Travel Easy with the Best Compound Bow Backpacks

Identifying the best piece of equipment to protect and transport your bow is a key consideration.  There are lots of different options, such as securing your bow to your own backpack – some backpacks have special straps specifically for this purpose – or buying a purpose designed bowpack to transport the bow or using a bow sling over a standard backpack.  There are some people who just want to be ready for action and carry their bow in their hand, perhaps not practical though on a long trek into deep country. 

So what is the best option for protecting and carrying your compound bow when you’re out on a hike or a hunt?

Attaching a compound bow to a backpa​​​​ck

Some shooters like being able to access their bow without having to take off a backpack. But is the bow really secure?  Are all the integral parts like the sights protected against knocks and bangs in the dark or when moving in rough terrain?  Tying a bow on with cord can be difficult to release, particularly if you are trying to keep a low and quiet profile!  And it’s fiddly, meaning you might just miss that perfect shot.  The bow can move around whilst you are walking which is not only uncomfortable, but also potentially risks damage if it knocks into trees or other hard objects, particularly if you are walking in the dark.

So here are three of our top picks for carrying your bow.

Compound Bow Backpacks

ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack

the ultimate backpack quiver combo… at a price that beats many of it’s rivals hands down

ALPS OutdoorZ (9411193) Brushed MAX-1 HD Pathfinder Hunting Pack

This is a multi functional pack that will accommodate not just your bow but everything else as well, the ultimate backpack quiver combo.  Specifically designed with the hunter in mind, this pack is touted as being made for hunters by hunters. Everything is well thought out down to the last detail. Constructed from durable material in camouflage colors, the ALPS OutdoorZ is sturdy and robust and will allow you to haul away a kill, accommodate your bow, provide backpack storage and also double as a day-pack for shorter trips, with plenty of handy pockets for smaller items. If you are looking for a backpack with quiver facility, then you won’t be disappointed with this product from ALPS and it’s at a price that beats many of its rivals hands down.


check

check

Pros

  • Universal – fits all sizes of bow
  • Very comfortable shoulder and waist straps, padded to help distribute the weight and both insulated and breathable for added comfort
  • Handy expansion pockets for carrying extra clothing or layers shed throughout the session
  • Tensioners on the straps designed to minimise movement and keep the pack close to your body
  • Quiet outer material, noise free so no rustling
  • Additional storage space available, just unroll the daypack mode which you can use to either store your bow or haul a kill
  • Dedicated universal bow pocket which fits a variety of compounds bows, allowing for total freedom of movement and offering total bow protection
  • Attachable accessory pockets which fit to the front of the pack so that smaller items – binoculars or camera – remain within reach without having to take the pack off
  • Big loops on the zips making them easy to operate even when wearing gloves

check

exclamation

Cons

  • Water resistant, not fully waterproof
  • The silent latch pocket is placed in a rather inaccessible location

ALPS OutdoorZ Quickdraw, Realtree Xtra

designed for shouldered ready access

ALPS OutdoorZ Quickdraw, Realtree Xtra

Smaller than the Pathfinder, the OutdoorZ Quickdraw also from ALPS is designed intentionally with just a single strap, to be slung over one shoulder, allowing ready access, just swing it forward – no need to untie any straps to take it off.  

The Quickdraw is a day-pack designed for a few handy accessories and with a drop down bow pocket that will securely transport most designs of compound bow.  Lightweight and maneuverable, offering good protection for your bow and space to carry everything you will need on a day trek.


check

check

Pros

  • Easy access to compartments with the swing round single sling design
  • Perfect design for those quick draw moments on a hunt
  • Works for both left handed and right handed shooters as the padded shoulder strap can be switched to either side of the belt
  • Handy drop down bow pocket leaving the user’s hands free
  • Two litre reservoir and hose
  • Padded waist belt ensuring optimum comfort
  • Large pocket on the waist belt for GPS device
  • Dual entry points to easily access the main compartment
  • Camouflage effect fabric which is also noise free
  • Handy D ring clip which can be used for hanging whilst shooting

check

exclamation

Cons

  • The dedicated Rangefinder pocket is not large enough to accommodate all types of satellite devices
  • Depending on your size/shape, you might find this pack a little on the small side

Primos Neoprene Bow Sling

designed for shouldered ready access

Primos Neoprene Bow Sling, Realtree AP Xtra Camo

This is a simple, soft bow sling from a well known industry name, padded and shaped to protect your bow and its strings and cams. Designed with security straps and quick snap buckles, you can secure your bow fast or alternatively, release it with the minimum of fuss when you want to take a shot.

