More and more people are getting involved with archery these days. Once upon a time, it was something you did to survive – but it can also be a fun hobby that takes you outdoors, helps you keep in shape, and even works on your hand-eye coordination without video games. Of course, it’s important to know what you’re looking for when it comes to a compound bow – not all are created equal. Additionally, not every bow hunter is equal, either – and you’ll need to consider this when making your selection.
What should you think about when picking the best compound bow for the money?
- Your budget: Even the best bow in the world is wrong if it costs more than you can reasonably afford.
- Your hobby: Hobbyists who are “hunting” paper targets or tin cans will not need as much precision as someone who will be hunting game animals.
- Draw length: The ideal draw length for a bow should be your total arm span divided by 2.5. This ensures a comfortable and precise shot.
- Draw weight: The ideal draw weight should be comfortable, but powerful. You should be able to fully draw the bow and hold it for a full minute without shaking.
- Bow length: This is not the same as the draw length. Those with shorter arms should aim for a shorter bow length, while those with longer arms will not be able to comfortably hold a smaller bow.
So, what does this mean for the selection of your bow? Well, for youth as well as beginners, it may seem less important to choose a good bow, but the reality is that is not the case. When you are just learning, you won’t have as much of a handle on correcting accuracy, and therefore you will need a bow that helps you out with this. Those with more experience may learn to compensate for the inaccuracy of their bow, and are able to accommodate a bow that isn’t as good of a fit for them. (Although, it is still preferred that you have a bow that is sized and weighted comfortably for your build.)
Best Compound Bow for the Money
Compound Bow Comparison Table
|Genesis Bow||4.8/5||Genesis Bows|
|Diamond Atomic||4.6/5||Diamond Archery|
|SAS 25-55 Lb. 20-29||3.9/5||Southland Archery Supply|
|Quest Radical||4.7/5||Southland Archery Supply|
|Bear Archery||4.8/5||Bear Archery|
SAS Siege 55-lb 29″ Compound Bow w/ 5-Spot Paper Target
This bow proves that sometimes you can get a great bow for a reasonable price. With a draw length of 29 inches, this is definitely an adult sized bow. (Remember, a draw length of 29 inches is best suited for a person with an arm span of 72 ½ inches.) The 55-lb draw weight means that it is best suited for those with a little strength and stamina.
This should be considered a “starter project”. That is, the people it is best suited for will likely want to add upgrades, such as a better sight or a rest. However, many users have reported that the included peep sight is sufficient for their needs. The good news is that the low price leaves plenty of room to customize it to your needs. As an added experience, this bow comes with a set of paper targets (although you will have to buy your own arrows).
The feel of this thing is similar to an old-fashioned wood bow, but with greater accuracy and the ease of adding your own accessories. It’s probably not going to set any records, but for adults who are looking for something they can modify to suit their needs as their experience grows, you’ll be hard pressed to find one at a better value. Under $200 at the time of this article.
The Genesis Bow is significantly more expensive than the Siege, but it should be noted that this is still considered a budget bow. It will not have the accuracy or speed of one of the most expensive bows, but it’s still inexpensive enough for those who aren’t sure if archery is the right hobby for them. The light draw weight makes it exceptional for beginners, and the wide range of customization options means that everyone in your family can find one for them.
This bow doesn’t come with any extras, but in addition to the number of options available before purchase, this compound bow is highly adjustable, and it can actually “grow” with your child – perfect for starting their love for target shooting and, eventually, bow hunting if they decide. This bow was under $200 at the time of this article.
Diamond Atomic Package Youth Model
This bow also falls under the $300 mark, but comes with some extra features when compared to the Genesis. For example, this particular bow comes with three arrows – something that’s uncommon among cheaper bow hunting equipment. Unlike the Genesis, though, this one is not as highly adjustable, and it will need to be replaced as your child grows. It doesn’t contain as many customization options, either.
The arrows that come with this bow are intended for practice only; they will not be suitable for those who want a higher-end experience. This is still a budget bow, after all, and the arrows are there to let you see if your child is interested in the sport before you make any further investment. When used as such, you’ll note that there are definitely many better arrows on the market, and this can be an area you customize (as the bow itself leaves little room for that). This bow was under $300 at the time of this article.
