The 10 Best Compound Bows – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Compound Bow

Archery bows are one of the oldest weapons, and they have existed in various forms throughout history. And like most other weapons, they have been evolving through the ages as new materials and designs are invented.

The compound bow is one of the relatively new archery bow innovations as it has been around for little over 50 years. But, it is now one of the favorite types for both bowhunters and sportspersons.

Some of the most distinctive features of the best compound bows include the innovative system of cables, pulleys, and eccentric cams. 

Most archers will find compound bows more efficient and accurate but before you go out to buy one, it is always vital to understand what they are all about and what to look for when choosing the best

Types of Compound Bow

In your pursuit to get that perfect compound bow for hunting or shooting sports, the first and probably the most important thing to understand are the different types available.

Although there are a few ways of classifying compound bows, classification according to the cam system style is the most common. And the four most common types are single, hybrid, twin and binary cams.

#1. Single Cam

Single Cam

The single cam system is what is also often referred to as the one cam or solocam. And it is the type with an idler wheel at the top of the bow and a power-cam at the bottom that is elliptical shaped.

With the single cam system, you get quieter and easier to maintain cam than what you get from bows with the twin cam system, and this is because it does not require cam synchronization.

However, most single cam systems often fail to achieve level nock travel as they have a short valley.  But, overall they are still quite smooth and reliable cam systems.

Pros:

  • Easier to maintain
  • Quieter
  • Easy adjustability

Cons:

  • Harder to achieve level nock travel

#2. Hybrid Cams

Hybrid Cams

The hybrid cam system will come with two asymmetrical elliptical cams which are a control cam at the top section of the bow and a power cam on the bottom section.

The hybrid system uses a single split-harness and with a control cable and main string. It has been in the limelight since early 2000's, and it will offer the benefit of straight and level nock travel.

Hybrid cam systems work like properly tuned twin-cam bows but they often do not have the timing or synchronization issues of the latter. And they also require relatively less maintenance than the twin cam systems.

Once they are oriented properly, these systems can be quite fast and quiet and in most instances, they will outperform the single cam systems. Their greatest and probably only shortcoming is that they have reduced nock travel.

Pros:

  • Relatively less maintenance
  • Easy tuning
  • Fast and quiet

Cons:

  • Reduced nock travel

#3. Twin Cams

Twin Cams

Some of the most powerful compound bows will come with a twin or dual cam system. These systems will feature two perfectly symmetrical elliptical cams on both ends of the compound bow.

When you synchronize the twin cam systems properly they will offer almost unmatched nock travel, accuracy, and also higher overall speeds.

But, despite all these benefits, these cam systems are not perfect as they will require relatively more maintenance and servicing to remain in top-notch shooting condition. Also, there is increased noise when using a bow with this cam system.

Pros:

  • Excellent nock travel
  • Accuracy
  • High speeds

Cons:

  • Require more maintenance
  • Increased noise

#4. Binary Cams

Binary Cams

The binary cam is a modification of the twin cam and so they are very similar which makes it hard for some beginners to tell them apart.

But, the most distinctive element about them is that unlike the twin cam system, the top and bottom cams are slaved to each other instead of the bow’s limbs.

Binary cam systems are fast (really fast) and they are a lot easier to work with than most others. Also, they will produce a level nock travel.

However, these are highly complex cam systems and so they will require frequent maintenance and tuning

Pros:

  • High speeds
  • Easy to worth with
  • Level nock travel

Cons:

  • Require regular maintenance and tuning

Bow Types Comparison Table

Here is a comparison and summary table of the main features of the four main cam systems and their good and bad features.

