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The Best Backcountry Bow Gear of 2023

These are our top picks for archery gear that is worthy of taking on backcountry pursuits this season.

The Best Backcountry Bow Gear of 2023

BOWS

MATHEWS PHASE 4

mathews

The new Phase 4 from Mathews combines several cutting-edge technologies to create the quietest and deadliest bow they have ever introduced. The Resistance Phase Damping technology built into their all-new limb design stops vibration at the source and significantly lessens post-shot vibration and noise. Mathews also integrated their stabilizers into the riser utilizing Bridge-Lock Technology. The Phase 4 comes in both 29- and 33-inch axle-to-axle configurations. $1,300 - $1,400; mathewsinc.com

BEAR EXECUTE 32

bear-execute

Bear Archery tied together tradition and innovation with their 2023 flagship bow, the Execute 32. As the name suggests, the Execute 32 is a comfortable 32-inch axle-to-axle bow with a 6 3/8-inch brace height and an IBO rating of 340 fps. It features a fresh new riser design complete with their new Shock Management System and swing-arm cable guard to give shooters the quietest, most dead-in-hand bow that Bear Archery has ever made. $1,200; beararchery.com

BOWTECH CARBON ONE

bowtech-carbonone

Bowtech took the plunge this year into the carbon game with the release of their much-anticipated Carbon One. The new flagship bow is a 30-inch axle-to-axle bow that boasts an IBO rating of 335 fps. Bowtech stuck with the proven DeadLock Cam System, making tuning a simple process. Engineers strategically designed the Carbon One riser, in conjunction with its Orbit Dampeners, to drastically reduce felt vibration and dampen noise to a deadly level. It’s a worthy addition to the Bowtech family. $1,800; bowtecharchery.com

PRIME REVEX

prime-revex

The new Revex line of bows from Prime Archery features three different axle-to-axle models to choose from (32, 34 and 36 inches) with all three utilizing the same technologies. Stability lies at the core of the new Revex line with their all-new CORE cam system which features cam-balancing technology and their exclusive center-gripped riser. The Revex lineup is also extremely customizable with more than 15 riser paint schemes to choose from. IBO speed ratings vary between 330 fps and 340 fps depending on model. $1,300-$1,400; g5prime.com

HOYT VTM

hoyt-vtm

Hoyt’s new VTM 31 and VTM 34 build upon last year’s Ventum Pro, utilizing the same HBX Pro Cam System and incorporating several new technologies to build the quietest aluminum series of bows the company has ever produced. The VTM 31 and 34 both feature Hoyt’s In-Line system for accessories as well as their tested and proven VitalPoint Grip. IBO ratings for the VTM 31 come in at 342 fps with the VTM 34 close behind with a rating of 334 fps. $1,350 - $1,450; hoyt.com

PSE MACH 34

pse

Weighing in at just 3.6 pounds, PSE’s new Mach 34 carbon bow is one of the lightest bows on the market, especially considering its lengthy 34-inch axle-to-axle measurement. PSE’s new Full Draw Stability system, designed to combat riser torque and increase accuracy, lies at the core of the Mach 34. Depending on your shooting style, this bow offers shooters three different cams to choose from (E2, S2 and EC). Your brace height and IBO speed will vary depending on what cam you choose. $1,800; psearchery.com

XPEDITION XLITE

xpedition

Xpedition Archery’s 2023 flagship XLITE line pushes the boundaries of modern bows with a brand-new riser made from a proprietary alloy called Magnite. Magnite is 33% lighter than 6061 aluminum and stronger than commercial-grade carbon. The strength of the Magnite riser combined with their new XB1 cam provide an incredibly smooth draw cycle and drastic reduction in felt vibration. XLITE bows are available in both 31- and 33-inch axle-to-axle configurations. $1,950; xpeditionarchery.com

