Looking for the best rangefinder? You’ve come to the right place!
Rangefinders are used by hunters and photographers to have a clearer look at an object that is far away. They help to estimate the distance of the object away from the person and in the case of a photographer take pictures while keeping sharp focus.
When it comes to hunting, the purchase of a hunting rangefinder could be one of the best investments that a hunter can make for his skill. There are different types of rangefinders; those for rifle hunting, archery hunting and even those for golf. Choosing the right type of rangefinder for your needs helps to ensure that you are able to shoot your target with the best possible accuracy.
Hunters rely largely on modern equipment created to enhance their view and of course years of field experience always make for a better shot as well. The Rangefinders on the market make use of a wide variety of modern technologies to provide better accuracy. You will find that some rangefinders integrate ultrasound and radar technologies among others to provide the most accurate distance calculations.
So how should you go about choosing a rangefinder for your purposes if you are new to the use of rangefinders? You are in the right place; continue reading to look for the features and the advantages that are more important when you are trying to purchase a rangefinder.
The brand of the device is an important thing to consider when you are looking for a rangefinder. You will find that some brands will have certain technologies that you will only find in that brand. Often times these exclusive technologies make a huge difference in creating the hunter’s desired experience. Some of the more sought after brands on the market include Nikon, Leupold and Bushnell. But the brand is not your only consideration for choosing the best rangefinder.
How to Choose the Best Rangefinder
The most important factor to consider when choosing a rangefinder is its range – it is after all, a rangefinder. This is because the primary use of the device is to calculate range i.e. the distance between you and the target. The range should be suitable to the type of hunting that you will be doing and you must consider the normal shooting range for your hunting prior to looking at models to purchase. You want to know the average distance in average conditions for the type of hunting that you do and then select a unit with that range.
The design is an important factor as you want a rangefinder that will be comfortable as well as useful to you. For instance if you are doing archery shooting you will notice that Archery rangefinders are usually designed vertically so they can be used easily. They also feature a lightweight design so as not to weigh you down as you aim. If you are doing long range shooting then you may need a rangefinder with a horizontal design as this provides stability to the hunter and the better your stability then the better the accuracy of your shot will be as well.
This feature plays an important part especially in long range shooting – you want to have enough magnification to ensure the best visual representation is before you. This is essential since it allows the hunter the ability to make out their targets precisely. You will find most hunting rifles with a magnification of around 7x or 8x. Note that rangefinders with higher magnifications make it harder to keep a steady image and as such for optimum clarity you will want to choose a rangefinder with a magnification of around 7x. If you have a lot of experience using rangefinders you may be able to use one with a higher magnification with not trouble and no hindrance of your accuracy.
The display is very important and is not just about the clarity of the screen as you look into it but also the color and clarity of what you see when you look into the rangefinder. You will not want the displayed information to not be too bright nor do you want it to be too dark. Either light intensity will interfere with your line of sight or you may have trouble reading the information on the screen. If you have trouble reading the information on the screen you won’t be benefiting from having the device as you won’t be able to make the most accurate and timely shots.
ADVANTAGES OF A GOOD RANGEFINDER
- Extension of Range: A good rangefinder helps to extend your range up to 1000 yards and some have ranges even further away than that. You will find a number of rangefinders that offer ranges of anywhere from 400 yards and up. You should choose a device with a range that is suitable for the type of hunting you do most often. This ensures that the rangefinder will be of good use to you and will not be a waste of money that you end up leaving at home.
- Accuracy: More modern models do not require manual calculations and hence are more accurate. Manual calculations are prone to human error which has been known to mess up shots. With a laser rangefinder, the device aims at the target with the laser beam. The reflection is calculated providing a reading almost instantly. You get more than just a horizontal distance but the device takes into consideration elevation angles and height differences as well. For more precise readings you can choose a rangefinder that is tilt, slope or angle compensated.
- Flexibility: Rangefinders with different modes offer a system that allows you to change it based on your environment. These are a great option as they allow you to still hunt on a foggy or windy day with more than average accuracy. So if your hunting environment is not always the same a good option would be to choose a rangefinder with different environment modes.
