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How to Choose a Bow Stabilizer to Nail Your Game?

How to Choose a Bow Stabilizer
Written by Catherine Weeks
Last Update: August 11, 2023

Every archer – whether beginner or seasoned – needs their every shot to be as precise as possible. Archery stabilizers play an important role in achieving that accuracy by keeping your bow not only steady but also shock-and vibration-free.

When looking for a bow stabilizer, you need to consider adjustability, shock absorption, and weight. If one is absent, look for another stabilizer that has all these features.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to find the most suitable bow stabilizer for you.

How to Choose a Bow Stabilizer for You?

1. Length

  • Small

The small size comes under 10 inches. They aren’t affected by the wind, which reduces unwanted bow jumps and clams down riser vibration. Small stabilizers are ideal for stalking, long treks across the woods, or areas with thick vegetation.

Perfect for going hunting on a ground blind too, they make shots smoother and remove any noise produced by the riser. The length is a plus for confined areas and the minimal weight makes these stabilizers your best friend when your goal is to carry minimal weight.

  • Mid

Mid-sized stabilizers come in a size of 10 to 15 inches. These excel at keeping your pin on the target. They arrive with removable weights that you can play with to customize the bow’s behavior. So, if adding/subtracting weight is a huge factor for you, mid-sized stabilizers are what you’re looking for.

For the more open areas or for hunting from a tree stand, this is the right choice to make. Ideally, they are double-duty stabilizers as some archers even use them in competitive shoots. During training, these stabilizers allow them to effortlessly shoot hundreds of arrows a day as they provide great stability besides a manageable weight.

  • Large

These stabilizers are mainly used by target archers and some hunters. Large stabilizers are the best choice for reducing overall settling time and for effectively increasing the moment of inertia. Thanks to the premium materials they are made of such as titanium, carbon fiber and a few more.

bow stabilizer length sizes

Usually they range from 16 to 30 inches in size. Their large diameter tubes (over 0.625 inches) are suitable for indoor and calm outdoor ranges. The small diameter tubes (under 0.625 inches) on the other hand are apt for the indoors and the windier ranges or climates. If stability is your first priority, long stabilizers are undoubtedly your go-to option.

2. Weight

For professional archery, it is wise to use bow stabilizers that are longer and heavier. This helps to shoot more consistently and accurately. It gets more apparent during long-distance shootings.

On the contrary, during hunting trips, it’s not feasible to carry greater weights. You may need to carry your boat for hours and travel long distances while hunting.  So, it’s smart to carry a stabilizer that has a manageable weight.

It’s best if the stabilizer can be tested at the shop to get the correct fit. They usually weigh four to ten ounces. A length of six to eight inches is an ideal choice for hunters.

3. Material

The majority of the stabilizers are made out of carbon fiber and rubber. Rubber fairly helps to dampen vibrations on stabilizers. Due to being lightweight and sturdy, carbon fibers are a popular choice of stabilizers too. They let you balance your bow without putting on additional weight. Others can be made of aluminum or plastic.

4. Adjustability

Unlike the cheaper stabilizers, the expensive ones have adjustable features. Generally, they allow the user to customize the weight and balance of the stabilizer.

Features such as the rear stabilizers and side bars are helpful in offsetting the weight from the added accessories on the bow such as bow sights.

5. Dampener

Bow stabilizer dampener

The key to successful hunting is staying as quiet as a grave. Otherwise, your target will evade before your arrow can hit them. For hunters, vibration dampening is a necessity for their bow stabilizers to reduce the vibration and noise produced which may alert the game.

A good stabilizer will have a rubber dampening material at the end, right before the weight like the image above.

Considering dampening on arrows and bow stabilizers is also vital for professional target archers as it makes their shooting experience pleasant and noiseless on competition days or during training. It also helps them to better focus on their target.

6. Back bar

The more weight you add away from your bow, the more stable it will be. It’s preferable to have three to four times the weight at the back than at the front. Adding a considerable amount of weight to the end of the back bar improves consistency.

7. Feel

A bow stabilizer’s weight fights off the torque that throws a shot off. For those who want a better feel while shooting arrow groups, it gives them a more comfortable feel, hence ideal for them.

8. Cost and Value

For beginners, less is more. Initially, when you know little about archery and the required equipment, it is intelligent not to spend hundreds of bucks after the latest and top notch gears.

The idea of upgrading should develop with experience and as you figure out your style and what suits you best. The benefits that come along with premium stabilizers, additional weights and dampeners can be best felt over time, as you become more seasoned.

Is a Bow Stabilizer Necessary?


1. Increased balance

Bow stabilizers increase stability. The newly added weight increases the steadiness of the bow on the arm.

2. Less vibration

Adding stabilizers to small bows expands vibration throughout the bow. As a result, the bow gets more stable and the overall accuracy improves.

3. Dampens sounds

On a day of competition or training, stabilizers make your experience pleasant by dampening loud sounds.


1. Unwieldy

Although long stabilizers provide accuracy, they are heavy and tend to tucker out your arm.

2. Saps strength

Heavy stabilizers let you aim, but on the other hand may sap your strength.

Stabilizers for a Full Draw Balance

1. Front stabilizers

Front stabilizers give the bow a resistance to movement, particularly a tight hold when you’re at a full draw. The increased effects of that resistance will be more visible the longer the stabilizer is out front.

2. Rear bars and V brackets

During a full draw, back bars and the angles they are placed at will prevent the bow from leaning one way. Other than that, they help to get a tighter hold. Overall, rear back and V bars perfect the left-right balance of the bow.

The Importance of a Back Bar for Bow Hunting

A back bar provides a plethora of benefits for a bowhunter. As they start their bow hunting setup and keep tossing accessories one by one, it will come to their notice that everything mounts on one side of the bow.

For the right handed shooter, the rest, quiver and sight all mount at the right side of the bow.

As these items stack weight, at full draw the hunter has to fight against the bow’s natural tendency; i.e., it leans to one side. This is felt at static too, but far more at full draw. Muscle fatigue soon results due to constantly struggling with this lean at full draw.

A well-balanced bow helps prevent this problem and increases confidence in the archer due to a steadier hold.


1. What size stabilizer for bowhunting?

Ans. Shorter stabilizers (around 4 to 6 inches) are commonly used for bowhunting because they offer a good balance between maneuverability and stability. They are also less likely to get in the way while moving through dense vegetation or when taking shots from tree stands or blinds.

About the author

Catherine Weeks

Cathy believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature.

She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

Though Cathy has hunted most of her life, it was not until her partner gave her a bow that she realized she had finally found her passion.

She is always determined to share her missed opportunities, dedication, emotions, and small details that people often forget to mention when they talk about their hunting experiences.

Cathy also works to promote wildlife preservation and protect natural resources. She thinks “patience” is the most important thing that can make a big difference.

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