Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR Comparison (2024 Review)

Scopes Field is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

What’s the difference between Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR?

I wanted to find out, so I bought both red dot sights and hand-tested everything:

  • Reticle
  • Durability
  • Battery life
  • Field of view
  • And so much more

By the end of this Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR comparison review, you’ll know which red dot is best for you.

Let’s get started!

Comparison Table

FeaturesSig Romeo 5Vortex Sparc AR
MOA Dot22
MOA Clicks0.51
Objective lens20mm22mm
Weight5.1 Ounces5.9 Ounces
Eye reliefUnlimited Eye ReliefUnlimited Eye Relief
MaterialPolymer FrameAnodized Aluminum
Dimensions2.5×1.5×1.52.9×1.425×1.575

Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR Review

The Sig Romeo 5 and Vortex Sparc AR are two quality red dot scopes in the same price bracket with very similar spec sheets. I ran them through some trials to see which I liked best, and I have to be honest:

It was hard for me to pick a winner.

Either would be good as a pistol red dot or mounted on a rifle. I chose mine, but would you make the same choice?

Let’s take a closer look.

Glass Clarity & Reticle

Both the Sig Romeo 5 and the Vortex Sparc AR have top notch glass and coatings that deliver crystal clear quality. The Sig Romeo 5 uses high density glass while the Vortex Sparc AR has slightly better coatings, but the two balance each other out.

SIG ROMEO 5 LENS (2)

To be clear, I can’t tell the difference, and I’d challenge anyone who says they can.

SIG ROMEO 5 CLARITY

Reticle design is a 2MOA dot on both scopes, putting them in the most popular configuration for daylight visibility and accuracy. The Sig Romeo 5 comes with other reticle options, but I was looking for a plain red dot.

SIG ROMEO 5 RED DOT (1)

If you want a hellfire reticle, you might want to look at the Sig Romeo 5 selections available online.

SIG ROMEO 5 RED DOT (2)

No clear winner here, they are about equal.

Battery Life

There are CR2501 and AAA battery variants for both red dot sights available, so battery life will go up as a result. I like the AAA battery design, and it tucks the battery compartment safely between the scope and the gun.

SIG ROMEO 5 BATTERY

I turned both of them on full power the morning I started the test. When I went out to shoot that afternoon, they were both fine. After leaving them for another day, my Sig Romeo 5 turned itself off to save the battery.

The instructions say that it will happen 14 hours later if you leave it alone. Pick it up, and it’s right back on. 14 hours is a long time though, and I wish they would cut it down to 3, since it’s using a motion sensor anyway. Both of the lights lasted most of the week, but the Vortex Sparc had started to fade a bit.

Sig Romeo 5 definitely gets the win here.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

As with all quality red dot scopes, eye relief is infinite on both, and there are settings for compatibility with night vision cameras. No problem looking through them.

VORTEX SPARC EYEPIECE LENS

The eyeboxes are comparable in size as well, with a viewing window of 20mm on the Sig Romeo 5.

SIG ROMEO 5 RED DOT (3)

The Vortex Sparc AR gives a bit more aperture at 22mm, but I really couldn’t see a difference in field of view unless I focused intently on a nearby target and counted lines. Even then, was the FOV difference measurable, or was I moving my head?

VORTEX SPARC 2 OVERVIEW (1)

Looking at the stats, I think I measured accurately, but it’s not enough of a difference to worry about. Either way, I was looking through a tube, not something more open like an EOTech clone or irons.

VORTEX SPARC EYEPIECE LENS

Slight win to the Vortex Sparc AR.

Durability & Weight

This is where we start to see a real difference for those mounting a red dot to their AR platform. Weight savings is always an issue in builds, and the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 weighed in at 5.1 oz while the beefier Vortex Sparc AR measured 5.9 oz on my wife’s kitchen scale.

SIG ROMEO 5 EYE RELIEF

I’m guessing the difference comes from the anodized aluminum frame of the Vortex Sparc AR as compared to the rugged polymer frame on the Sig Romeo 5.

