Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: November 19, 2022
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Are you looking to buy a rangefinder but are not willing to pay through the nose? If so, you might believe that you will not find the best model to suit your needs. If that is your assumption, you’d be wrong. Why? Because there are budget rangefinders on the market that come with plenty of useful features that you’ll only find on more expensive models. In this review, we have provided a discussion of some of the best models on the market right now. Reading our review of the best rangefinder under 200 will narrow your choices and assist you to make a better buying choice.
Since there are several models on the market, it is important that you know the features to consider when making a purchase. Some of these important features are eye relief, magnification, max range, field of view, dimensions, and weight. In the buying guide section, we will discuss each of these features as well. Read on to find out our best picks.
More features: intuitive display, HCD mode, LOS mode displays, scan, ranging format
Our first model on this roundup is the Vortex Impact 6×15. The Vortex Impact 6×15. Comes with plenty of useful features despite coming for less than 200 dollars. It has a compact and lightweight build that ensures that it can follow you wherever you go. Part of the appeal is also the multi-coated lenses. Due to the multi-coating, you have a model that allows as much light to enter through safely, thus allowing you to see well. Additionally, there is a HCD display that helps to compensate for the angle of the target. This display comes in very useful if you are shooting from an elevated position.
Another notable feature of this model is the advanced LOS system. Many have commented on the ability to calculate long distances with ease by using this feature. Whether shooting from long distances or at wide angles, the LOS system will still offer you plenty of accuracy. Another feature that makes this the top rated model on this roundup is the presence of a scanner. The scanner gives you real-time analysis of your panning as you follow the target, thereby showing you the distance between the both of you.
In the LOS mode, you’ll discover that you can change the reading between yard and meters for better understanding. Overall, it comes with useful features that make it the top pick for less than 200 dollars on the market today.
What makes it stand out? Well, the LOS system is an innovative feature that makes it easier to hit the target. The HCD display also helps to improve sighting and overall accuracy.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Although there are several useful features, the Vortex Impact 6×15 finds it difficult to operate in foggy conditions. Additionally, the display isn’t illuminated which makes it hard to read in certain conditions.
More features: JOLT Technology, slope distance correction. speed modes, measuring range of speed: 20-300km/h
Second on the list is the Gogogo Sport Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder. After scouring the internet for a good rangefinder that won’t cost through the nose, we were more than relieved to discover a model that comes for less than 200 dollars but still offers some of the best performance. It has almost every feature you need in a rangefinder for hunting or golfing. Let’s see.
When choosing a rangefinder, it is important that you keep optics in mind. And that is what we will start from. The optics on the Gogogo Sport Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder are some of the best we have seen on a sub-200 model. It has 6X magnification that brings targets well within sight as long as they lie in a 600 yard range.
Another nice feature is the vibrating pin-lock. This feature will allow you to read the distance. Once this is done, the Gogogo Sport Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder will vibrate immediately it has locked onto a target. Coupled with this feature is the continuous scan mode. It is built to let you see the distance to several targets that lie within 600 yards of the model. This will come in very handy whether hunting or golfing since it offers you a wider field of view.
The aforementioned features are fairly common on rangefinders at this price, so what really made us include the Gogogo Sport Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder in this list are the slope calculator and speedometer.
When compared with costlier models, it offers almost identical performance. In terms of lens quality, it is as good as more expensive rangefinders. Additionally, the speed and accuracy are also impressive for a rangefinder at this price.
What do we love it for? Overall, we enjoyed using the Gogogo Sport Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder. It comes with a speedometer and slope calculator that isn’t common at this price. Another feature we like is the ability to attach a strap to it, thus making it easy to carry around while hunting or golfing.
What were we disappointed with? While accuracy is top-notch, the Gogogo Sport Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder falters when it comes to speed. It takes a fair bit of time for it to give an accurate distance. Sometimes, it even picks up objects that lie beyond the target.
More features: 1-year warranty, +/-1 yard water resistant, class IIIA laser, 5 mW or less, powered by CR2 battery (included)
Halo is a reputable manufacturer of budget rangefinders. The Halo 450XL Laser Range Finder HALRF0096 comes with plenty of the useful features for rangefinding while coming at a very attractive price. It is a 450 yards to reflective model that gives you up to 4 times magnification and impressive precision. As a result, it stands out from the rest of the options in its price range. Another reason why this is highly rated is the constant ranging feature. This feature lies in the scan mode and usually comes in pretty useful. While it has its downside, the advantages surely are more than any disadvantages. It weighs about 0.75 ounces. Therefore, it is one of the lightest on this roundup. If you are just starting to golf or hunt and need decent magnification at a decent price, then this is a good choice. It offers features like a scan mode that helps you identify any moving objects.
