Contributors to this thread:
Range Finder-what’s your recommendation?
I’m looking for a new range finder. I will be using it for elk, deer and turkey hunting. Here’s my wish list but I’m flexible on some of them. What would you recommend for the following?
$300-400 (+/-) Angle compensation Bright read out for aging eyes Measures to the yard only no half yard Scan mode, not necessary Able to use in Low light Anti fog Scan through weeds/branches Waterproof Not heavy Thanks Long battery life
I like my Sig Kilo 2200. I believe it checks most, if not all, of your boxes. It definitely has angle compensation and I think it's very readable. within your price range, at least at the time I bought it 3-4 years ago.
Ditto on the Sig Kilo 2200...bought mine in 2018.
I'm still a fan of Leupold. I haven't used the Sig but Leupold is hard to beat.
I am a big Vortex fan-I have the Razor and love it!
I have a vortex and not a fan. Very slow getting a reading.
Got mine on Camofire. Very happy with it.
Got mine on Camofire. Very happy with it.
For the price rage Halo has some good ones I've used and liked, Bushnell has a couple as well. I currently use the Vortex Ranger 1800 and so far really like it, quick response and bright.
The Leupold RX1600i that BC lists above in the photo is a great rangefinder for bowhunting, but does read out in tenths of yards...very useful for "surveying" around the property and not a distraction at all for me bowhunting,
As per scan mode, that Leupold also reads out angle corrected yards in scan mode...very useful when you want repeat readings to verify yardage on a critter when you are stalking. Just hold the button down and bounce several readings off the critter (once per second) to verify distance, whether he is moving or still. You avoid shooting to false reading that was the result of a branch, shakey hold (excited with critter there, etc). I use scan mode all the time...even "surveying" distances around the yard.
I have the one in black that BC has. No complaints. As others said it has range adjusted mode. It’s a good bow rangefinder but I also use it coyote hunting and gives good quick readings at 400-600 yards.
Leupold fits all the criteria. It's what I've been running for 10+ years and have zero complaints. Red LED, extremely quick target aquisition/readings, good glass, and angle comp.
Leupold 1000i for me as well, no complaints. I will say the Leupold's do get some really bad reviews, which surprises me because mine's been great for many years.
I DO NOT recommend the Leupold RX 1400i. I had the higher end 1200TBR (aluminum housing) for many years with no problems but sent it in recently due to the display fading so bad. They informed me they don't warranty range finders like scopes...and all they are able to send out now are the piece of crap 1400i's. The front part of the housing already fell off and it's 3 weeks old.
It’s a range finder for bowhunting. Angle compensation and readability is really all that’s to consider. There are lots and lots of models and brands that fit that criteria. I use a bushnell.
I beg to differ. Big differences between rangefinders for bowhunting, especially under low light conditions. Owned a Bushnell and two Nikons prior to the SIG...absolutely no comparison. SIG offers 7X25 coated lens, pinpoint aiming circle with hyperscan and red LED for easy low light readouts. Never owned a Luepold. Like Pat said, when narrowing the field, found too many concerning reviews.
Sig kilo 2200. Fast read out, red display. On my oryx hunt I ranged 5x before my friend got one reading with his swaro RF. The red display is awesome… I’ll never have a black display again.
I get where WV is going with his comment. I’ve used a cheap bushnell for a lot of years as well as a nicer leupold and 2 different Leicas. 100 yards an in there’s not much difference in how well they acquire targets and all could be easily read. You get out past 300 yards and you can separate the sheep from the goats but who bow hunts at that range.
I know a couple Bowhunters who had trouble with no readings on black bears. Bushnell archery models. Wouldn’t read on the black hair. Not desirable.
I had two Leupolds in a row that were a yard and two yards off respectively at a measured 30 yards. I went with Nikon and am satisfied. My first was a Bushnell and it was fine except it wouldn’t shoot through camo netting in a ground blind. The Nikon will.
I hated my Leupold. You have to carry the manual to remember all the sequences to use it. If anyone wants it it’s 20 miles deep in the Seleay Bitteroot Wilderness. I absolutely love my Leica!
