Top New Compound Bows for 2018 — Part 2

The top new compound bows for 2018 reflect continuing trends toward reducing cam lean, torque and noise while improving balance.
Top New Compound Bows for 2018 — Part 2

New compound bows for 2018 include an increasing number of models in the 250-fps-and-up category, and reflect continuing trends toward reducing cam lean, torque and noise while improving balance. Bridged risers for added stability are gaining in popularity as well.

We cover 10 new offerings below. Click here to read the first installment of this two-part series; it detailed 10 additional new-for-2018 compounds.

APA Viper Air TFnew compound bows 2018

APA is known for producing some of the fastest bows on the planet, but if you think this Canadian-based company makes nothing but barn burners, think again. Shooters who think there are no bows more pleasant shooting than a single-cam (and there are a lot of them) will want to look at APA’s Viper Air TF. At 323 fps it’s fast enough, but the emphasis here is on shootability, compact length (as in 27.5 inches axle to axle) and light weight (as in a grin-inducing 3.4 pounds). For 2018 it’s equipped with APA’s Twin Flex Limbs, and of course it features the ingenious touches that APA is famous for, including the Fang (convenient for hanging the bow on small limbs), the cam lock that enables shooters to change strings or cables without pressing the bow, and the utility tool center with carbide sharpener, nock turner and broadhead wrench built into the riser. Brace height is a very friendly 7 3/8 inches, with 80 percent letoff. Draw lengths run from 23 to 30 inches, and available draw weights are 40, 50, 60 and 70 pounds. Finish options include Wing Camo, Buckskin Stealth and Matte Black, as well as several other Matte finishes and Snakeskin finishes available at an added cost. It’s affordably price at $609.00.

For more information, call (866) 353-7378 or visit

new compound bows 2018Bowtech Realm

For 2018 Bowtech combines the proven Overdrive Binary Cam System, Powershift technology and FLX Guard cable-guard design that contributed to the success of last year’s Reign with a patented new Dual Lock zero-tolerance limb-pocket design and a modular Clutch Performance Grip touted as the most comfortable production grip on the market. What all that means, in terms of performance, is level nock travel (vertical and horizontal), greatly reduced torque, user-selectable performance (read “speed”) or comfort settings, and enhanced tunability and forgiveness. Axle to axle the Realm is a compact 30.75 inches with a brace height of 7 1/8 inches generating a top speed of 340 fps. Draw lengths are 25 to 31 inches in half-inch increments, with available draw weights of 50, 60 or 70 pounds, and a letoff over 80 percent. Mass weight is 4.3 pounds. (An X version is available with a longer 33.25-inch axle-to-axle length and a 6.5-inch brace height generating 345 fps.) Finish options are Kryptek Altitude, Gore Optifade Subalpine, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Blackops and Flat Dark Earth. Retail price is $1,099 for the Realm, and $1,199 for the Realm X.

For more information, call (877) 901-1934 or visit


Hoyt Hyperforcenew compound bows 2018

Hoyt bills its new Hyperforce as the most advanced aluminum bow Hoyt has ever made, and as “exactly like no other bow.” No argument about the first claim. As for the second, well . . . I suppose exactly is the key word here. Fact is, the Hyperforce, which replaces Hoyt’s very successful and popular Defiant Series bows, is very much like the new REDWRX Series Carbon RX1. The riser is aircraft-grade aluminum instead of carbon. It lacks the now-familiar gnarly look of Hoyt’s carbon bows (though it retains the signature bridge behind the grip), and of course the Hyperforce is a little heavier at 4.3 pounds as opposed to 3.9 pounds. Otherwise the Hyperforce boasts the same cutting-edge technology as the RX1, including the new yoked ZT cam system and asymmetrical limb pockets, and the same specs as the RX1, including the high-end speed of 340 fps. Even the finish options are the same. So what’s different, apart from .4 pounds of weight? (Which, by the way, some shooters see as providing stability and an extra measure of forgiveness.) The price. Shooters who do not want, or feel the need for, a carbon riser bow can get Hoyt quality and performance for a more moderate $1,199.

