Choosing the best compound bow for the money out of the hundreds of options available today, may seem confusing. With so much misleading industry jargon, it can be overwhelming trying to find sensible, straightforward information that allows a shopper to find the top choice based on simple facts rather than puffed-up language.
We, at Pickabow, are aware of that fact, so we decided to smoothen that burdensome process for you. Whether you are a professional archer, a beginner, a woman or just a parent who wants his child to learn the ins and outs of archery, you will greatly benefit from our compound bow reviews which will guide you in making the right choice.
- 1. Sas Rage Compound Bow
- 2. Leader Accessories Compound Bow
- 3. Gen-X Bow
- 4. Predator Archery RAPTOR Compound Kit
- 5. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro
- 6. Bear Archery Cruzer G2
- 7. Escalade Sports Bear Archery Species RTH
- How to Choose The Best Compound Bow
- Compound Bow Parts and Terminology (to make the most out of our bow reviews)
- Best Compound Bow Guide Summary
Despite the usual practice these days, we decided against reviewing only the higher priced bows. Not everyone can or want to spend 600+ dollars for his hobby. So we want to make sure that we provide a solution for both those looking for value and those that simply want the best, no matter the cost. So we try to have an option for every budget whether you have $200, $300, $400 or $500+ dollars to spend.
Cheap doesn’t always mean low quality
Southland Archery’s Rage is the right choice for those shooters who want to develop their talent without spending a fortune. The durability and high quality of this compound bow make it the perfect gear for harnessing your archery skills. Don’t let its price fool you. In our opinion it gives you way more than you would expect from an entry level bow. The materials used for this bow are of a great quality and it accepts all standard parts and upgrades.
Speaking of upgrades, the bow sight and arrow rest that come with this bow could be better and you may consider purchasing an archery upgrade kit in the future, but for this price you can’t really complain. This bow is an excellent bargain and while it may not be a PSE or Martin bow it offers a good overall experience for those on a budget. If you can’t spend more, don’t give it a second thought. The SAS Rage is money well spent. Read our full review
What we liked:
- The quality of its materials
- The really low price
What we didn’t like:
- The quality of the bow sight and the arrow rest
Best beginner compound bow for youth and female
Do you have a kid who is old enough to hold a bow? Or is your spouse interested in joining you on the hunting grounds? The solution offered here is the Leader Accessories Compound Bow, a bow that is made with the needs and wants of a beginner in mind. While the price is more than adequate for a model intended for novice shooters, expect superior quality to many other models on the market. You’ll be surprised to learn that this model offers extensive features and extra performance when compared with costlier options you can find available at vendors everywhere. What is equally important, this model is sold together with a comprehensive kit that allows you to enhance its usability, as well as your performance on the field.
As it comes fully assembled, there’s no need for you to fiddle with it and invest any guessing work in what goes where. Overall, the bow is well made, and you will appreciate its sturdiness. Compact in size, especially when compared to other similar models in the same draw weight range, it is a good option for people who are shorter in height. Young teenagers and female shooters will find it more comfortable to use than others, for this reason only. The dual cam system used increases smoothness and accuracy when you shoot, which is a must in any shooter’s book, even a beginner. All in all, seeing that it comes along with so many accessories, this is an excellent bow you should consider for the younger hunters in your family or your spouse. Read the full review
What we liked:
- Well-made construction
- Ready to use out of the package
What we didn’t like:
- The overall quality of the accessories
For target shooting and more
The first thing anyone may notice right from the start about this model is its lightweight design. However, you should not let appearances fool you. You can adjust the draw weight of this bow so that it obeys you in any circumstances, and also for accommodating different shooters. The manufacturer employs excellent power on this bow, which means that you can successfully use it for hunting. And, while other hunting bows on the market may be too difficult to use by someone who has never tried bow hunting, this model is capable of adjusting to any type of user.
