A good rangefinder can undoubtedly, make or break a hunt. It can be your best friend when you are trying to be as stealthy as possible, trying not to alarm your pray. It can also help you prepare for your hunt and eliminate guesswork to a very large extent.
However, which rangefinder is the best? It’s a difficult choice to make, but this article will help you with it.
In this article, we have reviewed six of the best rangefinders and discussed what makes each one special.
Comparison of the Best Bow Hunting Rangefinders
Vortex Optics Ranger
Vortex Optics Diamondback
Vortex Optics Crossfire
Best for the Money
Nikon Arrow ID 7000
Best from Nikon
Leupold Rx-1300i TBR Laser Rangefinder
Best from Leupold
Best Halo Rangefinder
Are All Rangefinders The Same?
A simple answer to this question is no, not really. Each product has different specifications and different features. They can vary in size and range. The range can matter as it can determine how far you can aim.
Furthermore, aspects such as optics also differ from product to product. Some devices have higher optics that provide a clear, defined view, while others have inferior qualities of optics. Products can also vary in quality, as well as ease of use. There are different types of rangefinders as well, but we shall talk about those later on in the review, so keep reading!
How to Choose a Rangefinder
As we mentioned before, choosing the right product can be rather difficult. However, by keeping the following list of factors in mind before making an investment, you’re sure to find the most suitable option.
Weight can be a defining factor when it comes to this device. The lighter the weight, the more preferable it will be. This is because it will be easy to carry and handle and to take along to any of your hunting trips. However, this doesn't mean the product should be cheap and flimsy. The perfect device will be lightweight, yet powerful.
Another factor to keep in mind is the range. A good device will have maximum range. It will help you hit targets that are farther away with ease. This is a plus point because it lets you get a better shot on your targets without getting too close and alarming them.
This is another very important feature. An LED display is the most favorable option, as it offers the best-lit display and even saves on battery life. It is best for low light conditions and it is brighter than all the other display options, as well.
Review of the Best Bow Hunting Rangefinders
Now that you know how to pick the perfect one, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of each of the six products. This review will discuss each product in a detailed and effective manner, listing all the pros and cons you need to know about the product.
Vortex Optics Ranger Laser
This device has many features which are favorites amongst users and have helped this unit to make it to the top of our list. The first point to note about this product is that it is easy to use and easy to clean. This eliminates the hassle of struggling with the device and maintaining it.
Furthermore, this product is a plus for long range hunters as it offers extra yards compared to any average device of the same nature. The device itself is quite durable and sturdy and has a full rubber body. It can be utilized easily without worrying about the possibility of it falling and getting damaged or being affected by the weather.
Another feature of this device includes a horizontal component distance mode (HCD), a distance reading which is angle compensated. It also has a scan mode which can easily track moving targets across the terrain. Another feature to talk about is the three reticle brightness options which help the device to match the light settings of the surroundings. The lens of the device is multi-coated and therefore, provides excellent light transmissions.
This device by Vortex is one with various features and aspects which make it difficult to pass on. It is easy to use and to maintain, as well, which only adds to its plus points. Furthermore, since the body of the device is covered with rubber, it can easily be used in any type of terrain or weather without worrying about damage.
Vortex Optics Diamondback
This is another great product by Vortex. These binoculars are surprisingly small and very lightweight. This helps with the matter of portability and handling, as it can be taken absolutely anywhere and doesn’t take up much space either. Within this small product, Vortex has managed to squeeze in 32 mm objective lenses with 8x magnification.
These specifications are bound to give you a clear and stable image. Furthermore, it is better suited for use in the daytime. The body of this device is very durable as it is crafted with rubber and all the other details like the dials and buttons are made from hard plastic.
The lens of the device is multi-coated, which reduces reflection to a minimum and provides the user with a clearer image. Moreover, the device has a multi-positioned eyepiece with two click stop options. You can easily twist or rotate them to choose the required position. It also is easy to use for people who use glasses.
The eyecups of the device have an extra outer ring, which makes the device easier and more comfortable to use. The rubber used in the making of this device is sturdy and firm, but not to the extent where it is uncomfortable. It is also important to note that this product is both water and fog-proof.
Though this product is smaller than average, it definitely packs a punch. Even with its small size, it provides the best results and is also comfortable to use. It can also function in rough conditions as it is water and fog-proof.
Best for the Money:
Vortex Optics Crossfire
This product from Vortex consists of 50 mm objective lenses with 10x magnification. With these specifications, they easily have an above-average focus and provide right and clear images. To further enhance the experience, the device has multi-coated lenses, which cancel out reflection and help with the clarification of the image seen by the user. All of this and at one of the most affordable prices, from the Vortex brand.
Furthermore, the device has an angular field of view of 6.1 degrees. This offers a wider view of the landscape. It also has a focus wheel that can be used to adjust the focus quickly, as needed. Another aspect to note is the minimum focus of the device, which is 9.8 feet, to be exact. With the help of this, targets and objects at a closer range can also be studied and observed in detail.
