The 7 Best Rangefinder Binoculars Reviewed in 2019

view through Bushnell Fusion
View through the Bushnell Fusion

So, you’ve stalked your way to a deer.

It’s a good size and is completely unaware of your presence. You take aim, but before you pull the trigger, doubt sets in.

How far away is the deer? 300 yards? 350? 400?

At this range, will you shoot high or low?

In order to take humane shots at any game animal, you have to be confident you will hit. Knowing the ballistics of your bullet will help.

But that’s only part of the job. You also have to know the range to your target.

Range estimation can be difficult in the wild, which is where binocular rangefinder combinations come into play. Sure, you could carry separate hunting binocular and rangefinder, but then you’re carrying twice as much equipment.

Confidently take the shot and get your animal with these rangefinding binoculars.

 

The Reviews of 7 Best Rangefinding Binoculars

  1. Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC
  2. Carl Zeiss Victory RF
  3. Leica Geovid-R with EHR
  4. Nikon LaserForce
  5. Steiner LRF Military
  6. Vortex Optics Fury HD
  7. ATN BinoX-HD

 

ProductBushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC
Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC

Carl Zeiss Victory RF
Carl Zeiss Victory RF

Leica Geovid-R w/ EHR
Leica Geovid-R w/ EHR

Magnification10x10x10x
Objective Lens Diameter42 mm
54 mm42 mm
Maximum Lasing Range1,760 yards2,500 yards1,200 yards
Field of View at 1,000 Yards305 ft360 ft331 ft
Close Focus Range10.5 ft11.5 ft18.4 ft
Weight31 oz39 oz33.3 oz
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

1. Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC 10×42

Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC 10×42

Specs

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Maximum Lasing Range: 1,760 yards
Angle Compensation: Yes
Prism: Roof BaK-4 with PC-3 Phase Correction
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 305 ft.
Close Focus Range: 10.5 ft.
Eye Relief: 18 mm
Lens Coating: XTR fully multi-coated with RainGuard water repellent coating
Battery: CR123
Weight: 31 oz.
Misc: Both bow and rifle rangefinding modes

Overview

The Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC binocular has a laser rangefinder adaptable for both bowhunters and rifle hunters.

It can lase a range from 10 to 1,760 yards and is accurate within a yard. The effective rangefinding distance does depend on the size of the target, as the binoculars can only accurately range deer up to 500 yards away. Trees, however, get it out to 1,000 yards.

Angle correction compensates the range depending on the angle to help prevent overshooting and undershooting.

The ARC Bow Mode not only shows the distance to the target but also the effective range as if everything were horizontal. The ARC Rifle Mode helps show you the holdovers to compensate for bullet drop.

The optics are waterproof and have a coating that allows for high-definition images while keeping water off your lenses, so you can perform well in the rain.

Pros

  • Good for both bowhunters and rifle hunters
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Waterproof and water-repellent lenses

Cons

  • Occasional QC issues
  • Poor quality eyecups

Recommendation

The Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC 10×42 rangefinding binoculars are the closest thing to a budget binocular rangefinder combo and are a great choice if you don’t want to spend over a thousand dollars on rangefinding binoculars.

 

Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC is also available at:

Euro Optic

 

2. Carl Zeiss Victory RF 10×54

Carl Zeiss Victory RF 10×54

Specs

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens Diameter: 54 mm
Maximum Lasing Range: 2,500 yards
Angle Compensation: Yes
Prism: Roof Abbe-Konig
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 360 ft.
Close Focus Range: 11.5 ft.
Eye Relief: 14 mm
Lens Coating: Zeiss T and LotuTec Hydrophobic Coating
Battery: CR2Weight: 39 oz.
Misc: Rainguard, atmospheric sensors for the built-in ballistic calculator, connects to the ZEISS hunting app over Bluetooth

Overview

The Carl Zeiss Victory RF 10×54 has extremely clear optical capabilities, with 10x magnification and a wide field of view of 360 feet at 1,000 yards.

The Zeiss T and LotuTec coatings allow for impressive light-gathering capabilities, even into a rainy twilight.

But those aren’t the most impressive aspects of this rangefinding binocular.

These binoculars measure the local atmospheric conditions, from temperature to barometric pressure. It then uses these with ballistic information, with up to nine profiles, to precisely calculate the ballistics of your specific ammunition.

It also integrates with the ZEISS hunting app, available for Android and iPhone. You also have access to your ballistic and hunting information in your browser.

Though these binoculars may be more expensive than most hunting rifles, they can provide a better hunting experience than any other rangefinding binocular out there.

Pros

  • Atmospheric-sensitive, real-time ballistic computer
  • Great image clarity
  • Extremely waterproof and water repellent

Cons

  • Very expensive

Recommendation

The Zeiss Victory RF 10×54 is the ultimate rangefinding hunting binocular but is also the most expensive.

