The Best Low Light Hunting Rangefinders can extend your hunt. Every hunter is well aware that trophy bucks are the first ones to leave fields in the morning, and the last ones to get back. To ensure that you successfully hunt down the buck, the ideal time to go hunting is either at the crack of dawn, or a few minutes past twilight. However, for that, you need to be physically prepared with the right tools. This is where the best rangefinder for night hunting comes in.
After testing in various lighting, we can say that Sig Sauer Kilo 1600 is the best low light hunting rangefinder. Its optical systems, objective lens, and technology make it the most suitable rangefinder to elevate your hunting experience in the dark.
10 Best Rangefinder for Night Hunting – Low Light Hunting (2022)
Hunting confidently in the dark and low light conditions is the sign of a seasoned hunter. Whether it is scouting an elk amid ‘happy hour’ during dawn, or preying upon the big game in the last moments of sunlight, it cannot be accomplished without an effective rangefinder that works in ambiguous lighting.
To help you perform your best in these challenging conditions, we have analyzed more than 50 rangefinders from different manufactures. Here are the recommended top 10:
- Sig Sauer Kilo 1600 – Best Rangefinder with Illuminated Display
- Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 – Rangefinder with Red Reticle
- ASTRA OPTIX Rangefinder OTX 1600 – Best for Low Light Hunting
- Leupold RX-2800 TBR – Thermal Imaging Rangefinder
- Vortex Optics Razor HD 4000 – Thermal Rangefinder
- Leupold RX Full Draw 4 – Best Rangefinder with Lighted Display
- Bushnell Prime 1700 – Best Night Vision Rangefinder Monocular
- Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R – Best Rangefinder with Night Vision
- Sig Sauer Kilo2400 – Best Night Hunting Rangefinder
- Vortex Optics Fury HD 5000 – Best Night Vision Rangefinder Binoculars
We evaluated their optical specifications, features, pros, and cons. However, it should be taken into consideration that the reticle of a rangefinder for the night and low light is constructed differently from standard rangefinders. They come with red reticle for better display over black/dark objects in low light conditions.
1. Sig Sauer Kilo 1600 – Best Rangefinder with Illuminated Display
The Kilo1600BDX offers astounding performance, simplicity and value...
To assist in low light visibility, the Sig Sauer Kilo 1600 is one of the ideal choices to consider for your pick of a rangefinder that can help you in normal and low light conditions. Thus, this Sig’s best rangefinder with illuminated display is equipped with:
- 25 mm objective lens diameter to help more light to enter the rangefinder
- Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)
Moreover, it hosts a red circle + milling grid reticle. It aids as a measuring guide to form an accurate aiming point measurement as crosshairs or bars. Therefore, it is an imperative feature required in best low light hunting rangefinders for increased visibility in the darkness, which is supported by its multi anti-reflective coating.
This feature provides the user with a high illumination image even in dull lighting due to the multiple layers applied to the surface of the lens, allowing the superior light transmission to take place.
The Sig Sauer Kilo 1600 also hosts an impressive array of features that ticked all our boxes. The Kilo 1600 has an OLED display that truly meets the purpose of increased visibility in dark or low-light areas. The OLED display feature prevents the hunter’s eye pupil from constricting in low light.
Otherwise, it can hinder them from viewing their target. Additionally, it also employs Lumatic Display. The display alters the brightness of the range finder according to the light conditions.
In addition, the Kilo 1600 sports a maximum range of 2000 yards with a magnification of 6x. It also possesses Hyper Scan Technology and BDX Ballistic Data Xchange. You can also get best rangefinder under 300 for hunting and golf.
In conclusion, the Kilo 1600 is one of the best low light hunting rangefinder with illuminated display, which will be a great addition to your hunting equipment. Especially if you are already a regular night-time hunter or someone who is recently adapting themselves to the change.
- Large objective lens for better laser capture
- Red reticle for improved low light vision
- OLED display for crisp display
- Advanced lighting which adjust brightness levels according to night
- Clear monocular optical quality lens
2. Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 – Best Rangefinder with Red Reticle
The Ranger 1800 rangefinder is easy to use and features a clean, illuminated display and highly intuitive menu.
