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So you missed a buck or two last hunting season and you swear you don't want a repeat performance this year.
If only you guessed its distance right by using one of the best hunting rangefinders below, you wouldn't have driven home with an empty truck bed.
Whether you're a newbie to sports optics or you're upgrading your old pal for a new one, a range finder is a must-have for hunters.
Thinking it's an unnecessary splurge? Once you incorporate optics into your hunt, you won't ever think that again.
But, where do you start and which is the best hunting rangefinder? That really depends on the type of hunting you are planning on doing and the budget you have to spend.
QUICK LIST: Best Hunting Rangefinders 2020
- Bushnell Prime 1300 - Best for Bow Hunting
- ATN Laser Ballistics 1500 Rangefinder - Best for Rifle Hunting
- Simmons Venture Tilt Laser Rangefinder - Best for Target Shooting
- Vortex Fury HD 5000 10x42 - Best Rangefinding Binocular
- Halo XL450-7 Rangefinder - Best Under $150
- Nikon Arrow ID 3000 Laser Rangefinder - Best Under $300
- Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Laser Rangefinder - Best Under $500
How to Choose a Rangefinder for Hunting
Your choice of range finder should be greatly influenced by the type of activity you plan to use it for. Are you a bow hunter, rifle hunter, or a bit of both? Do you see it getting the most use at the shooting range, archery range or out in the wilderness?
Once you answer these questions, you can begin to narrow down your options a lot – and we are here to help.
We have hunted the sports optics realm to find the best distance finding devices for a range of hunting/shooting activities, and those are the lists you see below. This is a great place to start as you will see the devices that are the top-rated rangefinders for your activity of choice.
|BEST HUNTING RANGEFINDERS|
|BOW HUNTING7 of the best bow hunting devices||COMPARE NOW|
|RIFLE HUNTING6 of the best rifle hunting devices||COMPARE NOW|
|TARGET SHOOTING6 of the best target shooting devices||COMPARE NOW|
|RANGEFINDER BINOS7 of the best rangefinder binoculars||COMPARE NOW|
The Best Hunting Rangefinders for the Money
Being a clever shopper means making the most of your budget to get the best of what you can possibly afford. But what can you afford? Every hunter’s budget is different so we have focused on a few price categories to provide options that will suit most budgets.
From low-cost champs to higher-priced prince’s, there is a hunting rangefinder to suit your needs in the groups below.
|BEST HUNTING RANGEFINDER FOR THE MONEY|
|UNDER $1506 of the best LRF's under $150||COMPARE NOW|
|UNDER $3006 of the best LRF's under $300||COMPARE NOW|
|UNDER $5006 of the best LRF's under $500||COMPARE NOW|
Top 6 Best Rifle Hunting Rangefinders
Rifle hunting takes you to where the wild things are, and you need to be prepared for all types of weather, terrain, and distance.
The best rifle hunting optics are going to be waterproof for that unpredictable weather. They are going to be your eyes, and so will need some serious long-distance yardage as well as the ability to constantly track your prey.
Because that elk isn't frozen in place, your rangefinder is going to need some speed - lightning-fast laser speed. With these features in mind, let's take a look at the best rangefinders for hunting with a rifle.
1. Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Rangefinder
The Vortex Ranger 1800 is a beauty of a rangefinder. You might think its price is high, but it's very deserving of it. We even say it might be too cheap for its quality. However, we hunters have always been able to depend on Vortex for the best prices possible for the highest quality possible.
The Ranger 1800 can range out to, you guessed it, 1,800 yards. But, you want to know what the deer ranging distances are, don't you? It's a full 900 yards! That's pretty impressive for a rangefinder, and even better news to the long-distance hunter. Just ask yourself, how many times have you missed that bull because you thought it was out of range? No longer will you underestimate yourself because there's no more guessing.
The Ranger is fully weatherproof, has fully multi-coated lenses, and it has the HCD Corrected Shoot-to-Range feature for those angled compensated distances. Don't range and guess, range and shoot-your rangefinder will aim true!
