket compass can save a lot of backpack space. It has LED light, emergency whistle, a small mirror, a rule, a knife, magnifying glass, flint fire starter, thermometer and a hygrometer.
The thing that interests us the most is the compass. It is a simple compass that was designed for military usage. It is durable and quite accurate. To protect it, the compass has a clear cover on it to protect it.
For the price, it is a decent compass, but it is worth noting that it feels more like a toy rather than a survival tool. It still works, and all its features are useful. The thing that could be improved is the build quality.
- 10-in-1 multifunction compass
- Great value for money, inexpensive
- Accurate and easy to use
- Loud whistle built in for emergencies
8. SVBONY Comping Military Compass
SVBONY camping military compass is a great pick for the ones that need something affordable but not the cheapest model available. It has a decent build quality and it certainly does not feel like a toy. It is a reliable compass with a very simple design.
The compass is made with a hard-plastic enclosure and a see-through top cover. It can also be used by geologists and surveyors since it is more of a multifunction tool. The dry capsule has a dampening needle and has a 0.5-degree accuracy.
Even if it might not be such a useful feature, the compass comes with a bubble level, clinometer level, and a small mirror. Looking beside these extra functions, the compass will prove to be quite useful for hikers, geological work, and other activities.
- Durable PVC hard shell for extra durability
- Has a small mirror, clinometer level, and bubble level
- Easy to reach, very accurate
- Compact and easy to carry in a small pocket
7. Silva Lensatic 360 – Compass
Silva lensatic compass is a good pick for the ones that are looking for something compact that does not cost all that much. It is a reliable classic military style compass with a durable aluminum case and a protective cover.
In terms of accuracy, the compass is liquid filled that helps improved accuracy. It has luminous points and a rotating bezel. The sliding arm hosts a small magnifying glass while the small latch can be used to attach it something like a wristband.
The compass feels quite reliable and well built. It is a bit more expensive than the other models with a plastic case but the extra durability is worth spending a bit extra.
- Durable aluminum case
- Sliding top cover with small magnifying glass
- Liquid-filled with 2-degree increments
- Luminous points on the bezel
6. Eyeskey Waterproof Multifunctional Military Compass
Eyeskey waterproof multifunctional military compass is one of the more expensive options on our list but it does compensate with a sturdy construction. It offers great reliability and can truly be considered a military grade compass.
The model is made using a durable hard metal case. It also has luminous points that makes it much easier to read. Some of the bonus features it comes with is the magnifying glass, slighting hairline and a luminous dial.
Reliability and accuracy are its greatest strength. It is a liquid filled compass that helps with accuracy while the metal case ensures it is protected and can survive drops, hits, and tough conditions.
- Durable metal case
- Luminous points to make it easy to read
- Built-in multi-angle ruler
- Very accurate and easy to use
5. Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass
Sportneer military lensatic sighting compass is a surprisingly inexpensive compass that manages to not disappoint. It is a small compass with a durable plastic case and a protective cover. The compass is small enough to fit in a small pocket and was made to be very lightweight.
The compass is stated to be professional grade. It does have the durability but it is not as well made as some of the more expensive models. It has an ergonomic design and good accuracy. The case is made to be durable and protect the actual compass.
In terms of features, the compass has a magnifying glass and a fluorescent surface that makes it easy to read. It is a liquid filled compass which helps improve its accuracy.
- Durable and lightweight case with hardcover
- Glowing surface to make it easier to read
- Built-in magnifying glass
- Quite accurate with a shake-resistant construction
4. Cammenga Military Tritium Lensatic Compass
The Cammenga military lensatic compass is a genuine tool that will prove to be ideal for everyone that likes to spend time out in the wilderness or hiking. It is a bit more expensive, but it is one of the most reliable compasses that money can buy.
In terms of practicality, the compass is made using a durable metal enclosure and it is quite compact. Being a military grade compass means that it is made to be easy to read and it is very accurate. Being waterproof is also essential and it ensures that it can survive in hard conditions.