At 20 mm, the objective lens of the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder is just slightly behind the Kilo 2200. However, it is still an appropriate selection of a laser rangefinder if you are searching to operate one in low light areas.
The laser rangefinder also comes with 3 red reticle brightness settings to help in adjusting to the fluctuating ambient light conditions. Fully multi coated lenses to improve light transmission.
The red reticle allows for increased target visibility in dim conditions by displaying bright readings against the darker backdrop where the prey might blend into the dark background.
Additionally, the maximum range of the Vortex Optics Rangefinder is 1800 yards. This is further supported by its 6x magnification. The rangefinder hosts a variety of features such as Horizontal Component Distance (HCD), Line of Sight, and Scan Feature. These functions enable the Vortex rangefinder with red reticle to enhance its performance in low light areas. It also makes readability easier to comprehend.
Although the rangefinder is compact, many hunters complain that it requires a tripod stand. At night, where the eyesight of multiple prey animals and big game improves, the fewer movements you make the better. Hence, to stabilize the laser rangefinder most of them require a tripod. Explore best rangefinder for long range shooting as well.
Therefore, in conclusion, the Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder is the best rangefinder for night hunting. For an entrance-level rangefinder, if you have no experience with nighttime hunting this will be ideal for you.
- 3 brightness modes help in visibility in various environmental conditions
- Optimal light through multi coated lenses
- Large objective lens for clear targets
- Fog and waterproof build helps it working smoothly in various outdoor environments.
- No tripod mount option for long range hunters.
3. ASTRA OPTIX OTX 1600 Rangefinder – Best for Low Light Hunting
Astra Optix gives you the value for your money. This supreme rangefinder is fitted with an all-glass optical system that includes top quality and multi-coated lenses. Moreover, these lenses feature these protective coatings: Anti-reflective coating: For enhanced light transmission and resolution. Rain repellent protective coating: For lens protection against moisture and debris.
What best suits this rangefinder for various hunting sports is the ultra-fast ranging feature. It allows for an accurate and phenomenal speed of over 1700 yards in 0.25 seconds which is mind blowing.
Additionally, the reflective OLED display projects a red reticle, red readout, and five adjustable brightness options. Hence, the perfect light transmission and target acquisition are made possible in lowlight conditions, making it the best rangefinder for night hunting.
Its durable and sturdy structure adds to its appeal. This rangefinder will stand firm against all harsh adversities thrown at it owing to its shockproof and weatherproof design.
The only shortcoming of the Astra Optix that we could find is its low magnification, 6x. Regardless, it still does a great job of providing a clear and precise view of your game.
Finally, the key feature of this rangefinder in our view is the versatile ranging modes all incorporated within it. It flaunts five different ranging modes: horizontal, archery, angle, gun, and golf mode. This means you can readily adapt your rangefinder to any situation without manually laboring to perfect the settings.
- Multi-coated all glass lenses with 6x zoom capability
- Protective and anti reflection coatings
- Reflective red Oled display reticle for better light transmission
- 1700yds/0.25 secs range
- Versatile ranging modes including archery, golf, and gun modes
- Magnification of 6x
4. Leupold RX-2800 TBR – Best Thermal Imaging Rangefinder
Leupold RX-2800 is an easy-to-use and quick rangefinder that ups the level of your hunting game. The use of advanced technology in its design makes it extra adapted to its function. For instance, the Alpha IQ engine boosts range for smaller targets whereas the True Ballistic Range (TBR) technology ensures a successful shot.
Moreover, you can experience a 2800 yards range with ½ yard accuracy, 7x magnification, OLED display for better brightness and clarity.
Equipped with the Oled display, this thermal imaging rangefinder offers red read out, brightness manipulation, and ensures exceptional light transmission which is essential for lowlight conditions. Not only does it provide a red reticle for ease of view in lowlight conditions, but it also includes a variety of reticles to choose from according to the user’s preference.