The neoprene is durable and quiet, protecting your bow whilst also being comfortable to wear. This is a simple option for day treks or short hunts when you don’t want to be encumbered with a backpack but do want to care for your bow and keep your hands free as you move.


check

check

Pros

  • Comfortable moulded design made of soft neoprene
  • Fits a wide variety of bows as the fit is adjustable
  • Padded straps for comfort
  • Allows the shooter to have free hands to carry other items or navigate rough terrain

check

exclamation

Cons

  • This is not the deepest sling you can purchase and some users report wear from the neoprene on the bow strings due to the snug fit

The post Travel Easy with the Best Compound Bow Backpacks appeared first on Target Crazy.

Bow Mounted Cameras to Capture the Action

Self filming and ‘selfies’ is the latest fashion, some might even say a craze and the world of bow hunting and target archery is seemingly no exception to this. The chance to record your best target shot or hunting success is just too good to resist and needless to say, there are now plenty of accessories available to furnish the archer with a bow mounted camera.

Camera Mounting Options

There are many different options possible now, from mounting your smart phone onto the bow with a specialist device, attaching your GoPro, to buying a purpose built bow stabilizer camera. But which one is the best option?

Let’s take a look.

Bow Stabilizer Cameras

Tactacam TA-FB-FB 2.0 Bow Package with Flat Black Stabilizer

This Bow Stablizer Camera is a purpose built bow camera, so easy to use and unobtrusive, with a one button stop/start function; you can press start and simply forget it’s even there. The key thing about the Tactacam compared to most other bow mounted alternatives, is the lens design which basically replicates the human eye so that your film will capture perfectly the distance at which your target is sitting so when you and others view it, the distance between you and the shot is represented exactly, there is no distortion.

This is of course reflected in the price but if you are a keen filmmaker and really want to share that with others, then the Tactacam will give you that element of ‘on the ground’ presence; your audience can really share the whole experience with you. It comes with lots of bits of kit as well such as a rechargeable lithium battery which will give you 2+ hours record time, a universal mount, a charge cable and a USB cable.

Tactacam TA-FB-FB 2.0 Bow Package with Flat Black Stabilizer

Tactacam vs GoPro

So how does the Tactacam compete against the GoPro which can easily be mounted on the bow? The GoPro surely must have something to say – compact, waterproof, with High Definition crystal clear video footage and many people have one so why not just fit that to the bow instead of investing in the Tactacam?

This clip shows you Ben the inventor of Tactacam running through how it works and the difference between the Tactacam and other filming alternatives. Interestingly, you would think the light vibration of the Tactacam would affect the stability of the bow but far from it; this is viewed as s selling point from the user’s perspective as it is much easier to tell that the camera is on and functioning compared to other devices like a bow mounted GoPro.

I guess the difference is that the GoPro can do the job but the Tactacam is purpose built for the job and the next clip perhaps illustrates that very clearly.

The Tactacam gives much more of a real time feel to the shot.

Pros

  • Purpose built
  • Easy to use
  • Light vibration reassures the user that the device is filming without affecting bow stability
  • Sophisticated lens which replicates the human eye, producing real-time quality film in high definition and without any perspective distortion

Cons

  • Cost
  • If you already have a GoPro then you can simply mount that without the added expense of another piece of kit, you can even use your smart phone as an alternative

GoPro Mounts and GoPro Cameras

The ZX5 Bow Camera Mount

If you already have a GoPro then you can simply buy a mount and for relatively little cost, fix your GoPro to your bow. The ZX5 Bow Camera Mount for GoPro is an lightweight aluminium bow mount, machine engineered to offset the stabiliser, so ensuring the weight of the camera does not affect the balance of the bow – the one counterbalances the other, ensuring the bow remains stable.

There is no need for an additional tripod mount with this product unlike other alternatives on the market. Fully waterproof and with a lifetime guarantee, this simple and robust piece of kit could literally mean that you attach you camera and Go….Pro.

ZX5 BOW CAMERA MOUNT FOR GoPro + BOWJAX

Pros

  • Perfect if you already have a GoPro as for a small additional cost, you can start filming and photographing
  • The product is well thought out and not just a flimsy add-on, it is robust and consideration has been put into the effect of the mount on the bow and how it works in conjunction with the weight of the camera
  • Price

Cons

  • Film does lack the quality and depth of image of the Tactacam
  • It’s not always possible to tell that you are filming as there are no visual or vibration clues from the device when it begins to film

Smartphone Bow Mounts

The third option is to use your Smartphone to film from your bow, convenient for everyone.

CrazyArchery C Clamp Smartphone Mount

Despite the title, this device is compatible with any smartphone or media device which can be mounted either horizontally or vertically on the bow. Easy to fit and very lightweight, this device will not disturb the balance of the bow.

