If you’ve ever been disappointed when you miss a shot or two on a great target while hunting, what might help is having the best rangefinder. Rangefinders are innovative tools that have gone through a considerable evolution in the last few decades.
These gadgets started out as tools to use along with cameras. As rangefinders have evolved over the years, they can be used in all sorts of situations like archery, hunting, and golf. As a hunter, a rangefinder can be used to offer insight on how far the distance is from you and your targeted prey.
After you have a spot on your prey, making a more accurate shot is a whole lot easier. Many who go hunting use range finders to great success by pairing them with a rifle scope.
Regardless of whether you plan to match your hunting range finder with a scope or not, it can take a lot of time to research all the options on the market and choose the best one for your needs.
Today we are going to look at the best rangefinders out there, including the best rangefinder for hunting and the best rangefinder for bow hunting. We’ve delved through all the rangefinder reviews out there to bring you a list of the top hunting and bow rangefinders on the market today. We’ll share what makes each unique and then provide insight on being sure you choose the one that works best for your needs.
Best Hunting Rangefinders
The first hunting range finder we are going to look at and perhaps the best hunting rangefinder on the market is the Sig Sauer Kilo2200BDX. This is a well-known company that has only recently delved into optics. However, in that time, they have received awards from Field & Stream so, from the get-go, you know this is going to be a high-quality rangefinder product.
The Kilo2200BDX sweeps the competition out of the water with the ability to see locations of up to 2,600 yards. That is nearly a mile and a half and far more power than most people will ever need. The rangefinder is light in the hand and comfortable to use. It offers an OLED display which is considered the best of the best by the range finding community. It also seems to be extremely accurate, so you won’t miss any of those critical shots.
This hunting rangefinder also offers HyperScan technology to help users make the best possible shots. The technology gives an update every four seconds so the user can determine exactly where a moving animal or other object is in every moment. On top of that, the rangefinder fits well in the hand without being heavy or bulky in the process. If you are looking for a better than a 1,000-yard rangefinder, you won’t do much better than this choice from Sig Sauer.
- Offers extremely large ranging distances
- OLED display with automatic brightness settings
- AMR technology excellent for angle compensated distances
- Some users have experienced defective units
Next up as a potential for the best range finder for hunting, we have the Bushnell Elite Rangefinder with CONX. This type of rangefinder is excellent for those who prefer to do long-range hunting with the potential to see up to 1,760 yards away. It also comes with Extreme Speed Precision (ESP), Variable Sight-In (VSI), and offers a magnetic attaching system along with a built-in tripod mount. Of course, being able to see that far away doesn’t mean much without sharpness and clarity of picture, which is helped by the rangefinder’s 7X magnification, Vivid Display Technology (VDT), and diopter adjustment.
With the 7X magnification, users can get superb close-ups of their targets. The 22 mm diameter lens being adjustable also adds extra focus and can bring out subtle details in the environment. Accuracy is one of the most important things for a hunter when it comes to taking a shot and will be no issue with the Elite. It also offers clear, bright images to make things even simpler.
The rangefinder can attach to a tripod and is also compatible with magnetic attachment systems, so it makes a versatile choice. It also is designed to be durable and can withstand any kind of weather situation from bright sun to snow, rain, and hail. Rangefinder reviews show that readings are incredibly accurate within half a yard.
- Diopter adjustment, VDT, and 7x magnification for clarity
- Three selective targeting systems available
- Compatible with magnetic attachment systems
- Cannot input custom ballistic data
Our third choice for best laser rangefinder is the Sig Sauer Kilo850 Laser Rangefinder. This unit has a range of five to 1,200 yards and looks pretty generic but is anything but. This range finder for hunting is lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to cart around without trouble. It’s also reasonably priced, especially when you consider all the features that come with it.
This rangefinder has a 4X magnification, 20 mm objective lens, and eye relief of 24 mm. There are several different measuring modes including Last, Best, and HyperScan. It offers Lightwave DSP (Digital Signal Processing) which is abnormally fast and can manage readings in only a quarter of a second. That means in HyperScan mode, the distance is updated four times every second.