In any case, the RX-2800 also has some limitations. For instance, the absence of some key modes that enhance the hunting experience. However, the other extraordinary specs such as the speed, make up for the limitations so this unit has still made it to the list of the best rangefinder for night hunting.
Lastly, the last target mode acts as the key feature of this rangefinder. This cool feature makes sure that the rangefinder fixates and reads the farthest target in range. As such, it prevents irrelevant objects like the grass from interfering with the accuracy of the range or shot.
- Last target mode to make accurate shot at the target
- TBR and Alpha IQ technology which helps in bullet drop adjustment
- Reticle variety to select best reticle that suits your needs
- Lack of certain key modes
5. Vortex Optics Razor HD 4000 – Best Thermal Rangefinder
Vortex Optics Razor HD 4000 can be a great addition to your hunting equipment. It is the best hunting partner with a reflective range of 4000 yards, 25mm objective lens with accuracy of 0.5-2 yards (depending on the range) and a linear field view of around 341 ft. with 16-19mm of eye relief.
Not to mention its other cool specs like HD optics, a super long-lasting battery, and precise and accurate measurements. As a result of these key highlights, Vortex Optics Razor HD 4000 flexes exceptional resolution, sharpness, and color. Moreover, its red LED reticle, adjustable brightness, and X plus fully multi-coated lenses accommodate fine light transmission. This, in addition, creates outstanding clarity and low light performance.
Designed with an armorer coating and rubber armor, the Razor HD 4000 is crafted to weather tough conditions. This ensures the gear is externally protected. In addition to that, this rangefinder also supports a waterproof exterior and lenses as a result of O-ring seals.
The 7x magnification can be a downside to this equipment, however, this ranks it a lot better than many other rangefinders that have even lower magnifications and none of the special features of Razor HD.
Although there are certain cameras that gives heat detection. But that technology does not corporates in rangefinders thus you won’t get much of thermal results. The ones providing both are mostly faulty.
Seems like we have to wait for a perfect combination of thermal and ranging equipment. For now Razor 4000 with red reticle and bright display is best choice for thermal rangefinder.
Why we consider this one of the best is because of the four target range modes this rangefinder is equipped with: normal, first, last, and extended. This allows for flawless focus and concentration on the target, thereby increasing the chances of a successful hunt. Moreover, it can be used on a tripod or a car window without fear, increasing its usefulness.
- Can range beyond 2 miles up to 4000 yards
- Red reticle which is suitable for low light environment
- Long-lasting battery life for better output
- Sturdy exterior and O-ring seals for waterproofing
- Requires a tripod for long range yards (steadiness on target and display)
6. Leupold RX Full Draw 4 – Best Rangefinder with Lighted Display
If you are a hunter or an archer with an appetite for nighttime hunting, the Leupold RX might be the best bet for you. This rangefinder has the following highlights: A standard objective lens of 22mm which allows more light to penetrate through for improved resolution clarity. The Full Draw 4 is equipped with a reflective OLED display. It is built with an easily readable red reticle to highlight the readings and images in low light conditions.
Hence, it is the best rangefinder for nighttime hunting as its features translate to a brighter image downrange which delivers a consistently bright and easily visible display.
To alter the brightness settings, the Leupold RX Full Draw 4 offers a manual setting for users to manipulate according to their preference. Thus, in low light conditions, either during dusk and dawn, can be easily set to the brightness which you are comfortable experiencing and which offers increased visibility.
The three reticle options it sports are Plus Point, Duplex, and Duplex with Plus Point. Moreover, their intensity can also further be altered via the low, medium, and high settings.
Additional features that the Full Draw 4 offers are Archer’s Advantage Software for calculating the ballistics for archery-related specs, distance, and various angles. The rangefinder also incorporates Flightpath Technology for a more precise hunting experience for archers. Moreover, it can range up to a maximum of 1200 yards, supported by its 6x magnification, and 3 ranging modes for greater accuracy.
However, the only complaint that we have against the Full Draw 4 is that its battery drains out pretty quickly. Thus, it is advised to keep spare batteries in your hunting kit.
