The Coolshot 20 by Nikon is one of the most compact rangefinders on the market. This is a straightforward laser model that excels at accuracy and precision. It’s also priced affordably, features an easy to use interface, and has a decent range and great optics for such an affordable model.
Our Verdict: We were expecting more from this rangefinder in regard to modes and extra features and instead found that this rangefinder is as basic as they come. However, it’s still a solid performer and has a lot to offer the beginner or seasoned golfer who’s searching for a model without a whole lot of flash.
Read on to learn more about how the Coolshot performs out on the green.
Overview and Features
Nikon is a major brand that’s mainly known for their extensive line of cameras and accessories, so it was surprising to learn that they also produce a line of budget-friendly golf rangefinders.
For a Nikon rangefinder, this model is very plain in terms of features. However, for the avid golfer interested in a straightforward rangefinder, this is a great device that’s very accurate, easy to operate, and features an innovative ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to hold.
This rangefinder has a distance range of five to five hundred yards. When it comes to measuring overlapping objects, the rangefinder will display the distance of the closest object. This feature can be useful when you’re measuring the distance to a flag on the course where there are trees and brush in the background.
This model can be used to range more than just flags, including hazards, hills, lakes, trees, and more. Additionally, flags don’t have to have reflectors in order for the rangefinder to lock on it.
Since it doesn’t have a slope feature, the rangefinder is also USGA compliant, which means it can be used during a tournament.
The rangefinder comes with a couple of modes: an eight-second continuous measurement mode and a single shot mode.
This model is considered one of the smallest rangefinders on the market, weighing in at just under four and a half ounces. The rangefinder’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold, despite its smaller size.
The slim fit design is also an advantage, since it can easily fit in a shirt pocket, making it highly portable.
The Coolshot features a simple, clean design. It doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles that you’ll find with higher priced models including vibration or slope, but when it comes to accuracy, this rangefinder is pretty impressive.
With a 6x magnification and an ergonomic design, this rangefinder is very beginner-friendly.
The classic black and white color scheme combined with the simple curves and lines make this basic model very eye-catching. Weighing just one hundred and twenty-five grams, the lightweight ergonomic design makes the rangefinder comfortable to hold and very pocket-friendly.
The rangefinder also features an all-black layout including the reticules which are aimed at the target. While this model doesn’t come with slope, it’s a great model for the golfer who wants a straightforward rangefinder that’s easy to use, efficient, and accurate.
The top of the rangefinder features a couple of buttons that control the basic features. One button allows you to switch between meters and yard, while the second button is used for measuring targets and powering on the device.
The eyepiece offers a comfortable fit, even for golfers who wear glasses. Additionally, users who don’t wear glasses can adjust the eyepiece and the focus in order to accommodate any sight issues.
The battery hatch is located directly under the eyepiece. The rangefinder uses a CR2 battery which is standard for most rangefinders. According to the manufacturer, the battery offers nine to twelve months of power, depending on frequency of use.
The included rainproof cover will protect the rangefinder against mild to moderate rainfall.
Considering the price, the fact that the firing process isn’t quite as fast as the TecTecTec VPRO500 golf rangefinder doesn’t come as a surprise. While it tends to take its time when it comes to locking on a target, the rangefinder is still accurate and effective.
The lightweight construction gives this model a very fragile appearance, however, it’s actually a very durable little device.
The model’s ergonomic design makes it perfect for both right and left-handed golfing.
In terms of features, there’s not much to say. The Coolshot can measure in meters and yards, comes equipped with 6x magnification and it has a one-yard accuracy over short distances and a two-yard accuracy once you range past one hundred and fifty yards. If you’re into feature loaded, techy rangefinders, then it’s better to look elsewhere.
While the manufacturer states that the rangefinder has a max range of five hundred and fifty yards, you should keep in mind that the max distance heavily depends on how reflective the target is. Many golfers found that the furthest range they could get was closer to two hundred and twenty yards.
If you’re searching for a feature loaded model, click here to read about other leading models in our rangefinder buyer’s guide.
Ease of Use
As we’ve mentioned, this model features a very straightforward operation, so it’s a great choice for golfers who aren’t very tech savvy. To use, aim the rangefinder at the target and hit the firing button. After you’ve received the distance reading the device will automatically shut off after ten seconds in order to preserve the battery life. The button located on the front of the device will allow you to switch between meters and yards.
The Coolshot can be an excellent choice if you’re a beginner looking for a solid rangefinder, but don’t have the budget to deal with a high price tag. If you’ve used past Nikon rangefinders, then you’ll be happy to know that this is definitely a major step up from their past models. While it delivers a similar performance, it features an upgraded design that makes it easier to carry around and features a more intuitive design. This is definitely an entry-level rangefinder, but it’s one that the beginner can truly rely on in terms of accuracy.
First Target Priority
This model is equipped with the First Target Priority feature which is what allows the rangefinder to differentiate the foreground from the background. This feature will calculate the distance to the nearest target, even when there’s a cluster of other objects in that direction. This is a must-have feature when it comes to measuring accuracy. However, the rangefinder isn’t exactly the fastest when it comes to locking on to a target. But for most golfers, the slower targeting speed isn’t a major drawback. What really matters is a rangefinder’s accuracy and this model has it in spades. In fact, its high level of accuracy is exactly why the Coolshot earned such a high score. The avid golfer looking for an affordable model that’s at the top of its class in terms of accuracy will immediately fall in love with what this rangefinder has to offer.
Highly adjustable, users can easily adjust the eyepiece and focus, which makes the rangefinder a good choice for golfers who wear glasses. This model is equipped with multicoated lenses and a roof prism optical system, which is why it provides such crisp, clear images. It also has an auto-focusing feature that’s reliable and fast. Once you lock onto a target you’ll get an accurate measurement within seconds.
Because the lenses are multicoated this rangefinder offers better than average light transmittance. Fully multicoated lenses would be a nice improvement.
The LCD display is not backlit, which means the display can be difficult to read in bright sunlight.
The manufacturer includes a small, soft carrying pouch that provides a decent amount of protection for the rangefinder. It can also attach to your belt, so you can easily take it from hole to hole.
Like most competing rangefinders, this model is powered by one CR2 lithium battery. The power management feature will keep the device running for at least a year.
- Water resistant
- Eyepiece is highly adjustable
- Limited range
- Does not include any extra features
- Display can be difficult to read in bright sunlight
- Lightweight design makes the rangefinder feel very fragile