Bows have been a survival tool of choice throughout the history of the human race. This is no different today. A good survival bow can help you hunt and survive, or be used to simply shoot at targets, if you prefer.
Today’s bows have all the strength of those that were used way back in time. However, they also benefit from the use of modern materials, such as fiberglass. This makes them more durable than the survival bows of the past.
There are many high quality survival bows on the market today. Let’s look at the properties of some of the top products, and what you need to think about when buying a survival bow.
Best Survival Bow Reviewed and Rated
1. Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow – best for beginner to intermediate
- SPECIAL PRICE FOR LIMITED TIME - Designed by the engineers...
- SPECS & USES - Available in both Left Hand and Right Hand...
- INCLUDES - one handcrafted riser LH or RH one pair of...
If you are starting out with a bow for the first time, or have limited experience, this is a good choice. The Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow has draw weights up to 60lbs and a weight of 2.3lbs. Both right- and left-handed versions are available and it’s pretty low on price.
This bow is a good investment if you’re looking for quality, decent-looking kit that won’t cost a fortune.
One of the most noticeable features is that this bow is a little more comfortable and lighter than previous products from this manufacturer. This is a major plus if you’re not used to using a bow and you’re looking to develop your skills.
Taking a look at the bow in more detail, the riser is pre-drilled for accessories, which is a big plus. The bow is also simple to assemble, so you won’t have to struggle for ages before using it. One slight irritation is that assembly isn’t tool free; you need an allen key.
Once you start to use the bow, you’ll notice that it’s pretty smooth. It’s also remarkably quiet for a bow that’s not high cost. This is a quality it needs to have if you’re going to use it for hunting.
- Lightweight, easy to hold and carry.
- Easy to assemble.
- Large selection of draw weights.
- Smooth and accurate.
- Quiet to use and little vibration.
- Assembly is not tool free.
- No nock installed.
2. Spectre II Compact Take-Down Survival Bow and Arrow – best for beginner to intermediate.
- Compact take down design made in the USA
- 50/55 lb draw
- Fiberglass ambidextrous riser and fiberglass limbs
This is another bow ideal for those who are not experts, but still want high quality kit. It has a top drawer weight of 55lbs and a weight of 2.3lbs when it’s cased.
Let’s start by saying that this bow isn’t the smallest when it’s broken down. It also doesn’t have a whole host of accessories. However, as a basic bow at a great price, it’s good value.
Most new and intermediate archers want a piece of kit that does what they need it to, is light, and is easy to assemble. This bow definitely fits the bill.
The Spectre II Compact Take-Down Survival Bow and Arrowis functional rather than a hugely attractive bow with a host of features. However, that’s all that many people need. One thing that’s worth saying is that there is no addition to the metal riser for extra comfort. You may have to enhance it if you’re going to be using the bow for long periods.
It’s possible to use this kit left or right handed, but this doesn’t work in quite the same way as many other bows. You simply turn the bow over to change the handedness, meaning that the rest is on the other side.
The bow comes with a Dacron endless loop black string but it doesn’t have a nock point. This isn’t a deal breaker; you can add your own in the way that you want.
- Decent selection of draw weights available.
- Assembly is simple and tool free.
- Affordable, with an acceptable level of quality.
- Folded size of 23″ is not ideal.
3. Toparchery Traditional Recurve Bow Hunting Takedown Bow – best for beginners who shoot occasionally
- Draw weight: 30-50LBS
- Bow Body Length:53inches/135cm ; Draw Length: 28 inches
- Shipment: we will ship the item by EMS , it will take about...
If you’re just starting out using a bow and you aren’t going to be using it heavily, this is an affordable choice. It has a maximum draw weight of 50lbs and it weighs 1.92 lbs. It can be used left or right handed.
This bow is pretty sturdy for average use. It’s a handmade piece of kit with a wooden riser and fibreglass limbs, and has been certified for use hunting various sizes of game. However, it’s been noted that the riser can start to separate from the limbs when the bow is used extensively. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re intending to take less than 50 shots per day.
One of the best features of this traditionally-designed survival bow is it’s attractive look. It reflects the beauty of traditional bows with the durability that modern materials bring to the party.
Assembling this piece of kit is simple. There are instructions included to help you get the bow in one piece and ready to use impressively quickly.
This good-looking and accurate bow is ideal for beginners. It’s quiet when you use it, which means that hunting is no problem. It’s also pretty accurate, so it can help you improve your aim.
- A great price for a sturdy survival bow.
- Lightweight piece of kit that’s easy to use and transport.
- Red and tan bowstring included.
- Can be used right- and left-handed.
- Perfect for beginners but can be used by skilled archers as well.
- Riser can separate from the limbs with extended use.
