5 Compact Survival Bows for Shooting Practice and Hunting

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Last updatedLast updated: January 13, 2022
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Using the traditional bow and arrow is still a great way to hunt for food while in the wilderness. When in a survival situation, you must have a couple of useful tools and skills that can help you thrive. That said, getting the best survival bow may be the difference between merely surviving or thriving even under harsh conditions. Several brands purport to offer the perfect survival bow but this only makes it harder for you. However, we are here to help you discover some of the top bows on the market.

It has taken us months to research and compile this review. During this period, we got to experiment with different brands that included more than 25 survival bows. The Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow is our editor’s choice for a variety of reasons. For example, the bow is made with high-quality wood, it has a perfect weight and can also use a variety of accessories among other features. We also explored using other survival bows and found the unique features in each.

Some of the essential features that we highlight include the draw length, size & weight of the bow, speed and even their guarantees. With a good understanding of these features, you can now select a survival bow that meets your needs and preferences. The review starts with a comparison table of the bows reviewed followed by an in-depth description of each product and a buying guide at the end.

Top 5 Survival Bow Review 2022

  • Draw weight: 20-60 lb
  • Guarantee: 1-year limited
  • Length: 62 inches
  • Draw length: 28 inches
  • Speed: 150 fps

More features: preinstalled threaded bushing, flush-mounted limb bolts, right and left-handed options

Let’s face it, looks matter when purchasing a survival bow. While you want a survival bow that works exceptionally well, you also want one that looks and feels great. In regards to this, the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow does not disappoint.

Its riser is made of dual wood that has a 2-tone gloss finish. Moreover, the bow’s grip is ergonomically designed to offer a comfortable and stable handle. The grip is also made of polished wood without any extra materials added onto it. Its limbs are also durable since they are made with hard maple and a coating of fiberglass. This matte black coating helps reinforce the tips of the bow if you change your bowstrings.

Shooting with this survival bow is also great. With a draw length of 28 inches and speed of 150fps, you can be sure to get the best hunting experience. Once you purchase this magnificent bow, you get high-quality strings that can also be upgraded depending on your preferences. The bow also comes with some extra string silencers, which means you should expect a smooth draw and little to no vibration when taking a shot. This makes it a great choice for hunters.

For those who may not know how to assemble this survival takedown bow, there is a ready to shoot option. With this package, you get an already assembled bow with everything you require such as an arrow rest, arrows and even gloves. If you are a sophisticated hunter then you will enjoy assembling this bow. It is, however, worth noting that assembling the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow is not an easy task and will need some additional tools.

What makes it special?

  • Good-quality finish
  • Very light
  • A takedown bow
  • You can use limbs from other Spyder models
  • Spyder models

What cons did we find?

  • Needs tools to assemble
RELATED: 6 Best Bows Under $500 – Enjoy Archery on a Tight Budget!

SAS Tactical Survival BowBest Survival Takedown Bow

  • Draw weight: 45-55 lb
  • Guarantee: 1- year limited
  • Length: 60 inches
  • Draw length: 31 inches
  • Speed: 200 fps

More features: 21 inches long folded, 2.2 lb bow weight, security strap included, right and left-handed

Do you want a contemporary longbow that is both beginner-friendly and great for experienced hunters? The SAS Tactical Survival Bow is a great choice for both novice and professional hunters. It has a max draw length of about 31 inches and a speed of 200 fps. This makes it a lethal hunting tool for those who enjoy tactical hunting. While the bow is 60 inches long, it can be folded to about 21 inches and has a maximum draw weight of 55 lbs. This makes transportation and storage quite easy as you can simply put it in your backpack.

The limbs of the SAS Tactical Survival Bow may not be unique when compared to other products on the market. However, it comes with an exceptional retaining pin that is made from marine-grade steel. The riser of this survival bow is also made with T6 aluminum, a strong yet light material that can withstand the conditions of outdoor hunting. A non-reflective coating on the riser also means that you can easily camouflage and hide from your prey effectively.

Unlike other products, the SAS Tactical Survival Bow is easy to work with and does not need extra tools to assemble it. If you are an outdoor survivalist that wants a well-designed and silent bow then this is a great choice. The bow comes with everything you need but you will have to purchase arrows since they are not included in the package.

What do we love it for?

  • Made with a non-reflective coating
  • Easy to store and transportation
  • Made from high-quality materials

What were we disappointed with?

  • The handgrip is not ergonomically designed and needs extra grips

XQMART Takedown Recurve BowBest Survival Bow Set

  • Draw weight: 40-50 lb
  • Guarantee: 1-year limited
  • Length: 58 inches
  • Speed: not specified

More features: 3 lb weight, arrows and accessories included, right-handed

If you are on the lookout for a strong bow to improve your hunting experience then this is a great choice. Although one of the unique features of this bow is its sturdiness, it is surprisingly light and comfortable to hold. It has a well-designed riser made of aluminum, which explains its durability and lightweight. Furthermore, the survival bow comes installed with brass bushings that facilitate any upgrade you may desire.

