Stroking through the dark, unending blue of the deep seas is what makes scuba diving thrilling, but without a visible landmark in view, getting your bearing can be difficult. With a dive compass, however, you have a guide to rely on and can explore even in strong currents, without losing your sense of direction. Whether as a novice or professional diver, a dive compass is a must-have to give you peace of mind and help you concentrate on all the beauty the seas have to offer.
Best Dive Compass
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five dive compasses on the market from which we are sure you’ll find a product that ticks with you.
The Cressi Underwater Compass sports easy-to-use controls and a double lubber line design for improved accuracy. Some of its features include a magnetic compass card built for accuracy in all directions, a toothed rotating ratchet bezel for great grip, and large graduations and pointers for easy and quick calibration. It is lightweight, durable, and sports an anatomical wristband for comfort.
- Easy use and high accuracy.
- Quick calibration and tilt compensation.
- Lightweight, durable, and comfortable.
This top-notch dive compass from Oceanic boasts of superior design for smooth movement and quick response. It sports a curved design to enable easy reading from the top and side and boasts of excellent low-light performance with its luminescent suspended card. A double-lined lubber design and ratchet bezel allow for quick calibration.
- Quick response and smooth movement.
- Easy to read and calibrate.
- Superior luminescent low-light performance.
The DGX Tech Compass uses a liquid-suspended magnetic card for quick response and can be read easily from the top or side. With a highly luminescent face and 360º rotating ratchet bezel, you can quickly find your way even in the dark of the sea with arrow-tip accuracy. It also comes with a bungee mount that boasts of automatic depth compensation and an extra bungee cord for comfort.
- Easy to read and calibrate.
- Impressive performance in low light.
- Features bungee mount and bungee.
The Aqua Lung Suunto SK-8 is designed to perform optimally in wildly varying temperatures and uses a highly sensitive compass card for quick response. It can be read easily from the side or top and will work excellently even in the northern hemisphere. It phosphorescent compass card will give you light even in the dark waters while its five-degree graduated bezel allows for even more accurate calibration.
- Quick response and low-temperature performance.
- Top and side reading and low-light performance.
- High accuracy.
The Scuba Choice Diving Compass sports a unique clip lock for easy mounting and features a retractor on the compass side. Its large 2.5” compass is luminescent for the best low-light performance and easy reading. With 5-degree bezel increments and a uniquely shaped true-north pointer, it boasts of impressive accuracy.
- Clip lock feature with a
- Large luminescent gauge face for great low-light performance.
- Accurate and easy to read.
Dive Compass Buying Guide
A dive compass affords you the freedom to explore the deep seas with reckless abandon without worrying about losing your way. It offers the scuba dive real-time directions on the path to follow to a predefined destination without having to emerge to the surface.
Our buying guide reviews the best dive compasses based on their specified features and customer feedback to give you the best options to choose from. We also take it a step it a step further and outline key qualities you should look out for in a dive compass before you make a purchase.
Most compass descriptions hammer on the point that the unit should be kept horizontal for the best performance, but when you are suspended in water, this can be pretty difficult. The tilt accuracy or tolerance of your dive compass thus comes into play. It measures how much tilt the compass can take while still maintaining sufficient accuracy.
Always check out the specified tilt tolerance of whatever compass you want to buy. The higher, the better.
Analog vs Digital Models
Dive compasses come as either analog or digital models. Digital models run on battery power and use electronic circuits for calibration and a digital display to give the necessary readings. They are often less bulky than analog models but usually falter in accuracy. You also don’t want your batteries running out of power while at the bottom of the sea.
Analogue models, on the other hand, are the most popular option available and use a physical magnetic card and bezel for calibration. They are highly accurate, reliable, and easy to calibrate.
The dive compass you go for must be highly visible underwater. The indicators and marking should be as large as possible and should come in bright colors that highly contrast with the dark of the sea and compass body. To further improve visibility, many compasses also come with luminescent indicators and bezels that store light energy and will glow in the dark. With these, you can always stay on track even without much light.