Best Rangefinder for Bowhunting in 2019. Reviews & Analysis

 

Top Bowhunting Rangefinders Reviewed and Compared

 

Looking for the best rangefinder for bowhunting? If that’s the case, you’ve ended up in the right place. Following an extensive research that has involved going through hundreds of bowhunting rangefinder reviews, we came to the conclusion that the one you ought to keep in mind is the Vortex Ranger 1800. This unit is a precise optical instrument that is convenient and easy to use, while also boasting effective precision. There are three brightness settings that you can choose from depending on the light conditions of the environment. Also, this model comes with fully multi-coated lenses, which should give you a pointer as to whether it can transmit light efficiently or not. It’s also been equipped with a rubber armor to prevent slips and other such mishaps. If this particular product is no longer in stock, we would advise going for the next best choice, the Bushnell 202442.

 

 

Comparison table

 

 

 

Our top choices

 

Even if we can’t choose the best bowhunting rangefinder for you, we can at least point you in the right direction. Our selection below comprises some of the most critically acclaimed models we were able to track down, most of which are extremely good at doing what they’re supposed to.

Should you be interested in doing a little reading on other types of hunting gear, we would advise you to check out our posts on great hunting binoculars, reliable hunting headlamps, as well as high-quality bow sights.

 

 

Vortex Ranger 1800

 

One of the things that makes this model stand out from the crowd is the fact that it is outfitted with fully multi-coated lenses. What that means for you, as the end-user, is that you will enjoy superior light transmission. Additionally, the product comes with o-rings, which means that it will withstand the abuse of the elements. You can use it even if it rains and you don’t need to worry about its performance being affected.

On top of everything, the Ranger 1800 comes with an intuitive menu, as well as a clean display, which makes it very easy for you to tell what your target is going to do and how to best locate it in comparison with the rest of the surroundings. The 6x magnification boasted by this alternative makes it a great choice for rifle and bow hunters alike.

Since it is both lightweight and compact, it’s safe to say that you won’t have any trouble carrying this optical device around your neck. The box includes a neck lanyard as well as a removable utility clip. Many users praise its accuracy and according to them, it works exactly as advertised.

Pros

Unlike some of the other units we have analyzed to perform our research, this one boasts o-rings, which means that it is entirely waterproof and can withstand the abuse of the elements.

The 1,800 yard maximum range works for rifle and bow hunters alike, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from using your favorite weapon of choice.

The lenses of this rangefinder are fully multi-coated, which means that the light transmission is on par and that you’ll see your targets clearly and vividly.

Besides, the menu is intuitive and the display is easy-to-read, making using this rangefinder an experience to look forward to.

Cons

Some owners say that the buttons on top can be a little confusing at first.

It’s not one of the most affordable units ever to have seen the light of day, so it calls for a significant investment.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($349)

 

 

 

 

Bushnell 202442

 

If you have been searching for a model that does wonders when it comes to tracking targets that are in motion, it’s a good thing you’re reading this review as this Bushnell unit should be right up your alley. The 4x magnification makes this choice more than capable of raising up to par when it comes to your bowhunting expectations, and the fact that it is capable of tracking distances between 7 and 850 yards is an advantage in itself.

You’re quite likely to enjoy getting your hands on this rangefinder since its non-slip surface makes it almost impossible for you to drop it, even if it’s pouring outside.

Probably the best thing about the 202442 is the ClearShot feature that it is equipped with. This interface is actually capable of telling you whether you have a good chance of hitting your target or whether the environment has too many obstacles for you to do just that. And we all know how you probably don’t want to hit any obstructions, right?

Compared to some of the other options in the same line, this one is not waterproof. Instead, it is rainproof. Since it is highly unlikely for you to go diving with your rangefinder on you, there doesn’t seem to be any problem.

Pros

The ClearShot feature that this model comes equipped with is one of the niftiest we’ve ever seen as it can tell you whether you should wait and track the moves of your target instead of risking to hit obstacles.

