12 Best Crossbows 2021 – Top Rated Crossbows For The Money
Last updated: 18 February, 2021
I am presenting here the 10 best crossbows that I have found so much lightweight, accurate, durable, and yet cheap in prices. I have tested many among them and a few of them are literally everyone’s choice who loves and understands the importance of a crossbow.
With the passage of time, the crossbows have modified in the latest forms, equipped with the latest technology and things have added into them to make the experience of the user excellent. I have compiled a list of the 10 best crossbows and you can choose any among the reviewed ones with closed eyes.
Best Crossbows Comparison table:
Wicked Ridge is a crossbow made by TenPoint Crossbow Technologies and Invader 3 is one of the best crossbows they made in the line known as Wicket Ridge.Read Our Review
1. Barnett Terrain 330 FPS – Top Rated - Best of The 2021
- Dimensions: 33 x 14 x 8 inches
- Weight: 6 Pounds
- Speed: 330 feet per second
- scope: 4x32
The most important and prominent quality of this crossbow is its range because this crossbow is pretty perfect more than 350 feet which is actually a sensible range as per the hunting techniques.
Overall, I found this a powerful hunting weapon in my hunting journey and I honestly love this model because it so reliable, accurate, and powerful with a compact frame. Even if you gave up hunting with crossbows, this model will bring you back in the hunting and you would really love hunting with Barnett Train.
On the other side, this crossbow is an economical price of under $300 and it weighs less than 7 Lb. This is made with pure stainless steel which means it’s solid and powerful. It comes with a Nock sensor and ADF eliminates dry fires on the behalf of Trigger Tech Technology.
It also includes a scope of 4×32, rope coking device, two 20-inches Headhunters arrows, and lube wax. If you are confused about its assembling, then I must clear that it comes fully assembled, and rest you will get rid of confusion after reading the comprehensive user manual inside.
- Low Weight
- Suitable Small Frame Shooting
- Scop – Quiver
- Comes With Lube Wax & Extra Arrows
- Inferior Eye Relief On Scope
2. Wicked Ridge TenPoint Invader G3 – Latest Technology - Latest Technology
- Dimensions: 37.75 x 19 x 8 inches
- Weight: 6.6 Pounds
- Speed: 330 FPS
- scope: TenPoint 3x Multi-Line
Wicked Ridge is a crossbow made by TenPoint Crossbow Technologies and Invader 3 is one of the best crossbows they made in the line known as Wicket Ridge. It is a high-quality crossbow made keeping in mind the unique needs of a professional hunter as well as those who take hunting as a hobby – from time to time.
While it is everything that you should expect from a high-quality crossbow, it is surprisingly lightweight. It weighs 6.6 lbs. without accessories. It is a thing of beauty because not only it comes with all the accessories that you’d ever need for a crossbow, it makes it easier for you to keep them with you while hunting.
It takes the things from where its predecessor Invader HP and makes them more interesting with its proprietary crossbow technologies. One of them is their patented ACU-52 retractable rope cocking system that is installed in the butt of this crossbow.
The only thing that the free scope that you get with this crossbow is not as good as customers expect and the rope cocking mechanism is very noisy.
- Complete Package
- Composite Bow
- Accurate Shooting
- Cheap Scope
3. Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow – Best Selling - Best Selling
- Dimensions: 33 x 11 x 7 inches
- Weight: 11.3 Pounds
- Speed: 320 feet per second
- scope: 4x
But accessories aren’t something that you’d buy a crossbow for – it has to be spectacular from all aspects. For example, let us start with the high-quality velocity-speed wheels which make it super swift and easy, and comfortable for you to cock the crossbow.
They have a crank attachment installed in the stock that makes it easy for you to install a crank cocking device. What is a crank coking device? Just like Invader G3’s rock rocker, this crank cocking device helps with cocking the crossbow. However, the style is not the same – it has a fishing rod-like handle that makes things easier when compared with Invader G3’s system.
The quiver that comes with the package is a quick detach one – have it then and there to use or just detach it for packing or a different setup. Another thing to praise Barnett for is the crosswire string and cable system – it is made to sustain pressure and it complements the velocity-speed wheels of this crossbow.
