Best survival compass

Last Updated: 30.09.20


Top rated survival compasses


If you are short on time and you can’t afford to read all the survival compass reviews or our straight-to-the-point buying guide, this short paragraph will give you all the information you need to make a purchase you won’t regret. After taking into consideration product features and performance, we concluded that the model worth buying is the Brunton TruArc 3. If you are looking for cheap survival compasses, this entry-level model will meet the needs of an amateur explorer. The advanced navigation will resist magnetic interference better than most competitors and it will not lose its polarity. As a plus, the unit features both imperial and metric scales to ensure that users of all backgrounds can use the compass to orient themselves correctly. If our first choice is not available for sale, but you still want to make a good purchasing decision, we recommend the Suunto MC-2.

The top features of a survival compass


When you are out in the wild, and all you can see are the trees around you, a quality survival compass can be extremely useful. But just as is the case with any product, specific features make the difference between a good survival compass, and an excellent one. Take a look at our buying guide if you want to learn more.


Size and weight

Compasses that are compact in size and lightweight make much better survival compasses than alternatives that are large, heavy, and bulky. A lightweight model can be used for longer without feeling inconvenienced. In contrast, heavy units can tire your hands if used extensively.

What’s more, you also need to consider that when you are hiking or camping you are limited to carrying only the essential items, so a bulky choice could create an inconvenience by weighing you down.



In a combative environment or any other survival situation, the need for a durable unit is critical, since there is always the chance of you accidentally dropping the compass or it being exposed to different climates. As such, we recommend you go with a rugged model that can handle drops, and that is waterproof.

Having a waterproof device will allow it to withstand all types of weather conditions. When raining or snowing, a reliable device can make the difference between life or death since those are precisely the situations when a compass is needed the most.


Advanced features

More expensive options can come with advanced features that are very useful to have, especially for people that plan to use their purchase in extreme and diverse environments. A sighting mirror can help you aim more precisely when following a particular bearing on a distant landmark and it can also double as an emergency signaling device.

Units that feature a global needle can be used all across the globe since they compensate for magnetic-field variances. Some units can also come with a clinometer, an instrument that will give you the ability to measure the vertical angle of a slope.


Our top choices


If you don’t have the time to prospect the market on your own, but you still want to find the best survival compass, we have compiled a list with some of the critically acclaimed models currently available.



Brunton TruArc 3 


The Brunton model is the most affordable pick on our list, an entry-level compass that will satisfy the basic needs of orienteering and mapping your environment. The advanced navigation will ensure that the unit can resist magnetic interference better than any other competitor in this price range. As a plus, it will not lose its polarity.

The global needle of the TruArc 3 is accurate in both the northern and the southern hemisphere, meaning that the device is ready to use anywhere in the world. Another feature that encourages worldwide exploration comes from the use of both imperial and metric scales so that users of all backgrounds can utilize this reliable compass.

This option operates on a 2” scale for finding true north, and it is 2.5 inches wide, 3.5 inches high, and weighs only 1.1 ounces, making it a genuinely compact and lightweight purchase. Customers have also commented that the unit can handle heavy use thanks to the rugged construction.


Buy from for ($21.23)




Suunto MC-2 


If you want a premium option that has all the nifty features a true adventurer needs, the Suunto model is meant for the people that don’t want to settle for anything but the highest-performance model. This unit features a sighting mirror that will protect your compass and that you can also use as an emergency signaling device.

The clinometer will help you measure angles, and it is perfect for climbers and hikers that travel on very steep hills. The clinometer is even more useful during the winter since the instrument can reveal the angle of a snow-covered slope, information that you can use to avoid the risk of an avalanche.

As a plus, the MC-2 comes with a 2-zone geographic balancing system that will allow you to use the compass in both the southern and the northern hemisphere. The unit also comes with a quick guide to help you learn all the useful features and tricks the device can do.

You also get a wrist lock to ensure you won’t lose the unit while climbing or traversing steep and dangerous environments.


Buy from for ($37.63)




SE EB122OR Emergency 


If you are looking to prepare yourself for camping and you want to get more bang for your buck, you may want to consider the SE survival kit. This kit contains a quality sleeping bag coupled with a reliable survival compass. The sleeping bag is tear-resistant, reusable, and comes with a drawstring carrying bag.

The compass is of military quality and boasts a thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule with floating dial. The bezel ring rotates, and the ruler units on the sides are measured in both inches and centimeters. Customers were impressed with the adjustable diopter sighting lens which allowed them to get a great viewing experience in all lighting conditions.

Another nifty addition to this unit comes in the form of the conversion chart for angle, distance, and gradient placed on the back plate. You can consult the conversion chart with just a flip of the device to ensure you get precise and correct measurements.

As a plus, when the compass is not in use, the water-resistant nylon pouch will ensure that the unit will remain protected from the harsh weather.


Buy from for ($33.24)




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