If you’re in the market for a compound bow, 2023 promises to be an exciting year with many new options. Compound bow technology and design continue to advance rapidly, with bows becoming more lightweight, compact, adjustable, and high-performing than ever before. Whether you’re an experienced archer looking to upgrade your equipment or a beginner ready to invest in your first serious bow, it can be challenging to determine the best compound bows for your needs. There are many factors to consider, including speed, draw weight, brace height, axle length, and more.
What is A Compound Bow?
A compound bow uses a levering system of cables and pulleys to bend the limbs of the bow. This allows the bow to store more energy and deliver arrows with greater speed and force than a traditional bow. The pulley system also makes it easier to hold the bow at full draw, as the peak weight is at the middle of the draw, not at the end. This means you don’t have to strain as much to keep the bow steady while aiming.
Compound bows were first developed in the 1960s and have since become the most popular type of bow for hunting and target shooting. The additional power and accuracy of compound bows allow for tighter groupings and greater success in taking down game animals. The pulley system also provides a “let-off” at the end of the draw, reducing the holding weight by up to 80% and making it easier to keep the bow steady while aiming.
List of the Best Compound Bows
Check out the thorough reviews of the best compound bows below.
With an adjustable axle-to-axle length of 30 inches and weighing only 3.6 lbs, the Raptor Compound Bow Kit can be customized to draw lengths ranging from 24.5 to 31 inches and draw weights of 30 to 70 lbs without the need of a bow press.
The Raptor Compound Bow features high-quality machined aluminum cams and modules, with zero plastic parts. Its compound design provides 75% let-off and utilizes a split yoke tuning system for precise arrow flight. Additionally, capable of speeds up to 315 feet per second, this compound bow is suitable for hunting, target practice, and more.
The PANDARUS Compound Bow is a high-performance entry-level bow with an adjustable draw weight of 0 to 70 lbs, allowing beginner to intermediate archers to comfortably build up poundage as their skills improve. With a 31-inch axle-to-axle length and 7.3-inch brace height, this compound bow provides a stable shooting platform for accurate and consistent arrow flight up to 320 feet per second IBO speed.
The bow’s 100% CNC-machined cams and modules paired with a 6061 T6 aluminum riser provide a robust while nimble build quality. Besides, fully adjustable from 19.25 to 31 inches, the draw length can be customized to each archer in a matter of minutes without the need for a bow press.
Handcrafted in the USA, the Creative XP Compound Bow features a 30-70 lbs draw weight, 23.5 to 30.5 inch draw length, 32 inch axle-to-axle length, and 7.4 inch brace height for adjustable versatility and 320 feet per second speed.
The aluminum cams and modules provide maximum durability and power in every shot for consistent accuracy and effectiveness. Therefore, compact and agile, this compound bow is ready to shoot out of the box with no tuning required, ideal for beginners and experts alike.
The TOPOINT ARCHERY M2 Junior Compound Bow Set is an ideal introductory bow for youth and beginner archers. With an Inferential Ballistic Optimization (IBO) speed rating of up to 290 feet per second from a 25-inch axle-to-axle platform and weighing only 2.54 lbs, this lightweight bow generates substantial power and velocity in a compact build. Moreover, the compound bow features a 75% let-off and adjustable draw weight from 10 to 40 lbs without the need of a bow press, accommodating a wide range of archers.
An adjustable draw length from 17 to 27 inches and brace height of 6.8 inches provides a customizable, comfortable fit. Noise and vibration are minimized through a lightweight bow stabilizer and string stoppers.
With an axle-to-axle length of 30 inches and brace height of 6.6 inches, the Sanlida Archery Dragon X8 compound bow can propel arrows at up to 310 feet per second. The Dragon X8 features a robust design with 6061 T6 aluminum riser and limbs made in the USA and BCY-X bowstring and cables for durability.
This ready-to-hunt package includes a 5-pin sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, wrist sling, peep sight, a dozen arrows, quiver, release aid, puller, stand and case. The Dragon X8 compound bow has an adjustable 18 to 31-inch draw length and 0 to 70 lbs draw weight, allowing the bow to be customized as archers improve, without needing a bow press.
With an axle-to-axle length of 31 inches and speeds up to 275 feet per second, the Southland Archery compound bow provides a stable yet nimble shooting platform to improve accuracy and technique.
The bow’s 70 lbs draw weight, 7.5-inch brace height, and 75 to 80% let-off allows for a comfortable full draw and steady aim. Its adjustable 25 to 31-inch draw length ensures proper fit for archers of many arm lengths.
The Bear Archery Royale RTH Compound Bow is an extremely versatile yet lightweight compound bow designed for hunters of all skill levels. With an adjustable draw length between 12 to 27 inches and peak draw weights from 5 to 50 lbs, this compound bow can be tailored to suit the body of any archer and provides significant power in a compact package.
Weighing only 2.7 lbs for the bow alone and 3.3 lbs fully equipped with accessories, the Bear Archery compound bow is easy to handle and maneuver. It launches arrows at up to 290 feet per second, providing more than enough speed and kinetic energy for successful hunting.
With an IBO rating of 320 FPS, 80% let-off, and draw weight ranging from 30 to 70 lbs, the XGeek Compound Bow can produce fast, hard-hitting shots for hunting and target practice. The 32-inch axle-to-axle length and 7.4-inch brace height make it very versatile and easy to maneuver.