In conclusion, if you are searching for a not-so-ordinary rangefinder with lighted display that can assist you in your night scouting trips, then the Leupold RX Full Draw 4 will ensure that its brightness and visibility features won’t make you miss the sunlight.
- Long-range settings with
- Manual brightness adjustment
- 3-mode red reticle
- Archer’s Advantage Software to enhance accuracy
- Battery life low due to advance engine (take extra battery along)
7. Bushnell Prime 1700 – Best Night Vision Rangefinder Monocular
If you are looking to range large distances at night, then the Bushnell Prime 1700’s optical system will assist you to effortlessly hunt your prey without facing any visibility setbacks. With this rangefinder, you can view distances and targets up to 2 times brighter than normal. The reason for this is because the Bushnell Prime 1700 prides itself in its optical system which is constructed entirely out of glass, and an improved LCD display.
The rangefinder is well-known for a 24mm objective lens that supports 2x brightness. It is 40% larger than what standard rangefinders have to offer. The true color and bright display features, to view your target and landscape with saturated colors even in low light conditions.
The rangefinder allows more light to enter your eye, which is an important aspect for rangefinders to illustrate a brighter image. It is further aided by high light transmission which will enhance your hunting experience and performance due to an increase in visibility. Thus, making it a best night vision rangefinder monocular.
Hunters are also given the liberty to select which reticle they feel accustomed to. Whether it is the dot + circle combination, the dot only option, and the circle only option.
Apart from low light conditions, the Bushnell Prime 1700 can also operate effectively in different weather conditions such as in the rain or the snow. Its EXO Barrier helps in keeping the clarity of the lens sharp by preventing dust and debris from collecting upon its surface. The technological features that the rangefinder sports are Arc Technology, Scan, and Brush and Bullseye mode for further precision.
However, despite being able to range up to 1760 yards with 6x magnification, the only flaw which we discovered in this rangefinder is that its yardage can occasionally be inconsistent over long distances and black reticle.
Hence, if you are willing to overlook that slight mishap, the Bushnell Prime 1700 is the best rangefinder for night hunting due to its unrivaled optics.
- It has modern optical system with large optical lens
- Various reticle selection options.
- EXO Barrier feature that protects lens from water, dust and dirt etc.
- It gives inconsistent yardage sometimes.
- It has a black Reticle which is not favorite among most northern hunters.
8. Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R – Best Rangefinder with Night Vision
If you prioritize speed and visibility in low light conditions then the Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R can fulfill your hunting needs. In regards to brightness, the Rangemaster features a bright red LED display. Therefore, it is a perfect rangefinder with night vision whose brightness levels can be automatically adjusted.
Thus, if you hunt in a low light region, the Rangemaster will automatically alter its settings to be set according to the morning or evening lighting for better readability. To guarantee clarity and sharp results, the Rangemaster has 24mm objective lens for higher light transmission and an upgraded optical system that offers P40 and HDC high durable coating. It helps the users to range without any optical disturbances.
Unfortunately, the high standard optics and its sources that have garnered Leica its cult following are not disclosed to the public. Thus, apart from its optical system, the Leica CRF 2400-R can range a maximum of 2400 yards. With a magnification of 7x, and the ability to deliver results in less than 0.4 seconds is noteworthy. Moreover, it hosts features such as angle compensation, Equivalent Horizontal Range (EHR), and Beam Divergence.
Nonetheless, the rangefinder does not come without its shortcomings. Its automatic brightness adjustment might not be suitable for those who are used to manually setting theirs for further accuracy.
However, rest assured that the Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R is a reliable rangefinder with night vision in terms of both distance accuracy and brightness adjustment. Thus, if you are searching for the best low light rangefinder, then the Leica Rangemaster might be the best fit for you.
- The 24mm lens and aluminum built is plus.
- It has high-quality optical sources with better display.
- Speedy and accurate results based on various weapon types.
- A bit pricey compared to other monocular rangefinders.
9. Sig Sauer Kilo2400 – Best Night Hunting Rangefinder
The Sig Sauer Kilo2400 prides itself in its automatic brightness adjustment feature which allows the rangefinder’s circular red reticles to curate the precise brightness levels according to the lighting condition you are in. Thus, in the dark hours of dawn and the evening, its automatic brightness adjustment will fix the light accordingly without having you divert your focus from your prey.