 

Carl Zeiss Victory RF is also available at:

Bass Pro

 

3. Leica Geovid-R w/EHR 10×42

Leica Geovid-R w/EHR 10×42

Specs

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Maximum Lasing Range: 1,200 yards
Angle Compensation: Yes
Prism: Roof
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 331 ft.
Close Focus Range: 18.4 ft.
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated with anti-reflection coating
Battery: CR2
Weight: 33.3 oz.
Misc: Waterproof to 16.5 ft., rubber armor, and nitrogen filled

Overview

A simpler design, the Leica Geovid-R 10×42 laser rangefinding binocular has a single button. Press it and you get the distance to your target, along with the equivalent horizontal range, or EHR.

The laser can reach out to 1,200 yards, which isn’t as far as some rangefinders but is still past the range of almost all hunters. It’s accurate to within 1 yard up to 382 yards, 2 yards up to 766 yards, and past that the accuracy is within half a percent.

The display has 4 LED characters and automatically changes brightness to match the light levels of the background, so it won’t blind you.

The light gathering capabilities aren’t the best, and some people have problems adjusting the diopter to their eyes. However, these binoculars have served many hunters in the field for many years.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Waterproof and submersible down to 16.5 feet underwater

Cons

  • Not the best optical clarity
  • Relatively short ranging capabilities
  • Some users report difficulty with the diopter correction

Recommendation

The Leica Geovid-R with EHR 10×42 binocular is a simple and durable choice when you want to hunt with a rangefinding binocular.

 

Leica Geovid-R w/ EHR is also available at:

Euro Optic

Walmart

 

4. Nikon LaserForce 10×42

Nikon LaserForce 10×42

Specs

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Maximum Lasing Range: 1,900 yards
Angle Compensation: Yes
Prism: Roof
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 320 ft.
Eye Relief: 15.5 mm
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Battery: CR2
Weight: 30.9
Misc: ED glass, waterproof, and fog-proof

Overview

The Nikon LaserForce 10×42 binocular can lase a range out to 1,900 yards. That’s 1,400 yards for trees and 1,100 yards for deer.

It also has angle compensation in the form of Incline/Decline Technology to give you the horizontal distance to the target at angles up to 89 degrees, to ensure your shot won’t miss because of a miscalculated angle.

You can manually adjust the brightness of the red OLED display. Unlike most other rangefinders, you can choose between yards and meters.

There’s even an auto shut-off function to save battery life.

As for the optics, extra-low dispersion glass is combined with Nikon’s full multi-coatings for bright and accurate images at all ranges. It even uses their lead- and arsenic-free glass to help the environment and save weight.

The only problem is that the rubber armor is perhaps too soft, as contaminants such as sand cling to the armor. Be extra careful about keeping sand off the lenses!

Pros

  • Durable yet lightweight design
  • ED glass

Cons

  • Dust and sand stick to the rubber armor and is hard to clean off

Recommendation

Nikon LaserForce 10×42 rangefinding binoculars are great for optical clarity and accurate ranging without spending a lot of money, but they can be hard to clean.

 

Nikon LaserForce is also available at:

Euro Optic

Bass Pro

Cabelas

Sportsman’s Guide

Walmart

 

5. Steiner LRF Military 10×50

Steiner LRF Military 10×50

Specs

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Maximum Lasing Range: 1,600 yards
Angle Compensation: No
Prism: Porro
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 348 ft.
Eye Relief: 15.8
Lens Coating: Multi-coated
Battery: CR123A
Weight: 45.9 oz.
Misc: Nitrogen-purged, very thick and durable rubber armor, and waterproof to 16 ft.

Overview

The Steiner LRF Military 10×50 is built to military specifications. It has a simple laser rangefinder with the readout visible on the right eyepiece. There is no angle compensation, so you’ll have to adjust your shots manually.

The optics are also, well, adequate. The lens coatings are not as good as those used by other manufacturers. However, the 50 mm objective lenses do let in plenty of light.

The strength of this rangefinding binocular is in its durability. It is built to go to war and come home in one working piece.

The inner housing is made from Makrolon. The optics can handle long drops onto hard surfaces. It’s resistant against acid, oil, and salt corrosion and can be used in the arctic or desert with no trouble.

Even the nitrogen purging uses a two-way valve design to ensure no humidity can get inside the binoculars.

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Suitable for all environments

Cons

  • Mediocre optical quality
  • No angle compensation

Recommendation

If you are hard on your binoculars and want a durable rangefinder you can throw down a mountain without issue, get the Steiner LRF Military 10×50.

