The DT420 occupies some solid middle ground in Recta’s range of compasses, and with a declination adjuster for offsetting the local magnetic variation, plus a clinometer for assessing how steep that slope really is, it’s packed with features. The declination is adjusted by undoing a grub screw on the underside of the bezel, and because Recta has thought of everything, the screwdriver you need to do this is built into the lanyard. Once you’ve added the variation (check your map for how much), you tighten the screw, then treat grid north and magnetic north as the same thing until you change location. It certainly makes things simple when it comes to bearings – just be sure you remember to readjust when you go somewhere new. The clinometer is less useful for general walking, but it’s handy if, say, you want to assess the steepness of a snow slope. The baseplate itself is loaded with romer scales, and throws in vertical measures for 1:10k and 1:15k alongside more comprehensive measures for grid squares on 1:25k and 1:50k maps – though regrettably not 1:40k. But for just £27, this compass really packs in the features, and it makes a great all-round option that’s exceptional value.
Romer 1:10k, 1:15k, 1:25k, 1:50k
Night use luminous markings
Map magnifier yes
Declination adjustment yes
Sighting options none
The Recta DT420 is best for value.
First published in Trail magazine November 2011