As we have stated in one of our previous articles, golf rangefinders are one of the best tools available to use for the game of golf. These tools make it possible to accurately measure the distance to the pin from wherever you may be on the fairway, through the use of magnification and lasers, among other features.
Of all the available names there are available for these rangefinders, one brand name reigns above the rest. This brand name is Leupold, makers of some of the best golf rangefinders available.
Being one of the leaders in golf rangefinders, over the years Leupold has put out a variety of products, each with their own unique additions and features. Today, we will be looking at some of the best that this brand has to offer with five of the greatest rangefinders that Leupold has ever produced.
THE Best Leupold rangefinders
- Leupold GX-5i³ (Best Overall)
"The Leupold GX-5i³ Rangefinder snags out the top spot with its multitude of features. Together with the DNA (Digital Enhanced Accuracy) and Prism Lock technology - which are identified with the GX series - for accurate and faster measurements, the Leupold GX-5i³ also comes with PinHunter 2 technology, which allows it to automatically find and track the pin, letting you know exactly how far you are away from the green. The most outstanding features of this model are the True-Golf Range and Club Selector features, which help you to plan out your attack in the way that is best suited to your playstyle and current position on the course, allowing for the most accurate game possible"
- Leupold Pincaddie 2 (Best on a Budget)
"This rangefinder is cheaper than the others but has exclusive features like PinHunter Laser Technology and 6x magnification."
- Leupold GX-3i³ (2nd Best Overall)
- Leupold GX-2i³ (Best For Value)
Best Leupold Rangefinders
The GX-5i³, yet another in the same Leupold product family as the previous two entries, is the latest in the GX line. As such, many of the features in the GX-5i³ make use of latest and greatest in rangefinder technology.
The 5i³ provides one of the greatest distance range of any rangefinder available, not just in the Leupold line. With a clear, viewable distance of up to 800 yards, and able to track the pin from up to 450 yards, there is literally no obstacle you shouldn't be able to spot with the 5i³.
The GX-5i³ also comes with various features that you can't get in any other Leupold model available. These features are the True-Golf Range and Club Selector features, which help you to plan out your attack in the way that is best suited to your play style and current position on the course, allowing for the most accurate game possible.
Of course, all of these great features come at a price, and a hefty one at that. At around $500, the price of the GX-5i³ may not be for everyone, especially with some great, and cheaper models available.
But those models simply cannot compare to the range of features that the Leupold GX-5i³ gives golfers. There is little that you cannot accomplish with this rangefinder, and the benefits it provides are sure to show in your golf game.
Leupold Pincaddie 2
Best on a Budget
We start our list with one of Leupold's most affordable rangefinder models with the Pincaddie 2. While a great choice for those on a budget, the Leupold is more than just a cheap rangefinder.
While most rangefinders can get quite pricey, the Pincaddie 2 comes with an affordable price point of just under $200. This makes the Pincaddie a choice that is not only cheaper than other Leupold models, but cheaper than the majority of rangefinders available.
For the price you pay, you get a bevy of great features as well. This includes 6x magnification, high-contrast LCD display, and a tough, waterproof exterior.
Of course, while this is certainly a lot of bang for your buck, the Pincaddie 2 is still limited in features when compared to some other Leupold models. While this helps to keep the cost low for the tool, it makes it inferior to some of the products that use more advanced technology.
Even so, you get a lot of value for your dollar with the Leupold Pincaddie 2 Rangefinder. If what you are looking for is a well-designed, accurate rangefinder that won't break the bank, the Pincaddie 2 is exactly what you are looking for.
2nd Best Overall
The second product in the GX line to make our list is the Leupold GX-3i³. While this model of GX does share a few features with the previous 3i², it also improves on said features while adding even more.
For example, the 3i³ uses the same kind of DNA engine and Prism Lock technology that made the 3i² provide fast and accurate readings of the golf course. Adding to this already great technology, however, is the 3i²'s "PinHunter Laser Technology", which allows it to automatically find and track the pin, letting you know exactly how far you are away from the green.
