CAMPING & HIKING

Best Compound Bow: Ready, Aim, Release

Compound bow review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Bowhunting and archery have been the past time of the human race since the beginning of time. In a very primal way, it’s been a go-to source of safety and supplement. Used once for protection and for gathering food, it is now used as a tool for hunting and a sport for many to enjoy.

There are many types of bows out there depending on the task you are pursuing, such as a compound bow, a recurve bow, or a longbow. For hunting, you’re likely to use a different type of bow than you would for archery competitions. The same goes for many other products and the same deliberation needs to be taken into account when choosing the best compound bow.

The premise of a compound bow is that it is a modern twist on the original. Consisting of levers, pulleys, and cables, this bow is more flexible than its classic cousins. This intricate system gives a mechanical advantage to the user, which reflects in speed, accuracy, and power as a result.

As you can see, there are a lot of parts that go into making a compound bow versus another type, so more consideration needs to be taken. There are many moving parts that are usually adjustable which gives you one of the most versatile types of hunting and sporting equipment out there.

PSE Stinger 3g Compound Bow

Choosing which of these versatile bows is right for you is another difficult decision, however. A few key factors that we will discuss that will help you make an informed decision on which bow to choose are draw length, draw weight, bow weight, brace height, and IBO speed.

Each of these factors must be deliberated individually as well as a part of the whole list. For some, the draw weight will be the most important factor while others believe the bow’s carrying weight is more important. The end result will hopefully land you, the user and purchaser, with the bow that is both a perfect fit for you individually and will be the best compound bow for the money.

What Makes A Good Compound Bow

Draw Length

The draw length of a bow is the range in which it can be adjusted. The draw length that is perfect for you depends a lot upon your physical anatomy. Your arm length plays a huge factor into what draw length will work best for you.

Draw length of a compound bow

The basis of exploring draw lengths is to ensure that when you’re pulling the bow back and releasing it makes sure you are getting the most power from your draw back.

Draw Weights

Draw weights are another factor in the power of your bow, but your own power needs to be taken into account as well. The draw weights are basically measures of the tension when pulling the string back. It directly correlates with how fast and far the arrow will move, but if you don’t have the strength to pull it back in the first place then it will go nowhere.

Depending on age, level of practice, type of bow, and sometimes gender the draw weights need to be examined closely.

Younger archers usually need a bow that has more range so they can make it heavier as they become better, while master archers may know exactly what they want but it may not be the heaviest either. Having the choice to tighten, loosen, or substitute parts of the bow to personalize it will make it both safer for you and more enjoyable.

Bow Weight

The bow weight is a simple weight measurement of the whole bow. Similar to hunting with a gun, if your weapon is too heavy then your ability to control the weapon goes down. This will lead to having an unsuccessful hunting trip, a wasted archery practice session, or even an accidental and dangerous incident.

Compound bow weight

Always keep in mind the weight of the entire bow because you will need to have the strength to carry it and hold it for long periods of time. The fastest and most powerful bow won’t do any good if it’s in the hands of someone too weak to manage its weight.

Brace Height

The brace height is, put simply, the distance between the string and the bow grip. For most bows, this measure is set by the manufacturing company and those are usually the best measurements for the bow they have made. The brace height can be adjusted minimally by twisting or untwisting the string to get the height that is best for the individual shooter.

This height that you adjust or leave as the manufacturer’s setting will correlate to the speed of your arrow. Generally, the shorter the brace height is, the faster the arrow will fly, while taller brace heights may give you less arrow speed.

IBO Speed

IBO stands for International Bowhunters Association and they have a method to test and measure arrow speed for bows. The IBO speed will measure how fast the arrow will fly in a measurement of feet per second (fps).

IBO Speed

There are different ways of measuring speed, but this method is one of the most accepted by most bow hunters, users, and manufacturers. The speed correlates will all of the categories above and there have to be numerous adjustments made to ensure that you, individually, get the most from your bow.

Top Products Reviewed

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package

Features:

  • Draw Length: 13”- 31”
  • Draw Weights: 5 -70 lbs.
  • Bow Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 7 inches
  • IBO Speed: 310 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Hunting, Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: The Diamond Infinite Edge Pro Bow is literally a diamond in the rough. It may be best suited for the recreational hunter because there are faster bows out there, but this is a great bow for this price to get started on.

