Best Budget Compound Bows
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PSE Archery Ramped
Bear Cruzer G2
Diamond Infinite Edge
Are you currently searching for a compound bow that will provide you with the most bang for your buck? If so, you are not alone. Whether you are new to archery or are on the hunt for a quality bow at a reasonable value, numerous worthwhile options exist. For those that would like nothing more than to locate a stellar compound bow, at a bargain of a price, there’s something for you.
Compound Bow Comparison
|PRODUCT||SPEED||OUR RATING||PRICE||BUY ONLINE|
|Bear Cruzer G2||315 FPS||$$||check on cabela's|
|Diamond Infinite Edge Pro||310 FPS||$||check on cabela's|
|PSE Archery Ramped||318 FPS||$$$||check on cabela's|
|Bear Archery Species||320 FPS||$$||check on cabela's|
|Quest G5 Amp||340 FPS||$$||check on cabela's|
We have compiled a list of today’s hottest bows that you can buy without taking out a second mortgage. Best of all, these bows don’t sacrifice any performance, remaining favorable to consumers on any budget. Whether target shooting or bow hunting, the following compound bows will serve their purpose well. They’ll also provide hours of enjoyment.
1. Best Overall: Bear Cruzer G2
Bear is a name that needs no introduction in the archery world. Since 1940, Bear Archery produced some of the highest quality and most innovative bows on the market. You’ll see the same drive toward excellence in the company’s Cruzer G2 compound bow.
The Cruzer G2 is a premier bow within the industry’s push toward user-friendly, one-size-fits-all compound bows. This bow features an adjustable draw length of 12″-30″, and an adjustable draw weight of 5-70 pounds, making it perfect for use by archers of all ages and sizes.
Even more impressive is that you can make both of these adjustments with nothing more than a set of Allen wrenches. No bow press? No problem. A simple adjustment of the cams’ rotating modules is all that’s needed to adjust the G2’s draw length.
The Cruzer G2 also features revolutionary EnduraFiber Limbs, which help achieve noteworthy arrow speeds of up to 310 FPS. Also of note is this bow’s compact 30″ axle length, which should be well received by those hunting from tight quarters, such as a ground blind.
This bow comes as a Ready To Hunt package, meaning that it comes with a full line of accessories from the factory. These accessories include a Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit rest, Trophy Ridge 4-pin sight, Trophy Ridge bow stabilizer and Sling, Trophy Ridge 5-arrow quiver, peep sight, and nock loop.
- Speed: 315 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 30”
- Draw Length: 12”-30”
- Draw Weight: 5-70 LBS
2. Best Value: Diamond Infinite Edge Pro
Diamond Archery has developed a following of epic proportions in the past couple of decades. It owes much of this fanfare to the introduction of their flagship bow, and one of the industry’s first adjustable compounds, the Edge. Diamond has continued to build upon this winning tradition, most recently with the release of its Infinite Edge Pro model.
The Diamond Infinite Edge Pro offers an unparalleled range of adjustability at a price-point that is affordable on virtually any budget. It provides universal appeal to archers young and old alike. This bow features an adjustable draw length range of 13″-30″, and a draw weight range of 5-70 pounds. This makes it quite difficult to perceive any situation where the Infinite Edge Pro would not fit a particular archer to perfection.
It is also relatively difficult to find fault in the Infinite Edge’s rated IBO speed. Though 310 FPS certainly does not qualify as barn burning, it is plenty quick enough to get the job done in virtually any scenario. From bow hunting to 3D shooting, the Diamond Infinite Edge can do it all.
The Infinite Edge Pro comes factory equipped with a full array of accessories, including a bow sight, peep sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, and quiver. If there were any downfall of the Infinite Edge Pro, it would likely be that these accessories fall somewhere toward the beginner end of the spectrum, in the overall realm of bolt-on components. However, all such accessories are functional right out of the box. You can upgrade them at a later date when the need arises.
- Speed: 310 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 31 ½”
- Draw Length: 13”-31”
- Draw Weight: 5-70 LBS
3. Best Premium: PSE Archery Ramped
PSE is another compound bow manufacturer that knows a thing or two about being on the cutting edge. Since 1970, PSE has continually pushed the envelope of what a compound bow is capable of, even recording some of the fastest IBO speeds per generation along the way. PSE has once again displayed their developmental prowess with the release of their Ramped model compound bow.
The PSE Ramped offers all-around performance, on a scale that few other than PSE themselves could offer. While not as adjustable in draw length as many on this list, this bow does feature a rather impressive range of draw weight adjustability. With a range of 28-70 pounds, it is fair to say that most archers will be able to draw the Ramped with little difficulty.
You can find many of the Ramped’s innovative qualities in its new short limb design and proprietary riser. This bow features a relatively compact 30 ¾” axle length, allowing it to go almost anywhere that you can find game. And weighing in at only 3.5 pounds, is light enough to pack for miles.
