The Best Car Compass to Guide You in Your Next Adventure

I am pretty sure everyone, at least once in their lives, has gotten lost, and more likely than not, they will get lost again.

While it’s true that technology has made it way easier to navigate the wilderness, I will argue that the same technology is giving us a false sense of security. True, we have Google Earth and can talk to people on the other side of the planet in an instant. This makes the world seem smaller than it actually is, and we forget that a wrong turn is all it takes to find ourselves somewhere unknown.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Compass in Your Car?

Let’s be honest here – most people nowadays don’t own physical maps or compasses for that matter. Everything you need is on your phone. However, there is a problem with that – you can’t just pull out your Samsung Galaxy A52 while driving and open up an application. That’s way too dangerous and definitely an easy way to get into an accident. It also isn’t optimal to stop every half hour somewhere and look at your phone that way. True, you can get a phone mount, and that is one option that could work, but I much prefer to have a car compass.

Most importantly, it’s safer. What would you rather have – a proper compass that gives all the necessary information or a glowing rectangle that distracts you from the road? Then there is the fact that some more high-end digital compasses for cars have way more functionality in one. While it’s true that there is an app for everything, the car compass puts all those apps in one streamlined device. Some can show latitude and longitude, vehicle speed, voltage, and even driving distance. There are those that can act as an overspeeding alarm and show you altitude as well as satellite information.

Best Car Compasses – Review Section

While there are many car compasses out there, few are as good as advertised. With my friend Chris, who happens to be a mechanic, I was able to compile a list of the best of the best. These products can be used on boats or really any vehicle you want, although we will be focusing mainly on cars here.

1. Geekercity Mini Compass Ball – Great First Choice 

Sale
Geekercity Automotive Compass Ball for Car or Boat, Mini Adjustable Compass with Adhesive Tape, Universal Dashboard Dash Stand Compass for Most Boat Car Truck - for Finding Direction
  • 【HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL, PERFECT DECORATION】Made of high quality ABS plastic material, which is corrosion resistant and environmental...
  • 【STAY AWAY FROM THE MAGNETIC FIELD】All compasses will be interfered by the magnetic field, so we suggest that the compass should be installed...
  • 【DETACHABLE & ADJUSTABLE BASE】Allows you to adjust it for better view. The arrow always points south, clear to identify the direction. Please...

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This vehicle compass is made out of high-quality ABS plastic, corrosion-resistant, and environment friendly, which is really nice to see. Not only that, but its rounded design provides a certain aesthetic to your car, although my partner might disagree. At least the auto compass is compact enough that it won’t grab too much attention, and the lettering is just big enough that you won’t have to squint.

There is an adhesive sticker at the bottom that helps the compass stay in place. The base is adjustable, so you can rotate it in any direction you would like. However, since this is a traditional compass, you need to keep it away from magnetic fields. That means there are a few places in the car where you can’t place it. Otherwise, it won’t work properly. I would recommend placing it above the glove compartment to be safe.

Pros
  • Good design
  • Environment-friendly
Cons
  • Magnetic interference

2. Acouto Multipurpose Compass – Best Design

Acouto Multi-Purpose Compass ABS Sea Marine Bracket Mount Compass Voyager Outside Fits for Boat Caravan Truck Watercraft(Black)
  • ★ Built-in accuracy compensator to easily adjust for deviation, which makes the reading more precisely
  • ★ Bracket mounted compass, can be mounted on deck allowing compass to remain at proper viewing angle for the accrate directions
  • ★ Fast response, high sensibility, keep balance individually, precision engineering reading display

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Acouto car compass is made out of ABS materials and is corrosion-resistant, not to mention waterproof. So it’s perfect for your car and boat if you have one.

The auto compass also has a built-in accuracy compensator which easily adjusts for deviations. Meaning it’s way more accurate than your standard run-of-the-mill old compass. It also has a compact size, but the letters are large enough to see even without my glasses. It also comes in two colors which are nice – black and white.

Since this is a traditional compass, you need to keep it away from magnetic interference. That shouldn’t be too hard though. However, there is one other problem, and that is its installment. This vehicle compass doesn’t have a simple sticker or suction cup. Instead, it comes with a metal plate and bolts that need to be attached – a complicated process that could have been avoided with simple adhesive.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Good design
  • Extra-accurate
Cons
  • Magnetic interference
  • Complicated installation process

3. Odowalker Electronic – Largest Display 

Odowalker Electronic LED Light Marine Digital Compass Suitable for Car Boat and Truck Black White
  • MATERIAL: Made of high quality ABS material with adjustable magnetic declination sheet, which is environmentally friendly and will serve you in...
  • LED LIGHT: If you have difficulties reading directions at night, the LED light function will brighten the compass and will allow you to navigate...
  • USE: The compass is widely used for car, marine boat, truck and caravan. This is a great product to show you the right directions during driving.

