Suunto A-10 Compass Review

The Suunto A-10 Compass is a lightweight and compact compass featuring a transparent base plate and fixed declination correction.  A reliable compass ideal for beginners or hikers on a budget.

SUUNTO A-10 Compass: Compact, simple to use recreational hiking compass, Hiking, Boy Scouts, Orienteering

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Well Made
  • Budget-Friendly

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited Features
  • Basic Base Plate
  • Non-Global Needle


The Suunto A-10 Compass is, in our opinion, the best budget compass for hiking.  It offers the perfect combination of a reasonable price point with the reputation of its manufacturer.  It is made to the same high standard as more expensive Suunto compasses but at a fraction of the cost.  It doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles other more expensive compasses provide, but it is ideal for anyone looking for a basic compass.

Compare to Similar Products

Analysis and Test Results

The Suunto A-10 Compass is designed to be lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry during outdoor activities without adding significant bulk and weight to your gear.  The compass features a fixed declination correction, simplifying navigation by aligning the compass with true north and eliminating the need for constant manual adjustments.  As a more affordable option compared to advanced compass models, the Suunto A-10 offers excellent value for those seeking a reliable compass without breaking the bank.  The A-10 compass has a simple design with fewer features than the majority of more expensive models.  This might be a drawback for users seeking additional functionalities.  There’s no magnifier, no luminous markings, no adjustable declination, no sighting mirror, and no clinometer.   We also found the bezel tricky to turn when wearing gloves, maybe because the bezel is smaller than an average compass.  On the plus side, the baseplate is longer than typical, and the directional arrow is longer and clearer than most other compasses making taking map bearings easy.  If you are a beginner who is starting to learn how to navigate with a map and compass, you may appreciate the simplicity of the Suunto A-10 Compass.  If you use an electronic device to navigate, this compass would be an ideal backup to tuck in your rucksack.  We also thought this compass would be fantastic for a child if you know any younger ones interested in exploring the great outdoors.

Performance Comparison


The Suunto A-10 Compass is a baseplate compass.  It has a clear and transparent baseplate with ruler markings so you can read maps directly through the compass.  The Suunto A-10 Compass’s fixed declination correction simplifies navigation by aligning the compass with true north, eliminating the need for frequent manual adjustments.  Instead of adjusting the needle, there is a declination scale marked in red.  Once you have found the declination value on your map, you rotate the ring until the declination value for your location aligns with the orienting arrow.  This adjustment effectively compensates for the angle between true north and magnetic north, allowing your compass to display true north readings while keeping the magnetic needle aligned with magnetic north.  Whilst we prefer a compass with adjustable declination, the fixed method used by the Suunto A-10 Compass worked effectively and meant we didn’t have to do any manual calculations.

Increments and Scales

The Suunto A-10 Compass provides easy-to-read degree markings in increments of two degrees, with an accuracy of 2.5 degrees.  The degrees are clearly and accurately marked in white on a black ring.  The base plate has few additional scales, which may limit its use for precise map measurements, particularly for topographic maps, but there is a declination scale on the base of the housing, and there are four map scales.  The left side of the Suunto A-10 Compass is marked in centimetres whilst the scale on the right edge is in inches.


The Suunto A-10 Compass is made with high-quality materials, including a clear and impact-resistant baseplate, making it extremely durable.  This is typical of Suunto.  They explain this by saying that they are a Finnish company, and Finland tests them like they test their products.  Suunto say their cold, dark country demands a lot from them.  And because they demand a lot from their products, they take them into the real world for testing.  If they can survive Finland, they can survive anything.  Just like Suunto’s advanced models, the A-10 compass is reliable in various weather conditions; it is water- and pressure-resistant and will perform reliably at temperatures between -30° C (-22° F) to +60° C (+140° F).

Ease of Use

The Suunto A-10 Compass is known for its user-friendly design and ease of use.  Its simple and straightforward features, such as a fixed declination correction and clear degree markings on the baseplate, make navigation hassle-free.  While lacking advanced features, its uncomplicated design allows even beginners to use it effectively.  The compass has a lanyard with a detachable snap-lock, making placing it flat on a map easy.  With its lightweight and compact build, the Suunto A-10 is a convenient and intuitive compass.

Region and Needle

The Suunto A-10 Compass is available with either a Northern or Southern Hemisphere needle.  Speaking of the needle, it is made from high-grade steel needle, and it has a jewel bearing.  The needle is housed in a liquid-filled capsule, so it swings smoothly and dampens quickly.


The Suunto A-10 Compass has no luminous markings.


The Suunto A-10 Compass has a compact size, typically measuring around 2.2 inches (5.6 cm) in width and 4 inches (10.4 cm) in length.  It is 0.39 inches (0.10 cm) thick.  The Suunto A-10 Compass has a lightweight and portable design, making it easy to carry in pockets or attach to gear when hiking.


The Suunto A-10 Compass is lightweight, with an average weight of approximately 1.5 ounces (30 grams).  To give you some idea of how heavy that is, it’s about the same weight as an AA battery.  This compass is easy to carry during outdoor activities, ensuring minimal impact on the user’s gear or overall load.


Let’s be honest, the reason you would choose to buy the Suunto A-10 Compass is because you are looking for a cheap but reliable compass.  This is a very affordable option that also gives you reliable performance, durable build, and user-friendly features, making it a practical choice for those seeking a cost-effective compass without compromising on quality.


We think that the vast majority of buyers will be perfectly happy with the Suunto A-10 Compass.  This straightforward and reliable compass is suitable for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a cost-effective and easy-to-use compass.  Its lightweight and compact design makes it easy to carry this compass, while the fixed declination correction and clear degree markings on the baseplate ensure ease of use even for beginners.  While lacking advanced features, its simplicity, and durability provide dependable performance in various outdoor conditions.  The Suunto A-10’s competitive price and value for money make it an attractive choice for those seeking an affordable yet trustworthy compass.  Whether navigating through forests, mountains, or trails, the Suunto A-10 Compass is a practical and convenient companion for outdoor adventures.

Disclaimer: This article contains Affiliate Links. You won’t pay any more for buying through these links, but we may receive a commission from any purchases made through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you choose to support us by buying through our links, we thank you as it helps us to continue providing the resources we do to help you enjoy the outdoors more!