If you are searching for the best compound bow, you likely have a number of questions that you are currently pondering. Which compound bow is the best? Which is the fastest? How do I get the most bow for the money? The list of questions goes on and on. That´s why we put together this post about the best bows in 2020
A search for the best bow can be quite tedious, the following guide will hopefully assist you in answering your questions.
This will allow you to make the most out of your purchase, and help you maximize your enjoyment in the field and on the range.
So, which Compound Bow is going to be the best for you? Well, that depends heavily on your personal needs and where you´re at in your current state of bow shooting.
We have looked at nine different possible situations: Fastest, Youth, Women, Best Overall … and so on.
The 9 Top Compound Bows of 2020: UberBows Reviews
And here are our compound bow recommendations for 2020:
- Best Overall: Bear Archery Divergent EKO
- Best For The Money: Diamond Archery SB-1 Edge
- Fastest Bow: PSE Bow Madness Unleashed
- Best for Women: Diamond Carbon Knockout
- Best Bow for Youth: Diamond Prism
- Best Beginner Bow: Diamond Infinite Edge
- Best Compact Bow: PSE Archery Evolve 28
- Best Cheap: SAS Outrage Compound Bow
- Best Left-Hand: Diamond Edge 320
#1 BEST OVERALL: Bear Archery Divergent EKO
Not too long ago we had the chance to put the Divergent EKO to the test.
While on the range, we didn´t notice any rough spots or points of hesitation within the draw cycle.
This EKO is not as adjustable as Bears Cruzer G2 for example. But the fact that you can choose from two different limb packages (45-60 lbs. and 55-70 lbs.) and its high IBO speed rating of 338 FPS make this bow absolutely our favorite bow of this list.
And yes, the most talked-about feature of the Bear Divergent EKO is its adjustable let-off factor.
- Brace Height: 6.5”
- Let-Off: 75%, 80%. 85%, 90%
- Axle-to-Axle: 30 inches
- Draw Lengths: 26 – 30 inches
- Draw Wght: 45-60/55-70 LBS
- Speed: 338 FPS
- Weight: 4.1 LBS
Compact in size, this bow could most accurately be described as one of aggressive performance.
Hands-On Review of the Bear Archery Divergent EKO
If you want to read more, check out our Hands-On Review of the Bear Divergent EKO.
Well, we liked what we found! So as of right now, we would go so far as to declare the Divergent EKO the best bow on this list!
#2 Bear Archery Cruzer G2
The Bear G2 combines both style and functionality to render a shooting experience like none other.
Hands-On Review of the Bear Archery Cruzer G2
We had the chance to review the Bear Cruzer. Read our Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Review
Much of the Bear´s extensive popularity can be attributed to its quality construction.
- Axle-To-Axle: 30″
- Bow Weight: 3 lbs.
- Draw Length: 12″ – 30″
- Draw Weight: 5 lbs. – 70 lbs.
- Brace Height: 6 1/2″
- Ready To Hunt
- No need for a bow press
- Advanced grip design
- Good draw cycle
- up to 315 FPS
This bow features Bear Archery’s superior durability and versatility.
Best For the Money: Diamond Archery SB-1 Edge
If you are looking for the deal of the century, then the Diamond Archery SB-1 Edge is the bow for you. The SB-1, based off of Diamond’s, enormously popular Edge platform, offers outstanding performance at an exceptional value.
In fact, it is my opinion that this bow is on par with many of the offerings from Diamond’s parent company, Bowtech, at half of the cost.
To begin with, the range of adjustability that this bow features is outstanding. With a draw range of 5-70 pounds, as well as a draw length adjustment of 15”-30”, the SB-1 is truly a bow that fits any archer.
Combine this with the SB-1’s lightweight 3.6-pound frame, and you have a bow that can hold its own against many offerings in premium price point range.
- Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Speed: 318 FPS
- Adjusts from 5-70 pounds, for any archer
- EZ Adjust pocket system
- Excellent draw cycle
- Perfectly symmetrical cams
Also included with the purchase of a Diamond SB-1 Edge are a sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, quiver, peep sight, and D-loop. These items alone easily could save a consumer an additional $150 in accessory purchases.