Comfortable to use, it is ideal for anyone who wants to take up archery as a hobby, or just desires to get into bow hunting. The versatility offered is quite outstanding for the price, and you won’t find one thing to reproach, regarding this particular aspect. Another thing that you will surely love about this model is that all its components are made in the US and from durable materials. Adding speed to your shots is what this bow does best, which is why it is considered a good start for bow hunters. Another thing that adds to its versatility is its ability to cover draw lengths between 21” and 30”. If you are thinking about investing in a bow that will serve you for a long time, this one is an absolute must-have. Read full Review
What we liked:
- High-quality construction
- Easy to adjust draw weight
What we didn’t like:
- No arrow rest is included
A complete kit for all your needs
Made by an American brand with an excellent reputation, the RAPTOR Compound Kit is everything you would expect in a complete kit and more. All the components it uses are made in the US, and just a look at all the benefits offered will tell you this is the right compound bow for you. With adjustable draw length and weight, it is the type of compound bow that will adjust to your needs and capabilities as a shooter. Also, because you get all the needed accessories in the same package, there is no need for you to spend extra after purchasing this kit. You will get a 5 pin sight that comes with light and level for additional accuracy, a whisker biscuit style rest, as well as a stabilizer.
The peep sight is pre-installed on the bow, so there’s no need for complicated assembly. The only things that remain for you to purchase are the arrows, as, otherwise, you are set for a new adventure. Whether you want to use this compound bow for hunting, fishing, or just practice, you will find that it covers all the bases and, even more, it can assist you in honing your skills since it comes along with all these handy accessories. 75% of the weight is let off, which means that you need to use less strength than usual to draw the weight. This aspect makes it a versatile option for people who want to share the bow with other members of the family. Read Full Review
What we liked:
- Competitive accessories ready to use
- Good quality components made in the US
What we didn’t like:
- Its factory tuning
- Loose cable guard
For any shooter out there – novice or experienced
A lot of compound bows on the market are advertised as versatile, but to know what that truly means, you need to try the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge. Young shooters who have never touched a bow in their lives, as well as seasoned hunters, will find this model to be all they need to achieve their goals, hone their skills, or learn how to use this type of weapon at the target court or in the field. In case you prefer the high quality of products made in the US, you will be happy to learn that this model is manufactured and assembled in your backyard, so to speak, and not overseas. While we started this presentation by talking more about the bow itself, we need to mention that this one comes with a plethora of accessories that you will find useful.
For a young archer, the fact that the bow is sold with the needed accessories is a great plus. You won’t have to purchase the extras separately so that you will save up some cash. Also, they are made to work with this particular bow, which means that you won’t experience the usual glitches that come with trying to match accessories with your bow. You get a peep sight, a stabilizer, an arrow rest, and even a quiver, among other things, which is more than what you usually see in models that are more expensive than this one. This bow is a good idea for hunters, and it is more than just for target practice, so, by all means, it is considered a solid choice for any situations where a bow and arrows can be used. Read full review
What we liked:
- The amazing versatility
- The plethora of accessories offered
- Its flexible use for hunting
What we didn’t like:
- Peep sight doesn’t come installed
Superior versatility at an afforable price
You can hardly find a compound bow that is as versatile as the model we review here. Created to adapt to the needs and wants of any shooter, regardless of skill level and age, the Bear Archery Cruzer G2 is the kind of compound bow that you cannot go wrong with. It can be used for hunting, which is always an incredible plus, and it also comes with excellent accessories that will make any hunter’s life easier. Its fantastic adjustability is, however, the number one reason why this compound bow receives so many positive reviews. Whether you want to purchase it for an adult, or for a teenager who wants to take up archery, you will encounter no troubles if you choose this bow from the many models available.
