When it comes to hunting optics, the first things that come to mind are the scopes and binoculars. Seldom is the best rangefinders even mentioned in the conversation. That should change. Today’s laser range finders are extremely accurate that having one on hand lets you adjust the way you shoot your rifle or bow to take in to consideration the trajectory of your shot.
Knowing the distance of your target also lets you figure out if you need to get closer or are within distance for a good shot depending on the weapon you have on hand.
In this article, the devices are meant to be used for hunting, but you’ll see that we’ve added an extra feature in each review that tells you what each rangefinder does well for. This is because a lot of them are multi-purpose giving you the ability to use them for aiming at targets, hunting, playing golf and other activities.
Top 5 Best Rangefinders
#1. Simmons LRF 600 Laser Rangefinder – Best Budget Rangefinder
The Simmons LRF 600 is an entry level rangefinder with quality and features of a top-end product. The frame of the LRF 600 is tight, and made of toughened plastic. It is ergonomic and lighter than most range finders in the market.
Now, being an entry level rangefinder, the accuracy is excellent up to 250 to 300 yards. You can get pin-point precision till this range, and beyond this it is just okay (about 1 to 3 yards of target till 500 yards).
Considering the price, the Simmons LRF 600 does well with the readings and magnification. The front lens gathers good amount of light and produces well-illuminated images. The speed of the readings is incredibly fast for such a cheap rangefinder.
Best for: Golf players and spectators, hunters, mid-range crossbow & compound bow users.
- Sturdy build.
- Swift readings.
- Built-in LCD.
- Clear images.
#2. Bushnell Sport 850 4x 20mm Compact Laser Rangefinder – Best Laser Rangefinder
The Bushnell Sport 850 is a mid-range rangefinder with 4x magnification and 20mm front lens. It promises precise readings up to 850 yards. This is indeed right, as we were able to gather precise images with 1 to 3 yards error till 850 yards.
The major plus on the Bushnell Sport 850 is its accuracy in low light or night-time conditions. It can clearly find targets within the range if there is even little light in the area. It comes with a strong water-proof frame that stays without leak or corrosion with regular use in rain.
Moving targets are accurate till 200 yards, and really fast targets are hard to record on this rangefinder. It is best for still or slow moving targets.
The battery consumption is low and it comes with a 3-volt CR2 battery.
Best for: Hunters, Civil Engineering students, marksmen.
- Low battery use.
- Low light accuracy.
- Not reliable on moving targets.
#3. Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6 x 21mm Laser Rangefinder – Top Rangefinders
The Bushnell Scout DX 1000 6x21mm is a mid to high rangefinder. The precision up to 1000 yards is 0.5 yards, which is much better and more than what is expected of a $220 rangefinder. There are higher magnification and bigger rangefinders, but their accuracy is not this good. In our tests, we found a maximum error of 1.5 yards in at 990 yards.
It comes with bare and camo finish. Both are exceptionally done, with a strong chassis and finely shaped grip. This has more compact build than any other in the review, and it can be taken to extremely low temperatures, where lenses will start accumulating fog or starts to crack. There is no such issue with Bushnell Scout DX 1000.
There are several modes where you find the height and elevation of targets and get the most precise readings. They are extremely accurate till 350 yards, beyond which it has errors. But it does come with three different modes for Bow, VSI rifle and ACR rifle, which is great because for the price these features are a steal compared to other rangefinders.
Best for: Hunters, hikers, mountain climbers.
- Lasts long.
- Sleek design.
- Great features.
- Extremely precise.
#4. Nikon ProStaff 3 Laser Rangefinder – Best Golf Laser Rangefinder
The Nikon ProStaff 3 is a low-range rangefinder. The build quality is phenomenal and the image clarity is unmatched to any other in its class. The accuracy and speed is good, with just 0.5 yards error for the first 100 yards. Then up to 500 yards it’s about 1 yard.
It is waterproof and fog proof. The image viewing lens is multicoated, and it produces well illuminated and crystal clear images. The Prostaff 3 is very light despite the robust frame.
The eye-relief is 18mm that is a nice detail for people wearing glasses. Nikon’s Prostaff 3 is pricier than most low-end rangefinders, but it has all the details and intricate features that makes it perfect. It can survive in any climate.
Best for: Golf players and spectators, competitive archers and shooters, hunters, hikers, and engineering students.
- Quality build.
- Feature rich.
- 6x magnification.
- Great image clarity.
- Lasts a lifetime.
- Slightly pricey.
#5. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder – Best Long Range Rangefinder
The Vortex Ranger 1000 is a flagship rangefinder. It has every feature that makes up a perfect rangefinder. The accuracy is excellent, the speed of readings is very fast and it is built like a tank. The design is compact and all the details are carefully fitted into the puzzle. The eye-relief, Horizontal Component Distance, LOS Mode, Scan Mode, and interchangeable units are all in the Ranger 1000.
It is a must if you are a climber or elite marksman, as the Ranger 1000 can survive the worst climate and temperatures. The display is red, which is different from other rangefinders, but it gives the clearest images and reading. There is no error up to 800 yards, and it can measure over 1000 yards with little fall in precision.
This is the best product to own in the list if you are looking for a one-time investment. There is no better rangefinder in the world for this distance.
Best for: Students, hunters, army enthusiasts, and climbers.
- Perfect accuracy.
- Compact build.
- Red display.
- Interchangeable units.
- Survives any climate.
- Slightly pricey.