Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder Review 

 June 29, 2016

By  Michael Todt

Nikon isn’t the first brand that jumps to mind when you think about golf or rangefinders. But given their strong reputation in the field of optics and photography, the jump into the golf rangefinder market doesn’t come as too surprising.

However, as newbie Nikon lack the long-standing reputation in the golfing industry which other brands, like Bushnell or Leupold enjoy. So does Nikon cut the mustard in the competitive world of rangefinders? And, specifically with the Coolshot 40i?

We reviewed the Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder as part of our Best Golf Rangefinders Review – click here to read it.

If you already own the Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder please feel free to leave your own review in the comments at the end of this article.

Nikon Coolshot 40i

Our Assessment 

Nikon promote the 40i as being all about “power”, but for us we were most impressed by its sheer efficiency. Efficiency in weight and size, efficiency in distance accuracy, efficiency in its ease of use – and all for a great price.

The design is fantastic too, and the flexibility in modes is a big plus. The European Tour Caddies Association continue to give Nikon products a resounding endorsement, and so do we we.

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  • Awesome flexibility in different modes, which gives it a great competitive edge
  • It’s light, sleek and compact, yet feels solid in the hand
  • Easy to use and practical, suited for all handicappers, not just the better players
  • Super competitive price!


  • Some may think the range could be larger. This is not a major issue for us though

Key Facts



Launch RRP

From $299.00

Zoom Level


Distance Range

650 yards


4.4 x 1.4 x 2.8 inches


5.6 oz

USGA Approved

Yes (ID technology not for tournament play, unless local rules permit)

Manufacturers Website

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Nikon Coolshot 40i Detailed Review

Build Quality & Features

It’s waterproof, it’s well designed (ergonomic), it’s accurate (to within 0.5 yards) and it’s made of tough stuff. But the features are what make this rangefinder really stand out.

The HYPER READ Technology ensures that you’ll get your measurements in a flash (0.5 seconds). Golf Mode and the ID Technology for slope-adjusted distances that come with it means the 40i reserves its place among the cream of the crop (and we made sure the measurements were consistent when we tested them).

The First Target Priority Mode ensures that you’re locking onto the pin as your target, as opposed to any other narrow objects in the background.

And yet if you’re in the trees and your view is obscured, you can also select Distant Target Priority to make it easier to pick up the flag. Brilliant!


Image Credit: Official Nikon Image

Size and Weight

At 5.6 ounces, can you really argue? Any rangefinder these days should fit easily into your shirt or trouser pockets, or slot in nicely to your bag.

This is a wonderfully compact device, and it really has a lean and clean look about it.

You’ll notice that it grips nicely in your hand as soon as you pick it up, and there’s just so much to be said for the sleek ergonomic design.

I would actually go as far as to say that size and weight one of the most important selling points of the Coolshot 40i – they really have got it spot on.

Ease of Use

Right, don’t be intimidated by the different modes like I was initially. These various settings couldn’t be any easier to navigate really.

To get the 8-second continuous measurement (great for measuring other objects besides the flag), all you have to do is briefly hold down the Power button.

From there it’s even more of a doddle to use this device.

The field of view is 7.5”, which is vast by any standards, and the multi-coated lenses make it very easy to bring into focus whatever you may need to.

The 18mm Long Eye Relief is a great touch too, and makes for comfortable viewing. There is also an orange LED function, which can be very handy when reading the display if the light outside is a bit dull.

All in all, operating this rangefinder makes pouring milk look difficult by comparison.


Image Credit: Official Nikon Image

Value for Money

At 300 bucks, Nikon have priced this at little more than mid-range, and that will no doubt resonate with a large portion of casual golfers – not to mention the better players too.

So whichever category you fall into, that’s the first thing to take note of.

From there, the question becomes “what bang am I getting for my buck?” The answer? More than enough.

It’s easy, it’s compact, it’s efficient, it delivers all the features you’d expect and more – and yet it still beats the asking price of many of its competitors in the upper echelons of this niche.

I am impressed with what Nikon have produced here, and I think they have pioneered something that is going to win over a lot of people. So, will you be one of them?

Michael Todt

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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  1. Nikon 40i has an issue with debris getting inside the unit. Dirt and oil get on internal lens. I bought 2 and both did this. Others have complained. No way build quality should be a 9. Give it lowest score which would bring this model’s score down to one of the worst devices.
    Leupold GX 2i2 has the most bang for the buck, especially with prices going down. Can get it for around $240. Build quality & features for a good price.
    Bushnell most over hyped rangefinders. Tried the Tour X and found that the jolt only works if there is an object behind (line of sight) the one you want to obtain distance on. Otherwise, just gives a distance which then makes you spend time trying to figure out if it is accurate because it didn’t vibrate. Dont waste your time or money on that gimmick.

    1. Hi Bill

      Thanks for your input and alternative suggestions, much appreciated. Agree with you on the Pros and definitely have noted the comment on the debris getting into the unit. Regarding the Cons though – We did test ours over a fairly lengthy period and didn’t have an issue with debris getting inside the Coolshot 40i. We diligently replaced it back into the protective case after each shot. Despite this fact though we still believe you’re getting reasonable value for money for the price, but again it’s each to their own and different people have different preferences. Thanks again and keep on golfing!

  2. When I weighed up all the pros and cons of the various models, what I found was that the Nikon Coolshot 20 had everything you need. It possesses a range that goes from 6 yards all the way out to 550, so you should be able to get the yardage you need for any shot that comes up during a round (if you are more than 550 yards out, you should probably just swing away).

    Small and RAIN PROOF, I found the Nikon Coolshot to be a great addition to my bag, with the continuous scanning coming in handy in particular!

    I recommend!

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