Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass Review

The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is a wearable compass that securely straps onto the wrist.  Its compact design offers quick and easy access to direction and orientation.

SUUNTO M-9 Wrist Compass

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Wearable Convenience
  • Compact and Lightweight
  • Water Resistance

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited Features
  • Smaller Display
  • Limited Map Use


 When Stephen Covey said, “Live your life by a compass, not a clock,” he may have been inspired by a wrist compass like this one.  Despite being made by Suunto, we weren’t expecting much from the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass, so we were pleasantly surprised. 

Wearing a compass on your wrist may seem like a gimmick, but we were impressed with how well the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass performed.  Whilst this may not have as many features as other more traditional compasses, we found it functioned well as a basic sighting compass. 

It is well made, as you would expect from Suunto, and we found it surprisingly convenient to have a compass on our wrist that we could quickly and easily check while hiking.

Suunto M-9 wrist compass being used

Compare to Similar Products

Analysis and Test Results

Obviously, the main distinguishing feature of the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is that it fits on your wrist.  The compass is light and not too bulky, so we hardly noticed we were wearing it. 

While we didn’t struggle, some might find it difficult to read the small size of the display.  The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is a basic compass used for simple navigation, and it doesn’t have the features you will find on other models.  It is designed to make it easy to see if you are going the right way but not to find your way. 

However, it provides a quick and convenient way to check your heading without the need to stop and dig through your pockets or rucksack to find a more sophisticated device.

Performance Comparison


Whether you view it as a wrist-mounted compass or a navigational wristwatch, the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is a practical sight compass. 

Unlike a traditional baseplate compass, the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass can’t be placed on a map but instead is designed to take a back bearing and quickly let you see if you are keeping on the correct bearing. 

It comes with a black Velcro strap making it easy to remove but secure when fastened.  It might not be the most stylish wrist accessory, but if you decide to replace the strap, make sure your new strap doesn’t have any metal on it! 

The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is a mechanical compass so no batteries are needed and you don’t have to worry about charging it up.  This makes it an ideal companion to a GPS device.

Suunto M-9 wrist compass increments

Increments and Scales

The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass provides degree increments in intervals of five degrees.  However, due to its compact size, the degree markings might be smaller than larger baseplate compasses, potentially making it difficult to read, especially for individuals with poor eyesight or in low-light conditions. 

The small size also affects the accuracy of the compass, with Suunto saying it is accurate to 5 degrees.  However you are unlikely to be using the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass for precise navigation so a small degree of inaccuracy will have no effect. 

Despite this limitation, the wrist compass remains a practical choice for hikers seeking a hands-free compass for quick and straightforward orientation.


Suunto is known for its well-built, practical products.  The company claim that their compasses are made with the highest precision from the highest quality materials to offer maximum durability and accuracy.

So it is no surprise to find that the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is well-designed and durable, making it a reliable choice for outdoor activities.  It’s mainly made of tough plastic with a liquid-filled capsule. 

It is water-resistant, so we didn’t have to worry about keeping it dry in wet and rainy conditions.  It is also unaffected by water pressure, so it could be used for swimming and diving.  It is designed to function in temperatures ranging from -30° C (-22°F)  to +60° C (+140° F).  Like all Suunto products, this compass is made in Finland. 

It comes with a limited lifetime warranty in the unlikely event that it breaks.  Whilst the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is overall robust, the main vulnerability would appear to be where the strap goes through the brackets, but with regular, everyday use, we are confident in saying it should last a long time. 

Ease of Use

The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use.  There is a notch on the frame at the front and a viewing window on the side.  Once we had lined the notch up with our desired heading, reading the bearing in the side window was simple. 

You use a ratchet mechanism to rotate the bezel until the red arrow is aligned with the black arrow.  You need to be aware that if you look down at the compass, the numbers will read backward.  Care must also be taken that the compass is level and moving freely. 

Once you have set the compass, raising your wrist to check your direction is very easy.  Due to its simplicity, the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is ideal for beginners.  It would also be a great starter compass for a child, making it easy for them to take a bearing and check the heading.

Suunto M-9 wrist compass

Region and Needle

The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is balanced for the Northern Hemisphere.  The jewel bearing and liquid-filled capsule ensure the needle moves smoothly.


The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is equipped with luminous features, making it easy to read in low-light conditions or during nighttime navigation.  It has a luminescent compass card that lights up nicely with a green glow that we found was more than bright enough to read the display.


The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is a compact size, measuring 1.61 inches (4.1 cm) by 1.85 inches (4.7 cm) and 0.55 inches (1.4 cm) in thickness.  Its lightweight and portable design means it can be comfortably worn on the wrist without adding significant bulk or weight.  The generous strap makes it possible to fasten it over clothing and coats.


The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is designed to be lightweight, so it only weighs 0.56 ounces (16 grams).  Its minimal weight makes it comfortable to wear on the wrist for extended periods without causing.


The Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is an affordable price, offering good value for money.  It’s not the cheapest compass available, but it is a reasonable price point for the extra functionality of being worn on your wrist. 

As a budget-friendly option, it provides reliable navigation capabilities in a compact and wearable design.  While it may lack some advanced features found in larger compass models, the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass is a practical and convenient choice for hikers.


If you are looking for an affordable and reliable wrist-mounted compass, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass.  Its compact and wearable design allows for hands-free navigation, providing quick access while on the move. 

It is easy to use and designed to perform in all conditions.  Whilst it shouldn’t be relied on as your sole method of navigation, we found the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass ideal for keeping us on the right heading.

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