Best Crossbow For The Money – Assessing The Top Options

Whether you need it for training or hunting purposes, a crossbow makes an excellent weapon for outdoor activities. However, just like any other weapon, it requires some training and lots of caution or unexpected situations may arise when least expected. On another note, finding the best crossbow for the money can be quite tricky with so many options out there. Luckily, it's not the end of the world. Take your time to research your options and make sure they match your necessities.

Now, what are the best rated crossbows on the market and what makes them so popular? Let's dive into their reviews.

Product

Specifications

Price

  • Speed: 330 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 165 lbs
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs
  • ACUdraw Cocking Mechanism

5/5

$$$$

  • Speed: 300 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 160 lbs
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Safety finger flange

4.8/5

$$$

  • Speed: 330 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 140 lbs
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs
  • Trigger Tech Technology with 3-lb zero-creep release

4.8/5

$$

  • Speed: 335 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 125 lbs

4.6/5

$$$$$

  • Speed: 245 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 175 lbs
  • Auto-engage safety cocking

4.3/5

$

  • Speed: 320 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs

4.5/5

$$$$$

  • Speed: 340 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 160 lbs
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs

4.7/5

$$$

  • Speed: 310 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs
  • Weight: 6.3 lbs
  • Auto dry fire and Auto safety trigger

4.7/5

$$$$

  • Speed: 335 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 185 lbs
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Max capacity: 625 lbs

4.4/5

$$$

  • Speed: 350 FPS
  • Draw Weight: 160 lbs
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Equipped with bristle arrow retainer

4.5/5

$$


Top 10 Best Crossbow for the Money Reviewed

1. Wicked Ridge Invader G3 - Best Crossbow for Hunting

Best crossbow for the money

Full Package and Speed

The package includes everything you need to start shooting out of the box. Wicked Ridge's best crossbow for the money features a full package based on a classic ACU-52 cocking device, a Wicked Ridge 3 arrow quiver a TenPoint 3x Multi-Line scope and 3 carbon arrows.

In terms of speed, it's stunning. An arrow can go up to 330 feet per second. Even if your prey hears the noise, it won't have enough time to react before the arrow reaches it. The kinetic energy put out is impressive as well – 97 FP.

Cocking Device and Sizing

The cocking system is based on a rope and it's integrated. It retracts automatically. Such a system makes drawing much easier, as the weight is reduced with up to 50%. At the same time, your accuracy will also improve with time. Moreover, the system features a few small magnets that bond together and hold the handles in place.

In terms of sizing, the bow is 37.75 inches in length. When cocked, the axle to axle distance measures 19 inches. Also, the power stroke goes up to 13.5 inches. It's lightweight – 6.6 pounds only, so it's suitable for everyone.

Assembly and Safety

The bow is not fully assembled, but there aren't too many parts to be put together. It's a matter of minutes. It comes with a small manual of instructions that will give you all the required details.

Safety standards leave no room for mistakes. The wings and fore-grip are thoroughly engineered to keep your hand safe under the releasing path of the bowstring. It might feel dangerous at first, but there's literally nothing to be concerned about. Also, the unit features a dry fire inhibitor. It's a front running system that stops the bow from firing without an arrow. When it comes to safety features, this could be the best crossbow for the money out there.

Key Specifications

  • Made in the USA

  • 37.75 inch long

  • 13.5 inch power stroke
  • 19 inches when cocked
  • 6.6 pounds in weight
  • 330 feet per second
  • 97 FP kinetic energy
  • ACU-52 cocking system
  • Dry fire inhibitor
  • Comes with a scope, a quiver, and 3 carbon arrows

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Safety features
  • Faster than its competition
  • Full package, including arrows
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Must be put together
  • Scope might fog up in the rain

2. Parker X301-MR Enforcer - Best Crossbow for Deer Hunting

Package and Build

Parker's best crossbow for the money is built with quality in mind. The package includes all the required accessories to go out hunting as soon as you get it. Apart from the actual crossbow, you also get a multi-reticle scope, a 4 arrow quiver and 4 arrows. Each arrow has field points, while the quiver can be detached within a second only.

The crossbow may look short at first, but it's just its compact build. It features machined aluminum parts for both durability and good looks.

Sizing and Speed

With just 7 pounds in weight, this crossbow is easy to maneuver and carry around, even during long hunting sessions. It has an 11 inch power stroke and a 24.125 inch axle to axle distance. The drawing weight goes up to 160 pounds.

