If you are looking for a high value rangefinder, take a serious look at the Athlon Midas 1 Mile Rangefinder. This Athlon Midas rangefinder review comes after testing many other Athlon optics and upon seeing the release of this unit, we were thrilled to have the chance to test it out. Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to test a lot of different rangefinders, so we were excited to see how this one stacked up with its attractive price point and killer specs.
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The Testing: Athlon Midas Rangefinder Review
Last fall, we took the Athlon Midas rangefinder out in the field to see how it performed over the course of a season. There’s no better place to see how gear performs than out in the backwoods using it in various conditions. There are a number of things that really stand out about the Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder, but we’ll get into that later.
Having tested quite a few rangefinders over the last several years, including everything from basic units all the way up to some of the best rangefinders on the market, I was very intrigued to see how this Midas 1 Mile rangefinder would stack up. I didn’t expect it to perform like the Leica Rangemaster 3500.com that I also tested this year, but I was especially curious if it would hold its own against something like the GPO Rangetracker 1800 that we recently tested, which has a lot of similar specs but is over $100 cheaper.
Athlon Midas 1 Mile Rangefinder Specs
The Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder is extremely impressive in the specs department, being the lightest rangefinder we’ve ever tested, yet still giving high level features and performance. This is the perfect rangefinder for the bow hunter, as well as the rifle hunter who doesn’t need integrated applied ballistics.
Here are some of its specs and features:
- Weight – 4.75 oz
- Red LCD display
- Angle compensation
- Super fast scan mode
- Small, lightweight & compact
- 6x magnification
- Crisp, clear display
- 5-1700 yd ranging ability
Its crisp, clear, clean display, simple use, insanely low weight, and strong performance makes the Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder a great option for most folks, especially those who are budget conscious and still want great performance.
The Buttons: Athlon Midas 1 Mile Rangefinder Review
The Athon Midas rangefinder is so simple to use and super easy to set up. One easy-to-find button on the top turns the unit on, while the Mode button on the side is used to access the menu. Nothing too abnormal there, but the menu is easy to navigate and straightforward to set up.
Menu Setup: Athlon Midas Rangefinder Review
As mentioned above, the menu is simple, however, there was one aspect that did have me puzzled at first. As with most rangefinders, you can set up yards or meters, display brightness, and what mode you want to use. However, the names Athlon uses for their modes is different and gives you some unique options. You can choose from four different ranging modes:
- Line of Sight (LOS): Off
- Tilt Angle Mode: (T)
- Vertical Distance Mode: (V)
- Horizontal Distance Mode: (H)
LOS (off) Mode: If all you want to see is the actual distance between you and the target, with angle compensation, this is the mode you’d select. Pretty straight forward.
Tilt Angle Mode (T): This one threw me at first as I thought this was the angle compensated mode. It’s not. In this mode, the unit will display the angle at which you are ranging in degrees, one second after the linear distance is displayed.
Vertical Distance Mode (V): The Vertical Distance Mode is very unique and one I’ve not seen in a rangefinder before. With this mode activated, it will first display the linear distance (no angle compensation), then one second later it displays the distance up or down from your position, in yards or meters, rather than an angle. So, if you range a deer at 300 yards and it’s up the hill, it will show you 300 yards, and then say 400 vertical yards up the hill. That’s pretty cool. It will give you a pretty good idea how far up or down you are from the target you ranged.
Horizontal Distance Mode (H): This is the mode you will want to use for most hunting situations as it gives you the angle compensated range, along with the line of sight distance (displayed first). This is a critical option to have as an archery and rifle hunter to make sure your rangefinder gives you an accurate range, taking into account the incline of the shot you are taking.
Athlon Midas Rangefinder Optics
Throughout my testing of the Athlon Midas rangefinder I was very impressed with the optical performance of this rangefinder. While it’s certainly not anywhere close to the optical brilliance of the Leica Rangemaster 3500.com, it certainly more than holds its own in its price class. In fact, for the price point of the the Athlon Midas rangefinder, this thing is quite incredible. The image is clear and bright and more than sufficient for most of hunting needs. The field of view is a bit narrow, but that’s not a huge deal to me in a rangefinder.
Athlon Midas Rangefinder Display
I love the clean and clutter free display of the Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder. After having tested a lot of different displays, this is most definitely my preferred style. When I’m preparing for a shot, especially in an archery situation, I don’t want a lot to think about. An easy to read display takes one factor out of the equation. With that being said, I wish that the Midas 1 Mile didn’t first display the line of sight yardage and then one second later give you the angle compensated range. I’m honestly not sure why they set it up this way as most people only care about the angle compensated range if they’re using that mode.
