Hoyt Defiant Turbo Review

Hoyt Defiant Turbo

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Pros

  • DFX modular based Turbo cam shoots 350 feet per second
  • Newly redesigned limbs, pockets, riser, and cams

Cons

  • Almost identical performance as the previous year's model
  • MSRP of $1049

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Editors' review

The Defiant Turbo gets a face-lift for 2016 with new limbs, pockets, cams, and riser design. With a 6-inch brace height and 33-inch axel-to-axel measurement, the 350 feet per second IBO rating shows how serious engineers were when designing the Defiant Turbo. Unfortunately, the bow looks almost identical on paper as the outgoing Nitrum Turbo model. With that being said, the shooting experience of the new Turbo is the reason why shooters are going to want a new Defiant Turbo. The improved string angle feels like a longer axel-to-axel bow, and shooters not wanting to pull a lot of weight but not willing to shoot a slow bow have a great compromise with the Defiant Turbo. The MSRP of $1049 is a premium price for a 2016 flagship bow, but the Turbo is a premium bow as well. Shooters wanting a new bow with great performance should give the Defiant Turbo model a try.

Finish

Hoyt offers a finish option to meet the needs of just about every single shooter interested in buying a new Hoyt regardless of the style of archery the shooters participates in. Hoyt has options for those interested in using the Defiant Turbo as a target bow and those wanting to use the Turbo as a hunting bow.

For target colors, Hoyt offers Pearl White in paint and black gloss in powder coating. For anodized colors, Hoyt has Championship Red, Cobalt Blue, Electric Teal, Harvest Brown, Jet Black, Mean Green, Orange Torch, Silver Ice, and Victory Violet. In addition to this, Hoyt offers a variety of accent color dampening kits to replace what is normally a black set from the factory. These target colors are finished off with black limbs and pockets.

For those wanting hunting options, Hoyt has their normal Realtree patterns in addition to a new Under Armor pattern, which should be pretty popular as well. Those wanting a traditional hunting pattern will more than likely be drawn to Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max-1, and Under Armor Ridge Reaper. Those wanting a form of camouflage, but a bit less popular may enjoy Realtree AP Snow or Realtree AP Pink. Solid black with carbon fiber look alike limbs is also a popular hunting choice for many shooters.

Shooters that want to add a little flair to a camo finish can do so with one of the specialty or custom hunting designs. These include different graphics on the limbs; dampener colors installed straight from the factory, and different color strings. Bone Collector is a popular choice with the florescent green color matching that of the Bone Collector hunting show. The American Heritage custom look, which is red, white, and blue, which looks really great on the finishes, offered. Finally, the Vixcen look marketed toward female shooters with pink and purple accent colors. Shooters also wanting a camo bow, but not wanting to fully commit to a camo riser can mix some of the camo option limbs with a black or harvest brown riser.

The major downside of offering so many choices is that a dealer will more than likely have to order anything that is a bit different. Dealers are more than likely going to stock the more popular choices, so shooters wanting a fresh new look may have to wait for the bow to be ordered, produced by Hoyt, and shipped to their local shop. This could add a great deal of time to the process of actually getting the bow of choice.

Riser

Hoyt has carried over a few riser technologies from the past years, but the look is entirely different than past models. Although shooters are probably not buying a bow based on looks alone, the Defiant Turbo riser does have a nice look and should be attractive to most. The silent riser shelf, bridged design, lower cage, and offset stabilizer mounting system are a full carryover from previous designs. Hoyt has also decided to continue with a top and bottom attachment for those wanting to use a one-piece quiver. The rubber dampeners used in previous models on the riser just below the limb pockets has been moved to the pocket itself.

The functionality of the riser itself is not much different than the 2015 models. However, the technologies used are effective is strengthening the riser, eliminating torque, and working to be as vibration free as possible. The Zero Torque Cable Slide system is another carryover technology, but helps make the riser what it is. This roller guard system has a stationary slide combined with a moving roller system, which flexes as the cables are drawn. This also reduces torque on the already strong riser. The roller system returns to the resting position right after the string is released and does so silently and without impacting the arrow fletching.

Grip

This is one carryover Hoyt decided to keep from the previous year model. The 2016 Defiant Turbo will more than likely come from the factory with a one-piece wooden grip. The color may be different based on the finish option picked, but the one-piece grip is standard. Hoyt also offers side plates for shooters wanting a smaller grip, and a rubber 180 one-piece grip. Each grip has a slightly different feel to match what shooters ultimately want. The removal of the grip is easy by simply taking out the screw on each side of the grip and replacing it after the new grip is in place.

Limbs

Hoyt chooses to stay with the traditional split limb design, but that is about it for 2016. The new design offers more of a preloaded limb configuration than anything offered by Hoyt recently. This creates the need for an entirely new limb pocket design as well. Hoyt offers the Turbo in a variety of poundage options including maximum draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, and 70-pounds.

The new limb design, combined with the DFX cam system allows shooters to experience a less steep string angle on the back end of the draw cycle. As advertised, this makes the bow feel like a longer axel-to-axel bow by moving the peep sight a bit closer to the shooters eye as well as giving the shooter a more natural upright head position. Each of these things should lead to improved accuracy. Although it is something shooters should feel while drawing the bows, the philosophy behind what Hoyt is offering is not brand new to the industry.

