Outdoors Magazine

10 Best Compound Bow Reviews 2017 – Top Rated for the Money

By Chris Noal

When it comes to compound bows, there’s a lot to love about them. Their designs have been improving over the years, which means that you can use compound bows more and more effectively. At times, these bows are even better than their recurve counter parts. But because of how they’re designed and engineered, you might find it difficult to find the best compound bow for whatever you want to do. We’ll be going over some features that you will want to look for in the design of compound bows and point you in the direction of some well-designed examples. Our list should help you find a good compound bow that will do just what you need it to.

Best Compound Bow

How to Choose the Best Compound Bow

When it comes to picking out a bow, there are a lot of different things to look at. There are different ways that you will look at each of these options, but I will make sure to touch on the different ways that these will affect your bow and what purposes might require different criteria.

1. Purpose of the Bow – There are a couple major reasons for getting a bow. You might get a bow to go hunting. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you will want a setup that will really get the most power out of your bow. This means that you will want a higher arrow speed. You might also want a higher let off as well. Let off is where the archer is holding less of the draw weight. This means that you can have your bow ready but won’t have to struggle with the draw weight. You will also want a higher draw weight, so finding a bow with a good let off rate and a high draw weight will likely be essential for you. You might also want a lighter bow if you’re going out hunting with this bow.

Compound bow for hunting

If you’re wanting to use your bow for target shooting, then you don’t necessarily need a bow that has a high draw weight. You’re looking for a bow that you will be able to shoot accurately. A lower draw weight, a higher let off, and a heavier bow might be what you need. The heavier weight (or even a longer bow) will help you get a more accurate shot. The high let off will allow you to really focus on getting just the right shot with your bow.

But we’ll make sure to touch on what you want for hunting or target shooting in each section if it is applicable just to make sure that you know what to look for.

2. Length of Bow – When it comes to your bow length, you often want something that works with your body. Your draw length will often determine your bow length, but sometimes you might have a little bit of a range of bow sizes to work. Depending on what you’re doing, you might want a little bit longer bow.

If you’re hunting, you’ll want a shorter bow. That’ll make it easier to carry around and also easier to fire. For target shooting, a larger bow will actually make it easier to get a good shot. The average length for compound bows that you want is roughly 30 to 32 inches. However, the length of the bow that works for you might be a little bit different. Make sure that you pick something that works for you. It doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t work for other people.

3. Draw Length – This is an important part of many different bow choices. The draw length is how far the string will go before it stops. If you get a bow that has a draw length that is too long for you, then you’re going to be missing out on some of the power that the bow has to give you. If the draw length is too short, then you’re going to feel uncomfortable while you’re shooting the bow. It might even make you less accurate. Whether it’s too long or too short, you are going to be unhappy. Before you go to pick out a bow, make sure that you’ve measured your draw length if you don’t already know it. If you’re new to the world of compound bows and archery in general, then you might want to go to a store and have someone help you figure out the draw length. Anywhere that sells bows should have someone that can help you. Also, make sure to test how the bow feels before you purchase it.

Choosing the Best Compound Bow
Source: DeerLab.com

4. Weight – The weight of the bow can affect how you shoot. The lighter the bow, the longer you can carry it around with you and the more comfortable that you will feel with this bow. A heavier bow might be easier to aim with if you’re doing target shooting. For hunting, you’ll have to figure out a median where you won’t miss that often when you’re firing, but you’ll also be able to carry it with you for long periods of time. It’s a very personal thing to deal with, so make sure that you’re finding something that is right for you.

5. Let Off and Draw Weight – I have combined these two topics because they are so related. If you don’t already know, draw weight will affect how you shoot your bow. The higher the draw weight, the harder it is to shoot for some, but the more power will be behind the shot. A higher draw weight will be ideal for hunters, but it isn’t always necessary for people that want to just shoot targets.

However, higher draw weights can mean that some people won’t be able to reach their ideal draw length. As we have already discussed, this can cause a lot of problems for the archer. The way that we deal with this is through let off.

Because of the design of compound bows, you can wind up dealing with less of the draw weight yourself. Because of the way that the cams at the bottoms of limbs move and any weights that are attached to them, you might not have to deal with all that weight. There are some bows where you will deal with ten to fifteen pounds of draw weight when the bow has a draw weight of 70. This means that you will be dealing with roughly 20 percent of the actual draw weight. This would be an 80-percent let off. The higher the let off, the less weight you have to deal with. This can mean that you will be able to aim more without having to hold the whole draw weight.

However, you will still have to be able to pull the draw weight to get to the let off point. That can still be a challenge for some people. Even if you’re looking to hunt with your compound bow, you will want to make sure that you are capable of dealing with the draw weight of your bow.

