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2014's Top Compound Bows

Looking for a new compound bow? Karen Mehall Phillips saw 2014's lineup at the ATA and Great American Outdoor Show, and has highlighted some of year's most impressive new models.

Bowmakers’ evolving technology takes our hunting success to amazing new heights each year. Here is a look at some of the latest, greatest new bows for 2014 from companies certain to be in many bowhunters Top 10.

Bear Archery Products
Bear Archery Products hit the scene with the new Agenda series ($899). The Agenda 6 (6-inch brace height) and Agenda 7 (7-inch brace height) shoot at 350 and 340 fps, respectively. At a maneuverable 32 inches axle-to-axle, both offer Bear’s new Hinge Guard cable-containment system to minimize bow torque, Max Pre-Load Quad limbs, peak draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds and 75 percent letoff. Bear’s H13 hybrid cam system sports a rotating module for easy draw-length adjustments without a bow press. New in single-cams, the Venue features a 7-inch brace height and an IBO speed of 330 fps. An S13 cam addresses draw lengths from 24 to 31 inches, draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds and 80 percent letoff ($849.99). Bear’s new women’s bow—the Finesse—offers considerable value, a smooth draw, easy-spinning single-cam system, powerful Bear Flared Quad Limbs and a silent release ($399.99).

Pictured: Bear Archery Agenda 7

Bowtech Archery
Bowtech unveiled its flagship carbon bow—the 342 fps Carbon OverDrive—that may be the lightest-weight premium hunting bow on the market at 3.3 pounds. It sports a 6-1/2-inch brace height, OverDrive binary-cam system for a smoother draw cycle and more tunability, and FLX-Guard on the carbon riser to minimize torque. Carbon ensures hunters’ hands won’t get as cold while touting the bow in low temps ($999). Pure-power fans will find the fast but smooth RPM 360 stores more energy in the front of the draw cycle to ensure gradual transition and letoff. The fastest bow Bowtech ever produced, it sports a 6-inch brace height, aluminum riser and a new riser design so the back is thinner than the front to diminish torque and reach an IBO speed of 360 fps ($999).

At a lower price point is its new top-end Diamond series bow—the smooth, light Carbon Cure—with a 7-inch brace height and an IBO speed of 325 fps ($699).

Pictured: Bowtech Carbon OverDrive

Elite Archery
Elite Archery touts its Energy 32 and 35 as the hands-down most shootable hunting bows ($869 each). Short and compact, the Energy 32 is 3 inches shorter axle-to-axle than the 35—ideal for shooting in cover and tight quarters. The Energy 35 is an all-around archer’s bow offering tournament-caliber accuracy without tournament-bow length for more maneuverability. Both attain IBO speeds around 335 fps, and feature new Riser Cage technology above the grip that increases riser strength by 30 percent and rigidity by 19 percent without adding weight to decrease vibration and hand shock when shooting. A new Energy Cam System and more parallel limbs offer smoother shooting. Just for women, the Spirit is Elite’s first women’s bow. Fast and easy to pull, this smaller-framed, 3.9-pound bow sports a smaller grip and riser and a two-track binary-cam system—one for the string, one for the cables—to maximize energy and minimize vibration and recoil. It features Elite's new Riser Cage and a 7-inch brace height ($869).

Pictured: Elite Archery Energy 32

G5 Outdoors
G5 is on target with the 335 fps Prime Alloy. In blending shootability with strength, forgiveness comes from the bow’s Parallel Cam system, which addresses cam lean and limb twist to aid horizontal nock travel and accuracy and prevent bow-induced torque and limb fatigue. The system acts like a double-cam, splitting the string to create two string tracks that balance the cam and eliminate side-to-side movement. Its 7000 Series aluminum riser—the highest grade aluminum in the archery industry—and wide limbs ensure stability and accuracy, while a flexing roller guard and Ultra Fit Grip aid comfort and consistency.

