Best Hunting Rangefinders Reviewed & Rated For Quality
Rangefinders are a special piece of innovative equipment that has been evolving alongside camera technology. Highly utilized in hunting, rangefinders are revolutionary devices that can help you measure vast ranges of distance and detect your prey at long distances. Equipped with extremely powerful lenses, the gadgets can also help you increase the accuracy of your every shot. Usually paired with a rifle scope or a bow, a rangefinder is a must have for every hunter who wants to shoot accurately every time. This is why we rounded up the best hunting rangefinders on the market today. One can excellently argue about whether one or the other accessories for a successful hunt is really necessary or not. For equipment or technology alone does not decide on the hunting success, a laser rangefinder is one such device that we no longer want to do without.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research
Perfect in low-light conditions
Amazing distance from 10 to 600 yards
- Bushnell 4 x 21mm
- Wildgame Innovations Z6X 600
- HALO XRT 650
- AOFAR 6 X 25mm
- TecTecTec 6 x 24
- Nikon 8397
- Vortex Optics Ranger 1000
- Bushnell DX 1000
- Visionking 6 x 25
- Halo XL450
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Hunting Rangefinders
1. Bushnell 4 x 21mm
Perfect in low-light conditions
Amazing distance from 10 to 600 yards
Lack of features
This one is definitely the best hunting rangefinder available on the market today. With many options available, you can be at ease knowing that this rangefinder will support you through all of your hunting needs. Easy operation and attractive in price and style, this product sure will not disappoint.Read more
With an accuracy of one-yard difference, the affordable rangefinder is the perfect entry point for new hunting enthusiasts who haven't worked with rangefinders and also does a great job serving as an advanced rangefinder as well.
With a single button operation and a magnification of 4x 20mm, the device can track targets from anything from 10 to 600 yards. Furthermore, with its bright, crystal-clear optics, the device is perfect to use in low light.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for an affordable product, this is the route to take. Not to mention, the device looks amazing with its Realtree Xtra camouflage pattern and rugged rainproof housing. Overall, an amazing hunting rangefinder.
2. Wildgame Innovations Z6X 600
Requires some getting used to
One of the best hunting rangefinders, it has the industry standard 6 times magnification and a number of great features that make it one of the most accurate rangefinders.Read more
Precise up to 1 yard of distance and with a reflective target up to 600 yards, the compact device also has an amazing scan mode that allows for constant raging that is also smooth.
Easy to use
When you can find a product that is easy to use, it is one of a kind. Say goodbye to battling the hard to use products and focus on an easy and successful hunting trip, using this product!
Cost and Value
While this product is one of a kind and easy to use, it is also affordable and attractive in style. Accounting for slopes, this rangefinder does require some getting used to and is not that easy to use, like other rangefinders.
3. HALO XRT 650
Amazing clarity and focus
Lack of functions
The Halo XRT 650 Yard Laser rangefinder is without a doubt one of the best options. Extremely compact and relatively lightweight, the device has an upper limit of 650 yards accuracy, but its practical limit is pretty close to its upper limit of about 425-450 yards.Read more
If you want a product that shows a crisp, clear shot, this is the product for you! It has the industry standard 6x magnification and is great to use in low light conditions due to its big lens.
For a product that has everything, also included is a non-slip grip for those cold, wet days of hunting. With the grips, you are less at risk of dropping and breaking this product.
Cost and Value
What's more, while this rangefinder is pretty basic with not a lot additional features, for its price, the device is more than perfect as it does what it does best.
4. AOFAR 6 X 25mm
Missing English instructions manual
When it comes to great compact camouflage rangefinders perfect for hunting at an affordable price, this device is definitely one of the top choices. This option by AOFAR has great accuracy and is able to measure up to 700 yards with a continuous scan mode.Read more
Furthermore, with its built-in PinSeeker technology, you will be able to easily identify your pray at long distances. This product will not disappoint.
Easy to Use
If you are seeking a device that is easy to use, this is the option for you. Simple to use, just point, set the pin and push the button to determine the distance of your prize.
Cost and Value
Easy to use and affordable, this is a great option for beginners and advanced, alike. You will not be disappointed with the lens and clarity, or the price. Don't miss out on an easy to use option, that will get the job done.
5. TecTecTec 6 x 24
Relatively good accuracy
Amazing features and functions
Great accuracy issues below 60 yards
With its great camouflage and compact size, the device has a whole array of amazing functions that will benefit you while hunting. Check out some of the best product features that this rangefinder will offer. You are sure to not be disappointed by the greatness of this product.Read more
Have you ever went hunting and missed a trophy shot? Have no fear, this rangefinder is here! With its speed, scan and hunt technology the device is able to provide you with extremely fast measurements with about 1-yard difference accuracy.
