The MAPsport SHOP
5 Atahu Grove, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand Phone (04) 566 2645
(updated 17 Sep 18)
Specialist orienteering compasses! Many not available in downtown shops. Markup rate reduces as price rises to help you buy the best! Magnifier attachments are listed in the Miscellaneous section.
NEW! Beginner Compass
At last, a replacement for the popular mapguide compass - this one straps on the back of a (small) hand. Rubber housing which should make it withstand tough kid-treatment. No degrees, colours, etc - just a needle. Compare with the map-north. Turn yourself until it agrees. Go! We sell at the family-friendly box-lot price of just $27. For bigger kids, see also the Moscow Beginner, below.
- Traditional Tramping Compass
Silva Ranger, best-selling compass in New Zealand, turnable needle housing in a rectangular baseplate; degree markings; 20mm magnifier; Swedish quality; recent price rise applied without markup, $63. All-round "boyscout" compass suitable for tramping, adventure sport, getting your bearings in a strange city...
- Competition Compass
Silva Race Plate Zoom, traditional baseplate compass with the magnet mass concentrated near the pivot for rapid response, plus transparent stabilising disc keeps the needle steady; and a big oval magnifier. The World Champions use this "Jet" needle technology; new configuration is smaller to better fit the hand; but it no longer has degree markings. Comes with hard-shell case, price $160.
- Thumb Compasses
Most orienteers now prefer these as they promote better attention to the map; your compass, hand and map become one unit.
The "Nor Spectra" is a development of the original Thumb compass with pointer and needle stability which exceeds the standard. And "Spectra" means it has a colour key round the outside of the dial as a short-cut to maintaining a bearing; small 2018 price rise to $104. Only available for the left hand. If you hold your map in the right hand, see Moscow compass below.
- Top Thumb Compass
Silva Race S Thumb Compass, Jet needle with stabilising disc, plus colour key round the outside of the dial as a short-cut to
maintaining a bearing; new model replaces Jet Spectra, price $149 includes hard-shell compass case. Pretty much all the top orienteers use this needle system. Specify left hand (the usual) or right hand (temporarily out of stock).
- Do I Need the Jet Needle?
It costs a lot more because the tiny magnets (there are two) are made of a highly-magnetic material such as neodymium. This lets them be positioned very close to the pivot, the main contribution to speed and stability. You need this if you can read the map on the run, when you can't avoid bumping your compass at every step! If you stop to read the map, save your money and buy a cheaper model.
- Northern Hemisphere Compasses
Did you know they are different? The earth's magnetism pulls one end of the needle down in the south, the other end in the north. So the little counterweight that ensures the needle swings freely has to be in a different place. For world travellers, we have brought in a few northern hemisphere LH Silva thumb compasses.
- Back of the Hand
We have also specially brought in the Silva OMC compass, which is the top Jet needle in a Spectra housing with elastic straps to hold it on the back of the hand. This is ideal for MTBO or Adventure Racing. Price $160.
MOSCOW ORIENTEERING COMPASSES
Moscow Model 22 (Beginner)
With the demise of the clip-on compass, beginner coaches have said "just get them into a thumb compass straight away." So we've brought in the cheapest compass from Moscow. The needle isn't specially steady, but neither was the clip-on. It points north! And as with the clip-on, we'll sell individual compasses at the box-lot price to help families. The latest shipment enjoyed a very good exchange rate, so the price is down $3 to $35. You can get a LH or a RH version, it goes on the hand you hold your map with.
- Moscow Model 8
The Russians may have pioneered the low-inertia compass, which provides the response and freedom from overswing so important for use on the run. It's been hard hooking up a suitable commercial deal with Moscow, but here it is. The Model 8 which is super fast, nearly as stable as the Jet, and it has the rainbow segments round the outside. We've got LH and RH thumb compasses and a baseplate version. Without a doubt it was the best-value thumb compass before, at $88. Now we can't guarantee this price for ever, but the latest exchange rate lets us sell at only $80!! There's also a Moscow magnifier attachment which like the compass is very reasonable, see the miscellaneous section.
- Moscow Model 3
Exactly the same mechanism as the Model 8, just without the rainbow segments round the dial. It's got degrees instead, which would make it more useful for tramping/AR on topo maps. Both the 22, the 3 and the 8 have a turnable capsule, for "setting" by traditional methods. LH and RH thumbies, and we also have a baseplate version. Same price, $80.
- Moscow 9* Elite - Rival to Silva Jet
Moscow has several combinations of speed and stability, we've tried them all in NZ conditions. And the 9* Elite comes up trumps - rivalling the Silva Jet! If you can read while running you'll appreciate this needle, it's superb. LH and RH thumb versions. Hole to attach Moscow magnifier. And look at the price! $110.
- Left Thumb, Right Thumb, Hand or Wrist Available
A cool feature of the Moscow range is that all capsules (where the needle is) are interchangeable with the bases. As well as the boyscout-style baseplate and the orienteering-style thumbie, you can get a wrist holder which may suit mountain-bikers and adventure racers. The capsule of your choice will fit. The price of the base is built-in to our prices, and extra bases just $15. Here are instructions to swap capsules including turning a LH thumbie into a RH one!
SUUNTO ORIENTEERING COMPASSES
Traditional Baseplates from Finland
Suunto has basic compasses to rival Silva but their pricing is about $10 higher. If you have loyalties to Finland just ask and we can get them in for you. Models available are the A-10 and A-30. The A-30 compares to the Silva Ranger 3 but has a 30mm magnifier which is twice the size of the Ranger's one.
STOP PRESS: Limited stock of the A-30 at the OLD price of the Ranger 3, ie $50.
- Global Needle - Back Again!
Suunto also has an advanced needle that works anywhere in the world. (Most compasses are balanced for a specific region.) The model that suits orienteering and adventure racing is the Suunto M3-G (Global). It's a baseplate compass with adjustable declination for topo maps. After thinking it was discontinued the NZ agent has new stock, our price is $120. (The other global ones are sighting compasses with a flip-up mirror.)
- No More Arrows
Suunto "Arrow" Competition Compasses. Needle speed and stability equivalent to the top Silvas. But they've stopped making them for the southern hemisphere, and they don't come with the global needle. They've also stopped making the thumby with the huge pre-focussed magnifier. But see the magnifier attachments in
For mail order phone (04) 566 2645, or write to
at 5 Atahu Grove, Lower Hutt 5010.
We'll invoice with the goods, and you can pay by cheque, bank transfer, Visa or Mastercard. Prices shown include GST.