Although rangefinder is classified as optional tools for bow hunting, it takes no small role in your hunting trip success. It measures distance at an extreme accuracy, far better than naked eyes, especially in some specific conditions like dusk, dawn, or low-light situations.
But before exploiting many of its benefits, you need to consider choosing the best rangefinder for bow hunting that fits most to your needs. Below are some top choices picked by our experts:
Here are the best rangefinders for bow hunting you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall: Gogogo 6X
- The Longest Range: Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders
- Best For Short Distance: Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder
- Best For Low Light Conditions: Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000
- Steady Accurate View: Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR 16211
- Best For Rain Sighting: Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC
|Top 6 Best Rangefinders For Bow Hunting|
|Gogogo 6X||Read Our Review|
The Longest Range
|Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders||Read Our Review|
Best For Short Distance
|Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder||Read Our Review|
Best For Low Light Conditions
|Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000||Read Our Review|
Steady Accurate View
|Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR 16211||Read Our Review|
Best For Rain Sighting
|Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: Gogogo 6X
- Require a steady hand when ranging the flag on the green in a golf course
- Don’t work in high-humidity environments
The camouflage Gogogo 6X stands out as an exceptional rangefinder that touts versatility.
Not only does it give you everything needed in a rock bottom price point but it also offers great functionality for golf, bow-hunting, rifle-hunting, and more. The measuring range is up to 1200 yards with 6x magnification and +/- 1m high accuracy.
The fully multicoated optic lens helps increase the light transmission while reducing reflected light efficiently to hence give you a brighter, clearer image.
It also comes with a diopter for adjustment so that you can get the most accurate focus on display, and many integrated latest technologies. Such as the Speed Measuring, Pin-Seeking and Flagpole-Locking Vibration, and ARC.
|Gogogo 6X Specifications|
+/- 1m @ 1000yds
5 to 650/1200 yards
A Long Press "MODE" button
Speed Measuring, Pin-Seeking and Flagpole-Locking Vibration
ARC, & continuous range readings
Fully multicoated optic lens
Designed with versatility, multi-functionality, and affordability in mind, the Gogogo 6X can meet most user’s needs.
The Longest Range: Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders
- Highest accurate distance and shot precision – measuring range of 9 to 1800 yards & an accuracy within -/+ 3 yards @ 1000 yards
- Durable and functional - water- and fog-proof design
- Easy to read data - primary HCD screen displays with a reasonable angle-compensated distance
- Powered by CR2 batteries which are hard to find
The Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder is the No.1 bestseller on Amazon.
It is ranged from 9 to 1800 yards that will give you the highest accurate distance and shot precision, especially when hunting in high country or a tree-stand, with no difficulty. The unit also boasts a max angle reading of +/- 60 degrees and an accuracy within -/+ 3 yards @ 1000 yards.
What we appreciate the most is its weatherproof features, with water- and fog-proof components to capably work in a temperature range of 14 to 131 degrees F.
Reading data in this rangefinder isn’t a thing as well thanks to the primary HCD screen displays with a reasonable angle-compensated distance.
|Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders Specifications|
+/- 3 yds @ 1000yds
Measuring range of 9 to 1800 yards
A max angle reading of +/- 60 degrees & an accuracy within -/+ 3 yards @ 1000 yards
Water- and fog-proof design
Primary HCD screen displays with a reasonable angle-compensated distance
Specifically designed for the majority of long-range shooters and hunters, the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder can’t be dismissed.
Best For Short Distance: Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder
- Affordable – offer super-low price ranges, even under $50
- Quick and precise - 10-600 yards, with one-yard accuracy and 4x magnification
- No lanyard included although there’s a hole for this rangefinder
This entry-level model meets basic needs on bow-hunting or golfing within 10-600 yards, with one-yard accuracy and 4x magnification. Although such specifications aren’t outstanding, they’re not bad either, especially when you’re seeking a budget-friendly model.
It’s pretty quick and precise!
