Bowtech Realm X Review

Bowtech Realm X

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Pros

  • Amazing potential for a do it all bow without compromising anything
  • Bow customization in every category
  • 345 feet per second with a 6.5-inch brace height

Cons

  • It would be nice to see some additional target finish options
  • $1199 MSRP is more expensive than the shorter Realm

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Editors' review

The Bowtech Realm X is going to be a popular bow for 2018. It continues with the Bowtech trend of offering adjustability in every area where personal preferences play a role in the decision to purchase a bow. The grip, draw cycle, stabilization, and vibration reduction can all be adjusted with the Realm X. This model is at a great axel-to-axel measurement of 33 1/4-inches offering the best of stability and maneuverability all in one package. The added axel to axel measurement also tips the scales at the same bare bow weight according to the specifications chart produced by Bowtech at 4.3-pounds. The popular Overdrive Binary Cam System flings arrows at an impressive 345 feet per second while maintaining a 6.5-inch brace height. Overall, the Realm X has tons to offer shooters, especially those wanting a hunting and 3D bow all in one. The $1199 suggested retail is pretty close to what other companies sell their flagships for, but the $100 premium over the shorter Realm seems silly. For shooters wanting a single bow to do everything, the Realm X is a great choice.

Finish

Bowtech finish choices have expanded a little bit, giving shooters in 2018 a total of five finish options. Unfortunately, there are not any target finishes offered on the Realm X. Some shooters are going to love this bow for 3D archery, but they are limited to the five choices instead of having a couple target colors added to the mix. For solid color choices, shooters can get the Blackops or the Flat Dark Earth finishes. The limbs and riser are finished in the same patterns, and the Realm X graphics are simple and blocky. For shooters wanting a camo pattern, Mossy Oak Break Up Country, Gore Optifade Subapline, and Kryptek Altitude are really great looking options. Although target colors are not offered, it is appreciated to have a variety of camo patterns to choose from instead of the couple industry staples. To offer some trendier choices in the Gore and Kryptek options really shows how much Bowtech is listening to archers.

Riser

The riser on the Realm X gets the axel to axel measurement all the way out to 33 1/4-inches and keeps the brace height at 6.5-inches. The overall weight of the bow tips the scales at 4.3-pounds before accessories are added. There is also a new cage type design at the top and bottom of the riser to add structural integrity to the riser design. Although the cam system remains unchanged from last year, the wider limbs can potentially cause more torque on the system, but the new cage will minimize the impact the wider limbs have on the riser. The cable containment system remains the same for 2018 as well, which is not a big deal because the FLX Guard has worked well in the past. The FLX Guard flexes in as the bow is drawn, and returns back to rest after the arrow is sent towards the target. This guard system also gets a dampener to keep things as quiet as possible despite the moving around. The cables are contained in a roller system connected to the flexible guard, which incorporates the best of all Bowtech technology into the same cable system. The back of the riser also has six total stabilizer bushings on the top and bottom of the riser. Shooters can choose to mount stabilizers at a number of different attachment points, or can integrate the new dampener system where they desire as well. The new dampeners are called Orbit dampeners, and the Realm X comes with one straight for the factory mounted on the bottom of the riser on the opposite side of the added sight and quiver. This not only helps with vibration, but also helps offset a little bit of weight. The middle of the dampener is threaded also so shooters can stack them to their liking.

Grip

Bowtech spent time with their research and development team and listening to prostaff members and buyers to create a newly designed grip for 2018. This solid piece grip slides into the back of the riser where the grip is located and has a completely flat back design. This grip feels amazing and fits perfectly in the shooters hand right where it belongs. Although not available on release date, Bowtech also claims it will release some additional shapes and color options to go along with the flat back choice. The flatness may be a bit to get used to for diehard Bowtech shooters, who have grown used to the curved grip from previous model years. However, the flat back design is a proven shape and offered in other brands. This grip is going to be a fantastic choice for many shooters, and will definitely be as repeatable as grips come.

Limbs

Bowtech stays with the split limb design for 2018, which it needs based on using the Overdrive Binary Cam System. Limbs are available in 10-pound increments and offered in maximum draw weights of 50, 60, and 70-pounds. Bowtech did decide to go with solid core limbs instead of laminated limbs, which should address the issues of past years with limbs failing or splintering. They have also widened the limbs to give the whole set up some better stability. The yolks mounting to the axels can cause some cam lean in the past, and the wider limbs should help correct that a bit and line things up a bit better. To help with the wider limbs, Bowtech has also designed a new pocket system known as the CP Dual Lock pocket. This continues with the Bowtech center pivot pocket systems from the past as well. The center pivot design helps the bow perform with the best possible features of a deflexed riser and a reflexed riser - offering the most speed, stability, and forgiveness possible. After the Realm X is tuned to perfection, shooters can lock down the limbs to the pockets and the pockets to the limbs creating an absolute zero tolerance pocket system.

