Professional archers and even amateurs know the importance of a good arrow rest. The rest serves as a stable foundation cum launching platform for your arrow. It keeps the arrow stable and straight during the launch, ensuring the arrow won’t wobble or go off-target in the air.
To help you find the best compound bow arrow rest, we’ve gathered a collection of above-average – and affordable – bow rests on the market. They are all well made and compatible with a wide variety of bow types. We’ve also created a short buyer’s guide if you’re new to arrow rests and don’t know which type to get:
5 Most Outstanding Arrow Rests
Quality Archery Designs Ultra-Rest HDX
Quality Archery Designs is a very popular brand in the archery world, known for its superior quality products. The Ultra-Rest HDX is an improved version of the Ultra-Rest HD, one of their best sellers and perhaps the best arrow rest around at one time. The HDX is a slightly improved version and is our choice for the best compound bow arrow rest on the market.
The Ultra-Rest HDX is a “break away” version – once the arrow is shot, the rest drops down so as to not interfere with the arrow’s fletching. The rest features noise reduction technology – a laser cut felt - to allow you to make an almost silent shot. The thumbwheel of the rest is made with injection molded rubber, which keeps the arrow stable when shot by reducing the force peak amplitude. The rest drops down exactly on time and can be adjusted easily.
The rest is easy to set up if you have a few basic tools, like a Philips screwdriver and an Allen wrench. There’s no danger of the arrow falling off the bow, even when you move around with it a lot. This rest is made for demanding archers who aren’t willing to settle for anything less than the top-of-the-line. While it’s a little on the expensive side, the rest will stay with you for many years to come, being extremely well made.
Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Kill Shot Arrow Rest
Trophy Ridge is the maker of the world’s most popular arrow rest: the Whisker Biscuit. The Kill Shot is a good buy for beginners, though it’s used by professionals too. You can get the Kill Shot in seven colors: brown, green, orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. The rest is also available in small, medium and large, which should be suitable for all kinds of bow types.
The Kill Shot is made from premium aluminum; there are no cheap plastic parts to worry about. This is a full containment, which means that the arrow will be held in place by the round biscuit. The biscuit – also the part you shoot it through – is encased with high-strength composites which can take a lot of abuse. The rest can be loaded silently, thanks to the custom rubber boots it features.
You can set the Kill Shot up on both left handed as well as right handed bows. You can also change the windage and elevation. The Kill Shot gives you excellent accuracy, though it won’t be as high as what you’d get with a drop away rest. It’s much, much cheaper than most drop away rests, though. The rest will keep your bow securely in place no matter how you maneuver with it.
Tabiger Arrow Rest for Compound Bow Hunting
The Tabiger Arrow Rest for Compound Bow Hunting makes it to the third spot of our best compound bow arrow rest list. The bow rest features a biscuit design, like the Trophy Ridge Kill Shot. It is much cheaper than the Kill Shot and is suitable for beginners who are looking for a no-frills rest that gets the job done.
The Tabiger Arrow Rest, like other biscuit bow rests, will hold your arrow safely. You shoot the arrow through the bristles or whiskers, which keep the arrow stable after launch. The whiskers are durable and tough, but they don’t damage the fletching on the arrow (be careful if you use feather fletching, though).
The rest is available in black and Camo color options and can be used by both left hand and right hand bows. The rest is super easy to set up. You can move it up and down to boost accuracy. The diameter of the cycle is 2.52 and the rest is big enough to use with regular arrows.
Vapor Trail LimbDriver Pro V Rest
The Vapor Trail LimbDriver Pro V Rest snags the 4th spot on the best arrow rest list because it’s well built, reasonably priced and very easy to set up. It’s also compatible with a wide range of bow types, making it an attractive purchase for many. The rest is available in a single red-and-black combo.
The Vapor Trail supports the weight of the arrow for 70% of the shot cycle, before dropping away. That’s long enough for the arrow to stabilize for the duration of the flight. Shot taking and loading is pretty quiet, thanks to a rubber dampener. The fall away design is precise and can be fine tuned to your liking. The rest doesn’t interfere even a little with your fletching while you shoot, giving you excellent accuracy.
This is a full containment type of rest. You could potentially pair it up with FOBs, instead of fletching. If you’re never set up a rest before, you can learn how to do it by watching official product demos on YouTube. If you’re looking for a change from the regular biscuit type rest, the Vapor Trail might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Wingeler Arrow Rest for Compound Bow Hunting
The Wingeler Arrow Rest rounds up our best arrow rest rankings because it’s excellent value-for-money. The rest is similar to the original Whisker Biscuit, but it’s built with composite plastic instead of aluminum (the round enclosure). It’s also only about 1/3rd the price of the original. The Wingeler Arrow Rest is available in Black and Camo and will work with most compound bow types, being adjustable.