Not for you? Here you´ll find our favorite takedown recurve bows…
Fastest Bow: PSE Bow Madness Unleashed
Just ten years ago bows were barely breaking the 300 FPS threshold. Now, several bows on the market have bested that number substantially. One such bow is the PSE Bow Madness Unleashed.
This bow features a blistering fast ATA speed of 340 FPS. Even more appealing is that this PSE bow looks and feels as good as it shoots.
Much of this speed is due to PSE’s revolutionary 3-track binary cam. It is also worth mentioning that this cam is capable of actuating in an incredibly smooth manner, despite its aggressive profile.
This is something that is seldom experienced out of a bow that features this level of performance.
- Weight: 3.9 pounds
- Speed: 340 FPS
- Good draw cycle
- 85% let-off
- Built on stiffer and stronger riser for comfort and speed
- Comes equipped with ready to shoot package
The PSE Bow Madness Unleashed also makes the perfect hunting bow, due in large part to its substantial let-off factor. When you fully draw the bow, an archer is only left to hold 15% of the bow’s peak draw weight.
This allows any bowhunter to wait out the perfect shot, without succumbing to muscle fatigue, or being forced to let their bow down.
Looking for the fastest compound bows?
Here is our article about the fastest compound bows
Best For Women: Diamond Carbon Knockout
The Diamond Carbon Knockout is a bow that is specifically engineered for the female archer, offering lightweight handling, notable performance, and a striking appearance in a single package.
This women’s bow comes in multiple draw configurations, including 40, 50, and 60-pound models.
Perhaps the biggest advantage offered to the female archer by the Diamond Carbon Knockout is its ease of handling.
Weighing in at just 3.2 pounds, this bow is light enough to carry on spot and stalk hunts without becoming excessively fatigued, and a compact 30” axle-to-axle measurement offers ample maneuverability.
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Speed: 302 FPS
- Lightweight with carbon riser design
- Synchronized binary cam system
- Nice Draw Cycle
- Compact 30’ axle-to-axle length
The Carbon Knockout also features an IBO speed of 302 FPS, which is suitable for most any type of hunting situation.
Additionally, the bow’s binary system makes tuning a breeze, keeping you on the range and in the woods, instead of in the shop sorting out poor shootability issues.
Looking for the Best bows for women?
Want to know more about the best compound bows for women? Check out our top 5 list.
Best For Youth: Diamond Prism
The Diamond Prism offers youth archers everything that they need to get off to an excellent start in the sport of archery.
This bow offers a range of adjustability that is second to none and comes fully outfitted with all of the accessories that your young outdoorsman or woman needs to begin their journey. This bow also works well for target practice.
The Prism features a draw weight range of 5-55 pounds, as well as a draw length that adjusts from 18”- 30”. The draw cycle is good
Interested in the hands-on review of the Diamond Prism?
We did a review of the Diamond Prism Compound Bow – Check it out!
This creates a unique set of circumstances where any child can essentially “grow-up” with the Prism, as it accompanies them along their archery career all the way into adulthood.
- DRAW LENGTH- 18-30″
- IBO SPEED- 295 FPS
- WEIGHT- 3.2 LBS
- AXLE TO AXLE- 31″
- BRACE HEIGHT- 7″
- DRAW WEIGHT- 5-55 lbs.
- EFFECTIVE LET-OFF- 80%
- Adjustable from child to adult
- Excellently balanced for comfort
- Comes with ready to shoot package
This bow features a 3-pin Tundra sight, captive-style arrow rest, quiver, D-loop, and peep sight.
While these are package level accessories, they are indeed of decent quality, and an archer can always update these items at a later date as they see fit.
More Info about youth bows?
If you are looking for more and in-depth information regarding youth bows, feel free to read our review “best youth compound bows“
Best Beginner Compound Bow: Diamond Infinite Edge
You will be hard-pressed to find a better beginner compound bow anywhere on the planet than the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro..
This bow is directly derived from the infinite edge pro model bow that spawned Diamond’s success in the mid-2000s.
This exact platform has remained the company’s flagship ever since. Most of this fanfare stems from the Edge’s one-size-fits-all form.
A high point of the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge is the bow’s immense adjustability and it´s draw cycle.
Draw weight settings range from 5-70 pounds, while the bow’s draw length can be adjusted from 13”-31”. These features allow archers of all ages, and experience levels to enjoy all that the Diamond Infinite Edge has to offer. The bow is available with a right hand or left-hand configuration.