Eccentric System

The Overdrive Binary Cam System is the cam of choice again for the Bowtech flagship Realm X. This system offers some of the most adjustability offered in one cam system, is easy to tune, and offers some truly amazing speeds. On the Realm X, with a brace height of 6.5-inches, the Realm X shoots up to 345 feet per second. The cams are also adjustable in half-inch increments from 25-31-inches using the rotating modular system. The Binary Cams have the ability to swap from a comfort setting to a performance setting by using what Bowtech calls a Flipdisc. This changes how the draw of the bow feels, and impacts the speed, valley and back wall. Basically, this gives shooters two draw cycle choices to pick from making the Realm X really two bows in one based on the different draw cycles. Split yolks on the top an bottom cam also allow archers to perfectly tune the bow to their setup. Shooters can easily choose the arrows and equipment they want and then tune the cams to get the best shot out of the bow. Twisting the yolks and being able to change every part of the Overdrive system will surely give shooters the exact feel they desire, or the ability to have one feel for 3D and another for hunting.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Realm X has an amazing shooting experience and will match the needs any shooter places on it based on the customization throughout the entire system. Every part of this rig is customizable to match individual preferences amongst shooters. For that reason, the draw cycle and shootability of this bow is different depending on how shooters choose to set up their rigs. The added axel to axel length on the Realm X versus the Realm is sure to add stability downrange, and the bare bow weights are identical according to the specification section on the Bowtech archery website. Bows are generally set on how they feel overall. However, the Flipdisc allows shooters to fine tune the draw cycle for a comfort or performance setting. On the comfort setting, the cams roll over very nicely and the valley is as generous as they come. The back wall is solid and is very easy to pull into the stops. For shooters with tired shoulders, or those just wanting a smooth drawing system, the comfort setting is going to be an outstanding choice. For shooters demanding the most out of their rig in terms of speed, the performance setting is the preference of choice. In this setting, the valley is a bit shorter, but the back wall is still as solid as on the comfort setting. Some shooters may feel the cams wanting to pull a bit in the performance setting on the back wall, but good shooting technique should keep shooters honest and issue free. After the shot, the bow feels vibration free and makes almost no noise at all. The added bushings allow shooters to place weight and dampeners exactly where they want it. The flat back grip feels amazing, and the promise of Bowtech to offer different shapes and colors further supports the Bowtech mission of giving shooters as many customizable features as possible on their models for 2018. The 4.3-pounds bare bow balances very well, and it holds solid on target even before using the stabilizer mounting bushings. It is really difficult to find anything not to like about the Realm X; and chances are if shooters do not like something on the Realm X it can be adjusted to better match what the archer wants.

Usage Scenarios

The Realm X is an outstanding bow, which can serve as a hunting or 3D rig. Many shooters will opt for something different in shooting spots, but for everything else, the Realm X's ability to be customized in every category shooters can have a preference is sure to win over many shooters. The Flipdisc technology is carried over from last year, and the comfort and performance settings offer a feel for any style of shooting. The 33 1/4-inch axel-to-axel measurement is a perfect match of being maneuverable enough to be somewhat compact and stable enough to not feel shaky on target. Everything about this model is shootable and should be well received for those wanting a hunting bow to double as their 3D rig.

Bowtech Realm X vs. Bowtech Realm

Bow Bowtech Realm X Bowtech Realm
Version 2018 2018
Picture Bowtech Realm X Bowtech Realm
Brace Height 6.5 " 7.125 "
AtA Length 33.25 " 30.75 "
Draw Length 25 " - 31 " 25 " - 31 "
Draw Weight 40 lbs - 70 lbs 40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 345 fps - fps 340 fps
Weight 4.3 lbs 4.3 lbs
Let-Off 80 - 86% 80 - 86%
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These two bows are virtually identical with the exception of the axel-to-axel length, brace height, and speed. This is not the first year Bowtech has offered a more compact rig and a longer version to market the same model year. The Bowtech Realm and Realm X are the epitome of freedom of choice in the archery industry and neither option is a bad choice. Shooters wanting the more compact Realm will have a great choice and amazing specifications. Those wanting a little faster bow with a longer axel-to-axel measurement will appreciate the Realm X. Within each system, shooter will be able to tweak for the feel they desire. The main decision will come down to the axel-to-axel measurement and what makes the most sense for the buyer to purchase.

Summary

It is getting harder and harder to find faults with bows made in 2018. Everything Bowtech offers in the Realm X is customizable, making it one of the most unique rigs on the market. Anything shooters can have a personal preference with is customizable, and that makes the Realm X very competitive in the hunting bow market. The axle to axle measurement is in a sweet spot between compact bows and more target friendly bows, and the overall weight is not too heavy based on aluminum riser standards. The 345 feet per second speed rating is surprisingly easy to draw, and the brace height is 6.5-inches, which is not too far below the forgiveness standard of 7-inches many shooters have engrained in their mind. The $1199 price tag is not too high for flagship models in 2018, but those on a budget are really going to have to stretch in order to afford the Realm X. The new solid core limbs should correct any flaking issues experienced in the past, which has been a long time coming from Bowtech. It is very hard to find something not to like about the Realm X, and if there was something an archer could find, it can be tweaked to match what that shooter wants instead. The Realm X is going to be very popular, and it deserves a test shot for anyone on the market for a new bow in 2018.




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