This is a review of the best survival bows.
I have been practicing archery for over 10 years and continually incorporating it into my survival practices as well.
Whenever I have gone out and put myself into practice survival scenarios, a survival bow has always been one of the first pieces of gear that have made its way into my pack.
While my experience in archery and survival goes back into my early years, I have also made a lot of mistakes.
The first bow I ever brought out with me overnight was a compound bow that I used for bow hunting. I figured it was the same thing. Little did I know what there was to still learn.
Over the years my experiences with survival bows have grown and I’ve learned to pick out the best from the worst, and I’m here to present the best today.
A survival bow is going to be the key to turning any dangerous survival situation into something that you can get through.
With the right survival bow, you’ll be able to feed and defend yourself in any survival situation, which will greatly increase the likelihood of your survival.
To get the best survival bow, I dug deep into the world of survival archery.
I have found the SAS Tactical Survival Bow to be the best option when you’re looking for a reliable and durable bow to throw in a bug out bag or have ready for any situation.
The SAS Tactical Survival Bow was made for this exact use. It goes from 60 inches while strung down to a compact 21 inches when folded up.
It weighs a meager 2.2 pounds, or just one kilo, which makes it easy to pack away and forget about until you need it.
It’s so easy to get this bow from it’s folded travel state into use mode that it just can’t be matched.
Arrow speeds get up to 210 FPS with the 55-pound bow, and that’s hard to match with anything on our list.
All-weather arrow rests are installed to get you the truest aim even when the sky is coming down on top of you.
I don’t see any reason to not throw this bow in a bug-out or INCH bag if you’re wanting a serious bow that will outperform the rest.
We all shoot differently and there’s a different bow for every different use. To try and narrow the field down a bit, I’m including a list of bows that are hopefully going to fit different needs.
So, we’ll dive straight into the rest of our list of the best survival bows in 2021!
6 Best Survival Bows: Our Picks
SAS Tactical Survival Bow – Best Overall Survival Bow
- Incredibly portable and foldable build
- Powerful draw weights of 50 or 55 pounds
- Incredibly lightweight
- Save on both space and weight in a survival setup
- Know the bow will still perform well in most weather
Like I mentioned earlier, the SAS Tactical Survival Bow is by far the best survival bow out there today.
It has been designed exactly for the purpose of being lightweight and portable without losing too much power.
When you are ready to go you can quickly pop this into place with a flick of the wrist and be ready to fire in a short moment.
This bow will be in your bag when you don’t need it, and you’ll barely even notice it’s there. The light weight is incredible because it doesn’t affect the durability of the bow.
It will last you for weeks on end of continual use if you take care of it. This is exactly the kind of bow I was looking for when I was building my INCH bag and SAS built it for me, you, and all preppers alike.
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow – Best Value
- Fiberglass limbs with maple core
- Ergonomic grip for comfort
- Limbs come off for portability
- A high quality bow for a lower price
- Choose your draw weights from 25 to 60 pounds
The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a great value for the price you pay and the quality of bow that you receive.
Not only does it provide you with great value, it also is great for those that are just learning and developing their shooting abilities.
You can start off with a low draw weight of 25 pounds, buy the limbs separately and ease yourself up to the max of 60 pounds.
This bow is incredibly strong and reliable, allowing you to feel comfortable putting this one through the ringer.
The maple wood core is protected by fiberglass on the limbs to give durability and strength to the high performance of maple.
The warranty on this one is good but you need to watch out if you’re not using a proper stringer.
TopArchery 56” Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow – Best On a Budget
- Aluminum riser
- Fiberglass and maple arms
- Affordable price
- Get high amounts of power
- Easily taken apart for portability
- Save money for other gear
The TopArchery Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is built like a takedown recurve bow, but has the compact and lightweight design that you need for survival. There’s no sacrifice in power that you find in a lot of other survival bows.
The limbs are made with a maple wood core and a fiberglass exterior. The high tension and low compression of the maple give you the quick response that traditional wooden bows have, but the fiberglass adds to the power of this bow.
If you’re a fan of recurve shooting then you’ll find yourself getting the same benefits with this bow to get you impressive power and dead-on aim.
The aluminum riser is incredibly strong and will stand up to the weather as you’re out there for weeks on end.
It features an ergonomic design to help you get comfortable and improve your aim.
Southland Archery Supply SAS Sage Take Down Recurve Bow – Best for Lefties
- Comes in versions for righty and lefty
- Package kit has stringer, arrow rest, target, case and armguard
- Purchase limbs separately to increase draw weights
- Get true accuracy and power, even when you’re left-handed
- Be ready to go right out of the box with everything you could possibly need
- Increase the weights over time as you improve your skills
The Southland Archery Supply Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a great option for those that are looking for a high-quality bow that comes available for lefties.
Not only does the riser come available for both, but it is also made from beautiful and strong olive dymond wood and maple for a comfortable, powerful grip.
