When you’re looking to buy a compound, there’s a lot of things to consider. With the hundreds of options available, which one is right for you?
There isn’t one compound bow that is best for everyone. The bow that is right for you may not be the best for someone else.
If your sick of the confusing industry jargon and want some advice on which compound bow may be right for you, then keep reading.
- Bear Archery BR33 Hybrid Bow
- Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
- Toppoint Archery Compound Bow
- Leader Accessories Compound Bow
- Raptor Compound Hunting Bow
Make Sure the Bow Fits You
If you haven’t shot a bow before, you need to be aware of a few things to help you get the most out of your experience. Picking a bow is more than finding one that looks cool that is within your price range. You need to make sure that the bow fits you.
The fit of your bow will rely on which eye is dominant, your arm length, your strength, and even how you will be using the bow.
If you need a bow that you can hold a full draw for longer periods, then you’ll want one with a high let-off. If you’re a beginner, you might want to look for a bow that is more forgiving and will help you as you learn to shoot.
Let’s look at a few factors that you need to consider before you select a bow.
The first question that many archers have to answer is what handed bow should they get. The problem with many archers is that they assume that their dominant hand is their dominant eye. This isn’t always the case.
To find your dominant eye, hold your hands up to form an open triangle at arm’s length. Focus on a target and bring your hands up to eye level. If you close your left eye and what you’re looking at doesn’t move, then you’re right-eye dominant. Otherwise, your left eye is dominant.
If you need, watch this video to help you find your dominant eye.
If you don’t know your draw length, you should go to a pro store and have them measure your draw in proper form.
If not, you can estimate this by taking your arm length and dividing this by 2.5. This is easiest to measure if you have someone to help you, but you can measure this by yourself, too.
Grab a tape-measurer with your fingers on one hand and stand with your back to the wall. Make sure your arms are fully spread. Use your other hand to mark on the tape measurer. Take this and divide by 2.5 and you have an estimate of your draw length.
When you’re first starting off, try to start with a lower weight. As you shoot, you will build up muscle and be able to pull more weight for your draw.
If you’re not sure which weight you should shoot, here are some typical weights:
- Children – 15-25 lbs.
- Women – 30 – 40 lbs.
- Men – 55 – 65 lbs.
One thing to keep in mind is that many bows advertise how fast they can shoot in FPS – for example, 320 FPS. This is usually the best the bow can do when drawing at full weight. So if the bow is adjustable from 50-70 lbs, don’t expect to shoot at full speed if you have it set to 50 pounds.
The brace height is a measurement between the back edge of the bracer – where you hold the bow – and the string.
There is a lot of argument on whether high brace heights are better. Long brace heights are more forgiving, making them easier for beginners.
Lighter Isn’t Always Better
If you’re new to archery, there are a few things that you need to watch out for.
You should opt for a longer, heavier bow as these are usually more forgiving. This will allow you to practice and hone your form with your new bow. Look for a bow that’s over 4 lbs and at least 30 inches from axle-to-axle – the measurement between the two cams of the bow.
Lighter bows are easier to carry around, which may matter if you plan on using your bow to hunt. Keep in mind that lighter bows are noisier than heavy bows.
Advantages of Compound Bows vs. Other Bows
If you’re new to archery, compound bows are usually an excellent place to start. Unless you plan on shooting competitively, compound bows are a fine choice. Compound bows typically shoot faster, further and more accurately than other bow types.
Compound bows also enjoy let-off, which makes it easier to hold the bow at full draw.
Thanks to the design of compound bows with their cams and pulleys, a large amount of the weight of the bow is removed from the archer at full draw. This makes it easier to hold while aiming, which can make a big difference when you’re checking your form.
Compound bows are also more durable than other types of bows thanks to the kinds of materials used. Because there isn’t any wood in the design, they aren’t prone to warping.
Now that you know what to look for in a compound bow, let’s look at which one is best for you.
My Top Compound Bow Pick
The Bear Archery Divergent EKO is my top pick for compound bows. It’s lightweight, but not so light that it causes hand shock. In fact, many archers have stated that it virtually eliminates vibration.
Bear is known as one of the top bow makers in the industry. It is a bit pricier than other bows on this list, but its build quality and ease of shooting easily justify the higher price.
- FPS: 338
- Draw-weight: 55 – 70 lbs.
