As we already know, when it comes to long range shooting or hunting, especially at distances greater than 150 yards, having the correct distance between you and the target can mean the difference between a impact or a miss. In hunting, knowing the distance between you and the animal can mean the difference between a kill or a very long tracking exercise to find a wounded animal or a completely lost wounded animal. So what is the best rangefinder binoculars for long range shooting, and why choose binoculars with rangefinder capabilities built in over a normal rangefinder?
Although most precision rifle shooters and hunters first decide to buy a rangefinder when they need to start knowing shooting distances, it is often inevitable that they will also need a good pair of binoculars to first find the animals, or in the case with precision rifle shooting or racegun competitions, to spot hits or misses of other shooters so you know hoe to shoot your shots. Naturally it often leads to shooters and hunters buying rangefinder binoculars later on, so they have one item to serve both purposes, and carry less.
Well, luckily you found this guide, because if that is you, we have done this comparison to help you choose the correct rangefinder binoculars for you. If you are a new hunter of shooter however, we are even happier you found this guide, because if you believe in buying the correct thing first time round, then you are right, just get a pair of rangefinding binoculars from the start and save yourself from having to spend more money or effort later on.
There are various considerations most shooters and hunters look for in rangefinder binoculars, some looking for the best low-light clarity and brightness they can get, others looking for the furthest ranging capability, and others looking for an all-in-one rangefinder, binoculars and ballistic drop calculator solution so that they find the target, range the target, adjust their dope to what the binoculars tells them, and then shoot and hit the target. Whether you are looking for the cheapest rangefinder binoculars that still work accurately, or the brightest pair of rangefinder binoculars that are also the most accurate rangefinder binoculars available, keep reading and we will help you find it.
1. Rangefinder Binoculars Reviewed and Ranked
If you do not want to read through the entire write up, we can tell you now that the Sig Sauer KILO10K-ABS is best rangefinder binoculars for 2024 of all the models we physically have tested and looked through ourselves, with the Bushnell Fusion X being the best budget rangefinder binoculars for the price and for the accuracy it offers to hunters and shooters, and best of all, it also has built-in Applied Ballistics software. Having vision in both eyes and the added brightness and clarity that provides, as well as the greater magnification, makes rangefinder binoculars the best rangefinder for long range shooting.
A massive upgrade from the previous top of their range Kilo 3000 BDX this new Kilo10k from Sig Sauer has moved the brand up a few spots for this year.
With a good looking rugged exterior, and features to match, you will thoroughly enjoy using this Sig Sauer Kilo10K as your all-in-one spotting, ranging and ballistic DOPE calculation solution whether you are out in the field hunting, or shooting a racegun or precision rifle match.
If you are a hunter and would like to have your ballistics calculated and displayed in your scope ready for you to pull the trigger, then this binocular also connects to the Sig Sauer BDX enable rifle scopes.
Often considered the benchmark when it comes to shooting and hunting optics, because of the build quality, attention to detail, and then most importantly, image quality, Swarovski is still the premium product in the lineup that delivers on what is expected of it.
If you are looking for the best of the best rangefinder binoculars no matter the price, this is the pair to get, you will immediately notice the clarity and quality of the product, from the included straps, caps and carry bag to the bino itself, it is the best quality there is. The only reason it was beaten by the Leica Geovid above, is because the Leica offers similar build and image quality, at a lower price point, with a few extra features added.
The Swarovski also our favorite choice for the best low light hunting rangefinder thanks to the superb clarity and brightness of the glass with the Leica above coming a close second for just hunting because it took slightly longer to range the animals, but only milliseconds and the Swarovski has a better low-light distance reading display.
Unbeknownst to most, is that Zeiss is actually the manufacturer of the best and most precise glass and optical equipment in the world, even manufacturing the lenses of the tiny lasers that get used to preform laser eye surgery of people, yes, they need to be that precise. In fact, Zeiss also owns the Schott glass company, who manufacturers the glass used by most of the leading European scope and binocular manufacturers, even Swarovski.
Yes Zeiss has lower end product lines too, but this is not one of them. If you are looking for quality and reliability at a great price point, or basically Swarovski grade optics at a lower price and with a little less distinctive style, you will never be left wanting with this great rangefinding binoculars by Zeiss.
With it’s own on-board ballistics calculator, the Zeiss can even give you the DOPE settings for your scope and the distance to the target your are ranging right there inside the bino.
Initially pioneering in the field of rangefinders among the European lens and optical equipment manufacturers, Leica still stands out among most of the brand as being very accurate with distance measurement, and having superb clarity and brightness.
After using the Leica side by side together with the Swarovski EL Range mentioned below, we decided to give the crown to the Leica, as it offers as crisp, clear and bright image as the Swarovski, but with slightly faster range measurements, and with a few more added features.
If you are a long range shooter this is also the top choice for the best 1000 yard rangefinder, and the best rangefinder for long range shooting.
Vortex, although not made in America, is an American brand that has quickly taken the shooting, hunting and sport optics world by storm. There is no other brand out there that is as widely used by shooters in the racegun PRS and NRL competitions, and for good reason.
Redesigned to add the full Applied Ballistics Elite software built into the binoculars, the Vortex rangefinder binoculars called the Fury HD 5000 AB is the true swiss army knife of rangefinder binoculars. Showing everything from your ballistic drop to even the wind compensation needed in the display, takes the guesswork out of precision shooting and lets you get the impacts need in whatever conditions.
Although not offering the image quality, brightness and clarity that the Leica, Swaro and Zeiss offer, it has much more built-in usable features for precision rifle and racegun shooters, and most are more than happy with the image quality, even when comparing it to the high-end models mentioned above side-by-side. The only recommendation we would make with these, is that you buy the Vortex Glasspak together with the rangefinder binoculars right away, and it is very handy and the included strap and pouch that comes with the Vortex Fury HD 5000 leave a lot to be desired.
