The Best Hunting Rangefinders According to Taylor

For many, hunting is a way to spend quality time in the great outdoors, and, when successful, a great way to put food on the table.  Adding a quality rangefinder to your trusty rifle can increase your chances of coming home with more than a story about the ones that got away.


When looking for a new rangefinder, the three main factors to consider are clarity, accuracy, and range.  Once you’ve established your needs in terms of these areas, you can decide what, if any, optional features speak to you.  Quality rangefinders can start at a few hundred bucks and go all the way up to over a thousand dollars, so understanding your budget limitations is important, too.  No need getting your heart set on a model that you just can’t afford.

Clarity, as you’d probably guess, refers to how clearly you can see targets through the rangefinder lens.  Exceptional clarity means you can make out more details, which can help you line up your best shot.  Some models lose clarity at greater distances, even if those distances are within the advertised range.

Accuracy is a pretty simple concept, too.  A rangefinder that claims you can see a target from 1,500 yards away doesn’t seem so great if it only offers an accuracy level of about 70%.  Does it really help if you can see that big ol’ buck but can’t rely on your rangefinder to accurately tell you how far away he is?  Paying more for a longer range is a waste if you can’t get matching accuracy.

Range, of course, refers to how far away the rangefinder can “see” potential targets.  Most models offer advertised ranges of between 500 and 1,500 feet.  The type of hunting you intend to do will determine whether you need the longest range (combined with great clarity and accuracy, of course) or if you can get by with less range.

Once you’ve got these areas squared away, consider how models handle different ambient light situations.  Some models will perform well in lower-light situations like expeditions into the woods and dusk or dawn hunts.  Other models are best suited to bright sunshine or snowy whiteout conditions.  Still others are great for nighttime hunting.  Be sure you research how any models you consider will handle your lighting needs.  There are definitely some high-quality models that work in any light conditions, so you should be able to find a model that works for you even if you’re the type who likes to hunt anywhere, anytime.

If you often find yourself hunting in snowy or rainy weather, make sure to look for models that are water resistant, or even waterproof.

More advanced rangefinders feature the ability to make compensations for ammo, slope, and wind.  Ballistics compensation features make recommendations that correspond to basic data you input about the ammo you’re using.  Since you aren’t always level with your target, some rangefinders are able to calculate the angle between you and the target to help you get the best shot lined up.  Since wind can definitely affect trajectory, hunters who often face windy conditions often opt for rangefinders that take wind speed and direction into account when making calculations.

In addition to functionality, consider a rangefinder ease of use and portability, too.  Some models have to be mounted on a tripod–certainly not ideal for every hunter.  Some are very small, but too small can be a problem, too.  Cold or gloved hands can have a hard time fishing a small rangefinder out of a pocket or gear bag.  Making sure your new tool is easy to carry and use can mean the difference between a new tool that you actually use and just another piece of equipment that gets left behind.  If you want a rangefinder/scope combo, you can find a reliable model that will mount to your rifle.  Just be sure to know what configuration your rifle can handle and whether the mounting kit is included or will need to be purchased separately.

Armed with good knowledge about what makes a rangefinder effective is a great way to get what you need without wasting your hard-earned dough. Now go to to find the best rangefinder for hunters.