While it is a lightweight crossbow, it is not as lightweight as Invader G3 is – its weight without accessories is 8.5 lbs.
While customers mostly love this crossbow there are certain problems that I must mention –just like the crossbow that I’ve reviewed above, this one also comes with a cheap sight.
- Complete Package
- Veloci-Speed Wheels
- Quick Detach Quiver
4. Barnett Jackal Crossbow – Complete Package - Quad Limb High Energy Wheels
- Dimensions: 33 x 11 x 7 inches
- Weight: 7.7 pounds
- Speed: 315 feet per second
- scope: 28mm Single Red Dot Scope
This is another amazing crossbow from Barnett. This one is also not just a crossbow, but a complete package. This package also includes the same items – a quiver, 3 arrows with 20 inches size each, and a red dot sight. About the last item – I really think that Barnett should rethink this and either offer a good sight with the crossbow or remove the cheap red sight from the package.
The first thing that you notice about this rainbow is the innovative design of the butt – it makes it easier for the user to hold the crossbow in more than one way. And the second thing is the camouflage design of the crossbow.
The high-tension string and cable system work perfectly with the compact Quad Limb high-energy wheels and a rope cocking device. Speaking of the rope cocking device, just like in the case of the previously reviewed Barnett crossbow, this one also does not come with one so customers have to buy it separately.
The strong metal AVI foot stirrup is there to help you with cocking the crossbow with a cocking rope in case you want to have one. And just like that, it has got a very high-quality (metal) AVI bolt retainer that you would never have any problem with.
- Package Deal
- 315 FPS Shooting Speed
- Quad Limb High Energy Wheels
- Cheap Red Dot Sight
5. Excalibur Matrix Grizzly – Simple & Effective - With Free Accessories
- Dimensions: 35 x 10 x 6 inches
- Weight: 3.2 Ounces
- Speed: 5.5, Arrow Weight min 350gr
- Scope: Vari-Zone Scope
In case you are not content with the glittering technologies and options provided by the crossbows that I’ve reviewed so far and you want something simple and reliable, I will suggest you go for Excalibur’s Matrix Grizzly.
After all, the crossbow is not rocket science – it is not even a gun. It is based on the simple and yet effective design that served the knights and warriors for centuries. Excalibur’s Matrix Grizzly brings simplicity and accuracy to how you use your crossbow to shoot an arrow.
To cock this crossbow you can use your yang power or rely on a simple and effective rope cocker – unlike other crossbows that are not very easy to decock, you can decock this one easily (won’t have to shoot an arrow in the ground).
Another plus point is that this crossbow is made for those who love military-style – camouflage design crossbows. It does not only look strong – it is made of very sturdy and durable materials. The scope alignment (you get a free scope with the crossbow) makes it super simple to immediately aim at a game the moment you see it.
- Simple and Effective
- Decocks Easily
- Free Accessories
- Not a Composite Bow
6. Barnett TS 390 – Excellent Accuracy - Adjustable Stock
- Dimensions: 33 x 8 x 14 inches
- Weight: 7.6 Pounds
- Speed: 390 Feet Per Second
- Scope: 4x32 Scope
In case you want to up your crossbow game and you’re willing to buy an expensive crossbow that is worth the price attached to it, Barnett’s TS390 is the crossbow to get your hands on.
Also, if you love durable, high-quality, sturdy material and military-style crossbows – this one is worth the shot. It has a pleasing camouflage pattern with a handle that makes it super easy to carry it and hold it in more than one style.
It is a Step-through riser crossbow – this type of crossbows is considered ideal because they are not as heavy as other crossbows and they have a small size too. You feel easy carrying such a crossbow. The string dampeners on this thing take care of a problem that many customers of other crossbows deal with – they allow you to shoot arrows with stealth and silence.
The only problem that I can mention is that the cable needs to be waxed more than what you usually do with other crossbows.
- Side-Mounted Quiver
- Complete Package Deal
- Quiet and Accurate Shooting
7. Barnett Whitetail Pro STR – High Quality - Side Quiver
- Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Weight: 6.9 Pounds
- Speed: 400 Feet Per Second
- Scope: 4x32 illuminated scope
For the fans of big and durable crossbows with camouflage color scheme and side-mount quivers, here is another great crossbow from Barnett.
