Looking for the best rangefinder but don’t know how to choose? Most people make a one-time investment in rangefinders and, as such, it is important to go through all the rangefinder reviews you can find before making a final decision. There are a few rangefinders that not only work for hunting but also for golf and adventure sports.
Remember that unless you are actively engaged in these other activities, you do not need to buy a multipurpose rangefinder. Instead, put all your efforts into finding the best hunting rangefinder that serves its purpose without any bells and whistles.
Because there are a variety of hunting rangefinders out there, here is a comprehensive resource for you to peruse. Any questions and doubts you may have about rangefinders would be answered in the following sections and you can buy the best rangefinder for the money you spend. So what is the top rangefinder? Read on to know more!
Tips on Choosing the Best Rangefinder
- Factor The Weight Of The Battery While Looking For Lightweight Rangefinders – Remember that the weight listed out by certain manufacturers excludes the battery. If a 9V battery is used in a rangefinder, it would be slightly heavier than other models.
- Notice How Much Time It Takes To Operate the Controls – The rangefinder should be easy for you to control and you should understand the manufacturer’s instructions clearly. It would be a bit pointless if it takes 5 minutes to measure the distance and your game long gone when you get into position.
- Consider The Accuracy Measurement Of The Rangefinder – A lot of people forget to take the accuracy measurement criteria into account. Read thorough reviews of best rangefinder for hunting to find out how accurate your rangefinder really is.
- Observe How Bright The Image Is In Low Light Conditions – If you might be hunting in low light conditions, your rangefinder should perform well during the night and evening. Great optics with good coating in rangefinders are important to fully utlize this feature.
- Be Prepared To Spend Money To Get A Great Rangefinder – If you want amazing features, it will cost you a lot. Thus, balance the pros and cons to get a fair deal while shopping for rangefinders.
- Read About Incline Decline Features – In case of archery or hunting, for instance, downhill and uphill shots, particularly long ones, could have a great impact. This is because the distance varies from when your target is on level ground. Same goes for decline and incline angles. This factor becomes important for this reason, especially when you consider laser rangefinder reviews.
- Take A Look At Advanced Rangefinders – Some advanced professional rangefinders allow users to switch between different modes. However, it is better to go for a specific rangefinder that does one job brilliantly instead of choosing a multi-purpose rangefinder that gives passable results.
|Vortex Optics Ranger 1300|
** Editor's Choice - Best Rangefinder For Hunting **
|Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition|
** Best Budget Rangefinder For Hunting **
|Simmons 801405 Rangefinder||Simmons||Our Review|
|Bushnell Team Primos||Bushnell||Our Review|
|Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder||Nikon||Our Review|
|Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder||Bushnell||Our Review|
|Bushnell Sport 850||Bushnell||Our Review|
|Bushnell Scout DX 1000||Bushnell||Our Review|
|Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000 Rangefinder||Nikon||Our Review|
|Nikon Archers Choice Laser Rangefinder||Nikon||Our Review|
Best Hunting Rangefinder Brands
There are some rangefinder brands that have established themselves in the field and they are as follows
Bushnell is a brand that is known for manufacturing the best laser rangefinder products in the market. The brand also has other hunting equipment like spotting scopes, riflescopes, night vision products, trail cameras, GPS devices et al. Their binoculars are said to be the best in the industry.
The brand is most known for its features of Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology, bow mode, rifle mode and VSI ballistic feature which make it a good rangefinder brand to go for. In target priority, they offer both brush mode and bullseye mode to the users. These selectable target modes make life easier for long range hunters.
They also have some of the best hunting rangefinders in the market. The top rangefinders by Bushnell include Bushnell Team Primos, Bushnell Scout DX 1000 and Bushnell Michael Waddell.
Leica manages to balance great optics with engineering that is tailormade to be used for rugged sports and hunting, especially because of their quintessential metal body. People who are looking for great magnification features in their rangefinders would like Leica’s rangefinders immensely.
If you are used to hunting from a great distance, Leica rangefinders would be apt for your use because they have distance measurement features as well.