Reviews for the Kilo850 show that it is reliable and has all the features a hunter could want. It’s compact, simple to use, and works amazingly well at long distance. The AMR (Angle Modified Range) that is included helps you get distances even on a decline or incline. This allows for adjustments to a rifle scope to get the shot you want every time.
- Features best and last target modes
- DSP engine offers 0.25-second readings
- Low price point compared to other rangefinders
- Display difficult to use for some owners
Our next rangefinder may be the best archery rangefinder and is also often used by golfers. For either task, it’s nearly effortless to handle well with its simple one-button mode. The size is small, and it has a range of up to 1,600 yards with reflective targets. It features powerful 6X magnification and a super clear lens to give great distance measurement to your target without straining your eyes.
There are several measurement modes available for different situations and speed measurement is super quick. It is a waterproof model with an ergonomic design, so it fits well in the hand or pocket. If the rangefinder isn’t used for 15 seconds, it also automatically turns off to save your battery power. This is a reasonable amount of time to give hunters a chance to focus on a target without the screen turning off.
This laser rangefinder comes with a carrying bag and a lanyard which makes transport even more natural. It also comes with a wiping cloth and a CR2 battery is included so you can head off and use the device as soon as you get it. This is undoubtedly a top archery rangefinder for a reasonable price.
- Simple and easy operation even for beginners
- Water and dust resistant rangefinder
- Excellent 6x optical magnification
- Operation manual could be better quality
The Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition is built for hunters and has a camouflage coloring that is perfect for those who spend time out in the woods. Looking at the rangefinder, you might think it would be pretty heavy, but that isn’t the case. It’s less than 10 ounces and easy to carry around with you on the fly. The rangefinder has a vertical configuration and can be easily used with a single hand.
The Bushnell 202208 has a range of between 10 and 600 yards and is accurate to a yard. This refers to reflective surfaces, so other surfaces may only be visible at about 400 yards maximum. The unit can be swapped from between meters and yards, but the device has to be off for the chance to be made. That said, it does boast 4X magnification and a 20 mm objective lens.
One of the top features of this rangefinder is the use of illuminated indicators, which means it works well even in environments with low light. The display shows a targeting reticule, what unit of measurement is being used, and a battery life indicator. This is an excellent archery range finder at a reasonable price for most.
- Light and easy to carry with an included case
- LCD incorporates illuminated indicators for use in low light
- Rainproof housing for use in any conditions
- The battery can be challenging to remove
This is Nikon’s smallest rangefinder and it comes at a value price when it comes to a feature-rich device. This rangefinder is 3.6 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and 2.9 inches high. That’s nearly half the length of the average smartphone on the market today so most people will have no issues carrying the device around whenever needed.
The AL11 has 6X magnification and comes with a 20 mm objective lens. This is a high-quality choice often seen on rangefinders of a more expensive nature. The multi-coated lenses help reduce loss of light for a high-quality view. However, the display is not illuminated so nighttime viewing may be difficult.
One of the best features of the Nikon Aculon AL11 is that it does have a scan mode for constant measurement for up to 20 seconds while looking over the area for multiple targets. This is a more extended scan than most other devices offer which can be useful for targets that are far from the user. It does not provide incline/decline compensation and is not waterproof but is a good choice for beginners or those who don’t need a lot of extras.
- One-button operation ideal for beginners and more experienced users
- Waterproof and rainproof for use in various environments
- Incorporates light balance technology
- Does not show height, angle, or slope
Two of the most important aspects of a hunting rangefinder are reliability and accuracy. The Simmons LRF 600 offers both of those in a device that is also fairly affordable. It is an example of a cheap rangefinder that does what users need from it in a simple and straightforward manner. It doesn’t have all the high-tech features of some options, but those who don’t need those things can save cash getting what they want.