Furthermore, the lens display is made of ultra-clear multilayered optics coating as is extremely easy to ready. Fitting in the palm of your hand, the device is one of the top choices for a rangefinder.
Cost and Value
With the clarity and speed that this product offers, there is no doubt that this rangefinder will get the job done. For use with the bow and rifle hunters, you are sure to find success on the field.
6. Nikon 8397
Fast measuring speeds
Great in low-light conditions
Perfect features for its price
Easy-to-read screen display
Extremely Compact and lightweight
A relatively low upper limit of 550 yards
A relatively low practical limit of 250 to 275 yards
Nikon 8397 ACULON manages to combine both an affordable price and great features. Extremely lightweight, this is Nikon's most compact laser rangefinder that is perfect for fast and easy measurements with the click of a simple button.Read more
Made with a multilayer coating, you will be amazed by the light transmittance of this device, which provides you with the perfect picture even in low-light conditions.
Easy to Read
Furthermore, with the uncluttered and easy-to-read screen display, you will be able to accurately track your prey. The measuring speed of the device is another great thing, with it needing only about twenty seconds to scan the environment.
Cost and Value
With little setbacks, this device will definitely get the job done, at an affordable price. You will be sure to range that trophy, every single time. Clear and easy to use, this product is a great option
7. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000
Works amazing in low-light conditions
Precision is Perfect
Has some accuracy issues
Only good up until about 700 yards of distance
This one is a whole another level of rangefinders. Able to fit in the palm of your hand, the rangefinder is extremely small and lightweight, but don't let its size fool you.Read more
The rangefinder is packed with a number of amazing features. It has a rubber-armored coating, so you should not worry about using it in extreme conditions. Furthermore, with multi-coated lenses that are anti-reflective, you are able to use this device no matter of the light conditions.
What's more, the rangefinder has a diopter adjustment for precise focus, making it truly one of the best hunting rangefinders. Being able to see your prize has never been easier.
Cost and Value
With all of the benefits that this product has to offer, you are bound to see constant success. Clear pictures, easy to use, and an all season product, this is one of the best options available on the market.
8. Bushnell DX 1000
An advance rangefinder
Multitude of features6x21mm
Relatively good optics
ARC optimization for both bows and guns
VSI rifle mode
Hard to use in low light conditions
The rangefinder has only about 300 yards functional capabilities
A relatively more advanced rangefinder that has a number of amazing features. The pocket-sized rangefinder has an angle range compensation that is optimized for both bow and gun hunting.Read more
What is so great is its E.S.P. technology, the device is able to provide you with up to ½ yard accuracy and as much as 1/10th of yard display precision. What's more, the device has a VSI Rifle mode feature that lets you get the needed accurate information with just a push of a button.
This option of a rangefinder is great if you are looking for excellent precision at long distances. You will be sure to see a great shot, almost every time. Being that it is easy to use, just point and dial in.
Cost and Value
As an advanced product, the price is right in comparison to others. In fact, you will find that this product is relatively cheaper than most, but don't let that fool you. The quality is outstanding.
9. Visionking 6 x 25
Prefer for a distance of 5m to 600m
Great even in light fog conditions
Lack of functions and features
Calibrated only in meters
The Visionking Rangefinder 6x25 Laser Rangefinder for hunting is another great affordable choice for any hunting enthusiasts. An entry point device, this rangefinder provides you with only six times magnification and a lens opening of 25 millimeters, thus it is not that great for long distance measuring.Read more
This product is able to serve great for distances from 15 to 600 meters. A great addition is that the device is relatively small and can fit in a big pocket of your hunting coat.
What's more, the device is in camouflage colors, so you can rest assured that it fits your overall hunting camouflage. The device is relatively easy to use and is pretty good even in light fog conditions.
Cost and Value
If you are searching for a good, solid product, you found it. Being that this product is not only attractive in style and price, but it also offers great features, it is definitely worth the price. Don't miss out on this special!
10. Halo XL450
Lack of laser sensitivity
For full clarity, you will need to tweak the focus of the eyepiece
Great for hunting enthusiasts who haven't used this type of technology before, this entry piece range finder has a six times magnification and a special AI technology that manages to account for any slopes to the target.Read more
With a maximum of 450 yards to the reflective target, the Halo XL450 is a relatively decent piece of equipment. With the ability to reach such lengths, you should have no troubles pointing, and shooting that trophy prize.