CrazyArchery C Clamp Smartphone Bow Mount

Pros

  • Will fit any device so it pretty much universal
  • Economic
  • Easy to fit
  • Sits very stable in position on the bow
  • Adjustable
  • Dual Caliper
  • Swivel

Cons

  • Doesn’t swivel so has only one fixed position which is at ninety degree angle to the bow
  • Responds to the vibration level when the string is released which has an effect on the quality of the image

For those who only want to film occasionally and who do not shoot on a regular basis, then the CrazyArchery Smartphone Bow Mount is quick and easy to both add and remove from your bow and an inexpensive option.

If you already have a GoPro then the ZX5 Bow Camera Mount is possibly a better choice. However if you are more serious about your filming and really into your archery or, if you don’t already have a GoPro, then the Tactacam would be the kit of choice despite the cost.

The post Bow Mounted Cameras to Capture the Action appeared first on Target Crazy.

I got me some new eyewear! • • • #wrapz #archery #archer…

I got me some new eyewear!



#wrapz #archery #archer #eyewear #accessories

What are the Best Archery Targets?

Whether you’re a hunter or a target shooter at some point you need to practice. For practice you’ll need a good target. As with most things today there’s a multitude of different styles on the market. Bags, foam blocks, 3D targets and good old paper targets top the listings. Some are good for field points, some best for broadheads, others designed for powerful crossbows and compound bows. In this roundup we’re going to review some of the best archery targets available today and introduce you to our top picks for each style and type of user.

Top Picks

Bag Targets (Field Point)

Block Targets (Broadhead Friendly)

3D Targets (Broadhead Friendly)

Paper Targets

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.

Target Buyers Guide

There are 4 major styles of archery target that you’ll find available today. Bag targets, block targets, 3D targets and good old paper targets. Each has a different purpose and a different user base. 

Bag Targets

The exterior of Bag targets are usually designed from the type of stranded material you’ll find other hard wearing outdoor bags and covers made from. They can be rectangular and designed to stand alone, rest against another surface or be mounted on a target frame.

What differentiates one target bag from another is normally down to the filling and how it is structured. A good target bag will allow you to hit any part of the shooting surface without damaging the bags integrity. Normally this type of target is designed to stop an arrow using layered material inside. The contents of the bag will usually last longer than the bag itself which is why some come with replaceable covers.

Target bags are not usually broadhead friendly, they are designed for field tip arrows. You whilst you could use a broadhead you’ll find they would chew up the external and internal materials and destroy the target too quickly.

Foam Block and 3D Targets

Designed from different foam compounds either layered or ​in solid blocks this type of target can offer more diverse types of shooting surface than bag targets. You get foam as inserts in life-like deer and boar 3D target models and as standalone targets in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Foam is designed to stop both field and broadhead points using friction. Once an arrow enters the foam the fiction caused by the arrow pushing the foam air bubbles apart will cause it to slow and eventually stop. 

Some types of foam target claim to be ‘self-healing‘. Be aware that this is a marketing term. Foam cannot (yet) actually heal itself and what you see from the foam in these targets is the foam expanding again and closing up around the arrow hole when the arrow is removed. Repeated shots to the same spot even on a self-healing target will eventually begin to degrade and chip away at the foam. They will however last you longer than bag targets.

Foam Targets vs Bag Targets

Foam targets are normally more expensive than bag targets but they come with the benefit of being able to take shots from a broadhead or a field tip arrow without degrading as fast as a bag target would. Foam will last longer and is generally lighter and more portable than a bag target.

What’s the Best Target for Powerful Crossbows and Compounds?

Most good modern targets, both foam and block are designed to handle field point shots from powerful compound bows and crossbows with IBO speeds that can exceed 400 fps. If you want to shoot broadheads however you need restrict yourself to foam.

What Type of Target is Best for Broadheads?

To practice with your broadheads you need a foam block target. Either a 3D target with a foam insert or a standalone foam target. Broadheads will chew up the exterior and interior of a bag target too quickly. Foam targets will dull your broadheads. So make sure you practice with practice broadheads and save your best for the hunt!

DIY Archery Targets

If you really don’t want to splash out on something manufactured then you can always make your own! There are quite a lot of YouTube videos and articles out and about on good material choices for making targets.

Burlap sacks​, DIY foam blocks made with foam from the hardware store. All these will work, the difference is that they may not last as well as a manufactured target and you’ll need to take risks with some of your arrows when shooting them.

A powerful bow may just shoot straight through whatever you’ve put together and damage your arrow! The reason you’d pay is for quality that you know will stop your expensive arrows and allow you to remove them relatively easily.

Here’s a video from TPV Productions that shows one process for making a cheap archery target using plastic insulation. 

Bag Target Reviews

Yellow Jacket Supreme 3 Field Point Bag

Yellow Jacket Supreme 3 Field Point Bag Target

Morrell are a company that started in a garage in 1986 and today produces a wide wide range of archery targets all designed and made in the USA. The Supreme 3 is one of the most popular mid-range offerings designed specifically for field points. This is a bag target that should take thousands of shots and because it’s weatherproof you can leave it outside year round.

