Nikon Coolshot 40i Golf Rangefinder with Slope Review

Nikon Coolshot 40i Golf Rangefinder with Slope

The Nikon Coolshot 40i Golf Rangefinder w/Slope was not a rangefinder on my rangefinder test list. The local course manager borrowed it from a friend so I could do an on-course test. I had absolutely no knowledge about this unit when I took it to the first tee. I spent the first 5 holes trying to figure out why the readings were slightly off of the Bushnell Hybrid & Bushnell Tour V3 I was using for the side-by-side test. Finally I realized when I arrived to the slightly uphill par 3 that the Nikon Coolshot 40i gives the slope-adjusted reading as the main display. There is a smaller non-adjusted measurement in the lower right hand corner of the display. I wish I had some more upfront information on the Nikon Coolshot before getting started.

Nikon Coolshot 40i Golf Rangefinder Considerations

Accuracy:

Manufacture Listed Accuracy:
Accuracy or +/- 2 ¼ feet

Field Test Accuracy:
Field test results for all of our rangefinders is coming in October of 2017. (This unit may not be tested; we are looking to get a non-slope Nikon Coolshot 20 or Nikon Coolshot 40 for accuracy testing)

Price:

Expected price range is $249 – $299 on Amazon.

Range & Speed:

Manufacture specifications:
Range finding performance of 8 to 650 yards.
Magnification 6X

Field Test Speed:
Field test results for all of our rangefinders is coming in October of 2017.

On-the-course:
Accuracy: This device was accurate on the non-slope side to where I never had more than a 1-yard difference from the same spot. It did have the largest average difference between readings from the same location of .74 yards per reading. This speaks a lot because it means nearly 3 out of 4 readings from the same spot gave a 1-yard difference in pin location. Not a big deal, but I’d prefer to see fewer differences from the same location, even if just 1 yard off. The optics on this rangefinder were lacking a bit. The viewing angle is small and it took some adjusting of the unit to see clearly through the eyepiece.

Durability:

This rangefinder has a standard plastic outer shell, with no signs of metal anywhere. It feels well built and I don’t have concerns about it holding up on the course. The rangefinder comes with a carry case to help protect the unit when moving your golf bag around.

Is it tournament approved?:

Nope! This rangefinder gives a slope adjusted reading which means it is not tournament approved and you cannot use the device for rounds posted to your GHIN handicap.

Size/weight:

Manufacture Specifications:
Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.4 x 2.8 in
Weight:5.6 oz

This was the smallest of the 3 units I tested, which has pros and cons. It is great for one-handed use, but would be a bit difficult to get a second hand on the device if you prefer the stability of using your rangefinder with both hands.

From left to right: Bushnell Hybrid, Bushnell Tour V3, Nikon Coolshot 40i.
3 Golf Rangefinders from field test
3 Golf Rangefinders from field test

Battery Life:

Battery Type: Devices uses disposable 3V battery
I did not speak directly with the owner of this device, so I don’t know how long the battery will last. The device is water resistant with a tight sealing battery compartment.
Nikon Coolshot 40i Battery Compartment

Overall:

I’ve not done much for testing of rangefinders with slope, so it was good to get the opportunity to use this on the course. This rangefinder was able to pick up the flag from over 330 yards away. I never had an issue picking up a flag with this unit and had no missed readings, although it did have the tendency to pick up some background noise instead of the pin from time to time. This wasn’t an issue in my setting because I had a fair idea of how far out I was, but it could cause issues if you were in an unfamiliar setting.

In conclusion, I rarely spend a day at the course playing a practice round without posting for handicap, so I personally would stray away from this unit from the start due to its slope-adjusted readings. Even with that aside, I think there are better rangefinder options available for the price.

Nikon Coolshot 40i Rangefinder

9.1

Accuracy

10.0/10

Range

10.0/10

Speed

9.6/10

Optics

7.5/10

Build Quality, Size, & Features

9.5/10

Value

7.9/10

Pros

  • Long range for pin reading
  • Slope adjusted readings (Con too?)
  • No missed readings inside 330 yards
  • Super small rangefinder
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Tendency to pick up background noise
  • Not tournament approved
  • Must keep extra battery on hand
  • No integrated GPS
  • Poor optics, hard to see without lens perfectly centered on eye
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3 thoughts on “Nikon Coolshot 40i Golf Rangefinder with Slope Review

    1. You can turn off the slope feature on this unit, but not in a way that makes it approved for tournament play.

      For tournament legality, the unit must not be physically capable of providing a slope adjusted measurement. That is the reason that there are several units out there that have an interchangeable face plate. They allow the slope feature to be completely disabled.

      EDIT: There have been changes in the rules pertaining to rangefinders with slope. As long as the feature can be disabled and is not used during a round, it is legal to use a device with the capabilities.

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