A compound bow is an extremely personal choice and something that needs to fit your personal as well as your hunting style. When you are out hunting, your bow becomes part of your identity, an extension of you, and also decides whether or not you are going to be successful in your mission.
The slightest margin of error can have a very major effect on your shooting. A bow with too much draw weight or one that does not fit correctly may not be stable while shooting. A heavy bow can be difficult to carry if you have to cover long distances. And not buying the perfect bow ultimately burns a major hole in your pocket if you have to buy a replacement. So, we hope our review of the 11 best compound bows will help you find the best one the first time round and make your shooting expeditions a grand success.
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11 Best Compound Bows
Considered a top compound bow, the Elkhorn Youth Compound Bow features heavy weight and durable composite limbs, as well as an integrated, composite riser that is center shot. The draw weight is 15 pounds with a draw length of 26 inches which enables you to use the same bow set for years to come. It measures 33 inches from end to end with a brace height of 8 inches, and a velocity of 70 fps. The axle-to-axle length is 33 inches and the draw can be adjusted between 17 to 21 pounds. It offers ideal hand placement which guarantees a better shot, thanks to its integrated design. It also includes 2 composite arrows measuring 26 inches, a finger tab, a quiver, arrow rest, arm guard, and an adjustable pin sight.
- Heavy-duty strings
- Weather-proof strings
- Ideal for beginners
- Perfect for right handed shooters
- Can only be used with the arrows provided
Bring out your adventurous side with this versatile bow that caters to all skill levels and ages. This bow for left-handed adventure seekers comes ready to hunt and features 6 trophy ridge accessories— a whisker biscuit, a 4-pin sight, a 5-arrow quiver, a sling and stabilizer, a nock loop, and a peep sight. It has an adjustable draw length from 12 inches to 30 inches and a draw weight of 5 to 70 pounds. The adjustments do not require a bow press and are made with an allen wrench. This lightweight compound bow weighs just 3 pounds and has a velocity of 315 fps. It also features an extremely smooth draw cycle, controlled power, minimal vibration and noise, and can be used by the whole family.
- 70% let off
- Advanced grip design
- Enhanced accuracy
- Axle-to-axle length of 30 inches
- EnduraFiber limbs
- RockStops offset string suppressor
- Some feel the string could be more durable.
This entry-level compound bow is ideal for beginners and made of durable engineering plastic PA66. It features an adjustable draw weight of 15 to 29 pounds and an adjustable draw length of 19 to 28 inches, with no bow press needed. With a right-handed orientation, it has a let-off of 65%, a brace height of 6.75 inches, adjustable twin cams, and a net weight of 2.5 pounds. Considered one of the best compound bows, it also includes 5 branches, an arrow rest, a bow sight, an arrow quiver, an arm guard, 12 arrows, and a target paper, and is also available in red, green, blue, and pink besides this black compound bow.
- IBO speed of 260 fps
- Axle-to-axle length of 27.75 inches
- String stopping function
- The string tends to snap off the cam.
This versatile compound bow can be used for hunting, bowfishing, and target archery. It can be tuned and adjusted without a bow press, is high and consistent in accuracy, and has a durable string and cam. The modules and cams are durable and safe as they are crafted from 100% aluminum and contain no plastic, while the high-quality strings ensure a high-speed shot. This right-handed top compound bow features an axle-to-axle length of 30 inches, a draw length of 23.5 to 30.5 inches, a 30 to 70 pounds draw weight, and a 7.4 inches brace length. It also includes 5 pin sights, 4 carbon arrows, a string stopper, release aid, string wax, paper targets, rubber stabilizer, a premium quiver, and a user manual.
- 75% let-off
- IBO rating up to 320 fps
- Rubber panel grip
- Well balanced
- Weighs 3.6 pounds
- Features a string silencer
- Vibration damping system
- Unmatched consistency and power
- Suitable for all skill levels
- Some may find the bows small.
This lightweight compound bow is equipped to adjust with the developing skills of archers who are new to the game. It features a draw weight of 18 to 29 pounds with a let-off of 60 to 70%, and a draw length of 22 to 25 inches. It comes with a 3-pin fiber optic sight with a bright glow feature which gives visibility in low light. The draw length of this right-handed bow can be increased in 1-inch increments, and also features an adjustable arrow rest.
