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The Best Rangefinder

Last updated on November 8, 2019

We looked at the top 20 Rangefinders and dug through the reviews from 64 of the most popular review sites including Rangefinder Now, Target Tamers, Target Crazy, Outdoor Wars, Rangefinder Lab, Sports and Outdoor Tips and more. The result is a ranking of the best Rangefinders.

Best Rangefinder

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Our Picks For The Top Rangefinders

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

Vortex Optics

Ranger Laser Rangefinders

Overall Take

High MagnificationWhen you need to view an object up close, this rangefinder with 6X magnification will get the job done.

  Runner Up

Sig Sauer

Laser Rangefinders

Overall Take

Long RangeWhether bird watching or scoping out your competition, this rangefinder will allow you to view up to 2 miles away.

  Best Lightweight

Bushnell

Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder

Overall Take

Lightweight and AffordableBecause of its size and lightweight design, this rangefinder is best for hiking and long walks, as it won't add any weight to your backpack.

  Best Bang for Your Buck

Nikon

ACULON Laser Rangefinder

Overall Take

Water-Resistant DesignIf you plan on spending time by a body of water, this rangefinder is ideal, as it is made using a water-resistant shell.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
27

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the rangefinders available to purchase.
20

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

64

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

17,888

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart.

The Best Overall

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders

Our Expert Score
9.5
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
365 user reviews
Our Take

Bow hunters may gravitate toward Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders. It uses technology that can measure angle and slope. This is also a benefit for rifle hunters. Thanks to 6X magnification, this model provides enhanced performance as well.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder

Expert Summarized Score
8.7
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
781 user reviews
Our Take

With 6X magnification and 18mm eye relief, the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder has plenty of benefits. Perhaps its biggest draw is its price, though. It's by far the most affordable rangefinder in its class. For that price, its water-resistant build makes it a winner.

Our Findings

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders

Top Pick

Vortex Optics Ranger 1500 Laser Rangefinder (Sports)


List Price:
New From: In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Bow hunters may gravitate toward Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders. It uses technology that can measure angle and slope. This is also a benefit for rifle hunters. Thanks to 6X magnification, this model provides enhanced performance as well.

Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders

Runner Up

Sig Sauer KILO2200MR LaserRangeFndr7X25GraphClass3R Laser Rangefinders (Sports)


List Price: $599.99 USD
New From: $449.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: For distance, you can’t do better than Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders, which can provide up to 2-mile distance readings. You’ll get accuracy of up to the nearest 1/10th yard — significantly better than many other rangefinders that promise one-yard accuracy. Speed is also a benefit of Sig Sauer’s rangefinders, providing up to four readings per second.

Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder

Best Lightweight

Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Golf Laser Rangefinder, Standard Version (Sports)


List Price: $299.99 USD
New From: $254.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $254.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The biggest advantage of the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder is its size and weight. At only 12 ounces, it’s both the smallest and lightest in its class, which comes in handy if you’re walking a far distance with it. Its affordable price is also a benefit for hunters on a budget.

Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder

Best Bang for Your Buck

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder (Sports)


List Price: $166.95 USD
New From: $204.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: With 6X magnification and 18mm eye relief, the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder has plenty of benefits. Perhaps its biggest draw is its price, though. It’s by far the most affordable rangefinder in its class. For that price, its water-resistant build makes it a winner.

Our Rangefinder Buying Guide

If you like to hunt, you already know there is no shortage of tools to make your life easier. A rangefinder is one of those tools, allowing you to spot your prey far better than you ever could with the naked eye. But different types of hunting call for different types of rangefinders, so it’s important to know what to look for before you buy.

If you’re a bowhunter, angle-compensating software is essential since you need to be able to calculate the angle necessary to hit your mark. Rifle-geared rangefinders aren’t as sophisticated as precision-shooting rangefinders, which are made for those hunters who are very particular. You’ll find many rangefinders tackle the basics of helping you spot prey from a distance, but some have special features built for the type of hunting you’ll be doing.

Weather is an important consideration when you’re researching rangefinders. Some rangefinders are more waterproof than others, making them ideal for those early morning rainstorms. You’ll also find some rangefinders struggle to work in low lighting, forcing you to wait until daylight to get started.

