The MAPsport SHOP
5 Atahu Grove, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand Phone (04) 566 2645
(updated 3 Dec 19)
Specialist orienteering compasses! Most not available in downtown shops. Markup rate reduces as price rises to help you buy the best! Magnifier attachments and compass cases are listed on the Miscellaneous page.
Silva is experiencing quality problems with its competition compasses. We are cautiously optimistic that these have been solved, but we don't have all the models we would wish. If you seek an orienteering compass from the Swedish company which invented them, read on.
Right now we have a special offer for customers who have experienced faults with the flagship model, the Silva Race S. Silva has provided 5 Race S compasses free for us to distribute. We will allocate them to the first 5 affected MAPsport customers who contact us. Just give us the approximate date of the discussion you had with us.
In the meantime we announce that we again have in stock the Silva Race S thumb compass with the Jet needle, see below. The problems have not affected the popular tramping compass the Ranger, and we can get some other models which the agent brings into NZ.
Please page down for other brands which we stock.
- Traditional Tramping Compass
Silva Ranger, best-selling compass in New Zealand, turnable needle housing in a rectangular baseplate; degree markings; 20mm magnifier; Swedish quality; Dec 2019 price reviewed downwards to $60. All-round "boyscout" compass suitable for tramping, adventure sport, getting your bearings in a strange city...
- Competition Baseplate Compass - Not currently available
Silva Race Plate Zoom, traditional baseplate compass with the Jet needle technology and a big magnifying lens.
- Mid-Range Thumb Compasses - Not currently available
Most orienteers now prefer these as they promote better attention to the map; your compass, hand and map become one unit. The mid-range "Nor Spectra" is not currently available.
- 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. Now available again in Left Hand version (the usual). Includes hard-shell compass case. Dec 2019 price reviewed down to $145.
- 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 - Not currently available
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, talk to a kiwi who has orienteered in Europe, or search online for a retailer in the Northern hemisphere.
- Back of the Hand - Not currently available
The Silva OMC has a jet needle in a housing which straps in the back of the hand. This is "handy" for MTBO and adventure racing.
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 exchange rate is slipping but we can maintain the price at $35. You can get a LH or a RH version, it goes on the hand you hold your map with.
- Moscow Model 8 (the "Toyota")
The Moscow Model 8 is what we call the "Toyota" of the compass world. It has a very capable needle and damping, and it has the rainbow segments round the outside. It suits the majority of orienteers, including secondary school students. We've got LH and RH thumb compasses, a baseplate and a wrist version. Hole to attach magnifier. We once priced it at $88, and in spite of the worsening exchange rate we can maintain it at $80! There's also a Moscow magnifier attachment which like the compass is very reasonable, see the miscellaneous page.
- Moscow Model 3 (the "Subaru")
Exactly the same mechanism as the Model 8, just without the rainbow segments round the dial. It's got degrees instead, which makes 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 the baseplate and wrist versions. Hole to attach magnifier. Same price, $80.
- Moscow 9* Elite (the "Ferrari")
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 the steadiness of this needle, it's superb. LH and RH thumb versions, or baseplate or wrist. Hole to attach Moscow magnifier. As we balance the discount against the exchange rate we've been able to trim the price down to $108.
- Left Thumb, Right Thumb, Hand or Wrist Available
A cool feature of the Moscow range is that all capsules (the needle housing) are interchangeable with the bases. As well as the boyscout-style baseplate and the orienteering-style thumbie, you can get a wrist holder which is a boon for 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 $16. 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 but has a 30mm magnifier which is twice the size of the Ranger's one.
- 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, and a really good price $100. (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 bank transfer or old-fashioned cheque. Prices shown include GST.