Engineer Lensatic Compass
2.2 by 1.1 inches
Low cost Surprisingly durable Compact
Finicky needle with unreliable accuracy Luminous letters aren’t very bright
Our first impression was that we’d found this as a “prize” in the bottom of a Cracker Jack box or it was the one Morgan Freeman bought at the pawnshop in ShawshankRedemption. The thin plastic housing felt like it might snap in two as soon as we opened the case.
After opening it, we worried that if we stepped on the compass it’d break, yet were pleasantly surprised that somehow it stood up to a 230-pound man putting all his weight on top of it (following the navigational testing, of course).
Trying to sight the liquid-filled compass wasn’t easy, but it was doable. The nail in the coffin, however, came when we couldn’t get the needle to align properly. No amount of tapping or cajoling would yield a consistent reading, and magnetic north consistently wandered between 10 to 20 degrees away.
Although this compass is inexpensive, $10 spent on garbage is still a waste. We wouldn’t even give it to a child as a learning tool, fearing that they might actually try to use it one day for real navigation. Its only real use would be as part of a Halloween costume. Coleman does offer some quality products, but this isn’t one of them. We can only hope that they put this product out of its misery before someone makes the mistake of relying upon it in a life-and-death situation.