Increasingly growing in popularity these days, a rangefinder helps you measure the distance in the field. Whether it’s for hunting or golfing, a reliable rangefinder might as well become one of your most trusted companions. However, as you probably already know, finding the best laser rangefinder out there can easily become a daunting task.
Ideally, you’d want a device that will suit your needs just right – something sturdy and durable that won’t fall apart when you need it the most but at the same time, a device you won’t have to spend a fortune on.
To make your life a bit easier, we decided to do the legwork for you and shortlist what we think are the best value for money rangefinders on the market. On top of that, we’ve also included a list of the features that may matter the most when it comes to making your buying decision. Keep reading on to find out more!
Our Top Picks
|Bushnell G-Force DX ARC 6x21mm||1300 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- .½ yard||Check price on Amazon|
|TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf||540 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
|Wildgame Innovations Halo XRT||500 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
|Nikon ACULON AL11||550 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
|Sig Sauer 4x20 KILO850 Laser Rangefinder||1200 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
|Simmons Volt 600||600 yards||1 9V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
|Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Golf||550 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
|Suaoki Digital Scope||656 yards||1xCR2 3V battery||+/- 1 yard||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
Before moving on to the reviews of the best laser rangefinders, we’ll make a brief intro into the world of rangefinding, mentioning the most important specs and features you need to have in mind when shopping for one.
Of course, this is only for the beginners and those that are half-interested in the technology. If you feel this doesn’t apply to you, feel free to skip this section and head straight for the reviews. Enjoy your read!
Distance & Priority
The very first thing even laymen will check out when shopping for a laser rangefinder is the max distance it can range. However, the next step (that many beginners fail to take) is to assume the rangefinder is only usable for half the distance it claims it is.
This by no means is to say that they can’t make the distance, it’s just that in almost all cases the manufacturer is telling you the finder’s max range with a big, reflective target and no obstructions in the way. In other words, they’re giving you the best-case scenario.
This leads us into the second part of this sub-section – the priority. For those of you not in the know, there are two types of rangefinders (painting it with a broad brush) – first priority and second priority.
Keeping science and technicalities out of this, we can explain the former as those models that prioritize the first object in the beam’s path. Conversely, the latter will prioritize the last thing in its path.
The former will be invariably better-suited to golf, as it’ll prioritize the pin over the trees standing behind it, while the latter is much better for hunting since it will disregard the underbrush and other vegetation in favor of locking onto your mark.
As far as optics go, rangefinders don’t differ much from scopes or binoculars. Preferably, you’ll get something with multiple layers of reflective coating. This is important for two reasons – one, it’ll enhance the light transmittance, and two, it’ll keep your optics from glinting into your prey’s eyes.
Another optics-related aspect of a rangefinder is magnification. Granted, it’s not as crucial as it would be on a pair of binoculars, but it still helps if the target you’re viewing is tough to acquire (think golf pins or varmint).
Ideally, if you’re going for a unit with magnification, you’ll want something between 4x and 6x (anything over will reduce the field of view, which will make acquiring a highly mobile target problematic).
When it comes to laser rangefinders, the power supply and battery life matter because you probably wouldn’t want your device to die while you’re in the middle of nowhere. Typically, laser rangefinders will use a 3V CR2 battery (ideally, lithium), as this brings the best lifetime-to-weight ratio. One such battery, with intermittent usage, should be good for an entire hunting season, provided it’s fresh.
The market has rangefinders available both with or without slopes. The slope feature is useful if you’re interested in measuring both distance and elevation. Most often, the slope might come in handy if you and your mark are at different elevations.
The main thing to know here is that your finder has a built-in inclinometer that tells it at which angle it’s being held. This allows it to account for the angle and give you “true” yardage.
Size & Weight
Seeing as both golfing and hunting require quite a bit of physical activity and being outside, having as little weight to carry as possible becomes quite an obvious advantage. Typically, anything up to ten ounces is great, anything up to 1 pound tolerable (though that really depends on you more than anything).
This aspect ties into the small matter of size (no pun intended) – obviously, you’d want it as tiny and portable as possible. However, keep in mind that the smaller the unit, the trickier it becomes to hold it steady and get a lock-on.
Best Products on Today’s Market
As we mentioned earlier, we decided to do the research (so you won’t have to) on the best laser rangefinders available at the moment. You can see the results in the following section.
