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Plastimo Iris 50 Hand Bearing Compass Review


The Iris 50 hand bearing compass from Plastimo is a very compact and lightweight compass. It is a hockey puck style hand bearing compass that weighs only 4oz. and has a lanyard for wearing around your neck. It’s easy an unobtrusive to wear or stuff in your pocket. This makes the compass easy to have handy and ready to take a bearing.  I prefer the hockey puck style of hand bearing compass because you can hold it close to your eye to take the reading which is a very steady position as opposed to styles that require holding it the compass away from your body. This increases the degree of difficulty in getting an accurate bearing is the boat is in rough conditions. 

The thing that I like the most about the Iris 50 hand bearing compass is its legibility and accuracy. The prism projects the reading of the bearing to infinity. This means that you hand hold the compass right next to your eye, site the lubber line on an object on the horizon and clearly read the bearing down to the degree very clearly. As someone who needs reading glasses and struggles with reading anything close, this is huge. Although the compass card is close to the eye, making for more accurate sighting of the bearing object, the card can still be read clearly.
PlastimoIris50DiagramOne concern that I have heard about the Plastimo Iris 50 hand bearing compass is that it could be difficult to read at night. However, I have found just the opposite. Thecompass has built-in photoluminescent lighting (which is maintenance-free and operates without batteries). Basically, all you have to do is hold the compass under a light for even a few seconds and the card can clearly be read even in pitch black. Again, this is coming from the guy with trouble reading things close or in poorly light areas.
In addition to being a great hand bearing compass, the Iris 50 can also be used by boaters as a regular compass as well by reading the bearing on the card from above. Finally, the Iris 50 hand bearing compass comes in a variety of great colors and even has gift accessories such as a teak gift box that can be purchased.
There are a wide variety of makes and styles of hand bearing compasses to choose from. In considering which hand bearing compass to buy, you should look for a compass that is rugged, accurate, compact and easily used in rough or night conditions.  I have found the Iris 50 from Plastimo to be all of these things.

The Iris 50 has a sturdy rubberized outer shell that fits perfectly in your hand so it won’t slip even when wet. The outer shell also provides protection against shock if it were to be dropped. It’s a very solid and rugged compass that is appropriate for even rough boating conditions.

In summary, the Iris 50 is an outstanding quality navigational tool for any boater. It is rugged and well constructed so it will last for many years. It’s a tool that any serious boater should have. Its accuracy and legibility make it very user friendly and a reliable resource on board. You can find the Iris 50 for between $80-$90 at most marine suppliers.
Specifications for the Plastimo Iris 50 hand bearing compass:
Good protection against hard knocks : the smooth finish feels soft in your hand, and it will not slip, even if it is wet.
• Outstanding legibility of the card, with one-degree graduations.
• No parallax error : a prism projects the reading of the bearing to infinity. This also contributes to a more comfortable operation, as you do not need to alternate close-reading to read the card and infinite-reading to take bearings.
• Optimum conditions to take bearings, thanks to the superb card stability and the wide 20° field of view, which will accommodate the roughest sea conditions.
• Most accurate bearing : the pivot and very hard stone are a guarantee of long life and shock resistance of your compass.
• Soft bottom cell : engineered using ultra-sonic welding, it acts like an expansion diaphragm, preventing the formation of bubbles and leaks.

• Built-in photoluminescent lighting, completely maintenance-free, impervious to corrosion, operates without batteries or radio-active tritium.
• Two functions : hand bearing and traditional compass. Course reading from above the compass : you can read your compass like a standard compass, with no need to look through the prism.
• Graduation : every 1°. • Field of view : 20°. • Clearance : ±12°. • Red lubber lines. • Weight : 105 g.

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Plastimo Iris 50 Hand Bearing CompassSKUUPCModel

Good unit

Sep 30, 2011 by Pablo

Rugged, dependable, easy to read. required tool for on the water or in the bush. I'll never be lost with the Iris 50.

5.0 5.0 1 1 Rugged, dependable, easy to read. required tool for on the water or in the bush. I'll never be lost with the Iris 50.Pablo. Plastimo Iris 50 Hand Bearing Compass