The Simmons offers 4X magnification and an LCD with a range of up to 600 yards. This is completely reasonable for rifle hunters and is one of the top rangefinders for bowhunting, as well. Reviews show that accurate readings are easy to acquire in a range of environments. The reticle is a simple square that includes hash marks while using the laser.
This lightweight and durable rangefinder comes with a one-year limited warranty and is small enough to fit in your pocket. It has an accuracy of a yard and users can choose between using yards or meters for measurement.
- Durable and lightweight with weather resistant housing
- LCD with a clean, uncluttered display
- Compact enough to carry in a pocket
- Square outline reticule and no other options
The Halo XRT62-7 has a water-resistant housing making it ideal for use hunting, on the golf course, and beyond. It features a 6X magnification and scan mode. The 20 mm objective lens is clear and easy to see through. The eye-lens is 15.5 mm and has a waterproof and fog proof coating. The size of the rangefinder is small, and it is lightweight enough to easily carry around while outdoors.
Despite being quite small, the Halo XRT62-7 has a range of 600 yards and accuracy of a yard, which is just what a hunter needs to take an accurate shot. While the reliability is a bit lower than average at below 10 yards, the reliability at above that mark is exceptional. The high accuracy and reliability are both great factors to have in a rangefinder for hunting.
All things considered, this model is an ideal rangefinder for a hunter who needs fast targeting. It’s small and portable with simple to use controls and the features you need for the best results.
- 6X magnification with scan mode
- Water resistant with durable housing
- Simple and straightforward to operate
- May not always work well in low light conditions
The Vortex Optics Ranger 1500 is a laser rangefinder in a green color with a typical vertical configuration for slipping in the pocket. It comes with a carrying case as well as a clip so it can be hung from the belt. It has two buttons on top of the rangefinder, one for measuring and another to pull up the menu. The eyepiece can be adjusted, and the display focused to the user’s eye.
There are numerous settings that can be adjusted on this rangefinder. The display setting can be set to three settings. There is also a choice of showing return distance in either HCD or line of sight measurements. The final adjustment is whether the user wants to show the range in meters or yards.
There is a scan feature that works when holding down the measure button which moves from target to target and updates the range as it does so. However, there are no target priority options to help ranging through tall grass, brush, and trees. This is a great update to the original Ranger 1000 with special features that make it a contender for the best rangefinder for the money.
- Features tripod mount capabilities
- Simple to use scan mode available
- OLED display for exceptional sight picture
- No target priority feature included
The ProWild from TecTecTec is designed for use with bow hunting, target shooting, rifle hunting, and golf purposes. TecTecTec has been involved in optics since 2014, mainly putting out golf units. This unit has 6X magnification, offers 540 yards of distance ranging, and has a continuous scan mode for accurate targeting.
One of the unique features with the ProWild is that it has a built-in speed meter. This is an uncommon feature to see on rifle and bow hunting range finders, which allows you to measure speed and distance at the same time. This can give you insight into how fast a target is moving toward or away from you.
This rangefinder has a water and rainproof body and multi-layered optics. It has an accuracy to within a yard and is compact and lightweight enough to use all day long without a struggle. While a few reviewers have received defective units, there is a warranty and the company backs it up when needed. This is may be one of the best range finders at a reasonable price on the market.
- Compact, lightweight, and weather resistant
- Features a speed meter to measure speed of movement
- User-friendly, accurate rangefinder
- Lack of backlight troublesome in a low light environment
The Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 is very small and less than five ounces without the included battery. It also has an extended eye relief of 20.3 mm so it will work well even for those who wear glasses. One of the things it doesn’t offer is the ability to be submerged underwater, but that’s something more users won’t need to begin with.
This rangefinder is best used for target shooting, bow hunting, and rifle hunting purposes. It offers both Tru Target Technology and angle compensation for a better view of the field. ID technology is also included which can help compensate for arrow/bolt drops at extended range. There are also both first and second target modes to get the best distance possible on your target.