Bushnell G-Force DX ARC 6x21mm Laser Rangefinder
Weight: 8 ounces
Dimensions: 3.4 x 1 x 2.9 inches
Specific features: 6x magnification, 21 mm lens, 5-yard vertical range, max range 1,300 yards, class 1 laser, less than 0.5 mW output power, Angle Range Compensation (ARC), requires 1 lithium battery, adjustable brightness screen
Best use: Hunting, golf
We kick off this list with one of the more expensive items on it – the Bushnell G-Force DX ARC 6x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. That said, it’s still rather affordable as far as rangefinders are concerned, and it more than makes up for it with quality, anyway.
What you get is a nice multi-purpose rangefinder that’ll be useful for either golf or hunting, with two hunting modes that help with determining the holdover or turret adjustments (rifle) or the highest point of travel (arrow, i.e. bow hunting).
The display here has 4 brightness settings, though even the lowest setting might feel too bright in low light conditions. On that note, you only get one option for color – illuminated red, which is pretty much where gripes end for this product.
As for the power supply, the G-Force uses a single CR2 3V battery (preferably lithium, as it brings more mAh to the table than alkaline), and it does come with one.
- 6x magnification is a nice touch for hunting
- Long range
- Fairly compact and lightweight
- Fast ranging
- Somewhat pricey
- The display is a bit too bright
Related: If you’d like to upgrade your power supply right out of the gates, or just have a spare one at hand, check out the Duracell Cr2 Ultra Lithium Photo Battery as it comes in a practical packaging of six pieces. On top of that, you can use them for a variety of different devices, making sure you’re never left out without power in the middle of nowhere.
TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Laser Rangefinder
Weight: 6.6 ounces
Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.8 x 4.1 inches
Specific features: Multilayered optics, max range 540 yards, class 1 laser (less than 0.5 mW output power), continuous scan mode, requires 1 CR2 battery, water-resistant, 2-year warranty
Best use: Golf, hunting
The TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Laser Rangefinder is pretty much what it reads on the tin – a rangefinder designed specifically to be used on a golf course (though nobody’s stopping you from bringing it hunting, either).
The max range on the VPRO500 is 540 yards (on a reflective target), which is more than enough for golfing, as well as most hunting applications.
Speaking of which, the rangefinder also features 6x magnification and adjustable focus, allowing you to get a clear picture of the green from about 100+ yards (really useful when the time comes to bust out your pitching wedge).
Probably the single most important selling point of this rangefinder is the Pinsensor technology, which does a great job of measuring overlapping targets, such as golf pins and hazards, with a surprisingly good amount of accuracy (give or take a yard).
Another great thing about the VPRO500 is that it comes with a nice value package – the purchase includes not only the rangefinder itself but also a carrying pouch and a strap (black), microfiber cloth, 1 CR2 battery, as well as the users’ manual.
- Great bang for the buck
- Ranges almost instantaneously
- The Pin seeker mode locks on easily
- User-friendly, simple operation
- Outstanding clarity
- The 6x magnification comes in handy
- 2-year warranty and a lifetime customer support
- Some users may have trouble locating the device at night
- No charging system – uses only batteries
Related: If you haven’t got a spare battery lying around the house, consider investing a few bucks in the Viridian CR2 3 Volt Lithium Battery (pack of 3) – it’ll always keep your device ready to go! Speaking of investments, if you want to make your device more visible in the dark, check out the Stick It Magnetic Rangefinder Strap.
Wildgame Innovations Halo XRT Laser Rangefinder
Weight: 10.2 ounces
Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 2.5 inches
Specific features: 6x magnification, 500 yards max range, continuous scan mode, water-resistant, requires 1 CR2 battery
Best use: Hunting, golf
As you may have inferred from reading the manufacturer’s name, the Wildgame Halo XRT Laser Rangefinder is a nice little rangefinder that is especially well-suited to hunting applications.
What you get with this product is a max range of some 500 yards (off a reflective target), with 6x magnification that’s great for making out the details on your mark (allowing for more precise shots and less wasted ammo – also, less chance of just wounding the prey).
Speaking of optics, the XRT does have an adjustable focus (manual), but actually using it requires some finagling – you need to turn it sideways, adjust the focus, and then get it back up vertical to operate the power and mode buttons.
The ranging is as reliable as it gets at this price range – close distances are perfectly fine, though you do get a little wobble over 150 yards, which makes it perfect for bow hunting. On that note, it’s a bit harder to use in the twilight, but still usable.
As far as the power supply goes, you should be able to go at least a full hunting season before needing to change batteries. On top of that, another great aspect about it is the fact that it’s water-resistant, as that should allow you to use it in conditions of light rain.
