In the early 2000’s bowstring suppressors and hybrid-cam systems were introduced. They garnered popularity as years passed, and each company began offering its own rendition of these technologies. Surprisingly, those technologies are still strong in many of today’s bows. Now, though, carbon risers and shootable speed bows seem to be gaining popularity.
I know I’ve been pondering this since the early 2000’s: How can they (bow manufacturers) make bows any better than this? Other than a dry year here and there, bows truly have come full circle since then. In fact, the differences between even a 2012 bow and a 2017 bow are, in many cases, monumental. What’s changed in the last five years? Well, limbs have gone from parallel to past parallel. Risers have better weight distribution. Cam systems have become more efficient. And perhaps the easiest to notice, bows now come in outstanding modern colors/finishes.
With so many options out there, narrowing down and choosing one bow can be perplexing. Below we outline what we feel are some of the best new bows for 2017, and discuss each one’s specs and features so you can choose for yourself.
Mathews Halon 32
The Mathews Halon 32 is a continuation of the acclaimed Halon series, but in a longer platform designed to improve stability and shooting accuracy at longer ranges. Available in three brace-height options – 5, 6 and 7 inches – the Halon 32 is tied to IBO speed ratings ranging from 335-350 fps (varies by model). The streamlined FlatBack Grip delivers comfort and helps reduce torque.
Smooth and efficient, the CROSSCENTRIC cam works with AVS technology to maximize efficiency and produce problem-free tuning and shootability, and it provides a rock-solid wall at full draw. The Halon 32 is loaded with other Mathews favorites. Check it: Dead End String Stop, Harmonic Damper and Stabilizer, Reverse Assist Roller Guard and Dual Bridged Riser. Beyond that, the True Center Nocking Point provides straight and level nock travel, which greatly enhances consistency. Finally, the Halon 32 is available in six finishes – Black, Stone, OptiFade Elevated II, OptiFade Open Country, Ridge Reaper Barren and Lost Camo XD.
Hoyt Pro Defiant
Throughout 2016, Hoyt’s #iamdefiant hashtag garnered much attention in the bowhunting community. Of course, the hashtag’s subject is the Defiant and Carbon Defiant.
The wave continues with the 2017 Pro Defiant. It boasts tons of exciting features: Zero Torque Cable Guard System designed to alleviate riser stress while drawing; Offset Riser Technology for benchmark strength and stiffness; Multilayer Lamiate UltraFlex Limbs designed to partner with DFX cams to improve string angle, in turn promoting stress-free and comfortable shooting form; and Pro-Lock Pocket System intended to superiorly connect the riser and limbs for unrivaled reliably. Limb Shox and Shock-Rod Technology stop noise and vibrations. Don’t forget the TEC Lite riser, which survived Hoyt’s rigorous 1,500 dry-fire testing protocol. The DFX cam has an optional limb stop for those who prefer a sturdier wall at full draw. Parallel Split Limbs generate virtually zero shock and evenly distribute loads. The Pro Defiant is available in three models ranging in length and speed: Pro Defiant, Pro Defiant 34 and Pro Defiant Turbo.
There’s no time like the moment of truth. Now, you can go into it confidently with Bear Archery’s Moment.
The bow features a sturdy 4-pound platform with a balanced riser to improve stability. SonicStop top and bottom string suppressors stop the bowstring at brace height for maximum forgiveness and thwart bowstring vibrations.
The Hinge Guard has been a favorite for years, easing up cable and riser stress while drawing back and holding at full draw. Max-Preload Quad Limbs unleash hard-hitting power and evenly balance the workload.
The Moment offers a reasonable 6-inch brace height, measures 31 inches from axle to axle, and has 80 percent let-off. Ramping up power are the EAZ Hybrid Cams, but not without the super-smooth draw cycle Bear fans expect. And, the all-new NaroGrip improves acquisition in the heat of intense bowhunting moments.
Available in 6- or 7-inch brace heights is Bowtech’s all-new Reign. Both models measure a smidge over 32 inches from axle to axle. At the heart is the ultra-rigid and forgiving CPX riser, which promotes impeccable bowstring alignment, shot after shot.