Compound Bow Types

Features

The Good

The Bad

Single Cam

  • check
    Idler wheel at the top of the bow
  • check
    Elliptical shaped power-cam at the bottom
  • check
    Easier to maintain
  • check
    Quieter
  • check
    Easy adjustability
  • check
    Harder to achieve level nock travel

Hybrid Cams

  • check
    Control cam at the top
  • check
    Power cam on the bottom
  • check
    Relatively less maintenance
  • check
    Easy tuning
  • check
    Fast and quiet
  • check
    Reduced nock travel

Twin Cams

  • check
    Uses two perfectly symmetrical elliptical cams on both ends of the compound bow
  • check
    Excellent nock travel
  • check
    Accuracy
  • check
    High speeds
  • check
    Require more maintenance
  • check
    Increased noise

Binary Cams

  • check
    Similar to twin camsbut the top and bottom cams slave to each other and no the bow’s limbs
  • check
    High speeds
  • check
    Easy to worth with
  • check
    Level nock travel
  • check
    Require regular maintenance and tuning

10 Best Compound Bows - Reviews

Product Name

Draw Length

Draw Weight

Let-off

Speed

Rating

Current Price

SereneLife SLCOMB10 Compound Bow

23.5-30.5"

30-70 lbs

70-75%

320 FPS

4.8

Genesis Original Compound Bow

15-30"

10-20 lbs

0%

N/A

4.7

Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow

12-30"

5-70 lbs

70%

315 FPS

4.6

Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow

Up to 31"

5-70 lbs

N/A

N/A

4.7

Leader Accessories Compound Bow

25-31"

5-70 lbs

75-80%

310 FPS

4.3

XGear Outdoors Compound Bow 30 - 55lbs

19-29"

30-55 lbs

70%

296 FPS

5.0

iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow

19-29"

30-55 lbs

70%

296 FPS

4.0

Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow

26-30"

50-75 lbs

70%

270 FPS

3.7

Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set

27.5"

30 lbs

75%

260 FPS

3.5

Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit

24.5-31"

30-70 lbs

75%

315 FPS

4.3

#1. SereneLife SLCOMB10 Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)

SereneLife SLCOMB10 Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight: 30-70 lbs
  • Draw Length: 23.5-30.5 inches
  • Speed: 320 FPS
  • Let-Off: 70-75%

This well-built and solid compound bow comes in a relatively affordable price tag and is a great choice for both kids and adults.

It has a significantly higher let-off of up to 75% to make aiming easier and with a draw weight of between 30 and 70 lbs and 23.5-30.5 inches draw length.

Also with a maximum speed rating of up to 320 FPS, it is also a relatively fast compound bow. And with other features like the fiberglass limbs and high-intensity aluminum alloy riser, you can be confident that this is a top-notch compound bow.

Pros:

  • Relatively higher maximum let-off
  • Solid and well-built
  • High-intensity rise
  • Works great for both kids and adults
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • A little hard to tune for beginners

#2. Genesis Original Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)

Genesis Original Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight:10-20 lbs
  • Draw Length: 15-30 inches
  • Speed: Not available
  • Let-Off: 0%

This single cam system bow is one of the best beginner compound bows out there. The single cam system means that it will not have any tuning issues and will also have less recoil and noise, will also provide more accurate shooting.

The zero let-off compound bow comes with some sturdy composite limbs, 6061-T6 aluminum riser, and high strength bowstring all of which combine to enhance its performance and make it highly durable.

Its 10-20 lbs draw weight and 15-30 inches draw length are ideal for archers of all ages and it is also adjustable to grow with the archer.

Pros:

  • Sturdy composite limbs
  • High-strength bowstrings
  • Durable aluminum riser
  • No tuning issues
  • Great for all ages and sizes

Cons:

  • Does not have any let-off

#3. Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight:5-70 lbs
  • Draw Length: 12-30 inches
  • Speed: 315 FPS
  • Let-Off: 70%

With its wide draw length and draw weight ranges, the Cruzer G2 is a highly adjustable compound bow that will cater to the needs of all kinds of archers.

The bow comes ready for hunting as you will get the whisker biscuit, sight, 5-arrow quiver, peep sight, stabilizer, and nock look in the package.

This 70% let-offbow also has a very effective mechanism for controlling vibrations and noise. And it is also quite a lightweight bow that will produce a decent enough speed of up to 315 FPS.

