You, the discerning hunter, have stumbled upon the definitive guide to the best rangefinders for hunting of 2022. You’re lucky, too, because the internet is an abyss of lousy information and computer nerds trying to sell you something.
Our writing is exclusive to what we know: our passion for all things hunting. That passion drove us to write up this in-depth guide to the best rangefinders for archery, bowhunting, and long-range rifle shooting that money can buy.
We poured through countless different rangefinders with our first-hand knowledge, read expert opinions on forums, Facebook groups, and YouTube reviews. From our research, we’ve whittled down the list to 13 of the best on the market.
Are you searching for the best no-frills budget rangefinder? We have you covered. Ready to invest in a top-of-the-line bowhunting rangefinder for archery season? You came to the right place. Do you need the best long-range shooting rangefinder of 2022? Done. Thinking of switching things up and getting a slick new set of rangefinding binoculars? We’ve got some recommendations for you as well!
We review top brands like Sig Sauer, Bushnell, Leupold, Vortex, GunWerks, and more. There are options for every budget and hunting style, so stick around.
Table of Contents
- Why Picking the Right Rangefinder Matters
- Best Rangefinder for the Money
- High-End Rangers for Those Who Leave Nothing to Chance
- Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting & Archery
- Best Hunting Rangefinding Binoculars
- Best Rangefinders for Long-Range Shooting
- Best 1000-Yard Rangefinder
- Budget Rangefinder Under $200
- Cheap Rangefinder Under $100
- FAQs About Rangefinders
- Rangefinder Reviews from Big Game Hunters
- Final Thoughts: Rangefinders for Hunting
- More Gear & Product Resources
When I began hunting as a young boy, I didn’t have fancy gadgets like rangefinders. Heck, I was lucky to wear some hand-me-down orange vest from my older brother. But, today, as a life-long outdoorsman, I’ve come to enjoy some of the finer things in life. I even have my own vest these days.
Hunting success is about putting together all the right pieces at the right time to make an ethical, accurate shot. Few gadgets are as crucial to that process as a precise and reliable rangefinder. The importance of determining your shot distance accurately can’t be overstated.
When I reach my hunting spot, I immediately take out my hunting journal and record accurate ranges for all possible shot opportunities. This data gives me an upper hand in heat-of-the-moment situations because I’ll be confident in the distance of my shots.
You can use these recordings for close-range bow hunting and long-range hunting and shooting; a quality rangefinder helps in each situation. Whatever type of hunter you are will determine how powerful a rangefinder you will need.
We’ve chosen a rangefinder for the first section that lands perfectly at the intersection of quality and value. The gadget listed here has been thoroughly reviewed, tested, and determined to be the best bang-for-your-buck. If you need a no-nonsense rangefinder for hunting and don’t want to break the bank, this is your best bet.
Range: 1,800 yards
Objective Lens: 22 mm
The Vortex Ranger 1800 is suitable for both bow and rifle hunting as well as long-range shooting. This widely-trusted gadget made the list because of its reliability and high ratings. We feel it’s the best selection for the price because:
Vortex glass provides a lifetime warranty, which is real value!
I’ve owned a pair of Vortex binoculars, and the eyepiece broke off during a hunt. I sent them in, and Vortex had a new pair shipped to my home within a week. Because of that experience, I don’t lose any sleep peddling their products. You can feel comfortable with this purchase too.
So how well does this thing work? The Vortex Optics Ranger ranges accurately to 1,800 yards! It’s also excellent at adjusting for low-light conditions due to its three reticle brightness settings that match ambient light conditions. This is a needed feature for hunters who hunt during twilight.
- Pros: Waterproof, easy to use, good for low light, incredible warranty
- Cons: Inability to range some non-reflective surfaces past 550 yards, may not be the best for ballistic range as it measures in whole yards
The two rangefinders in this section will certainly punch you in the pocketbook, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for.” If you’re the type of hunter who has to have the latest and greatest, this section is for you.
Range: 8,000 yards
Objective Lens: 25 mm
Boy, have I had my eye on this bad boy for a while now! This may be the year that I finally test drive the marvelous Sig Sauer KILO8K-ABS rangefinder. I’ve bought a bit of high-end glass over the years, and I feel that this may be the missing piece in my repertoire.
