When it comes to picking the best rangefinder for hunting that will serve your needs most effectively, it can be a daunting task. There are so many options, features, and new technologies that it can make the selection process frustrating and overwhelming. While the list below is far from including all of the best rangefinder for hunting options out there, we’ve certainly compiled a great list of some of the best rangefinders for bow hunting as well as some of the best rangefinders for long range shooting to compare.
Get one of these amazing rangefinders with a great pair of binoculars, and you’ll have a dynamite setup. Check out our binocular reviews to help you select your next pair of binoculars as well!
Best Rangefinder For Hunting | Field Testing
As we typically do here at Backwoods Pursuit, we field tested each of these rangefinders over the course of a year to help us find the best rangefinder for hunting. Each of these rangefinders traveled into the field with us during spring turkey hunting in the snow, summer elk scouting in June and July, late October rifle hunting in temperatures dipping down to -15. Of course, we couldn’t take ALL of them on every trip, but they all took their turns living in my bino harness next to the binoculars.
Check out Our Video Review of These 5 Rangefinders!
When I’m looking for the best rangefinder for bow hunting, having angle range compensation is a must, and each of these have that feature. If I’m looking for the best rangefinder for long range shooting, having ballistics capability integrated into the unit is a super nice feature to have, and a couple of these rangefinders offer ballistics integration. If you aren’t a long range shooter and just are looking for the best rangefinder for hunting in all different types of situations, from archery to rifle, all of the models below will have you covered. Let’s dive into how each of these performed for us in the field.
Bushnell Nitro 1800 Rangefinder
If you’ve been around for more than a day, you’ve probably heard of Bushnell. They’ve been around a very long time and even been on the forefront of bringing us the feature we all seem to expect in a rangefinder these days: angle range compensation. In fact, my first rangefinder years ago was the old Bushnell Scout 1000 with ARC. At the time, I felt like that was the best rangefinder I could buy being an archery hunter.
That Bushnell Scout 1000 finally died last year (14 years later if I’m counting right), and so I was stoked to add in Bushnell’s latest, greatest addition to their rangefinder lineup; the Bushnell Nitro 1800. While we aren’t going to go into as extensive detail on all that the Nitro 1800 can do in this review, make sure to check out our FULL BUSHNELL NITRO 1800 REVIEW as we dive deep into what it has to offer.
The Bushnell Nitro 1800 rangefinder has you covered for everything, from archery season to your long range shooting needs, and everything in between. One could argue that this little Bushnell Nitro 1800 is the best rangefinder for hunting under $350 given all that it offers. This thing is PACKED with features including:
- Super bright/crisp display
- OLED display
- Lightening fast response time
- 3 reticle options to choose from
- Target, brush, regular modes
- Scan mode
- Angle range compensation (for bow hunters)
- Integrated applied ballistics (through the Bushnell App)
- Bluetooth connectivity
- MOA and MIL ballistic solution display
- Kestrel pairing
- Weight: 5.8oz
The Bushnell Nitro 1800 has a lot more features than those listed, but as you can see you get a whole lot, especially for the price point. I was able to use this rangefinder during both early archery season as well as late rifle season, and it did not disappoint no matter what I threw at it. In fact, in temperatures of -15 degrees Fahrenheit, it performed as well as it did in the summer at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The angle range compensation seemed to work well and the applied ballistics integration was awesome to have.
Another thing I was super impressed with on this Bushnell Nitro 1800 rangefinder was its clarity and brightness. The Scout 1000 ARC was honestly pretty terrible optically and had a super slow ranging speed, so the clarity and brightness of the Nitro was a welcomed improvement. It also was lightening fast returning the range reading for me, even at the edge of its ranging ability. MASSIVE improvement over the Scout 1000!
I did find that I wasn’t a huge fan of having two ranges displayed when in bow mode. The Bushnell Nitro 1800 gives you the true line-of-sight range as well as the angle compensated range in a smaller number below. Until I got use to that, I found myself shooting for the wrong number at the 3D course during summer practice and thought my bow was off until I realized what I was doing. It’s something you’d get used to, but I prefer less clutter in the display than the Nitro 1800 had.
Another thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the plastic feel of the Bushnell Nitro 1800. While this keeps the weight to a minimum, as the Nitro 1800 is one of the lightest of the bunch, it also gave it a more hollow, fragile feel, however, I never had any issues with durability during use.
Make sure to READ OUR FULL REVIEW OF THE BUSHNELL NITRO 1800 RANGEFINDER!
