7 Best Kayak Compass: Your Essential Guide to Navigation

by | Last updated Jul 12, 2024

Best Overall Brunton Dash
Brunton Dash

Large, easy-to-read dial with clear markings, 5-year warranty, waterproof and shockproof construction.

Best Value Ritchie XP-99
Ritchie XP-99

Large 3-inch card with bold markings, liquid-filled for accuracy, shockproof and waterproof with a 5-year warranty.

Most Featured Cammenga 3H
Cammenga 3H

Tritium illumination for low-light conditions, extremely accurate and reliable, military-grade construction for maximum durability.

Kayak Compass

You are losing your bearings while kayaking can quickly turn a enjoyble adventure into a stressful ordeal.

Relying solely on the sun, landmarks, or your gut feeling can be unreliable and potentially dangerous, especially in unfamiliar waters or changing weather conditions.

Investing in a quality kayak compass empowers you to navigate confidently, ensuring you always find your way back home safely and enjoyably.

What is the Best Kayak Compass?

While the “best” kayak compass ultimately depends on your individual needs and budget, we’ve rounded up seven top contenders that excel in various categories.

These compasses have proven their worth in terms of accuracy, durability, and ease of use, making them reliable companions for your kayaking adventures.

1. Brunton Dash

This compass is like the Swiss Army knife of navigation tools for kayakers. It’s got everything you need, is built tough, and looks pretty sleek too.

Brunton Dash

Our Take

0out of 10

The Brunton Dash Mount Compass 70P is an excellent choice for serious kayakers who demand the best. It's a reliable and strong tool that will help you navigate confidently in any condition. The only downsides are the price and slightly complex installation, but the performance and peace of mind it offers are well worth it.

Key Benefits

  • Mounting Style: Flush mount design fits seamlessly into most kayak cockpits.
  • Visibility: Large, easy-to-read dial with clear markings, even in low light.
  • Accuracy: A responsive and stable needle provides precise readings.
  • Durability: Waterproof and shockproof construction withstands rough conditions.
  • Additional Features: Adjustable declination, luminous markings, and a 5-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $130
Brunton Dash

Pros

  • Extremely accurate and easy to read
  • Built like a tank, it can handle anything you throw at it
  • Flush mount design looks great and doesn't get in the way

Cons

  • A bit pricey compared to other options
  • Installation can be tricky if you're not accustomed with kayak rigging

2. Ritchie XP-99

Built like a tank, the XP-99 is a reliable companion for the most adventurous kayakers. Its rugged construction and easy-to-read display make it a top choice for navigating challenging waters.

Ritchie XP-99

Our Take

0out of 10

The Ritchie Navigation XP-99 Kayaker is a workhorse compass that excels in durability and reliability. It may not have all the bells and whistles of other models, but it's a dependable tool that will get you where you need to go.

Key Benefits

  • Mounting Style: Deck mount for easy viewing while paddling.
  • Visibility: Large 3-inch card with bold, clear markings.
  • Accuracy: Liquid-filled for smooth needle movement and accurate readings.
  • Durability: Shockproof and waterproof with a scratch-resistant sapphire jewel bearing.
  • Additional Features: Adjustable declination, 5-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $98.94
Ritchie XP-99

Pros

  • Extremely durable and reliable
  • Easy to read, even in rough conditions
  • Excellent value for the price

Cons

  • Not as feature-rich as some other options
  • The deck mount can be a bit bulky

3. Silva 58

Compact and lightweight, the Silva 58 is a great option for kayakers who prioritize portability. Its simple design and clear markings make it easy to use, even for beginners.

Silva 58

Key Benefits

Our Take

0out of 10

The Silva 58 Kayak Compass is a great entry-level option for kayakers who want a reliable and affordable compass. It's simple, easy to use, and gets the job done. While it lacks some of the features of more expensive models, it's a great value for the price.

  • Mounting Style: Adhesive mount for a sleek and minimalist look.
  • Visibility: High-contrast dial with luminous markings for low-light conditions.
  • Accuracy: Jewel bearing and liquid-filled for smooth and precise readings.
  • Durability: Waterproof and shockproof construction.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $69.99
Silva 58

Pros

  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Accurate and reliable

Cons

  • Adhesive mount may not be as secure as other options
  • It need some of the features of more expensive models

4. SeaTurtl

This quirky-looking compass is a favorite among sea kayakers for its unique mounting system and reliable performance in challenging conditions.

SeaTurtl

Key Benefits

Our Take

0out of 10

The Sun Company SeaTurtl Kayak Compass is a great choice for kayakers who want a versatile and affordable compass. Its unique mounting system and excellent visibility make it a popular choice for sea kayaking and other adventurous paddling trips.

  • Mounting Style: Suction cup mount for easy attachment and removal.
  • Visibility: Large, domed housing with 360-degree visibility.
  • Accuracy: Liquid-filled for smooth needle movement and accurate readings.
  • Durability: Waterproof and shockproof construction with a scratch-resistant lens.
  • Additional Features: Adjustable declination, luminous markings.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $44.99
SeaTurtl

Pros

  • The versatile suction cup mount works on any smooth surface
  • Excellent visibility in all conditions
  • Affordable and reliable

Cons

  • The suction cup may not hold up in extreme conditions
  • Domed housing can be a bit bulky

5. Ritchie X-11Y

A classic and reliable choice, the Ritchie Navigation X-11Y is a no-frills compass that gets the job done. Its simple design and durable construction have made it a favorite among kayakers for decades.

Ritchie X-11Y

Key Benefits

Our Take

0out of 10

The Ritchie Navigation X-11Y is a great choice for kayakers on a budget or those who prefer a simple and reliable compass. While it lacks some of the features of more expensive models, it's a dependable tool that will help you navigate confidently.

