A dashboard compass can make the difference between getting to your destination on time or getting to your destination three hours late because you got lost. There are two types of compasses you can purchase. A digital compass will run on a battery and will show you much more than the direction you are heading. It can also show the temperature outside and the current weather conditions. A basic compass is not battery operated and will have a little wheel that will always point north. The outside arrow stays the same and will point at the current direction you are traveling. Both types of compasses will make it easy to find where you are going as long as you know what direction you need to be traveling in. For example, if you know the Interstate is north of you, you can keep driving north to find the Interstate. Below is a list of the top five dashboard compass ranked by customer ratings:

5. Concept XT 23010 Back-Lit Digital Compass

Concept XT 23010 Back-Lit Digital CompassThe Concept XT 23010 Back-Lit Digital Compass is a dashboard compass that is designed for dashboard or windshield mount. This means that you can put it on your windshield if you decide that you don’t want it on your dashboard. It will tell you the compass heading, direction and bearing so you will always know exactly where you are going. At night, you can press the button on top of the compass and will be able to see the compass using the backlight. Batteries are included for using the backlight. The Concept XT 23010 Back-Lit Digital Compass is the fifth best dashboard compass on the market today.

Concept XT 23010 Back-Lit Digital Compass
Amazon Price: $39.95 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 2, 2013)

4. Type S Digital Compass

Type S Digital CompassThe Type S Digital Compass offers many features that other dashboard compasses do not. It uses a blue LED backlight to see it at night. The larger display makes it easy to read while you are driving. This is also good for those with poor eyesight. It will display the direction as a digital letter. It is a very accurate compass. It may be attached to the dashboard using the included 3M double sided adhesive tape. The tape is so strong that the device will not fall off the dash, even if it gets wet. Make sure you place it exactly where you want it because it will be permanent. The modern design will look good in any car interior. The Type S Digital Compass is one of the best dashboard compasses for any vehicle.

Type S Digital Compass
Amazon Price: $47.99 $34.94 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 2, 2013)

3. Dash Mountable Indoor Clock/Compass/Thermometer

Dash Mountable Indoor CompassThose looking for a dashboard compass that has a clock and a thermometer, should look no further than the Dash Mountable Indoor Clock/Compass/Thermometer. Although this compass is one of the cheaper options, it is very useful. It not only displays the direction you are driving but it also displays the time and the temperature. It can be mounted anywhere, not just on the dash. It is mounted with a reverse-a-mount attachment. The thermometer can display temperatures as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and as warm as 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, only the time is displayed in digital format. The direction and temperature is not and is harder to read. For the price, it does a decent job of letting you know where you are going. The Dash Mountable Indoor Clock/Compass/Thermometer is the perfect dashboard compass for those who also want a thermometer.

Bell 22-1-34204-8 R-A-M Clock, Compass and Thermometer
Amazon Price: $5.70 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 2, 2013)

2. Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Navigator

Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS NavigatorThe Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Navigator is the most high tech dashboard compass on the market. Even though it is has a ton of features, they are all features one would want in a dashboard compass. It has a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass that will display the direction and it has a barometric altimeter. It has a huge 3 inch sunlight-readable display that functions as a color touchscreen. It is easy to read with its enhanced clarity. The high-sensitivity GPS receiver will be able to get a signal anywhere. This isn’t just a dashboard compass but it is also a compass you can use when camping or hiking. If you want to use it on your dash, you will need to purchase a separate attachment. It works great in the car to tell you where you are, where you are going and how to get to your destination. It can be hooked up to a computer to download maps and to give you directions. You can share routes, maps, waypoints and geocaches between two devices. If you have a friend who needs to get somewhere, you can wirelessly transfer directions to their device. The Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Navigator is a great option for those who are looking for a lot of features.

Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Navigator
Amazon Price: $329.99 $202.99 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 2, 2013)

1. Ritchie Navigation Explorer Dash Mount Compass

Ritchie Navigation Explorer Dash Mount CompassThe Ritchie Navigation Explorer Dash Mount Compass is overall the best dashboard compass. It is specifically designed for boats but it also works in cars. In fact, it works great in cars. It has a 2 and ¾ inch direct reading powerdamp dial so you can see which direction you are turned. The 12-volt night lighting allows you to read the compass at night or in dark situations. The movable sunshield allows you to see the dial even when you are in bright sunlight. The installation is easy as it sticks right to the dash. Just peel off the back and stick it on. With this device, you will always be on a straight path to your destination. The Ritchie Navigation Explorer Dash Mount Compass is the best dashboard compass on the market today.

Ritchie® Navigation Explorer™ Dash - Mount Compass
Amazon Price: $67.99 $60.19 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 2, 2013)

The best dashboard compass will be able to tell you exactly what direction you are traveling. It may have other features such as temperature or weather conditions but it does you no good if it does not show you where you are going. Almost all compasses will tell you at least what direction you are going and some will even tell you where to go. A dashboard compass is a good thing to have in your car, truck or SUV.