If you recently decided to get started with compound bow hunting, you probably are already overwhelmed and confused. It’s difficult to sort out the marketing and advertising ploys from what’s really a better value for the money.
We’ve put together this guide to help you feel comfortable purchasing your new compound bow and make sure you get exactly the one you need.
First, take a quick look at our current most popular recommendations:
Bear Archery Siren
One Year Warranty
Our Overall Top 3 Best Compound Bow Reviews
Genesis Original Bow
Hand-picked by a well-respected “archery in schools program” to use for instruction, the Genesis is easy to set up and shoot.
The more you search, the more you’ll find positive reviews for this beginner model. The combination of ease, flexibility, performance as well as its widespread use by training organizations makes this a top choice for anyone beginning archery. The adjustable draw length feature makes this one suitable for female archers and children.
It may not a good choice for big game hunters, but the Genesis Original is inexpensive and great for anyone new to archery as well as women and kids.
Infinite Edge Bow
The Infinite Edge bow has a wide range of draw length options and adjustability. These features make it one of the most versatile bows for men, women and children (growing as they grow). The versatility includes a draw length range of 13”- 30” and draw weight adjustment from 5 – 70 lbs.
Customers are quick to comment on features of this lightweight product – including the comfortable grip and the accuracy. It is a forgiving choice and recommended by both beginners and advanced users. This one is a best seller for a reason and one of our absolute favorites to recommend.
The wide range of draw length options, and slightly longer axle-to-axle length contribute to a more stable feeling. The “official bow of realtree girl” is the product of years of research and tests to design a model that is specific to a woman’s needs.
The Bear Finesse is extremely quiet and comfortable to shoot with. This is why it is our choice of the best overall women’s option, and one of our favorites overall!
Honorable Mention: Bowtech Diamond Deploy
This one houses a fast, smooth and flexible cam, and is designed by the most well-known names in archery. Bowtech is always going to be a tough product to beat.
A markedly quiet and easy to draw and shoot option, even a beginner can keep on shooting to their heart’s content!
And the facts and figures are all completely backed up by a long trail of many very satisfied customers. This is why this one is our choice for the best overall performance option on the market.
6 Easy Steps to Buying the Best Value Compound Bow
Which one you choose, and what features it has will be determined by how you will want to use it. Just like unicorns, the perfect, all-purpose product does not exist. You will always have to trade off one feature for another. There are several important factors to keep in mind and tasks to complete before you begin the search for your hunting tool.
1. How do you plan to hunt?
Certain types are more suitable for various hunting styles. One will benefit you perched up high on a tree-stand, while another will have you missing every target. There are compact options that are great for long-distance hunters, who prowl around the forest stalking their prey.
2. What is Your Stature?
You will need to get a few measurements to ensure that a specific product will work for you. A crucial measurement to collect applies to choosing the correct draw length.
Take a yardstick, or have someone else use a measuring tape to measure the distance from the base of your neck, to the end of the first knuckle on your ring finger. This is how far you will be physically able to draw it. If you are taller you may want one with a longer height. Those who are smaller in stature may perform better with a smaller one.
3. Length of Draw
This is where the draw length measurement is important. You do not want to get one that has too short or long of a draw length for you. The draw length is measured from the grip to the contact point on the string at full draw. You want to be able to reach what is considered the “backwall” when drawing it. This is the sweet spot that will launch the arrow at maximum speed.
4. Optimal Brace Height
The brace height of it is measured from the resting string to the grip. A shorter distance between these two points allows an archer to send off arrows at higher speeds. This is because the shorter distance allows for more energy to be stored and released.
One thing to keep in mind is that the ones with a brace height of around six inches or less are less forgiving to beginners trying to hone their archery techniques. According to experts, if you do not already have a solid form, you may want to choose one with a brace height greater than seven inches. Though they launch arrows at slower speeds, they will forgive flaws in your stance and abilities.
5. Choosing Your Draw Weight
The draw weight is a determining factor in the speed, distance, and penetration of your arrows. You will see this measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs.). The higher the weight, the larger the kill.
Choosing this aspect may be as simple as knowing what you plan to hunt:
- Small game, like rabbits, foxes, and groundhogs can be taken out with lightweight bows with an foot-pound rating of under 30. Large game, like elk or moose, require a higher rating greater than 45 foot-pounds.
- To effectively hunt deer, antelope, or coyote, you will need one with a draw weight between 30 to 40.
Even though you may want to hunt a specific type of game, you will need to ensure you can maintain your ability to draw it before you get on the hunt. As you pull back on the string, you will feel three shifts in the weight you are required to handle. This is known as the draw cycle.
At first, you will feel the weight increase to the peak weight. Next, the weight will plateau. A let-off occurs in the final stage, you will need to bear less weight until you reach the backwall. Let-off refers to the percentage of weight that it absorbs. This is most often denoted with a percentage. This percentage is subtracted from the peak weight of that specific model.
