Why is a dive compass so important?
Like a standard compass, the whole importance is based on the fact that this equipment tells you not only where you are in relation to coordinates, but where you need to be going.
One of the most crucial aspects, for beginners in particular, is that the compass will ensure that you don’t get lost in unfamiliar territories. Naturally, when you’re a beginner, all underwater routes will be unfamiliar… so a compass is super important!
Do beginner scuba divers need a dive compass?
Yes, they’re an incredibly vital piece of kit in your scuba equipment arsenal. Not only do they give you the vital information you need to know in regards to where you and where you’re going, but they’re also arguably the one of the pieces of equipment that you need to learn to use.
So, the sooner you do use them and get your hands on one, the better. If you’re doing a beginner’s diving course, then you no doubt already know this information!
My ten favorite dive compass selections for scuba divers of all levels
1. Cressi Underwater Compass for Scuba Diving | Easy-to-Read Instrument in All Conditions
Even if you are underwater, you need to know where you are going. That’s why this Cressi Underwater Compass is great to wear to keep track of where you are under the ocean. This magnetic compass meticulously moves in all directions; it does this to give an accurate reading. The design of the compass means no matter how your arm is angled in the water; it will provide you with a precise result to follow.
To make marking your headings and reciprocal headings easy and quick, there is a rotating ratchet bezel with a double pointer for direction and a red lubber line to give proper orientation. This compass can be attached to your wrist and is designed by scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming experts to provide you with top quality, reliable equipment.
2. Scuba Choice Diving Dive Compass with Retractor
There are no street signs under the water, so having a compass on you whilst scuba diving is essential to know where you are and where you are going. This detachable compass is excellent because it is lightweight and easy to attach to your scuba outfit when you are busy swimming and looking at all the corals and fish.
It can be quickly taken off your body and checked so you can find your way around. It also glows in the dark, so you can see your compass regardless of where you are in the water.
3. SUUNTO SK-8 Dive Compass
You can’t get any better than having the world’s most popular dive compass on your wrist. That’s why you need the SUUNTO SK-8 Dive Compass! This compass is super reliable because it provides a high tilt compensation with a soft glow-in-the-dark face so you can see all the numerals easily, no matter what part of the water you are in.
While scuba diving with this compass, there is precise, fast stabilisation and balanced correctly for the northern hemisphere. The compass attaches to a bungee cord that goes onto your wrist so you can easily reach it and check it whenever you want.
4. Scubapro FS-1.5 Wrist-Mounted Dive Compass
Get your scuba groove on with this Wrist Mounted Dive Compass. Small and compact this compass is lightweight and easy to use and wear with any scuba gear. It is durable for many diving trips as it is mounted inside of a pressure-resistant oil-filled glow-in-the-dark housing, protecting it from the change in water pressure and any knocks and scrapes.
Calibrated to the northern hemisphere, this compass is excellent for navigating the vast oceans, and with the black wristband, it is simple to secure on your wrist and onto any scuba equipment. To give you peace of mind, this compass also has a one-year manufacturers warranty, so you can get your compass replaced or fixed if it doesn’t work accurately.
5. Dive Compass,Dive Compass Scuba Luminous Wrist Compass Waterproof Underwater Navigation Compass with Bungee Night Vision Black
Illuminate the water and find your way around with this Scuba Wrist Compass. With protective plexiglass to help protect the compass and 88cm bungee cord, you can wrap the compass around your wrist or to any part of your scuba suit. This compass is light and easy to use, making it a great addition to your scuba diving gear.
It has glow-in-the-dark qualities so that when you dive deeper, you don’t lose where you are in the water, and you can always find your way around. This compass has a depth of 50M, so you can delve into the deep blue sea and have a great time without getting lost.
6. TOPINCN Waterproof Compass Diving Compass Wrist Outdoor Sports Survival Emergency Slighting Professional
Scuba diving can be fun but dangerous if you don’t have the correct equipment, and a reliable compass is something you need before going into the water. This compass has a highly accurate oil-filled capsule with a floating dial, giving the compass a flexible but stable pointer, and with a bubble level, it improves the compasses accuracy.
