Brunton TruArc 10 Compass Review

The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass is a high-quality baseplate compass, featuring advanced navigation features and reliable performance for hiking.

Brunton TruArc10 Compass

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • TruArc Global Needle
  • Tool Free Declination Adjustment
  • Durable Construction

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Declination Adjustment Difficult to Use
  • Only One Straight Edge
  • Air Bubbles Common


There’s a lot to like about the Brunton TruArc 10 Compass but there are also some niggles.  It’s a well-made, sturdy baseplate compass with a number of features to help with navigation.  We liked the magnifying lens on the bezel over the needle but we would have liked a magnifying lens elsewhere to help with reading small print and contour lines on the map.  We liked the ergonomic design of the baseplate with a curve that sat comfortably on our hands.  However this meant that there was only a straight edge on one side of the compass which wasn’t ideal for plotting a course on a map.  The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass is a basic baseplate compass so it does not have any of the more advanced features such as a mirror or clinometer.  It would be a good hiking compass for a beginner or as a backup for an electronic GPS device.

Compare to Similar Products

Analysis and Test Results

Brunton are an American company that originally became known for making high-quality pocket transits that were much smaller and lighter than other models.  It wasn’t until 1976 that they started making compasses.  They used their experience making pocket transits to create high-quality compasses. The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass has a global needle, ensuring accurate readings in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The TruArc 10 compass allows for easy declination adjustment, enabling precise readings without the need for manual calculations or a tool.  Built with sturdy materials, the compass is designed to withstand rugged outdoor use and adverse weather conditions.  Beginners may find the declination adjustment and advanced features challenging to use without adequate training and practice. The compass’s solid construction contributes to its slighter heavier than average weight but it is by no means bulky. The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass has mid-range price point, reflecting its advanced features and durability, which might be less budget-friendly for some users.

Performance Comparison


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass is a baseplate compass designed for outdoor navigation. It has a transparent baseplate to allow for direct map reading and precise orientation.  The needle moves smoothly and swiftly in a liquid filled capsule, although a number of users have reported air bubbles.

Increments and Scales

The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass provides clear and precise 1 degree increments which is unusual for a cheaper compass like this.  The degrees are marked in black on the white ring and to make it easier to read there is a magnifying lens.  There are 4 Romer scales marked on the compass – 1: 24000, 1: 50000, 1: 62500, 1: 63360.  While it is good to have all bases covered in reality you will probably only ever use the first two and we felt having so many could be confusing and difficult to use. The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass also has 5 GPS confidence circles which can be used to narrow down the area when plotting a GPS reading on a map.  On the straight side the is a scale with inches on one side and centimeters on the other that can be slid off and turned over to show which ever measurement you want to use.


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass boasts excellent durability. It has a double-gauge base plate made of tough plastic.  It is water resistant and it can be used in temperatures as high as 60° C (140°F) and as low as -34° C (-30°F).

Ease of Use

The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass  is designed with user-friendliness in mind. Its straightforward design and clear degree markings make it easy to use for both beginners and experienced navigators. The declination adjustment feature removes the need for tools or manual calculations, though some users may require practice to fully utilize the compass’s advanced features effectively.  However many users have struggled to adjust the declination.  Brunton’s instructions are to place your thumb in the center of the liquid filled vial, then pinch the vial with your fore-finger on the bottom through opening in the center of the vial base. In other words, put your thumb over the middle of the needle and your finger underneath the compass and squeeze.  The next instruction is to hold the rotating dial still with your other hand, and then twist the liquid filled vial within the outer dial. This is not easy to do and impossible to achieve if you are wearing gloves.  You adjust to the appropriate declination setting according to your location using the red hash mark at the tail of your magnetized needle but we struggled to do this accurately because it was difficult to twist the capsule.  Whilst you can set the declination at home before you leave we did not find it an easy process while outdoors.  Our personal preference is to have a tool that precisely and easily adjusts the declination.  We also found that the center circle of the compass popped out of the baseplate and it was tricky to reinsert it. 

Region and Needle

The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass has a global needle so it can be used in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  This compass has a professional grade, rare earth magnet in place of a basic magnetized steel needle.  This allows the compass to resist interference and maintain polarity over time.  The needle also tilts up to 20 degrees.  We were impressed by how quickly and smoothy the needle moved.


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass typically has luminous markings so it can be used in low-light or nighttime conditions. The azimuth ring, magnetic needle, direction of travel arrow and sight are all luminous and will glow brightly for up to 8 hours.  This compass also has high visibility clings for enhanced performance in low light that can be removed if they are interfering with map reading.


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass has a compact size, making it portable and convenient for outdoor use. It measures 5.2 inches (13.2 cm) in length, 2.8 inches (7.1 cm) in width, and 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) deep, making it easily storable in gear or pockets during hiking.


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass is designed to be lightweight for comfortable use during hikes and other outdoor activities. It weighs around 1.7 ounces (48 grams), ensuring it adds minimal weight to the user’s gear or equipment.


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass falls into the mid-price range, reflecting its advanced features and durability. While it may require a greater investment compared to basic compass models, its precision, declination adjustment, and reliability offer good value for money.


The Brunton TruArc 10 Compass is a reliable and advanced compass. The global needle is excellent and we liked the magnifying lens on the bezel.  The compass’s declination adjustment feature simplifies calculations as long as you can get the hang of using it. While the TruArc 10 compass may have a slight learning curve for some users, its user-friendly design and well-defined degree increments make it easy to use.  It is a well-made compass with some interesting features.

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