As you’d expect from a bag target it features 2 mounting holes and a handle so you can sling it around easily (it weights 27 lbs). This design features 10 targets, 5 on each side. Per side you get 4 hexagonal 3 ring targets and one hexagonal 2 ring bulls-eye surrounded by a wasp design. The dimensions of this bag are 23″x12″x25″.

As a target, this works well and is an excellent choice. You can shoot field points from bows at 320 fps from about 10 yards into this and all you’ll get is about 2-3 inches of shaft embedded in the target which is then easy to pull with just 2 fingers. This is no doubt down to the structured multi layer internal design which  has 54 individual layers designed to slow and capture the arrow yet still make it easy to remove. That design also means that every area of the target, not just the scoring rings will take a shot.

Pros

  • Carry handle and mounting holes
  • Structured design holds up well
  • Field point
  • Easy arrow removal
  • Replacement covers available

Cons

  • Not for broadheads
  • Doesn’t always stand up easily

Hurricane Bag

Hurricane H28 Archery Bag Target

What’s better about the Hurricane field point bag target from Field Logic vs other bag targets? They’re assembled by hydraulic presses and feature a tri-core design, which we suspect consists of 3 layers of fabric. They’re also printed with high-visibility color designs that are easy to see at distance and the centers of the target front and back are designed so that they are offset from one another. Repeated bullseye shooting on the front should not affect the back! The front has 9 3 ring target designs whilst the rear is a deer target showing heart/lungs and liver scoring zones.

This bag is designed to stop any field point from any bow. This will stop crossbow bolts moving at over 400 fps and allow you to remove them easily.

You can get this particular bag in 3 sizes (WxDxH). Large 28″x12″x28″, Medium 25″x12″x23″ and Small 20″x10″x20″. The largest weighs in at around and the smallest at 21 lbs and the largest around 37 lbs.

Pros

  • 3 sizes
  • Clear high-vis target designs
  • Field point
  • Bow or crossbow friendly
  • Easy arrow removal

Cons

  • Not for broadheads
  • Covers not replaceable
  • Won’t always stand up easily

Morrell Double Duty Field Point Bag

Morrell Double Duty 400 FPS Field Point Archery Bag Target

Morrell again with another field point bag that’s designed to take even the most powerful crossbow and compound bow shots (upto 400 fps). This is a freestanding cube design that won’t fall-over in windy conditions and doesn’t need a stand. It’s also weatherproof so you can leave it anywhere, sun, rain, or snow and be sure that it will last. The cube design also features extra target surfaces and with this one you get 4 different targets to aim for. There’s a deer vitals target, a nine-ball target, a dartboard and a set of 5 differently sized 4 ring bulls-eyes on the remaining side. There are a couple of handles to allow you to lug all 32 lbs of target around and this one sizes in at 19″x19″x19″.

This target has a nucleus core and is designed to last longer, no doubt that’s why it gets the name ‘double duty’. Morrell are confident that this is going to stand up to pretty much anything you can throw at it too because it comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty.

Pros

  • Long lasting
  • Free standing
  • Field Point
  • High fps / crossbow approved
  • Layered design
  • Replacement covers available
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • Not for broadheads

Yellow Jacket Crossbow Discharge

Morrell Yellow Jacket Crossbow Discharge Field Point Archery Bag Target

If you want a portable, light and easy to store target that doesn’t take up as much room as other field point bags you might want to take a look at this discharge bag. This isn’t designed as a compound or crossbow primary target. The idea behind this target is for use as somewhere to discharge your crossbow when you have no other target. Whilst it features the same, weatherproof, layered and structured technology that Morrell use in all their targets this is light and small and designed to be portable. There are no hanging grommets, just a handle. However at 6 lbs and 10″x15″x8″ in size you can easily take this anywhere and it will stop high powered crossbow and compound field points.

Seeing as it costs a third of the price of the larger Morrell targets it’s a great way to get most of the benefits​ of larger more expensive targets without the price tag.

Pros

  • Price
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy arrow removal
  • High fps and crossbow approved
  • Small and light

Cons

  • Not for broadheads
  • Wasn’t designed as a primary target

Block Target Reviews

Block Targets – Classic Archery

Block Classic 22 Archery Target

Block Targets made the original and legendary? Block target and claim that this is simply the best 2 sided archery target on the market. Block targets are layered foam that is designed to stop an arrow using friction. As your arrow  (or bolt) enters the foam the speed of entry heats the foam and causes it to get sticky and slow. Then once cooled you can easily remove the arrow again. You can certainly shoot broadheads into this and they’ll come out without too much of a struggle. It should be said though that this isn’t self-healing. Using fields points on this will make it last longer. Continual broadhead shooting in the same place will degrade the target foam quickly and cause high poundage bows to shoot straight through.

