A quick look at popular online hunters’ forums reveals just how divided the hunting community is about rangefinder binoculars. While some consider them, unnecessary others view them as useful.
Regardless of which side of the divide you fall, there is no denying the benefits of these optical devices, irrespective of their shortcomings.
So, do you really need a pair of rangefinder binoculars?
Especially considering they are some of the costliest optical devices out there. Well, it all depends on what you want and need. For long range hunting investing in the best rangefinder binoculars will be ideal. The reason being that rangefinders struggle with accuracy beyond certain ranges particularly the 1000-yard mark.
Also, there is the added advantage of reducing your hunting gear load. With all this in mind, there are certain things you need to know before purchasing a rangefinder binocular. These are the things I will be discussing in this article as well as reviewing the best rangefinder binoculars for hunting.
To help you make things easier for you when you go shopping for a rangefinder binoculars combo, I did an extensive research on all the important specs you need to know. The research entailed speaking with real users of these binoculars as well as experts.
Additionally, I have used some of the binoculars reviewed below. Thus, I also took into account my own personal experiences and needs as a hunter.
Before jump into the review part lets do a quick comparison of my top picks!
Quick Comparison Of Best Rangefinder Binoculars for Hunting
Leica 10x42 Geovid HD-B Laser
Nikon 16212 Laser force 10x42
Vortex Optics LRF300 Fury 10x42
Swarovski 10x42 EL
What To Consider
From my research, I compiled a comprehensive list of all the important specifications you need to look at when buying binoculars and rangefinder combo. These specifications are the main factors you should consider when buying a rangefinder binocular. So, without any further ado let us get into it.
On average, rangefinder binoculars cost between $1000 and $ 4000. In other words, they are not cheap. So, if you are investing $1000 in a product, it must be one that lasts. Therefore, the number one thing to consider is durability.
The durability of a binocular depends on the material it is made out of. Most modern binoculars are constructed using a magnesium alloy. However, this is not enough to guarantee longevity.
As such, look for binoculars with a rubberized coating. The work of this rubberized coating is to protect the binoculars from knocks and bumps. Apart from a rubberized coating, the best rangefinder binoculars for hunting should be waterproof. It would make zero sense to have a $1000 binocular that cannot withstand a little downpour or be submerged in water.
Magnification and Objective Lens
Whether you are buying a normal or a rangefinder binocular, the magnification and objective lens will be an important aspect to consider. Most rangefinder binoculars have a magnification of between 7X and 10X.
Ideally, since you will be using your binocular for long range glassing, you will want a 10X magnification of a 7x. With regards to the objective lens, a 10X magnification is best paired with a 42mm objective lens. Anything smaller than this and the binocular will have a low field of view. On the flip side, anything bigger than 42 mm will be too bulky to handle outdoors.
Size and Weight
One of the reasons why rangefinder binoculars combo are disliked by certain hunters is their weight and size. Rangefinder binoculars are generally larger and heavier than traditional binoculars.
That being said, if you will be using your binoculars for long periods of time find the lightest. On average these types of binoculars weight 30 ounces and above. Thus, a binocular that weighing 30 ounces will be an ideal choice. Alternatively, you can use a tripod to counteract the weight of the binocular. For this happen to ensure the binocular you select is tripod adaptable.
Comfort and Ease of Use
Closely related to size and weight is comfort and ease of use. These two aspects will depend on the design of a binocular. To make it easy to use the best rangefinder binoculars should have ergonomic designs. This means having grooves which you use to grip with both hands comfortably. Furthermore, control knobs such as the diopter should be large enough to turn easily. Small knobs will be uncomfortable to turn especially with gloves on.
Maximum Range Distance
One of the primary functions of a rangefinder binocular is to give you an idea of how far away a target is from you. As such, the maximum range distance will be another important factor to consider.
By definition, the maximum range distance is how far the binocular can give accurate readings. Some can give accurate readings from far off as 2200 yards.
However, this is according to their manufacturers. It is worth noting that a manufacturer’s information regarding range is not always accurate. However, a binocular that can give you accurate readings from a distance of more than 1000 yards will do.
The range finding capabilities of a binocular will depend heavily on the quality of glass and prism used. Since rangefinder binoculars need to display the range clearly, manufacturers apply layers of coatings on their lenses.
Thus, the more the layers of coating and lenses the clear the readings are. The flip side to this is that by adding more coatings, they interfere with the brightness of the lens. As such, rangefinder binoculars are not as bright as conventional binoculars. Nonetheless, the difference is not noticeable and thus is not a deal breaker.
As I have already stated, rangefinder binoculars are not cheap. Nonetheless, their prices vary. When shopping for one, it is wise to have a budget. Also, consider the features you are getting for the price you are paying. You can find binoculars costing $1000 but offer the same features as those priced at $2000. In such a scenario it only makes sense to go for the $1000 model.
For example, Nikon products are generally cheaper than Leica products. However, it is not to say that Nikon’s products are inferior in quality. On the contrary, Nikon produces high-quality products at affordable prices. On the other hand, Leica uses sophisticated technologies in their products hence the extra cost.
Rangefinder vs Rangefinder Binocular Combo
Before I get the best binoculars with rangefinder reviews, let me first get back to the age-old debate of rangefinder vs rangefinder binoculars combo. This is a debate that I do not think will end anytime sooner. And my take is that it really depends on what you want.
For bow hunting, you are better served with a rangefinder since you will be aiming at animals at close range. On the other hand, for long range go with a rangefinder binocular combo.
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages of both options. For rangefinder binoculars, the cost is a big issue. For starters, you invest a large sum of money on them. Secondly, should you happen to lose your rangefinder binocular, you will lose both tools. Nonetheless, a rangefinder binocular offers more convenience and long-range accuracy.