ARROWS

METHOD ARCHERY VECTOR ZMR

method-arrow

The ZMR arrow from Method Archery was designed for the Western hunter where longer shots are the norm and wind drift must be minimized. However, the ZMR doubles as a great whitetail arrow thanks to its durability, forgiveness and accuracy. Method Archery will also customize these arrows to your liking, cutting them to your length and giving you a variety of fletching options to choose from. $260 per dozen fletched; methodarchery.com

EASTON SONIC 6.0 MATCH GRADE

easton-sonic

Easton’s Sonic 6.0 Match Grade arrows combine speed and accuracy to produce a high-performance hunting arrow. The 6mm shafts are built using Easton’s seamless Acu-Carbon process to guarantee arrow spine and weight consistency and tote an impressive straightness rating of +/- .001 inch. The Sonic 6.0 Match Grade arrows are available in six spines ranging from 250-600. $118 per ½ dozen fletched; eastonarchery.com




VICTORY RIP SS ELITE

victory

Victory Archery’s RIP SS line of micro-diameter arrows epitomizes the technological advancements made in modern hunting arrows. The arrow shaft is comprised of multiple layers of stainless steel infused into a carbon-fiber weave delivering maximum penetration and downrange momentum. Built in three different configurations that vary based on the arrow’s straightness rating with the Elite shaft featuring a tight +/- .001-inch straightness tolerance. $130 per ½ dozen fletched; victoryarchery.com

GOLD TIP PIERCE LRT

goldtip

The Pierce LRT arrow builds upon Gold Tip’s popular Pierce shaft and incorporates tighter tolerances and new and improved components to produce their most advanced hunting arrow ever. Decreased wind drift and increased penetration are a given when using the Pierce LRT arrows. Spine configurations range from 250 to 500 and hunters can purchase bare shafts or choose from three different vane configurations to best match their intended purpose and setup. $144 per ½ dozen fletched; goldtip.com

CARBON EXPRESS MAXIMA PHOTON SD

carbonexpress

Carbon Express recently launched the Maxima Photon SD arrow to give hunters the edge in the field with speed and performance. The Maxima Photon SD arrows use a half-out insert design which boosts the integrity of the arrow as well as increases arrow recovery time out of the bow by up to 25%. These arrows are also very light, weighing 7.2- to 8.9-grains per inch depending on arrow spine, maximizing arrow speed and performance. $135 per ½ dozen fletched; feradyne.com

Recommended


G5 MARK SERIES

g5-mark

G5 Outdoors is certainly not a new name to archery innovation, but their new Mark Series of arrows is their first jump into the arrow world. Utilizing a proprietary three-layer construction design, the Mark Series of arrows are built to extremely tight tolerances (+/- .001 inch) and promise to deliver both accuracy and durability. They also utilize G5’s SLIK coating which is designed to improve arrow penetration and allow for easy arrow removal from targets. $95-$115 per ½ dozen fletched; g5outdoors.com

BROADHEADS

G5 MEGAMEAT

megameat

Touted as their “deadliest broadhead”, the G5 Megameat flies like a field tip and cuts devastating 2-inch holes in whatever it impacts. The chisel-tip design also increases the broadhead’s ability to break through bone and deliver increased penetration. G5’s SnapLock technology makes assembly a breeze and serves a dual purpose, both locking the blades in place during flight and easily releasing them on impact. $50 per 3; g5outdoors.com

VPA 125-GRAIN PREMIUM SINGLE BEVEL

vpa

Vantage Point Archery’s new Premium Single Bevel 2-blade broadhead is a one-piece design, CNC machined from premium-grade tool steel. Maximum penetration is achieved via a 35-degree blade angle and the ability to sharpen a razor-like edge on the broadhead. The new broadhead supplies a 1 1/8-inch cut and can be purchased in both a right- and left-bevel configuration. $82 per broadhead; vparchery.com