- Tips and limbs do not seem very robust.
4. Courage SAS 60″ Hunting Takedown Recurve Archery Bow – best for anyone looking for a good entry level bow
- Wood limb with fiberglass face
- Hard wood rise
- Right Hand Only
This attractive bow has a maximum draw weight of 60lbs. It can be used by left-handed and right-handed archers and has a weight of 3lbs.
This is an excellent choice of bow if you’re new to the archery and hunting game. It’s also a great piece of kit for experienced hunters who like to keep it traditional. However, this bow doesn’t come with the option of adding a whole host of accessories.
This is simply a no-frills, sturdy survival bow that is a good investment at the low purchase price. Newer versions of this bow have brass bushings for fitments, which aren’t included on some of the earlier versions. Keep this in mind, as it can make life difficult.
Assembling this bow isn’t hard but it isn’t as quick as with some other products. This is because you need to use a hex wrench or allen key. You probably wouldn’t want to have to put this kit together while you’re on the road, but otherwise assembly is not a real problem.
- Left- and right-handed versions available.
- Comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
- Tips of limbs are not reinforced so string upgrades are not possible.
- No pre-drilled attachments on older versions.
5. Southland Archery Supply SAS Spirit 62″ Take Down Recurve Bow – best for families and archery beginners
- Strong fiberglass limb
- Made of Maple laminations
- Recommended shooter heights up 5'7"
Including the whole family in archery sessions and hunting trips is a big part of the enjoyment. If you want to do this, you should take a look at this bow.
The Spirit 62″ Take Down Recurve Bow is a wise choice for kids and those using a bow for the first time due to its maximum 36lbs draw weight and the relatively light 2.5lbs weight of the bow itself.
It must be said that this is a basic bow that doesn’t have the greatest finish. However, you get what you expect for the low purchase price. It’s a perfectly serviceable bow to help you develop your skills before moving on to something with a more advanced design.
If you want to be able to use this kit during wet weather, you’ll need to think about coating it with a damp proof covering in order to protect the unfinished wood. Or, you could just avoid the rain and wait for the weather to improve.
Like the riser of this bow, the limbs don’t have a great finish. However, they are made from maple wood with a fibreglass lamination, so they are pretty tough.
One of the biggest positives of this bow is that it’s relatively quiet and has little vibration. This is excellent when you consider the low cost of this piece of kit.
- Ideally suited for beginners and younger archers.
- Quiet when being used.
- Lightweight, making it easy to use and carry.
- Easy to assemble.
- Comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
- Riser and limbs are unfinished.
- Bolts can shred easily on occasion.
- There is no bow stringer included with the bow.
6. OMP Explorer 2.0 Right Hand Recurve Bow – best for intermediate level use by young archers and women
- Walnut, white oak, hard maple and padauk construction
- Three piece take-down design for easy storage
- Equipped with sight, plunger and stabilizer bushings
This bow has three draw weights, 20, 24 and 28lbs. It’s a popular choice of bow for women and young archers, and is aimed at being used for archery rather than hunting.
However, this bow can quite easily be used to hunt small game such as squirrels and raccoons. For larger game it’s not an ideal choice.
This model is a good option for anyone looking for a comfortable experience while using a bow. It’s lightweight and you hardly even notice that you’re using it; there is no uncomfortable pressure on your hands.
As well as being comfortable to use, this kit is easy to assemble. It also comes with factory-installed bushings so you can install a sight, plunger, or stabilizer if you choose to.
If you buy this survival bow, you’ll notice that it comes with a decent Dacron string. You can easily get thousands of shots from this, as long as you take good care of it. However, the reinforced limb tips mean that you can upgrade the string if you so choose.
- This is an easy takedown bow, making it easy to store and carry around.
- Beginner and intermediate archers will be equally comfortable using this bow.
- Lamination and reinforced limb tips make this a durable piece of kit.
- Its draw weights are not strong enough for hunting anything other than small game.
- The noise level during use is not ideal for a hunting environment unless whisker silencers are used.
7. Fleetwood Archery Monarch Takedown Recurve Bow – best for anyone looking for a low cost bow of reasonable quality.
This is one of the most affordable bows around, so it doesn’t have the highest level of quality. However, if you want a serviceable bow that doesn’t cost a fortune, this is it.
The Fleetwood Archery Monarch Takedown Recurve Bow is a traditional bow that’s fairly stylish and is definitely aimed at the beginner market. It has a maximum 28lbs draw weight.
To be honest, this isn’t a bad product for the price, especially if you’re new to archery and your main goal is to practice. The bow has a hardwood riser, fibreglass limbs, and reinforced limb tips.
Even more impressively, this kit is comfortable and easy to use. This is a big advantage if you don’t have much experience using a bow.