The 4x magnification of the Bushnell 202442 makes it a great unit for bowhunting given that sometimes, it’s better to stick to lower magnifications due to a wider field of view.

The non-slip surface boasted by this model makes it possible for you to extend the life of the product by preventing mishaps such as slips.

Since it is rainproof, you can use this optical device even in inclement weather and you don’t have to worry about it affecting its interior components.

Cons

The readings within the lens are black, and so it is difficult to read the yards and all the other information especially in the evening hours or early morning.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Bushnell 202208

 

Having been specifically designed for hunters, this rangefinder works well both for rifle and bow hunters. Since it weighs just under 10 ounces, it is lightweight and portable, and the design is also compact enough to allow you to maneuver it comfortably and carry it around your neck.

The best thing about this model is that it’s built like a tank. It is both waterproof and rugged and it has a good chance of withstanding the test of time. With an objective lens of 20mm and a magnification of 4x, it’s safe to say that this tool is going to be one of your efficient helpers in getting a clean kill as often as possible.

The LCD screen illuminates in low light conditions, and so you won’t have any trouble reading it even at dawn or dusk. One thing that might bother some users is that the brightness of the display cannot be adjusted depending on the preferences of the customer.

It does have a somewhat lower range compared to other models, meaning you can use it within the 10 to 600 yard one. To switch between the two measurements, meters and yards, you need to shut off the device completely.

Pros

If you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford to spend more than two hundred bucks on a laser rangefinder for your bowhunting endeavors, the Bushnell Bone Collector might be a suitable alternative.

The weather-resistant housing boasted by this option renders it capable of functioning even in inclement weather.

It’s nice to know that this product weighs less than 10 ounces and that it boasts a compact and user-friendly design as this will allow you to focus on your hunting performance a lot better.

The 4x magnification of this alternative is great for bow hunters as you will be able to enjoy a wider field of view, thereby being able to track targets that are in motion.

Cons

There’s no angle measurement, so the unit is definitely lacking functionality in this respect.

Some users note that changing the battery can be challenging.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.95)

 

 

 

 

Simmons 801600T

 

Yet another notable option is this one from Simmons. It has a 10-yard to 600-yard range, so it is more than suitable for bowhunting purposes. The accuracy of this optical device is said to be excellent given that it can have errors of just one yard.

As is the case with some of the other models we have analyzed, this one can measure the distance in yards and meters, so it is fit to use by North Americans and by people living in the rest of the world. The 4x magnification along with the 20mm objective recommend this product to bow hunters who want to make the most of their outdoor experiences.

The LCD display that the Simmons 801600T has been outfitted with will tell you the exact distance to your target as long as it is located within the 10 to 600-yard range. All that you have to do is tap a button to have this information shown on the screen. It’s that easy.

Last, but not least, it’s worth adding that this model, too, is weather-proof, so you won’t have any reason to worry about its resilience in bad weather.

Pros

The 4x magnification of the Simmons 801600T should give you the reassurance that it is a good rangefinder for your bowhunting purposes.

The 10 to 600-yard range is satisfactory and when it comes to ease of use, this model’s a winner as all you have to do is tap a button to see the distance at which your target is located.

The compact, vertical design boasted by this alternative makes it a very convenient choice among archery hunters.

Simmons’ unit is outfitted with their unique Tilt Intelligence feature that apparently is capable of telling you the true horizontal distance to your target.

Cons

Shaded targets cannot be ranged as effectively, so you might experience some drawbacks when using this device in low light conditions.

Based on the info we’ve found about this product, the tilt function works only to 99 yards, which makes this device less suitable for rifle hunting.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($115.99)

 

 

 

 

Halo XL450-7

 

If you’re hard-pressed to save a bit of cash and you can’t afford to spend all that much money on a rangefinder for your bowhunting pursuits, the Xl450-7 might be a reasonably good option. One thing we do have to mention, though, and it’s that the maximum range of this device is just 450 yards, so you won’t be able to use it for rifle hunting.

