Mathews V3X
(Photo/Mathews Archery)

The Best Bows of 2022: Top Flagship Compounds From ATA

Brands at the Archery Trade Association trade show dropped their newest flagship compound bows for 2022. These are our top picks from the show.

There are a lot of great bows on the market, and they were all on display at the recent ATA show. Luckily for you, all these bows are already available and on the market for 2022.

Refinement is certainly the name of the game in 2022. Below you’ll find new lines, but you’ll also find lighter, more innovative models from previous lines standing in as flagships. Quivers, sight attachments, and more are consistently changing toward a better, sleeker build.

The other theme you’ll find is the marriage of speed and balance. Nearly every brand touts moving toward a really smooth and balanced shooting platform. After all, if an arrow moves fast, that’s great. But if the shot is choppy, unbalanced, and inaccurate, that speed is pretty worthless in the long run.

There’s a lot of fun and forward-thinking stuff going on for 2022 in the world of compound bows. Read on for more.

The Best 2022 Compound Bows

Hoyt Redworx Carbon RX-7

Hoyt Redworx RX-7

Hoyt continues to raise the dang bar on what it can do with carbon elements, improved performance, and continually refined details. But expect a little more wallet panic and a little less target panic: the pricing starts at $1,849.

The RX-7’s Inline System borrows the Picatinny rail from the firearms industry and places it on the front of the bow. And this year, Hoyt machined it directly into the riser. This drops weight and keeps the sight in line with the riser, allowing for better stability overall.

Other enhancements include a lighter and smoother HBX Pro cam system, a newly adjustable Superlite quiver system, a lowered stabilizer location, and a new grip system.

It’s also a half-pound lighter than the previous RX model, which begs the question: How low can weight go? If anyone can figure that one out, it’s likely Hoyt.

  • Length: 30″ & 34″ Ultra (below stats match order of bow length)
  • Brace height: 6.25″ & 7″
  • Draw weight: 40-80 lbs.
  • Draw length: 25-30″ & 27-32″
  • Speed: 342 fps & 334 fps
  • Physical weight: 3.9 lbs. & 4.3 lbs.
  • Price: $1,849 & $1,899

This bow is available now at your local Hoyt retailer.

Shop Now

Mathews V3X

mathews V3X

The Mathews V3X builds on 2020’s V3 model with the V3X version. And for the Mathews fans out there, it doesn’t disappoint.

The Stay-Afield System is one that stands out in the 2022 lineup, and it’s available with the V3X for a mere $40 upgrade. Mathews crafted a servicing cable that allows bowhunters to remove their string or cables and repair them in the field — without a bow press.

Mathews debuts a new LowPro detachable quiver system that sits closer to the bow for better balance. And the biggest change on the bow is its Bridge-Lock Sight technology that allows a dovetail sight attachment to connect directly to the riser of the bow for better balance.

GearJunkie goes into greater detail about what changed with the V3X in this article. And check out its specs below.

Field Test: 2019 Mathews Vertix Compound Bow Review
Field Test: 2019 Mathews Vertix Compound Bow Review
The Mathews Vertix is one of our Best Bows of 2019. We put this compound bow through its paces for this review and came away impressed. Read more…

  • Length: 29″ & 33″ (below stats match order of bow length)
  • Brace height: 6″ & 6.5″
  • Draw weight: 60-75 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 25.5-30″ & 27-31.5″
  • Speed: 340 fps & 336 fps
  • Physical Weight: 4.47 lbs. & 4.67 lbs.
  • Price: $1,199 & $1,299

This one is available now at your local Mathews retailer.

Shop Now

Elite EnVision

Elite Envision

You might notice some aesthetic differences in the EnVision compared to the other bows of 2022, and that’s with intention. The folks at Elite decided to step away from what a bow should look like and envision rather how the bow might be redesigned to shoot better.

And so, the brand created a platform where the limbs are wide, the riser is longer and straighter, and the weight is centered over the grip and behind the shooter. This, in Elite’s words, creates a “rock-solid platform.”

Elite also looks to microadjustments with this bow. Its ASYM Tri-Track Cam System with Versa Performance Mod adjusts in quarter-inch increments, offers a 70-90% let-off, and a speed comparable to the other bows on the list, at 334 fps.

  • Length: 31″
  • Brace height: 6.875″
  • Draw weight: 40-75 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 23.5-30″
  • Speed: 334 fps
  • Physical Weight: 4.45 lbs.
  • Price: $1,199

The EnVision is available now at your local Elite retailer.

Shop Now

Bowtech SR350

bowtech SR350

One of the fastest bows on the list, the Bowtech SR350 is a speed demon with a silky smooth shooting platform. A longer axle-to-axle length provides for that combination, and though it’s a bigger, longer bow, its physical weight remains low, at 4.4 pounds.

