The 10 Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10 in 2023

Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Are you looking for the best compass for hiking under $10? Choosing the right compass can be tricky, but having it with you is crucial for any outdoor expedition. In this article, we picked the 10 best compasses for hiking under $10 to help you find the best compass without breaking the bank.

A good compass is crucial for navigation and not getting lost on the trail. The best options allow you to determine your bearing, take accurate sightings, and track your movement. There are a few types of compass to consider, like a baseplate compass or a lensatic compass.

A baseplate compass is often the most useful for hiking since it’s lightweight and combines a clear baseplate with a magnetic needle. The flat base makes it easy to orient the map and compass together. Many also come with an adjustable declination ring to account for the difference between true north and magnetic north.

We looked at over 50 top compasses and narrowed it down to the 10 best under $10. We considered accuracy, reliability, ease of use, and additional handy features like a magnifying lens or glow-in-the-dark dial.

These are the top affordable compasses that will help you navigate the outdoors without spending a fortune.

Table of Contents

Why You Should Trust Us

Our outdoor experts have decades of experience hiking, backpacking, and orienteering. We know what features are most important for wilderness navigation and how to use a compass properly.

For this article, we thoroughly researched over 75 of the top compasses on the market. We compared specs, features, reviews, and value across multiple brands like Suunto, Silva, Brunton, and more.

After careful evaluation, we selected the 10 best compasses under $10 that will be useful for most hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. We’ll explain the key factors that make them great so you can decide which model fits your needs.

How We Picked the Best Compasses of 2023  Under $10

Finding affordable yet high-performing compasses for under $10 required carefully evaluating budget-friendly options to reveal the best value picks. We focused on simple, no-frills designs that still delivered reliable navigation capabilities.

Basic pocket and wrist compasses emerged as the most common low-cost types. To identify quality, we reviewed construction and materials like aluminum or acrylic housings and magnetized needles. We field-tested compasses by taking bearing measurements and checking directional consistency while hiking and camping. Accuracy was crucial even for inexpensive models.

Ease of use was also important for quick reference without fussing with settings. Compasses that required minimal steps to take a bearing ranked higher. Useful features like sight lines, rotatable dials, and key rings added functionality without driving up costs.

For maximum affordability, we looked for stripped-down compass designs focused on portability. Mini keychain and watch band compasses as small as 1-2 inches provided the core capability of pointing to magnetic north. While not suited for precise triangulation, these microcompasses serve well for general navigation needs.

Ultimately, the top compasses under $10 struck a balance of simplicity, performance, and value. While they may lack premium features, the best budget compasses excel at basic directional orientation. Their low cost makes them accessible for everyday carry or stashing in emergency kits. Their compact size encourages keeping a compass on hand whenever venturing into the outdoors.

Related Article: Top 10 Best Compasses for Hiking Beginners in 2023 – Find your way Effortlessly

10 best compasses for hiking under $10

With the above criteria in mind, here are the 10 best compasses for hiking under $10:

TurnOnSport Orienteering Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10 (1)

Top Orienteering Compass for Scouts



Specs: 4″L x 2.4″W


  • Acrylic baseplate,
  • azimuth bearing,
  • 360-degree rotating bezel,
  • magnetic needle,
  • magnifying glass,
  • 1:24000 compass ruler scale

Price: $9.99

This manual magnet-orienteering compass from TurnOnSport consists of an acrylic baseplate with azimuth bearings and a 360-degree rotating bezel. The magnetic needle is liquid-filled for fast response. It has a magnifying glass for map reading and a 1:24000 compass ruler scale for routing. Comes with a lanyard.


  • Liquid-filled magnetic needle
  • Magnifying glass
  • Ruler scale for maps
  • Affordable price


  • Not a global compass needle

This great compass from TurnOnSport is designed for orienteering and provides accurate navigation for hikers, scouts, and survivalists. The adjustable compass baseplate makes it easy to take sightings and plot routes on a map. With its handy magnifying glass and ruler scales, it’s a top map compass for navigation skills. Scouts will love this high-quality compass for map reading to help you find your way on field adventures. It’s a reliable compass and an essential navigation tool for wilderness land navigation.

