The Best Baseplate Compass Of 2022 - Buying Guides & FAQs

Sara Ryan By, Sara Ryan
Updated
Best baseplate compass
Best Baseplate Compass

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: SUUNTO MC-2/360/IN/D/NH Compass , White

"This compass is the perfect companion for hikers, climbers, and outdoorsmen. The MC-2 Compass includes a sighting hole and notch for accurate bearings, a declination adjustment tool, and a clinometer. It is also great for boaters as it includes a floating hinge to help keep the compass on your wrist even when you're doing high-intensity activities." Read Review

2. Runner Up: SUUNTO A-30 NH Metric Compass

"The Suunto A-30 is a compact, accurate and easy to use compass that features a high grade steel needle with jewel bearing. The baseplate compass is balanced for northern hemisphere use with Metric scales and a fixed declination. The Stay On Course function helps you safely navigate the great outdoors by keeping your bearing on target even when you stop moving." Read Review

3. Best Reliable: SUUNTO M-3 NH Compass

"Take navigation on your next adventure with the Suunto M-3 NH Compass. Having been designed for alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more; it uses an advanced compass system with a built in electronic compass to help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors." Read Review

4. Best Adjustable: Sighting Compass Mirror Adjustable Declination

"This Sighting Mirror Compass with acrylic base plate contains a worldwide needle that operates correctly anywhere. Boy Scout compass is a necessary tool for globe travellers. The Sighting Mirror features a mirror and an adjustable declination that makes it easier to see both the background and compass dial at once." Read Review

When you’re out hiking, backpacking, skiing or geocaching and you need a reliable compass to get you home safely, look for the best baseplate compass. Baseplate compasses are used in conjunction with a crown-style or level-style topographical map. The base of the compass is usually attached to a hiking pole or on your body via a belt loop or strap.

A good baseplate compass will give you accurate direction and orientation. If you’re getting lost, an effective baseplate compass will help you find your way back to camp quickly and safely. However, not all baseplate compasses are created equal which can make it difficult to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we review our top picks for the best base plate compasses so that you can find one that fits your needs perfectly.

After nearly 13 hours of research, we were able to come up with many top products from prominent brands like Suunto, Turnonsport, Funtalker, Silva, Sun company, Brunton. Among them, SUUNTO MC-2/360/IN/D/NH Compass , White seems to be the first product you can rely on. Alternatively, if you're simply looking for a good-looking option, you may go with SUUNTO A-30 NH Metric Compass.

