So there you are, lost, alone and surrounded by nothing but miles of wilderness. Harsh, rugged and challenging terrain separates you from the comforts of the modern world. Your only job… to survive.
Ok, so this is not a situation that many of us will ever find ourselves in, but if you did, wouldn’t you like to think that you could survive and make it out alive? What if I told you there was a tool that could help keep you sane in the face of confusion and focused on your objective and goals? Fortunately for you, this tool exists in the form of a survival or tactical watch.
Now I don’t need to tell you that watches have been around for a very long time and in their simplest form, the technology of watches has not changed much. However, the same cannot be said regarding the survival watch industry. Technological advancements combined with feature-rich platforms have developed over time enabling you to control and command a ton of information with that thing strapped to your wrist.
In this article, I’m going to look at three of the best survival watches for under $200. I’ll tell you what I like about them, what I don’t like about them and of course, what makes them at great buy at this price range.
1. Casio Men’s PRW-3500-1CR Atomic Resin Digital Watch
First up on my list of the best survival watch under $200, let’s take a look at the Casio PRW-3500-1CR Atomic Resin Digital Watch. This watch combines a sturdy and functional foundation with a ton of features.
The watch is solar-powered meaning that the internal battery is charged via the sun or other light sources. This is perhaps one of the most critical elements to a survival watch. Think about it, if you’re truly lost and / or cut off from the rest of the world, aka power sources, a solar powered watch will keep on ticking simply as a result of exposure to the sun. Without power and a dead battery your watch would be rendered useless. That will not be the case with a solar powered watch. Amazingly, these watches can run for months on end without any exposure to light.
The PRW-3500-1CR is equipped with all of the major features you would expect on a tactical watch. These include low-temperature resistance, digital compass with bearing memory, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, sunrise and sunset data, world time, backlight with after-glow, alarms with snooze, stopwatch and a countdown timer.
Perhaps more importantly, this watch is also water resistant up to 200-meters. As these ratings can be somewhat misleading, I’ll help to clarify this one. This watch is good to go in rain or moisture-abundant environments and yes it can be submerged. Would I scuba-dive with it? No, but a quick dunk underwater should be no problem for this watch.
2. G-Shock Rangeman Master
Next up, we have another Casio watch, this time it’s the G-Shock Rangeman Master. For 25-plus years, the G-Shock watch series has been one of the toughest and most durable watches available. Time has treated them well and Casio continues to innovate within the lineup.
The G-Shock Rangeman is both rugged and tough, combining a shock resistant triple-sensor with altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and direction readings. The Rangemaster also utilizes cylindrical buttons and audible tones for easy operation. Again the Rangeman is powered by Casio’s Tough Solar operation allowing this watch to run for months on a single charge.
With a dependable water resistant enclosure up to 200 meters, the G-Shock Rangeman is a survival watch that will not let you down when it matters most.
3. Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder
Last but not least, the the Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder rounds out the list of my top three favorite survival watches.
The Pathfinder is another solid and feature-rich beast of a watch from Casio. This watch lacks nothing in the major feature category providing you with a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, low temperature resistance, backlight, battery power indicator, and power-saving function.
While battery life is not an issue thanks to the solar-powered operation of the Pathfinder, it is a little bit lacking in the water resistance category. With a rating of only 100-meters this watch ranks below the other two watches I mentioned above. That is really the only knock on this watch and in most cases this watch is still perfectly functional. With 100-meter rating you can still swim and snorkel with this watch so for most people there should be no problems.
The Pathfinder is another great option in the survival watch category and at under $200 it’s a great value on a lot of technology.
So as you can tell after reading the above reviews, Casio has a strong position in the survival watch category, especially in this price range. They have multiple product offerings each tailored to a unique type of user. They continue to innovate and progress the technology of these watches which is why they are some of my favorites.
If you’re in the market for a survival or tactical watch, you can’t go wrong purchasing any of the the above three watches. I’ll also try my best to keep updating this list that helps you choose the best survival watch under $200.
Every outdoor enthusiast who loves spending quality time in nature exploring the beauty and ruggedness of God’s green earth will own certain gear to facilitate this lifestyle.