For more information, call (801) 363-2990 or visit


new compound bows 2018PSE Xpedite

If you like fast, you’ll like PSE’s new Vapor Series Xpedite at 352 fps. That’s with the optional HL module and an 80 to 90 percent letoff. If you like faster still, shoot the standard FL module with a letoff of 65 to 75 percent for speeds up to 360 fps. (An LL module, designed primarily for target shooters, offers a 65 to 75 percent letoff with a wider valley at slightly slower speeds.) The Evolve Cam System is at this bow’s heart, but a highly reflexed design and a skinny brace height of 5.25 inches no doubt contribute a lot to the Xpedite’s blazing speed. Surprisingly smooth and quiet for a bow this fast, the Xpedite is 33 inches from axle to axle and weighs 4.4 pounds. Draw length is adjustable from 24.5 to 30 inches, and peak draw weights are 60, 65 and 70 pounds. The riser is bridged top and bottom, and a new-for-2018 Flex Rod System eliminates torque and is adjustable for customizable tuning and clearance. Limb stops ensure a solid back wall. Available in Mossy Oak Country, Black, Kryptek Highlander and Charcoal, the Xpedite sells for $1,100.00.

For more information, call (520) 884-9065 or visit


Elite Enlistnew compound bows 2018

For 2018, Elite’s designers tackled the challenge of creating a bow that retained the qualities that Elite built its reputation on — silky-smooth draw, low vibration, low noise and a generally high degree of shootability — while shedding some of the cost to put an Elite bow in reach of more hunters. The more straightforward, unbridged riser featured on the new Enlist makes for less material and less machining. One-piece as opposed to split limbs achieve some additional savings, as does employing a simpler, more straightforward string stop, limiting finish options and reducing peak-weight options to 60 and 70 pounds. The result is a bow that sacrifices little in the way of performance, while achieving significant cost savings. With a comfortable axle-to-axle length of about 33.5 inches, the Enlist is surprisingly light at 3.95 pounds. Top speed is 325 fps, with a brace height just shy of 7 inches. Draw lengths run from 27 to 30 inches, and finish options are Black or Mossy Oak Break-Up Country with Black limbs. The Enlist retails for $749.

For more information, call (877) 503-5483 or visit


new compound bows 2018G5 Quest Thrive

It looks conventional enough, but beneath G5’s patented Durafuse finish, the Stabilite riser consists of 82X aluminum — stronger, lighter and boasting less flex than the industry standard 6000 series aluminum. Flux cams are silky smooth while producing a respectable top speed of 330 fps, and to maintain maximum efficiency over the entire range of draw lengths, each bow comes with a set of five modules to cover the range from 26 to 31 inches. The Flexis AR roller guard is similarly adjustable and can be customized for fletching height. Axle to axle the Thrive is 33.75 inches, with a 7-inch brace height and a mass weight of 4.3 pounds. Available draw weights are 50, 60 and 70 pounds, and finish options include Realtree Edge, Tactical Tan, Black, Gray Riser with Optifade Elevated II limbs or Green Optifade Subalpine limbs. All about shootability and durability, the made-in-the-U.S.A. Quest Thrive is a lot of bow for $650. (A ready-to-shoot package is available for an extra $100.)

For more information, call (810) 392-8431 or visit


Diamond Carbon Knockoutnew compound bows 2018

OK, it’s not pink. It’s not even available in pink. It is designed specifically for women hunters, though, and the fact that it’s built around the Carbon Knight riser borrowed from sister company Bowtech and is driven by Diamond’s Synchronized Binary Cam System signal that this is a serious bow for serious hunters. From the mass weight of 3.2 pounds to the slim, comfortable grip, 80 percent letoff, 6.75-inch brace height and the adjustable (no-press-required) draw lengths running from 22.5 to 27 inches, this bow is all about easy tuning and shootability. Top speed is 302 fps with peak draw weights of 40, 50 or 60 pounds, and axle-to-axle the Carbon Knockout is exactly 30 inches. It’s R.A.K. (Ready, Aim, Kill) equipped, which in this case means it comes with an Octane Hostage Max rest, Octane DeadLock Lite quiver, R.A.K. custom sight, Octane 5-inch Ultra-Lite Stabilizer, a wrist sling, carbon peep and BCY string loop. Finish options include Mossy Oak Break-Up Country or Micro-Carbon, both finishes including electric blue cams and highlights. For $749 this is a carbon-riser bow that’s ready to shoot (and hunt) in short order.

