Different resonant antenna wavelengths. Do they affect the DOA performance?

I have two sets of telescoping antennas. One set is comprised of some after-market ones that get pretty long if need be. I found that I got the best SWR and performance using them around the 1/2 wave (440mhz) (about 13") mark.

The second set is the Kraken Antennas, and I have them adjusted for 1/4 wave (440mhz) (about 6.5") instead.

Both sets check out fine on my VNA and antenna analyzer, fully resonant where I am looking.

Which is better? Does it matter? The 1/2 wave ones seem to give better range, but what about decreased DOA accuracy and possible increase in reflections?

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The different radiation patterns produced by the antennas can make a difference, but overall as long as the radiation pattern isn’t getting too wacky it will all average out when driving with them. For a 1/2 wave monopole the radiation pattern will be just fine.

In that case the better range from the 1/2 wave is probably more beneficial. Of course be wary about the mechanical stability of the longer antenna on your car.