Suunto MB-6 Compass Review

The Suunto MB-6 Compass is a high-quality, professional-grade matchbox compass designed for accurate navigation and orientation.

SUUNTO MB-6 Global Compass,Black

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • High Precision
  • Durable Construction
  • Global Needle

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Higher Price
  • Requires Experience to Use
  • Bulky Design


We really liked the Suunto MB-6 Compass.  As it is made by Suunto, we knew it was going to be accurate, reliable, and made to a high standard.  The matchbox design is not a gimmick, but it is actually practical and useful.  We felt confident slipping the compass into a pocket, knowing it would be safe and protected.  Having the sighting mirror fall down from underneath was unusual, but it worked very well.  We were impressed by how quickly and smoothly the needle moved in the liquid-filled capsule.   This would be a great backup compass to carry with an electronic device.  It’s not really a compass for someone who is new to navigating, but if you are confident using a mirror compass, the Suunto MB-6 Compass is a great choice.

Suunto MB-6 hiking compass luminosity

Compare to Similar Products

Analysis and Test Results

The Suunto MB-6 Compass offers precise readings and features a sighting mirror for accurate direction finding and navigation.  Built with sturdy materials, this compass is designed to withstand rugged outdoor use and adverse weather conditions.  The compass’s global needle ensures accurate readings in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, making it suitable for international travel.  The matchbox design means the compass is completely protected.  A typical baseplate compass usually has sharp edges that can catch on fingers and material but the boxy design of the Suunto MB-6 Compass means this isn’t a problem.  The Suunto MB-6 Compass falls into the higher price range, making it less affordable if you are on a budget.  Beginners may find the compass’s advanced features, like the sighting mirror, challenging to use, but with practice and training, these do become useful.  The compass’s robust construction contributes to its bulkier size, which might be less convenient for those looking for a smaller, more lightweight compass.

Performance Comparison


The Suunto MB-6 Compass is a baseplate compass designed with advanced features for navigation.  Its transparent baseplate allows users to read maps directly through the compass, aiding in precise navigation and orientation.  The compass has a sighting mirror that drops down from underneath, helping with accurate direction finding and bearing readings.  We liked the groove and notches on the top of the case that really help when you are taking a sighting.  To open the compass, you hold the case and pull the lanyard to slide the compass out of the housing.  You get a satisfying click when it is fully open, and the compass is firmly fastened to the case with no wobbling.  The lanyard has a small tool attached to it for making declination adjustments.  To find the adjustable declination screw you need to turn the compass over and slide it fully open.  You can also use the compass as a clinometer if you need to see how steep a slope is.

Suunto MB-6 hiking compass

Increments and Scales

The Suunto MB-6 Compass has clear and precise degree increments in intervals of 2 degrees, with an accuracy of 2.5 degrees.  The degrees are marked in white on the black bezel and also in black on the transparent base of the capsule.  There are no scales marked on this compass.  This may seem like a fairly trivial point, but if you like to have inches or centimeters available when reading a map, this may not be the right compass for you.


Suunto take pride in making high-quality and reliable equipment.  They tell a story about a Finnish soldier fighting in the Winter War in 1939 who was shot by a sniper but survived because the bullet hit the Suunto compass in his pocket.  As you would expect, the Suunto MB-6 Compass boasts excellent durability, and it is built to withstand harsh weather conditions and high elevations.  The compass is mainly made from plastic except for the mirror, which is polished steel.  The matchbox design provides all-around protection and makes this one of the toughest compasses we have seen.  As is typical of Suunto, this compass is water- and pressure-resistant and works between -30° C (-22° F) to +60° C (+140° F).  The Suunto MB-6 Compass is a fantastic piece of kit, and it could easily last a lifetime of use

Ease of Use

The Suunto MB-6 Compass offers ease of use despite its advanced features.  While the sighting mirror may present a slight learning curve for inexperienced users, the compass’s clear degree markings and straightforward design make it practical for both beginners and experienced navigators.  The sighting mirror aids in precise direction finding, and the global needle ensures accurate readings in both hemispheres.  Although the MB-6 compass incorporates advanced features, it remains intuitive and user-friendly, making it a great compass for hikinh.

Region and Needle

The Suunto MB-6 Compass is designed for worldwide use, making it suitable for navigation in all regions, including both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  The compass features a global needle with a jewel bearing.  The needle is contained in a liquid-filled capsule, so it moves freely and quickly and stops moving rapidly.  Unlike many compasses, it has a 20 degrees tilt margin, so you don’t have to keep it perfectly flat to take an accurate reading. 


The Suunto MB-6 Compass is equipped with luminous markings for enhanced readability in low-light or nighttime conditions.  The notches on the case, the needle, and the orienting arrow have a bright green luminous glow when needed.

Suunto MB-6 hiking compass in its box


The Suunto MB-6 Compass has a compact size, but the design makes it deeper than a typical baseplate compass.  It measures approximately 2.6 inches (6.7 cm) in length, 1.8 inches (4.7 cm) in width, and it is 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) deep.  This convenient size ensures comfortable handling and storage in gear or pockets during outdoor excursions.


The Suunto MB-6 Compass is designed to be lightweight for easy use during outdoor adventures.  It weighs around 2 ounces (57 grams), which is about as heavy as a tennis ball.

This compass will add minimal weight to your gear, and it is comfortable to wear around your neck for extended periods of time.

Suunto MB-6 compass declination


The Suunto MB-6 Compass has a higher price point, reflecting its professional-grade construction and advanced features.  While it may cost more initially, its durability, precision, and global needle functionality offer excellent value for money.


The Suunto MB-6 Compass is a reliable and professional-grade navigation tool.  Its baseplate design with a transparent base enables direct map reading, and the sighting mirror and global needle enhance its precision, ensuring users can confidently find the correct direction and bearing.  The compass’s luminous features enable clear readability in low-light or nighttime conditions.  Its compact size and lightweight build add to its convenience, making it easily portable for prolonged outdoor use.  The matchbox design is well thought out and provides complete protection.  While the Suunto MB-6 Compass falls into the higher price range, its durability, rugged construction, and advanced features justify the investment.  Despite its advanced functionalities, the compass’s user-friendly design ensures both beginners and experienced navigators can benefit from its accurate performance.  We have no hesitation in recommending the Suunto MB-6 Compass as an excellent hiking compass.

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