At only a little over three pounds, this bow is compound and easy to carry for long periods of time. It packs enough of a punch at 310 fps to keep up with some of the most competitive bows that cost a lot more money.

The Diamond’s draw lengths vary too making it an ideal candidate for those who are learning to adjust and personalize their bows while still seeing results of their efforts with the best compound bow for the money.

Martin Archery Lithium LTD 70# Compound Bow

Martin Archery Lithium LTD 70# Compound Bow

Features:

  • Draw Length: 26”- 30.5”
  • Draw Weights: 15 lbs. range
  • Bow Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 6.5 inches
  • IBO Speed: 345 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Hunting, Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: The Martin Archery Lithium Compound bow is one to be reckoned with. With some seemingly average specs, this bow could be great for anyone. At under four lbs. carrying weight this bow is an easy choice for both beginners and masters. At around 345 fps IBO speed makes this little bow powerful nonetheless.

The deterring feature is the minimal draw lengths that won’t allow as much personalization as some bows out there, but it does offer a 15-pound range for the draw weights allowing you to find what weight works best for you with the draw ranges that you have. Your magical measurements could still be attainable with this bow and it will still allow you to pack in some good power.

PSE Prophecy 70-Pound Skullworks Bow

PSE Prophecy 70-Pound Skullworks Bow

Features:

  • Draw Length: 25”- 30”
  • Draw Weights: 70 lbs.
  • Bow Weight: 4.1 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 6 inches
  • IBO Speed: 340 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Hunting, Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: PSE Prophesy Skullworks bow is one powerful bow. At one of the fastest IBO speeds we see and a draw weight of 70 lbs. this bow may not lend itself well to the beginner archers. At 4.1 pounds in carrying weight, it’s also a bow that’s on the heavier side for someone who is not ready to carry over 4 pounds of just bow without loads of other equipment.

That being said, for the master archers, this is one of the best bows out there. This bow was created with highly durable materials including aircraft-grade aluminum and ultra flexible limbs and other features that, for the masters in archery and hunting, could make it the best compound bow for the money.

PSE Ready To Shoot Surge Bow Package

PSE Ready To Shoot Surge Bow Package

Features:

  • Draw Length: 9.5”- 30”
  • Draw Weights: 50 – 70 lbs.
  • Bow Weight: 4.3 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 7.25 inches
  • IBO Speed: 320-312 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Hunting, Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: An update from past models the PSE Ready to Shoot Bow is lighter and tighter. With a draw weight between 50 and 70 pounds, this bow may not be made for the new kids, but learners are able to move forward with this bow by adjusting the weights and lengths.

As the user grows older adjustments can be made to match their growing strength, abilities, and experience.

Likewise, it’s a great learning instrument because it can always be reversed back to a lighter and easier state as well. At a little over four pounds in carrying weight, though, this bow is a little on the heavy side, but that shouldn’t scare you off because it still packs in a great IBO speed at up to 320 fps.

Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow

Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow

Features:

  • Draw Length: 12”- 30”
  • Draw Weights: 5 – 70 lbs.
  • Bow Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 6.5 inches
  • IBO Speed: 310 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Hunting, Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: The Bear Archery Cruzer is one of the best all-around bows. At a reasonable speed of 310 fps, and only about three and a half pounds carrying weight, this bow would be great for any bow user- new and old. Are there faster bows out there?

Yes, of course, but for the price and the customizability this bow offers make it one of the best out there. With varying draw lengths of 12 inches up to 30 inches and a draw weight range from five pounds to 70, this bow can change and learn with you. As you gain expertise, this bow will always offer a new challenge and level of difficulty that will turn you into a master in no time.

SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30” Compound Bow

SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow

Features:

  • Draw Length: 26”- 30”
  • Draw Weights: 55 – 70 lbs.
  • Bow Weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • Brace Height: Unknown
  • IBO Speed: 270 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: The SAS Rage bow is a combination of many great features. This is a great learning bow but also a great bow for those who participate in archery as a sport. Probably not fast enough to match the best hunting bows, but this one has its own benefits. At a little over four pounds in carrying weight, it’s a little heavy, but for sporting uses, you may not even notice.

The weight is partly a factor because its draw lengths only go from 26 inches to about 30 inches. That’s a pretty tight bow.

A close draw range like that probably won’t work for everyone, so I wouldn’t suggest this particular bow be your first. Even so, this bow is still clocking in a speed of 270 fps and between 55 and 70 lb. draw weight that adds a lot of kick, the masters will love this bow.

