Below is a “hit list” of new-for-2022 compound bows from 10 of the most popular brands. Most offer advanced levels of tunability and superior accessorized balance, but don’t worry, they’re “fast, quiet and smooth,” too. Let’s review some features and benefits of bows that today’s top manufacturers have turned loose from the bullpen.
APA Black Mamba 31
APA Archery bows cannot be mistaken. Each one has distinct features with “APA” practically written all over it. And the Black Mamba 31 is certainly rich with sensational APA features and styling. Mainstays are Riser Fangs, the Tool Center, integrated Carrying Handle and comfortable Soft Touch Armour, to name several. The skeletonized riser features cutouts shaped like a black mamba snake’s head; the riser design exudes strength while weighing a feathery 3.8 pounds — comparable in weight to today’s top carbon-riser bows. Equipped with the Weight Distribution System and Mass Transfer Module, an accessorized Black Mamba 31 balances like a dream. Technical bowhunters will love features such as Micro Tune, Nock Point Alignment Zone, Hand Position Reference Groove, Variable Yoke Technology, Center Shot Indicator and more. If you want a durable bow in a beautifully balanced and lightweight platform, then the Black Mamba 31 is for you. There’s even a camera mount on the front of the riser for a GoPro, and speeds up to 350 fps with a 6.75-inch brace height unite power and accuracy in a lights-out hunting machine.
MSRP: $1,199 (starting at)
Athens Vista 31
Athens Archery’s new Vista 31 proves that stability can come in an ultra-short and maneuverable platform. Athens hits an out-of-the-park home run with its first roller guard. Not just another roller guard, the TCS roller guard allows you to adjust the cables in or out in order to achieve a perfect tune. The Vista 31 features durable and stability-producing 1-inch-wide split limbs. Beyond parallel limbs and X-Out limb dampeners mute vibrations to deliver a smooth shot sequence. The Vista 31 is available in peak weights from 40 to 80 pounds. Like all Athens bows, it comes equipped with high-end GAS Premium High Octane pre-stretched strings. The Vista 31 is available in 15 limb finishes and 18 riser finishes, giving you many possible combinations to suit your individual taste. Feel the comfort at full draw in either 80- or 90-percent let-off. Powered by the RT-X Cam, enjoy speeds up to 340 fps.
Bear Refine EKO
At 33 inches between the axles, Bear Archery’s Refine EKO combines the best of both stability and maneuverability for a comfortable shooting experience. The new GRIZgrip and VERSAGRIP come standard so you can choose which one feels best. Align Lok removes the guesswork when setting up a bowsight’s second- and third-axis adjustments. Between the KillerWave limb dampeners and the improved Vibration Reduction System (VRS), the Refine EKO delivers one of the market’s smoothest, most vibration-free shooting experiences. The Refine EKO is available in eight classy finishes and four let-off settings from 75-90 percent. Considerably less expensive than most high-end bows, the Refine EKO offers phenomenal value with loads of performance that delivers at the moment of truth.
Tuning Bowtech’s SR350 is as simple as moving the Deadlock Cams left or right on the axles and then locking them down. The incredibly stable caged-riser design defies bowhunting wear and tear, and the dual-purpose Orbit Dampeners counterbalance accessories such as sights and rests while thwarting hand shock. Despite speeds up to 350 fps, the SR350 delivers a surprisingly smooth shooting experience. A bowstring cushion mutes vibrations, while Deadlock Cable Containment provides a friction-free draw cycle and reduces lateral cable torque, optimizing consistency. Rigid Deadlock Pockets contain the limbs with tight tolerances to maximize accuracy, and the Clutch Performance Grip comes in two variations to reduce torque and provide outstanding comfort for practically any archer. Rounding out the ensemble is Bowtech’s tried-and-true Powershift Technology, which lets you choose between three different draw cycles based on preference and application.
Imagine a rock-stable target bow in a maneuverable hunting length of only 31 inches, and you have Elite’s new EnVision. Thanks to its wider limbs and straight riser design, it truly aims like a target bow. Its 6.875-inch brace height enhances forgiveness, making it one of the most accurate bows of its build. While incredibly sleek in appearance, the EnVision is designed to tackle the demands of hardcore bowhunters, no matter the species pursued. The ASYM Tri-Track Cams improve the bowstring angle at full draw to maximize comfort at anchor. The cams also provide draw-length adjustments in quarter-inch increments, not to mention that they have let-off options from 70 to 90 percent with a handful of back-wall options for the most discriminating archers. Winner’s Choice bowstring and cables feature tight tolerances and ensure proper peep rotation. Expect a dead-quiet shot, thanks to VibeX Blocks and all-new VRT (Vibration Reduction Technology). A stout 4.45-pound mass weight anchors in windy conditions, and a 334-fps speed rating delivers a punch. The EnVision is available in 15 finishes, and in the Mountain Series, it can be built with 75-pound limbs.
