Hoyt Compound Bows: Are they really worth the price?

Hoyt bows are without a doubt the gold standard for compound bows. But are Hoyt compound bows really worth their price? Read on to find out!

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Hoyt Archery is a company which has gained a lot of popularity among archers and bow hunters worldwide. Hoyt was formed in 1942 and since then, it has remained as one of the top bow manufacturers in the world. It’s famous for manufacturing high-quality bows for different types of archery such as 3D shooting, hunting, and competition shooting.

Every now and then, Hoyt comes up with some great and innovative technology to manufacture great bows which never disappoint the shooters.

However, it is important to point out that this high quality also comes at a very high cost, making these bows perhaps not the best choice for those who are just starting out and just want to find out if bow and arrow is their thing. Additionally, many competitor manufacturers have entered today's market with great quality compound bows at fraction of the price of the typical high-end Hoyt product.  

In the comparison table below, you'll find the most popular Hoyt compound bow models available on today's market.

Hoyt Compound Bows Comparison Table

Compound bow name


Max Speed (FPS)

Riser material



Aluminum or Carbon


Aluminum or Carbon





Hoyt Compound Bows VS More Affordable (but equally good) Alternatives

We screened the market for the most sought-after, popular Hoyt bows, and matched their features with those of more affordable, high quality compound bows. These bows can suit both pro archers/hunters that don't feel like breaking the bank to get a Hoyt bow, and first-timers who just want to find a solid bow to practice with. 

Important: To draw a conclusion from these comparisons we've obviously taken into account the higher price tag on the Hoyt bows, which ultimately affects the value that you get for your money.

In this first comparison, we've chosen is the Hoyt Defiant Pro 34 2017, a really popular shooter available both in aluminum or carbon riser.

The best affordable alternative to the Hoyt Defiant 24 is the PSE Madness 34matched for AtA lenght,  %let-off and flexibility.

Let's take a look at this comparison in more detail.

Hoyt Defiant Pro 34 VS PSE Madness 34 Breakdown

Hoyt Pro Defiant 34 VS PSE Madness 34

1. Features summary


Riser Material



Max Speed (FPS)






Brace height (inches)



AtA (inches)



Draw Length range (inches)



Draw weight range (lbs)



Bow weight (lbs)

4.4 (Al) /3.8 (C)


Where to buy

2. Materials & Design

The Hoyt Pro Defiant 34 It features an aluminum or carbon riser and a one-piece wooden grip that matches the color of the limbs and strings. The wooden grip is easy to hold and sits nicely in place to promote hand placement which in turn improves the accuracy. Needless to say the Hoyt Defiant 34 features Hoyt trademark DFX cams and multilayer laminate Ultra-flex limbs, for superior comfort and accuracy.

The PSE Madness 34 is built on a forged aluminum riser, which is longer than other PSE Madness models. Archers and hunters that prefer a larger grip might find the grip on the PSE Madness a little narrow. the PSE Madness features a hybrid cam technology, which combines the high performance of dual cam with the adjustability of a single cam. Archers that prefer a  solid wall feeling might not love the lack of draw stop on the top cam of the PSE, although the single cable stop still gives a solid back wall feeling.

Winner - Hoyt Defiant 34superior grip and cam technology

3. Performance

The Hoyt Defiant 34 has a IBOrating of 325fps, while the PSE Madness is faster at 342fps. 

The extra speed on the PSE comes at the expense of less forgiveness, as the brace height on the PSE is 6" against the generous 7" on the Hoyt. However, the guys over at PSE have explained in detail why the 6" brace height is a non-issue on their bows thanks to the innovative PSE technology. Both bows have 34" AtA which is great for shooting stability and versatility. Both bows have very smooth draw cycles, but the PSE Precision X-Force technology pushes the Madness a little above the Defiant and even other PSE models for draw dynamics and control. 

Winner - PSE Madness 34: faster and smoother

4. Flexibility

Both the Hoyt Defiant Pro 34 and the PSE Madness 34 are available in several different draw weight/length configurations and combinations, to fit shooters of different size and body frames.

At 4.4 lbs bow weight, the aluminum Hoyt Defiant 34 Pro is heavier than the PSE Madness 34 (4.1lbs) and many similar recent hunting bows. This extra weight perhaps makes the Hoyt Defiant 34 a little less field-friendly. However, some bow hunters do prefer a heavier and more solid weapon such as this one to more lightweight bows. If the excess weight on the aluminum Defiant Pro is an issue, the bow is also available in the carbon riser version, which is significantly lighter (3.8lbs), but also more costly.

Winner: Tie

5. Final Verdict

There's no doubt that if you need a solid and fast bow, capable of 3D shooting, hunting, and target shooting, Hoyt Defiant 34 is your number 1 choice. This compound bow is perfectly designed to do pretty much anything a shooter wants and needs.

But, considering the massive Hoyt price tag, we feel that the PSE has a little edge over the Defiant Pro 34 for performance and value. Paying even more money to get the carbon riser version of the Defiant just for warmer feeling and less total weight is just not worth it.  

We recommend the PSE Madness 34 particularly because it has one of the smoothest draw cycles you'll ever find on a modern bow, thanks to the innovative PSE X-Force technology. 

Verdict: Are Hoyt compound bows worth their price?

The state-of-the art manufacturing and technology combined with eye-catching design place Hoyt compound bows among the absolute best in pro archery gear. Yes, they're expensive, but as everything in life, you get what you pay for. With Hoyt you get impressive durability, power and reliability, features that you definitely need for your next big hunt.  

On the other hand, Hoyt has indeed introduced some budget bows in its lineup, but the feeling is that they are not the absolute best compared to some competitors models priced comparably. If you are looking for a good quality compound bow, with a good accessory package at a more affordable price, pick one of our top budget choices featured in this article, or check out our guide to the best compound bows for beginners and pro archers. You will definitely find good entry-level models that will make good hunting and training buddies before upgrading to top grade gear.

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