What is the Best Scuba Compass of 2019?

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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, great buys for your next ocean diving adventure!

Best ​Scuba Compass Reviews

1. ​Scuba Choice Diving Compass with Retractor 

Scuba Choice Diving Dive Compass with Retractor

Review

This convenient compass is a cost-friendly, compact and glow in the dark device which is great for scuba diving and a range of ocean sports. It’s retractable leash clips right onto your bcd (buoyancy compensator device) for easy and quick use, and it’s simple design makes it user friendly. 

Product Features

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.

PROS

  • ​Cost-friendly
  • ​Retractable leash that clips to your BCD
  • ​Lightweight and compact
  • User Friendly

CONS

  • ​Reading visibility could be better
  • ​Could use a locking mechanism on the retractable leash

2. ​Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass 

Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass

Review

Featuring a unique card stabilization system, this 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. It comes with a convenient wrist strap, designed for scuba diving and other ocean sports. 

Product Features

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 in use.

PROS

  • ​Cost-friendly
  • ​Conveniently straps onto wrist
  • ​Compact and lightweight

CONS

  • ​View window could be larger

3. ​Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass 

Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass

Review

The design of this 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. 

Product Features

This scuba diving compass features a large ratcheting bezel, allowing for an easy top or side reading. The glow lasts longer than many other materials, providing long use underwater. 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 allows for easy visibility
  • ​Easy and comfortable to wear on the wrist

CONS

  • ​A bit bulky

​4. ​Promate Wrist Compass 

Promate 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. 

Product Review

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.

PROS

  • ​Easy to read
  • ​​Quality strap for easy wrist attachment
  • ​Cost-friendly

CONS

  • ​A bit slow to find North
  • ​Wrist strap is a bit large for smaller wrists

​5. ​Cressi Leonardo Underwater Diving Computer 

Cressi Leonardo, black/grey

Review

This underwater diving computer is a watch compass that does so much more. 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.

Product Features

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

  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Adjustable units of measure
  • ​Elegant function and design
  • Simple one-press operation button

CONS

  • ​More cost-intensive
  • ​Could be easier to read

​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. 

Product Features

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, and is lightweight and accurate. 

PROS

  • ​Lightweight and accurate
  • ​Clip-on attachment for ease in use
  • ​Luminescent display makes it easy to read
  • Budget friendly

CONS

  • ​Durability could be better

​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. 

Product Features

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
  • ​High Quality
  • Maintains orientation well during movement

CONS

  • ​Only compatible with specific models of console computers

​8. ​Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer for Scuba Diving 

Mares Puck Pro Wrist Computer - Black

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. 

Product Features

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

  • ​Very high quality
  • ​Intuitive for user
  • ​Readable, backlit display
  • Lightweight and convenient

CONS

  • ​Additional purchase for upgraded firmware

Scuba Compass FAQs

Q: What is the difference between digital and analog compasses?

A: 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.

Q: Do compasses always point North?

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

Q: What is tilt tolerance in diving compasses?

A: 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.

Q: How are diving compasses mounted?

A: 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.

Q: What will alter my compass reading?

A: 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.

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.

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