If you’re a fan of leisurely or competitive orienteering, then you need a compass that settles down really fast and is stable enough to cope with your heaving chest and beating heart! The Suunto Arrow 6 is designed specifically for taking bearings regularly and quickly while moving fast over tricky terrain, and it straps onto your thumb with an adjustable elastic loop so you can keep your hand relaxed while wearing/using it. All extraneous detail has been left out of the design, so what you have are the bare essentials that are required when the race is on. The north needle is big, and so are the line-up markings on the bezel, so you can set a bearing off the map really quickly, spin round to settle the needle ‘in the box’, and then set off on your new direction of travel. All the cardinal points and even the degree markings are omitted, as you don’t need them when orienteering – you just need to set the compass off the map and head off to your next location. The Suunto Arrow 6 is a very specific compass that’s dedicated to one activity – translating directional information from a map to the real world and then following it. Used for this purpose it’s great, and at just 27g there’s barely any weight penalty either.
Romer scales 1:50k, 1:25k
Night use no
Map magnifier no
Declination adjustment no
Sighting options none
The Suunto Arrow 6 is best for orienteering.
First published in Trail magazine November 2011