The KILO8K-ABS comes with all you could ever ask for. From an 8,000-yard reflective ranging capability to Bluetooth BDX, you simply can’t get any better than this when it comes to compact handheld rangefinders. It blows the competition out of the water (and it’s not even that close).
Yes, it’s a little pricier than your average ranger, but this isn’t an average piece of hunting gear. I’d put it in the same category of far more expensive long-range shooting rangefinders, but it’s much more compact and easy to use on the fly.
- Pros: Feature-rich and can range 2-3x other handhelds on this list, well constructed and heavy-duty, integrated waypoints with Garmin, works with kestrel units allowing for integrated ballistics, has too many features to list!
- Cons: May be overkill for the average hunter, pricey
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Range: 4,000 yards
Objective Lens: 25 mm
After a reader, Cory, commented on this fantastic rangefinder from GunWerks, we couldn’t help but add it to the list. It is another fantastic, feature-rich ballistic rangefinder that meets the mark.
The Revic BR4 is similar to the Sig Sauer listed above but doesn’t have quite the same range. I reckon that 99% of shooters and hunters won’t notice the difference, though, as the Revic BR4 can accurately range out to an impressive 4,000 yards. Not bad for a handheld.
This compact beast has me drooling. Sure, it’s highly rated and thoroughly reviewed, but what sets it apart is its data-rich display that helps shooters determine wind and elevation adjustments on the fly. I’m dying to get my hands on one of these to try out.
Combine this with a 10x magnification (best on this list), and you’re left with one ultra-useful piece of equipment that takes the guesswork out of long-range and short-range shots.
- Pros: Features that are out of this world, advanced ballistics, ability to store multiple profiles, unmatched display data
- Cons: The only bad thing I can think of is that I don’t own one yet!
If you’re an archery sport shooter or a bow hunter, a rangefinder is absolutely vital. It’s non-negotiable, so don’t even think about hunting without one! Not only will you need a quality rangefinder, but you’ll need one with angle compensation, a.k.a. bow mode.
Angle compensation is the change in measurement from the line-of-sight distance to the actual distance with the angle of your shot accounted for. I understand this may not make sense if you are a new bowhunter, so here’s a picture from Vortex Optics that explains it better than I can.
Along with angle compensation, there are other essential features that a good rangefinder for bowhunting must have, like fast-ranging, waterproofing, and the ability to range well in low-light situations.
Most archery shot opportunities present themselves during the first 30 and last 30 minutes of shooting light. That’s why you must have something that’ll range well when the sun is close to the horizon.
It’s also critical that your rangefinder can range quickly. The reason being is that every microsecond counts when an animal presents you with a shot opportunity — the quick and the dead. Some rangefinders can take three seconds to show you a reading, and in the world of bowhunting, that’s 2.5 seconds too long!
We considered all these factors and made three recommendations for rangefinders that are good for bowhunting and archery. I’ve also included a budget option for those bowhunters just getting started.
Range: 1,200 yards
Objective Lens: 22 mm
The new 2022 Leupold RX-FullDraw 5 has all the industry-leading features of its predecessor, the RX-FullDraw 4, such as the ability to input your arrow weight, velocity, and peep height which will show you exactly where your arrow will fly and what obstacles may exist.
Version 5 has added features such as fog mode and the ability to lower its input thresholds, making it more useful for recurve or traditional shooters.
Its lightning-fast range time helps you save precious seconds when setting up for your shot. Although a bit more expensive than other options on this list, you get what you pay for when it comes to optics.
You’re paying for all the bells and whistles when you buy the RX-FullDraw 5 rangefinder. It’s perfect for the skilled hunter who wants to give themselves the absolute best advantage they can while hunting.
- Pros: Amazing bowhunting functions, easy to see through the crystal-clear glass with fog mode, unmatched in low light, lightning fast
- Cons: A bit pricey, may be a bit of overkill for beginners still learning the sport
Range: 1,200 yards
Objective Lens: 25 mm
If you’re looking for an entry-level rangefinder for bow hunting, here it is. This trusty gadget from AOFAR is an excellent budget option for bow hunting newbies and those looking to save some cheddar. Yes, it’s inexpensive, but that doesn’t make this a cheap archery rangefinder by any means.
