Bow hunting is one of the best ways for seasoned hunters to experience a real challenge. Using a bow takes a lot more patience and practice to master than other forms of hunting. One of the first questions new bow hunters will need to ask themselves is what kind of bow sight they want to use. A quality bow sight makes hitting moving game a lot easier. Today we’ll be covering some of the best bow sights on the market to find the best option for your needs.
- 1 Best Bow Sights
- 2 Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Bow Sight
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Bow Sights
When you’re picking out bow sights there are a lot of factors to consider. The most important are your budget, how you hunt, and what you’re hunting for.
There are literally hundreds of different bow sights on the market, each offering different feature sets and gimmicks. We picked out some of the best across a range of price points and styles to make choosing your perfect bow sight easier.
IQ Define Pro 7-Pin Bow Range Finding Sight
The IQ Define Pro is a 7-pin bow sight with a built in rangefinder. It’s a moveable pin bow sight designed to provide the easiest adjustment and rangefinding possible.
It’s made with a sturdy magnesium frame and a RetinaLock fiber optic pin system. Each of the 7 pins glow in a different bright color. They can all be adjusted quickly and easily without the use of any tool. The pins themselves are tiny, measuring just .019 inches, and great for targeting game at longer distances.
What really helps set the IQ Define Pro apart from the competition is its built in rangefinder. It displays the current range to target on a 3 digit OLED display. This allows you to instantly switch between pins depending on the current range.
Other useful features include a precision bubble level and the ability to make 2nd and 3rd axis adjustments to the pins. This allows you to really zero in your aim.
Overall the IQ Define Pro 7-Pin is a high-quality moveable pin bow sight. It offers an excellent combination of features in a surprisingly compact design.
Trophy Ridge React Pro 7 Bow Sight
The Trophy Ridge React Pro 7 is a moveable bow sight incorporating a lot of really useful features. It offers 7 rheostat lit fiber optic pins designed to provide the easiest possible adjustment.
The pins are fitting together with a high level of precision to allow you to instantly adjust 5 pins through setting just one. This makes it much easier to dial in your bow sight.
Adjustments can be made with micro click adjustment knobs that allow minute changes for windage and elevation. This allows you to fully adjust your sight without a single tool.
You can also make 2nd and 3rd dimension adjustments to further heighten your accuracy. If you plan to hunt at night you’ll love the glow in the dark ring and bright fiber optic pins. They make it very easy to put your sight over the target and lock in.
It’s made with a lightweight yet highly durable aluminum assembly and stainless steel hardware. This makes it plenty strong enough to handle moving through rough country on the hunt.
TRUGLO Hyper-Strike Ultra-Light Long Range Bow Sight
The TRUGLO Hyper-Strike is a value priced ultra-lightweight bow sight designed for long range shots. It’s available in either a 5-pin or 7-pin version and offers some pretty nice features for its price.
It’s made from a lightweight composite material with aluminum hardware. The shooter’s ring is coated with a glow in the dark compound and each pin is made from Pro Brite for increased visibility in low light conditions.
It uses a tool less adjustment system that lets you make minute changes based on elevation and windage. It can be mounted in a variety of different configurations based on your specific needs.
All in all the TRUGLO Hyper-Strike is a good enough bow sight for a very affordable price.
Garmin Zero A1 Bow Sight
The Garmin Zero A1 is a reticle style bow sight with tons of advanced and in demand features. It’s effective at up to 100 yards on live game or 300 yards on reflective targets.
As a reticle style bow sight it offers a seamless transition for archers accustomed to shooting with modern rifles. Instead of using multiple or hand adjustable pins, the Zero A1 lets you focus on one or a row of glowing dots.
Even better, the A1 automatically adjusts as the distance changes. This means you can simply line it up with your prey without worrying about which pin you’re supposed to be aiming with.
It’s honestly one of the easiest to use and most accurate bow sights available, with a single caveat. Price. The Garmin Zero A1 is one of the priciest bow sights we’ve ever seen, coming in at close to $1,000 retail.
If you want the best and are willing to pay for it the Garmin Zero A1 is an excellent and intuitive bow sight great for beginners or experienced archers.