Their new rangefinders are vertically designed to ensure that the higher magnification is teamed with added stability for long range hunters which is another plus point.
The rangefinders of Leica are perfect to be used in rifle hunting and they offer some of the best rangefinder for bow hunting as well.
They have features for professional hunters such as ballistic programming, barometric pressure, and temperature.
Some of the best rangefinder products in the industry come from Leica and include Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B and Leica Camera 40535 CRF Rangemaster 1000-R Binocular.
Nikon might be known for its cameras but the brand’s rangefinders are pretty great for hunting as well. They are ideal for long range hunting and they offer great gun hunting, bow hunting and rifle rangefinder products.
Because of the wide variety of Nikon rangefinder products, you can expect to get your hands on affordable models if you go with this brand.
The range varies from 600 yards to 1000 yards which is more than enough for all kinds of hunters.
They also have waterproof rangefinders with features like angle compensation and Tru Target technology. The price varies from extremely affordable to professional quality rangefinders.
Nikon manufactures some of the best rangefinders including a range of best archery rangefinder products, some professional models, and a couple of laser products as well.
Some top rated rangefinders from Nikon include Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000 Rangefinder, Nikon Archers Choice Laser Rangefinder and Nikon PROSTAFF 7 Laser Rangefinder.
Leupold offers some great hunting rangefinders and they specialize in archery and laser rangefinders. They are known for their digital rangefinder products with a wide variety of features. Mostly, though, Leupold is a brand that only professional hunters should prefer.
The price range of the products is slightly on the higher side as compared to other brands because of the advanced features they offer. These include the DNA or Digital eNhanced Accuracy technology, TBR or True Ballistic Range feature, quick set menu, different reticle options, and advanced OLED.
The company actually offers help to hunters of different capability levels so, if you are stuck during your quest for finding the best rangefinder for hunting, you can always consult a Leupold expert.
Some of the best Leupold rangefinders include Leupold RX-1200i digital rangefinder, Scout Precision Telescope and Leupold Gx4i rangefinder.
Simmons is a brand offering the best rangefinder for hunting for those people who are operating on a low budget. They offer reliable and trusted rangefinders with Angle Compensation or Tilt Intelligence, as the brand has named it.
The LCD display of their rangefinders is black and the reticle is box style.
Simmons has made their models the best value rangefinder products by choosing to go for a 9V battery instead of a 3V one. However, it does make the rangefinder heavier. The rangefinders are still under 8 ounces, though.
The design of Simmons rangefinder is usually vertical and the magnification offered in the average models is around 4x. Thus, these rangefinders are ideal for close range hunting and bow hunters.
The most popular SImmons rangefinders offer around 600 yards of range which will come down to 300 yards in real life situations.
The best Simmons models include Simmons 801405 Rangefinder, Simmons LRF 600 and Simmons 801600 Rangefinder.
The parent company of Redfield is Leupold and as such, the brand already has the push to become the best hunting rangefinder company it can. They have a couple of budget hunting rangefinders in the market.
Some models of Redfield have inclinometers that offer horizontal distance by compensating for the shot angle.
Redfield also has models that offer the scan mode. This mode allows the hunter to capture a moving target easily by a simple press of a button.
The magnification capability of Redfield rangefinders is not more than 6x which keeps the rangefinder stable and still offers a good magnified view of the target.
The range of Redfield rangefinders is around 600 yards and, as such, these rangefinders are only for short range hunting of animals that are usually not too small.
Some of the best laser rangefinder products offered by Redfield include Redfield 117862 Raider Rangefinder 600A, Redfield 117859 Raider Rangefinder 600, and Redfield 117860 Raider Rangefinder 600M.
Vortex has only just entered the rangefinder market with their first product that is highly customizable. Apart from rangefinder, they offer other optics like spotting scopes, red dot sights, binoculars, and riflescopes.
The ranging capability of Vortex rangefinders is 1000 yards and it has another unique feature – LOS mode. This mode allows the hunter to view the LOS yardage and also displays a % number for the incline.