In terms of speed, arrows can go at 300 feet per second speeds. Even if the prey can hear the bow while firing, it's less likely to have enough time to move and disappear before the arrow reaches it.

Small Features and Extras

The crossbow is ambidextrous, so it makes no difference if you're left or right handed. It features a red hot string and cable, as well as the EZ drawing technology. The cocking effort is drastically reduced, making this model the best crossbow for the money for both newbies and professionals.

It's engineered to inhibit dry fires (without an arrow) for safety, but it also comes with a safety finger flange. In other words, it adds to your accuracy without exposing you to any risks. It's worth mentioning the G2 trigger too, as well as the camouflage finish.

Key Specifications

  • 7 pounds in weight

  • 11 inch power stroke

  • 24.125 inches between axles
  • 300 feet per second
  • G2 trigger
  • Ambidextrous uses
  • Anti dry fire mechanism
  • Safety finger flange
  • EZ draw
  • Multi-reticle scope
  • plus
    Camouflage finish
  • plus
    4 arrows
  • plus
    Quick detach quiver

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Extra accuracy
  • Easy to carry and use
  • Safety features
  • Durable materials
  • Compact design

CONS

  • No rope cocker
  • Must be assembled

3. Barnett Recruit Terrain - Best Youth Crossbow

Package and Sizing

Often rated as the best crossbow for the money among beginners, this model from Barnett comes with a full package. You have a professional 4x32 scope, a rope cocking device, a lightweight quiver and 2 arrows – each measuring 20 inch. The package includes some lubing wax as well. According to the manufacturer's specifications, you should lube strings every 10 shots for maximum efficiency.

The bow measures 33x14x8 inches. It weighs 6.4 pounds – slightly less than its competition. As for the kinetic energy, it goes up to 91.9 feet per second. The drawing weight is stabilized at 140 pounds. Given its speed – 330 feet per second, it's one of the fastest crossbows on the market right now and exceeds most of its competition with over 10%.

Technologies and Safety

Modern technologies make this crossbow a front runner. The Trigger Tech Technology guarantees for a 3 pound zero creep release. The Nock sensor keeps an eye on the arrows. The crossbow will never fire dry shots, which can injure you.

All components are made from stainless steel. They're durable and likely to maintain their shiny looks overtime. While the crossbow is mostly assembled, you'll still have to put some parts together, but it won't take too long.

Accuracy and Efficiency

The crossbow allows a tight grip without exposing your hands to any risks at all. A proper grip adds to the overall accuracy and prevents shaking while firing. The trigger is metal is metal injected molded, while the finger safety reminders ensure you're always safe.

In terms of efficiency, proper maintenance and regularly lubing strings will guarantee for successful hunting sessions. The excessive speed doesn't allow any accidental shaking or moving as you fire.

Key Specifications

  • 16.126 inches from one axle to another

  • 34.25 x 18.25 in size
  • 6.4 pounds in weight
  • 330 feet per second
  • 140 pound drawing weight
  • 91.9 FT
  • 4x32 scope
  • Rope cocking device
  • 20 inch arrows
  • plus
    2 Headhunter arrows
  • Quiver
  • Stainless steel components
  • Lube wax for maintenance
  • Trigger Tech Technology
  • Anti dry fire trigger system
  • Bristle brush retainer
  • Metal injected molded trigger
  • plus
    0.875 inch Picatinny rails
  • plus
    Finger safety reminders
  • plus
    Pass through fore grip

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Excessive speed
  • Multiple safety features
  • Stainless steel parts
  • Full package

CONS

  • Only comes with 2 arrows
  • Might take a while to get used to its safety

4. Bear X Crossbows Archery Bruzer - Best Crossbow for Women

Speed and Compactness

With a stunning speed of 335 feet per second, this might be the best crossbow in terms of value for money. It's not loud, yet prey might actually hear you firing. However, it's so fast that it gives your target no time to reach. Just make sure your aim is good.

This model is an inverse designed crossbow. It's not a new concept at all. In fact, it has been used for ages, yet it's not too popular. It is, however, extremely consistent and reliable. On another note, this kind of design is known for its compact style.

Accessories and Numbers

This model won't teach you how to hunt with a crossbow, but it will certainly make your life easier. It comes with a full package that allows hunting out of the box – set it up and go look for some prey. Accessories include a rail lubricant to use on a regular basis for cords, a mount quiver and a cocking sled. Other than that, you'll have a professional Trophy Ridge XF425 scope, as well as 3 arrows. Arrows carry the same Trophy Ridge quality standards.