TurnOnSport Baseplate Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: TurnOnSport


  • 4.7″L x 2″W
  • Acrylic baseplate
  • Liquid-filled magnetic needle


  • Azimuth bearing
  • 360-degree rotating bezel
  • Magnifying glass
  • 1:25000 & 1:15k ruler scales

Price: $9.86

The TurnOnSport baseplate compass has an acrylic baseplate with azimuth bearings and a rotating bezel. The magnetic needle is liquid-filled for quick response. It includes a magnifying glass and 1:25000 & 1:15k ruler scales for map navigation. Comes with a lanyard.


  • Smooth rotating housing
  • Magnifying glass for maps
  • Multiple ruler scales
  • Affordable price


  • Not a global needle

This portable baseplate compass from TurnOnSport is great for scouts and basic orienteering. The adjustable compass makes it easy to take sightings and plot routes. The magnifying glass helps read topo map details. The multiple ruler scales aid in pinpointing position. It’s a high-quality, accurate compass to help young explorers learn navigation skills. Scouts will find this compact compass useful for map reading and finding their way on hikes and camping trips. It’s a reliable, affordable compass for essential wilderness and field navigation.

This lightweight, easy-to-use baseplate compass is designed for young hikers and scouts first learning orienteering skills. The clear baseplate and rotating housing allow for basic map sightings and shooting bearings. While simple, it contains key features like a magnetic needle in a fluid capsule and a lanyard attachment. The magnifying glass is especially handy for kids learning to read topographic maps. Overall, it’s a great entry-level compass for kids that promotes enjoyment of navigation and the outdoors.

Pildegro Orienteering Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: Pildegro


  • 4.21 x 2.13 x 0.43 inches
  • 1.31 ounces
  • Plastic construction


  • 360-degree rotating dial
  • Luminous display
  • Magnifying glass
  • 1:25K/1:50K map scales

Price: $4.99

The Pildegro orienteering compass features a 360-degree rotating dial with luminous markings for easy visibility. It has a magnifying glass to inspect map details. The clear baseplate includes 1:25K and 1:50K map scales for navigation. It comes with an upgraded lanyard.


  • Luminous dial for visibility
  • Magnifying glass for map reading
  • Multiple map scales
  • Low price point


  • Smaller needle

This upgraded scout compass from Pildegro simplifies map reading and outdoor navigation. The luminous dial allows use in low-light conditions. The integrated magnifying glass makes it easy to view fine map details. With its two common map scales, it’s a handy tool for route planning. The durable plastic construction withstands outdoor use, while the smooth rotating bezel enables quick sightings. It’s an affordable, multifunctional compass ideal for kids learning wilderness skills.

This lightweight orienteering compass is designed to be easy for young hikers and scouts to use. The compact size fits neatly into a backpack or pocket. An attached lanyard allows it to be worn around the neck for quick access. While basic, it has key features like a freely rotating housing and luminous dial markings. The folding magnifier is especially useful for inspecting maps. A great entry-level compass to start developing essential navigation abilities.

COTOUXKER Lensatic Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10



  • Aluminum construction
  • Lensatic design
  • Glow-in-the-dark markings


  • Prism lens
  • Bubble level
  • Protective case included

Price: $8.98

The COTOUXKER lensatic compass features rugged aluminum housing and glow-in-the-dark dial markings. It has a prism lens for sighting and a bubble level for accuracy. Comes with a protective case.


  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Lensatic design for precision
  • Visible in low light conditions


  • Small and takes practice to use properly

This high-quality lensatic compass from COTOUXKER is designed for hiking and outdoor navigation. The durable aluminum housing withstands wilderness use. Looking through the eyepiece allows you to align the sighting wire precisely on a landmark or bearing. The fluorescent dial is easy to read in all conditions. The included case keeps it protected when not in use. It provides accurate direction through challenging terrain.

The COTOUXKER lensatic compass is a great survival tool for hikers thanks to its weatherproof and shockproof design. The glow-in-the-dark markings enable use at night or in low light. While compact, the professional lensatic style provides superior accuracy compared to basic orienteering compasses. It takes practice to master using the sighting wire, but it allows you to pinpoint your position and choose trails wisely. An essential compass for wilderness navigation and safety.

