Reviews

Best Rangefinders in 2020 – Reviewed

Unless you’re in the market for something to help you better judge the distance on the golf course, most searches for the best rangefinders are to aid rifle or bow hunting. Your accuracy is key to a successful hunt which is why these products are some of the most important, and popular. When you know the range your prey is at, you can make adjustments to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

This is only possible when you buy a quality product but the convenience of being able to hold them in one hand and for clear sight, they are unrivaled. Because of this, we have compiled our list of the best rangefinders. Each one has its benefits and capabilities but will significantly enhance your success rate.

Quick Summary of Rangefinders

 Editor’s Choice 

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders  (review)

 Best Compact 

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder  (review)

 Best Value 

Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam_202208  (review)

 Best Budget 

AOFAR Hunting Archery Range Finder HX-700N 700 Yards Waterproof Rangefinder  (review)

 Best For Bow Hunting 

Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6 x 21mm Laser Rangefinder  (review)

 Best Long Range 

Sig Sauer Kilo2400BDX Laser Range Finding Monocular  (review)

Reviews

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders

 Editor’s Choice 

This is one of the easiest to use and best rangefinders available and has an impressive 1,800-yard range and 6 x magnification. We like that the display is clear of unnecessary information, giving you clear readings to make fast decisions. There is a useful HCD mode that allows for angles to ensure a hunter can get a true judge of the distance as well as a LOS mode for precise long-range shots.

There is also a scan mode that tells you the distance as you move across a landscape so if you are tracking an animal on the move you can do so with accuracy. It uses a fully multi-coated lens which is considered the best variant for optimal light transmission and it has a grippy feel to ensure that accidents are less likely. It is easy to use, has a 22 mm objective lens ample eye relief.

PROS:

  • Large 1,800 yard range
  • 6 x magnification
  • Scan mode for tracking a moving target
  • Fully multi-coated lens
CONS:

(none)

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

 Best Compact 

With a convenient size of 3.6″x2.9″x1.5″, this is one of the best compact rangefinders that will save you space, and give you a noticeable increase in accuracy. The display is simple and clear making it easy to take a reading without having to search for the vital information you need. The range is measured in one meter/yard intervals so you can get an excellent gauge of how to aim your shot and with 18 mm of eye relief, it can easily be used with glasses.

With a range of 10 – 550 yards there is plenty of scope and it is waterproof so can be used in virtually any conditions. With a minuscule weight and multilayer coatings and single button operation, it has a good blend of convenience and performance.

PROS:

  • Compact and easy to hold
  • 18 mm eye relief
  • Range in one meter/yard increments
  • 10 – 550 meter range
CONS:

  • Other brands have a slightly better range

Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam_202208

 Best Value 

Although this is a budget rangefinder, there is still enough quality to ensure it is the perfect shooting aid. With HD clarity you get a clear picture so you can find the accurate range and it has a lightweight casing to ensure it is comfortable to hold. With a maximum range of 600 yards, it still gives you more than enough scope which is impressive for this price.

The magnification of the objective lens is 4 x 21 mm which you can out to good use in any condition thanks to the waterproof design. We like the camo look as it allows you to remain discreet as you move and it has the capacity if working well in low light conditions. There is a low battery indicator and an aiming reticle to top off this budget rangefinder.

PROS:

  • 600 yard range
  • HD clarity
  • 4 x magnification
  • Lightweight design
CONS:

  • Not as good at long range

AOFAR Hunting Archery Range Finder HX-700N 700 Yards Waterproof Rangefinder

 Best Budget 

Made with bow hunting in mind, this is one of the best budget options and although it doesn’t have some of the specs of other brands, you can save a lot of money if you don’t have the funds to spend on a high-end product. You still get 6 x magnification and because of its lightweight design, it is popular with both hunting and golf. The 700-yard range is impressive considering the price and it offers both range and fog mode to help you get a clear reading in adverse conditions.

The scan mode is useful although it is a little awkward compared to other brands this is understandable since it costs a fraction of the price. Waterproof and durable it has every basic need covered.

PROS:

  • 6 x magnification
  • Ideal for bow hunting
  • 700 yard range
  • Fog mode
CONS:

  • Some people find it a little bulky

Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6 x 21mm Laser Rangefinder

 Best For Bow Hunting 

With so many useful features this is the best bow hunting rangefinder because it has an ARC bow hunting mode that provides an accurate horizontal distance up to 99 yards. There is also a rifle mode that makes it one of the most versatile range finders and impresses with its 6 x magnification. The scan mode makes it easy to track a moving target with accuracy and there is also a maximum range of 1,000 yards so you get plenty of scope.

There is a diopter adjustment feature that makes it easy to get a crystal clear view and the variable sight in feature provides holdover information at the click of a button. You can get 0.5-yard accuracy and it is fully waterproof and for proof.