Trophy Ridge Volt 5
The Trophy Ridge Volt 5 is a value priced 5-pin moveable bow sight. It’s made from a lightweight polymer and offers features usually only found on significantly more expensive bow sights.
The pins are .019 inches, perfect for longer distance shots, and can be adjusted with a pair of knobs. This makes it easy to zero in your sights out in the field. They’re lit up with a rheostat light and include a spirit level to aid in accuracy.
The ring itself is coated with a glow in the dark material to make low light shots a whole lot easier to take. It can be mounted in three different positions depending on your preference.
The Trophy Ridge Volt 5 is a pretty good bow sight at a really good price. It offers solid performance and acceptable accuracy given it’s very affordable price.
Spot-Hogg Archery Products Fast Eddie Sight
The Spot-Hogg Archery Products Fast Eddie Sight is a highly customizable bow sight designed for the experienced hunter. It’s made using machined aluminum and features some of the most in demand features from modern archers.
The Fast Eddie is available in everything from single pin all the way up to 7-pin variants. It also offers a unique double pin system with two ultra thin pins to give you an easier to sight targeting system.
This lets you customize your sight to your personal preferences. The sights are adjustable through a silent clickless system and include a level for maximum accuracy.
All in all the Fast Eddie by Spot-Hogg Archery is a great bow sight for the experienced hunter.
HHA Optimizer Lite
The HHA Optimizer Lite is a moveable bow sight designed to provide the most accurate experience possible. It’s made from machined aluminum and includes some of the most popular features hunters look for in a bow sight.
It uses a highly accurate sight tape paired with ultra smooth adjustment knobs. This allows you to near instantly adjust your sight to the desired yardage, windage, and elevation. It includes a level and has a glow in the dark sighting ring.
The pin is a bright fiber optic that gives you excellent sights in low light conditions. Honestly, the most attractive thing about the Optimizer Lite is its simplicity. It lacks some of the more complicated features of other bow sights and focuses on providing the easiest and most effective shooting experience.
The Topoint Archery sight is a value priced 3- or 5- pin bow sight. It offers the basic features you need to accurately shoot your bow at a rock bottom price.
It’s made from lightweight aluminum and is designed to work for both left and right handed archers. It includes a level to aid in accuracy and can be adjusted for windage and elevation.
It does require a tool to adjust the pins, making it more difficult to fiddle around with in the field, but provides pretty good accuracy once you’ve got it zeroed in. The sighting ring has a bright white edge to aid in visibility, while the pins themselves are made from fiber optics designed to catch the light.
We’ll be honest, the Topoint Archery Bow Sight is a long way from the top of the line. For less than you’d pay for a sit down meal it provides you with an adequate bow sight that will get the job done.
Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Bow Sight
You’ve got a whole lot of choices when you’re looking at bow sights. Different bow hunters have different specific needs and preferences as to sights. Start by figuring out what type of site you want and your budget.
Many of the other key features will be decided by those two factors.
Before reading our best bow sight buyer’s guide we have several other archery related guides we think you’ll enjoy.
- Best Bow Sling
- Best Bow Release
- Best Mechanical Broadhead
- Best Youth Crossbow
- Best Archery Target Blocks
- Best Ground Blinds
Bow sights, like most optics, vary wildly in price. You can pick up a workable sight for less than $20, or spend close to $1,000 on a top of the line model with all the most advanced features.
Depending on what kind of features you’re looking for your sight will probably fall somewhere in between.
Bow Sight Types
There are several major types of bow sights currently on the market. Three different types, fixed pin sights, moveable/single pin sights, and pendulum sights, make up the majority.
Fixed Pin Bow Sights – Fixed pin bow sights are by far the most common type of bow sight available. They come with either vertical or horizontal pins, though horizontal pins are more popular.
The vast majority of fixed pin sights have multiple pins present. They’re fixed into place at a variety of different yardages. This allows you to aim effectively at game animals that are moving rapidly and changing the distance.
You can choose from a variety of different yardages, allowing you to customize your various aimpoints. The only real downside to fixed pin sights is how involved adjustment is. For most sights you’ll need to use a dedicated tool to set them.