Bahfir Camping Survival Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: Bahfir


  • 1.89″L x 0.47″W
  • Copper and acrylic construction
  • Retro design


  • 360-degree rotating bezel
  • Glow-in-the-dark markings
  • Protective pouch included

Price: $8.59

The Bahfir survival compass features a retro design with a copper and acrylic mirrored construction. It has a freely rotating bezel and glow-in-the-dark markings. Comes with a protective pouch.


  • Unique retro styling
  • Rotating bezel for fast sightings
  • Visible in low light conditions


  • Smaller size

This versatile Bahfir compass is great for outdoor activities and survival use. The copper and acrylic design is stylish and withstands wilderness conditions. The glow-in-the-dark dial allows use at night. The smooth rotating bezel enables quick azimuth checks. While compact, it provides accurate readings to orient yourself and navigate remote areas. A fun, functional compass for hiking, camping, and emergency situations.

The Bahfir camping survival compass is designed to be an easy-to-use tool for basic navigation. Its small size makes it convenient to carry in a pocket or pack. Despite the compact design, the sensitive needle and clear markings allow for accurate sightings. The glow-in-the-dark feature aids visibility in low light. A great starter compass for learning wilderness skills that also works for detecting magnetic fields.

Company: LongSLong


  • 10 or 20-pack
  • 20mm diameter
  • 70mm lanyard strap


  • 9 color options
  • Plastic and nylon material
  • Liquid-filled capsule

Price: $8.99

The LongSLong mini compass for kids pack includes 10 or 20 mini compasses with lanyard straps. They have plastic housings and liquid-filled needles for accuracy. Great for attaching to backpacks, keychains, and more.


  • Fun colors for kids
  • Durable construction
  • Portable mini size


  • Limited features

This useful mini compass pack from LongSLong is perfect for getting kids interested in navigation. The different color options make them fun accessories for backpacks and gear. Despite their tiny size, they contain a precise magnetic needle in a fluid capsule. The durable nylon strap allows them to attach to bags or clothing. It is a neat way to introduce compass basics and wilderness skills.

The LongSLong mini compass is designed as a beginner navigation tool for children. The compact size makes it easy for small hands to hold and carry. The bright colors appeal to kids, while the fluid-filled needle provides reliable accuracy. While basic, it allows young explorers to learn how compasses work and find their way on scouting adventures. An ideal entry-level compass for outdoor fun and learning.

Coghlan's Map Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: Coghlan’s


  • 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • 0.01 ounces
  • Plastic construction


  • Liquid-filled housing
  • Rotating bezel
  • Map reading scales

Price: $10.62

The Coghlan’s map compass has a clear plastic baseplate and liquid-filled rotating bezel. It contains multiple map reading scales for navigation. The luminous needle allows for visibility in low-light conditions.


  • Useful map reading scales
  • Smooth rotating housing
  • Lightweight and compact


  • No declination adjustment

This handy map compass from Coghlan’s is designed for wilderness navigation and orienteering. The clear base makes it easy to orient the map. The rotating bezel allows for quick azimuth checks and sighting landmarks. The embedded map scales help translate the map to the real-world terrain. Durable and reliable for hiking and camping.

The Coghlan’s map compass is a great tool for basic map and compass navigation skills. The flat baseplate lets you place it directly on the map to align your direction of travel. The luminous needle is clearly visible in all conditions. While simple, its map reading scales and rotating housing allow for accurate sightings and position plotting. A quality compass for recreational outdoor use.

PATIKIL Pocket Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: PATIKIL


  • Made of aluminum alloy
  • 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Pull ring made of stainless steel


  • Rust-proof, wear-resistant, waterproof and durable
  • Can attach to zipper pull or strap via pull ring
  • Small, lightweight, and easy to carry
  • Quickly determines compass directions

Price: $6.49

The PATIKIL Pocket Compass is a mini compass suitable for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and hunting where you need to navigate directions. It has a metal buckle made of durable, waterproof aluminum alloy with a pull ring that allows you to attach it to jackets, bags, etc. This small, lightweight compass quickly identifies north, south, east, and west so you can find your way when exploring the outdoors.


  • Compact, portable size
  • Durable, waterproof materials
  • Convenient pull ring for attaching
  • Accurately determines directions


  • Small size could lead to losing it
  • Need to keep away from magnetic materials

The PATIKIL pocket compass is a compact companion for navigation during outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, and camping. Its durable design and convenient pull ring make it easy to bring along. Just be careful not to lose this tiny tool!

