Finding the right arrow is just as important as finding the right bow. Here are the best hunting arrows for 2022.
I’m gonna be honest, I never put too much thought into arrows when I first started bowhunting. I just snagged up what the pro shop recommended and called it good.
The more time I spent behind the bow, though, the more I realized how important hunting arrow selection was. It’s another rabbit hole and a quite daunting one at that. That can make picking the right arrow for you not so straightforward. And the right arrow plays a huge part in bowhunting.
In light of that, we’ve put together our take on what arrows need to be on your radar for the upcoming 2022 fall hunting season.
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for. At the end of our list, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide.
- Best Overall
- Best Budget
- Best for Deer Hunting
- Best for Elk Hunting
- Best for Maximum Penetration
- Best Arrow for Speed
- Best Traditional
- Best Up and Coming
- Best of the Rest
The Best Hunting Arrows of 2022
Best Overall Hunting Arrow: Victory VAP TKO Gamer
The one arrow that’s going to check all of the boxes overall is going to be the VAP TKO Gamer by Victory. From the quality to the performance, the TKO Gamer can handle any big game hunting in North America and do it in stride.
The Victory VAP TKO Gamer is a micro diameter (0.166) midweight carbon arrow that can be purchased in straightness tolerances of 0.003″. That carbon is made with Maxxke Technology, which is an advanced 3k carbon weave for better performance overall in terms of less torque and faster arrow recovery in flight.
Victory VAP TKO Gamers are 100% hand fletched with Blazer vanes. They come with a 50-grain Shok TL aluminum insert along with an 8-grain IP nock. Don’t sleep on this one.
Best Budget Hunting Arrow: Gold Tip Hunter
The name Gold Tip is a prominent one in the archery industry. For the bowhunter looking for a quality arrow that isn’t going to break the bank, the Gold Tip Hunter is where it’s at.
The Gold Tip Hunter is a midweight 0.246″ diameter carbon arrow that was modeled off of the original arrow that put Gold Tip on the map to begin with. In other words, there were high standards a many.
It has a straightness tolerance of 0.006″ and comes in spine stiffnesses of 500, 400, 340, and 300. Included components are a GT nock and Accu-lite insert that is spine specific.
All of Gold Tip’s arrows are made with the goal of maximum durability, maximum penetration, and superb arrow flight. Whether it’s on the range or in the field, the Gold Tip Hunter is going to perform for you all while not making your wallet easier to sit on.
Best Deer Hunting Arrow: Black Eagle X-Impact
What’s better than a good deer camp? Deer camp with fresh tendies on the grill. Black Eagle Arrows knows this well and its X-Impact is an arrow that’ll help make that happen time and time again.
Black Eagle created the X-Impact which is constructed with 100% high-mod carbon, and it’s the lightest arrow shaft available from the brand. It wanted to create an arrow that allowed for more point weight up front and excelled at long-range, pinpoint accuracy.
This translates into a faster system that doesn’t give up knockdown power. Deer are fast, but the X-Impact is faster.
You’ll find spine options of 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900. This is an unreal range to choose from front to back. The X-Impact has a straightness tolerance of 0.001″. Arrows come with Black Eagle anodized outserts as well as their Micro-Nock (8 grains).
Deer camp will never be the same with the Black Eagle X-Impact. It belongs there just as much as you do.
Best Elk Hunting Arrow: Day Six HD
Elk hunting grows in popularity each turn of the calendar and the pursuit demands tough gear. For the diehard elk hunter looking for an arrow that is just as tough as the wapiti they seek, it doesn’t get much better than the HD arrow from Day Six Gear.
Day Six Gear was created with the intention of making specialized equipment that would perform in the worst of conditions, which is exactly what the HD arrow is and what it will do. This heavyweight carbon arrow was built with superior strength and durability in mind.
It’s got an ultra-thick interior wall that can handle the toughest of situations. Coming in 250, 275, 300, 350, 400, and 500 spines, there is no shortage of options to fit an elk hunter’s needs.
Options for both include aluminum (23gr), titanium (50gr), and stainless steel (75gr). Long story short, this arrow is going to make short work of elk and have enough steam to keep going after the fact
Best Hunting Arrow for Maximum Penetration: Easton FMJ 4mm
Easton has been in the arrow-making business since 1922, so you could say they know a thing or two about what bowhunters need out of an arrow. Precision and durability, yes. But also, maximum penetration. For an arrow that excels in the penetration game and more, check out the Easton FMJ 4mm.
