Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder Review

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I’m always a bit reticent when I see non-golfing brands making leaps across industry channels. Maybe it’s a narrow-minded viewpoint on my part, but I always feel as though they have more to prove – that they actually have what it takes to be bona-fide specialists, rather than simply casting the net out as far and wide as they can to milk their mighty brand for every dime that it’s worth.

Then again, Nikon don’t produce rubbish, and they’ve now established quite a name for themselves when it comes to rangefinders as a result of their revered product line. So, is the Coolshot 20 worth its salt? That’s what we’re here for.

We reviewed the Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder as part of our Best Golf Rangefinder Review. You can see how it faired against it’s competitors in the side-side comparison table below.

If you already own the Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder please feel free to leave your own review in the comments at the end of this article.

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Our Assessment

8.3 Total Score
Good (B)

“How did they get everything in there?” These were my first thoughts when I assessed the Nikon Coolshot 20, and I’m sure yours will be the same. It’s breathtakingly… tiny! And super light too. Son in terms of weight and size the Coolshot 20 get’s the biggest tick in the box. But what about its other features? Well, in our test run it performed pretty well in terms of it’s core functionality. It locks in accurate distances quickly and easily; has an adequate range, and is very well priced. Some may think that it is too lightweight, which could lead to instability, but that’s really down to personal preference. We think that there’s plenty of grip, and that the Coolshot 20 will appeal to players of all sizes, shapes and abilities.

Build Quality & Features
7
Size & Weight
9
Ease of Use
8
Value for Money
9
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Pros and Cons

PROS:
  • It’s tiny! If there was an option to give it 6 stars we would
  • The Coolshot 20 slides into your pocket with absolute ease
  • No problems working it at all, very user-friendly
  • Competitively priced being less than $200

CONS:
  • You need a pretty steady hand to use it being so light in weight. Could be frustrating on blustery days
  • Took a tad long to pick up objects beyond a certain distance

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Best Deals

Nikon Coolshot 20

Very lightweight, exceptionally small and also looks pretty cool too. Fits into your pocket easily and is a breeze to use. All for less than $200.

Best Prices and Discounts on Global Golf Best Prices and Discounts on Amazon Second-Hand Deals on eBay

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Detailed Review

Build Quality & Features

The immediate sense you get when you pick it up is that you feel as though you’re dealing with a precious piece of porcelain, which could break even just by gripping it too hard. But this is a pretty sturdy little device. In fact, if you drop it, the crafty salesmen I was chatting with reckon that the stylish white cover should just about save the day. Oh, and said cover is rainproof too (although I’m always skeptical of the difference between this and “waterproof”).

In terms of features, well, not much to report here. It’s able to offer you measurements in yards and meters, and does so with a 6X magnification. It’s accurate to within a yard over short distances, and two yards once you go beyond 150. Truth be told, if you’re after fancy, top-of-the-range features and gimmicks, you’re probably best to look elsewhere. But failing that, you’ll be satisfied that this rangefinder has all the features that really matter.

Size and Weight

Even lighter than the Callaway 300 – There aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe how this rangefinder fares in this department. You may have a different take on this, and we fully accept that some people will actually think that holding this feather-like device steady will be an unnecessary challenge. But the breeze was blowing when we trialed it, and we didn’t have any problems.

And I’m a big, clumsy, cumbersome man!

Honestly, this is ergonomic technology at its sleek best. It’s 0.27 pounds for goodness sake! Our take on it was quite simply that, if this doesn’t score a 10 out of 10 for size and weight, nothing will. But then again, sometimes too small can actually mean too small. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts…

Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder

It is incredibly small and very lightweight. Not to mention the price is less than $200.

Ease of Use

There’s no hidden pitfalls here – this one is very straightforward, even if you’re a technophobe! Aim at your target and hit the rear button to switch it on. It will turn itself off after about 10 seconds, but that’s just to preserve the battery. The button at the front allows you to flick between yards and metres, thus appeasing both those of a metric or imperial disposition.

The rangefinder encompasses Nikon’s First Target Priority Technology, which makes picking out the flag from the background a piece of cake. The distances appear in 1 yard/metre increments, while it’s also user-friendly to those who wear spectacles, given that you can easily adjust the focus. Probably the only downside overall is that it can take a while to pick up flagsticks if they are more than about 180 yards away.

Value for Money

Yikes, there must be some angry competitors out there seeing this rangefinder priced below $200! Yes, it’s a simplistic piece of machinery compared to some of the leading lights on the shelf at the moment. But it’s no worse than ‘mid-range’ in terms of quality, and yet it costs a snip.

From where we’re standing, that can only mean one thing… Great. Value. For. Money.

Me thinks you might be just a little bit tempted, all things considered.

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Side-by-Side Comparison

Here is our side-by-side comparison of all the golf rangefinders we reviewed in our assessment. You can see our detailed overview of the Best Golf Rangefinder here.

Image DescriptionScore Offers
Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt Rangefinder Review

Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt Rangefinder Review

One of the key elements of creating a great product – whether that’s rangefinders or widgets – is to avoid ...

Editor choice
2 Bushnell Tour V4 Slope Rangefinder Review

Bushnell Tour V4 Slope Rangefinder Review

Bushnell describe this product as “the perfect combination of size, speed, accuracy, slope and jolt.” After ...

3 Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt Rangefinder Review

Bushnell Pro X7 Jolt Rangefinder Review

So, I’ll be frank. When I first picked up the Bushnell Pro X7, there was one thing I just couldn’t take my eyes off… ...

4 Bushnell Tour X Rangefinder Review

Bushnell Tour X Rangefinder Review

The Bushnell Tour X Rangefinder has upped the anti in the rangefinder market with its interchangeable Faceplate ...

5 Callaway 300 Rangefinder Review

Callaway 300 Rangefinder Review

As one of the pioneers in driver technology, who would have thought Callaway would try their hand at becoming a ...

6 Leupold GX-2i2 Rangefinder Review

Leupold GX-2i2 Rangefinder Review

Leupold certainly have a winning formula when it comes to rangefinders, and the GX product line is a classic ...

7 Lofthouse Proscope 400X Rangefinder Review

Lofthouse Proscope 400X Rangefinder Review

Why spend $500 on a rangefinder, when you can spend a third of that on a rangefinder? That’s the position ...

8 Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder Review

Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder Review

Nikon isn't the first brand that jumps to mind when you think about golf or rangefinders. But given their strong ...

9 Leupold GX-4i2 Rangefinder Review

Leupold GX-4i2 Rangefinder Review

When it comes to optics in general, you wouldn’t dare argue that Leupold don’t know their stuff. They have a ...

10 Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder Review

Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder Review

I’m always a bit reticent when I see non-golfing brands making leaps across industry channels. Maybe it’s a ...

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Key Facts

Product Details Nikon Coolshot 20 Rangefinder Review
Launch RRP From $189.00
Zoom Level 6x
Distance Range 550 yards
Size 3.6 x 1.5 x 2.9 inches
Weight 4.3 oz
USGA Approved Yes
Manufacturers Website Nikon Sport Optics

Mike fell in love with the game from a very early age – a passion that hasn’t diminished ever since. He earned provincial colors throughout his junior years, but by the time he reached Varsity, the realization set in (thanks largely to some cold ales) that it was time to favor the pen rather than his clubs. He now writes for GA along with a few other sources.

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