Whether you are using it for sport or hunting, you will find the ease of assembling to be quite convenient. It is easy to both assemble and disassemble the survival bow making storage and transportation a walk in the park. Since it is smaller when collapsed, you can easily throw it in your backpack and go hiking without feeling the extra weight.

The XQMART Takedown Recurve Bow also has excellent bow speeds. Arrows from this bow fly fast, quietly and with great stopping power. It is also very consistent and will shoot smoothly without the need to add anything extra on the bow.

Available to right-handed persons, this bow ensures that you can shoot perfectly without compromise. For a right-handed hunter, you hold the bow with your left hand and pull the string with the right hand. Using the right bow ensures that you can also aim well.

Another great thing with the XQMART Takedown Recurve Bow is that it comes with a complete kit with various tools and accessories. These include the recurve bow, fiberglass arrows, an arrow rest, stringer tools and an Allen key combo among others.

Why is it special?

  • The bow has a strong draw
  • Great price
  • Easy to assemble

What are the flaws?

  • It doesn’t have a comprehensive instruction manual

Mandarin Duck Phantom Best Beginner Survival Bow

  • Draw weight: 20-60 lb
  • Guarantee: 1-year limited
  • Length: 56 inches
  • Draw length: 29 inches
  • Speed: not specified

More features: right-handed, 3.3 lb weight, laminated wood and fiberglass limbs

The Mandarin Duck Phantom is a popular takedown recurve bow. It is preferred for its unique riser and a well-designed grip that makes shooting a fun sport. Its riser is made from aluminum, which means the survival bow is not only lightweight but also durable. The riser is also covered with rubber to enhance the grip of the bow and absorb any shock that arises from using the bow. A well-designed riser also makes it easy for the shooter to get an accurate shot.

Many novice shooters prefer this bow because of its accuracy. However, the accuracy of a survival bow depends on numerous factors such as the string, draw weight and even skill of the shooter among others. That said, the Mandarin Duck Phantom has different draw weights that the shooter can choose. This ranges from 20 pounds to 60 pounds.

The survival bow is 56 inches long and this makes it ideal for novice shooters. While experienced shooters may find the length to be limiting, a beginner can comfortably use it to practice. The draw length of the Mandarin Duck Phantom is also great as it can reach up to 29 inches. This allows you to take better shots from longer distances.

Like many recurve bows on the market, the Phantom’s limbs are made from laminated woods. This is because this material is durable and also affordable. However, the Phantom has an additional fiberglass coating that makes it even more durable. Being a takedown recurve bow, it is easy to assemble and disassemble the bow.

What makes it special?

  • It has a perfect grip
  • Lightweight
  • It comes with several draw weights

What cons did we find?

  • No accessories
  • Draw weight 25-60 lb
  • Guarantee: 6-months limited
  • Length: 62 inches
  • Draw length: 29 inches
  • Speed: 110 fps

More features: right and left-handed options, pre-installed brass bushing, hard maple and fiberglass limbs, B-50 bowstring

Are you just starting and need a reliable survival bow? If so, then you should check out the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow. It is not only easy to use but also affordable meaning you get a lot of value for the amount of money you spend.

One of the most attractive parts of the Samick sage is its riser. It is strong and beautifully made to ensure that the bow lasts long. The riser is made from high-end wood including maple and Olive Dymondood trees, a combination that reinforces the strength of the bow. It also has bush settings allowing you to incorporate different accessories such as a stabilizer or quiver.

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow offers different draw weights from 25 pounds to 60 pounds. Beginners ought to start with lower draw weights ranging from 25 pounds to 35 pounds. However, seasoned shooters can use a draw weight that is higher than 35 pounds without any challenges.

Another great feature of the Samick Sage is its strong limbs made from maple and fiberglass. The tips of the limbs are further coated with phenolic resins to reinforce it and allow the use of additional accessories. Furthermore, you can easily attach and detach the limbs from the riser with no tools required. This makes it great for hunting.

The survival bow is available for both right-handed and left-handed orientation. With that said, you must determine your dominant side before purchasing one. This includes checking out your hand and eye strength to achieve the perfect shooting results.

Why did it make our list?

  • A longer bow length
  • Available in right and left-hand orientation
  • Absorbs the vibration

What is not ideal about it?

  • No bow stringer in the kit

Things to Consider

A look at all the products in the market can confuse you and make you purchase an unsuitable survival bow. However, getting the perfect survival bow is easier than you think. With this buying guide, you will know what to look out for when shopping for a survival bow and why these features are important.

How does a survival bow differ from the rest?

5 Compact Survival Bows for Shooting Practice and HuntingWhile there may be some striking similarities between a recurve survival bow and other bows such as the compound bows, there are many differences too.  Here are some of the benefits you get from a survival bow;

  • A survival bow is a simply designed bow that is portable and easy to fix when damaged in the wilderness.
  • They do not have any complicated parts unlike a compound bow making them perfect for hunting.
  • Little to no collateral damage from survival bow arrows, unlike other weapons.
  • Survival bows have different components that can serve other purposes. For example, bowstrings can help hunters to set traps while hunting for small prey.
  • They are silent and lethal meaning they make better hunting tools.