CRIMSON TALON CLEAVER

crimsontalon

The single-bevel Cleaver 2-blade broadhead from Crimson Talon gives hunters the benefits of a single-bevel broadhead at a fraction of the cost of their competition. The ferrule is machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and is fitted via a set screw with a .0059-inch stainless-steel blade that delivers a 1 1/16-inch cut. Depending on your setup needs, the Cleaver single-bevel broadhead comes in 125-grain, 150-grain and 200-grain configurations. $30 per 3; korekut.com

SLICK TRICK TORCH

slicktrick

Slick Trick’s newly introduced Torch broadhead is the latest addition to their long line of proven, deadly heads. The Torch is a rear-deploying, two-blade mechanical broadhead that is designed to fly like a field point and deliver massive 2-inch wound channels into whatever it impacts. The Torch features a slim, aluminum ferrule and ensures blade retention until impact with Slick Trick’s new Deadbolt Deployment system. $50 per 3; slicktrickbroadheads.com

RAGE 2-BLADE NC CUT ON CONTACT

rage

The original 2 Blade mechanical broadhead from Rage has been around for years and proven its worth many times over. However, new for 2023, Rage announced their original 2-Blade broadhead would now feature their rightfully praised NC (no collar) design. The NC technology eliminates any need for a shock collar or O-ring and provides 100% reliable blade retention in flight. The Rage Chisel Tip, as well as the Rage Crossbow X broadheads, also received the same NC upgrade. $40 per 3; feradyne.com

SIGHTS

DIALED ARCHERY ARXOS MAG-3V

dialed-sight

The ARXOS Mag 3V sight from Dialed Archery is an innovative sight designed specifically for hunters. Features include an angled elevation dial wheel, adjustable 2nd and 3rd axis, top bubble level and a single vertical post with three distinct pins. The ARXOS Mag-3V also gives shooters a variety of options to customize their sight with several color schemes to choose from, inside or outside tape location, .010 or .019 pin size and the ability to run multiple arrow setups with the innovative Switch Tape. $515-$540; dialedarchery.com

SPOT HOGG FAST EDDIE PM

spothogg

The Fast Eddie PM comes standard with the features we have come to know and love from Spot Hogg, including micro-adjustable 2nd and 3rd axis, MRT sight rings, tool-less adjustments and several pin configurations to choose from. However, new for this year, the Fast Eddie PM utilizes a picatinny mount that is easily locked on to bow risers that sport an accommodating rail. $320-$445; spot-hogg.com

CBE TREK PRO 2V

cbe

Custom Bow Equipment’s new Trek Pro 2V sight is a lightweight design loaded with premium features. These features include 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-axis adjustments, micro windage adjustment, dual yardage indicators, laser engraved sight tapes and interchangeable peep alignment rings to name just a few. The vertical dual pin sets this sight apart, giving shooters the benefits of a single-pin sight while simultaneously providing a second yardage marker. $330; custombowequipment.com

HHA TETRA MAX RYZ

hha-sight

HHA designed the Tetra Max RYZ sight to excel in the woods and at the 3D range. The Tetra Max RYZ gives shooters two points of aim from its single-pin design utilizing two stacked pins that correspond with their dual yardage pointers. This sight is also light and lens compatible, features an integrated sight ring and bubble level and gives shooters the option to choose between .010 and .019 pins. $440-$460; hhasports.com

BLACK GOLD MOUNTAIN LITE DUAL TRAC

blackgold

Black Gold’s Mountain Lite Dual Trac double-pin sight adds a level of versatility to standard single-pin sights. The rightfully named Dial of Death offers hunters two needle indicators; the first indicator corresponds with the top pin and the second indicator with the bottom pin. This gives hunters the advantage when time is of the essence and you do not have time to range and readjust your single-pin sight. $340; blackgoldsights.com

