10 Best Arrow Rest in 2018 – Ultimate Reviews & Comparisons

Best-Arrow-Rest

The sport of archery has been growing like crazy over the past few years, and there are more bowhunters around the world than ever before.

 Like any other sport or hobby, people have their preferences on equipment, and one of the most important pieces of equipment on the bow is the best arrow rest.

Whether you’re looking for a top-of-the-line drop-away rest or a beginner’s rest to learn on, we’ve got you covered with reviews of 10 of the most popular arrow rests on the market today.

With most modern archers leaning towards drop-away rests, we’ll review the most popular of those, along with some beginner rests that are more economical and easier to use.


Best Arrow Rest - Comparisons


Image

Name

Type

Weight

Price

TRUGLO-DOWN-DRAFT-Cable-Driven-Full-Containment-Drop-Away-Arrow-Rest

Truglo Down

Drop-Away

4 ounces

Trophy-Ridge-Whisker-Biscuit-Kill-Shot-Arrow-Rest

Trophy Ridge Whisker

Whisker Biscuit

4.8 ounces

Tabiger-Arrow-Rest-for-Compound-Bow-Hunting

Tabiger Arrow Rest

Whisker Biscuits

4 ounces

New Archery Products

Any-Away

4 ounces

Quality Archery Designs

Drop-away

7.2 ounces

New Archery Products

Drop-Away

8.8 ounces

Sportsman Supply Inc

 Fall-Away

7.2 ounces

Vapor Trail Limbdriver

Drop-away

5 ounces

Ripcord-Code-Red-Drop

Ripcord Code Red Drop

Drop-away

6.4 ounces

Quality Archery Designs

Drop-away

8 ounces


Here are our reviews for 10 of the most popular arrow rests in the archery world.


 1.  Truglo Down-Draft Drop-Away Arrow Rest

TRUGLO-DOWN-DRAFT-Cable-Driven-Full-Containment-Drop-Away-Arrow-Rest

Truglo has long been known as one of the pioneers in providing new technology to the archery world, most notably for sights.

However, it looks like they are making their mark on the drop-away arrow rest game with the down-draft arrow rest.

It looks like a hybrid of the two drop-away rests we reviewed previously. It has a circular arrow housing that is large in diameter, but very thin on the outside.

The entire top containment arm is made of rubber, and the launcher arms are also completely soundproof, as they are rubberized except for the small part that contacts the arrow.

This is mainly for speed reasons, as if the arrow was to be sitting on rubber, it would drag, and we’d lose some precious FPS. One thing that the down-draft rest has that others do not is a little valley where the launcher arms fall upon taking the shot.

We found this to be hugely beneficial so that there is no bounce-back with the arms, which could cause fletching contact while the arrow is being released.

The one downfall of this design is that there is no arrow containment by the launcher arms unless in full-draw.

Like the QAD HDX, the down-draft arrow rest does not require a bow press to be installed into the down bus cable.

It also comes with a clamp, but during installation, we found this clamp to be very sturdy and well-made. 

Instead of the clamp just wrapping around the cable and being tightened around it, the rest string is tightened into the clamp itself, and then that is attached to the bus cable.

We found it to be a sturdier connection between rest string and bus cable than others with this technology.

The windage and elevation adjustment is nothing to write home about on the down-draft arrow rest. 

It is required to use Allen wrenches, and while it does have machined measurement markings, these markings are in white, so on the camouflage version of this rest, they were hard to see in low-light conditions. 

What we liked

  • The valley for the launching arms to fall into was an excellent feature. There was no worry of bounce-back at all.
  • Great with bows of 40-pound draw weight and lower

What Could be Better?

  • While the circular arrow housing is rubberized, the product does not seem as sturdy as others with the same design due to less aluminum and more rubber.
  • Lack of arrow containment was a concern. Just like the NAP Apache, the arrow rolls around in the housing.


 2.  ​Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit Kill Shot Arrow Rest

Trophy-Ridge-Whisker-Biscuit-Kill-Shot-Arrow-Rest

Trophy Ridge has been providing archers with innovative products for years, but when they took their shot at revamping one of the most classic arrows rests in the game, they knocked it out of the park. 