One of these pieces of equipment is a tent for camping. As an avid outdoors trekker and a wilderness lover, this is one among many other relevant pieces of equipment that I already own but now I am in search of a slightly bigger camping tent as the family is expanding.
My Top 3 Choices for best camping tents under $300
My top 3 choices for best camping tents would be as follows:
Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin
Coleman Echo Lake 6 Person Fast Pitch Cabin with Cabinet
Coleman Tenaya Lake 6 Person Fast Pitch Cabin with Cabinets
All three of my choices are packed with fantastic features and are easy to setup and any one of the three will be an excellent long-term choice for my camping needs during hiking and trekking activity. The brand Coleman is without doubt the best I could find in my research for camping tents.
#1 – Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin
Usually on my camping trips my wife is always with me but when my 3 adult kids decide to join us (which sometimes they do!) I need to look for tents that can easily accommodate all 5 of us and this 6-person instant cabin is the winner as my #1 choice for best camping tents under $300.
Guaranteed the family crowd will be happy with the streamlined and spacious interior of this tent. Though it can fit in two queen-sized airbeds and can sleep five adults inside comfortably, it probably will be a squeeze for six and somebody may voice their objections, loudly. In saying so however, two adults and 4 kids should fit in perfectly with extra space for equipment to be stowed away.
The biggest advantage of this tent is a no-hassle setup as the poles are pre-assembled and require the minimal of effort to set it up. The illuminated and reflective guy lines prevent somebody from tripping over them and upsetting the whole tent structure at night, so somebody can safely step out in the dark. In adverse stormy conditions, the occupants of the tent are safe inside, as the built-in rainfly offers protection from the wet conditions outside.
With the one-piece design of the tent, it will probably take me about a minute to either set it up or take it down. The tent is made of high quality material as the steel poles provide excellent strength and stability even in inclement weather and strong winds.
An adult can stand very comfortably inside the tent as it has been designed with plenty of both horizontal and vertical space in it. You will love the beautiful views of God’s great earth from inside the tent and when it is time to pack and leave, you can take it down very quickly and stow it away in its big-size carry bag provided.
I will always wonder how I managed to use other tents all this time, when this one is so easy to handle, setup and take down.
Setup only takes a quick minute
Very spacious design, 10’ x 9’ x 6’
Fabric is weatherproof and moisture resistant
Guy lines are illuminated for safety at night
Weight 24.9 pounds
Inside the tent, the window coverings flap down
May be stuffy for occupants as air flow isn’t very good inside
#2 – Coleman Echo Lake 6 Person Fast Pitch Cabin with Cabinet
My sleek looking, well-designed choice #2 camping tent is an all-weather tent that is made from flexible, yet durable material.
The design incorporates a peaked roof and an exclusive WeatherTec system which provides superior protection against the elements. The fast pitch system incorporates pre-attached poles and quick setting feet that facilitate setting up of this tent very quickly. Lightweight steel poles with pre-attached fiberglass poles ensure flexibility and durability.
A built-in cabinet allows you to conveniently store extra gear inside the tent. This tent is ideal for six occupants because this tent also has spacious (6.33’ x 9’ x 12’) design, like my choice #1.
Affordable and value for money
Setup for this tent is quite quick
Flexible and lightweight poles are suitable for windy weather conditions
Tent is waterproof as the rainfly is made from polyguard
Spacious enough for a adult to stand and move around the tent
#3 – Coleman Tenaya Lake 6 Person Fast Pitch Cabin with Cabinets
My choice #3 for the best camping tents under $300 is an excellent value for money and comes with built-in cabinets minus the extra weight that other tents, having cabinets do.
The USP or unique selling point for this tent is its light weight at 16.5 pounds with extra storage capacity. The tent has enough room for my whole family and all my equipment as its dimensions are 6.58’ x 7’ x 13’, probably the largest among my three top choices. Set up is very easy using the durable fiberglass pre-attached poles and the polyester mesh coupled with the polyguard 800mm rainfly keeps the tent occupants dry while facilitating air circulation.
