The Best Rangefinder For Hunting and Outdoors

Rangefinders are a must have for those into ranged sports. Archers, hunters, and golfers have been the primary users of them over the past century. Not only do they increase the odds of you landing a shot, they’ll also work wonders on your confidence. These tools are extremely helpful and versatile, providing extremely accurate results for the best possible shot.

Before delving into what makes them so great, you must first understand which type of rangefinder works best for your needs. Use our list to break them down.

Product

Best Use

Range

Price

Rating

TecTecTec VPRO500

Golf & Hunting

Up To 540 Yards

$$

Vortex Optics Ranger

Gun and Bow Hunting

Up To 1000 Yards

$$$

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11

Gun and Bow Hunting

6-550 Yards

$$

Bushnell 202208

Gun and Bow Hunting

10-600 Yards

$$

Simons 801600

Gun and Bow Hunting

10-600 Yards

$

Bushnell Tour V4

Golf

5-1000 Yards

$$$

Wosports Laser Rangefinder

Golf & Hunting

Up To 700 Yards

$

Wosports Hunting Rangefinder

Gun and Bow Hunting

Up To 600 Yards

$

The Different Types of Rangefinders

To understand what rangefinder you need, you must look at what they all do best and choose from there. This list has all the details:

Hunting Rangefinders:

Hunting Rangefinders are generally used to mark the distance between a hunter and their prey - basically what range to account for when firing a rifle. Some are designed for close range, while others are designed for a far distance. The close ones don’t have any sort of magnification, while ones designed for distance have incredible optics made of glass, coatings on each layer and massive objective lenses alongside some big exit pupils. This combination of pieces leads to a powerful rangefinder with insanely good light transmissions and super clear sight views. These tools also have extra features like multi-targeting, light-up reticles, and different modes of range.Both bow and rifle hunters should find great use out of these rangefinders. Obviously most of the skill comes from the weapon itself, but these tools are incredibly useful for upping your hunting game.

Golf Rangefinders:

When it comes to your golf game, distance is a major factor in nailing a good shot. No matter how good you are at golf and measuring the distance of a shot off the top of your head, you still have room for error. Using a rangefinder can ensure you have it perfect every time. Generally, golfers use a rangefinder with a fixed point, like a tree, the hole, or somewhere on the green.Golf rangefinders can be physical, which you would hang on something or you can even wear it. They can also be digital, like an app on your phone. This list will focus on physical rangefinders, however.

How To Choose the Best Rangefinder

Rangefinders are all over the market. It’s important for you to know exactly what to look for in these tools so you can decide which is best for your needs. For the two different types, you want different pros and cons. This list will breakdown what exactly you need to keep an eye on.

Golf Rangefinders

Here is what to look for in a golf rangefinder:

  • Feature Set - Arguably the most important things to consider when purchasing a golf rangefinder, keep an eye on which features are buzzwords and which are actually helpful. Does it help you speed your game up? Maybe cut time off in-between each shot? Do you want it to take note of elevation or slopes in the green? You’ll probably want a golf rangefinder that gathers and stores the data you’re tracking for future usage.
  • Max Range/DistanceObviously, it’s important to know how far a rangefinder can go so you can get one that measures the distance you need. A majority of them can go over 400 yards or so, but then there are some that can reach nearly 1000. These are some top of the line rangefinders, so you’ll have to spend a little extra cash to get them. Make sure you do your research on this one, you don’t want to regret getting one that’s too short.
  • Weight, Size, Grip - Golfing takes a while. You’re going to be carrying this tool for a while. You’re going to want to make sure you have one that’s light, reasonably sized, and easy to grip. The more compact and smaller size, the better. A heavier one doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in practice it can get very annoying.
  • USGA Approved - If you’re in the United States, is your prospective rangefinder approved by the United States Golf Association? If not, you may want it to be. If you do any type of golf tour, your rangefinder needs to be approved by them or you won’t be able to use it. A lot of these rangefinders are already the best ones on the market, so you really can’t go wrong with an approved one in the first place. If you really don’t care about touring, however, you can still get by with a non-approved rangefinder, but it’s harder to find ones that are as good.
  • Club Knowledge - A good rangefinder will help you know which club is best to use in any situation. These tools can help you out of a bind, like being stuck in a sand pit or trying to hit over water. With how precise its measurements are, you can always be confident in your shot. They can tell you the distance from a hazard to a hole, distance from you to a sand dune, and other measurements. Most of them have laser guidance as well, making things even easier for you to see.
  • Reviews/ReactionsAlways check the reviews on a rangefinder before buying it. That way, you can see what sort of pros and cons the device has, some (hopefully) honest thoughts on the feature-set, and get some other interesting information about the product.