The Whisker Biscuit has been very popular with newer and younger archers, along with people who do not like the idea of the drop-away rest and its moving parts. 

The second the arrow is loaded, it is not moving again, and the rest provides 100% arrow containment. 

These facts make the rest popular right off the bat. The circular arrow housing is filled with hard bristles that keep the arrow in place whether you’re climbing a mountain or your bow is hanging in a tree. 

On the outside of the housing, there is a small opening for the arrow to slide in and out, and thankfully, Trophy Ridge used a rubber capping on these to avoid any metal on arrow contact. 

The adjustments for windage and elevation on the Kill Shot Whisker Biscuit are right in line with most rests at this price point. 

They require an Allen wrench, but one nice thing about the Kill Shot’s windage and elevation adjustment in the presence of obvious and precise measurement markers. There are markings every 1/8 of an inch, so the user knows exactly how much they adjusted. 

When we were broadhead tuning with the Kill Shot, this made it very easy to know exactly how much was needed to adjust.

Additionally, because this rest is so popular with younger archers, the kill shot comes in seven different colors, which is not extremely common in this world so that each archer can add a bit of personal flair to their setup. 

What we liked

  • The simplicity of this rest is its best feature. Easy to use and install. Dependable.
  • We like the style! Having seven different color options is cool, for young folks especially.

What Could be Better?

  • As mentioned in the review, the rest housing is filled with bristles to keep the arrow in place. This is nice, but they did a number on our arrows. After about 50 or so, the fletching on the arrows was not in great shape, especially for the arrows that were wrapped.
  • No elevation adjustment.

 3.  ​​Tabiger Arrow Rest (Whisker Biscuit)

Tabiger-Arrow-Rest-for-Compound-Bow-Hunting

We’re headed back to the Whisker Biscuit world to look at the most economical choice on our list.

Regarding basic design and image, it looks almost identical to the Trophy Ridge Kill Shot that we reviewed earlier, but Tabiger is known for entry-level equipment, and there are some distinct differences between the two Whisker Biscuits.

The Tabiger arrow rest is the same idea as all other Whisker Biscuits, where the circular arrow housing is filled with bristles that keep the arrow contained fully. 

There are rubberized corners where the arrow is loaded, and it comes in two color options: black and a basic camo option. 

Right away, you’ll realize that the rest itself is a hardened matte composite rather than metal like all other rests we have reviewed. This is some cause for concern, but the Tabiger arrow rest is designed with younger and newer archers in mind, and this shouldn’t be an issue for them.

Just like the Kill Shot Whisker Biscuit, there is no elevation adjustment, but again, rookies will not need to worry about this, as they will not be taking longer shots. 

Overall, the Tabiger rest is an excellent option for new archers and folks that are just learning. It’s not suggested for high-end bows, as it will not keep up with the speed and the depth of the bristles will hinder performance. 

What we liked

  • Simple and reliable is a great model, and this delivers on that.
  • Full arrow containment.

What Could be Better?

  • The composite material feels cheap.
  • he bristles will damage fletching like most Whisker Biscuits.

 4.  ​​​New Archery Products Quicktune 360 Arrow Rest

New-Archery-Quiktune-360-Capture-Arrow-Rest 

This is another rest on our list that is not a drop-away style arrow rest. New Archery Products (NAP) has designed this ultra-affordable rest with newer archers in mind.

It has complete arrow containment from the moment the arrow is loaded until it is released.

Like the Whisker Biscuit, it is held in place with some hardened bristles, but not entirely contained by them like the Biscuit. 

The arrow housing has an opening at the top for the arrow to be loaded, and while there is some rubber on the edges, there are stainless set screws very close to the arrow loading area, which could cause some metal on arrow contact.

The arrow sits on a rubberized shelf, and on the top corners of the arrow is where the bristles come in and hold the arrow in place.

