The first time you have an opportunity to try a bow it’s bound to be a bit of a rush. It’s very different from shooting a rifle and if you’re anything like me it will probably bring up thoughts of a bygone era when a certain famous prince of thieves once roamed Sherwood Forest.
Make no mistake, the bows used by hunters today are much more powerful and precise than those used in medieval England, but it doesn’t hurt to enjoy a bit of nostalgia for the past.
One of the things that makes modern bows so accurate are the sophisticated sights used to judge distances and improve accuracy. The best bow sights make finding your target as simple as making a few adjustments for distance based on some practise shots. Distance is judged using a pin system and essentially there are two main types of sights: single pin bow sights and multiple pin bow sights.
We’re going to review some of the best hunting bow sights available and then after we’ll briefly cover the different types of sights, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Today’s best compound bow sights are sophisticated pieces of technology in themselves and it’s important to understand how they really work if you’re going to find the right one for you.
Multiple pin bow sights range from 3 pins all the way up to 8 in some cases. If you’re new to bow hunting and all this sounds a bit confusing read on and things will become a little clearer. You’re bound to find a lot of varying opinions on which are better and that’s because there isn’t one right answer to this question – it depends on your own comfort factor.
- 1 Bow Sight Reviews
- 2 Bow Sight Types and Features
- 3 Final Thoughts
Bow Sight Reviews
3 Pin Bow Sight by Great Deals LLC
Our first sight is also the most affordable on this list. It might not have quite the accuracy of some of the other top sights on the market, but for the price it’s still a pretty good option. The bow sight is a three pin fixed sight so you won’t have to worry about making constant adjustments once you’ve set your distances and tried a few practise shots at different distances. It mounts on your bow with a fixed plate so once in place it will remain relatively stable.
The sight is made from a durable aluminum body so it is designed to last for quite a long time and it can handle some adverse conditions.
We were somewhat sceptical that an inexpensive bow sight like this would hold up to the rigours of a serious hunting excursion, but it appears our concerns were unfounded as this sight has a good reputation for durability.
This model does use fibre optic cables to illuminate your view and while it isn’t a perfect design, it does light up the sight fairly well. There’s also a bubble level built-in to the frame to help keep your targeting straight and you can adjust the target to accommodate both left handed and right handed hunters. It really isn’t a bad choice for the price.
3 Pin Bow Sight Summary:
- Three Pin Fixed Sight
- Fixed Plate Mount
- Made of Durable Aluminium Body
- Built-in Bubble Level
Field Logic IQ 5 Pin Sight
Field Logic is one of the most popular names in bow hunting and the Field Logic IQ 5 is one of their most successful products. With a fixed 5 pin design you can really stretch your range and accuracy with this sight and you’ll appreciate its lightweight design.
This is one of the best bow sights because it has extra features that you won’t find on some of its competitors’ products. The retina lock technology is a prime example of this.
A lot of the guess work is removed when using this sight allowing you to find your target at considerable distances on a consistent basis.
If you’re an experienced bow hunter you’re probably very familiar with the challenges that wind can pose to a successful hunting expedition and the IQ 5 is equipped with micro adjust knobs that can help you to account for changes in wind patterns and differences in elevation.
There is a built-in bubble level in this model as well and that’s another reason we’ve chosen it as our pick for the best IQ bow sight. They do have a fairly extensive range of products, but this one strikes the right balance between price and features.
Field Logic IQ Summary:
- Fixed 5 Pin Design
- Lightweight Design
- Retina Lock Technology
- Built-in Bubble Level
Trophy Ridge Alpha V3 Bow Sight
In our opinion the best compound bow sights feature fibre optic cables to help find the target in low light situations and that’s one of the reasons we chose to include the Trophy Ridge Alpha V3 in these reviews. The front of this sight is surrounded by a clear fibre optic ring that does a great job of capturing the available light from the atmosphere to help light up your target.
This is a relatively lightweight sight at 10.4 ounces so it won’t require much of an adjustment to get used to it. The housing is made from aluminum which is why it’s relatively light and it’s fairly compact as well.
The Alpha V3 is also nice and easy to mount so you can get on with the hunting and not have to worry about making complex adjustments. The bushings are made from a nylon material which is resistant to dirt build up that can be a problem when you’re out on a hunt.
Other key features of this bow sight include its vertical in-line pin technology which helps to improve accuracy and the micro adjustment knob that allows you to quickly make adjustments in the field so that you don’t lose sight of a target. This Trophy Ridge bow site is clearly a great choice for professional hunters and amateur enthusiasts alike.
Trophy Ridge Alpha V3 Summary:
- Clear Fibre Optic Ring
- Lightweight at 10.4 Ounces
- Compact Aluminium Housing
- Vertical In-Line Pin Technology
HHA Optimizer Lite Sight
Our choice for one of the best single pin bow sights around is the HHA Optimizer Lite. This sight is very lightweight at just 8 ounces, but it’s still quite rugged and will hold up well through many hunting seasons. It fits on your bow using a fixed plate and remains securely in place with minimal adjustments when you’re out in the field. It also comes with a simple adjustment ring to help compensate for windage.
