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Rangefinder: Vortex vs Leupold – Definitive Guide

In this review, I’ll try to explain the most important differences between Vortex vs Leupold rangefinders, which are top-notch brands on the market today.

We all need an aid to be able to measure distances between ourselves and the target/hunt in the field. These small nuances are indispensable to be able to decide how to shoot an arrow from various distances.

That’s why using a rangefinder is inevitable even for newbies.

Nearly most of the advanced bowhunters and archers agree with the idea of having the proper rangefinder is the most critical piece of their equipment.

vortex vs leupold rangefinders

Image source: vortexoptics.com

I know that finding useful information about rangefinders on the internet is really tough. Especially if you think about their wide price range.

There are too many different rangefinder brands in the market. There are tons of different options. So, finding the best brand that fits your needs and experts you can trust can be even harder.

Quick Answer

If you’re a picky shooter and like to be accurate, The Leupold wins over the Vortex here.

But, In my opinion, Vortex wins between these two major brand ​comparison (Vortex vs Leupold) due to its lifetime warranty. 

There is nearly no other company that will give a full warranty even against accidental damage on rangefinders — an excellent choice for people who are very sensitive and protective of their products.

In-depth: Vortex vs Leupold Rangefinders

A consistent shot is crucial. Most archers and hunters work hard to be consistent with a bow. A repeatable shot is our common desire.

But, without an appropriate rangefinder, it’s nearly impossible because we have to consider the distance in each shot and our shot equation.

Truth

Using the best rangefinder that fits your needs could save you hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re using expensive carbon hunting arrows. Losing them in the field with the wrong calculated shot is a common thing!

Rangefinders can be divided into two types; Optical and Laser.

Some optical rangefinders are only marked with 50 yards or so. But my recommendation is picking a rangefinder which has a maximum increment reading of 10 yards if you’re using an optical one for archery.

On the other hand, most modern rangefinders like Vortex or Leupold are using a laser on their designs.

Laser rangefinders are calculating the time of burst light flight. So, their results are nearly the same with reality (+/- 3 yds @ 1000yds).

Laser Rangefinder measurement

While laser rangefinders are using laser technology to measure the distance of an object, they're not projecting a laser beam pointer.

Buying a Rangefinder Online?

Honestly, I’ve never bought a rangefinder online, but I’ve been buying nearly everything that I need online for years and never had any problems.

However, before you buy it, don’t forget to check the seller’s return policy. You’ll have a right to return within a specific time. If you don’t think this is the right choice for you(vortex vs leupold), you can always return!

Just be careful with optics when you get your product, other gears on rangefinders can be second priority.

Vortex and Leupold are well known for their top-class optics. They both are U.S.-based American companies.

According to a survey of 81 shooters about their preference between Leupold vs Vortex rangefinder, the results show the Leupold has a higher fan-base than Vortex.

vortex vs leupold rangefinder survey

Suggestion

If you had a budget whose top-end was either the Vortex or Leupold, I recommend going with the Leupold TBR w/DNA version.

Leupold (TBR w/ DNA version) has a "Trigonometric" mode, which displays the inclination angle along with LOS distance and Horizontal distance. The Vortex has no such style.

What are the best rangefinder features?

The perfect rangefinder should have these features;

  • Great optics,
  • Fast ranging ability,
  • A responsive scan mode,
  • Good ergonomics,
  • Attaching the rangefinders to tripods will give you maximum stability and the exact distance. But of course, it’ll be extra equipment on your back in the field,
  • Must have some form of angle compensation for shooting up and downhill.

NOTE: Basically, the actual distance to the target is always different than the horizontal distance to the mark when you are not on the same level of ground with the target.

Angle compensating rangefinders have software that does a bunch of math so that you don’t have to guess exact distance when shooting on an angle.

Leupold Rangefinders

It’s hard to generalize a brand for its all models, but I’d like to share some standard features which are using on their all products.

vortex vs leupold rangefinders
  • Impressive ranging ability.
  • Compact and lightweight package.
  • Clarity and low light performance.
  • Fast and accurate scan mode.
  • Almost zero lag time.
  • It has a red display which makes it very easy to read during daylight.
  • Great mix quality optics.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Leupold also has incredible quality customer service.
  • Leupold provides more product for the money.
  • Glass quality and clarity are better from Leupold. The objects in the range seem to be way brighter.
  • One of the best rangefinder in terms of practical, real-world field use.
  • Outstanding LED display.