The proven FLX-Guard decreases lateral pull as you draw, resulting in an icy-smooth draw cycle. Redesigned OverDrive Binary Cams draw smoothly, tune easily and are equipped with the FlipDisc, a technology that provides two interchangeable draw-cycle options based on shooter preference.
The MicroSync Dial helps you precisely synchronize the cams without a bow press. The OutRigger Counterweight is positioned to offset and counterbalance accessories.
The Reign 6 and 7 are available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country; Kryptek Raid, Altitude and Highlander; Sitka OptiFade Elevated II and black.
The Zone is Mission Archery’s 28-inch bow designed to fit, well, virtually anyone. That’s right, its draw length adjusts from 19-30 inches, and draw weights range from 13-70 pounds, all on one set of cams and limbs.
With a 7 7/8-inch brace height, the Zone exudes forgiveness to help new archers and bowhunters shoot their best. The Zone features the F.I.T. (Focused Inertia Technology) Cam System, which draws incredibly smooth while driving arrows downrange at speeds up to 300 fps.
The Zone is available in red, blue, green, black, purple, orange or Lost Camo OT. The Zone’s mass weight is merely 3.86 pounds so young archers and adults alike can handle it.
At only $339 MSRP, affordability and performance clearly intersect in this all new Mission bow.
Elite Option 6
Elite Archery’s new Option 6 packs Dual Riser Cages into its 7075-series aircraft-aluminum riser. The result is a balanced and ultra-durable riser designed to tackle bowhunting punishment.
Aptly named, the Option 6 has a 6-inch brace height, which, combined with the OP Cam, generates speeds up to 342 fps. A long riser and parallel limbs maximize stability.
The Option 6 comes standard with a Winner’s Choice string and cables. Shooters can choose from 20 different finish options for their target or bowhunting needs. A strategically placed string stop tames noise and vibrations for a stealthy shot.
A new roller guard promotes a smooth draw cycle, and split limbs – an Elite first – balance the load for optimal shooting performance. A newly designed grip promotes torque-free gripping and comfort so you can focus on making your shot count.
Xpedition Xplorer SS
Xpedition Archery is a proven contender, and now it adds a speed freak to its impressive line with the Xplorer SS. Its 30-inch axle-to-axle length harnesses maneuverability perfectly tailored for treestand and ground-blind applications, but with a 355-fps IBO rating, it spells lights out for open-country game where longer shots require flatter shooting.
It’s speed rivals most other bows given its moderate 6.125-inch brace height. A surprisingly smooth draw cycle and rock-solid back wall are present, thanks to the PX³ Cam (25- to 26.5-inch draw lengths) and XS Plus Cam (27- to 30-inch draw lengths) equipped with dual limb stops.
At 3.9 pounds, the Xplorer SS is moderately weighted. Riser and limb finishes run the gamut and offer flavors for everyone.
Parker bows always exhibit less-is-more features. The new Revolution is no different. It outperforms its modest pricing and appearance.
Its Revolution High-Performance Single Cam issues arrows at 320 fps, and it draws smoothly, thanks to a concentric design. At 31 inches long, it maneuvers effortlessly in tight spaces.
Let-off is 80 percent and mass weight is 4 pounds. A generous 7.25-inch brace height brims with forgiveness. The Revolution flaunts Next Vista Camo and an exquisite two-piece burl-finish grip.
Extreme Parallel Limb Design and a tunable string suppressor cancel out vibrations. The sleek Micro-Lite Limb-Pocket System contains the limbs reliably without piling on unnecessary weight and bulk.
Darton Maverick II
Darton’s original Maverick was acclaimed for its controlled power and unmatched arrow flight. Darton now rolls out the Maverick II. Its DualSync Cam System eliminates the issues associated with conventional two-cam systems, and it’s one of the most efficient hybrid-cam systems available.
The Maverick II weighs 4.2 pounds, and at 33 inches from axle to axle, it blends stability and maneuverability for lights-out handling and performance. A 6-inch brace height delivers an IBO-speed range of 345-350. But, with the Bowstring Noise Suppression System, the bowstring stops dead at brace height.
Darton’s trim Signature Grip offers superior comfort and helps reduce torque. The Maverick II’s ultra-rigid machined-aluminum Axis Riser is designed to withstand blows and drops in the backcountry. Finally, 3-Axis Center Pull technology centers the arrow on all three riser axes, optimizing tunability and overall performance.
