What’s the Best Survival Bow in 2017?

Do you want a durable, compact collapsible bow you can take absolutely any​where that has a really small footprint and fits inside your day pack or grab bag?

Maybe you are a keen survivalist... or maybe even one of the ever growing numbers of preppers? If you don't know what a prepper is a quick scout around the multitude of prepping and SHTF websites around today will fill you in with the details. In brief though a prepper is someone who spends time preparing for all eventualities. The next world war, the apocalypse, Zombieland, serious terrorist attack, you name it really.

A survival bow is a designed to fit with the requirements of these people and more and in this article we're going to take you through our top picks for 2017 and give you our winner.​

Our Best Survival Bow Picks for 2017

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.

Survival Bow Buying Guide : What Features do I Need?

Portability

The overall size and weight of the collapsed bow is a critical feature. This type of bow is something you want to be able to easily shoulder and carry in a case. It's something you want to be able to fit inside your day pack or bug-out bag. Nothing cumbersome and certainly nothing heavy.

Most of these types of bows will come with a carry case that you can use to store the bow when collapsed. The quality and extra functionality offered by that case should also be​ a deciding factor. Does it double as a quiver? How many extra pockets does it have? 

Price & Affordability

Depending on exactly what you want to use it for the price of a survival bow will have a  bearing on your decision. If you want something you're going to stick under the seat in your car or squirrel away in a secret cache then you probably aren't going to want to spend a lot on it. However if you intend to travel a lot, and practice regularly, better quality and design may be where you want to invest.

Bow Size / Draw Length

A longer bow will have a longer draw length. There are ways to easily measure your draw length for shooters of recurve and compound bows. Your ideal length of bow is a factor you probably won't be able to achieve when looking at a survival bow. Due to their defining feature being portability they break down small and that means they are shorter bows when assembled. A longer bow gives you a longer, smoother draw, a more forgiving shot. That isn't to say you can't be accurate with a survival bow, but they aren't designed for target archery competitions. A long bow that doesn't sacrifice portability is a better choice than a short bow that breaks down too small for your needs.

Durability & Corrosion Resistance

Survival situations are going to mean you may need to get wet or live in wet conditions. You're certainly going to take a few knocks and bumps along the way. When these things happen you  need the bow you've chosen to take those knocks and still work afterwards. It needs to be able to get wet and not start to rust. You also want it to be durable and to do this repeatedly over long periods of time, possibly years.

Arrows and Arrow Storage

A bow isn't much use without arrows. What arrows (if any) do you get with the bow? You can purchase take-down survival arrows separately if your choice does not have them included. A very useful feature of any survival bow (or included carry case) is storage of arrows. If the folded unit includes a handy place to store and protect arrows this is a bonus.

Left or Right Handedness

Modern recurve and compound bows come in left and right handed variants. The riser is cut through to provide a shooting shelf on which to rest the arrow so that it sits as close to straight with the path of the string as possible. A survival bow doesn't usually cater for this as the riser is normally a single piece of durable metal. There may be an offset between string and arrow path. This means if you're a modern bow shooter you'll need to adjust your aim to correct, much like you would if shooting a traditional longbow.

Not having a shelf does mean the bow becomes a truly ambidextrous bow that anyone can pick-up and shoot either left or right handed. This is something to be aware of. If you're in a survival situation with other people it may not be you that ends up needing to shoot your bow. The more people that can use it, the better.

Assembly

A collapsible bow breaks down into pieces, nobody has developed one that morphs out of a wooden staff just yet! Those pieces, how many there are, how easy they are to lose, and how they go together should be another factor in your decision. Something with lots of bits that you can't assemble quickly isn't what you want. You aren't going to find something you can just flip up and shoot. But you need to think about the pieces and how easy they are to keep track of. A survival bow that's missing one of the limb ends or a retaining bolt that fell out of the case is no use to you at all.

Styling / Appearance

The styling of a survival bow really isn't going to be much of a concern, when you're trying to survive you aren't going to care too much about how you look. The only caveat to this may be that you want to remain hidden and blend in with your surroundings. A camo finish on the bow would be a bonus in this situation. A non-reflective finish may also be a good idea for night hunting or even sunny situations so as not to scare prey. Certainly a bow that allows you to modify the finish yourself to suit your situation would be ideal.

Warranty

Different manufacturers give different warranty periods with their bows and will generally only ever cover the riser and limbs and not things like the string or arrow rest. A warranty on something you're going to tuck away and may not use for years is possibly not a major concern. Knowing what type of warranty comes with your bow is always a good idea.

