Bear Approach HC Review

Bear Approach HC

Average user rating

out of 3 user reviews
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  from $341.99

Pros

  • "Outdoor Life" Great Buy winner
  • Hybrid cam system is smooth drawing and high performing
  • Suggested price of only $449.99

Cons

  • Only two finish options

Video

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Editors' review

Every year, Bear produces bow models matched perfectly for shooters on a strict budget, or perhaps for the beginners just getting started in the world of archery. The Bear Approach HC is that kind of bow, listed at a suggested retail price of only $449, the Approach HC may be one of the best values on the bow market. Shooters get a compact 32-inch axel-to-axel, 4-pound bow, with a hybrid cam system flinging arrows 340 feet per second. Aside from the bow only being offered in two patterns, it is almost impossible to find anything wrong with this budget friendly hunting bow. Whether a shooter is new to the sport just looking to get started, or has been hunting for years and simply wanting an upgrade without the giant price tag, the Approach HC is going to win over a lot of shooters for fall.

Finish

Bear has always done a great job with their dipping process. The finish turns out well, and looks flawless on the riser and limbs. Historically, the Bear finishes have always lasted well under typical wear and tear as well. For the Approach HC, Bear decided to offer only two patterns, which is a bit of a bummer. However, the Realtree Edge and Badlands Approach patterns do not disappoint. The limbs are camo matched to the riser, with the branding stickers being tame and minimalistic in design. The green string color is pretty loud, which gives the rig a little tasteful flair.

Riser

Bear risers have a unique look, and the Approach HC is no different than the rest of the lineup. A large part of the unique riser design can be linked to the dual string suppressors Bear calls Sonicstops. The front mounting stabilizer-mounting hole will let shooters add some weight out front. With that being said, it does not line up with the bottom string stop system, which is typically the case for most riser designs. The cast/machined aluminum riser gives the bow a favorable 32-inch axel-to-axel measurement, while keeping the overall bare bow weight at an even 4.0-pounds. The bow keeps a 6-inch brace height, helping squeeze out a lilt more arrow speed. The cable containment system is a traditional cable slide, which is not surprising for a budget conscious bow.

Grip

The grip on the Bear Approach HC is minimalistic like the rest of the Bear compound lineup. The grip is an integrated portion of the riser, which features a two-piece side panel grip made of rubber with the Bear block letter logo proudly displayed on the plates. The side plates do not offer much in terms of feel or comfort, but it does look better than simply having an aluminum grip. In terms of feel, the Bear grip fits well in hand and is pretty comfy. The grip has rounded edges for added comfort, but is mostly flat, which keeps the grip comfortably where it should be.

Limbs

Bear has two limb configurations for the Approach HC Endura fiber split limbs, with each having a 15-pound draw weight range instead of the industry standard 10-pounds. The shape of the limbs allows the weight to be well distributed throughout, also allowing extra flexibility to assist with the extra draw weight range. Shooters can choose to purchase a 45-60-pound or 55-70-pound configuration. The limbs connect to the riser with the Bear lock down pocket system, which keeps the limbs where they should throughout the entire draw cycle. Bear also equips the Endura split limbs with Shockwaves split-limb dampeners to keep things as quiet and shock free as possible.

Eccentric System

The Approach HC is powered by a high-performance hybrid cam system flinging arrows at an IBO rated 340 feet per second. The draw length is adjustable from 25.5-30-inches in half-inch increments, and has a rotating module to make adjustments smooth and effortless. The Bear Rockstops are adjustable limb stops, which provide a solid back wall feel pulling into the limbs instead of the cable. The 75% let off gives shooters an easier holding weight, but is not as high of a let off as some other models on the market in 2018. Overall, the hybrid cam system has a ton of features shooters have come to expect from a high-end, flagship bow. It is important to keep in mind, this is a budget friendly bow with all these shootability features, and not a flagship model.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The shootability of this bow is off the charts for a bow with a suggested retail under $450. The hybrid cam system is well designed for a smooth drawing feel combined with a very firm back wall aided by dual limb stops. The 75% let off does not follow the high let off trend offered on many bows, but the added speed is an accepted trade off for most shooters interested in the Approach HC. The draw starts off a bit stiff up front, but it transitions effortlessly through the let off into the solid back wall. This back wall is outstanding for shooters wanting a firm feel without any sponge. After the shot, the bow just sits in the shooters hand. There is no felt vibration or excessive noise, and the zippy arrow is fun to watch hitting the target. The Approach HC feels great for any bow, but when considering the price tag, it bow may be one of the best feeling budget bows on the market this year.