Being as this product is waterproof, it can be carried on your hunting trip in any weather conditions and terrain. What is better than a product that can survive in all the elements thrown at you during your trip?
Cost and Value
What's more, the device has a relatively small size, so you can easily carry it in your pocket. The device does require some getting used to, because depending on the type of hunting, you will need to twist around the focus on the eyepiece in order to achieve perfect clarity, but this is a great device nonetheless.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Optical quality with the hunting rangefinders on the list came down to which brands put the most effort into making their lens top tier. It all starts out with the coating, which can fall into four categories. They all aim to reduce glare and provide crystal clear images, so there is no ‘bad’ category to choose from. The best category to end up in is fully multi-coated, which gives you the brightest image possible. This is, of course, depending on other factors, but for the best chance of getting an image that looks good at even the highest magnification, fully multi-coated lenses are going to be where you want to start looking.
The remaining categories that you are going to run into are coated, multi-coated and fully-coated. Buyers that find the best category too expensive can always go down to a different coating and get a great experience. To put it into brand terms, it is like deciding between Nikon or Bushnell-either way you’re going to win. Customers that have weak eyes will find that going for full multi-coated will be the best decision they ever made with a range finder. In hunting, the sharpness and clarity that it provides will do wonders as you zoom in and out on the field. When we ordered the list based on optical quality, we took into account that fully multi-coated was the best available while the remaining three categories were somewhat equal.
With all of the available models being small and portable, they can also be a liability if you’re rough with them. Ordering the list off of durability was tricky since by default all of the items on the list can be broken easily if you focus on the glass portions. And buttons or knobs on rangefinders aren’t exactly brittle and could be considered the last possible thing to fail.
So with the durability criteria, we made it a point to look at the casings that surrounded the lenses, making durability a lot easier to decide on. When your range finder is in your hands, it needs to be sturdy, with the ability to take a considerable drop. Models like the Bushnell Bone Collector are even built to be weather resistant, so their range finder is especially valuable to hunters. Since all ten of the products on the list had sturdy housing, what broke the tie was their overall resistance to the elements when exposed. This pushed a lot of key models to the top of the list, and in the case of Bushnell, made it one of the best values available.
Features came into play when we had to make the decision on how we would group the rangefinders with illumination and the ones without. This was a big decision since it is an optional mechanic, but one that greatly improves the user experience. Often those that don’t get rangefinders with illumination will at some point feel they are missing a big part of owning a range finder.
To keep things fair for the people that really don’t want the illuminated feature, we used it as a tie breaker only. When two rangefinders of equal stature were paired up, the one with illumination would get an extra point and move up on the list. And in the case where it was two equal models with the illuminated feature, the one that handled it better would move higher. Other features that helped organize the list was zip mode, light handling, wide-angle view and how smoothly the unit magnified while in motion. Any rangefinders on the list that stuttered when changing magnification was swiftly removed, as that can be a bit jarring to the customer that changes magnification multiple times a day.
Finding a compatible brand is important not only for customer service reasons but also for buyers that want a small guarantee on their included warranties. Brands that have a history of great customer service went right to the top, which is exactly why Bushnell and Nikon are so highly recommended. Top brands also showed a proven track record of creating a series of models that steadily improved on both small and big features.
When you need to upgrade your range finder and you’ve been satisfied with X model for many years, getting the upgraded version of the unit is going to be the next step. So brand loyalty was an important criterion for how we ordered the list, as customers always want to back a name they can trust. For the lesser known brands on the list, their inclusion shows just how great their range finder hardware is compared to the rest of the market.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Usually, depending on the model you've purchased, there isn't much you would need to do when it comes to maintenance, except keeping it out of the water, if it is not waterproof and cleaning up the lenses with a cloth every now and then. Make sure that you use a non-abrasive cloth so that it does not ruin the lens.
Take a little time to get to know your rangefinder after you purchase it. It will be no benefit to you to jump out into the field with one that you do not understand. Play around with the functions and isolate the modes that are designed specifically for whatever type of hunting you are doing. These could be for rifle or bowhunting; weather condition modes or a scan mode if it has it.
This seems like a no-brainer topic, but it is critical. You need to know the correct way to carry your rangefinder if you want it to be an effective hunting tool. No this does not mean how you hold it in your hand, we mean how you carry it on your person. Where is it on you? If you are rushed or nervous, rangefinders can be difficult to slide into a pocket or pouch. They are too snug and also too noisy to deal with in a pinch.
