10 Best Compound Bows of 2020
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. And with the best compound bow you have a reliable tool for sports hunting and shooting competitions.
Some of the most distinctive features of the 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.
In this piece, we help make choosing a good compound bow easy by providing review of 10 top rated ones and explaining the factors to consider when buying one.
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
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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
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.
10 Best Compound Bows – Review
1. SereneLife SLCOMB10 (Best Overall)
2. Genesis Bows Gen-12231 (Best for Beginner)
3. Bear Archery AV83B21067L (Versatile for Different Ages & Skill Levels)
4. Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow (Well-Built Premium Quality Bow)
5. Leader Accessories Compound Bow (Best for Target Shooting)
6. XGear Outdoors Compound Bow (Reliable for Recreation & Hunting Use)
7. iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow (Best Budget)
8. Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow (Accurate for Small Game Hunting)
9. Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit (Powerful for Both Pros & Newbies)
10. Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set (Efficient & Easy to Use)
1. SereneLife SLCOMB10
2. Genesis Bows Gen-12231
(Best for Beginner)
3. Bear Archery AV83B21067L
(Versatile for Different Ages & Skill Levels)
4. Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow
(Well-Built Premium Quality Bow)
5. Leader Accessories Compound Bow
(Best for Target Shooting)
6. XGear Outdoors Compound Bow
(Reliable for Recreation and Hunting Use)
7. iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow
8. Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow
(Accurate for Small Game Hunting)
9. Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit
(Powerful for Both Pros a& Newbies)
10. Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set
(Efficient & Easy to Use)
1. SereneLife SLCOMB10 – Best Overall
- 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.
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.
Tuning this bow can be a little hard for beginners but this only takes a little getting used to as it will become easier as you do it more and more.
2. Genesis Bows Gen-12231 – Best Beginner Compound Bow
- Draw Weight:10 - 20 lbs
- Draw Length: 15 - 30 inches
- 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.
There is no let-off on this compound bow but it is still super easy to draw even for kids, and so this should not be a major drawback.
More Detailed: Genesis Original Compound Bow Review
3. Bear Archery AV83B21067L – Versatile Bow for Different Ages and Skill Levels
- 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. Its versatility means it will work well for different skill levels and ages.
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-off bow 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.
If you are a serious hunter, this compound bow might still not be very useful but for everybody else it is perfect.
4. Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow – Well-Built Premium Quality Compound Bow
- Draw Weight: 5 - 70 lbs
- Draw Length: Up to 31 inches
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 and premium quality performance.
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. And this is a well-balanced bow that provides a smooth draw.
This compound bow can handle almost anything and overall it is also quite long-lasting.
When you get this bow it does not seem very well-tuned but tuning it up is quite straightforward and should hence not be a deal breaker.
5. Leader Accessories Compound Bow – Best Compound Bow for Target Shooting
- 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.
The overall bow weight seems to be the only drawback as this is one of the heaviest model on our list, but with the well-balanced design you will hardly feel the extra weight.
6. XGear Outdoors Compound Bow – Reliable Recreational and Hunting Compound Bow
- 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.
A few more accessories would have been nice but this compound bow still comes with the most important ones.
7. iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow – Best Budget 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. And for a budget model this is still not a deal-breaker.
8. Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow – Accurate Compound Bow for Small Game Hunting
- 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.
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
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.
9. Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit – Powerful Bow for Both Pros and Newbies
- 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 bow-hunting 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.
Setting up and tuning this bow will take a little more effort for beginners but as they do it an more it becomes easier.
More Detailed: Predator Archery Compound Hunting Bow Review
10. Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set – Efficient and Easy to Use
- 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.
If you are hunting large game the draw length might not be enough but you can easily compensate for this by getting closer but for small game it is still enough.
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 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.
2. 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.
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 the Best Compound Bow
Choosing a top rated compound bow should not be a complicated affair as you only need to keep the following things in mind.
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 like XGear Outdoors Compound Bow 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Good compound bows will have anything from 50 to 80% let-off. Bit most users will be better off with an 80% let-off bow like Leader Accessories Compound Bow.
Buying your first compound bow is always the hardest, but with our comprehensive reviews above things should be easy as you have lots of amazing recommendations.
However, the SereneLife SLCOMB10 takes our best overall spot thanks to the higher let-off, sturdy full-machined frame, higher arrow speed and a god price tag.
But, if you prefer something more budget-friendly that is still well-made and with a fantastic performance, go for the iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow.
- Types of Compound Bow
- Bow Types Comparison Table
- 10 Best Compound Bows – Review
- 1. SereneLife SLCOMB10 – Best Overall
- 2. Genesis Bows Gen-12231 – Best Beginner Compound Bow
- 3. Bear Archery AV83B21067L – Versatile Bow for Different Ages and Skill Levels
- 4. Diamond Archery Infinitive Edge Compound Bow – Well-Built Premium Quality Compound Bow
- 5. Leader Accessories Compound Bow – Best Compound Bow for Target Shooting
- 6. XGear Outdoors Compound Bow – Reliable Recreational and Hunting Compound Bow
- 7. iGlow Archery Hunting Compound Bow – Best Budget Compound Bow
- 8. Armory Replicas Covert Trophy Compound Bow – Accurate Compound Bow for Small Game Hunting
- 9. Predator Archery Raptor Hunting Compound Bow Kit – Powerful Bow for Both Pros and Newbies
- 10. Atropos 109 Archery Hunting Compound Bow Set – Efficient and Easy to Use
- The Difference between Compound Bow and Recurve Bow
- How to Buy the Best Compound Bow