The compass itself comes with a few accessories. It includes a small carrying pouch that is not that necessary and a small belt clip that makes it easy to carry.
- Durable metal construction
- Includes a convenient carrying pouch
- Accurate and easy to read
- Genuine military grade compass
3. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Compass
Eyeskey multifunctional compass is a great companion for a day spent away from the city. It is an affordable compass made to be durable and work even under extreme weather conditions. The compass has a metal body that is more than sufficient and durable even for hard drops which is why the manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty.
As with most other compasses, the model has a fluorescent area that makes it easy to read even during the dark. It is quite accurate and reliable which is a bit surprising for such a cheap compass.
Build quality is quite good. It has a built-in bubble level as a bonus feature and it has a small belt clip. The body of the compass is waterproof and comes with a small carry bag.
- Durable, military-grade design
- Inexpensive but well-constructed
- Waterproof construction and durable metal body
- Suitable for any type of activity and all-weather conditions
2. Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass
Cammenga 27CS lensatic compass is by far their most popular product and for a good reason. It is a premium compass that is a bit more expensive but compensates with its reliability and builds quality.
The compass is made of a cast aluminum case. It is an induction compass which means it is not filled with liquid. This makes it lighter but just as accurate as a regular compass.
In terms of extras, the compass does have a few extra features. It has a built-in glass magnifier, a small ruler, belt clip and a small cutout on the cover that makes it possible to read even when closed. It is worth mentioning that the compass is also waterproof and will survive harsh weather conditions.
- Durable aluminum case
- Built-in magnifying glass, ruler, belt clip
- Easy to read with great accuracy, not liquid filled
- Waterproof construction
1. SharpSurvival Survival Compass
ShartSurvival makes one of the most interesting models that made it to our list. It is actually made out of copper. It is not painted which gives it a more rugged look. It looks almost like an old pocket watch.
The compass has a top flipping lid that protects the compass. Being a waterproof model means that it is long-lasting and can survive in harsh conditions. It is suitable for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Accuracy is also a strong point for this compass. At the same time, the reduced size makes it convenient to carry around. The low price tag also makes it a rather appealing purchase and unlike other compasses, it does not feel like a toy but an actual useful tool.
- Quite inexpensive but very well built
- Stylish design with an all-copper body
- Accurate and easy to read
- Waterproof body, suitable for all types of activities and weather
Things to keep in mind when looking for lensatic compasses
Compasses have been made the same way ever since they were invented. They have gotten smaller and smaller but they way they work is the same. Today, they have been integrated into more and more devices for their utility and there are automated tracking systems and navigation technologies that make use of a compass.
A classic compass might seem unnecessary, but it is a great little tool to have around. It is something that might appeal more to purists and the ones that are seeking a genuine hiking or camping experience without relying too much on modern technology. Picking a reliable compass can be a bit tricky because it is difficult to tell how good it is straight off the bat just by looking at a picture. Here are some important things to look out for when searching for a compass:
- Accuracy: Accuracy is difficult to determine without having some sort of reference. The easiest way is to compare the reading of a compass with what the compass on a smartphone shows. This would be the easy way. The other way is to have two compasses and know for sure that the reference one is very accurate.
- Construction: Both compasses with PVC and metal cases are durable. The main difference between them is that a metal compass is a bit heavier.
- Additional features: Most compasses have a magnifying glass. It is more of a default feature. Some models may have something like a ruler, belt clip, small light and a few other features. The more features they have, the larger the compass would be.
Truth be told, these days, everyone has a smartphone and smartphones have built-in compasses. They are useful and work well but not entirely practical. Being out in the middle of a forest and having the smartphone battery die means the compass will not be usable. A classic compass will prove to be a much more reliable tool to have around.
A lensatic compass is quite accurate and easy to use. Fortunately, the vast majority of compasses are lensatic but there are some differences between them in terms of pricing, build quality, durability and additional features. Our selection should have enough different compasses so that everyone can find something suitable for their needs.