Despite the low price, it comes with a level of water resistance that allows you to use it even in fairly bad weather. Powered by a CR2 lithium battery, it lasts for a long time. There is also a battery indicator that lets you know whenever the battery is running low. Durability and the lightweight nature makes for an excellent combination. Additionally, it features rare anti-fog coating, something not often found in models at thus price. The rubber coating offers you excellent grip and further protects the model from bumps and impacts.
What makes it stand out? Well, there is so much to like. The durable build and lightweight construction makes it an excellent find. It also comes with a clear LCD display to show you an accurate value of the distance between you and your target. Another thing is that the power saving function powers it off after 20 seconds of unused.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The battery lasts for a long time, but it is hard to replace. Another thing is that the LCD display is not easy to read in poor light conditions. Lastly, we wish it has angle calculation.
More features: ARC technology, selectable reticle, EXO barrier, brush and Bullseye mode, scan mode
The Bushnell Prime 1300 6×24 does an excellent job at being a rangefinder. It comes with up to 6 times magnification that helps you to see farther and expands your field of vision. With this model, you can see up to 1300 yards away. It is therefore the most powerful on this roundup. As a cheap rangefinder, the Bushnell Prime 1300 6×24 is widely considered to be an absolute masterpiece at this price.
The Bushnell brand is known for the high quality of its models, especially the optics. Well, this model certainly does not disappoint. The range is up to 1300 yards which is great for hunting, golfing or other activities that require a rangefinder. The overall performance is better than the price. Talking about accuracy, this is one of the most accurate models on the market. You can take your reading almost immediately at the correct distance.
Additionally, it offers you one-button use, therefore it is easy to handle. The design also makes it an awesome model because it is lightweight and easy to carry around. The body is made of high quality materials that make it resistant to bumps, impacts and bad weather conditions.
Another notable feature is the ARC mode. This mode is made to perfect your bow hunting by giving you the degree of elevation and a correct horizontal distance. There are other modes too, including one for gun hunting, the VSI, and the Brush Mode made to allow you see the target unhindered by brush. The scan mode changes the reading as you move.
What stands out? This model is known for the impressive accuracy, one-handed use and the durable build that ensures that you can use it in different weather conditions without damage.
What cons did we manage to find? This model is excellent for short range shooting but not for long-range shooting. The eye relief is also not great and will not suit anyone that wears glasses. Another thing that could be better is the ability to see through fog.
More features: SpectraCoat anti-reflection coatings, Lightwave DSP Technology, HyperScan, RangeLock
The last on this roundup is the Sig Sauer KILO1000 5×20 from Sig Sauer. It is an excellent option for less than 200 dollars and measures far distances with some ease. It comes with plenty of useful settings, including an anti-reflection coating.
Unlike several of the others on this roundup, it comes with two buttons, with one designed for range while the other dictates the mode of the rangefinder. Whether hunting or golfing, you will find the angle adjusted mode useful for getting the distance regardless of your elevation. It is battery-powered, and will last for a lengthy period before you have to replace the battery.
Another feature that it has is the hyperscan. With this function, you can refresh the range four times in one second once you start scanning. The result is that you get a very accurate image. Coupled with this feature is the rangelock that displays the last range that the Sig Sauer KILO1000 5×20 records.
The anti-reflection coating allows more light and improves your view. And with the LOS function, you get very accurate measurements.
What stands out? The ability to refresh four times in one second is a welcome development. The Sig Sauer KILO1000 5×20 is also lightweight and durable. Lastly, Lightwave DSP technology is a very handy feature.
What cons did we manage to find? The measurements are just in yards. Another thing that could be better is the ability to get an accurate reading on smaller objects.
In the section above, we have considered the features of five of the best rangefinder under 200. These products are listed to help you to make the right buying choice and assist to narrow your choices. Well, you might not be satisfied by the products we have listed and want something else. In this section, we will review some of the most important features that you absolutely need to consider when choosing a rangefinder. This will help you to make the right choice if shopping independently.
Features to consider
Before buying a rangefinder, and no matter the price, you should always consider the following features:
What does this mean? It means that prior to choosing the rangefinder, you should identify what it would be used for.
There are different uses of the rangefinder, including hunting, golfing, and other activities. You can even use it for archery. Therefore think about the type you’ll get. Some are functional while others are basic. Are you going to use it at high or low elevations? These are some of the things to think about.
The different models on the market have different functions and modes, and these can completely change your experience. There are heavy-duty models that are excellent for long range hunting or shooting, for example, the Sig Sauer KILO1000 5×20, while others are designed for short range use like the Halo 450XL Laser Range Finder HALRF0096.
Build and design
The build and appearance of the rangefinder is important to consider before making a choice. If you are using it for hunting, you want to choose a model that will not be easily spotted by the target. Additionally, things like glare or reflection can spook the target and make your hunting unsuccessful. There are different designs, and black is one of the most common options.
