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The best laser rangefinders in 2022 for measuring distance at work & play

Man on a golf green looking through one of the best laser rangefinders
(Image credit: Future)

The best laser rangefinders are a must-have for any keen golfer. These clever devices make it easy to measure the distance between your current position and your target accurately. Simply point it at the green, or flag you wish to hit, and wait for the device to calculate the distance. This helps you to choose the right club and improve the accuracy of your shot. 

Of course, a laser rangefinder can have other uses too – for construction, real estate and more. And there are many to choose from, from familiar names such as Nikon and Bushnell, as well as less familiar brands that may offer greater value for money. 

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So what does the best laser rangefinder look like? As well as a high degree of accuracy, you'll want one that's compact, portable and lightweight – so that you won’t mind potentially carrying it around with you for hours. You'll want also good battery life, and an outer casing to protect your device from the elements. 

With all that in mind, we've gathered together the best laser rangefinders for you in the article below. And we'll give you all the details you need to choose the right one for your needs.

The best laser rangefinders in 2022

(Image credit: Nikon)
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1. Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized

The best laser rangefinder for professionals

Specifications

Measurement range: 7.5 to 1,090 meters
Display: Red OLED internal display
Measurement response time: 0.3 seconds
Stabilization: Yes
Magnification: 6x
Eye relief: 18mm
Dimensions: 96x74x42mm
Weight: 180g (without battery)
Power: CR2 lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Fast 
+
Great internal display

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Flimsy case

While it's not cheap, this laser rangefinder is packed with pro features for golfers. For example, it can calculate incline and decline to display a slope-adjusted distance guide to how far you should hit the golf ball. It boasts a built-in 6x monocular. The brightness of the internal OLED display, automatically adjusted dependent on ambient light levels, further enables viewing in a broad variety of conditions. And it claims to pinpoint a measure in a speedy 0.3 seconds. 

As the model name suggests, Nikon’s flagship laser rangefinder also features built-in vibration reduction, which provides a steadier viewfinder image. In short, if you’ve the cash, this could well be the only laser rangefinder you’ll ever need.

(Image credit: Nikon)
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2. Nikon Coolshot 20 GII

The best cheap laser rangefinder

Specifications

Measurement range: 5 to 730 metres
Display: LCD
Measurement response time: 8 seconds
Stabilization: No
Magnification: 6x
Eye relief: : 16.7mm
Dimensions: 91x73x37mm
Weight: 130g (without battery)
Power: CR2 lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Ultra compact 
+
Well-known brand

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow to work
-
Tricky to get a steady view

Don't want to spend too much? Then here's our top pick. The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII packs a lot into a compact body that’s light enough to cradle in your palm, including a very respectable range of five to 730 metres and a 6x magnification monocular with multi layered coating. And the on-board First Target Priority algorithm is sophisticated enough to pick out the closest target, even if the flagstick during a golf game has otherwise distracting trees or a building behind it.

Admittedly it's slower than higher priced alternatives, so you have to hold down the power button for up to eight seconds of continuous measurement – and a further four should that first measurement fail. But a long eye relief and dioptre adjustment makes Nikon’s smallest available ‘Coolshot’ comfortable enough for spectacle wearers to use. And overall, this is a great budget choice for keen amateurs eyeing up their first laser rangefinder.

(Image credit: Bushnell)
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3. Bushnell Tour V5 Shift

The best laser rangefinder officially made for golf

Specifications

Measurement range: 5 to 1300 yards / 5-1189m
Display: LCD
Measurement response time: Not given
Stabilization: No
Magnification: 6x
Eye relief: 16mm
Dimensions: 4.5x1.5x3in / 99x40x68mm
Weight: 8oz / 295g
Power: CR2 lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Accurate 
+
Responsive

Reasons to avoid

-
Not waterproof

The boast with this one is that it combines a 6x magnification with a fast focus, providing accuracy to within one yard. Its core range is from 5 yards up to a whopping 1,300 yards. 

Like the alternative Bushnell laser rangefinder listed here, this affordable and specifically ‘Golf’ dedicated option features a ‘jolt’ mechanism to confirm to the user that it has locked on the pin – with the unit itself vibrating – while claiming to be able to navigate and help golfers compensate for an uneven, sloping surface. A switch on the unit itself enables the user to toggle in or out of said slope mode. 