Bushnell Nitro 1800 Rankings
Ease of Use
Bushnell Nitro 1800 Overall Ranking
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder
If you’ve searched for the best rangefinder for hunting you’ve undoubtedly come across the new Vortex Razor HD 4000. The Razor HD 4000 is the latest rangefinder to hit the market from Vortex and it brings a ton of new features. The image quality is insane with nice, rich color contrast. It is super easy to change from mode to mode, has a very ergonomic feel and has extremely durable construction. This thing is built like a tank and feels extremely robust in your hand.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder Specs
The Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder has some really awesome features that make using it really easy. Here are a few of them:
- Phenomenal optics
- Super easy mode switching
- Crisp, clean display
- Very ergonomic buttons
- Super fast ranging speed (out to 1600 yds.)
- Built in angle range compensation
- Built like a tank
- Weight: 9.9 oz.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder: Things I Liked
The Voretx Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder needed to be included in the search for the best rangefinder for hunting as Vortex really stepped up their game with this one. Super fast ranging speed is a huge upgrade for the Vortex Razor HD 4000 as well. Some of the previous Vortex Rangefinders have slower response times than I’d like, but this one was excellent which is why I consider it a best rangefinder for hunting.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Snow Performance
Another thing about the Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder that makes it a best rangefinder for hunting is just how well it performed in a blizzard. On a spring turkey hunt, we ran into a crazy snow storm where visibility was around 700 yards, and I was able to get a range with the Razor HD 4000 out to 650 yards with ease. Pretty impressive because usually in those conditions rangefinders are all but useless.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder Optics
In low light, the Razor HD 4000 was excellent optically and it really shined among this group as a top performer in this area. It was among the best of the group in low light settings as it provided a super clear, crisp and well contrasted image. It’s simply one of the best images I’ve seen out of a rangefinder.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Eye Relief
The Vortex Razor HD 4000 offers some of the best eye relief of this group with an impressive 16-19 mm of eye relief. This is exceptional for a rangefinder and was something that we found to be a real win for the Razor HD 4000.
Easy Mode Switching
One of the features that makes the Razor HD 4000 a contestant for the best rangefinder for hunting is how easy you can switch modes when needed. This is by far the easiest of all the rangefinders in this group, and a super nice feature for those times when you want to switch from “Normal” to “First” to “Last” to “ELR” modes. A simple click of the button and you are there. No holding the “menu” button down for 2 seconds, etc.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder: Things I Didn’t Like
Lack of Adaptive Display
So is there anything about the Vortex Razor HD 4000 that might not make it the best rangefinder for hunting? There were a couple of things that stood out that could be improved. Probably my biggest gripe with the Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder is that the display did not feature an OLED display that automatically adjusted for brightness like others do. I was really disappointed as the optics and display on the Razor HD 4000 are fantastic. Add in an OLED display with its top notch optics and this thing would be dynamite!
Cold Temperature Performance
Anther issue I experienced with the Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder was that at times is seemed to struggle with temperatures below freezing. There were a number of instances where it simply wouldn’t give me a yardage reading until it warmed up a bit. I contacted Vortex about the issue and of course they took care of it and replaced the unit right away. I didn’t experience the same issue with the replacement, but obviously it was concerning that it happened in the first place.
Display Reticle Size
Another thing that wasn’t my favorite about the Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder was the thickness of the reticle. I prefer a nice, small aiming reticle, but the Razor HD 4000 has a pretty thick one that can completely block out your target at longer ranges.
Slow Ranging Speeds At Long Range
Finally, one small thing I noticed was that once I got past about 1800 yards, the Vortex Razor HD 4000 started getting slower returning the yardage and it really struggled to report any yardage at all past 2000 yards. On average, the Razor took about 1.5-2 seconds to return a yardage at distances past 1800 yards, if it could get one at all. This isn’t a huge deal to me as I certainly don’t shoot anywhere near out to 1800 yards, but none-the-less it is something I noted, especially given the “4000” yard indication in the specs. In my experience, I wasn’t able to get a reading anywhere close to that.
Razor HD 4000 Size/Weight
One last thing I am not a huge fan of is just how big and heavy the Razor HD is. While this certainly gives it a well- built, robust feel, it’s definitely heavier than the others we tested, and it feels like it when it’s in your hand.
