There are more than just a handful of carabiner compass nautical decorations available at online retailers. Even with GPS's strong foothold in the navigational equipment market, the carabiner compass is still valued by nautical decor collectors and adventurers equally. Part of the motivation for this is due to the dependability of the carabiner compass, as it does not rely on restrictive technologies such as batteries or satellite signals. Since the GPS has several restraining technologies, it is completely unreliable to use as the only navigational gadget on an important expedition. Diverse situations call for different compasses, and there are a few different variations to help out with the unpredictable obstacles that are often encountered during harsh voyages.

For obvious reasons, the carabiner compass with a prism is called a prismatic compass. An easily read scale for identifying one's bearing is found on the protective case of the typical prismatic compass. The back of the prismatic carabiner compass is where the prism is typically located. One country in particular known to use prismatic compasses was the U.K. military.

The transit compass is fixed with a front and rear transit sight, which comes in handy in many situations. The transit compass often has a rear sight made up of a singular prism not unlike the prismatic compass. Also, the transit compass functions in a similar manner to the lensatic compass due to having a front sight. The prismatic and lensatic compass form a sub-category of the transit compass due to this close relation between the three compasses.

The base plate compass has one of the most unsophisticated designs of any carabiner compass. This is due to the fact that the base plate compass is completely transparent. The base plate compass can be placed directly on a map for easily finding directions.

In addition to the compasses listed above, the lensatic compass is unique in that it incorporates at least one lens into the structure of the compass. The incorporated scale is expected to be read with the lens of the lensatic compass. The U.S. military has engaged in the use of the lensatic compass since 1910.

The "closed face" keychain compass is a derivative of the regular compass. The closed face compass is suitably named for the way the compass appears and operates. The hinge on its side allows the closed face compass to be swung open and closed. These compasses do not necessarily come with a hinge as they can be fitted with a lid that comes completely off of the compass. Finding an authentic model from the era they were made (WWII) may run a hefty price.

The "open face" compass is a distinct contrast to the closed face version. The open face compass has its face exposed thanks to no outer lid for protection, just as the name suggests. Because of this open face design, this keychain compass is helpful for quick glances down at it without fooling with a lid.
These nautical decor compasses are just a few of the many kinds that you can find online and off.

Depending on what your personal taste is, you will find many varied compasses at tropical home decor stores. For example, hikers like to carry what is called an "accessory compass", or a compass that is housed in hiking equipment, such as a hunting knife.