Last Updated MAY 2017
Bow sights, also referred to as bow scopes, are gadgets usually mounted on the bow riser so that you can aim your shot better. Similar to the sights used in shot guns, bow sights are designed to help hunters gain more control of where they aim their arrow. The technology behind it allows the bow hunter to have a better view of where the projectile is pointing. After all, the whole point to shooting a bow (for most people) is to be as accurate as possible; the hunter is looking for the clean kill, and the target shooter is looking to make an accurate shot from varying distances.
We have reviewed only the best for each type. Click on a button below for more
While it is not impossible to shoot without a bow sight, it can become extremely difficult; especially when you shoot from a long distance. A bow sight can greatly enhance you shooting skills and increase your accuracy. That is why it is recommended that both novice and pro archers should get the best bow sight they can afford. Even though some hunters still shoot a bow by instinct, bow sights have become the modern day evolution. We are all looking for advantages, and while these sights will definitely provide them for you, it’s important to take the time figuring out which one will work best.
Whether it’s a basic option for the beginner or an extreme choice for the seasoned veteran, our bow sight reviews are designed to help all levels of experience. We also realize you are trying to find the best bow sight for the money, so we have put together some extensive information to make the decision process simple.
Best Bow Sight Reviews By Type
A. Fixed Pin Bow Sight Reviews
Check some of the best fixed pin bow sights below.
Our Rating: 9.6
Over the years we have read several iq bow sight reviews. After trying more than 10 different sights in this category, we believe the Field Logic IQ 5 pin sight is the best bow sight in its category. You will definitely pay more for the technology it provides, but it might be the only sight investment you will ever have to make.
Initially we thought it would best be suited for beginning hunters, but the more we use it, it is probably best utilized by all hunters. One of the features is instant feedback technology, which helps each hunter control their consistency, form, and muscle memory. Its goal is to help you become a better bow hunter.
Just remember though, this sight is going to bring your flaws to light. If you are gripping the bow wrong, it’s going to let you know. Even though it might be a bit frustrating in the beginning, you will grow as a hunter or target shooter. Just wait until you experience the immediate accuracy the Field Logix IQ 5 provides.
Here are a few added features:
- .019 fiber optic pins
- Adjustable second axis
- Allows you to shoot longer distances in tighter groupings
- Options for left and right-handed shooters
If you do decide to purchase the Field Logic, the sight is not available for left and right handed shooters. You have to either purchase the right-handed version or the left-handed version. We realize this might be the difference between purchasing this product or another one of our best bow sights, which is why it is important to share with you. The good news is; if you are left-handed, it is a less expensive purchase.
Our Rating: 8.7
One of the most popular choices out there, the Trophy Ridge Punisher is both inexpensive and a great choice for hunters. We’ve shot this version several times, and one of the biggest benefits is that you do not have to adjust the pins. We’re not sure this would work in every situation, but for us it definitely eliminated some of the setup time, especially since it is a 5-pin sight.
Most hunters would agree that the Trophy Ridge Punisher is the best 5-pin bow sight on the market when it comes to value for money. The sleek design and easy adjustable pins (if needed) make it feasible for a hunter to be practicing and setting distances quickly. Another common benefit is the metal construction. The majority of sights in this price range are made out of plastic or something cheaper.
If you are looking for a 5-pin option, some of the other features include:
- .029 fiber optic pins
- Composite pin guard
- Laser engraved reference marks
- Works for both Left and right-handed hunters
The only negative we found associated to the Trophy Ridge Punisher is that no light is available. If you only hunt when there is an ample amount of light, it won’t be issue. If you do, then we recommend purchasing and installing a rheostat light for your needs.
Our Rating: 8.2
One of the first benefits we noticed about the TruGlo Carbon XS is the quality of the sight. It’s one of the most inexpensive choices available, which is why we were surprised. Just like the Trophy Ridge 5, this option comes with good lighting features that can be utilized in the lowest lighted settings when hunting.
We also found the shooter ring glowed in the dark, which was a nice touch. We spoke with several other hunters to get their take on the TruGlo Carbon XS, and most of them enjoy the sight, especially when you see the overall cost.
Some of the other features associated with this four pin sight include:
- Bigger field of view – this sight offers a 1.8 inch inner diameter for the aperture.
- Reversible bracket
- TRUTOUCH soft-feel technical coating – this allows for a lighter composite construction
- TRUFLO fiber design
- Two vertical bar level
- Works for left and right-handed shooters
Once we completed our own research on the TruGlo Carbon XS, we did find a few hunters that didn’t necessarily like everything about it. Some of the issues involved the mounting bolts being an odd size, which means the user had to make adjustments to get it mounted properly. However, we went a step further and found that in each situation where this was an issue, these bows had already been modified. In turn this was part of the problem.