Even though this is a block and designed to be free standing you only get 2 sides with target faces. The other 4 sides are used to shore up construction and keep things together. That construction does contain some hard plywood elements so beware you don’t shoot too close to the edges.

You can get this in 3 sizes, 18″, 20″ and 22″ square (all are 14″ deep). They weight about half as much as bag targets from about 14 lbs for the small upto 18 lbs for the large target.

Pros

  • 3 sizes
  • High contrast  targets
  • Can be used for broadheads

Cons

  • Don’t shoot the edges
  • Only 2 sides with target faces

Rinehart Broadhead Target

Rinehart 18 - 1 Broadhead Target

Rinehart is a family company named after the founder John Rinehart back in 1997. They produce a wide range of 3D and other archery targets from the one you see above to life-size giraffes! Rinehart use a foam compound developed by the founder that offers self-healing properties. Now we’re skeptics, and we know that’s a marketing term. The foam isn’t organic and the little joins between the air bubbles inside won’t actually grow back. However because of the compression and expansion ratios in the compound you get the effect of it healing as any indentations will close up once an arrow is removed. Hit the same spot enough and you will eventually chip away at the foam, nothing lasts forever!

It’s going to take a while to wear this out though as it’s a 26 sided shape, that’s a rhombicuboctahedron if you’re interested :). It measures 15×15″x15″ and weighs about 14 lbs. There are 18 target surfaces that are square and that you can shoot at. Now they’re so confident that this will last if you managed to actually shoot out all 18 sides they’ll replace it free of charge! If you want the details on that warranty look here.

Pros

  • Guaranteed for 1 year
  • Self-healing
  • 18 target faces
  • Light and portable
  • High visibility low light target zones
  • Broadhead and expandable tip friendly
  • Crossbow and high fps bow approved

Cons

  • Price

Rinehart RhinoBlock XL

Rinehart Rhino Block XL Target

If you want something slightly bigger (18″x18″x13″) and with more variety of target faces than the 18 faced Rinehart broadhead target you’ll not go wrong looking at this RhinoBlock XL. This only has 6 target sides, 4 of which are high vis target zones but the other 2 are 3D deer targets. One shows anatomical organs whilst the other has a 3D deer target zone. This one weighs in at around 25 lbs and has a rope handle to allow you to carry it around. The major benefit of the XL over the standard RhinoBlock is that you can purchase replacement target inserts for the main circular target on the largest side. This makes an already long lasting durable target, something you can keep shooting for years to come.

Pros

  • Self-healing foam
  • Replaceable target inserts
  • 3D deer target faces
  • High visibility low light target zones
  • Broadhead and expandable tip friendly
  • Crossbow and high fps bow approved

Cons

  • Price

3D Targets

Shooter Buck

Shooter Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Core

This 3D buck target comes from Field Logic. It’s a life-size 3D target with the body approximately the size of a small buck standing 48″ high. Unless you secure this when you hit it with something sharp and fast moving it will topple over, that’s why you are provided with stakes in the bottom of the legs to secure it into soft ground. If you need to use this on hard ground you’d have to purchase the stand specially designed to work with it.

The vital organs of the buck are represented on an insert that you can replace for less than half the cost of the whole target. You can shoot at if from either side too. That means you’ll can get exceptional wear out of it and you can replace it when it finally starts to allow you to shoot through.

Pros

  • Broadhead and field tip friendly
  • Easy arrow removal
  • Replaceable core insert
  • 2 insert shooting faces

Cons

  • Replacement inserts can be tricky to fit
  • Needs good support to make it stable

Rinehart Woodland Boar

Rinehart Woodland Boar 3D Target

A lifelike boar from Rinehart. This has a replaceable insert where the vitals of the board are located that’s made from the same self-healing foam you get with the rest of the Rinehart series of targets. That foam won’t last forever but it does stop any field point or broadhead from any type of bow you’d care to shoot at it. The insert has 3 scoring rings. The more you shoot this the easier it becomes to move arrows like broadheads until eventually you need that insert replacing.

This boar is 22″ high and 39″ long and it’s designed to be about the size of a 75 lb Woodland boar.

Pros

  • Lifelike boar
  • Replaceable insert
  • Self-healing foam
  • Weather resistant
  • ​Broadhead friendly
  • Crossbow and high fps bow approved

Cons

  • Noisy Velcro Strap
  • Fixed Trigger Sensitivity

Paper Target Reviews

Longbow 40cm 3 or 5 Spot Targets

Archery 5 SPOT & 3 SPOT Vegas Targets by Longbow 8, 20, 50 & 200 Packs

These are 3 or 5 spot Vegas style targets that are made of good quality heavy duty paper. They’re designed to limit hole size and make for a long lasting target and you get get these from Longbow Targets in bulk sizes of up-to 200. You can use these for more than just archery, they’re fine as shooting targets too.

