Archery is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. Whether you’re a bowhunter who loves the thrill of the hunt or a target shooter who loves the thrill of competition, archery has plenty of excitement to offer.
As archery continues to grow in popularity, shooters have more and more bow options to choose from. However, not all bows are created equal. Finding the best compound bow for your shooting style, skill level, and body type can be a complicated undertaking.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help you sort through the flood of options and help you find the perfect rig for your shooting needs.
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Compound Bow for Your Needs
- Top 10 Best Compound Bows on the Market Reviews
- 1. Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha – Our Top Pick
- 2. Mathews VXR 31.3 – Best High End Compound Bow
- 3. Bear Archery Status EKO – Most Versatile Compound Bow
- 4. Obsession HB33 Best Ready-To-Shoot Package
- 5. PSE Archery Brute NXT RTS – Best Budget Option
- 6. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro – Best Bow for Young Hunters
- 7. Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout – Best Compound Bow for Women
- 8. Bear Archery Cruzer G2 – Best Compound Bow for Beginners
- 9. Obsession Hashtag
- 10. PSE Archery Bow Madness Unleashed
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Best Compound Bow for Your Needs
Choosing a compound bow is a highly personal decision. We can certainly help you through the process, but ultimately, only you can decide which model will work best for you.
A compound bow works in conjunction with the shooter’s body. Therefore, it is crucial for the bow to fit your body structure. Because no two archers are exactly alike, a compound bow that works perfectly for one archer could be an absolute nightmare for another.
Here are a few key things to consider while you’re searching for your new rig.
Eye Dominance and Right- And Left-Handed Bows
Many brand-new archers choose a bow that matches their dominant hand. However, choosing a right- or left-handed bow can be slightly more complicated than that. The more important thing to consider is eye dominance.
A shooter that is right-handed but left eye dominant will usually shoot more consistently with a left-handed set-up.
Draw length is measured when the bow is drawn. It is the distance from the point the arrow makes contact with the string to the deepest part of the bow grip.
For comfortable and consistent shooting, it is extremely important for the draw length of the bow to match your personal draw length. The best way to measure your draw length is to visit an archery pro shop and have them measure it for you. However, you can get a rough estimate by standing with your arms held straight out from your sides and measuring the distance from fingertip to fingertip. Then, divide that number by 2.5 to find your relative draw length.
Most modern compound bows have adjustable draw lengths, so you will want to make sure your personal draw length falls within the bow’s draw range.
Draw weight is the amount of force it takes to fully pull back the bow’s string. Draw weight is important because it affects arrow speed, power, accuracy, and effective range.
A super heavy draw weight can make a bow more difficult to shoot accurately, especially once fatigue starts to set in. Being comfortable with the bow’s draw weight is important for accurate shooting.
However, draw weight is critical for hunters who require power and penetration to make humane shots. Some states also have laws regulating minimum draw weights for hunting. Be sure to check local hunting laws before committing to a new hunting rig.
Axle-to-axle length refers to the distance between cam pins. Generally speaking, the greater the distance between axles, the more forgiving the bow will be to minor errors in aiming and shooting form. Longer bows can also be easier to hold on target for extended periods of time.
The drawback to a bow with a long axle-to-axle length is that it can be difficult to carry into remote hunting locations. Their length can also make maneuvering into shooting position in a ground blind or treestand much more difficult.
Brace height is the distance from the deepest part of a bow’s grip to the bowstring when the bow is at rest. In general, compound bows with a long brace height will be more forgiving, making them easier to shoot accurately and consistently. However, a bow with a short brace height will typically shoot arrows at faster speeds.
The key is to find balance between accuracy and speed that works for your shooting application. Target shooters typically need a rig with a longer brace height. Hunters, on the other hand, will want a fast-shooting rig with a short brace height.
Top 10 Best Compound Bows on the Market Reviews
1. Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha – Our Top Pick
Hoyt makes some of the best quality hunting bows of all time. The company seems to be on a quest to make the most compact, effective hunting rigs ever, and their newest RX-4 Alpha is definitely a success. Although the RX-4 Alpha measures only 29 ½ inches from axle to axle, this bow is easy to shoot and sits rock steady in the hand.
