Nikon Arrow ID 5000 - Archery Rangefinder
Bowhunters have more options for archery rangefinders than ever before, and the Nikon Arrow ID 5000 is a bowhunting rangefinder that brings a lot to the table. But does it find the right balance between budget and performance in this competitive category?
The Nikon Arrow ID 5000 comes equipped with an ID (Incline/Decline) angle compensation feature, as well as First and Distant target priority modes. This rangefinder uses a black LCD display to report distances and is rated to 600 yards on reflective targets. The Arrow ID 5000 is powered by a CR2 battery and comes with a neoprene carry case and strap. Finally this unit is rated as waterproof and is backed by a 2 year limited warranty.
Settings are minimal considering this is a full feature rangefinder; options include setting angle compensation on or off, choosing if you want the rangefinder to display distance in yards or meters, and picking First or Distant as the target priority mode. Ranging is also simple and is done by the rear most button near the eyepiece; the front button is the mode button and is only used for changing settings. Once the unit is turned on, press the power button to range a target; pressing and holding the power button causes this Nikon rangefinder to enter a scan mode where the unit will update distances continuously as you follow a moving target or range multiple targets for up to 8 seconds.
The black LCD of this unit is pretty clean compared to some other brands that tend to post a little too much information, when all bowhunters are generally looking for is the angle compensated range. When the Arrow ID 5000 is in angle compensated mode it displays “ang” towards the bottom left of the screen; furthermore, it will display a “1st” or “Dst” near the very bottom left of the display depending on which target priority mode is selected. Bowhunters will generally want the target priority set on “Distant” to aid the unit in ranging through twigs and tall grass. After ranging a target, the distance to the target will be displayed above the reticle and the appropriate yards or meters icon will display to the right of this number. Finally there is a battery life indicator at the bottom right of the screen to help the user monitor remaining power.
In our opinion a bowhunting rangefinder should be equipped with angle compensation and a last target priority; the Nikon Arrow 5000 ID covers the first with its ID (Incline/Decline) technology, and the later with its Distant target priority mode. We also like that this unit is rated as waterproof; and while you always want to keep electronics as dry as possible, occasionally they get used in heavy rain or take an unexpected dip in a creek or stream crossing. Finally, we like how Nikon incorporates useful features in their rangefinders without making them overly complicated.
Note to Nikon, could you stop putting those bright styling lines on your hunting rangefinders; they are ok for golf rangefinders and no it will not spook a deer but come on. Also, while 6x magnification of the Nikon Arrow ID 5000 is certainly acceptable for archery hunting, we generally prefer 4x on a bow rangefinder for more field of view, as targets are often large and relatively close in range compared to rifle hunting. Price of this unit also tends to run a little on the high side when compared to some of the other competition.
While the Arrow ID 5000 would no doubt make a fine bowhunting rangefinder it falls in kind of an odd man out scenario even within the Nikon line. For example, if you are looking strictly for a bowhunting rangefinder its new little brother, the Nikon Arrow ID 3000 retains all the important bowhunting features, has a 4x magnification for a better field of view, and is generally about $70 cheaper. On the other hand if you are looking for a good archery rangefinder that could also be used for most rifle hunting applications, the Arrow ID 5000 would also work well but the Nikon Prostaff 3i is nearly identical, has 50 yards more ranging power and usually sells for about $40 less. However, neither of these alternatives are waterproof like the Nikon Arrow ID 5000 which could be a deciding factor for some in the selection process; also if you are interested in this model we see some good sales on them every now and then, and a lower price on this rangefinder would help it compare more favorably to the other models mentioned.
The Nikon Arrow ID 5000 is well equipped to handle archery hunting with the main features we like to see like in a bowhunting rangefinder: angle compensation, last target priority, and scan mode. It also isn’t filled with a lot of unnecessary modes and settings which keeps things simple and the display screen relatively uncluttered. As mentioned previously while this rangefinder is well suited for archery and even many rifle applications there are other members of the Nikon rangefinder family that are also well if not better suited for those applications and cost less. One could make a strong case for the Arrow ID 5000 if you find a good sale on one below its normal online average price of around $280.
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