Garmin and Hoyt Collaborate on New Garmin Xero A1i Pro Bow Sight

“In August of this year, many from Hoyt’s engineering, sales and marketing teams began Beta testing the A1i Pro, and immediately concluded that … this is the sight they wanted to have on their bow.”

By Chad VanCamp, Garmin Xero senior product manager

As a company, we always strive to build the best possible products for each of the markets we serve. We value our customers and enjoy hearing their success stories using our products as they pursue their passions. And sometimes, if all the cards fall into place, we get the opportunity to turn a customer into a collaborator.

Garmin attended the Archery Trade Association tradeshow (commonly known as ATA) in January 2017 with a few distinct intentions. The first was to meet dealers and customers in the hunting market and educate them about the utility of our products for their hunting endeavors. The second point of business was related to a product we were developing at the time: the Xero® A1 auto-ranging bow sight[1]. We wanted to seek out archery collaborators that might appreciate the technology we could bring to the market.

With the product launch of Xero A1 still a year away, we weren’t ready to open the curtains for a peek backstage yet, but Hoyt took a leap of faith anyway. Throughout 2017, they supported Garmin with bows for testing and marketing needs and highlighted our Rino® two-way radios in their hunting exploits and marketing.

Fast forward to January 2018, when we took the ATA show by storm with the launch of Xero A1. Many within the archery community exclaimed, “This is the product we’ve been asking about for years!” While some remain skeptical of the sight’s abilities, many early adopters and those loyal customers we’ve picked up along the way have reaped the benefits of having the powerful ranging and aiming tech offered by Xero on their bow.

With a solid connection between Hoyt and Garmin, many at Hoyt began shooting and loving the Xero A1, and many at Garmin became big fans of Hoyt bows. Naturally, as any good engineer will tell you, both positive and negative feedback is appreciated in the endless pursuit to build better products. Flash forward to ATA 2020, where an impromptu brainstorming session started outside the Hoyt shooting lanes and later transitioned into a discussion about the evolution of archery. At that time, Hoyt was planning its In-line Sight Mount system for market introduction later that year, and Garmin was conceptualizing improvements to the Xero® A1i Pro mount design. At that moment, we realized we needed to come together to give archers the best shooting experience possible.

With the A1i Pro, we set out to incorporate all the feedback we got from our customers, our internal product development team’s wish list and suggestions provided by Hoyt. We also wanted to get feedback from top shooters to help validate our new design. The Hoyt design engineering team graciously accepted that task. Did Garmin achieve what we set out to do when we designed the Pro —would it be easy to set up, easy to fine-tune and elevate the shooting experience for customers of every skill level? Based on the feedback we received from the some of the industry’s best shooters and bow designers, we absolutely did.

In August of this year, many from Hoyt’s engineering, sales and marketing teams began Beta testing the A1i Pro and immediately concluded that with a few small software tweaks, this is the sight they wanted to have on their bow. Jeremy Eldredge, Hoyt’s director of marketing, said, “Two hours before I was about to leave for elk camp, our engineers brought this year’s bow prototype into my office. I knew with the Xero’s new AutoCal feature, I could have my setup quickly dialed before I had to leave. I have so much confidence in that sight.”

Zak Kurtzhals, Hoyt’s president, also fell in love with Xero and took it on his limited-entry elk hunt in Wyoming in early September. Kurtzhals said, “I had been chasing a big herd bull all day, and several times he had given me the slip. Finally, everything started to come together … I was about to get my opportunity. The bull entered my narrow shooting window. I drew backed, squeezed the range trigger and the pin for a 58-yard distance dropped into view. What a feeling! This Xero sight on a Hoyt bow is a truly beautiful thing.”

Hoyt has been a collaborator because they share our passion for not only archery, but also building long-lasting relationships. “Providing the very best customer experience to our collective customers is the top priority of both companies. When you build upon a rock-solid foundation like that, the sky’s the limit,” said Bryan Yalowitz, director of outdoor product strategy. “We look forward to what’s ahead with Hoyt and other partners we have in the archery industry.”

The Garmin Xero A1i PRO auto-ranging bow sight with additional Hoyt In-line Sight picatinny adapter (sold separately) will be available through your local Hoyt dealer in fall 2021. 

[1] Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of electronic bow sights for hunting. Always know and obey all state hunting regulations before using this device.