OPTION ARCHERY CANYON POUNDER

optionarchery

The Canyon Pounder sight from Option Archery features a unique hybrid fixed-pin/slider-pin sight, providing hunters maximum versatility in the field. When not being used, the fixed-pin housing hinges forward and allows shooters the ability to use the slider pin. The Canyon Pounder is also customizable with a variety of fixed-pin configurations, colors and sizes available. $600; optionarchery.com

ACCESSORIES

TIGHTSPOT MAX GRIP FIVE-ARROW QUIVER

sevr

SEVR, in conjunction with TightSpot, just launched their new Max Grip Five-Arrow quiver. The new quiver features TightSpot’s vented hood which is designed to adequately contain all broadheads, but is especially suited to contain the Lock-and-Pivot design of SEVR broadheads. Other notable features include TightSpot’s patented three-way adjustment system to keep the quiver as tight to the bow as possible and their adjustable BullDog arrow grippers. $190; sevrbroadheads.com

CARTER ENTERPRISES LIKE MIKE II RELEASE

carter-enterprise

The Like Mike II release from Carter Enterprises is one of the most popular index-finger releases on the market. Carter Enterprises built upon the original Like Mike design and improved the release with easier access to the tension adjustment and their new Controlled Engagement System. These features combine to create an incredibly crisp trigger with virtually zero travel. $215; carterenterprises.com

SCOTT S2 RELEASE

scott-release

The S2 release from Scott Archery is a premium hunting release designed with a target flair to provide hunters with consistent precision. The S2’s dual-sear design ensures consistent trigger pressure while the target inspired, thick leather wrist strap provides the ultimate in comfort. Both travel and tension are also easily adjustable with a full pound of range to work with. $190; scottarchery.com

ULTRAVIEW UV BUTTON RELEASE

ultraview

Ultraview’s new UV Button thumb release mirrors the Hinge 2 release geometry so that shooters can easily transition between the two when needed. The UV Button features Ultraview’s new ULTRAGLIDE technology which protects the internal bushing system and eliminates metal-on-metal contact. The result is a smooth, reliable and quiet release with little to no maintenance required. The UV Button trigger travel and weight is also easily adjusted for maximum comfort and performance. $300; ultraviewarchery.com

PELICAN 1745BOW AIR BOW CASE

pelicancase

The 1745BOW Air case from Pelican leaves little to be desired when protection of your archery equipment is of the utmost importance. The case itself is crushproof, dustproof, watertight and features six heavy-duty locks. Internally, the case is fitted with arrow grippers for a dozen arrows, arrow-tube straps, two accessory pouches, a MOLLE strap system and a padded divider to keep your bow separated from the rest of your equipment. $480; pelican.com

TRUFIRE EDGE FT RELEASE

trufire

TruFire recently expanded one of their most popular index-finger release lines with the launch of the Edge FT release. The Edge FT ( forward trigger) moves the index finger up the barrel of the release and provides archers nearly an inch more of draw length. The tension and travel of the trigger is also fully customizable with an easy set screw as well as the overall release length. $90; feradyne.com

CROSSOVER 1017 TELESCOPIC STABILIZER

crossover-stabilizer

The Crossover 1017 Telescopic Stabilizer from Crossroad Archery is a patented new design that is gaining increasing popularity. As the name suggests, the stabilizer itself operates in a telescopic motion collapsing to 10-inches and extending out to 17-inches. The Crossover 1017 stabilizer also features a 5/16-24 universal thread at the end so that shooters can easily attach 1-ounce washers until they reach their desired weight. $110; crossoverstabilizer.com

MARSUPIAL GEAR BOW CASE

marsupial

Marsupial Gear expanded their lineup this year to include a robust, soft bow case for protecting your equipment on the road. The new case will fit up to a 38-inch axle-to-axle bow and features an outside arrow pocket big enough to fit Easton’s 36-inch deluxe arrow case. Other storage includes a long and skinny stabilizer pocket parallel to the arrow case, one small zippered pocket for miscellaneous gear and the ability to add two additional pouches via a MOLLE webbing system. $350; marsupialgear.com

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