The 34 inch crossbow has a solid 125 pound draw weight and measures 18 inches axle to axle. Its kinetic energy goes up to 99.3 FT. With less than 7 pounds in weight, you'll have no problems carrying it around for hours. Also, it won't put too much pressure on your arms while firing.

Safety and Design

The best crossbow for the money from Bear X is built with the 3 Times Safe trigger technology. In other words, whenever you pull the string, it will automatically go to safe, even if you forget about it and leave it in a firing position. The anti dry fire system works with no issues at all.

The Power-V riser aims to reduce the stress by evenly distributing it. It goes behind the actual trigger for extra efficiency. As for the PowerLink routing hangers for cables, they work on the bow tune by extending limbs and reducing the cam rotation.

Key Specifications

  • Measures 34 x 8 x 24 inches
  • 335 feet per second firing speed

  • 125 pounds draw weight
  • 18 inches axle to axle
  • 15.1 inches at a draw
  • 99.3 FT kinetic energy
  • Weighs 6.5 pounds
  • Anti dry fire mechanism
  • Power-V riser
  • Comes with a mount quiver, a cocking sled and lubricant
  • Comes with 3 Trophy Ridge arrows and a classic XF425 scope
  • Gaffstep stirrup

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Multiple tech features
  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • Compact design
  • Smooth cocking experience

CONS

  • The scope is not lighted
  • Challenging to use the trigger

5. Jaguar CR-013 Series - Best Beginner Crossbow

Sizing and Speed

Jaguar's new crossbows came with a series of innovations. They were proven to be reliable, so they're still selling these days without any major upgrades or new generations. This model measures 27x35 inches. It's a standard size for crossbows in this segment. It weighs 7 pounds, so it's lightweight and easy to carry around. It won't feel heavy while trying to aim either.

As for its speed, it may not be the fastest crossbow in this segment, but it can certainly tackle your prey within a couple of seconds. The arrow travels with 265 feet per second. Obviously, the speed depends on the weight of the arrow, as well as its aerodynamics.

Package and Build

Accessories are basic and bring you the main things you need to start hunting right away. Whether you want to train or you actually go look for prey, you just need to put the crossbow together. The package comes with a 6 bolt detachable quiver, as well as 4 bolts. The bolts measure 16 inches and are made from aluminum. Also, they come with 150 grain points. Sure, you can check the market for the best bolts for crossbow hunting, but the ones coming with the crossbow are quite solid and excellent for your first sessions.

The crossbow is designed in a rifle style – composite stock. It's convenient and easy to hold, but it also won't put any pressure on your arms. The rifle design adds to its stability while aiming, as you can rest it against your shoulder.

Accuracy and Adjustability

The barrel is made from slotted cast magnesium. Its main role is to improve accuracy in bolt flight tracking.

Small adjustable features make this crossbow suitable for every beginner. You can even adjust the scope brightness for a better view. The scope is fitted on the weaver style rail. It measures 30mm and comes with 7 levels of brightness.

Key Specifications

  • Measures 27 x 35 inches

  • Weighs 7 pounds

  • 175 inch draw
  • 245 feet per second speed
  • Slotted cast magnesium barrel
  • Weaver style rail
  • 30mm red dot scope
  • 7 brightness settings
  • 6 bolt quiver
  • 4X- 16 inch aluminum bolts
  • Safety glasses
  • Shoulder sling
  • plus
    Rifle style

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Good value for money
  • Stable and accurate
  • Comfortable to use
  • Less moving parts than other similar units
  • Durable

CONS

  • Doesn't come with a rope cocking device
  • Takes a while to get used to keeping the string center

6. Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow

Package and Assembly

Known as one of the most reliable Barnett crossbows on the market, the Wildcat C5 model comes in a full package containing everything you might need. You have a quick detaching quiver, as well as a high quality red dot sight and even bolts. Assemble the unit and you can start practicing.

Assembly is simple even if this is the first crossbow you have. Some parts are separate, such as the limbs and riser. If you're not sure how to put them together, you have a manual of instructions with informative graphics to explain the procedure. Also, all the hardware required comes with the package, so you won't have to worry about not having the right tools around.

