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Getting the right rangefinder binoculars can sometimes seem like an impossible task. Sometimes you see them go for hundreds or thousands of dollars and think that there aren’t any options that are more affordable. Or you’ve seen some that carry high price tags but don’t live up to expectations.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Our reviews of the best rangefinder binoculars show you what you should really be paying attention to when shopping. We cover the best and worst qualities of several, so you can find one that meets your needs, within your budget.
Our buyer’s guide is designed to help you get the information to make a good selection, even if you’ve never owned one of these great devices before. That way, you can get a great deal on a set you’ll love.
|Leica 10x42 Geovid HD-B 3000 Rangefinding Binocular|
|Nikon LASERFORCE RANGEFINDER Binocular|
(Best for the Money)
|Vortex Optics Fury HD 10x42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular||3 lbs||4.4/5|
|Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder||2 lbs||4.2/5|
|ZEISS Victory RF 10x42||6 lbs||4.1/5|
If you’re looking for the best rangefinder binoculars for hunting or target practice, you’ll love the Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B 3000 Rangefinding Binocular. This model comes with excellent 10x magnification, which gives you a decent field of view at long range but also provides the magnification you need to spot deer and even smaller animals. It also works up to 3000 yards away, which means this set has fantastic range. It has a lightweight magnesium-alloy chassis, which is roughly as strong as steel, at a fraction of the weight.
What really sets this model apart, however, is its ABC Ballistic Compensation System. Tell the binoculars what kind of bullets you’re using, and it will calculate the angles required to hit the target, making shooting that much easier. The one thing we think could be better is the weight. Even with the lightweight magnesium-alloy shell, this monster weighs 4.4 pounds. It’s hard to imagine what it would weigh with a heavier shell. However, if you’re looking for a pair of rangefinding binoculars that will make the hunt easier and don’t mind a little extra weight, these will serve you well.
The Nikon LASERFORCE RANGEFINDER Binocular is another great pair of rangefinder binoculars from a great company. Nikon has long been known for its optics, but this set shows that its laser technology is up to par as well. This model can range deer out to 1200 yards and can detect trees 200 yards beyond that. It also gives you readings in .1-yard increments up to 100 yards away. After that, it gives readings in 1-yard increments. This pair of rangefinding binoculars is also both waterproof and fogproof.
However, the best thing is its low price. It’s roughly as good as the top choice on our list, but you can get it for about one-third of the price. That makes this pair the best overall value for the money here, so if you’re looking for a great product at a great price, this is the one you want. The only issue is the rubberized outer coating, which is prone to attracting dirt and grime. Still, if you’re looking for great binoculars that give you a ton of value for the price, these qualify.
The Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular does some things well that other rangefinding binoculars don’t. For instance, it has brightness settings, so you can use it comfortably during the day and at dawn and dusk while lowering your power consumption. It’s waterproof and fogproof, so it’s safe to use in wet conditions. You can focus both eyepieces and the reticle independently, so you get images and overlays that are as clear as possible, no matter what your vision is like. There aren’t many binoculars, especially at this price point, with that feature.
These rangefinding binoculars also have angle-compensation technology, which is especially useful for bow hunters, but pays dividends for all kinds of hunters. However, this model can’t crack the top two due to underwhelming clarity. Both the image and the reticle aren’t as clear as our top picks. The poor image quality makes it hard to find your targets and range them successfully, which is a pretty big problem for a rangefinder. For most people, it’ll make sense to get one of the other binoculars available at a similar price point.
The Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder is from a storied brand and lives up to that name in a few ways. It has an extremely long range for a rangefinding binocular at its price point. Since it can detect objects up to 1760 yards away, you’ll be able to spot objects very far off. It’s also waterproof and fogproof, so inclement weather won’t force you to leave this great tool at home. Despite its long range, it offers accuracy to within one yard at all distances.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to get this set to lock onto a target if it isn’t well-lit. If you’re hunting or target shooting in the woods, it can be hard to get the rangefinder to give an accurate result. It also has a poor-quality rubber cover that sometimes falls off the binoculars. That’s a pain to deal with, and you’d hate to lose it while you were out in the woods. This is a decent rangefinder, but if you want one that performs in all conditions, you won’t be happy with this one.
The ZEISS Victory RF 10×42 comes at a premium price. The good news is that it has the features to live up to those expectations. It has automatic brightness adjustment, which can save you a lot of time in the field. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can connect it to ZEISS’ smartphone app, where you can save information about the firearms and ammunition you use. That allows the rangefinder’s Ballistic Information System to help guide your shot and give you the information you need to make accurate long-range shots.
While this is a good pair of rangefinding binoculars, we can’t rank it higher than fifth on our list. For one, they cost more than our top choice, despite the fact that you can get most of the features that come with this model on more affordable rangefinders. It’s also heavy. At more than two pounds, you’ll notice the weight while you carry it around, and it can wear on your neck. Overall, this is a good pair of binoculars, but the very high price means it’s not going to be good value for most people.