A favorite among bowhunters across the country is what the Easton FMJ has become through the years. That isn’t changing anytime soon. The full metal jacket is the result of wrapping a carbon-fiber core with a 7075 aluminum tube.
This arrow is made to pummel anything in its path and do it again and again. Pair that technology down into a micro-diameter 4mm shaft and you’ve got an unstoppable needle-like arrow that screams penetration.
The FMJ 4mm offers spine options of 250, 300, 340, and 400. Included with all arrows is a 4mm 8-32 aluminum half-out (50 grains) as well as a 4mm Micro Lite nock (6 grains). Straightness options include either 0.003″ or the Match Grade 0.001″. And if you feel so inclined, Easton also offers 4mm Deep Six components, which are sold separately.
Best Hunting Arrow for Speed: Gold Tip Velocity Pro
It’s no surprise that Gold Tip is making another appearance on this list. The brand has been trying to appease the likes of bowhunters since the beginning. And the Velocity Pro is its perfect solution for a hunter looking for a more lightweight shaft that will cater to more speed and flatter trajectory.
The Velocity Pro is a 100% fully carbon shaft that was made with more speed in mind, hence the name. Gold Tip does this simply by creating an arrow with a lower GPI (grains per inch), but without sacrificing quality. This arrow comes in options of 300, 340, 400, 500, and 600 spine and has a straightness tolerance of 0.001″.
All arrows come with an internal component system on the front to make broadhead alignment a snap as well as a bushing and GTO nock on the back.
If you’ve got the need for speed, the Velocity Pro from Gold Tip deserves your attention. This arrow is gonna make slower bows faster and faster bows melt your face.
Best Traditional Hunting Arrow: Black Eagle Instinct Traditional
Don’t worry. We didn’t forget the traditional bowhunters out there. Black Eagle Arrows has more than staked a claim for itself in the archery/bowhunting industry and it’s because of products like the Instinct Traditional arrow.
This remains the only wood grain micro-diameter carbon arrow on the market. It blends the pros of a carbon micro-diameter shaft without giving up the old-timey look of traditional arrows.
The Instinct Traditional can be found in 350, 400, 500, and 600 spine options. These arrows come with Black Eagle’s 100-grain stainless steel outserts to give hunters more forward weight. They also come with their N Nock (6 grains) and have a straightness tolerance of 0.005″ or better.
For the struggle stick fans, the Black Eagle Instinct will be with you every step of the way.
Best Up and Coming Hunting Arrow: Vector ZMR
There’s a new kid on the block in the arrow-building world and we felt compelled to include them in our best-of list. As a company, Vector Arrows has only been around for 2 years, but it’s making a splash with its brand-new ZMR arrow.
Born out of a need they saw in the hunting industry, the ZMR is Vector’s answer to an arrow that is light enough to reach out and touch farther distances, but heavy enough to get the job done.
The ZMR is a full carbon micro-diameter arrow with spine options of 250, 300, 325, 350, 400, and 500. This moderate-weight arrow shaft is paired with Vector’s OPC (one-piece component) which caters to a more lightweight system overall but elevates the structural integrity of the arrow. These come in aluminum, titanium, and steel.
All ZMR arrows come spine aligned for maximum accuracy and consistency downrange. Vector also offers 3 or 4 vane configurations.
Vector is a unique bird in the bowhunting industry as it actually calculates the perfect arrow build for you right on its website. You’ll input everything from your bow brand and bow model to your preferred draw weight and broadhead weight.
Through data like this, they are able to come up with the best system (spine, hardware, etc.) for you and your bow specifically. There’s no guesswork. Vector takes care of everything for you.
Best of the Rest
And now for the best of the rest! The Easton Axis Long Range 4mm has taken up residency in more than a few quivers across the country. And it’s for good reason.
Easton took its industry-leading carbon Axis arrow and slimmed it down into a 4mm version. The Axis Long Range is a 100% carbon shaft that was made with superior flight, accuracy, and penetration all in mind.
This is a one-stop shop for serious bowhunters. Coming in 250, 300, 340, and 400 spines, there are plenty of options for folks looking to get into this arrow.
With each set of Long Range Axis, you’ll get Easton’s 4mm 8-32 Aluminum half-out (50 grains) made to boost both strength and front of center to aid in accuracy, particularly at long range. Also included is a preinstalled Micro Lite Nock (6 grains.)
