Derrek Sigler 02.12.21
Updated Feb. 12, 2021
You don’t have to go to an archery pro shop to get a great compound bow. There are some seriously sweet compound bows available that fit any budget and can be shipped right to your door. These are some of the best compound bows available today, with easy set up and features that rival some of the higher-priced bows in archery pro shops.
Cover image: Shutterstock/REDAV
Table of Contents
1. Bear Archery Divergent EKO – Editor’s Pick
Bear Archery has been winning a lot of bow shootouts lately and with good reason. The company founded by Fred Bear produces high-quality bows that feel fantastic in the hand, shoot amazingly well and best of all, don’t destroy your bank account. The Divergent EKO is compact with a 30-inch axle-to-axle length. It can adjust from 26 to 30-inches for draw length. Bear’s Lock Down Pocket System provides what they claim is the most accurate and consistent limb alignment in the industry. It has a speed of 338fps and a weight of just 4.1lbs. Let off is adjustable from 75, 80, 85 or 90-percent, and the brace height is 6.5 inches. This is a great bow for hunting big whitetails.
Pros/Great shooting bow. Very compact. Extremely adjustable.
Cons/A little heavier than some other bows in this range.
Bottom Line/A lot of bow for the money.
2. Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout
Some bow manufacturers design bows for women. Diamond Archery was designed for women archers, by women archers. It features a carbon-fiber riser for strength and lighter weight of only 3.2 pounds. The draw length adjusts from 22.5 to 27 inches. The Knockout comes in draw weights of 40, 50 or 60lbs. And everyone wants speed, right? The Carbon Knockout will hit 302fps. It has a brace height of a forgiving 6.75 inches and a 30-inch axle-to-axle length. All this and a price that will make men jealous.
Pros/Great features and light weight.
Cons/Guys will be jealous
Bottom Line/One of the best bows on the market for women bow hunters.
3. PSE Brute NXT
The PSE BruteTM NXT fits your hand great and will feel and shoot like a bow that costs much more. The bow comes with a Ready-to-Shoot package with everything you need to get shooting right away.It fires arrows up to 320 FPS, giving you great speed. The 80% let-off lets you shoot comfortably, too. A medium 6.5-inch brace height makes the bow forgiving as well as helping to keep that speed faster and constant. It fits a wide range of archers with an adjustable 22.5- to 30-inch draw length.
Pros/A great shooting bow at a great feeling price
Cons/Ready to shoot package means you can’t select your components
Bottom Line/An amazing bow for the money.
4. Obsession Bows Turmoil RZ – Outstanding Package
If you want the performance of a high-end, archery shop bow, but can’t justify the $1,000+ price for a bare bow, there is a great alternative. The Obsession Bows Turmoil RZ package gives bowhunters smooth shooting speed at a much more reasonable price. Obsession’s easy-adjusting Hybrid RZ Cam fires arrows up to 350 fps, giving you the speed you need. Featuring an inter-rotating module, this high performance, 80% let-off cam offers archers draw length adjustments in 1/2″ increments without the need for a bow press, so you can adjust the length yourself. Lower string suppressor and Axion Limb Dampeners in the split limbs control noise and vibration for a more accurate, quiet shot. The TorqueLess Grip gives you proper hand alignment shot every time.
Draw length: 26.5″-30″. Axle-to-axle: 33.187″. Weight: 3.8 lbs. Package includes: fiber optic sight with light, Trophy Taker XFC drop-away arrow rest, Trophy Taker vise quiver, Trophy Taker Buzzkiller stabilizer and wrist sling, peep sight, and D-loop.
Pros/Complete package that gives you high-end quality
Cons/Be careful with adjustments if you’re not used to things. Still a little pricey
Bottom Line/A sweet bow that is decked out and ready to go.
5. Quest Storm – Easy-Shooting Quality
For those that don’t know, Quest Archery comes from the folks at G5 archery, That alone tells to that this bow and its components are high quality.Quest Storm is a single-cam bow with an adjustable draw length and wide limbs for stability. The compound bow is designed with 6061 forged, machined construction for durability in the field. The bow is outfitted with a Head-Loc 6-arrow quiver, a Halo rest, a G5 stabilizer, a G5 wrist sling, a G5 tool-less sight and a 0.25-inch Meta peep to help you get started. Speed is around 290fps with a forgiving 7-inch brace height.
Pros/A great bow with an outstanding setup and an easy-shooting design
Cons/A little slower at only 290fps.
Bottom Line/One of the better bows you may now have heard of
Let off explained
You often see compound bow boasting higher let-off rates. What is let-off? Simply put, it is the amount of draw weight reduction you feel at full-draw. Compound bows use the bow’s cables and cams to store the energy of the bow. It reduce sthe holding weight at full draw. This is calculated as a percentage of the overall draw weight. Many bows have an average of 80% let-off, so a bow with a 60-pound draw with 80% let-off holds at 12 pounds. This allows archers to hold the bow longer to allow for aiming before taking the shot.
Not all states allow the higher let-off rates, so be sure to check your local regulations before deciding on a bow. Some bows will allow you to adjust the let-off, too
Taking a look at brace height
You always see bows advertising the brace height, but what does that mean? When we talk about brace height , we’re talking about the space between the riser and the string. It is critical for arrow speed and bow forgiveness.
Faster bow usually have a a shorter brace height to get more arrow speed.How is that? You’re talking a bow, set at 75 pounds of draw. A bow with a 6-inch brace height will have great speed than one with a 7-inch brace height because your arrow has less area to travel before it is free from the bow. The downside is the shock from the bow being released is harsher, generally speaking, with a shorter brace height, and some of that shock gets transferred to your hand So when you hear about bow forgiveness, the bow transfers less shock to you, allowing for a better shooting experience.
Some archers don’t care as much about the forgiveness as they do about the speed.
What does it mean when a bow claims to be ready to shoot?
Bow packages that claim to be ready to shoot out of the box mean that the bow has been set up at the factory with all of the basics needed to effectively shoot the bow. The string is nocked and some include a peep sight set to an average height. All of the rest of the accessories are included. You may have to make a few simple adjustments to really dial in the bow. Most of these bows include instructions for fine tuning so that someone with little to no archery experience can get it ready to their liking. Check with your bow’s manual and if there is any doubt, take the bow to an archery pro shop.
Why are some bows only sold in archery shops?
There are several manufacturers that only sell bows in shops because they need to be set up for a person’s specific needs.
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