PROS:

  • 1,000 yard range
  • ARC bow hunting mode
  • 6 x magnification
  • 0.5 yard accuracy
CONS:

  • Better when used for under 700 yards

Sig Sauer Kilo2400BDX Laser Range Finding Monocular

 Best Long Range 

The glowing reputation of Sig Sauer is well-deserved so it is no surprise to see this model being a popular product. It offers an ultra-fast refresh rate whilst in scan mode – 4 times a second and this is even at long distances of over a mile. What impresses most is the light range it can operate in thanks to the Organic Light Emitting Diode. This means it works well in both brighter conditions such as snow or peak sunshine as well as low light that is near night vision.

Using their BDX technology, you can sync their app to the rangefinder to measure the distance and display a holdover dot via Bluetooth. A lot of people opt for high-end rangefinders such as this because they allow for incline and decline to give you added accuracy. Combine all this with 7 x magnification and 2,600 yards of range and you are looking at one of the best in the business.

PROS:

  • 2,600-yard range
  • 7 x magnification
  • Allows for incline and decline
  • Works well in extreme light and low light conditions
CONS:

  • Can be a little pricey for some budgets

Rangefinder Guide

Whatever the conditions, when you are hunting at the range it is always useful to get as much help as you can. Being able to increase your chances of success is vital, especially if you have been waiting patiently for your prey to enter your line of vision. A lot of people turn to a range finder to ensure they get the accuracy they need and some products have other features to make life even easier.

This is only possible when you find a quality product and to make this search easier, we have created a buyer’s guide so you can get this purchase right.

What To Look For In A Rangefinder

Range

Although it depends on the type of hunting you are looking to do, most rangefinders have plenty of range for your needs. Although the elite products can give you over 2,500 yards, most people will find that 600 yards plus is enough for their needs. A bowhunter won’t need so much either but make sure it gives you enough before you purchase.

Weight and Size

These come hand in hand with an easy to use range finder as anything too bulky might weigh you down or become uncomfortable to hold. A lightweight rangefinder can still be robust so look for a product that feels comfortable.

Different Modes

You’re not always going to need the same mode from your rangefinder so find a product that is versatile enough to use in different terrains and conditions. Sometimes you will need a first priority mode that is great for open terrain, as well as second priority mode that helps you to get an accurate reading in the woods or clearings. 

Magnification

Without clarity, magnification is not going to be overly useful but if you can find a product that provides both you can enjoy images that are closer and clear. Be careful as increased magnification decreases your field of view which can make tracking smaller objects difficult. The better products tend to provide 4 x magnification and above. 

Waterproof

Some rangefinders are better than others when it comes to waterproofing and the last thing you want is to have to put it away when there is a drizzle in the air. The best products are both waterproof and fog proof to allow accurate readings without compromising the quality of the product.

Scan Mode

You will be surprised at the number of rangefinders that do not provide scan mode, especially considering how useful it can be. As the name suggests, it allows you to take accurate range readings when tracking a moving target. 

Features

These can go a long way towards how effective your range finder is as the LCD and angle compensation is going to impact the accuracy of the product. naturally, these come at a price but if you invest a little extra you can get a lot more out of your rangefinder. 

Clear Display

Taking a quick reading can be important if you need to take a shot fast and a clear display makes this a lot easier. Because there can be a lot of different modes, some rangefinders make a bit of a mess of their display screen. Find products that are known for giving you plenty of clarity of the target without taking up space with information overload. 

The Right Product For Your Needs

There is little point in taking a rangefinder for bow hunting out with your rifle unless it is versatile enough to provide accurate readings at a distance. Consider what you are going to use it for before you purchase so you end up with the right product that is tailor-made for your type of activity. 

How Does A Rangefinder Work?

In a way, the technology seems quite simple. A laser bounces off a target and returns to the device giving a reading that is worked out via the length of time it took to return. It operates once you push the button for incredibly fast readings.

Does Time of Day Effect Rangefinder Accuracy?

The light conditions can impact the effectiveness of your rangefinder as some are better equipped to cope with low light conditions than others. Also, extreme light can have a negative effect on low-quality products so if you are hunting in snow or late in the day, make sure the product you buy can give an accurate reading.  

How Much Does A Rangefinder Cost?

There are different levels of rangefinders which are good news for any type of budget. Because of this, you can pick up a decent product for around $100 although this will be lacking some of the important features of a high spec of technology. 

The best range finders tend to be around $500 and above although there are some very effective products that can be found for $300. 

How Accurate Is A Rangefinder?

The reading you get depends on the product you buy but some rangefinders are accurate to 0.5 yards. Generally, products give you 1-yard increments which still allows you to be confident in your aim. 

The longer the distance, the less clarity you might get with products that are not as well suited. This can be the case even if the brand advises that their product should work at a greater range.

Do Rangefinders Work In The Dark?

Most rangefinders are not designed to work in complete darkness although some high-end products are fine to use in low light conditions. A rangefinder might work under the right conditions so if there is some light in the area it is possible to gauge distance for some products. 

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