The exterior is compact with a foldable eyepiece, standard CR2 battery and simple but practical features that come with the best rangefinder products in the market. The company does not offer any target priority features in its product.
The rangefinder offered by Vortex is ideal for rifle hunting and archery because of its small size and features.
The only product by Vortex is Vortex Optics Ranger 1000.
Wildgame Innovations Rangefinders
Wildgame Innovations offers some amazing budget rangefinders offering ranging capabilities of as much as 1000 yards with some models. They have some of the best laser rangefinder products in their lineup for short range hunting and shooting.
Wildgame Innovations’ rangefinders have good magnification capabilities which used to teeter around the 6x mark but have recently gone up to 7x.
Other interesting features by the brand include angle of compensation calculations and a variety of ballistic features.
Most of their products are water resistant and the design of the higher end models is pretty ergonomic, compact and comfortable.
The brand also has a much talked about AI technology for calculating the sloping.
Some top models by Wildgame Innovations in rangefinders include Wildgame Innovations Halo XRT Laser Rangefinder, Halo Ballistic Rangefinder Z6X, and the Wildgame Innovations 900X Halo Laser Rangefinder.
Zeiss is a brand that favors quality over price, as is clear from its two amazing rangefinding models. In all the laser rangefinder reviews, the two models of Zeiss have turned out to be the best laser rangefinder products, despite their steep pricing.
Their LRF technology offers amazing features which would allow you to measure the distance in a second. Ranging varies between models but goes as high as 1300 yards.
The rangefinders by this brand are the first ever to have integrated digital LED display complete with BIS (ballistic technology of Zeiss).
The fluoride glass optics in Zeiss rangefinders offers amazing detailing and clear picture quality, especially in close range and wide field view. The patented lens coating makes the glass perfect in even rainy conditions because the water simply slides off the rangefinder.
The top models by Zeiss include Zeiss Victory RF and Zeiss PRF rangefinder.
Our Top 10 Hunting Rangefinder Reviews
1. Vortex Optics Ranger 1300
** Editor’s Choice – Best Rangefinder For Hunting **
The build is rugged and quite compact, complete with a rubberized coating that helps with the grip. The display is red LED with the Vortex Ranger and the display can be worked easily but the user has to comb through the manual well because it has a 3 step operation. There are two ranging modes with this device – HCD and LOS modes – that all hunting rangefinder reviews love.
2. Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition
** Best Budget Rangefinder For Hunting **
The yardage seamlessly moves between different units and the device can be operated using a single button. All users of this rainproof model seem to love the camo body which allows the rangefinder to be hidden during hunting. It is also one of the most affordable rangefinders in the market right now.
3. Bushnell Team Primos
The range is 600 yards (trees) and 200 yards (deer) while precision is offered in line of sight till 850 yards. The model is compact and ergonomic in its design and also comes with an added anti-slip finish. Accuracy is offered +/- 1 yard and the angle range varies between +/- 90 degrees. Also, a great feature of Bushnell Team Primos is that it is rainproof.
4. Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder
The model is rainproof and water-resistant and works at the click of a button. The device is also pretty user friendly, as mentioned by various reviews. This rangefinder is a multipurpose device for target shooting and hunting, as long as it is short range.
5. Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder
Using the rangefinder is simple and involves a 3 step process. Most rangefinder reviews find the ARC technology of this Bushnell rangefinder particularly useful for bow hunters. The lens offers a clear and bright picture and the distance calculation is extremely quick. Even for rifle shooting up to 250 yards, this rangefinder has yielded great results for users tracking deer sized targets.
6. Simmons 801405 Rangefinder
The magnification offered is 4x and the optics are clear and bright, easy to work on bad light conditions. The casing is weather resistant and comes with the model which would be a plus for budget buyers. The size is compact and fits in the pocket without any problems.
7. Bushnell Sport 850
The edge that hunters will get by using this rangefinder lies in the ease of use of the device. The body is compact and petite, and this rangefinder works with a single button. It is pretty affordable for its features. Dual targeting modes can be enjoyed with this device – rain mode and reflector mode.