It does provide more than adequate results in situations that involve using your bow or when you want a dependable unit for golfing, for example. If the surface is not reflective, the 450-yard range can actually become lower, being estimated at around 300 yards.

The unit is accompanied by a wrist strap and a CR2 battery. The case is not included with the purchase, so you will have to get it separately. What’s somewhat odd about this unit is that it comes with a 6x magnification in spite of the range limitation, which should make it good enough for all types of hunting.

One positive thing about it, though, is that it is water-resistant. Besides, it’s rather compact and weighs just around 5 ounces.

Pros

Probably the most important advantage ensured by this product is that you won’t feel a lot of strain around your neck since it weighs just 5 ounces and it is relatively compact.

Since it is highly affordable, you will not have to break the bank to purchase this particular rangefinder.

Some of those who have reviewed it say that they haven’t encountered any issues with this device even if they are glass wearers.

Using the product is more than straightforward as all you have to do is push the button and the distance is displayed instantly on the screen.

Also based on the consumer reports acquired by this choice, it is fairly accurate.

Cons

It doesn’t perform great in poor lighting conditions. The display is also hard to read in bright sunlight or before sundown.

The 450-yard maximum range is a limitation that you have to take into account.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($82.26)

 

 

 

 

Buying guide

 

What makes a good rangefinder for bowhunting? If you can’t know for sure or this is your first time shopping in this line of products, we thought we might give you a helping hand. The guide below will let you know the factors that you ought to consider when you’re trying to separate the wheat from the chaff within the broad array of archery rangefinders available for sale today.

While you’re reading about this, maybe you would like to find out new things about selecting a brand new hunting scope or an effective hunting GPS. We’ve also written extensively about trail cameras, as well as hunting flashlights.

Magnification

When you’re in the market for optical devices, it is very tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that bigger magnification is better. After all, that’s the general rule when it comes to most everything else, right? Well, the fact of the matter is that this is false in the case of archery rangefinders.

A 4x magnification will be better than a 6x one simply because you’ll have a broader field of view, which will give you the opportunity to focus on your target without feeling like you’re being blocked by bushes and trees.

 

Range

Here’s where the saying ‘the bigger, the better’ actually works. For archery and bowhunting applications, you will require a range of at least 800 yards if the target is a reflective surface. Of course, that doesn’t happen in the wild, and that is why we would recommend getting the rangefinder with the longer and most accurate range that you can afford.

Many bow rangefinders have less range compared to their rifle counterparts, but it’s still worth doing a bit of research on this topic.

 

Ease of use and interface

Some of the models we have come across these days can be really smart and they can even tell you whether you have a clear shot or not. Obviously, these are way easier to use compared to dated models where you didn’t have the chance to make any accurate estimations.

The screen of the unit has to be large enough so that you can comfortably read all of the information displayed. The colors should be crisp and the image ought to be as clear as possible so that you can make the difference between the environment and the prey.

Optics

You might have noticed that binoculars, scopes, and other such optical devices usually have specs that clearly state the type of coating boasted by their optical components. Why is this important?

Every lens loses about five percent of the light that goes through it if there’s no coating whatsoever. Poor optics can lose as much as 35% of the light that’s going through the objective, whereas a high-end design with multiple coatings can minimize that to 5%.

Fully multi-coated lenses are the best because they are the most effective when it comes to allowing the light to go through the optical components and into your eyes. On the other hand, lenses that are advertised as just being coated or fully coated are at the lower end of the spectrum because they do not have enough layers to ensure adequate light transmission. These you’ll find in many cheap bowhunting rangefinders.

The higher the number of coatings, the higher the price of the model. If you enjoyed reading this article, we suggest you check out some of our other guides such as those we’ve written on hunting socks or quality hunting gloves.

 

 

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