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This car compass is once again made out of high-quality ABS materials. It also has an adjustable magnetic declination sheet – not to mention it’s also environmentally friendly, and that’s an instant win in my book.

However, the installation process is a bit complicated, but at least you can adjust the bracket to the most comfortable position for you. Now, this traditional compass is a bit divisive. I like it because it has LED lights that illuminate the tool at night. My mechanic friend Chris, however, hates it because of its bulky design, and I admit the design is very large. At least that way you can better read the lettering. What do you think?

Personally, I understand where Chris is coming from, but I still think it’s a good compass. You can put it on your boat or car or wherever. It also comes in black and white to match your interior.

Pros
  • Light-up function
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Magnetic declination sheet
Cons
  • Magnetic interference
  • Complicated installation
  • Bulky design

4. Bell Automotive 22-1-24006-8 Lighted Compass, Multi, One Size – Most Minimalistic 

Bell Automotive 22-1-24006-8 Lighted Compass, Multi, One Size
  • Displays 8 directional points
  • Red LED light permits use at night
  • Mounts to dash or windshield with reversible mount

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This car compass has a simple design – really large lettering and a large needle, nothing more, nothing less. It’s also equipped with two suction cups that can attach to your windshield. You can even place this on your mirror if you’re crazy enough, although then, you are better off getting a digital compass for a car mirror. Likewise, if you have a HUD installed, it might not be ideal to place it on the windshield. Then again, that means you also have an integrated compass, so you won’t need this one.

If you don’t have a HUD windshield, this is a good second choice. It comes with a red LED light that illuminates the compass even at night – but not to a degree where you won’t be able to see the road ahead. However, if you don’t want to place it on your windshield, it also has an adhesive tape so it can attach to your dashboard. Plus, it comes with an extra battery – you know, for the light. I think this is a cute, simple compass that gets the job done. Just be careful where you place it because it’s still a traditional compass.

Pros
  • Good design
  • LED light
Cons
  • Magnetic interference

5. Serounder Car Ball Compass – Best Compact Option

Serounder Car Ball Compass, Black Mini Adjustable Ball Night Vision Compass for Boat/Marine Boat/Truck/Caravan
  • Pivoting compass for car and boat. Great for boat, marine boat, truck, caravan, etc
  • Fast response and precise navigation. Easy to read precise dial
  • Adjustable mounting bracket and visible lubber line for easy direction and data reading

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This ball compass is made out of high-quality plastic material. It’s also really sturdy, and it will last you a while. It attaches via adhesive to the dashboard. Just be careful where you place it. This is still a traditional compass, so there will be magnetic interference. Despite this, the compass is not all that accurate, which is really disappointing because it seems like a good compact option.

Other than that, the vehicle compass is small enough to carry around, and you can put it either in your car or your boat. The letters themselves are decently sized and so is the needle. It also has an adjustable mounting bracket, so you can look at it from a comfortable position.

In fact, this dash compass is so compact that you have room for other equipment as well, such as a third-party HUD display or even a laptop mount.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Large letters
Cons
  • Magnetic interference
  • Not as accurate

6. VGEBY Car Compass – Great Accuracy 

VGEBY Car Compass, Pivoting Car Boat Navigation Explorer Mount Compass Sea Marine Compass with Bottom Stick
  • --EASY TO READ: Adjustable mounting bracket and visible lubber line are designed for easy direction and data reading.
  • --ADHESIVE STICK: With adhesive on the bottom, car compass is easy to stick the compass on car or boat.
  • --HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL: Compass for Car is made of high quality plastic material, the compass is sturdy and durable for long service life.

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Once more, we have a ball compass with an adjustable mounting bracket. It’s made of high-quality plastic materials, and it will last a long time. Now, some of you might be getting deja vu, and so am I. The difference from the previous entry, however, is that this car compass is really accurate.

It has a built-in accuracy compensator that can easily adjust for deviations, resulting in a more accurate reading. The auto compass also uses an adhesive to stick to the dashboard. However, I would recommend placing it above the glove compartment because this is not a digital compass and that means magnetic interference.

