Hoyt Carbon Defiant Turbo Review

Hoyt Carbon Defiant Turbo

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  from $900


  • Newly engineered cams, fresh looking riser, and highly pre-stressed limbs
  • Improved string angle for a more comfortable shot
  • True 350 feet per second IBO with a 6-inch brace height


  • Despite updates, the performance is virtually unchanged from last year
  • MSRP of $1499


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Editors' review

Hoyt has been doing carbon risers for a while, and although they are not the first or only manufacturers to utilize the carbon technology, Hoyt may be the most known carbon riser bows on the market. Carbon bows are not cheap, and the new carbon turbo model will have an MSRP tag of $1499, which eliminates a lot of potential shooters before even getting a chance to try one out just based on the price alone. Carbon is stronger and lighter than aluminum, warmer than aluminum, and offers some cool design features aluminum risers are not able to offer. The 2016 carbon defiant uses more highly stressed preloaded limbs, which when combined with the DFX cam system is able to offer a more upright and comfortable head position. The string is also able to contact the shooters face in better alignment for the shooter to anchor at the corner of their mouth and tip of their nose. The DFX cams also have a newly integrated optional limb stop and as well as a rotating module - both of which have not been seen in the Hoyt line-up the last several years. The Carbon Defiant Turbo is sweet, and flings arrows at an attainable IBO measured 350 feet per second with a 6-inch brace height. However, for $1500 pre tax, and no noticeable gains in performance from previous versions, some shooters may choose to stay away.


Hoyt is allowing shooters tons of options for the new Carbon Defiant Turbo model in regards to finish colors and camo patterns. Those willing to spend $1499 for a bare bow have the ability to choose camo finishes, custom hunting looks, and target colors.For camo patterns, Hoyt is continuing to offer the Realtree patterns, which include. Realtree Max-1, Realtree Xtra, Realtree AP Pink, and Realtree AP Snow. Brand new for 2016, Hoyt has decided to offer what should be a highly sought after pattern in Under Armour Ridge Reaper. Each of these camo patterns can be paired with a black or Harvest Brown riser for a bit different look. For custom finishes, Hoyt offers the Realtree Xtra and Max-1 in the Bone Collector and American Heritage packages, which have different sting colors and limb graphics from the factory. Female shooters wanting the Vixcen patterns can also choose between purple or pick accent colors to go along with a black riser.Not everyone is interested in a camo bow, so Hoyt also has a variety of target colors for those shooters. Blue, custom black, pearl white, red, and black are also some paint options offered on the Carbon Defiant Turbo line-up to choose from.


The 2016 carbon riser looks similar to previous model years and the technology is fairly close to the same. However, there are some slight differences in the look from the 2015 models. Hoyt was the only company using carbon as a riser component for a while, but the last couple years, the archery world has seen other manufacturers entering the market of incorporating carbon to some extent. The 2016 Hoyt riser is made of 50 individual carbon components strategically placed for the best strength. There are three carbon tubes weaved amongst themselves to meet the engineered design of the riser for the best stiffness. Carbon is warm to the touch as well. Anyone using the Carbon Defiant Turbo as a hunting bow will love the idea of having a warmer grip to hold onto the bow. Many shooters have even opted to not wear any gloves while shooting their carbon riser bow during hunting season. The carbon defiant turbo has a unique look thanks to the tubular twist design and the bridged supported riser for increased strength. While looking at the front of the riser, there is also a bit of an off set as well, which helps balance the accessories all mounted on the same side of the bow. Most shooters use a stabilizer, and this weight also works to counter balance the accessory weight thanks to the offset riser design. The string stop system is slightly adjustable, and works well in stopping the string from oscillating too much after the shot. Hoyt allows shooters to include a one piece or two-piece quiver with a top and bottom mounting location integrated into the carbon riser as well.One carryover in design from last year is the Zero Torque Cable Guard System. This cable slide has a built in reverse pivot design, which allows for the cables to move inward as the bow is drawn towards the arrow shaft where they naturally want to go based on the torque of the limbs and riser as it is drawn. As the roller system moves inward, the torque-induced stress on the bow is minimized a bit, which should theoretically add to improved accuracy.


Hoyt grips are comfortable grips for most shooters right out of the box, but they also offer a few options for shooters from the factory to choose which fits the best. Shooters will usually get a stock one-piece wooden grip from Hoyt, which will vary a bit on the color based on the riser finish. This is a bit on the thick side for some shooters, so wooden side plates are also offered in a Hoyt grip. The original grip is simple to remove, and the side plates are easy to add. The side plates are thinner than the one-piece, and have a flatter backside, which fits in the shooters hand. The third option is a rubber one-piece grip from Hoyt, which many shooters will want to shoot.


Hoyt offers a variety of split limb poundage options to meet the needs of almost every shooter wanting a carbon speed bow. Maximum draw weights can be adjusted by about ten pounds, and are available in 40, 50, 60, 65, and 70-pound configurations. Although the other two carbon defiant models offer 80-pound limbs, the Carbon Defiant Turbo does not according to the Hoyt website. The new Ultra Flex limb design works directly with the DFX cam system to create a better string angle for the shooter at full draw. Hoyt claims the new Defiant series adds a bit more than 3-inches of axel-to-axel measurement in how the string feels on the shooters face at full draw. That means the 33-inch axel-to-axel measurement of the Carbon Defiant Turbo will have the feel of a bow measuring just over 36-inches axel to axel. The string angle means the peep will be closer to the shooters eye, and shooters will be able to anchor properly in the corner of their mouth as well as on the tip of their nose. Hoyt is not the only company using some version of a highly pre-stressed limb, but they are doing a great deal of advertising towards this improved feeling while anchored. The limb pockets are a bit different for 2016 as well. Instead of previous limb pockets completely holding the split limbs in place, the 2016 limbs have more freedom then before. They are solidly anchored to the riser with the same near zero tolerances as before, but there is more room to pivot as well allowing for the better string angle at full draw.

