Every hunting or shooting trip has a list of essentials, and at the very top of that gear list you’ll find things such as guns and bullets. But for many of us, it’s not very far down that list that you’ll find binoculars and rangefinder. Today we are discussing the Sig Sauer Kilo 3000 binoculars, which bring the laser rangefinder and binoculars onto the same line.
The Sig Sauer Kilo 3000
The Kilo 3000 binoculars sit at the top of the Kilo optics line, which is a series of great laser range finders. The Kilo is built on a 10X42mm body, with a built in LRF that claims up to 5000 yard capability. The armored exterior of the Kilo holds a few more secrets inside than most.
The Kilo also features Sig Sauer’s BDX technology, which allows the Kilo to communicate via bluetooth with other devices. Using data inputs from weather stations like the Kestrel Weather Meter to give accurate ballistic solutions. The Kilo uses the Applied Ballistics solver to give the shooter the best prediction for a hit. This system can be used in conjunction with Sig Sauer scopes that use the same system to show holdover and wind holds in live time with illuminative points on the reticle.
The Kilo uses a single CR2 lithium battery to power it, according to Sig, this will give you approximately 4,000 chances to measure the distance to your targets.
The Kilo weighs in at 31 ounces which is almost the exact same weight as is nearest competitors.
On the range
The vast expanse of the Rocky Mountains is the perfect place to put a rangefinder to the test, and I spend a couple days every week shooting in these beautiful landscapes. So no sooner had I gotten home with the Kilo, I grabbed my rifle and gear bag and headed up one of my favorite trails. Before I left though, I put together the chest harness that comes with the Kilo so I could hike with both hands free.
I have used quite a few different binocular chest carry outfits, and for the most part I think it is very subjective as to how comfortable they are. This one for me was not too bad, I like how quick it is to bring the binos out of the case. Both the case itself and the binoculars are suspended from the shoulder straps individually, and the bino straps are easily snapped free if you need to disconnect them to lend to a less fortunate spotting partner.
After a good sweat from the hot August sun, I found myself looking out across a steep canyon that worked its way back into the rocky and cavernous mountain range. It was a place I frequent fairly often so I already knew a lot of the distances available to me. I sat down and began to scan with the Kilo, my very first impression of the image quality was positive. I have used many of the popular brands of LRF binos, and I would put the optical quality of the Sig Kilo right near the top of its price point class. It is similar to models from Vortex, Nikon, and Leupold in the same price range. Perhaps a little better than some, but not quite as nice as the top quality optics we are accustomed to seeing from European manufacturers like Swarovski or Leica. One thing that I did find more convenient was that when using other binos I find that I frequently have to adjust the focus between my eyes to get a uniform image. But with the Kilo I found that I adjusted it once, and never touched it again, perhaps that’s a small issue but for me its almost reason enough to sell my other binos.
Like most modern binoculars, the Kilo 3000 feature adjustable eyecups to set the lenses the right distance from your eyes. And like the entire exterior of the binoculars, these are rubberized for easy grip, the control surfaces of the binoculars have an added texture as well for easy manipulation.
The laser dispersion of the Kilo was one thing I wanted to see and test, after all, a good rangefinder is only as good as its ability to precisely confirm distance. This can become very important when ranging a target that might be very close to obstructions along the way, such as a tree branch, or a ridge between you and the target.
Keeping the Kilo firmly fixed to a tripod, I measured the distance to several targets that had surrounding obstructions. I was happy to see that almost anything that was inside the reticle of the Kilo registered the actual distance. But even something as insignificant as a leaf 380 yards away that obstructed the view of a 950 yard target, was picked up by the laser. Ranging targets eclipsed the edge of a closer ridge only gave interference when the reticle overlapped the closer ridge. All things considered, the Kilo’s laser gives a very accurate and predictable measurement, so when the range comes back, you know what it reflected on.
The rangefinding capabilities of the Kilo were more than adequate for my purposes. Ive found that most rangefinders are rated for distances at the extreme envelope of their capabilities. The better quality, and usually the higher the price point, I find they come closer to their maximum range rating. Sig claims the Kilo can hit 5000 yards, which may be true. But I couldn’t hold still enough or hit a reflective enough target to read that far. It did work great inside of 2000 yards however, giving quick and repeatable readings. Whether it was rocks, or trees, dimly shadowed or glowing in the afternoon sun.
I did push it out quite a bit further, ranging buildings back down in town from my 6000 foot perch. Cars and buildings were good reflectors out to around 3000 yards, I have since gotten good readings on large reflective targets as far as 4800 yards.
I used the Kilo both in its range only setting as well as with the incline output setting, I would have liked to try out the bluetooth BDX functions as well. But that would have required me buying a whole scope to go with it, something Im not ready to do at the moment but I would really like to give the whole system a complete workout.
The Kilo 3000 is yet another awesome product from the elctro-optic branch of Sig Sauer. I think if you are looking for a good pair of hunting binos, you’d do very well with these. Having used many of its closest peers, I’d probably pick the Kilo over them.