Perfect for pursuing whitetails, this short axle-to-axle length maneuvers well in the woods. The RX-4 Alpha weighs just under 4 pounds. Its lightweight, compact design makes it easy to hike to and from your favorite hunting spot.
This bow is a true spitfire, producing arrow speeds up to 342 fps. It comes in draw lengths ranging from 25 to 30 inches and draw weights from 30 to 80 pounds, making it accessible to youth, women, and archers of every shape and size.
Hoyt’s compound rigs have a reputation for shooter forgiveness and easy shooting. The RX-4 Alpha is no exception. With a smooth draw, solid back wall, and 85 percent let-off, this bow is a great option for beginners and experienced hunters alike.
- Speed: 342 fps
- Bow weight: 3.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 29.5 inches axle to axle, 6⅛-inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, 70-80 pounds
- Draw length: 25-28, 28-30 inches
- Let-off: 85%
2. Mathews VXR 31.3 – Best High End Compound Bow
Mathews Archery is well-known for pumping out high-performance compound bows. The VXR is their new top-of-the-line model, and this bow does not disappoint. The VXR is available in a forgiving 31.5-inch axle-to-axle version, as well as a more compact 28.5-inch model. We like the extra forgiveness and arrow speed the 31.5-inch version provides.
The VXR features a cutting-edge riser design that reduces weight while providing plenty of stability in key areas. With near perfect balance, this hunting rig handles like a bow built for competition target shooting. However, this bow tips the scales at a pretty hefty 4.66 pounds completely naked.
With a silky, smooth draw cycle and an 80 percent let-off, the VXR handles like an absolute dream. Mathews claims the VXR 31.5 produces a respectable arrow speed of 343 fps. It also has one of the quietest releases in the industry. Deer will have a hard time ducking these arrows, especially with that ninja-quiet release.
- Speed: 343 fps
- Bow weight: 4.66 pounds
- Dimensions: 30.5 inches axle to axle, 6-inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 60, 65, 70, 75 pounds
- Draw length: 26-31 inches
- Let-off: 80%
3. Bear Archery Status EKO – Most Versatile Compound Bow
If you’re looking for a bow to punch targets on the competition field AND drop big bucks during hunting season, the Status EKO from Bear Archery does it all. Measuring 33 inches from axle to axle, the Status EKO sits in that just-right, Goldilocks sweet spot for both target shooting and big game hunting.
Perhaps the most customizable compound bow on the market today, the Status EKO allows you to customize let-off to 75, 80, 85 or 90 percent without sacrificing performance. You can also adjust draw length easily at home without the aid of a bow press. This bow also comes with two different hand grips, so you can choose which works best for you.
The Status EKO has a nice draw, good balance, and its limb stops make for a nice, solid back wall. The bow also comes outfitted with several noise-dampening features. While these definitely do a nice job of muffling noise and vibration, there is still some significant hum at the release.
- Speed: 344 fps
- Bow weight: 4.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 33 inches axle to axle, 6-inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 45 to 60, 55 to 70 pounds
- Draw length: 26-30 inches
- Let-off: 75, 80, 85, 90%
4. Obsession HB33 Best Ready-To-Shoot Package
Although Obsession is kind of a newbie, they’ve busted onto the archery scene with some awesome bows that rival models produced by big names in the industry. Obsession definitely pushes the envelope when it comes to design innovation, and their HB33 is one of the hottest bows on the market right now.
The Obsession HB33 features a hybrid cam design that provides a sleek, steady draw and produces blistering arrow speeds up to 348 fps. The design also incorporates extra-performance limb pockets that reduce cam lean through the entire length of draw for increased precision.
Super fast, whisper-quiet, and highly accurate, the HB33 is a joy to shoot. It sits almost dead in the hand, has a comfortable no-torque grip, and has a strong back wall.
The Obsession HB33 is a relative beast, measuring over 33 inches from axle to axle. However, it weighs just under four pounds and is well-balanced, especially at full draw. This bow is definitely built for adults and has dimensions that make it perfect for tall guys.
