Trying to find the best hunting bow sights for less than $100 is not nearly as hard as it used to be. In fact, our team found about 45 different bow sights that were remarkably affordable, and now we’re presenting our readers with the full run-down on the Top 8.
Bow hunting is a unique sport that requires a lot of patience and a lot of practice, which is perhaps why many hunters see it as the ultimate challenge. Increasing your shot’s accuracy and distance is most certainly a matter of dedication, but having a nice single or multi-pin bow sight certainly isn’t going to hurt. In fact, for anyone who already knows how to use a bow, a multi-pin sight can be the key to an immediate increase in yardage … something every hunter should be on the lookout for.
Without further fuss or ado, we present you with our Top 8 Bow Sights Under $100:
Editor’s Choice – Trophy Ridge Fixed Pin
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When it comes to visibility, you aren’t likely going to get anything better than the Trophy Ridge Fixed Pin bow scope. Both windage and elevation can be adjusted on-the-fly with an included tool. And the aluminum construction means that you aren’t going to experience this thing breaking down before its prime. The Trophy Ridge scope offers great accuracy over long distances, and a dependable precision adjustment system that performs like it belongs on a $300 scope, not a ~$60 scope.
In fact, this alone makes the Trophy Ridge one of the best deals on the page. The battery-powered fiber optics are great during the day and at sunset, but it can be hard to work with later at night. The twisting motion has to be just perfect in order to get the light to stay on … as opposed to the kind of haptic feedback clicking that we prefer with our scope lights.
Budget Pick – Trophy Ridge Joker
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The Joker is different from the Fixed pin in a couple of ways, the first being overall price. The Joker is one of the most affordable scopes in the Trophy Ridge line, and as such it is also one of their most popular. The reduced price is almost certainly the result of the plastic construction (versus the all-aluminum construction of Trophy Ridge’s fixed pin model that we reviewed above).
All in all, this scope is really easy to set up and mount, which makes it a great choice for beginners. The individual pins cannot be adjusted for windage, which is another significant drawback over a more advanced mode, but the beginner user is probably not even going to notice. A reversible mount design means that you can flip the scope around based on whether the user is right-handed or left-handed. Some user reviews have mentioned that the pins come a bit loose and have to be tightened down before use … though we cannot confirm this specifically as the model we looked at was quite solid.
Best Pendulum Sight Under 100$ – Truglo Ultimate Treestand
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Trying to decide which bow sights made the Top 8 was an endeavor that meant including all different kinds of sights, even the ones that we were not as personally familiar with. The TRUGLO Pendulum Ultimate Treestand Bow Sight works in both pendulum and “standard” settings, offering skilled bow hunters the choice between two very effective aiming styles. This one is well build from adjustable plastic and metal components … a good blend of lightness and durability. The TRUGLO is sold for just under one hundred bucks, which puts it on the more expensive side of things, especially for pendulum-style bow sights. We did notice a little bit of vibration on the pendulum when firing … something that we did not notice when firing from the standard setting. We tried to confirm this by cross referencing it with other user reviews to see if it was a common error, but we found nothing that suggested that this has happened to anyone else. Most likely it was just a one-time manufacturer’s issue. Fortunately, the TRUGLO customer service team is pretty on top of their game, and we don’t doubt that they would take care of any such inconsistencies with their bow sights.
Best A-Shaped Pin Bow Sight – Trophy Ridge Alpha Slide
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The Alpha Slide represents the newest innovation in Trophy Ridge’s award winning line of bow sights. With a new triangular shaped pin, the Alpha Slide can significantly increase shooting accuracy by giving a better sense of distance gauging while setting up your shot. It takes a few shots to get used to this pin formation, but once you do, the results are nothing short of agreeable.
The Alpha Slide is one of the only model on our list that does not offer the option of ambidextrous mounting; this is exclusively for right-handed bow hunters. However the detailed mounting system makes it possible to slap the Alpha Slide on even the most difficult bows… in fact, we don’t know of a single bow out there that wouldn’t work with the Alpha Slide. Our favorite part: a full-on aluminum frame that is guaranteed to stand up to years of abuse, in tandem with the V-shaped sight that might instantly increase your accuracy.
