Kill two birds with one stone by glassing and ranging at the same time.
Rangefinding binoculars allow hunters to glass for and evaluate game and determine the range without fiddling with multiple devices. Early examples were enormous and expensive, but today, the sizes and prices have diminished significantly. Which one is right for you? We gathered five examples to see how they performed.
This binocular featured typical—i.e., fantastic—Leica optics: bright, clear, and sharp. The two-button laser rangefinder function was simple and easy to use. One button gives you a lightning-fast range reading, and the other gives you the angle to the target, temperature, and barometer reading.
The unit can also be configured to match the ballistics of your rifle and to provide aiming/dialing info instantly. The Geovids are at the top of the heap in a very competitive market.
Weight: 33.5 oz. $3,250; us.leica-camera.com
PROS: WORLD-CLASS GLASS AND A FAST AND ACCURATE LASER
Bushnell’s Fusion 1 Mile Arc binocular is packed with modes and features—so many, in fact, that we had to consult the manual. The 1 Mile provides range, angle, and even ballistic holdover information if the user programs it to do so.
It has a unique feature that allows the user to account for changes in zero distance in the embedded software. This unit is on the entry level of rangefinding binoculars when it comes to functionality—and had some misreadings during testing—but overall you can’t beat the cost, and optically, this binocular is good for the price.
Weight: 31 oz. $1,050; bushnell.com
PROS: PACKED WITH FEATURES
CONS: COMPLICATED TO USE, SOME MISREADINGS
BUY: Bushnell Fusion Sale
This company has built a reputation for solid optics at reasonable prices, and this unit fits the bill. The Fury was simple to use, even one-handed, with only “range” – and – “menu” buttons to fiddle with.
The glass was very good for a binocular at this price point; clearly the rest of the world is catching up to the Europeans in that regard. We found the laser feature to be accurate and reliable though slightly slower (~1 -second delay) than the Leica, Zeiss, and Nikon units.
The Fury can be programmed to provide either line-of-sight or angle-compensated range to the target.
Weight : 31.8 oz. $1,600; vortexoptics.com
PROS: ADJUSTABLE BRIGHTNESS, BUILT-IN TRIPOD ADAPTER
CONS: SLIGHT DELAY IN READING DISPLAY
I’ve hunted extensively in several western states with this line of Zeiss binoculars, so I was more than familiar with their capabilities. They are simple and fast to operate and provide fast and accurate range readings and the excellent optical performance that Zeiss is known for.
The Ballistic Information System embedded into this unit provides holdover data based on the ballistic curve and caliber chosen. The data inputs don’t get into the ballistic nitty-gritty, but they are plenty precise for 95 percent of hunting situations.
Weight: 35 oz. $3,333; zeiss.com
PROS: GREAT GLASS AND LASER PERFORMANCE
CONS: BALLISTIC SYSTEM NEEDS MORE FEATURES
The Nikon was the most pleasantly surprising unit tested. Optics were excellent, laser readings were fast and reliable, and the unit registered the shortest minimum range of all the units tested, which is a plus for archers.
This binocular not only provides the angle to the target, but also calculates the actual horizontal distance to the target for angled shots—a feature that can prevent misses in the mountains.
Independently adjustable diopters allow users to calibrate the optics for each eye. Next to the Leica and Zeiss, the Nikon gave us the most accurate readings of the group.
Weight: 30. 9 oz. $ 1,200; nikonsportoptics.com
PROS: VERY STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR THE PRICE, LIGHT WEIGHT
CONS: LACK OF INTEGRATED BALLISTIC SOFTWARE
BUY: Nikon 16212 Sale