GearJunkie staff scoured the floors of the Archery Trade Association looking at the newest flagship compound bows of 2018. These six are our favorites from the show, likely to wash out among the top bows of the year.
There are a lot of great bows on the market, and this year is no exception. These are six premier bows, the cutting-edge offerings from some of the top brands.
For 2018 we see high speed coupled with light weight, durability, and low vibration. From our initial meetings and examinations, these bows shine through. We hope to test them in the near future.
Best 2018 Compound Bows
Elite Ritual – $999
Elite Archery designed the Ritual to perform well for western and whitetail hunters alike. The Ritual combines split-limb, double riser cage, and other technologies from its Energy and Synergy lines. The result, Elite claims, is an 88-percent efficiency rating, which would make the Ritual its most efficient bow to date.
This is the tallest of the flagship compound bows we saw on the floor, built out at 33.25 inches axle to axle, with a 6.75-inch brace height. It shoots arrows up to 335 fps.
Available now at your local Elite retailer.
Mathews Triax – $1,099
Mathews describes the Triax in three phrases: compact, quiet, and dead in the hand. This claim arises from the 3D harmonic dampening created by placing harmonic stabilizers on three different axes – front/back, side/side, and now rotationally. The bow is the most compact I’ve ever held in my hands, at a 28-inch axle-to-axle length.
The Triax has a 6-inch brace height and can fling arrows up to 343 fps. It’s easy to see how this ultra-compact bow can shine in the hands of a whitetail hunter, which Mathews claims is the intended market for the Triax.
Available now at your local Mathews retailer.
Bowtech Realm and RealmX – $1,099–1,199
With a 31-inch axle-to-axle and 7.125-inch brace height, Bowtech engineered the the 340 fps Realm to be tight and maneuverable with tree-stand hunters in mind. Western hunters may find the 345 fps of the RealmX more attuned to their landscape, with a 33-inch axle-to-axle and 6.5-inch brace height to reach a little farther on a faster plane, delivering increased energy downrange.
Technology to note: The new CP (center pivot) Dual Lock system reduces half of the limb travel returning after a shot due to the center placement, which Bowtech claims drastically decreases vibrations and feels better in hand.
Available now at your local Bowtech retailer.
Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX Series – $1,649–1,699
Hoyt’s engineering team is known for technical builds, and the Carbon RX fits that mold. The 50 individual carbon-weaved layers of the REDWRX form an exceptionally durable and lightweight compound bow frame. Factory testing pushed this bow to over 1,500 dry fires and a 1 million-cycle test.
Hoyt builds the Carbon RX series with the exclusive carbon hollow tube riser. The cam system is brand new, which Hoyt lauds as the most “tunable and forgiving” bow to date. The RX series comes in three models with axle-to-axle measurements of 32 and 35 inches. It maxes out at blazing speeds of up to 350 fps.
Available now at your local Hoyt retailer.
Prime Logic – $1,099
Prime customers ached for a shorter axel-to-axel bow. Thus, the brand created the Logic. While Prime sticks with its center-grip tech, the brand added a new split-limb design and 82x aluminum riser with SWERVE engineering – a curve designed into the riser meant to reduce lateral movement and increase the efficiency of the archer.
The 31-inch axle-to-axle bow shoots up to 330 fps and is designed for tree-stand and western hunters alike.
Available now at your local Prime retailer.
PSE Carbon Air Stealth – $1,499
The Carbon Air Stealth sets itself apart in the industry with monocoque construction, meaning the brand builds the riser from a single carbon fiber chassis. Proprietary acoustic-dampening foam fills the internal carbon cavity, creating less vibration and noise.
The bow sits at 33 inches axle-to-axle with a 6-inch brace height, sending arrows off the rest at 342 fps.
Available now at your local PSE retailer.