Pros:

  • Wider draw weight range
  • Includes a 5-arrow quiver
  • Lightweight overall design
  • Minimal noise and vibrations
  • Comes ready for immediate use

Cons:

  • Not very useful for serious hunters

#4. Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)

Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight:5-70 lbs
  • Draw Length: Up to 31 inches
  • Speed: Not available
  • Let-Off: Not available

The Infinitive Edge is one of the priciest items on our compound bow reviews but this is thanks to its high-quality construction with some highly durable parts.

It allows for infinite draw settings that ensure that it can accommodate all kinds of shooters, and its uniquely designed cam system gives archers a super smooth draw cycle.

Also, there is everything that you need to use it in the package including a stabilizer and the convenient wrist sling.

This compound bow can handle almost anything and overall it is also quite long-lasting

Pros:

  • Infinite draw settings
  • Multi shooter bow
  • High-quality construction
  • Smooth draw cycle
  • Perfectly balanced

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier

#5. Leader Accessories Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Leader Accessories Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight:50-70 lbs
  • Draw Length: 25-31 inches
  • Speed: 310 FPS
  • Let-Off: 75-80%

For the archers that are shopping for a compound bow for target shooting, here is a great choice for you. Its 80% maximum let-off is the highest on our list and so this is one of the easiest to use and aim.

The compound bow comes as a complete package that includes all the basics and some extras such as the handy bow bag.

This top-notch quality bow has a draw weight of 50-70 lbs and 25-31 draw length and with an aluminum riser. Making adjustments is also quick and easy and with no bow press required.

Pros:

  • Comes as a complete bow package
  • Higher maximum let-off
  • Convenient aluminum riser
  • Easier draw weight/length adjustment

Cons:

  • Relatively heavier

#6. XGear Outdoors Compound Bow 30 - 55lbs

Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)

XGear Outdoors Compound Bow 30 - 55lbs
  • Draw Weight:30-55 lbs
  • Draw Length: 19-29 inches
  • Speed: 296 FPS
  • Let-Off: 70%

XGear 30-55 lbs is a top-rated compound bow that will work well for both recreational shooting and hunting.

It is also one of the cheapest on our list despite its impressive quality, and it has a draw length of 19-29 inches and can achieve speeds of up to 296 FPS.

Also, the compound bow will come with durable aluminum riser and dual fiberglass split limb both of which help to improve its overall performance.

The enclosed Allen wrench helps to make draw weight and length adjustment easy and with no bow press required. And the bow will also come with various accessories including a couple of 30-inch aluminum arrows.

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable bow
  • Dual fiberglass split limbs
  • Easy draw weight/length adjustment
  • Durable aluminum riser

Cons:

  • Does not come with enough accessories

#7. iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)

iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight:30-55 lbs
  • Draw Length: 19-29 inches
  • Speed: 296 FPS
  • Let-Off: 70%

An affordable price tag combines with a sturdy enough construction to make this the best compound bow for the money on our list.

Like most other top-notch compound bows, it is easy to adjust and it uses an aluminum riser and a highly durable compression molded fiberglass limb.

This fast and relatively accurate compound bow will generate speeds of upwards of 296 FPS, and it is nicely polished to ensure users always get an excellent performance.

Although it is just a plain bow without any accessories, you will not have to spend a lot of extra cash to get them.

Pros:

  • Easily adjustable
  • Highly affordable
  • Fast and accurate
  • Nicely polished finish

Cons:

  • Comes with no accessories

#8. Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow

Editor's Rating: (3.7 / 5)

Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow
  • Draw Weight: 50-75 lbs
  • Draw Length: 26-30 inches
  • Speed: 270 FPS
  • Let-Off: 70%

The best compound bows are not always the priciest ones as this is a high-performing model despite also being one of the cheapest on our list.

And although its 270 FPS maximum speed is one of the lowest on our list, it does not take anything away from the fact that this is a top-notch bow.