8. Bushnell Scout DX 1000
With 1000 yards of range and 6x magnification, Scout DX 1000 is handy rangefinder for hunting that comes with a single button operation. The design is simple and fuss free and can be easily carried in the user’s pocket. It is impact and weather resistant as well.
9. Nikon 8377 Riflehunter 1000 Rangefinder
The ocular of Nikon 8377 is 28% bigger and comes with a 23% wider field view which ensures that the user can easily pinpoint targets in a short time. The range is 1000 yards with this model and Tru Target technology allows seamless switching between different priority modes. The design is compact and rugged with the optics boasting of features like fogproof, waterproof and multi-coatings.
10. Nikon Archer’s Choice Laser Rangefinder
The model comes equipped with an incline decline technology for shooting angles that are non-linear. The Tru Target feature allows the hunter to switch between different priority modes (first and second). The entire device can be operated with the click of a button and it has a power saving feature as well. The ocular (18mm) is also a massive time saver in this model.
Other Comparable Hunting Rangefinders
Nikon PROSTAFF 7 Laser Rangefinder
With 600 yards of range, the Nikon Prostaff only just misses the top 10 rangefinder list because of a lack of edge to edge clarity. Apart from that, the rangefinder has 6x magnification, angle compensation technology and Tru Target technology which make it a good product, if not the best rangefinder.
The body is compact and weighs under 6 ounces and increment reading offered by the model is 0.1 m/yards (with/without ID mode). The ocular lens is large and offers good long eye relief, especially with the O ring. A single button is used for operation. In reviews, most users love how accurate and affordable the device is.
Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600-B
The Leica Rangemaster 1600-B offers an impressive range of 1600 yards and magnification capability of 7x. Leica is a brand that is known for its impressive optics and in that respect, the Rangemaster 1600 B does not disappoint. It loses out of the top 10 list because its accuracy is not commensurate with the price. The device is also extremely pricey.
The body is extremely durable and rugged, and the features are advanced which professional long range hunters would love. It comes with interesting capabilities like atmospheric pressure and temperature readings, two button operation (one for basic functions and other for advanced), and various ballistic features.
Redfield 117862 Raider Rangefinder 600A
What most rangefinder reviews mention about this great model from Redfield is its design – it is 4 inches in size and fits in any hand. Because of the simple operation and basic features, 600A rangefinder offers value for money and is extremely affordable. It doesn’t make into the top 10 rangefinders list because it doesn’t perform that well in dim light conditions.
Otherwise it has 600 yards of range, 6x magnification and amazing battery life that are winning features. This is a rangefinder for close range and deer size hunting.
Wildgame Innovations Halo XRT Laser Rangefinder
Halo XRT by Wildgame Innovations is one of the best hunting rangefinder products for close range hunting. It offers a range of 500 yards and up to 400 yards, the accuracy offered is +/- 1 yard. The black LCD is a bit of a letdown because it becomes difficult to get good reading in low light conditions. Apart from that, it performs exquisitely, especially considering the affordable price.
Magnification is offered at 6x, operation is done with a single button, design is ergonomic and lightweight, and this rangefinder also comes with a scan mode. The optics are pretty great as well and the rangefinder is resistant to impact, rain and fog.
Leica Camera 40535 CRF Rangemaster 1000-R Binocular
Leica’s camera cum binocular cum rangefinder is great for people who love multipurpose products and with the CRF 1000-R, Leica proves why it makes the best rangefinder products. This is a compactly designed unit with 1000 yards range and 7x magnification for those long range hunters. The LED of the device has an auto-dimming feature which is pretty useful in bright light conditions.
Diopter compensation is integrated in the device as well and offers a distance of about 600 yards. The incline decline feature and +/- 1 yard accuracy combined with the useful display make this model a treat for hunting and archery.
Hunting Rangefinder Buying Guide
What is a Rangefinder?
A rangefinder is an electronic device that helps its users measure the distance between themselves and the target in question. It has a variety of applications in golfing, ballistics, virtual reality and forestry. However, most popular users of rangefinders are hunters and people in adventure sports.