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rankings
Ease Of Use
Vortex Razor HD 4000 Overall Ranking
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Rangefinder | Best Rangefinder for Hunting
Next up in our search for the best rangefinder for hunting is the Sig Kilo 2400ABS. While the Sig Kilo 2400ABS is a fantastic rangefinder and considered by some to be the best rangefinder for long range shooting, is it also one that can be considered to be a best rangefinder for bowhunting? We gave it a good amount of in-the-field testing over the last year to see for ourselves. At the end of the day, I’m looking for the best rangefinder for hunting, which, for me includes both archery AND some tinkering with long range shooting (albeit far from an expert in that arena). The Sig Kilo 2400ABS absolutely nails it on almost every front for me.
Sig KILO 2400ABS – Specs
What features arguably make the Sig Kilo 2400ABS the best rangefinder for hunting? The list is long, and we won’t be able to cover it all in this roundup, but we’ll hit the high points. First, let’s take a look at some of the highlights and specs you get with the Sig Kilo 2400ABS:
- Great optical performance
- OLED adaptive display (red)
- Crisp, clean display
- Perfectly sized reticle
- Very ergonomic buttons
- Lightening fast ranging speed (out to 2200 yd.s off hand for me)
- Built in angle range compensation
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Integrated ballistics info
- Awesome kit included
- Weight: 7.9 oz.
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Rangefinder – Things I Liked
Sig Kilo 2400 Adaptive OLED Display
One of the features that arguably makes the Sig Kilo 2400ABS the best rangefinder for hunting is the OLED adaptive display. This is an absolute game changer. If you’ve ever been frustrated using a rangefinder in low light where you had to turn down the display, only to need to range something in the afternoon where can’t see the display and have to turn it back up, while then again being blinded by the display during the evening hours having to make the change again, the Sig Kilo 2400ABS might just be the best rangefinder for hunting for you.
The OLED adaptive display automatically adjusts the brightness of the display for the situation you are in. I’ve used many different rangefinders, a couple with an adaptive display and most without. I can unequivocally say this thing is money.
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Display readability
Another thing that makes the Sig Kilo 2400ABS the best rangefinder for hunting is the perfect sizing of the display reticle. For whatever reason, it seems that so many companies make rangefinders that are too large and/or cover too much of the target you are ranging, which makes getting a precise range more difficult. While this isn’t a big deal for closer ranges, once you get into long range targets, the thinner, less bulky display makes a huge difference. The reticle was crisp and great for ranging everything from 10 yds. during archery season to 2000 yds. across the canyon during rifle season.
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Rangefinder Speed
Another feature that sets the Sig Kilo 2400ABS Rangefinder apart from the crowd is its ranging speed at long distances. The Kilo 2400 even scanned ranges reaching out to 2200 yards off hand for me with no noticeable decline in ranging speed. This thing was flat out impressive at long ranges and returned yardages almost instantly from short range to 2200 yards. I was impressed.
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Rangefinder – Things I didn’t like
While there aren’t many things about the Sig Kilo 2400 that pull it from the ranks of the best rangefinder for hunting, there are a few things that I felt could be a little better.
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Optical Quality
Virtually EVERYTHING about the Sig Kilo 2400 Rangefinder is amazing, with the one primary area of improvement, especially given the price point, being the optical quality. While the Kilo 2400 is more than adequate for all of your hunting and shooting needs, it wasn’t quite as good optically as the Vortex Razor HD or the Leupold Full Draw 4.
Given that the Sig Kilo 2400 ABS is more than twice as much as the Vortex Razor HD 4000 and the Leupold Full Draw 4, I was hoping that the Kilo would be at least as good as those, but it just wasn’t quite as sharp of an image. Now, I’ll be the first to say that I’m happy to give up some image quality in a rangefinder if it’ll do all that the Sig Kilo 2400ABS does, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was bummed that I need to.
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Rangefinder – Price Point
Looking for the best rangefinder for hunting? Well, you may have just found it in the Sig Kilo 2400ABS, but you are going to pay for it. The price point on the Kilo 2400 is a whopping $1,299 give or take depending on where you find it, so unless you plan to use ballistics software and long range features, this thing is probably a bit overkill. Other Sig Rangefinder models offer similar features without the long range design at a more affordable price, however, if you like ranging everything from up close and personal with a bow, to reaching out with a rifle, this thing is amazing.
Sig Kilo 2400 ABS
Ease of Use
Sig Kilo 2400ABS Overall Ranking
GPO Rangetracker 1800 Rangefinder
In looking for the best rangefinder for hunting we came across a lesser known company; German Precision Optics, or GPO. While I didn’t quite know what to expect from the GPO Rangetracker 1800, I was excited to give it a try. This little rangefinder is the perfect size to fit in your pocket and is the lightest in the group we tested at an incredible 5.6 ounces while exceeding its stated effective ranging ability. Let’s get into the details.