If you want to improve the odds of first-shot success, Leupold rangefinders might be just what you need.

Cons of Leupold

Of course, I’ve some warnings that I specify about Leupold as well.

  • It seemed to has the same difficulties at longer distances. While a large target at 1000 yards was easily ranged by Vortex, Leupold struggled to range from this distance. Great results with large marks, but it may disgust you on small targets.
  • Leupold electronic products which include rangefinders are warrantied against defects in materials and workmanship for two years from the date of purchase. These warranties do not apply if the product has been modified, misused, or has been damaged by accident, abuse, or misapplication.
  • Too bright to sight at dawn and dusk.
  • Your hands should be steady if you're ranging a target from a long distance.
  • My biggest worry with the Leupold is the fact that it isn't waterproof, and the warranty doesn't stand a chance against Vortex. You should double-check it because some of the Leupold models are not sealed well like Vortex.
  • After several seasons or so, the display may start fading on the edges.
  • LED doesn’t automatically adjust to light conditions.

Note: ​Both rangefinders are endurance to harsh weather conditions (rain, fog, wind). But of course, the weather will affect the reliability of the results like every device.

Vortex Rangefinders

Vortex is a leader in optics. Vortex Rangefinders are where high-quality optics and long-distance ranging capability come together. 

Dependability, functionality, and ruggedness are just a couple of things that come to mind when you purchase a rangefinder from Vortex.

vortex vs leupold rangefinders

The biggest UPSIDE  of Vortex

vortex VIP warranty

Vortex rangefinders are covered by their VIP Warranty system

In most cases, products are repaired without charge. Lifetime no-fault VIP warranty is a GREAT feature. 

In electronics, this could definitely be a reason to buy things to have after a couple of seasons of heavy use. Vortex protection is unconditional and exists even on electronics.

In my opinion, Vortex wins between these two major brand comparison (Vortex vs Leupold) due to its lifetime warranty.

Vortex - Ranger

vortex ranger rangefinder
4.5 / 5

Vortex - Impact

vortex impact rangefinder
4 / 5

Vortex - Razor

vortex razor rangefinder
5 / 5

Is the Vortex Lifetime Warranty valid on Amazon purchase?

Yes, it doesn’t matter where you buy it. The warranty is with the original Vortex brand. This is the best customer service on earth.

You do not need an extended warranty protection plan that sellers or Amazon offer. Your VIP lifetime warranty by Vortex includes everything.

Generally, Vortex rangefinders feature advantages like those listed below.

  • Clear lens vision.
  • Accurate.
  • Easy to use.
  • Reading the range in the dark is easier. The vortex does have a dimmer on the display, which is helpful in darker conditions.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Completely waterproof.
  • Easy to set up and navigate.
  • Scanning Mode. After you get your yardage, you can easily scan with scanning mode.
  • Most models are tripod mountable.
  • It comes with batteries and a case.
  • Angle adjustment features can also be turned off when you don’t want to use it, for example, in golf events.
  • It has fewer features. But this is a good thing, you point and shoot.
vortex vs leupold three ranging modes

3 ranging modes of Vortex rangefinders

How to use Vortex scan mode

How to use Vortex scan mode

Now, it is time to speak loud about their cons,

  • Three press circle for every time you’re ranging a target can be annoying when you’re doing spot and stalk, especially when you wanted to cover multiple objects quickly.
  • The Leupold is a bit faster on the readouts. Vortex is slow at reading the yardage. Vortex takes a little longer to the range. It may not be a huge deal for longer shots, but spot and stalk archery you need all the time you can get. Besides, it can be frustrating after using Leupold, which is 2x faster. The Vortex has a slower range of time.

Top 3 Vortex Rangefinders

In this section of my review, I can’t be unbiased. Because I’m a Vortex fan. The biggest reason is their incredible warranty.

Buy a Vortex, take it home and smash it with a hammer. If you send it back and tell them what you did, they’ll send you a new rangefinder with no questions asked. They have such a crazy good warranty.

