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What's the best part about having a budget in this price range?
You get to have a taste of what premium features look like on a laser rangefinder.
We picked the best rangefinders under 300 bucks to ensure that you can spot those bucks no matter the distance.
However, there's a way to do it right to avoid everything inferior!
QUICK LIST: Best Rangefinders for Under $300 In 2021
- Vortex Optics Impact 1000 Rangefinder
- Leupold RX-1400i TBR/W Rangefinder
- Bushnell Prime 1700 Rangefinder
- Leupold RX FullDraw 3 Rangefinder
- ATN Laser Ballistics 1000 Rangefinder
Our 5 Top Rangefinders Less Than $300
If you've found yourself with a couple, extra hundred bucks to spend on your next rangefinder, then you're definitely in the right place. This lineup will cater to you and your needs to figure out which unit you can depend on to hold value and perform well out in the field.
Having a little bit extra to spend ups the game field when it comes to quality and features. You might not get all the perks right here, but you'll get enough to last you a long time.
Beginners will love the increased accuracy and user-friendliness that comes with higher quality optics, and intermediates will appreciate the uncomplicated features that make these units premium ones!
|Vortex Impact 1000||CHECK PRICE|
|Leupold RX-1400i TBR W||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell Prime 1700||CHECK PRICE|
|Leupold RX FullDraw 3||CHECK PRICE|
|ATN Laser Ballistics 1000||CHECK PRICE|
5 Best Rangefinders Under $300
1. Vortex Impact 1000
The Impact 1000 is a no-frills unit. Well, that’s how Vortex describes it, but that doesn’t do it justice. It’s affordable, provides HCD out to a max of 800 yards, ranges to 1000, and it’s covered under the VIP warranty. That’s plenty to get fired-up about!
- HCD mode
- Extremely compact
- Long battery life
- LCD display
Let’s tell you how extremely compact the Impact 1000 is. It’s mini at 3.8 x 1.4” and 5.5 oz. Along with its scaled-down size, the Impact takes a scaled-down approach with less is more.
Not everyone likes the rigidity of pre-loaded ballistics or the tech hassles of Bluetooth and app connectivity. Some just want the distance without the gadgety fuss. Now, what distance would that be?
The Impact 1000 provides Scan, LOS, and HCD modes. See? It lacks nothing. HCD is the angle compensated distance, aka equivalent horizontal range. It’s accurate out to 800 yards on slopes less than 15-degrees and 400 yards on slopes less than 30-degrees.
It doesn’t have an LED display or selectable reticles, so alternatives may have an edge over the Impact in regards to that.
But it does perform out to 500 yards on deer, is excellent for bow hunters and rifle hunters, and it’s covered for a lifetime. No catch-22’s with the warranty because the electronics are also covered. Now, that’s something that alternatives can’t beat!
2. Leupold RX-1400i TBR/W
When Leupold sets their mind on beating out the competition, boy do they! While it’s not alone in this price point with its ingenious engineering, they add a few more bells and whistles that ensures they’re the best in everything they do.
- tOLED display
- 2-year electronics warranty
- Not truly customizable
The RX-1400i is just like its bigger cousins, the RX-1600i and RX-2800, in respects to having the TBR/W feature. It’s not as long ranging, but it offers the same angle compensation, wind compensation, ballistic and load combos, target modes, and measuring modes to get you on point with every hit of the Fire button.
Things get a little hairy if you’re going to use the RX-1400i as it’s designed to be, so keep the manual close to acquire a full understanding of every feature. One example is the TBR function. It’s not just one mode. You have Rifle and Bow mode each with their own parameters. In Rifle mode, you also have five functions: BAS, HOLD, MIL, MOA, and TRIG. Add to all this the ability to activate the Wind feature.
As you can see, it’s not just a tiny, compact, and lightweight unit with nothing under its shell – it has brains. The only catch is your weapon and caliber system must fall into an appropriate “group” the rangefinder is calibrated for. Fortunately, there are 25 groups and a laundry list of ballistics and loads to find the most appropriate one.
While you can’t exactly adjust for wind to your conditions via the unit, the fixed 10mph provided holdovers allow for some fast math to be done in the field. Hopefully you’re good with that kind of thing.
With an illuminated display, selectable reticles, long-range, and a 2-year electronics warranty, it sounds like the RX-1400i is ready to go. Are you?
3. Bushnell Prime 1700
The Prime 1700 is as advanced as a $300-$500 rangefinder without the LED display, yet it’s considerably cheaper.
- 1700-yard ranging
- Multiple target modes
- Multiple ranging modes
- No LED display
It’s nice to have illumination especially when ranging black targets, in shade, or in lowlight conditions, but the lack of it is something you’ll have to accept.
Besides, there is plenty more that the Prime 1700 has that others don’t. To start with, you have three selectable reticles. You also have angle compensation, scan activation in any ranging mode, and on-board adjustment values based on pre-loaded ballistics. Sounds like it does it all, right?
