Experts Pick Ravin's Best Crossbows

We recently reached out to a handful of professionals who hunt — and write about hunting — for a living. Over the years, we've sent these writers the latest and greatest crossbows for tests and reviews ... now we're asking which Ravin crossbows are their favorites and why.


Selected as their favorite by both Will Brantley (writer & editor of Field & Stream Hunting GuidePetersen's Hunting, and Realtree) and Nancy Jo Adams (Owner of Life in Camo Media, Popular Mechanics Outdoor Gear Expert and writer for Field and Stream), the Ravin R29X got the highest marks for its near-perfect blend of speed, power, accuracy, and maneuverability.

Will calls the R29X’s cocking mechanism “nearly silent” and Nancy Jo appreciates how easy it is to use the R29X in a ladder stand — even one-handed! Carrying it around on long stalks, aiming for an extended time freehanded, cocking and uncocking all were accomplished without strain or struggle. Nancy Jo particularly recommends the R29X for women and smaller-framed hunters. 

For Will, it’s all about the accuracy. He calls it one of the most accurate bows he’s ever tested, praising the Ravin 100-yard illuminated scope that comes as part of the package. Will says, “Crossbow scopes have inherently busy reticles, so you need marks that are easy to read in low light and under pressure.”

Nancy Jo uses her R29X with a Ravin Soft Case and Arrow Case. “For getting from the lodge to my hunting area by UTV, I always keep my crossbow in the soft case,” she says, “Not only to protect it from being knocked around but also to keep excessive dust that the tires kick up off of the components of my crossbow.” The Soft Case provides extra storage in two long zippered pockets along the top and has handles and a backpack-style shoulder system. Having a secure place to store your crossbow is vital to the longevity and performance of your crossbow.


Nancy Jo Adams

Nancy Jo Adams of Life in Camo Media



At Petersen’s Bowhunting, the R500 is considered top of class. Editor Christian Berg and Associate Editor Mark Demko both named this model as their Ravin of choice. Christian describes it as, “The perfect combination of speed and super compact size that makes it easy to maneuver in the field.”

Mark adds, “Our first shots at the local archery shop made a huge impression. Shooting through the chronograph, the bolts exceeded the advertised 500 fps, and what was even more impressive was the fact that they were hitting bullseyes on the first and second shot, literally right out of the box.”

Christian Berg

Christian Berg testing out the R500

They agree: If you’re looking for a fast, deadly-accurate, high-quality, horizontal bow, it’s absolutely a top choice.

Christian says, “The R500 isn’t just fast; it’s really fun to shoot! And the Versadrive Cocking System lets you cock and de-cock the bow with minimal effort so no worries about accidentally losing control.”

Like Nancy Jo, Christian also uses his Ravin with Ravin Soft Case. His R500 fits snugly inside, with plenty of padding to keep the bow protected. He also appreciates the extra pockets that provide ample storage for quiver, bolts, broadheads and more.

Which Ravin is right for you? Whether you’re opting for the R29X, the R500, or something else, with Ravin you’ll experience the apex of crossbow hunting.