As a well-known brand name in photography, lenses and sport optics, Nikon is known by all. This as with many of their other products, is a good quality, sturdy product with a good company backing it.
With good image quality and fast ranging measurements, this Nikon Laserforce will serve you well in the sport shooting or hunting field.
Although it does not have any ballistics calculator software built in, that may be why it is one of the fastest ranging rangefinder binoculars of all the models tested, so if you are looking for just that, a binocular rangefinder combo that delivers accurate reading, fast and in a rugged package, this is the one to get, with a good price to match too.
We would recommend adding a sticker or making a silicone bump or dimple on the power / range button as it is quite flat and so that will enable you to find it quickly with your finger without having to look down away from the animal you are tracking.
Bushnell has often been consider on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to binoculars, shooting and sport optics lately compared to the other big names, and they are usually the cheapest of the big US brands in this segment.
Well this new low-priced Bushnell rangefinder binocular has literally been quite the surprise for us to test. Given the reputation and being the cheapest of all the models tested, we were thoroughly shocked and pleasantly surprised when we started using them. So much so in fact, that I quickly ordered my own pair on the spot, which is now packed in my range bag and tags along with me to all my hunts and competition shoots.
Not only is the image quality on par, and to some of our staff member’s eyes slightly better than the Nikon, Sig Sauer and Vortex trio, but is also has a sort of built-in ballistic calculator, is super-fast to give ranges, and with the new Activ-Sync technology, helps you to see the range displayed in bright sunlight as well as darkness. For the price, these literally cannot be beat, and do not have to feel as sorry for them when using them as I did with my previous pair of Swarovski EL-Range binoculars I was using up to now.
The best rangefinding binoculars under $1000, and the best cheap rangefinding binoculars by far! To find out more on them, read our full Bushnell Fusion X review.
2. Rangefinder Binoculars Buying Guide
2.1 Rangefinder and separate binoculars, or rangefinder binoculars all in one?
There is on occasion one or two people who prefer to keep their rangefinders and binoculars separate, but we often find out after talking to them for a while, it is usually because they already owned a pair of top-tier binoculars like a Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss, and needed a rangefinder, but could not shell out for that same brand rangefinding binoculars at the time, and first wanted to get used to using and seeing the novelty of having a rangefinder.
When you have neither, it is a no-brainer to just go and buy rangefinder binoculars from the start, and just buy once. You will carry lighter and have all in one solution. Luckily thanks to brands like Sig Sauer and Bushnell, it is not too expensive to get into a pair that will serve you well.
2.2 How to use rangefinder binoculars
You can just use them like normal binoculars for glassing a hillside in search of a buck, or spotting hits and misses from other shooters in your squad, and even just for bird watching.
But if it is your turn to shoot, or you find that big trophy buck on that hillside, you just press the power button, aim at the target you want to range and your range will be given ready for you to shoot.
3. FAQs About Rangefinder Binoculars
3.1 Best rangefinder binoculars
That award goes to the Sig Sauer KILO10K which offers the best image quality and ranging speed in the top-tier range, as well as weather sensors, a wind meter, and the incredibly useful Applied Ballistics Elite software built in.
3.2 Best rangefinder binoculars for the money
Without a doubt that award belongs to the Bushnell Fusion X as the best rangefinding binoculars for the money, as it is the lowest priced of all of them, yet still great image quality and fast ranging speeds, we love them so much, a few members of our staff now own a pair.
3.3 The most accurate rangefinder binoculars
Although all the models tested here were within 1% accurate, which is more than good enough accuracy for any type of shooting and ballistic calculation, if we really had to get down to it, it was a tie between the Swarovski EL-Range and the Zeiss RF both averaging less than 0.2% deviation from actual distances ranged.
3.4 Leica Rangefinder Binoculars vs Swarovski
If it is style you are after, go for the Swarovski, if it is clinical looks and precision you are after, go for the Leica. They both perform so well, you will not be left wanting with either, we do like the new tracking assist functions of the Swarovski EL-Range, but the Leica ballistic calculator is just as accurate.
3.5 Best rangefinding binoculars for hunting?
If your hunting is the rough and tumble kind where your equipment takes a pounding and you get the job done without worrying too much about them, then the rugged and low-priced Bushnell Fusion X is the hunting rangefinder binoculars for you. If you take it slow and meticulous and do a lot of low-light or hunting in the woods and bad weather conditions, the Swarovski EL-Range is the best rangefinder binoculars for hunting for your needs.
3.6 Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB vs. Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 BDX vs. Nikon Laserforce?
You will be surprised to learn, but will quickly realize when handling and looking through all three of them, that the Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 BDX, the Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB and the Nikon Laserforce rangefinder binoculars, are all made in the same factory with the same glass. They all have that distinctive shape, button layout and slightly blue hue to the image viewed through them.
Does it mean to just go for the cheapest of the three and you will be good? If it is only a pair of rangefinder binoculars you are looking for, and no need for other features or ballistic calculators then yes, otherwise, they each have unique set of features that set them apart. The Vortex offering the full Applied Ballistics Elite software built in, the Sig Sauer offering the lighter version of the Applied Ballistics software built-in, but also able to communicate with the Sig Sauer line of BDX rifle scopes, and the Nikon having no frills but slightly beating the other two at ranging speed thanks to that.
We spent many years carrying a separate rangefinder and binoculars before realizing how much effort, weight and time we save just by getting a pair of rangefinder binoculars. Thanks to the advancement in technology, good image quality and accurate rangefinder binoculars are now affordable to most.
We hope you enjoyed our rangefinder binoculars reviews, and you find the best rangefinding binoculars for hunting and your needs from it.