$ 83.95, www.suunto.com
The Good: With the global needle it’s like getting two compasses for the price of one.
The Bad: The North/South ends of the needle look much too similar.
The Ugly: One of the pricier compasses on the market.
It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that one of my favorite pieces of gear, would be my compass. Am I weird? Probably. Is there other cool gear out there? Absolutely. But a compass is essential. Even short day hikes can be problematic if the sun dips below the horizon and you are caught guessing where your car is. For many of us over-prepared types, there is a sick feeling that ensues when we don’t have our trusty navigation tools.
The Suunto MC-2 Global is one of the top dogs when it comes to compasses, so what makes it so special? The first, and most obvious feature is that it is a mirror sight compass. This allows you to sight through an opening in the bottom of the mirror at a distant object while simultaneously taking a reading on the compass in the reflection of the mirror. The mirror can also be used as a signal device in case of emergency.
The baseplate on this compass is well marked with an inch scale, a 1:24,000 scale and a 1:62,500 scale for quickly calculating distances on a topographic map. The compass can also be purchased in a metric version. Sitting on the baseplate is the liquid filled capsule that contains the needle. This rotating capsule is well marked with a 360’ scale in 2’ increments and N,S,E,W markings. The dial and other key areas on the compass glow-in-the-dark for navigating at night.
One of the distinguishing features of this compass is the global needle. It is designed and balanced to operate anywhere in the world which means you won’t have to worry about having different compasses for northern/southern hemispheres. This is great for our global Chug Life Crew out there. One of my few complaints about this compass is the similarity in shape between the north vs. south ends of the needle. The only real distinguishing factor is the color red on the north end. This may be problematic if you’re not paying attention. Inside the capsule are clearly marked north-south lines for setting a course on a map and a clearly marked gate for taking a bearing in the field.
The MC-2 Global is a “set and forget” compass. This allows you to adjust for the discrepancy between magnetic north and true north (the declination). Adjusting the declination is as easy as turning a small dial on the back of the compass with the provided tool. Another great feature of this compass is the clinometer, which uses the same declination scale seen inside the capsule. A small black arrow inside the capsule points strait down due to gravity. By sighting down the edge of the compass while simultaneously taking a reading, you can determine the angle of a slope and even, with a little math, calculate heights of a mountain peak or other object.
The Sunnto MC-2 Global is a take anywhere, do everything compass that will provide great accuracy and reliability for any adventurer. With a Global needle for world travel and all the bells and whistles of a compass in this class, the MC-2 Global is a worthy addition to the Gear We Like page.
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