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SOL Deluxe Map and Sighting Compasses

The two SOL compasses featured ~ Deluxe Map Compass and Sighting Compass with Mirror [© Mike Gormley]

American brand SOL, short for Survive Outdoors Longer, offer a range of compasses essential to accurate navigation, writes Mike Gormley.


Accurate navigation is always important and can be crucial. We all know that. A compass is a key instrument to helping us achieve this.

There are many types and brands out there to choose from and we will have our own preferences as to the specific designs. I have my favourite for a number of reasons. SOL, based in New Hampshire, offer a wide range to choose from and recently I have been looking at probably the most commonly used design, namely the SOL Deluxe Compass. This is a fairly basic plate compass with enough features to enable you to take bearings and plot a route when used with an accurate map. Fundamentally it works fine and compares in accuracy to my other devices. Sadly, however, the ‘grip ring’ on the rotating bezel on my test example did not last very long and came off; not critical, but without this it is quite tricky to rotate the bezel.

The SOL Deluxe Map Compass ~ my example needed a drop of superglue on the orange grip ring [© MG]

Moving on to the second example I have from this company, we have the SOL Sighting Compass with Mirror. This is the compass concept I have a real preference for; the main reason for this being it is easier to take a sighting. You can close the lid over the ‘working parts’ meaning they are well protected when the cover is clicked down so when the compass is not in immediate use, or is just being carried in a pocket or around the neck, it is kept safe from knocks damage. Also if you have set a bearing, with the top closed down it is very unlikely to become inadvertently moved; this, if it goes unnoticed, can be very troublesome.

The SOL Sighting Compass opened up for use ~ note the neck security cord ~ the mirror can of course be used for signalling and other purposes [© MG]

So for me this slightly more expensive model is the way to go if you are looking for a compass. This sighting compass has most of the features you will be looking for with map reference scales, inch and metric measuring scales, non-slip pads on the base and an easy-to-read scale on the bezel which, on this model, has an integrated high visibility ring with the cardinal compass points marked on it as well as degrees on a second ring. The key features are luminous for night use and there is also an integrated inclinometer.

The details of the SOL Sighting Compass [© MG]

SOL brand compasses are available in the UK from many of the specialist outdoor pursuits outlets.

The SOL Sighting Compass is handy to use and my favourite out of the two types [© MG]
When closed down the sighting compass workings are safe and secure [© MG]

[images © Mike Gormley]


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