The compass is made from high-quality aluminium alloy, making it extremely sturdy and robust for scuba diving and other water-based sports. It is waterproof to 50M deep, so it gives you plenty of space to have a great but safe adventure under the sea!
7. XS Scuba Highland Bungee Mount Compass
If you love scuba diving and need a brand new compass to go with that fancy scuba suit, we have the one for you! The Highland Bungee Compass comes complete with an illuminating face and large ratcheting bezel; you will be able to check and navigate your way around the water with absolute ease.
This compass is bungee mounted, meaning it uses a bungee cord to attach to your wrist or body. With this particular compass, you can either loop a big continuous loop around yourself or have two smaller loops on either side to feel extra secure. You have plenty to work with, about 30 inches of length, until you are completely satisfied and comfortable.
8. Phantom Aquatics Scuba Wrist Compass
With this compass, you will be able to scuba dive just like a phantom, gliding with ease, knowing exactly where you are at all times. This compass is purposely designed for the southern hemisphere, and you can dive to around 250ft underwater with this compass by your side. The strong magnets within the compass mean a quick and reactive response time, so you know what to do and whereabouts you are.
Great for scuba diving and other water sports, this compass has an illuminating feature in the dark, so you have peace of mind no matter how deep you go.
9. Aqua Lung Compass Module for the Northern Hemisphere
You will be swimming with the fish in no time with this Aqua Lung Compass. Designed with large, easy-to-read numbers and a side view to look at the compass at any angle, making your scuba diving simpler and more effective. With no attachment, this compass is perfect for someone who needs a replacement compass instead of the whole attachment.
With the vital dial numbers 10, 20, 30 and 130 degrees illuminating when the light dims, you can concentrate on your diving with the critical information available at all times.
10. Oceanic Wrist Mount Compass
As long as you have a compass, you can find your way around anywhere. With this compass mount, you can place it on any attachment and be on your way into the ocean before you know it. With an intuitive design and a large ratcheting bezel, you can easily see all the numerals and lubber lines with high visibility.
With the oceanglo floating card, it can absorb the light around it and can glow for approx. 7x times faster than other compasses, meaning you will be able to navigate faster and easier.
To make sure your compass lasts for a long time, keeping up with the maintenance of a compass is essential. Avoid dropping the compass or knocking it against anything or onto a hard surface, which could lead to damage and inaccurate readings.
Many scuba diving compasses are made with magnets, so they must be adequately maintained. Ensure to store your magnetic compass away from any electrical or computer equipment or anything that generates a magnetic field as this could damage the compass.
Compasses do need cleaning, and this is because diving compasses will get a salt build-up from the sea or dirt from sand that could affect the workings of your compass. So to remove any sea-salt spray or dirt, rinse the compass under fresh, clean water and wipe gently with a damp lint-free cloth. Don’t ever use any cleaning chemicals or harsh cleaners, as this could also affect or damage your compass.
Prices vary depending on what kind of compass you are looking for and what is included. Most compasses can range between $30 to $50. You find that the price goes up if you want a watch style or a bungee attachment along with it.
You are also paying for quality and longevity. The more you spend, the longer the compass will last with the correct maintenance and cleaning.
The difficulty level of a compass varies, but we would say it would be of moderate difficulty. If you have never used a compass before, you will need to do your research and watch some informational videos on using them correctly before you head out.
If they are misused, it can lead to catastrophic events, so it is imperative to know how to read one accurately.
Compasses for diving come in many different shapes and sizes but to fully understand how to work one, and you need to practice before jumping into the water. There are many scuba diving courses that teach you compass skills to keep you safe and have the proper knowledge.
Compasses are vital to know where you are going in the water and on land and can help you establish an exact route before and during your dive. It is a fundamental tool to orient yourself, especially in a vast space like underwater.
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