The 8 Best Scuba Compasses of 2020

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If you’re looking for the best scuba compass on the market today, you’ve come to the right place! An essential piece of gear when exploring the underwater world, compasses provide direction above and below the water, in poor visibility and in the deep blue. 

When it’s tough to get your bearings underwater, without the use of landmarks, it’s possible for even the most experienced divers to struggle with their sense of direction. To prevent stress on your dive, and to stay safe while exploring deep in the ocean, invest in a high-quality compass to maintain your sense of direction with ease. 

Here we’ve gathered some of the best gear on the market today, to help you get one step closer to your next ocean diving adventure!

Comparison Chart

Scuba Choice Diving Dive Compass with Retractor
Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass
Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass
Promate Scuba Diving Wrist Compass with Hose Mount
Cressi Leonardo, black/grey
Suunto Clipper L/B NH compass
Scuba Choice Diving Compass
Phantom Aquatics Wrist Compass
Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass
Promate Wrist Compass
Cressi Leonardo Underwater Dive Computer
Suunto Clipper L/B Compass
Retractor Design Extends 7’’-31.5’’
Wrist Attachment Compass
Wrist Attachment Compass
Wrist Compass with Hose Mount
Underwater Dive Computer Wrist Mount
Underwater Compass
2.5’’ Compass Diameter
Abrasion Resistant Bezel
Large Ratcheting Bezel
Luminescent Dial Face, Ratcheting Bezel
HD Display Screen
Rotating Bezel, Liquid-Filled Jewel Bearing
3.84 Ounces
4.8 Ounces
12.8 Ounces
5.6 Ounces
8.8 Ounces
1.12 Ounces
Submersible Up to 80 Meters
Submersible Up to 8m
Submersible Up to 30m
Submersible Up to 80m
Submersible Up to 120m
Submersible Up to 30m
Clips Onto BCD or Other Gear
Card Stabilization System
Luminescent Floating Card System
Liquid-Filled Quick Response Movement
Fully Functional Dive Computer
Clips Onto Wrist Strap or Other Gear
Glows in the Dark
Glows in the Dark
Glows in the Dark
--
Light Up High Definition Screen
--
Black
Black
Black
Black
12 Color Choices
Black
Scuba Choice Diving Dive Compass with Retractor
Scuba Choice Diving Compass
Retractor Design Extends 7’’-31.5’’
2.5’’ Compass Diameter
3.84 Ounces
Submersible Up to 80 Meters
Clips Onto BCD or Other Gear
Glows in the Dark
Black
Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass
Phantom Aquatics Wrist Compass
Wrist Attachment Compass
Abrasion Resistant Bezel
4.8 Ounces
Submersible Up to 8m
Card Stabilization System
Glows in the Dark
Black
Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass
Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass
Wrist Attachment Compass
Large Ratcheting Bezel
12.8 Ounces
Submersible Up to 30m
Luminescent Floating Card System
Glows in the Dark
Black
Promate Scuba Diving Wrist Compass with Hose Mount
Promate Wrist Compass
Wrist Compass with Hose Mount
Luminescent Dial Face, Ratcheting Bezel
5.6 Ounces
Submersible Up to 80m
Liquid-Filled Quick Response Movement
--
Black
Cressi Leonardo, black/grey
Cressi Leonardo Underwater Dive Computer
Underwater Dive Computer Wrist Mount
HD Display Screen
8.8 Ounces
Submersible Up to 120m
Fully Functional Dive Computer
Light Up High Definition Screen
12 Color Choices
Suunto Clipper L/B NH compass
Suunto Clipper L/B Compass
Underwater Compass
Rotating Bezel, Liquid-Filled Jewel Bearing
1.12 Ounces
Submersible Up to 30m
Clips Onto Wrist Strap or Other Gear
--
Black

Best Scuba Compass Reviewed

1. Scuba Choice Diving Compass with Retractor 

Scuba Choice Diving Dive Compass with Retractor

Review

This compact and convenient compass is cost-friendly and clips onto your BCD or other gear with ease. The glow in the dark device is great for scuba diving, along with a range of other ocean sports like paddle boarding and kayaking. It’s retractable leash clips right onto your bcd (buoyancy compensator device) for easy and quick use, extends from 7-31.5 inches, and it’s simple design makes it user friendly. 

This compass features a retractor leash attached on the compass side, with a total length of 7 inches while retracted and 31.5 inches while unretracted. The compass’ diameter is 2.5 inches, and it even glows in the dark for use in dark waters. It’s fully submersible up to 80 meters, and the lightweight design weighs only 3.84 ounces.