Just by pressing the button on the top, you’ll get all needed data within seconds in the best results, even when there is a hill or slope between you and your target.
The image portrayed isn’t shaking under slight movements as you reposition for sharpshooting and it has crystal-clear, sharply-contrasted details down to a gnat’s eyebrow.
|Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder Specifications|
+/- 1 yards
10 to 600 yards
Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder
Volt & Venture Models
Target from 10 to 600 yards
4x magnification and bright
The Simmons 801600 dominates the competition with its unbeatably low price tag with no compromises of quality and performance, winning our award for best rangefinder for short ranges.
Best For Low Light Conditions: Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000
- Durable & versatile – Water-resistant design
- Allow for seeing and ranging the target easy and quick - the ultra-long eye relief design of 20.3mm
- Enhance the horizontal distance to the target - the brand’s signature advanced ID Technology
- Not submersible
- A bit hard to range a small target past 200 yards
- No option to turn off the angle compensator
The Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 is fairly lightweight, easy to use, and works decently in low light conditions. The water-resistant construction also allows it to be exposed safely to light rains.
A notable feature in this unit is the ultra-long eye relief design of 20.3mm, which means it can make viewing and ranging the target super-easy and quick.
Combining with the brand’s signature advanced ID Technology, the horizontal distance to the target is enhanced hugely, even in different incline and decline shooting angles.
So, the ideal situations for this rangefinder are bowhunting in steep terrains or on a tree stand where the decline or incline can truly put you out if you don’t compensate.
|Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 Specifications|
Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder
Incredibly long, 20.3mm eye relief makes viewing and ranging your target fast and easy
We recommend the Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 for die-hard bow hunters who are looking to a rangefinder for low light conditions.
Steady Accurate View: Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR 16211
- Reduce image shakiness up to 80% - the VR (Vibration Reduction) technology
- Read data instantaneously - the HYPER READ technology & a 5-yard accuracy
- Ultra-durable – waterproof construction
- No LED display
With the Arrow ID 7000 VR, Nikon has once again lead the world’s most advanced rangefinder for bowhunting.
By featuring the VR (Vibration Reduction) technology, this unit doesn’t require a steady hand to make a still shot. It can do that by itself with image shakiness reduction up to 80%, which is incredible.
More than that, it is applied the HYPER READ technology to give you PDQ readings (within 0.5 seconds) with a 5-yard accuracy, and, its measuring range is up to 1000 yards for long-distance hunters to play with.
One thing to note: The body of this rangefinder is waterproof, which means it can be submerged in the water with hassle-free.
|Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR 16211 Specifications|
- 0.1 yd
Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder 16211
Don’t have a steady hand? No problem! The Nikon Arrow ID 7000 VR with 80% image shakiness reduction will help you handle that.
Best For Rain Sighting: Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC
- Ultra-convenient and extremely functional – provide scan and burst modes
- Precisely predict your bullet or arrow flight - the big heavy hitters
- Need time to get used to using it
The basic features of Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC are relatively impressive to us: weighing 6.6 ounces, a 0.5-yard accuracy, and measuring range up to 1000 yards. Pride aside, this is a fantastic all-year-round rangefinder for bow hunters and shooters.
But what draw us into this unit in the first place is the technology applications.
It helps call your shots before even making them by letting you know if there are bush or limbs in the way, the elevation, and the angle of your tree stand.
This feature is done up to 1000 yards for the bullet mode and 200 yards for the bow mode. This is incredibly ideal for tree-stand hunting during the summer, turkey season or in the rain, either getting a precise measurement of a single distance or several targets at a time.
|Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC Specifications|
Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6 x 21mm Laser Rangefinder
Range: 5-1000 yards
Pack a ton in a smaller, lighter package, this laser rangefinder from Bushnell is what any modern bow hunter is after to get ready for every season, even in the rain.
How To Choose The Best Rangefinders For Bow Hunting?
When it comes to optics, there are five major things you should keep in mind: lens, size, magnification, angle compensation, and range.