Like the other recurve bows on the list, the limbs come off easily and get stashed quickly when you don’t need them.
Unlike the other recurve bows on the list, this one comes with the case you need to protect it and everything else to protect yourself.
I like this bow because it can be hard to find the quality gear that is sold as a bundle, but SAS does it. They didn’t cut corners on any of the gear and this is a highly reliable, but lightweight bow.
It will do you well in any survival scenario.
PSE Archery Pro Max Traditional Takedown Recurve – Best for Beginners
- Low draw weight that’s great for beginners or kids
- Three-piece design
- Lightweight construction
- Have quality craftsmanship lead you into the world of survival archery
- Comes with a load of accessories
If you’re just getting into archery or you have a kid that needs a good bow, the PSE Archery Pro Max Traditional Takedown Recurve is a great option.
This 62” bow is perfect for kids that are about 11 years or older, or for any beginner archers.
There is a low draw weight of 25 pounds so there is a lot of room for learning.
An adjustable sight comes along with the accessories, and I see it as a great opportunity to learn how to work a bow sight and get the hang of shooting before moving on to a more powerful bow.
You get even more accessories with this bow that will help you to get to the learning process even faster.
Spectre II Compact Take-Down Survival Bow – Honorable Mention
- Two-pound construction
- Packs down to 23-inches
- Comes in four different draw weights (25, 35, 45, or 55 pounds)
- A good compact bow for a lower price
- Easy to use and great for beginners to learn on
As an honorable mention, I felt it was necessary to still include the Spectre II Compact Takedown Survival Bow.
This one is really compact and will get down to 23 inches inside of the carrying case and quiver that come along with it.
There’s a wide range of draw weights from 25 to 55 pounds that you can choose from depending on your draw.
The draw length on this bow is 30”, and if you have a longer draw, Spectre recommends getting the 45-pound bow.
The whole bow is free from wood, which makes it highly weather resistant. The rise is metal and the limbs are fiberglass.
You’ll still get a great shot off even if the humidity has been high for weeks on end.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Survival Bows
To get the best survival bow, there’s a lot of different factors that need to be considered. This is a lot different than the typical bow you go target shooting or hunting with.
In order to actually improve your bug out or INCH bag, rather than hinder you in a survival scenario, there are some key aspects to look into for each bow you consider.
The power of the bow is going to have a lot of effect on what you can actually do with it.
If you’re going out and trying to survive off of hunting for food, you’ll need a bow that is powerful enough to do so.
The lowest draw weight on the list is 25 pounds, and I would absolutely recommend still going higher. 25 pounds is a great place to start if you are learning to shoot, but may fall short when you are trying to actually kill something to eat.
I really like the bows that come with multiple different options of limbs for different draw weights.
This way you can fine tune your shooting with different weights and know what will be the best for you if a survival scenario ever comes into play.
A fragile bow has no place in the wilderness and definitely won’t have a place in a survival scenario. If you find yourself on week two and your bow limb snaps, there’s no way of fixing that.
To avoid finding yourself in that scenario, you need to get something that’s highly durable.
A lot of old bows are fully wooden, but wood can break rather easily. These newer models are using a wooden core, usually maple, sandwiched between fiberglass to give it extra strength and durability.
Fiberglass is incredibly strong and will stay true to its shape for a long, long time. It also is much less prone to shattering if you were to drop it or step on it while in camp.
Portability and Weight
This is one of the most important areas that you want to consider when looking into survival bows.
When you’re in a survival situation, you want to be able to move quickly. A huge bow that doesn’t pack down at all will weigh you down and be incredibly cumbersome if you are running from something.
Some of these bows fold easily while others have removable limbs to reduce the carrying size of the bow, which is great to make your pack a bit smaller. The delicate balance is in the weight and how much power you will need.
The lighter the bow, the less powerful it will often be just because there’s less material giving your arrow energy.
If you know what your INCH or bug out bag is like, you may be able to pick a little bit heavier style if you have gone ultralight on everything else.
Remember that in an INCH scenario, you’re going to be out in the woods for a long time. The humidity or rain can quickly damage your bow to the point that it will be useless.
A good survival bow will be made out of materials that stand up to weather without rotting out or bending in moist environments.
If you live in or near the desert, you may have more freedom with your options, but otherwise, you’ll want to take extreme caution in the weather.
Another way around this is by getting a solid carrying case for your bow. Some of the ones on this list come with a case, but you may need to look into higher quality, waterproof cases to get the full protection.
After all of my years in archery and even more years practicing survival tactics, I couldn’t be more impressed or happier with the SAS Tactical Survival Bow.
It has everything you need in a good survival bow, balancing power with compactness so you can get the kill in the field but not have to lug around a ton of weight to do so.
This lives in my INCH bag and I won’t have any doubts about my decision if the day comes that I need to use it.