Vortex Rangefinder Review: A Top Notch Performer for Hunters & Shooters

Last Updated on March 21, 2021

Precision isn’t the only thing that is required for bow hunting and target shooting. To many people, ease of use matters as well. If you are to find a rangefinder that is able to give precise calculation, a good shooting range, has well-built quality, as well as offers attractive features, this Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 will provide you with all these aspects.

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Being updated for 2018, this Vortex Ranger is serving greatly with greater ranger capability. And, till today, you can hardly find any other rangefinders within its price range that come with such specs and features. Hopefully, this vortex rangefinder 1800 review will help you to decide if this one can fit your target shooting or hunting requirements or not.

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Vortex Rangefinder Review


Vortex-Rangefinder-ReviewFor the most obvious reason, when someone is looking for a rangefinder, he/she would check its range first. On pen and paper, this one can provide you with a range of maximum of 1800 yards, as the name suggests.

However, the real scenario is a bit different. Most rangefinders you will find in the market, don’t provide the same range as promised. Vortex is saying that it can support you up to 1800 yards, this distance is addressed towards highly reflective targets. This is where most people get confused and end up buying one, and later on, they become disappointed.

So the mystery remains, how far is the range? Well, in short, it’s way better than most other conventional ones within the price range. Vortex Ranger 1800 ranges up to 950 yards for long-distance shooting. So, basically, if you are hunting anything within 800 yards, this rangefinder will work like a charm.

In addition, considering the soft surface, it can range up to 800 yards.

However, in low light conditions, it’s about 650 yards. Although the number seems less, when you will compare this one with its competitors, this unit will easily beat others.

So, overall, the range distances aren’t that bad. You can take precise and more accurate shots within these yards that I just mentioned.


Great rangefinders come with great lenses, this isn’t an exception with this one as well. Vortex Ranger 1800 features a clean display that has a high intuitive menu. The display is very simple, yet dedicated to providing you a high level of performance with precise shots within its range.

Furthermore, the lenses are fully multi-coated which assures you of optimal light transmission.


The angle compensation is an important matter for most hunters and shooters. The unit features an HCD mode that displays a horizontal component distance for more precise angle shots. You can easily shoot using a rifle on the level ground regardless of the range.

The ranger is able to provide 15 to 30 degrees for 400 yards, and 15 degrees for 800 yards for rifle shooting with mild slope. Furthermore, the angle also aids archery shooting.

As far as high-angle shots are concerned, the calculation needs to be precise. To help you with this regard, the unit also features LOS mode, which is for shooters who shoot within 500 yards with slopes more than 15 degrees.

If you use ballistic apps, drop data cards, or ballistic programmed PDAs, this feature will bring the most out of your shooting skills.

In both HCD and LOS modes, you are able to scan moving targets and targets using the “Scan Mode” in uniform backgrounds. The scan ranging gets activated once you hold the measure button. As soon as you pan across a moving prey or object, it will provide you with accurate range readings.

Brightness Settings

Shooting in ambient lighting conditions can be troublesome for most shooters. To make things easy in such conditions, the ranger offers three brightness settings. This makes the target visible regardless of the light conditions. You will have to be careful while using the brightest setting.

Construction Material

When you get your hands on the unit, it will surely give you a premium feel. The rangefinder is wrapped with textured rubber armor material for a more secure grip; so, even in the toughest condition of shooting, it will not slip off your hand.

You can tell by its rugged build that the unit is made for surviving the toughest conditions. There are top-performing rangefinders in the market, but when it’s about weather-proof features, most of them stay far behind. With this one, you can keep on hunting even in rain or foggy weather, its waterproof and fog-proof features will accompany you even in rough conditions.


Although vortex 1800 has a rugged construction, it doesn’t feel that heavy. However, it’s heavy to some extent, but it’s made appropriately heavy to make it durable enough. It’s neither one of the lightest rangefinders that easily breaks, nor it’s too heavy that will make your hands feel uncomfortable.

Mount Options

One of the minimalist, yet very beneficial features of this unit is that you can mount it on your belt with its utility clip. This small feature makes it very convenient and easy to carry the ranger around.

You can mount the ranger with your tripod adapter to take a more steady and firm view of your target. Although it’s not a groundbreaking feature, those who require a steady appearance of their target, need it the most. Apart from that, you can also mount it on a car window as well.

Budget and Warranty

If your budget is around $400 to $500, vortex ranger 1800 would be a great deal for the price. Within this price point, there is hardly any other product that comes with features, specs, performance similar to it. You can go for other rangefinders within the price that provides more shooting range than this one, but you will surely miss its rugged feeling as well as waterproofing feature. To be honest, rangefinders come in various price ranges, and for budget, rangefinders consider these under $100 rangefinders and $200 rangefinders.

Talking about the warranty of the Vortex brand, you can completely rely on them. Their warranty policy is one of the best in any product category. Even if you purchase an older vortex ranger from a garage sale, and find a defect in the product, Vortex will replace the rangefinder, and this is something you will not get from other manufacturers.

So, don’t even bother or hesitate about the warranty, their lifetime warranty got your back no matter what.

Pros and Cons


  • 1800 reflective shooting range, 950 yards longest shooting
  • Up to 500 yards line of sight
  • Rugged and durable construction
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • 15 to 30 degrees angle compensated distance reading
  • Continuous range readings on movable target
  • Visible at low light conditions
  • Adjustable utility clip and tripod compatibility
  • Unconditional lifetime warranty


  • HCD mode doesn’t show an incline angle
  • Only 1-yard increment
  • Not so accurate at shooting long-range target


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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I Actually hunt down deer within 900 yards of range?

Reports and reviews from customers state that hunting down a deer within 900 yards of distance is quite tough unless you are pro at hunting. However, the rangefinder is able to perform top-notch within 500 to 700 yards. However, for hunting successfully you must have a perfect Vortex shooting scope along with this Vortex 1800 Rangefinder.

  1. Can I use this one for both shooting and bowhunting?

In short, absolutely yes. Its HCD mode is implemented particularly for rifle shooting. As far as bow hunting is concerned, LOS mode will give you accurate readings for bow hunting shots as well. You can get more insights about the perfect archery rangefinders for bowhunting here.

  1. What type of battery the rangefinder comes with, and how long does it last?

The ranger 1800 has a CR2 battery, which is included with the unit. However, the battery life depends on the usage, brightness, and for how long you use modes such as HCD, LOS, scan.

  1. Is this rangefinder adaptable with Tripod?

Yes, you can mount this ranger on a tripod for better stability and longer use.

  1. What is the use of the utility clip?

The use of the clip aka belt clip solely depends on your preference. You can attach the clip to either side of the rangefinder and secure it to your pocket, belt, etc.

  1. Can this rangefinder function in cold?

Yes, you can have successful hunting even in extreme cold like in 131F temperature.

  1. How to utilize the Scan Mode?

Hold down the fire or measure button while the rangefinder is turned on. You will see a blinking illuminated “S” on the screen. Keep on depressing the fire button while scanning different objects at different locations.

Final Words

I’m super amazed by all the specs and features that the Vortex Ranger 1800 comes with. It will surely enhance your target shooting and bowhunting experience. However, don’t get disappointed if you cannot hunt down animals within 900 yards of range as the manufacturer says.

If you get a little close to the target and shoot within 500 to 700 yards, the accuracy will delight you without a doubt.

Hopefully, this vortex rangefinder review will help to decide which one to pursue.

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