The location, amount, type, and quality of the coating will affect how it can best be used, the price of a rangefinder, and how clear and crisp the target is shown.
The four common types of coating are:
- Coated lenses – feature a single layer applied on one surface
- Multiple coated - feature multiple layers covered on one surface
- Fully-coated - feature a single layer covered to both sides
- Fully multi-coated – feature multiple layers covered to both sides
The multiple coated and fully multi-coated are pricier than the rest, and they are commonly used in dark forested area or low-light conditions. On the contrary, the coated lenses and the fully-coated are more affordable, and ideal to be used in bright light.
The larger the lenses, the higher the price and the heavier the weight. Not to say that it’s bulkier to carry.
But they help reduce restriction to your field of vision while allowing more light in, delivering clearer and crispier images. In general, we suggest using large lenses for days spending in a tree stand or sitting in a blind.
This impacts on how clearly you can see the target, especially when it’s far from your standing position.
4x magnification is a good start. Low magnification allows you to observe a moving target better while a higher model is best to watch a stationary target. If you need a rangefinder with higher magnification, we advise not to go any higher than 8x.
Unless you always hunt on the level and flat terrains, considering an optics with good angle compensation is essential. It helps calculate distances at an angle so that you’ll get a better idea of how high to aim the bow for a more accurate shot.
Of course, some people might wonder why not calculate it by ourselves. This literally is possible but the risks of losing sight of your target are higher, which is not worthy.
Choosing the right range for bow shooting ensures you receive the most accurate sight and distance calculations. For long-distance shots, go for a range of 1000 yards or more.
One thing to note: The number of the range provided by the manufacturer is commonly measured in ideal weather conditions, meaning that it would be lower in rainy or overcast weather.
In rangefinder, choosing the right type means you have succeeded half of the journey. And in terms of bowhunting, there are two popular options to consider:
The distance will be measured by rotating two images reflected in the mirrors of your optical rangefinder until only one target is displayed on the dial.
In other words, it takes time and some patience to use this type of rangefinder, which we recommend for stationary targets. And as it’s inexpensive, beginners could pick one to start their hunting journey without breaking the bank.
A higher-end type is laser rangefinders which use infrared light to calculate the distance to a target. Namely, it tracks the amount of time taken for the light to go to a target and back, then shows the result on a tiny integrated screen.
In comparison, this gives more accurate results because the light speed is always constant. But take note of two things: 1) it doesn’t work on all types of target and 2) it’s pricey.
Which Brands Make The Best Rangefinders For Bow Hunting?
- Vortex Optics is one of the American brand that have retained the largest market share in the global optics equipment industry for recent years. Founded in 2004, it offers a wide range of products, comprising of riflescopes, spotting scopes, binoculars, and other optics accessories.
- Founded in 1983, Simmons outperforms all others in its class, making it a visionary leader in high-value, high-quality binoculars and rangefinders. Their products are endorsed worldwide for extraordinary optical innovation and rugged durability.
- The biggest Japanese multinational corporation that specializes in imaging and optics products. Founded in 1917, their product collections at the current is truly vast.
Do you need a rangefinder for bow hunting?
This is considered optional for bow hunting but could be your best workhorse in the field to help provide accurate ranges within seconds, even in different terrains.
Can you use golf rangefinder for bow hunting?
Yes, you can.
As golf rangefinders could give a maximum range of 400 yards, which is appropriate to be used in bow hunting.
Do you need slope on a rangefinder for shooting?
As long as you plan to hunt in sloped or hilly terrains, then yes, you do. It takes one step further by giving you elevation adjusted distances to the target.
How much does slope affect distance in shooting? Or, how does elevation affect distance shooting?
The slope of an area could affect the distance of your bow shots within 20-50 yards. A big change!
There you have it, our comprehensive review of the best rangefinder for bow hunting. All of our testing and information gathering will hopefully illuminate each unit’s pros, cons, and overall value to let you insightfully pick the right one for your next trip.