Very good buy for the price
Setup is very easy. Even children can set this up
Good visibility at night since guy lines are reflective
Excellent WeatherTec system provides protection in inclement weather
Double zipper is a big advantage
Lightweight at 16.5 pounds
Spacious, lots of room to stand up and move around
Has only one door
Some people find the pre-attached poles difficult to work with
Manual instructions are difficult to understand
After having examined the prices and features offered by all three of my top choices for the best camping tent available under $300, my winner is clearly my #1 choice for the best camping tent under 300 dollars – the Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin, though the other two of my choices are equally good in most of their features that they offer, at varying prices within a small range of about $42.
My Top 3 Choices for the Best Field Dressing Knife – Introduction
When asked the question, what is the most important part of the hunt? Most people will likely respond with the actual killing or taking of game. An argument could be made however, that the most important part of the hunt is the step that immediately follows the taking of game. That step is field-dressing.
As a hunter all my life, I have come to know the importance of field dressing and how critical it is to the process of taking game from the field and putting it on your table. When it comes to field dressing, there is one tool a hunter or survivalist simply cannot do without and that tool is a great knife.
In this article I’m going to look at three of my top choices for a field dressing knife. The three knives selected were chosen for a combination of factors including, price, blade, grip and functionality.
Not only will these knives help you make quick work of downed game, they will also provide you with a solid and sturdy blade for a variety of other uses. I’m sure I don’t need to explain the importance of a having a good knife or two in a survival situation. For the purpose of this article, you can be confident than any of these knives will serve you well.
What To Look For:
Briefly, I’d like to mention a few things to look for when purchasing a field dressing knife.
First, a good knife needs to be quality-built and durable. Mainly, I’m looking for a knife that uses high quality and corrosion-resistant materials. Rust on a blade does us no good when cleaning game and it also destroys the structural integrity of the blade.
Secondly, a good knife should have an excellent grip. Field dressing an animal can get messy and it’s likely your knife will be covered with blood, hair and moisture from the process. A sure grip helps you to make better cuts and makes sure you do not cut yourself.
Lastly, I look for functionality in a knife. Most knives don’t have a lot of bells and whistles, however there are a few. Things like folding blades, a gut hook and a god sheath can all add considerable value to any particular blade.
Top 3 Field Dressing Knives for the Money:
1. Gerber Moment Fixed Blade Knife
First up, I’ve chosen the Gerber Moment Fixed Blade Knife. As the name suggests, this is a fixed blade knife and it comes with a sheath. Gerber has been in the knife-making business for a long time, and they know how to produce a quality product.
The Moment Knife delivers a simplistic design that flat out functions. For the simplicity, you will pay a lower price and at less than $30, this knife is a great value.
The Moment utilizes a full tang construction which simply means that the blade travels all the way through the handle. This puts one solid piece of metal in your hands and allows for greater feel and strength of blade.
The textured rubber handle provides excellent grip and the glass bead finished blade will take and hold an sharp edge through repeated use.
Again, the Moment knife from Gerber is a simple tool, but it is one that does its job and does it well.
2. Buck Knives 0863BRS Selkirk Survival Knife
Next up, I’ve chosen the Selkirk Survival Knife from Buck Knives. This knife is also manufactured by a company that has been in the business for a long time. The Selkirk serves as an excellent field-dressing knife with it’s drop point blade, but it doubles as an essential survival tool with the included ignitor and whistle.
A custom designed, injection molded nylon sheath secures your knife and allows for horizontal or vertical carry. Also included and attached to the sheath is a Ferrocerium striker for starting fires and a whistle integrated into the grip. A textured and contoured grip combined with a full tang construction ensures smooth handling and excellent feel with the Selkirk knife. Last but not least, the rear bolster, or butt-end of the knife has been flattened and strengthened to allow for use as an improvised hammer.
The added features and functionality of the Selkirk knife make this an excellent survival tool. You can rest-assured this knife will field dress game and in a pinch, it might even save your life.
3. Outdoor Edge FZB-20 Flip n’ Blaze Knife
Lastly, I have chosen the Flip n’ Blaze Knife brought to you by Outdoor Edge. Outdoor Edge is a company that has made a name for itself in the butchering and game processing industry. They have a reputation for designing unique and functional knives that do the job well and always come with a razor sharp edge, right out of the box.