Hunting Rangefinders

Here is what to look for in a hunting rangefinder:

  • Max Range/Distance - If you want to take full advantage of one of these, you need to get one with far range. No matter how good you are at hunting, there are times when you may not be able to tell. It’s best to have one that can see around 800 yards. Otherwise the tool may be more harmful than beneficial to your shot.
  • Weight, Size, Grip - Like the golf rangefinder, you want a hunting rangefinder that is light, small, and easy to carry. You’re going to be carrying this tool around with you and using it quite a bit. You’re not going to want one that weighs down on you, is slippery, or is annoying to grip. You’ll also want one made with a decent material to prevent damage in harsh environments. Metal or rubber are probably your best bet. Not only are they a bit more resistant to the elements, but they are also fall-resistant materials and will save the life of your rangefinder should it fall.
  • Features - A hunting rangefinder with tools like a bright lcd screen, strong optics, and a powerful range are ideal. You’ll also want it to be damage resistant, compensate for angles and hills, and generally make your hunting experience as efficient as possible. Some of these are personal preference of course, so you’ll want to ensure your rangefinder has the features you need upon purchasing.
  • Reviews/Reaction - Just like with the golf, checking out user thoughts on your potential hunting rangefinder is a great idea. You can learn so much about the tool beforehand, like any small quirks or bonuses, packaging details, pros and cons, and more. If you do not read these beforehand, you may regret it.
  • Your Needs/Your Budget - It’s important to know what you need out of one of these tools, and if those needs fit into a rangefinder that is in your budget. There are all sorts of tiers of hunting rangefinders, and picking one that fits both your budget and your feature-set is in your best interest.

What To Look For In A General Rangefinder

While the golf and hunting rangefinders have their own specifications, you still want to consider the general aspects of a rangefinder. Here are the general aspects to look for in a rangefinder:

Angle Compensation

You’re going to want a rangefinder that pulls this off well. Angle compensation takes into account hills and angles in terrain. This is great for shooting either up or down hill, to watch for angles when golfing, and ensure you get a solid shot every time. These are not as highly regarded as they should be, so make sure you do research and get a good one with your rangefinder.

Display

This is a feature not many people consider that important until they really need it. When it becomes dark out and you can’t see the screen your rangefinder becomes fairly useless. This can happen during the day when it’s too bright out as well. Having a good LCD screen will prevent any issues and will help you see at any time. However, if you don’t hunt during times that are hard to see the screen, you don’t need to consider this as much when it comes to purchasing a hunting rangefinder.

Binoculars

Binoculars are a good addition to a rangefinder, but there also exist tools that are blended into one for those who don’t want to carry around both. These are usually fairly expensive, but worth it for those who can afford it. Basically, one optic is a rangefinder and the other is a binocular. That’s part of the reason it’s so expensive, so make sure you’re buying a good brand when you do so.

Distance

Longer is good, but it isn’t always the best. Especially when hunting, you want a rangefinder that’s a minimum of 500 yards, but if you want to go further than that you’ll have to make sure the rangefinder can handle it. Generally, these devices go from four to six zoom, but a majority of hunters won’t need something like that in a hunting rangefinder.

Durability

Arguably the most important aspect in searching for a rangefinder - you want this tool to last you. When it comes to the environment, it can damage your rangefinder if it isn’t up to the task. You want features that prevent you from being shocked, you want it to be waterproof, and you want it to last in extreme heat and cold. Having a tool that is immune to all damage is your best bet hands down.

Laser, Infrared, or Optical

Laser rangefinders use an genuine laser beam to find the distance of an object. All you do is push the button to get it working, and the laser bounces off the object in vision and relays information back to the rangefinder. The longer it takes for the laser to get back to the tool, the further the distance of it.Infrared is a bit similar to laser. It uses a similar technology, but instead of a laser beam it triangulates the object for super accurate readings. These are best when going through the woods where obstacles like branches may be in the way - these normally interfere with lasers.Optical is the third type of rangefinder. It’s the most cost efficient of the three, and it uses size conversion technology to find the distance of an object. It’s not as accurate as the other three, but for users with a budget, this rangefinder is absolutely ideal for them. Those who don’t need as far of a range will also benefit from an optical rangefinder.

About the Author Kyle Grey

Hey Everyone! My name is Kyle Grey and I am the guy behind outdoor intensity. I am an avid camper and have been camping for well over 10 years. Camping and the outdoors is something that I am super passionate about and because of that I decided to share my experience and knowledge that I have gained over the past 10 years.

Leave a Comment: