NavELite Magnetic Compass

The sad truth about the vast majority of the wrist-worn and button compasses on the market right now is that they are junk. They are typically low quality and lack the features needed to be anything but a last ditch backup. That is why I was so excited when I came across the upcoming NavELite which seems to have the potential to be a standout wrist-worn compass.

The NavELite looks a lot like a watch at first glance. It even features backlighting like many digital watches. The bezel is large and looks easy to read. It has redundant low light systems (NV friendly EL backlighting and luminous paint). The liquid filled compass module rotates so you can set an azimuth. The needle dampens quickly and rides on a jewel bearing. I am glad to see a needle because many small compasses use a platter which renders them nearly useless if even a small bubble forms. These features read more like the spec sheet for a serious hiking compass.

The NavELite is not yet on the market but, on paper, it looks like a tremendous compass and they are accepting pre-orders. Check out

6 Responses to NavELite Magnetic Compass

  1. Mike@AppalachianTraining July 26, 2012 at 21:51 #

    Matt you are so right, the typical wrist compasses usually deteriorate rapidly to junk, more of novelty item in most cases. I hope this model works out for them, the specs all look to be in line with something that will be useful. Would be good to have a wrist model that is actually functional as a quick ref or backup to a baseplate compass. Im counting on you to get your hands on one and wringing it out once they hit the street, looking forward to seeing how they do in the field.

  2. Bryan July 27, 2012 at 08:42 #

    How does proximity to the weapon affect the magnetic needle of the compass (per the video)? The problem I often had on military patrols was having my military compass too close to my steel pot (age revealed) and other metal gear.

  3. Homer July 27, 2012 at 09:39 #

    I’m glad to see them pursuing this idea. However their FAQ says the compass is not waterproof. That seems to be a real Achilles heel for the product.

    • Matt July 27, 2012 at 10:08 #

      It sounds like it will be fine in rain but you would not want to submerge it. Even if it does get submerged, you only risk loosing the backlight.

      With any compass, care should be taken to keep it away from ferrous metals when taking a bearing.

  4. Eric S. July 27, 2012 at 13:32 #

    I saw these at SOFIC this year and they are solid. The people behind the company are outstanding and believe me this product will be top notch.

  5. Eric Burgess July 27, 2012 at 13:42 #

    Stay tuned! NavELite is working on a waterproof model.

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