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Compass Overview – Suunto, Silva, Brunton and USGI Lensatic Cammenga Compasses

Uploaded on Dec 11, 2011 by The Crawling Road Channel – Outdoor Skills and Gear Reviews

In this video I go over baseplate, prismatic, mirror and lensatic sighting compasses from Suunto, Brunton, Silva and Cammenga:

Suunto M-3DL
Suunto MC-2G
Silver Ranger (US Brand, not Swedish)
Brunton 54LU (Silva 54 Expedition)
Cammenga USGI Lensatic

All of these compasses have plusses and minuses. The baseplate versions are simplest and lightest with good enough accuracy for just about anything I’ve ever needed a compass to do.

The prismatic sighting compass is a neat design that can give more accuracy but lacks declination adjustment.

The mirror compasses are more feature packed with things like inclinometers. But honestly the mirror doesn’t seem to add much to my own needs. However it is nice to have for first aid, hygiene purposes, etc. at times.

The Cammenga lensastic is USGI milspec. It is accurate, but heavy and lacks features such as declination and a built in protractor.

The Silva Ranger sold in the US and Canada today is not made by Silva of Sweden any longer, but another company. Don’t waste your money on the US marketed Silva Ranger or any other US marketed Silva products. They are all junk. I demonstrate why the U.S. branded Silva Ranger is junk and you should not buy one.

I also had a chance to feel the new Brunton 15TDCL compass in a store. It felt like junk as well. I turned over the package and saw it is made in China. I would avoid this compass as well and just buy Suunto brand compasses which are all well made in Finland.

I rate the Suunto M-3G and MC-2G with the global needle as the best compasses I’ve used. Of the two, I prefer the M-3G without the sighting mirror for the simplicty and reliability in all weather conditions.

If you found this review helpful in selecting a compass, I’d appreciate you buying it through my Amazon store. It costs you nothing extra but helps support my work. Check under the Navigation section:


Music is “Riverwalk” from iMovie.

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1 Response to Compass Overview – Suunto, Silva, Brunton and USGI Lensatic Cammenga Compasses

  1. PARACLETE says:

    For those of you who’ve learned how to use a compass, or even those of you who’ve not ….I encourage you to visit the short series attached to this video, on using your compass effectively. It’s a great refresher …….

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