Of course, the material construction also affects durability, and the softer polymer frame on the Sig Romeo 5 is more likely to acquire scratches and battle scars over its lifetime, as well as a slight possibility of warping in extreme heat, as with any polymer.

SIG ROMEO 5 OVERVIEW (1)

I wasn’t going to scratch them up to find out which red dot was tougher as I would be returning one of them. I am a fan of aluminum over plastic, so that was a win in my book for the Vortex Sparc AR. It just feels more durable in the hand.

VORTEX SPARC 2 EYEPIECE WITH ELEVATION TURRET

The Sig Romeo 5 wins on weight while the Vortex Sparc is a little more rugged.

Windage, Elevation & Brightness Knob

Both sighting systems come with a typical slotted screw for windage and elevation adjustment, and include waterproof caps.

SIG ROMEO 5 WINDAGE AND BATTERY

For finer adjustment, the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 adjusts with half-MOA clicks. If you are looking for something fast with no fuss, the one-MOA clicks on the Vortex Sparc AR red dot will get you dialed in quickly, but aren’t as suited to fine adjustment.

VORTEX SPARC 2 TURRETS

For a 1x red dot, I prefer the big clicks, but your mileage may vary. I’ll save the tiny click adjustments for my variable magnification scopes like the Leupold I put on my last build.

Speaking of Leupold, I wrote an in-depth review of the top Leupold scopes on the market.

Big clicks also means fast on paper at 20 rounds without having to count tiny clicks. Brightness settings were similar, but the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 has only 10 selections versus 12 on the Vortex.

SIG ROMEO 5 ELEVATION TURRET-

The winner here goes to Sig Romeo 5 for better accuracy potential.

Mounting

⅓ co-witness is the de facto standard for both of these red dot optics.

SIG ROMEO 5 MOUNTED (2)

The Sig Sauer Romeo 5 CR-battery versions allow you to use a shorter riser if you want to drop it in-line with your AR sighting system.

SIG ROMEO 5 MOUNT

I simply removed the spacer on the spark and I was right in-line with my Magpul back-up sights.

Magpul MBUS Sight Set GEN 2 Color Flat Dark Earth Front & Rear...
  • Spring-loaded, folding back-up sight
  • Same plane dual flip apertures
  • Lightweight reinforced polymer construction

As far as the torx wrench mounts included, both systems seem to be rugged and mount securely to the picatinny rail on my AR.

VORTEX SPARC 2 MOUNTED

My pick in this category goes to the Spark, as everything is included to get it set up for your co-witness mounting choice.

VORTEX SPARC 2 OVERVIEW (1)

I didn’t have to buy an extra co-witness riser mount as I did with the Romeo 5.

Cyelee Compact Red Dot Sight Riser - Absolute Cowitness (Black,...
5 Reviews
Cyelee Compact Red Dot Sight Riser - Absolute Cowitness (Black,...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE: Precision CNC Machined from Aircraft Grade Aluminum with Weight Reducing Cuts
  • ABSOLUTE COWITNESS: The riser mount height measures 1.41 inches providing an absolute cowitness
  • RED DOT PLACEMENT: Places the red dot in the middle of the scope tube when looking down the iron sights

Easy win for the Vortex Sparc AR.

Price

I ended up dropping about 180 on each red dot, though there are cheaper models out there.

Sale
Vortex Optics SPARC Red Dot Sight Gen II - 2 MOA Dot , BLACK
  • The updated SPARC features rugged construction that’s still compact, with a lightweight form-factor. The 2 MOA dot is quick to acquire in close ranges, but fine enough for pin-point accuracy at...
  • With up to 700 hours of battery life on the highest setting, 50,000 hour on its lowest, the SPARC red dot will keep working in a variety of conditions.
  • Increased light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Unlimited eye relief for rapid target transitions. 12 illumination settings to change the dot...

After shipping fees and waiting time, I can’t even recall which was cheaper by the couple of bucks difference between them. The price gap varies by exact model, but mostly the Sigs are cheaper.