- Precise at close distances, tolerable at long ranges
- Borderline cheap
- Excellent entry-level rangefinders
- Perfect for bow hunting
- Comes with a nylon case
- Doesn’t come with batteries
- Not ideal for golf (no first priority setting)
Related: If you’re looking for ways to keep your devices clean without scratching them, we’d recommend the Nikon 8072 Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. They’re cheap and come with a clip-on carry case, so you can take them everywhere. On top of that, they should be pretty good when it comes to cleaning your optic devices without scratching the lenses.
Nikon ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
Weight: 4.4 ounces
Dimensions: 3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9 inches
Specific features: Class 1 laser, compact, 6 yards minimum range, 550 yards maximum range, +/- 1-yard precision, multi-coated optics, long eye relief, class 1 laser, single-button operation, water-resistant, requires CR2 battery
Best use: Rifle hunting, bow hunting, target shooting
The Nikon ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder is one of the most lightweight and compact rangefinders on the market, and it’s perfect for pretty much all hunting applications.
The max range is 550 yards (with a reflective target), though if we’re talking about non-reflective targets, such as deer, 300 is more realistic. It also features a considerable magnification (6x), which is great for making out the details on your target (makes for a clean kill).
Speaking of optics, the 20 mm objective lens is multicoated, which goes a long way to enhancing light transmittance, making the rangefinder usable in low lighting conditions (dusk and/or dawn), in addition to giving a clearer picture than most at its price range.
Now, the Aculon’s being so very small is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, this makes it extremely portable, but on the other, it also makes holding it steady somewhat of a challenge (which affects the ability to lock the target, obviously).
- Fairly inexpensive
- Works wonderfully for hunting
- Lightweight, easily portable
- Somewhat long eye relief (16.7 mm – about 0.65 inches)
- Not ideal for golf
- Some might find it too small for accurate ranging (can’t hold it steady)
Related: If you’re looking for some cleaning products to prolong your rangefinder’s longevity, we recommend getting some Nikon Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes or Nikon 790 Lens Cleaner Fluid Spray Bottle if you already have a microfiber cloth. Both products should work well when it comes to removing dirt from lenses while not scratching the surface of the device.
SIG Kilo 850 Range Finder Monocular
Weight: 5 ounces
Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 3 inches
Specific features: 4x magnification, 20 mm objective lens, minimum distance 1 yard, maximum distance 1,200 yards, wide field of view (43.77 feet at 100 yards), 24 mm eye relief, waterproof, fog proof, requires 1 CR2 battery
Best use: Hunting, golf
If you’re the type of customer that likes to get their money’s worth, then the SIG Kilo 850 Range Finder Monocular might just be the thing for you. The device has a field of view of about 45 yards at 100 feet, which is fairly wide when it comes to rangefinders.
This rangefinder has a non-illuminated black-only optics, which might make it a bit difficult to see in poor light, but it more than makes up for it with clarity (the 4x magnification doesn’t hurt, either).
As mentioned above, the max range on this product is 1,200 yards (with +/- 1-yard accuracy and accounting for angles), but that’s provided it’s a fairly big and reflective target. It won’t lock onto any game at that range.
The approximations for different targets are about 1,200 yards for big rocks, 800 yards for trees, 600 yards for deer, and about 300 yards for coyotes and feral hogs. Given that rarely anyone would take a shot at a buck over 300 yards away, this is more than enough.
- Small and lightweight
- Has true angle yardage
- Very reasonably priced
- Works like a charm at 100 yards and in
- Lifetime, fully transferable warranty (plus a 5-year warranty on electronics)
- Somewhat tough to see in low lighting conditions
- Some might find it too small to hold steady
Related: The Carson Stuff-It Microfiber Cloth may be an appropriate choice when it comes to picking the right cleaning cloth for your optics. Apart from being extremely practical to carry it around, you can also use it to clean your electronic devices as well, as it shouldn’t scratch the surface.
Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Dimensions: 3.9 x 4.7 x 2.8 inches
Specific features: 4x magnification, 20 mm objective lens, single-button operation, class 1 laser (less than 1 mW power output), minimum distance 10 yards, maximum distance 600 yards
Best use: Bowhunting
The Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder may be a bit of an oddity when it comes to power supply, as it uses a 9V battery, rather than the usual 3V CR2. On that note, the purchase doesn’t include a battery, so you’ll have to get some if you want to play with it right out of the box.
On a more serious note, the Volt 600 is a really decent bang for the buck. Granted, it takes just straight line measurements (doesn’t factor in the arc), but it more than makes up for it with being, well, for lack of a better word, cheap.