Natural elements like temperature and humidity have minimal effect on this 50-75 lbs draw weight bow, and so you can always be confident of superior accuracy, high velocity and distance regardless of the weather.

This bow comes with a smooth black finish and it will be very useful for hunting small and medium-sized animals like deer and rabbits

Pros:

  • Durable rise and limb materials
  • Superior accuracy
  • Great for hunting small game
  • Minimal temperature/humidity effects
  • Smooth black finish

Cons:

  • Relatively lower arrow speed

#9. Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set

Editor's Rating: (3.5 / 5)

Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set
  • Draw Weight:30 lbs
  • Draw Length: 27.5 inches
  • Speed: 260 FPS
  • Let-Off: 75%

The unique triangle design of the Atropos 109 will take some time getting used to but most archers will love it as it comes with several benefits such as making the bow more efficient and easier to use.

It provides a let-off of 75% which should be enough for most archers. And it also comes with some high-quality materials that include fiberglass limbs and ABS riser which also help to make this a lightweight compound bow.

The unique release mechanism makes shooting easy and also saves you some labor when aiming. When you buy this bow you will get several accessories that include 6 arrows and a handy bow bag.

Pros:

  • Easy and less tedious shooting
  • Lightweight fiberglass limbs
  • More efficient triangle shape
  • Suitable for both right and left shooting
  • Comes with several arrows and a bow bag

Cons:

  • Not enough draw length for a large animal

#10. Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit
  • Draw Weight:30-70 lbs
  • Draw Length: 24.5-31 inches
  • Speed: 315 FPS
  • Let-Off: 75%

The Raptor is one of the most powerful compound bows both on our list and in the market and it will be an excellent choice for both beginner and professional archers.

This fantastic bow comes in a fully adjustable design that lets you vary the draw weight between 30 and 70 lbs and draw length of between 24.5 and 31 inches hence making it ideal for both kids and adults.

Also, it uses some high-quality parts to make it highly durable, and they included the fully machined aluminum cams and rise and fiberglass limbs.

You can use this compound bow for everything from bowhunting to fast shooting as its design is quite versatile. And with a maximum FPS of 315, it offers one of the highest speeds on our list.

Pros:

  • Fully adjustable design
  • Durable aluminum cams
  • Top notch quality accessories
  • Relatively high speed
  • Highly versatile

Cons:

  • Hard to set up and tune for beginners

The Difference between Compound Bow and Recurve Bow

The compound and recurve bows are the two most common types of archery bows and although they serve similar roles, their similarities end at the fact that both have strings and use arrows.

But if you are going to buy either of the two it will be vital to make sure that you understand what sets them apart.

#1. Compound Bow

Compound Bow

Compound bows are somewhat a modern version of the recurve bow and they feature a more complicated design. Their popularity has been on a steady rise in the last few decades as more and more people prefer them for hunting and sports shooting.

These bows will feature a pulley system that takes some strain off the archer to make it easier to shoot with more accuracy. And unlike the recurve bows, they are more customizable.

The compound bows will hold various tools from scopes to small quivers which makes them highly adaptable but the recurve bow will at best only have a scope and some small accessories.

But, compounds bows also have some shortcomings with key among them being the starting price. Also, they are bulkier, more elaborate and delicate which makes them more tedious to transport.

Pros:

  • Holds various accessories
  • Easier to shoot
  • More accurate

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier
  • Bulkier and more tedious to transport

#2. Recurve Bow

Recurve Bow

The recurve bow is what many archers will often refer to as the traditional bow, and it is the kind that has been in use for many centuries around the globe.

Recurve bows will consist of only the bow body and single string. The bow body or frame also has a much simpler design than compound bows that consists of one to three pieces.

Although not a necessity, most recurve bows will have a wooden frame. And they get their name from the fact that the tips of the bow frame curve out towards the target.

The simple design makes these bows much easier to transport than compound bows and they will also require less maintenance than the latter as they have fewer parts.

Although recurve bows are cheaper to buy than compound bows, they can be quite costly in the long run because you will in most instances have to replace the entire bow in case the frame breaks.