Compared to other models on the market, it is lightweight. Weighing just 3 pounds, this bow does more than what it seems it can do. The maximum velocity is 315 feet per second, so superior performance is expected. Another great thing that you will probably love about it is that you do not have to use a bow press to change the draw press. An Allen wrench is all you need to adjust your bow. Excellent balance contributes to the high performance of this bow, and the entire construction adds to the overall appeal. Adaptable to the shooter, it will not require you to struggle to get in touch with your hunting weapon. For this reason, you will inevitably fall in love with it and decide to use it for years to come. Read full review
What we liked:
- Its fantastic versatility
- Lightweight construction
- Superior velocity
What we didn’t like:
- Its factory tuning
Best compound bow for hunting enthusiasts
While there are plenty of compound bows out there that cater to a wide variety of shooters and are a good idea for target practice, as well as for the field, the Bear Archery Species RTH is the type of gear that sits opposite to that. This is a specialized bow, not a one-size-fits-all kind of weapon, and it is much appreciated by hunters who know what they are doing. Compared to other models on the market, it may be considered a bit more expensive, but seeing that it is more dedicated to a specific purpose, it is still decently priced. It is a ‘ready to hunt’ model that will help the novice bow hunter get the hang of this exciting activity.
As it comes along with a wide range of accessories, this model deserves the recommendation. There’s no need for you to go looking for extras when all you need is neatly packed with the compound bow you are going to use on your next hunting trip. Its velocity is superior to other models on the market, and that will help the first-time bowhunter achieve excellent results within a short time. At the same time, seasoned hunters will appreciate its ease of use that will help them achieve even more accuracy. Bear in mind that it is a right-handed model, so you will not find it in other versions. Read Full Review
What we liked:
- The complete package of accessories provided
- The high velocity
- Solid construction
What we didn’t like:
- Some cheap components, like the cable slide
How to Choose The Best Compound Bow
When you take on a new sport, you also find in yourself a new fangled excitement. This excitement is what fuels your passion and more often than not takes you to the peak of your chosen field. However, there are times when passion tends to over-ride reason and that’s when one must be careful. Take for example the field of archery.
A relatively new archer will want to shoot all day long and use a bow that he sees the top archers using. While this is great in terms of achieving your dreams, it does not work out practically. If you are a novice in archery then chances are that you have been using a recurve bow. These are good and are also the only ones allowed in the Olympics right now. However, depending on your purpose, there are a lot of types you can choose from. If you are to choose a compound, then there are certain aspects you will have to keep in mind in order to choose the best bow possible.
There are a lot of different variations, many different models, different cam set ups, axel to axel, etcetera, etcetera. It can all get real confusing real quick. So this article and website is especially for the new archers who are currently in the market looking for a new bow. We want to give you a general idea of what all that information means.
What’s the hurry?
Buying your first bow is no small affair. Take your time, survey the market, read some bow reviews and see what is on offer. Talk to experts from various archery clubs and get their opinions of the type that will best suit you. Join a club and take a few lessons. Try out a variety of bows under supervision and base your decision on what you feel comfortable with.
The left and right of things:
It is an assumption that if you are right handed you will need a right hand bow and vice versa. Well! The thought is false. Get assessed by your coach and let him determine the kind of bow you will require. Some right-handers will need a left-handed while some will need a righ-handed. Also remember that it is mandatory that you are in good form. Being able to shoot accurately largely depends on how fit you are.
What’s your purpose?
Before you set out to buy a bow, ascertain what you want to use it for. Is it for target practice at a range or will you want to go hunting with it? Once you decide on this, there are further considerations that you will have to make. Are you comfortable using an archery release or your finger to draw the bow? What is the draw length you can withstand? What is the best arrow rest for you? What is the best bow sight you can get?
Your choice will also depend on the type of cam that you require. A lot of the bows on the market now are duel cams, two cam systems, a hybrid cam, a cam and a half or a binary cam. These cams basically are two cam systems that are designed to stay in time.
A cam allows you to draw your bow steadily and release it multiple times without feeling too much of a strain. A soft cam however will have you sacrificing on power whereas an aggressive cam is excellent for hunting.
You might also want to look at compound bows with a single cam.
Its advantages are that it does not allow for uneven wearing out as is possible with dual cams. Tuning dual cams can be tedious and this process is eliminated in a single cam. They are also much quieter and can make your bow ideal for hunting.
As you can see, finding the right compound bow heavily depends on your personal preferences.
When choosing, there are some specifications you will have to keep in mind in terms of the length and draw weight. The longer your bow, the more accurate your shot will be and this is great for target practice. A shorter one will be great for hunters. If you are a beginner then choose one between 38 to 44 inches.
