Selecting a new hunting bow can be a daunting task. Today’s top bow companies continue to innovate, creating bows with evolving technologies, making the selection process more challenging. The roundup of premium flagship bows in 2022 will not make selecting an upgraded hunting bow any easier. My advice: before selecting a new bow, visit your local pro shop and shoot every bow that offers intrigue.
A recent trend from bow companies is the concept of a bow series instead of a single flagship bow, although not all manufacturers have followed suit. The series concept provides a bow platform with a range of specs to cover a broader target audience. It also allows targeting specific audiences, such as short-draw or long-draw archers, speed freaks, or the performance crowd. As a group, bow companies are trending toward inline technologies that significantly increase bow performance.
Below are six cream-of-the-crop bows that hardcore bowhunters will levitate toward this year.
Mathews V3X 29/33
From Mathews: “Our most popular hunting bow to date.”
Touted as “the most streamlined hunting system” they have ever created, the V3X series is packed with innovation. The Stay Afield System (S.A.S.), LowPro quiver design, and the new Bridge-Lock Sight system are notable.
The Bridge-Lock Sight system eliminates the age-old external mounting of bow sights. Now, dovetail bow sights are mounted efficiently through the bow’s riser. Coupled with its LowPro Quiver system that moves the quiver closer to the riser, the overall mass weight of the V3X is closer to its center, making balancing easier. The icing on the cake is the new cam design that provides the S.A.S. technology that allows pressing the bow in an emergent situation. This feature is sure to win over the backcountry bowhunting crowd.
ATA Length: 29″ and 33″
Draw Length: 25.5” – 30” and 27” – 31.5”
Draw Weight: 60, 65, 70, 75
Brace Height: 6″ and 6.5″
Speed: 340 fps and 336 fps
Weight: 4.47 lbs and 4.67 lbs
MSRP: $ 1199 and $1299
Hoyt Carbon RX7/RX7 Ultra
From Hoyt: “Get the custom feel you want.”
Introduced in 2021, Hoyt has enhanced and expanded its Inline System in the RX7 and RX7 Ultra models. The culmination of technology within the Inline system makes the series of bows balance and perform optimally, qualities bowhunters crave.
Integral to the RX7 — both figuratively and literally — are its Integrate Mounting System and Picatinny Sight Mount. The dovetail rest mount and Picatinny rail bow sight mount are machined into its riser, maximizing the inline effect. The Adjustable Quiver Mount and the Short Stop Stabilizer systems aid in streamlining the bow’s center of gravity, balance, and overall performance. Spot-and-stalk bowhunters will be drawn to the lightweight and efficient RX7.
ATA Length: 30″ and 34″
Draw Length: 25” – 28” and 28.5” – 30”
Draw Weight: 40, 50, 55, 60, 70
Brace Height: 6 1/4″ and 7″
Speed: 342 fps and 334 fps
Weight: 3.9 lbs and 4.3 lbs
MSRP: $1849 and $1899
From Bowtech: “Smooth has never been this fast.”
Bowtech describes the SR350 as “blazing fast with a silky smooth draw.” The SR350 has the cam of a speed bow and is built on a mid-length riser with inline Orbit dampeners and features Bowtech’s DeadLock technology, which leads the field when it comes to tunability.
While Bowtech may not have added new technologies regarding bow accessories like other bow companies, its patented DeadLock technology stands out for bow tuneability, shootability and performance. The published IBO speed of 350 fps is likely to make speed bow freaks drool. With its speed and performance, the SR350 provides a leg-up for limited bowhunting cohorts, such as short-draw and low-draw-weight archers, to achieve higher speeds and energy.
ATA Length: 33″
Draw Length: 25″ – 30″
Draw Weight: 50, 60, 70
Brace Height: 6″
Speed: 350 fps
Weight: 4.4 lbs
Prime Inline 1/3/5
From Prime: “Accuracy is lethal.”
The Prime Inline series features a first, a single-track cam — the Inline Cam System — instead of its longtime parallel cam system design. Prime describes the change as a way to move to a simpler system that focuses on cam balance.
Its new inline design aims to remove cam lean to make the Inline series more tunable, driving performance. Its design is similar to a three-tracked binary cam system. Yet, it allows a shift in string and cable forces as the cables move closer to the center of the axle, ultimately increasing accuracy. The Inline is available in three axle-to-axle lengths, with varying brace heights to match a broad range of dedicated bowhunters.
ATA Length: 31″, 33″ and 35″
Draw Length: 26″ – 30.5″
Draw Weight: 40 – 80 lbs
Brace Height: 7″, 6.5″ and 6″
Speed: 332 fps, 337 fps and 342 fps
Weight: 4.3 lbs, 4.4 lbs and 4.6 lbs
MSRP: $1199 – $1249
Bear Refine EKO
From Bear: “Class-leading stability in every shot.”
Bear used the word refine as a verb — the process of improving through method and process — to name its new flagship, the Refine EKO. Its frame is a mid-length riser and forgiving brace height designed to provide accuracy and speed.
The Refine EKO features a new GRIZgrip, KillerWave limb dampeners, and an enhanced Vibration Reduction System. The new features were designed to increase comfort and decrease felt vibrations through the shot process. Integral to the Refine EKO’s riser is the ALIGNLOK technology, a small bubble level to aid in setting and adjusting the second and third axis levels of the bow and bow sight. The Refine EKO features and adjustability are matched to a wide range of bowhunters.
ATA Length: 33″
Draw Length: 26.5” – 30.5”
Draw Weight: 45-60 lbs and 55-70 lbs
Brace Height: 6.375″
Speed: 342 fps
Weight: 4.4 lbs
PSE Nock On Carbon Levitate E2
From PSE: “The smoothest, most purpose-built bow made. PERIOD.”
The Nock On Carbon Levitate E2 was created to be the perfect carbon riser bow. PSE’s Levitate features a proprietary Dead Frequency Carbon layup to be quiet and vibration-free through the shot. The new E2 Cam System is a bearing design created to reduce friction, improve smoothness, and perform strongly at all draw lengths.
The new E2 Cam System’s payout tracks are approximately 15% wider than its predecessor. The new bearing system provides extreme repetitive use. Overall, the new E2 Cam System provides optimal energy transfer from the limbs to the arrow, increasing performance throughout the adjustability of the bow’s draw length, draw weight, and module settings. Newly added, more robust draw stops provide a solid back wall. The published speed combined with the Levitate E2’s lightweight and overall performance will draw attention from a large crowd of bowhunters.
ATA Length: 32.25″
Draw Length: 27.5″ – 31.5″
Draw Weight: 60, 70, 80
Brace Height: 6″
Speed: 348 fps
Weight: 3.6 lbs