Rangefinders have evolved from manual mechanical rangefinders that use the distance between the two lenses and the angle formed when the two images intersect which then gives you the actual distance of the focused object. The concept went from mechanical to digital in rangefinder style cameras and now use laser technology to measure the speed of light and how it reflects back to the sensor to give you a moderately accurate measurement but does it automatically and very quickly. You need to have the best laser rangefinder for various tasks such as hunting and analysis.
- Tec TecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder
- Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
- Simmons 801405 Rangefinder
- Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition Laser Rangefinder
- Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder
- Tec TecTec VPRO500S Slope Golf Rangefinder
- Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder
- Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder RRF-101
Tec TecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder
Kicking off the list, we have a classy rangefinder used for golf. When playing golf, you often work with long distances quite a lot, and despite seeing the goal with the naked eye, it’s always best to have an accurate measurement of the distances involved. Having knowledge of the distance from your swing to the hole is an advantage so you can adjust your swing in the process.
Like old school optical rangefinders, laser rangefinders also have limited range. In the case of the optical rangefinder, the maximum distance is governed by the distance between the two lenses from each other. Laser rangefinders don’t have to worry about lens distance, but instead, it has to deal with the power output of the laser beam so it can show an accurate result in various conditions. Since working with light has various external factors to go through, most rangefinders have a limited calibrated certain range; in the case of the Tec TecTec VPRO500, it’s 540 yards.
Made with the golfer in mind, the VPRO500 can accurately track distances up to 540 yards using the continuous scan mode which dynamically adjusts the readout depending on where you point the crosshairs. At a pocketable size of 104 x 72 x 41mm, you can whip out the rangefinder anytime while in the course and stash it back in your pocket once you have an idea of the distances involved.
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
Made by world class camera and optics manufacturer Nikon, the Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder is capable of accurately detecting distances of up to 550 yards. Aside from golf, laser rangefinders can also be used for hunting purposes. Laser rangefinders will give you an accurate measurement of the distances involved. If you’re already familiar with the bullet drop rate of your gun, you can maintain great accuracy by adjusting your aim accordingly to hit your targets effectively.
For this purpose, the Nikon 8397 works well. It has a rugged construction, a water-resistant body and a compact frame that make it easy to use even with one hand. Using their know-how in optics for cameras, you can safely assume that you get one of the best quality optics for the price with a Nikon product. When out on the hunt for big game, the Nikon 8397 is light enough to be hung around your neck for quick range checks and features a bright display with 20-second continuous tracking so you can operate the rangefinder with one hand and only requires a single button press to function.
If you’re out in the field hunting big game or using it for golf, either way, you can bag the gold with the capabilities and proven quality of a Nikon product.
Simmons 801405 Rangefinder
The Simmons 801405 rangefinder is the cheapest laser rangefinder in this list, despite being a sub $100 rangefinder, this device features a long accuracy range of up to 600 yards and even features a 4x magnification. The zoom comes in handy if some situations call for quick zooming to examine an object that’s too far. The display can be adjusted to show increments in the measured distance as well as maintain an accuracy of up to more or less 1 yard.
Like most rangefinders in this list, it also features a compact body that’s designed for one handed use and is light enough to be slung around the neck for quick access when hunting. The integrated LCD shows a clear and crisp indication of the distance to your marked target and shows distances from 10 yards to a maximum of 600 which is the accuracy threshold of the laser sensor.
Priced cheaper than most of the products in this list, the Simmons lack the live tracking feature of the previous two products which isn’t a deal breaker, but you do have to mark a spot over and over again especially if you’re dealing with a moving target. However, while still offering the same compact body and weather resistant sealing as the first two products, for its price the Simmons 801405 Laser Rangefinder is a decent performer among its contemporaries
Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition Laser Rangefinder
The Bushnell brand has been a long running industry leader when it comes to outdoor optics used for both civilian hunting purposes to providing police and military-grade sights and scopes for our men and women in the service. Designed as a hunting rangefinder, you can be sure that the next time you pull the trigger, you’ll end up with a well-placed shot thanks to the accurate information provided by the Bushnell Laser Rangefinder.
As part of the special edition Michael Waddell Bone Collector line, the laser rangefinder is finished with a matte coating and is specially designed with graphics that give the rangefinder camouflage so its silhouette won’t stand out in the forest while hunting which could mean the difference between scoring big and screwing up. The case is made of sturdy and lightweight material that’s also sealed from the elements. The unit is designed for one-handed use by placing the buttons on top and having it easily accessible makes for quick spotting on the fly.
The lens also features a 4x zoom which makes it useful for picking out details when presented with multiple targets that require examination from afar. The laser as an effective range from 10 yards to 600 yards with an accuracy of more or less 1 yard.
Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder
Like the Simmons 801405 laser rangefinder, this product from Simmons is another sub $100 product that delivers a balance of affordability and quality in a single product that won’t disappoint. Featuring a 10 to a 600-yard effective range and the same 4x optical zoom offered by the cheaper 801405, the 80600 is calibrated to deliver the best accuracy for its price range and is guaranteed to give you better results compared to other rangefinders of the same price in the market today. The viewfinder uses quality optics and is paired with a high-quality LCD that seamlessly blends with the main optics to deliver clean and clear information with each operation.
The one handed operation design is easy to hold and operate with one hand. The case is also weather sealed as well as made with sturdy yet lightweight material that resists minor scuffs and bumps as well as withstands major falls and drops that could shatter most rangefinders in the same bracket.
My only gripe about the product is that despite a higher price than the 801405, the Volt 600 still forgot to include a live tracking feature that is very helpful for moving targets. Nevertheless, at a price cheaper than most of the items in the list, it’s still a great value.
Tec TecTec VPRO500S Slope Golf Rangefinder
As the big brother to the Tec TecTec VPRO500, the VPRO500S Slope is considered as a smart golf laser rangefinder thanks to a suite of useful golf-centered functions that give you an advantage over the competition by having accurate information when you need it most.
Using the same optic as the VPRO500, the VPRO500S Slope has the same 5 to 540-yard accuracy calibration, as well as the same weather-sealed sturdy body, simple and easy one-handed operation and continuous tracking mode. What sets the VPRO500S Slope from the VPRO500 is the Slope’s ability to display more helpful information on the viewfinder that’s designed exclusively for golfing. Using the super clear digital LCD that can superimpose an image on the screen, the Slope can show you golfing information. It can show you information such as a slope calculation and display mode, and it can recognize flags from a distance to give the rangefinder capacity to work with overlapping objects such as flags and even the trees and other obstacles that render most rangefinders inaccurate.
The lens is coated with six layers of special coating that’s made to resist dust and scratching as well as maintain pristine image quality. If you’re looking for a dedicated golfing rangefinder, you won’t regret picking up the VPRO500S Slope.
Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder
If you’re looking for better than average magnification which can give you more elbow room for examining targets, the 6x optical zoom capability of the Halo XRT6 laser rangefinder offers the optical capabilities you’re looking for a 600-yard max range laser rangefinder. The 6x optical zoom allows you to take a close look at your targets near max range which will allow you to achieve clean shots that could mean bagging the gold in a competition or going home in defeat if a misjudged shot ruins the whole game for you.
Designed with a compact case that’s smaller than most of the rangefinders in this list, the XRT6 is both light and compact plus ergonomic to hold steady even on the worst of conditions. The front of the case features an integrated hood to deal with glare if a target is in the light or under extreme sunlight. The dual lens design is one less lens than most designs which give the XRT6 its small footprint.
For additional features, the XRT6 has a single button shortcut for tracking which accurately tracks moving targets which allow you to record in real time the movement of your target so you can adjust accordingly to achieve a well-placed shot.
Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder RRF-101
Hunting big game requires a larger and better rangefinder to cope with your sporting needs. If you’re carrying a high-powered rifle that’s capable of longer effective ranges, then you’ll need the elbow room offered by the 1000-yard maximum ranging performance of the Vortex Optics Ranger 1000.
Using high precision optics and high-performance laser rangefinding programming, the Ranger 1000 achieves yard per yard accuracy at up to 1000 yards. The rangefinder is designed to be used not only for sporting purposes, but it can also hold its own as military and police equipment thanks to the rugged armored coating that treats drops, impacts, and scratches like it was nothing. Both the lenses and case are designed to with weather sealing in mind and that the glass is coated with multiple layers of protective coating to prevent scratching as well as moisture and fogging during the most extreme of conditions.
The rubber armor coating is meant to give the rangefinder a shock absorbing outer layer of protection as well as give you more grip when handling the device. Off to the side, the Ranger 1000 has an integrated side clip that makes it easy to holster the rangefinder on and off if you don’t want to use a neck strap that has the rangefinder swinging around when not in use and when you’re on the move.
Since rangefinders don’t come cheap thanks to the amount of technology and expensive development and manufacturing process, it’s up to you to choose which one works for your purposes. Since I’ve compiled my picks that offer features and value, the only thing that separates the items are specialized functions that pertain to the purpose you will have for the laser rangefinder.
If you’re a golfer, then don’t spring for a hunting rangefinder, head straight for the best of the best in this list as it will give you the distinct advantage. If you’re more of a long range hunter, a long range rangefinder is also a good match for you. At the end of the day, it all comes down to you the user and how you will use it. So choose wisely and happy hunting.