Usage Scenarios

This bow has some potential to be used on the 3D course, but its main purpose is a hunting bow. This rig will be most comfortable hunting, and it is designed well for this. It is fairly compact, hits the magical 4-pound bare bow mark, shoots 340 feet per second, and has an easy drawing experience for shooters. Those wanting a dedicated 3D bow will look elsewhere, but those wanting a hunting bow they can shoot with buddies on the weekends should take a hard look at the Approach HC.

Approach HC vs. Cruzer

BowBear Approach HCBear Cruzer
Version 20182018
PictureBear Approach HCBear Cruzer
Brace Height6 "6.5 "
AtA Length32 "32 "
Draw Length25.5 " - 30 "12 " - 30 "
Draw Weight45 lbs - 70 lbs5 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed340 fps310 fps
Weight4.0 lbs3.6 lbs
Let-Off75% 75%
Where to buy
Best prices online
compare more bows

Both of these bows have a hybrid cam system at a budget price point. The Approach HC has a more expensive price tag, but comes with dual string suppressors as well as a faster IBO rating. For those wanting the cheapest hybrid cam, the Bear Cruzer may be the best option. For those wanting a well priced bow with some high end features, it may be worth more money for shooters to go with the Approach HC.

Summary

Bear claims the Approach HC breaks all the "Get what you pay for" rule, and that is an understatement. The Approach HC includes some of outstanding high-end features, has great performance, and feels outstanding for any bow. When considering the $449 price tag, this bow could be fully rigged with high-end accessories and still price out where many flagship bows start. It would be nice for the bow to come with more finish options, but even Bear's flagship models only come with two options. It is no shocker the Approach HC won the "Outdoor Life" Great Buy Award. Bear should be proud to offer such a great bow at such a favorable price point. Those on the market for a new hunting bow should seriously consider the Bear Approach HC.

User Reviews

  • 3 reviews
  • ( out of 3 reviews for all versions)
Great value for the price

Version: Bear Approach HC

Rating:

Pros: I found this bow to shoot accurately consistently. Plenty of power. Have owned this for two years with regular shooting and has proven reliable.

Cons: I find it a little heavy after extended shooting, but for the price you cant complain.

Full review:

On reading the stats for this bow, I decided to get into the sport of archery. I have not looked back as this bow has proven reliable and accurate. I am biased toward this bow as I have grown into it and have gotten used to its characteristics. If you are shopping for a powerful, well made bow for the price, then I would recommend! It might not have all the state of the art features of the higher end bows, but its power and reliability keep it in league with its more expensive peers. The bow is customisable; I have a drop down QAD arrow rest and a trophy ridge react sight. I reckon you cant go wrong with this bow.

Awesome bow that is an underdog at the state championships!

Version: Bear Approach HC

Rating:

Pros: My 2nd bow, was gonna be my backup is now my primary. Holds well, shoots well, groups well.

Cons: Still trying to find any significant at this price range.

Full review:

Bought 2nd hand for a backup bow. After cleaning, new string set and tuning, 476gr arrows @ 297ft/sc. 420gr @ 314ft/sc. After double checking the draw specs, we found it was holding 72.8lbs at full 30" draw. No issues at that hold on the limbs, it's still pretty quiet, and it is now primary bow.

Hot rod bow for an affordable price!

Version: Bear Approach HC

Rating:

Pros: Lightweight, fast shooting, affordable

Cons: None

Full review:

At 72lb draw weight and a 453 grain arrow weight it has 85 foot pounds of smack! Chronographed at 300 FPS with a heavier arrow. Very impressive for legal foot pounds to take down an elk at 40 foot pounds and the bow cranking a whopping 85 foot pounds is a little more than double!

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