The device is at least compact enough that you can almost carry it in your pocket, and the letters are large enough to read even without my glasses. Not to mention the design itself will fit the aesthetic of most cars and/or boats, which may seem trivial, but you don’t want your compass sticking out like a sore thumb.

Pros
  • Good design
  • Really accurate
Cons
  • Magnetic interference

7. ACECAR Upgrade T800 – Most Versatile 

ACECAR Upgrade T800 Universal Car HUD Head Up Display Digital GPS Speedometer with Compass Driving Latitude and Longitude Speedup Test Brake Test Overspeed Alarm HD LCD Display for All Vehicle
  • 🚙【What is HUD?】 Short for Head Up Display. It displays driving data on its 4.3 inch TFT LCD screen such as speed,driving direction,voltage...
  • 🚙【RICH CONTENTS 】Compass,Driving latitude and longitude, Vehicle speed, driving direction, voltage, driving distance measurement, driving...
  • 🚙【HD Display 】ACECAR HUD has a 4.3-inch full screen and is equipped with a high-definition 2.75-inch TFT LCD screen, which displays the...

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Next up, we have the only digital compass for a car on this list. Subsequently, that also makes it the best digital compass for a car.

It has a slick design and a lot of features. Because of those features, this device is also considered a head-up display, but we are going to be focusing on the compass for this review. Now, the device as a whole can turn on/off automatically with your car’s ignition. It also has an automatic and manual brightness adjustment to degree glare. So that’s a plus if you are trying to navigate during midday, especially in Arizona.

However, given that this is not a traditional car compass, it takes a bit longer to calibrate. Not only that, but it’s not as accurate. That doesn’t mean it’s bad per se, because it still gets the job done. You also don’t have to worry about magnetic interference which is also a plus. However, the whole point of a compass is that it’s less distracting than a phone screen. While this digital automotive compass is not of the same caliber, I still found it a bit more distracting than the other entries.

Pros
  • Great design
  • A lot of features
  • No magnetic interference
Cons
  • Less accurate
  • Longer calibration time

8. Filfeel Pivoting LED Compass – Best Value

Filfeel LED Lights Illuminated Light Up Pivoting Compass Electronic Digital Navigation Compass Marine Boat Truck Car Black
  • Made of high quality ABS plastic material, which is durable, corrosion resistant and environmental friendly
  • Dial is with bright LED for easy reading day or night
  • Adjustable mounting bracket and visible lubber line for easy direction reading

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now, this is one of those dashboard compasses that are on the bigger side. It’s also made out of high-quality ABS plastic, which means that it’s also environmentally friendly.

The bulky dash compass comes with a LED light that illuminates the surface area. This light is just enough so that you can see even at night and not too bright so that you will be blinded when it comes to the road ahead. Other than that, the compass also has an adjustable mounting bracket so that you can look at it at any angle.

When it comes to disadvantages, you already know what I am going to say. Since this is a traditional car compass, you will need to avoid any magnetic interference. Other than that, it’s a great tool that’s also easy to install. Plus, Chris seems to like it fine enough.

Pros
  • Good material
  • Environmentally friendly
  • LED light
Cons
  • Magnetic interference
  • Bulky design

9. KanPas Automotive Compass – Runner-Up

KanPas Automotive Compass Ball for Car or Boat
  • Installation instructions (Note: You observe that the direction shown by the white dot is the direction of progress.)
  • 1. Avoid magnetic interference factors, such as iron structure, audio speakers, etc.
  • 2. Make sure that the diameter of the white indicating point is parallel to the way forward. The white indicating point shows the direction of...

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The silver medal goes to this car thermometer and compass. The device has a compact, ball-like design that fits neatly no matter where you put it, be it in your car or boat. In fact, it’s so small that you can put it in your pocket. What’s more, the car compass is also really easy to install – all it takes is tearing off the double-sided tape underneath.

Now, let’s talk about that thermometer. It’s not a thermometer in the sense that it constantly displays the temperature. Instead, if the ambient atmosphere is lower than 77°F (25°C), a bubble will appear that is around 0.07–0.15 in (2–4mm) in diameter. That bubble will not affect the accuracy in any way, and it will dissipate as the temperature increases. You should only worry about it if the bubble grows to be around 1–4 in (2.5–10 cm) – that would mean that fluid is leaking out.

Other than that, this traditional compass is shockproof and waterproof. So you won’t have any problems.