Longbow 40 cm and 80 cm 10 and 5 Ring

Archery 40cm & 80cm Targets by Longbow

The more traditional FITA / WA style target that everyone is familiar with is available from longbow in both 40cm and 80cm sizes. These are again printed on thick paper that should stand up to several uses and can be used for more than just archery. 

Anything to share?

I hope this roundup was useful and led you in the direction of a quality target for your setup. Please let us know if we’re missing your favorite and need to add it to this review, or if there​ are any aspects of any of the above we’ve not covered correctly! Either leave a comment or send us some feedback!

The post What are the Best Archery Targets? appeared first on Target Crazy.

Give your Arrow the Best Rest this Year!

The right arrow rest for your bow depends on what you’re doing. Hunters want different things to target shooters and rests have different characteristics. What’s the difference between a fall away and a whisker biscuit? What types of fall away rest are there? We’ve compiled this article to introduce you to all the different styles and picked out some of the best arrow rests on the market today for you to pick from.

Top Picks

Whisker Biscuits

Drop Away

Recurve / Traditional Rests

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.

A Guide To Arrow Rests

Different disciplines and uses of bows require different rests. Compound archers who shoot with sights and mechanical releases will usually use either a fall-away rest, a whisker biscuit or a prong rest. This will depend on personal preference and what they are doing (hunting or target shooting). A recurve or traditional archer will normally either shoot from the shelf with a stick on rest more for the purpose of protecting the bow than anything else. Serious recurve target archers will use an elevated rest with a plunger to assist with stabilizing arrow flight.

Drop or Fall Away

A drop away rest is designed to hold the arrow shaft and then drop or fall away just after release. This means that there is no contact between the fletching on the arrow and rest at all. By the time the arrow fletching has reached where the rest was holding the shaft. It has fallen out of the way.

You may wonder how this is possible. How does the rest know that the arrow has been released? Well fall-away rests can accomplish this in several ways. There are systems that attach to the bus cables on compound bows (cable driven) and determine when to drop the rest by sensing the released tension in those cables. Other designs have trigger cords attached to the limbs of the bow that trigger the rest to fall as the limb pulls away from the rest. These are called limb driven. There are also rests simply triggered by sensitivity to the jump that you get upon releasing the draw string. Each system has it’s benefits, some are easier to setup and maintain and others more durable and provide less parts to fail in the field.

A limb driven drop away rest will support the arrow for longer through the shot cycle than a cable driven rest and is generally thought to be a better rest.

Whisker Biscuit

Whisker biscuits aren’t something your dog would eat. Although it sounds like it… Nope… A whisker biscuit is a circular aperture filled with strands (whiskers) that are designed to support an arrow in all directions and not allow it to fall. This is called total containment. The whiskers however are flexible enough to allow an arrow and fletching to pass through when released. 

Recurve Rests

Normally traditional recurve bows come with a shelf cut into the riser. That shelf it usually cut-to or cut-on center which means that when you rest an arrow on the shelf it is in-line with the bowstring. You can shoot this type of bow without any protection on the riser. However some people prefer to add stick-on on rug style rests to their bow along with side plates to protect the riser from the path of many arrows more than anything else.

If your bow supports it you can also add a simple raised arrow rest to the riser that will allow you to adjust the exact center position in which the arrow is held and also provide less surface area to contact the fletchings as the arrow passes by. These can be stuck, magnetic or screw in depending on the type of riser you have.

How do you set an arrow rest and adjust center shot?

Most arrow rests allow you to adjust exactly where they hold an arrow in relation to the riser. You need your rest to hold the arrow in correct alignment with the power-stroke of your string, the line your string will take when pushing the arrow forward. This is called center-shot

If the specific rest you have doesn’t have instructions the best way to set center shot is simply through visual inspection and tuning. Install the rest, nock an arrow and then take a look from the back of the bow at the alignment of the arrow with the string. You want it as straight as possible. Once you’ve adjusted the rest to your visual best you can take a bow to the range and do some walk back tuning to make sure everything is just perfect. Here’s a video from AgonyOutdoors that takes you through the tuning center shot process.

Which is the most accurate style of rest?

The guys from Field and Stream did a little experiment comparing the whisker biscuit vs fall away arrow rest shooting over different ranges. They measured and compared speed differences and the accuracy of the grouping of 2 shooters each trying the different styles of rest. The results were interesting. To cut a long story short…. a fallaway rest was found to give you a little extra speed (anywhere from 3 – 6 fps) over a whisker biscuit. As expected! The fall-away rest was also marginally more accurate but the difference (at least for these 2 shooters) was minimal when the results were averaged over 3 distances and 2 shooters.

