Our top picks for a wide range of archery gear on the market, from clothes to scopes and everything in between
It’s the beginning of a new year, and you’re super fired up about it. This is the year: you’re going to shoot like never before. Nothing is going to stand in your way, so let’s look at the latest and greatest archery kit on the market right now that will get you to where you want to be, or just make you really excited to get behind a bow. We’ve looked at compound and recurve elsewhere, so this time we’re looking at everything else.
OMP Phoenix Fletching Jig
October Mountain Products’ brand-new Phoenix fletching jig offers an incredible amount of functionality when compared to others on the market today. Constructed out of rugged diecast and machined aluminium, its super-strong magnets keep the vane clamp solidly in place while the glue sets.
It’s quick and easy to adjust, with five degrees of offset adjustment, all at the turn of a knob. You can also choose from three different fletch configurations — three-fletch 120°, four-fletch 90° and four-fletch ‘X’ 75°x105° — and three clamp options — straight, right or left helical.
The open design of the jig gives you easy access to both sides of the fletching, so catching those messy glue runs won’t be a problem any more. There’s even a bunch of handy cut-outs to help organise your fletching accessories.
Price: $124.99 (with one clamp); $24.99 per additional clamp
MD50 Gear Archer’s Release Trainer
Every archer needs a little help with their shooting form sometimes; fatigue and bad habits can creep in which can lead to poor results and even target panic. MD50 Gear has the solution with this Archer’s Release Trainer. Made from top-quality US latex resistance tubing with a solid aluminium formed insert, the Archer’s Release Trainer is fully adjustable to match your draw length, your release tension and your holding weight.
It feels just like a bow in your hand; simply attach your release aid to the D-loop and practise your release technique anywhere you want without the risk of dry-firing. The Archer’s Release Trainer helps to eliminate target panic and execution problems through repetition – a must-have for every compound archer looking to improve their shot accuracy and shooting form.
SITKA Gear Range Pant
The Sitka Gear Range Pant is the only pair of trousers in the world that come with a built-in arrow quiver and some other really cool archery-specific features. Versatile, comfortable and stylish enough to wear away from the archery field, the Gear Range Pant is designed to enable the seamless transition between practice and everyday living.
Made from tough stretch Cordura with a durable, water-repellent finish, these trousers are packed with storage options; from an arrow compartment for both micro-diameter and large arrow shafts to a cam holder, a recurve limb rest, release aid, tool pockets and an accessory attachment loop – you’ll wonder why you ever wore anything else.
Artemis Lite App
It’s still only available for Android, which will immediately limit its potential market, but this remains the reference app for scoring and coaching and is used by many elite-level archers and high-performance programmes around the world.
With more than 100 pre-configured rounds, you can start plotting your practice or competition session immediately, and get real-time advice. It’s now integrated with the Bowdometer data gizmo too.
Price: In-app purchases, contact for details
We’ve recommended these before, but this company continues to impress us year after year, especially as the wait times for Angel quivers are now over three months. VLBB is based in Hungary and manufactures all kinds of high-quality archery leatherwork to order, for archers who demand the very best.
They started just making tabs but have expanded out to many other items. Its field quiver design has a secret pocket and multiple options for leather, closures and personalisation. There’s no belt included, but they can make you one of those too. Exceptionally good. Can now be ordered via Merlin Archery in the UK.
Price: From around £150
SKB iSeries 4214 Bow case
Once again, we’re recommending SKB over the closest rival brand, Peli (known as Pelican in the USA) for hitting the price/weight/performance mark better. 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. If you need a hard case (and not everyone does), this is the one.
Price: From around £300
Contra base layer
There are plenty of other companies producing base layers and similar gear, but many of them focus on ‘atheletic’ bodies, when archers are, as we know, all shapes and sizes. Contra is an offshoot of the Parkrun project you may be familiar with, focusing on getting people out and running on a Saturday morning.
All their gear is available in sizes from XXS to 5XL, and focus on well-made, ethically sourced products from one end to the other. This is their Haga base layer in green marl, with merino wool, and it will keep you warm on a shooting field whatever the weather.
Price: From around £19
Many field archers use a wide-brimmed hat to protect from multiple elements and stray foliage. Some bow styles allow you to shoot in them too; if not, you’ll need a chin strap to allow for quick removal and replacement.
The Tilley hat is a classic outdoor adventuring hat that should last a lifetime – if you believe anything lasts a lifetime in the woods. Tilley offers a lifetime guarantee where they will repair or replace your hat due to poor workmanship or faulty material. This is the AirFlo version.
Price: From £45 and up
Vortex Viper HD scope
If you want a scope for life, this comes with some heavyweight recommendations. With ArmorTek coating, it promises “knockout colour fidelity, superb light transmission and edge-to-edge sharpness” – and for this price, so it should. Uniquely, Vortex offers an unlimited life warranty on its scopes. With a huge 85mm objective diameter, it’s made in Japan to exacting standards, and is reassuringly heavy. One for the Range Rover.
Price: From around £965