GPO Rangetracker 1800 Rangefinder Specs
A best rangefinder for hunting is the GPO Rangetracker 1800 Rangefinder which features some impressive specs, particularly its light weight and small size. At just 5.6 oz, the Rangetracker 1800 is feather-light, but feature-rich. Here are some of its specs and features:
- Weight – 5.6 oz
- HLCD black display
- True-range angle compensation technology
- Hyperscan gives 3 ranges per second
- Target seeker (best or last laser hits)
- Super small/compact
- 6x magnification
- Crisp, clear display
- GEO Bright coating
- Over 1800 yd range
You might not look at those specs and say, “That’s the best rangefinder for hunting,” but I’d challenge you to give it a shot. There are a number of features that really stood out during use and testing:
GPO Rangetracker 1800 Rangefinder – What I liked
While the GPO Rangetracker 1800 may not be the overall best rangefinder for hunting if you are looking for the best rangefinder for bow hunting AND the best rangefinder for long range shooting, it is certainly one to consider if you are looking for an all-around fantastic optic that will get the job done in most folk’s hunting situations. From its rapid, ranging speeds to over-performing its ranging distance specs to its weight and feel in hand, this is an incredible little unit.
Size, Weight and Feel
As I mentioned earlier, I LOVED the size and weight of the GPO Rangetracker 1800 Rangefinder. It flat out feels great in your hand, has rubber grips in the right spots, and while it’s super light weight, it doesn’t feel cheaply made. While it’s partially constructed of plastic, it gives you a solid, well-built feel.
I love the display of the GPO Rangetracker 1800. It’s simple and gives you what you need to know to make the shot: an aiming reticle, the yardage, and the angle of the shot. I like a simple uncluttered display, so the GPO Rangetracker 1800 was a perfect fit for me.
Impressive Ranging Performance
Another reason the GPO Rangetracker 1800 is a best rangefinder for hunting option is that it doesn’t just meet the stated ranging ability, but it blows it away! The specs state it will range from “6 to over 1800 yards,” but we found this little unit to return ranges of 2200 yards on a grassy hillside! It even scanned well at that distance for us. We were blown away.
GPO Rangetracker 1800 Rangefinder – What I didn’t like
Even though there are several reasons to put the GPO Rangetracker 1800 in the category of overall best rangefinder for hunting, there are a number of things we felt could have been better:
No Eye Relief Adjustment
Unlike several others in this review, the GPO Rangetracker 1800 didn’t have any eye relief adjustment. That’s certainly not unheard of 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 GPO.
Slightly “Mushy” Feel to the Button
We found the range button to be a little bit “mushy,” but it really wasn’t bad at all. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but I like hearing and feeling the “click” when ranging.
While I love the overall display of the GPO Rangetracker 1800, I really wish it had a red display. The black display makes it a little more difficult to see the readings in low light situations, which is where that red display really shines.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the focus mechanism on the GPO Rangetracker 1800. From time to time, the focus lever would get bumped in between uses while in my bino harness, and I’d pull it up to find it a little out of focus. Adjustment is quick and easy, but it would be nice if it locked into place or was in an area less likely to be moved incidentally.
GPO Rangetracker 1800
Ease of Use
Leupold RX Full Draw 4 Rangefinder – Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting
If you are looking for the best rangefinder for hunting, the Leupold RX-Full Draw 4 is absolutely one to consider. If you are looking for the best rangefinder for bow hunting, you should ABSOLUTELY take a look at the Leupold RX Full Draw 4.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Specs
What makes the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder earn its place in the best rangefinder for hunting category? The short answer is all that it features. Here are some of the specs and features of the Leupold Full Draw 4:
- Crystal clear display
- Super fast ranging speed
- 6x magnification
- Archer’s Advantage Software (angle range compensation)
- NEW Arrow Flightpath Technology
- Scan mode
- 3 reticle options
- 1200 yard max range
With these features, the Leupold Full Draw 4 may just be the best rangefinder for bow hunting. This thing is packed with features that are a bowhunter’s dream.
