Nikon Coolshot 80 VR 2023: An HONEST Review

Having some sort of yardage finder on the golf course is an incredibly important thing if you want to dial in your distance control. In this post, I’m going to be reviewing the Nikon Coolshot 80 VR and talking about whether or not this rangefinder is worth picking up.

Long story short, this was one of the better laser rangefinders we’ve tested and I’d highly recommend it. There are cheaper options out there but most of them aren’t worth it in our opinion. It took a little bit of time to actually get comfortable with it but it seemed to be a high-quality device. I found it was one of the quickest reading devices (under 1 second) and it has a continuous movement function. It’s really helped me with the distance control and that’s why I’d give it the thumbs up.

It actually seems like there aren’t too many of these rangefinders out there to purchase. Nikon does have a newer version that’s more advanced than this one and it’s actually one of my favorites (see the list here). If that’s all the info you were looking for then great. If you want a more detailed review of the Coolshot 80, be sure to watch the video or read the blog post below!

Nikon Coolshot 80 VR Review

Nikon Coolshot 80 VR Rangefinder: An HONEST Review

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Nikon Coolshot 80 First Impressions

I was always against having one of these things out on the course because it almost felt like cheating. I finally decided to give one a try and it’s really helped improve my distance control. I don’t crush it over the green or leave it short nearly as much now, which is awesome.

The Coolshot 20 and 80 were one of the rangefinders we tested and the first thing I liked about it was the build quality. Some of the other ones we tested felt kind of cheap (almost like toys) and probably wouldn’t last very long.

The 80 VR was supposed to be extremely accurate (within a couple of yards) and it was supposed to give really quick readings (within a second). Overall, my first impressions were really solid.

Was It Easy To Use

Compared to some of the other rangefinders, it wasn’t the easiest to get comfortable with. Just like anything new, there’s going to be a learning curve and it took me a little bit to fully understand how to navigate. Here’s a demo video:

Nikon's COOLSHOT 80 VR and COOLSHOT 80i VR Golf Laser Rangefinders

Obviously, all you have to do is point and shoot, but there are a few other features to figure out as well. Since the readings are super quick, you really have to make sure you’re aiming it at the right target (sometimes I got the trees behind the pin).

The manual was pretty good at explaining things and after playing around with it for a few hours it was no problem at all and I was ready to go. If you’ve ever used a device like this you should have no issues.

How Did The Rangefinder Perform

There were a couple of things I liked about this rangefinder and the first was the quick reading time. It took under a second for it to lock onto the target, which was a lot faster than some of the others. Some of the other took a couple of seconds and that’s not going to be good enough for someone with shaky hands.

Another thing was that it was just as accurate as of the “top of the line” rangefinders. Some devices were off by a bit but the majority of the brand name ones were very close to the course markers (within a few yards).

The next thing I liked was the Vibration Reduction (VR) which makes it easier to use if you have shaky hands. I’ve found that a lot of rangefinders struggle to lock onto the right target if you have shaky hands and it was nice to see Nikon do something about that.

VR Technology

Most people I’ve golfed with have somewhat shaky hands and it makes it really hard to get a true reading with a lot of rangefinders. That’s why a lot of the rangefinders won’t actually work because they take a couple of seconds to lock-in.

The VR technology tries to reduce the sensitivity and make it easier to get a quick and true reading and it actually works really well. According to Nikon, it reduces the movement by 80%. That’s pretty impressive if it actually does work.

Lock-On Feature

One problem with a lot of rangefinders is that they give you the distance to the trees behind the flag and NOT the actual distance you want. That’s exactly what happened to me the first time using it.

What ends up happening? You pick the wrong club and crush it 20 yards over the green. Not what you want.

What’ll happen now is it will lock in on the CLOSER target and actually show the lock sign once it’s locked on. I found this feature super helpful and that’s why I like it so much.

Nikon Coolshot 80 Pros

  • It has a continuous movement feature (measure different targets for 8 seconds).
  • It seemed to be really well made compared to others.
  • It’s rainproof.
  • It’s one of the quickest reading rangefinders on the market.
  • It’ll really help with distance control.

Nikon Coolshot 80 Issues

  • It’s not the easiest rangefinder to use at first (not that bad really).
  • There are cheaper options out there (but won’t be as good).

The Breakdown

  • Performance score: 10
  • Price score: 8
  • Durability score: 10
  • Personal score: 9

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the Nikon Coolshot 80 have slope mode?

A. The 80i VR does but the regular 80 VR doesn’t.

Q. Nikon Coolshot 80 VR vs Bushnell Tour V4?

A. Both are similar in terms of price and performance. They are my 2 favorites so either or. Go with the Coolshot if you have shaky hands.

Q. Where’s the best price for the Nikon Coolshot 80 VR?

A. The cheapest place we could find it (at the time of this post) is on Amazon (link below).

My Final Thoughts

Overall, if you’re looking for a rangefinder that’s super accurate, is well built, and gives quick readings (even with shaky hands) the Coolshot 80 could be a perfect fit. I definitely liked it more than most of the ones we tested and that’s why I’m recommending it.

I’m not sure if they stopped making this rangefinder or you can only get it used, but it doesn’t seem like many places are selling it. I’ve been using the Nikon Coolshot Pro for a while now and it’s even more advanced than the 80 VR. You can see my full review here and also two other rangefinders I like.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

Looking to get some new golf gear? Click here to check out our recommended gear page to see the stuff we’re recommending and the cheapest place to get them.

Last update on 2023-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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