Vortex has three main models on the market today. The most important features and specs are in the table below.

Vortex - Impact

Vortex - Ranger

Vortex - Razor

Min range - 5 yd.

Min range - 11 yd.

Min range - 10 yd.

Deer range - up to 400 yd.

Deer range - up to 900 yd.

Deer range - up to 2000 yd.

Tree range - up to 550 yd.

Tree range - up to 1000 yd.

Tree range - up to 2200 yd.

Reflective range - up to 850 yd.

Reflective range - up to 1800 yd.

Reflective range - up to 2400 yd.

Accuracy - 1 yards @ 100 yards

Accuracy - 3 yards @ 1000 yards

Accuracy - 1 yd at 200-1000 yards,
2 yards at over 1000 yards

Max angle reading 60 degrees

Max angle reading - 60 degrees

Max angle reading - 60 degrees

Measuring time less than 1 sec.

Measuring time - less than 1 sec.

Measuring time - less than 0,25 sec.

Battery life nearly 5000 single range measurements

Battery life - nearly 5000 single range measurements

Battery life - nearly 4000 range reading

Operating temperature 14-131 F

Operating temperature - 14-131 F

Operating temperature - (-4)-131 F

Magnification - 6x​​

Magnification - 6x

Magnification - 6x

Objective lens - 20 mm

Objective lens - 22 mm

Objective lens - 25 mm

Eye Relief - 15 mm​​

Eye Relief - 17 mm

Eye Relief - 16-19 mm

Weight - 5.5 oz

Weight - 7.7 oz

Weight - 9.9 oz

Angle Compensation - yes

Angle Compensation - yes

Angle Compensation - yes

Scan mode - yes

Scan mode - yes

Scan mode - yes

Waterproof - yes

Waterproof - yes

Waterproof - yes

Vortex - Ranger

vortex ranger rangefinder
4.5 / 5

Vortex - Impact

vortex impact rangefinder
4 / 5

Vortex - Razor

vortex razor rangefinder
5 / 5

Vortex Ranger 1000 vs Leupold Rx 650 Review

I chose these two rangefinders to be able to compare each other and show the main differences quickly.

Optically the Vortex Ranger and Leupold are almost identical. But Leupold optics are a little bit better quality. They are crisp and bright and perform well in just about any lighting situation. They're one step further in this tough comparison between Vortex vs Leupold.

Nearly 80% of archers prefer Leupold against Vortex, as my research proved. The optics and speed of ranging were slightly better on the Leupold. Leupold’s most significant disadvantage against Vortex is warranty. Know that Leupold also has an excellent warranty, just not a lifetime. You should consider that as a deciding factor.

Leupold Rx-1000i TBR

Vortex Ranger 1000

Min range - 5 yd.

Min range - 11 yd.

Deer range - up to 600 yd.

Deer range - up to 900 yd.

Tree range - up to 700 yd.

Tree range - up to 1000 yd.

Reflective range - up to 1000 yd.

Reflective range - up to 1800 yd.

Accuracy - 3 yards beyond 125 yards

Accuracy - 3 yards @ 1000 yards

Measuring time less than 1 sec.

Measuring time - less than 1 sec.

Battery life 10,000 single range measurement

Battery life - nearly 5000 single range measurements

Magnification - 6x​​

Magnification - 6x

Objective lens - 22 mm

Objective lens - 22 mm

Eye Relief - 16 mm​​

Eye Relief - 17 mm

Weight - 7.8 oz

Weight - 7.7 oz

Angle Compensation - yes

Angle Compensation - yes

Scan mode - yes

Scan mode - yes

Waterproof - yes

Waterproof - yes

A cheap solution for rangefinder

I’ll warn you. These are not as good as rangefinders in long distance. Besides, they’re not designed for using outdoors. But if you’re simply a target archer, lit can be an alternative for buying an expensive gear like rangefinders.

These products are an alternative for only the target, field, or 3D target types of archers. Or maybe only for backyard archers.

LOMVUM Laser Measure 393Ft Mute Laser Distance Meter

Check this product to use for your backyard shots. These kinds of products can be bought 10% of a general rangefinder price.

DBPOWER Digital Laser Measure 197FT

Rangefinder Tips and Features

Here’re some tips and main features of rangefinders. These ‘’should be’’ information for every feature of rangefinders can help you with the right buying decision.

