Garmin Xero X1i Laser Ranging Crossbow Scope: First Look + Video
Lucas Cooney 11.10.20
If you have been following along with the products I’ve reviewed the past couple of years on the ArcheryTalk YouTube page, the one that probably stood out to me the most was the Garmin Xero A1i range finding bow sight. That sight was the first of its kind, and came loaded with technology the archery industry has never seen.
Now Garmin is jumping into the crossbow market with the brand new Xero X1i laser range finding crossbow scope, and a demo just showed up on my doorstep!
I have not had a chance to put this on a crossbow yet, as I’m currently waiting to get one in for testing, but I figured I could give you all a first look and go over some of the features and technology that immediately stood out to me.
First, this looks quite a bit different than a standard crossbow scope that comes in a package. It looks bulkier – and that definitely shows up in the weight. This is not light by any means. On my scale; it came in at 1 pound and 15 ounces.
Most of that weight can be attributed to the technology found inside the scope. However, I’m sure the waterproofing also added some ounces, as the Xero X1i is water rated to IPX7. That means that the scope can be submerged in water up to 39 inches (or 1 meter) deep for 30 minutes. That is obviously excessive, but I think I’d rather have Garmin go overboard with waterproofing than not go far enough.
Let’s talk a little about the technology tucked away inside the Garmin Xero X1i.
Much like the Xero A1i vertical bow sight, the X1i has a rangefinder built right in. According to Garmin literature, you can range game targets up to 250 yards away or reflective targets up to 500 yards away.
Ranging targets is very much the same as it is on the vertical bow site. You just aim at your target and press a button you will mount near your crossbow’s trigger. Once you let go of the button, your range is locked in and you are given a precise aim point.
The distance to your target will also be displayed on the screen – both the line of sight distance and the angle compensated distance.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of technology, at least for me, is called Steady Aim. You don’t have to turn this feature on, but if you do it helps shooters make sure they are lined up and holding the crossbow level before they shoot.
Steady aim will show you if you are rolling left or right or if you are just unsteady and shaking. The more unsteady you are, the larger the circle around your aiming point looks. I’m very interested in trying this out, as it looks like it would be a big help for new crossbow shooters.
The Garmin Xero X1i also has some other features worth touching on:
First is the Ambient Light Sensor Controlled Display. Sensors in the scope automatically detect and adjust the digital display in the scope depending on ambient light, so you should always be able to see the information on display.
Another interesting feature is called Laser Locate. For this you need a compatible Garmin device, but the idea is that it will estimate the bolt’s location at impact. So if you wait an hour or so after your shot or even overnight if it was suspect, the Laser Locate feature will tell you where the impact happened so you can start the tracking process.
Another carryover from Garmin’s vertical bow sight is the ability to have multiple arrow or bolt profiles. So you can switch over from 100 grain points to 150 grain points and still be dialed in.
It’s also worth talking about what you can see when you look through the scope.
Inside, there’s a compass reading at the top of the display that lets you know exactly which direction you are pointing. At the bottom of the display is a digital level, and on the left is a dial-like display that also shows your level in precise 1/10 degree increments. Very handy!
While you are determining your target’s distance, you also get an updating range distance and the angle to target measured in degrees.
I will have a full review of the Garmin Xero X1i crossbow scope in the coming weeks.
I haven’t tried Xero X1i out for myself just yet, but Garmin tells me the setup is a pretty simple process and you should be field ready in as little as 20 minutes.
Once the 20-yard aim point is set, the scope uses the crossbowbow’s speed and its own internal algorithms to provide the remaining aim points out to 80 yards. If you would like farther aim points, they can be calibrated to fit your specific desires.
And if you find the auto-calibrated aim points aren’t precise enough to your liking, you can set them up individually yourself. With the vertical bow sight, I manually tested and calibrated every 10 yards out to 80.
What Does It Cost?
So, now that we’ve looked over the features, you might be wondering what this costs. I’m not going to sugar coat it – this is priced like a premium product with an MSRP of $1399. Clearly, that price tag will not be for everybody, but for those of you that want the latest and greatest technology and are willing to pay for it, this is what it costs.