Generally this isn’t too much of a problem, as most hunters set their pins well ahead of a hunt.
Movable Pin Bow Sights – Moveable pin bow sights, also commonly known as single pin sights, rely on a single adjustable pin. They usually work by sliding the sight forward and backwards based on a series of premarked notches.
This allows you to have a single sight on your bow and can provide better accuracy if you have very precise measurements. The downside is you have to move the pin every time you need to adjust your aim.
You also have to adjust the position of your sight points based on the velocity of your arrow. For this reason you need a lot of experience and knowledge to use a moveable pin bow sight.
Pendulum Sights – Pendulul sights are designed for hunters using a treestand. When you try to shoot a game animal from a position of elevation it throws off the angle of your shot.
A pendulum sight is attached to a pendulum that swings out with the angle of your bow. This makes it much easier to aim accurately even when shooting down at your prey.
Reticle Sights – The newest type of sight on our list, reticle sights have more in common with modern tactical optics than they do with traditional bow sights. They’re basically identical in function and form to the red dot sights and holographic sights found on military and modern sporting rifles.
They’re very easy to zero in, offer instant adjustment to different programmed distances, and offer an identical experience to those accustomed to shooting with them on rifles. There aren’t a ton of reticle bow sights on the market but we expect to see a lot more of them very soon.
Where are you Hunting?
The terrain and plant life of your hunting grounds will play a major role in the type of bow sight you should choose. If you’re hunting in a meadow or similar open area you’ll have vastly different needs to hunters in forested hills.
Forests provide obstructed views and rarely offer shots of more than 20-30 yards. At those distances just about any bow sight will serve you well.
If you’re in a more open area you may find yourself taking shots at 50-60 yards, with occasional shots at much greater distances. At those distances adjustable sights really come into their own. They allow you to aim much more precisely than fixed sights.
What are you Hunting?
The game you’re pursuing also affects the best bow sight for your needs. If you’re hunting elk, caribou, or trophy deer just about any type of sight will work just fine.
As you get into smaller game such as wild hogs, rabbits, etc, the type and size of your sight becomes really important. A sight sized for hunting big game will be extremely difficult to use if you’re hunting rabbits.
The size of the pin on your bow sight affects the level of accuracy you’ll be able to achieve. Try holding a finger up next to your eye and looking at objects around you. Now try the same thing with the narrow side of a bread knife.
Your finger covers things up a lot more than a bread knife does. The same principle applies to bow sight pin size.
Smaller pins offer smaller targets and thus greater accuracy. This is especially true at close range, where most bow shots will be taken.
Modern bow sights offer features we only dreamed of just a few decades ago. You can now choose from a variety of sights that offer fixed or adjustable lighting.
Your basic fiber optic bow sight lights up to a single setting that makes them a lot more usable in low light conditions such as early morning or evening. Once you get into rheostat adjustable sights your mind will truly be blown.
They can go from a dim glow for low light hunting all the way up to a bright aim point in broad daylight.
If you’ve ever tried your hand at carpentry you’re familiar with a spirit level. Many modern bow sights have one built in to help you with sighting and zeroing in your bow.
They make it easy to ensure your aim is rock steady level. This prevents your shots from going high or low.
Once you get into really high-end bow sights you’ll find multi-axis levels. These allow you to achieve pin point calibration on your sight.
Other important features to consider on a bow sight include:
- Easy to Turn Adjustment Knobs
- Universal Fit
Universal fit and easy to turn knobs both relate to adjustment and use. An ambidextrous bow sight is great for those who like to shoot right and left handed. The easy to turn knobs make it much easier to make field adjustments to your sight without needing to bring fiddly little tools with you.
Most bow sights weigh less than a pound. Unless you’re getting into really large sights it’s rare that they’ll affect your aim. It’s important to think about nonetheless.
As they grow heavier they’ll add to your fatigue in carrying, aiming, and shooting your bow.
There you have it. The best bow sight is the one that fits your shooting style and the type of hunting you’re doing.
It should be easy to adjust, accurate at a variety of yardages, and affordable for your budget. So long as you keep your needs in mind it’s easy to pick out a great option.