PROS

  • Budget-Friendly
  • Retractable Leash Clips to BCD or Other Gear
  • Lightweight and Compact Design Weighs Less than 4 Ounces
  • User Friendly Function
  • 2.5’’ Dial Glows in the Dark
  • Leash Retracts 7’’-31.5’’

CONS

  • Reading Visibility Could be Clearer
  • Retractable Leash Lacks a Locking Mechanism

2. Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass 

Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass

Review

Featuring a unique card stabilization system, the Phantom Aquatics Scuba wrist dive compass is specifically created for use in the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s high strength magnets give a fast and positive response while navigating. This feature becomes especially important while exploring underwater, but it functions both on and off of the land. It comes with a convenient wrist strap, designed for scuba diving and other ocean sports. 

This compass is great for diving up to depths of 260-feet, and designed with enhanced magnet strength which provides exceptionally quick response and smooth dial movement. It also features a double red, highly visible lubber line for top-reading accuracy. It’s abrasion resistant bezel rotates 360 degrees for ease of use.

PROS

  • Budget-Friendly
  • Convenient Wrist Strap
  • Compact and Lightweight Design
  • Abrasion Resistant Bezel Rotates 360 Degrees
  • Submersible Up to 260’
  • Enhanced Magnetic Strength for Quick Response Function

CONS

  • View Window is Small in Size
  • Large Strap isn’t Ideal for Small Wrists

3. Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass 

Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass

Review

The design of the Oceanic wrist mount compass makes for a quick response and smooth movement when finding direction underwater. It can be used with a top or side reading, and it’s luminescent floating card absorbs light and glows in the dark for easy navigation in limited visibility and dark waters. Designed for use underwater, this compass is fully submersible up to 30 meters and designed for use while scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding and more.

This dive compass features a large ratcheting bezel, allowing for an easy top or side reading. The glow lasts up to 7 times longer than many other materials, providing long use underwater and lasting throughout your adventures. It also features a high visibility lubber line, making this a great compass for your next dive.

PROS

  • Easy to Read Bearing Indicator
  • Luminescent Backing for Easy Visibility
  • Comfortable Wrist Mount
  • Submersible Up to 30m
  • Top or Side Reading Design
  • Long-Lasting Glow

CONS

  • Bulky Design isn’t Ideal for Every User

4. Promate Wrist Compass 

Promate Scuba Diving Wrist Compass with Hose Mount

Review

This diving compass is great for underwater adventures because of it’s large and easy-to-read display and precision operation system for dives up to 80-meters. The special design of the compass provides smooth movement in navigating across a wide range of motion. It can be worn either on the wrist, or mounted to scuba equipment. 

Featuring a luminescent dial face, easily readable numbers and a side window, this compass and wrist strap combo is designed specifically with diving in mind. It has enhanced magnetic strength, quick response and smooth movement thanks to high performance liquid filled design. Additionally, weighing only 5.6 ounces it’s highly compact and easy to wear on your wrist or gear.

PROS

  • Easy to Read Display
  • Quality Strap for Wrist or Gear Attachment
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Luminescent Dial Face
  • Lightweight and Compact Design Weighs Only 5.6oz.
  • Submersible Up to 80m

CONS

  • Some Reports of a Bit Slow to Find North
  • Larger Wrist Strap isn’t Ideal for Small Wrists

5. Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer 

Cressi Leonardo, black/grey

Review

The Cressi underwater diving computer is a watch compass that does so much more, like most of the well-known and highly rated Cressi gear. Ideal for beginners to scuba diving, this device is easy to use, and has an easy to read display. Also featuring a host of other useful technical features, this diving compass makes navigation, and more, a breeze.

Featuring a wide high definition display, rugged computer, and comfort wrist strap, this diving computer makes for a great compass and more. Its battery life indicator reminds you when it needs a charge, and it’s easy-to-hear audible alarm, adjustable unit of measure and large numeric displays make for ease in use.

PROS

  • User-Friendly and Easy to Use
  • Adjustable Units of Measure
  • Elegant Function and Design
  • Simple One-Button Operation System
  • Fully Functional Dive Computer
  • Convenient Wrist Strap

CONS

  • More Cost-Intensive
  • Advanced Dive System isn’t Necessary for Every User

6. Suunto Clipper L/B Compass 

Suunto Clipper L/B NH compass

Review

This diving compass is designed and balanced for the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s direction is on a rotating bezel in 10 degree increments. It’s a fun and compact compass that is great for underwater navigation, and can clip to watch strap, sleeve, backpack strap, side of map and more.