  • Mounting Style: Deck mounts with a tie-down bracket for secure attachment.
  • Visibility: Clear, easy-to-read dial with bold markings.
  • Accuracy: Reliable and responsive needle for accurate readings.
  • Durability: Waterproof and shockproof construction.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $55.55
Ritchie X-11Y

Pros

  • Budget-friendly and reliable
  • Simple design and easy to use
  • Durable construction for years of use
  • Versatile for various kayak types
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Lacks some of the features of more expensive models
  • The tie-down bracket can be a bit fiddly to install

6. Ritchie RA-93

Designed specifically for kayak anglers, the Ritchie RA-93 features a built-in clinometer for measuring slopes and a handy fishing line guide. It's a versatile tool that can help you to find the best fishing spots and navigate safely back to shore.

Ritchie RA-93

Key Benefits

Our Take

0out of 10

The Ritchie RA-93 Kayak Angler Compass is a great choice for kayak anglers who want a compass with features specifically designed for their needs. It's a reliable and durable tool that will help you find the best fishing spots and navigate safely.

  • Mounting Style: Deck mounts with a quick-release bracket for easy removal.
  • Visibility: Clear, easy-to-read dial with bold markings and a built-in light for low-light conditions.
  • Accuracy: Reliable and responsive needle with adjustable declination.
  • Durability: Waterproof and shockproof construction with a scratch-resistant lens.
  • Additional Features: Built-in clinometer, fishing line guide, 5-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $93.44
Ritchie RA-93

Pros

  • Versatile design with features for kayak anglers
  • Easy to read in all conditions with the built-in light
  • Durable and reliable construction

Cons

7.Cammenga 3H

While not specifically designed for kayaking, the Cammenga 3H is a high-quality military-grade compass that can be used in any outdoor activity. It's known for its exceptional accuracy, durability, and reliability.

Cammenga 3H

Key Benefits

Our Take

0out of 10

The Cammenga 3H Military Lensatic Compass is a top-of-the-line option for kayakers who demand the best. Its exceptional accuracy, durability, and trusted make it a worthwhile investment for those who value precision and dependability.

  • Mounting Style: Handheld or can be attached to a lanyard.
  • Visibility: Clear, precise dial with tritium illumination for low-light conditions.
  • Accuracy: Extremely accurate and reliable, even in extreme conditions.
  • Durability: Military-grade construction for maximum durability and reliability.
  • Additional Features: Adjustable declination, sighting wire, magnifying lens.

Pricing

  • Price: starting at $149.99
Cammenga 3H

Pros

  • Extremely accurate and reliable
  • Built to withstand the toughest conditions
  • Versatile and could be used for any outdoor activity
  • Versatile for various kayak types
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Not specifically designed for kayaking
  • Expensive compared to other options

How Can a Kayak Compass Benefit You?

A kayak compass is a valuable tool that can help you navigate safely and confidently on the water.

Kayak Compass

Unlike relying solely on landmarks or the sun, which can be unreliable in changing weather conditions, a compass provides a dependable way to maintain your bearings.

Some kayak compasses, like the Silva 58, come with a unique attachment solution developed for kayaks, utilizing rubber straps with clips to easily attach to deck lines without any need to drill into the deck.

This convenient feature allows you to position the compass right in front of you, making it easy to read without letting go of the paddle, even in the toughest conditions.

Additionally, the compass is waterproof and has scratch-resistant glass, ensuring it can endure even the most rugged adventures.

Buyers Guide

When doing our research to find the perfect kayak compass, we determined our recommendations using these factors:

Kayak Compass
  • Pricing: We considered a wide range of prices to cater to different budgets, ensuring options for both beginners and experienced kayakers.
  • Features: We looked for compasses with essential features like unique attachment solutions (such as those with rubber straps and clips that attach easily), clear visibility, accurate readings, and durable construction.
  • Negatives: We assessed each product's drawbacks, such as potential limitations in mounting options, lack of additional features, or less robust build quality.
  • Support or Refund: We investigated each manufacturer's warranty and return policies to ensure you're protected in case of any issues.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right kayak compass is an essential step to ensuring safe and enjoyable paddling adventures.

Kayak Compass

Whether you're a beginner or a serious paddler, having a reliable and accurate compass can be the difference between getting lost and finding your way back home.

Remember, the best kayak compass for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors like mounting style, visibility, accuracy, durability, and price when making your decision.

And don't forget to check the manufacturer's ship inventory to ensure you can get your hands on your chosen compass quickly.

By following our guide and considering the top seven options we've outlined, you'll be well on your way to finding a trustworthy friend that will keep you on course during all your kayaking adventures.

So, go ahead and choose your compass, hit the water, and never worry about losing your way again!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a kayak compass?

Absolutely! While the sun and landmarks can help, a kayak compass is your most trustworthy friend in changing weather or unfamiliar waters. It ensures you can always find your way back, even the toughest conditions.

What's the best type of kayak compass?

The best compass depends on your needs. Serious paddlers may prefer a flush-mount for a sleek look, while others might find a removable one with clips that attach easily more convenient. Consider factors like visibility, accuracy, and durability when choosing.

How do I install a kayak compass?

Installation varies depending on the compass type. Some come with adhesive mounts or straps, while others require drilling. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your specific model.

Can I use a regular compass for kayaking?

While you can, a compass designed for kayaking is often a better choice. They're typically waterproof, more durable, and designed to be easily read while paddling.

Does the weight of a compass matter?

Generally, the weight of a kayak compass is negligible. However, if you're concerned about weight, look for lightweight options like the Silva 58, which is known for its compact design.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder

Author

An avid kayaker & fisherman, explores waterways globally, sharing his passion for water sports and conservation through captivating stories and tips.

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