Ready to shoot right out of the box, the HB33 comes with a 4-pin sight, full capture arrow rest, quiver, stabilizer, sling, and peep sight.
- Speed: 348 fps
- Bow weight: 3.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 33 ¼ inches axle to axle, 6 ½ -inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 60 to 70 pounds
- Draw length: 26 – 30 inches
- Let-off: 80%
5. PSE Archery Brute NXT RTS – Best Budget Option
PSE specializes in affordable, high-performance bows. Their new Brute NXT is ideal for budget-conscious archers and definitely offers the best value for the money of any rig on our list.
Engineered with PSE’s new binary cams, the Brute NXT produces respectable arrow speeds, easy adjustability, and a nice fluid draw. WIth almost no excess vibration, this rig delivers an almost dead-in-the-hand feel on release.
The Brute NXT comes as a ready-to-shoot package that includes a Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, 5-arrow quiver, 5-pin sight, stabilizer, D-loop, and peep sight. It also has a price tag well under $1000, making this a great entry level option for the new hunter.
- Speed: 328 fps
- Bow weight: 3.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 30 ¾ inches axle to axle, 6 ½ -inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 55 to 70 pounds
- Draw length: 22 ½ – 30 inches
- Let-off: 80%
6. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro – Best Bow for Young Hunters
The Infinite Edge Pro package from Bowtech’s Diamond Archery is one of the most versatile and affordable options on our list. This model is a smart option for young archers, because it can be adjusted to keep up with their growth. The draw length adjusts easily from 13 to 31 inches and the draw weight ranges from an easy five pounds all the way up to 70.
The Infinite Edge Pro provides good accuracy and excellent arrow speeds at the high end of the draw weight range. It also draws smoothly, and although the back wall is a little spongy, it produces minimal noise and vibration on the release.
This rig weighs just over 3 pounds, making it ideal for young shooters to tote around a 3D course or hike into hunting territory. The dimensions are hearty (30.5 inches axle-to-axle with a 7-inch brace height), which makes it super forgiving. However, it can be difficult for smaller shooters to maneuver from a treestand or inside a ground blind.
The Infinite Edge Pro comes as a complete shooting package and includes a three-pin sight, arrow rest, wrist sling, peep sight, stabilizer, and D-loop. You can get the whole thing for under $500, which totally blows our minds.
- Speed: 310 fps
- Bow weight: 3.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 30 ½ inches axle to axle, 7 -inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 5 to 70 pounds
- Draw length: 13-31 inches
- Let-off: 80%
7. Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout – Best Compound Bow for Women
Women archers definitely have very different needs than their male peers. That’s why Diamond Archery brought in the experts on women’s archery when they designed their Carbon Knockout. This one is specially engineered to meet a woman’s specific shooting needs.
The Carbon Knockout is one of the lightest, most comfortable, forgiving compound bows on the market today. Thanks to Diamond Archery’s world-renowned binary cams, this rig delivers a buttery-smooth draw cycle and repeatable pinpoint accuracy.
The bow also comes in a variety of stunning colors and patterns chosen by female shooters for female shooters.
The Diamond Archery Carbon Knockout comes with everything you need to hit the range. The package includes a custom sight, Octane Hostage XL arrow rest, quiver, wrist sling, peep sight, Ultra-Lite Octane stabilizer, and BCY string loop.
The Carbon Knockout is designed to meet the draw weight and lengths of women shooters at every skill level. You can opt for a model with a 40-, 50-, or 60-pound draw weight. These models feature an adjustable draw length from 22.5 to 27 inches.
- Speed: 302 fps
- Bow weight: 3.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 30 inches axle to axle, 6 ¾ -inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 40, 50, or 60 pounds
- Draw length: 22.5 to 27 inches
- Let-off: 80%
8. Bear Archery Cruzer G2 – Best Compound Bow for Beginners
Too often, new shooters try to adjust and adapt to a subpar compound bow that just doesn’t meet their needs. The Cruzer G2 from legendary Bear Archery is designed to adjust and adapt to the needs of any shooter instead of the other way around.