Sale
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
  • ROMEO5 GUN SIGHT - The ROMEO5 1X20mm Red Dot Sight mounts on any platform, and even though it's small, it's tough; The solid, lightweight aluminum design gives peak performance & years of service, so...
  • 2 MOA RED-DOT - For those avid shooters who admire classic red dot reticles on their gun sights, the ROMEO5 has 2-MOA Red-Dot, which is also adjustable; It provides 10 illumination settings (8...
  • MOTAC TECH - The versatile ROMEO5 red dot sight features our Motion Activated Illumination technology; It is developed to increase battery life by shutting down the system when not in use and...

The sig does give you a bit more variety as far as reticle design and battery mounting while the solar charging feature is only available on the Vortex models. The Sig has different reticle combinations available, so you can get a quick win on the price by keeping it simple.

Since most of the Sig Romeo 5 variants are cheaper, we’ll pass a win to the Sig.

Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR: Which is Better?

After comparing the Sig Romeo 5 and Vortex SPARC AR side by side, I believe that the Sig Romeo 5 is better for most shooters. Here’s why:

The Sig Romeo 5 adjustments are capable of better accuracy, and the light settings are simpler.

SIG ROMEO 5 EYE RELIEF

Plus, Sig gives you a bunch of models with widely varying capabilities and options to pick from, while the Vortex Sparc AR is a bit more limited in scope.

Sale
SIG SAUER ROMEO5 1X20mm Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...
  • ROMEO5 GUN SIGHT - The ROMEO5 1X20mm Red Dot Sight mounts on any platform, and even though it's small, it's tough; The solid, lightweight aluminum design gives peak performance & years of service, so...
  • 2 MOA RED-DOT - For those avid shooters who admire classic red dot reticles on their gun sights, the ROMEO5 has 2-MOA Red-Dot, which is also adjustable; It provides 10 illumination settings (8...
  • MOTAC TECH - The versatile ROMEO5 red dot sight features our Motion Activated Illumination technology; It is developed to increase battery life by shutting down the system when not in use and...

Although they both feature clear glass and a nice dot, I chose the Vortex Sparc AR mainly because of the aluminum housing and 1 MOA click adjustment, which was perfect for my use.

If that’s the case for you, then go with the Vortex Sparc AR.

Sale
Vortex Optics SPARC Red Dot Sight Gen II - 2 MOA Dot , BLACK
  • The updated SPARC features rugged construction that’s still compact, with a lightweight form-factor. The 2 MOA dot is quick to acquire in close ranges, but fine enough for pin-point accuracy at...
  • With up to 700 hours of battery life on the highest setting, 50,000 hour on its lowest, the SPARC red dot will keep working in a variety of conditions.
  • Increased light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Unlimited eye relief for rapid target transitions. 12 illumination settings to change the dot...

Otherwise, I highly recommend the Sig Romeo 5 because of the wide range of features for every budget, and a better overall value.

3 thoughts on “Sig Romeo 5 vs Vortex Sparc AR Comparison (2024 Review)”

  1. I enjoyed your comparison of the SIG Romeo 5 and Vortex Sparc AR. I have both mounted on AR and Ruger PC platforms and prefer the SIG overall, but they are both excellent Red Dots for the money IMHO.

    Reply
  2. Im a 20 year Marine Corps lifer i have used multiple types of sights through out my career. To be honest I am a die hard Vortex fan. I use Vortex on all my setups but I will tell I fell in love with my Romeo5 that came on a custom built AR. I’ve put it through its pace and I’m not disappointed at all.

    Reply
  3. I have both and will give the nod to the Sig Romeo 5.
    -The Sig has a slightly slimmer body so the sight picture is less obstructed.
    -The Sig has finer adjustments making 100+ yard shots more accurate.
    -But really, MOTAC for the win! I know as soon as I pick up my weapon, the light is on. With the Vortex, I have been worried about the battery dying as that has happened several times. For a range gun, not an issue. For a self defense weapon, bad. I don’t know why Vortex does not incorporate an auto on feature with their red dots.
    Other than those points, they are both great red dots and I use both. Nice article BTW.

    Reply

Leave a Comment