Compound options with a lower let-off percentage will shoot at higher speeds, because the energy is still stored in the string. Those with a higher let-off percentage will shoot more slowly, but the archer will have an easier time holding it while it is fully drawn. Many expert archers believe that this loss of weight can cause beginners to shift in their form. However, as long as you practice often, and feel comfortable with it, this may not be an issue.
These stages are made possible by a special piece of technology– the cam. The cam connects the bow’s limb to the string. As you draw the string, this piece will rotate to allow the weight it takes to hold a draw exponentially less. It is a nice feature for those who like to take their time while aiming. When it comes to choosing a cam style, it really all comes down to personal preference.
In most cases, cam design is a way for compound bow manufacturers to market a specific, and unique aspect of their product to get more sales. Recent innovation has basically wiped out any difference between each type, which leaves this decision to be a question of aesthetics.
- Single cam compound bows often have a longer string, which can be more expensive to replace. The longer string tends to stretch with a single cam compound option. However, they are simple to tune, and have no trade-offs when it comes to speed and aim.
- Twin Cam bows are more difficult to tune, and archers need to be aware of their timing. You will have to tune yours each time the cams come out of sync. This is not an issue for many seasoned archers, though it may be too much effort for fresh bow hunters.
- A bow with cam and a half design is essentially a cross between the two preceding styles. If it is out of sync, it will have less negative impact on its functionality.
- Binary cam bows were designed to solve the flaws that each of the previous designs display. The cams are connected to one another, ensuring that they function simultaneously. Even when the wheels are not synced, there is very little change in the level of the arrow when fully drawn.
Each of these designs do not differ much from the others, however, some will have a smoother, more even draw, while others pull less evenly. The former style has a silky pull, with no surprises. It is a good choice for those of you who prefer hunting in a tree stand, or are out in cold conditions.
Those with a “jerky” draw cycle are often unpredictable. If you do not practice with them frequently, you may accidentally release arrows, and scare off your prey. However, one major benefit is their ability to launch arrows further than one that draws more smoothly.
6. Choosing the Length of Your Bow
You will find options offered in a wide variety of lengths. Choosing the length of yours depends on several factors including: personal stature, draw length, experience, hunting style, and personal preference.
Short compound bows are commonly around or under 32” in height.
These are lighter and easier to carry through the forest to stalk game. They are also good for use from a perch, because the shorter ones are more maneuverable. People who are shorter in stature will have an easier time using a short compound option. You should consider, however, that short ones are more difficult to keep steady, and are quite unforgiving to archers with poor form by causing them to torque it.
Long compound bows are easier to steady, because of their weight.
The weight of it forces the archer to be conscious about their stance. Tall archers should use longer ones, as they will not utilize their full draw potential with a short one. This often causes mistakes in technique.
Additional Recommendations for Buying Compound Bows
You may want to visit a shop that carries a wide variety. This will give you a feel for which features suit you personally prefer. There are so many options out there, and the best way to test the water is to get into a retailer. Especially if you are a beginner, you will want to have a feel for your new purchase.
Your visit to a hunting supply store is the best chance to get a feel for which draw you prefer. You will be able to pull on the string and feel if you have enough strength to use a compound bow with a higher draw weight, and compare cam designs. There are a few tests that will help you decide.
When you first pull back, notice if it shifts in any direction. Do your arms shake? If so, the draw weight may be too high for you to handle. Next, attempt to hold it steady, and drawn fully. Can you hold it still for over a minute? Did your arms stay sturdy? Lastly, try pulling it while sitting on the ground, with your legs extended directly in front of you. You should be able to have no problem completing the first two tests from this position. If all goes well, you have found a suitable draw weight!
Cheap Compound Bows for Beginners and Youth Reviews
When you’re just getting your feet wet, you don’t want to buy a high-end option right away. Especially if you’re not ready for hunting yet, it’s not a bad idea to get a cheap beginner model to start with before jumping into the higher-end hunting bows.
This section of our reviews will cover three options for kids or beginners that are excellent value for the money, reasonable quality, live up to your expectations as a beginner archer, and are all at an entry price that won’t break the bank.
Best Compound Bow for Beginners
These options are fantastic and stand out as the best for the money for kids and beginners.
|Image||Bow||Draw Length||Draw Weight||Price||User Ratings|
|Genesis Original||10" - 34"||10 - 20 lbs||$||4.8 (69)|
|Infinite Edge||13" - 30"||5 - 70 lbs||$$$||4.4 (25)|
|Diamond by Bowtech Core||25" - 31"||40 - 70 lbs||$$$$||4.1 (12)|
|Diamond Atomic Youth||12" - 34"||25 - 30 lbs||$$||4.5 (11)|
|Bear Archery Brave 3 Youth||15" - 20"||15 - 20 lbs||$||3.8 (111)|
1. Genesis Original Bow
An official bow of “the National Archery in the Schools Program” and machined from 6061-T6 aluminum – this strong, lightweight, great introductory model with a wide range of draw lengths manages to suit both adults and children starting out in archery. You’ll notice that the draw length is however far you are able to pull it back, so there’s no need to make adjustments to it for draw length. This is highly unusual and is a nice feature for beginners.
