We tested laser rangefinders to see just how easy they are to use on the course. Beyond holding the device, how easy is it to locate targets, read the yardages and graphics on the screen, and navigate between different modes?
To provide a quick overview, Table 1 highlights specifications related to ease of use.
- Buttons: how many? (see notes at bottom)
- Dimensions and weight help give an idea for the comfort of carrying the device in your pocket, or attaching it to your bag. All devices were weighed with batteries installed (but excluding any carry case). For reference, three golf balls weigh approximately 4.9 oz.
- Form: intended to be held vertically (smaller units to be held with one hand) or horizontally (to be held with two hands, slightly larger and heavier).
- Crosshair style: Is there an option to select the style of crosshairs used for aiming the rangefinder? If so, how many types of crosshairs are offered? Users may find that different types of crosshairs are more useful in aiming the target depending on the distance, weather conditions (bright or foggy) and backdrop to the target.
- Focus and Magnification: most rangefinders have the ability to adjust the focus at the eyepiece to more clearly read the display. Devices range from no magnification through the viewfinder up to an exceptional 7x. In general, the greater the magnification, the easier it is to see and focus on a target.
- Batteries and operating time will determine if users need to bring a charger with them on trips or if they can just toss a couple of extra batteries in their bag.
In addition, within each review we also discuss:
- How to cycle through modes (see our discussion of laser rangefinder features): if a device has multiple modes, how easy is it to cycle between them?
- Display details. The internal (and sometimes external) displays vary between laser rangefinders. What information does the device show when you are receiving a distance reading and where is it shown?
Table 1. Laser Rangefinder Specifications – Ease of Use
|Laser Rangefinder||Buttons||Dimensions (in.)||Weight (oz)||Form||Cross-hair
|Bushnell Pro 1M||2||1.7 x 5.1 x 3.7||13.3||Horizontal||Circle||7x||Yes||3 volt|
|Bushnell Pro 1M Slope||2||1.7 x 5.1 x 3.7||13.3||Horizontal||Circle||7x||Yes||3 volt|
|Bushnell Hybrid||2||2.1 x 2.6 x 4.3||8.2||Vertical||Circle||5x||Yes||3 volt|
|Bushnell Tour Z6 JOLT*||2||1.3 x 4.0 x 2.9||8.0||Vertical||Circle||6x||Yes||3 volt|
|Bushnell Tour v3||2||4.3 x 2.8 x 1.6||7.4||Vertical||Circle||5x||Yes||3 volt|
|Bushnell Tour v3 Slope||2||4.3 x 2.8 x 1.6||7.4||Vertical||Circle||5x||Yes||3 volt|
|Callaway iQ||2||4.6 x 1.6 x 2.9||7.0||Vertical||Cross||6x||Yes||3 volt CR-2|
|Callaway RAZR||2||4.4 x 1.6 x 2.8||6.3||Vertical||Cross||6x||Yes||3 volt CR-2|
|Laser Link QuickShot||1||6 x 2.2 x 3.1||8.3||Vertical||Red Dot||None||No||9 volt|
|Laser Link Red Hot||1||6 x 2.2 x 3.1||8.5||Vertical||Red Dot||None||No||9 volt|
|Laser Link Switch||1||6.5 x 1.5 x 3.5||8.0*||Vertical||Red Dot||None||No||9 volt|
|Laser Link White Magic||1||6 x 2.2 x 3.1||8.0||Vertical||Red Dot||None||No||9 volt|
|Leica Pinmaster 2||2||4.5 x 2.25 x 1.25||7.3||Vertical||Square||7x||Yes||CR-2|
|Leupold PinCaddie||1||4.3 x 2.8 x 1.6||7.2||Vertical||Square||6x||Yes||CR-2|
|Leupold GX-1i||2||4 x 2.75 x 1.5||TBD||Vertical||7 Options||6x||Yes||CR-2|
|Leupold GX-2i||2||4 x 2.75 x 1.5||TBD||Vertical||7 Options||6x||Yes||CR-2|
|Leupold GX-3i||2||3.7 x 2.9 x 1.3||7.7||Vertical||3 Options||6x||Yes||CR-2|
|Leupold GX-4i*||2||4.1 x 2.9 x 1.3||8.0||Vertical||3 Options||6x||Yes||CR-2|
|Opti-Logic InSight GL||1||1.5 x 4 x 5||10.8||Horizontal||Red Dot||None||No||9 volt|
|Opti-Logic InSight GT||1||1.5 x 4 x 5||10.85||Horizontal||Red Dot||None||No||9 volt|
For devices with 2 buttons, one button is generally for power/fire laser, and the other button is a “mode” button to change settings on the device
Bushnell Pro 1M/Pro 1M Slope and Z6 weight from Bushnell marketing documents
Bushnell Tour V2 Slope weight estimated based on weight of Bushnell Tour V2
Laser Link Switch based on company website
Leupold GX-1 and GX-2 weights based on information from golf.leupold.com
Leupold GX-4 and GX-4i weigh 8.0 oz with yellow faceplate