You don’t have to worry about making sure you’re batteries are charged with this product as it uses fibre optic technology to illuminate the sights ring. The end result is a well-lit target that’s easy to find in very little light.
The single pin design also means you won’t have to worry about multiple pins obscuring your target, which can be a real problem for some hunters in low light.
The moveable sight allows for quick and easy adjustments with a little practise. In fact, you’ll find this single pin design is almost as quick and efficient to use as a multiple pin sight. If you’re a fan of the single pin design the HHA Optimizer is one of your best available options.
HHA Optimizer Lite Summary:
- Secure Fixed Plate Design
- Lightweight at 8 Ounces
- Fibre Optic Sight Ring
- Single Pin Design
Axcel 5 Pin .019 Fiber Armortech HD
This is a bow sight that’s been designed to last a long time and as long as you provide it with proper maintenance you should get years of use out of it.
It also features a 5 pin set up that can extend your range considerably when compared against the more common 3 pin design.
Another unique advantage of this bow sight is that it has built-in anti-vibration technology that will help to prevent the pins from vibrating loose. This means you can spend more time hunting and less time making minor little adjustments to your bow sight.
This bow sight does use fibre optic technology to light up a target when needed and this means you can take advantage of every last bit of day light when out on a hunt.
It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty so you know they stand by their product. If you’re looking for an excellent 5 pin bow sight then this is the ideal choice.
Axcel 5 Pin .019 Fiber Armortech HD Summary:
- Thick Sturdy Construction
- 5 Pin Setup
- Built-In Anti-Vibration Technology
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Bow Sight Types and Features
Finding the best bow sight can be a challenge sometimes and below are the key features we recommend you consider when looking to pick one up.
Fixed Multiple Pin Sights
The fixed pin sights are more common and the favored choice of the majority of hunters. You can find sights with as many as 8 pins, but typically most fixed pin sights will have somewhere between 3 and 5 pins. The pins are used as a way for the hunter to measure distance to the target and each pin normally represents 5 or 10 yards. For example, on a 3 pin bow sight the first pin may represent a target 10 yards away, the second pin a target 20 yards away, and the third pin would represent a distance of 30 yards. Once you’ve set your pins and made the necessary adjustments for accuracy you can then quickly find a target at those set distances with a great deal of precision.
The Moveable Pin Sight Option
A moveable pin sight features a single pin that can be adjusted before you take a shot depending on the distance to the target. The best single pin bow sights are easily adjusted using a wheel and they have markings that indicate the scale of distances you are currently working with. The main advantage of this system is that you have a less obstructed view of the target because there aren’t as many pins in your view. The reason it’s not as popular as the fixed pin sight is because many bow hunters feel the time it takes to make those adjustments may cause you to lose an opportunity at a shot.
A pendulum sight is designed to be used from a tree stand where you face the challenge of having to shoot down at your target. Many hunters find it difficult to make the necessary adjustments to hit a target from a tree stand and a pendulum sight can help with this. The sight features a single adjustable pin mounted on a pendulum sight with a hinge that can be adjusted to compensate for the downward trajectory and improve accuracy.
Sight Mounting Options
There are two basic types of mounts that are used to fix a bow sight to a bow. The fixed plate mount is probably the most common and, as the name implies, they feature a plate that is mounted directly on the bow. These types of mounts are popular because they keep your bow sight firmly in place. The other option is a dovetail mount. Sights that use this type of mount are actually attached on an extension bracket that is mounted on the bow. Some hunters prefer them because they are easier to remove and change.
Why Choose Fiber Optics
When you’re out on a hunting trip there are no guarantees that you’ll have enough light to find your target – especially if you’re hunting around dusk or dawn. A fiber optic sight takes advantage of the glass properties of fibre optic wire to capture and reflect light making the wire seem like its glowing so that you can see through your sight clearly. This enables you to find the target during those times when natural light isn’t available.
Battery Powered Lighting Options
An alternative to fibre optic sights for use in low light are sights with battery powered illumination. These small lights make it easy to see the pins and when you can see your pins clearly you can better judge distance to the target. These types of sights can work quite well, but it’s important to remember to make sure your batteries are charged or you may find yourself extremely frustrated when your technology fails you at the most inopportune time. If you don’t trust yourself to remember to check the batteries you might be better off considering a fibre optic option that doesn’t require any.
A Bubble Level Can Help
One last thing you may want to consider when shopping for a bow sight is the option of purchasing a bow sight with an integrated bubble level. These are becoming increasingly popular because it eliminates a lot of guesswork. They help you to keep your bow level and avoid shooting too much to one side or the other. With a bubble level you should be able to achieve a straighter shot every time and find the target a lot more consistently.
Choosing the best bow sight shouldn’t be a complicated process. Once you’ve been hunting with a bow for a while you’ll get an idea of whether you prefer a single pin or fixed multiple pin design and then it’s simply a matter of establishing your price range.
The reviews on this page provide detailed information on some of the best available ones on the market and they’re a great place to start. Any one of them will help to improve your accuracy and help you find the target almost every time.