One of the biggest complaints with rests of this style is the fact that the fletching must go through some sort of resistance as the arrow is shot. NAP designed this rest with minimal materials that will not contact the fletching upon arrow release.

When we tested this, we did not notice the arrow coming off the rest with any weird movement, and when paper tuned, it shot perfect bullet holes, which is a sign that the fletching is not being affected by the rest. 

Given how easy it is to install this rest, NAP did not make it adjust the windage and elevation.

The Quicktune needs Allen wrenches like many rests, but the measurement markings for adjustments only span 1 inch, while many rests reach at least 2.5 inches.

While broadhead tuning, this was slightly annoying, as there was not much space to work with.

The windage bar is silver aluminum, while the remainder of the rest is made up of black aluminum. This is not necessarily a big deal, but there was no need to change it up.

What we liked

  • We like full arrow containment, and the Quicktune delivers. There was no arrow movement when the arrow was sitting idle.

What Could be Better?

  • The stainless set screws on the housing where the arrow is loaded will cause noise when loading an arrow.

 5.  ​Quality Archery Designs (QAD) Ultra-Rest Pro HDX Drop Away Rest

Quality-Archery-Designs-Ultra-Rest-HDX

When Quality Archery Designs (QAD) rolled out its ultra-rest HDX, it revolutionized the drop-away arrow rest game. 

Endorsed by many professional archers and bowhunters, the HDX checks all the boxes that are important to hunters and archery enthusiasts. Unlike many drop-away rests, the HDX can provide total arrow containment while the bow is sitting idle.

QAD refers to this as the “capture” phase where once the arrow is loaded, just spin the thumbwheel, and the launcher arms will be raised and locked, holding the arrow at an 80-degree angle.

At full draw, the arms flatten the arrow to 90 degrees for the straightest possible flight. After the shot is released, the launcher arms fall to 0 degrees and stay that way, guaranteeing complete arrow fletching clearance. 

During testing, we had zero fletching contact, which is the most important aspect when looking at a drop-away arrow rest. 

Another thing that QAD did well with the HDX is the sound and vibration dampening. All parts of the launcher arms are wrapped in whisper quiet felt, and the thumbwheel is rubberized. 

This thing is extremely quiet in practice. One thing that QAD does with all of its rests that not many others do is provide a clamp to install the rest string to the down bus cable. 

This requires no bow press or serving skills, like many drop-away rests need for installation. They call it the “EZ-Clamp,” and it is a great idea. 

What we liked

  • The total arrow containment and lock-down technology are superior to many rests.
  • The sound and vibration dampening technology is impressive. No extra noise.

What Could be Better?

  • The “EZ-Clamp,” while making installation easier, did not seem that strong when installing the rest. Moreover, the fact that QAD only provides one of these with each unit, if it breaks in the field, you’re out of luck.

 6.  ​​New Archery Products Apache Drop-Away Arrow Rest

New-Archery-Apache-Drop-Away-Arrow-Rest

One of the most trusted names in the archery world is NAP, or New Archery Products. 

For years, it’s been providing archers with reliable equipment, and the Apache Drop-Away Rest is no exception. Made of 100% machined aluminum, this thing is tough as nails and has some cool features to go along with it.

Unlike the QAD, the Apache cannot raise the launcher arms without being in full draw, but it makes up for it with by having an octangular-shaped enclosure or housing, so the arrow does not roll out of the launcher arms. 

NAP did a great job of making sure the arrow housing is wholly soundproof and avoids any arrow to metal contact by covering the house in a thick rubber. The launcher arms are also included in felt to prevent any metal to arrow contact at all. 

One of the coolest things about this rest is the ability to make windage and elevation adjustments without any tools. Most accessories in archery, in general, require a set of Allen wrenches to make these adjustments, but NAP smartly chose to provide us with toolless micro-adjustment.

Instead of finding the correct-sized Allen wrench and struggling to move the rest to the left 1/8 of an inch, the user can loosen the set screws by merely spinning the micro-wrench on the rest and making easy adjustments.

