Archery hunting is a sport that involves many different skills. The most important of which is putting an arrow through the vitals of your game accurately. This is impossible without a good archery sight. The best bow sight should provide a way of aiming and predicting the arc of your arrows, be rugged enough to stand up to all hunting challenges you face in the field, and be simple and intuitive to use so you don’t fumble with it when the time comes to use it.
Few bow sights do all of these things well. Here are the best types of archery sights in each category, and when to use each type. Archery can be as complex as you make it but is generally pretty simple if you follow the right guidelines and get the gear that is best for you.
The 6 Best Bow Sights
Hands down the best bow sight
Best multi-pin sight
Best moveable pin sight
Best pendulum bow sight
Best archery sight by Trophy Ridge
Best single pin sight
The Three Types of Bow Sights
There are three main types of bow sights today. Each one filled with a specific niche on getting your arrows on target accurately. See if you can get your hands on each type and shoot some arrows from each one to decide which one will be best for you in the upcoming seasons.
Multi-pin sights are the most common. Most archers prefer these because you can set up each pin for a given distance and memorize what each pin corresponds to, theoretically giving you an aiming reference all the way out to the very edge of your bow’s maximum range.
In the field, this works well if you are well seasoned and can remember which pin corresponds with which. However, for hunters with aging eyes or people who are prone to Buck fever multi-pin sights can lead to missed shots and wounded game. The simple fact is they are more complicated and harder to use than other types sights. Try and reduce the number of pins that you are using and try and never use the last pins on a multi-pin sight.
Chances are, with a six or eight pin sight you are going to be using way too much range to target even the largest of game and your arrow is not going to have enough energy once it reaches the target. Multi-pin sights are going the way of the dinosaur and fewer and fewer hunters are using them each year. They aren’t as practical in the field as you would expect.
Pendulum sights are a very specialized piece of equipment that you will only see in tree stands. This type of sight uses a pivoting mechanism to compensate for the angle of the tree stand and the game underneath. This is a huge help because when using a multi-pin sight, or even a fixed pin sight, you can misjudge the distance between you and the deer, and shoot over its back. A pendulum sight swings out the word to compensate for the angle and provide a consistent aiming reference.
These sights are great once you get used to them but are prone to breaking in the field because the mechanism isn't as strong as a non-moving design. The other problem is that many pendulum sights are unreliable when a spot and stalk hunting or when shooting from a ground blind. Make sure if you are going to be using a pendulum sight you only use it from a tree stand.
Single Fixed Pin Sight
Single pin fixed sights are coming back into fashion. The simplicity and ease of use that these sights offer cannot be overstated. With many common bows reaching faster and faster speeds a single pin may be utilized further out than on previous generation bows. Meaning that the entire effective range of your bow can be taken advantage of with just a single pin.
These bow sights are especially useful for people hunting in close brush, or areas where they don’t expect long shots. For a new hunter who may be intimidated by a multi-pin sight or youth hunter who is going to be hunting from a tree stand or ground blind, that is close to a game trail or base station single pin sights offer a huge advantage in simplicity and ruggedness that no others offer.
Movable sights are great for hunters who will be shooting at long-range. Anywhere from 200 yards can be dialed into a movable pin sight and hit easily. These are great for Western hunters who will be shooting game at extended ranges and for people who want to use their hunting set up for competition archery.
Essentially you have a mechanism that adjusts the elevation of the sight that you can predict the arc of the arrow out to the very edge of the bow’s ballistic range. These sights are great once you get used to them but are more expensive, bulkier, and have a steep learning curve when it comes to using them in the field.
Make sure you practice with your sight before you go into the woods, but no other sight offers as much adjustability and predictability than a movable pin sight.
The 6 Best Bow Sights Reviewed
Let's now take a closer look at the best bow sight's the market has to offer for each different style.
Best Bow Sight Overall. Our Number #1 Pick!
If you need the absolute best archery sight, looking forward to this model from Spot Hogg called the Tommy Hogg. It is a single pin movable sight that offers extreme precision .019” fiber-optic, and a full complement of measurements and movable axis to compensate for a shot.
If you need the utmost imprecision this is the best Spot Hogg sight to have. It has a single pin which is easy to focus on an extremely bright day, even in almost no light but is fully adjustable on the fly for when you know the given wind conditions and range of your target.
If there’s a downside to the sight, it's that it is huge and heavy. The robust quality and construction of the sight is an asset but it can be heavy after a long-range session or care through woods.
If you are going to be shooting at close range, like in heavy brush where white tales and hogs normally are, this might be overkill but if you’re a serious elk hunter out West that shooting to the edge of their bows extend the range, you might take full advantage of everything the sight has to offer.
The Best Multi Pin Bow Sight
With the problems of multi pin sights is the fact that your eye wants to jump between pin to pin. This company called IQ Bow Sights has created a system called retina lock that trained your eye to focus on each individual pin for greater accuracy while you're shooting.
This is a remarkable improvement over the traditional multi-pin sight. The fiber optics on the cyclo-extremely bright, brighter than any archer sight I’ve ever seen. That is especially useful when hunting during the early season when archery is most common because you can take advantage of the very last minutes of light when trying to bag a Buck sneaking into a food plot at the very edge of legal shooting hours.