The Flip n’ Blaze knife delivers on Outdoor Edge’s promise and even comes with two separate blades. What makes this knife you unique is the folding two-blade system. The traditional drop-point blade is excellent for field dressing game, skinning and butchering. The secondary gutting blade allows you to use a separate blade for opening up the hide and gutting animals.
During the gutting process, the knife normally comes into contact with lots of fur which can be dulling to the blade. With the Flip n’ Blaze, after the animal has been opened, up you can switch to the standard blade in order to finish the job with a sharp edge.
Also, the Flip n’ Blaze combines a unique folding design to save you space in your hunting or survival pack. The reinforced and fully enclosed sheath protects your knife from the elements, while the air vent keeps it dry and rust-free.
If you’re looking for a solid and sturdy knife that you can take anywhere and do just about anything with, the Flip n’ Blaze will serve you well.
My Top 3 Choices of the Best Hunting Bows under 500 Dollars
While I’m primarily biased towards hunting knives, I also use a hunting bow sometimes as it’s a good survival or hunting skill to learn. I am a person who loves the green forest and barren wilderness just for the sake of being in, and near nature. Imagine doing a 3-day tramp through the wilderness; living in nature, walking, and breathing the unpolluted air in an ethereal environment that is mostly undisturbed by man-made objects and sounds. My idea of heaven.
While I am tramping along, my stomach reminds me of food that it needs so I can have energy to continue my walk through the wilderness. I can build a fire easily as I have my trusty axe to cut, chop and split different types of wood and plenty of water is accessible in the multitude of lakes and streams that criss-cross the forest.
Before I hunt and provide venison for myself, I am in the process of hunting myself a trusty hunting bow. After checking out a few of those that are available and based on my usage experience, I have narrowed down my choices to the following three.
My 3 Picks for the Best Hunting Bows Under $500
My top 3 choices would be the Genesis Original Bow, Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage, and the Barnett Vortex Youth in that order. We will briefly go through some features, pros, and cons of all three of the bows together to understand why they are among the top-rated hunting in 2017.
#1 – Genesis Original Bow
This is my #1 choice as it is a bow that though, has been designed with young users in mind, it is easily adjustable for use by an adult like me. The amazing draw precision and a design that reduces any tuning or recoil issues, fits the needs of both beginners and advanced adults alike. Users of this equipment agree that this bow is well-made and performs as expected.
This bow is adjustable as per user needs as the young person grows in height, weight, and strength.
This well-built bow is easily customizable and its outstanding characteristic is ease of use
The Genesis is very durable as individual components are precision crafted from strong raw material
Costs around $155 and is value for money
Some owners of this bow have issues with less number of accessories being sold with the original product.
#2 – Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage
If my #1 choice, the Genesis Original Bow was not available for some reason, then this would be my second choice. The SAS Rage is a great bow for beginner archers to learn the ropes, but can be used as a weapon for shooting too.
Budding archers will find this weapon extremely helpful to master their sport because of its high quality, durability, and reliability.
Excellent autumn camouflage colour lets beginners get the thrill form the hunt as the game cannot detect them. Very good for the surprise element in hunting.
Draw weights can be decreased or increased by simply just loosening or tightening one bolt. The compressed ABS limbs provide long life.
Lightweight at 4.4 lbs, easy to carry even by novices
Super accurate with a maximum speed of 270 feet per second
Very suitable for hunting and very good for beginners
Manufacturer name not well known but the bow deserves a fair personal assessment based on its merits and not its manufacturer
#3 – Barnett Vortex Youth
In the rare circumstance of both my choices above not being available for whatever reason, my last choice would be the Barnett Vortex Youth bow.
The Vortex bow has been selected, as among the best hunting bows in 2017, as Barnett is one of the most popular brands in this product category. Though light in weight, it is very strong in performance that is comparable to that of the full bows from Barnett, that are heavier in weight.