Our article today focuses mainly on giving you guidelines and tips to be able to buy the right product that best suits your needs. Explore with us right here.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 SUUNTO MC-2/360/IN/D/NH Compass , White
Our Score:
9.9
SUUNTO
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products
  • Precise And Dependable: Operable in low light conditions, the MC-2 Compass includes a sighting hole and notch for accurate bearings, declination adjustment tool, and a clinometer
  • Advanced Navigational Compass: Made with serious hikers in mind, this professional mirror compass was designed for precise directional measurement and has been balanced for global use with Metric UTM scales and inch ruler
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; Great for Alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
TOP Choice #2 SUUNTO A-30 NH Metric Compass
Our Score:
9.7
SUUNTO
  • Hiking Compass: Compact and accurate compass that features a high grade steel needle with jewel bearing; The baseplate compass is balanced for northern hemisphere use with Metric scales and a fixed declination
  • Precise And Practical: Great for hiking and orienteering, the A-30 Compass has luminescent markings for low light conditions and a magnifying lens on a transparent baseplate for easy use with map
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; Great for Alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more
TOP Choice #3 SUUNTO M-3 NH Compass
Our Score:
9.6
SUUNTO
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products
  • Precise And Reliable: The M-3 NH features a needle blanced for northern hemisphere, adjustable declination, scales in metric and imperial, luminescent markings for low light use, and a magnifying lens on a transparent baseplate for easy use with maps
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; Great for Alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more
  • Adventure Compass: The M-3 compass is a premium quality precision compass for convenient direction taking in demanding conditions; The M-3 is a hardy baseplate compass ready for the challenge
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE: This map compass is an essential piece of survival gear to have in your pocket or hiking backpack. Both children and adults can use it, easy to carry during your trips especially for field trips
  • MULTI-FUNCTION: Azimuth Bearing and a 360-degree rotating bezel are included on an acrylic baseplate compass. Waterproof, glow in the dark, Magnifying glass and 1:25000/1:50k compass scale are used for reading and navigating on cartographic maps while using the field map compass
  • SIGHTING MIRROR & PROTECTIVE COVER: This special feature makes it easier to see both the background and compass dial at once. You may use the notch to align the sighting compass with the target while the mirror is open at a 45-degree angle. Next, look in the mirror and adjust the orienting arrow as required. Also, it comes with the protective cover that keeps kids compass safe from damage
  • ADJUSTABLE DECLINATION: With its adjustable declination dial, the Orienteering with mirror compass makes it simple to obtain the most accurate reading. A vital piece of equipment for military survival or search and rescue circumstances
  • GLOBAL NEEDLE AND ACCURACY: This Sighting Mirror Compass with acrylic base plate contains a worldwide needle that operates correctly anywhere. Boy Scout compass is a necessary tool for globe travellers
  • Perfect for outdoor adventures ,It works great at taking bearings and sighting when camping, hiking, hunting, scouting.
  • Map Compass has an adjustable declination dial that makes it easy to get the most precise reading. Include a clinometer in the dial for measuring the height.
  • Acrylic Baseplate Compass with Azimuth Bearing and 360 degree rotating bezel. For cartographic map navigation and reading , Compass Ruler and 1:25000 compass Scale.
  • Includes a clinometer in the dial for measuring the height of any landmark. This clinometer will help us setting declination, taking bearings, and measuring target heights.
  • Liquid-filled compass, The pointer can stop quickly,that allows you a direct read of the internal compass card housed in the fluid filled capsule.
  • Waterproof
  • Declination scale inside the capsule
  • DryFlex Rubber grip allows easy handling of the compass/great grip
  • Night use / Luminous markings enables night time navigation up to 4 hours once activated by daylight/flashlight.
  • Red/black N/S lines in capsule ensures easy and safe settling
  • Magnifying lens for precision map work
  • DryFlex Rubber grip for easy handling of the compass/great grip
  • Slope card for measuring slope and extra distance
  • Built in adjuster for magnetic declination
  • Night use / luminous markings enable night time navigation up to 4 hours once activated by daylight/flashligh
8 Sun Company ProSight Sighting Map Compass
Our Score:
8.8
Sun Company
  • LUMINOUS ROTATING BEZEL - Compass bezel rotates 360 degrees for easy bearings. Dial is ultra-luminous which makes this one of the premier compasses for low-light situations.
  • ADJUSTABLE DECLINATION - True North and Magnetic North are not identical. The Sun Company ProSight Map Compass has an adjustable declination dial that makes it easy to get the most precise reading. An essential piece of equipment for military survival or search and rescue situations.
  • MORE FEATURES - Other features include a jewel bearing, 3X magnifying glass, 4 map scales, inch and mm rulers, a break-away safety lanyard, and silicone anti-slip foot pads. The perfect map compass for any survivalist, boy scout, adult, or kid!
  • CLINOMETER - Includes a clinometer in the dial for measuring the height of any landmark. Full instructions are included for help with setting declination, taking bearings, and measuring target heights. A great learning tool for kids!
  • SIGHTING MIRROR & PROTECTIVE COVER - The protective cover keeps the compass safe from damage. Open up the cover to reveal a full-sized sighting mirror.
  • Ever-north magnet resists magnetic interference and will not lose polarity
  • Magnified Readout
  • Great for camping
  • Brunton Product
  • Roamer Scales
  • GPS Confidence circles
  • Includes compass
  • Reversible slide scale
10 SUUNTO MB-6 Matchbox Compass
Our Score:
7.9
Suunto
  • Crafted from the highest quality material
  • Made in Finland
  • Perfect for outdoor and even indoor use
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a best baseplate compass?

The best baseplate compass is a product type that many customers feel hesitant to select because of the challenges in evaluating its features. It comes to trust! When studying a significant purchase, many factors must be considered. Our best baseplate compass knowledge will help you make an ideal decision.