- Filters A good rangefinder will be equipped with filters. Filters are important if you have objects that get in between you and your target. A rangefinder with filters allows the beam to pass through the object (for example, leaves) unobstructed providing you with a more accurate than average reading.
Top rated 5 Best Rangefinders Reviews
1. Bushnell Bone Collector Laser Rangefinder Review
The Bushnell Bone Collector is a small and lightweight rangefinder you can fit into the pocket of your shirt. But don’t let its size fool you as it packs a punch when it comes to accuracy. It is extremely easy to use and is an ideal pick if you are looking for something that will provide you with long term durability and dependability with its rainproof housings and rugged design. With its Realtree Xtra Camo design it can blend well with a number of outdoor habitats all year round.
The Bushnell Bone Collector features a number of great features that makes it a top quality rangefinder. It is small and lightweight with high quality HD display and a rugged construction for ease of carry, ease of use and dependability.
- High Quality Optics: The Bushnell Bone Collector features superb quality crystal clear optics with a HD display even in low light situations thanks to the illuminated indicators. It provides 4 x magnifications with a 20mm objective Lens. This rangefinder can provide you with a range of sight up to 600 yards for large or reflective objects. For other objects you have a range of between 10 and 400 yards. If shooting something the size of an average deer the Bone Collector provides accurate readings up to 200 yards. Though distance mentioned here is in yards the device allows you to measure in meters as well.
- One Button Operation: The Bushnell Bone Collector is easy to use with its one button operation. With just one push of a button you instantly get a reading for your target up to 600 yards. The screen remains lit for 30 seconds after use with all information from your current reading still highlighted.
- High Quality Materials: The Bone Collector is made into a rugged rainproof housing so it can stand up to the toughest weather while retaining its compact and lightweight design for ease of carry and ease of use. The materials make is durable so it will last and it has been through extensive testing from the manufacture before coming to market.
- Lightweight: Because of its lightweight design the Bushnell Bone Collector is easy to use and easy to carry. It comes with a carrying case but can easily fit into a top shirt pocket without the case in tow making it a great add on to your hunting gear that won’t bog you down.
- Long Range: With a range of up to 600 yards the Bone Collector gives hunters a lot of distance so they can be more accurate at their shots without getting too close to scare their prey.
- Accurate: The Bone Collector accurately provides you with distance and does this in an instant with the push of button and it provides the most accurate reading every single time.
Things to be Aware of
Note that when changing from yards to meters or vice versa the unit has to be turned off completely which may be a bit of a nuisance to some.
The Bushnell Bone Collector doesn’t come with all the fluff and the features of other models but it is easy to use and extremely accurate with great optics and a lightweight design. It is ideal for gun and bow hunting and is also a good pick for persons at every hunting level.
2. Bushnell The Truth Rangefinder Review
The Bushnell The Truth is a bow hunting rangefinder and those familiar with the “Truth About Hunting” TV show will identify with the rangefinder the minute they look at it. The Truth has a compact design making it light and small enough to be carried around in your pocket. It is however designed to be rugged and has an anti-slip casing with sure grip finish to protect you from fumbling if conditions get a bit slippery.
The Truth rangefinder from Bushnell features 4x magnification and 20 mm objective lens. The device is water resistant but not waterproof. Its lightweight design does not feel flimsy and it uses a 3-volt battery that provides better than average battery life.
- Angle Range Compensation (ARC). The Bushnell The Truth features built in ARC technology with inclinometer which helps to greatly improve your shot success rate. From a distance of 7 to 99 yards you will be certain of which pin to use thanks to this very helpful feature not often seen on rangefinders that are affordably priced.
- Range: The Truth is advertised to have a range of up to 850 yards in optimal conditions. The actual distance that the rangefinder can provide range for is dependent on the size and reflectivity of your target.
- Display & Functionality: The Truth allows you to switch between yards and meters and is ideal for shooting in optimal light. The display provides clear images and is easy to read in good lighting conditions which are necessary for bow shooting anyway.
- Easy to Use: Thanks to its compact design the The Truth from Bushnell is not only easy to use but also comfortable to use with its sure grip, anti-slip finish. Also with one button operation the unit can be easily operated with just one hand.