High shooting accuracy
Adheres to ATA / AMO standards
Basic package includes a quiver and three arrows as standard
Designed by specialists
5-year warranty against technical defects
The Quiver wears out on prolonged use but durable versions of the quiver can be purchased separately
This bow is not for sale in certain US zip codes
As I have said earlier, before I hunt and provide any game meat for myself during my next tramp through the wilderness, I will be buying for myself a Genesis Original Bow with relevant accessories to facilitate hunting and satisfy one of my basic human physiological needs.
When I hear the word “Axe”, what comes to my mind is an implement or a tool with a heavy bladed head at the end of a long piece of wood called a handle. This tool is most commonly used to shape, split and cut wood, since centuries gone by.
There is a lot of information on the internet about Axes in general and the best backpacking axes that are multipurpose and can be used for varied jobs like cutting, chopping and splitting wood and cutting up and slicing hunted game just to name a couple. There’s even some backpackers and hikers who tramp the forests and wilderness, who use their axe to apparently shave their beards, I think that is quite creative, but also quite dangerous!
My Top 3 Candidates for a Backpacking Axe
After studying the qualities and features of a few axes myself, my top 3 choices would be as follows:
I think that the avid backpacker in me is really looking for an axe like this heavy-duty camp axe. For me it was love at first sight and after examining its features, this is more precisely the backpacking axe I may have been looking for.
Just look at some of its cool features. This axe is ideal for tough cutting jobs as it is made from 5mm thick, 440 stainless steel. The bead blasted texture on the handle facilitates a firm grip for me to use this axe in adverse wet weather conditions and cold temperatures. The small dimensions and light weight of this axe makes it an excellent axe for both men and women to handle.
Value for money product
Only 17” long and weighs only 1 lb
Black oxide finish prevents blade rust
Blade comes extremely sharp
Better leverage because of extended neck, when cutting
Pry bar head attached to the top of the handle
Comes with nylon sheath for blade protection
Cannot use this axe for heavy-duty cutting jobs as it is light weight
Is ok when I am cutting and splitting wood to create a small fire but probably a definite disadvantage if I need to split wood to build a larger fire.
The axe may not be durable if used to split larger pieces of wood
The sheath is too large for the blade and the blade moves around in the sheath – unsafe
#2 – Cold Steel 90PTH – Trench hawk axe
In the absence of my Top #1 choice, my next choice at #2 will be the Cold Steel 90PTH axe which is quite capable of cutting different types of wood easily. I believe that this is one of the best axes in 2017 from Cold Steel. It has an edge of 3-1/2 inch for cutting, and a solid wedge shaped spike.
Furthermore, its poly propylene handle is very resistant to impact and shock and protects your hands and wrists, from long term damage due to prolonged usage.
This axe comes with special wedge shaped spike, ideal design for splitting wood, making fire wood or peeling trees
The comfortable handle allows users to perform clean cuts while cutting wood
Weighs 1.5 lbs and has a length of 19”
Exclusive Secure-Ex sheath which ensures durability
The axe handle lacks a textured layer so a good grip in wet and adverse weather may be an issue
No belt loop with the included sheath
#3 – Gerber 31-000917 Splitting Axe
I know the quality of Gerber axes and the fact that they are famous for their cutting precision. I would place this axe as my Top #3 as I can confidently use this axe to split any type of wood.
This axe’s head is created from durable forged steel which maintains the sharpness of the edge. Its fibre handle lets you cut in a variety of ways, as it is virtually indestructible. Due to its unique design, the axe has an ideal weight and balance that enables a user to effortlessly swing away to cut different types of wood.
This is the highest rated axe from Gerber and the carefully crafted steel head can handle sustained use on different types of wood.
The length of the axe is 28.46 inch, weight is a bit heavy at 3.4 lbs but
ideal for heavy duty cutting jobs
The fibre combed handle feels safe while cutting branches, twigs, logs, and other wood material
The sheath that comes with the axe is a little hard to put over the axe head, as per some owners
If it is entirely up to me to make a choice between these three multipurpose axes, then my choice for the best backpacking axe would clearly and doubtlessly be the light and versatile Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Camp Ax.
