Vortex Impact 850 vs. Nikon Aculon- Which is a better laser rangefinder?


Combining your background knowledge on significant hunting tactics with the best quality laser rangefinders in the electro-optical market is a sure bet to taking home enough dinner for the family. Generally, laser rangefinders have been designed to improve your shooting.

When you are trying to find the best laser rangefinder for your hunting gear, you would need to take a few things into consideration. First, you would need to look into the overall range as to which you will be shooting in. If you plan to make longer shots, you would need to purchase one that that can keep up with the distance. Secondly, hunting would you need you to consider the portability levels of your laser rangefinder as it involves continuous movement. Lastly, you might want to settle for a laser rangefinder that allows you to comfortably camouflage your shooting position when you are sneaking up on your target. In this review, we will compare the Vortex Impact 850 and the Nikon Aculon to determine which of the two is a better laser rangefinder for your hunting activities.

What are the differences between the Vortex Impact 850 and the Nikon Aculon?

Vortex Impact 850
Nikon Aculon
Physical Dimensions
3.8 x 3 inches
3.6 x 2.9 inches
156 grams
125 grams
Objective Lens Diameter
20 mm
20 mm
Field of View

(Linear/ Angular)

341 feet at 1000 yards/ 6.5 degrees
315 feet at 1000 yards/ 6 degrees
Maximum lasing range
 850 yards


550 yards
Eye relief
15 mm
16.7 mm
Exit pupil diameter
3.3 mm
3.3 mm
1 x CR2 Lithium
1 x CR2 Lithium
Weather resistant properties
O-ring sealed to ensure waterproof performance
O-ring sealed to ensure waterproof performance

Vortex Impact 850 vs. Nikon Aculon- How do they compare?

Design and Structure

The Vortex Impact 850 and the Nikon Aculon laser rangefinders both feature a roof prism design that ensures their compact nature. The difference between them however is seen in their size and weight. The Vortex Impact measures 3.8 by 3 inches and it weighs 156 grams while the Nikon Aculon measures 3.6 by 2.9 inches and weighs 125 grams. In this case, the Nikon Aculon is lighter and smaller than the Vortex Impact 850. This means that you can easily reduce the bulk off your hunting gear when you choose to settle for the Nikon Aculon laser rangefinder.

When it comes to their objective lens diameter and their exit pupil diameter, they both have 20 mm objective lenses and a 3.3 exit pupil. Therefore, they do not differ much when it comes to their light collecting abilities.

They both run on a CR2 lithium battery that ensures a reliable battery performance throughout your hunting escapades. Aside from that, their optical tubes are both O-ring sealed to ensure waterproof performance in all kinds of environments.

Optical Performance and Lasing Range

The Vortex Impact 850 and the Nikon Aculon laser rangefinders both provide you with a decent 6x magnification that is versatile enough to meet most of your hunting requirements. Aside from that, they both feature fully multi coated lenses and anti-reflective prism coatings to ensure optimal light transmission during hours of observation. The difference in their optical performance is seen in their eye relief and their field of view.

The Vortex Impact 850 offers a wider field of view of 341 feet at 1000 yards which allows you to easily locate fast moving targets across the entire visible spectrum while the Nikon Aculon offers a field of view of 315 feet at 1000 yards. When it comes to their eye relief, the Nikon Aculon provides you with a longer eye relief of 16.7 mm while the Vortex Impact 850 provides you with a shorter eye relief of 15mm. This means that it is more comfortable to view and easier to prevent eye strain when you are using the Nikon Aculon.

When it comes to their lasing ranges, the Vortex Impact 850 can range up to 850 yards while the Nikon Aculon can only range up to 550 yards. This means that the Vortex Impact 850 is a better laser rangefinder for long range shooting applications than the Nikon Aculon.

Vortex Impact 850 vs. Nikon Aculon – A Comparison Overview

Vortex Impact 850 Review

Vortex Optics Impact 850 Yard Laser Rangefinder
  • The Impact Rangefinder features a non-illuminated display and highly intuitive menu in a compact and...
  • The primary HCD mode displays an angle compensated distance that is ideal for the majority of hunters and...
  • A scan feature gives continuous range readings to pan across a landscape or track a moving target. All...
  • The Impact runs on a common CR2 battery and the battery life indicator is always visible in the display.

The Vortex Impact 850 laser rangefinder has been designed to help you acquire long-range shots during your hunting activities. It is a powerful eye safe IR laser that is capable of ranging out to 850 yards to reflective targets and up to 400 yards to deer-sized targets. It features a built-in inclinometer that has been developed to measure the relative angle between your shooting position and your target and it show cases an adjusted range distance that allows you to accurately calculate your BDC and improve the accuracy levels of your first shot.

In addition to that, it features an uncluttered non-illuminated display that is easy to read without interfering with the sight picture. It has been fitted with a simplistic interface that you can access using its 2-buttons for faster navigation. Towards its eye piece you will find a collar that brings your view into sharper focus and it offers a comfortable eye relief that prevents your eyes from straining. It features a compact and ergonomic design that allows for its easy use and it significantly reduces the bulk in your hunting gear.


  • Quick and easy to range
  • Bright and clear sight picture
  • Durable build quality
  • Versatile and portable


  • Small lanyard hole

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Nikon Aculon Review

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
  • At 3.6"x2.9"x1.5" in size, the ACULON Rangefinder is Nikon's most compact laser rangefinder, making it...
  • An uncluttered, easy-to-read screen displays ranges in 1-meter/yard intervals;Eye Relief :18 mm
  • Class 1 laser product, power output not exceeding .0975 milliwats
  • Measurement Range 6-550 yds.Use:Gun hunting,bow hunting,target shooting

The Nikon Aculon laser rangefinder features a compact and ergonomic roof prism design that reduces bulk in your hunting gear. Generally, it serves as a distance-finding device that has been designed to measure the distance from your shooting position to targets that are 550 yards away. It is equipped with a Distant Target Priority mode that automatically showcases the distance to the furthest target that is sighted when you view overlapping targets. This comes in handy when you are out hunting in wooded areas.

It has the potential to perform 20 second or single continuous measurements depending on your needs and it offers you a decent 6x magnification that is ideal for identifying subjects at mid-range distances. It has a long eye relief of 16.7 mm that ensures your eye comfort when you are viewing with or without glasses. It runs on a CR2 Lithium battery and it features an auto-off function that helps with battery saving. It has multi-coated optics that ensures optimal brightness and clarity across the entire visible spectrum. In addition to that, its rainproof construction and wide temperature tolerance ensures its rugged performance in all kinds of environments.


  • Weatherproof
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Bright and clear images
  • Long and comfortable eye relief
  • Decent optical performance


  • Poor quality storage case

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The Nikon Aculon and the Vortex Impact 850 are both good quality laser rangefinders. However, a side by side comparison ranks one above the other.

Final Verdict: So, which is better, Vortex Impact 850 or the Nikon Aculon?

The Vortex Impact 850 is a better laser rangefinder than the Nikon Aculon. It delivers a better long-range shooting performance and a crispier sight picture. Also, it has a more durable build that ensures its rugged performance over a longer period of time.


  1. Can I use the Nikon Aculon laser rangefinder to measure tree height?

Yes, you can but you would need to use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the perpendicular height.

  1. Can a Vortex Impact 850 range in the dark?

Yes, it can. It is adaptable to variable lighting conditions including low light conditions.


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