Nikon Coolshot 80i VR rangefinder in both black and white colours

Nikon Coolshot 80 VR & Coolshot 80i VR Laser Rangefinder Product Review

The Nikon Coolshot 80i VR and Coolshot 80 VR laser rangefinders are designed to quickly provide you accurate yardages. And thanks mainly to the technology borrowed from Nikon’s camera division, golfers get just that. This laser rangefinder will not detract from your normal playing routine.

Welcome. My name is Ian Allen and as part of my quest to find the best value golf laser rangefinders, today we’re reviewing the smart looking Nikon Coolshot 80 VR, and it’s big brother, the Nikon Coolshot 80i VR. So let’s Tee off.

So why buy a Golf Laser Rangefinder?

That’s a great question.

If like me you’re an average golfer, then in addition to the Driver, 3 Wood and say a hybrid, you will have in your bag a 5 iron down to a Pitching Wedge. Plus a variety of wedges such as the Titleist Vokey SM6 perhaps, or the Callaway MD3’s. 

And for any given swing there will be a gap of as much as 20 yards or more between each of these clubs. Even if we can’t play that consistently, as amateur golfers, we delude ourselves that we can. And therefore to ensure we pull out the right club. It’s important to get accurate distances to any point on the golf course.

Now whilst Golf GPS devices such as the Garmin Approach X10, Approach X40 or indeed the beautiful Garmin Approach S60 GPS watch, all of which I detailed within the ‘Best Golf GPS Devices, are great. Using them you can be difficult when picking out that one particular hazard you have to clear. Or indeed you don’t always want the smartwatch communication vibrating away right in the middle of your putting stroke, to win the monthly medal.

So for simplicity you need something which is not constrained to a map. You need something flexible. 

Welcome to the world of the Golf Laser Rangefinder.

My Review of the Nikon Coolshot 80 VR & Coolshot 80i VR

The Nikon COOLSHOT 80i VR and COOLSHOT 80 VR are easy to operate and compactly designed to ensure a comfortable grip and portability. What’s more, their waterproof and fogproof structure means they are ready for use even in cases of sudden rain. Something which is a huge benefit here in the UK.

And when it does get wet outside, the Coolshots’ body is moulded from a grippy material so it won’t slip out of your hands when used in inclimate weather.

Both the COOLSHOT 80i VR and COOLSHOT 80 VR offer a multilayer-coated 6x high-quality eye finder for bright, clear images. And with Nikon’s original data-processing algorithm HYPER READ, the measured distance is displayed with a fast, stable response regardless of how far you are from the target. Typically within ½ a second. So you will be able to keep up the pace of play, putting pressure on your playing partners.

Selectable ID Technology Displays Slope-adjusted Distance

COOLSHOT 80i VR features Nikon’s ID (Incline/Decline) Technology to compensate for uphill or downhill slope. This feature can also be disabled to become USGA compliant for tournament use. 

With ID Technology, the COOLSHOT 80i VR displays slope-adjusted distance (horizontal distance +/- height), as well as to-the-target distance. This enables you to select the proper club for uphill or downhill shots. With so many unforgiving elements on a golf course, don’t let elevation change be one of them.

Optical VR (Vibration Reduction) Technology

In addition to the slope assist system, the COOLSHOT 80i VR represents a major step forward in golfing technology by using Nikon’s optical VR Technology. 

The VR in the name, stands for ‘Vibration Reduction’. This is designed specifically to combat shaking hands through the effects that cold, wind, an unbalanced position, physical exertion or just plain-old tournament pressure. 

Nikon claims that such vibrations associated with hand movements are reduced by as much as 80%. Great if you have forgotten to bring along your hand warmers or golfing mittens.

This is designed to speed up the process of measuring your target and makes distancing more precise.  For golfers, this means the target mark on the rangefinder remains steady even when the body of the rangefinder is being moved. 

Not only does this provide the user with a clear image, it also allows the laser to maintain greater alignment for enhanced measurement performance. So zapping a distant flag and getting an accurate reading should be child’s’ play.

LOCKED ON Technology

The most annoying thing I have found when using golf laser rangefinders in the past, is when you try to lock onto the flagstick, and the distance you get is to the trees behind. You select the wrong club and the result is that you’re well off the green behind, or worse, you lose your ball in the woods.

To prevent this the COOLSHOT 80i VR features Nikon’s new LOCKED ON Technology and employs a First Target priority mode. 

This First Target feature gives you confidence when measuring overlapping subjects such as a flagstick with trees in the background. When the LOCKED ON sign appears, you can be confident that you’re reading the distance of the target that’s closest to you.