 

Steiner LRF Military is also available at:

Cabelas

Walmart

 

6. Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42

Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42

Specs

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Maximum Lasing Range: 1,600 yards
Angle Compensation: Yes
Prism: Dielectric phase-coated roof prisms
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 314.5 ft.
Close Focus Range: 20 ft.
Eye Relief: 16 mm
Lens Coating: XR anti-reflection and fully multi-coated
Battery:
Weight: 31.8 oz.
Misc: Ruggedized armor, waterproof, and fog-proof

Overview

The Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 is a mid-to-high grade binocular from Vortex that has a built-in laser rangefinder with multiple modes to customize how you use it.

You can set it to tell you the horizontal component distance for bowhunting and rifle shooting. Or, if you’re using your own ballistics calculations, you can use Line of Sight mode to get the direct distance as well as the incline angle in degrees.

There’s also a scan feature to more easily figure out the range of a far-off moving target. Vortex claims you can lase a deer at a range up to 1,000 yards.

The proprietary XR multi-coating, anti-reflection coating, HD lenses, and dielectric phase-corrected prisms bring a clear and vibrant image to your eyes.

However, if you want to use the binoculars with your left hand, you’re out of luck. The controls are only on the right.

Pros

  • Good image quality
  • Less expensive than some other rangefinders
  • Multiple usage modes

Cons

  • Not the best field of view for the size of the glass
  • Optimized for right-handed users

Recommendation

The Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 has better image quality and rangefinding features than you would expect for the price—if you’re right-handed.

 

Vortex Optics Fury HD is also available at:

Euro Optic

Bass Pro

Cabelas

Sportsman’s Guide

Walmart

 

7. ATN BinoX-HD 4-16×65

ATN BinoX-HD 4-16×65

Specs

Magnification: 4-16x
Objective Lens Diameter: 65 mm
Angle Compensation: Yes-ish
Prism: None
Field of View at 1,000 Yards: 220 ft.
Screen Display: 960×520 x2
Close Focus Range: 10 ft.
Eye Relief: 10-30 mm
Lens Coating:
Battery: CR123A x3
Weight: 28 oz.
Misc: IR Illumination for night-time use, integrated GPS, compass, and gyroscope, digital zoom, 1080p photo and video recording, Wi-Fi streaming, and weather resistant

Overview

The ATN BinoX-HD 4-16×65 is not your normal binocular.

In fact, it doesn’t contain Porro or roof prisms.

Instead, there’s a computer inside the body. You don’t look through lenses but rather use two small, high-resolution screens!

Those screens provide a surprisingly crisp and clear display that includes your angle up and down as well as your compass heading.

So, while there’s no true angle compensation, you will know the angle.

Also, the internal gyroscope helps keep the image steady, even at 16x zoom.

The rangefinder is not a laser. Instead, it calculates the distance to an object based on the size of the object. This isn’t as effective as laser rangefinders for hunting but can still get you in the ballpark.

An IR illuminator lets you see up to 300 yards at night.

Pros

  • Advanced computer capabilities
  • Can take photographs, videos, and mark your GPS location
  • Digital zoom

Cons

  • Doesn’t include necessary cables
  • Have to remove the batteries to fully turn off the binoculars
  • Mediocre rangefinding capabilities at longer ranges

Recommendation

While not true binoculars, the ATN BinoX-HD 4-16×65 provides magnification and rangefinding as well as a whole lot more.

 

ATN BinoX-HD 4 is also available at:

Bass Pro

Cabelas

Sportsman’s Guide

 

What are Rangefinder Binoculars?

Hunters are no strangers to products that claim rangefinding capabilities.

Many riflescopes have some sort of rangefinder built into the reticle. Some are based on minutes-of-angle, others are Mil-Dot. Some have markings for an average sized deer (or person) at a certain range.

All of these methods require mental math or even doing calculations on paper or on a calculator. And then, you’ll just get an estimate, which can be off by tens of yards or more.

That’s not good for accuracy when you have to make one shot count!

That’s why rangefinders have become popular for hunters.

These devices use an infrared laser (most of the time!) to calculate the distance between the rangefinder and whatever you’re pointed at. A display built into the eyepiece will give you the distance information and maybe some more data.

More advanced models even have ballistic compensation so you have a better idea of where your bullet will strike.

However, dedicated rangefinders have a major weakness:

They’re another piece of gear to lug into the woods.

Rangefinders are larger than a monocular and are about as big as some compact binoculars. In order to use them properly, you need to rapidly switch between them and your binoculars.

Why not condense the two tools into one and use a rangefinding binocular?

Rangefinder binocular combos take the rangefinder and stick it in between the two sides of a binocular, where there is normally a gap. This allows you to carry only one set of glass and don’t have to lower your binoculars when you want to lase a target and find its range, saving you precious time.

 

How to Choose Binoculars With Rangefinder?

Steiner binocs on table

The problem with rangefinding binoculars is the expense. Even the cheapest units are as expensive if not more expensive, than high-quality binoculars.