For a new shooter looking for an effective bow sight, this is a great option. Having multiple pins allows you to predict the arc of your arrow through the brush, as well as being quite a bit simpler than an adjustable sight but having more capability than a single pin. These are a great compromise of features combined with the excellent retina lock technology exclusively from IQ bow sights.
Overall the build quality of this sight is phenomenal. There’s nothing to worry about when you buy one of these, they are excellent equipment for the price and perform exceptionally well in the field. Compared to other sights they have similar features in the fact that they have multi-pins, good elevation in windage adjustments, and are available in 3, 5, and 7 pins. They are exceptional sights that you can’t go wrong with using.
The Best Moveable Pin Sight
A movable pin sight is a sight that uses a pin set on a track that is adjustable for windage and elevation. This makes it possible for you to use the sight from very close, to very far shots and not have to use a holdover or guess at where your arrow is going to go.
Looking to the best way to employ a sight like this is where you’ll find out very quickly whether or not it’s a quality sight. The majority of hunters using this sight are going to be using it in a situation where they’ll need to go from shooting very close to very, very quickly. This is a great option because it has everything squared away from the mounting, to the adjustment knobs and the huge range of elevation you can select from.
Trophy Ridge makes an excellent quality sight, combining the proper designs that make the most of this sight’s .19” diameter fiber optic cables while making the sight lightweight and compact enough to not sacrifice infield performance to gain the extra movable sight capabilities.
The feature that sets it apart is how quickly you can move from a close in shot, to a long-distance shot setting. All things being equal, this sight is extremely fast and the best blend of quality, luxury, and functionality of the current crop of movable pin sights.
The Best Pendulum Bow Sight
This pendulum sight from Truglo is the best out there because it combines all the features you need while still being cost-effective and lightweight. If you want the simplest pendulum sight you can get your hands on, this is a great option. It is a single pin sight that let’s you use your sight as a pendulum, or as a fixed single pin.
This is great for hunters who will be hunting out of a tree stand but also occasionally hunt on the ground in a ground blind or in a spot and stalk. The option to lock the pendulum in place isn't available on every model but this low-cost option includes it which is a huge plus. Other amenities like a small .029 fiber-optic, illumination, and dual levels to make sure that your shot is on target make using this sight easy in the field under pressure.
The extra-long armored fiber-optic is wrapped around the enclosure of the aperture and blows extremely bright even at the edge of legal shooting light. Overall, it is extremely compact and lightweight but you shouldn’t have any durability problems despite the dainty look of the sight’s body.
This sight comes in cheaper than most every other sight but still allows for all the abilities of a pendulum or fixed pin sight, ends adjustable for both left and right-hand shooters. This is an excellent sight if you are looking to try out a pendulum or just getting started in archery and will be hunting mainly from tree stands.
The Best Trophy Ridge Bow Sight
Trophy Ridge is the largest manufacturer of bowhunting accessories. They make everything from high-quality bow sights to quivers and slings. This is their best Trophy Ridge branded bow sight that performs well in the field while not being too expensive or overburdening.
Trophy Ridge designs many products, many of which are also very expensive and very elaborate. This is not one of those products. This is a very easy to use archery sight that creates an effective way to see the target and focus on individual pins.
Most cheaper sights use bulky, hard to focus on fiber optics that are hard to use at range. Trophy Ridge uses an ultrabright and small .19” fiber optic that is wrapped around the housing to collect massive amounts of light and glow in the darkest of conditions.
With this sight you get all of the benefits of a multi-pin sight, reliable fixed operation and a way to predict the arc of your arrow while aiming, but you get none of the drawbacks. The 5 pin setup is easy to use and creates a sight picture that is very easy to hit with. The sight is larger than others, simply because a larger bell is needed to accommodate the greater number of pins, but it isn’t as heavy as it’s competition. The price is well worth the benefits and features you get with this sight.
Best Single Pin Bow Sight for Deer Hunting
This is a great single pin sight because it’s manufactured by the Austin Company Trophy Ridge and combines the simplicity of a single pin and the adjustability of a movable pin sight. It is a high-quality sight that uses tiny .019” exceptionally bright fiber optic for the sight picture.
A single pin sight is favorable because it simplifies the aiming process. Looking through a single pin sight is like shooting an aperture sight on a rifle. A clean and crisp sight picture that is easy to hit with, however, they don’t do well at long range. Here’s trophy ridge’s answer, and excellent adjustable single pin that keeps the simple and rugged design common to single pins, but adds in long range capability.
The greatest thing about this sight is the simplicity that brings all of the capability of multi-pin and adjustable sights. Under 50 yards and you can likely hold on the game itself, outside 50 yards just dial in the range with the huge adjustment range. Simplicity and ease of use, coupled with extreme accuracy and zero learning curve.
The best thing about this sight is the single pin. It makes it a dream to shoot at long range, especially combined with the pinpoint accuracy of the adjustments for windage and elevation. If you want a do it all sight that you can use from point black, out to 100 yards, with a single pin, this is the only answer.
If you are in the market for a new archery sight times have never been better. You have more options available to you than hunters have had ever before, and the competition is putting out excellent products for you to take advantage of. Make sure you scan through as many archery sight reviews that you can before you order equipment because the best sight out there might be something you hadn’t considered yet.
Once you commit to a sight, get out and use it! The best bow sight in the world isn’t going to do you any good if it sits on your bow tucked away in a closet.