You’re never going to know what’s exactly best for you until you try them both. You may find (as common thinking dictates) that you shoot better at distance with a fall-away than a whisker biscuit. But you may be surprised.

Which rest is best for hunting?

A hunter needs a durable rest that will stand up to taking a few knocks whilst out and about in the field hunting. You don’t want your rest to fail on you after a 3 mile hike through rough terrain to track some prey. Some types of complex rest such as a fall away rest have more moving parts and more chances chances of failing on you in the field than a solid whisker biscuit.

You might be  hunting from a tree-stand or on uneven ground. You may have to shoot with a high degree of down-angle or up-angle. You may need to move quickly with the arrow on the rest before you take your shot. A good hunting rest needs to keep an arrow held in place through all these scenarios.

Another major factor that comes into play when hunting is stealth. You do what you can to silence your bow with string silencers and limb dampeners. So you don’t want the moving parts of any rest to make un-necessary noise, not during the release, and certainly not during the draw.

Rests for Target Archers

If you’re a target shooter (3D, field included) your needs will differ. You aren’t going to be tilting your bow to extremes to shoot from a tree-stand, but you do want accuracy and adjustability. A target archer wants a rest that interferes as little as possible with the arrow and provides consistency. You’ll also want something that can be easily fine tuned to give you the most accurate center shot.

What rest is best for a recurve?

Recurve target shooters tend to use finger releases such as gloves or tabs. This type of release can introduce more fishtailing into the arrow (side to side movement) upon release. Any sort of rest that captures the arrow shaft such as a whisker biscuit will interfere with that movement.

A rest that covers the space around the arrow shaft attached to a recurve bow can also hinder aiming as you won’t be able to sight down to the arrow tip easily. In those cases you’d find the need to also attach a sight to the bow. That isn’t to say that you can’t use full capture rest with a recurve bow, it just isn’t what you’ll commonly find people doing.

Recurve hunters who use a finger release can also apply pressure to the arrow nock and force an arrow against the riser with their fingers. A well drawn finger arrow won’t move because it’s held in place by the archer.

Target recurve archers who release with their fingers will use a device called a plunger in combination with the arrow rest. A plunger sits against the shaft of an arrow and is like a shock-absorber for a bow designed to to adjustable and  absorb the side-to-side flexing of the arrow as it leaves the bow.

Whisker Biscuit Style Rest Reviews

Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit

Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Kill Shot Arrow Rest, Medium, Red

The original, and still the best whisker biscuit from from Trophy Ridge. You can get the whiskers on this in seven different colors which means you can stand out from the crowd if you want to, unfortunately however there is no camo option. Construction is very durable and feels like a quality product should. The outer of the ring and the attachments are cast aluminium and protect the whisker contained within is made from plastic. Bristles are quality and even after lots of use you can be sure they won’t lose their shape like some cheaper alternatives may.

The whisker biscuit also comes in 3 different sizes for different styles of arrow. We found the following information on the Trophy Ridge website about the sizes of the inner bristle rings:
Small – 0.3″ inner diameter
Medium – 0.32″ inner diameter
Large – 0.385″ inner diameter
Also it should be noted that there should be a very small gap between the arrow and the rest so go for a size that would give you about 0.03″ space at the top when the arrow was resting.

Pros

  • Whisker color choices
  • Left and right hand bow compatible
  • Different sizes available for different arrows
  • Elevation and windage adjustment
  • Quality bristles
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Price

Tabiger Arrow Rest

Tabiger Arrow Rest for Compound Bow Hunting. Left and Right Hand are Available.

Tabiger are a budget supplier of all sorts of products from technology to archery gear. This isn’t a brand name you’ll know and trust if you’re an experienced archer. However their whisker biscuit rest is extremely good value and comes with allen key adjustable brackets that allow you to fine tune exactly where the rest sits. From your perspective as the archer you adjust this backward and forwards, left and right, but there are no adjustments upwards or downwards.

You can get this in black or camo finishes. The whisker bristles are thick and designed to hold an arrow securely however the thickness and number of bristles will have a slight if not noticeable effect on arrow speeds.​ The trade-off you get for those small failings is in the price which is very reasonable.

Pros

  • Left and right hand bow compatible
  • Elevation and windage adjustment
  • Camo or black
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Allen key adjustment
  • Thick bristles
  • One size

Brush Capture Arrow Rest

Brush Capture Arrow Rest by General

The brush capture style of arrow rest is designed to work in a similar way to the full whisker biscuit style however the containment is provided by 3 equally spaced sets of brushes rather than a full circle. This has the effect of reducing the contact points between the rest and the arrow and reducing friction on the arrow and therefore making it fly faster. It also has the advantage that on a 3 fletch arrow the fletches will pass through the rest without contacting the whiskers making them last much longer.

