Nikon Coolshot 80i VR Rangefinder Review


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The Nikon Coolshot 80i VR utilizes a large suite of technologies to quickly provide accurate distances up to 1000 yards.



Nikon is a company known for high-quality optical technology, so it would seem they are a natural fit for golf rangefinders.  In an effort to lead the industry, Nikon threw all sorts of technology into this small unit like Vibration Reduction (VR), Hyper Read, First Target, and Locked On mode.  At the end of the day, a rangefinder needs to give you an accurate distance every time and do it quickly.  This review will cover how well the Nikon Coolshot 80i VR accomplishes that goal.


Setup & Ease of Use

There are four different functional options available for the Nikon Coolshot 80i VR rangefinder.  The default setting is your standard horizontal yardage.  There are a lot of settings and options in the Coolshot 80i VR, and you will definitely need to spend a little time with the manual to gain the familiarity to properly sequence through the settings.  The process was not super intuitive, but I was able to set the 80i VR how I wanted using the manual.  If I ever want to change the settings, I may need to refer back to the instructions again.

Like most rangefinders, the Nikon Coolshot 80i VR is pretty intuitive for on-course use in regards to point and shoot.  You can hold down the button and scan targets to get distances to various elements in the landscape in order to make a more educated shot choice.


Accuracy & Performance

No stranger to the world of optics, Nikon is able to make a perfectly accurate rangefinder.  The actual and adjusted yardages both have been accurate on the courses I’ve played.  Yardages are displayed to the nearest half of a yard by utilizing a technology Nikon calls Hyper Read.

Vibration Reduction (VR): A technology Nikon designed to stabilize the image being targeted and reduce natural vibrations from the golfer’s hand.  This is designed to speed up measuring your target and make targeting more precise.  I found it made it easier to quickly and clearly identify the target you were trying to measure.

Hyper Read: Designed to measure the distance quickly and accurately no matter how far away you are from the target.  Nikon claims accuracy of +/- .75 yards up to 700 yards and +/- 1.25 yards up to 1000 yards.  I didn’t need to measure that far, but I did notice the Coolshot 80i VR easily handled distances over 325 yards.

Locked On & First Target: These two technologies work together to help you pick up the “priority” target.  Think of a scenario where you need to measure the distance to a flagstick, but there is a tree line directly behind it.  The First Target technology will figure out what the front target is and will lock onto it (Locked On) which will be indicated by a circle in the cross hairs.



$450 at retail, the Nikon Coolshot 80i VR rangefinder is on par with similar rangefinders that include slope settings.  Along with the unit itself, you’ll get a case which has a carabiner clip that easily attaches to your bag for convenience and the required battery.



As much as I love technology, I find that I like my rangefinders to be simple.  The most important part is that they work well and are accurate on the course.  The Nikon Coolshot 80i VR is full of valuable technology, but most importantly it’s a reliable and accurate rangefinder.

Bill Bush
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  1. Jeffrey Robson

    Does it allow removal of the slope option for tournaments?

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