The Steiner Laser Rangefinding Binoculars LRF 1700 is another high-priced rangefinder that falls short of its lofty price. It’s waterproof and fogproof, so it’s always safe to use outdoors, and it can survive submersion in water for short periods of time. It also has a long range. Since it can measure out to 1859 yards, there are few targets that will be able to elude this device. It focuses automatically, so you won’t have to worry about making adjustments.
These rangefinding binoculars weigh three pounds. You have lighter options, and most people will be better off with one of those. This one also has poor lens covers. They sometimes pop off, and they don’t always get a good seal, so moisture sometimes gets inside and collects in front of the lenses. That’s a tricky problem to solve and can lead to your lenses getting smudged, lowering your clarity. You don’t have a lot of ways of fixing the problem in the field. This isn’t a tool that many people will like in the long run, which makes it a poor choice given the price.
The Swarovski 10×42 EL Range Binocular / Laser Rangefinder is a high-priced set that doesn’t live up to its price in many areas. On the plus side, it does have a high-quality magnesium-alloy chassis, which is both lightweight and durable. These binoculars are nitrogen-filled, so they won’t fog up if water ever gets inside. However, this rangefinder has underwhelming range. It’s only capable of detecting reflective objects at 1500 yards and has an effective range far shorter than that. Given that it’s not as good as the competition in this area, it’s not great value for the money.
It’s also hard to get good customer service if anything goes wrong. The company is generally hard to reach, and frequently non-responsive, which makes it very hard to resolve any problems you have under warranty. Given these serious problems, it’s hard to make the case that this model is worth the price. This is a tool that will leave most people feeling like they got ripped off. The good news is that you can get better rangefinding binoculars for less money.
While many users focus on the rangefinder half of rangefinder binoculars, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good pair of binoculars at the same time. If you can’t scan the distance effectively, you’ll need to carry a second pair of binoculars.
We recommend that you get a binocular with between 8x and 10x magnification. Any more, and it’ll be hard to hold them still enough for the rangefinder to work. Any less, and you won’t get enough magnification to spot animals at long range.
You’ll typically want larger lenses. The bigger the lens is, the more light it lets in, and that leads to sharper detail and makes it easier to spot animals. Wider lenses also lead to a wider field of view, which is useful at long ranges.
While the optics are important, it’s still a good thing to get a good rangefinder. However, something every rangefinder user needs to consider is how often they’ll need distances in excess of 1000 yards. Most people need far less than that, especially when they’re shooting. It can also be very difficult to keep your hands steady enough to mark targets long enough to measure the distance when they’re further away than 1000 yards.
While many people are interested in models that use information about your setup to help calculate bullet or arrow trajectories, these systems are largely found in high-end rangefinders, so it’s a good feature to drop from your list if you’re looking for something lower-priced.
Durability is important in every product, but it plays a special role with devices that will be used outside and possibly in wet weather. The best rangefinder binoculars on the market are waterproof and fogproof. Otherwise, they’ll fog up in humid weather.
They also need a durable outer shell. Aluminum, steel, and magnesium shells all work well, providing different mixes of weight and strength. Never get binoculars that come with a plastic case. Drop that too many times, and it cracks, or it bends just enough to let water in, ruining the binoculars.
You’ll also want a set with durable accessories, like a neck strap and case. While these are sometimes replaceable, for the price you have to pay for rangefinding binoculars, you’ll want accessories that last.
The Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B 3000 Rangefinding Binocular is our favorite due to its good magnification, incredible range, and magnesium-alloy chassis. The second-place Nikon LASERFORCE RANGEFINDER Binocular is excellent at close range, has a good overall range, and is waterproof and fogproof. The low price makes it the best value for the money on our list. Third place belongs to the Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular, which has brightness settings, an angle-compensation mode, and independent focusing. Its underwhelming clarity keeps it out of the top spots.
The Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder takes fourth place with its long range and good accuracy, but its struggles in dim light and poor-quality rubber coating hurt its value. The fifth-place ZEISS Victory RF 10×42 has automatic brightness adjustment, is Bluetooth-enabled, and has a ballistic information system, but its high price and weight make it poor overall value. The Steiner Laser Rangefinding Binoculars LRF 1700 are waterproof and fogproof and have a long range, but the high weight and poor lens covers put them in sixth. The nitrogen-filled Swarovski 10×42 EL Range Binocular / Laser Rangefinder has a magnesium-alloy chassis, but its underwhelming range, high price, and poor customer service combine to drop it to last place.
We hope these reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you learn about rangefinder binoculars, and have helped you find some that are right for your next hunting expedition.
Other types of binoculars we’ve reviewed:
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