Some of the technological advances we have witnessed over the last 20 years have proven to be a huge help to us in our hunting endeavors. One such advancement is the use of laser range finders to help us accurately judge distance. More recent advances that measure the angle of our shots have further refined the accuracy of these great tools. With a quality range finder in hand, we can pinpoint to within inches the exact “true” distance of any shot we will make with the single push of a button.
I have used a number of different range finders over the last few years on my hunts. As with any other tool we use pursuing our passion, there are certain traits that separate the really great ones from the other mostly useless gadgets we carry in our packs. In this review, I will discuss the specifications of the Wildgame Innovations R900X Halo Range Finder, what benefits it truly provides to archers, and any concerns I had with its use in the field.
From an archery hunting point of view, I look at a few specific traits when reviewing a range finder. These are the key components that we will be discussing in this review and they include:
• Angle Compensation
• Ease of Use
The technical specifications of the R900X Halo as advertised are as follows:
• Angle Logic: AI angle technology™ for actual distance calculation
• Scan mode
• 6x Magnification
• Eye lens: 15.5mm anti-fog – Object lens: 24mm
• View angle: 7 degrees
• Precision: +/- 1 yard
• Minimum Distance: 5 yards
• Water Resistant
• Weight: 8 oz. – Size: 4.2″ x 3″ x 1.7″
• Battery: 3VCR2 (Included) Battery life is equal to up to 3,000 measures
• LCD: Gray color text/icons
• Power Saver: 20 seconds without pressing a button
• Ranges – Tree = 400Yds – Deer = 300Yds – Golf Flag = 200Yds
• Maximum reflective target-900Yds
Overall, we found the unit easy to use, and well worth the $229.99 price tag. The R900X has everything you need, and while we were focused on the use of it for the bowhunter, we have no doubt it will be more than sufficient with any other type of weapon as well.
Magnification – The first thing that we look at when looking for a rangefinder is the magnification. The typical archer in the east will be targeting objects at no farther than 50 yards, while out here in the west we push that distance out to 100+ yards on many of our hunts. The R900X comes with 6X magnification, which is just right for those distances between 40 and 120 yards. The lower the magnification number, the wider the field of view when using the range finder, allowing for quick acquisition of your target. Hours of use of the R900X showed the 6X magnification to be very useful while still allowing sufficient field of view to easily acquire your target at any range.
Angle Compensation – All of the top end range finders now come with an angle compensation system. The idea has many different synonyms, but the concept is always the same. Laser range finders measure linear distance, or straight line. The original range finders did not take into account the amount of incline or decline between the range finder and the target. Many times archery hunters find themselves elevated in a tree way above a trail, or in any number of other types of ambush situations where there is a significant drop in elevation between themselves and their potential targets. The linear distance might be 40 yards, but the true compensated equivalent may only be 33 yards. Without some way to offset the effect of the drop in elevation between the shooter and the target, a lot of bad shots can be made.
Wildgame Innovations calls their angle compensation system “AI” or “Angle Intelligence”. We tested the R900X at every distance and angle we could find, and the AI system worked perfectly. Or shots were right on the mark at distances out to 100 yards with up to a 30 degree angle. The R900X will allow you to change modes, going from linear measurement to “AI” compensated mode, with the single push of a button.
Targeting – We have all been here. We get that new range finder out of the box, run out to our shooting range in the back yard, throw the range finder up and range our 3D deer, then the shade tree, then the neighbor’s dog. Works great, or so we think. However, when we get out to our favorite hunting spot, all of a sudden it won’t range certain targets. Why? Well, we did not have a brush pile surrounding our 3D target at home, and Rascal, the neighbor’s dog, was not walking through a stand of trees when we zapped him at 55 yards. Archers well know that ranging their target sometimes is far more work than making the shot. The R900X Provides an LCD “target marker” in the middle of the screen to help pin point your target. You will still have to make sure you don’t get a false reading from anything between you and your target.
Size/Weight – The R900X is equivalent in size and weight of comparable range finders, coming in at 8 ounces.
Feel/Construction – The R900X is extremely comfortable to hold with finger grooves on the top for both right and left hand use. The power button is located right on the top and easily accessible for split second use. The mode button is located right in front of the power button, so you have to be careful which button you push. The outer surface of the eye piece lenses is coated to help prevent fogging. The R900X is also water resistant for those snowy and raining days in the late fall.
Ease of Use – The R900X is very simple to use. Once you have your mode set between linear or AI, all you have to do is push the power button and get your yardage. Push and hold the power button and you are in scan mode which allows you to actively range multiple targets without having to reactivate the laser by pushing the power button again. This is one of the top features of the R900X.
Overall, we would definitely recommend the R900X to anyone looking for a quality range finder. For the MSRP of $229, I would say that it is well worth the money. The R900X is another quality product from Wildgame Innovations!
For more please go to: Wildgame Innovations or shop Amazon below!