Pros
  • Great design
  • Thermometer
  • Shockproof and waterproof
Cons
  • Magnetic interference

10. Ritchie Navigation Compass – Best Overall

Sale
Compass, Surface Mount, 2.75" Dial, Blk.
  • Direct-reading Dial
  • Compact low-profile design
  • This product is manufactured in China

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We have finally reached the number one spot on our car compass reviews. Likewise, if you know anything about compasses as a whole, you have probably heard of this brand.

The Ritchie vehicle compass uses a hardened steel pivot and a triple-cup sapphire jewel movement. This makes the tool more durable and provides for smoother operation. The compass also has a built-in compensator which results in more accurate navigation. That’s because this was designed primarily for boats where deviation is expected. Trust me, every person I know who owns a boat also has one of these or another Richie compass. Don’t worry – they also work perfectly well on cars.

The design itself is compact and slick. It also has an LED light that makes it more than visible at night, and the letters themselves are large enough to read without squinting. The best part, however, has to come from the company itself. All their compasses are 100% repairable and come with a 5-year warranty, which I think is a good practice that more manufacturers need to follow.

Pros
  • High-quality materials
  • Great design
  • LED light
  • Extremely accurate
Cons
  • Magnetic interference

Car Compasses – Buyer’s Guide

I understand that you may not agree with my choices for the best car compass out there, and that’s perfectly normal. Myself? Well, I enjoy a healthy debate. After all, different people have different values and priorities. This holds true for even an everyday tool such as the vehicle compass. So instead of simply telling you what to buy, I would also like to give you all the information you would need to pick out the best compass for a car yourself.

Types

We covered this a bit in the car compass reviews section, but I would like to go more in-depth here. As you might know, there are two main types – the traditional and digital. While both come with advantages and disadvantages, most of my mechanic friends, including myself, prefer the traditional version – and no, that’s not just because we are old.

The traditional or rather magnetic compass has the best calibration out of the two. It works exactly like a handheld one, and it’s just as accurate, that is, as long as you don’t place it near any magnetic fields. Then, there is the digital car compass that sometimes can take up to 5 minutes to calibrate, but this one does come with extra features, and it doesn’t have the problem of magnetic interference.

Of course, these two types can be further broken down. There are dashboard compasses as well as digital compasses for a car mirror. Generally, the latter tends to be on the lighter side, so you don’t have to worry about your rearview mirror falling off. Then again, you can always glue it back on.

To conclude, it all depends on what you are looking for. If you prefer accuracy, like myself, then look into a magnetic car compass. However, if you would rather have more features, then the digital way is where you should be headed.

Ease of Use

The whole point of a car compass is to make for an easier and less distracting drive. To that end, you should look for something easy to read. Large letters or a big needle are preferable, so is nighttime illumination. Then there are those that have a movable sunshade to reduce glare. In general, look for any features that will help you read the compass better. This is extremely important for those of us who wear glasses.

Size

When it comes to size, the car compass is as varied as the cars themselves. If you buy one that is too small, you risk not being able to read it easily. On the other hand, if you buy one that is too big, then it probably might not fit, and then you risk it falling off mid-drive – speaking from experience. So you should carefully consider the size of your dashboard and the quality of your vision.

Conclusion

Whether you are looking for a digital automotive compass or a traditional one, we can all agree that it’s way less distracting than a phone. I would like to thank my friend Chris for helping me with this article, and I would like to thank you for reading it, whether you liked it or not. Still, I hope that you, at least, learned something new. Now, go out there, and take a dash compass or whatever you like on your next road trip, and have fun.

If, by any chance, you’re looking for more useful accessories for your car that will help you navigate and drive safely, check out our article on the best heads up displays.

Best Selling Car Compasses

Bestseller No. 1
Bell Automotive 22-1-24006-8 Lighted Compass, Multi, One Size
Bell Automotive 22-1-24006-8 Lighted Compass, Multi, One Size
Displays 8 directional points; Red LED light permits use at night; Mounts to dash or windshield with...
$14.99
SaleBestseller No. 2
VICTOR PRODUCTS INC Suction Cup Mini Compass
VICTOR PRODUCTS INC Suction Cup Mini Compass
Free floating ball and liquid damping for quick settling over roughest routes.; Mini - suction cup
$6.55
Bestseller No. 3
KanPas Automotive Compass Ball for Car or Boat (V39)
KanPas Automotive Compass Ball for Car or Boat (V39)
3. Finally, tear off the double-sided tape to fix the ball compass.; Features: shockproof, waterproof,...
$19.49

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Windshield Replacement