Pictured: G5 Outdoors Prime Alloy

Once again, Hoyt is set to play a major factor in bowhunters’ success as it debuts the Facktor series featuring the new Z5 Cam & ½ technology for a smoother draw in three configurations—30- and 34-inch axle-to-axle models and the Faktor Turbo, a 33-inch, 4-pound bow that sports a 6-inch brace height, aluminum riser with Shok Rod dampers and hits speeds of 330 fps. Attention super tall people: Did I mention the 34-inch model is available in a “Long Draw” configuration that spans 34.5 inches axle-to-axle with an actual draw length of 31.5 to 32 inches? All Facktors feature the stable Facktor riser and AirShox silencing system ($949). Hoyt fans may find bow selection is a coin toss this year as Hoyt’s flagship for the year—the stealth, compact, 332 fps Carbon Spyder—comes on strong, sporting the company’s new Helical Flex-Tuned Hollow Carbon riser—the company’s shortest carbon riser to date—and the ideal name for a model Hoyt dubs its “highly evolved predator.” It boasts draw weights from 40 to 80 pounds, 80 percent letoff, a 6 3/4-inch brace height, AirShox and a weight of 3.6 pounds ($1499).

Pictured: Hoyt Carbon Spyder

Martin Archery
For nearly 65 years Martin Archery has offered reliable, quality bows, but in 2014 its lighter, faster, quieter Alien Nitro races out of the gate at 335 fps with a forgiving 7-inch brace height and a weight of 3.5 pounds. Not only is this bow easy to tune and shoot, the unveiling debuts Martin’s sleekest, leanest riser ever designed. The 32-inch model features 80 percent letoff, draw lengths of 25.5 to 30.5 inches and draw weights of 50 to 70 pounds ($935). On its heels at 330 fps, the Nemesis Nitro is a 35-inch model for bowhunters and 3-D shooters preferring a longer axle-to-axle. Blending speed, accuracy and silence, it weighs in at 3.8 pounds and features integrated bow hangars. Brace height, letoff, draw lengths and draw weights are in sync with the Alien Nitro ($989).

Pictured: Martin Alien Nitro

Mathews takes things up a notch with its two heavy hitters from 2013—the Creed and the Chill—making one shorter and the other longer. The shorter Creed XS is even smoother, quieter and lighter than the original. A generous 7 1/2-inch brace height ensures ample forgiveness while the bow still attains an IBO speed of 321 fps. The compact 3.8-pounder features Mathews’ SimPlex Single Cam technology, GridLock riser and a solid back wall that helps bowhunters maintain shooting consistency. It has 80 percent letoff and is available in draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds and draw lengths from 26 to 30 inches.  Two-cam-bow fans may have the smoothest speed in all of archery as Mathews’ McPherson Series of dual-cam bows introduces the Chill R featuring its signature AVS DYAD Dual Perimeter Weighted cam system and an IBO speed of 342 fps. It has a brace height of 6-1/2 inches, measures 33 inches axle to axle and weighs just 3.95 pounds.

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44 Responses to 2014's Top Compound Bows

Jerry Krupp wrote:
January 27, 2015

I've owned PSE and Hoyt and I'm very happy with Hoyt. I like the way the grip feels and the bows I've had have been very quiet. You pay a little more for Hoyt but for me its worth it.

Ron wrote:
January 08, 2015

I have owned a Bear, Hoyt, Mathews, Bowtech, Martin, Elite, Prime, Strother & PSE. For the money, you can't beat a Martin, my favorite bow for hunting is my PSE Omen Pro, it smokes all other bows on the market except for the new PSE that is rated @ 370fps! Smoking hot.

Paul wrote:
December 16, 2014

i have been bears years. I have shot Matthews Hoyt they are okay I just stay with my bears

Danny richardson wrote:
December 13, 2014

I just got Hoyt carbon spyder shoots great

WiseKid123 wrote:
December 10, 2014

It does not natter what brand you shoot, nor the model or year of your bow, yes some of the newer bows are cool to have and are a little faster and more quiet but to be a successful bow hunter you need to find a bow that fits your needs, draw length, poundage, and etc....dont shoot what your friends tell you, shoot a bow that makes you feel confident every time you take it to a 3D range or going hunting! Im only 17 years old but i have had a lot of experience and have been coached by some of the best! Thanks for reading!!