- Axle-to-Axle: 30”
- Draw Length: 26 – 30”
- Weight: 4.1 lbs.
- Brace-height: 6.5”
- Let-off: 75%, 80%, 85% or 90%
- Extremely smooth draw cycle
- Shoots quiet
- Configurable let-off of up to 90%
- Can fully customize at home
- Maybe too heavy if you want a light bow
- Not the fastest bow out there
Top Left-Handed Bow
If you’re a left-handed shooter – left-eye dominant people – then I would recommend the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package (also available in a right-handed configuration). This one comes as a package that includes many standard upgrades you may need. Depending on how much you shoot, these may last you for some time. The kit consists of a quiver, stabilizer, sight, wrist sling, and arrow rest.
This bow is relatively light, so you may experience a noisier shot and more vibration than you would with a more massive bow. The dampers included on the string help with the noise.
- FPS: 310
- Draw-weight: 5 – 70 lbs.
- Axle-to-Axle: 31”
- Draw Length: 13 – 31”
- Weight: 3.2 lbs.
- Brace-height: 7”
- Let-off: 80%
- Highly adjustable draw length and weight
- Can be purchased in left or right-handed configurations
- Includes commonly used accessories
- Included accessories are not the best quality
- Some users have reported problems with the cams
Best Bow with Wide Weight Range
If you’re looking for a bow that is has a wide range of draw weights, then I would recommend the Topoint Archery Compound Bow. This bow also comes as a package and includes many upgrades that you would need for your bow. This package also comes with arrows that many users have said are good quality.
Ok, this bow arguably doesn’t have as high of a weight range as the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro. However, since this bow is smaller – 28″ axle-to-axle – and faster at 320 fps, I thought it deserved this spot on the list.
- FPS: 320 FPS
- Draw-weight: 19 – 70 lbs.
- Axle-to-Axle: 28”
- Draw Length: 19 – 30”
- Weight: 3.31 lbs.
- Brace-height: 7”
- Let-off: 80%
- Surprisingly fast bow
- Large number of accessories included
- Arrows are included
- Maybe too light for new archers
- A small number of users have complained of poor quality
Best Budget Compound Bow
If your budget is relatively tight, I would recommend the Leader Accessories Compound Bow. This is a solid bow if you’re just starting out. The bow is heavy, which will help mitigate vibration while you work on your form.
This bow helps to make archery accessible for anyone looking to get into the sport. If the price tags on other bows make you cringe, this may be the one for you.
- FPS: 310
- Draw-weight: 55 – 70 lbs.
- Axle-to-Axle: 31.5”
- Draw Length: 25 – 31”
- Weight: 4.4 lbs.
- Brace-height: 7.5”
- Let-off: 75 – 80%
- No bow press needed for adjustments
- Inexpensive compared to other compound bows
- Weight and length help minimize vibration
- Solid back wall
- Not a wide range for draw weight or draw length
- Some users reported that it did not come with a manual
- Relatively heavy for a compound bow
Best Lightweight Bow
If you’re looking for a light hunting bow, I would recommend the Raptor Compound Hunting Bow. Though this bow is not the lightest bow on this list, it is light for its size. It also has one of the highest FPS ratings, too.
Many hunters prefer lightweight bows so they have less weight to carry. You can still use this bow at the archery range, too. This bow features a split-yoke tuning mechanism to help correct arrow flight. While this is helpful, it can be confusing for new archers to get it right.
- FPS: 320
- Draw-weight: 30 – 70 lbs.
- Axle-to-Axle: 30”
- Draw Length: 24.5 – 31”
- Weight: 3.8 lbs.
- Brace-height: 7.5"
- Let-off: 75%
- Light even though it is long
- Transferrable lifetime warranty
- Includes string stop for quieter shooting
- Great starter bow
- Some users have reported that instructions are hard to follow
- Many users recommend professional tuning
I have to admit that writing this guide made me want to get back to the range. There’s just something calming about the process of archery that I find relaxing and stimulating at the same time.
My favorite bow on this list is the Bear Archery BR33 Hybrid Bow. This one ticks all the boxes that I’m looking for in a compound bow. It’s a decent size, it shoots extremely fast, and it has a buttery smooth draw cycle.
When you’re selecting your bow, try to find which features are the most important. For me, it was a bow with reliable performance that would be able to grow with me as I improve my strength and skill. No matter which option you choose, make sure you dedicate time to mastering your craft.