Compound Bow Speed
6. Arrow Speed – The arrow speed of a bow is another measure that might help you decide on what kind of bow you want. The arrow speed is an indicator of the power behind your bow. Of course, the speed is affected by the weight of the arrow and the bow, but it can help you decide whether or not you want the bow.

The higher the speed, the more power is in the bow. You might not need a bow with a high arrows speed if you’re aiming to just shoot targets. However, having a high arrow speed might be something that you want just for yourself.

7. Price – This is always something people consider when they’re looking at bows. Compound bows can be made out of a variety of materials and can have varying qualities. The higher quality and better-designed bows are going to be more expensive. However, there are still decent bows that will be able to take down game and have great accuracy at lower prices. You might have to really look around for those prices, but they’re out there.

Make sure that you aren’t breaking the bank to get a good bow. You can always save up for the bow of your dreams and get a cheaper one to practice with and use in the meantime.

10 Best Compound Bows 2017 – Reviews and Comparison

1. PSE Surge Compound Bow – Best Overall

PSE Surge Compound Bow Review

This bow is a perfect balance of price and features. This bow is on the cheaper end and you will be able to adjust it to your needs. This bow will give you a high accuracy and it will be a great addition to your arsenal. This bow will be one that you come back to over and over.

It is adjustable so you’ll be able to configure the bow to whatever specifications you need. You will also be able to get accurate hits with the bow. You might need to purchase a few accessories if you don’t already have ones that will work with this bow, but you’re still getting a fantastic bow for an even more fantastic price.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

2. 2017 Obsession Hemorrhage DE Compound Bow – Best for Arrow Speed

2017 Obsession Hemorrhage DE Compound Bow Review

This bow is on the expensive side, but when you see how fast you will get your arrows going, then I’m sure you’re going to want to go out and purchase this bow.

This bow comes with a lot of options, especially this particular package. You’ll be able to get absolutely everything that you need so that you take your bow and go out and practice with it. You’ll be able to customize the draw weight and how much left off you will have. You will even be to adjust the draw length that you will be working with. The customization makes this bow more than just its arrow speed.

This bow is supposed to get arrow speeds of 340 fps. That is incredible and can deliver an incredibly deadly hit. But the overall design also makes this pricey bow worth every cent. This bow is also the perfect size for a hunting bow if you are looking for one that will deliver a solid hit.

Check Price on HuntersFriend.com

3. Quest Radical Realtree APC Compound Bow – Best for Beginners and Youth

Quest Radical Compound Bow Review

If you’re looking for a bow for the beginning archer in your life, then this might be the bow you want. This package deal is quite inexpensive compared to other bows out there. This means that this will be something that will better fit into your budget.

This bow is a little shorter than most bows that are used for hunting, but it’s still got a lot of power behind it. This bow can have anywhere from 15 pounds of draw weight to 70 pounds of draw weight with a let off of 75 percent. It also has quite the range of draw lengths, which means that this bow will be able to use this bow until they know what kind of more specific bow they want. This is by far the best youth bow when it comes to compound bows.

Whether it’s for a friend or for family, this bow will really serve you well.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

4. Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow – Best for Target Practice

Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow Review

When you want a bow for shooting targets, you’ll find a lot of bows that are really good. But this bow will suit you well. While this bow says that it’s ready to hunt, you’re not going to be limited to hunting with this bow.

A bow for shooting targets needs to be steady and accurate. Some people might a bow that’s a little bit longer than this one since it’s 32 inches from axle to axle. However, this bow is still going to provide you with accurate shots when you are using it.

This bow will also work well for women that want to get into archery. You might need to look at a lower draw weight than the model that you have provided, but there are a variety of draw weights for you to look for. This bow also comes in a package, which means that if you want some accessories to go with it if you want to hunt, then you’ll have them right at your fingertips.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

5. Elite Option 7 Compound Bow – Best for Hunting

Elite Option 7 Compound Bow Review

Finding the best compound bow for hunting can be really hard. You’ll want something that will serve you well and that will stand up to the abuse that you put it through. The Elite has a variety of draw weights, most of which will serve you well when you’re bowhunting. This bow also has a variety of options for draw length and coloring. You’ll be able to get a bow that will work for the kind of hunting that you want to do.

This bow, regardless of the draw weight that you get, will be able to get arrow speeds over 300 fps. This means that you’ll be able to hit hard. This bow also has an 85% let off. This means that you won’t spend a ton of time at the highest draw weight. This means that you’ll be able to spend less time training your body to deal with the weight that you need to pull on your bow.