Technology and Common Purposes
The technology of rangefinders has come a long way to ensure that the device is not only compact but also extremely accurate, in order to provide the most efficient results. As such, there is no concept of a single best rangefinder for archery, golfing, hunting or other use because different uses require different rangefinders. Thus, a thorough rangefinder comparison is always recommended before making the final purchase.
How Rangefinders Work
When the button of a rangefinder is pressed, the device bounces a laser beam towards the intended target. This sets off the internal clock of the rangefinder and the time taken for the beam to reach the target is measured. The distance is calculated in this manner and you find out the range of your target in yards. Rangefinders are equipped with a display screen and the results are shown in less than a second when you press the button.
Watch this video that briefly explains how a rangefinder mechanism works
Choosing Purpose Appropriate Rangefinders
All rangefinders come with different specs, depending on their intended use and manufacturer. Some brands specialize in a specific type of hunting rangefinder and you should always consult hunting rangefinder reviews before you make a purchase. For instance, models that are meant to be used during archery will have better accuracy over forestry rangefinders.
Maximum Range of Rangefinders
The maximum range for the target is given by almost all modern rangefinders. In case of reflective or hard objects, the distance measurement is far greater than soft objects like water or animals. For objects that fall somewhere between these two categories, like trees, the maximum range of the rangefinder varies.
Horizontal Distance Measurement In Rangefinders
Horizontal distance is also provided by different models of rangefinders although patented names may be used for
the feature by different brands. Angle and terrain variations are compensated for by using the technology of horizontal distance measurement.
Importance of Accuracy of Range in Rangefinders
It is important for some users to have extreme accuracy in range. This is especially true for archers and bowhunters. Because of the steep decline and incline angles, the suitable rangefinder lessens the impact of gravity on the arrow when the bow is released.
Ballistic Features in Rangefinders
A lot of rangefinders come with interesting ballistic features as well. The ballistic compensation technology allows the user to be aware of holdover adjustment or bullet drop while using the rangefinder.
You can also read lots of additional useful information about rangefinders in this report.
Types of Hunting Rangefinders
There are 4 main types of hunting rangefinders:
- Archery rangefinders
- Rifle hunting rangefinders
- Rifle shooting rangefinders
- Dual purpose rangefinders.
Rangefinders for Archery
The biggest things to look for while going through rangefinder reviews for archery and buying a rangefinder for the same are – size, target priority and angle compensation.
Size of Archery Rangefinders
Archery rangefinders are usually pretty compact in size and the design allows them to be held vertically.
They are extremely lightweight and easy to carry around. Because bow hunters have a utility belt or a holster to carry their equipment and devices, these rangefinders are so made that they would fit right in those small storage contraptions.
Sometimes, a tether system might also be used by archers and bowhunters to keep the rangefinder close by.
Angle Compensation in Archery Rangefinders
Archers and bowhunters often climb up a tree and elevate the position as they wait for the target to walk down a trail. Thus, the angle between archers and the game is quite steep. Because of the extremeness of angle, a linear rangefinder would not work with archers and bowhunters. Instead, an archery rangefinder with angle compensation technology might be a bit more appropriate for this purpose.
For instance, a linear rangefinder might read the distance as 42 yards whereas an archery rangefinder would compensate for the angle and read the same as 35 yards.
You can learn more about angle compensation in this useful video:
Archery Rangefinders’ Target Priority
The priority settings of the rangefinder are extremely important for bowhunters who tend to hide behind trees and bushes while stalking the prey.
Normal rangefinders might pick the trees and branches in the line of vision and range it, thereby leading to inaccurate results.
Archery rangefinders, on the other hand, would have two priorities – first and second (or distant) – and will offer the reading of the distance of the farther object (in case there is a branch blocking the view to a deer).
Bushnell, Leupold, Simmons and Nikon have some of the best hunting rangefinder models for archery that take the abovementioned requirements into account.