Like with anything, there is always the potential for shortcomings. Sometimes a laser rangefinder may misinterpret the range path due to a number of obstacles. It happens. You just need to understand these shortcomings. There may not always be an exact range, resulting in a miss or low wound. You are pretty much always called to negotiate obstacles between you and your game. But isn’t that the way of hunting? The bottom line one should always follow their gut instincts first.
Other Factors to Consider
The last thing we looked at was extras, or accessories like cases, lanyards and adapters. All of the products were somewhat light in this regard and came with the default options out of the box. Optional accessories are still available for all the models, with the major winner with these criteria being Nikon. Their huge selection beat every other competitor on the list and offered many ways to improve your original Nikon purchase. Since the gap was so wide for the other brands, they were judged on the quality of accessories rather than quantity.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How to check how accurate the range finder is?
As aforementioned, make sure to have the magnification and the lens opening in mind. The combination of these two factors will show you how accurate your range finder really is. Furthermore, make sure to check if your device has a twilight factor so that you will be able to use it in low light conditions.
q: How much money should I save to buy one?
Depending on the type of rangefinder you need, you will need anything above $70-100. If you want the best features, be prepared to spend a whole lot more. However, if you just want a well affordable rangefinder, there are multiple options. Make sure to check out our reviews above to find a great choice for you.
q: What are advanced range finders?
Advanced Range Finders are rangefinders that have a multitude of additional features that separate them from normal rangefinders. Usually, they are relatively more expensive.
q: Do I need one?
This depends on your hunting style, your budget and your need for the features that advanced rangefinders have over normal rangefinders. Usually, if you are new to rangefinders, make sure to purchase an affordable entry hunting rangefinder, so you can get used to using the technology. However, realistically you are probably going to want one. It is a matter of want over need. For example, if you are hoping to get shots at distances greater than 200 yards (or 25 yards with a bow), you shouldn’t hunt without a good estimate of range. Therefore, yes, you need a rangefinder in your hunting arsenal if this is your target goal. Estimating the range on your own is far unlikely.
You do not need a super expensive one, though. Unless you are trying to get shots over 400-500 yards out, you can get away with an affordable and more standard model. For most hunters, a simple rangefinder than detects up to 500 yards away is all that you will ever need, especially if you are hunting in flat terrain.
q: How important is the battery type?
The battery type is important when it comes to battery life and the weight of your rangefinder device. For example, if it uses 9V batteries, it will be heavier than other models.
q: Are range finders helpful just for hunting?
Range Finders are useful for more than just hunting, and have found a home with photography, golfing and many other avenues. Some even consider them a must-have accessory that completely changes the way you do your job. For hunting, they have major upside whether you use a bow or a gun to finish off your prey. In order to be successful as a hunter your tactics have to be better than the game, you’re hunting. And a good way to stay ahead of your game is with a range finder, which will instantly improve how you approach hunting. Ranging can be considered an advanced skill, so with the help of a rangefinder, users will be that much closer to adding a new skill to their arsenal.
q: What magnification should you look for?
When you’re out scouting and eventually ranging your target, magnification at a minimum of 4x is needed to get the best results. The average numbers are going to be between 4x-8x but vary among the many available products. There are both short and long rangefinders that provide their own list of pros and cons. When looking at magnification by itself, the higher number will always reduce your field of view. As long as your range finder makes it easy to locate a target, the higher magnification won’t be an issue once you zero in on where you need to be. So settling on a range finder with great wide-angle viewing (even at higher magnifications) is recommended, but purely optional.
q: What is F.O.V.?
When using a spotting scope, your field of view is the distance across your viewing field when looking at an object. A range finder that specializes in a wide field of view will give you a much better chance of aiming and staying locked onto a moving object when using a higher magnification. You always want your field of view to be as wide as possible when using the maximum magnification settings, but you also want it to be just as good at the lower settings. Having crisp optics, but an inability to follow a moving target is useless to a hunter unless they are after stationary targets.
q: Do coated lenses make a difference?
Lenses are the most important part of a rangefinder. You can score an A+ on every part of a range finder model, but if the lens is average, then the entire product is a bust. Coated lenses are a big part of the quality, and they give users the choice of coated, fully-coated, multicoated and fully multicoated. The maximum amount of light that can be transmitted depends on the quality of the optics, and it also works hard to reduce things like glare. Although the quality of the lens is tied strongly to the cost of the product, great lenses don’t always mean a high cost to the consumer.
q: Is there a difference between a golfing and a hunting rangefinder?
