Next Generation Design


Str8 is true innovation: Our new design brings greater direction accuracy to the thumb compass.

Str8 Thumb Compass

Str8 provides more accurate direction from a thumb compass than you've ever experienced before.

Motivated by the belief that good design has the capacity to enhance all performances, Str8 was born from a desire to offer a compass that would improve the accuracy of navigating and enjoyment of the competition.

The Str8 compass is the most innovative thumb compass available.

Why a new design?

The origins of thumb compass design revolutionised orienteering navigating back in the early 80's.

It was huge step forward and one that enabled a new era of high speed navigating that matched the ever improving map quality.

Since that incredible break through many years have passed and little has changed in the overall design of thumb compasses but now the popularity is overwhelming.

Fast forward to the current era and we enjoy unprecedented map quality placing ever greater demands on navigating.

To match this new challenge, Str8 recognised it was time to innovate compass design. A new product that better matches the needs of the high speed, high accuracy orienteer. We designed around these simple principles: "Faster, straighter, better".

Our development group agreed we should bring the precision of baseplate bearing style navigating to the thumb compass. A hybrid of precision direction taking with the advantages of constant compass orientation that only a thumb compass can offer.

Years of development later and endless field tests by premier orienteers across three continents, we introduce the next generation of thumb compass.

Welcome to Str8.

Str8 Compared to the Market

We started the development of Str8 with a totally open mind, effectively a clean sheet. Then we exhaustively challenged every aspect of the thumb compass design.

In real terms we said, "Let's save the runner time.. Let's make a measurable difference".

Our initial goal was to save just one solitary second knowing many results have rested on this small amount. In the end we believe by using a Str8 compass to its fullest potential could save 10's of seconds or even more.

With our numerous design innovations, of which the significant are awaiting intellectual property protection, Str8 will really make a difference to orienteering. 

Our goal is to raise the bar on the value of the compass to the orienteer.

Innovation is the core of Str8

Innovation with evolution is the heart beat of our first Str8 model. We have brought together the best of the existing thumb compass design and added our many innovative design merits that we believe support more precise navigating.

To look at our design without seeing the needle is not to see all of what Str8 is offering. Although it is our plate innovation that sets us apart, our needle development has been uniquely innovative too. A thoroughness to excellence. A journey that started in the North, travelled to the Continent via Germany and then to the Far East and a manufacturing process that sits without peer.

The Str8 needle is engineered precisely to offer the lowest drag coefficient currently possible. It slices through the worlds premier capsule fluid with a poise that allows our laboratory technicians and field testers the ability to fine tune performance to within micro margins. Balancing between needle stability and needle speed. The result is what we believe to be the best overall performing needle available.

What is new in the design: Features

  1. A full length completely uninterrupted 9.5cm long main pointer. Str8 has a world first in design. Our 5mm off-set capsule allows the main pointer to run the full length of the compass and can be viewed uninterrupted with total clarity. By removing the clutter normally associated around the main pointing line, Str8 can uniquely offer a line of sight that matches or betters base plate compasses.

  2. Optic enhancing twin outside Pointers. To help draw more visual attention to the main pointer, we have positioned two parallel outside pointers. Likening the position of your eyes, the outside pointers naturally draw a focus to the middle line. This greater attention to the main pointer and your line of sight is another innovation by Str8 that enables best possible direction taking.

  3. Ergonomic thumb strap slots, offering adjustability of up to 20 degrees. At Str8 we understand ergonomics. We know that each thumb rests differently against the hand and without considering this variation direction taking and bearings can be misaligned. The Str8 compass has unique Ergonomic slots that will help to align your thumb to the compass within a 20 degrees range so the compass will point directly forward.  What does this mean to you and running on a bearing? Let's say an ideal thumb position rests at 12:00 o'clock and your thumb rests at 1:00 o'clock, chances are your main pointing line is NOT naturally pointing the way you want to go. In effect, you may have an error factor of greater than 10%. Correcting this inaccuracy on a Str8 compass is uniquely possible by simply customising the thumb strap through the Ergoslots to your exact requirements. With our unique Ergoslots feature, precise and reliable direction taking is more possible. Ultimately Str8 offers greater trust between the user and thumb compass in a natural and very precise way, every time.

  4. Ultra stable needle. The Str8 needle is engineered precisely to achieve the lowest drag co-efficient currently available. We also use the worlds premium capsule fluid. Together these class leading features deliver the smoothest flow of needle through fluid possible. This exacting performance enables us to fine tune the Str8 needle to within micro-margins. our laboratory technicians along with extensive field tests have balanced the Str8 needle to optimal speed with greatest stability. The result is smooth, predictable and extremely stable needle performance at a level that we believe exceeds expectations.

  5. Larger map viewing area. The unique off set capsule design on Str8 offers an increase map viewing area of 200 square mm's. Seeing more of the map without plate interference is adding critical information just where you need it. The quantitative advantage of this design virtue is almost immeasurable, except to say we believe it will probably save you time. Some of our testers rated this feature as one of their favourite.

  6. Exact location position tip. At the end of the Str8 compass is a positioning tip. This valuable feature is designed to help your thumb hold pressure against your map so that your exact current location can be precisely viewed at the end of the tip. To further enhance this view the main pointing line is arrowed at the tip. / At Str8 we totally appreciate that keeping your position on the map and pointing in the right direction will make a positive difference to your race.

  7. Total capsule protection. At Str8 we have added unprecedented capsule protection, from every direction. The sides are uniquely protected with our custom alloy ring, from underneath by our 5mm thick best in class totally transparent poly acrylic body and from above by using a thicker than standard capsule body. When it comes to protecting the singularly most valuable part of your compass, the capsule, Str8 has left nothing to chance.

  8. Hi-clarity transparent body. With the greatest possible strength to weight ratio acrylic body, at Str8 we also have the best available transparency. We understand seeing the map is of the utmost importance, so in addition to our premium hi-clarity body, our unique off set capsule design adds a wider map viewing area than ever before with total transparency!

  9. Strong body, best level of protection. The Str8 compass designers know you want your compass to be both long  lasting and well protected from race day accidents. So we added the strongest 5 mm thick poly acrylic body with fantastic transparency to the best ever capsule protection system available. Our unique alloy protective ring is a visual reminder that Str8 takes protecting your compass and your race day chances very seriously.

  10. Two straps, one will suit you. Supplied with every Str8 compass is two straps for you to chose from, both use or unique map gripper silicon. We liken straps on a compass to tyres on a car, they deliver the final performance. Our traditional strap offers a firmer feel by using tighter elasticity for a sense of less flexing and a firmer more direct connection. The alternative strap has a more Interactive tactile feel which offers greater flexibility and greater comfort against the thumb. At Str8 we are about offering the best options. We believe the strap you chose will be for a very good reason, it works better for you.

  11. Anti slip map gripper. on each Str8 strap is a map gripper silicon rubber strip. These clever strips grab to the map surface according to the pressure placed by the holder. As the gripper sits directly under your thumb, a natural point of grip is assured leaving the Str8 position tip free to your own measure of pressure and movement.

  12. Magnifier mounts. The growing movement to attaching a separate magnifier to a thumb compass has not gone without full consideration at Str8. We understand that any precision tool like a magnifier works best when it is in its most stable position. To enable this we have not just relied on the straps to hold the magnifier but further added two significant points of security. The first is in the anchor points of the twin holes that sit between the Ergoslots. The other is in the curved alloy protective ring for strong resistance against side ways movement. Together with the strap, we are confident there is no better holding mechanism for a magnifier.