Every golf player or hunter knows that having the correct estimation of distance draws the line between the winners and losers. That is why getting the best rangefinder is a big deal. With so many manufacturers and models in the market, it can be a bit hard to know which one will serve your needs well. It is without a doubt that they vary in features and functionality which has a great effect in determining how good it is.
We have done the big work for you and narrowed down your options. This will reduce the amount of time you spend trying to get a good rangefinder when you should be out there looking for the thrill. When going out to buy a rangefinder, there are several factors that you should consider. We put that into account when creating this buying guide for you to ensure that you get the most value at an affordable price.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Rangefinder
- Maximum Distance Range: Every rangefinder has a maximum measure of the distance it can cover. This is very important especially if you want to use it for longer distances. The longer or bigger the distance range, the more you will have versatility in terms of distance. They can go up to 150 yards in range.
- Portability: Whether you are going out to hunt or play golf, you will be carrying your range finder around together with other items. You don’t want something that will wear you out. So it is important to consider a rangefinder that is light enough to carry around and small enough to pack it safely. Bulky rangefinders might become hard to use too.
- Ease of Use: Having a weapon is one thing but when you don’t know how to use it, it becomes useless. So, you will need one that is straightforward enough to avoid wasting time trying to figure out what to do with it. Those with fewer operating buttons and user guides are the best, especially for beginners. A veteran in the field could operate any complicated item but a new user will need one whose functionality is easy to determine.
- Price: Money is everything. You will have to buy a rangefinder that is within your budget and still meets your needs. There is always something for everyone in the market. This buying guide is concerned with rangefinders within a budget of $200.There is a common saying that when the price is low, something has been sacrificed. It could be true that at a lower price you might not get every feature that you would in a high priced one but you can get reliable functionality within your budget.
- Feedback: It is one thing to think that something is great on the shelf and it is another thing to know how it actually works. Customer reviews on Amazon contributed to the creation of this buying guide. Reviews are important because they give you a true judgment on the ground.
Now that you know the most important factors that were considered in creating this buying guide, let us get to the details.
Our Top 5 Best Rangefinders below $200 of 2018
Nikon is a well-known camera company and so you can be sure that the lens you will get with this rangefinder is of high quality. It also has multilayer coatings on the screen which enhances light transmission. Its measurement range is 6-550 yards which are reliable enough. Though you can get other rangefinders with a better range, this one gets the work done. Its buttons are far apart making it more easy to use even when you have gloves on.
It doesn’t have any complicated features making it very easy to use for beginners and its small and compact design makes it very easy to carry around. Its best feature is the ability to target the farthest object when pointed at a variety of targets. Its feel gives you a grip even when your hand is sweaty or the conditions are wet. So you don’t have to worry about damage.
- Water resistant design
- Clearly indicates battery life
- High accuracy level
- Very Affordable
- Clear display
- Has 6 times magnification
- Powers down when not in use to preserve battery life
- Comes with clear instructions
- Doesn’t have advanced features like slope and distance compensation
- Uses CR2 lithium batteries which are expensive and hard to find
- Has no brightness control
Nikon Aculon might not have the most advanced features but it is reliable and gets the work done. It is perfect for newbies due to its simplicity of use and is still reliable enough to meet anyone’s needs. If you are looking for the cheapest rangefinder under $200 dollars, then this could work for you. The brand is well known and the streamline gives you comfort.
With a 4x magnification which expands your field of vision and a maximum range of up to 600 yards, Bushnell Bone Collector does a good job. If you have a few more dollars to spare, you can choose this one for its one-yard accuracy, its simple one-button operation, and the perfect rugged packaging that makes it resistant to weather conditions. It is also loved by many which make it worth a try.
It also comes in a vertical style which makes it suitable for one hand use and the compact and lightweight design allows you to even carry it in your pocket. Unlike Nikon 8397 whose battery is hard to find, for budget reasons, this one uses a 9V battery which can be reused and is easy to find.
- Measures in meters and yards
- LCD allows for easy readings
- Very accurate
- Has low light superior imaging
- Reusable battery
- It doesn’t measure angles
- Its battery can be difficult to change in the field
- You have to turn it off to change the distance measurement
If you are looking for a rangefinder that will give you value for your money in terms of efficiency and durability, then this is your best choice. At such an affordable price, you get the work done in a reliable manner and features that go beyond its price limit. But if you want something that can handle more distance, then read on; there are better options.