Best Target Visibility on a Bow Sight Under 100$ – Truglo Carbon Hybrid
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By now, perhaps we have made it clear that the TRUGLO series of bow sights tend to offer some of the best brightness in the industry, and there seem to be only a few exceptions to this rule. The Carbon Hybrid model actually has all the features and qualities that we love about Truglo sights, including aluminum construction, easy set up and break down, and an on-board adjustment tool for windage and elevation. The one thing that the Carbon Hybrid does differently is all about vibrational transfer.
The hybrid carbon construction allows the vibrations from the bow to be expertly dispersed back through the bow and not into the sight pin. This makes for a steady and reliable aiming process that is actually quite noticeable. But with all the things that make the Carbon Hybrid sight great, it doesn’t quite reach the level of performance needed for advance use. For this reason we can only recommend this sight to beginning users who will benefit from its steadiness but who don’t yet need accuracy past about 40 yards.
Best of the Rest – Truglo Carbon XS
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The Carbon XS can be thought of as the little brother to the Carbon Hybrid model that we looked at above. Not only is the XS also made by Truglo, but is has a lot of the same features and performance attributes as the Hybrid … it’s just a bit smaller. This also means that it is not going to have the same overall durability as larger, heavier sights … but users will appreciate the low-weight functionality as well as how stunningly easy it is go get this thing hooked up to your bow and ready for action. The micro adjustment knobs that we loved in the Hybrid model are not present here … which is another indicator that the XS is not the best option for serious bowhunters who need top-of-the-line equipment, but for the rest of us, the XS is the perfect affordable option that offers way more accuracy than it has any business offering. Multiple sizes and pin configurations are available, but the one we looked at was the smallest one: 3-pin, left-handed.
Best Bow Sight for Training – IQ Ultralite 5 Pin Bow Sight
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This is a pretty awesome sight for the money. The construction is hard plastic, but you would think that there was some aluminum in there. Either way, it’s very sturdy. The adjustment knobs are simple to use, though you do need your own set of miniature wrenches, and there is no place for on-board storage. All in all this is a pretty conventional sight from IQ, with the primary selling point being its overall weight. For a 3 pin bow sight this is pretty light at 5.6 ounces … which means that it isn’t going to throw the accuracy for anyone who is used to firing without a sight. The lack of a built-in lighting system puts the IQ Ultralite at a bit of a disadvantage over all the TRUGLO models that we looked at, but the innovative “IQ” system is why this managed to earn a spot at the top. It is very easy to tell if you are over-torqueing the bow, which in turn helps develop form and muscle memory. A great pick for anyone looking to improve their physical technique.
Best Bow Sight for All Skill Levels – IQ Bowsight Micro 3 or 5 Pin
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The IQ Bowsight Micro is a bit smaller than the ultralite, but of course, not quite as light. Still, it manages to be one of the most advanced multi-pin sights that is just as appropriate for the novice as it is for the expert. What we really like about the IQ Bowsight is that once you lock in with the retina, you are absolutely good to go. At this point, all you need to do is focus on lining up your pins and you are pretty much guaranteed a great shot every time. We admit that beginners might have to put in a bit more attention and effort to get the most out of the Bowsight, but it will be more than worth the effort as it brings poor technique quickly to the forefront.
How to Shop for a Bow Sight without Breaking $100 [Pro Guide]
If you’re gearing up for archery season and you have already spent most of your budget on replacing your bow, then there won’t be that much left over for the tools and accessories that you really need to up your hunting game. Fortunately, there are plenty of bow sights that you can snag for less than a hundred bucks, giving hunters a high-tech way to increase their accuracy and distance in an immediate way.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the top 7 bow sights under a bill, we’re going to share the information, factors, and considerations that came up while we were making our list. If none of the bow sights on our list are quite right for you, then you can use the following info to help find the perfect sight.
After the lecture, we’ll reveal our top pick for a hunting bow sight under $100.
Step One: Determine Your Needs: Hunting vs. Recreational
There’s a big difference between weekend target practice and an early-morning buck hunt, so choosing the right bow sight for you is all about taking the time to consider what kind of shooting you are going to be doing, then finding the model that has all the right features for the job.
