Finding The Best Compound Bow for You – A Buyers Guide
Looking for the best compound bow? Well, this is why we’re here today. Buckle up, it’s time to go for a ride.
Hop On! Our Top Seven Picks
No one knows better than us how mind-boggling the market can be. But hey, have some faith. It’s alright if you’re a bit lost around. These picks impressed us, and they may impress you.
iGlow 30-55 lbs Black/Green/Camouflage Camo Archery Hunting Compound Bow — Best Compound Bow for Beginners
You’re going to be surprised by this one. At a draw weight of 30 – 55 pounds, it might seem all slim and compact.
But don’t be fooled. It’s a force to be reckoned with. This 28” axle-to-axle is undeniably powerful.
Holding aim on a compound bow for the first time can be stressful. So your bow has an 80-pound draw and a 50-pound hold? Now it’s super stressful.
But, this compound bow has a 50-pound draw and a 25-pound hold. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bit on the shorter and lighter side, you’ll definitely be able to draw this bow back.
Here’s what you get: a let-off of 70% and draw length of 19″ – 29″. The bow itself is 3.3 pounds, with an adjustable draw weight of 30 – 55 pounds.
- Easy to set up
The arrow rest isn’t of good quality
SAS Feud 70 lbs Compound Bow Travel Package — Best Compound Bow for Hunting
Are you a traveler? You could make it across the country with this 30” axle-to-axle.
This might not be a commercial bow, but it has the accuracy and strength of one. It’s very well-built too, with an excellent back wall.
Let’s take a quick look at what we have here. This compound bow has a let-off of 70 – 80%, with a maximum draw length of 31”. It weighs 4.1 pounds, with a draw weight of 25 – 70 pounds.
- Has a smooth draw
- Groups well
Setting up can be difficult for amateurs
Bear Archery Brave Bow Set — Best Compound Bow for Kids
There’s a reason why this compound bow is advised for ages eight and older. It’s an excellent choice for beginners.
Well-built and sturdy, this 26” axle-to-axle is a formidable introductory bow. Accuracy is definitely its strong point, mostly due to its draw length. But if your kid is on the smaller side, you can always adjust the bow.
However, if your kid is a bit older, then this might not be the bow for him. The draw length of this compound bow could be too short for an eleven-year-old.
Here are some specifications. You’ve got a let-off of 65%, with a draw length of 13.5”. It weighs 3 pounds, with a draw weight of 15 – 25 pounds.
- Good accuracy
Isn’t appropriate for older kids
Diamond Archery 2016 Edge SB-1 Compound Bow — Best Compound Bow for Target Shooting
One thing’s undeniable with this compound bow: you’ll have fun with it. It’ll blaze through the air at 318 feet per second. Thanks to the Certified Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam system, the accuracy will impress you. (check out the video below)
This 31” axle-to-axle won’t disappoint. The rotating modules will make sure you never have to wait for replacement cams again.
Adjusting this compound bow isn’t hard either. Turning the limb bolt isn’t a feat of strength. Once you do that, everything goes smoothly. You can adjust the bow to whatever poundage you prefer.
This compound bow has a let-off of 80%. The draw length is 15” – 30″. It accompanies a weight of 3.6 pounds, and a draw weight of 7-70 pounds.
- Available in left and right hand
- Has the Certified Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam system
Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow — Best Compound Bow for Women
This may be geared towards adults, but skill knows no age. Whether you’re 13 or 33, you’re going to enjoy your arrows cleaning through at 315 FPS.
Here’s the good thing about this compound bow. You won’t be paying any trips to the local shop any time soon. The Cruzer G2 arrives with 6 accessories: a peep sight, a Whisker Biscuit, a 5-arrow quiver, a four-pin sight, a stabilizer and sling, and a nock loop.
Here, there’s no need for a bow press. You can always use the Allen wrench to make any adjustments. They’re not too complicated, and the bolt limbs aren’t hard to maneuver.
Here’s what you get with this bow. It has a let-off of 70%, so you know you’re getting a smooth draw cycle. The Cruzer G2 has a maximum draw length of 30”, and a draw weight of 5 to 70 pounds. The bow itself weighs 3 pounds.
- Super smooth draw
- Very accurate
The limbs aren’t designed with a bolt
This compound bow is designed with young beginners in mind. It doesn’t matter whether they’re left-handed or right-handed. This bow is stocked in both.