2. Leica Geovid HD-B 3000 10x42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular
Just when you think Leica can't get any better, they do. The new generation of Geovid rangefinder binoculars are out of this world, and that's largely part to its brilliant image quality.
Perger Porro prisms with top-secret glass formulas and elements make up a high-contrast and sharp sight picture with true-to-life color fidelity carried through with maximum light transmission.
Leica continues a high standard of excellence with its 3000-yard ranging distance, ABC ballistic technology, and a highly sensitive LED display that automatically adjusts to all light conditions to display a reading in less time than it takes to think about it.
The open-bridge design of the magnesium binoculars makes for an ergonomic and comfortable fit for one-hand use. But wait, there's more.
Multiple ABC Function modes allow for a tailored ballistic experience that allows the rangefinder binoculars to spit out point of aim correction and custom results within the blink of an eye. This means the binoculars are able to provide user-specific adjustments that includes number of clicks for adjustment, holdover, and angle compensated distances.
However, high-tech comes with high prices as is expected with this industry-leading brand. You're basically a walking, stalking, digital hunter with a Geovid HD-B 3000 on your person. Once you've dialed this gadget in, you'll be the Terminator of every hunt.
3. Bushnell Elite 1 Mile Con-X Laser Rangefinder
The Elite 1 Mile Con-X is one of those rangefinders that might be too smart for you. If you think you can conquer the Con-X and all its fancy features, then you might just want to put down around $300-$400 cash on this unit. It has everything, and we mean everything, that you could want in a hunting rangefinder - there is a reason it was awarded 'Optic of the Year' in 2017's Golden Bullseye Award.
You'll have the ability to pair it with your smartphone, download custom ballistic curves, and play around with MIL, MOA, and more measurements to accurately adjust your scope. Additionally, you'll have the Vivid Display Technology for an LED display, Variable Sight In mode, and selective targeting modes to make sure you're hitting your target and not the tree in front of it.
Just remember, 1,760 yards is a long way to go, are you hunter enough to master the Con-X?
4. Leupold RX-1600i TBR/W with DNA Rangefinder
Today's price for high-end ballistic rangefinder technology doesn't cost nearly as close to what it used to a couple of years ago. Leupold underscores this point with the RX1600i rangefinder with TBR (True Ballistic Range) and DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) that comes in under $500.
It might sound pricey to you, but when you see the laundry list of high-tech features it has, you might be banging the same drum we are. The 1600i unit is clearly a workhorse for the avid hunter. The first and foremost significant feature it has is its ranging capability out to 1600 yards with 1000 yards to deer.
That's a long way to go when you're seeking out your trophy rack at these distances. You best believe you have the OLED display you can manually adjust to match light conditions. Angled compensated distances takes the math out of steep angle shooting.
TBR technology is more than just taking advantage of an angle compensated distance, it's about taking that number and going a step further. With multiple, pre-loaded reticle options, the RX rangefinder can display your holdover point for a new point of aim, or it can display it as an MOA or MIL adjustment.
However, with high-tech at low cost (debatable) a risk of feature failure can be likely. Be sure to become familiar with its many features in order to determine if it's measuring accurately before you head out to the hunt.
Pair your expectations of premium features and affordable price tags with the RX-1600i. You'll end up with more value than you expect.
5. Leica CRF Rangemaster 2000-B Laser Rangefinder
The Rangemaster is the ultimate pocket rangefinder no rifleman should go without. Its 2000-yard ranging distance is impressive since Leica can actually deliver results out this far - it's not just a claim. Acquiring distances on deer above 1000 yards is not an impressive feat for the CRF, it's what it does day in and day out.
As a Leica product, it features its brands iconic image quality with an LED automatic brightness display. It impressively features built-in air temperature and pressure sensors and an integrated inclinometer to further provide accurate data.
Built-in ballistic parameters provide on-screen data in the form of an angle compensated distance, a holdover value, or number of clicks to make the adjustment. With all this information available in just one optic, you'll be equipped to make the best shot possible the first time.
However, you won't be able to input your own ballistics if you don't find a match with the preset options. This may be a deal breaker, but you can be sure the price isn't. Rangefinder ballistic tech is more affordable than ever, and the CRF 2000-B can be yours right now. Sure, it's still an expensive unit, but it's a Leica - it's always worth the cost.