Unlike the QAD line of rests, the Apache Drop-Away requires that the rest be installed through the bus cable, and to do so requires a bow press and string serving skills. 

This is not a huge deal, as it is usually a one-time thing, but it does require some extra equipment to get it done. 

What we liked

  • The toolless micro-adjustment is just so easy and seamless to use. We loved this feature.
  • The rest string that attaches to the bus cable was much thicker than others we tested.

What Could be Better?

  • The lack of arrow containment was a bit annoying. The housing for the arrow is large and quiet, but the arrow moves around a lot when not in full draw.

 7.  ​​​Sportsman Supply Inc. Trophy Taker Extreme SL Arrow Rest

Sportsman-Supply-Inc.-Trophy-Taker-Extreme-SL-Arrow-Rest

Another drop-away rest from Trophy Taker, the Extreme SL has similarities to the others we looked at, but also lacks some of the newer technology we have seen in other rests. 

Similar to many drop-away rests, the Extreme SL has a circular housing for the launching arm, but the Extreme SL has a huge housing, which is nice for arrow fletching clearance. 

The launcher arm itself is noticeably thicker and sturdier than most others and is also covered in a whisper quiet felt material. One thing that was very noticeable with the Trophy Taker SL was how much aluminum went uncovered by felt or rubber. 

While the launcher arm is covered in felt, the bottom of the housing and the base of the launcher arm are not. This was immediately noticeable upon installation and loading an arrow. Once at full draw, the Extreme SL is very quiet through the shot. 

Ninety percent of the housing is exposed aluminum, and since there is no arrow containment when not at full draw, the metal on arrow contact was easily the most we experienced during testing. 

Another drawback of the Extreme SL is that there is no elevation adjustment, just windage, which is very odd and gives off the appearance that this drop-away is not made for the serious bowhunter who needs to broadhead tune properly. 

The rest string is a braided black chord, which is very strong upon initial installation. 

What we liked

  • The rest just feels sturdy. The launcher arms are thick.
  • Great room for arrow fletching clearance.

What Could be Better?

  • The distinct lack of vibration and sound dampening is prevalent.
  • No elevation adjustment, which is hugely important when broadhead tuning.

 8.  ​​​​Vapor Trail Limbdriver Pro-V

Vapor-Trail-Limbdriver-Pro-V--1

Up to this point, all the drop-away rests that we have reviewed have been the type where the rest string attaches to the down bus cable.

This next rest is one that I personally used for several years and attaches to one of the limbs on the bow instead.

Vapor Trail Archery, best known for its arrows, came out with a limb-driven (hence the name) rest a few years ago and have been perfecting the design ever since.

The housing is an oval shape like many rests, but what is different is the launcher arms are not really arms. The arrow sits in the V-shaped groove on the launcher bar, and when the arrow is released, the launcher falls away with the tension of the flexing limbs, and there is total arrow clearance.

The V on the launching bar is covered in a whisper quiet felt like many others, but the bar itself is a red aluminum. Luckily, the arrow never contacts anything but the felt-lined V, so noise is not an issue. 

The biggest issue with this rest is the installation. As stated before, the Limb Driver Pro-V is a drop-away rest that uses the tension of the arrow limbs rather than the down bus cable. 

When we installed this, it was stated that the rest string could be attached to either the top or bottom limb. We chose bottom due to not loving the idea of having a large string running next to the sight.

Installation was easy, and since it isn’t a bus cable-driven rest, there was no need for a bow press or serving. This rest was the fastest to drop during the “eye test.” When the limbs flex during the full draw, the tension on the rest string is tightened, and the spring-loaded launcher arm is raised.

When released, the limbs flatten, and the launcher arm falls away and stays away, as the spring is now in a relaxed state. There was no noise, and the fletching clearance was never an issue. 

What we liked

  • The quick-falling launching arm was amazingly smooth.
  • The installation instructions were clear and easy to follow.

What Could be Better?

  • The launching arm could be completely felt-covered. We worried about possible broadhead contact when loading the arrow.