This bow is reliable and incredibly sturdy. You’ll be able to customize this bow from the basic stats to the attachments that you get. This will make it the ultimate unique hunting experience.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

6. PSE Prophecy 70-Pound Skullworks Bow – Best for Weight of Bow

PSE Prophecy 70-Pound Skullworks Bow Review

This bow is at the longer end of the range for hunting compound bows, but you will be able to use this bow for hunting if you want. You might want to especially consider it because of the weight of this bow. This bow isn’t the lightest, but you don’t want a super light bow that will respond to the smallest twitches of your fingers.

You’ll want something that has a little bit of weight to it. Even if it’s a little bit heavy when you’ve been holding it up for a little while, you’ll appreciate how solid your shot is when you take a shot at your game or at a target.

In fact, this bow may work well for target shooters as well because of its weight. While most people that shoot at targets want a longer bow as well, the weight of this will balance out the performance.

This bow is great beyond its weight though. It has a great range of draw weight, draw length, and 75 percent let off. You’ll get a great performance out of the bow, regardless of the purpose that you’re using it for.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

7. PSE Carbon Air Compound Bow – Best for Draw Length

PSE Carbon Air Compound Bow Review

There’s a reason why there are multiple PSE bows on this list. These bows are truly well made and will provide you the kind of performance that you need. This particular bow has a greater range of draw lengths than some other bows. You can have from 24.5 inches of draw length to 30.5 inches. This means that this bow will work well for a variety of people.

You’ll want to try out this bow and see how it feels when you fire it. It has a let off of 80 percent, as well as a variety of draw weights. This bow is super silent and a delight to shoot. However, the bow comes in at a higher price. The great design and the lighter materials used to make the bow make it more expensive. If you have the money saved up for a bow, then this might be a great one to invest in. It’ll work for almost every purpose, which means that you won’t be limited to just target shooting or hunting.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

8. PSE Evolve Compound Bow – Best for Let Off

PSE Evolve Compound Bow Review

Getting a lot of let off in your bow means that you won’t have to deal with the entire draw weight of the bow if you pull back the string and aim. For archers and hunters alike, this can be an incredibly important thing. For hunters though, this is a very particular issue. You might be waiting for the perfect opportunity to shot when you’re out hunting, so a high let off will make sure that you aren’t too uncomfortable.

The PSE evolve has a high let off around 80 to 90 percent. This is some of the highest that you can find out there. The downfall of this bow is that it is expensive. However, if you go out and hunt for a bow with a good let off, you’re going to find that a lot of them are a little bit more expensive. However, the PSE evolve gets good arrow speeds, a high range of draw lengths, and high draw weights. This bow will last a good long time and keep you hitting your targets accurately.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

9. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Compound Bow – Best for Price

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Review

This bow isn’t that expensive, but it still might be a little pricier than you want to spend. However, I have a couple reasons why you should really consider getting this good bow for the price: it comes with all the attachments.

If this is one of the first bows you’re getting, you probably are going to get lost when looking for the right accessories to buy for your bow. You can make the process a little less complicated by getting a package deal like this one. You won’t have to guess about what to get.

This bow is also great for people of all ages and abilities. You’ll be able to adjust this for a child in your life that wants to get into archery as they get more confident in shooting the bow. Whoever you get this for, they will love this bow.

Check Price and Rating on Amazon.com

10. Hoyt Double XL Compound Hunting Bow – Best for Length of Bow

Hoyt Double XL Compound Hunting Bow Review

When you’re looking for a longer bow, it can be quite the challenge. While there are longer bows out there, a lot of people out there might want a longer bow. Whether it’s for target shooting or because it feels more stable in your hands, this Hoyt bow is going to satisfy your need for a longer bow.

This Hoyt bow isn’t just going to feel more stable, the design of it is going to allow you to get the most accurate shots out of it. And besides the great design of it, you will be able to pick out the specifics that you need. You can specify the draw weight and even the draw length of the bow. This means that you’ll be able to customize this bow from the get-go to really fit your needs.

Even though this bow is longer, you should really consider it for the next time you go hunting. This bow is going to be a great addition to your arsenal and will deliver clean hits wherever you aim.

Check Price on AbbeyArchery.com.au


There are so many great bows out there for you to try using. While I think that any of these bows would do well, I’m thinking that I might do best with the PSE Evolve. The bow is very adjustable and I’ll be able to get the draw length just right for me as well as adjust the other parts of the bow. Even though it’s more expensive, the let off is also attractive to me.

But what I want and what you need aren’t always the same. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get out there and find a bow that will work with you. Just make sure that you follow some of the advice that we have given you. Then you’ll be able to really find the best bow for the purpose that you want.

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