If money were no object – or if you only accept the very best – then Bow has once again lovingly compiled a list of the finest gear available. We’ve got lists dedicated to recurve and compound, this one is a selection of useful kit for all archers.
Houdini base layer
If you’re going to be heading out shooting in miserable weather for the next however many years, it’s important to make yourself feel as good as possible. Swedish brand Houdini was founded in the early 1990s to fill a gap in the market for specialised outdoors gear in a cold climate.
There’s plenty of other companies producing base layers and similar gear, but Houdini prides itself on using only recycled, recyclable, renewable, biodegradable or similarly certified fabrics. Good show. There’s many more good things about how it does business, which go some way towards justifying the price tag.
Price: from around £70 for a base layer
Tec-Hro recurve trainer
Bow reviewed this high-end indoor trainer in issue 152, and we were impressed. Using a magnetic clicker and a captive arrow, you can train indoors with your own riser and limbs. It’s not the first such device, but it’s been implemented with German attention to detail. It is suitable for use with bows up to 50lb in weight. A compound version is apparently in the works.
Price: 229 EUR
Cinch pop-up tent
These have been raved about to us by more than one person recently. With a wealth of modern features, including LED lighting, solar power, 6ft 2in of headspace, a lockable pocket, dual-layer doors and a colour-coded takedown system, the Cinch tent intends to redefine high-end camping but with the speed of a pop-up tent. If getting out and competing over weekends is your thing, this might just transform your season.
Price: from £250
The Cauldron jig is a three-vane advanced fletching system produced at the Bohning factory in Michigan. The snap-in inserts are easy to change and don’t require tools, so you can switch from a three-degree right helical to a one-degree left offset in a few seconds.
You can leave the nock on your arrow and get perfect indexing by twisting the dial at the bottom of the jig to rotate your arrow. The pressure ring adjusts to accommodate different diameters of arrows. Available in two different configurations, this is the ultimate fletching tool for precision accuracy.
Price: from around £90
Mantis X8 Shooting Analysis System
Smart technology has become part of our everyday lives; there’s a computer somewhere constantly relaying information to us. The Mantis X8 attaches to your bow and analyses the smallest of movement patterns, which even the human eye cannot see. It streams the data via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone or tablet to give you real-time feedback on your shooting mechanics.
Not for novices, the Mantis X8 is an unparalleled piece of technology that will change the way you train your body and mind to shoot – an absolute game-changer and possibly indicating the future of archery.
Price: around £140
Leica Trinovid 10×42 binoculars
Famous for its cameras, decades of history, German engineering – and very high prices – Leica remains one of the most iconic brands of all time.
Compared with its cameras and lenses, these binos are an absolute bargain. With full rubber body armour, outstanding image sharpness and impressive contrast and colour fidelity, they will be able to spot line-cutters at 90m without a problem and should last you a lifetime – which is more than you can say for
that bow you bought last year.
Price: from £1,000
SKB iSeries 4214 Bow case
We’ve usually recommended SKB over the closest rival brand, Peli (known as Pelican in the US), for hitting the price/weight/performance mark more effectively. With single and double cases available, and models optimised for both recurve and compound, SKB serves the archer with exactly what they need – rock-solid hard cases with style and multiple top-end features. It includes watertight, military-grade construction as standard.
Price: from around £300
Jack Wolfskin Aspen Texapore boots
These mid-height winter boots were a recommendation from top shotgun shooter Becky McKenzie in one of Bow’s sister publications; gun shooters, like archers, also have to deal with British rain and mud. In her words: “They are waterproof, warm and downright comfortable.
“They are simply the best boots I have ever owned. They have fluffy stuff peeping out the top and they keep my feet warm and dry like no other boot ever has.” That’s the sort of recommendation we like. These come with a solid winter sole.
Price: from around £80
More at jackwolfskin.com
Angel custom tournament quiver
Handmade in Japan, these remain the reference point for leather tournament quivers, and are still the choice of many top professionals, even if there has been a more general shift to field quivers in recent years. (Angel makes one of those too.)
However, the wait times are notoriously long perhaps because allegedly they are still all handmade by the same guy. Incredibly customisable, you can choose the base colour for your quiver to be red, blue, black or white, then choose from up to nine colours for the stripes and stitched trim. Then you only have to add your initials. Or something else.
Price: £170 plus extra for customisation
Swarovski ATX/STX scope
When you really want to see exactly where that arrow has landed, in the most exceptional clarity, using an extraordinarily expensive tool designed for well-heeled birdwatchers, you need one of these. Lightweight, modular, and upgradable, these redefine edge-to-edge sharpness. A special eyecup has been developed for specs wearers to further increase viewing comfort. You wanted the best, right? Well, here it is.
Price: from £1,950