Unless you’re instinctively shooting stick and string, odds are you need a bow sight that helps you zero in on your intended target.
But like most archery accessories, the wide array of bow sight options can get overwhelming. So we narrowed it down to the best of the best based on the type of sight that suits your hunting style and personal preferences.
We’ve peered through our peeps at dozens of models, and these have stood out as the best bow sights.
Jump to: The Bow Sights We Use
We’ve come to full draw on hundreds of animals, and the sights that make for the most accurate aiming have a few qualities in common.
We’re looking for tough constructions that allow for pinpoint accuracy in any conditions without hours of technical tinkering.
Jump to: What Makes a Good Bow Sight
From single-pin sliders to multi-pin sights, the MeatEater crew has mounted dozens of different models on our bows. These are the bow sights that topped the competition.
HHA Optimizer Ultra X
Black Gold Pro Hunter HD Dovetail
Jason & Janis’s Pick
Trophy Ridge React Pro
Garmin Xero A1i Pro
|Highlight||Best Single-Pin||Best Dovetail Mount||Easiest Setup||Best Rangefinding|
|Pins||1||3 or 5||5||1 or multi|
|Pin Size||.010, .019, or .029||.019||.010 or .019||.007 and larger|
|Weight||8.8 oz.||8.5 oz.||9.5 oz.||18 oz.|
|Field Notes||Field Notes||Field Notes||Field Notes|
Whether you want a basic, lightweight bow sight or a more advanced option with digital components, a good bow sight will measure up on the following criteria.
Some bowhunters need the set-and-forget convenience of five multi-colored pins, while others will be better served by a single fiber optic. But no matter the number, sight pins should be sized just right for the setup and provide the perfect brightness for a variety of light conditions.
The ability to make micro-adjustments to account for windage, elevation, and severe angles is what makes the best bow sights ultra-accurate. Depending on the type of hunting you do, you might want first-, second-, and third-axis adjustability. Bonus points go to bow sights that allow for quick adjustments without the need for extra tools.
Good bow sights will be able to stand up to extreme weather and brushes with burrs, briars, and branches. They’ll be constructed of durable materials with housings that protect pins and sport components that stay secure—all without adding too many ounces to the front end.
While sights should be capable of customization and micro-adjustments, they shouldn’t be so tough to set up that you need an expert’s help to get dialed in. The best bow sights will be easy to mount, tweak, and operate in the field.
For bowhunters who want the precision accuracy of single-pin sights, the HHA Optimizer Ultra X checks the boxes for ruggedness, user-friendliness, and customization options.
"I'm a single-pin shooter, and that means that I tend to opt for the HHA Optimizer Ultra X" Tony said. "I can customize my pin size and my aperture size with this sight, and setup is so simple."
The sight is also available with an optional mechanical rheostat to adjust pin brightness based on light conditions.
"It's the best mover I've found," Tony said. "Their system for dialing into specific ranges is so precise, and there is zero play in it. So you know that if you want to get to whatever range, you can get there right now."
Preferring a dovetail mount system, both Jason and Janis stick with the Pro Hunter HD Dovetail from Black Gold.
The sight offers first- and second-axis adjustability as well as third-axis micro-adjustability, but it’s the option to customize the perfect setup that makes this one stand above the rest for Jason and Janis.
"I run a custom four-pin sight with all green pins (.019, .019, .109, .010)," said Jason. "I set this up as a 20/30/40/50-yard pins and use my 50 as my slider."
But even with all these options, the sight is still easy to use.
"It’s simple and tough" said Janis.
The Pro Hunter HD Dovetail also sports a PhotoChromatic shell that adjusts pin brightness for optimal clarity in any conditions.
"I’ve found Black Gold sights to be strong and durable while also being lightweight for a hunting bow" Jason said. "Making micro-adjustments to the pins or sight is easy. The pins are bright. What else could you want in a hunting sight?"
Getting a bow sight dialed in can be a challenging process. If you struggle to fine-tune your setup, frequently need to make adjustments, or simply want a quality sight that won’t take hours and hours to configure, Mark suggests the Trophy Ridge React Pro.
"This innovative sight has been on my bows for many years now, and the reason is simple: it’s rock-solid, and the sight-in process is faster than any other sight I've used," Mark said. "The React technology allows me to simply sight in and adjust my 20- and 30-yard pins, which then automatically sets my 40-, 50-, and 60-yard pins too. It’s just that simple."
Featuring a solid aluminum construction with stainless steel hardware, the Trophy Ridge React Pro also allows for tool-less micro-click windage and elevation adjustments.
If you’re as bad as I am at estimating range on the fly, hate the guesswork that comes with pin-gapping, and want to trim down the amount of gear you have to lug into the field, consider the Garmin Xero A1i Pro.
With the push of a button, this rangefinding bow sight produces an illuminated pin for the precise angle-compensated distance to your target.
The rugged, waterproof sight also boasts a Laser Locate feature to share waypoints—such as last blood—to a paired Garmin device.
Rangefinding sights aren’t for everyone—particularly if you live in one of a handful of states where they aren’t legal bowhunting tackle yet—but the Xero A1i Pro is an incredible multi-tool for archers who want more out of their gear. It’s so much more than just a sight.