Another downside is that a recurve bow does not have let-off like the compound bows. What this means is that if you are using a 70-pound recurve bow you will have to draw and hold back the entire 70 pounds as you aim to ensure that you apply 70 pounds of force to the arrow.

Pros:

  • Simpler design
  • Require less maintenance
  • Relatively cheap to buy

Cons:

  • Costly in the long run
  • No let-off

What to Buy

If you are a seasoned hunter or your just love bows, it is a great ideal to have both compound and recurve bow.

However, if you are looking for something more accurate and with some high arrow speeds the compound bow is a better option than the traditional recurve.

Also, how you intend to use the bow should help you pick between the two. If you are training for a competition or even hope to go to the Olympics the recurve bow is more ideal as it is what is acceptable for most competitons.

How to Buy a Compound Bow

How to Buy a Compound Bow

Choosing the best compound bow is always a lot easier for professional bow hunters and shooters. But the same is not the case for everyone else.

However, choosing a top rated compound bow should not be a complicated affair as you only need to keep the following things in mind when shopping.

#1. Purpose

How you intend to use a compound bow or its purpose should always be one of the first factors to take into account.

What works well for hunting might not always be appropriate for shooting sports. For hunting compound bows, some factors like the overall weight will have more effect on your choice as you have to carry it around for many hours.

If the compound bow is for shooting competitions, then speed and accuracy will probably be your two main concerns, and the overall weight might not be as important.

#2. Length

Both the length of the axle and draw length matter a lot, and so they should always be in your mind when shopping for a good compound bow.

Axle length is just the total length of the compound bow and what makes it important is that it affects maneuverability of the bow.

Short axle compound bows are much easier to maneuver but they tend to be harder to shoot without first practicing a lot. Longer ones, on the other hand, are more forgiving and hence a great choice for beginners.

Draw length measures the distance between the bowstring and grip when at full draw.

You can always get a draw length adjustment for your compound bow but less draw length is always much better because more length impacts your speed and accuracy negatively.

#3. Weight

When it comes to the weight of the compound bow, there are two important things to consider. And they are the draw weight and overall weight of the bow.

The draw weight is often expressed in pounds and it is an expression of the actual amount of work that it takes to get the compound bow to a full draw.

The higher the draw weight, the faster the bow and the heavier the arrows that you will need. How you intend to use the bow should help you determine the appropriate draw weight but make sure that you can pull it back slowly and smoothly.

The overall weight of the bow becomes a vital factor if you are shopping for a good compound bow for hunting.

A light bow is easy to carry around but also louder while the heavy ones might be tedious to carry but are quieter and with minimal vibrations. Again the choice here depends on your preferences.

#4. Speed

Whether you are hunting or shooting for sports the speed rating of your compound bow matters a lot as it will have some effects on the efficiency and accuracy.

With a compound bow, the speed is an indication of how fast an arrow will travel once it leaves your bow, and it is measured in feet per second (FPS).

But, besides from the FPS, compound bows will also come with International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) speed rating.

While it is always a good idea to go for a high-speed compound bow, it is also important to note that you still need to have heavier arrows to generate more momentum and penetration capabilities.

#5. Let-Off

You can never overlook the let-off when it comes to choosing a compound bow as it is a crucial factor that will affect its ease of use.

The let-off is the reduction in the draw weight when you pull the bowstring all the wayback, and it is often indicated as a percentage.

And here the higher the let-off the easier it will be to aim the compound bow.

Conclusion

A compound bow is a popular hunting and sports shooting bow. And although it has only been around for slightly over half a century, it seems to have an edge over many other types of bows.

But, whether you are buying one for the first time or not, want something for either hunting or shooting, you need to make sure you choose the best.

And if you understand important things like the cam system and also consider others like the weight, length and speed it should be easy to get the best compound bow.

Also, make sure that you compare several compound bow types and brands before settling for the best. And note that buying your first one is always the hardest but as you get used to them things become a lot easier for you.

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