For more information, call (877) 901-1934 or visit


new compound bows 2018New Breed BX32

The new-for-2018 BX32 features New Breed’s split-gusseted riser, wider this year to provide added rigidity and stability without the need for a bridge. Three cam sizes — an SL, RL and EL — for different draw-length ranges maximize cam efficiency and start at 25 inches ranging up to 30.5 inches. The BX32 offers limb stops and cable stops, allowing shooters to use either or both to suit individual preferences. With a top speed of 335 fps, the BX32 boasts custom strings built in-house along with stainless-steel and titanium hardware. Axle to axle it’s a reasonably compact 32 inches, with a very comfortable 7.25-inch brace height. Peak draw weights are 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds. Finish options include Black, Brown or Olive, all available with Carbon Fiber limbs, as well as digital camo patterns in tan, gray or brown. Retail price on the BX32 is $949.

For more information, call (888) 363-3545 or visit


Martin MAX Seriesnew compound bows 2018

Among Martin’s offerings for 2018 is the new MAX Series of bows, including the MAX 31, 32 and 33. The numbers, as you might guess, correspond approximately to the axle-to-axle lengths. What’s more interesting is the technology all have in common, beginning with the Dual-Synch Cam System, a hybrid cam with a helical-groove design in which the control cable works its way from the outside in to the cam during the draw cycle to greatly reduce cam lean and serving wear. Long- and short-draw cams make for a high degree of efficiency over a 6-inch range of draw lengths for each bow. The MAX Series bows also share RRAD weight distribution, consisting of aluminum and brass weights in the riser that can be moved or removed to customize the balance of the bow. Draw lengths start at 23 inches (MAX 31 Short Draw) and range up to 31 inches (MAX 32 Long Draw). Mass weight comes in under 4 pounds for all three models, and peak draw weight options are 50, 60 or 70 pounds. The MAX 31 offers a brace height of 6.5 inches with a top speed of 333 fps. Brace height for the MAX 32 is 7.25 inches with a speed of 330 fps, and the MAX 33 features a brace height of 6 9/16 inches and a top speed of 333 fps. Finish options for all three models include Early Season, Late Season and Ambush, with the MAX 33 also available in Blackout. Retail price for all the MAX Series bows is $797.

For more information, call (509) 529-2554 or visit


new compound bows 2018Bear Approach HC

So what do you sacrifice when you buy a moderately priced bow as opposed to a high-end bow? Always something, but in the better cases not much. Bear’s new Legend Series Approach HC falls into the “not much” category. Bear’s HC hybrid cams with modular draw-length adjustment (no press needed) rank high on the efficiency scale, which means they generate an impressive 340 fps with a pleasingly smooth draw cycle. Flared quad limbs and rounded machining on the riser contribute to a unique (but not radically so) look, and a range of vibration dampeners, including Shockwaves, Sonic Stops and Sonic Knots, ensure a vibration-free, quiet shot. The now-classic Bear grip dresses the bow up and identifies it immediately as a Bear. Axle to axle the Approach HC is 32 inches, with a mass weight of 4 pounds. Brace height is 6 inches, and the Approach HC offers 75 percent letoff with adjustable draw lengths running from 25.5 to 30 inches. Two draw weights each cover a 15-pound range from 45 to 60 pounds or 55 to 70 pounds. A single finish option helps keep the price down; fortunately Bear chose Badlands Approach as that finish. At $450, there are bows at twice the price offering less performance.

For more archery, call (800) 694-9494 or visit


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