- Takedown style bow.
- Low purchase cost.
- Durable product that is made to last.
- Good shooting accuracy.
- There is no warranty with this bow, so there is no protection if there are any problems.
- The quality is in line with the price. It’s not a great choice if you’re not a beginner.
Survival Bow Buying Guide
The survival bows that you’ll be looking at while deciding which one to buy are designed in a similar way to traditional bows. However, they’re usually made using modern materials like fibreglass.
This should mean that if you choose a decent-quality bow, it’ll be tough enough to last. But, there is so much more that you need to think about when you’re in the market for a bow.
Are you going to hunt?
There are lots of bows out there, but they’re not all great for hunting. This is why you need to decide what you’re going to use a bow for. If you know that you’re only ever going to be aiming at a target, a good hunting bow isn’t going to be a big deal for you.
When you’re thinking about how you’re going to use a bow, be realistic. Not everyone can handle the draw weight that’s needed for hunting.
Figuring out the right draw length and weight
Once you know if you’re going to be hunting with your bow, you can work out what draw length and weight is the right choice for you. If you buy your bow from an archery shop, they can work out your draw length for you.
If you have to do it yourself, you should;
- Stand with your arms outstretched at your sides.
- Get a friend to measure the length from one set of fingertips to the other.
- Divide the result by 2.5.
This is a reasonably accurate way of working out the draw length that’s right for you. For most people, it is between 24 and 28 inches.
The next thing to do is work out the best draw weight. There are several things that you need to take into account.
- Remember that using a survival bow requires more strength than using a compound bow at the same draw weight.
- Take into account the restrictions of your physique.
- Check local regulations on hunting weight.
Quick tip: If a bow is sold with a measurement of 45lbs @ 28”, drawing less than 28” means that you will not shoot at 45lbs. If you shoot at over 28″ often then the life of the bow could be shortened.
A 45lbs draw weight is usually the best choice if you want to hunt using a survival bow.
Which material is best?
In most cases, the materials that a survival bow is made of are most important when thinking about how the bow will look. This is because most modern bows have a similar blend of materials, with fibreglass limbs with laminations and handles made of wood, plastic, aluminium, or a mixture.
When you’re thinking about materials, pay attention to the color. You don’t want to alarm deer or other animals while you’re hunting.
Using attachments – yes or no
Whether or not to use attachments like sights and quivers is a personal choice. If you think that you’re likely to use these attachments, you’ll need to make sure that the bow you choose has attachment points. Most modern bows do.
Quick tip: While using attachments is fine, back-mounted quivers are not always the most practical choice.
Quick tip: If you decide to use sights, you should still improve your aim without them. This puts you in a good position in a hunting and/or survival situation.
Features of survival bows
Only you know which features you will require your survival bow to have. Here are some common features that you may want to think about.
Many of today’s best survival bows come with a takedown feature. This means that they can be broken down for easier transportation. Usually, the limbs can be removed, which means the bow is in three parts.
- Folding limbs
Some survival bows now have folding limbs. This means that they are easy to fold away. This is great if you want to store a bow in a bug-out bag, but may not be the best choice for a main bow.
- Survival bow kits
These kits are an interesting choice for anyone who wants to create a survival bow of their own. They are probably only a good idea for people who know a fair amount about bows in the first place.
The main thing to think about is what features suit you. You want to make it as easy as possible for you to hit a target or to hunt successfully. Choose a survival bow that suits your skill and expertise levels.
The best arrows to use
You won’t get very far with a bow and no arrows. So, choosing the right arrows is also an important decision. To be honest, getting this choice right often takes a lot of trial and error.
When you first start using a bow, it’s definitely not worth spending loads of time trying to get your arrow choice perfect. At this point, you simply want to get a feel for the bow. Just buy some good arrows and get started. .
As you start to use a bow more, you’ll get a feel for which arrows are best for you and your needs. Then, you can upgrade your arrows. Remember, the bow you choose will also have an influence on which arrows you use.
Deciding which bow to buy is a personal decision. You need to choose a piece of kit that’s suited to your skill level, physique, and goals.
The bows reviewed in this guide represent several different options. They can all be a good purchase choice, depending on your reasons for buying.
When you’re choosing the best survival bow for you, it’s important to think about factors such as materials, draw length and weight, and features. You also need to buy some good arrows, and then take time to decide which arrows you prefer overall.
You may also need to buy a nocking point for the string, if the bow you choose doesn’t have one. In most cases they aren’t included unless you buy a complete set.
The most important thing is that you take into account all the information you can get. This will help you to choose a survival bow that you can really enjoy using.
After all, there’s nothing quite like the primal feeling of hitting your target using a well-chosen survival bow. It’s one of the great pleasures of life.