Hoyt Vector Turbo Review

By Will Brantley writes Brow Tines and Backstrap

You may not realize you want a new bow until you shoot one. I’ve never been a new-bow-a-year kind of guy—far from it, actually. I hunted with the same Mathews MQ1 I’d had since college up until a few seasons ago. But I’ve been playing with a Hoyt Vector Turbo the last few days, the speed bow in Hoyt’s 2012 lineup, and so far I like it—more than I like my “old” (2011) bow.

Hoyt’s marketing focus the past couple years has rightfully been on their carbon bows—the Matrix and Element—both of which sport the signature risers made of hollow carbon tubes and the signature price tags made of four fat digits. But they’ve introduced several other good bows that haven’t gotten the attention of the radical carbon models. I bought a CRX 32 last summer, for example. Though I killed a pile of critters with it, I’ll admit to never falling head-over-heels for it. It has a 7-inch brace height, which would seem pretty forgiving, but a 32-inch bow is short. I’ve always found it a bit touchy, and wished early on that I’d spent some time with the CRX 35 before spending my money. Beyond that, the CRX is equipped with Hoyt’s Fuel cam system. I wouldn’t call it a rough draw cycle, but it’s not the smoothest, either.

I was skeptical when I pulled the Vector Turbo out of the box. This one’s a speed bow and touted as such; the fastest in Hoyt’s lineup, actually, and I’ve never been a speed freak. The brace height is a full inch shorter than it is on my CRX. I expected all the shooting comfort of a submachine gun. 

But I was wrong. The draw cycle is noticeably smoother than it is on my CRX. That’s a product of the new RKT cam on the Turbo—and I’m not just saying that because I saw it in a Hoyt press release. It’s an observation from standing on the range with both bows, shooting one and then the other.   

I haven’t shot the new bow enough at long distance to give a full evaluation of its forgiveness. But at 30 yards, it doesn’t seem as touchy as my CRX. The brace height is tight, but the longer 35-inch axle-to-axle length seems to offset that. There is more hand shock in the Vector Turbo than the CRX, but it’s nothing too vicious. A stabilizer clears it right up.

When I get down to it, the Vector Turbo is shaping up to be an easier bow to shoot than my CRX. And it’s faster. Both these bows are set on 60 pounds. Shooting the same arrow (about 350 grains finished), I clocked 302 fps out of the Vector Turbo and 289 out of the CRX. Both bows are in about the same price range. MSRP for the Vector Turbo is $949, while the CRX 32 was $849 (2011 price). Expect to pay $100 to $175 less in the store.