If you are using it for hunting, we recommend that you find a model with a black or camo appearance. That will stop you from being spotted by the target and allows you to slowly and surely take aim. If you will be using it for other purposes like golfing, then you can choose a colorful rangefinder. All of the models above, including our top choice, the Vortex Impact 6×15 is black. The Sig Sauer KILO1000 5×20 even goes further by coming in a black color and having an anti-reflection coating.
The perfect rangefinder should be ready for use in different types of weather. If you are hunting, precise measurements can be the difference between success and failure. The experience would be pointless if you simply cannot see properly when looking through the lens and targeting your objects. Since hunting and other activities you will be using a rangefinder for are done outdoors, you have to ensure that the rangefinder is up to the task. One important feature is fog resistance.
Additionally, you might end up in the rain while hunting. Therefore, you must ensure that your rangefinder is impervious to the elements and will remain functional even after a heavy downpour.
The speed here indicates how quickly you can achieve a correct measurement. It is especially important if you are targeting moving objects, after all, the deer will not remain permanently in a spot until you can shoot it. Therefore, you want to get the accurate measurements as quickly as possible. Some of the best models on the market, including models under 200 dollars are quite fast. The top pick, the Vortex Impact 6×15 is one of such fast models.
The range indicates how far away the target is from you. If you don’t know the range, you’ll more often than not make a wrong decision or not hit the target. Aside from the obvious benefit, the best rangefinders does more than just tell you the range. It also can give you other values like the angle calculation between you and the target. More advanced models will indicate the best time to take a shot.
Some of the units we reviewed have a long range, even up to 1300 yards.
There are three main types of rangefinders on the market. These are the laser, optical, and infrared models.
The Laser type, as the name implies, uses a laser beam to determine the distance between you and the target. This is a common type of technology employed since it can be used at all times of the day.
The optical rangefinder comes with a pair of lenses to help you see the target. It works like a pair of binoculars. When you search for the target via the lens, the images combine to form one and then give you an accurate measurement of the targets’ location.
The infrared rangefinder is similar to the laser rangefinder. However, instead of a laser, this type of rangefinder depends on triangulation to determine distance. It will calculate the angle of the beam and use that to know the correct distance.
This feature is very important when choosing a rangefinder. The better the accuracy, the better the rangefinder. Accuracy is usually pretty high on expensive rangefinders and lower on cheaper models. The models we have mentioned above come with decent level of accuracy.
From the name, it is quite clear what this is about. Magnification is what lets you see far way objects from your position. If you are shooting long range, then you would need a scope with powerful magnification. The level of magnification of your rangefinder will bring it closer and give you a clearer view of the target.
The eye relief is the distance between the lens and your eye.
If you are wearing glasses while using a rangefinder, it is important that you choose a model with plenty of eye relief.
The larger the eye relief, the better for you. From the models that we have reviewed above, the Sig Sauer KILO1000 5×20 offers the best eye relief and will let you see with glasses.
Size and Weight
Since the rangefinder is for outdoor use, you will likely need it to be lightweight and easy to carry around. Some of the best models even come with a lanyard or strap to let you hang it around your neck. You also want to consider the size. Do you prefer to use it one-handed? Then you will need a model small and compact enough to be handled with one hand.
Some rangefinders run on batteries while others are rechargeable. Whichever type you choose, ensure that it can run for a long time before you need to change it. If it runs on batteries, you want to consider choosing a model that has easily accessible batteries.
Well, this depends on the model. Some of the best options can last for several months or a year before you need to change them. Remember too that the more you use the rangefinder, the closer you are to having to change the battery.
Yes, but it depends on the model. Some of the units have the ability to toggle between yards and meters.
From the review above, you can see that you can still get a high quality rangefinder even if you are spending less than 200 dollars. There are several excellent models on the market. Our top three are the Vortex Impact, Gogogo Sport laser, and the Halo 450xl.
The top choice, the Vortex Impact is a lightweight model that comes in a compact form to make it easy to carry around. It has an advanced LOS system to help to calculate long distances. The Gogogo Sport laser model offers a 6X magnification lens to capture objects that are up to 600 yards away. It comes with a scan mode that helps to see the distance to more than one target. If you are on a budget, the Halo 450XL will serve you well as it offers 4X magnification and a relatively large reflective range. Additionally, there are different display modes and readouts to aid you find the target quickly.
We hope that you go through our picks above and find the best rangefinder under 200 for your needs.
How to Use a Hunting Rangefinder
An accurate shot begins by understanding the distance between you and your target. Being certain of this measurement can help hunters place a more ethical shot on game. This can result in a cleaner harvest. Laser rangefinders can be the perfect accessory to help you confirm your shooting distances with one look through the lens.