Truglo Carbon XS Xtreme Review
Below, we'll take a look at the Truglo Carbon XS Xtreme Bow Sight. It's the updated version of the Truglo Carbon XS, and it's got some neat advancements (and a few things are that so-so, and maybe even unnecessary). We'll start out with an overview, and then get down-and-dirty into the nitty-gritty.
SUMMARY: TRUGLO CARBON XS REVIEW
The Carbon XS Xtreme is, in our most humble of opinions, a really solid "just-the-basics" bow sight. It's not really anything too fancy, and it doesn't feature some of the "high-end" features you'll find on more "deluxe" models, but it's got everything we want to see on a bow sight: adjustable pins that are clear and numerous, a solid housing with a bubble level, and a perceptible-but-not-too-bright glow-in-the-dark ring, so you can align your peep sight and bow sight during a shot. All those features add up to a bow sight that can be great for low-light, early-morning hunts... and mid-day, bright light hunts!
It may not bowl you over with features, but the features included should be more than enough to help you aim, if you tune it properly and practice. Overall, we think it’s a great option for bow hunting, 3D archery, and target shooting.
Alright, now let's dive in and give you the details:
XS Xtreme Features: What We Like
The Truglo may not be the world's fanciest bow sight—and there are some *really* fancy bow sights out there—but it has all of the features we look for in a sight, and here are its stand-out features:
The Pro-Brite Pin Tech is Designed to Make the Pins Very Easy to See
This is, perhaps, the most important aspect of any bow sight, and certainly any bow sight you'll use in a bowhunting situation: the pins themselves are articulated and bright, making them great for early-morning, low-light situations. The Carbon XS Xtreme features Truglo's Pro-Brite pins, designed to help you focus on targets near and far.
If you take a close look, you can see the design decisions that Truglo made when making the pins: the pins are wide at their base (so they can be sturdy—even though they're inside the bow sight's housing ring, they get knocked around, so that extra heft at the base is a good thing), and then they narrow down at the pin's end, where they light up in different colors. The top and bottom pins are green, the center pin is yellow, and the two pins between the top and bottom and the center pin are red. That color scheme is a nice touch, because there are plenty of lower-tier bow sights that feature pins that are all the same color, and that can be disorienting, especially in low-light situations.
So "pin clarity" is a great feature, and part of the reason the pins are so easy to see is because...
The Long Tru-Flo Fibers Maximize Light in the Pins
If you look at the actual sight itself, you'll see that the fibers are actually really long. They travel all the way from the base of the sight, where it attaches to your riser, allllll the way to the sight housing. The length of the XS Xtreme bow sight is actually longer than its previous iterations, and that's by design—it helps better illuminate the pins in the sight housing.
But that's one of those "Huh?" features—you hear about it, and you're not really sure why it's a big deal.
As Bowhunting.com explains, one of the fascinating aspects of fiber optic chords and cables is that they gather light, and when you increase the amount of fiber optic material (that is, when you make it longer), that fiber optic cable is allowed to gather and concentrate more light.
So, more material is better, because it allows the fiber optic pins in the bow sight itself to shine bright, which is definitely helpful in early-morning, low-light situations (and you'll find that on a lot of bow sights that don't perform so well in low-light situations, the problem is that the fibers aren't long enough).
The XS is Very Lightweight
We have a lot of readers who are deep into the ultra-light gear movement, and we think that's wise. It takes a lot more planning, and people tend to get a bit obsessed with weight to the point of no longer enjoying the hunt, but it IS important.
With that in mind, the Carbon XS Xtreme is pretty light—at 4.2 ounces, it's on the lighter side of things (although there are, of course, far lighter bow sights out there, most in the "high-end / fancy-pants" category).
Keep in mind, that 4.2 ounces of weight can add some front-end weight to your bow, which isn't a bad thing, but you want to make sure the bow sight is working in tandem with your stabilizer, to make sure you're not overdoing it / getting your weight alignment out of wack.
Next up in our Truglo Carbon XS Review, an important feature that's often mis-interpreted:
It's Got 5 Pins, Which Makes It Good for Distance Shooting
It's not hard to find a higher-end bow sight that features 5 pins, but it can be hard to find a mid-range bow sight that features 5 pins, and that makes this a nice design. Very often, it's only the super-fancy bow sights that feature more than 3 pins, so this can be nice model for budget-minded folks who need to shoot at far-off targets.