Glаѕѕ: Іn thіѕ рrісе rаngе, уоu wаnt ехсеllеnt glаѕѕ соаtіngѕ оn thе іnѕіdе lеnѕеѕ аnd ехtеrіоr.

Маgnіfісаtіоn: Arоund 6-7Х mаgnіfісаtіоn is enough. But even with this amount of magnification, it mау bе dіffісult tо uѕе frее-hаnd, ѕо lооk fоr trіроd соmраtіbіlіtу оr mаgnеtіс ѕуѕtеmѕ fоr mоuntіng рurроѕеѕ tо іnсrеаѕе іmаgе ѕtаbіlіtу.

Еаѕе оf uѕеEvery dollar you spend on something will add a feature on the product you purchase but added uѕеr-frіеndlіnеѕѕ mау gо dоwn аnd соmрlехіtу іѕѕuеѕ mау rіѕе. Еnѕurе аn іntuіtіvе рlаtfоrm tо kеер еаѕе оf uѕе, wеll, еаѕу.

Eуе rеlіеf: I suggest lооk fоr ѕоmеthіng between 16-20 mm. Long еуе rеlіеf wіll mаkе fоr а соmfоrtаblе rаngіng ехреrіеnсе.

Durаbіlіtу: Fullу wеаthеrрrооf hоuѕіng іѕ rеquіrеd. Рrоtесt уоur most essential gear.

Ассurасу: Тhіѕ feature is vіtаl іn rangefinder. Веіng ассurаtе tо wіthіn 1/2 tо 1/10 оf а уаrd ѕhоuld bе ехресtеd.

Fеаturеѕ: Еvеrуthіng frоm аnglе соmреnѕаtіоn, vаrіоuѕ tаrgеt ѕеlесtіоn mоdеѕ, аnd dіѕрlау mоdеѕ ѕhоuld bе ехресtеd. Yоu mіght аlѕо ѕее оthеr орtіоnѕ ѕuсh аѕ multірlе rеtісlеѕ, а tіght bеаm dіvеrgеnсе, аnd аutоmаtіс dіѕрlау аdјuѕtmеntѕ ассоrdіng tо аmbіеnt lіght аvаіlаblе.

Rangefinder Tips

The worst scenario for calculating the range is bright, sunny day conditions. Rangefinders are also collect sunlight. The twilight conditions are great for the best performance.

  • Light colors will usually reflect better than dark ones.
  • Ranging over water can sometimes cause false reflections and readings.
  • If you are having difficulty ranging an animal or object, try ranging a different nearby object, or use the Scan feature to pan back and forth while watching for changes in range number.
  • Solid objects, such as a rock, will reflect better than bushes.
  • Ranging under cloud cover can improve laser performance compared to bright sunny conditions.
  • Flat surfaces perpendicular to the laser pulse will reflect better than curved surfaces

The reasons listed below may affect your range display in every rangefinder.

  • Atmospheric conditions
  • Stability
  • Type of Target
  • Distance of Target
  • The color and size of the target
  • Ranging darker or black targets
  • Smaller targets
  • Through fog
  • Over water
  • Dirty laser lens
  • Finger is over the laser
  • Type of target will commonly affect the range you get from rangefinder in maximum distance. These numbers are given for a reflective target. For non-reflective targets (especially animals), you have CUT THAT RANGE IN HALF.

Conclusion

Both products are excellent in long-term reliability and trustworthy. But the choice is all personal preference.

Leupold might be better with quality optics (although they’re nearly the same) and a little faster on ranging, but Vortex has its incredible warrant. If the warranty is not a big buying parameter for you, Leupold has pretty good quality as well.

On the other hand, Vortex is brighter and crisper and completely waterproof. And it would be a worry-free purchase, the only rangefinder most bowhunters and archers will ever want or need. The warranty is an important selling reason for me since its an electronic product.

Both are quality units that will perform very well. Differences are so tiny between Vortex vs Leupold rangefinders. They both make great rangefinders. So make your decision based on these little differences. And pick one that most fits your needs.

Thanks for reading.

Annotation: If you like our comparison guideline, you should definitely check our top arrow models and bow brands comparison.

References

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