One of the biggest considerations for hunters is how much durability they are going to need in their bow sight. If you are only looking to practice your accuracy and distance with a target, then you don’t need a fancy (or expensive) all-aluminum build … something made of plastic is going to do just fine. This is also likely true of “lighter” types of hunting, like turkey or pheasant hunting.
Long-haul hunts and extended wilderness activity will certainly necessitate something with a bit more durability and sturdiness. This is when you want something made entirely of metal, as plastic components are more likely to break and are not as good at performing at extremely low temperatures.
Fortunately it is very much possible to get a 100% aluminum bow sight for less than a hundred bucks. The Trophy Ridge Fixed Pin bow sight was the first item on our review, and offers a great deal considering the hearty construction.
Left or Right-Handed Bow Sights
Anyone who is even remotely new to bow hunting might not realize that not all scopes can me mounted for either left or right handed people. Most of the scopes on the market require the buyer to choose from either a left-handed model or a right-handed model.
In recent years, more ambidextrous have begun to hit the market. The Trophy Ridge Joker can be used in either mounting configuration, and has a host of other great features to go with it.
One of the primary drawbacks of ambidextrous bow sights is that they can be slightly less effective at dispersing shot vibrations, though we don’t have a ton of first hand evidence to back this up.
The Different Pin Styles
The different between single pin and multi-pin configurations is mostly a matter of personal preference. Many bow hunters prefer single pin sights because there is a clearer, more open view opposed to the cluttered feel of a multi-pin system.
However the drawback of the single pin is that needs to be manually adjusted for different yardages. This can be a bit of annoyance for hunters who are actively trailing an animal, for instance.
Multi-pin setups give the user the advantage of being able to choose for different yardages on-the-fly, while at full draw. This is clearly a big advantage in the wild, though some experienced hunters know how to use a single pin to estimate their shot.
Increasing your Shot Distance with a Bow Sight
Multi-pin bow sights are helpful for hunters and sportsmen who are looking to extend their shooting distance beyond the bow hunting standard of about 40 yards. Generally speaking, the more pins you have in your setup, the greater the distance that you are theoretically likely to achieve, though it is important to note that results vary.
In addition, a new or untrained bow hunter will not be able to simply buy an 8-pin sight and start blasting shots out to 60 yards. It takes a trained arm and trained eye for people to increase their distance this much, which is something that can only truly be attained with lots of practice.
Of course, the extra gadgets certainly don’t hurt.
Being able to properly see the pin and aiming mechanisms is obviously an important factor in nailing your shot. While many of the bow sights on our list (almost all of them) feature on board lighting, not all of them come with this feature.
Some of the less-expensive and ultralight models leave the light out altogether, requiring the user to purchase a separate lighting system, usually for about 20 bucks or so.
Conclusion: The Best Bow Sight Under $100
For our dollar, it doesn’t get much better than the Trophy Ridge Fixed Pin bow sight. The micro-adjustment capabilities of this bad boy are simply unmatched in the industry, and the fiber-optic lighting system is a delight to work with. Multiple pins makes this the ideal bow sight for the hunter who is truly beginning to realize their ability and potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
Multi-pin sights work by providing multiple yardage settings in a hard-fixed position. While the pins can still be removed and replaced, they do not require manual adjustment between shots in order to hit the desired yardage. Each hard-fixed pin represents a different ideal shot distance.
Multi-pin sights are a popular option among serious hunters who might be trailing an animal and needing to calculate different shots on-the-fly.
You can absolutely hunt with a single pin sight, but it does take some extra skill to master. Because single pin bow sights offer only one fixed range setting, the user has to manually move the pin to the required yardage before their next shot. Otherwise, they will have to count on their shot being the same distance every time. Obviously, this is not ideal for hunters in active trailing situations.
Some bow hunters have become quite skilled at using a single pin setup to estimate different yardages, but there is no arguing that a multi-in setup is the way to go for serious hunting.
If you are learning to use a bow sight, then there is no reason to get anything with more than a single pin. Once you have mastered the single-pin setup, then you will be in a better position to take advantages of the multiple yardages that are possible with a multi-pin setup.