Hoyt Powermax Review

Hoyt Powermax

Average user rating

out of 8 user reviews
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  • Mid-range price point with high-end technology
  • Colors to blend in or stand out anywhere
  • 6-inches of draw length adjustability without a bow press
  • 40-pound range of draw weight
  • $499 price tag; also offered in a Hoyt package deal for $649


  • Mid range price point bow does not have all the latest advertised technology
  • Limbs are only available in 10-pound increments


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Editors' review

The Hoyt Powermax is a new mid-range price point bow for Hoyt replacing the popular Charger in the lineup. Hoyt claims the Powermax "brings the perfect mix of technology, performance, style, and value." This statement is difficult to argue for those wanting a shorter axel to axel bow for around $500 bare bow. The Powermax cam is offered in draw lengths between 24-30-inches without the use of a press or having to purchase modules or new cams. Just rotate the included module to the desired spot and move the draw stop posts to match, and the desired draw is set and ready to go. Shooters just starting out in archery will also enjoy the package deal, which offers everything except arrows and a release straight from the factory. Shooters will also be able to choose a camo pattern that blends in any environment coast to coast, or a color that stands out in the parking lot of the local 3D shoot. No matter what type of shooter, the Powermax should meet the needs of a lot of people on a budget not willing to compromise technology and performance on a lower priced rig.


The Powermax appeals to a variety of shooters and types of archery. The vast demographic of interested shooters creates a large variety of finish options to choose from to meet the demands of all those potentially interested in a Powermax. Shooters interested in the Powermax for a dedicated target bow can choose between black, blue, pearl white, and red. Those wanting a hunting bow can choose between blackout, Realtree Max-1, Realtree Xtra, AP Snow, AP Pink, BoneCollector and Vixcen special edition packages. Hoyt also offers 9 different accent colors that can be added to the bow for additional customization if desired.


For a mid-range bow, it is difficult to tell the difference between the riser design of the Powermax versus that of past Hoyt's by looks alone. The Powermax Tec Lite riser takes on a similar shape to the previous Nitrum series bows, which may help add to the appeal for some shooters to be interested in the mid-range bow model. The axel-to-axel measurement is only 31-inches, and the overall weight of the bow is 3.8-pounds, which makes the riser as sturdy as possible while still keeping the overall weight to a relatively low poundage. Like other Hoyt risers, the Powermax has a bridged design for added support against torque at full draw. There is a rear mounted stabilizer, and a front mounting stabilizer hole for shooters wanting to add some counter weight or additional dampening devices.


The Powermax grip is a molded plastic one-piece grip option, which is a bit different than the flagship Hoyt models in regards to material, but not much different as far as shape and feel. The grip has an engraved Hoyt logo that blends in, but noticeable when up close. The grip does not add much to the overall appearance of the bow, but its fit and function is spot on and feels great in hand. It should also be fairly warm to the touch in cold weather, but a rubber or wooden grip may be warmer. The grip is functional, but far from a high end look or feel. The good news is that shooters are able to swap the factory standard grip for an option of their choice in the Profit lineup Hoyt offers. This will cost money to purchase, but will give a higher end look and feel to the bow.


The Powermax is a nice looking bow for the price point range, which means it is a good option for a variety of shooters. A potential group of shooters are those still growing in strength and size, but wanting a higher end bow. The split Powermax limbs are only offered in ten-pound increments, which are an industry standard, but not ideal for shooters still growing. If the limbs were offered in 15-pound increments, the Powermax may appeal to more shooters. With that being said, there are still a variety of choices including: 40, 50, 60, 65, and 70-pound maximum weight limbs. The parallel split ZRX limb technology used to store the Powermax energy creating a pretty wide base to help with reducing stress as the bow is drawn. Parallel limbs are generally great at reducing noise and vibration by design as well. Each pair of limbs are aided in dampening by the Limbshox dampening system. The limb pockets are nothing overly fancy, but still maintain tight tolerances for connecting the riser and the limbs together.

Eccentric System

The cam and a half system designed by Hoyt for the Powermax is replacing the pretty well like Charger of past years, so the draw cycle needs to be a favorable one by comparison. The rotating cam modules are great for allowing shooters to adjust the draw length within the cam specifications without the need for a bow press or additional cams. The draw length is adjustable from 24-25-inches and 25.5-30-inches in half-inch increments. The cam and a half system also shoots decent speeds up to 328 feet per second with an IBO set up and 75% let off. Although this speed is not smoking fast, it is pretty close to the same velocity seen out of the 2016 flagship models from Hoyt.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Hoyt Powermax feels pretty great for most shooters. Some short draw shooters favor the shorter axel-to-axel measurement over longer draw shooters, but those interested in a compact bow will like the overall feel of the Powermax. The draw cycle does not take much initial effort to get the cam to start rolling over, and the let off into the valley and pretty firm back wall is a fairly easy transition as well without much hump and dump. While holding on target, the Powermax has minimal pin float for such a lightweight, short axel-to-axel bow, and the feeling after the shot is pretty tame as well. With 75% let off, the bow draw weight does taper off nicely, and the feel while holding on target up against the string stop system is a nice one. The 328 feet per second IBO speed rating is not too shabby either for a bow at the price point, although true speed freaks will be able to find something faster.