The build may be plastic rather than metal, but if you don’t need the ruggedized exterior and waterproofing of the Pro XE, then this more keenly priced 2020 model should help you hit that hole in one!

(Image credit: Hawke)
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4. Hawke Laser Range Finder Pro 900

The best mid-priced laser rangefinder

Specifications

Display: LCD
Measurement response time: Not given
Stabilization: No
Magnification: 6x
Eye relief: 12mm
Dimensions: 99x40x68mm
Weight: 180g
Power: CR2 lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight 
+
Degree of waterproofing

Reasons to avoid

-
Eye relief shorter than some 
-
Ageing model

Looking for something in the mid-range price bracket? Then here's our recommendation. Another laser rangefinder option from a recognized specialist in optics – here, multi coated – this will likewise conveniently fit in the palm. It handily comes with a roughened surface so it doesn’t slip from your grasp, while offering a degree of waterproofing. 

Able to pick out objects up to an impressive 900 meters away, sophistication comes courtesy of four user modes, with results viewable via its LCD viewfinder. These are: Distance (measuring a straight line to your subject), Beeline (the shortest horizontal distance to your target), Height (how high the target is in relation to the viewfinder) and Angle (calculating the angle of projection from the point that you are aiming at). It all adds up to a respectably comprehensive proposition for the price.

(Image credit: Bushnell)
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5. Bushnell Pro XE

The best waterproof laser rangefinder

Specifications

Measurement range: 5 to 1,300 yards
Display: LCD
Measurement response time: Not given
Stabilization: No
Dimensions: 99x40x68mm
Weight: 581g
Power: CR2 lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Fully waterproof
+
Magnetic golf cart mount

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Pricey

Bushnell has expertise in scopes and optics, so its no surprise to find it offers a handful of laser rangefinders too. And this sophisticated if pricey option, which offers 7x magnification, will enable users to achieve accurate results, even in environments with lots of slopes.

As a visual ‘jolt’, a red ring flashes in its viewfinder to confirm it has locked onto your intended target some distance away. Another handy feature is a magnetic mount on the unit itself that allows it to be attached to the metal bar of your golfing cart, if so desired. A final bonus is the fact that the Bushnell is fully waterproof, with rubber armor protecting the metal housing so it won’t slip from your grasp. You’re paying a premium, for sure, but this rangefinder should last years of accurate service.

(Image credit: Tacklife)
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6. Tacklife Golf Range Finder MLR01

The best laser rangefinder for value

Specifications

Measurement range: Up to 800 metres
Display: LCD
Measurement response time: Not given
Stabilization: No
Magnification: 7x
Eye relief: Not given
Dimensions: 118x79x46mm
Weight: 187g
Power: 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value
+
Rechargeable battery 

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-name brand, 
-
Not waterproof

If you’re seeking bang for your buck, then train your sights – pun intended – on this device. The Tacklife MLR01 can zero in on an object up to 800 meters away and offers 7x magnification into the bargain, while offering a comfortably ergonomic design that sits readily in the palm. 

Its rechargeable battery can be conveniently charged via USB, while there’s also a screw thread provided for attaching it to a tripod, if desired, along with a hand strap gifted to us out of the box. Peace of mind comes courtesy of a two-year warranty, and the fact that you’re not breaking the bank to buy it in the first place.

(Image credit: Garmin)
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7. Garmin Z82

The best laser rangefinder with built-in GPS

Specifications

Measurement range: 5 to 1,300 yards
Display: LCD
Measurement response time: Not given
Stabilization: Yes
Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.1 x 1.7" / 122.9 x 80.0 x 42.1mm
Weight: 8.2oz / 232g
Power: Rechargeable lithium battery

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in GPS
+
Maps for over 41,000 golf courses worldwide
+
Class leading accuracy 

Reasons to avoid

-
Luxury pricing

Garmin is best-known for its range of sat-nav in-car and handheld navigation devices, so it comes as not surprise that its golf laser rangefinder offers built-in GPS. Its ability to know where you are in the course is put to good use, as it can provide 2D aerial maps of the hole you are playing, in color, from a built-in database of over 40,000 golf courses from around the globe. 

It also boasts the best accuracy, being able to tell your distance to the pin to within just 10 inches (250mm). Furthermore, Garmin Approach Z82 can even tell you the current wind speed and direction. Ultimately this tech makes this about the most expensive laser rangefinder that you can buy – but it brings skills and knowledge you might otherwise only get from a professional caddy.

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