- Draw Length – The draw length of a compound bow is the length that the bowstring can be pulled back. When considering draw length in a bow, it is important for a person to be aware of their own size and how it relates to draw length. Most people have an arm span equal to the height of their body. Before purchasing a compound long bow, one needs to know their arm span measurement. This number should then be divided by 2.5 so a person can choose the right compound bow draw length so they can accurately shoot. Too much draw length = poor shooting accuracy while too little may decrease speed and power.
- Draw Weight – The draw weight is the amount of weight that is needed to draw the bow to its fully drawn position. When choosing draw weight for the best bow, it behooves a person to research carefully and choose the draw weight based on their own personal comfort and the reason they are using their compound bow. Though many people want to reach for the highest draw weight they can, this is not always the best choice. If a bow requires too much strength to pull back, you are going to grow fatigued more quickly which means you will end up practicing less and not enjoying shooting your bow as much as you could if you would simply choose a bow that is more comfortable and expends no more than 75% of your energy with each draw.
For more info about picking the best compound bow for you check our ultimate guide:
Compound Bow Parts and Terminology (to make the most out of our bow reviews)
Before you run out and buy a compound bow, it is important to understand the various parts and terminology used. Once you understand how these parts and terms apply to the bow, you will find it easier to choose the right one for you.
Archery shooting form
This refers to the way you stand and grip the bow, along with the position of your arm and how you execute your shot. Having the proper shooting form will make it easier for you to deliver consistently accurate shots.
Sometimes referred to as a bolt, arrows can be constructed from carbon, aluminum or a combination of the two materials. Most archers prefer carbon arrows due to its durability and ability to fly straight.
This small piece is generally located on the riser, and it provides a place for the arrow to rest until it is released from the bow. Arrow rests can be stationary or automatically drop down once the arrow is shot, and the right one for you will usually depend on your budget and personal preference.
This convenient shelf is also found on the riser, and it is designed to hold the arrow steady through all stages of the draw and release. An arrow shelf can also protect your hand from painful injuries.
Axle to axle measurement
Also referred to as the “ATA” this is the measurement from the top cam on the bow to the one located at the bottom.
This is a type of technique that is commonly used to make efficient shots, and involves tight the back muscles when the arrow is released.
You can find this small hole on the riser and it is used to screw the arrow rest tightly in place.
A bow string is simply the string that is on the compound bow, and is drawn back and released when you are ready to take a shot. The type of cam system on the compound bow will determine how the bow is strung.
If you want to find the brace height simply measure the compound bow from the bottom of the grip to the string. Shorter brace heights are capable of more speed and power, but can be difficult for beginners to maneuver and control. Longer brace heights are often recommended for target shooting, while shorter ones are ideal for use in tree stands or crowded hunting blinds.
The cutting head on an arrow is the “broadhead” and it is usually constructed from sharp stainless steel. Broadheads typically come in weights of 75, 85, 100 and 125 grain so you can choose the one that best suits your intended target. It should be noted that broadheads are not always recommended for use with all bag targets.
You can find the cables on a compound bow running from one cam to the other, and it helps ensure each shot is properly executed on the release.
Cams are typically one of the most noticeable aspects of a compound bow. Cams are the two wheels that are found on either side of the weapon. Cams help to control the pulley action that occurs when the archer pulls back on the strings to shoot an arrow. There are three types of cams that can be found in today’s models.
- Soft cams allow a shooter to pull back on the strings of the bow with much less effort than other types of cams. A soft cam helps to prevent the fatigue that can often occur with other cam types so an archer is much more accurate, especially when firing multiple shots. Though a soft cam allows for drawing without much effort, power and speed are typically sacrificed. A soft cam is typically found in the beginner models.
- Aggressive cams (also referred to as hard cams) provide extreme power over soft cams. Though they take more effort, they are recommended for their superiority in power and speed which make them perfect for hunting so they can properly pierce the target and take it down.