SAS 25-55 Lb. 20-29″ Adjustable Quad Limb Compound Bow Package
Now veering back toward the adults, we have the SAS Adjustable Quad Limb. The bonuses you get with this package are easily worth the extra cost, as this bow comes complete with arrows, quiver, 3-pin sight, a peep sight, and an arrow rest. When purchased separately, these could spell a phenomenally greater price, but SAS has included them with this package and won over many of their customers with the value.
This bow is designed to last a long time, with a durable construction and a highly adjustable draw. It’s great for newer users as it will set you up for a great experience straight out of the box. This package is designed with the shooter in mind and the equipment that accompanies it is set to impress. Unfortunately, this set does not come with assembly instructions, so unless you are experienced with bow assembly you would be best to take it to a professional in order to have your accessories installed.
For the price, this bow can’t be beat. More seasoned bow hunters will likely elect to upgrade their equipment, but for the beginner that is not required. It also does not come with a case so you will need to purchase that separately, but when you factor in all of the things that this does include, you will be blown away – we were! This bow came in under $300 at the time of this review.
Quest Radical Right Hand Package
This bow package represents the first significant jump, both in terms of price as well as quality, among the bows we have for you today. This thing has a huge amount of adjustability (being able to set between 15 and 70 pounds of resistance on the draw) and a wide variety of bonuses included – and its customers are understandably impressed.
This bow is incredibly light weight at only 3 ¼ lbs., and once you get it adjusted and tuned you should be able to start shooting in no time. There are some minor adjustments to make in order to meet your exact precision standards, but most things worth having do require a little extra effort on the part of the user.
This is targeted toward the beginner, but that doesn’t mean that more advanced users won’t feel right at home. Because of the compact size, the resistance may be off – this can easily be fine-tuned at your local shop, and it should as your accuracy will suffer if you do not. All in all, this is a great purchase as long as you have someone to walk you through the finer points of bow maintenance. This was priced under $400 at the time of this article.
Bear Archery Attitude Compound Bow
For those with a higher budget and also higher expectations from their bow, this Bear Archery Attitude Compound Bow represents some of the biggest technological advances in bow hunting over the past few decades. At the time of this article, it was priced under $800 on Amazon, which makes it significantly higher priced than the other bows on our list – but it shows in the quality.
This is considered a “ready-to-hunt” package, including everything you’ll need for a satisfactory hunting experience – except, of course, for the practice and fine-tuning. This is considered one of the finest compound bows under $1000, but we found it at a much lower price than that – making it a worthwhile investment for anyone who is passionate about their bow hunting experience.
Like any other high-ticket item, your success will be greatly impacted by your practice as well as the amount of time you are willing to take to get to know the product. The company website www.beararchery.com also offers users a generic instruction manual that will help you become more comfortable with doing the adjustments yourself, but for the beginner it may be better to start with a less expensive bow. This is, after all, a precision device intended for the user with plenty of experience behind them (even if their experience is “outdated”; one reviewer mentioned not shooting a bow in over 20 years and being absolutely blown away by the power this thing holds).
Which is the best?
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the best bow for you would depend greatly on your individual demands as well as your budget.
For children, the best bows would be the Genesis or the Diamond Atomic – being the only ones on our list that are actually fitted to the size of a child.
For the beginning adult, we found that the Quest was a substantial investment that will last for years to come, with all the necessary features to get started as soon as possible.
For the more advanced user, the Bear Archery bow can’t be beat. It is quite an investment, but when you consider what is included in the package and the precision offered by this powerful tool, the money will be well worth it.
If, on the other hand, you absolutely need something with a smaller price tag, the Siege is the best bow we found under the $200 price tag – making it not only affordable, but also impressive.
Your individual needs will vary, and it’s likely they will change as you gain more experience. Bow hunting is a serious hobby, and no matter whether you are doing it for exercise (it’s a great form of strength training), for food (many compound bows will easily kill an animal when you have good aim), or just for fun (some kits even come with paper targets for shooting), you won’t be disappointed with any of our choices. Try one today and let us know how it worked for you!