Thankfully, manufacturers know that these units are an expensive investment. While there are budget rangefinders, very few companies will waste your time with cheaply-made rangefinding binoculars that can’t survive hunting trips.

Even so, it’s a natural compulsion to try to get the best value for your money. So, here are some criteria you can consider so you buy the rangefinding binoculars which will work best for you.

 

Magnification and Field of View

correlation between higher magnification and smaller FOV
Higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view is.

As mentioned in the buyer’s guide about normal hunting binoculars, some magnifications are better for some game animals, and other magnifications are better for others.

Though it’s tempting to go for as much magnification as possible, an overly-magnified image will make it hard to find your animal. That’s doubly true since higher magnifications cut down on your field of view, which is how much of the landscape you can see through the binoculars.

Also, higher magnifications have more trouble gathering light to produce clear images without increasing the objective lens size and adding weight.

So, consider the area in which you will hunt. If you’ll be primarily hunting within several hundred yards, such as hunting deer within dense woods, then you don’t need more than about 8x magnification.

However, if you’re hunting in clear areas, especially when hunting goats in the mountains, then a higher magnification will serve you well.

 

Angle Compensation

hunter on treestand with binocs

Most hunters know the following, but some target shooters don’t:

Shooting at an angle up or down can cause your shots, whether from a bow or from a gun, to fly high or low.

If you’re hunting from the ground on flatlands, then you won’t need angle compensation. Most other hunters hunt from a tree stand or in hilly or even mountainous terrain, where the perfect animal may appear at a serious decline.

Some rangefinders have a form of built-in angle compensation. They identify the angle at which the binoculars are held and adjust the actual distance to reflect the equivalent horizontal distance.

Basically, though the deer may be 350 yards away, an incline may mean you’ll need to take a 300-yard shot to hit the deer in the vitals.

A rangefinding binocular with angle compensation can, therefore, mean the difference between a vital shot and a flesh wound.

 

Ballistic Compensation

Even more advanced rangefinding binoculars can have a built-in ballistic adjustment, so you don’t need to fuss with your scope to hit precisely where you want to.

Some, such as on the Bushnell Fusion, are simple. But simple can still work very well and is better than no ballistic compensation.

However, if you want the benefits of a built-in, fully-fledged ballistic calculator, only the Carl Zeiss Victory RF can help you.

Many small variables can have surprising effects on your bullet’s trajectory. Altitude, ambient temperature, barometric pressure, and more can cause small deviations in ballistics, with large consequences at far ranges.

Using a rangefinder with a built-in ballistic calculator can save you from having to fiddle with yet another piece of gear.

 

Durability

Leica Geovid sumberged in water

As mentioned before, most rangefinding binoculars are already made to be very durable. Rubber armor predominates, and all are at least water resistant, with a few waterproof enough to be submersible.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the topic of durability, though.

If you hunt on soft land without traveling far into treacherous woods, then you can save some money on a lesser-protected rangefinding binocular.

However, if you fly in a plane to a hunting destination in Alaska where you’ll be hunting for a week, this is not the place to skimp. You want to bring gear you know will survive anything because everything will happen to it.

I’ve seen people break a cheap scope on the first day of a three-day hunting trip. They didn’t have a backup scope or iron sights, so they had to borrow someone else’s gun.

The same idea applies with rangefinding binoculars, even more so since you cannot use iron sights as a backup. If you are going to be hunting in demanding conditions, bring gear which can meet the demand.

 

Size and Weight

Hunter Spotting Wildlife

In other binocular buyer’s guides, I recommended trying to cut down on weight when you don’t need the capabilities of a heavier binocular.

I don’t think that’s as important for rangefinder binocular combos.

Why?

Because they’re already saving weight over carrying two pieces of gear separately.

Even the heaviest rangefinding binocular is lighter than a binocular and a rangefinder, so unless you really want to cut down on ounces, you don’t need to pay as much attention to weight here.

 

Conclusion

Rangefinding binoculars are not cheap items. However, they bring a lot of utility into the field while saving you weight.

Of the seven models reviewed above, there are two standout winners.

If you are on a budget, then consider the Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC 10×42. It’s a good hunting binocular with a surprising amount of rangefinding capability for the cost.

However, if you want the best you can buy, then the Carl Zeiss Victory RF 10×54 is more binocular and a whole lot more rangefinder.

The only tool more useful for hunting than a rangefinding binocular with atmospheric sensors and a ballistic calculator is your bow or rifle.

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson learned to walk in the mountains and has spent much of his life exploring the outdoors. He is equally at home in the woods, at the range, or on the gunsmithing bench, and loves to build guns almost as much as he enjoys shooting them. His travels have taken him to the four corners of the United States. Though his favorite hunting spot is in Alaska, Kansas deer taste better.

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