As the rest is made up of composite, it’s really light, which is a blessing in many cases. You will barely notice the difference when using the bow. The light weight makes it a suitable rest for kids who’re just starting out with shooting. The shot accuracy is high, according to past users.
The Wingeler Arrow Rest can be set up easily. It can also be adjusted for windage and height. The bristles on the biscuit are of good quality and will last a long time. However, there is a noticeable difference in quality between the original and this one – the bristles will start to show signs of wear after the first 500 shots (that won’t affect the accuracy itself, though). While this is meant for compound bows, it might be a better fit for recurve bows with lower-speed arrows.
Other Arrow Rests that Pack a Mean Punch
- Ripcord Fall Away Arrow Rest
- Bear Weather Arrow Rest Right Handed
- AMS M152 Tidal Wave Rest
- Octane RST Hostage Max Arrow Rest, Right Hand
- Quality Archery Designs Ultra Rest Hunter Arrow Rest Drop Away (Right Hand)
Types of Arrow Rests
Arrow rests weren’t as advanced as they are today. There are three main types of arrow rests on the market: shoot through, containment and drop away. However, many of the best arrow rests combine two of these design styles into one. Here is a brief overview of the top arrow rest types, including some advantages and disadvantages:
Shoot through or prong rests are usually the cheapest type of rests. They are spring loaded, and the rest will lean forward when you release the arrow, before popping back into place. They are very easy to set up and even simpler to use. These types of bow rests aren’t good for your accuracy, nor are they suited to hand released arrows.
There is no fall away in a full containment rest. These are also simply made. They are very stable and greatly increase your accuracy. The drawback of this type of rest is that the containment design (like the bristles on the Whisker Biscuit) will slow the arrow down and sometimes interfere with its flight.
The drop away type of arrow rest seems to be the most popular with experienced archers. It features a mechanism that “falls away” when your arrow is almost fully launched. It supports the arrow’s launch for about 70% of the way, before dropping away. This keeps the arrow very stable. The rest falls away before it can touch the fletching. The drawback of this type of rest is they are hard to use, requiring much practice. They also need maintenance and can be noisy.
Best Arrow Rest Brands
Some brands have been building excellent arrow rests for a very long time. You can’t go wrong with buying from any of these brands:
Bear archery has been around for over 80 years. The founder, Fred Bear, was an expert marksman and won Michigan’s target archery championships three times – in 1934, 1937, 1939. Bear bows are known for being well made and – most importantly – they promote ethical shots or killing without needless pain. Bear products are also very affordably priced and give you a big bang for your buck.
Trophy Ridge has been around for a very long time. It’s the brand that came up with the world’s most popular arrow rest: the Whisker Biscuit. Trophy Ridge is actually a subset of the parent company Bear Archery. They mainly produce sights and archery accessories. Their bow rests are known for being affordable and of far-beyond-average quality.
Quality Archery Designs
Quality Archery Designs has been around since 1992. Their focus is on, like their name suggests, creating quality products that stand the test of time. They are based out of Madison Heights, Virginia and all their products are manufactured in the US. They have solid core values – like treating customers like family -, which they bring into their products. Their arrow rests are some of the best money can buy.
Arrow Rest Buying Guide
Want to find the best arrow rest suited to you? You need to know what to look for, then. The arrow rests we’ve included on this page are all excellent choices. If you want more options, you can also take a look at the products made by the brands above. Before buying a bow rest, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
Perhaps the most important consideration you need to make is for what purpose you’re going to use the new rest. If you’re looking for help with hunting, for example, you should steer clear of shoot through rests. Beginners will usually do better with containment rests, while many experts prefer the fall away ones.
Are the arrow types you’re using going to be compatible with the new rest? Will it damage the fletching? Containment bow rests can sometimes damaged real fletching, but they work fine with plastic.
Are you just starting out with shooting? A fall away rest might frustrate you, because it’s hard to set up, fine tune and use. If you want to have fun with shooting, you might be better off with a containment rest.
The best arrow rest for you will be one that suits your shooting style and personal preferences. Always read through customer reviews first before buying one you like. Some customers leave reviews after several months of use; reading those are a good indicator of a product’s quality.