- Well equipped
- Adjustable draw length
- Constructed to ATA and AMO standards
- May not be suitable for hunting
Irrespective of whether you want the compound bow for hunting, archery, or bowfishing, this unique bow is ideal for all, and is also suitable for both beginners and experienced shooters. This right-handed, top-rated compound bow has a body made of an aluminum-magnesium alloy, has a draw weight of 30 to 70 pounds, an adjustable draw length of 19 to 31 inches, and a brace height of 7.4 inches. The USA gordon limbs are suitable for all skill levels and have superb consistency and power. The modules and cams contain no plastic and are made of aluminum, adding to its safety, and the high-quality strings add to the longer range, accuracy, and speed of the arrow. The accessories include a bow, a 5-pin optical bow sight, an arrow puller, a peep sight, a quiver, 18 carbon arrows, a bow wrist sling, a brush arrow rest, a rubber stabilizer, an arm guard, a bow release, allen keys, browsting wax, target paper, and a bow bag.
- Very durable
- Extremely versatile
- IBO of 320 fps
- Let-off of 80%
- Axle-to-axle length of 32 inches
- Rubber panel grip
- Easy to maneuver
- All accessories are compatible with all compound bows
- Some may find it hard to assemble.
This is definitely the compound bow for you if you’re looking for something that has all the features and accessories, is of a high quality, and versatile. It has a draw weight of 5 to 70 pounds and the draw length can be extended from 13 to 31 inches, which means it can be used by shooters with longer draws. The cam system is also redesigned, creating a smooth draw cycle. It also has an added solid back wall to give this bow more leverage over other bows. Its 5-inch ultra-lite octane stabilizer ensures perfect balance to make your shooting perfect. This top-rated compound bow also includes 6 carbon arrows, a 3-pin tundra sight, tube peep sight, hostage XL arrow rest, BCY string loop, deadlock lite octane quiver, a soft bow case, and a comfort wrist sling.
- Weighs 3.2 pounds
- Right-handed bow
- Let-off of 80%
- Speed of 310 fps
- Axle-to-axle length of 31 inches
- Brace height of 7 inches
- Some may not find the peep sight satisfactory.
This small framed right-handed compound bow promises you superb performance as it’s well balanced and gives you the confidence of doing a great job. One of the best compound bows for hunting, it has an axle-to-axle length of 28 inches, a draw weight of 70 pounds, and a draw length range of 24.5 to 30 inches. It offers a smoother system with a let-off ranging between 80 to 90% without sacrificing power or speed, and a velocity of 335 fps. It comes with rotating cam modules that offer speed, comfort, accuracy, and stability. It weighs just 4.1 pounds and has a solid grip without slipping or sliding.
- String stop
- Brace height of 7 inches
- Roller guide cable guard
- Features vibration dampening system
- Easy to carry
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
This multifunctional, lightweight compound bow has a comfortable design for easy handling and is powerful enough to use for hunting. It also features a CNC milling riser and USA gordon composite limbs to enhance the durability. It has an adjustable range for archers of all ages with a draw weight of 10 to 40 pounds and a draw length of 17 to 27 inches. The let-off is 75% with an aluminum riser that is rust-free. The package also includes a brush arrow rest with 2 brush replacements, 3 pins bow sight, a rubber stabilizer, a bow release, a braided bow sling, an arrow quiver, an allen key, bowstring wax, 6 training carbon mix arrows, and a peep sight assembly with 2 replacements.
- Lightweight design
- Bow press not required
- Right handed
- Powder coated finish
- Dual cams
- Brace height of 6.8 inches
- Axle-to-axle length of 25 inches
- Ideal for children
- Does not include arrows and a release aid
One of the best compound bows, this one is perfect for both left and right handed shooters. Ideal for children between the age of 6 to 12 years, the lightweight design of this enhanced fiberglass bow has a double arrow rest for ambidextrous shooters and is easy to grip. It features a brace height of 9 inches, a draw weight of 10 pounds, and a let-off of 50%. The riser comprises high-quality compound material, while the bow string is made of durable nylon. The set includes 6 fiberglass arrows with bright color vanes, an arm guard, 4 paper targets, and soft rubber finger guards to protect children while practising.
- 3 mm reinforced bowstring
- Curved edge design
- Weighs 2.2 pounds
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Improves hand-eye coordination
- Enhances focus, concentration, and patience
- The arrow has a metal tip.
This top-rated compound bow has an IBO rating of 320 fps, a draw weight of 15 to 45 pounds, an adjustable draw length of 18 to 29 inches, and an axle-to-axle length of 25 inches. Its brace height is 6.8 inches, it has a let-off of 75%, and the bow weighs only 3.6 pounds. Made of an aluminum alloy, it’s durable and strong, and the bow limbs are made with high quality fiberglass board, which makes it smooth, uniform, and powerful. This makes it perfect for competitions, hunting, and shooting practice. This right-handed bow comes with several accessories that include a 5-pin bow sight, an arrow quiver, a brush arrow rest, a wrench set, target paper, a D-loop, a peep sight, and a rubber stabilizer string silencer set.