The AOFAR HX-1200T still has the same features mentioned above, such as angle compensation, accuracy, and quick range time, but for a fraction of the cost. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t Sig Sauer, but it’ll do the trick nonetheless.
The HX-1200T is well-reviewed on Amazon, and many users report being surprised that such an affordable rangefinder can perform so well. This is excellent news for many entry-level hunters as they don’t have to break the bank for this piece of gear.
- Pros: Inexpensive, accurate, reliable
- Cons: Flimsy plastic housing, may not survive a drop, harder to read screen against dark backgrounds, hard to use in the dark, experienced hunters should consider a more durable option
Range: 850 yards
Objective Lens: 24 mm
The Bushnell BoneCollector is super easy to use and does everything you’ll ask of it without the hefty price tag of other devices on this list. The truth is, for many hunters, this is all they’ll need.
It is a perfect choice for middle-of-the-line bow hunters and packs a similar punch as other more costly options on this list. Its reviews are excellent, and users report that it’s truly waterproof, easy to use, and durable.
One thing I love about the BoneCollector is its one-button operation. That means you get the reading you need without fumbling around and trying to figure out which button to press.
Again, precious milliseconds can mean the difference between a clean shot and a hurried one. Lastly, it has a 24 mm objective lens, which lets in plenty of light and makes for a crystal clear picture.
- Pros: Relatively inexpensive, a trusted brand in optics, targets dark objects easily, fast range time
- Cons: Users report having a hard time in low-light situations, only good to 850 yards, not an equitable option for long-range rifle hunting, magnification is only 4x, leaves a bit to be desired for anything past a few hundred yards
Alright, enough horsing around! We wrote this section for the discerning hunter that wants to invest heavily into their hunting optics. If you’re willing to spare no expense for dead-accurate ranging, look no further.
Range: 3,000+ yards
Objective Lens: 42 mm
The Sig Sauer KILO3000 BDX is one beast of a hunting gadget. It not only accurately ranges to 3,000 yards but also has integrated ballistic technology, making it an incredible handy rifle hunting and long-range shooting tool.
These can pair seamlessly with Sig Sauer rifle scopes and accurately determine ballistics like bullet-drop over a distance. That data is then sent via Bluetooth right into the reticle of the rangefinder. We also like these binos’ hyper scan feature, which allows you to range hillsides or multiple targets four times per second.
Wow, hunting tech has sure come a long way over the last few years.
If you aren’t sold already, Sig Sauer features an unlimited lifetime warranty that is transferable to anyone who owns them. In our opinion, this creates massive value to assure that if anything happens to this expensive piece of gear, your butt is covered.
- Pros: Lifetime warranty, suitable for one-handed operation, excellent scan mode, advanced OLED display
- Cons: Some users say it’s a little bit heavy in their pack, you need to be an advanced hunter/shooter to take advantage of the features
Range: 5,000 yards
Objective Lens: 42 mm
Like the previous recommendation, these rangefinding binoculars pack a powerful punch. They’re highly accurate, angle-compensating glass that take the guesswork out of long-range shots.
The “AB” in the name refers to advanced ballistics. When paired with the Vortex app, this becomes a powerful tool for long-range shooters looking for top-notch ballistics and shooting data. These advanced electronics take windage, weapon caliber and grain, and other vital factors into account for those long shots.
As mentioned above, Vortex has top-of-class customer service, and if anything ever breaks on these bad boys, you can send them back to Vortex, no questions asked.
- Pros: Ranges up to two miles, great for archery and rifle hunting, lifetime warranty, has an adapter for a tripod for long-range shooting and glassing
- Cons: A bit pricey, this version may be too advanced for novice hunters; they offer this same model without the ballistics capabilities for considerably less money
Range: 3,200 yards
Objective Lens: 42 mm
We saved the best glass for last here. I had the privilege of using these Leica Geovid 3200s on a few hunts last season, and let me tell you: these are the cream of the crop when it comes to rangefinding binoculars.
What sets these binoculars apart is the Leica glass, which is in a world of its own entirely. “Unmatched image quality” are three words that come to mind.