Our article here will highlight some outstanding items and provide solutions to FAQs and guides to buying. You should keep in mind some main criteria of best baseplate compass below:

Stability And Speed

It is better if the needle points north faster. You can be slower with older compasses. You might argue that speed does not matter when you're hiking or mountaineering, as you don't have to rush like orienteering race participants. You will want to get down as quickly as you can if it is bad.

Clinometer

The clinometer is usually found with an advanced compass and used to determine the slope angle (or rockbed for those geologists). A clinometer is a free-moving arrow that moves freely within a liquid capsule below the magnetized needle.
The feature was designed for mountaineers or backcountry skiers, and is used to assess avalanche dangers. This feature is unlikely to be used if you are hiking on maintained trails. This feature is essential for all students of geology.

Durability

Because it is possible for your compass to get knocked around in your pack or land on the ground, a hiking compass must be strong. It happens more frequently than you might imagine, particularly since you'll likely be using a map while hiking. The risk of it being dropped increases when you add a little wind resistance and gloves. We only selected durable items in this list.

Features

For hiking, the compass should include a declination and rotating scales, as well as a plate that has a ruler. The declination scale allows you to make adjustments to declination for specific areas, so the compass points towards magnetic north. While the rotating bezel lets you measure azimuth easily. When measuring distances on a map, a ruler is useful.

Quality

Although there are many affordable options for compasses, it is important to be able to rely on your instrument to get you where you need. It's not a question of safety, but it is a matter for life and death to have dependable and reliable compass.

Global Needle

Some compasses can't be used everywhere in the world. A compass that has a global needle is required if you plan to use your compass in any part of the world. It is usually indicated by the last 'G' in the description.
Compasses are sometimes only balanced in one of the two hemispheres for compasses which aren't global.

FAQs

Are Cheap Compasses Accurate?

The majority of base models made by well-known brands will be accurate enough for you to move in the right direction. The small buttons compasses that you find online for a fraction of the price are a bit suspect. Most of these compasses will either become stuck, or move easily when bumped. A compass that is inaccurate or not accurate can be more dangerous than no compass. Before you use a compass in the field, make sure it is tested at home in a safe and familiar environment. It is important to learn its peculiarities, if they exist, before you use it to return home.

Do Compasses Lose Accuracy?

If you keep your compass near a magnet, it is possible to cause the needle of your compass's magnetic field to lose its magnetic properties over time. The most common reason for replacing your compass will be wear from carrying it around in a bag, falling on rocks or enduring extreme temperature swings. A good compass can last for a long time if it is well maintained.

Is A Liquid-filled Compass Better?

Although a liquid-filled compasse is not necessarily more useful, it can have some advantages. Baseplate compasses that are liquid-filled have the needle rotating in a liquid. The needle is less sensitive to your movements because it rotates through a liquid. However, if you do not take care of your compass, it can become sloppy by causing bubbles or leaking. Compasses that are liquid-filled can also be sensitive to extreme temperatures.

How Do You Set A Compass Declination?

The compass will determine the exact requirements. Certain compasses can be used without tools, while others may require special tools or a key. Once you have turned the north arrow of the compass at the angle that corresponds to your local declination, the declination will be set. Some compasses do not allow you adjust the declination.

Do I Need A Compass For Hiking?

Understanding that the compass only part of your navigation system is important, first and foremost. The compass will show you the direction of north from which you can determine other directions. A map will help you find your way to camp or help. You should always have a compass on you, no matter how simple or complex. You should have a map to help you combine the tools.

What Is Declination On A Compass?

The magnetic north is indicated by the arrow in the compass. Declination refers to the angle between magnetic north and true north. True north refers to the direction of the earth's surface toward the geographical north pole. Your location will determine the declination.

In short, the list of best baseplate compass would be updated when the data is upgraded and available. Please visit our website frequently to get the latest updates.

Our staff team is always available and ready to support you with your complex problems. Try to contact us as soon as possible whenever your product obstacles come up. Feel free for that!


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About Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan is a freelance writer and avid diver. She first discovered her love for diving while on vacation in the Caribbean and has been hooked ever since. Sara loves exploring new dive sites and observing the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. As a native of Colorado, Sara enjoys spending her free time hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She also enjoys writing about her adventures in diving and wildlife conservation.

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