Infinite Edge Bow Package

Infinite Edge Bow Package

 Features:

  • Draw Length: 13”- 30”
  • Draw Weights: 5 – 70 lbs.
  • Bow Weight: 3.1 lbs.
  • Brace Height: 7 inches
  • IBO Speed: 310 fps (feet per second)

Best Uses: Hunting, Outdoor Sports, Archery

Description: The Infinite Edge bow is just that, infinite! This bow alone offers so many different adjustments and alterations to ensure that it matches your level, ability, age, and more. This bow will grow with you and may be the last bow you ever need buy. With a draw length that reaches from 13 inches to 30 inches, that range is one of the largest out there.

Additionally, the draw weights range from just 5 pounds to up to 70 pounds. This is key because you can start out lighter and work your way into heavier draw weight which will, in time, reflect itself in the speed, accuracy, and power behind the arrow. At up to 310 fps, this bow would work for just about anyone.

By the time you reach your full potential, this bow will still be there with you; reaching its full potential. It’s the perfect companion for hunters, outdoor sportsmen and those who practice archery for the sport as well. It’s super lightweight and just might be the best compound bow for the money for anyone.

Time To Take Aim

Time to set your sights and aim for the best compound bow for the money. You’ve seen a lot of options and these are just the tip of the iceberg. The end product has to be a combination of quality, versatility, and appropriateness. Choosing a quality product isn’t easy but making sure to educate yourself on what you are choosing in comparison to its competition is a great way to start.

Many manufacturers are taking pride in the durable construction of their compound bows so most boast a lifetime of strength and age resistance. A second factor is versatility which depends on the bow you choose. Some bows offer more ways to change or adjust than others and this also depends on the appropriateness.

Choose your compund bow

What I mean by appropriateness is knowing what bow is right for you for the level you are at currently. If you are an expert, you won’t need a bow that has a larger range of draw length and weight. By this time you have probably navigated to your perfect numbers that match your own strength to create a perfect combination.

Similarly, if you’re a beginner, investing in a bow that is maybe more expensive, but that will help you learn and grow might be an investment worth your time and money.

Choosing the best bow for your ability and budget is important but keep in mind that there are numerous bows that can “grow with you,” meaning they can be upgraded and updated to differing levels as you change levels of expertise. With a few minor, or major, adjustments you can virtually have a new bow every season. You can increase or decrease the draw length or draw weight as necessary to challenge yourself or to ensure your success.

Potentially the most important thing to consider is what the use of your bow will be. Are you planning to hunt with this bow, is it a sporting bow, or is it a competition bow? All can benefit from the use of the perfect compound bow but the right bow for each activity type will be vastly different.

Compund bow in action

For example, you want a quieter, more powerful bow for hunting to ensure you bring home the trophy. In contrast, you want more focus on speed and accuracy for a competition bow. Learning as much as you can about these bows is the best first step when choosing the best compound bow for the money.

When have you used a compound bow in the past? Or is this your first bow? What are the purposes and the tasks at hand in which you will be needing a compound bow?

Let us know in the comments what your thoughts are or what your best indicators are when choosing which compound bow to purchase. Which bow would you recommend over the rest? How can you ensure that you get the best results with the bow that you choose?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Edward Gregory

    I think the advantage of a more advanced bow isn’t really in the damage they do, but on how reliable they are. For example, the damage of the compound bow seems to be heavily impacted by which arrow you use. It’s made out of insanely durable material, and the entire design of the bow is to reduce stress on it.

  • Mark Foster

    It really depends on your preference Edward. Choosing the right one is difficult since you have to consider a lot of things such as raw length, draw weight, bow weight, brace height, and IBO speed. That being said, when you do found the right bow, it’s like a match made in heaven! 🙂

  • Liz Baldwin

    Wow, honestly, I have never owned any of these products yet. I’m a camper but I’ll share this with friends and we’ll talk about it if we can use it for outdoor sports for fun and experience. After learning about what makes a good compound bow and which products are the best, I’m encouraged to give it a try. I’m attracted to the Martin Archery Lithium but I’ll first consider getting a bow that I can grow with.

  • Mark Foster

    Enjoy the sport Liz and I hope you grow with the sport. I’ve pretty much reviewed most of the best compound bow in the market. I hope you find the one that’s right for you.

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