Per Amazon, “The patented Perger-Porro prism system and state-of-the-art glass types deliver exceptionally bright, color-neutral images with unique three-dimensional plasticity and provide excellent contrast and maximum light transmission.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
But that’s not the only bit of technology. Leica has a newly created hunting app that pairs nicely with a cellphone via Bluetooth. This feature provides angle compensation and ballistic information that reads directly to the Leica OLED.
- Pros: Unmatched optical quality, excellent for low-light conditions, great in inclement weather
- Cons: Expensive, users report a learning curve, and the instruction manual leaves a lot to be desired
Long-range shooting and hunting are challenging sports because you must account for several factors, like distance, angle, wind speed, temperature, and barometric pressure. To accurately shoot at a distance, you’ll most certainly need a long-range shooting-capable rangefinder with all these features and the ability to account for ballistic information like cartridge size and grain.
If you’re a long-range shooter, you simply can’t skimp on your rangefinder, and unfortunately, there aren’t many budget options for such powerful gadgets. But then again, long-range shooting is an expensive sport, and I bet you’ve already figured that out by now!
Range: 3,260 yards
Objective Lens: 28 mm
The Vectronix Terrapin X rangefinder is one of the most widely-used options among skilled and professional long-range shooters. With it, you get all the toys from applied ballistics to highly accurate and fast-ranging capabilities.
It’s so good that Vectronix also produces it for both military and civilian use. With a maximum range find of over 3,200 yards, you can tell why Uncle Sam gives it his seal of approval.
Reviews report an unmatched crystal-clear view and ease of use. Another long-range shooter review says, “This rangefinder is perfect. Life is too short for cheap rangefinders.” For long accurate applied ballistics, this unit pairs via Bluetooth to a Kestrel unit.
- Pros: Extremely durable, military-grade strength, compact, perfect in low-light situations, tripod ready
- Cons: Expensive
We included this recommendation for the no-frills, no-fuss hunter that just needs a simple but quality rangefinder that is great for 1,000 yards or less. Look no further than the Vortex Ranger 1000; it comes highly rated by countless life-long hunters.
Range: 1,000 yards
Objective Lens: 22 mm
Vortex Optics makes the list of 2022’s best hunting rangefinders for the 3rd time with their Ranger 1000. This 1,000-yard model is the gold standard for those hunters looking for something that will work and has all the functions and features they need and nothing more.
If you didn’t read the other Vortex reviews on this post, know that Vortex Optics has unmatched customer service and a lifetime unconditional warranty, which provides excellent value, especially for someone looking to spend less than $200.
This exact model regularly makes “best of” lists on other hunting blogs, and when you consider the price and capabilities, it’s easy to understand why.
- Pros: Easy to use, easy-to-read Red OLED, fast range time, fast scan feature
- Cons: Bare-bones and no-frills features
If your budget is limited and you’re looking for the best bang for your buck under $200, we’ve got you covered. While the Vortex Ranger 1000 above also fits the bill, the following recommendation will undoubtedly work out for you, as well.
Range: 1,000 yards
Objective Lens: 22 mm
Simple, affordable, accurate. There’s not too much more to say about this Halo Z. I own one personally, and it has all the features I need (and none that I don’t).
While it doesn’t have the same warranty as the Vortex Ranger 1000, it certainly has all the features. This reliable piece of gear is surprisingly functional, ergonomic, and durable. If you need a no-frills rangefinder that does what you want it to do at an affordable cost, get this budget buy from Halo Z.
- Pros: Inexpensive, durable, water-resistant
- Cons: Lacks advanced features, some report an occasionally hard-to-read OLED
You’re unlikely to find advanced angle compensation mode and 3,000-yard rangefinding capabilities at this price point, but that doesn’t negate your need for a rangefinder altogether. That’s why I’ve included a low-cost but decent-quality option for those newer to the sport and those taking a bare-bones approach to assembling their hunting kit.
Range: 800 yards
Objective Lens: 19 mm
Like the other AOFAR rangefinder on this list, the HX-800 is a helpful and powerful little gadget. But, perhaps most importantly, archery hunters report highly accurate shots courtesy of its angle compensation feature.
While this ranger is helpful, it’s also cheap and a bit plasticky. It leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to add-ons and bells and whistles, as well, but it gets the job done in the end. Ultimately, you should be able to squeeze a few seasons out of the HX-800 before you’re ready for an upgrade.