- Durable: The Truth is designed with good quality materials and is rainproof so it will not be damaged by a little moisture. While compact it is designed to not feel flimsy in your hand.
- Great Value: The Truth comes at an affordable price while packing features you would find on higher end models such as ARC technology. This allows the rangefinder to provide excellent value for money.
- Features: The Truth features ARC technology and an inclinometer which are high end features that enhance your shot accuracy to provide you with an extremely pleasurable shooting experience.
Things to be Aware of
You will find you cannot range accurately in low light since your visibility will be greatly reduced and the reticle is not illuminated but when bow hunting you need to do this in great lighting anyway so this shouldn’t be a problem.
The Truth rangefinder from Bushnell is affordably priced while still providing top features for the most accurate bow hunting experience. If you want the best accuracy on a budget the Team Primos from the Bushnell’s Truth line is just what you need.
3. Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder Review
The Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder is for those serious about hunting. It provides you with more magnification and is designed for use with a long distance rifle as such making it an optimal choice for long distance hunters. The Halo XRT6 allows you to bring your target much closer and in clear focus. Its design is impressive and it is ergonomic so it fits nicely in your hand giving you a good grip. With durable waterproof construction you don’t ever after to worry about being out in the rain or even crossing rivers with this device.
The features of the Halo XRT6 make it suitable for real wild environment hunting. With a reflective target range of up to 600 yards it provides accurate measurements within +/-1 yard and has a scan feature that allows you to pan the terrain and calculate distances for around 20 seconds at each go.
- Modes of Use: The Halo XRT6 has scan and single shot modes that measure line of sight distance. The scan mode works for around 20 seconds at a go, and then powers down for another 20 seconds before you can go again. Scan mode allows you to pan your terrain and get distance readings as the terrain changes.
- Optics: The XRT6 features excellent optics and is nitrogen purged so that it can be used in cold temperatures without fogging. The device provides 6 x magnifications making its display crisp. It is also easy focus which is attained manually by twisting the eyecup allowing for single hand operation.
- Two-Button Operation: The Halo XRT6 is easy to use with two button operation. There is one button for selecting scan mode and one button for initiating laser ranging. With the touch of a button you can get clear and close up views of your target or the terrain around your hunting area.
- Batteries: The XRT6 uses Cr-2 batteries. These are expensive but they are worth every penny. Included with your purchase is one CR-2 battery which should last you roughly a year which shows you when you purchase one of these you really get value for money.
- Easy to Use: The Halo XRT6 is easy to use with two button operation and easy manual focus by simply twisting the eyecup. This allows you to operate the rangefinder with the use of just one hand.
- Ergonomic Design: This rangefinder is designed to fit into your hand perfectly with rubber trim and shaped to fit your fingers and thumb so it is easy to use whether or not you are wearing gloves. With the rubber trim it is unlikely that it will slip from your hand while in use.
- Easy to Read: Its LCD screen is easy to read once you have enough ambient light. Once you get a measurement you will be able to read it clearly on the screen and also get a good view of your target and even more.
Things to be Aware of
The screen of the Halo XRT6 is not back lit nor are the indicators illuminated so it is not suitable for use in darker situations.
The Halo XRT6 is a good quality budget rangefinder. It provides 6x magnification and can provide range for reflective targets up to 600 yards away. It is easy to use, is waterproof and made with rugged but ergonomic construction.
4. Bushnell The Truth ARC Rangefinder Review
The Bushnell Truth ARC rangefinder is suitable for bow hunting and similar sports. The device can provide a clear range of shot up to 200 yards. It features a pocket size design with an anti-slip finish. Included with your purchase of the Bushnell Clear Shot rangefinder is a battery, carrying case and neck strap.
The Bushnell Truth ARC rangefinder has a number of great features that make it one of the best choices for all your bow hunting fetes. Among the features of the rangefinder are the clear shot, angle range compensations, excellent light gathering capabilities and more.
