As you gain experience on the range or in the tree stand, you realize that every little detail can make a difference in archery success. By choosing an arrow rest that guides the arrow without slowing it down, you can improve your accuracy without sacrificing speed. We've tested a lot of different arrow rests with a wide range of designs, features and prices. These are our favorites.
Best Arrow Rests At A Glance
Best Arrow Rests: Reviews And Recommendations
Best Overall: Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest
This is just our all-around favorite arrow rest. That's primarily because it combines the pinpoint accuracy of a drop-away rest with an easy installation and setup that most other similar models lack.
Specifically, all you have to do to install it is attach it to the riser. Then you can attach the timing cord via a clamp instead of having to worry about tying it on, which also means you can readily adjust it. Then, adjusting and centering the rest is easy because it has graduated measurement markers along with a full-draw indicator. You can align it vertically more accurately, too, thanks to its orientation on the front of your bow's riser.
Another reason this is our top rest overall is the quality, durable construction. It's made of tough stainless steel and finished in a way to prevent corrosion. As a result, it's a great option for those who hunt in extreme conditions like rain and snow.
Lastly, the HDX makes the top of our list because of its advanced features. For example, it has an advanced vibration system made of molded rubber that absorbs vibration from the arrow. This increases accuracy by making the arrow fly straighter, but it also improves your chances of a successful hunt because it decreases noise.
The HDX includes a DVD as well that makes installation that much simpler. It tells you how to attach the rest to your bow and then adjust it for the most accuracy.
- Easy Installation
- Adjustable timing cord
- Graduated adjustments
- Cable driven design
- Durable construction
- Rubber vibration absorbers
- Instructional DVD
As our top pick, we love this rest. Whether you prefer drop-away rests or not, we highly recommend it. Because it increases accuracy without any difficult installation and has the durability to last season after season, it's a great choice for any bowhunter or target archer.
Best For Hunting: Hamskea Trinity Hunter RH Micro Tune Black
This is our top hunting choice because of its consistent accuracy—and how easy it is to get that accuracy. It has both graduated horizontal adjustments and micro vertical adjustments along with a spring knob for internal torsion positions. The result is that you micro tune the rest.
The accuracy is also consistent thanks to Zero Stop technology. Basically, the rest's cable driven design causes it to reset the same after each use so that it always shoots the same way every time. In other words, after you've sighted in your bow in on the range, you can shoot hunting arrows confidently in the tree stand.
We also want to mention the Trinity Hunter's rubber design. Although we usually prefer felt, we actually like how the drop-away rubber V and the rubber containment make the arrow load consistently every time. You don't have to worry about the containment interfering with quick loading on a hunt either because there's an intuitive break in the containment ring.
Finally, the dampening coil minimized the main downside of the rubber design: higher friction. This lets the V drop away consistently without robbing too much speed from the arrow.
- We love the micro-tuning ability
- Graduated horizontal adjustment
- Spring knob
- Zero Stop technology
- Rubber V and containment ring
- Dampening coil
- Top-shelf price
- Rubber instead of felt
Because of the Trinity Hunter RH's ability to adapt to changing environmental factors, it's perfect for hunters. Moreover, its consistency means you can rely on it in any situation to take down big game so you don't have to walk back from the tree stand empty-handed.
Best Compound Bow Arrow Rest: Vapor Trail Archery Arrow Rest Pro V
If you're a compound bow enthusiast, the Pro V from Vapor Trail Archery might just be the rest for you because of its limb driven design. While this makes it a bit harder to install and adjust, once you get it into place, it's much more secure and capable of handling the large amounts of energy produced by compound bows. It also makes for better timing on the shot cycle.
Additionally, compound bow archers will love the accuracy. It has one of the best spring retention systems of any drop-away rest we've found, allowing you to adjust it to the length of your arrow so that it guides its trajectory but drops away at just the right time.
You don't have to worry about the rest robbing too much speed from the arrow either because it's covered with moleskin. This way you can take full advantage of the spring retention system. As an added bonus, the moleskin reduces vibration for more accuracy and a quieter shot.
A unique aspect of the Pro V is the finish: red and black. While this may seem a bit unorthodox, especially to hunters used to camo designs, it's actually not a problem at all if you're hunting. Deer are red-green color blind, so they won't notice the rest any more than your blaze orange vest. You, on the other hand, can see the red, so it draws your eye to the rest, giving you a quicker shot.
- Adjustable spring retention
- Secure and consistent installation
- Limb driven timing
- Moleskin covering
- Hard to install and adjust
You should look at the Pro V especially if you use advanced compound bows with a lot of power. It's great for target shooting but will increase your chances of a successful hunt as well. Its limb driven design and secure installation mean it can provide accuracy even when it has to absorb the high power of modern compound bows.
Best Containment Arrow Rest: Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Kill Shot Arrow Rest
The Whisker Biscuit has quickly become one of the most popular types of rests, containment or otherwise, thanks to its great value and pinpoint accuracy that's accessible even for new archers. Containment rests tend to be better options for beginners, and the Whisker Biscuit is arguably the best one, working just as well for experienced archers too.