 9.  ​​​​​Ripcord Code Red Drop-Away Rest

Ripcord-Code-Red-Drop-Away-Rest

Ripcord Technologies is a drop-away rest maker that has released numerous versions of the Ripcord, and many of their followers think they have perfected it with the Code Red version.

One thing we noticed right away with this rest is it looks very similar to the QAD Ultra Rest series, but it has a more minimalist feel to it. 

The Code Red offers total arrow containment in a high-armed launcher that is lined with rubber. Where the arrow sits is a beautiful felt, which is nice because you’d rather not have the arrow released while sitting on rubber. 

This could cause drag, and the arrow might not come off straight. The launcher arm is connected to a stainless-steel bar and is very shiny. This could have been avoided with a black powder coat.

The exciting and intriguing thing about the Ripcord series is the noise and vibration dampening, and the fact that it has more internal components than any other rest we have reviewed. 

Since the locking mechanism that keeps the launcher arm down after release is internal (like most), the dampening system is also internal, which is not very common. 

The string that connects the Ripcord to the bus cable is exceptionally thick, and there were no initial worries about this breaking in the field or in practice.

Installation does require a bow press and serving of the rest string into the bus cable, but many folks (like myself) prefer this method. 

What we liked

  • The full arrow containment is simple and effective.
  • Quiet and well-designed sound and vibration dampening features.

What Could be Better?

  • The material that attaches the launcher arm to the body of the rest could be better. It is stainless steel, and in a hunting setting, it could reflect upon the sun. 

 10.  ​​​​​​Quality Archery Designs (QAD) Ultra-Rest LD

Quality-Archery-Designs-(QAD)-Ultra-Rest-LD

A more economical option than the QAD HDX that we reviewed first, the QAD LD is another winner from Quality Archer Designs. 

The same general style of rest with felt-lined launcher arms and safety bar, the LD also has arrow containment ability. Installation for this rest was identical to the HDX and uses the same “EZ-Clamp” to attach it to the bus cable. 

The lock-down technology and total arrow fletching clearance is also consistent from the HDX to the LD, and as most archers would say, that is the most important thing for a drop-away arrow rest.

There are a few differences between the rests though, and while the LD features fewer bells and whistles, it is still a very reliable drop-away arrow rest.

The thing that is most noticeable is that the thumbwheel is not rubberized like it is on the QAD HDX. 

In a hunting setting, this is notable, but unless you’re attempting a shot from a long distance, the tiny amount of vibration won’t cause an animal to hear anything. 

For some hunters who are really into their equipment’s appearance, the LD may not be the best choice, as it is only available in black. 

Another slight difference with the LD is that the rest string that attaches to the bus cable is not nearly as thick and strong as those of other rests.

We were worried about the string quality because if that were to break during a hunting trip, that would mean game over. 

What we liked

  • The total arrow containment and lock-down technology is very good.

What Could be Better?

  • The lack of vibration dampening on the thumbwheel is a concern. There must be a better choice than plastic.

The Most Important Aspects of an Arrow Rest

Being a seasoned bowhunter and archery enthusiast, I am very particular about my gear and what goes on my bow. I only use drop-away rests, and when I choose one, I look for arrow containment and guaranteed fletching clearance.

I think noise control is slightly overrated, but it is still something that I look for. 

Most of the time, the noise caused by an arrow being released won’t give the animal enough time to react, but if I can reduce that chance, I certainly will. 

Another thing that is very important is the material it is made from. Hunters are going to put their equipment through the toughest conditions, and having gear that comes out the other side working flawlessly is essential. 

Anything less than 100% aluminum is not going to be headed to the woods. It is the most durable. Just make sure to dry it when finished to avoid any discoloration or rusting. 


Choosing An Arrow Rest | Arrow Rest Comparisons By Garrett Weaver


Wrap Up

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to choosing an arrow rest, and there are good options in all price ranges. 

The products above vary in price, and if you’re following the directions and all the safety procedures, any rest will work. 

Just make sure that the arrow is sitting level at full draw, and your fletching will not hit anything on the way out, and it’ll work just fine.

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