The Cruzer G2 has a massive draw length range. Draw length can be easily adjusted with just an Allen wrench from 12 inches to 30 inches. There’s no need for a bow press or a pro shop.
The draw weight is just as adjustable. Dial it down to as low as five pounds for the youngest archers. You can then adjust it all the way up to 70 pounds as they gain strength and experience. This truly is a rig that fits practically any archer on the face of the planet.
With a super smooth draw cycle and a 70 percent let-off, the Cruzer G2 is simply fun and easy to shoot. Weighing only 3 pounds and featuring an advanced grip design that eliminates hand torque, holding this rig on target is a breeze.
The Cruzer G2 comes in a ready-to-shoot package that includes a four-pin sight, Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, 5-arrow quiver, stabilizer, sling, peep sight, and D-loop.
- Speed: 315 fps
- Bow weight: 3 pounds
- Dimensions: 30 inches axle to axle, 6.5 -inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 5-70 pounds
- Draw length: 12-30 inches
- Let-off: 70%
The Hashtag is another great bow designed to grow with the archer from novice to mastery. However, the Hashtag is far from a watered down youth bow. This thing is tough, sturdy, and packed with features you would expect from a high-end, flagship model.
The Hashtag features a stiff, machined aluminum riser that provides plenty of stability through the draw and a hybrid cam design that delivers a velvety smooth draw cycle. This thing shoots like a dream.
The cam system also has easy-to-read laser-numbered rotating mods so you can easily adjust the draw length from 19 to 26.5 inches. The draw weight can also be adjusted from 15 to 60 pounds.
This isn’t a rig that will work for big, lanky adult archers. However, it works well for young, female, or other small-framed archers and allows for easy adjustment as skills develop and young bodies grow.
Like many of the other models on our list, the Hashtag comes as a complete package. However, Obsession definitely didn’t cut corners on these top-of-the-line accessories. The Hashtag compound bow comes with a fiber optic sight with light, Trophy Taker XFC Drop-Away Arrow Rest, Trophy Taker Vise Quiver, Trophy Taker Buzzkiller Stabilizer, wrist sling, peep sight, and D-loop.
- Speed: 308 fps
- Bow weight: 3.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 32.375 inches axle to axle, 6.375 -inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 15-60 pounds
- Draw length: 19-26.5 inches
- Let-off: 80%
Precision Shooting Equipment (better known as PSE) has a huge line of affordable, high-quality compound bows, but their Bow Madness Unleashed is definitely our favorite.
A tough, high-speed hunting rig, the Bow Madness Unleashed features a strong, stiff riser, a smooth 3-track binary cam system, high-quality zero-stretch bowstrings, and a generous and forgiving axle-to-axle length (32 ⅜ inches!). These features combine to offer comfortable control and balance without sacrificing speed or power. Producing lightning fast arrow speeds of up to 332 fps, this rig is perfect for serious bowhunters.
It has an ultra-smooth draw cycle, 85 percent let-off, a solid back wall, and incredible balance. You’ll have no trouble holding this one on target while you wait for that once-in-a-lifetime buck to present the perfect broadside shot.
This bow comes ready to hunt straight out of the box and includes a Sierra Lite Sight, TruGlo EZ Rest, Hunter Lite quiver, FX4 stabilizer, Mongoose peep sight, and D-loop.
- Speed: 332 fps
- Bow weight: 3.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 32 ⅜ inches axle to axle, 6-inch brace height
- Draw Weight: 47-70 pounds
- Draw length: 25-30.5 inches
- Let-off: 85%
In the world of archery, it is usually true that you get what you pay for. If you want a high-performance rig, you’re going to need to fork out some cash. However, you shouldn’t let the steep price tags of some high-end bows discourage you from getting started. While you definitely won’t find a quality set-up for under $200, there are plenty of affordable options on the market.
Hopefully, your search for the best compound bow will be a little easier with the information we’ve provided here in this article. Our list of top picks definitely isn’t meant to be all-inclusive. There are plenty of other high-quality rigs out there. If we left off your favorite, don’t take it personally. But you should definitely tell us all about it in the comments.