Some hunters will tell you a stabilizer is a crutch, only serving to correct an improper bow draw weight. While correct that reducing the bow poundage will help improve steadiness and accuracy, they are dismissing the additional benefits of silencing the bow that stabilizers provide.
Adding a properly sized stabilizer to your bow is going to improve the balance of the bow in your hand, increasing accuracy. The vibration dampening materials help kill bow vibrations during and after the shot for a more silenced bow.
There are quite a few bow stabilizer styles to choose from, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Each one is best suited for specific situations and bow setups. We will cover what factors to consider before you make a purchase, and discuss what type of bow hunter is best suited for each bow stabilizer we recommend.
In This Guide
- Quick Picks: Best Bow Stabilizer for Hunting
- Bow Stabilizer Comparison Table
- Before You Buy: Bow Stabilizer Considerations
- Bow Stabilizer Recommendations
- Frequently Asked Questions
Quick Picks: Best Bow Stabilizer for Hunting
- NAP Apache Stabilizer
- Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme
- Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer
- SAS Archery Aluminum Stabilizer
- Limbsaver WindJammer
- Truglo Deadenator XS
- Bee Stinger Pro Hunter Maxx
- Limbsaver S-Coil
Bow Stabilizer Comparison Table
Here is a table to compare sizes and weights of the top rated bow stabilizers. Each one has it’s strengths and we get into that further down into our top picks.
|NAP Apache 5″||5.0″||5.5 oz|
|NAP Apache 8″||8.0″||7.5 oz|
|Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme 6″||6.0″||Adjustable|
|Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme 8″||8.0″||Adjustable|
|Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer||6.0″||Adjustable|
|SAS Archery Aluminum||5.0″/8.0″||5.3/6.5 oz|
|Limbsaver WindJammer||7.0″||13.0 oz|
|Truglo Deadenator XS||4.6″||4.0 oz|
|Bee Stinger Pro Hunter Maxx 8″||8.0″||Adjustable|
|Limbsaver S-Coil||4.5″||4.7 oz|
Before You Buy: Bow Stabilizer Considerations
Before you choose your stabilizer, there are a few things you’ll want to think about. Keep in mind what kind of hunting you typically do, and how much weight and vibration dampening you need.
Stabilizing vs Silencing
Modern bow stabilizers perform both stabilizing and silencing tasks. Their construction utilizes materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, and rubber to enhance the way a bow shoots. The length and weight of the stabilizer are what contributes to improved steadiness in the hand, and therefore can improve accuracy. Competitive target archers use extra-long stabilizers for that very reason.
Fortunately, hunting with a bow doesn’t require that level of sophistication. Bowhunting stabilizers place the weights out front to counterbalance your draw and to help negate the effects of wind while you hold for the shot. Dampening materials incorporated into the stabilizer help kill post shot vibrations that can be the difference between success and startling a wary whitetail.
A longer, heavier stabilizer in the 9” to 10” range, weighing 8 ounces or more will help more with accuracy. However, that much material sticking out front of the bow is too cumbersome in a tree stand or blind. A 10-inch plus stabilizer will be best suited for open terrain hunting as you find in western North America.
On the opposite side, a short 3” to 4” stabilizer doesn’t help much to improve accuracy, only dampening. Stubby, short stabilizers are typically best for youth and beginner bow hunters.
A medium range stabilizer, in the 5” to 8” lengths is just right for most bow hunters. That is long enough to see gains in accuracy, while also doing an excellent job silencing the bow. Choose a 5” or 6” model if you hunt in tight quarters like a blind or when stalking. An 8” would be excellent when you need to maximize your shot accuracy.
An adjustable stabilizer is a smart choice when you prefer having the ability to change weights based on conditions. Some of the models we selected have removable weight discs, allowing the archer to customize the feel of their bow at any time. Likewise, sidebars may be added to offset the weight of add-ons like quivers and rests.
Offset Bow Stabilizers
An offset design can compensate for center line balance that other bow mounted accessories like a quiver, rest, or sight can add. An offset stabilizer is usually much more expensive than a standard model and not typically necessary in our opinion. In addition, if your bow has an offset mounting hole, you do not need an offset stabilizer.
Bow Stabilizer Recommendations
Here are our top bow stabilizer recommendations. Some models are available in more sizes than shown, but we selected the size best for hunting. We discuss the pros and cons of each model, and detail its purpose and best use so you can choose the best bow stabilizer for your own bow.
NAP Apache Stabilizer System
- Length: 5” and 8”
- Weight: 5.5 and 7.5 oz
- What we Like: The 8” model can be converted to the 5” by unscrewing the extension tube.
- What we Don’t: Not adjustable beyond the extension tube.
The NAP Apache is our top recommendation for bow hunters. There are 5 inch and 8 inch versions, but for our money we would get the 8 inch. The 8 is identical to the 5, except it has a 3” carbon fiber extension that screws on the end for the extra length. Just remove that and you have the shorter 5.5 ounce stabilizer. The only drawback is depending on your bow, it might not fit in your case unless removed.
