Nikon Prostaff 3i Laser Rangefinder Review 2020

The Nikon Prostaff 3i is a high-end laser rangefinder the builds upon the success of its predecessors.  It’s highly reliable and very compact. Mostly, you’d be using it for hunting or shooting, but golfers also find solace in using the excellent ranging capabilities and the high accuracy of this model.

The Prostaff 3i turns out to be an amazing rangefinder for golfing purposes even though its design reflects a heavy focus on hunting.

Nikon Prostaff 3i Review – BASIC FEATURES

The Nikon Prostaff 3i works on top-notch technologies and provides a reliable solution to rangefinding for shooting and golfing. check out best golf rangefinders here

The Nikon Prostaff 3i has a 650-yard range. The effective range in most practical conditions comes down to about 500 yards. Anything beyond 500 yards and you’ll need to take desperate measures in making the rangefinder steady enough to focus on your target, which will be pretty hard at that range.

The good things:

  • The distance is displayed with 0.1-yard increments, making the device exceptionally accurate across the terrain.
  • The size is very compact and lightweight. It’s easy to carry around, clip on your belt, and use before each shot without requiring to reach out to your bag.
  • The Nikon Prostaff 3i comes with Nikon’s ID technology. It stands for the Incline/Decline. What this means is that that rangefinder is angle-compensated. So, whether you’re taking an uphill shot or a downhill one, you’ll always know the true yardage and therefore, you’ll know how to play the ball and which club to go for. In a nutshell, it significantly helps in cutting down on the guesswork involved in making shots through elevations and depressions.
  • The LCD is pretty clear to read even in low light conditions. It’s clean and highly legible.
  • The Nikon Prostaff 3i comes with Tru Target ranging, which is an alternative (and slightly better under certain conditions) type of ranging system than having only first target priority, distant target priority, and others. What Tru Target does is help you switch between two modes: first target and distant target, depending on your situation. Although more relevant to hunting, it still helps to have both during a game of golf. How?
  • The first target is objectively important because it allows you to range a very small target individually.
  • The distant target priority mode allows you to find the farthest distance when multiple targets overlap or you’re focusing on a group of targets.

The poor things:

  • Although Nikon maintains that the Prostaff 3i is an all-weather rangefinder, it falls short of delivering the perfect fog-proof view many times.
  • Though not severely unhelpful, during any situation in a game of golf where you might need to target small targets over a long distance, like, say, 450 yards or beyond, you cannot be 100% sure that the rangefinder will focus on your target and not a tree or the backdrop.
  • Although it’s a good thing to conserve battery life, it doesn’t make any sense that there’s no way to turn off the automatic shut down after 8 seconds. A lot of us carry multiple batteries as a backup and it can quickly get irritating if you’re going to need to start it up multiple times during a single shot.


The Prostaff lineage has been pretty much depreciated. The only surviving Prostaff rangefinders are the 1000 and the 1000i. The Nikon Prostaff range is focusing on the riflescopes right now. Along with models such as the Prostaff 7i, Arrow ID 5000, Monarch 7i VR, and the Coolshot 80i VR, the Prostaff 3i has also been “archived” and isn’t available officially.

Building upon the predecessors like the Prostaff 5, Prostaff 3, the Riflehunder models, and the Callaway models, the Prostaff 3i is considerably more efficient.

Unlike the LEUPOLD RX 650, It not only brings together everything that long-time Nikon rangefinder fans love but also improves upon the build quality, while making the size more compact with a better grip.


golfer hitting a golf ball


Make use of the full vertical coverage

The Prostaff 3i gives you the perfect vertical coverage for playing shots over elevations and depressions. It comes with a +/-89-degrees angle compensation that will cover anything and everything when you’re out there on the field.

Use the high range to your benefit

Technically, it’s more geared towards gun hunting, bowhunting, usage in ranges, and target shooting. That’s where the Prostaff 3i shines. However, when you use it for your golfing requirements, you will find that you can use the high range and precision to your benefit in any game.


Easy to use and effective: that’s the Prostaff 3i in a nutshell. You can measure your distance to a golfing target very quickly. The accuracy with which the Prostaff 3i determines the distance is also pretty commendable.

It will automatically power down after 8 seconds once you pull the trigger to conserve battery and I’ll be honest, it does get irritating sometimes.

WRAPPING UP Nikon Prostaff 3i review

If you want to raise your game and be one of the greatest golfers this product can help you a lot.  A reliable rangefinder from Nikon is all you need for your next game of golf. The Prostaff 3i differs from others in that it’s mainly supposed to be a hunting rangefinder and not a golfing one.

As a result, it doesn’t come with perks such as flag-lock, vibration on target-lock, etc. but it has angle compensation, a long-range, and pretty high accuracy – making it a top choice for professional golfers all around the world nevertheless.

The 18mm ocular lens will help you get lightning-fast distance measurements when you’re targeting well within or under 500-600 yards. The multicoated ocular lens is particularly effective in providing crisp images while the device itself is highly portable thanks to its lightweight build and compact size.

It also comes with the well-known bells and whistles from Nikon like the Tru Target, Incline/Decline, and long eye relief technologies.

All in all, it’s a laser rangefinder that packs quite the punch and can be used to effectively cover any game of golf.

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Scott Ferguson

Hey My name is Scott Ferguson,In my college days, I spent most of my time painting and binge-watching movies. However, I always had an impeccable taste for sports of all kinds. First, it was baseball and later on, I was pretty hooked to the NFL and the NHL. But I kept moving from one sport to another. If you can allow me to be a tad bit dramatic, I’d say I didn’t quite find my calling.