The key to the Whisker Biscuit's accuracy is its full containment. Tiny bristles contain your arrow in 360 degrees so that the rest guides the arrow out of the bow along its entire length, creating as straight a shot as possible. At the same time, the bristles allow the fletching of the arrow to pass through seamlessly. This isn't a perfect system, and it does decrease arrow speed compared to drop-away rests, but it's definitely the best design you'll find for a containment rest.
Another thing that makes the Whisker Biscuit stand out is easy installation and adjustment. You can correct it for wind or other environmental factors while you're hunting, and it can be changed from right-handed to left-handed, again making this rest a good all around choice for any archer of any skill level.
As an added bonus, the Whisker Biscuit has rubber boots on the break in the containment ring. These help you guide the arrow into place without any extra noise, so you won't scare off your quarry.
- Great value
- 360-degree containment
- Easy installation and adjustment
- Right- and left-handed
- Rubber boots for silence
- Bristles slow arrow
- Hex keys required
The Whisker Biscuit is one of the most popular arrow rests for a reason. If you're a beginner, it provides unbeatable accuracy with minimal tuning and practice. If you're an expert, it's a straightforward rest that gets the job done and provides consistent shots regardless of loading.
Best For The Money: Aimdor Fully Enclosed Brush Arrow Rest
This is not the official Whisker Biscuit rest, but it is the same design in a budget package. If you need a good rest but don't feel like burning cash, you should consider this model from Aimdor.
Like the Whisker Biscuit, it's a full containment rest that guides the arrow in 360 degrees. In other words, the arrow can't diverge from its trajectory and must continue straight. Meanwhile, the brush bristles let the fletching through without slowing the arrow down, just all at a much lower price. Of course, we'd say that the bristles aren't quite as flexible as those of the name brand Whisker Biscuit, but they still work great if you're a beginner or on a budget.
In some respects, the Aimdor brush arrow rest outperforms the Whisker Biscuit. Specifically, its design is much simpler and straightforward, great if you're new to arrow rests. Adjustment is especially easy thanks to graduated measurements, not just on the horizontal axis but on the rotational axis so you can get the right angle for your needs. It can be changed between a right- and left-handed orientation as well.
Another great feature is the easily replaceable brush containment. After repeated use, the bristles can become bent, so they slow the arrow down while guiding less effectively. On this rest, you just have to remove the old brush and install a new one.
- Budget price
- 360-degree containment
- Straightforward installation and use
- Right- and left-handed
- Replaceable brush
- Stiff bristles
The bill for all your bow accessories never seems to stop racking up. With this full containment rest from Aimdor, your arrow rest doesn't have to add to it. While the budget price may be the main draw, this is still a great rest for hunting and target shooting, giving you the accuracy I'd expect from a Whisker-Biscuit-style rest with easy installation and adjustment.
Best for Recurve Bows: Bear Archery Weather Rest
Frankly there's not much to say about this arrow rest except that it's a basic, quality recurve rest that gives you stability and accuracy without compromising the spirit of recurve shooting. With a vertical guide and flexible finger, it straightens out the arrow without inferring excessively with the fletching. This is primarily due to the quality, nerf-like material.
On top of that, the Bear Archery Weather stick on rest is one of the most convenient rests you'll find out there. Installing it on your bow is easy because it has a self-adhesive back that fits just about any recurve bow model, right- or left-handed.
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- Flexible finger rest
- Soft, nerf-like material
- Self-adhesive installation
- Fits most recurve bows
- Budget price
- Basic design
- No instructions
You probably decided to shoot a recurve bow because you enjoy the minimalism and style. You can still get great accuracy without ruining that. A rest like this model from Bear Archery is made of the right material to guide an arrow with minimal interference to shoot straight without too many extra bells and whistles. While we recommend it as best for recurves, it will work on all types of bows.
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Best TruGlo Arrow Rest: TRUGLO EZ-Rest Lightweight Ultra Quiet Brush-Style Rest
TRuGlo is one of our favorite arrow rest brands, and the EZ-Rest is their best. It's a full-containment rest in the Whisker-Biscuit style, so it holds arrows in place and produces impressively straight trajectories.
The main thing that won this rest a place on our list of best arrow rests is its durable construction. It's designed to handle extreme weather and tough hunting situations. Additionally, most of its parts are replaceable including the brush and dual-coil launcher.
Adjustment is easy too thanks to graduated measurements and a simple design. Similarly, it can be easily changed between right- and left-handed.
- Containment in 360 degrees
- Durable all-weather construction
- Replaceable design
- Easy adjustment
- Right- and left-handed
- Stiff bristles
If you like the Whisker-Biscuit design and hunt in extreme conditions, consider this TruGlo alternative. Its tough construction keeps going in bad weather, and if anything gets damaged it's easy to replace, making it a great value overall.
Best Screw On Arrow Rest: BICASTER Archery Cushion Plunger + Arrow Rest
Magnetic rests have developed a kind of magical reputation in the archery community, and while they've never become as popular as other kinds of rests, they've always had their enthusiasts. This magnetic rest from Bicaster is a great option for recurve bow shooters primarily due to the included plunger. It will give you increased recurve accuracy by eliminating much of the archer's paradox if you're willing to regularly adjust it.
