Archery has always been one of the most rigorous sports. People of bygone years had the finesse of archery nailed in their bones – each shot fired with perfect consistency and accuracy. Sadly, over time, we have lost the art and the skills that this sport demands. Now, companies have come up with ideas to accessorize the bows. It would allow hunters to customize as per their needs to compensate for the skill, enhance the performance, and shoot with accuracy.
If it’s your first time buying a compound bow, you will most likely be offered a bow package that is a plain bow fully equipped with accessories. But if you decide to go on and cherry-pick your own accessories, you must have little knowledge as to what you need and what the market is offering.
Perhaps, the arrow rests are one of the most instrumental accessories when shooting crossbows. They come in small packages but pack a punch when choosing the right one for you. And when it comes to arrow rests, it is no easy task to select one, especially for beginners.
What an arrow rest does is that it stabilizes the arrow shaft until it is released. It mainly serves as a launching device for the arrow. Rests are designed to clear the riser of your bow from the fletching on the arrow shaft. Thus, providing a steady platform so that the arrow doesn’t wobble or bend in its flight and consistently hit the target.
There is a myriad of arrow rest brands out there that can be overwhelming at first. Let’s break it down to the basics. You’ll find many different kinds of rests in the market. Drop away rests and containment rests are the most popular ones today, while the traditional ones are almost obsolete now.
Drop away arrow rest
They do exactly as their name suggests. The rest is pulled into position as you draw the arrow, and it falls away from the shaft before the arrow clears the riser. In this way, they avoid interfering with the arrow and deliver excellent accuracy with maximum feet per second speed.
Also, they usually come in two designs: limb-driven and cable-driven. Limb-driven attaches the rest to the bow’s lower limb, while cable-driven attaches to the cables.
Unfortunately, drop away rests can prove to be quite complex in their tuning, and most beginners can’t set it up on their own. However, almost all archery shops have expert staff who can time and tune your equipment for you. Nevertheless, a drop away rest can be a sweet addition to your setup if the aim is to accurately shoot, never mind if it is for indoor shooting, target shooting, hunting, or a little of everything.
Also called ‘capture’ rests or ‘whisker biscuit’ rests. This type of rest encloses the arrow shaft completely, guarding the arrow until you release the bowstring, and the arrow finally takes flight on its own. This feature is most important when you have to take shots at odd angles.
Whisker biscuits are made up of rings of stiff bristles with a hole in the center where your arrow shaft goes. The bristles need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to reduce interference with the arrow’s speed as it takes its flight from the rest.
Since it keeps contact with the arrow until the end of its takeoff moment, the constant friction created causes a loss of about 2 to 3 feet per second of arrow speed. Nonetheless, it hardly surmounts a significant accuracy problem – at least not until 60-70 yards. And with its simple, easy-to-tune features, it’s a favorite among the hunter community.
It’s time we look at some of the best arrow rests we’ve for the beginners in the market today and what unique features each one of them brings to the table.
A newbie can readily figure out the installation part of the Whisker Biscuit by watching some YouTube videos. And when it is time to launch the arrow, the arrow shaft will be in full containment of the arrow rest, dramatically improving the accuracy and precision of the shots.
The Sure Shot Pro has an aluminum rim and mounting bracket and is light yet durable for outdoor use. The rubber boots in the loading area are a great plus since they dampen all the arrow loading noises – perfect for hunting down prey without raising alarms.
The fletching contact with the bristles can slow down the arrow speed, but thanks to Trophy Ridge’s engineering, you can expect it to be most minimized compared to other similarly designed arrow rests.
- Adjustable windage and elevation (simpler to tune)
- Laser engraved reference marks
- Full-containment – can aim for difficult angles
- Makes slight contact with shafts
- Cannot be used with helical fletching
TRUGLO Downdraft Drop Arrow Rest can take the crown when it comes to construction. It has a fully sealed compartment for bushing, which means you’ll get an improved downward motion when the arrow is released. Simply put, you’ll be getting a product with significantly better performance capability.
The installation is also easy. You can either attempt to do it yourself or ask the seller if going to the archery shop. Also, to note, the TRUGLO arrow rests have rubber dampeners that make loading arrows noise-free, and you can peacefully aim at your prey, reducing the effort of multiple shots.
- Clean and noise-free
- Green camo blends in the background
- Optimum arrow speed
- Rubber dampeners are not as weather-resistant compared to the metal construction
NAP’s Micro Apache Drop Arrow Rest is minimal in design and lacks a certain finesse when compared to other drop away rests. It provides complete containment for your arrows and, at the same time, produces 360 degrees of noise cancellation – not a chance to spook the game.
It also comes with an attached string which is bound to give your arrows a better trajectory. The knobs feature inscribed graduations that make it all the easier to use, especially out in the fields.
- Great for those who prefer angular models
- Minimal vibration and noise
- Minimal design
- Tool-less adjustment knobs
- Attached string
- Does not work well with Hoyt bow rest
The drop away offers full clearance of fletchers – especially those with arrow shafts of large diameters. The full-capture feature works like a charm, offering some of the best stability and performance for vertical, horizontal, and downrange shots.
The Vapor Trail Limbdriver drop away rest is very easy to set up. It does come at an expensive price tag, but you’ll find the quality on par.
- 70% of contact time with the shaft
- Easy to install
- Needs no maintenance and tuning
- Comes with an adjustable string tension
- Comes in left- and right-hand orientations
- Relies on limbs and cables that could cause inaccuracy
The Fall Away are the most commonly used drop away kind of arrow rests. They are designed to be connected with your drawstring, meaning they will drop as soon as you pull the bowstrings.
Ripcord’s name is somewhat of a giant in the drop away arrow rest market. Not surprisingly, their product comes as completely aluminized, made in USA, and fully capable of providing increased accuracy.
- Internal braking system
- Large windage adjustment
- Minimal tuning and lightweight
- Holds the arrow perfectly
As you have seen, there are plenty of options to choose from when choosing an arrow rest, which is suitable for your needs. Before we leave you, here’s a bit of advice. Whatever arrow rest you go for, always check your rest before shooting to make sure that every setting is in its place or that the rest isn’t damaged.
Rest, like always, ask around in your archery circles what kind of arrow rest they prefer and why. Also, let us know if you’d like to add anything else that we might’ve missed.