While this isn’t a submersible device, it is rain and waterproof so you can use it in various conditions. While reviews don’t mention defective devices, if anyone does experience that, Nikon offers a warranty and is happy to replace the unit.
- Designed for use by bow hunters
- Several toggle modes to switch between
- Offers scan mode for updated distances
- The unit is not appropriate for immersing in water
Plant Synergy is the company that is the parent of Halo Optics, which makes it a mission to offer wildlife lovers and hunters inexpensive gear that is durable and full-featured. While the Halo XL450-7 comes at a reasonable price, it still offers auto acquisition optics, scan mode, and angle compensation. It offers up to 450 yards of distance ranging with acquisition to a yard.
This is considered the best range finder by many bow hunters with the needed features at a good price. The body of this rangefinder is unique and made ergonomic with a design that makes comfort the priority. It has 6X magnification which is pretty average for other range finders in this price range.
The rangefinder has an automatic shutdown that kicks in after 20 seconds of not being in use. The auto acquisition helps hunters get a quick and accurate reading to make a shot as smoothly as possible. However, some find that the reticle box is a bit larger than expected for those hunting small game.
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Features auto acquisition for quick, accurate readings
- 6X magnification ability and scan mode included
- Features a larger than desirable aiming box
Simmons is known for offering high-quality, inexpensive rangefinders for quite some time and the 801600 Volt 600 is no exception to the rule. This rangefinder offers a 20 mm objective lens and 4X magnification. This leads to a 5 mm exit pupil and a low magnification that works well for range hunting. It is one of the few rangefinders that is so low-level for hunters who hunt from a short range.
This rangefinder has an LCD display with a black reticle and black font for the readouts. This works just fine in areas with plenty of light but can be less effective at night or in areas with lots of shade. However, the display is clear and straightforward. Even a beginner can easily use this rangefinder without problems.
For a hunter on a budget, this is a great option with enough features to keep them happy. It has great freehand stability, low power, and exceptional close ranging ability that many hunters will appreciate. This would make a great entry-level rangefinder for a beginner.
- Compact and lightweight rangefinder unit
- Simple display without cluttered icons
- Budget friendly, low power option
- Some users report rangefinders that do not turn on
The Wosports Hunting Rangefinder is flush with features to make targeting and hunting a breeze. It is designed for use by hunters, so it has the things you need to target practice, hunt with a rifle, or hunt with a bow. The range goes up to 800 yards for highly reflective surfaces but will be less than that for deer and other animals. This is a reasonably priced bow rangefinder with extra features to offer value.
As far as accuracy goes, the rangefinder has an accuracy to plus or minus one yard. It also has speed measuring abilities which can be off by up to about three miles. This is definitely plenty for hunting needs and will help those in the woods hit their target, no matter how far away it is. Having such high precision and reliability is something any rangefinder worth its salt should have.
The Wosports Hunting Rangefinder is durable and can handle all sorts of weather. It has a non-slipping grip and is lightweight. It has both dust and water resistance and comes with a carrying case, strap, 3-volt battery, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.
- Durable and lightweight for easy use
- Very accurate rangefinder for hunting
- Water and dust resistant
- Carrying case is low quality
Those who are familiar with the Vortex Optics line of Ranger rangefinders will find that the 1800 is just as good as all the others. This rangefinder is best used for target shooting, bow hunting, and rifle hunting. It works for targets anywhere from nine to 1800 yards away with a yard of variability. This gives you more than a mile of distance for reflective targets and less for things like deer.
The rangefinder has a rubber-armored body and is fully weatherproof. It is designed to offer protection against accidents even in harsh environments. It also comes with a removable utility clip, includes tripod adaptability, and features an adjustable diopter. The screen is intuitive, even for beginners, and has an LED display with red font and three separate brightness settings.
Also included is HCD which offers compensation for distances when an incline or decline is present. This lets hunters adjust for drop to make a more accurate shot. It can also be used in line of sight mode when a hunter needs no correction for slope.