The Mini-Burner is light enough that even a six-year-old can use it. Adjusting the draw length for them is incredibly easy.
But unfortunately, adjusting the draw weight isn’t as easy. The limb bolts will prove to be a bit of a hindrance. But once you break the limb bolts loose, you’ll face no problem.
Here’s what you get with this bow. It has a let-off of 65%, with a maximum draw length of 26 ½”. The bow itself weighs 2.7 pounds, with a draw weight of 40 pounds.
- Available in left and right hand
Isn’t easy to adjust the draw weight
The accessories that come with this compound bow will help you avoid trips to the local shop.
Setting up this compound bow is no hard task. You can adjust the sight and mount the arrow rest without breaking a sweat. Once you get it up and going, you’ll notice how smooth it is right away.
The great thing about this bow is that you don’t need a bow press. You usually use the bow press to adjust the draw weight and the draw length. Here, you’ve got the enclosed Allen Wrench to help you with that.
The let-off is 70%, with a draw length of 19” – 29”. The bow weighs 3.3 pounds. It has a draw weight of 30 – 55 pounds.
- Setup is easy
- Arrives with accessories
- Good value for money
Sights and arrow rest don’t have the best quality
How to Choose the Right Compound Bow
Looks are great, but they aren’t everything. You shouldn’t pick a bow for how good it looks. There are other important aspects to consider. Here are some you should keep in mind.
What’s Your Draw Weight?
To put it simply, draw weight is how much force you need to pull a bow. A compound bow with a draw weight of 15 pounds is much easier to pull back than one with a draw weight of 30 pounds.
Your ability to pull a bow depends on your age and physique. Say you’re an 11-year-old girl, and you’re trying to pick out your first compound bow. In this case, you want a bow with a lighter draw weight.
For women aged twenty-two years-old and above, it’s a little different. The best compound bow for women in that age bracket would have a draw weight of 15 – 30 pounds.
For men aged twenty-two years-old and above, the range of the draw weight is higher. This is due to the fact that men have more upper-body strength than women (among other reasons, of course.) In this case, your draw weight should be 25 – 40 pounds.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that you don’t want to go too extreme for your first time. While using a 65-pound bow seems appealing, we don’t advise it at all. You could get ‘overbowed’. It’s best to start in the middle of your draw weight range. Then, try to work your way up from there.
What’s Your Draw Length?
It’s detrimental to the picking process. Draw length measures how far back you can pull your bow. A decent compound bow should be suited to your draw length.
If you’re curious, try to visit your local shop. Most bow technicians are able to estimate your draw length through your wingspan. Before purchasing anything, you should know your draw length.
With the help of another person, you could measure your draw length at home. Stand with your back straight and arms out wide. Have someone measure the length from one hand to another. Divide the number you get by 2.5 and you’ve got your draw length.
What’s Your Bow Length?
You might know this as the axle-to-axle length. It comes into play when you start using your bow. Shorter bows are more than often preferred for hunting. Meanwhile, longer bows are more appropriate for target shooting.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should abide by these rules. They aren’t rules at all. You might even prefer a long bow when hunting yourself. It’s all about what you feel confident with.
Which Eye Do You Prefer?
Here’s something you may not know. When it comes to your sight, you have a preference. Either your right eye or your left eye is the dominant one. Some people are left-handed and others are right-handed; some people are left-eyed and others are right-eyed. But for most, the right eye is the dominant eye.
You might be confused about your dominant eye. Here’s a little test to figure it out:
- Extend your arms in front of you.
- Using your two thumbs and two index fingers, form a triangle.
- Focus on an object through the center of the triangle (this could be anything from a shoe to a doorknob.)
- Close your right eye. If the object is still within your range of view, then you’re left-eyed.
- Close your left eye. If the object is still within your range of view, then you’re right-eyed.
You might be wondering how that factors into picking a good compound bow. Well, here’s how. If you’re right-eyed, you should buy a right-hand bow. If you’re left-eyed, then you should go for a left-hand bow.
But what if you’re right-eyed but left-handed? Or left-eyed but right-handed?
This is an incredibly common occurrence called cross-dominance. In this case, we leave the choice up to you. You could buy a bow that aligns with your dominant hand or dominant eye.
There’s a tradeoff in each case. If you buy a bow that aligns with your dominant hand, you’ll feel comfortable and confident. The grip will be optimal. However, it might prove harder to aim.
