When choosing the best hunting rangefinder, you’ll likely come across an overwhelming amount of options.
I’m guessing you’re here because you’re specifically looking for the best rangefinder for hunting. One that is rugged and can handle the backcountry with grace.
Our staff has done all of the research in order to provide the the best technical review for hunting rangefinders.
We’ll talk a lot about rangefinders for archery hunting but know that you can use them for rifle hunting as well.
Let’s begin. No sense in beating around the bush.
Here are our top hunting rangefinder award winners:
Click each badge to go directly to our award winner, or keep scrolling to see how each of the top hunting rangefinders stack up against each other.
Best Hunting Rangefinder for Archery
Many archery hunters have come back home empty handed simply because they did not have a rangefinder on their trip and/or their rangefinder wasn’t adequate enough to help get the job done.
It’s true. This is because many archery hunters will miss their targeted game animals because they miscalculated the correct range. A rangefinder can come in handy here because it will enable you to correctly calculate the distance between you to the game animal.
In this guide, we will dive into the top qualities to look for in a rangefinder for bowhunting, and then we will discuss five of the best hunting rangefinders that a bowhunter can get today.
What To Look For In A Good Hunting Rangefinder For Archery
Here are the top qualities to look for in a hunting rangefinder:
MADE FOR BOWHUNTERS
Rangefinders are a critical piece of equipment to have regardless of what kind of hunting you are doing, but you also need to be selective about it depending on your weapon of choice as well. For example, a rangefinder that can reach out to a thousand yards or more would be fine for those hunting with a rifle, but excessive for those hunting with a bow.
In general, the best rangefinders made for bowhunters will have a range of around six hundred yards. Take note that a rangefinder with this range will also be suitable for most hunting rifle applications as well.
The reticle of the rangefinder is also known as the aiming point. It is located in the middle of the viewfinder. Most rangefinders give you the ability to activate a laser by pushing a button, which will then travel out to the object and bounce back to your rangefinder. The rangefinder will then divide the distance by two and show you the range on your screen.
Look for a rangefinder that comes with a reticle that will be easy to hold steady on an object. If anything, you may want to try a few different rangefinders out in person before settling on one in order to know just how steady the reticle really is. Or, be diligent in reading rangefinder product reviews.
The magnification of your rangefinder is absolutely crucial, and especially if you are going to be spotting animals from a long distance away where it will be impossible or almost impossible for you to view them with normal eye sight.
As a golden rule, you should aim to get a rangefinder with a magnification power of 6x to 10x, meaning that the finder can view a target or an objection six times to ten times higher than with normal vision.
The lens coating directly determines how clearly you will be able to view the image through the lens of the rangefinder. Having a high magnification will mean almost nothing if your rangefinder also has a low quality lens coating. The best rangefinders will be multi-coated, meaning that the amount of light transmission viewed through the lens will be increased and thus it will be easier to see.
Avoid going with a rangefinder that is marketed as coming with a ‘minimum coating,’ because of the amount of light transmission viewed through the lens will be significantly less.
Along with high quality lens coatings, you will also want a rangefinder that offers a high quality display. Most rangefinders now come with an LCD in-view display that will show you the distance to your target.
However, this display can either be easier to see or harder to see depending on the quality. For example, some rangefinders may have a yellow display, which would be harder for you to see in bright conditions. A red coloring will be better, because it can be more easily read in both light and dark conditions.
Most rangefinders originally were quite large and unwieldy, despite being effective in their magnification abilities. Today, rangefinders are noticeably smaller and more compact, and are therefore much easier to carry around with you while hunting out in the woods.
That being said, smaller is not always better. Some rangefinders are incredibly small to the point that they could be considered tiny, and while obviously much easier to carry around with you, they can be harder to use for those with larger hands (reaching and activating the buttons with one hand can be more difficult, for example). The best rangefinders are small, compact, and lightweight, but also large enough that they are easy to operate and user-friendly.
Now that we’ve gone through what to look for in a hunting rangefinder, here are the top makes and models of hunting rangefinders on the market today:
Best Hunting Rangefinder Under $100
Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder; Volt and Venture Models
The Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder is a great option for the price. This rangefinder provides clear optics and ranges incredibly accurately in both an open field and from a tree climber. The specs state that this rangefinder provides accurate readings up to 625 yards away. Another great feature of this rangefinder is that is small and compact, and made of Aluminum, making it very lightweight. This makes it perfect for carrying around all day and doesn’t add weight to your pack. The Simple One Button design makes it extremely user friendly and intuitive to learn and use. It also has a Rubber Armor Housing for safety and an anti-slip grip to keep it firmly in your hand during use.
- Readings out to 625 yards
- Made of Aluminum
- Rubber armor housing
- Anti-slip grip
- Simple one button design for easy use
Best Hunting Rangefinder Under $500
Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Laser Rangefinder
The Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Laser Rangefinder is capable of ranging out to 1,800 yards. The primary mode of this rangefinder displays an angle compensated distance, perfect for the vast majority of bow hunters. If necessary, an alternate, advanced LOS mode gives you the option to calculate long distances and higher angle shots with impressive precision. Another notable feature of this rangefinder is the scan feature. This gives you a continuous reading of range readings as you move across a landscape or track a moving target. There are also three brightness settings for the display, allowing you to see clearly in multiple different light conditions. Your purchase of the Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Rangefinder comes with a neck lanyard and utility clip to make it extremely handy and easy to wear.
