Bear Kuma Bow Review [Video]

 The 2018 Bear Kuma is a new compound bow that caught our attention at the ATA show back in January. It appeared to be a solid performer with a great combination of speed and smoothness that bowhunters will love. We were anxious to get our hands on this bow to give it a test drive and spend a little more time with it on the range. After doing so, I can honestly say that I’m pleasantly surprised in this latest offering from Bear. Bear Archery is definitely back and better than ever. You’ll see it when you check out the Kuma. Here’s a look at our 2018 Bear Kuma bow review.

Bear Kuma First Impressions

The things that immediately jumped out to me on the Kuma were balance, budget, and its smooth drawing cycle. The crew at Bear Archery went out of their way this year to cut bow weight and make a more balanced bow. They accomplished that with the Kuma. The Kuma also has a price tag under $900, which is a nice change as bow prices tend to keep climbing each year. The bow also draws nice and smooth. The team at Bear hit a homerun with the new Kuma, no doubt. Check out the video below for a closer look.

Bear Kuma Fit & Finish

It’s crazy to think a 33″ axle to axle bow could possibly be referred to as a longer bow, but with hunting bows getting shorter and shorter each year, I’ve actually heard a 33-incher referred to as a “longer bow” more than a few times lately. Regardless, this 33″ bow seems to have a great feel and fit in the hand. It’s well balanced, carries well, and looks tough as nails. New finish options for the Kuma include Badlands Approach and Iron. The bow I tested had the Iron finish, and it seems like a really tough finish that can handle the abuse bowhunters will dish out.

Bear Kuma Riser Design

The Bear Cage Riser is a forged/milled riser design that presents a well balanced foundation for the Kuma. The concept for this new riser design was to reduce weight, provide greater balance, create a lower profile, yet maintain structural integrity through strategically engineered cutouts in the riser. The unique cutouts above the sight window and below the bow grip not only look great, but provide greater balance in the hand at full draw, as well as packing through the woods, or on the mountain.

Longer riser, shorter limbs. That’s how the Kuma pulls off a very solid performance, generating great speeds, yet maintaining its stealth in a super quiet bow.


Unique cutouts in the Bear Kuma are designed to reduce weight and increase bow balance.

Kuma H18 Cam

The Kuma is powered by the H18 cam system. H18 simply stands for Hybrid ’18. This cam was built to launch arrows at impressive speeds. The advertised speed of the Kuma is 345 fps, and I’d say that’s not out of reach based on what we’ve seen so far in this bow’s performance.

The other benefit of the new H18 cam system is its smooth draw. There are no obnoxious bumps in the draw cycle or at let-off. This bow truly is a great combination of speed and smooth draw.

The bow will not allow you to creep the string when at full draw. You’re either against the back wall, or you’re sending it. It took some time for me to get use to this, simply because it’s not what I’m accustomed to. However, it may come completely natural to other shooters that have been shooting such for years.

The H18 cam is a modular system that allows for 25.5-30-inch draw lengths within one bow.


Bear Kuma K18 Cam System

Specs and Speed of the Kuma

Axle-to-Axle – 33″

Brace Height – 6″

Mass Weight – 4.3#

Draw Length – 25.5″-30″

Draw Weight – 55#-70#

Let-Off – 75%

Speed – 345 FPS

The test bow was a 29″ Kuma set at 70 pounds. I shot a 425 grain arrow through the chrono a number of times and consistently got speeds of 309 fps. I had one arrow shoot 308 fps, but the others continued to duplicate the 309 fps performance.

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The Kuma consistently rang up at 309 fps.

The Grip

The Kuma comes standard with two grip options. It has the over-molded VersaGrip and the NaroGrip. I shot the VersaGrip and really like the way it fit in my hand. It seems to allow for easily repeatable hand positioning, and the rubberized material helps to eliminate slipping and sliding. Sweating hands on early season hunts, or slick-palmed gloves, can cause a bow to slip in your hand. That’s not the case with this grip. It holds a solid position really well.

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Over-molded VersaGrip

Bear Kuma Bow Review – Final Thoughts

My bowhunting career was just getting started years ago when Fred Bear died. It seems like I had just joined the Fred Bear Sports Club, a big deal for an up-and-coming bowhunter. But one of the saddest things about his passing is that it seemed like Bear Archery died right along with him. The company that had once been at the top of the food chain seemed to fall off the radar when it came to leading bow manufacturers. Fortunately, Bear Archery has experienced a revival. They are once again making bows that’ll give any bow on the market a run for their money. Never has that been more evident than with the 2018 Bear Kuma. This bow is one that I initially thought I’d shoot and review, and then send it on its way. However, the more time I spent with this bow, the more I liked it and found myself wanting to take it to the woods for a hunt this season.

Give the Bear Kuma a look at your local archery retailer. I think you’ll like the way this bow performs. It’s a fast bow with a solid and smooth performance – all at a price that’ll be hard to beat.

See more at or purchase the the bow online at at a price of $899.99.




Brodie Swisher

Brodie Swisher

Editorial Manager at
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
Brodie Swisher

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