- Darclon bowstring
- Large size wheels
- Easily adjustable
- Excellent vibration reduction
- Harmonic stabilizer technology
- Arrows are not included
Now that you have been through our review of the 11 best compound bows, let us give you a few tips on what to look for while choosing one depending on your personal requirements and whether you want to use it for hunting, archery, or bowfishing.
How To Choose The Right Compound Bow
Compound bows are designed in a way that they can be used either by a right or left handed person. The handedness of the bow is determined by the hand that is used to draw the bow string. For example, a left-handed bow would be held in the right hand and the bowstring would be drawn by your left hand, and vice versa for a right handed bow.
Before buying a compound bow, you need to determine your dominant eye, and then whether you are left or right handed. You must ensure that the bow you buy is specifically made for your handedness. Bow models are specially designed for left or right handers and some companies only make models for a specific hand. That’s why it’s important to be double sure.
- Eccentric systems (Cams)
The design of the compound bow is based on a mechanical system called the Eccentric System, which comprises harnesses, 1 or 2 cables, and a string. There are several styles of cams and they determine the feel of the draw, the let-off of the bow, and the speed of the arrow. Compound bows come with binary cams and single cams, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. By linking cams together, you can derive the benefits of both. It can store a massive amount of energy and the bow automatically adjusts to changes in the bowstring length.
- Percentage of let off
This refers to the percentage of the mechanical relaxation of your bow when fully drawn. This is usually the same as that of your bow’s highest draw weight. If your bow is set to 70%, it means that as you draw the bow back it is 70 pounds, but as you get close to the full draw, the weight reduces. This allows you to pull a bow back and hold it at full draw. This gives the shooter time to aim without trouble with increased accuracy than if they had to hold the full 70 pounds. If you are out hunting, the reason for using a compound bow is to be able to hold your bow at full draw till you are ready to shoot.
- IBO speed
A standard measurement called IBO speed is used when comparing bows. A bow with an IBO speed of at least 300 feet per second is suggested for hunting. Anything above 320 feet per second is considered to be a fast bow.
- Axle to axle length
This is the distance between axles when the bow is at rest. It’s believed that a longer axle-to-axle length is more accurate than a shorter one, which means the bow would be heavier. Unless you are going for a very precision sport, the difference in accuracy is barely noticeable.
- Brace height
This is the distance between the back of the handle and the bowstring. The arrow will move faster if the brace height is less. A 7-inch brace height is usually considered ideal.
- Min/Max draw lengths
It’s important to know your preferred draw length, but the good thing is that compound bows can work with different draw lengths as long as they are adjusted, and your preferred draw length falls within the range of the bow. The IBO speed of a compound bow is measured with a draw length of 30 inches. If your draw length is more you can expect your actual arrow speed to be more. If you draw length is lower than that, your actual arrow speed will be less.
- Min/Max draw weights
Just as you can adjust the draw length of a compound bow, you can also adjust the draw weight. If the draw weight is too much, you might find it difficult to hold it steady while shooting and you may not be able to draw the bow stealthily and smoothly. Compound draw weights usually range between 10 pounds for children to 70 pounds for adults. A hunting bow should be at least 40 pounds for hunting big game.
- Riser styles
The riser refers to the middle part of the compound bow on which the handle is mounted. They are usually made of aluminum to prevent rust and keep the bow on the lighter side. Modern bows use carbon fiber or fiberglass to make risers which are even lighter. Most of the accessories of the compound bow like quivers, arrow rest, sights, and stabilizers are attached to the riser.
- Limb styles
These refer to the arms that are usually made of fiberglass and are attached to the riser. Some limbs have a split design while others are solid. Solid limbs are more prone to breaking while the split limb design can cause imbalances that might affect the arrow flight. Many modern compound bows feature parallel limbs which are less noisy as there is lower vibration because the limbs move in opposite directions.
A good compound bow is the deciding factor about whether your hunting expedition is going to be a success or not. Not to mention the fact that in the hunting circle, you are identified by your bow. Every year the manufacturers of compound bows surpass themselves by going one step ahead in what they offer bowhunters and archers. But it needs a very discerning eye to know whether what you are getting is the best compound bow for hunting. There is much more to choosing a suitable bow than just going with the latest craze. Towards this end, we hope our review of the 11 best compound bows will help you get the ultimate bow for yourself.