Moreover, this night vision rangefinder hosts a 25mm objective lens that is covered with spectra coat anti reflection coating. This ensures to perceive sharper images due to the higher transmission of light entering your eye. It also has a maximum range of 2400 yards with its 7x magnification, for prompt results within 0.4 seconds.
Moreover, the Kilo2400 provides its users with liberty as well. Apart from automatic brightness adjustment, users can also choose to manually adjust their brightness settings to a specific level. Similarly, this rangefinder also provides its users with the option of which one of the three reticles to select from by either adding or removing parts of the milling grid. Moreover, the Sig Sauer is equipped with the Lumatics feature. The red OLED display of the feature ensures that the appropriate brightness is provided in bright sunlight, and can shift to night vision levels in low light conditions.
In addition, Sig Sauer provides Lightwave Digital Signal Processing, embedded sensors, and the Angle Modified Range. This aids an improved hunting experience with accurate measurements. However, we did not have a favorable experience with the Bluetooth connectivity of this rangefinder. As it was quite blotchy and would frequently disconnect.
Nevertheless, the Bluetooth connectivity does not have any impact on the performance of the rangefinder. Thus, if you are searching for a rangefinder that provides you with automatic and customizable features, the Sig Sauer Kilo2400 is for you.
- It has a long range engine that can cover up to 2 miles.
- Automatic and customizable relics features
- 25mm objective lens with high optical clarity.
- Sometimes issues in bluetooth connection
10. Vortex Optics Fury HD 5000 – Best Night Vision Rangefinder Binoculars
Furry HD 5000 combines two vital hunting equipment, making it a must-have for hunters, shooters, and archers. It is equipped with 42 mm XR multi-coated objective HD lenses, dielectric phase-corrected prisms and 20 ft. close distance view.
The Fury HD 5000 offers crystal clear, precise views from light to dark hours and are perfect night vision rangefinder binoculars. We assure rifle and bow shooters a guaranteed game with the primary HCD mode’s phenomenal angle-compensated distance display. Moreover, the LOS mode allows the calculation of significantly long distances and shots at higher angles.
To provide you with the most, this rangefinder has a magnification of 10x. It includes a scan feature as well as brightness control, perfect for lowlight conditions. A great feature we found was the choice of target mode selection:
- Best Mode: This standard mode is designed to offer the strongest range result, hence, is preferred and recommended for most hunting scenarios.
- Last Mode: Perfect for range-specific targets obscured by other objects. Ideally displays the greatest distance when panning and scanning the game field.
Some drawbacks we noticed were the limited field view and range of 315 ft. and 1600 yards, respectively. However, this limitation has nothing on its overall magnificence. In fact, on its own, a 315 ft. field view 1600 range can be outstanding.
This shockproof binocular is designed to adapt to all kinds of weather and harsh conditions as a result of its rubber-armored coating, nitrogen purging to deal with water and fog proofing, and adaptability to tripods and car windows. You can explore all latest options for best rangefinder binocular as well.
However, the most prominent feature that we liked best is the new, adjustable red reticle that levels up laser rangefinder binoculars night vision. Hence, the Furry HD 5000 is the best rangefinder for night hunting available in the market that will improve your low light hunting experience.
- Dual target selection modes including best (standard) mode and last mode
- Red adjustable reticle with 10x magnification
- Advanced HCD and LOS modes
- Limited field view
- Out of budget for some hunters
Buying Guide for Best Low Light Hunting Rangefinder
To purchase the best low light rangefinder, you must know different levels of light performance. Irrespective of your skill level, know that lighting plays a crucial role in tracking your target and leads to lining up the best shot.
However, your needs will vary based on your location and the type of sport you are playing. Following are a few elements that you must look at before buying.
Regular Hunting Rangefinder vs Best Low Light Hunting Rangefinder
When we talk about lighting in rangefinder, we do not mean the presence and absence of sunlight. Although it plays a part in the overall lighting, the lighting in the rangefinder is different.