Leupold Full Draw 4 – What I Liked
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Size and Weight
While the RX Full Draw 4 isn’t the smallest or lightest of the bunch we tested in the quest to find the best rangefinder for hunting, it wasn’t far off. Coming in at just 7.4 ounces and just slighter larger than the GPO (the smallest one we tested), it was the perfect size. Not so small it is hard to handle, and not too bulky. The rubber armor is fantastic as well, as the Full Draw 4 never slipped in my hand during use.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Display
The clarity of the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder is right up there with the best we tested in this search for the best rangefinder for hunting. While amazing optics aren’t the most important thing in a rangefinder, it sure is nice. The Full Draw 4 simply gives you top-of-the-line clarity, color contrast, and low light performance. I also love the red display Leupold put in the RX Full Draw 4. I found the red display to be easier to read in low light than others with a black display.
I love how clean and clutter-free the display on the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder is. You get one number (you can choose angle range compensation or line-of-sight), the ballistic angle (if you have the angle compensation on), the arrow clearance line, and the battery life. It is simple and easy to read.
Leupold Flight Path Technology
The brand new Flight Path Technology from Leupold is something I wasn’t sure about when I heard of it, but after using it for a full season while out archery hunting, I can say it is an extremely useful feature. I found myself constantly checking my shooting lanes for arrow flight clearance to make sure I had a solid setup. I absolutely LOVE this new technology. It’s easy to read and just might save you a deflection.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: What I didn’t Like
While there are so many things that brought the Leupold Full Draw 4 into the best rangefinder for hunting category, there are a few things that I wasn’t a huge fan of.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Non-Adaptive Display
If there was just one change I’d make to the Leupold Full Draw 4 Rangefinder, it would be to add in an adaptive display. I love EVERYTHING else about this rangefinder, but I also HATE having to change the display brightness on my rangefinder out in the field. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. Add in an adaptive display and this would be the best rangefinder for bow hunting that I’ve tested so far, and it would even be in the ranks for the best rangefinder for hunting, as long as you don’t want ballistics integration.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: No Eye Relief Adjustment
It would be nice if the Leupold Full Draw 4 had some eye relief adjustment, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker for me. Personally, it isn’t a feature I need on a rangefinder.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Review: Price Point
Really the only other thing I am not a fan of on the Leupold Full Draw 4 is the price point. I totally understand that this thing gives you the Flight Path Technology that you can’t get elsewhere, but the price it a little on the high side, however, you get an incredible rangefinder in the Full Draw 4.
Leupold Full Draw 4 Rankings
Ease of Use
Leupold RX Full Draw 4 Overall Ranking
Here’s How We Ranked These 5 Rangefinders
Best Overall Rangefinder – Sig Kilo 2400 ABS
The Sig Kilo 2400 ABS was the all-around best rangefinder for hunting of this bunch for its amazing features, integrated ballistics, clean, crisp and adaptive OLED display.
Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting – Leupold RX Full draw 4
The Leupold Full Draw 4 was the best rangefinder for bow hunting of this group for its Flightpath Technology, incredible display, and user-friendly interface. Exactly what bow hunters need when the action heats up!
Best Overall Value – Bushnell Nitro 1800
The Bushnell Nitro 1800 was easily the best value of the bunch featuring integrated applied ballistics for long range shooting as well as angle range compensation for archery hunters, crisp display and lightening fast ranging speed. You get a ton for your money with the Bushnell Nitro 1800!
Best General Use Rangefinder – GPO Rangetracker 1800
The GPO Rangetracker 1800 was the biggest surprise in this group in how it over-performed (ranging out to 2200 yds off hand) with its super crisp, clean display, ultra light weight, and super compact size. It is simple to use and has angle range compensation for archers. I was extremely impressed with this GPO Rangetracker and its an awesome general-use rangefinder if you don’t need applied ballistics integration.
Most Improvements In a Rangefinder – Best Warranty
The Vortex Razor HD 4000 is a massive improvement on previous Vortex Rangefinders I’ve used. The ranging speed is SO much faster than before, the optics are the best of this bunch, and you get a very nice, clean display. It also performed amazingly well in a snow storm easily getting ranges out to 650 yards. Of course your Vortex is also backed by the incredible VIP Warranty.
Best Rangefinder For Hunting | Conclusion
What makes up the best rangefinder for hunting? That’s up to you to decide depending on what your needs are for the style of hunting you do. For me, the best rangefinder for bow hunting was the Leupold RX Full Draw 4, while the overall best rangefinder for hunting was the SIG Kilo 2400 ABS (but you pay a pretty penny for it). The Bushnell Nitro 1800 brought the best value, the GPO Rangetracker 1800 is an awesome all around rangefinder, and the Vortex Razor 4000 was massively improved. Don’t take my word for it, though. Check them out for yourself!
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