Sizing and Specs

The Barnett crossbow weighs 8.5 pounds – a bit heavier than other units in this segment. That's without all the accessories. Once you put everything on, it will weigh around 11.5 pounds. It's still comfortable to hold for hours and it won't put any pressure on your arms as you get ready to fire.

The design is compact and efficient. The crossbow is 26.75 inches in width and 35.5 inches in length. When cocked, the width is drastically reduced – around 22 inches. Since it features small cams, the crossbow is quite narrow when compared to other similar units.

Performance and Power

The power stroke is directly responsible for the bolt speed. The crossbow can fire up to 320 feet per second. The power stroke goes up to 13 inches. In other words, you'll be able to pull the string back 13 inches when cocking the crossbow. It's a bit more than other units, hence the higher speed.

As for the draw weight, it goes up to 150 pounds. It's quite manageable when you also use a rope cocker. Besides, you'll feel the weight when you start pulling only due to the cam construction of the compound crossbow.

Key Specifications

  • Weighs 8.5 pounds

  • Measures 35.25 x 26.75 inches

  • Magnesium riser
  • Includes a quiver, red dot sight and bolts
  • Thumb hole grip
  • Vented quad lips
  • High energy wheels
  • 320 feet per second speed
  • GAM composite stock
  • 150 pound draw weight
  • 97 FP energy
  • 13 inch power stroke
  • plus
    20 inch arrows

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Speedy for its size
  • Easy to cock
  • Lightweight, even after you put accessories on
  • Multiple extra accessories available on the market
  • Comfortable to hold, fire and use

CONS

  • Must be assembled
  • Extra accessories must be purchased separately

7. Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow

Energy and Power

This model could be the best crossbow for the money if you're looking for power and energy. The kinetic energy is rated at 122 – more than the competition. Also, it's about 19 KE more than the previous generation of this crossbow. Kinetic energy determines the penetration power. For instance, hunting deer requires at least 40.

The speed is directly proportional to Comfort and Numbers the power. This crossbow will easily reach 340 feet per second – a front runner. However, it depends on the bolts you use. But then, you'll have an exquisite accuracy even when you shoot from a longer distance.

Comfort and Convenience

The crossbow is designed to be unobtrusive, regardless of your experience. In terms of comfort, you can also count on anti dry fire features, as well as a pass through fore grip. The 0.875 inch picatinny rail adds to the comfort as well.

In terms of convenience, you'll love the rifle design. You can rest the crossbow against your shoulder and gain extra stability while aiming.

Durability and Smoothness

The custom laminated limbs guarantee for a durable operation, even at extremely low temperatures. As for the trigger, it carries the TriggerTech quality standards. In other words, it has no creep, but it's smooth and easy instead.

The crossbow is smooth and instant. The crisp release is almost instant. You shoot when you want to shoot, without having to calculate your prey's next move in advance.

Key Specifications

  • Measures 33 x 11 x 6 inches
  • CNC machined 0.875 inch picatinny rail

  • Bristle retainer
  • Unique composite laminated limbs
  • Finger reminders
  • Pass through fore grip
  • Lightweight composite stock
  • 340 feet per second speed
  • Rifle style design
  • 122 kinetic energy

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Extremely accurate
  • Safe for beginners
  • Smooth operation
  • Durable design
  • Speedy

CONS

  • Must be set up
  • Not too much info on the arrows in the package

8. PSE Vector 310 Crossbow

Speed and Energy

With around 310 feet per second, this model from PSE aims to deliver. It's so fast that you will inevitably gain in accuracy as well. Just aim and shoot – it's instant and goes straight to the target.

Its kinetic energy is rated at 85. To successfully hunt a deer, you'll need a minimum rating of 40. In other words, it's more than enough for whatever you want to do with a crossbow.

Comfort and Numbers

Weighing 6.3 pounds only, this is one of the lightest crossbows on the market. You won't even feel it while carrying it for hours. It also comes with a comfy rifle style design, which allows you to rest it against a shoulder and improve accuracy.

The draw weight is rated at 150 pounds, while the power stroke goes to 11.25 inches. The overall length with stirrup is 32 inches. It comes in a few different finishes.

Package and Convenience

The package is complete and makes this model the best crossbow for the money. You won't have to buy anything else. It comes with a 4x32 scope, a sling, 3 carbon bolts measuring 20 inches each, 3 85g bullet pints, a cocking rope, a 5 bolt quiver and a rail lube. A foot stirrup is also included in the package.

The crossbow must be assembled and can be used out of the box.

