There’s something powerful about compound bows. They defy the common misbelief that you have to use recurve bows because they’re manlier, and they’re much easier to use. If you’re asking, ‘what compound bow should I buy?’ you landed on the right page.
My number one recommendation is the Sanlida Archery Dragon X8. Its 18–31 inch draw length makes it suitable for both adults and teens, and it’s durable enough for the average user. Its package also contains everything you’ll need, including 12 bonus arrows.
If you want to learn more about compound bows and how to buy them, here’s everything you should know.
What Compound Bow Should I Buy?
Since compound bows found their way to the market, the bow technology has been advancing at a neck-breaking pace. Now, everyone is ditching their recurve bows and opting for compound ones, and for all the good reasons.
You don’t want to go to the market and get this year’s flagship bow and go home. Chances are, there are better bows right next to it; you just need someone to point at them.
Today, I’m shining a spotlight over three of the best market options, so you can ditch the marketing hype and get the one that’s truly the best for you.
With its affordable price, unrivaled precision, and complete package, there’s a lot to love about the iGlow compound bow.
It features a 40–70 pounds draw weight, which should be enough for both archery and hunting; the 40-pound minimum is accepted by most state laws for hunting.
The bow offers a 310-FPS arrow speed, allowing for high precision when hitting your target. It also comes fully equipped with a rotating module that adjusts the draw length from 25 inches to 31 inches. That should match most adults’ arm’s length, and you can always change it to fit your own.
The bow’s parts are made of aluminum, including the riser and stabilizer. Luckily for you, that makes the bow on the lightweight side, only weighing 4.4 pounds. The weight is decent for all beginners; if you think it’s too heavy for you, it’s time to hit the gym, champ!
The bow sight that comes with the iGlow has five pins, so you don’t have to estimate the distance of your target. It’s the perfect fit for beginners and entry-level archers.
The iGlow package also includes everything you may need—at least at first. It comes with a release aid, a d-loop string, lube wax, bow sight, Allen keys, and a quick detach quiver.
- On the affordable side of the market
- Ideal for beginners with its five-pin sight
- The package includes most items you’ll need
- Some users mentioned the accessories are missing in some packages.
If you plan to teach your teen son archery using this bow, you may want to get the Sanlida Dragon X8 bow instead of the iGlow. Instead of the 25–31 draw length range on the latter, the Dragon has a broader range of 18–31 inches.
That means younger folks can use it as well without hurting their joints.
Aside from the draw length, the Sanlida bow packs a lot of features that gained it a place on my list. For starters, it has a 0–70 range for the draw weight, so anyone can use it without having to abide by the 40-pound minimum most companies offer.
It’s worth noting, though, that 40 pounds is the legal limit for hunting in most states. Any lighter than that, and the arrow may not penetrate the animal, only poking painful holes through its skin. So you may want to think before using this fellow for hunting.
The Dragon X8 has a 6.6-inch brace height, accounting for a decent IBO speed of 310 FPS. On top of that, it’s a pretty lightweight bow, standing on the verge of 4 pounds.
Like the iGlow, this bow comes with a five-pin sight, making it easier for beginners to hit their target without doing vague estimations.
For a moderate price, you’ll get the bow, along with a stabilizer, an arrow rest, a peep sight, a quiver, a stand, an arrow puller, a release, and a storage case.
- Suitable for both adults and teens
- CNC-machined aluminum cams for durability
- Relatively lightweight for beginners
- Some users mentioned that the peep sight unscrews when aiming.
Bear Archery pretty much ended it for most youth compound bows on the market. The Royale Youth bow is giving competitors a run for their money, and it’s no wonder.
For one, its draw length is adjustable from 12 to 27 inches, and its draw weight is adjustable from 5 to 50 pounds. Whether you’re an entry-level archer or a veteran of the sport, the bow will match your skills without sacrificing accuracy for power. You also get an Allen wrench to adjust the draw weight easily with no need for a bow press.
Besides, the bow offers a let-off of 75%, which is high enough to allow for a comfortable aim. Even if you’re going for a high draw weight, you’ll be able to shoot without a hitch.
The bow arrives ready to use, fully equipped with a 5-spot quiver, a peep sight, a nock loop, and a whisker biscuit arrow rest. It only weighs 3.3 pounds, so you don’t have to suffer arm fatigue after training. Without the accessories, it stands at only 2.7 pounds.
The compound bow from Bear may be a bit more expensive than what you’re used to, but it’s worth every dollar.
- Highly versatile and easily adjustable without a bow press
- Lightweight and compact for easy transportation
- Excellent value for money
- Some users reported it’s not suitable for bigger kids.
How Do I Choose the Right Bow?
Choosing the right bow isn’t easy per se. There are multiple features to consider, and the variety on the market isn’t helping. You don’t want to go home with a mediocre bow. Here are the three essential features to consider.
The cams are basically responsible for the bow’s draw weight. They’ll drastically impact the way you aim and shoot, so they should be on your priority list.
There are four main cam types on the market: Single, twin, binary, and hybrid cams. All of them do the same job of storing and transferring energy, but they do it differently.
Twin and single cams are the most popular on the market because they’re ideal for beginners. Single-cam systems are easier to use, and they don’t make as much noise. Meanwhile, twin cams offer unrivaled accuracy, and they allow for broader adjustment ranges.
The riser makes most of the bow’s frame, and it can dramatically affect the quality of your shooting.
Reflex risers are pretty common because they have less brace height, increasing the shooting speed in exchange for accuracy. Meanwhile, deflex risers offer lower speeds and better accuracy.
The brace height is the distance between the grip and the bowstring. If you’re aiming at speed shooting, go for a short brace height. Long heights account for slower but more accurate shoots, and they’re mostly more suitable for beginners.
The Final Verdict
In my opinion, the Dragon X8 bow from Sanlida wins here. It can be used by both adults and teens, and it’s suitable for beginners and professionals. It’s hard to find such a versatile bow that offers the same quality.
Now that we’re done with compound bows, let’s take a look at the difference between them and crossbows!