- Ranges up to 1,800 yards
- Can scan continuously or track moving target
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Multi-coated lenses for optimal light transmission
- Textured rubber armor
Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam 202208
This high quality rangefinder gives you measurements as far as 600 yards and as close as 10 yards. The optics of the Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam are crystal clear, giving you HD clarity in any condition, even extremely low light conditions. The materials used for this rangefinder are of the highest quality, and are tested extensively for durability and strength, it will last you for years to come. The Realtree Xtra camo pattern allows it to blend in with your surroundings. A single button operation makes it so that this rangefinder can be easily operable without training or practice. It is also lightweight and compact, for easy transport, and rainproof for protection from the elements.
- 600 yards of distance measured
- High quality optics
- One button operation
- Compact and lightweight
- Durable materials
Leupold RX-650 Micro Laser Rangefinder 120464
The Leupold RX-650 Micro Laser Rangefinder provides you with powerful 6x magnification while maintaining a wide field of view. This allows you to easily and accurately track prey out to 650 yards while it is moving. The fast-focusing eyepiece gives you a clear view of the field, and clicks easily and precisely for adjustments. Additionally, the lenses are multi-coated to give you clear and bright images each and every time, no matter the weather or visibility. This rangefinder is powered with a CR2 lithium battery, and the display keeps you up to date with your battery life. Lastly, the Leupold RX-650 Micro Laser Rangefinder is completely waterproof and fogproof so that it lasts for a lifetime.
- 650 yards of rangefinding
- Multi-coated lenses
- Fast-focus eyepiece
- High contrast LCD display
- Lightweight and compact
Leupold RX-1600i TBR Laser Rangefinder
The Leupold RX-1600i TBR Laser Rangefinder can measure distances up to 1,600 yards. The scanning mode gives you continuous range updates as you scan an open field or track your prey. This rangefinder also comes with the True Ballistic Range with Wind (TBR) technology. This allows you to account for things like incline, range to target, and even ballistics information. There are three reticle options for this rangefinder: plus point, duplex, and duplex with plus point. Like other Leupold rangefinders, this model is 100 percent waterproof and fogproof. It also comes with a two-year electronics warranty in case something were to happen.
- Measures up to 1,600 yards
- Accurate scanning mode
- True Ballistic Range with Wind technology
- Three reticle options
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Two-year electronics warranty
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
The Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder is designed to measure from 6 to 550 yards. It is one of the most lightweight and compact rangefinders on our list. It weighs only 4.4 ounces, without batteries, so it is easy to carry for a long day of hunting. The display of this rangefinder is intuitive and easy to use, and it operates with only one button, so there is no learning curve. It can also be read easily in various types of bright and dim lighting. Battery life is long, as this rangefinder shuts down automatically after 8 seconds of nonuse.
- Measures from 6 to 550 yards
- Extremely lightweight and compact
- Easy to read display
- Intuitive ad simple design
- Long battery life
Sig Sauer KILO2200LRH BDX Rangefinder
The last on our list is the Sig Sauer KILO2200LRH Rangefinder. This high-tech rangefinder uses ballistic data Xchange and Bluetooth and pairs with the Sig BDX App to provide you with a slew of data. HyperScan mode updates four times per second to give you a constant stream of data when scanning an open space. In addition to AMR and line of sight modes, this rangefinder also has LightWave DSP Technology. This gives you fast and accurate measurements for long distances. The lenses are multicoated for SpectraCoat lens coatings for crystal clear views in any type of conditions.
- Maximum range of 3,400 yards
- Use in conjunction with Sig BDX App
- HyperScan mode
- Lenses coated in SpectraCoat
Best Hunting Rangefinder under $1000
Lecia CRF Rangemaster 2800
The Leica CRF Rangemaster 2800 is a top of the line rangefinder with perfect precision and every feature you need. This remarkable rangefinder is the very first that can provide precise distance measurements up to 2,800 yards. This rangefinder provides the user with three ballistic outputs in addition to measured distance. You can also connect with a Kestrel 5700 Elite to display windage corrections and elevation as far as the rangefinder can read. The smart, LED display automatically adjusts to ambient lighting so that you can read data clearly. The Leica CRF Rangemaster 2800 is also compatible with the Leica Hunting App, making this rangefinder extremely handy and easy to use. Among many other things, this app allows you to program your rangefinder via Bluetooth.
- Compact Bluetooth rangefinder
- Connects with smartphone via Leica Hunting App
- Provides three output values: clicks, EHR, and holdover
- Real distance up to 2,800 yards
- Precise decimal values below 180 meters
Any of the eight rangefinders that we have covered here today will be a good option for your next bowhunting adventure. And even if you don’t end up going with any of the eight models covered here today, just follow our guide on what to look for in a hunting rangefinder, and you can find one that will provide you with many years of reliable service.