Key Specifications

  • 310 feet per second speed
  • 85 kinetic energy

  • 150 pound draw weight
  • 18.25 inch axle to axle length
  • 11.25 inch power stroke
  • Multiple finishes
  • Weighs 6.3 pounds
  • 32 inches in length with stirrup
  • Full package
  • Rifle style design

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Fully featured
  • Everything you need in the package
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple designs
  • Comfortable to use

CONS

  • Assembly is challenging if this is your first crossbow
  • Manual of instructions is not too detailed

9. Carbon Express Covert 3.4 - Best Tactical Crossbow

Sturdiness and Construction

In terms of sturdiness and durability, this model from Carbon Express can qualify as the best crossbow for the money. It comes with carbon infused limbs – durable and lightweight, as well as a top quality string and cables.

The CNC machined riser and the green anodizes flight rail add to its quality. They're durable and made to last, while the riser design is unique to Carbon Express only.

Package and Maintenance

The package is full and leaves no room for further investments. You won't have to purchase other items separately to use the crossbow at its full capability. All in all, you'll also receive a 3 arrow quiver with quick detaching features, a rope cocker and 3 PileDriver arrows. A scope, 3 practice points and a rail lubricant are also included.

Maintenance is simple and doesn't require too much work. Basically, you'll have to use the rail lubricant after every 10-15 shots.

Usage and Speed

Using the crossbow is easy, yet this model is designed as a tactical unit. In other words, newbies might find it a bit challenging, yet it'll help them improve their game in no time. It weighs 10.5 pounds with all the accessories on, so it's slightly heavier than other similar units. However, it's still comfortable to use.

It fires at 335 feet per second and provides 119 foot pounds of energy – one of the most powerful crossbows on the market at the moment.

Key Specifications

  • Weighs 10.5 pounds with all the accessories on
  • CNC machined riser

  • Green anodized flight rail
  • 335 feet per second speed
  • Picatinny mounting system
  • Camo design
  • Full package, including a rope cocker
  • Maintenance rail lubricant included
  • Scope and 3 PileDriver arrows included

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Superior kinetic energy
  • Tactical features
  • Everything you need in the package
  • Good looking
  • Professional use

CONS

  • Heavier than other models
  • Assembly can be tricky

10. Barnett Droptine - Best Affordable Crossbow

Package and Assembly

The Droptine model is by far the best crossbow for the money coming from this manufacturer. Most people will inquire about the package and what comes with the crossbow. Barnett has never disappointed its customers.

This crossbow features assembly tools, a scope, a quiver for 3 arrows, 3 20 inch Headhunter arrows, a warranty card and a manual of instructions. There is no rock cocking device, yet this isn't a surprise.

Assembly is not too complicated, yet you'll have to check the manual if this is your first crossbow. You'll just have to guide cables into the right place.

Power and Weight

The crossbow features a solid 160 pound draw weight, as well as a 13.5 inch power stroke. Such numbers will most likely push the arrows at 350 feet per second. Obviously, it also depends on the arrows you use. But generally, the kinetic energy will range around 109 foot pounds.

The bow weighs 7.6 pounds, but that's with no accessories on. It's comfortable to hold and aim without feeling any tension.

Accuracy and Cocking

The accuracy is quite good given the scope, yet you'll have to get used to it. Barnett has managed to drastically reduce the heaviness of this crossbow in the front as well, yet you may still feel it. However, the scope and the speed do an excellent job together.

The 160 pound draw will challenge you a little. For this reason, many newbies would rather invest in a rope cocking system, yet it must be purchased separately.

Key Specifications

  • Weighs 7.6 pounds
  • 350 feet per second speed

  • 19.5 inches axle to axle
  • 13.5 inch power stroke
  • 35.75 inches in length
  • 21 inches in width when unlocked
  • Package includes everything you might need to use the crossbow out of the box
  • Magnesium riser
  • Lightweight composite stock
  • plus
    Bristle arrow retainer

The Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Highly accurate
  • Good value for  money
  • Powerful
  • Ideal regardless of the skill level
  • Safe to use

CONS

  • No rope cocking device
  • Needs some assembly

FINAL VERDICT

Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow

Bottom line, choosing the best crossbow for the money will, indeed, feel challenging. It's not impossible though. Assess your needs and expectations, but also your skill level. Each of the above mentioned crossbows can improve your game, yet you have to choose the one with the right features.

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