Although the diamond archery infinite edge is somewhat of a no-frills model, it is still offered in a R.A.K. package that features the necessary accessories to get started in your archery endeavors.
The included bow sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, quiver, peep sight, and D-loop will allow your bow to be set up in no-time, getting you on the range much faster than you would have ever thought possible.
- DRAW LENGTH: 13-31″
- IBO SPEED: 310 Feet per Second
- MASS WEIGHT: 3.2 LBS
- AXLE TO AXLE : 31″
- BRACE HEIGHT: 7″
- DRAW WEIGHT: 5-70 lbs
- EFFECTIVE LET-OFF: 80%
- Easily adjustable for use by archers of all ages
- Redesigned cam system for smooth draw cycle
- Stabilizer for perfect balance
Although this bow is somewhat of a no-frills model, it is still offered in a R.A.K. package that features the necessary accessories to get started in your archery endeavors.
The included sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, quiver, peep sight, and D-loop will allow your bow to be set up in no-time, getting you on the range much faster than you would have ever thought possible.
Wait: Want to more about the best bow hunting day packs …
Best Compact: PSE Archery Evolve 28
PSE has never beena company to shy away from innovation, and this becomes quite evident when looking at their Evolve 28 compound bow.
This bow is extremely compact, featuring a 28 inches axle-to-axle measurement. This comes as a distinct advantage to those who regularly hunt in confined quarters, such as that of a ground blind.
Contrary to what many would expect, the Evolve 28 is also engineered to be forgiving and smooth shooting. This is made possible thanks to PSE’s revolutionary cam system.
These specialty cams also provide an outstanding 80-90% let-off factor, making the Evolve 28 insanely easy to hold at full draw, even for lengthy periods of time.
- Weight: 4.1 pounds
- Speed: 335 FPS
- 28 inches axle-to-axle measurement
- 80-90% let-off for easy hold at full draw
- Compact and comfortable
- draw cycle
The Evolve 28 is also no slouch in the arena of performance, turning out an incredibly fast 335 FPS IBO speed.
This is quick enough to qualify the Evolve 28 as the second-fastest bow on this list, finishing right behind the PSE Bow Madness Unleashed.
Check out our article about the best hunting tree saddle
Best Cheap: SAS Outrage Compound Bow
If you are looking to get started in compound archery, but have a restrictive budget to keep in mind, the SAS Outrage Compound Bow is worth a closer look.
This bow is noteworthy due to the fact that it is actually a technically sound bow, that is offered at an unbelievably low price.
With an arrow speed of 270 feet per second, the SAS Outrage is obviously not the fastest bow on the market, but it is certainly speedy enough to take any game that you might decide to hunt.
Additionally, this bow’s 55-70 draw weight range, and 25 – 31 inches draw length adjustment means that it is versatile enough to be used by virtually any adult archer.
- Weight: 4.4 pounds
- Speed: 270 FPS
- Compressed ABS limbs
- Twin cam idlers
- Affordable price
- Smooth Draw Cycle
The SAS Outrage is also somewhat striking in its looks. If you were to lay it out on a table, and ask a fellow archer enthusiast what they would guess the Outrage cost, they would not be able to tell that it was a budget bow by looks alone.
A series of stylish, yet functional riser cutouts provide this bow with a decent level of eye-appeal.
Best Left-Handed: Diamond Edge 320
If you have been around the sport of archery for any length of time, you are undoubtedly familiar with the name Bowtech.
Bowtech is a giant in the hunting bows industry that has been around for several decades. Upon purchasing Diamond Archery, the company set out to fulfill the needs of the masses with bows that catered to every archer.
Out of this mission came Diamond’s Edge 320 compound bow – a high-quality bow!
This bow can be purchased in both right and left-handed models and offers archers blazing-fast arrow speeds and an unparalleled range of adjustability, all at a more than reasonable price point.
- DRAW LENGTH – 15-31”
- DRAW WEIGHT – 7-70 LBS
- SPEED – 320 FPS
- BRACE HEIGHT – 7 1/4”
- AXLE TO AXLE – 32”
- MASS WEIGHT – 3.6 LBS
- EFFECTIVE LET-OFF – 85%
- Right or Left Handed models
- Synchronized Binary cam system
- Comes with ready to shoot package
- smooth draw cycle
The Diamond Edge 320 is offered as an outfitted R.A.K. package model, meaning that no excess expenditure on accessories is needed.