Also, there were a few individuals that cracked the sight, because they tightened the bolts too tight. If you feel this is the best option for you, we highly recommend being careful when mounting any sight to the riser. This is a potential warning that can happen with most bow sights, but if you respect the product, there shouldn’t be any problems. In the end, we would consider this to be the first choice for a beginning archer or if it is the first sight you are about to purchase.
Our Rating: 9.2
If you have used some of the previous Trophy Ridge versions, you will notice the Trophy Ridge 5 sight pins are lighter. When you add the brightness of the light, it is an extremely helpful feature when hunting. Some of our fellow hunters using this sight choice have noted that they have precise distances within ten projectiles.
We’ve never really shot a lot of distances outside of forty yards, but thanks to the accuracy on the TR5, it allowed us to shoot about 20 yards further. Most importantly it provided as the same amount of accuracy as it would at forty yards. Well, each hunter’s results will vary, but if you are an avid archer, you will definitely notice the extreme amount of accuracy.
There are several other benefits associated with the Trophy Ridge 5 like:
- Ballistix copolymer system – this offers a 24% weight reduction compared to aluminum pin sights
- Reversible mounting bracket – this will help with higher and lower anchoring points
- Rheostat light
- Wind and elevation adjustment
- Works for left-handed or right-handed hunters
If you do decide to choose the Trophy Ridge 5, it will come with an instructional DVD. We did not find this very helpful when adjusting each pin for distance, but you really do not need it anyways unless this is your first sight. It took us about ten minutes to have it set up and ready to go.
B. Single Pin Bow Sight Reviews
Check some the best single pin bow sights below.
Our Rating: 8.5
If you are looking for a high-quality product with an inexpensive price tag, the Trophy Ridge Pusuit is the best single pin bow sight in our opinion. The rheostat light offers an added lighting benefit as well, which is a typical feature with today’s bow sights. We used this a few times, and even though it provides excellent accuracy without tape on the rear, we recommend purchasing some anyways.
We shot ten projectiles with no tape and basic yardage estimations. However, adding a tape kit increased the accuracy dramatically. Since the Trophy Ridge Pusuit is already inexpensive for the quality it provides, purchasing some HHA EZ tape (yardages are already marked) will be worth every penny.
Take a look at some of the other features offered:
- Adjustable indicator pin
- Aluminum Construction
- Silent adjustments
- Unlimited pin settings
Installing the Trophy Ridge Pusuit is simple, so you do probably not need any instructions. It’s a good thing too, because you won’t find any instructions available, or at least we didn’t. If this is a common issue and you feel uncomfortable mounting the Pusuit yourself, take it to the local archer establishment and they will do it for you. This is also very inexpensive.
Our Rating: 9.8
Another single pin adjustable sight, the HHA OL-5519 is a universal option, but best used for target shooting. It comes with easy to understand instructions so you can set up your distances based on your hunting needs. We have found that newer sight hunters enjoy the educational instruction, because it helps them understand the best sticker tape to use on their sight.
The yardage sticker that comes with the HHA OL-5519 is already pre-printed, so there is no need for spending time setting distances yourself. We personally like using handmade settings ourselves, but we know plenty of hunters prefer eliminating this from the setup process. It’s one of the many reasons we believe this is the best bow sight in this category.
A couple of the features hunters will enjoy are:
- .019 single sighting pin
- R.M.O.R. pin technology
- Green sight ring
- Pure aluminum material
If you are not familiar with A.R.M.O.R pin technology, this is considered an indestructible machined aluminum pin. Without getting too technical, it basically means you will enjoy more durability when you find the best bow sight offering this benefit.
One thing we do want to share is that the HHA OL-5519 is more expensive than most of the other bow sight reviews we provided earlier. However, if it is in your price range, you will not be disappointed.
C. Pendulum Bow Sight Reviews
Check our review of the best treestand bow sight below
Our Rating: 9.2
We believe the best advantages are available for hunters who use tree stands. Elevated shots can be tricky, so it’s important to use a pendulum sight like the TRUGLO, so you can benefit from the compensation. This option provides automatic compensation up to 35 yards, which is a huge advantage for any hunter.
The biggest benefit associated with this sight is the ability to lock the pendulum. This eliminates the need to demount your sight and mount a compatible version if you are hunting on the ground at some point. It is like purchasing two sights for the price of one.
After testing both options out, the TRUGLO Pendulum sight offers superior accuracy for both ground and elevated hunting. In our opinion it is the best pendulum bow sight available today.