6. Sig Sauer Kilo 1400 BDX
High-end technology doesn't get cheaper than this. Sig Sauer changes the rules when it comes to quality expectations and high prices. The Kilo 1400 slashes half the cost and yet delivers premium features like no other brand can do.
With 1600 yards of ranging distance, you're really only going to need 750 of those - to get a distance on deer. Most hunters aren't shooting out to these distances anyway, and why do you have to when you're already sitting on a hot spot game trail, right?
The Kilo has multiple readout modes that includes Line of Sight (LOS), Angle Modified Range (AMR), and Applied Ballistics Ultralight (ABU). This a feature-packed rangefinder that can match the productivity and functionality of one twice its price.
It also has the Low Energy Bluetooth 4.0 feature to keep you connected to Sig Sauer's BDX Ballistic Data Xchange to pair with your BDX riflescope out to 800 yards. Get the new point of aim on your reticle when you range a distance on your Kilo 1400. It's that easy.
With all the mighty impressive features it sports, you'd think an LED display would be the cherry on top. Sadly, we suspect to keep prices low, Sauer outfitted the Kilo with a black LCD display. It's not that much of a compromise when you consider you're also getting SpectraCoat and HT-LCD coatings for superior optical quality.
The bottom line is, the Kilo offers the latest tech for the best price. If you're already a Sig Sauer owner, it's a no-brainer to complete your optics kit with the Kilo BDX.
|Vortex Optics Ranger 1300||CHECK PRICE|
|Leica Geovid HD-B 3000 10×42||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell Elite 1 Mile Con-X||CHECK PRICE|
|Leupold RX-1600i TBR/W with DNA||CHECK PRICE|
|Leica CRF Rangemaster 2000-B||CHECK PRICE|
|Sig Sauer Kilo 1400 BDX||CHECK PRICE|
A-Z of The Best Rangefinder Brands
Are you loyal to a particular optics brand? Perhaps you already use a Redfield spotting scope, Nikon rifle scope or Bushnell binocular and want to shop within that same brand for your hunting rangefinders.
If so, you are in luck. Below is a list of optics companies that all have one thing in common – the quality of their products. Some may be known as the ‘budget brands’ of the hunting world, others are right up there among the best in the world.
Whichever the case may be, all of them produce top-notch rangefinders that are the best in their budget category and those are the devices we have reviewed below.
This all-time American brand needs little introduction. Everybody knows who Bushnell is. While we don't exactly know why they're called Bushnell, it could be after the love story, a famous Colonial inventor, or a USS submarine, but we like to think it's because it can range through brush, scrub, and bush. And, cutting through the bush to lase the deer grazing behind it is exactly what Bushnell rangefinders are more than capable of doing.
Their laser range finder line happens to be one of the largest categories of hunting optics that they offer and they produce some of the best rangefinders for hunting. From the Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC and to the Bone Collector, there's a device for every type of hunter there is.
Keep the bucks in your wallet and the bucks in your truck. That's the name of the game when it comes to the Halo.
Halo Optics has made the perfect, easy-to-use, and accurate rangefinders for the shooter, hunter and the bowman. They are also priced well below what competing products are listed for, but that doesn't mean it's a cheapo unit. Don't believe us? Check it out!
You don't need bionic eyesight to measure the distance, you just need a Halo rangefinder.
Leica is a world-class brand for hunters across the globe who lust after unparalleled distance measurement with pristine and crisp image quality.
You can be guaranteed that you won't have to buy another one for eons after you've spent your hard-earned dough on a Leica rangefinder. They're made to last, equipped with the latest, advanced technology, and of course, to go the distance. What more do you need with a Leica? Zilch! Get your big boy hunting gear on and wield a superior hunting optic - get a Leica! Got it?
For over a century, Leupold has done it, and they do it best. But, what is "it?" Dish out high quality hunting optics is their expertise. The brand is known all across America. The family-owned German roots has a lot to do with their success since we all know German glass is highly revered. Even better, Leupold means brave in German.