Read more about our in-depth review of the Diamond Archery Edge 320 here.
This bow also offers a draw weight range of 7-70 pounds, as well as a draw length that adjusts from 15”-31”.
However, the most striking feature of the Edge 320 is its speed. With an I.B.O. speed of 320 fps, a lack of performance is no issue.
More Info about left-handed compound bows?
You are looking for more and in-depth information regarding left-handed bows? Check out our review “best left handed compound bows“
The Search For The Perfect Compound Hunting Bows
Searching for the perfect compound bow tends to be relative to the particular needs of an archer. Much like the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, one archer’s impression of what the ideal bow consists of might be completely different than the opinion of the next individual.
It is important to understand what it is you are looking for, and base your decision accordingly.
By taking into account the recommendations mentioned earlier, you will be sure to find a bow that best suits your personal needs. This will allow you to rapidly grow in your archery pursuits and enjoy the experience at hand.
Looking For A Compound Bow Package?
If you´re looking for a R.A.K. package, you might find our article about the best compound bow package useful. We compiled a list of top-notch bow packages.
Best New Bows From The ATA 2020 Trade Show
This year’s trend is not all about speed, but it seems like manufacturers give adjustability and shootability more weight. Here are some of our favorite compound, bows 2020:
Bear Status EKO
- 33-inch axle-to-axle
- 6-inch brace height
- 4.3 lbs.
- 344 FPS IBO
Price Point: $999.99
EKO Cam Technology . Customize let-off 75%, 80%, 85% or 90%. Let´s you hold at full draw with ease. Find out more over at beararchery.com
Read our article about the Bear Divergent EKO here.
- 30-inch axle-to-axle
- 7 1/4-inch brace height
- 4.4 lbs.
- 335 FPS IBO
Price Point: $1,099.99
Smooth shooting bow that features Deadlock technology. No bow press is needed to tune this bow. Most hunters probably would love to call this one their own. Find out more over at bowtecharchery.com
Hoyt RX-4 Alpha
- 29 1/2-inch axle-to-axle
- 6 1/8-inch brace height
- 3.9 lbs.
- 342 FPS ATA
Price Point: $1,699.00
Fast and smooth. Built for tight spaces such as ground blind or tree stands. Find out more over at hoyt.com
Specs VXC 28:
- 28-inch axle-to-axle
- 6-inch brace height
- 4.44 lbs.
- 344 FPS
Price Point: $1,199.00
Increased cam efficiencies due to the new geometry. 28-inch and 21 1/2-inch version available. Find out more over at mathewsinc.com
Leading Compound Bow Brands
Well, we´re only going to mention some of the leading compound bow brands. The list is far from complete; there are more out there. Also, this list does not represent any specific order like from good to … not so good. Just click on any of the names, and we redirect you to their homepage.
- Bowtech Archery
- Precision Shooting Equipment (PSE)
- Bear Archery
- Diamond Archery
- Southland Archery
What’s your purpose?
One thing you should ask yourself before you make a buying decision is what you´re actually up to with the bow? Do you want to do target shooting at a range or your backyard? Or do you even plan to go hunting with it?
For target shooting, a bow with soft cams is probably the better option than the die-hard hunting bow (there are even bows out there with a single cam).
If you are a beginner, make sure not to pick a bow with the too-high draw weight. Even though it is pretty standard for modern compound bows to have let-offs from 80% upwards – you still should not go all in.
Do you want to go hunting? Pick a bow with hard cams. It´s going to take more effort, but you´ll be rewarded with higher fps and power if you plan to go small game bow hunting, no need to go overboard with your bow!
A bow with a draw weight of 70 lbs. might be a little too much…
Things you should know about before buying a compound bow
If you are an experienced archer, you will be aware of the stuff mentioned below. But in case you are new to archery, read on – as some of that stuff is really important!
The more the better right? Well, not necessarily. First of you should know, that two standards regarding speed specifications exist.
- IBO (International Bowhunting Organization)
- ATA (Archery Trade Association)
The most commonly used metric is still the IBO rating. Even though the ATA rating is the more accurate one. Why? Because draw- length, height, and arrow weight is set forth for testing purposes.
