A compact, durable, and ultra-clear all-in-one bino/rangefinding system, SIG’s HD Compact is a win.
by Mark Kayser
As I add years to my aging frame, I look at every piece of equipment discerningly. What am I scrutinizing? I am evaluating every piece of hunting equipment to see if it is lightweight and necessary for the hunt.
Minimizing, simplifying, and at the same time, upgrading gear provide a pathway to the most efficient hunt possible.
As the technology for optics advances, along with the intertwined developments of fusing magnification optics with rangefinding aids, the options are tempting.
Unfortunately, many of the best models feature a heavy frame with added weight to fit the best of both worlds into one package. Two or more pounds may not seem like much when picking up a package of elk burger, but every pound begins to weigh on you during a demanding hunt.
Sig Wins Again
Sig Sauer Electro-Optics has been leading the way in some of the finest in binocular/rangefinder technology with their KILO10K-ABS HD binocular rangefinder and the previous, but still worthy KILO6K HD binocular rangefinder. Their latest addition to this lineup was begging me for a test. Just introduced, Sig Sauer added the KILO6K HD Compact binocular rangefinder to their available models. Depending on your magnification needs, it is available in both 8×32 and 10×32 versions.
Although I am still a couple of months away from my first significant hunt, I have toted the KILO6K104 Compact, 10x version, with me on several scouting missions, including a backcountry location that has given up more than its fair share of worthy bulls to my freezer.
Out of the box, the Compact arrives with a fresh CR2 battery, and a binocular chest case is included. The case is functional, form-fitting, and comfortable. For hunting, I swapped mine for ALPS OutdoorZ Bino Harness X for compatibility with my overall system, but I would have no worries putting the Sig Sauer binocular chest pouch to use. The Compact also comes with lens covers, front and back. These work well for overall protection during transport in a backpack, suitcase, or truck but generally provide a cumbersome addition to your hunt when instant target acquisition is required.
Of course, its compact form makes the KILO6K Compact so uniquely paired with the minimalist hunter. It is more than a marketing label. First, the overall length of the Compact is just 5.7 inches, with a height of a mere 2.2 inches for both powers. The overall width is 5 inches —all in all, a frame that works well in the field.
The weight is 1.625 pounds. That does add a bit of heft over a standard compact binocular, but you must remember you also gain rangefinding capability from the same unit. If you had to tote along a separate rangefinder and binocular, do the math and see the ounces add up to match or surpass the 1.625-pound weight of the Sig Sauer Compact.
Fit & Feel
Picking up the binocular creates a smooth, ergonomic feel in your hands. A fine-grained texture coats the binocular barrels to ensure a nonslip grip and firm grasp. The focus knob has several large grooves to fine-tune your scanning area quickly, and when you need to zap a range or change a menu, two 1/2-inch diameter buttons reside on the right side of the binocular within easy reach for adult fingers.
Diopter adjustment for setting individual unequal eye strength is simple via the large, knurled knobs that securely hold once adjusted. Changeable eyecups allow eye comfort and optimal vision for those using glasses or with customized eye relief needs. There is nothing fancy about the Compact, but everything is functional. The true fanciness of the device lies within, and if you already use Sig Sauer products, the KILO6K Compact allows you to unleash even more power to your hunt.
Reflective Surfaces To 6,000 Yards
To begin with, you are now holding a device that can range reflective surfaces to 6,000 yards, big game to 2,500 yards, and trees and bushes to 3,000 yards. My mountain test included a lone moose in a park at 2,100 yards with certainty. In sagebrush mule deer country, the Compact quickly grabbed distances of cedars out to 3,000, and I could routinely capture large boulder distances beyond 5,000 yards. For archery hunters and whitetail aficionados, the Compact has the goods to go far in all environments.
Beyond a reliable rangefinder, the KILO6K Compact includes BDX 2.0 Bluetooth Technology to team with Sig Sauer-equipped BDX riflescopes and their thermal optic lineup. This allows compatible models to talk to each other, share real-time ballistic calculations, and if your riflescope is set correctly, the reticle automatically adjusts to the ranged distance. Sig Sauer’s BDX ballistic library offers an immense spectrum of ammunition combinations to fit your ballistic data. This proven system has been out for several years and tested via thousands of rounds of ammunition. Several of my hunting rifles are set to accommodate the Bluetooth conversation between riflescope and rangefinder.
The KILO6K Compact also features fog mode to slice through fog or even haze visible at dawn or dusk. It aids in the fall if you hunt in wildfire-prone areas. The XR Extended Range mode facilitates long-range capabilities when utilizing a tripod for extended, accurate distances in fast-developing situations. Western hunters often mount their binoculars on a tripod for lengthy glassing sessions. Using the BaseMap app, you can even drop waypoints via the Compact.
What can you expect when putting your eyes on the ocular end of the binocular? Despite the size, clarity was not sacrificed. The field of view is sharply focused and clear from edge to edge. Although I did not spend hours behind the binocular, I have spent long sessions trying to find fawns in my horse pasture without eye fatigue.
Depth of field and a wide field of view ensured every new sweeping view fell into focus easily from a slight twist of the focus dial. Rangefinding was simple and swift with one tap of the rangefinder button. The internal display is uncluttered, simple, and brightness adjustable. I experienced the same with the older brother KILO6K HD minus the overall size and weight.
Best of all is the price. Shop around, and you can likely nab a pair for $1,000 or less. Sig Sauer has them on their website for $1,009.99. For some, that may seem like a high price tag, but you must remember you are purchasing a high-quality binocular and a rangefinder in one package. Buying them separately would surely hit that price mark and more.
My anticipation for the season ahead includes using the KILO6K Compact. It will be a welcome addition to my gear lineup with its trim, slim frame, and reliable information output.