Price range

Like all hunting equipment, the price will bear some weight on the final purchase that you make. However, you also need to consider what you intend to use the survival bow for and how often you will use it. It is not prudent to get a pricey bow and store it in your trunk. If you, however, intend to practice or hunt a lot then you can invest in good quality and well-designed survival bow.

Choose the best survival bow by the following features

You need to review some important features in a survival bow before you decide to purchase it. These features include:

Draw length

5 Compact Survival Bows for Shooting Practice and HuntingThe draw length of a survival bow will dictate many factors. With that said, it is important to find the ideal length before settling on a specific bow. However, you will need some practice to achieve this since you can’t find the ideal length by just looking at a bow.

Getting a survival bow with a longer draw length will allow you to attain a longer and smoother draw. However, many survival bows are shorter since their distinctive feature is portability. It is worth noting that a longer bow will work better than a shorter survival bow that can collapse for easy transportation.

Size and weight

The weight and size of the survival bow that you choose also matters a lot when using the bow. There are various advantages to having a lighter bow depending on your strength and shooting experience. For example, beginners need a lighter bow that allows them to practice for long hours. Since shooting a survival bow will put your muscles to use, having a light and comfortable bow can make a lot of difference.

Heavier bows, on the other hand, have some advantages as well. They are known to have a flatter trajectory, which means that the arrow is unlikely to fall even in short distances. Moreover, they also have more power and can penetrate materials easily as opposed to lighter bows.


5 Compact Survival Bows for Shooting Practice and HuntingThe bowstring plays a crucial role in the success of your hunting expedition. Ideally, you need a string whose material has one length that will not stretch to ensure the driving force of the arrow does not reduce. Linen was the most preferred string material in the past but it is not very durable as it is a natural fiber. Currently, using synthetic fibers will enable you to get a durable   material that is resistant to fatigue. Dacron is the most popular string material, which many people prefer for its durability.


It is highly likely that you will encounter some wet conditions when in a survival situation. You are also likely to take some hits or even fall on your way. This means that you should get a survival bow that can take those hits and still work effectively. The bow should also not rust as you want to use it over a longer period. Choosing a survival bow with a durable material such as fiberglass can help you use your bow for years.

Assembly easiness

While you may want a collapsible bow that can easily assemble and disassemble, there are other factors to consider too. For example, it may be easy to lose the components or find it difficult to put everything together. If you do not want such complications, you can get a survival bow with a ready to shoot package such as the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow. Alternatively, you can choose one that is easy to assemble and will not need extra tools.


5 Compact Survival Bows for Shooting Practice and HuntingUnlike compound bows, survival bows may not be that precise for various reasons. With that out of the way, you can still get some accurate survival bows such as the SAS Tactical Survival Bow. This is a bow with great precision since it is heavier and has high speeds.


We all want a guarantee that we will get value for money when we purchase any product. This also applies when getting a survival bow. All the products have a 1-year limited guarantee except the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow. This means that you can get a new product from the manufacturer if there is any problem with your order.

Options for lefties

Many survival bows are built with only the right-handed orientation. However, this may be a big inconvenience to left-handed individuals. A good survival bow such as the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow and the SAS Tactical Survival Bow should have both orientations.

Arrows storing

One useful feature that you may overlook is the arrow storage. Ideally, you want a survival bow with a folded unit that stores and protects your arrows. For example, the XQMART Takedown Recurve Bow comes with various accessories including an arrow rest.

Should you craft your survival bow?

Unless necessary, crafting your survival bow may not get you the perfect hunting tool. However, if worse comes to worst and you have no option, you can decide to craft your own traditional type option. To achieve this, you will need to carve out a bow from elastic wood material. Look for a type of wood that does not break when bent. You will also have to improvise when creating the string. While in the wilderness, there are a couple of materials that may be available. These include hemp, a fishing line or even nylon. It is worth noting that a homemade survival bow may not be as reliable as our choices above. This means they may not be the perfect choice if you are in survival conditions.

But we still think it is a great fun to make a bow just to see if you can, and here’s the video to learn how to make a traditional surviving bow using no modern tools at all:


Bows are great for surviving for a variety of reasons. First, they are silent and deadly weapons. When hunting or in a survival situation, you do not want a weapon that reveals your cover. Bows are also powerful and you can use them from longer distances.

A bow is better since it is a simple and easy-to-use weapon that allows you to hunt big prey. Although a crossbow may be powerful, they may not be the best for survival. Crossbows are also a bit louder and may not allow you to hunt stealthily.

Our Verdict

Reviewing the different products has been an adventurous and informative experience for us. While we loved every survival bow that we tried out, we still had to choose the top 3 survival bows.

At first place is the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow, our editor’s choice. We loved it for the many features it has such as a high-quality finish, right/left-handed orientation, and ability to use different accessories.

The SAS Tactical Survival Bow, a collapsible and powerful survival bow came in at second place. It is a hunters’ favorite weapon that never fails.

Our budget pick is the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow, which we loved for its many features and affordable price. With the comprehensive review and informative buying guide, we hope you can now choose the best survival bow.

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