Do Rangefinders Work In Rain

The rainy season often is the period you may cancel all your hunting or golfing expeditions, sit back and kick your feet up in front of the fireplace while perusing through your favorite book.

The main reason for this is because most of the equipment you will require for these activities are not water-resistant, and so being indoors is the only alternative.

Heavy rainfall can be very destructive to devices like rangefinders that require proper care to serve you for a long time.

Do Rangefinders Work In Rain

Do Rangefinders Work In Rain

Unfortunately, most rangefinders you may find around are not properly suited to be used under the rain.

To fully understand how the rain prevents rangefinders from getting clear, accurate measurements, we first must understand how these rangefinders work in normal weather conditions.

How Do Rangefinders Work?

All laser rangefinders available on the market work under the same general principle, so understanding how one works gives you a general idea of how all other laser rangefinders work.

  • When you push the button to measure a particular distance, the rangefinder emits powerful laser beams in the direction of the target.
  • The beams bounce off the target and return to the rangefinder.
  • The rangefinder possesses a high-speed clock that records the time spent from when the beam left the rangefinder to when it returned.
  • With the value for time recorded and the speed of the beam known (same as the speed of light), it is easier to calculate the distance of the target from your position.

Although most laser rangefinders work with this general principle, there are a few recent models with modern innovative changes in the implementation of the rangefinder.

Effect Of Rain On The Rangefinder

As a rule of thumb, severe environmental or weather conditions can hinder the movement of the beam, or disperses the beam immediately it leaves the rangefinder.

In a vacuum, the speed at which light travels is constant, but when it is made to travel in presence of fog or rain, the speed changes.

The value of the speed of the beam also depends on the state of matter obstructing the beam.

For example, the beam would be faster in light fog than in heavy rain. Although both negatively affect the accuracy of the laser rangefinder.

The effect of rain on rangefinders is so evident that more expensive rangefinders now come equipped with a rain mode.

Which may not solve all the problems outrightly, but help a great deal. Depending on the severity of the downpour, the rangefinder could become useless.

What Can Be Done?

As we have stated, rangefinders with rain mode will still not serve you well in the case of severe rainfall.

The most common solution to tackling the problems faced by rangefinders in the rain is waterproofing.

By waterproofing your rangefinder you reduce the effect the rain will have on the device. Waterproofing stops water from getting into your rangefinder and damaging it.

Even though this may not have any significant impact on the accuracy of the rangefinder in measurement.

Best Rangefinders For Rain

While we are aware that a torrential downpour may nullify the work of even the best rangefinders, we have prepared a list of rangefinders that you can use effectively in light rain showers.

1. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders

Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinders

Do you intend to go hunting out in the rain and require a rangefinder whose efficiency and accuracy are not reduced by light rain, then this rangefinder is the one for you.

It is covered in an overall rubber armor which makes it waterproof and resistant to subtle impacts. With this rangefinder, you are guaranteed reliability and efficiency.

It has an objective lens of 22mm and a magnification of 6X, which makes its measurements accurate up to 1800 yards. It also comes with a colored lens which provides coloring and image clarity.

2. Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder

Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized Golf Rangefinder

This user-friendly golf rangefinder is the best choice to improve your golf game. With its advanced technology in image stabilization, you are guaranteed even, high-resolution images.

Its maximum range is as far as 1200 yards which are sufficient to improve your game. With Nikon’s recent ID technology, you are able to measure uneven grounds, slopes, and prominent inclinations easily.

You do not have to guess which club to use, this device informs you on the right club for you based on your requirements and with the use of an OLED display.

3. Sig Sauer Digital Ballistic Laser Rangefinder Kilo 2400 ABS

Sig Sauer Digital Ballistic Laser Rangefinder Kilo2400ABS

This device is capable of measuring distances up to 3520 yards. With its LCD, you are guaranteed a clear focus to be able to take precise images.

The extra touch on the finish of this device allows it to be easily held under the rain and prevents slipping of the rangefinder in wet conditions.

This device is one of the best for hunting in the rain. Don’t just take my word for it, its IPX7 rating proves it.

Additionally, it possesses a strong battery with a long battery life of about 20,000 hours for every full charge. It has one of the quickest response times you will ever find in a rangefinder, an impressive 0.25 seconds.

4. OpticGuru ATN Laser Ballistics Range Finder

OpticGuru ATN Laser Ballistics Range Finder

When dealing with special rangefinders for specific conditions, you would normally find an exorbitant price on its price tag.

Luckily, the price of this device won’t drill a hole in your pocket, for the quality you’re getting. It is equipped with Bluetooth technology and allows you to share data with a riflescope with ease.

Its 6X magnification allows for zooming in on targets far away. With an impressive battery capacity of 10,000 cycles for every full charge,  this device won’t let you down in the field.


If you must go hunting or play any long-distance sport under the rain then you must equip yourself with any of the trusted rangefinders listed above.

For long-range shooting, you must be careful to select a rangefinder that has enough yardage. Rangefinders that can measure up to 3000 yards and above should be sufficient.

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