- Clear Shot Function: This is probably the best feature of the Bushnell Truth ARC. With this feature you are sure that your shooting lane is clear of obstacles so you don’t have to worry about missing your shot because your arrow hit some type of obstruction. The feature even shows you the highest point at which your arrow will travel giving you your shots full trajectory.
- Angle Range Compensation (ARC): These features allow the ARC shot to provide you with more than just line of sight distance. With this feature you get to determine upslopes and downslopes so you can reach your target with ease.
- Optics: The Bushnell ARC features 4 x magnifications and a 20 mm objective lens. Thus the device displays a clear and bright image no matter what your lighting conditions are. The device is easy to focus and easy to use by simply twisting the eyepiece.
- Advanced Laser Technology: With advanced technology the Bushnell ARC provides you with a clear shot instantaneously.
- Water Resistant: The Bushnell ARC is made water resistant. Hence you can remain in a sudden downpour and finish your shot.
- Long Range: The Bushnell ARC can provide you with a clear shot up to 850 yards. Angle compensated reading is up to a range of 199 yards.
- Crystal Clear: The ARC provides clear and bright target images in well-lit conditions.
- Easy to Use: The rangefinder is easy to use once it is set up. Set up may be a bit tricky for the angle compensation but once your rangefinder is set up it is touch of a button use.
Things to be Aware of
The LCD on the Bushnell ARC is not adjustable for lighting and as such it is hard to see in low light conditions such as in the early morning.
The Bushnell Clear Shot with ARC is a great rangefinder for bow hunting. It provides line of sight distance as well as horizontal distance and ensures nothing is in the way of your shot, not even a branch. Bow hunters will love this rangefinder form top brand Bushnell.
5. Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder Review
The Nikon 8397 is another great quality product from this trusted manufacturer. The Nikon 8397 is not packed with top notch features but the manufacturers ensured that it has all the necessities and managed to keep the price within affordable reach for most hunting fans. This device features a sports minded compact design which provides the user with ease of use and a lot of useful functionality.
The Nikon 8397 features some of the best optics and with multilayer coatings it provides enhanced light transmittance. The rangefinder has a measurement range of from 6 to 550 yards and with a small design it is easy to use, easy to carry and easy to store.
- Design: The Nikon 8397’s small design makes it extremely portable so it can easily be carried in your pocket or around your neck on a lanyard. It also features a lightweight design with an overall weight of 4.4 ounces without the batteries. All buttons are close with the rangefinder fitting in the palm of your hand. The unit is water resistant but not waterproof and so must not be submerged.
- Powered by CR2 Battery: The Nikon 8397 is powered by the powerful CR2 battery. The battery compartment can be easily opened without the use of tools. After about 8 seconds the rangefinder powers down so you will save on battery when not in use even if you forget to power it down.
- Optics/Display: The design on the Nikon 8397 is a high eyepoint design and it sports high quality optics. This makes the rangefinder comfortable to use and allows you to wear glasses while using the device. Readings can be made with ease in situations where there is a lot of light. When pointed at a group of targets the rangefinder will display the range for the furthest target.
- Easy to Use: The Nikon 8397 is straightforward to use. You can grip it in the palm of your hand and operate it with just one hand. Water resistant design allows it to get wet and still remain useful just don’t submerge it as it is not waterproof.
- Good Range: With a viewing range of up to 550 yards and the ability to range grouped targets. This makes it very useful out in the field when there are many things in between you and your target. The rangefinder gives you more ability to reach your target thanks to its ranging capabilities.
- Battery Saving With the automatic power down feature that kicks in within 8 seconds you are certain you won’t ever have to worry about forgetting to power down and loosing major battery power as a result.
- Measurements: With the Nikon 8397 you can switch between measurements of yards or meters with just the touch of a button even while the rangefinder is in use.
Things to be Aware of
Note that the unit is water resistant and not waterproof. This means it can take a splash or two but cannot be completely submerged.
The Nikon 8397 doesn’t offer a lot of frills but it does do what it needs to do. It is reliable and compact and provides an accurate range for your targets. The Nikon 8397 rangefinder is an ideal choice for those new to hunting and is a great backup for those who have been hunting for ages. Coming from a well-known brand you know you are making a good purchase.