For bowhunters looking to skip to the front of the line, the Easton Axis Long Range is a no-brainer. It’s where quality meets dependability.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a Hunting Arrow
Heavy Hunting Arrows vs. Light Hunting Arrows: The Pros and Cons of Each
The hunting arrows listed above are wide in variety. There’s a little something for everyone. One of the major differences between some of these arrows is the arrow weight. Arrow shafts are measured in GPI (grains per inch). And some arrows have a higher GPI than others. This leads me to one of the most highly debated topics in bowhunting.
Should you use a heavy arrow or a light arrow?
We’re gonna suss that out to provide the tools you need for picking the right arrow weight for you and your hunting style.
Heavy Hunting Arrows Equal Momentum
In recent years, there’s a push for using heavier arrows for hunting. When I say heavy, I’m referring to arrows that weigh in around 500+ grains. There is a great argument for using a heavier arrow.
Weight equals more momentum, which is basically the force an arrow will retain going through an animal. More momentum means more pass-throughs and less chances of arrow flight being altered too much from ribs etc. This is not to be confused with kinetic energy, which is the amount of energy an arrow has on impact.
Heavier arrows are also more wind-resistant than lighter arrows. And along with that, they absorb more energy on the shot, which translates into a quieter system.
Cons of Heavy Arrows
While there are no doubt benefits to using a heavier arrow, there are also some drawbacks. The first is that heavier arrows are just slower. This gives arrow flight a much steeper trajectory. So, there is much less room for error when it comes to judging yardage.
This could spell trouble when that elk is a few yards farther than what you thought. For the multi-pin sight users, that also means larger gaps between pins, which makes pin gapping (aiming between pins for odd yardages) much more finicky. The result is less precision accuracy when pin gapping.
Light Hunting Arrows Equal Speed
On the flip side of things, slimming down arrow weight is becoming shinier by the day. Less arrow weight means more arrow speed, which translates into a flatter trajectory. So, it isn’t as critical to be pinpoint accurate with yardage estimates.
In hunting situations, this can be the difference between notching a tag and following a fruitless blood trail. Along with that, you’ll also be able to stretch the tape on your sight much farther. Even if one doesn’t plan on shooting an animal at a great distance, practicing far shots hones shooting skills and makes shorter shots seem even shorter.
And when those shots land at odd yardages, therein lies another benefit, particularly for multi-pin sight users. Your pin gapping will be much tighter in the sight housing, which means precision will increase when doing something like aiming between the 30 and 40 pins for a 35-yard shot.
Cons of Lightweight Hunting Arrows
Less arrow weight does come at a cost, though. The first is giving up that momentum that we talked about. Lighter arrows don’t retain as much energy through an animal as heavier ones do. This could result in fewer pass-through shots and a higher likelihood that an arrow is thrown off course by, say a bone.
And on that note, a lighter arrow also doesn’t buck the wind as well. This is a potentially problematic situation in windy hunting conditions.
Then there is the shot. The moment of truth. When that arrow releases, it won’t nearly be as quiet as a heavier setup.
Lastly, durability seems to drop off the lighter an arrow is. So, if you miss or hit a bone, the chances of your arrow still being intact is slim.
Middle of the Road: A Hunting Arrow That’s Just Right
While you hold the wheel in terms of what arrow weight you’ll end up shooting, our opinion is this. Shoot a quality midweight type of arrow in relation to your setup overall.
I say this because a heavy/light arrow for one person might be a real heavy/light arrow for another based on their draw weight, draw length, etc.
By doing so, you’ll avoid many of the cons that come from the extremes on each end. It’s a best of all worlds solution. There is one more thing, though, that is the most important to keep in mind.
Arrow Flight Is Everything
To cut to the chase, good arrow flight is way more critical than trying to shoot a heavy arrow or a light arrow.
There’s nothing wrong with having somewhat of a goal arrow weight in mind, but in the end, you need to shoot the arrow that is flying the best out of your setup. If your goal is 500 grains, but a 450-grain arrow is shooting lights out for you, it’d probably be wise to eat the 50 grains and go for accuracy and consistency.
Arrow weight doesn’t mean anything if you can’t put the arrow where it’s supposed to go. Focus on you and your shooting. Let your arrow weight reflect that.