The GX-3i³ is also invaluable in foggy weather conditions, as the rangefinder's "Fog Mode" allows you to track targets through even the densest of fog, so you will always be able to know where to aim your shots. Much like the previous GX model, you can use this rangefinder for tournament play, meaning you can use the 3i³ to help you tackle the competition.
If there is anything that can be considered a slight negative on this product, it's that the OLED display of the tool can be a bit darker than advertised when viewed through the eyepiece. While in no means a deal breaker, this harder to see display may be an annoyance to some.
Best For Value
So far, we have looked at some great affordable options for rangefinders, but ones that are fairly bare bones in terms of features available to use. That all changes with the Leupold GX-2i³ rangefinder.
Using Leupold's patented "DNA" engine technology, as well as use of infrared lasers, the GX-2i³ provides super-fast readouts of almost any fairway. Not only are readouts provided to the golfer fast, but accurately as well, using "Prism Lock" technology that gives the user the greatest accuracy possible.
This means that you will always be able to know exactly how far you are in relation to any hazard or the green, allowing you to best plan your shots. Not only that, but should you wish to use this rangefinder in tournament play, you'll be happy to know that the GX-2i³ is completely legal for use.
The only drawback to the GX-2i³ is that the can sometimes be less than user friendly. It takes a bit of tweaking to get settings on this rangefinder just right for your golf game, and you will always need use of a steady hand to get the most accurate reading.
Much like the previous two, however, the price of this rangefinder is also relatively affordable, only being about $20-30 more than the Pincaddie or Micro Laser. With this, as well as the speed and accuracy that this rangefinder provides, the GX-2i³ may well be the best balance between affordability and usability so far.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Leupold the Best?
While it is arguable to say that one of the best names in rangefinders IS Leupold, they are also not the only game in town when it comes to great rangefinders. There are also golf GPS for your consideration.
With any of the above products, you are certain to get a great rangefinder, but that doesn't mean Leupold is the only reliable brand name. Just doing some simple research, you will find a large selection of rangefinders, so even if Leupold isn't the brand for you, there are still other brands like Bushnell and Breaking 80.
If you have been struggling in your search to find a rangefinder, any of the above products are good choices. If you see Leupold in the product name, you can be certain that you will be buying a rangefinder that you will be using for years to come.
Testing Criteria used for evaluation
While every product above does come from the same brand name, not every one of them is created equal in terms of features.
With the first two on our list, the Pincaddie and the Micro, we have two products that, while great for price, are light on features. While you may be required to climb the price ladder a bit, the extra features that the GX series of Leupold Rangefinder's provide may be just what you need for your game.
In the end, you'll want to find the rangefinder that will give you the most of what you need out of your game, while trying to eliminate those that either have too much or are a bit more confusing. This way, you will get the most out of your purchase without the added hassle.
As mentioned above, the Leupold products all come with a range of prices and features. So which of these provide the best balance between the two?
Smart money would be on the GX-2i³, which comes in the middle of the price ladder at just around $200, and provides a decent amount of accuracy features that golfers love.
That said, they certainly don't have the most to offer, with other GX models providing added weather and accuracy features, in addition to other things. And even the cheaper Micro and Pincaddie models provide their own adequate features, and at a cheaper price.
It comes down to what you are willing to pay. While paying more will get you more, you will want to get a rangefinder that best fits your budget and playstyle.
When you use a rangefinder, you will want something that will be clear and easy to read. If the display is dark and cloudy, you won't be able to accurately see obstacles in your way, or even tag the pin.
While all the models above certainly have adequate displays, the GX-4Ia2 provides possibly the clearest OLED display available, with all objects in view being crystal clear. The 3Ia2 model is also a great choice in this regard, as you are able to cut through even the foggiest of conditions to find your target.
Like I said before, however, that isn't to say that you won't get a good display with any model you may buy, and for that reason you can be certain that you will get a good view no matter which Leupold you buy.