Rangefinders for Rifle Hunting
Rifle hunters pursue long range hunting and, therefore, they need to go through hunting rangefinder reviews keeping their range in mind. For instance, if the longest range a rifle hunter is going to need doesn’t go beyond 300 to 400 yards, it is better to go for dual purpose rangefinders.
However, veteran rifle hunters who go well beyond that set range would do well keeping the following features in mind:
Size and Weight of Rifle Hunting Rangefinders
As with all hunting rangefinders, it is important to choose something lightweight and compact. Even for long range hunting, there is rarely any time to move between your vehicle to the trail. Especially for people who are going to hunt elk, antelopes, mountain deers and goats, they would be better off with something that can be carried on long walks.
Ranging in Rifle Hunting Rangefinders
Always keep in mind that when you read the ranging capability of a model in rangefinder reviews, they are offering a best case scenario and assuming that the object is highly reflective and the conditions are perfect.
In real life long range hunting situations, the range is probably half of that. This means that a 1000 yard rangefinder would probably offer about 500 yards of perfect ranging, considering factors like weather condition, color, and shape and size of the target.
Magnification in Rifle Hunting Rangefinders
Long range rifle hunters need high power magnification so that they can see bigger games and range them properly. This means that rifle hunters must go for at least 7x magnification. If you manage to get something with more than that in your budget, it’s even better.
Rifle Hunting Rangefinders’ Ballistic Calculations
Rifle hunters under the 500 yard range don’t need to look for this feature but long range hunters do. Some calculations are necessary to make beyond that range and there are rangefinders out there that are equipped with ballistic curves to factor certain conditions like sight distance, holdover adjustment, temperature, shot angle, wind and elevation.
Leica is probably the best hunting rangefinder for long range rifle shooting to go for as it offers ranging capabilities of as high as 1600 yards.
Rangefinders for Rifle Shooting
In rifle shooting, the distance is large but the target is small. This is why best rangefinders for rifle hunting, dual purpose and archery are all chosen on the basis of different criteria. These rangefinders are also used by professional hunters, competition shooters, tactical shooters and varmint hunters. Here are some things to look for while choosing the best rifle rangefinder for shooting
Magnification in Rifle Shooting Rangefinders
For rifle shooting, higher the magnification you can find within your budget, the better it is. Usually, the norm is 7x to 8x magnification because that much is absolutely needed.
In case of varmint shooting and long range targets, the magnification necessary is even more because the object is small as well as far off.
However, higher magnification leads to less stability and you should keep that in mind.
Horizontally Designed Rifle Shooting Rangefinders
This is an important consideration. When the distance is massive and a small object is being shot, you need to have as much stability in your hold as possible. This would ensure that the first attempt reading is perfect.
This is where it becomes important to have the best laser rangefinder that is designed horizontally, allowing you to hold it like binoculars – that is, with both your hands.
A one hand grip that is common with vertically designed rangefinders would not add much stability for rifle shooting purposes.
Size of Rifle Shooting Rangefinders
The problem with a horizontally designed rangefinder, however, would be that the design would be quite large and if you are a long range hunter as well, you wouldn’t be used to the bulky frame. But you will enjoy the enhanced ranging features and better stability with the design. The trade off is usually worth it, for this reason.
Crisp Optics in Rifle Shooting Rangefinders
Because of the distance and size of prey, clear and bright optics are necessary features that long range rifle shooters would need. As compared to other types of hunting rangefinders, this is a special feature that is a must for rifle shooting. Even the best archery rangefinder is ultimately meant for deer sized objects that are pretty close at hand.
Most of the top rated rangefinders for rifle shooting are made by Zeiss and Bushnell.
Rangefinders for Bow and Rifle Hunting (Dual Purpose)
Dual purpose rangefinders usually refer to those that can be used for both bowhunting and rifle hunting. This means that you not only want the best rangefinder for bow hunting but also the one for rifle hunting without buying two separate equipment.
If you are willing to spend enough money, you can have the best of both worlds. Here are two things to look for while checking out hunting rangefinder reviews for dual purpose rangefinders:
Ranging Capabilities in Dual Purpose Rangefinders
Since the rangefinder will serve dual purposes, you need something that would have excellent ranging capabilities.