When it comes to Leupold's laser rangefinders, you won't find better quality for the value. If you want to brave it in intimidating hunting scenarios with a very successful family business, Leupold is your best bet. That is, if you're brave enough to tread moose and bear country!
We're not talking about cameras here, but instead something else that Nikon does extremely well - laser rangefinders. Just as clear cut as their renowned camera lenses are, so are their laser units.
Their entire line is made to be compact and unobtrusive to pack with you on your next hunt. Their prices are more than fair, and they're just as competitive in the game as any other well-known brand across the globe. Don't be sorry by going cheap. You won't have any buyer's remorse when you go with a Nikon.
Hunters and shooters will know who Sig Sauer is, especially if there's a P320 in your gun safe. They've been around for a long time, and their reputation precedes them. But, it wasn't until 2015 that they entered the optics market. How do you think "one of the world's most renowned manufacturers of small arms" competes against brands that have ruled the industry for decades? We say they give them a run for their money. In fact, when these top rangefinders have tons of features, extreme ranging distances, and low prices on their side, they can easily outdo the best of the best of what's available.
You never underestimate a brand that knows their firearms and optics - you join 'em. To get the most accurate distance, you need the most high-performing optic in your arsenal. When you commit to Team Sig, you commit to excellence!
The two things you need from your rangefinder is readability and functionality. Simmons does it, and does it well. You don't need all the extra tidbits that makes using a rangefinder similar to fidgeting with a computerized electronic. Just aim, shoot, and bam - you have your distance. That's what you can expect with a Simmons under your belt.
Even better, this brand is known for their unbelievable low prices. Why should you have to pay more? They concur! Pull out your dollar bills because that's all you're going to need.
TecTecTec might be new to you since it was originally a brand dedicated to optics for the golfing sport. However, despite its roots, the 2014-established company has come out of the woods to support the hunting community with a good hunting edition.
If you want the most economical rangefinders with the best prices around, TecTecTec will probably be on your list of must-haves. With their "direct to consumer" philosophy, approach, and sales distribution marketing, it's no wonder this brand has earned best seller status for two years in a row from a leading online vendor.
Tsk-tsk-tsk away your rangefinder-shopping stress, and TecTecTec your way to a budget rangefinder with high-performing potential for your hunt, and maybe your stroke too!
This is one of those brands where you end up owning more than one optic from the same company. You might glass off with a binocular and find yourself convinced of quality, price, and warranty. You might end up scoping your way over to a rifle scope, and then ranging over to a rangefinder. Before you know it, you have completed your hunting gear with optics from one or two brands! When you buy one Vortex, you're sold on having to get one of everything from them!
The top rangefinders from Vortex are superb optics with their simple, intuitive design, iconic ruggedness, and their high-performing engines that will never fail you. Their warranty policy can't be beat, and the quality for price ratio is always balanced in your favor. As a published field test review on Target Tamers reveals, "Never buy a Vortex - always buy two!""
Don't expect anything mediocre when it comes to this first-class brand. You'll be in for a hell of a surprise since Zeiss products are anything but ordinary. On top of their highly advanced construction, their lasing units are outfitted with the best coatings, customizable ballistic info, and super long yardages.
With all the tech jam-packed into one unit, you might be surprised by how compact and snug these rangefinders are to wield and stow. Can it get any better? You'll have to check out our reviews to find out. We promise there's more!
6 Considerations When Buying a Hunting Rangefinder
While many shoppers might not like to admit they have a budget, it's a given. While it might not be said aloud, a budget sets the limits of what you can buy, and sadly, what you can't buy.
Discerning your budget will help you to filter out what's a realistic buy and what needs to be on your wish list. Extra features often have a lot to do with price jumps. You can filter out what features are necessary and what features are luxury perks. For example, you can skimp out on maximum yardage if it means you can have quality glass. Perhaps you'd rather forgo the ballistic info and opt for ruggedness and waterproofness instead.