The Prime Centergy differs from past Prime models in that it features the company’s revolutionary Balanced Targeting System. At the heart of it, Prime centers the grip in the riser to bring side-to-side and back-and-forth balance to the shooting equation.
A generous 6.5-inch brace height promotes forgiveness, and a sturdy 4.3-pound mass weight increases stability during windy conditions or when shooting from awkward positions. A 33.25-inch axle-to-axle length delivers the best of both worlds – stability and maneuverability.
The Flexis-AR roller guard provides a silky-smooth draw cycle, and reduces lateral torque during the draw cycle. Riser durability and stiffness are a given with the 82X aluminum riser. The bowstring and cables are made of BCY’s super-tough 452X material, and Prime’s Parallel Cam System boasts two string tracks to virtually eliminate cam lean, thus improving tunability.
The 340-fps Obsession Hemorrhage delivers smooth-drawing and -shooting characteristics with its all-new efficient Dynamic Energy cams. With a nice 7-inch brace height, the Hemorrhage offers plenty of forgiveness for long-range accuracy.
Forgiveness is further articulated with the Hemorrhage’s slim grip design. Moderately weighted, the 4-pound Hemorrhage is outfitted with anti-rust-coated hardware to imply quality. A patent-pending string stop catches the bowstring at spec brace height, then squelches vibrations for a whisper-quiet shot.
At 30 inches long, the Hemorrhage makes a great treestand or ground-blind companion, yet holds its own during spot-and-stalk scenarios. Draw length is adjustable in half-inch increments from 25-31 inches via the DE cam’s PerFex draw-length system. Holding at full draw is nearly effortless with 80 percent let-off.
New Breed Cyborg 2
New Breed Archery launches its Cyborg 2 for serious target archers and even bowhunters who desire a longer bow. At 4.3 pounds and featuring a long, deflexed riser, The Cyborg 2 delivers stability and balance in heaps.
A titanium bolt kit ensures long-lasting quality, and a new hybrid cable-slide system decreases cable friction to reduce cable wear and smooth out the draw cycle. The 37-inch Cyborg 2 offers a beyond-generous 7.75-inch brace height, and features New Breed’s Bionix Two-Track 2.5 cam-to-cam modular system.
A new fluted riser cuts weight while maintaining strength and integrity. The Cyborg 2 is virtually vibration-free, and you can rest assured it’s American-made.
Gearhead T15 Pro
Gearhead Archery is known for its wildly short and lightweight hunting bows. Now, it adds the T15 Pro to its line, which is a recurve/slingshot hybrid perfect for bowfishing, hunting small game or simply having fun in the backyard.
The T15 Pro ships with a 28-inch draw length and 29-pound draw weight. And, it shoots as fast as 234 fps. The T15 Pro’s components are black-anodized aluminum coupled with stainless-steel hardware designed to last forever.
The T15 is easy to shoot accurately. It shoots normal arrows with a release or fingers. And, it comes complete with a bracket for mounting an AMS or Cajun bowfishing reel.
Diamond Edge Sonar
Diamond Archery unveils its premier bowfishing bow, the Edge Sonar. It features 12 inches of draw-length adjustment and 50 pounds of draw-weight adjustment. Beginners and pros alike will appreciate the Edge Sonar’s smooth-shooting performance.
Best of all, the Edge Sonar comes tricked out with cutting-edge accessories designed to help you land fish easily.
Martin Archery’s Phenix Series Firecat unleashes the power with its wildly fast Kestrel LTR cam system.
At 348-plus fps, the Firecat is fast, but with clever dampening technologies, it shoots deadly quiet. The Firecat’s lightweight riser radiates style, but it’s durably designed to handle backcountry punishment.
Rotating cam modules provide easy draw-length adjustments, and the Sight Stacker Sight Window allows sight installation at a height relative to the individual shooter and his/her shooting style. Dura Pin Axle Pins are ground precisely at tight tolerances to ensure precision and durability.
Stack Force Limbs are made from long-fiber Gordon Composite material shaped uniquely to withstand the workload, shot after shot. The Firecat’s 6.5-inch brace height offers forgiveness, and a 33-inch axle-to-axle length is well-suited for any bowhunting application. At 3.8 pounds, the Firecat is feathery light.