The Plastimo Iris 50, the most popular hand bearing compass on the market. It is popular for a reason.

Product Overview


  • Indestructible, glows brightly, easy to read, directional shaped grip


  • not the best for glasses wearers


I love my Plastimo Iris 50 hand bearing compass, over 10 years of use it’s still good as new

best tried and tested hand bearing compasses - Plastimo Iris 50 |

Plastimo Iris 50

The ubiquitous hockey puck style of hand bearing compass. It’s virtually indestructible, has zero electronics and budget friendly.

I can’t find a negative point for this compass, but that’s probably because I don’t wear glasses. The hockey puck style requires you to hold the compass up to your eye/cheek to take a sighting. This is fine, but if you wear glasses, it might get in the way.
most users just remove their glasses to take a sighting, or just find a way that suits them with their glasses in place.
Reading the heading couldn’t be clearer and the card is easy to see both day and night.


using a hand bearing compass - Plastimo Iris 50 |

Note removal of glasses for use – Plastimo Iris 50 |

The chunky rubber grip will suit just about any hand, the extra wings that stick out give it directional grip. You’ll know its shape in the dark instinctively, always knowing which way it’s facing.

hand bearing compass - Plastimo Iris 50 |

View through the prism – Plastimo Iris 50 |

It is easy to use with gloves on too. It glows in the dark like a mini beacon after just a few seconds of the old headtorch in the pocket trick. Night and day, you’ll not go wrong with this iconic little compass.

I have mine hanging up ready for use near the companionway. I’ve had this one for over 10 years and apart from the general grime of hanging about on my boat, it is as good today as the day I bought it.

hand bearing compass - Plastimo Iris 50 |

Glowing compass card visible in daylight – Plastimo Iris 50 |

I highly recommend the Plastimo Iris 50 hand bearing compass.

5 stars

Buy the Plastimo Iris 50

Buy the Plastimo Iris 50

For more hand bearing compasses, you can read about other styles that I’ve tested here: Best hand bearing compasses: 9 tried and tested


I highly recommend the Plastimo Iris 50 hand bearing compass.