This setup reminds me of the Leica 3500.com as it functions the same way, and I had the same complaint about that unit as well. It simply doesn’t make sense for an archery hunter to have to wait an extra second to get the angel compensated range. This can cause confusion or, if you are in a hurry, could cost you precious time you might not have.
See How The Midas Works In This Video
Scan Mode: Athlon Midas Rangefinder
The scan mode on the Athlon Midas 1 Mile is super impressive. In fact, it very much reminded me of the Sig Sauer Kilo rangefinder we tested a few years back in how quick and responsive it is. Some rangefinders give you two or three ranges per second, but this thing gives you a nearly instant return when scanning. Super impressive!
Ranging Capability: Athlon Midas Rangefinder
The Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder did what it advertised as far as ranging capabilities. For me, I was able to consistently get over 1700 yards off hand on non-reflective targets like the side of a hill or a tree. The specs say it will range a deer at 800 yards and reflective targets out to 1700 yards, so this little unit massively out-performed its specs for me. Since I use a rangefinder 95% of the time on non-reflective targets (3D archery shoots, hunting, etc), this is the most critical performance piece for me, which it absolutely excels at. The reflective ranging abilities come more into play if you are shooting long range steel targets or something similar.
Overall Performance: Athlon Midas Rangefinder Review
The Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder was a very impressive unit that performed well above its price point. Its super fast readings were extremely impressive, and it never let me down. It does have its limitations on ranging capabilities, so if you’re into extreme, long range shooting, this won’t be the best rangefinder for your needs, however, its performance optically, and from a range-finding standpoint, will more than meet most people’s needs in a rangefinder.
What I liked: Athlon Midas Rangefinder Review
As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE the size and weight of the Athlon Midas rangefinder. It feels great in your hand, is rubber armored, and gives you a good grip. It does have more of a plastic and hollow feel as the housing appears to be a molded plastic (I’m not 100% sure if that’s the case though). This is one of the tradeoffs and reasons why this is the lightest weight rangefinder we’ve ever tested. The plastic, hollow feel certainly didn’t bother me, but it’s probably not going to be the most durable unit out there. That said, Athlon absolutely stands behind their products with their Gold Medal Warranty if you ever did have a problem with it.
I love the display of the Athlon Midas 1 Mile Rangefinder. It’s simple and gives you what you need to know to make the shot: an aiming reticle, the yardage, and either the angle, vertical distance, or angle compensated range (depending on what mode you are using). I like a simple uncluttered display, so this was a perfect fit for me. I do wish, though, that it didn’t cycle through the line of sight reading before the angle compensated range when in the Horizontal Distance Mode.
Impressive Ranging Performance
The Athlon Midas rangefinder did what it said it was going to do and more. Was I really surprised coming from an Athlon product? Not really. Athlon Optics have performed extremely well throughout our testing of different optics.
What I didn’t like: Athlon Midas Rangefinder
Even though there are a ton of reasons to love the Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder, there are a number of things I felt could have been better:
No Eye Relief Adjustment
Unlike several others in our big rangefinder review, the Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder didn’t have any eye relief adjustment. That’s not uncommon in a rangefinder, but it would have been nice to have it available. On the other hand, that’s one of the weight savings you get with the Midas 1 Mile rangefinder, which is one of the things we love about this Athlon rangefinder.
Slightly “Mushy” Feel to the Button
I found the range button to be a little bit “mushy.” I prefer a nice crisp click when the button is pushed, but this has a softer feel to it. Certainly not a deal breaker, but something I felt could be better. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but I like hearing and feeling the “click” when ranging.
Large Reticle Display
While I loved the red reticle of the Athlon Midas 1 Mile rangefinder, I found it to be a little too large, particularly for longer range shooting with a rifle. It’s absolutely fine for the archery application, but if you are wanting to try to get a range on a small target, it’s a bit of a challenge with the bulky circle this unit has.
The focus mechanism of the Athlon Midas could have been a bit tighter and not so easy to move. A number of times, when using it in the field, I pulled it out of my Marsupial Gear rangefinder pouch, only to find that the eye piece had turned on me and it was out of focus. That can be frustrating if you are pulling it out in preparation for a shot. It would be nice if it offered more resistance, or better yet, locked into place.
Athlon Midas Rangefinder Rankings
Ease of Use
Conclusion: Athlon Midas Rangefinder Review
If you are looking for a fantastic value in a rangefinder, look no further than the Athlon Midas 1 Mile. This gives you just what you need in a rangefinder to get the job done, but it’s not overly complicated. It’s super compact, easy to use, and performs extremely well, particularly for its price point. While it’s not the best rangefinder for long range shooting, the reality for most is that they don’t need that in a hunting situation.
Check out the Athlon Midas 1 Mile and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
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