Performance is going to be your top consideration with a rangefinder, which means you’ll need to look at distance abilities. Some rangefinders are built to read targets from farther away than others, which is something worth considering if you want to cover a broad distance. But once your rangefinder has spotted a target, the reading it gives needs to be accurate and quick as well. The goal is to be able to spot your target and take action in milliseconds, rather than wasting valuable time.

Lastly, tripod compatibility will also be a factor if you want to be in hands-free mode. In some cases, you can simply buy an inexpensive tripod sleeve to turn your handheld into a mounted device in a matter of seconds. As you’re considering that, keep weight and size in mind. You’ll probably want a rangefinder that is easy to carry along with you as you head out on your hunts.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Advancements in technology mean rangefinders are better than ever while also being smaller in size and, therefore, easier to carry around. Using that technology, today’s rangefinders can not only measure the distance between hunter and prey, but they can also provide unprecedented accuracy in their readings. This accuracy means that hunters can both reduce the time it takes to get results out on the range as well as make more humane kills, hitting every target on the first try. Additionally, advancements in rangefinders allow them to replace the binoculars and spotting scopes that were once required tools in every hunting kit.

The Rangefinder Tips and Advice

  • First, it’s important to factor in the type of hunting you’ll be doing. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders feature angle or slope compensation distance, ensuring your hold is illuminated even at the harshest angles. Whether you’re hunting with a rifle or bow, this feature can make a big difference.
  • If you’re looking for distance, the Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders are the way to go. You can target any range within a 2-mile distance, thanks to specialized LightWave DSP technology. Distance depends on what you’re targeting, though. You can only range trees within 1,600 yards, and deer are limited to 1,300 yards. With the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders, you’ll get a range of up to 1,000 yards, but that range shortens if you’re targeting smaller or non-reflective items. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder can reach up to 1,000 yards.
  • Magnification also plays into how well a rangefinder performs. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders and the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder offer 6X magnification, while the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder only offers 5X.
  • You should also pay close attention to eye relief, which has to do with the distance between the eye and the lens. The minimum you can have with a clear view is 15mm, so you’ll want to stay close to that range. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders offer 17mm, and the Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder provides 18mm eye relief.
  • Some rangefinders can be prone to errors, so it’s important to look at advertised accuracy ratings. Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders have exceptional accuracy, displaying readings that are exact to the nearest 1/10 yard. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders and the Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder only promise range increments in 1 yard.
  • You don’t have time to waste once your rangefinder spots something. For that reason, scanning speed is essential. Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders use HyperScan™ Technology to provide four range updates per second when in scan mode. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder, by comparison, can take one to four seconds to offer a reading.
  • Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders also features something called RangeLock™, which locks in your last range result to ensure you never lose a reading.
  • Some hunters like to set their rangefinders on a tripod to keep their hands free for when they need to take action. Sig Sauer Laser Rangefinders offer a separately sold sleeve that you can use with a tripod. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders have both a belt clip and a tripod socket.
  • It’s also important to consider size and weight if you’ll be carting your rangefinder around all day. The Bushnell Tour V4 JOLT Laser Rangefinder is both the smallest and lightest, at 3.1 x 4 x 1.6 inches and 12 ounces. It’s also ergonomically designed.
  • You won’t always have dry conditions, so it’s important to consider how weatherproof your rangefinder is. The Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder is both water-resistant and rainproof. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders are built with a rubberized coating and an O-ring design that seals the interior, which helps protect them both against water and dust.
  • Some rangefinders struggle in low light. Since you probably won’t limit your trips to daylight hours, you need to look for a rangefinder that can perform when the sun goes down. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders uses red digital lights that stand out against all types of backgrounds, as well as keeping visibility high at night. You can adjust the lighting display for whatever time of day it is.
  • Rangefinders can be on the expensive side, but you can find a high-quality model that fits your budget.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She lives in a beautiful one-acre home in the suburbs on the outskirts of Nashville. Her home and garden work has appeared on sites like GoodHousekeeping.com and Hunker. She's a true homebody and loves looking at new houses for sale for inspiration on her own home remodeling projects.