- Single cam compound bows only have one came instead of the traditional two. These bows are typically able to keep their structural integrity for a longer period of time over double cam models. Single cam bows typically require less maintenance over their lifespan than double cam models. Though these models are quieter than double cam models, but they are generally less accurate
The draw weight is refers to the amount of force you need to draw the string fully back, and it is usually listed in pounds.
Commonly known as “practice tips”, field points are often used during target practice. The metal points easily attach to the arrow and can be found in varying grain weights.
Fletchings or Vanes
These are common terms used to describe the feathers or plastic vanes that are attached to the end of the arrow. It is used to help steer and correct the arrow’s trajectory during flight, and the size will affect the arrow’s speed. Larger fletchings are typically used for bird hunting, while smaller vanes will give you the speed you need to accurately hit large and small game animals.
FPS or feet per second is the term used to rate the speed and distance of the arrow when it is released from the bow.
The weight of the arrow is measured in grains.
This can be especially helpful with heavier draw weights. The “let off” will reduce some of the weight necessary to fully draw the bow back.
Limbs are the two flexible arms that reach from the bow’s central mount to the cams. Compound bow limbs are meant to be rigid instead of flexible like in recurve bows. There are two varieties of limbs: standard and split. There is a great debate between archers on which one is better. Both offer their own pros and cons so it basically boils down to preference when it comes to choosing the type of limb on a compound bow.
- Standard Limbs (also known as solid limbs) are made from a single piece of material and are considered to be stiffer than a split limb model.
- Split Limbs are either made from two distinct pieces or one piece is divided. These limbs are considered lighter than standard limbs. Many archers believe split limbs produce less recoil and are quieter in operation.
There are also two other factors to consider when deciding on the limb. The materials and the angle are both crucial to how the bow performs.
- The material the limb is made of is crucial for its operation since all of the energy is stored in the limb. The industry standard material for limbs is carbon/fiberglass composite which is used because of its ability to offer high tensile and compressive force. Carbon and fiberglass composite materials offer superior strength that is recommended in all types of compound bows.
- You also need to consider the limb angle when purchasing a bow. The angle affects how straight the shot will be and how much recoil the archer will feel. Many compound bows are labeled as “parallel limb” because the limbs reach a ninety degree angle against the riser when drawn. While this type of limb offers a quiet fire, it can add to the overall weight of the compound bow.
The release is a device that is attached or held in the hand used to draw and fire the bow to help relieve some of the tension. Most use a trigger that will release the bowstring, but there are also other types available.
Nock and Nocking point
A small insert at the end of the arrow is the nock, and the nocking point is where it is attached on the bow string before it is fired.
If you need a convenient way to carry your arrows you might want to look for a quiver. Some are permanently attached while others can be removed for easy storage when not in use. The size of the quiver can vary, along with the materials used in construction.
This convenient device generally uses a laser to accurately measure distances which makes it easier to hit targets farther away. So, which rangefinder is best for hunting?
Risers are important for how the bow operates and how it feels when being shot. The riser determines the brace height and the axle to axle length. The riser also plays an important role in the bow’s speed and accuracy. There are three basic types of risers to choose from when purchasing from among the best bow brands.
- Deflex Risers – In a deflex riser model, the arrow rest is placed in front of the limb pockets for a more traditional bow appearance. This type is typically considered the easiest to shoot, but provides the least amount of speed and power over other types of risers.
- Inline Risers – Inline riser bows feature an arrow rest that is in line with the limb pockets for a straighter appearance. Compound bows with inline risers are generally more difficult to shoot, but offer greater power and speed over deflex riser models.
- Reflex Risers – With a reflex riser bow, the arrow rest is placed behind the limb pockets. Reflex risers provide the greatest level of speed and distance, but are often considered the most challenging to shoot of all three riser types.
When the string is released it can vibrate and make a noise, which is why many archers recommend using a silencing aid when you are hunting with a compound bow.
Best Compound Bow Guide Summary
Before you make your purchase make sure you do your due diligence. Once you have all these considerations in place, you are almost ready to choose what’s best for you. Now you can check the compound bow reviews on our site knowing what to look for. You may also want to look into additional accessories that will aid you.
Your thorough research will help you to make an educated and informed decision.