Usually, the best bet is to go for a 1000 yard rangefinder. It would be the best rangefinder for hunting – both bow hunting and rifle hunting. This is because in real conditions, you will only get half of that and 500 yard is enough in most cases.
Also, since the model is powerful, bow hunting at even 300 yards would become a breeze as compared to what you would have received if you had an archery rangefinder with 600 yards ranging capability.
Dual Purpose Rangefinders’ Display with Red OLED
Displays in these digital rangefinder products are usually found in two colors – black or red.
The benefit of going for a red colored display is that it would adjust itself depending on the light outside. If the model isn’t that high end, it would still come with manual adjustment capabilities. On the other hand, black displays tend to be difficult if it is night or evening time.
Next comes to screen type in which the best rangefinder products will offer you the option of LED, LCD and OLED. Among all these options, OLED is simply the best and it is easy to find dual purpose rangefinders with red OLED display.
Leupold makes some of the best value rangefinder products that are dual purpose in their use. Other brands include Nikon, Leica and Bushnell who also offer some pretty great dual purpose rangefinders for professional use.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Hunting Rangefinder
Range of the Rangefinder
While doing a rangefinder comparison, always remember that the basic and most essential purpose that your rangefinder would be service is to measure the distance between you and the target. The range should always be appropriate, given the conditions you would be operating in.
Always remember the best conditions rule when it comes to the range, i.e. half the distance that has been offered by the manufacturer so that you have a realistic estimate of the distance you would be getting.
Brand of the Rangefinder
Go With The Trusted – If there is a brand that makes excellent hunting rangefinders for the activity you are pursuing, you should prefer to read rangefinder reviews of the models that come from that brand.
Patented Technology – There are also certain patented technologies that come with individual brands that others cannot compete with. If there is a technology or a feature that will make your hunting experience better, go for a brand that holds the last word in that feature with their technology.
Reliable Rangefinder Brands – Some top brands include Bushnell, Leica, Nikon, Leupold, Simmons, Redfield, Vortex, Wildgame Innovations, and Zeiss.
Design of the Rangefinder
Different activities require different design considerations.
Vertical and Horizontal Design – Usually, the design is vertical but this is not a blanket requirement. For instance, rifle shooting requires a horizontal design and the best laser rangefinder products for this category would have a binocular like design. Similarly, hunters need a vertically designed rangefinder because it is most convenient to them.
Comfortable Design – All in all, the design should be comfortable and appropriate for the type of activity that is being undertaken by you.
Compact – Compact designs are best because you would be moving with the rangefinder and you don’t want to be saddled with anything that is too bulky or heavy.
Magnification of the Rangefinder
Long Range Hunting – Magnification is an important factor for long range rifle shooters and this is the reason why all the rangefinder reviews you read for a long range hunting rangefinder would focus on this aspect.
Magnification and Stability – Usually, 7x to 8x magnification is more than enough. You should keep in mind that the higher the magnification, the more difficult it would be for you to get a steady and stable view.
Display of the Rangefinder
Try to find the best rangefinder for the money that has an amazing display. In this category, there are two things to watch out for – information color and clarity of the screen.
When you are looking at a target through the device, the information must not disturb your line of vision or obstruct your view.
The optics must be great so that the visual you get is as bright and clear as possible.
Priority of the Rangefinder
You can either go for a first priority rangefinder or a second priority rangefinder.
First Priority Rangefinder – A first priority rangefinder would read the objects that are far off, instead choosing to focus on the first thing (or the closest thing). If you are going to shoot smaller targets, first priority feature would be important in a good rangefinder.
Second Priority Rangefinder – The second priority feature would be ideal for long range shooting and hunting because it will focus on the objects that are far off, ignoring the objects in the middle. You will notice that most laser rangefinder reviews of good products offer simple switching between these two priorities.
Aiming Point or Reticle In the Rangefinder
The reticle is the circle your see when you look through your rangefinder and observe a target. There are different options available and often, your hunting style might have special retical requirements.
