Rangefinder Binoculars: How to Choose the Best One

Rangefinder binoculars are the useful devices. They help you see things from afar and then calculate the distance from you to them.

If you have little knowledge about them or want to buy them, read on to learn about how they work, their pros and cons and how to buy the best ones on the market.

Rangefinder Binocular Definition & How it works

What is a rangefinder binocular

As you can clearly see from its name, a rangefinder binocular is the device. It combines both the function of a pair of binoculars and a rangefinder.

It would help you to see things from a far view much clearly thanks to the help of the binoculars. In addition, you would be able to calculate the distance from the place where you are staying to the targeted object.

Rangefinder binoculars are one of the most popular devices among hunters. They can help to improve the performance of hunters now they can see objects betters. Also, they have a better distance of objects in their mind.

How does a rangefinder work

A rangefinder is made based on the laser beam technology and its mechanism. When you start the rangefinder, it would emit a highly energized laser beam from the device to the targeted object you want to measure the distance with. When the laser beam reaches the object, the beam would then be reflected back to the binocular.

The time the laser beam comes out to the time when it goes back would be calculated. Base on this specific amount of time, the distance from your viewing point to the object will be deducted.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Rangefinder Binoculars

Rangefinder Binoculars

Image source: Tactical Life



With a rangefinder function, you would be able to measure the distance much better without encountering human errors.

Even though you have a lot of experience in hunting, measuring distance with your vision and your mind is not 100% correct.

No matter how careful and skilled you are, you can only come up with a rough estimation. And in case you are a beginning hunter, this device will help you a great deal.

Being able to know the exact distance is one of the most important skills you need to have in hunting.

When you are able to know how far your target is precisely and see them clearly with your rangefinder binoculars, you can plan for strategies and then shot better. Hence, your overall performance in hunting will also be improved.


Imagine a situation when you spot a target from a far distance and want to aim for this. However, it is so far that you are afraid you might get the  wrong distance with your mental calculation. When you take out your rangefinder, the target is nowhere in sight. In case it is a rare animal, it will really make your hunting experience less enjoyable. Furthermore, bring 2 equipment instead of one will take more space in your hunting bag. Not to mention they will be much heavier.

Therefore, to save space and time as well as making it quicker for you when you see a target, investing in a pair of rangefinder binoculars is a good idea.


The Price

The price of a rangefinder binocular is pretty expensive in comparison with a single pair of binoculars or rangefinder. No matter what brands and models you are looking for, you should expect to pay at least 1000 dollars for a decent quality rangefinder binocular. There might be some cheap ones on the market with the price of a few hundred dollars but the quality is questionable and they would be not so durable.

The price of a rangefinder binocular is pretty expensive

Image source: Modern Day MS

However, please note that in case you want to have both of the functions (or want to buy both a pair of binoculars and a rangefinder) – this would be more expensive than having a rangefinder binocular.

The Weight

Since the device is the combination of 2 devices, it would be heavier than a normal binocular or rangefinder separately.

If you cannot hold a heavy item with your bare hands for a long time, you might encounter handshaking while you use a rangefinder binocular. It would then lead to blurry images and miscalculation of the distance.

You should use a binocular harness which can help to provide support for your hands and help you have more stable images.

Rangefinder Binoculars: Features to Consider

There are a lot of aspects you need to consider before you come with the final choice of a rangefinder binocular such as optical performance, field of view and accuracy. If you are looking for one to purchase, here are the most important features you should take into consideration.

Optical Performance

A good optical performance will help you see things much clearer and sharper through the rangefinder binocular. 2 specifications that contribute to this characteristic are the magnification level and objective lens size.

You can see these two numbers of specification by this string AxB (read: A ex B). A represents the magnification level and B represents the objective lens size in mm.

Optical Performance

Image source: binocularsguru.com

The bigger the magnification level, the farther you can see an object clearly. And the bigger the lens size, the more lights you can get through the binoculars for clearer and sharper images.

However, bigger magnification level and bigger lens will make a rangefinder binocular heavier and bulkier, making the images become blurry and less stable.

In addition, higher magnification level means you will have a narrower field of view. (Which I will mention later on)

Maximum Ranging Distance

This feature will determine how far an object is that you can get a precise measurement of distance.

It is determined by the amplitude of the laser beam. The larger the laser beam‘s amplitude, the higher the energy of the laser beam. And the energy of the laser beam will determine how far it can go.

You might want to have a rangefinder binocular with a high level of laser beam amplitude in order to measure the distance of an object from a very far point as much as possible.

Field of View

The field of view represents the wilderness of the picture you can see with your rangefinder binoculars. You might want to have a wide field of view if you want to spot a moving object such as a flying bird.

A wilder field of view will come with a lower level of magnification and vice versa.

Data Accuracy

Accuracy is one of the most important features that you are looking for in a rangefinder binocular. Therefore, you should look for a model that promises to deliver data with high consistency and accuracy.

You need to look for the plus-minus compensation of any rangefinder binocular. The lower the compensation number is, the higher the accuracy.

For example, when you see a rangefinder binocular with a compensation number of 2 and you get the distance reading of 200 yards. It means that if you measure the distance with real tools, the distance could range from 298 yards to 202 yards.


As I already mention above, a rangefinder binocular will have a weight which is higher than a normal binocular. In addition, if you want to have a bigger magnification level and bigger lens size for bigger and sharper images, prepare to have a bulky and heavy rangefinder binocular.

Choose suitable rangfinder binocular weight

Image source: Rangefinder binoculars

Make sure the one that you are going to choose has the weight that you are comfortable with. Otherwise, you can consider purchasing a tripod for better pictures as well as hunting experience.


Look for any brand and model which can offer you a long time of guarantee. And a lifetime guarantee is always the best deal. In addition, check with the salesmen to see if they can offer repairing services with a low price.


You have a wide selection of choice when it comes to price. A typical new rangefinder binocular has a price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Keep in mind that price is an indicator of quality. So if you want to have a pair of binoculars with higher level of accuracy as well as powerful laser beam, you need to pay for a higher price.

If you are serious about hunting and want to go hunting for a long time, you should invest in a high quality, premium product. It will surely pay off in the long run.

Overall, it would take a lot of time and effort to find a suitable rangefinder binocular. There are a lot of features to consider and some of them will require you to have some tradeoffs. For example, the level of magnification and lens size versus a lightweight and compact binocular, the accuracy and maximum ranging distance versus price.

However, once you are able to find one pair of rangefinder binoculars that suits all of your needs, preferences and your budget, it will be a really helpful device that significantly improve your hunting experience and bring you a lot of fun and exciting times when you go hunting.