Our Top Picks In Detail

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

A high quality survival bow made from aerospace grade aluminium and marine grade steel. Resistant to corrosion, coated with non-reflective covering. This  bow folds down small, (not the smallest, but small) into a 21" package and even has storage inside the riser for take-down arrows. The pieces are easy to assemble and have little danger of being lost. Assembled this is a 60" bow that is available in a range of draw weights from 45 to 55 lbs. It isn't the cheapest example, but it is one of the best appointed. The supplied camo-bag can also be used as a back quiver when the bow is in use. Read the full review here.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

Pros

  • Light
  • 21" day pack compatible folded size
  • Arrow storage inside the riser
  • Powerful 55 lbs draw available
  • Useful quiver / camo bag
  • Non-reflective coating
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • Arrows not included
  • Limited grip ergonomics

Xpectre Spectre II

This is a very affordable survival bow with a great price point. If comes in a choice of draw weights from 35 lbs all the way upto 55 lbs meaning you can get a lower draw weight bow. A lower draw weight is always a good choice if you aren't an experienced archer. The assembly for this bow is probably the quickest of all the bows we've reviewed. 3 pieces slot together and then you string it, simple as that. The carry case included is very basic but functional. This bow however is 23" long when folded so you need to be sure that fits inside your chosen day-pack otherwise you'll be carrying it on your shoulder seaprately. Read our full review here.

Spectre Compact Take-down Survival Bow and Arrow (55# Draw)

Pros

  • Low  to high draw weights 35, 45, 55 lbs
  • Tool free, speedy assembly
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • 23" folded size
  • Supplied arrows not take-down

Xpectre Nomad

The Nomad is the slightly more expensive brethren of the Spectre II. This survival bow breaks down to a pretty impressive 17" in length. That's short. In order to achieve this though the bow comes in 5 pieces, each limb is 2 pieces plus the riser. That is a few more to keep track of even though there are no tools required for the assembly. The Nomad also usually comes with 3 take-down arrows which is a big bonus. This is the smallest and most complete survival bow package available and even though it is more expensive than the Spectre it is still affordable. Read the full review here.

Nomad

Pros

  • Very compact 17" folded size
  • Supplied with 3x take-down arrows
  • Tool free-assembly

Cons

  • Only available in 45 lbs draw
  • Only 48" long when assembled

Verdict : Best Survival Bow 2017

Our choice for 2017 is:

The SAS Tactical Take-down Survival Bow
.

You get what you pay for.

Best Survival Bow 2017

My grandma is always saying that... the longer I live the more I think she's right. It doesn't always hold true, some things that are more expensive just aren't worth the money. Then there are things that are, and the SAS survival bow is one of them. The design is one of the best, it folds small and assembles into a decent size powerful bow with a good 31" max draw.

It has nifty features like being able to store 3 full arrows inside the riser, or 5 rear halves.

This helps to protect them as arrows are a vulnerable part of the package.

The supplied carry bag is camo, comes with 2 shoulder straps and doubles as a back quiver.

SAS used quality materials in the construction and coated them with non-reflective paint. They've done everything then can to make sure this bow is  a quality product and it shows.

This is our pick for the best survival bow for 2017.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

About the Author David James

Hi there! I'm Dave, the founder of targetcrazy.com. I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. I created this site to share my knowledge with you and help you make more informed choices! Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!

Leave a Comment:

4 comments
Andrew says August 10, 2017

Hey Dave!-Thanks for your review!-I am wondering about those arrows that break in half…are they any good?
I am thinking of doing a bicycle trip from South Africa to the top of Norway through West Africa..I am trying to find a bow that I can hide easily on my bike and hunt with or for protection…ya never know..anyway seems like the last bow you recommended is the go too…just wondering about those take down arrows?
Thanks again.

Andrew Cheyne

Reply
    Target Crazy Staff says August 10, 2017

    Hi Andrew, yeah, they’re based on the aluminum Easton XX75 Game Getter but cut and threaded so you can screw them together and whilst they’re not cheap they work great IMO!

    Reply
Derrin says August 12, 2017

If the situation allowed a full size one piece bow, wouldn’t a robustly built compound bow be better in a long term survival scenario? More powerful and more accurate with sights and release aid etc?
Thanks

Reply
    David James says August 12, 2017

    That might depend on how long term and exactly what your survival situation is! Maintenance of even a robust compound would be far harder than a survival bow like this one. String replacement on this bow is a pretty simple task. A compound (whilst smaller when assembled) would also be more cumbersome to transport, whereas this type of bow can be broken down stowed away in a decent sized backpack. I agree though a compound is in the right hands arguably more accurate and certainly more powerful, but these things come at the expense of modern technology.

    Reply
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