Rangefinders are an exciting new technology that have now become an essential part of any hunters (bow or gun) kitty so if you’re here looking for the best hunting rangefinder for the money, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve had the good fortune of working and testing out various laser rangefinders over the course of my hunting career and I thought it would be of great help to my readers if I listed out some of the best hunting rangefinders along with their detailed reviews.
I cover all sorts of all purpose hunting rangefinders across all budgets – be it less than $100 to even those that cost more than $300. The main focus is on quality which is why I’ve narrowed down this list to the Top 5 Rangefinders for Hunting.
1. Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder
#1 on my list of finding the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. This special edition is especially designed for hunters and with a single button operation system, this will appeal to all the hunters out there.
It comes equipped with an in-view LCD display that shows you the exact distance with an accuracy of +- 1 yard, and that too with the single tap of a button! The magnification is great at 4X and will appeal to both, gun and bow hunters and even those carrying a simple hunting knife with them.
It comes included with a case and is rain proof as well which makes the under $200 price tag seem all the more appealing. I expected it to be quite heavy but was pleasantly surprised to find out that it weighed less than 10 ounces. Now this is great because when you are in the wilderness, you want to carry a really low weight with you to ensure you don’t slow down.
The rangefinder housing is rugged and tough and rainproof so you don’t need to worry about those wet conditions. However, I would advise you to keep it out of water as much as possible so that the life remains long.
This one is designed for a vertical configuration and which is why you’re able to use the single button operation system. You just need to tap the button with your index finger. It uses a 9 volt battery which you can find at any local store incase your current battery runs out.
Coming onto the range, which is the main part about any rangefinder and you wont’ be disappointed with the Bushnell Michael Waddell 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. The maximum range is 600 yards but ideally the range is closer to 400 yards – 600 works when you have reflective surfaces. I’ve used it to get accurate readings of deers for even 350 yards so that’s a great range for this price. It comes with a 20mm objective lens and a 4X magnification system.
The best part is the LCD panel which uses illuminated indicators which is a great plus in low light conditions. It also shows you the targeting reticule, battery life indicator and unit of measure. It also comes with a handy carrying case but to be honest, I really did not find the need to put it in that thanks to the already great compact size of the rangefinder. All in all, a great buy and if you buy it from Amazon, you also get the option to take a 3 or 4 year protection as well.
Key Specs & Features:
Maximum Range – 10 – 600 yards
Viewfinder Display – Yards
Increment Reading – 0.1 yards
Magnification – 4x
Objective Lens – Yes
Size – 5.5 in. x 5 in. x 2.8 in.
Device Weight – 8.8 ounce
Waterproof – Yes
2. Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder
Another popular sub $100 laser rangefinder is the Simmons 801600 which has a 10-600 yard range and is a 20mm vertical rangefinder. Again you have the option of changing the measure to yards or meters based on your preference and is a one touch operation system.
For those on a budget, this is an excellent choice that gets the job done without any frills. It does not have a scan feature but rather focuses on the one important task – giving you an instantaneous distance of the target with a very good response time.
Even though the claimed range is 10-600 yards, I’ve had the best response in the 300 yard range. The body is slightly larger compared to the Bushnell Mitchell but the device has great contours which are great if you’re using gloves. The only con I’ve found with this device is that the battery compartment needs to be opened with a dime or similar tool since it is secured by a flathead screw.
It uses a 9 volt alkaline battery which does not come included with the original package so you need to purchase it separately. Yes, there is also a 4X magnification feature but do remember, that with increased magnification, the precision does suffer.
The Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder has a black LCD display and the best part I liked about this budget rangefinder is that it comes with an angle compensation feature.
Also, the performance of this device does suffer slightly during low light conditions because it does not come equipped with fully multicoated optics but all said and done, it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a great rangefinder under 100 dollars.
Key Specs & Features:
Maximum Range – 10 – 600 yards
Viewfinder Display – Yards or meters
Increment Reading – 0.1 yards
Magnification – 4x
Batteries – 9V
Size – 6.5 in. x 3 in. x 5 in
Device Weight – 9.6 ounce
Waterproof – No
3. Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder
#3 on my list of the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder which is again very popular with a lot of hunting and survival enthusiasts.