Featuring a clip for easy attachment, and ease in freeing up hands, this compass is also easy to operate in low light with luminescent markings. It features liquid filled jewel bearing and cardinal directions in luminous prints on card, is lightweight and accurate, and it’s fully submersible up to 30 meters.

PROS

  • Lightweight and Accurate Design
  • Clip-On Attachment for Ease in Use
  • Luminescent Display is Easy to Read
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Submersible Up to 30m
  • Convenient Clip-On Design

CONS

  • Some Question of Durability
  • Not Designed for Use in Low-Light Conditions

7. Aqua Lung Suunto SK8 Scuba Diving Compass and Depth Gauge 

Suunto SK-8 Compass Back Mount Dive Computer

Review

This high quality dive device features a larger tilt potential than in conventional diving compasses and provides an easy-to-read display. This compass also features a depth gauge and has been improved for faster stabilization and enhanced readability underwater. This model is balanced for the Northern Hemisphere. 

Featuring a phosphorescent card, this dive compass is perfect for mounting on the back of combo consoles. It also features high tilt compensation, and an upgraded magnet allowing the models to be used over a wider area of the globe.

PROS

  • Quick to Point North
  • High Stability and Quality
  • Phosphorescent Card for Mounting on the Back of Combo Consoles
  • Features High Tilt Compensation
  • Large Tilt Position
  • Depth Gauge

CONS

  • Only Compatible with Specific Models of Console Computers
  • Not Directly Attachable to Wrist

8. Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer for Scuba Diving 

Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer

Review

This intuitive and easy to use dive computer is an extremely useful device for scuba diving. Sitting comfortably on your wrist, this handy unit has a large display and slim design, allowing it to be lightweight and highly useful in all environmental conditions. Not only is this highly portable compass great for scuba diving, but also for kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, skim boarding and more.

With programmable features, and ascent rate indicator, this full function air/nitrox dive computer is great for beginners and experienced divers alike. It also has the capability for added upgradeable firmware and multi-gas capability, giving it all the bells and whistles.

PROS

  • High Quality Construction and Design
  • Intuitive Function for User
  • Readable Backlit Display
  • Lightweight and Convenient Design
  • Multi-Gas Capability and Added Upgradeable Firmware
  • Includes Programmable Features

CONS

  • Additional Purchase for Upgraded Firmware
  • Advanced Features aren’t Ideal for Every User

Best Compass for Scuba Diving: FAQs

What is the difference between digital and analog compasses?

Digital dive compasses are usually integrated into a dive computer system, not sold separately. Whereas analog dive compasses are conventional devices adapted to be used underwater independently.

Do compasses always point North?

A compass is an essential tool for navigating the wild, but it doesn’t always point exactly North. This is because the Earth's magnetic North Pole is not the same as “true North”.

What is tilt tolerance in diving compasses?

While on land, you don’t need to worry about tilting it as you hold the compass horizontally. Here, it’s easy to know your orientation in your surroundings. In the water, however, this isn’t always the case, and it can be difficult knowing your orientation sometimes. Tilt tolerance is a term used to describe how much the compass can tilt before the needle gets stuck.

How are diving compasses mounted?

Each compass is designed different in its ability to mount to gear or the user. A wrist-mounting compass is definitely one of the most popular choices because of its convenience and ease in use, but other great options exist as well. Compasses are also created in various ways to attach to the user, like on console mounts or clipped directly onto gear like clothing and accessories.

What will alter my compass reading?

Keep your compass away from metal objects like wristwatches, keys, tables, steel screws, mobile telephones etc, because these can result in false readings. This happens when the metal objects deflect the magnetic needle. Many geological formations are also magnetized and can affect compass readings, as can electricity power lines. 

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to get turned around underwater, especially in low visibility waters. The deeper you dive, the darker your surrounding will get, and the harder it becomes to navigate accurately on your own. This can be especially true while exploring caves, shipwrecks, and the deep blue. 

To prevent falling into a life or death situation, by getting lost while exploring the sea, prepare ahead of time and bring the essentials- including your compass. With the help of a diving compass, you can navigate your way through the underwater world with ease, getting you right where you need to go. 

Take the time to make sure you stay safe above and underwater, a scuba diving compass is an important tool for every ocean trip! For more of our top scuba gear recommendations, check out the best scuba knives, scuba masks, and scuba fins!

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For more of our top scuba diving gear recommendations, please visit the following articles.

The 8 Best Scuba Compasses of 2020

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