- Pros: Inexpensive
- Cons: Made overseas with minimal customer supper and may not last several hunting seasons, overall worth the risk at less than $100
There are several different routes you can go when choosing your next rangefinder. Your decision will come down to asking a simple question: How much can you afford to spend? Just because your budget isn’t $1000 doesn’t mean you can’t find something that will work well for you.
How Does a Rangefinder Work?
Typically, a rangefinder consists of nothing more than a viewing monocular and a laser. Think of it like a bullet leaving a rifle, hitting its target, and then bouncing back to the gun. The laser in your rangefinder works a lot like the bullet; when you press the button on your rangefinder, it shoots a laser beam to the target and then returns to the rangefinder to give you a distance reading.
Nowadays, rangefinders do a whole lot more than that. An advanced rangefinder will provide you with ballistic information and the proper distance of your shot, with the angle of the shot taken into account.
How Much Should I Pay for a Rangefinder?
Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s cheap, if you know what I’m saying. There’s no reason you can’t find success with a rangefinder under $200. With that said, many top-quality brands with all the bells and whistles can run you upwards of $1,500+.
We think it’s important to look at the whole range of prices, so we’ve accounted for every budget.
What Makes a Good Rangefinder?
We’ve ensured that each of our recommendations holds the same high quality, reliability, and durability standards. It also really helps to have angle compensation, which is a fancy way to say accounting for the angle of your shot. Angle compensation enables you to adjust your shot for distance.
At a minimum, the products on this list must meet these other criteria:
- Must range to at least 800 yards: We consider this the bare minimum
- Water-Resistant: You are hunting with it, so it’ll probably get wet
- Sturdily Built: No plasticky gimmicks!
- Good Magnification and Optics: You want to be able to see what you are ranging clearly
What are Rangefinding Binoculars?
Not to insult your intelligence, as you’re might already aware of what rangefinding binos are, but we have some novice hunters who read our blog, so we have to break things down into simpler terms. Rangefinding binoculars combine two critical pieces of hunting gear — the rangefinder and the binoculars.
While pricier than buying each individually, a good pair of rangefinding binoculars will save room in your pack and save precious time when ranging and glassing for animals.
We asked for the honest opinions of two lifelong big game hunters about which rangefinder brand they use for hunting. These guys routinely harvest elk and deer yearly, so we tend to look to them for advice when buying a new gadget. We want to share their valuable experience with our readers.
“Any rangefinder is good IF it will calculate angle on the fly for you. Especially helpful for archers. Leica makes some 10×42 binos with rangefinder capabilities down to seven yards. I’d trade up and buy those — one complete lightweight package deal — if it were me. If money is the biggest issue, Bushnell used to run a special for $299 for a laser rangefinder 1000 yard/Arc pro, meaning it will show angle and calculate distance; this package also came with binos. I’m running a Leupold rangefinder right now and bought it because it goes out to 4,000 yards. It was helpful mountain goat hunting last year to see how far we needed to close any chance at a shot.”
– Lance Fitzgerald – Owner, “Aspen Camouflage LLC”
“The only rangefinder I carry and have always recommended to other hunters is the Vortex Ranger 1000. I’ve harvested more big game animals than I can count, and this rangefinder does everything I need to gain an advantage in the field. It’s reasonably priced, and Vortex has exceptional customer service. Look no further.”
– Kyle Clarke – Lifelong big game hunter on multiple continents
If all goes as planned, you’ll get an opportunity to take a shot at an animal this season, but will you have what it takes to rise to the occasion? Preparation is vital, and having the right gear — like one of 2022’s best rangefinders — could give you that extra advantage you’ve been looking for.
Hopefully, you leave this article with a better idea of which rangefinder you need for your upcoming hunt in 2022 and beyond. There are hundreds of different options on the market, and we gathered the 13 best for hunting just for you. From brands like Vortex, Sig Sauer, Leica, Bushnell, and AOFAR, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re a long-range shooter, an archery hunter, or are simply looking for the best high-end rangefinder money can buy, then look no further than the options above. We would never steer our readers in the wrong direction and we’re confident that any of the hunting rangefinders on this list will help you immensely during the 2022 season and beyond.
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