Favorite mini compass or a better solution

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by Wapiti, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Wapiti


    Sep 25, 1999
    When afield I always carry a Silva/Suunto Ranger type 15 to use for navigation. It is usually in my field vest or pack, as I try to avoid wearing things around my neck.

    I guess I may be lazy, but instead of getting my real compass out every time I need to get a rough idea of the cardinal directions, I like having a mini compass to fill this job. So far I have been using one of the mini Suunto Clippers that slide onto my watchband. This has been working perfectly for this basic need, I just raise my wrist and check it and I am good.

    But I am tired of losing them.

    As most of you know, since the Suuntos do not have a true slide through opening, they have a clip style that is open at one side, what I think happens is that it gets caught on my gear or brush, and then pops right off my band and is gone.

    Anyone have a simple solution to this problem? I really like the watchband attachment idea, and love the mini Suunto, but can’t figure how to keep from losing them. I know there are cheaper watchband compasses with true slots (not clip style with one open side), but I would like to stick with quality.

    So any solutions to make the Suunto mini more firmly attached to my watchband (I thought about epoxying it on there, but I am not sure I really want it there permanently), or another mini-style compass that will fit the bill would be welcome.

    I also thought about using a Suunto M-9 compass on my other wrist, but it is a bit large…and more expensive but I might go that route. Especially if I can add a paracord band to it.

  2. Mr.Svinarich


    Jun 21, 2011
    Marbles compasses are the absolute best! i have two of them and i am not dissapointed.
  3. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Secure it with a rubber o-ring. Most hardware store plumbing sections have trays of them in various diameters and thickneses.
  4. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    I'm like you. Unless I'm wearing my Ranger around my neck I find it easier just to pull a small one out. I'm currently using one of the keychain ones like below. Works well and is decently accurate. I just pull my keys out, look at it, and put my keys back in my pocket. Just now getting back into carrying watches so I'm interested in seeing if there's a quality one out there i can clip on.


    Edit: Just saw you live in Albany. I went to OSU for a couple of years. Welcome to the forums. :D
  5. Wapiti


    Sep 25, 1999
    I just went digging to look at the Marbles (had forgotten about them, thanks for the reminder). I would have to figure out a mod if I wanted to put it on my watch band, but should be able to work something out, and they are good quality. Then I ran across this one:
    I can't seem to find just the compass alone, but this might be nice. Anyone have any experience with this one?

    So Codger, on the O-ring, are you suggesting just wrapping the o-ring around the compass (over the face) and band, to just kind of hole the clip part closed? Sounds like a good idea. I was also pondering using an innertube sourced "Ranger" band.

    Thanks for the welcome, Shotgun. (I have actually been here for a while, and visit often, just don't post very often-but I do appreciate the welcome!)
    My office and labs are actually just on the edge of OSU campus, although I am not with the University.
  6. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    I was featuring it laying under the band, the two loose ends then wrapped up over and around the compass. They would circumscribe the face, not cross it. One end might just cross the exposed clip if it were tight enough to not just slip off. Using one just around the clip, you might have to make a receiver groove with a needle file. Whatever works. I use a pin-on ball compass myself (on a bag or pack strap) and am yet to loose one. They are good for only rough directions though.

    ETA: Have you looked at their M9 wrist compass?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  7. bigcountry1315


    Aug 3, 2009
    I have a Suunto M9 and a Cammenga wrist compass.I trust both but seem to prefer the Cammenga.
  8. PropThePolecat


    Jan 31, 2009
    Ive got the Silva Ranger, which i wear around my neck when hiking. Even if its in my pocket, i can whip it out and get a quick cardinal reading.

    I also bought a Suunto watchband compass. The thing totally sucked. After a while it would stick, causing me to get a false reading sometimes. While it worked it was also very unstable, where it would take a while for it to settle and provide a precise reading.

    Now i use the compass on my Casio Pathfinder for quick readings and its very precise to boot.

    Now back to your question...Have you taken a look at Silvas Carabiner series? Theyre small compasses that can attach to a zipper, strap, etc. Check them out here: http://silva.se/product-family/carabiner-series
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  9. XxdrpxX


    May 31, 2011
    For those of you that like watches, try a tissot t-touch, they have built in compasses, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer. Reasonably priced for as good as they are.
  10. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries

    Mar 19, 2007
    Buy a K&M Match case - it has a Suunto compass in the top - and then you have a dual purpose item to keep on you.

  11. mtwarden


    Sep 27, 2009
    this :)

    compass isn't going anywhere AND you have a lightweight, waterproof container for matches and tinder

  12. fmajor007


    Apr 1, 2010
    Are the Suunto compasses in the Match case liquid-filled?
  13. ivan51


    Dec 9, 2003
  14. mtwarden


    Sep 27, 2009

    hmmm, wonder if they got too spendy? they are basically the Suunto Clipper w/o the Clipper :)
  15. Unk

    Unk Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Such talk brought back a memory - BAAAAD..lost in Ontario hunting deer <40 years ago...no compass, no hat, a rifle, ammunition, Western sheath knife, boots, jeans, flannel shirt, belt - no food, no water..just dumb ass from start to finish.

    Scary 4 hours or so..finally heard an outboard on the lake and walked out..my partners found me..never heard my signal shots in the wood nor did I hear theirs. Unbelievably quiet and all woods look the same, overcast day with no Sun.

    Bought a Marbles pin-on compass at first opportunity..still have it pinned on waterfowl life vest. Used the Marbles AND Silva, now the Marbles, Silva and Garmin GPS.

    Close calls will focus your mind.
  16. lwt210


    Mar 21, 2007
    I love me some compass stuff.

    I carry a Suunto MC 2G when out and about. But for quick reference, I have a Cordloc compass attatched to a lanyard on my SAK. I bought 5 of them and they all work well.


    Really been suprised by the accuracy of these when compared to my Suunto. I also have a Silva Companion on my keyring. Pretty close to accurate as well.


    I bought my son a Brunton watchband compass and it is decent as well. It has a rubber part that you slide on a watch band instead of clipping it on. He has it on a Casio Gshock and hasn't had it come off yet....and he is rough on his watches.

  17. fmajor007


    Apr 1, 2010
    I've had too many liquid-filled compasses develop little bubbles in them which eliminates functionality.

    Buying liquid-filled compasses is like tossing money out the window. I don't just use the cheap, no-name mid-range compasses either. I have a Suunto/Recta DP65 "Global" that developed bubbles so i sent it back and the Company replaced it, but they said that would be the last one they replaced. I've used other major brands (Silva, Brunton) as well only to have the same thing happen. Currently, my Suunto M3 remains bubble-free, but that's it.

    When i get some extra $, i'll be replacing the remaining ones i have with those that use alternative damping methods (thinking the Cammenga lensatic compasses). They're more money, i suspect their damping method never fails.
  18. mtwarden


    Sep 27, 2009
  19. sicily02


    Nov 23, 2005
    For a mini compass, get a Trunord they are custom built tough as all get out and work. I have 4 of them
    In this pic you can see it at the bottom.


    I have the wrist model. for around $35 I so far have not found a better one.

  20. facablade


    May 23, 2009
    this is what I use

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