The unit is accurate to +/-1-yard up to max distance, and it can range as close as 5 yards. Max range on deer is 700 yards which is plenty for most people who sneak a few hundred yards closer before making the shot anyway.
Even so, it’s no stranger to long-range target shooting, close-range treestand and bow hunting, and the unit also calibrates for muzzleloaders. This compact rangefinder is powerful, practical, and offers a lot of potential. It’s a prime unit for any type of hunter and shooter.
4. Leupold RX-FullDraw 3
Not all bow hunters go rifle hunting. So, they have no need for rifle modes, ballistics, and all the non-essential features that drive up cost. This is the thinking behind the RX-FullDraw series. A bow hunting rangefinder for the bow hunter. May as well spend less than $300 bucks to get it done.
- Bow hunting
- Trophy Scale
- 1300-yard range
- No TBR past 175 yards
Sure, you can use the FullDraw for rifle hunting, but you can only do so much with LOS distances. Bullets have drop too. But, Leupold has other rangefinders for that, and this is a dedicated bow hunting rangefinder under $300 with very specific features a bow hunter needs.
Such features include TBR to provide angle compensated distances out to 175 yards with 0.5-yard accuracy. Yes, you can range a lot further than that, but hunters aren’t trying to miss or lose arrows – on purpose.
The Trophy Scale is another feature that may prove its worth as it’s a measuring reticle to get an idea of rack, width, or height measurements. You also have a Last Target Priority Mode, Scan Mode, and three pre-loaded reticles to choose from depending on the distance and target you’re trying to range.
The FullDraw 3 is small at 4” long and 7 oz in weight. It comes with a carry case, but it’s so compact that you can wear it or dedicate a vest pouch for it. Just don’t forget it in the treestand. Oh, never mind, it won’t matter if you do because it’s watertight. Not bad for a “budget” Leupold rangefinder, eh?
5. ATN Laser Ballistics 1000
Trust ATN to have a smart rangefinder that pairs with their smart scopes. The Laser Ballistics 1000 Smart Rangefinder is smart alright, and it literally does the work for you. Guess what else? It’s within your budget. Check it out.
- Bluetooth compatible
- 1000-yard range
- Long-lasting battery life
- Defective models
Due to some complaints about resets needed and not getting maximum range, there may be some defective models from the get-go. As far as questioning the execution of the technology, ATN seems to have done well as this is a favored model among the masses.
Why is it so darn cool? Well, it has the staples like a light 5.4 oz weight, 4.17” x 2.87” size, is completely waterproof, and it’s covered by a 2-year manufacturer warranty. Good to go.
But, this is a smart rangefinder, so it’s Bluetooth compatible with smartphone platforms (Android and iOS), and it can pair with any of ATN’s Smart HD devices that have Obsidian II or higher systems. What does this mean for you?
If you have a Smart HD riflescope, the reading on the rangefinder will automatically move your point-of-aim to real-time impact points so that you don’t have to do a thing to get dead on. If you have a traditional rifle scope, your phone will instruct you with the turret adjustments you need to make. Done and done.
With up to 1,000 yards on a target, you very well may need those turret adjustments. With up to six months or 50,000 actuations from a CR2 type battery, the Laser Ballistics rangefinder will be your intuitive device needed to meet all your long-range shooting goals.
What to Look for in a Rangefinder in This Price Range
In and under the $300 price range, you can safely move from basic and entry-level to premium without much risk to quality. The extra budget from $150 to $300 allows for some luxury touches to really maximize rangefinder performance and experience. You can find a rangefinder that specifically caters to your needs and applications, and you can also upgrade the quality coatings to the glass and the durability of the optic as a whole. Here's what to look for to minimize risk and optimize value!
- Glass: The higher the quality, the better. In this price range, you want to look for clarity and additional glass coatings.
- Magnification: A 4X or 6X magnification is going to be the norm. The higher power it is, the more difficult it may be to use free-hand. You also might compromise on field of view. On this note, look for tripod compatibility or magnetic systems for mounting purposes to increase image stability.
- Ease of use: Look for something that has one-button operation to keep ease of use, well, easy.
- Eye relief: Look for something between 16-20 mm. Long eye relief will make for a comfortable ranging experience.
- Durability: Weatherproof housing is the best with a quality build. Protect your investment so that you're not at the whims of the sky.
- Accuracy: You want accuracy to be within -/+1 yard. In this price range you can also find rangefinders with accuracy to within -/+ 1/2 yard.
- Features: On the higher end of this budget, you should expect to see angle compensation, improved scan modes, and various target selection modes. Spending $300 calls for these upgrades in feature quality.
An Organic Taste of Premium Optics!
If you're going to spend in and around 300 bucks, you better be getting your money's worth. Good news for you, this budget range does introduce premium features that will make you crave more of the organic experience.
You'll never want to leave your rangefinder behind after you've tasted the goodness of what a productive, high-functioning unit can do for your hunt or your par!