- Fully weatherproof with high durability
- Features high-quality LED display
- Above average ranging distance
- Nearly identical to Ranger 1500 other than distance
We looked at the regular ProWild from TecTecTec earlier in this list and the ProWild 2 could be considered its older sibling. This particular rangefinder offers even better accuracy than the ProWild original while also offering high-end components and advanced technology for the discerning consumer who enjoys hunting. It costs a bit more than the ProWild but has accuracy of within a foot, rather than a yard.
This rangefinder is also designed to look a bit different from the original model. The body has a more ergonomic design and it comes in green rather than in a camo pattern. It looks and feels like a higher-quality model and is going to give you the results of a premium model compared to the normal ProWild.
This is a lightweight and easy to use hunting rangefinder which is still at a reasonable price point. It comes with a two-year warranty and the company is known for offering great service if you end up needing to contact them. Those who enjoy TecTecTec’s ProWild line can easily find a model that works best for them at the budget they need.
- Scan mode for identifying target easily
- Water, mud, and dust resistant unit
- Simple to carry and easy to use
- Not the best option for nighttime tracking
The final entry on our best hunting rangefinder is the Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR. The VR stands for Vibration Reduction technology, and Nikon is the first company to offer it. By reducing the shakiness of the image, bow and rifle hunters can get a shot in sight quickly and easily without having to stress about making a steady shot. It also offers Hyper Read technology for half-second readings with accuracy up to 0.5 yards.
Other great features on this rangefinder include ID angle compensation for inclines and declines, Tru Target technology, and a body that is entirely waterproof. The optics are also stunning with a 21 mm objective lens and 18 mm of eye relief. The unit itself is compact and lightweight, so it’s not a bother to have out while you hunt or target practice all day.
While this is one of the more expensive models available, it has vibration reduction which is otherwise impossible to come by. This rangefinder can easily be used by rifle or bow users but is marketed towards the latter. However, there’s nothing about it that won’t be useful for a hunter using a rifle.
- Vibration reduction technology for clear targeting
- LCD display with black font for easy use
- Entirely waterproof and submersible
- Price may be higher than some would like
Choosing A Rangefinder for Your Specific Needs
The first thing that makes a difference when choosing a rangefinder is determining exactly what it is going to be used for. For example, a rangefinder that is designed to work well for a golfer may not be the optimal choice for someone who needs a range finder for use while hunting.
There are also rangefinders that are designed for surveying which also may not be the right choice for golfing or hunting. We want to share what sets these apart and then look at the features to pay attention to when choosing the rangefinder you will be using.
Understanding First and Second Priority Rangefinders
There are two major types of laser rangefinders on the market today. A first priority rangefinder is one that sees the first item in its line of view and then looks no further into the horizon for other potential items and targets. A rangefinder that is capable of looking beyond that first item to one that is farther away is a second priority mode rangefinder.
Most of the time, someone who spends time on the golf course is going to prefer a first priority mode rangefinder. You aren’t looking for anything beyond the flag and where you should take your shot unless the flag happens to be hidden. As such, golfing rangefinders are all created as first priority. You can easily use them to range in on the flag and get an accurate distance reading without worrying some other item in the background is what is providing the distance measurement.
On the other hand, a second priority rangefinder tends to be the best hunting rangefinder. When you’re out hunting, you’re often in a situation where trees or other items are between you and the animal you are tracking. This type of rangefinder will ignore leaves and limbs to instead track the deer or whatever else you want distance on.
This isn’t to say that a first priority rangefinder can’t be used for hunting or that a second priority rangefinder cannot be used on the golf course. What it does mean is that choosing a product that best fits the use you have for it is going to make your life a lot easier. There will be less of a need to switch between modes, look at multiple readings, and pay attention to every distance measurement to be sure it’s showing the correct target.
That said, some laser rangefinders have the option to switch between first and second priority mode, which can make for a versatile rangefinder that can be used in different applications.