The Apache looks killer on any bow in either the black or camo patterns. The rubber dampener discs do an excellent job at squelching vibrations and silencing bows. The NAP Apache is competitively priced for how well it performs, which is why we consider it to be the best bow stabilizer for the money.
Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme
- Length: 6” and 8”
- Weight: Adjustable with three 1 oz discs.
- What we Like: Adjustable weights and great dampening technology.
- What we Don’t: A little on the expensive side.
With the Sport Hunter Xtreme, Bee Stinger has packed some cool dampening technology into a deceivingly simple looking device. Inside the carbon fiber shaft is a Sims harmonic dampener insert, and attached to the end is a large rubber dampener. Working together, these two components reduce the vibration delivered from the limbs to the riser, and on into the stabilizer.
The other benefit to the Bee Stinger is the weight selection. It’s as simple as using any combination of the three 1-ounce discs, which is why we feel it is the best adjustable bow stabilizer for hunting. We also like that the weights are much smaller in diameter than on the Pro Hunter Maxx. The 6” Sport Hunter Xtreme is a smart size for being in the tree stand, and if you can manage, the 8” Bee Stinger is even better.
Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer
- Length: 6”
- Weight: 6-7 ounces
- What we Like: Looks great on any bow, and adjustable weights.
- What we Don’t: No longer comes with internal dampers.
Trophy Ridge came up with a truly unique design for their Static stabilizer lineup. Instead of a simple tube with threaded studs, they came up with a skeleton like frame built from their lightweight Ballistix composite material. It’s supposedly 25% lighter than aluminum in the same size. The hollow design is intended to allow wind to pass through without pushing on your aim. Many user reviews confirm that this design indeed helps cut the effect of wind.
There are two 1 ounce disc weights for adjustments, and are attached by a large dampener that threads into the end. The Trophy Ridge used to come with 2 dampeners that mounted inside the frame, but that appears to be no longer the case. Most likely they were providing little benefit in the first place. Choose from the 6″ or ultralight 9″ model in black or RealTree XTRA camo.
Limbsaver S-Coil Stabilizer
- Length: 4.6”
- Weight: 4 ounces
- What we Like: Attractive price.
- What we Don’t: Hard to feel the benefits on some bows.
The S-Coil is an extremely popular hunting stabilizer, mostly due to the nice price. That is not to say it doesn’t perform well, because it does for most people. With so many positive reviews, we recommend the S-Coil as the best cheap bow stabilizer for bow hunters.
It is very similar to the Deadenator XS in size and weight, but utlizes a diferrent geometry to knock down vibration noise. The S shaped coil increases surface area of the NAVCOM elastomer. More surface area typically means better vibration dissipation. The regular S-Coil has plain camo finishes, while the HD S-Coil has the upgraded RealTree and Mossy Oak camo patterns.
TruGlo Deadenator XS
- Length: 4.6”
- Weight: 4 ounces
- What we Like: Compact with molded rubber vibration reduction.
- What we Don’t: On the lighter side, but expected with the short length.
Some hunters just don’t like the idea of an 8 inch accessory hanging off their bow, but want to improve the bow silencing. If that describes you, the Deadenator XS is one of the best short bow stabilizers. It’s only 4.6 inches long, but has rubber dampening fins molded down the length of the shaft. Then there is the Tru-Touch soft touch coating for silent install and removal. All in all this is non-obtrusive stabilizer that works great for hunting.
- Length: 7”
- Weight: 13 ounces
- What we Like: A heavier option in a bow hunting size.
- What we Don’t: Discontinued by the manufacturer, supplies limited.
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If the medium sized stabilizers don’t do it for you, the WindJammer might be the deal. This stabilizer is two or three times heavier than regular options, but in a bow hunting friendly size. The extra weight can help you hold aim against stiff crosswinds, making it one of the best heavy bowhunting stabilizers.
This is not an adjustable stabilizer, but does have threaded inserts to add counterbalances or additional vibration dampening. The tube is made of aircraft grade aluminum and filled with the exclusive LimbSaver NAVCOM elastomers for vibration absorption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a bow stabilizer help with accuracy?
Longer stabilizers will help improve accuracy more than shorter models. There is a balance you must find as a bowhunter, though, as a longer rod hanging off your bow frame can catch on branches and generally be pain in the rear. Stick with medium sized models for the best of both steadying and silencing attributes.
What size stabilizer is best for bowhunting?
Bow hunting in the woods requires a mid-sized stabilizer. Choose something from 5” to 8” in length, and 4 to 7 ounces in weight. These sizes will give you the performance needed for hunting with a bow.
If all I do is bow hunt, do I need a stabilizer?
No, you do not need a bow stabilizer to hunt, but it could be the missing piece to your setup. Adding this simple piece to your bow can tighten up your groupings, steady your aim in windier conditions, and suck up those little vibrations in your bow that can startle a deer in the fraction of a second it takes for the arrow to hit.
Product Images courtesy Cabelas.com