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Reviews > Navigation and Map Gear > Compasses > Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
April 28, 2017

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 31
Location: Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent two months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, and prefer to be hut-based for overnight trips. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Product Information

Manufacturer: Suunto
Manufacturer's URL:
Model: MC-2 NH Mirror Compass
Year of Manufacture: 2008
MSRP: 79.95 CAD
Listed Weight: 74 g (2.61 oz)
Measured Weight: 73 g (2.57 oz)
Listed Dimensions: 65 x 101 x 18 mm (2.56 x 3.98 x 0.71 in)
Measured Dimensions: 65 x 101 x 17 mm (2.56 x 3.98 x 0.67 in)


The Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass has a number of features for advanced navigation, and is balanced for the northern hemisphere. The capsule is liquid filled, with a steel needle. The needle is black on one end and red with a luminescent mark on the north end. The bezel is plastic, marked with degrees in 2 degree increments, and is luminescent. The markings on the baseplate inside the capsule consist of a declination scale and meridian lines in red, and the orienting arrow, which is red with a black tail. There is also a clinometer arrow for measuring slope angle. The base plate also has a magnifying lens, scales in inches and centimetres along the edges, and UTM romers in 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scales. The sighting mirror has a sighting notch at the top of it, a sighting hole at the bottom, and a sighting line down the centre. On the back of the compass is the declination adjustment screw, which can be turned using the tool attached to the lanyard.
Suunto MC-2 NH Compass

Field Conditions

I purchased this compass in 2008 as part of my required equipment for Search & Rescue (SAR). Until 2016, when I retired it, it lived full-time in my SAR pack. This pack resides in my car at all times, so the compass was subjected to storage temperatures from about -35 C to 40 C (-31 F to 104 F). The compass was used mostly for work in the field sighting bearings, and occasionally for work on a map as well. I used the compass in the field on training or operational tasks about 20 times.
Search & Rescue Training


For most of its life, this compass did everything it needed to. The baseplate markings made it easy to work with on a map. Declination adjustment was easy and used often, as we often work in neighbouring regions with a slightly different declination. Sighting a bearing using the notch, hole, and mirror was straightforward, and initially my errors were no fault of the compass. By about 2013, I noticed the needle was getting a bit sticky, and the capsule had acquired a small bubble. I had to be more careful than usual to ensure that I was holding the compass completely flat, and occasionally had to give the compass a bit of a shake to help the needle settle. However, I was still passing my navigation tests. It wasn’t until 2016 that I began to consistently fail tests due to inaccurate bearings. Eventually, the needle got sticky enough that even with it sitting on a flat surface it wouldn’t consistently point north. You can see it sitting next to my new compass in the picture below, pointing in a different direction.

The compass itself stood up well to the abuse of being hauled around in my pack all the time. The baseplate is scratched but still perfectly legible, and the sighting mirror shows no evidence of deterioration. There is a bubble within the capsule, though, and the needle doesn’t like to turn anymore.
Pointing the wrong way


The MC-2 NH Mirror Compass is a functional, well-featured mirror sighting compass. I liked the layout and features of the compass. It was easy to learn to how to use this compass and to use it in the field. Unfortunately, I had to retire it when I couldn’t trust the needle to point north anymore.

Thumbs Up:
Easy to use
Clear bezel markings
Good sighting mirror

Thumbs Down:
Sticky needle
Acquired a bubble

Read more reviews of Suunto gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Navigation and Map Gear > Compasses > Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

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