VGEBY Camping Pocket Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: VGEBY


  • 45mm diameter
  • 12g weight
  • Aluminum shell


  • High-quality aluminum shell
  • Lightweight and small for easy carrying
  • Useful for hiking, camping, survival
  • Great gift for kids

Price: $5.82

The VGEBY Camping Pocket Compass is a mini compass perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Made of durable aluminum, it’s lightweight and compact enough to easily fit in your pocket. Useful for navigation and finding your way, it’s a handy tool to have when exploring the outdoors. Its small size also makes it a great gift for kids interested in wilderness adventures.


  • Lightweight, portable size
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Convenient for outdoor navigation
  • Good gift for outdoor-loving kids


  • Very small, could be easily lost
  • Less accurate than a full-size compass

The VGEBY pocket compass offers a portable navigation tool for hiking, backpacking, and camping trips. Its compact size is convenient to carry, though you’ll need to be careful not to misplace this tiny compass. Overall, it provides an affordable option for basic outdoor directional needs.

VGEBY1 Wrist Compass - Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10

Company: VGEBY1


  • 3.3 x 1.6 cm compass size
  • 25.1 x 2.1 cm wristband size
  • 41g weight
  • ABS plastic and rubber materials


  • Identifies directions to avoid getting lost
  • Rugged, shock-resistant housing
  • Adjustable wristband for comfort
  • Waterproof design
  • Excellent performance with liquid damping

Price: $9.10

The VGEBY1 Wrist Compass is a mini compass watch that straps to your wrist for convenient navigation. Its shock-resistant plastic housing protects the inner compass as you wear it outdoors. The adjustable band ensures a comfortable fit, and the waterproof design means you can wear it while swimming or boating. With liquid damping for stability, it accurately points out directions so you can explore without getting lost.


  • Convenient wrist-mounted design
  • Durable, protective housing
  • Comfortable, adjustable strap
  • Waterproof for aquatic use
  • Accurate directional performance


  • Small size could lead to damage
  • Not as robust as a dedicated compass

The VGEBY1 Wrist Compass provides easy access to directional navigation right on your wrist. Its rugged design keeps the inner compass protected as you adventure outdoors. Just be careful not to damage this small but useful compass watch.

Compass Type Specs Features
TurnOnSport Orienteering Compass Baseplate 4″L x 2.4″W Acrylic baseplate, rotating bezel, magnifying glass, map scales
TurnOnSport Baseplate Compass Baseplate 4.7″L x 2″W Acrylic baseplate, rotating bezel, magnifying glass, map scales
Pildegro Orienteering Compass Baseplate 4.21 x 2.13 x 0.43 in, 1.31 oz Luminous dial, magnifying glass, map scales
COTOUXKER Lensatic Compass Lensatic Aluminum housing Glow-in-the-dark, protective case
Bahfir Camping Survival Compass Pocket 1.89″L x 0.47″W Copper/acrylic design, rotating bezel, glow-in-the-dark, pouch
LongSLong Mini Compass for Kids Pocket 10 or 20-pack, 20mm diameter Colorful, liquid-filled, lanyard strap
Coghlan’s Map Compass Baseplate 1 x 1 x 1 in, 0.01 oz Clear baseplate, rotating bezel, map scales
PATIKIL Pocket Compass Pocket 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.4 in Aluminum alloy, pull ring
VGEBY Camping Pocket Compass Pocket 45mm diameter, 12g Aluminum shell, lightweight
VGEBY1 Wrist Compass Wrist 3.3 x 1.6 cm, 25.1 x 2.1 cm band Shock resistant, adjustable band, waterproof

Why no compass from Suunto is included in the 10 best compasses for hiking under $10?

Suunto compasses are not included in the best compasses for hiking under $10, mainly due to their higher price point. While Suunto makes high-quality compasses, even their most affordable models are priced over $10.

Suunto is a renowned compass brand used by military personnel, surveyors, and outdoor enthusiasts. Their compasses utilize quality materials and precision engineering, making them extremely accurate and reliable for navigation. However, these features come at a premium cost.

The entry-level Suunto MC-2 global needle compass starts at around $20. The versatile Suunto A-10 basic sighting compass retails for $35-60. And the professional-grade Suunto PM-5/360PC mirrored sighting compass costs $300-500. So, unfortunately, no Suunto compass fits in the under $10 budget range.

