You have no items in your shopping cart.
You have no items in your shopping cart.
A rangefinder can be a valuable tool for most types of hunting, but it is essential when tracking elusive quarry over long distances where precision shots are vital.
Over the past few decades, many companies that once built excellent outdoor equipment have outsourced designs and manufacturing overseas to the detriment of quality. To find out which brands are building the best hunting rangefinders, we looked at different products from dozens of companies to determine which ones we would be proud to take on the trail.
When we look at which brands are building quality products, we aren’t always looking at the products themselves. Instead, we start by looking at the business as a whole, its history, its target market, and its efforts to explain the features, functions, and components of its products. We’ve found that companies with a cloudy past that are hush-hush about where and how the products are made tend to have lower quality products. We also look at overall buyer reviews, customer service experiences, and the business's involvement in sporting and hunting programs to determine what makes a brand better than its competitors.
Just because a company has found less expensive ways to produce outdoor equipment doesn’t mean the brand is no good. Some companies do an above-average job with quality control, ensuring that lower costs don’t result in lower quality.
The brands we selected for this list have a proven track record of producing quality rangefinders and a reputation for innovation that allows the newest rangefinders to work better than previous designs.
Bushnell rangefinders perfectly show how a company can responsibly build low-cost hunting rangefinders while maintaining high quality standards. We learned that Bushnell manufactures its line of rangefinders in 10 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. The company is part of Vista Outdoor, Inc., which owns more than three dozen shooting and outdoor brands.
Most Bushnell products are good quality and affordable options for hunting. We have had few problems wiith rangefinders from Bushnell, however, customers who have reached out to customer service generally have reported a disappointing experience.
Leupold started out as a company making measuring instruments back in 1907. Today, descendants of the same families that started the company continue to produce some of the finest hunting optics around. The company is based in Beaverton, OR, with manufacturing facilities in China and Japan. It appears that most of the lower-end rangefinders are made in China, while higher-end options are made in Japan.
Leupold rangefinders tend to be nearly problem-free, even after several seasons of use. Few people report needing to reach out to customer service with rangefinder problems, but the company usually finds ways to correct whatever issue happens.
Nikon isn’t the first name that pops into mind when shopping for hunting rangefinders. In fact, the company markets its rangefinders for forestry. The company continues to provide superior Japanese optics with state-of-the-art technology. Nikon products tend to be high-quality and reliable. The people we found who had used the Nikon hunting rangefinder had positive experiences.
Customer support generally gets poor remarks from customers who are trying to solve problems and use warranty benefits. Most people using a Nikon rangefinder are using them for golf.
This is another brand that manufactures its products in China, but maintains a robust and responsible quality control team that produces some excellent rangefinders. The company brands itself as a customer-forward business. Vortex is one of the newer players in the hunting optics scene and have established themselves as a brand that puts out quality products.
One thing that sets Vortex apart from many of the big names on this list is the company’s focus on customer service. Customers are addressed promptly, repairs are made quickly, and everything the company sells is warrantied for life. They’ve quickly become one of our favorite brands for optics.
Maven is another newer name that has brought world-class optics and the latest in technology together to produce excellent quality, accurate hunting rangefinders. The company manufactures its rangefinders i the Phillipines under strict quality control measures. The result is rangefinders that are easy to use and provide excellent results.
Maven products have a reputation for high-quality and reliability. As a result, there are few records of customer service issues. The few people we could find that had contacted Maven had nothing but positive things to say.
Swarovski recently discontinued the monocular-type rangefinder in favor of the new El Range line. These combine the benefits of binoculars with the capabilities of a hunting rangefinder. Already, the Swarovski rangefinders are earning a reputation for high quality construction and robust durability. The Austrian-made rangefinder gives hunters a binocular with long-range measurement capabilities, angle finding capabilities, and can work with an app for even more features.
Customers are generally happy with products from Swarovski and few have needed to use customer service. When issues have arisen, customers report that Swarovski was quick to address the issue, communicative about the repair or replacement timeframe, and corrected issues.
The brands on our list are not all-inclusive and there are really good brands that we didn’t mention. Over the years, these brands are the ones we have come to trust and ones that consistently provide excellent products.
A hunting rangefinder should be a fun purchase that provides today’s hunters with the best information possible. Choosing the best option should start with buying a product from a reputable company.
For another look at the Best Deer Hunting States, we have a solid blog on that!