Here are some of the other features you will enjoy:
- .019 inch sighting pin
- 8 inch aperture diameter
- Adjustable rheostat violet light
- Yardage tapes with pre-printed distances
Earlier we discussed the TRUGLO Pendulum sight’s ability to automatically adjust. This occurs because the ring is on a pivot. Whenever you raise or lower the bow, it maintains a vertical position, so you can shoot out of a treestand or another elevated position. We’ve received several questions regarding this, so thought it would be important to share with you in our best bow sight reviews.
Bow Sight Types
1. Fixed Pin Sights
– Considered the most common choice, these sights provide anywhere from three to five pins. If you are shooting a projectile at close range, then the top pin will be used while aiming. The bottom pin is used for longer distances. We recommend setting each individual pin before heading out on your next hunting adventure, unless you know how to set these in a short amount of time.
When setting each pin you must come up with three to five distances that will not be difficult to remember. Most hunters will do this by using specific increments, but it will depend on the type of hunting you are doing each time out. We would recommend sticking with five or ten yard increments.
Even though these are “fixed” by tightening each pin, they can still be readjusted. In fact, there are some instances where hunters will have to readjust their pins in the field. If you are good at judging unknown distances then this will be a simple process. However, if you are still increasing your knowledge around this skill trait, it will take a little trial and error.
2. Moveable or Single Pin Sights
– If you are interested in moveable pin sights, we recommend these for intermediate and advanced hunters. Unlike the fixed pins which offer three to five distance sets, these are designed with one pin. In order to adjust it for your next shot, the entire housing unit will either slide up or down.
Properly adjusting a moveable pin sight can be done in seconds. Just remember to utilize the white tape along the rear of the sight. This will provide you with the opportunity to mark what the distance is, and then use it whenever needed. We love this benefit, because it allows you to just move the pointer based on the current distance situation. Most importantly, you create it (unless you purchase or the sight comes with pre-made distance tape), so use whatever is helpful for your hunting strategy.
If you need a little help getting started, it’s a good idea to make larger marks (similar to what you see on a ruler) for the normal distances of five or ten yard increments. Once these are in place you can make smaller marks for everything else in between (e.g. 8 yards, 17 yards, etc.).
3. Pendulum or Treestand Sights
– Every hunter understands the difference between shooting on level ground, uneven terrain, or elevated areas. The latter requires a different type of sight, which will compensate for those tough downhill shots. Most hunters spend more time on the ground than in tree stands, so accurately judging these yardages can be a little more difficult.
Hunters who use a pendulum sight in these situations will become more accurate almost instantly. It might take several shots to fully understand how these sights work, but only because the sight pin will swing out and up to compensate for the odd angle. It’s very different from fixed and moveable pin sights, so take the time to understand this version before using it.
Most of these sights are not designed to work on the ground or shooting on uneven terrain. They are specifically built to help hunters with short-range shots and downhill angles. If you do not hunt in an elevated position, a tree stand sight is not for you. If you do then it’s a must have while hunting.
– If you are looking for a competition sight, also known as a target sight, then you know these are not designed for hunting. There are plenty of hunters that use them from time to time, but based on the cost alone, we would never recommend these a “first choice” option.
However, competition sights have a plethora of features that will make a hunter salivate. Individuals interested in a little competition will love the technology and sophistication associated with each one. Some of the features include:
- Click adjustments for wind and elevation needs
- Quick-disconnect systems for mounting and demounting
- Similar to a moveable pin sight
- Threaded receivers for a variety of aiming points
The optimal word here is; precision. Competition sights are built to provide exact precision, and the investment for these can be quite costly. We definitely do not recommend them for hunting purposes, but if you are planning on entering an archery tournament, it’s imperative that you purchase the right one.
Our bow sight reviews
During the research process, our goal was to help avid hunters like you, find the best quality bow sight for the best price. Each review you read today is not only based on our personal preferences, but also other hunters using the same products. Take the time to read them over and find the right bow sight for your needs.
We consider each one of these to be the best bow sight available in their category. Each one of the reviews above was designed to eliminate the need for you to do the research yourself. We took into account each hunter’s or target archer’s skill levels. We believe through our extensive research, you have been able to learn more about fixed pin sights, moveable pin sights, adjustable versions, pendulum choices, and even sights that will help you become a better marksman through use of muscle memory technology.
Even though hunting without a sight has always provided a primitive appeal, most hunters prefer using them. They offer additional accuracy; one that a hunter cannot gain with instinct, unless they are considered experts in the field. If you are ready to take the next step and become a better hunter or target shooter in competitions, pick the best compound bow sight based on your needs, and start enjoying all the benefits a sight can offer.