Vortex Impact 1000 Review: A Capable and Affordable Rangefinder

CAMPING GEAR

For hunters on a budget or beginners, the Vortex Impact 1000 is an intuitive rangefinder that has adequate ranging distances, angle compensation technology, and a price that won’t break the bank.

Whether you’re new to bowhunting or you’re pinching pennies to keep a full quiver, the Vortex Impact 1000 will give you basic rangefinding capabilities for archers at a budget price.

You just bought your first bow, or maybe you’re restringing a hand-me-down that needs a good tuneup, new arrows, or a new sight. Between all that and the usual prices of tags, gas, and whatever else goes into your yearly hunting fund, you need to make every cent count. And unless you’re a distance-guessing genius, you need a rangefinder.

If you’re bowhunting, especially whitetails, you don’t need a premium rangefinder that provides precise 1,000-yard readings within fractions of a yard. However, you do need one that can provide accurate close-range distance readings when a buck strolls into range.

The Impact 1000 provides accurate close-range distances and angle-compensated ranging technology, and it’s helped me perform consistently accurate shots.

In short: The Vortex Impact 1000 has everything you need for bowhunting and nothing that you don’t. For less than $200, this rangefinder won’t give you the brightest glass, but it will help you make the most of your shot and budget.

Vortex Impact 1000 Review

vtx_ran_impact1000_fl_w

Specs

  • Max range target: 1,000 yds.
  • Max range deer: 500 yds.
  • Magnification: 6x
  • Objective lens: 20mm
  • Linear field of view: 341 ft at 1,000 yds.
  • Length: 3.8 in.
  • Width: 1.4 in.
  • Weight: 5.5 oz.
  • Battery: 1 CR2
  • Includes lanyard, soft carry case, and CR2 battery
  • Adjustable diopter
  • HCD (Horizontal Component Distance)
  • Vortex VIP warranty
  • Illuminated reticle: No

Testing the Vortex Impact 1000

Vortex Impact 1000
(Photo/Adam Moore)

For the past year, I’ve been using the Vortex Impact 1000 as my primary bowhunting rangefinder. When it comes to optics, you get what you pay for. The Impact 1000 offers a bit more (in some areas).

While testing it on targets and in the stand, I’ve had the Impact provide precise distance readings as close as 5 yards, and within 40 yards, it gives readings within one yard. The Impact 1000 also gives readings in whole figures, so it doesn’t give you as precise readings as higher-end rangefinders.

The Vortex Impact 1000 is a no-frills rangefinder, with just two intuitive control buttons that allow you to toggle between units, scan mode, and the HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) and LOS (Line of Sight) modes.

After 10 seconds of inactivity, the Impact 1000 shuts off to conserve the single CR2 battery. I’ve used mine religiously over the past year, and the indicator still shows a full battery, which appears just below the reticle.

Response times for ranging with the Impact 1000 consistently take one second, though I’ve had multiple occasions where distances between 5 and 15 yards required multiple ranging attempts before giving a distance.

This might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re bowhunting whitetails, some encounters might only last 10 seconds before a buck walks in and out of your shooting lanes.

As far as accurate readings go, I’ve had zero issues with the Impact 1000. Within typical treestand distances (40 yards or less), it’s been spot on. I even tested it at my local rifle range to confirm deer-sized targets out to 400 yards.

Where It Falls Short

Vortex Impact 1000 Rangefinder
(Photo/Adam Moore)

This budget price comes with budget glass. It works fine in normal sunny conditions, but on heavy overcast days and especially at first or last light, the Impact 1000’s glass makes it tough to pick up and range specific objects, as does the black reticle.

While hunting, especially in timber, I noticed the glass dimmed significantly, even with around 30 minutes of legal shooting light left. You’ll definitely want to range several trees or rocks from your stand before sunset.

The lens also casts a significant glare if you’re facing toward the sun. To be fair, this glass quality comes with the territory. And unlike the newer Crossfire HD 1400), this one lacks a grippy texture.

Availability is another issue. Vortex is replacing the Impact 1000 with the Crossfire HD 1400, but it’s still covered under their VIP warranty. If you do get one before the limited stock is gone, Vortex will still cover you should something happen to it.

Where the Vortex Impact 1000 Shines

When you consider the accurate close-range readings, angle-compensation technology, and Vortex’s VIP warranty, the Impact 1000 offers plenty of capabilities for beginner or budget bowhunters.

Final Thoughts

Vortex Rangefinder
(Photo/Adam Moore)

Everyone has a different budget. I get it. If you just need a rangefinder to make sure you’re not wasting time and arrows, the Vortex Impact 1000 is a great place to start.

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