IBO speed is the speed an arrow with a weight of 5 grains per pound of draw weight, fired from a given bow, has.
There is no requirement regarding draw length, no limits in the maximum weight – as long as the arrow weight is adjusted.
Every added inch of draw length will approximately 10-15 fps of arrow speed …
Does this mean that speed is not essential? No, arrow speed is an important factor. FPS is measured at point-blank range.
The further the arrow travels, the more it slows down. Starting with a relatively high FPS will, in most cases, increase your effective bow range (this, of course, is a simplification as many factors depending on your set up impact arrow speed).
The actual weight of your bow is essential. Even one pound makes a big difference.
Be it that you are at the range and fire 100 arrows per training session or you are out in the woods, holding your bow at full draw, waiting for the perfect moment to harvest the game you were following the last two days.
Most (all?) modern compound bows offer a let-off of 75% or more. Don´t be fooled by this. It does not mean you are pulling only 25% of the actual weight.
You need to be able to draw whatever draw-weight your bow has. The let-off reduces the weight (by x%) you need to hold when you´re at full draw.
A high let-off will allow you to remain at full draw longer, with less effort.
In easy words, the draw length is the distance between your bow´s riser and the most distant part of a bowstring when you are at full draw.
There are several ways to determine your draw length. You can read our article about draw-length measurement here. But honestly, you should go to your nearest bow shop, especially when you´re new to archery!
The weight you are pulling. How much you can handle depends on your physical capability. Maybe you can manage to pull the string with a weight like 70 lbs. The question is, how often, and how does your form look like, what about your draw cycle?
Go down to the range and shoot 100 arrows. You´ll find out pretty quickly.
Most modern compound bows allow increments in 5 or 10 lbs steps. Starting from as low as 7lbs. all the way up to 70 lbs.
Sightscheck latest price
Different types of bow sights exist.
- Fixed Pin Bow Sights
- Single Pin Bow Sights / Multiple Pin Bow SIghts
- Pendulum Bow Sights
The fixed pin bow sights are the ones you´ll find most commonly used. Typically between 3 and 5 pins in quantity. At the range, you are adjusting these pins to the distances you are using the most (20, 30, and 40 yards).
A big advantage is, that when your out in the field, no adjustments need to be made. Just pick the pin that is closest to the yardage your shooting at.
Obviously you need to be able to judge the distance correctly…
The Pendulum Bow sight works on a pivoting axis and compensates trajectory discrepancies when shooting at a steep downward angle.
Treestand- or saddle tree hunters will find the use of those sights especially useful. Distances over 30 yards will diminish accuracy quickly.
A good product is the Truglo Pendulum Sight.
You need your arrow to be in place when drawing and shooting your bow. There are different technologies available.
- Shoot-Thru Arrow Rests
- Containment Arrow Rests
- Drop Away Arrow Rest
- Pressure Rests
- 3D & Special Rests
Most likely you´re going to use a containment rest. The Whisker Biscuit as a containment rest is dominating the market. More than 50% off all bows sold use some sort of Whisker Biscuit.
One of the downsides of the whisker biscuit is that it makes contact with the vanes. Other containment-rests hold the arrow at three points and are designed to not to make fletching contact.check latest price
Also popular are drop away arrow rests. They appeared first during the 1900s. And the main benefit of them is that they won´t make contact with the arrow once it is released.check latest price
While traditional archers or recurve bow archers use their fingers to release the bowstring, most compound archers use a release aid for this task.
Modern compound bows feature short axle-to-axle lengths and make finger shooting difficult (finger pinch).
A release aid minimizes the chance of string torque and typically yields an increase in arrow speed and aids in consistent arrow grouping.check latest price
Types of Releases
- Index finger release
- Thumb trigger release
- Back pressure style releases
The most favorite release aid among hunters is the index finger release. You can read more about the topic here.
Well, I genuinely hope that this article was helpful while finding the best compound bow of 2020. I tried to cover most topics, but there is much more to it. Feel free to browse our site. I am sure you find even more informative and useful information for your quest to become a better archer or bowhunter.
As always, please feel free to leave any comments that you might have. We always appreciate feedback from our readers.
Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API