And for archers with a keen eye, it’s easy to point out that the SR350 is very similar to Bowtech’s previous Solution offering. Where Bowtech changed things up allows for more speed and an intuitive system to match the shooter’s goals.

On the cams of the SR350 is a module option that allows a shooter to choose “Comfort” or “Performance.” The “Comfort” module allows for a smoother draw cycle, enabling consistently comfortable shots over a longer span of time.

But, in the field, many archers prefer a more aggressive turnover on the cams that translate into speed. Switch to performance, and you’ll find two peaks in your draw cycle. This sets the archer up for a faster and flatter shot when needed in a hunting situation. Pretty cool stuff.

  • Length: 33″
  • Brace height: 6″
  • Draw weight: 50-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 25-30″
  • Speed: 350 fps
  • Physical Weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • Price: $1,299

This one is available now at your local Bowtech retailer.

Shop Now

APA Black Mamba 31

APA Black Mamba 31

New from APA is the Black Mamba, a longer, lighter bow with a unique look in a 2022 lineup that has gone a bit more traditional.

A longer, slimmer riser contributes to more comfort and balance in hand. And the length and lightness pair up in a way that doesn’t compromise speed. The riser also has a built-in tool kit, with a nock and broadhead wrench and a blade sharpener at the ready at all times.

And like Mathews, APA came out with a Cam Lock design that allows for cable and string repairs in the field without a bow press.

There’s a lot to like about the Black Mamba. It fits into the average price range of most of the bows on this list while being extremely light and extremely fast.

Even if you’re a brand loyalist to one of the big boys, the Black Mamba begs a very close look.

  • Length: 31.25″
  • Brace height: 6.75″
  • Draw weight: 40-80 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 25-31″
  • Speed: 350 fps
  • Physical Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • Price: $1,199

Shop Now

Prime Inline Series

Prime Inline series

Prime decided to buck the trend of refinement and pivot to an all-new type of line that focuses on simplicity rather than continued complexity.

The new Inline Cam System is where things really change in this series. Moving away from the parallel cam system, the Inline system pares the cams down with one goal in mind: alignment.

As an archer draws the bow back, the new system creates an equilibrium between the string and the cable. According to Prime, the Inline series is its most accurate bow series to date because of this.

Additionally, Prime added Aerogel into the grip of the bow to keep the temperature regulated. And an aluminum riser drops weight and brings a more comfortable design to the table.

  • Length: 31″, 33″, and 35″
  • Brace height: 7″, 6.5″, and 6″
  • Draw weight: 40-80 lbs.
  • Draw Length: varies
  • Speed: 332 fps, 337 fps, 342 fps
  • Physical Weight: 4.3 lbs., 4.4 lbs., 4.6 lbs.
  • Price: $1,199-1,249

Shop Now

 

Bear Refine EKO

bear refine eko

Who doesn’t love a vintage camo moment? Harkening back to iconic founder Fred Bear’s era with the Bear camo dip is only the tip of the iceberg with the aptly named Refine.

The biggest improvement in the Refine bow is its heavily damped vibration. This lessens hand shock and provides what archers call a “dead-in-hand” feel to the bow. And Bear purports that its new Vibration Reduction System reduces vibrations by up to 25%.

Coupled with a smooth draw cycle, a longer axle-to-axle length, and an improved line damping system, this bow is reputed to be like butter to shoot. It’s also one of the more affordable bows on the list, starting at just under $1,000.

  • Length: 33″
  • Brace height: 6.375″
  • Draw weight: 45-60 lbs. or 55-70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: a 26.5-30.5″
  • Speed: 342 fps
  • Physical Weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • Price: $999

The Refine EKO is available now at your local Bear retailer.

Shop Now

PSE Nock On Carbon Levitate

PSE nock on levitate carbon

PSE continues to double down on its Nock On partnership with professional archer and educator John Dudley. And the latest collaboration is not only the lightest bow on the 2022 list but it’s also tied for the most expensive.

The cams of this bow call back the theme of refinement. They’re built on PSE’s Evolve platform with considerable upgrades. The limbs, pockets, and cams have all been widened to create a more solid base for your shot.

The bow also has a new bearing system to minimize friction and increase durability. And the overall minimizing of friction and vibration in the Levitate is reflected in the Dead Frequency logo stamped into the high-end carbon.

  • Length: 32.25″
  • Brace height: 6″
  • Draw weight: 60-80 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 27.5-31.5″
  • Speed: 348 fps
  • Physical Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Price: $1,899

The Nock On Carbon Levitate is available now at your local PSE dealer.

Shop Now

Nicole Qualtieri
By

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.