MSRP: $1,199.99 (starting at)
Hoyt Carbon RX-7
Year after year, Hoyt’s carbon-riser bows are esteemed by some of the hunting community’s most hardcore and dedicated bowhunters, and it’s because the compounds are lightweight, balanced and flat-out performers. The newest rendition, the Carbon RX-7, features a new riser with notable improvements, including a 24 percent sound reduction, making it the quietest-shooting Hoyt yet. Also new are HBX Pro Cams, which are even smoother-drawing than the predecessor HBX Cams. At just 3.9 pounds, the Carbon RX-7 is lightweight, and with the In-Line System, unconventional accessory mounting styles and locations optimize its accessorized feel and balance. New this year is the VitalPoint grip, which flaunts a modified angle to reduce negative hand feedback, increasing comfort and consistency. The result of these clever features is an ultra-accurate 30-inch hunting bow with a 342-fps ATA velocity. A 34-inch option is available in the Carbon RX-7 Ultra. If you want to save a few hundred dollars without sacrificing performance, go for one of the new Ventum Pro series of aluminum bows.
MSRP: $1,849 (starting at)
Mathews V3X 29
A leading innovator in the compound-bow space since its 1992 inception, Mathews unveils its best hunting bows yet, the new 29-inch V3X 29 and 33-inch V3X 33. On the technology forefront is new Bridge-Lock Sight Technology. Compatible dovetail sights slide directly into the riser, which eliminates the sight’s external mounting bracket and positions the sight near the lateral balance point. When paired with the Mathews UltraRest Integrate, the Mathews LowPro quiver — available in fixed or detachable models — mounts ultra-close to the riser. The result is truly the most impeccable balance and effortless aiming I’ve ever felt in an accessorized hunting bow. The smooth-drawing CrossCentric Cams were modified to give hardcore backcountry hunters the convenience of replacing the string and/or cables anywhere with the included orange servicing cable — no bow press needed. The Nano 740 Damper provides out-front stability and stops vibrations, while the Centerguard Cable Containment System maximizes fletching clearance. Mainstay Switchweight Technology allows draw-length and draw-weight adjustments to be made via interchangeable modules. This boosts the CrossCentric Cam’s efficiency and accuracy potential. The V3X 29 aims like a target bow and has a 340-fps rating with a 6-inch brace height.
PSE Nock On Carbon Levitate
The USA-made Carbon Levitate is the product of a collaboration between PSE engineers and Nock On Archery’s John Dudley. Powered by the E2 Cam, the Levitate boasts a 348-fps ATA velocity. Despite its all-out power, the more interesting aspect of the E2 Cam is that is features a wider, stabler base, which improves cam tracking and also defies cam lean. It also features larger 3/8-inch bearings, which are four times more durable than most bearings in competing cam systems. Let’s not forget that PSE also has designed the E2 Cam for maximum speed and optimized let-off at every draw-length setting. The Levitate’s Premier Dead Frequency Carbon riser is lighter, stronger and delivers the smoothest shot in PSE history. The limbs and pockets are also wider to enhance strength and stability. All of this amounts to PSE’s most purpose-built bowhunting bow yet. The Carbon Levitate is available in eight finishes.
Prime Inline 3
Prime achieved cam alignment on past models with the proven two-track Parallel Cam. To simplify the design and decrease weight, Prime unveils the new streamlined Inline Cam System on its Inline Series, including the 33-inch Inline 3. Because the bowstring and cables carry different loads and serve different purposes during the draw cycle, it’s common for the two to fight with one another and inflict cam lean, but the new Inline Cam has properly appointed tracks and string-and-cable-attachment pegs to align the cable load over the center of the axle at full draw for a perfectly balanced cam. The Inline 3 is one of three models in the Inline Series. It has a 6.5-inch brace height, achieves a 337-fps IBO rating and is available in 18 different hunting and target finishes. The flexible cable guard manages torque during the draw cycle, and a swerve in the riser optimizes lateral weight distribution. Limb dampeners and a string cushion deaden vibrations. The Inline’s centered grip makes aiming nearly effortless. In the Prime Shield Program, you get free strings for life when you register your Inline bow.
MSRP: $1,199 (starting at)
Take one look at Xpedition’s new MX32 and you’ll note that it’s built to withstand the rigors of the wildest bowhunting landscapes. Two structural bridges in the forged 6061 aluminum riser maximize stability and strength. X-Lock Pockets contain the limbs with tight tolerances to maximize shot-to-shot consistency. At 32.5 inches between the axles and with a 6.5-inch brace height, the MX32 is deadly accurate. The LVR 2.0 Cam features three separate rotating modules — adjustments do not require a bow press — to maximize efficiency at any draw length. The MX32 also comes equipped with OEM mounting holes for Xpedition’s all-new Epsilon Centershot Optimized arrow rest. Grip directly onto the riser for ultimate torque-free consistency. The featured Energy Transfer System is a roller cable-containment system that pre-loads the cables. A sturdy 4.4-pound mass weight ensures stability, and a 346- to 348-fps rating unleashes all the power needed to tackle the toughest game.