The one comes with a molded hand grip to help you keep a steady aim at competitions, a stainless steel guard to keep your hand safe from the cable, and a military-style arrow rest. We also love that it’s expandable. The frame is tapped to make space for bolted on accessories. Its design is very rugged and it has proven to last a long time.
This is not an ideal choice for hunting due to its lower power than most hunting bows, but if you are a beginner, looking for a solid performer with a rugged design that is simple to use and set up, then this is most certainly it!
2. Bear Archery Brave 3
This one is built specifically with the young beginning archer in mind, with a draw length of between 15 to 20 inches, which is likely to be too short for a fully grown adult, unlike the Genesis Original, which provides for a large range of draw lengths.
This one is ideal for a young person between ages 8 and 12. The draw weight is quite easy for an 11-year-old to pull back. For an 8 or 9 year old, you’ll need to adjust it down for them, which is a fairly easy thing to do.
This is a very competitively priced beginner model made by the highly-acclaimed Bear Archery, but one firmly set in the younger end of the youth market – its draw weight and length range ensure that fact. The recommendation is that if price is a big concern and you’re on a tight budget, then this is a great one for just learning the basics and honing those skills, before moving onto something bigger and more powerful.
3. Bear Archery Cruzer
Solidly built and aimed squarely at the youth market, this one would suit a wider age range than the Bear Archery Brave 3 Right Hand Set, as it has an adjustable draw length of 12-30″ inches. The draw weight is adjustable from 5-70 pounds, so it’ll suit pretty much any age or build! This one is a good choice for a weapon that will grow with your child. it has 75% let-off for easy holding at full draw, which means it only takes 25% of the force it would normally require to hold the same one back at full draw.
This one is very easy to adjust, and it shoots straight at any setting. We’re particularly impressed by the build quality. It’s made in the USA, and has an aluminum frame for superb resilience. There’s a reason more than 75% of previous buyers gave it 5 stars and rave reviews!Check Price on Amazon
Compound Bows for Women Reviews
Although a number of years ago archery was almost exclusively male, today that couldn’t be further from the truth in a sport where the fastest growing segment of members are women. If you’re a women looking at getting into compound bow archery, you are far from alone. This review is tailored to help you select the right one, so that you find a product that suits your needs, is fun to use, and is at a price that is right for you.
With a shorter draw length, a lower draw weight, and an appreciation for gentler aesthetics and color schemes, you’ll be looking at a very different range than your average male archer, yet you’ll want to have the performance that you expect from an adult compound bow. There are some manufacturers that have taken all of this into consideration and have reached dizzying heights of performance and efficiency to deliver these and to exceed our expectations. So, with all this in mind, here is a compound bow review for you.
1. Bear Finesse
This one is a single cam wonder, with a very smooth draw and comfortable shooting. The one has a great level of performance compared to similarly priced models, and previous buyers said they were very impressed at how it shot right out of Sildenafil.
We like this one for women because you can adjust the draw length on the single cam system, in 1/2″ increments. That helps compensate for the female arm structure, which is a bit shorter and more slender than most men.Check Price on Amazon
2. Diamond Infinite Edge Compound Bow
(Pink Blaze Camo Package)
It’s a fact, 15% of us are left-handed! If that’s you, then you’ve probably already been met with quite a lot of frustration trying to find a left-handed option. Here is a good one that aims to end all that. In addition, this one is great for someone who might have suffered an injury to their left hand, such as a thumb injury in the case of one customer – she found this one useful as a replacement to her right-handed bow while she recovered.
This is a more inexpensive model than the Siren, and it could suit a beginning archer who is looking to get a taste for archery before deciding on whether to buy a more expensive model, yet this one still managed to deliver fantastic quality and excels tremendously at being flexible and suiting a wide range of women shooters, with an adjustable draw length of between 13 and 30 inches, and a draw weight of between 5lbs and 70lbs. This one produces a claimed 320 feet per second speed, which is very fast, and provides a let off of 75%, which means you’ll only need 25% of the normal force you’ll normally need to hold a similar bow of the same draw weight back. All these stats are great! They compare very favorably to much more expensive models in their class.Check Price on Amazon
3. PSE Fever One Compound Bow
A very smooth, lightweight bow at 3.7 lbs, with a unique cam system. The bow features a 18-29 draw length, giving a huge level of flexibility in draw length for a wide range of shooters’ heights, catering to nearly all sizes of women. The bow has a 75% let-off, similar to many of the other bows featured in this review, and the bow only needs 25% of the actual force that a bow would normally require to hold it back at the draw weight. The bow has a fantastic level of adjustability, which means that as a new archer gains strength and experience the bow can be adjusted in draw weight to provide for that, with all the draw length adjustments on the cam, this is an easy setup, simple, yet very effective.
The Fever One even has features normally only seen on more expensive bow, such as X-Technology limbs, for one – a new technology, which allows the extremely rapid firing speed of 320 feet per second with a single cam, which is 20 feet per second faster than the Siren!
Introduction to Compound Bow Shooting