The Vortex Sparc Solar – Powered By The Sun!

Vortex took the year by storm and released three new carbine optics. We covered the prism optics, but today we will take a peek at their latest red dot sight, the Sparc Solar. The Sparc series is nothing new, but the Sparc Solar is the latest in the lineup and arguably one of the best budget red dots on the market. Why? Well, let’s talk about it.

Optics for days. I liked the Sparc enough to get a second one.

Once you bust open that Vortex box, you are met with your new red dot, both high and low mounts, lens covers, a battery, and a tool to make adjustments and mount the optic. The high mount works perfectly for AR-type weapons, and the low mount makes it easy to mount to weapons without in-line stocks. The mounts match the Aimpoint Micro mounts, so you also have aftermarket options of various heights and designs. From shotgun mounts to backup optics mounts on magnified optics.

The easy to swap mounts open up optic’s use for any platform.

The Sparc Solar falls into the compact red dot market and is only 2.6 inches long and weighs a mere 5.9 ounces. Inside the optic sits a red 2 MOA dot which acts as your reticle. That reticle has ten daylight brightness levels and two-night vision levels.

Two Red Dots are better than one.

Vortex includes a 2032 battery, but the optic also wears a solar panel at the top of the optic to back the battery up. The combination of the battery and solar panel grants the Sparc Solar 150,000 hour battery life! That’s quite incredible and works because of the Auto D-Tec system. When the optic detects sufficient solar power, it switches to solar and preserves your battery life. You’ll never notice the switch as the magic is done behind the scenes and doesn’t interrupt your use.

On the Range

I started with a Vortex-provided Sparc Solar on my Aero Precision EPC. I liked it so much that I got a second Sparc Solar for my CZ Scorpion Bullpup. The dual mount system makes it easy for the optic to work on either firearm. The Sparc Solar fits most guns, and 9mm PCCs go with red dots like peanut butter goes with chocolate.

The Sparc is perfect for rifles, PCCs, and shotguns.

I didn’t care for the 1 MOA adjustments on the Vortex 5X prism optic, but on the Sparc Solar, I don’t mind it at all. The included tool makes it easy to make these adjustments, and the adjustments are very tactile and audible. You’ll never not be able to count your clicks.

The dot appears extremely crisp and clear. It’s almost perfectly round in my less-than-stellar vision. I typically expect a little slop from budget red dots, so I’m pleasantly surprised by how crisp and clear the dot is.

Crisp dot, clear lens, hidden emitter, who can hate it?

Adjusting the brightness is done with a + and – button on the side of the optic. The buttons are big and broad. The buttons require a dedicated press to adjust, and that’s not a bad thing. I wouldn’t want the buttons to accidentally get pressed if the gun and optic are pressed against my gear. The button design makes sense, and the buttons provide plenty of feedback when pressed so you won’t mistake a press.

A look through the Vortex Sparc Solar delivers a very clean and clear sight picture. It has a very light blue tint, but nothing distractingly bad by any means. The emitter is tucked into the body and doesn’t block any of your view through the optic. It’s a nice touch for an affordable optic.

The solar panel brings battery life up to 150,000

At the range, I’ve been putting hundreds of rounds downrange through both guns and optics without issue. Once the Sparc Solar was fastened onto my rifles, it never came loose. I’ve practiced at a multitude of ranges and lighting conditions. I’ve had the sun in front of and behind me, and it’s never caused a washout or made the dot difficult to see.

The buttons are easy to use, but hard to accidentally press.

In low light situations, the dot gets dim enough to be seen without hurting your eyes, and in the bright sunshine of Florida, it gets plenty bright and easy to see. The dot maintains a consistent round shape when you transition from target to target. Cheap red dots can stagger, stutter, and often lag a bit when moved rapidly. That’s not an issue here.

Durability? Oh Yeah, It’s Got It

I detached the Sparc from my EPC and mounted it to an ASP red gun. Before removing the optic, I notated the rail position so I could remount it. For science purposes, I drop-tested the optic and let it hit and bounce off the ground. I dropped it on both sides and on the top. I dropped it over and over from shoulder height and then mounted it to the EPC and checked the zero.

Let the Red Dots Hit the Floor

Not a problem whatsoever. I could still ding steel, pop paper, and make tiny holes in tiny targets. Since I dropped it several times, I realized I needed to clean it off. So I submerged the Sparc Solar completely and left it behind for half an hour.

Bath time

Vortex only lists that the optic is waterproof, so I wanted to test that claim against a simple 30-minute mark. I plopped it out and boom; the water caused no interruption to its function.

Does water disrupt the Sparc?

Lighting the Sparc

The Sparc Solar from Vortex is one helluva optic. It’s an affordable option that’s most certainly well suited for most red dot tasks. The view through the lens is ultra-clear, the dot is crisp, easy to see, and it can take a beating better than a Youtuber who thinks he’s a boxer.

It’s beaten up, but not broken.

The Sparc Solar provides a very competent optic for a fair price. It’s tough to beat the Sparc Solar if you need to outfit a home defense, competitive, or hunting firearm with a red dot.

MSRP $399

Visit Vortex to learn more by clicking HERE

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