This one is a composite bow though. This one also comes with a package and unlike usual package deals from Barnett and other companies, this one has got a 4 x 32 illuminated scope – which is not the best one out there, but definitely not a cheap one. This has got a patented step through riser that makes it very easy for users of this crossbow to cock the bow.
Since it is a big and massive crossbow it is slightly overweight when compared with its competitors; without any accessories, its weight is 6.9 lbs. The accessories include a sight, side quiver, rope cocking device and 2 high-quality Headhunter arrows whose size is 22 inches.
Just like the previously discussed Barnett crossbow, this one also has string dampeners that allow you to be in stealth and silence mode while hunting a big game.This one also has a CNC machined aluminum flight track like the previous one – because of its fine quality, it makes the shooting process smoother and quitter.
A nock sensor makes sure that everything remains checked and to keep you from dry firing and thus causing possible damage to the cable, Barnett has included an anti-dry fire trigger system that makes dry fires impossible. However, there is this problem (the only one I could find) that needs to be fixed; even though this bow is anti-dry fire, it dry fires at times.
- 4 x 32 Illuminated Scope
- Side Quiver
- Package Deal
- Dry Fire Problem
8. Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Fast Speed - Trigger Tech Technology
- Dimensions: 33 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches
- Weight: 1 Pounds
- Speed: 350 Feet Per Second
- Scope: 4x32 scope
Another composite bow from Barnett. As a matter of fact, this one is yet another package deal; it includes a composite crossbow, 4 x 32 scope, rope cocking device (it can be installed in the strategically designed butt of this crossbow), quiver, and two Headhunter arrows: 20 inches each.
Apart from these – there is free lube wax. There is a problem with most of the Barnett crossbows and it is with this one as well; you need to use the string lube more than what you do with other crossbows.
The Trigger Tech Technology, used in this crossbow, has only and only one purpose – to shoot the arrow in a free-floating and smooth movement. If you’re sick and tired of triggers that malfunction and that is hard to use – you would love how smoother and lighter this crossbow’s trigger is.
In Barnett’s terminology – this technology assures zero-creep release. The knock sensor and anti-dry firing mechanism make it a crossbow that will not breach your trust in the hour of need.
All this being said, this is not an ideal or flawless bow – it comes with the biggest problem that you find in composite bows. You cannot decock it in any way other than shooting the arrow in the ground.
- 4 x 32 Scope
- Package Deal
- Trigger Tech Technology
- Not Easy to Decock
9. Crosman’s CenterPoint AXCS185CK – Customized - Highly Durable
- Dimensions: 33 x 14 x 8 inches
- Weight: 185 Pounds
- Speed: 370 FPS
- Scope: 4x32 mm scope
The machine rail is for smooth, fast, and quick shooting. It is because of these small touches that this crossbow can shoot an arrow at an amazing speed of 370 feet/second.
The butt of this crossbow is customization to use with the shoulder or without that. It looks exactly like the folding butt of a rifle and the purpose is to satisfy those who prefer military-style stock and butt in a crossbow. Just like Barnett introduced cable dampeners to reduce the noise and allow users to have a quiet shooting experience, this company installed integrated string suppressors on this crossbow so you can do it in a stealth mode.
As far as the design is concerned – it is an ambidextrous design. This means that irrespective of whether you’re a righty or lefty, you can use this crossbow with equal efficiency and control. There are a few small issues that a few customers of CenterPoint bow have mentioned – one of them is about the scope. It is not an illuminated one.
- Highly Durable
- Customizable Butt
- Quiet Shooting with String Suppressers
- Scope is not Illuminated
10. Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 – Impressive Aim - Decocks Easily
- Dimensions: 35 x 10 x 6 inches
- Weight: 6.2 Pounds
- Speed: 400 FPS
- Scope: Tact-zone scope
This is the second crossbow from Excalibur in this list and just like the previous one, this one is also not a composite bow, This is a big, bulky and impressive crossbow – made for durability and colored camouflage. As far as its butt is considered, it is good to support different hand and shoulder positions.