Priced at just over $150, this compact rangefinder is 3.6”x2.9″x1.5 inches in size and is extremely easy to carry along. The display range is in a 1 meter/yard format and features a single button operation. It is also extremely popular among golfers but can be used by hunters as well.
It’s not very heavy either and without the battery, just weighs in at 4.4 ounces while with batteries, the weight increases to 5.6 ounces. It has a solid feel and grip to it which makes it easier to hold during slippery conditions.
For those who love a great magnification, the Nikon 8397 ACULON will not disappoint with its 6X magnification capability. Although, the measurement range is between 10-550 yards, you’ll see the best results within the 100-400 yard range. An interesting feature is the multilayer coating which Nikon claims helps in transmittance of light leading to a clearer picture. While I can’t vouch for that, the clarity is pretty good of the 20mm lens.
It doesn’t have a lot of fancy features but for the price, it’s definitely worth the money. I, in particular, liked the distance target priority mode which displays the measurements of the farthest target and this comes in handy when you have deer or any other target that is hiding behind some bush or grass.
The rangefinder also automatically powers down if left unused for more than 8 seconds but sometimes it does irritate having to press the button again. That said and done, I would definitely recommend this from my end if someone is looking for the best laser rangefinder under $200.
Key Specs & Features:
Maximum Range – 10-550 yards
Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards
Increment Reading – 1 yards
Magnification – 6X
Objective Lens – N/A
Size – 3.6 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.5 in
Device Weight – 5.6 ounce
Waterproof – Yes
Fogproof – Yes
4. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Rangefinder RRF-101
Now this one is a slightly expensive rangefinder that I’ve included in this list of the Top 5 laser rangefinders and is packed with more features keeping in mind expert huntsman. With a rubber armour coating, the Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 comes with fully coated multi-lenses that are anti-reflective and result in superior performance.
This has a much higher range of 600-1000 yards and if the conditions are right, you’ll be surprised to get readings that are even higher! The ranging is pretty fast and the rubber coating provides a great grip. It comes with an O-ring seal to protect it against dirt, grime & debris.
There are 3 operating modes to choose from – the Horizontal Compensating Distance (HCD) function to compensate for angle, the Scan Mode that shows real time readings and the LOS or Line of Sight mode. You have the option of displaying ranges in yards or meters and the device also comes backed with a limited lifetime warranty.
The Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 is pretty lightweight and comfortably fits in your hand and there is also a lanyard cable that comes along with it. The 6×22 mm lens has an accuracy of upto 3 yards and a 315 feet field of view and is perfect for bow hunting.
I’d definitely give it 4 stars out of 5 from my end with the only con being the slightly higher price.
Key Specs & Features:
Maximum Range – 300 – 1000 yards
Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards
Increment Reading – 3 yards
Magnification – 6X
Objective Lens – Yes
Size – 8 in. x 6 in. x 12 in
Device Weight – 8 ounce
Waterproof – Yes
Fogproof – Yes
Carrying Case – Yes
Lanyard – Yes
Battery Included – Yes
5. Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder
And, finally completing my roundup in the hunt to finding the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder. Priced at slightly over $100, the Halo XRT6 has a 600 yard range and a 6X magnification feature along with a scan mode that allows for constant ranging.
The Halo XRT6 is targeted towards both golfers and hunters and comes with a carrying case as well. A lot of people claim that this even ranges through a window pane although I’ve never tested it out myself but in the outdoors, this works like a charm. The anti fog lens is a good addition and being waterproof will keep you less worried during wet conditions.
While it claims to have a 600 yard range, I’ve tested it out and seen that it works perfectly till about 400-450 yards after which the accuracy becomes a little less. It also ranges objects in the dark which is a very handy feature specially when you’re out for those early morning or late evening hunts.
It comes with a one year warranty and you can purchase additional protection if you want from Amazon. There is no OFF button so don’t get worried if you don’t find one; instead the rangefinder auto shuts off after 20 seconds. It’s simple to use with a 6X magnification and the optics are very good performance wise.
All in all, a great laser rangefinder to add to your collection.