If you truly don't have a budget limit, we're definitely jealous. You can explore the realms of pimped-out rangefinder-binoculars and all the glory the extra perks offer. However, for those with a budget, keeping readability and functionality at the core of your shopping list is a must. It's all about measuring accuracy and less about how many extra features you can brag about, although, we have to admit, it would be pretty cool to boast. We're guilty of that too!
Randy Newberg discusses sighting in rangefinders in the video below and touches on the fact that many budget rangefinders can be slightly off in terms of accuracy. So, regardless of buget, accuracy is a feature you need to ensure you are getting in your rangefinder.
2. Angle Compensation
This is a feature that will truly give you accurate measurements when you're in unpredictable or steep terrain. Have you ever tried lasing from a tree blind only to miss your hog by 20 yards? That's an epic fail that hopefully no one else witnessed.
Angle compensation is highly underrated. It's an absolute must if you want to avoid injuring a target when killing them is the goal, and it could also mean a complete miss. The true horizontal distance allows you to know the right distance to aim for that gravity will have an effect over your shot. For very detailed info on this important feature, check out our Angle Compensation & Beginners Guide to decide whether you need it or if you can go without it.
3. LCD VS LED Displays
You might not give this feature very much thought, but we can guarantee that you will come sunset and you can't see a thing. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing that deer 250 yards away, but you can't for the life of you, read the distance on your laser. So, which is better?
LCD is excellent for day time use, especially when it's bright. The sharp, black reticle and distance display won't fail you. But, if you're hunting in the early morning or the evenings, an LCD display will cower next to a red LED one. For more on how displays and light affect your hunting optic, check out this article about using a rangefinder in any light to ensure you're not left blind.
Figure out what your most common hunting hours are before you decide on a device. Some of the best optics are ones with LCD displays with a backlight. LED displays with adjustable brightness settings or self-illuminating LED displays won't destroy your nighttime vision.
4. Rangefinder Binoculars
If you're hunting for a separate range finder and a binocular, you might want to consider combing the two optics into one. No, we don't recommend duck tape in any of these scenarios, but what we do recommend is a binocular-rangefinder.
While the prices are typically hefty for the advanced optic, you're getting two units in one. You can save yourself some spotting time by using the one optic for both sighting needs. However, combining this technology isn't easy. You want a high quality device from a trusted brand to ensure it'll perform as expected. Take the Zeiss Victory RF and the Swarovski El Range combos for example. Top notch brands with top notch technology!
While longer seems better, that's not always the case for every hunter. Who needs a mile measuring distance when you're only hunting up to 400 yards max? On the flip side, having those longer distances can save you trekking time. If you know how far your targets are, you'll know how close you should get before they spot you.
Most distance measuring devices go out to about 500 yards. The longer the distance, the more important it is that you have quality glass to keep up with the image. This is also where magnification comes in.
Higher magnification devices can be difficult to hold steady to actually see what you're looking at. Good rangefinders typically land in the 4-6X power range. If you're ranging further, make sure you have higher magnification power. This would be considered extreme for hunters and bowmen who don't need those distances. You can save yourself a few bucks by sticking with a 4-5X unit with 400-800 yard distances.
Game doesn't care if it's raining or sweltering hot outside. They still graze, eat, and hunt. You need an optic that can keep up with your prey while enduring whatever Mother Nature has to throw at you. Think along the lines of waterproofness, ruggedness, and shock-proof features.
When you're standing in a tree blind, an accidental drop of your optic can render it useless. When you're hiding out from the herd and an unexpected storm rolls up on you, do you call it a day?
It would be a shame to miss out on the trophy of your life because some gnarly clouds said it's time to go home. Are you in the game or are you a wuss? Get an optic that's practically indestructible! Kapeesh?
What Makes the Best Rangefinder For Hunting?
No one we know has bionic eyesight or distance estimating skills like Superman. That's why you need a good rangefinder, and the best hunting ones are definitely going to be the ones that last. On top of enduring a lifetime of abuse, the ideal rangefinders are going to be readable and functional, with or without the luxury perks.
Outdoor sports require outdoor optics. What say you? Are you an outdoor man or an indoor one? Outdoor life is only for the adventurous, and the best optics will bring the adventure to you. Time to get your hunt on!
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