The Ramped also comes with several accessories, which are notably better in quality than those fitted to many package bows. This package includes an Amp Sight, Whisker Biscuit Rest, FX4 Stabilizer, Hunter Quiver, PSE Neoprene Sling, Mongoose Peep Sight, and Nock Loop.
- Speed: 318 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 30 ¾”
- Draw Length: 24”-30”
- Draw Weight: 28-70 LBS
4. Best Bowhunting Compound: Bear Archery Species
For those keeping score, you might have noticed that this is the second compound bow from Bear Archery to make our list, and it’s for a good reason. In recent years, Bear has become proficient in listening to the requests of their critics and fans alike. As such, there is an ever-increasing demand for conservatively priced compound bows that do not skimp on quality.
Bear answered this call with a sense of urgency and has been on quite the mission to turn out a number of cost-efficient bows for the masses, including the Species model. This bow is an excellent all-around model for hunting. With a blazing fast 320 FPS IBO speed and an 80 percent let-off, the Bear Species is practically begging for the woods.
The Species’ accuracy is also aided by the use of Bear’s specialty Lock-Down Pocket System, which uses four separate elements to provide a concise, uniform fit between the bow’s EnduraFiber Limbs and specialty riser. This bow also comes outfitted from head-to-toe with premium Trophy Ridge accessories, including a 4-pin sight and Whisker Biscuit arrow rest.
Outside of featuring a lesser degree of adjustability than most of the other bow’s on this list, the only other characteristic of the Species that some might find fault in is its weight. At four pounds, it is one of the heavier bows on this list. However, to put much thought into any bow being overly heavy when weighing only four pounds, is somewhat of a stretch.
- Speed: 320 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 31”
- Draw Length: 23”-30”
- Draw Weight: 45-60/ 55-70 LBS
5. Best IBO Speed: Quest G5 Amp
If you like your compound bows fast, but are on a budget, the Quest G5 Amp is likely to make your heart skip a beat. Carrying an IBO speed rating of 340 FPS, the Amp is lightning fast, to say the least, no matter what price range it falls into. This is what makes it so remarkable. This bow sells for a retail price of approximately $400.
You can attribute much of the Amp’s speed potential to Quest’s use of the revolutionary RAD dual-cam system. Another one of the Amp’s notable design features is its aluminum riser, which reduces the bow’s overall weight. It also serves as the point of contact for the bow’s pivoting limb pockets. Draw length and draw weight adjustments are also a breeze to make. They don’t require a bow press. You can make them in only minutes with basic hand tools.
One of the most amazing attributes of the Quest G5 Amp is that it achieves mind-numbingly fast arrow speeds without sacrificing anything in the way of brace height. With a brace height of 7-inches, the Amp should be nearly as forgiving as it is speedy. It sends carbon arrows downrange in a blistering fast yet accurate manner.
With a 40-70 pound adjustable draw weight, and a 26.5″-31″ draw length range, the Quest G5 Amp is probably not as versatile of a bow as some on the market. Yet, it more than makes up for this fact in raw ability. If high-end performance is what you are after, it would be difficult to go wrong with the Amp.
- Speed: 340 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 32”
- Draw Length: 26.5”-31”
- Draw Weight: 40-70 LBS
6. Best Beginner Bow: Blackout Intrigue
The Blackout Intrigue is a well-rounded bow that should offer substantial value to any archer, but especially those who are new to shooting a bow. This bow features a slightly above average IBO speed of 313 FPS. It also maintains a 7-inch brace height—optimal for those who are still polishing their form. This is due to the amount of forgiveness which this provides.
With an 80 percent let-off factor, and a compact 31″ axle-to-axle measurement, the Blackout Intrigue holds significant promise for those who wish to strike out for the woods this fall. This bow is compact enough for tight confines and comfortable to hold in the valley. Excessive fatigue should be of no issue, but at only 3.3 pounds, the Intrigue is light enough to carry along wherever your adventures may take you.
The Blackout Intrigue also offers a substantial range of adjustability. This bow features an adjustable draw length of 23″-30″, and a draw weight range of 20-70 pounds. This level of versatility allows archers across a wide age range to use the Blackout Intrigue.
Much like the other bows on this list, the Blackout Intrigue can come in a package. It comes fully equipped from top to bottom with all of the accessories that one could hope for. Included in this package are a 3-pin Apex sight, stabilizer, peep sight, Hostage Capture arrow rest, quiver, D-loop, and wrist sling.
- Speed: 313 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 31”
- Draw Length: 23”-30”
- Draw Weight: 20-70 LBS
7. Best Often Overlooked: Diamond Edge SB-1
As with the Infinite Edge Pro, the Edge SB-1 serves as a further extension of Diamond Archery’s iconic Edge line of compound bows. Also true to its lineage, the SB-1 features an overall level of adjustability that few other bows not carrying the Diamond name can match. This naturally makes this bow a favorite of many archers the world over.
