You rarely see a professional target shooter or hunter without a stabilizer fitted to their bow. Bow stabilizers help to reduce vibration, torque and noise when you shoot. They also help to stabilize a bow when you're aiming it. Add all those things together and you get a pretty compelling reason why you should look into investing in one. We've compiled this list of some of the best bow stabilizers on the market today just for that reason.
- Trophy Ridge Static - 'One of the best on the market'
- LimbSaver S-Coil - 'The most affordable, over 1 million customers'
- SAS Archery Aluminium Stabilizer - 'Affordable quality'
- Bee Stinger Sport - 'Industry leading, highly rated, customisable and versatile'
- Stokerized 9 Carbon Harmonic Dampening Stabilizer - 'Proven dampening tech from Stokerized and Mathews'
Stabilizer with a Camera
- Tactacam TA-FB-FB 2.0 Bow Package - 'An excellent bow stabilizer camera'
Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.
Bow Stabilizers Explained
How does a bow stabilizer work?
Stand up and put your arms down to your side. Twist your shoulders from side to side. It's pretty easy to do. Now extend both your arms out in front of you and try again. Harder isn't it? Having the weight of your arms out in front of you adds considerably to the force you need to be able to twist your torso.
Now think of a bow string pushing 70lbs of force when it is released. Just like a drag race car when it accelerates that force is going to be difficult to keep in a straight line. Your bow will have a tendency to twist or 'torque' due to those forces. Having a stabilizer out front helps to resist that twisting motion.
What's the purpose of a bow stabilizer?
There are three things that will improve when you have a stabilizer attached to your bow.
Your aim will be steadier. The weight of a stabilizer will naturally resist any sway or small movements introduced by your muscles as you move it to aim on the target. It will stabilize your aim.
Bow torque will be reduced because the stabilizer will resist the bow twisting from side to side as the force of the string is released. This will help to keep the arrow on target improving your accuracy.
Vibration will be dampened. Just as torque is resisted, the same goes for vibration. The stabilizer will help to absorb oscillations in the bow and vibrations through the string. This will have the effect of making the bow quieter and easier on your hands.
Is a bow stabilizer for accuracy?
A bow that resists torque, twists and vibration will shoot more consistently over one that doesn't. It won't make you a better archer, but it will improve your groupings and the feel of your shots.
Can you use a bow stabilizer on a recurve and compound bow?
Most modern recurve and compound bows come with bushings that will allow you to fit a stabilizer. Old school instinctive, traditional and longbows don't always come with these fitments, so it's best to check. A stabilizer will have the same stabilizing effects on both recurve and compound bows.
Target vs hunting stabilizers
Target archery stabilizers, both recurve and compound are considerably longer than hunting stabilizers. A target archers stabilizer can be 31" in length, whilst a hunters may only be 5". The longer the stabilizer the more stability it will provide as the further that weight it out front the harder it is to move and the more it will resist torque and vibration. A hunting stabilizer needs to be compact and practical whilst a target archery stabilizer can be long and unwieldy.
Bow stabilizer cameras
For the ultimate in show-off technology you'll probably want to look at a bow stabilizer camera. The same fitments that you use to screw in your stabilizer can also be used to hold a camera. This is simply the best way to record and share your hunting experiences.
What's best for hunting?
Hunting stabilizers ideally need to be camo to fit with the rest of your hunting gear (if you wear camo). They also need to be light, and compact. It's not practical to use the length of stabilizer you'd find on a target archers bow out in the field.
Stabilizers screw into your bow. You may well have to remove the stabilizer to get the bow into the case. You don't want to be screwing and unscrewing that stabilizer every time you go to store your bow. There are devices call quick-disconnects that add allow you to quickly remove the stabilizer from your bow. These leave you just with the disconnect in place, which is considerably smaller than the entire stabilizer.
Video - Tips on Choosing a Stabilizer
Trophy Ridge Static
One of the best stabilizers on the market at the moment comes from Trophy Ridge. This is available in a compact 6" for hunting, and a longer 9" length for target shooters. It has been designed to be ultra light to make it good for all users and also has an aerodynamic design that will allow air to pass through. This greatly reduces the effects of wind being able to move the bow. Useful when you're hunting or shooting outdoors in windy conditions.
Black, camo (realtree apg) and pink styles are on offer. Those skins cover the copolymer makeup of this one. Honestly, I don't really know what Ballistix Copolymer is exactly comprised of but apparently it makes this stabilizer 25% lighter than one made from aluminium without sacrificing anything in durability. That's a real bonus for all the user base as keeping weight down is essential in a bow you may be holding for a long time.
