Which rangefinder binoculars are best?
If you’re into hunting or an avid golfer, rangefinder binoculars are a good tool to have in your arsenal. It helps you determine the distance between yourself and any target, improving your accuracy.
There are many rangefinder binoculars, but the right one depends on what you’ll be using it for and which features appeal to you. A good pair of rangefinder binoculars should provide accurate readings and help elevate your performance on the course or finetune your shooting precision in the field.
What you should know about rangefinder binoculars
Hunting vs. golfing vs. marine
Although there are some versatile hybrid binoculars, golf rangefinders are different from hunting rangefinders. The main difference is that golf rangefinders focus on the nearest target and ignore background surroundings. In contrast, hunting and marine rangefinders look for the furthest target and focus beyond other objects, such as bushes and trees.
Hybrid rangefinder binoculars have a distant and close target mode that can be switched at will, making them suitable for hunting and golfing.
GPS rangefinder vs. laser rangefinder
GPS and laser rangefinder are the most popular, and while each has its advantages, it’s a matter of preference. GPS rangefinders are great for providing golfers with the distance to the green’s front, center and back, but they can’t accurately measure the distance between a ball and the flag.
Laser rangefinders can lock onto anything as long as it’s in your field of vision, and they don’t need to be pre-programmed with GPS courses as GPS rangefinders do. They’re also more accurate and often have interchangeable batteries, which means you don’t have to worry about charging them between rounds.
Ultrasonic vs. optical rangefinder
Many hunting rangefinders use laser or GPS technology, but some use traditional optical or ultrasonic technology to measure distances. Optical binoculars use surrounding objects and the depth of the target. Ultrasonic rangefinders deploy a signal to a target and calculate the time it takes to return to itself to determine distance.
Top features to look for in rangefinder binoculars
Durable build and IP rating
Most rangefinder binoculars have a robust build and offer at least minimal protection against dust and moisture. However, the best ones have an ingress protection, or IP, rating indicating how deep and for how long they can be submerged in water before damaging.
It depends on what you plan on doing with your rangefinder, but typically they should be able to deliver an accurate reading of a target anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 yards away. For hunting rangefinders, the further you are from a moving target, the more difficult it is to track it. However, the high-end binoculars use surroundings and other metrics to provide accurate readings that refresh several times per second.
Binoculars offering significant magnifying power are essential for hunters to check out the environment hundreds of yards away. It’s usually specified in the binoculars’ product description as a range. For example, a 10-30x range means that 10 times the magnification is the lowest setting, and it can be adjusted to zoom in up to 30 times.
Incline and decline detectors
Incline and decline technology isn’t crucial for golf because you only require a horizontal distance measurement to the hole, but for hunting, the landscape isn’t always as flat as one would like. Many rangefinders have the technology to measure vertical distances to give hunters a precise reading when working with elevations.
Light passing through binocular lenses can significantly affect your image perception. Because of this, many high-end rangefinders are designed to enhance light transmission to reduce this from happening too much. The light transmission rate depends on glass quality, coating, number of lenses and other manufacturing factors.
Best rangefinder binoculars
Top rangefinder binoculars under $1,000
These binoculars feature ActivSync display technology for morphing out black readings to red tones to provide precise readings no matter the time of day or lighting. They have dual archery and rifle modes, an IPX7 protection rating and exterior lens protection that lets you see targets clearly even in rainy weather.
Sold by Amazon
These binoculars deliver readings at a fast speed of 0.15 seconds and offer accurate measurements up to 1,760 yards. The high-transmission LCD has three reticle options, and the premium all-glass optical lens provides better light transmission than plastic-lens systems.
Sold by Amazon
These high-performance binoculars are versatile enough for golf, hunting and marine-based activities. They have fully coated optics that deliver a clear image, and a sizable ocular lens provides a comfortable viewing experience. They are waterproof and have rugged armor, making them ideal for various environments.
Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Top rangefinder binoculars $1,000-$2,000
These binoculars have an outstanding range of up to 1,900 yards and a crisp OLED display with a four-step intensity adjustment feature. They continuously update measurements every eight seconds and have incline and decline technology for providing horizontal distance readings. Also, they have a rugged build, and the multilayer colored lenses adjust chromatic colors.
Sold by Amazon
This highly advanced rangefinder updates metrics four times per second and sends ballistic drop data through Bluetooth to the reticle for a precise lock-on. It has an advanced, high-definition optical system and delivers impeccable light transmission. Also, it comes with a lens cleaning pen and cloth.
Sold by Amazon
Other binoculars to consider
These binoculars offer 10x magnification and have high-performance Schott glasses for 95% light transmission. They have a durable build, but the optimized lens diameter makes them lightweight. Also, the long translation and the large focus wheel let you zone in on targets with superb precision.
Sold by Amazon
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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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