A hunting rangefinder is one tool that hunters would need to bring every time they go on a hunting expedition. The best hunting rangefinder enables hunters to determine their distance from a target, like a deer or an elk.
By knowing the distance of their target, hunters can then make adjustments on their bow or rifle. This, in turn, significantly increases the chances of them taking down their targets.
Hunting rangefinders usually come in three types— laser, infrared, and optical. In shopping for a rangefinder, hunters will have to factor in things such as size/weight, power/magnification, and picture quality, among others.
01. Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector Cam
This rangefinder from Bushnell isn’t the most affordable on this list, but I can assure you that you will be getting your money’s worth if and when you buy this unit.
The unit looks weighty when you see it in pictures. But I was surprised that it is very light when I was able to use it once.
With a weight of fewer than 10 ounces, this rangefinder won’t slow you down when you are out in the wild. It may be light, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a plastic toy. I also like that it is compact enough to be tuck into a shirt.
Ease of Use
This unit is designed for easy, one-handed operation with its vertical configuration. Operation is rather straightforward. You only have to tap a single button to measure your target. The button is placed under your index finger.
The only thing I didn’t like is that the 9-volt battery can be quite confusing to swap out when you are outdoors.
This rangefinder has a range of 10 to 1600 yards, with an accuracy of plus and under one yard. The 600-yard range is ideal for targeting large or reflective objects. I have no complaints whatsoever with the optics—I found it to be quite good.
Moreover, the LCD of the rangefinder makes use of illuminated indicators so you can read in low light conditions.
Aside from the battery being a bit tricky to replace, I also found that it lacks features found in more high-end rangefinder models. It also cannot measure slopes.
02. Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinde
The Nikon Aculon laser rangefinder is one of the top choices in the budget rangefinder class.
It continues Nikon’s tradition of coming out with affordable but good quality rangefinders.
I highly recommend this entry-level rangefinder to hunters who don’t have a large budget for a hunting accessory.
Measuring 3.6 inches x 1.5 inches x 2.9 inches, the Nikon 8397 is one of the smallest rangefinders today. It is powered by a CR 2 lithium battery, which has become a standard in most rangefinders. The battery enables the Aculon to keep its weight to less than 5 ounces.
This rangefinder features 6x magnification which means you can keep your eye on the deer or whatever animal you are targeting.
I also like that it has bright and clear optics. Some reviewers on Amazon.com say that the rangefinder can match up with more high-end units in terms of magnification.
I also have to mention the distant target priority function of the rangefinder, which allows it to display measurements of the furthest target. It comes in handy if the target is hiding behind the grass.
But because it is an affordable rangefinder, the Acuolon doesn’t have the features you would likely find in more high-end models.
For one, it lacks the ID angle compensation feature that is found in most Nikon models. It also has a black LCD display screen, bereft of LED backlighting you will find in other Nikon rangefinders. And it isn’t waterproof.
03. Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder
This is another budget-friendly rangefinder that I can highly recommend. It has a 600-yard range with an accuracy of plus or minus one yard.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this rangefinder and many Amazon.com reviewers seem pretty satisfied with it.
Ease of Use
This unit has a two-button operation, which makes it all the easier to use. The main button is for selecting your scan mode, while the other is for laser ranging. It also has a scan mode that enables it to constantly take readings.
The LCD display is also very easy to read, although there should be enough ambient light for you to do so. I found it to be difficult to read in low light conditions.
The rangefinder is relatively lightweight at around 10 ounces. I like how it looks—a modern-looking unit that fits perfectly in your hands.
The rubber trim in the area where you hold the device also prevents slipping. I have read reviews complaining that it is a bit small for guys with big hands, though.
Like the Nikon rangefinder, this one makes use of CR-2 batteries. The manufacturer throws one in the box, but I recommend that you shop for a replacement.
The last thing you want to happen is to have a dead battery while in the woods. In terms of battery life, you can expect this to last for at least a year.
The only problem I have with CR-2 batteries is that these are difficult to find particularly in rural areas.
04. Halo Range Finder Hunting Laser Range Finder
This is a relatively new rangefinder from Halo. It has a limited range of 450 yards compared to the other Halo rangefinder but is also a lot cheaper than its older cousin.
It is very lightweight and compact. This is a rangefinder that I recommend to the budget-conscious hunter.
Despite being an entry-level rangefinder, there are plenty of features offered in this unit. It has a scan mode that allows the unit to take consecutive readings—no need for you to reactivate the laser.
It is also equipped with Angle Intelligence Technology which can detect slopes and compensate for more accurate readings. The rangefinder also has 6x magnification, an internal LCD display, and backed by a one-year warranty.
Like its Halo cousin, the Halo XL450 has an accuracy of plus or minus one yard. According to most reviews on Amazon.com, the rangefinder is quite accurate.
Reviewers said the XL450 is as accurate as those of other more expensive rangefinders. It also has a slope function, so hunters will be able to use this well while they are in the wild.
Other hunters are also happy that this unit is very easy to use. They say all you have to do is to point and press for yardage reading. You can also easily change the setting from yards to meters.
This waterproof rangefinder is really a good unit for the budget-conscious shopper.
05. Visionking 6×25 Rangefinder Hunting Golf 600m Camo
This rangefinder isn’t just designed for hunting. It can also be used for golf, with a specific mode for it so that it can measure the golf flag a lot faster.
As a hunting rangefinder, a lot of reviews on Amazon.com indicate that this is a very solid choice for first-time hunters.
Like most of the rangefinders in this list, this is a compact and lightweight unit. It has dimensions of 125x73x40mm and weighs 250 grams. Suffice to say, it is unlikely that your hands will get tired when you use this even for an extended period.
The camouflage design also adds to the appeal of the hunting rangefinder, and obviously very helpful when you are out in the wild hunting for deer.
Ease of Use
Many reviewers also find the rangefinder very easy to use. For instance, it can easily change the readings from yards to meters. This can be done by pressing and holding the “mode” button for more than 3 seconds. Others were also impressed with the optics, saying it delivers crystal clear images.
In terms of accuracy, the reviewers say they’re pretty much satisfied with the readings. Some of them even compared the measurement readings of this rangefinder with laser rangefinders, and they say that there’s not much of a difference.
This unit also uses CR2 V batteries, which can last for a long time. But as I have mentioned earlier, the problem with this battery is that you can’t get one in a convenience store. You should stock up on one should you buy this rangefinder.
There you have it—five of the top-rated hunting rangefinders of 2021. I can assure you that these rangefinders are all built to withstand extreme weather conditions in the wild.
You will also have no problems using them while looking for a deer. Plus, these are lightweight and compact rangefinders that would not occupy a lot of space in your bag.
It’s up to you to determine the best hunting rangefinder. Read more reviews and compare prices of these rangefinders for hunting so you’ll know which model is best suited for you.