LED Reticle – Dual purpose rangefinders work best with a red reticle. This is an LED or OLED reticle and you can choose to manually (or automatically) adjust the brightness depending on the conditions outside.
Black Reticle – Black reticle causes problems when it is dark outside or when the background of the object causes the reticle to blur.
Backlighting With Reticle – Reticles also come with backlighting options and the color of the reticle is usually black for this category. You would also have the additional feature of manual adjustment if you go for this option.
Glass and Picture Quality of the Rangefinder
When you go through top rangefinders, you will notice that they all have one thing in common – the quality of the glass which, in turn, leads to great picture quality.
Better Focus For Long Range
If you are a long range hunter, you will enjoy the sport a lot more when a good quality glass allows you to maintain focus even when the target is quite far away. The coatings on the glass of your rangefinder should also be factored into the equation.
Battery Life and Diopter of the Rangefinder
Battery life is usually fine with any affordable rangefinder. You should keep a spare one in your kit, just in case, but battery changes don’t occur more than once a year. There are three kinds you will usually come across – 9V batteries that lead to additional weight, 3V batteries that are the norm and CR2 batteries that are hard to find.
The diopter, on the other hand, is a much more important factor because it would allow you to get an amazing picture when you adjust it.
Modes of the Rangefinder
Advanced and professional grade rangefinders come with various mode varieties and if you want a lot of freedom while using your rangefinder, you might be interested in them.
Horizontal Mode – This is a favorite mode with hunters because when the ange is steep, you would be grateful for this mode. If you are going to be up at an elevated spot, you should look for this mode in the rangefinder reviews you read.
Scan Mode – This is a mode for long range hunters. The scan mode can be activated with a button. Then you move your rangefinder left and right and get various readings for objects that are further away from you and constantly moving. Many hunters swear by this mode.
Best Rangefinder Binoculars
When you choose to go for rangefinder binoculars, you are basically getting binoculars with rangefinder. Some models have great optics for distance ranging while others focus more on the rangefinder function and offer better accuracy. Customization and ballistic curves are also offered by some models.
The best rangefinder binoculars are the following:
Leica Geovid HD-B
This model by Leica has a ranging capability of 1500 yards and even when you are viewing an object at 1000 yards, it would offer you a field of view of 300 feet. It is a professional grade model perfect for both hunting and target shooting. The design is ergonomic and most rangefinding binoculars reviews for this model reiterate that it works well in bright sunlight.
Zeiss Victory RF
This model is like a pair of binoculars with rangefinder for hunting and its accuracy is renowned among hunters. The range of this model is around 1300 yards but reviews show that 50% of the times, it went as far as 1600 yards which is quite impressive. The optical quality is amazing because of the fluoride glass.
Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile
With an accuracy of over 50% and ranging ability of a mile, these rangefinding binoculars by Bushnell offer an interesting feature – they let you read the calculations based on the surroundings you are operating in. So, you can get better accuracy with this model than any other. It offers great value for money as well.
Swarovski EL Range
These laser rangefinder binoculars offer a unique feature of determining shot angle and altered distance reading. It comes with a scan mode as well and so, you can easily spot and range your target when it is moving. The range for this model is 1500 yards and the optics are exceptional.
Where to Buy a Rangefinder?
You can always buy a rangefinder at your local store but the biggest downside to it would be that you won’t get to enjoy a variety of options and you will not get a great discount. Instead, you can choose to buy your rangefinder online on the sites of manufacturers or Amazon. This would ensure that you get your hands on a cheap rangefinder. Not only that, you would be benefitting from a cheap hunting rangefinder with amazing variety, ability to read customer reviews and might even find some of the high end models of rangefinders for sale.
Making the Decision
If you have read all the hunting rangefinder reviews mentioned above and have combed through the buying guide, you are already better equipped to buy a rangefinder than you were before. All you need to do now is sit down and and finally make your purchase. Remember that there is no such thing as the best hunting rangefinder because the hunting styles, requirements and level of knowledge of different people vary.
Buy your rangefinder right now and make your hunting experience much better without costing an arm and a leg.