Bushnell never disappoints in terms of quality, functionality, and durability; which is why this is a smart buy for anybody looking for some more distance. It covers up to 800 yards with +/- 1-yard accuracy which means that you will not have to worry about missing your target. It comes with a 1 button operation which makes it easy to use and a lightweight design for portability reasons.
Just like other Bushnells, its design makes it easy to use and handle and the best part is the fact that its difficult target functionality is improved. This makes it a better choice compared to the rangefinders reviewed above.
- 800 yards range
- One button operation
- Good image quality
- Comes with a case, and a lanyard
- LCD is difficult to read in low light conditions
This rangefinder covers some distance and is pro when it comes to ease of use; thanks to the one button design and the user manuals that come with it. It also covers some more distance within the budget. So if you are looking for some more functionality in terms of distance coverage and ease of use packed in one, then this is a smart buy for you.
If you want more power in terms of magnification, then this unit gives you just that. With 6 times magnification, you can be assured of clarity for up to 650 yards. It comes with a high contrast LCD that will give you sharper images and a fast focus eyepiece that makes your adjustments in the field quick and precise. This rangefinder might let you down when it comes to distance, but it comes packed with better and advanced features. It also features a scan mode function which makes it easy to target while moving.
If you hate being inconvenienced by a dying battery, then its CR2 lithium battery will give you convenience and accessibility. The fully multi-coated lens system goes ahead to give you clean and pristine images that are reliable. Sadly, you can only use this to hunt but not to play golf because it lacks angle compensation which is very important in golf.
- Fog proof and weatherproof
- Easy to use
- The rubber gives it a good grip
- It has line of sight distance to see a straight line
- No angle compensation
- Goes up to 650 yards only
From a company like Leupold that has been dealing with optics for a very long time, you can trust them when it comes to optical power. This is your smartest choice within budget in terms of accuracy given the level of magnification. All other features like ease of use, durability, portability, and clarity of images make it one the best rangefinders under $200. This is the best rangefinder in terms of affordability and the fact that it packs more features compared to the rest.
This 500 yard to reflective target comes with a 6 times magnification and a precision of +/-1 yard. What makes it stand out from the rest is its scan mode that enables constant ranging. It can be a bit hard to use because you have to use the eyepiece to focus and zoom (which can be challenging). It uses CR2 lithium battery which is long lasting and the battery icon will remind you when it’s time to change it. The only problem is that the battery is a rare find. However, that will not be a problem anytime soon thanks to its power saving function that allows it to power off after 20 seconds of not being used.
Its compact and lightweight design make it easy to carry around. In terms of durability, it will give you a good waterproof which makes it usable in all weather conditions. Its anti-fog coating means you can use even when it’s misty in the mornings. The rubber coat armor gives it some damage proof against falls and bumps. Its LCD display allows you to estimate the distance between your target and you very accurately.
- Very affordable
- Extended power saver mode
- Has one button operating system which makes it easy to use
- Measures in yards and meters
- Accurate and fast scanning
- Difficult reading in low light conditions
- Lacks angle calculation
- Batteries are hard to find
For a newbie who wants to use some more magnification at a cheaper price without compromising on other important qualities, then this is a smart choice. You could feel let down by its limited distance coverage but for the price, the accuracy and field of vision are perfect. The scan mode also makes for the days when you have to target moving objects. With this choice, you get more value for your money.
All the rangefinders listed above have the best customer reviews otherwise they wouldn’t make it to this list. For a budget of $200, you might not get the best combination of features in the industry but they get the work done especially for beginners.
This comparison gives you a clear picture of your smartest rangefinder choice when you are working on a tight budget. For the cheapest rangefinder with reliable features, Halo XRT-7 takes the trophy. At that price, the level of magnification and the extra scan mode feature gives it a plus. If you want to cover better distance within the same magnification of 6 times, then you will pay more to get Leupold RX. If the distance is more important to you, then the best rangefinder would be Bushnell Trophy Extreme. Depending on your preference and ranking of features, you can now make your choice based on what is more important to you.