Joey wrote:
December 01, 2014

I have shot Bear, PSE, Hoyt, & now Mathews all are good bows. My fastest was a PSE Carrol Intruder II, set at 85lb and 65 let off it would sail an aluminum arrow! I'm now shooting the original Mathews Switchback and I love this bow!! I have no interrest in switching up anytime soon. Very good shooting bow. Not the fastest but very smooth

Matt wrote:
November 27, 2014

Hoyt Carbon Spyder all the way try it and see for your self

Vince Strahmann wrote:
November 25, 2014

I wish I would have kept my Ben Pearson stealth as well but I love my Pantera and and reall like the looks, feel, and shootability of the Nemis Nitro. I have the feeling I will be owning one soon.

Harry wrote:
November 21, 2014

They all look like Mathews bow

Buckrunn wrote:
November 09, 2014

Obsession evolution all day! I dare you to give it a try you will not be disappointed.

jason wrote:
October 30, 2014

what about the new apa bows of does everything half to be made in usa to hit the top five

TJ wrote:
October 15, 2014

I shoot the Mathews monster safari it has 85 pound limbs its very quit and I'm truly happy with it I would recommend this bow to anyone its super fast and will kill pertty much anything u want to kill with it Mathews mr6 all the way in my book

Jason Phelps wrote:
October 06, 2014

I must say it was fun to test a lot of bows but I ended up with the G5 Prime Alloy. Just had a good feel to me.

Jake Seelhammer wrote:
October 03, 2014

As a hunter I want the quietest bow. Mine is a hoyt impulse bout 2003. Thinking about a new one, plan on having it for a long time. Not a guy that upgrades very often. In fact I just puts sights and a release on last year. And yes I have been bow huntnsince 12 and am 38 now. I feel quiet and practice is more deadly than fast. So I would like to know the quietest and start from there

Shane saade wrote:
September 30, 2014

I have a pse fire storm lite hard to change bows I really like it

Joe wrote:
September 29, 2014

I have owned 3 different bows in the last year. Bowtech 350 LE, PSE Full throttle, and THE ONE! HOYT Carbon Spyder Turbo all the way! No disrespect to others Hoyt has this figured out.

Jason Gloade wrote:
September 25, 2014

I'm looking to buy a left hand bow with everything on it as a package at around $450. I live in Yruro

Jim W wrote:
September 20, 2014

Asking what the best bow made is,,is like asking whos the best football team, puckup truck or favorite color. You have to shoot the bows for yourself. Ive heard the loudest bows get the best owner reviews. Knowing the shooter could do better but it makes him happy so thats all that counts. First figure what you want to spend then look up bows in your range and go shoot. Im happy we have dozens of bow manufacturers. Its keeps them building better products knowing if its junk the whole world will know with the internet. Love bow huntin! Love bow shootin!

Jon mabes wrote:
September 19, 2014

bear archery has come back and every Matthews fan every hoyt fan knows this. Rise up fellas and ladies

Tomorah Brakefield of Carolina Arrow Sports wrote:
September 19, 2014

If you haven't shot an Xpedition Xcentric or Xcentric SD before, you should give it a try. Xpedition manufactures a phenomenal bow with amazing specs! You won't be disappointed!

Mike Snipes wrote:
September 19, 2014

What about Obsession Bow's

Joseph lane wrote:
September 19, 2014

I've shot just about everything on the market and OBSESSION BOW are the best there is

Rob Schneider wrote:
September 19, 2014

Shot the bows at the ata and no mention of the Obsession Bows. I saw engineers from other companies shoot them and say it was the best bow at the show. I weigh little on a lot of these articles cause so many are advertisement money pushed. Shoot them all and dont keep eyes closed on some of the little companies.

CURTIS wrote:
September 15, 2014

Just bought a 2014 Martin Nitro Nemesis , I shoot @65# and 28' draw, the martin is a great shooting and accurate bow.. It is however a tad slower then my PSE AXE6 at the same weight..Looking for a good bow for the wife have been looking at the Elite Spirit, need to get her in to shoot one. She shoots a Browning [[]made by PSE] micro adrenalin now which is fast for the weight and short draw she shoots,it just has a tough draw cycle.

justin potts wrote:
August 30, 2014

I have martin jaguar i like it but its 10 to 15 years old... my girlfriend has pse chaos she loves it... i may go for matthews or hoyt when i am ready for upgrade