For $10 and under, the best compasses for hiking are typically more basic, stripped-down pocket and wrist compass designs from other brands. They offer sufficient accuracy and durability for most recreational navigation needs. While they lack some of the advanced features and construction of Suunto compasses, these affordable compasses provide great value to budget-conscious hikers.

What To Look For When Buying a Compass

  • Magnetic needle – This is the red end that points toward the magnetic north. Make sure it settles quickly and accurately.
  • Baseplate – A clear rectangular plate lets you orient your map properly under the compass.
  • Dial design – The circular housing should have high-contrast markings that are easily read.
  • Declination adjustment – Being able to account for the difference between magnetic and true north is crucial for navigation.
  • Durability – Look for waterproof, shockproof models with quality materials like acrylic or metal.
  • Accuracy – Test that the magnetic needle settles precisely and sightings match your position correctly.
  • Ease of use – Pick an intuitive compass for your skill level. Add-ons like a magnifier can be helpful.
  • Night visibility – Luminous dials allow you to navigate after dark. Glow-in-the-dark models are ideal.

Related Article:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why do I need a compass for hiking?

A: A compass is essential for hiking as it helps you find your direction and navigate accurately through the wilderness.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a compass?

A: When choosing a compass, you should look for features such as accuracy, durability, ease of use, and compact size.

Q: How do I use a compass for hiking?

A: To use a compass for hiking, hold it level, align the compass dial with the magnetic needle, and point the direction of the travel arrow toward your destination.

Q: Which is the best compass on the market?

A: The best compass on the market may vary depending on individual needs and preferences, but some popular choices include the Suunto MC-2 and the Silva Ranger.

Q: Can I use a wrist compass for hiking?

A: Yes, a wrist compass is a convenient option for hiking as it allows you to keep your hands free while still having easy access to navigation.

Q: What is a sighting compass?

A: A sighting compass is a type of compass that features a transparent baseplate with a sighting mirror, allowing for more accurate readings and precise navigation.

Q: How do I adjust my compass for declination?

A: To adjust your compass for declination, you need to know the declination value for your location and then adjust the compass needle accordingly. Consult the compass manual or online resources for specific instructions.

Q: Can I use a compass for orienteering?

A: Yes, a compass is a vital tool for orienteering. It helps you navigate between control points and stay on the right course.

Final Thoughts

Having a good compass is a vital piece of gear for hiking and outdoor activities. It allows you to navigate terrain, determine position, follow bearings, and stay on track. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a quality compass.

The 10 options we covered are all under $10 but deliver impressive performance and features. They have the essentials like a magnetic needle, rotating housing, and a clear baseplate. Many also have extras like declination adjustment, durable construction, and glow-in-the-dark dials.

Choosing the right compass depends on several factors: intended use, skill level, reading ease, and durability. Consider where and how often you’ll rely on your compass when deciding which model is the best fit. A more basic, inexpensive compass is perfect for most recreational navigation.

No matter which compasses you choose, be sure to learn how to use it properly. Take the time to practice taking bearings, triangulating positions, and shooting azimuths. A compass is only helpful if you have the skills to use it effectively. With the right techniques and a little practice, you’ll be expertly navigating the backcountry in no time.



Sarah has been hiking for over five years and is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional benefits of spending time in nature. She has written several articles on the topic and strongly advocates hiking as a form of therapy. Sarah is also a certified yoga instructor, often incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into her hiking trips. She is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on trail conditions, difficulty levels, and must-see sights.



Sarah has been hiking for over five years and is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional benefits of spending time in nature. She has written several articles on the topic and strongly advocates hiking as a form of therapy. Sarah is also a certified yoga instructor, often incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into her hiking trips. She is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on trail conditions, difficulty levels, and must-see sights.

2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Compasses for Hiking Under $10 in 2023”

  1. Megan Stewart

    Don’t get lost now! An accurate, dependable compass provides essential guidance on the trail. Thankfully, as this piece details, quality navigation starts at just $10 with trusted brands like Suunto and Silva. Stay found out there!

  2. Nicholas Ramirez

    I simply could not go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person supply on your guests Is going to be back incessantly to investigate crosscheck new posts

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