Review by Scott Bain.
Ok, your BOB is packed, you grabbed your INCH and now your are headed to your bug-out location in some remote area of your state. You have made it through the traffic jams and mass confusion and find yourself out of gas 5 miles from your destination on a set of two tracks in the middle of no where and have to walk.
No problem right? Just whip out your GPS and your good to go…right up until you realize there’s no signal either because a solar flare has fried the satellites…So now what? Did I mention it was night?
Allow me to present the worlds first back lit, wrist mounted magnetic compass! Made by NavElite which is comprised of former SOF operators who saw a need for an easy to use compass to get your bearings with. What emerged was a really nicely designed and very user friendly device.
The construction is sound with a stout band that not only buckles but has a hook loop backup. The button to activate the backlight is easy to find and the compass lights up really nicely allowing full visibility and readability in the dark. The needle and lines on either side of the “N” are luminous and glow on their own.
The liquid filled compass is easy to read with high contrast markings and rotates in the mount so that you can set a heading. The needle moves smoothly with no hang ups and is accurate. You would be able to use this unit for land or sea navigation without a problem and when night falls you can still get your bearings either from the luminous markings or the primary feature, the backlight! When activated, the compass glows in a nice, soft green showing the way.
Being just bright enough to read the compass and using green light which the human eye responds to the most, it wont give away your position or light up the area around you. In fact to drive that point home, none of the pictures I took of it in the dark came out worth using!! The backlight is very effective at what it does and really makes this a worth while product – plus it’s easy on the eyes and is fully compatible with night vision gear.
The design of the strap and housing allows for comfortable wear ensuring that you will always have a compass when you need it. I wore it for a month straight without any problems or discomfort. It fit was good and the strap stayed buckled, thanks to the hook-loop which is a really nice touch. The soft side adheres to its rougher counterpart on the battery compartment. The button gives a nice “click” when pressed. This is one of those items that you will put on and forget you have till you need it.
Is it rugged? Yes. As I stated above, I have worn it for an entire month during which its been knocked, scratched, bumped, wacked on countertop corners and splashed repeatedly…you name it, all manners of stresses have been applied to it and it has taken them all in its stride. I have no doubt the compasses survivability in the field or its ability to guide you to where you need to go. When compared to another compass this one is just as accurate as the big boys but in a very convenient package.
Overall I was impressed by the NavElite. Being American made, the quality is there and its obvious that no corners were cut. The design is unique, its high on comfort and performs like a champ. The NavElite is an invaluable addition to ones survival or adventure load out and for soldiers out in bush, it could prove to be a life saver.