Dylanr77 wrote:
August 26, 2014

Lots of good points. I started out with a 06 Pearson stealth then went to a bow tech assassin then moved on to a bow tech destroyer 350. I loved them all but I could shoot the best with the old Pearson stealth I bought used for $250 now I'm looking at about $1000 in a bow that I'm not as good with. Should have been happy with what I had to begin with

tom wrote:
August 25, 2014

To the new shooter all these guys are right about the bow they like. But its the shooter not the bow just get your poudage and length right and if your a good shooter you can shoot any bow and put the arrow where you want it don't become a sales pitch become a bow hunter

steven walters wrote:
August 18, 2014

I shoot HOYT but thinking of buying BOWTECH next, depends on draw length options offered both are great bows / PSE seems to be pretty good bow.

steven walters wrote:
August 18, 2014

short draw shooters are sensitive!

Bronnies Craill wrote:
August 13, 2014

Good day guys.... I live in South Africa and shot the Mathews and Hoyt boath bows are perfect, The best bow is the one you feel comfortable with, these days manufacturers can't afford to make weak or slow bow's the market is just to big. For hunting trips or prices email me at for the best hunting prices you'll get in South Africa.

Jeremy Card wrote:
August 11, 2014

Where is Darton? I don't see them in this list.....why not?

Jason wrote:
August 11, 2014

Lucas, just go to a few bow shops and shoot some different brands. You don't need carbon risers and 350fps... thats just marketing for fan boys. Find a bow that fits you (just feels good). I've killed bucks with 5 different brands from every price category. A $2000 carbon bow set up isn't anymore lethal than a $500 set up. If someone says 'you need this make and model, period' chances are, they never shot another bow. Regardless of what they say they've owned or own.

Big Mo wrote:
August 09, 2014

I tried several of the name brand, big money bows last year. I ended up with the PSE Brute X. Now it's called the Surge. It's smooth, quiet, and much better draw stop than the spongy Mathews or Hoyt. It's about half the price, and the PSE warranty is unbeatable!

jmz320 wrote:
August 05, 2014

i've shot the Hoyt Carbon Spider. Mathews Chill R, Bowtech RPM 360 and the Obsession Evolution, all are great bows but the Bowtech RPM 360 and Obsession Evolution are both fast, quiet, super smooth tack drivers. hands down the best 2 bows of 2014.

jason fowler wrote:
July 23, 2014

shoot Hoyts new carbon spider turbo then come back and comment. Hoyt all the way.

Gary Garland Sr wrote:
June 28, 2014

Boy you guys miss it big time. Ever hear of Obsession the Evolution,Addiction, and Phoenix would hold with any of these bows. Especially over the Mathes and Mission bows

Lucas wrote:
June 27, 2014

I'm a guy that is trying to get into the sport I don't own anything yet any body got any good advise

randall ball wrote:
June 17, 2014

Draw-loc magnum 23 look up @ hickory creek archery in Mississippi

John Specht wrote:
June 16, 2014

I own Martin, Mathews, Bowtech and Hoyt. The Hoyt Carbon Spyder is the finest shooting bow made, period! Some bows are faster or lighter but for the total package the Carbon Spyder can't be beat.

zennyboy wrote:
June 14, 2014

Hoyt all the way, its the lightest of the bunch, the quietest shot, and is the toughest. Hoyt has split limbs with less stress points, the best cam system the Z5 cam and a half, even the stabilizer mount is offset for perfect balance. Best bow ever, plus the turbo model reaches speeds up to 342 fps.

robert walker wrote:
June 08, 2014

I have shot many of the top bows on this list, hands down the Eleite 32 will be in my tree stand this year! Able to stay at full draw for as long as you need? Try that with any otherbow on the market.

Charlie Cogdill wrote:
May 23, 2014

I have been a Mathews fan for a long time and I love them!! But, I bought the new Hoyt Carbon Spyder for 2014, what an awesome bow!! Kind of expensive but makes my evenings a lot of fun lately!!

john schneider wrote:
May 11, 2014

dont be fooled by the several few bow manufacturers who advertise more than most. Shoot ea bow no matter the manufacturer, then decide. Take it from one who knows and is very experienced, Some cheaper bows shoot as well as the more expensive ones

otiscosmitty wrote:
May 07, 2014

Elite all the way. Hands down most shootable with good ibo rating. You hold that bow at full draw forever.