Top Budget Hunting Bows of 2020
Are you considering a new bow? Head to the pro shop or trade show, and you’ll typically see the flagship bows featured most however with flagship bows come flagship prices. For this subset, you can expect price tags over $1000 before a single accessory is added.
However, with today’s advanced technology in the compound bow world, there are plenty of high quality lower-priced options. You don’t have to sacrifice much to embrace your budget-conscious side. The main differences usually include loss of a little speed and finish. However, with most bows exceeding 300 IBO, the difference is negligible. As for looks, most mid-range bows are still pretty darn attractive.
Grow-with-you bows aren’t necessarily cheaply made and can serve you well for many hunting seasons. If you’re willing to tap the brakes on extravagance while maintaining effectiveness in the field, here are some great new budget-friendly bows for 2020.
Specs: 31-¼-inch axle-to-axle, 6-¼-inch brace height; 3.6-lbs, up to 310 fps IBO
Great adjustability is the defining trait of this gem from Elite Archery. Ideal for beginners, the Ember is well-built with very little plastic on the bow. It manages torque and can be effectively shot. This split-limbed bow is constructed from a caged aluminum riser and boasts stainless steel cam bearings, as well as aluminum pockets, cams, and mods. Draw length is adjustable from 15 to 29 inches and draw weight from 10 to 60 pounds. To top it off, the Ember comes with integrated limb stops for a stouter back wall as well as quality Winner’s Choice string. There is a lot to like about this bow. Check it out at elitearchery.com
Diamond Edge 320
Specs: 30” axle to axle, 7-inch brace height, 3.6-lbs, 320 fps IBO
Like Diamond’s Infinite Edge bows, the Edge 320 offers great adjustability and fast speed. Offering draw lengths of 15-31 inches and draw weights of 7-70 pounds, this budget-friendly member of the Bowtech family is ideal for a wide range of bowhunters. The Edge 320 is accurate, speedy, and smooth – traits that are due to its 7.25-inch brace height and Synchronized Binary Cam System. At 320 FPS of game-stopping potential, it is up to most any hunting challenge. Throw in its ease of tunability and the Edge 320 is a great choice. Go to diamondarchery.com for more details.
PSE Stinger Max
Specs: 30-inch axle-to-axle, 7-inch brace height; 3.8-lb, 312 fps IBO
Providing great features and functionality, PSE’s Stinger continues to be one of the veteran bow company’s most popular bows. This single-cam system combines good speed and ease of shooting to make it a good choice for both newbies and experienced shooters. The Stinger Max improves on an already effective and adjustable setup by sporting a larger Super Smooth (SS) cam. This all adds up to accurate shots and downed game – at an incredibly low price. Check it out at psearchery.com
Specs: 32-inch axle-to-axle, 6-¾-inch brace height; 4.4-lbs, 325 fps IBO
The successor to the initial Centec of last year is simply a quality bow and it’s easy to see why. Sporting aluminum limb pockets and a machined forged riser, it’s built much more like a higher-end bow. Coming in draw weight ranging from 40-70 and draw length from 24.5 to 30-inches, it offers a speedy 325 fps IBO. The Centec now has a new adjustable mod and wider-set split limbs providing adjustability and stability. A heavier option, it has a rock-solid back wall, smooth draw cycle and low price that make it a must to consider. questbowhunting.com
Bear Divergent EKO
Specs: 30-inch axle-to-axle, 6-½-inch brace height; 4.1-lbs, 338 fps IBO
The Divergent is a flat-out high-performance bow. Offering more speed than several flagship bows, this lightning-fast (340 IBO) gem stands to be every bit as popular as last year’s version. And considering the speed, the draw cycle is more than adequately smooth. Further, it features a string and limb stop, meaning you can make the back wall as hard you choose. The new EKO cam allows for four let-off levels from 75% to 90% (a nice feature). The new Divergent EKO is a great alternative for any hunter due to its speed, adjustability, and price. And don’t forget the short axle-to-axle length which makes for good maneuverability in both the tree stand and blind. beararchery.com
Specs: 30-inch axle-to-axle, 7-inch brace height, 4.02-lbs, 324 fps IBO
As part of Mathews Archery, Mission bows have long-since been known for their quality bow offerings. The MXR is no different. Its Crosscentric Cam System is the same one powering the Mathews Vertix and Triax – both flagship bows exceeding $1000. This adds up to great speed and shooting experience. While the valley is manageable, the draw cycle is smooth and the back wall strong. The new MXR sports a slimmer grip design which minimizes torque. With replaceable mods, a draw weight range of 40 to 70 pounds, and quick draw-length adjustments, no bow press is needed. The result is a serious and affordable bow suitable for beginners and accomplished bowhunters alike. For the price, you’ll find it tough to find this much versatility and performance. missionarchery.com
Specs: 31-½-inch axle-to-axle, 7-inch brace height, 4.1-lb., 330 fps IBO
Inspired by the company’s long line of best-selling high-adjustability bows, the Convergence accentuates accuracy and performance. It does so through its high adjustability, split-limb design, and Binary Cam System. This one is a good choice for beginners, but with a blazing IBO speed and quality design, it has enough performance for any bowhunter. The Convergence features Bowtech’s FlipDisc technology, giving you the choice between Comfort and Performance settings. This is truly a great feature, and by all accounts, this bow consistently operates at a high level even at the comfort setting. bowtecharchery.com
Specs: 30-inch axle-to-axle, 6-inch brace height; 3.9-lbs, 348 fps IBO
First off, the 348 IBO rating obviously jumps off the spec sheet. However, it’s the lack of vibration and smooth draw that are remarkable. It should come as no surprise, as both the Sniper’s DefCon 6 cam system and riser come directly from flagship Obsession bows of the past. This alone speaks to the quality. Further, the Sniper has a rugged back wall for improved stability and is compact and manageable – ideal for many hunting applications. Priced a little higher than most mid-range bows, the Sniper is still hundreds less than most flagship bows and boasts sky-high performance. obsessionbows.com
Based in Texas, Jerald Kopp is President of 1st Light Hunting Journal. His articles cover a variety of topics about hunting and the outdoor lifestyle. Jerald is an avid outdoorsman with deer hunting and whitetails being by far his greatest passion. He was introduced to hunting and fishing at an early age and has been enjoying it for 40+ years. In 2005, he established the Empowerment Outfitter Network (EON) – a faith-based non-profit organization that provides hunting opportunities for disabled and terminally-ill children and youth. When not hunting, he spends his time traveling and enjoying life with Amy, his wife of over 30 years. Jerald and Amy have two adult daughters and a son-in-law.