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Dependable, light base-plate compass
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Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Received the brunton 28nl on 01/09/2013 12:31:28 MST Print View

Received the compass today.
The good:
0) very readable.
1) size is OK for my use
2) completely transparent - amazing for maps.
3) weight of course
4) made in Sweden, packed in USA

the bad:
0) I got it with 1 small bubble. Shit.
1) bubble!
2) Oh no, bubble!
3) ...
100) BUBBLE!!!

I'm going to return it. Bad. Really bad.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 01/09/2013 12:38:30 MST Print View

Where did you buy it from?

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
USA on 01/09/2013 12:44:41 MST Print View

From EBay. Shipped from USA. Now when I looked at the bubble again... It's really small 2mm in diameter... What do you guys say?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: compasses aren't heavy on 01/09/2013 12:57:58 MST Print View

Given the critical need for accurate navigation, no baseplate compass is very heavy. The Suunto M-3 Global Pro is a whopping 1.6oz and the MC-2G sighting version with a very useful mirror is all of 2.6oz.

IMHO, the tiny keychain compasses will get you pointed in the right general direction, but are worthless for true navigation. The cheap ones are toys and prone to needle bearing issues and accuracy. I bought a small batch one time and they had massive variations. I threw them away.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
subject on 01/09/2013 13:02:25 MST Print View

My personal experience showed me that I don't need that precise compass. For the uses I've mentioned above almost any baseplate compass is good. What is important that it should point to the right direction. That's it.

2.5 oz for compass? No thanks...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: USA on 01/09/2013 13:54:42 MST Print View

The bubble does not matter. If anything, it will help you keep the compass level. It will not afect the accuracy.


Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
bubble on 01/09/2013 15:38:05 MST Print View

If you have a bubble now, it will only get bigger as you go higher in altitude.

If you want a really good compass, look up "Moscow Compass".

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
The bubble disappeared on 01/09/2013 22:19:48 MST Print View

Well after keeping the compass in a warm room, the bubble disappeared. So I'm keeping it. The arrow turns pretty fast. I think for that size of compasses they use another liquid (distilled water maybe?)

Thanks you guys for your help. My next compass will be that small Ranger if I'll plan more off-trail.

Jon Denham
(jmden) - F
Silva Mini Ranger (Type 27) now Silva SL... on 03/08/2013 09:25:27 MST Print View

...and appears only available in the UK/Europe from a quick Google search.

One of many such online stores found:

Hard to beat for a very small, lightweight sighting compass. Been carrying one for 20 years+.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Suunto MC2 (no dash or G / D) on 03/08/2013 09:48:00 MST Print View

I just purchased this for the SAR academy a few months ago. So far this compass is working well for me with the exception that the inclinometer keeps sticking. Several other students are using this compass without this problem so I figure mine is a lemon. Fortunately I bought it at REI so I'm returning it later today in exchange for another MC2.

I wanted the mirror for signaling, for removing debris from my eye, shooting precise azimuths, etc. It's a luxury feature and by no means necessary. If you don't need the mirror, then the Suunto M3 looks really nice.

I read and observed on Youtube some negative reviews of the Americanized Silva compasses. They felt that the quality was lacking compared to the Swedish version. One guy had significant problems with bubbles and felt that his compass was inferior compared to others at high altitude. Many people use them and are happy with them and I haven’t touched one since the ‘80s so take it FWIW.

With my failing eyes, I really appreciate having the magnifying glass on the baseplate. I use this constantly. I like knowing that this is a back-up for my reading glasses.

EDIT: I somehow bypassed the first page and just now realized that much of this has been covered. Sounds like you have this dialed in (pun intended.)

Edited by IDBLOOM on 03/08/2013 09:52:42 MST.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: subject on 03/08/2013 10:05:02 MST Print View

"My personal experience showed me that I don't need that precise compass. For the uses I've mentioned above almost any baseplate compass is good. What is important that it should point to the right direction. That's it."

Very true and I can do the very large majority of my backpacking without every referencing my compass ala terrain association. Long as the needle swings and is accurate, anything above and beyond that is a luxury (assuming the user has the proper skill set.) This is similar in my mind to the great knife debate (Classic SAK is great but only really need a razor blade for 99% of trail backpacking adventures.)

I wonder if the bubble formed due to air mail?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
My compass requirements: on 03/08/2013 21:59:47 MST Print View

1. Adjustable declination

2. Bezel with 2 degree graduations (5 deg. is too coarse)

3. Mirror for getting crap out of my eye, popping pimples, admiring my beard, etc.

4. Inclinometer for avalanche work

The WINNER! Silva Ranger

compass on 03/08/2013 22:13:42 MST Print View

Most of the time Im following a crazy winding trail in the woods, up and down mountains.

Theres nothing to see and take a bearing on. There are no points of reference to pick out on a map.

If you lose the trail, you better know the general direction to go for you to intersect it again.

Thats all I need.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
eBay on 03/09/2013 10:17:00 MST Print View

Lots of used-but-mint Silvas made in Sweden on the bay. I grabbed two starters last year and they are much nicer than the current Chinese production. I think I paid $5 each also.