Choosing the Maximum Distance for Your Range Finder
There are numerous things to look for when selecting a rangefinder, but key among them is the maximum readable distance that the unit is capable of. However, this isn’t as easy as seeing that the maximum distance is 500 yards and assuming it will always offer easy reading to that distance. The reality is that the maximum distance is only going to be relevant on highly reflective, large surfaces when the weather and atmosphere are absolutely ideal.
As an example, with no air pollution, heat waves, or glare when it’s cloudy and cool, it’s possible you can see that shiny metal pole that is 500 yards away. Once there’s a lot of sun, snow, rain, or heat, that number begins to decrease. These things can change the colors of items, make the size different, or change the texture.
This can lead to the rangefinder only picking up items hundreds of yards less than the specified maximum. For hunters, this is especially important because your prey in the woods isn’t exactly reflective and calm. Sometimes the maximum for a deer could be less than half of the maximum range, something to be aware of well before purchase.
What to Know About Aiming Points and Reticles
The reticle of your rangefinder is the circle, square or aiming point that you see when looking through it. Many of these are made with black lines that go over the object you are ranging.
These particular reticles can be hard to use when it’s dark outside or there are shadows nearby. Other reticles are illuminated using LED lights and work better in environments with less light. In many cases, the brightness can be adjusted by the user. However, there are drawbacks to illuminated reticles as well. In bright conditions, they may be hard to see and may alter your night vision when it’s extremely dark outside.
One option that tends to work well for many hunters is a black reticle with a button that allows you to turn on backlighting. This light is typically less intense than an LED and still allows you to see all of the information on the rangefinder no matter the light conditions.
Magnification and Power
We’ve mentioned power a few times when looking through the 17 best rangefinders, but now we want to explain exactly what that means. The higher the maximum distance and the more power a rangefinder offers, the better it ranges when looking at small objects. For instance, a deer that is 400 yards away is still going to be hard to see with a 400-yard rangefinder due to how small it is going to be on the screen.
Most rangefinders have 6X or 7X magnification level, while others might be 4X or 5X. What this means is that, in the case of a 7X magnification level, the object you are looking at will look seven times closer than it would to the naked eye. However, distant objects may not always be easier to range on with extra magnification. It’s something to consider but not worth spending a ton of time on.
Quality of Picture
All of the rangefinders offered here have high-quality glass. This is essential when you want to ensure the best picture quality. However, this is something that the budget might matter for.
Great glass is more expensive, as are any of the coatings used on that glass. While a rangefinder made of Swarovski might have the best picture quality, that doesn’t mean that spending thousands on it is a good idea. Glass that is good, but not the absolute best, is completely reasonable for hunting or golfing purposes.
Battery Life and Diopters
Most of the rangefinders you see for hunting are going to offer diopters. These are used to adjust the view according to your eye strength and has an effect on getting the cleanest and clearest possible photo. While it’s worth checking if the rangefinder you want has this, it is standard on many.
As far as battery life, it matters but not enough that worrying about it is important. Most people won’t need to swap out batteries more than once or twice a year. Those who use their rangefinders on a regular basis should keep a spare around but otherwise, that’s nothing much to worry about.
Weight and Size
When hunting with a rangefinder, both the size and the weight matter quite a lot. You want to have a rangefinder that isn’t a pain to carry with you in your shirt or pants pocket. Some people appreciate a carrying case to keep the rangefinder from getting scuffed up out in the field. Generally, as a hunter, you want a light option while golfers often are fine with the opposite.
Having a nearby golf cart makes a heavier rangefinder less frustrating in that situation.
The Right Rangefinder for You
While there are several things to look for in a great rangefinder, some are more important than others. As long as the rangefinder is high-quality and created for the use you need, it will probably do the job. For hunters, that means lightweight, durable devices with a large maximum distance. Any of the mentioned rangefinders above will make a great choice depending on the extra features you want to have with you.
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