Another plus point for this is the inclusion of 2x 1 ounce weights allowing you to change the feel of the stabilization. It also comes with a braided wrist sling.
- Customizable weight
- 6" or 9" lengths
- Copes with windy conditions
A coiled / spiral design from LimbSaver that uses their proprietary NAVCOM material to dampen vibration. NAVCOM is a rubbery elasticy type material that is designed to absorb vibration through the audio frequency spectrum from 10 to 30,000hz. It's not only used in bow stabilizers but has other applications in sports, recreation, aerospace and consumer electronics.
The S-Coil stabilizer has apparently been sold over 1 million times and is the most popular selling product ever made by LimbSaver. It's not hard to see why, the price point is excellent, these are very affordable. This isn't the prettiest thing you'll ever see attached to a bow in any of the available color combinations. It does look like a big rubber coated spring.
The spiral design is claimed to help reduce not only vibration, but recoil and bow jump, to give you a smoother feel and noise reduction in your shot. This one only comes in a 4.5" length which is pretty short in comparison to other stabilizers.
- Very Affordable
- NAVCOM Material
- Alleviates noise, vibration and bow jump
- 4.5" only
- Not pretty
SAS Archery Aluminium Bow Stabilizer
SAS (Soutland Archery Supply) have developed a name for creating some really good archery products at affordable price points. They've managed to do it again with this simple but effective aluminium bow stabilizer. This is precision machined from aluminium so it is light and strong. It's available in plain black or camo finishes and comes in 3 lengths 5", 8" and 11" to to suit your preference and usage. The weighting isn't adjustable however it's a relatively inexpensive route into adding a stabilizer to your bow to help you discover stabilization benefits in general.
- 5", 8" and 11" options
- No adjustable weights
Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme
Bee Stinger are one of the industry leaders in archery stabilizers. They make stabilizers for both hunting and target archery. This particular model comes with 3x 1 ounce weights that you can use to fine tune the weight and balance of your bow to your exact liking.
Inside this stabilizer are a series of components designed to dampen harmonics and resonation from the string release. This helps make your shot both quieter and easier on your bow hand.
This stabilizer also comes in a wide range of sizes, 6", 8", 10" and a wide range of colors. You can get this in sandstorm, pink, 12 different ones to be exact. Something for everyone, and some of the color choices are named to match with the skins of popular bows. However, you may find even though your bow is 'Lost Camo' that the stinger interpretation of this skin isn't an exact match. Maybe that's down to copyrights or just lack of inter-company communication. It's going to be similar, just don't expect them to be exactly the same.
This is a well tried and well tested stabilizer used by many bowhunters. You won't go wrong adding 8" of stinger to your setup.
- Large range of colors / skins
- Harmonic Dampening
- Adjustable weight
- Wide range of sizes
- Bow color/skin matches sometimes off
Stokerized 9 Carbon Body Harmonic Dampening Stabilizer
Now we move up the range into things a little more on the professional and expensive range. Stokerized stabilizers are probably twice or three times the price of other stabilizers in this list. Some people swear by them and will tell you they're the only thing that worked to really deaden their bow.
This carbon body stabilizer includes rubber harmonic dampeners developed by Mathews. A dampener is designed to simply absorb vibration and not add much weight to the stabilizer. These are purposely tuned to dampen a high degree (75% claimed) of residual vibration from your bow.
One thing is for sure, if you're patriotic then you'd be purchasing a well machined, solid product from an all American company.
- Mathews harmonic dampeners
- All American
- Solid and Durable
Bow Stabilizer Camera
Tactacam TA-FB-FB 2.0 Bow Package (includes Stabilizer)
If you want to record your hunt or shooting session to share or keep why not combine bow stabilization with a camera? There's no better place to mount a camera than out front of the bow as it won't interfere with your bows natural balance.
This is a one touch, low light, waterproof, rechargeable and shock-resistant . This is a 12mp HD camera that will record in full HD (1080p @ 30fps). The lens is designed to deal with fish-eye and make the pictures look like what you see yourself.
In this particular package you get the tactacam inside a flat black bow stabilizer. This is not going to be anywhere as good as a standard stabilizer designed to do nothing else but stabilize. But if you're able to shoot without your stabilizer whilst you record, then this is going to be the ideal position for a camera to capture every second of the action.
- No fish-eye
- Shock resistant
- Stabilization Mount
- Poor bow stabilization properties vs dedicated stabilizers
Anything to share?
I hope this roundup was useful and led you in the direction of a some quality stabilization for your bow. Please let us know if we're missing your favorite and need to add it to this review, or if there are any aspects of any of the above we've not covered correctly! Either leave a comment or send us some feedback!