The limb pockets are still able to maintain the tight tolerances Hoyt demands by creating counter pressure points throughout the limb. The new pockets are no longer full containment type system, which looks a bit different, but should still prove to be a solid design in the long run.

The final change comes with the choice of dampener Hoyt has gone with for 2016. Instead of the AirShox system of past years, Hoyt is now using a simple split limb rubber dampener. Engineers claim the old system did not offer a large enough difference and chose to eliminate it altogether. For some shooters, this is not considered a loss. However, some did appreciate the design of the old system. The dampeners from the old 2015 riser have been moved to the limb pocket area, which should help with noise and vibration as well.

Eccentric System

It was hard to find flaws with the previously offered Z5 cams on the Hoyts, but 2016 sees a complete redesign. The DFX Turbo cam boasts a blazing speed of 350 feet per second, which is an obtainable number without the need to do a lot of high end tuning. Hoyt will offer the DFX Turbo cam in half-inch increments between 24-30-inches with a newly integrated rotating module system. Another addition to the DFX Turbo cam is the option to add a limb stop system for a more solid back wall feel on the cam and a half system.

Hoyt will still offer the same three base cam systems as they have in the past, with the module system able to adjust the draw within the range of each cam. Cam one is 24-26-inches, cam two is 26-28-inches, and cam three is 28-30-inches. Those with a borderline draw length measurement offered on two separate cams will probably experience a little more performance on the cam, which maxes out the draw. For example, a 28-inch draw length will more than likely have better performance from a number two-cam system when compared to the number three cam. The module is also adjustable without the need for a bow press by loosening two screws, moving the module, and tightening everything down again.

It is also nice to see Hoyt offer an optional limb stop system. Every shooter may not use the limb stop, but the ability to add it and allow shooters to further customize their back end feel is a welcomed decision. The solid back wall is becoming more and more popular, and Hoyt paying attention to what many shooters like is a great sign for good things to continue coming from Hoyt.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The draw cycle on the Turbo cam is expectedly different from the DFX cam. However, the performance is significantly more as well. Although to be fair, the performance difference can not be completely attributed to the cam system because the Turbo model also features a shorter brace height. The weight on the DFX Turbo cam stacks up almost right away. From there, peak weight is maintained a bit longer than on the DFX cams before dumping into the let-off and back wall. Although there is not much a hump before the let off is felt, there is a bit of a rollover, which may take some shooters a bit to adjust to. The draw is never uncomfortable, and the valley is fairly decent for a speed bow. The hold on target is great, and those wanting a super solid back wall can add the limb stop peg included from the factory. After the shot, the bow seems to sit in the shooters hand with just a little bit of a rocking sensation. When tuned properly, there should be no felt vibration either. The overall shooting experience of the Turbo performance is pleasurable, but it is not to be confused with a comfort style bow.

Usage Scenarios

The Hoyt Defiant Turbo is a hunting bow design, but depending of the shooter, it could be used as a foam or paper puncher as well. The 350 IBO rated speed could really help with any type of misjudgment in yardage during a 3D shoot. As a hunting bow, it would also allow shooters to go a bit heavier on the weight of the arrow and create even more kinetic energy for the same speed a slower model bow would shoot a lighter arrow. The new feeling on the back wall in regards to the string angle is also more favorable for those wanting to use the bow for a few styles of shooting.

Hoyt Defiant Turbo vs. Hoyt Nitrum Turbo

Bow Hoyt Defiant Turbo Hoyt Nitrum Turbo
Version 2016 2015
Picture Hoyt Defiant Turbo Hoyt Nitrum Turbo
Brace Height 6 " 6 "
AtA Length 33 " 33 "
Draw Length 24 " - 30 " 24.5 " - 30 "
Draw Weight 30 lbs - 70 lbs 30 lbs - 80 lbs
IBO Speed 350 fps 350 fps
Weight 3.8 lbs 4.2 lbs
Let-Off 75% 75%
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The battle between the most recent Turbo models Hoyt has created (Hoyt Defiant Turbo vs Hoyt Nitrum Turbo) is a tough one to judge on paper alone. The specifications are basically identical, but the feel on the draw, holding on target, and after the shot really separates the shooting experience between the two models. Is one bow better than the other? Only one person can truly decide that, the buyer. The string angle is a bit more comfortable on the Hoyt Defiant Turbo, and the new limb stop on the DFX cams could really be the reason to choose the 16 Turbo over the 15 models. However, to say the DFX Turbo cam is better would be more of a personal preference. Both bows are great, but shooters will more than likely prefer one over the other.

Summary

Hoyt has openly marketed the Turbo models in the past for those with a shorter draw length or those not wanting to compromise speed, but not able to pull heavy poundage. Perhaps the reason for not marketing the bow to the masses was the slightly shorter axel-to-axel measurement of 33-inches. With the newly designed limbs and cams, the new sting angle should be more of a positive for those wanting a turbo performance bow at the upper range of the draw cycle. Those interested in a high performance bow should give the DFX Turbo cam powered bow a legitimate shot. The performance and brand new design comes at a premium price of $1049, but Hoyt has been a top-notch company for a long time and they generally have prices at the upper range of the accepted market price. To be honest, it is really tough to bash a completely redesigned offering created from the ground up, by a company like Hoyt. Does that mean the Defiant Turbo is the perfect bow for everyone? Absolutely not. However, the engineering that went into creating a speed bow is worth a look for those in the market for performance.




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