Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder

Last updated date: March 29, 2021

DWYM Score

8.9

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder

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We looked at the top Rangefinders and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Rangefinder you should buy.

Update as March 29, 2021:
Checkout The Best Rangefinder for a detailed review of all the top rangefinders.

Overall Take

Bow hunters may gravitate toward this rangefinder. It uses technology that can measure angle and slope. This is also a benefit for rifle hunters. Thanks to 6X magnification, this model provides enhanced performance as well.


In our analysis of 64 expert reviews, the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder placed 6th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Ranger Rangefinders give hunters and shooters distance data needed to make accurate shots. Easy to use with a clean display and highly intuitive menu, the Rangers keep things simple, yet provide a high level of performance. Primary HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) mode displays an angle-compensated distance reading. Three reticle brightness settings match ambient light conditions. Scan Mode gives range readings as you pan across the landscape or track a moving animal. Adjustable, utility clip secures the unit to a belt, pocket, pack, or other flat-edged surface. Fully multi-coated lenses deliver optimal light transmission. O-ring sealed for waterproof performance. Ideal for gun hunters, target shooters and bowhunters, Ranger rangefinders put the odds of accurate down-range impacts in your favor.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.5
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
365 user reviews

What experts liked

Incredible range (up to 1,000 yards) and great in wet and low light conditions
- BestReviews
The unit is built with a rubberized coating and sealed o-ring housing which makes it both dustproof and waterproof.
- Outside Pursuits
The Primary Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode of the Ranger 1300 offers an angle-or-slope compensation distance at one push. Archers and rifle shooters stay quick on the draw as it illuminates your hold at harsh angles.
- Rangefinder Lab
The red digital lights really stand out against most backgrounds and make it very easy to see in all lighting conditions. You can adjust the lighting display to accommodate sunrise, midday, and late evening. The Vortex Rangefinder 1000 has
- Bullseye Hunting and Shooting
May 2, 2016 | Full review
The LED display has 3 brightness settings and was bright and easy to read on the medium setting under most lighting conditions.
- Pure Elevation

What experts didn't like

Not great for computing wind effects and ballistics
- BestReviews
Keep in mind that if ranging a smaller target, non-reflective, or quartering away your range will be significantly shorter.
- Outside Pursuits
It only displays range increments in 1 yard but not tenths
- Rangefinder Lab
Some have complained that it is a bit slower than some of the other high-end rangefinders-anywhere from one-second to four seconds to get a readout.
- Bullseye Hunting and Shooting
May 2, 2016 | Full review
The Ranger also struggled a little more scanning through light grass and brush to hit a distant target. You would eventually hit your desired target but it would take a couple attempts or using the scan mode to get it done
- Pure Elevation

An Overview On Rangefinders

If you like to hunt, you already know there is no shortage of tools to make your life easier. A rangefinder is one of those tools, allowing you to spot your prey far better than you ever could with the naked eye. But different types of hunting call for different types of rangefinders, so it’s important to know what to look for before you buy.

If you’re a bowhunter, angle-compensating software is essential since you need to be able to calculate the angle necessary to hit your mark. Rifle-geared rangefinders aren’t as sophisticated as precision-shooting rangefinders, which are made for those hunters who are very particular. You’ll find many rangefinders tackle the basics of helping you spot prey from a distance, but some have special features built for the type of hunting you’ll be doing.

Weather is an important consideration when you’re researching rangefinders. Some rangefinders are more waterproof than others, making them ideal for those early morning rainstorms. You’ll also find some rangefinders struggle to work in low lighting, forcing you to wait until daylight to get started.

Performance is going to be your top consideration with a rangefinder, which means you’ll need to look at distance abilities. Some rangefinders are built to read targets from farther away than others, which is something worth considering if you want to cover a broad distance. But once your rangefinder has spotted a target, the reading it gives needs to be accurate and quick as well. The goal is to be able to spot your target and take action in milliseconds, rather than wasting valuable time.

Lastly, tripod compatibility will also be a factor if you want to be in hands-free mode. In some cases, you can simply buy an inexpensive tripod sleeve to turn your handheld into a mounted device in a matter of seconds. As you’re considering that, keep weight and size in mind. You’ll probably want a rangefinder that is easy to carry along with you as you head out on your hunts.

The Rangefinder Buying Guide

  • First, it’s important to factor in the type of hunting you’ll be doing. An angle or slope compensation distance feature, ensures your hold is illuminated even at the harshest angles. Whether you’re hunting with a rifle or bow, this feature can make a big difference.
  • If you’re looking for distance, go with a model that can target any range within a 2-mile distance. Distance depends on what you’re targeting, though. You can only range trees within 1,600 yards, and deer are limited to 1,300 yards.
  • Magnification also plays into how well a rangefinder performs. Some units offer 6X magnification, while other models only offers 5X.
  • You should also pay close attention to eye relief, which has to do with the distance between the eye and the lens. The minimum you can have with a clear view is 15mm, so you’ll want to stay close to that range. Others provide 18mm eye relief.
  • Some rangefinders can be prone to errors, so it’s important to look at advertised accuracy ratings. Some rangefinders have exceptional accuracy, displaying readings that are exact to the nearest 1/10 yard. Other rangefinders only promise range increments in 1 yard.
  • You don’t have time to waste once your rangefinder spots something. For that reason, scanning speed is essential. Look for rangefinders that use HyperScan™ Technology to provide four range updates per second when in scan mode. Some rangefinders, by comparison, can take one to four seconds to offer a reading.
  • Some hunters like to set their rangefinders on a tripod to keep their hands free for when they need to take action. Consider a model with a separately sold sleeve that you can use with a tripod.
  • It’s also important to consider size and weight if you’ll be carting your rangefinder around all day. A small and light model may measure 3.1 by 4 by 1.6 inches and weigh 12 ounces.
  • You won’t always have dry conditions, so it’s important to consider how weatherproof your rangefinder is. Go with a rangefinder that is both water-resistant and rainproof.
  • Some rangefinders struggle in low light. Since you probably won’t limit your trips to daylight hours, you need to look for a rangefinder that can perform when the sun goes down. Consider a rangefinder that uses red digital lights that stand out against all types of backgrounds, as well as keeps visibility high at night. You can adjust the lighting display for whatever time of day it is.
  • Rangefinders can be on the expensive side, but you can find a high-quality model that fits your budget.