This is one of the most hotly debated topics in the industry, with the long answer being that they have major differences. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a golfing rangefinder for hunting, and some companies even include specialized features to make it useful for both sports. But to get the best of both worlds, it is generally believed that you should use a separate rangefinder when possible in order to maximize the benefits of your specific sport. Some features in a hunting range finder that are absent from a golfing version are zip mode or the mode that ignores close objects and concentrates on distant ones. Being able to prioritize distant targets isn’t a feature that comes equipped with all golfing rangefinders, and is a prime reason to consider buying separate range finders depending on your usage.
q: Which modes are most essential?
The most essential modes with a hunting rangefinder are the magnification, the zip mode (or a similar software feature) and possibly illumination. Illumination is not something that will be a feature on every rangefinder but is one that can really be helpful to hunters that are out when there is low light. The performance of illumination varies by model, and there is no clear-cut winner when it comes to getting it right. Just including the feature in the product is considered a step up, so users are quick to add it to their short list of must-have features.
q: Do they all come with extras?
About the only things that should be expected to come with the bulk of rangefinders are cases and a possible lanyard. Yet the market for rangefinder accessories is huge, and users will be surprised with the ways they can add functionality to an old or new product. Some of the most purchased accessories are alternate cases, retractable tethers, adapters, conversion kits, bi-pods, mounts, staffs, remotes, filters, target plates and more. The bulk of them are really creative and can extend the usefulness of your product beyond what you expected. A lot of the accessories are priced just right, so customers should think about including them with an initial purchase.
q: What are some cons of hunting rangefinders?
There are two main cons of hunting rangefinders; price and illumination. It’s hard to find a high-quality rangefinder at a low price, and even when you do, some important features are missing. So in order to get a great rangefinder, you have to be willing to pay a premium price. Illumination is a con because it isn’t as good as it can be for most models. The rangefinders that do it will have a high price tag, so once again this goes back to price when talking about an important feature. Come prepared to spend a little on quality, and you’ll get a product that will improve everything about your hunting experience.
q: Which brands are the most respected?
Bushnell and Nikon are the most respected by a long shot, and that also goes for outside of the industry with other optical products. When you purchase a range finder from their line, it is guaranteed to have top-tier optics attached. Think of these two companies as the safe bet for people that don’t want to take a big risk with an unknown company. The track record of Nikon and Bushnell is outstanding, and they always include the latest tech in their products. Nikon, in particular, is a safe bet for one of the best-illuminated rangefinders in the industry when that feature is a priority.
q: Why isn’t X brand considered popular?
There are a lot of great brands that get ignored year after year from major reviewing outlets. Some of those brands are even considered innovators, going so far as to introduce new features into rangefinders while leading brands lag behind. Where the industry splits in two is with the quality of lenses. A rangefinder begins and ends with its lens, so no matter how many great features a brand crams into its product, the rangefinder itself will still be judged on optical quality. And for some of the lesser known brands in the industry, that’s a hurdle they just haven’t been able to get over.
q: Are illuminated rangefinders a must?
It all depends on what type of hunter you are. Take into account the hours of the day you usually hunt and then look at what the light is like when you are the most active. This will determine the value of an illuminated rangefinder for your own purposes, and help you to decide whether it is a necessary feature or a toy. The illumination mode isn’t cheap and will add some cost to your overall budget for a rangefinder. But it is an all-important feature that will allow you to see better when there is low light rather than having to struggle to lock onto a target. Even if it turns out you don’t need the feature now, try to think about whether it will be a useful feature a few years down the road.
q: What is the most expensive one?
Rangefinders can often hit a high point in price when you’re going for absolutely everything, and the most expensive one with good features to hit the market was from Gunwerks for over two grand. This is the cream of the crop and the top of the food chain when it comes to features. At the same time, a comparable Nikon or Bushnell brand can be purchased for 1/10th the price and perform exactly the same. Buyers shouldn’t get caught in the numbers game with rangefinders, and there is no guarantee that purchasing the most expensive product is going to give you all of the things you need. Your hunting rangefinder has to match your personality as a hunter. After going through a long list of other priorities, the last thing you should consider is the price.
q: Which type of hunting is a rangefinder best for?
It depends on what you want out of your hunt, but a rangefinder is helpful for all types. That said, bow hunting/archery is especially beneficial from a rangefinder. Since most arrows travel in an arching path, even if it is from the fastest compound bow, you still want to calculate your range. Misjudged range causes a lot more misses than other factors. With a laser rangefinder, you can reduce your misses greatly. Bowhunting without a laser rangefinder is definitely going to handicap you. However, you want to make sure that you understand how to use your rangefinder, otherwise, with or without one it is no help to you.
We hope our best-hunting rangefinders guide has helped you in finding the right one for you. Happy hunting!
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