The device is quite comfortable to hold. Its dimensions are such that you can easily hold it up. The color combination used for this product is black and green. The exterior of the device is covered in rubber. Rubber is a material that offers a better grip and is comfortable to use.
Not only that, but it also offers durability as it is water-resistant and can easily handle harsh weather conditions. Rubber also prevents it from physical damage that can happen in rough terrains.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best products from Vortex. Not only does it offer a great range, but it can also be used for targets or objects that are closer up as well. The wide angle feature provides a better view of the entire landscape, which is bound to add to your hunting experience.
Best from Nikon:
Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR
Nikon is a well-renowned name in the rangefinder community. It is famous for using the latest technologies and incorporating them with all their products, be it in design or in the more technical specifications. The Arrow ID 7000 by Nikon is one such example. It has made a great impact with its ability to reduce the image shakiness by a staggering 80%. It is able to this because of its optical vibration reduction (VR) function.
This device has a range of 800-1000 yards. This is a very good range, especially for bow hunters. In addition to that, the device offers +/- 0.5 accuracy in distance readings with targets within 700 yards or less and +/- 0.1 accuracy with targets above 700 yards. This is an amazing feature for long distance shooters as it covers quite a lot of distance. Apart from that, the Arrow ID 7000 offers crystal clear images with a 21 mm objective lens and 6x magnification.
The device is very lightweight, easy to carry, and runs on a CR2 lithium battery. Lithium batteries are quite long-lasting and can easily be replaced, so it saves you from worrying about battery life for half the hunt. Another great feature of this device is Tru-Target Technology. It lets you choose between two separate modes of range, one for objects that are nearer and the other for objects that are farther away.
This device by Nikon is one you can definitely not just pass by. It has many attractive features that are the making of a good rangefinder. Not only does it offer range and accuracy, but it also has a long-lasting battery life, which is just like putting a cherry on top of the perfect sundae.
Best from Leupold:
This device is quite chic-looking and has a very classic color palette of black and red. It is encased in a rugged aluminum housing, which is then protected by a rubber armor. The rubber contributes in many ways.
For example, it protects the device from external harm and makes it water and fog-proof, as well. The rubber also provides a stronger and steadier grip. The device itself is a small accessory and can easily fit inside a pocket, so you can easily take it wherever you go and always have it on-hand when needed.
This model is equipped with the True Ballistic Range (TBR) technology. This takes into account the incline, as well as the range, of your target. The readings are displayed on a high light transmission LCD that offers up to 60% light transmission. This means that it can still be read in low light conditions.
The device also has a scan mode. The scan mode can help keep track of targets when they are on the move. Furthermore, the lens of the device is fully multi-coated. This provides crisp, clear, and bright images that can be of big help when tracking and hunting targets.
This is a great option for beginners or those hunters looking only to hunt targets within sight. It has many plus points like its sturdy exterior, compact design, and low weight. It has many aspects that will aid with your hunt, as well. The only fact to consider is that the device cannot be mounted on a tripod.
Best Halo Rangefinder:
This device uses a 23 mm objective lens with a 6x zoom. This means it provides the option of getting a detailed look at your target even when you are farther away. The margin of error in this device is only +/- 1-yard, which means this device is quite reliable when it comes to measuring the distance between you and your target.
Furthermore, the device is equipped with what Halo describes as the “Ai Slope Technology.” This helps to cancel out the incline or decline of the slope. This process helps in angle compensation, however, if you do not want it, the angle compensation can be turned off with just a push of a button.
The LCD display shows all the readings in a bright and clear fashion, eliminating any chance of confusion. Moreover, the body of the device is lightweight and compact, which is a very big plus point. Not only that, but it is quite durable as well.
This product is a good product to consider. It has all the qualities and features that are perfect for a beginner. Moreover, it's easy to use and is completely water and fog-proof, as well.
Types of Rangefinders
You can find several different variations for these devices.
For instance, one such variation is laser rangefinders. These calculate the exact period of time it takes for infrared light to go to and from a certain point. A screen is then used to display the distance, which is mostly very accurate.
Another variation of this device is referred to as optical rangefinders. These measure the distance with the help of two mirrors that reflect images. The mirrors rotate and merge the two reflections until they merge into one. After that, the distance is shown on a dial.
Ultrasonic rangefinders are yet another variation of this product. However, these can be a bit unfavorable to use. The reason for this is because they make a bit of noise. This can alert the target, which does not provide the best hunting experience. Devices that use ultrasonic technology use sound waves to determine the distance between you and the target.
Each product mentioned in this review has its own pros and cons. Each is best suited for a different person with different circumstances. As we mentioned before, no two devices are exactly the same. Each has a different set of specifications and a different purpose. So, with the products reviewed above, you can find a device that is best suited to you.