A rangefinder, on the other hand, is lighter than a rangefinder binocular. Also, rangefinders cost less as stand-alone devices. Nevertheless, they are not accurate in the long range. Also, they only do one function and still have to be used together with a binocular.
Overall, if you are a bowhunter who hunts from a blind, a rangefinder will be sufficient. On the other hand, if you want to target far off targets a rangefinder binocular is recommended. Thus, it all depends on your needs as a hunter.
Best Rangefinder Binoculars Of 2018
Now it is time to introduce the best binoculars with rangefinder. I have selected these binoculars based on their performance, construction, and cost.
Leica 10x42 Geovid HD-B Laser Range Finding Binocular
One of the priciest rangefinder binoculars on the market is the Leica 10X42 Geovid HD-B. A look through this binocular’s lenses, and it is clear a lot of cash was invested in it.
According to some of the binocular’s users, I interacted with; it is years beyond its time. And with its unique Perge Porro prism design, it's not hard to see why.
This unique Porro prism design combined with a powerful 10X magnification gives you an impressive field of view of 342 feet. Its range finding capabilities are also a marvel of technology.
In addition to the line of sight distance, you also get information on temperature and atmospheric pressure.
- Is capable of range distance of between 10 to 2200 yards
- It is completely waterproof and is actually submersible
- It is durable and impressively tough
- Comes with customizable ballistics compensator function
- Comes with a unique and ergonomic design
- It is extremely pricey but worth every penny
- It relatively heavier than other binoculars
When you think about Leica range finding binoculars, the price is probably the first thing that comes to mind and rightly so. This brings me to the question, the new Leica Geovid worth its hefty price tag? Well, when you consider what you are getting it is.
There are very few manufacturers that can match Leica's mastery of optical technology. And as such, with the Leica Geovid, you are getting a binocular whose technology is nowhere near that of your average binocular.
Nikon 16212 Laser force Rangefinding Binocular Spotting Scopes
Sure, Nikon’s ability to produce top-notch optical tools is unquestionable, but is the manufacturer able to maintain the same quality when it comes to rangefinder binoculars? This is the question I sought to answer when I was testing the Nikon 16212 laser Force binocular.
As you might have expected, the glass on this binocular is excellent. The image quality was superb as is with most Nikon optics.
So, what makes this binocular so special and worth a place on my list?
Well, it's range. According to Nikon, the Laser Force has a range of 10 to 1900 yards. But based on my observation, the Laser Force has a range of 10 to 1100 yards. Now before we all accuse Nikon of lying it is worth noting that the manufacturer indicates the 1900-yard range as is for reference. Additionally, the 1100 yards range distance is pretty impressive.
- It is tripod adaptable to improve its stability
- Great for viewing long range targets
- Comes with an impressive field of view
- It is waterproof and fog proof for durability
- It is relatively a bit pricey but a great choice on this price range.
- Weighs 32.9 ounces making it relatively bulkier
To be honest, there is not much difference between this Nikon offering and binoculars from other manufacturers such as Swarovski.
Nevertheless, when you consider price, this pair of Nikon rangefinder binoculars is a bargain.
It costs almost double less the cost of a Swarvoski model with the same features. Thus, while it does not offer anything special, its price makes it worth it.
Vortex Optics LRF300 Fury 10x42 Binocular LRF
The Vortex Optics LRF 300 Fury offers the same features as all the other binoculars in this list. But what sets it apart from the rest on this list is its size, weight, and design.
Impressively, the Fury manages to accommodate all the essential features without compromising too much on size and weight. Measuring 5.79 inches by 5.9 inches, I found the fury to be quite compact for a binocular of its caliber.
Additionally, it's 31. 8-ounce weight cannot be compared to that of its rivals. Also, unlike other similar binoculars, the controls of this binocular are on the right and not the left side. Now, this might not seem such a big deal but if you are a right-handed bow-hunter it is.
- Comes with protective objective lens covers
- Is fitted with a comfortable neck strap
- You get a padded deluxe carry case included with your purchase
- Is compact for a rangefinder binocular
- Weighs less than most of its competitors
- Has a longer close distance focus of 20 ft
- The distance is not always accurate
It is rare to find a compact rangefinder binocular. Thus, the fact that Vortex managed to achieve this with the Fury is an achievement in and itself. Furthermore, this binocular comes with all the features of other top rangefinder binoculars. Also, the fact that all controls are on the right-hand side makes things easier and more convenient.
Swarovski 10x42 EL Range Binocular
When it comes to rangefinder binoculars, there are very few that come close to matching the phenomenal performance of the Swarovski 10X42 EL range binocular. One of the best rangefinder binoculars today, this masterpiece is in a league of its own.
One of the standout features of this binoculars is the aiming circle and read out. These two appear on the two separate barrels. The LED aiming circle appears on the right eye while the readout on the left. To make it easy to use Swarovski installed diopters on both rings.
- Has a range finding distance of between 33 to 1500 yards
- It is both water and fog proof
- It is tripod adaptable to make it more stable
- The LED aiming circle and readout appear on separate barrels for convenience
- It is extremely expensive
Costing upwards of up to $ 3000, the Swarovski EL Range binoculars is not your ordinary binoculars. It has all the features of rangefinder binoculars and more. And while its price can be a turn-off, it is a well worth investment. This is especially when you consider all its amazing features.
Finding the best rangefinder binoculars for hunting is never easy. For starters, different hunters need different kinds of binoculars. While the Vortex Fury will be preferred by a bow hunter, the Swarovski might not appeal to bow hunters. Therefore, when you are looking for the best binoculars and rangefinder combo, you must consider your primary weapon. Nonetheless, as is evident from the above binoculars with rangefinder reviews, there are binoculars to suit everyone. And the above-reviewed qualify to be termed the best rangefinder binoculars.