Another SIG Kilo fan. I’ve owned a lot of different range finders (Nikon, Vortex, Leupold, Leica) and was never happy with one until the SIG.
I have a Vortex Razor and my wife has a Ranger. Both have worked flawlessly. WI based company, if I ever have an issue I can either ship it in or take a road trip.
Leupold for me as well. I have 2, and RX1200 and Full Draw. I've used Leupold for longer than I can accurately remember. They read in the tenths of yards, but I doubt I can shoot that finely. Leupold's customer service is simply outstanding. For the price range they have the feature you're looking for. I have no experience with the Sig.
Take a look at Astra Optix. Pretty good rangefinders at a great price. Lifetime warranty.
Leupold would be my second choice after SIG Kilo. My issue with the Leupold is I can’t read the display in bright sunlight but I’m red/green color blind so 95%of you won’t have the same issue.
I don’t think Leica fits in your price range. I’ve used one for over 10 years. It’s been flawless.
Issue I had with Leica was the first reading was the line of sight reading then a second later the angle adjusted yardage was provided. Not good in the mountains since we aren’t waiting for the second reading with an animal presenting a shot. This was back in 2015 or 2016 so things might’ve changed.
I have been pretty happy with my SIG after owning Leica, Bushnell, Nikon, and a couple of others. My early SIG unit did fail after a few years, but they sent me a new and upgraded unit fast and free. Another to look at is the Maven.
Had a couple Bushnells and a Nikon they were fine. Frustrated on how the Nikon eye piece worked so I decided to try a Vortex and was surprised at the difference of improved quality, readings are incredibly fast and easy to read. Id buy another Vortex.
I didn't like my vortex, too slow, I have Leopold now, it's great
I just ordered a sig based on everyone’s experiences. Thanks for starting the thread to the OP. I’ve been using an old halo 400 that I got probably when I was 12-13 as a birthday present. Time for an upgrade.
Another vote for sig. Have had bushnell, nikon, leupold, and the sig IMO has been the best of class.
Whichever you get make sure it is LED vs LCD. Better light transmission for much brighter screens and optics.
I have been very happy with my vortex 1500. I really like the side clip. Hook it on my pocket or bino harness for easy access. I’d have zero issue purchasing a sig 2200 with all the great reviews.
Seems like the only Sigs available are the BDX models.
When I upgraded, I looked thru every brand I could. The Leica's optics were hands down the best out of all of them. That was the determining factor for me.
I will recommend Leupold RX-FullDraw 4. I think it will be perfect for you. Please check Bowman's Link section for more information about it.
Moose hunting this year Ryan, I had the highest end leopold I could buy and he had one of the lower end leopolds, mine worked in the morning fog and his didn't, and we had fog every morning
I have an update on my post above where I gave high marks to my Leopold. If I could give them zero stars I would. Like others above, my display faded and is no longer readable. Contacted Leopold because there rangefinder ain’t cheap. I was told that’s a older rangefinder (8 years) and LEDs failing is due to age. Basically was told to buy a new Leopold.
Yet I have my first rangefinder from the 90’s and it’s still clear as day.
So I bought a Sig Kilo and it was great- until I lost it.
So rather than buy another $500 rangefinder, I bought a cheap Chinese rangefinder on Amazon for $69 and expected a piece of junk. I was wrong. It was outstanding. Fast, well made, and rechargeable.
I then found my Sig and compared a distant tree line to the Chinese unit. The Sig read 771 yards and the Cheap unit read 772 but it displayed faster than the Sig. I gave it to my son and kept the Sig but in all honesty the 69$ unit was faster, clearer, and better.
I don’t know how long it will last but even if I only get 3 years out of it it’s still a better value.
No more Leopold anything for me. They lost me as a customer.
Pat, I hope that RF doesn’t take a dump when that booner is walking toward you at an unknown yardage.
Pat Lefemine's Link
Hey, Sir (Pat) - could we get a link to the inexpensive rangefinder? I have two sons who bow hunt with me and I am constantly lending them my rangefinders. It would make a fine birthday present for them. Thank you.