Eccentric System

The DFX Turbo cam is the powering force behind the IBO rated 350 feet per second speed of the Carbon Defiant Turbo. This is also combined with a shorter 6-inch brace height, so not all the speed is produced by the cam system alone. The DFX Turbo cam system offers a wide range of draw length adjustments from 24-30-inches within three different base cam settings. Each of these base cams offer a rotating module to adjust the draw in half-inch increments. The one cam is available between 24-26-inches, the two cam is 26-28-inches, and the three cam is 28-30-inches. Hoyt has also integrated an optional limb stop, which contacts the limb for one of the most solid back walls Hoyt has produced in recent years. The draw post is optional, and the DFX Turbo cam can also be shot without it in use if shooters decide to go with a little spongier feel on the back wall. One of the biggest marketing strategies for the 2016 DFX cam system is the increased string angle feel. Shooters will notice the peep sight sitting closer to their eye at full draw, and the string angle is not as steep as before. This should force shooters to be in a better, more erect body position and the peep sight closer to the shooters eye should increase accuracy as well. The 2016 models, when compared with the 2015 models will have an increased axel to axel measurement feel of a bow that is over 3-inches longer. In other words, the 33-inch axel-to-axel Carbon Defiant Turbo will actually feel like a 36.45-inch axel-to-axel bow when focusing on the string angle. This should allow shooters the ability to shoot the popular compact bows, while having the sense of holding a longer model. All of this should lead to increased accuracy down range as well. Despite Hoyt marketing this aspect pretty aggressively, they are not the only bow company to be using a combination of highly pre-stressed limbs and a cam that increases the string angle while at full draw. With that being said, there is a noticeable difference when drawing a Carbon Spyder ZT Turbo from last year and a Carbon Defiant Turbo this year. Hoyt is marketing this pretty heavily, but the difference in undeniable and it should help shooters be more accurate in the long run as well.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The draw cycle is a little harsher than the other DFX cam powered bows, and it should based on the speed it produces in comparison. It does take a bit more energy to get the cams started right from the start of the draw cycle, and the weight stacks up fairly quickly. The last inch or so of the draw cycle has a let off and a little dump into the back wall. The back wall has two distinct feels based on whether or not shooters use the optional limb stop post. With the post installed, the back wall firms up a lot over not having it in play. The back wall without the limb stop post is pretty solid as well, but when the two are compared the limb stop is firmer. However, the feeling shooters like at the back end of the draw cycle is a personal preference, and it is nice to have an option to go one way or the other.While at full draw, the bow holds on target downrange well. It aims pretty effortlessly, and the feeling after the shot is why many shooters love carbon risers - noise and vibration free. The valley is pretty manageable while at full draw. Shooters should not feel like they are wrestling the bow at full draw in order to keep it there. However, it there is too much relaxation at full draw, the string will want to jerk forward.

Usage Scenarios

The Carbon Defiant Turbo is a speed bow without a brace height many consider too short. There are a few shooters still not interested in a 6-inch brace height, but even more shooters are not interested in anything shorter than 6. The 2016 turbo model does well providing the most generous brace height and the best performance at the same time. This bow will more than likely appeal to shooters highly interested in bow hunting. Many suggest shooters with a 29-inch draw or less take a look at the Turbo model. However, with the increased string angle, shooters that may not have been comfortable with the 33-inch axel-to-axel measurement before may have a blazing fast bow to shoot. This bow does have some ability to be a multipurpose bow as well for shooters wanting one bow to do it all.

Carbon Defiant Turbo vs. Defiant Turbo

BowHoyt Carbon Defiant TurboHoyt Defiant Turbo
Version 20172016
PictureHoyt Carbon Defiant TurboHoyt Defiant Turbo
Brace Height6 "6 "
AtA Length33 "33 "
Draw Length24 " - 30 "24 " - 30 "
Draw Weight30 lbs - 70 lbs30 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed350 fps350 fps
Weight3.8 lbs3.8 lbs
Let-Off75% 75%
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With these two bows, the largest differences are in the riser material, overall bow mass, and price. Generally, shooters that have owned a carbon bow in the past find it hard to switch back to the aluminum riser (Hoyt Defiant Turbo) citing less noise and vibration as a main reason to stay. However, others argue the aluminum riser has the same feel and shooters are simply trying to justify the additional price associated with the carbon models. The best way to decide between the two would be to shoot both and see which one fits the best in the budget. Is the Carbon model worth the additional cost, or would a shooter be more comfortable putting the additional $400 towards some accessories?


The Carbon Defiant Turbo is a speed bow with great performance. However, it is important to keep in mind performance will come at a price. The draw cycle and the back wall have a different feel than the regular DFX cam system, and although it is very smooth, it will be more aggressive as well. There are a lot of shooter chasing the fastest arrow speeds possible, but the real advantage to a fast shooting bow is the ability to add some arrow mass or shoot lighter poundage without having to compromise speed to get it.There are a lot of bonuses about getting the 2016 Carbon Defiant Turbo model, but a $1499 price tag for a bow is a tough thing to swallow for many shooters on the market. Those purchasing a carbon riser bow will more than likely love everything about it, but it could just be overselling the bow to justify the price. There is no doubt about the Carbon Defiant Turbo being a great shooting performance bow, but the price and no real upgrade in performance from last year may keep some shooters from pulling the trigger on it.

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