The bow features aircraft-grade aluminum cams and limb pockets for lightweight, precision performance. The Gordon composite limbs are made in the USA, providing consistency and longevity. With a draw length adjustment ranging from 19 to 31 inches, this bow can accommodate most archers.
With an axle-to-axle length of 30.25 inches and brace height of 7.3 inches, the Lanneret Compound Bow achieves an impressive 320 feet per second IBO speed and 75% let-off, allowing for a smooth and efficient shooting experience.
The bow’s 0 to 70 lbs draw weight range and 19.25 to 31 inch draw length adjustment cater to archers of varying strengths and arm lengths. Machined from durable aluminum alloy, the riser provides a sturdy yet lightweight platform for accurate shooting. Supplementary accessories like the pin sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, and quiver further aid precision and convenience.
With an adjustable 30 to 70 lbs draw weight and 23.5 to 31-inch draw length range, the WUXLISTY Compound Bow can be optimized for shooters of varying strengths and sizes. The bow features a sturdy aluminum riser and cams plus BCY-X bowstrings and cables for durability.
The complete ready-to-shoot package includes the bow, a five-pin sight, arrow rest, quiver, wrench set, target, D-loop, peep sight, and stabilizer for convenience. The compound bow has an axle-to-axle length of 30.5 inches, 6.8-inch brace height, 75% let-off, and can achieve speeds up to 320 feet per second.
How To Choose The Best Compound Bows?
Purchasing a compound bow is an investment, so you want to make sure you get the right one for your needs. As an archery enthusiast, I’ve gone through the process of choosing a compound bow many times. In this guide, I’ll share some tips to help you find the perfect compound bow based on how and where you plan to use it.
Determine Your Draw Length
The first step is knowing your draw length – the distance from the bowstring at rest to your arrow nocking point at full draw. Most bows are adjustable within a range, but you still want one that can comfortably accommodate your draw length when set up properly. An improper draw length can hurt your accuracy and form.
Choose Your Draw Weight
The draw weight refers to the amount of force required to draw the bowstring back fully. For target practice or recreational shooting, 40-60 lbs is typically good for most adult archers. If you plan to hunt larger game, you’ll want at least 60 lbs of draw weight for an ethical kill. Start on the lower end of the range and you can always increase the draw weight over time as your muscles strengthen.
Consider Your Bow’s Purpose
How do you plan to use your new compound bow? For target practice, choose a bow with a forgiving design, quiet shot, and stable handling. For hunting, pick a compact bow with enough power to take down your prey. Some bows are designed for both target and hunting. Think about where you’ll be hunting and choose a size accordingly.
Set Your Budget
Compound bows vary widely in price based on the materials and features. As a beginner, you can get a quality bow for $200-$500 to learn on. Intermediate bows for target and hunting are $500-$1500. High-end bows with cutting edge technology are $1500 and up. Set a budget and stick to it based on your current skill level. You can always upgrade to a better bow as your technique improves over time.
FAQs When Picking The Best Compound Bows
1. What is a compound bow?
A compound bow is a modern bow that uses a levering system, usually of cables and cams, to bend the limbs and store energy. This allows the bow to produce higher arrow speeds and more kinetic energy than a traditional bow.
2. How does a compound bow work?
A compound bow works by using its cams and cables to create a pulley system that provides a mechanical advantage, allowing the archer to hold much more draw weight than could be held statically. The cams and cables cause the draw weight to increase sharply at the end of the draw, holding the bowstring in a fully drawn position. This enables the bow to generate more power than a static draw weight alone could produce.
3. What is the difference between compound bows and recurve bows?
The main differences between compound bows and recurve bows are:
- They use a pulley system with cables and cams to bend the bow, while recurve bows have a simple curved shape.
- They have higher draw weights and generate greater arrow speeds than recurve bows.
- They have a maximum draw weight that lets off at the end of the draw, while recurve bows have a consistent draw weight throughout the draw.
- They tend to be more compact and complex than recurve bows.
4. Is a compound bow good for beginners?
Compound bows can be good for beginners. While they are more complex than traditional recurve bows, they have several benefits for beginners:
- Higher draw weights are easier to handle thanks to the let-off given by the cams. This allows beginners to learn with a heavier bow.
- They are more forgiving of imperfect technique due to their shorter power stroke and faster arrow speeds.
- They typically have more advanced accessories that can help accuracy like sight pins, stabilizers, and mechanical releases.
- Despite their advanced technology, many compound bows are now available at relatively affordable prices for beginners. With some practice, compound bows allow beginners to become proficient and consistent archers.
If you want to get into archery, I highly recommend starting with a compound bow. Look for a bow with an adjustable draw weight so you can build up strength over time. Compound bows do require more maintenance and additional equipment like a release aid, sight, and stabilizer, but the advantages in power and accuracy are well worth it.
Enjoyed this article? Then be sure to check out our other guides.
- Best Hoverboard with Handle: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Underwater Sea Scooters in 2023: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Electric Skateboard with Remote Control: Buyer’s Guide
- Best Hoverboard with Seat Attachment: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Skateboard Helmet: The Ultimate Review
- Best Whitewater Kayak Paddles: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Wetsuits For Kayaking: Buyers’ Guide
- Best 3 Person Inflatable Kayaks: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks: Buyers’ Guide
- Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayaks: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Surfing Wetsuits For Men: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Packrafts in 2023: Buyers’ Guide
- Best Kayak Backpacks in 2023: Buyers’ Guide