Pros

  • Price
  • Left or right hand bow compatible
  • Elevation and windage adjustment
  • No fletch contact

Cons

  • Plastic construction
  • No tools supplied
  • One size

Drop Away Rest Reviews

Quality Archery Designs Quad Hunter

Quality Archery Designs Ultra W-QURH Rest Quad Hunter, Right

Patriots will be happy to know that Quality Archery Designs products are made in the USA. This specific model of drop away arrow rest is targeted to hunters looking for a quality rest that won’t break the bank. 

Once loaded the arrow is offered 100% total containment within this rest and won’t fall out. It’s worth noting that containment bar at the top can be removed if you want to use this for field, target or 3 shooting.

The rest can be primed to 80 degrees using the thumb-wheel offering you a loaded and primed position for your arrow that won’t accidentally trigger. At full draw the cordage attached to your bus cables brings the rest to 90 degrees ready to fire. There’s a handy little lever to prime the rest that you an operate with your thumb so you can be loaded and 80% ready to shoot with a fully contained arrow. If you can’t get a shot and chose not to release after your draw and instead perform a slow let down, the rest will not drop away either!

As you’d expect there are 3 axis of adjustment available, up/down, left/right and fore/aft for perfect tuning of your setup. This is a well built drop away rest with all the necessary rubber bumpers and felt to ensure a quiet operaton.

Pros

  • ​Total containment
  • Removable containment bar
  • Thumbwheel priming
  • 3 axis of adjustment

Cons

  • Left or right hand specific (get the correct one)
  • Cable driven

TruGlo Downdraft

Truglo Downdraft Drop-Away Arrow Rest RT Xtra

Truglo make a range of shooting gear for bows, crossbows to firearms. The down-draft is their most popular full-containment drop-away arrow rest. The containment ring doesn’t more and you load the arrow through the gap. Construction is good with all the necessary felt and rubberized parts to make this quiet to use. There’s also a clever design feature on this that means you can configure it for use on either left or right handed bows. Handy if you have both and aren’t sure where it’s going to end up.

This is another fall-away that is attached to the downward moving bus cable on your bow and the release of tension from that cable is what triggers the rest to drop away.

Pros

  • Works with either left or right hand bows
  • Elevation and windage adjustments
  • Camo or black

Cons

  • Cable driven

Trophy Taker Smackdown Pro

Trophy Taker Smackdown Pro Rest Fc Launcher Black Rh

The Smackdown rest offers full containment through the use of a containment ring. There’s a one way gate on that ring to allow you to load an arrow. Once it’s in there the arrow won’t fall out. This is a quality construction with all the necessary rubberized and felt covered pieces to make the operation as silent as possible. One of the benefits of this rest is that you can attach the cord to either the top or bottom limb or up and down cable on your bow.

This is a limb-driven rest, the type of rest that requires tension on the cable to fall away. When the bow is at full draw there is no tension and rest is raised, upon release the limb tension forces the rest to fall. Limb driven rests will support an arrow for longer before they fall away allowing for a more stable flight.

If you want to make sure you’re quiet when hunting, this might be for you. We noticed no spring or click noise when drawing and firing with the smackdown.​

Pros

  • Elevation and windage adjustments
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Limb driven
  • Silent

Cons

  • Left or right hand specific (get the correct one)

Recurve/Traditional Rests

Bear Arrow Rest

Bear Arrow Rest/Silent Plate

One of the most popular rests for a recurve bow from Bear archery is simple stick on rug and side plate. The rug is made from a carpet type material, and the side plate is plastic. It’s designed for people who want to shoot ‘off the shelf’. This will fit on either a right or left handed bow and gives a traditional look and some protection to your riser and the arrow fletchings as they pass by. It’s the same rest that they supply the famous Bear recurve bows with out of the factory.

Hoyt/Easton Arrow Rest

HOYT / EASTON ARCHERY BOW ARROW REST - STICK ON ADHESIVE - AVAILABLE IN RIGHT AND LEFT HAND

If you want a raised arrow rest to take your arrow away from the shelf and make your recurve more friendly to shooting with vanes instead of feathers, one of the most popular and recommended comes from Easton/Hoyt. It’s a simple stick on arrow rest that you attach to the riser with the provided adhesive. There’s both and left and right handed variant of this available so make sure you get the correct one for your bow.

Anything to share?

I hope this roundup was useful and led you in the direction of a quality component for your setup. Please let us know if we’re missing your favorite and need to add it to this review, or if there​ are any aspects of any of the above we’ve not covered correctly! Either leave a comment or send us some feedback!

The post Give your Arrow the Best Rest this Year! appeared first on Target Crazy.