Here you go. It was really surprising how good it worked for that price.
As far as it sh$tying the bed at the worst time? That’s exactly what happened to my Leopold in Saskatchewan. At least this unit didn’t cost me $600.00!
TIDEWE Hunting Rangefinder with Rechargeable Battery, 700/1000Y Camo Laser Range Finder 6X Magnification, Distance/Angle/Speed/Scan Multi Functional Waterproof Rangefinder with Case
Leopold and Browning have basically become marketing companies for cheaply manufactured products while riding the legacy of their former quality. I won't buy another Browning gun nor Leopold optics.
I am still using my 20 year old Nikon 400
I know it's chinese stuff, but Tidewe makes some good stuff! Have ordered a few items off Amazon in a pinch when I needed a replacement "Now" and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and value.
I bought the 1000 yard version of rangefinder above. So far so good.
Thanks Pat going to get one. Never had one before because i shoot traditional and most shots are under 20 yards
Bushnell has a new one Gillingham provided input for. Supposed to be out at the ATA.
To kick a dead horse I returned from a hunt and was hunting in a torrential down pour while using my Leupold 1200 tbr rangefinder. It failed I Filed a claim and sent it to Oregon and of course it’s not covered. They asked if I want a discount on another. Uh No thanks!!! I’ll go with Vortex Heads up, Leupold warranty is a joke
I got the new Bushnell Broadhead mentioned by WBob above. Love it so far.
Displays red in low light and black in bright light, angle comp, a mode to read through brush, etc. Really nice features.
I have a 25 year old bushnell that still works. I had a sig kilo that was off by 10 yards at bowhunting ranges so when I trashed that one I bought a new bushnell engage for 155$. I tested it against my buddies leica and they were very close on objects over 1000 yards away.
I've been using my Nikon Archers Choice for many years now without any issues. Its easy to use and waterproof. The only thing is its not the best for yardages over 150 but does great below that
I would've said Sig Kilo but had mine crap the bed on me in the middle of a hunt in Wyoming a few weeks ago. The hundreds place lighting was faded and unreadable. I checked all my gear before my departure, so it was very frustrating. Luckily, someone back in camp had another one for me to borrow.
I called Sig and they said it was just outside of their warranty window. They offered me a discount coupon for a new range finder. Yeah, just what I want to go back to after it failed in the field and almost ruined my hunt. I refused the coupon and they admitted that this was an issue in a small percentage of their products. I told them that I wanted to send it in for inspection and repair and they sent me a paid label.
I just got notification that I am getting a package from them and that it's in transit. I will let you all know if/how they remedied the situation.
Kscowboy, that is exactly my story. elk Hunting in the rain last week. Sent the rangefinder to Leupold and it’s out of warranty of course. I just ordered the vortex viper because of the warranty.
Beyond popular belief, even Leica and Swaro RF's can (and do) fail...
Any brand of range finder can a will fail a small percentage of the time and chances are you’ll hear about failures at a much higher rate than the high percentage of products that never fail. I’ll stick with my 5 year old, heavily used SIG and buy another if it fails since it, and Leica, are the only range finders with LED displays I can read and the Leica range compensation wasn’t functional for bowhunting last time I researched range finders.
If a range finder failure “ruins your hunt” then I suggest you either have a back up available or develop better range estimation abilities.
I retired my 20 year old Bushnell Scout this year and picked up a Vortex ranger 1300. I was happy with the performance and was able to range a few objects at 1000 yards while out. Good enough for me and the warranty can't be beat. I actually had to turn the brightness down too. Way too bright in low light.
Well, what do you know, customer service is still a thing. Shout-out to Sig Sauer for the new Sig Kilo 2200BDX they sent me after the incident in Wyoming. I have had issues with other company's products in the field and it was nice to have someone remedy the issue.
^^^ had send a pair of Kilo 3000BDX for repair after I dropped them and landed on and eyecup. They fixed them, no questions asked.
Leica or Sig. Can't go wrong with either.