At the root of the SB-1’s fanfare is an adjustable draw length of 15″-30″, and an effective draw weight range of 5-70 pounds. The truth is, no matter an archer’s age, size, or experience level, the Diamond Edge SB-1 is perfect to fit most every need. However, don’t let it fool you into thinking that this is strictly a beginner bow. An IBO rating of 320 FPS proves that the SB-1 is not shy of intermediate level performance.
Behind this relatively fast IBO speed is Bowtech’s Synchronized Binary Cam System, which accurately maintains cam timing in a bid to reduce the need for tuning substantially. You can make any additional adjustments, such as that of the SB-1’s draw length, in a matter of minutes. Setting the bow’s draw length is as simple as removing two screws per cam, adjusting each cam’s rotating module into position as desired, and retightening the screws in place.
The Infinite Edge SB-1 is available for purchase in the form of a package. This package includes several items that are sure to get you to the woods, or on the range, much quicker than you could have ever anticipated. These items include a 3-Pin Tundra sight, Hostage XL arrow rest, quiver, 5″ Ultra-Lite Octane stabilizer, peep sight, BCY string loop, and comfort wrist sling.
- Speed: 320 FPS
- Axle to Axle: 32”
- Draw Length: 15”-30”
- Draw Weight: 5-70 LBS
Things to Consider
There are some factors worthy of consideration when attempting to select a compound bow for purchase. By giving ample attention to each of the following factors, you will be better equipped to make a decision that you will find satisfaction in for years to come.
It is vital to consider the draw weight poundage of any bow before you purchase. While several today’s bows offer a nearly infinite range of draw weight adjustability, others feature limbs with no more than ten pounds of adjustment. If the latter is true of a bow that has caught your eye, make sure that you do not choose limbs with a draw weight above what you can comfortably pull.
Many archers are naturally inclined to select a bow with 60-70 pound limbs. They feel this provides additional arrow speed and kinetic energy. While this might be true to a certain extent, little more than 35-40 pounds of draw weight is necessary to kill whitetail-sized game ethically.
By attempting to shoot a bow with a draw weight that exceeds what you can pull comfortably, poor habits related to form often result. This stems from the straining required to pull a bow to the point of reaching the valley when you can’t pull comfortably.
Perhaps the most overlooked of all bow specifications, especially by new archers, is that of brace height. Many that are familiar with brace height attribute this measurement to its ramifications toward arrow speed. However, far fewer understand just how vital this figure is to the overall shootability of a bow, especially in the form of forgiveness.
Brace heights of any length have their share of trade-offs. It is up to the archer to decide where the happy medium lies. As a general rule, the shorter a bow’s brace height, the faster arrow speeds it will produce. In contrast, the longer a bow’s brace height, the more forgiving it will be of minor faults within an archer’s form, especially those pertaining to follow through.
Shorter brace heights allow for a longer period of arrow-to-string contact. This, in turn, presents a longer window in which form-related issues can negatively influence a shot. As a result, noticeable difficulties can present themselves during target practice, when attempting to tightly group arrows.
Bare Bow Vs. Fully Outfitted
Another factor worthy of consideration when selecting a compound bow for buy is whether you wish to purchase a bare or fully outfitted bow. With every passing year, a growing number of fully equipped bows come available for purchase.
Bow’s of this nature typically come pre-fitted with a bow sight, peep sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, and even the addition of target arrows in some cases. Many manufacturers off beginner bows in this fashion. However, several intermediate grade hunting bows are available in this manner as well.
When considering the purchase of a bow package, it can be helpful to study the range of accessories between one bow and the next.Some might be of greater appeal than others. However, some archers prefer to purchase a bare bow, which is void of any included accessories. This is generally the case when an archer has a highly specific set of accessories in mind, which they intend to outfit their bow with from the start.
See our full guide to the best compound bows for more options.
Budget Compound Bow FAQS
Is a cheap bow always a beginner’s bow?
Today’s compound bows are available at virtually any price-point imaginable. Although some bows are cheaper than others, this does not necessarily classify these models as “beginner bows.” Thanks to rapid advancements in compound bow technology, even lesser-priced bows can offer stellar performance.
Are compound bows more affordable than recurve bows?
While there is little doubt that traditional bows are available at a reasonable price-point, an archer should never be excluded from compound archery because of budgetary concerns. Today, more so than ever, a significant number of compound bows are available at a similar price to even the cheapest recurve bows.
Does a faster IBO speed mean it’s a better bow?
Just because a bow features a blazing fast IBO speed, this does not mean that it is necessarily a “better” bow than those that do not shoot as quickly. Much of a compound bow’s speed comes as a product of its brace height. In many cases, a faster bow can also mean a less forgiving bow.