Keep in mind, "more pins" doesn't necessarily mean "better,” and there plenty of folks who get along just fine with a single pin sight (like the HHA Optimizer Lite). It just means it's better for shooting at targets a far ways off. People assume that the number of pins is a selling point, and that a bow sight with more pins is better than a bow sight with fewer pins, but that's not really the case. In fact, there are plenty of situations where a higher number of pins is a bad thing. The most common situation where too many pins is a bad thing is when most of your game hunting is done at close range, and you don't need pins for far-off targets, and all those extra pins get in the way. This is actually really common for a lot of East Coast bow hunters, who are shooting in dense forest, and most of their targets are within 30 or 35 yards.
The Bow Sight Itself Has a Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Around It
This is a pretty simple feature, but it's very useful: the housing of the site is ringed with a glow-in-the-dark strip of material designed to allow you to align your peep sight and your bow sight.
You might say to yourself, "Well, what do I need that glow-in-the-dark ring for, when the pins themselves are illuminated?" That makes sense, but in a low-light situation, it can be difficult to line up your peep sight with the bow sight's housing, so that glow-in-the-dark ring can actually be really helpful.
Suitable for Righties and Lefties
Very often, we have to be the bearer of bad news to our left-handed brothers and sisters, and inform them that the product we're reviewing is not available in left-handed versions.
That's not the case here, though! Welcome to the party, lefties. The Truglo Carbon XS Xtreme features a reversible bracket, so you can re-orient the sight to the other side of the riser.
It Features "Tru Touch" Coating...
...which is very smooth. We're not sure why that's a big deal, but it's something we've seen on all the merchandising copy for the XS Xtreme, so we thought we'd mention it. It may be including to inhibit the bow sight from chipping or cracking—and it is noteworthy that we've never seen a Truglo bow sight chip or crack—but we're not sure.
Alright, before we wrap up and jump into the aspects of the bow sight that are so-so, here's a promo video from Truglo outlining aspects of the model:
Is the Carbon XS Perfect? Nope!
And here are some complaints about it. Keep in mind, for a mid-range bow sight, it's got a lot of great features and with proper practice, you can use it harvest a lot of game, and it can be a great option for a loooot of people—but at the end of the day it's not a deluxe bow sight, so here are some things you need to keep in mind:
It's Not the Most Durable Sight We've Seen
Honestly, it's really hard to make a bow sight with pins! You need to make the pins as thin as possible so you can put the pin on your target... while at the same time making them rugged enough for a bowhunter to carry through the woods. That's a tall order, and while the Carbon XS Xtreme is pretty sturdy—and the housing provides a lot of protection—it's not the sturdiest thing we've ever seen.
Chances are very strong that if you're shooting from a tree stand or a ground blind, you won't run into any problems, and even for those "traipsing through the woods" bowhunters should be fine. But if you really like to get down into the muck and mire and your bow gets really banged up, you may want to consider a bow sight that's a little more protected.
Can Be Tricky for Lefties to Reverse the Model…
But what else is new. Left-handed folks have to figure out how to re-orient just about every piece of equipment you'll find on a compound bow, and this is like all the rest: a little complicated. It's not impossible, but you lefties will have to figure things out—as you guys always seem to do!
Doesn't Feature Micro Adjustment Measurement Lines
This, perhaps, is the biggest knock against this particular model—you'll have to eyeball it, and you're going to have to do a lot of testing to make sure your pins are in the right place for you to make accurate shots.
In fairness to the XS Xtreme, though, you're not going to find micro adjustment lines on a bow sight in this range. It's one of those features you'll usually only find on higher-end, more "deluxe" models. Including micro adjustment lines requires a lot of precise manufacturing, and it's not something you usually see on a bow sight like the XS.
Again, it's absolutely do-able to tune this bow sight and shoot accurately, but it'll take a little more effort to tune it to your liking (and honestly, for many of us, that's a pleasure).
It's Designed in Pink Camo
Great for the range, but not great for the hunt. If you're hoping to put the Truglo XS Xtreme on your bow and head out to the woods, we'd recommend skipping the bright pink version, and opt instead for the black or camo version.
Wrapping Up the Carbon XS
Alright! That's it for our Truglo Carbon XS review. We really like this product because of its simplicity—there are so many pieces of archery equipment that have a LOT of bells and whistles, and you don't really need of all them. Bow sights are, without a doubt, one of those types of equipment, and we'll be honest: some of those bells and whistles are really cool. But you don't *need* them. You just need the tool to do its job.
And we think the Truglo Carbon XS Xtreme is designed to do its job: it features 5 clearly-outlined pins, it's highly adjustable and reasonably sturdy, and it can be a great option for low-light (and full-light) bowhunting and 3-D archery jaunts. If you hate tuning your gear, you may want to look at a more "deluxe" option that features micro adjustment lines, but for everybody else, we think this can be a great option.
Alright, that's it from us. Good luck, be good, and rock on!