The optics are still bright enough to make it usable in twilight conditions (dusk and dawn) – the image will be somewhat dark, but you’ll still be able to make a positive identification. On that note, the 4x magnification doesn’t hurt, either.
As for the range, you’re probably aware that the 600-yard figure is taking into account a reflective target. For trees, the yardage is more like 400 yards, while for deer, the number is 200 or less.
- Works perfectly at 100 yards and in
- Perfect for bow hunting
- Comes with a carrying pouch
- Single-button operation
- Takes a few readings to get the correct yardage
- Definitely not meant to be used on a golf course
Related: Unfortunately, the Volt 600 doesn’t come with batteries, so you’ll need to get them separately. We recommend either the Duracell MN1604 9 Volt (2-pack) or the Energizer Ultimate 9 Volt Batteries (2-pack), which are alkaline and lithium, respectively.
Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Golf Rangefinder
Weight: 4.4 ounces
Dimensions: 3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9 inches
Specific features: Minimum distance 6 yards, maximum distance 550 yards, 8-second continuous scan, first target priority mode, weatherproof, USGA compliant, requires 1 CR2 battery, 2-year warranty
Best use: Golf
There’s probably very few rangefinders out there lighter than the Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Golf Rangefinder – at a pitiful 4.4 ounces, this thing is ultraportable. Moreover, being the approximately the size of a satellite phone, it fits right into your shirt pocket.
That said, some might find the Coolshot a tad too small and difficult to hold steady, which will, in turn, affect its accuracy to a great degree. If you’re confident you can manage it, though, it’s really accurate if handled properly.
The First Target Priority mode allows it to focus on the closest of a group of targets, which is great if you’re shooting the beam at a pin with wooded area in the background (a common problem with rangefinders on golf courses).
The range is decent enough – 550 yards max (6 yards minimum), which pretty much covers your worst drives. All jokes aside, though, once you manage to lock onto a pin, the Coolshot will pick up the distance in a heartbeat (deviating 1 yard, at the most).
- Compact and lightweight
- Reasonably priced
- Single-button operation
- USGA compliant
- 2-year warranty
- It might be too small for some, affecting the accuracy
- Made mostly for golf
Related: If you decide to opt for the Nikon Cleaning Combo Kit, you might be pleasantly surprised by the five different amenities that are included. Apart from providing you with the most basic tools to keep your device free of dust, you’ll also be getting some anti-fog cleaning cloth as well as a blower to get rid of even the tiniest of dust particles.
Suaoki Digital Laser Rangefinder Scope
Weight: 7 ounces
Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 2.9 inches
Specific features: 6x magnification, 21 mm objective lens, adjustable focus, minimum distance 4.4 yards, maximum distance 656 yards, speed detection range 0–300 km/h, requires 1 CR2 battery
Best use: Golf, bow hunting
Considering the price tag, the Suaoki Digital Laser Rangefinder Scope comes with lots of unexpected features. Though, considering it’s mostly software, it isn’t as surprising as it appears on first glance.
Before moving to all the various modes this rangefinder has, let’s cover the basics. The max range is 600 yards (of course, assuming you’re beaming it at a reflective target), while the minimum is just shy of 5 yards.
The LW 600 also comes with a considerable 6x magnification, which comes in handy if you’re ranging smaller targets (such as golf pins). It’s accurate enough, with about +/- 1-yard error margin, which is decent enough for most hunting applications.
Now, here’s where things get funky – there 7 modes plus user personalization feature, which might intimidate anyone who’s never used a rangefinder before (or seasoned users who aren’t tech-savvy).
Of the 7 modes (Range, Horizontal Distance, Height, Speed, Flagpole Lock, Golf Distance Correction and Fog), we’d like to highlight the penultimate – Golf distance correction, since it accounts for slope/angles, so you might find it particularly useful on leisure rounds.
- Great value package, competitive price
- Works like a charm up to around 75 yards
- Comes with a lanyard and a carrying pouch
- Battery included
- Nice entry-level rangefinder
- Might take multiple readouts to get an accurate ranging
- The manual is next to useless
- Too many modes
Related: The Horn Hunter Rangefinder Wrap might prove to be a great addition to your hunting equipment. Apart from keeping your rangefinder safe, you’ll also be able to easily attach it to any belt or strap for easier access.
So, there you have it, eight of the most popular laser rangefinders on the market right now. We hope you found something to your liking, or, at the very least, found enough info to be able to make an informed decision when shopping on your own.
Of course, if you feel we left out an interesting model or that some of the items on the list shouldn’t be there, by all means, let us know in the comments, we’d love to discuss it. Until then, happy shopping!