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Basically, the rest uses magnets to guide the arrow. This works really well as long as you can get it precisely adjusted, which is made easier on this model thanks to the micro adjustable needle.
The plunger then adds to your accuracy by maintaining the arrow's trajectory and avoiding the archer's paradox where the arrow flies at an angle, something more common with recurve bows. This can be fixed easily but securely to the riser of most recurve bows for stable, consistent shooting.
Finally, we love this rest's construction, which makes it stand out compared to other plungers and magnetic rests. Specifically, it's made of an aluminum alloy that decreases weight, helping hold the bow steadier, another thing important for recurves.
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- Magnetic rebound
- Micro adjustable needle
- Secure plunger
- Lightweight aluminum alloy
- Requires precise adjustment
If you're a recurve bow user, especially if it's primarily for target shooting, this Bicaster rest lets you fine tune your accuracy with advanced technology and a stable plunger. We were truly impressed with the quality and versatility of this rest for the price and recommend it for anyone looking for a quality arrow rest for their recurve bow.
Types Of Arrow Rests
There are two types of compound bow arrow rests, the drop away rest and the full capture rest or containment rest.
Let's take a look at both of them.
Drop Away Arrow Rests
Click here to see our top picks for best drop away arrow rest.
Drop-away arrow rests improve accuracy because they do exactly what their name implies: drop away. Rest designs vary but often include some kind of V or fork that supports the arrow as it leaves the bow, directing its trajectory in a straight line. Then, the instant the arrow is released, it drops out of the way and the arrow continues on its path unhindered.
There are two types of drop away rests, cable driven rests and limb driven rests. As their name implies, one is activated by the movement of the cable and one by the movement of the limb.
Both cable driven rests and limb driven rests provide the best accuracy and relatively trouble free.
Containment Arrow Rests
Containment arrow rests fully trap an arrow on all sides. This ensures as straight a trajectory as possible because the arrow can't jump in any direction, presuming that the archer is able to maintain perfect form. If the archer moves the bow at all between the time that the arrow is released and leaves the rest, the arrow will be off target.
There are even more variations of containment arrow rests than drop away rests. Most use bristles or brushes of some kind to contain the arrow because these bristles can then move out of the way of the fletching without reducing its velocity by too much.
Whisker Biscuit vs Drop Away Arrow Rest: Which Is Right For Me?
The drop-away design minimizes interference but also involves a lot of moving parts and requires a lot of adjustment. Because drop-away rests maximize arrow speed compared to other types of rests, they're ideal for serious hunters who want to shoot bigger game over longer ranges. However, they can be intimidating for beginners who don't know how to make all the appropriate adjustments.
Whisker Biscuits, on the other hand, provide good accuracy without much input on your part. This makes them great for beginners who don't have a lot of practice as well as more experienced archers who want something simpler. The only problem is they decrease arrow speed more than drop away rests, so if you're main concern is arrow speed, whisker biscuits may not be for you.
What is the best kind of arrow rest?
The best kind of arrow rest depends on your goals and skill level. You want to maximize three things: accuracy, arrow speed and ease of use. Drop away rests maximize accuracy and arrow speed while containment rests are much easier to use with less moving parts.. Experienced hunters should look at drop away rests while beginner bow hunters should consider containment rests, especially those in the Whisker Biscuit style.
What is the best arrow rest for hunting?
The best arrow rest for hunting is the Hamskea Trinity Hunter Arrow Rest.
While both containment and drop away arrow rests work well for hunting, a drop away rest can be a better idea if you are deer hunting or hunting other big game. That's because it will give you better arrow speed meaning more kinetic energy and better chances of a kill shot even if the animal is pushing your effective range.
What is the best arrow rest for target shooting?
The best arrow rest for target shooting is the Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest.
A drop away arrow rest is best for target archers because the rest has very little contact with the arrow, so the arrow will hit the target exactly where you aimed when you released it.
With a containment arrow rest, the arrow shaft is in contact with the rest for a longer amount of time, which will expose any flaw in your shooting form, such as torquing or twisting the bow after you have triggered your bow release.
Does a whisker biscuit affect accuracy?
Yes whisker biscuits affect accuracy by exposing any flaws in your shooting form, because the arrow is touching the rest for a period of time after the arrow is released.
How much speed do you lose with a whisker biscuit?
Whisker Biscuits usually slow down an arrow somewhere between 3 and 6 FPS. That's slightly more of a loss than with a drop away rest but still a marginal amount.
Are whisker biscuits quiet?
Yes, whisker biscuits are quiet, but there is some sound as you draw an arrow through the bristles. They are not as quiet as a drop away rest.
We have provided you with in-depth arrow rest reviews so that can be armed with the knowledge you need to buy the best arrow rests for your compound bow or recurve.
At the end of the day, it's less which type of arrow rest you get and more the quality of the rest. That's why you can't go wrong by choosing from tried and trusted models like those on our list. They provide accuracy while still preserving arrow speed for success on the archery target range or in the tree stand.
SEE ALSO: Walk Back Tuning A Bow And Arrow Rest
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