The most amazing feature of this crossbow is the FPS (foot per second) limit – its range is bigger than any other crossbow on this list; it can shoot 400 feet per second. With a rope cocker, you can easily cock your Excalibur crossbow anytime and in case you end up breaking the cable, you do not have to run to the city to get it fixed – you can install the extra cable anytime you end up breaking the old one.
The best thing about this bow is that you decock it with ease and comfort. The Matrix compact limbs that they added to the Bulldog 400 make your shooting experience better. This crossbow also has a guardian anti-dry fire system that you can control with ease (located right behind the scope).
The camouflage on this thing is with a purpose – it is not like the other crossbows that you’d find on this list. They used a real tree camouflage which is ideal for hunters. The Tact-Zone illuminated scope on this crossbow is not like cheap-quality red dot sights that you mostly get with the package. The side-mounted quiver with 3 arrows makes it a perfect combo.
I Like Most
Let us first discuss the first part about what I like the most about crossbows or the qualities a good crossbow must possess.
The crossbows that we use today are the modern form of medieval crossbows and they were actually an advanced form of the bows that were being used by contemporary armies in different parts of the world. The best crossbow would be one that is small in size and big in its fps range.
What I like about modern crossbows is how they managed to reduce the size and increase the range with modern technologies e.g. composite bow.
Apart from the decocking problem, I do not think there is any other problem that would keep a crossbow lover from buying a composite crossbow. My personal favorite is Barnett TS390. What I love about this crossbow is the attention to detail that it exudes from every angle.
Take the 4 x 32 illuminated scope for example; unlike the cheap red dot sight that comes with most of these crossbows, an illuminated scope boosts your chances of hunting a big game at night.
- Impressive FPS (400)
- Comes with Accessories
- Decocks Easily
- Not Made for Fans of Composite Bows
- Composite Crossbow – There is nothing wrong with composite crossbows. Yes, advanced and complex technologies and designs make them a little tricky. There is that decocking problem – but you cannot ignore how easier they are to handle and how effective those technologies make them.
- Simple Crossbow – A simple crossbow like Excalibur’s Matrix Grizzly can make things interesting for those who dislike composite crossbows for their complexity and decoking issue. Not only it is very easy to decock these crossbows, but they offer a mix of simple and fast shooting with fps as much as 400 feet per second.
- Step Through Riser – Riser is the last part of a crossbow at the shooting end – it is a metal frame that you can see while shooting an arrow. The step-through riser can be a good combination with a crossbow that needs a rope cocker.
- Shoot Through Riser – A shoot-through riser has a bend or ring through which the arrow makes its way at the time of the shooting. It is preferred because it gives the shooter better control and it improves the shooting experience.
What are best targets for crossbows?
Which is cheapest but excellent quality Crossbow?
Which crossbow is best under $300?
In the end, your crossbow is the most important piece of equipment that you take to hunting. As they suggest for martial art and just like a Samurai makes his katana a part of his body, the best crossbow is one that can be juxtaposed with your personality and person.
You can pick a big and badass crossbow, but in case you’re a short person or you do not know how to handle it, a small crossbow with decent fps is all that you need.
Choosing a crossbow should be conditioned more with what you need, what you can easily deal with and what you’re a master of – instead of material, style and camouflage color, etc.
THE TEAM THAT WORKED ON THIS REVIEW
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- Comparison Table
- Best of The 2021 Barnett Terrain 330 FPS – Top Rated
- Latest Technology Wicked Ridge TenPoint Invader G3 – Latest Technology
- Best Selling Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow – Best Selling
- Quad Limb High Energy Wheels Barnett Jackal Crossbow – Complete Package
- With Free Accessories Excalibur Matrix Grizzly – Simple & Effective
- Adjustable Stock Barnett TS 390 – Excellent Accuracy
- Side Quiver Barnett Whitetail Pro STR – High Quality
- Trigger Tech Technology Barnett Whitetail Hunter II – Fast Speed
- Highly Durable Crosman’s CenterPoint AXCS185CK – Customized
- Decocks Easily Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 – Impressive Aim
- Buying Guide