On the other hand, you could buy a bow that aligns with your dominant eye. Right then, aiming will be fluid and easy. But, the grip will feel too uncomfortable and awkward. This could affect your aim in the end.
Breaking the Compound Bow Apart
To fully grasp a compound bow, it’s important to understand its construction and parts. This won’t only deepen your understanding of how a bow works, but it will also teach you how to use it in a much better way.
This is the part you grab onto. With the riser being one of the most important parts, you can consider it to be the heart of any bow.
You see, the riser is the primary shaft of the compound bow. It includes the grip itself. The arrow rest, stabilizer, sight, and limbs are also all connected to the riser.
Looking at specifications of compound bows, you’ll notice that most risers are made of aluminum. Some are made of magnesium. Sometimes, it’s an alloy of both. This is what makes it so strong yet lightweight.
Limbs are important for any compound bow. They’re responsible for keeping the bowstring in place. When the bow is fully drawn, they also store a ton of potential energy.
Looking at any compound bow, you’ll notice that its limbs are connected to its riser and cam system. They’re used in a parallel design rather than a classic ‘D’ one. This parallel design helps dampen noise and vibration when using the bow.
Much like the riser, limbs need to be very durable yet light. For this purpose, they’re often made of fiberglass or other materials.
There are also compound bows with one single limb rather than split limbs. Both options have their pros and cons. Fans of split limbs claim that a single limb is easily splintered, while fans of the single-limb claim that split limbs affect arrow performance.
You’ve probably heard of them, but you don’t know what they’re. They’re the defining aspect of any compound bow.
The cam system consists of the cam(s) you find at the tip(s) of your compound bow. They have two types: single cam or dual cam.
A single cam system consists of only one cam in the compound bow. It’s usually located at the bottom end. You’ll find this single large cam accompanied by an idler wheel at the top end.
In this case, the cam at the bottom oversees the pull of the draw. The idler wheel at the top feeds off the cable.
- Simple to use
- No timing problems
Can be harder to tune
The dual-cam system is characterized by the presence of two identical cams. It includes binary cams, twin cams, and hybrid cams.
In a binary cam system, one cam is at the bottom limb while the other is at the top limb. More than often, you’ll find these two cams connected through two cables. This will make sure that they’re in tune with each other.
- High velocity
- Has level nock travel
Needs constant upkeep and maintenance
Twin cams are very similar to binary cams. However, the two binary cams are slaved (A.K.A. connected) to each other. Meanwhile, twin cams are slaved to the bow’s limbs.
- Accurate shot
- High velocity
Needs constant upkeep and maintenance
If you’ve got hybrid cams, then you’ve got a control cam and a power cam. The control cam is attached to the top limb. Meanwhile, the power cam is attached to the bottom limb.
- Easy to tune
- Needs minimal upkeep and maintenance
Has minimal nock travel
Cables and Strings
The major string that you should know about (and you probably already know about) is the bowstring. You can ask any technician, and they’d tell you to change it every couple of years.
Control cables play a major factor in a bow’s draw weight. If you look at a compound bow, you’ll notice that the control cables are connected to the bowstring. When you pull the draw back, the cable feeds off the power.
Unlike control cables, buss cables aren’t connected to the bowstring. Instead, they’re connected to the cam axels. Their main function is to improve stability and consistency between the two cams.
Sights are there to improve accuracy. There are many varieties of sights. One of them is a peep-sight, which is common to find in entry-level compound bows.
Peep sights are found along bowstrings. To use one, you look through it down to the pin sight. Your trajectory will then be clear and reliable.
To find a rest, look above the grip. An arrow rest’s main job is to keep the arrow comfortable in its place.
There are different types of rests. Among these types, you’ll find Whisker Biscuits. With Whisker Biscuits, you’ll get an inward bristled circle. The bristles keep the arrows straight and nice until you let go.
Have you decided on the best compound bow for you yet? Here’s our verdict.
The iGlow 30-55 pounds Black/Green/Camouflage Camo Archery Hunting Compound Bow is a good entry-level option. It’s easy to use and set up, all the while being fairly compact and lightweight.
An option for a young aspiring archer would be the Bear Archery Brave Bow Set. It’s a lightweight compound bow with impressive accuracy. If your kid is aged 6-12 years-old, this could be an excellent option.