Distance Measurements Made Fast, Easy and Precise

The COOLSHOT 80i VR provides distance readings from 8-1000 yards. Readings are displayed in increments of half a yard and thanks to Nikon’s HYPER READ technology, the measured distance is displayed with a fast, stable response, regardless of how far you are from the target. 

Distance readings are accurate to +/-0.75 yards/meters when measuring less than 700 yards/meters and are accurate to +/- 1.25 yard/meter when measuring farther than 700 yards/meters.

Continuous Measurement of Objects

When approaching the green, you can be faced with various hazards, from bunkers, mounds, trees and of course there is the target itself. To take a measurement for each of these would usually take ages, yet Nikon have solved this problem too.

Press and hold the power button and the rangefinder will continuously measure range for eight seconds. With this feature, you simply move the rangefinder from target to target whilst continuously getting the distance. Now you have the ability to know everything you need to, as you approach the green, and target the cup.

Nikon Coolshot 80 VR Key Features

  • Measurement range: 7.5-915m/8-1,000 yd.
  • VR (Vibration Reduction) function is employed for reducing the vibration caused by hand movement.
    The effect of Vibration Reduction: Vibrations of the image in the viewfinder caused by hand movement (sinusoidal waves) are reduced to approx. 1/5 or less.
  • Easy operation as the VR (Vibration Reduction) function is always activated when the Laser Rangefinder is ON
  • LOCKED ON Technology*2: LOCKED ON sign informs you of the distance to the closest subject.
    When measuring overlapping subjects, the distance to the closest subject is displayed with a LOCKED ON sign in the viewfinder. For example, on a golf course, it is clearly visible that the distance to the flagstick has been measured even with trees in the background.
  • First Target Priority mode is employed. When measuring overlapping subjects, the distance of the closest subject is displayed — useful when golfing for measuring the distance to a flagstick on a green with woods in the background.
  • Golf mode displays the slope adjusted distance (Horizontal distance ± Height) which is a guide to how far you should hit the ball and useful when golfing on an uphill/downhill course — ID (incline/decline) Technology (COOLSHOT 80i VR only)
  • Quick and stable measurement response regardless of distance — HYPER READ
  • Displays the measurement result in approx. 0.5 second
  • Distance measurement display step: 0.5m/yd.
  • Single or continuous measurement (up to 8 seconds)
  • High-quality 6x monocular with multilayer coating for bright, clear images
  • Large ocular for easy viewing (18mm)
  • Wide field of view (7.5 degrees)
  • Long eye relief design affords eyeglass wearers easy viewing
  • Dioptre adjustment function
  • Compact body design for comfortable holding
  • Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3 ft for 10 minutes) and fogproof, but not designed for underwater usage; the battery chamber is rainproof
  • Wide temperature tolerance: -10°C to +50°C/14°F to 122°F

What Did I think of the Nikon Coolshot

The Coolshot 80 VR is basically the same dimensions as a Bushnell Tour V4 but slightly heavier. 

I really liked the way it felt in my hand and with the carabina clip that’s included, it was easy to keep to hand as I played my round.

Available in either Black/Blue or White/Blue. The Nikon Coolshot will suit any discerning golfer that requires precise distances, ease of use and great build quality.

My only complaint concerns the outside rubberized coating. Whilst it is secure to hold onto, it’s a real hassle if you want to slide it into and out of your back pocket. The grippy stuff just drags the pocket lining along with it instead of sliding. However, if you use it correctly within its case, this silly problem is easily resolved.

In summary, the Nikon COOLSHOT 80 VR is an excellent rangefinder with heaps of features. Most of these features you won’t use after the initial setup. And then to change them you’ll find yourself referring to the user manual. But feature rich it is regardless.

It’s designed to be spot-on accurate, provide instantaneous readings, and eliminate the shake of unsteady hands. You really can’t expect more than that on a golf rangefinder.

However, if the slope facility is a must-have feature for you, then the Nikon COOLSHOT 80i VR is the next step above. 

It’s practically identical to the Coolshot 80 VR except with a Golf Mode for slope. Be warned, you will have to pay extra for this feature!

Compared to the Bushnell Tour V4, the Coolshot is probably a better option. The Bushnell isn’t waterproof and whilst it has the Pin Seeker technology, it’s only brand recognistion that determines which one you will go for.


All in all, the Nikon Coolshot 80 VR is absolutely worth the buy. If it’s the distance you need, it’s the distance you’ll get with the 80 VR golf rangefinder. 

Get one today and improve your game!

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