Important: Lowlight rangefinders are not built for hunting at super dark nighttime. They are suitable for use at dusk and dawn when there is still some natural light around. Here is the difference between a regular and lowlighting rangefinder:
- Standard Rangefinder
A standard rangefinder works the best with natural lighting around while you spot your target. However, the amount of lighting brought in totally depends on the optical system and objective lens of your device.
- Lowlight Rangefinder
Comparatively, best low light rangefinders allow the most light inside to deliver the best colors and images, even in the low light. Such rangefinders come with a larger objective lens that is paired with different optical systems. This configuration helps to bring more light in your eye for a clearer and brighter image. Let’s take an all-glass optical system for an example.
Unlike a regular rangefinder, you will be able to hunt at dusk, dawn, in foggy conditions, and in adverse weather as well with a low light rangefinder.
Reticle for Best Low Light Hunting Rangefinder
The most contributing factor in a low-light rangefinder is the reticle. A reticle, also known as the aiming point, helps you to target your prey better. Therefore, a good rangefinder has an accurately calibrated reticle. Most of the low-light devices have a red reticle. The reason lies in the fact that if you are targeting your dark prey with a black aiming point, you might not be able to clearly see them. However, if your dark prey is contrasted by a red reticle, you will clearly locate the points on the device.
All in all, if you are opting for a low-light rangefinder, a red reticle is most suitable.
The target range is the ability of the rangefinder to spot a far-away target in low light. A reasonable rangefinder must be able to locate prey from 300 meters away. This will leave you with a safe space between you and the deer you are aiming for.
The ability of a device to spot on slope/ in terrain targets makes it the best rangefinder to invest in. While buying, look at the minimum ability of a rangefinder to locate your hunt.
Magnification of the glass used is another important factor. That is because it will dramatically increase the quality of your target and the accuracy. Opting for the best magnification lenses in a low-light rangefinder can be a bit pricey. But, prefer the quality over other factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Laser rangefinders do work in dark conditions. the red reticle display and high light transmission optics in some hunting rangefinders enable it to make dark targets visible to certain range.
The Sig Kilo 2200 BDX is the best rangefinder for night hunting and low light. The advanced optics with red reticle display improves ranging capabilities during dawn and dusk.
In the dark, a red reticle will be more vibrant as its wavelength is more intense and travels for longer distances. Hence, it can target the area where our eyes are most sensitive to light; thus, appearing more prominent as opposed to either green or black reticle.
Yes, hunting at night or in low light conditions at dusk or dawn is more preferable to achieve your target. If you are intended to hunt big game such as a buck or a white-tailed elk, the evening is the ideal time as the prey is not in their rut. In comparison to the morning, where they are in the rut. In both scenarios, they are either too distracted by the darkness or hunger to fend for themselves.
Low light rangefinders are specifically designed to let more light enter the device to ensure brighter and saturated images and readings. Hence, it is equipped with a larger objective lens and an all-glass optical system to allow more light to be transmitted.
On the other hand, a standard rangefinder is designed to scout targets in natural lighting.
Experimenting and testing out low-light rangefinders may not be an easy task, however, the results are always transparent. Either these rangefinders can perform well in the dark or they do not. After considerable analysis and thorough assessment, these ten low light rangefinders that we have presented to you were the cream of the crop of the multiple low light rangefinders which we tested.
Our evaluation procedure consisted of focusing on the rangefinders ability to display bright images, and how visible its readings were in low lighting. Additionally, we also measured the rangefinder’s specs and features against each other to find out which rangefinder was able to perform the best in the dark.
Eventually, we reached a unanimous decision and knighted the Sig Sauer Kilo 1600 as the best low light hunting rangefinder for its impeccable performance in the absence of sunlight. Followed closely by it is the Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Laser Rangefinder, and in third place is the Astra Otx.
Despite these three rangefinders ticking all boxes, we are convinced that any of these rangefinders listed in this article will be able to elevate your nighttime hunting experience. Moreover, they will provide you with great ease to scout your target in the low light conditions so that you can enhance your confidence in hunting.
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