Usage Scenarios

The Hoyt Powermax is designed to fit the need of a variety of shooters whether they are brand new, looking to upgrade from a youth bow, on a budget, or perhaps still growing a bit. With a 31-inch axel-to-axel measurement, the bow will not be ideal for everyone in all-shooting styles, but should serve well as a hunting bow or a beginner's 3D bow. The performance and technology included with the Powermax bow is outstanding, especially considering the price point it falls into.

Hoyt Powermax vs. Hoyt Charger

BowHoyt PowermaxHoyt Charger
Version 20202015
PictureHoyt PowermaxHoyt Charger
Brace Height6.75 "6.75 "
AtA Length31 "31 "
Draw Length24 " - 30 "24 " - 30 "
Draw Weight30 lbs - 70 lbs30 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed328 fps325 fps
Weight3.8 lbs3.8 lbs
Let-Off75% 75%
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The Powermax is stepping into the Hoyt lineup for the previous Charger model. The Powermax will have a bit more favorable of a draw cycle when compared to the Hoyt Charger for most shooters, and the TEC riser on the Powermax has a more mainstream look. Shooters could easily confuse the Powermax with the 2015 Nitrum model based on the riser design alone. For a midrange price point bow, it is hard to find anything wrong with ether bow given it matches the needs and feels nice to the shooter. However, the Powermax is winning the popularity contest for most shooters interested in either model.

Factory Package option

Hoyt has put together a factory accessory package for shooters wanting the bow to shoot straight out of the box. The accessory market can be a bit intense for those not entirely sure what they want, and the factory package eliminates all the guess work and research associated with the massive number of sights, rests, stabilizers, and quivers. The Fuse accessory package offers a QAD Hunter Ultra rest, a Flex blade stabilizer, a wrist sling, peep sight, Vector quick detach quiver, and a Pro fire sight. All this comes for only an additional $100, which is another great deal. New shooters will simply need to add arrows and a release to be all set.


The Powermax is a budget friendly bow in the medium range of new 2016 models, which should appeal to a large number of shooters and archery styles. The Powermax may make a great 3D bow for a female shooter, a higher end hunting bow for a youth shooter wanting to get a little more serious, or a nice back up bow for someone that likes to be prepared for a variety of circumstances. The Powermax is replacing the Charger, which several shooters felt was a solid combination of high-end technology and price. The MSRP of the Powermax set at $499 is pretty tough to beat, and although the price is relatively low, the bow is a flat out shooter no matter what the price is. To have a compact bow shooting 328 feet per second with the customization the Powermax offers, this model should be a really great seller in the mid-range for Hoyt in 2016.

User Reviews

  • 8 reviews
  • ( out of 8 reviews for all versions)
Awesome bow that easily competes with bows in $1500 range

Version: 2018 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: Nice let off and quit without adding alll kinds of silencers

Cons: My specific model has a Mac draw weight of 60#. Would like to see how much more accurate it’d be @ 70#c

Full review:

Bought the Hoyt package deal but soon realized I needed a few upgrades. Whisker biscuit was garbage so changed to a Tru Glo drop away rest and it’s made a world of difference. At less than $80 it was well worth spending. Went with a
Moderate priced Trophy Ridge 1 pin adjustable fiber optic sight and it’s like a totally different bow. For penetration the 320 spine Gold Tip pierce (4mm) arrows (4-vein) cut at 29” work Really well, however tend to hit about 2” lower @ 10-40 yds. On top of that they’re $125 for 6. I think this bow shoots 350 spine (6mm) carbon express (3 vein) arrows best. Most of us need no more than the power max to take any white tail I’ve ever seen. The Carbon bows are lighter, but twice the cost as well. Couldn’t be happier

Great bow to learn the ropes, fast, light and well balanced.

Version: 2019 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: This bow is user friendly, easy to adjust, and quiet.

Cons: Hurts like the dickens when the string hits your arm, lol

Full review:

My Powermax has a quad drop away rest, is set at 29.5" and when tuned at max draw weight is 72# pull. I shoot 300 spine arrows and 100g heads and put 4 arrows through the monograph for 302,303,303,302fps. Nice!
I am new to compound bow archery and this bow has proven to be user friendly and I'm super pumped to hunt it with it this upcoming deer season in Ohio.

Perfect deer hunting bow. Quiet, feels good, shoots great. No need to spend more $$$$

Version: 2018 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: Feels great. Use for deer hunting, very quiet. Feels stable. Others that have watched me shoot have told me it fits me like a glove and I appear solid on the line. I agree. Overall very comfortable and consistent.

Cons: Made adjustments to grip to get the right “ feel”. Everything else about it is great.

Full review:

After major surgery I needed a new rig. Am shooting draw weight of 45lbs. with gold tip hunter arrows, 400’s. 100gr field points for practice and 3D. 100gr fixed blade slick tricks for deer hunting. I’m 63 yes old, and can still practice as much as I want. Bow is very comfortable and easy to shoot. QAD drop away rest was a game changer. Solid back wall makes it a dream to shoot. Have plenty of kinetic energy to still harvest deer. Have harvested a deer each of the last 3 years since purchase. None going more than 75 yds. This bow has kept me in the game at age 63.

Good Shooting, reliable, durable.

Version: 2018 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: Great balance, good backwall, very comfortable grip, consistent accuracy.

Cons: Had some issues with the factory string serving. Incompatible with a whisker biscuit rest because you cannot align the flectching correctly for the whiskers without contacting the cables when fired.

Full review:

I love the way the bow shoots, and feels. Great hunting rig. Within one year I had a problem with the strings center serving slipping, and had some issues getting a new string tuned. At first had broadhead flight problems using a whisker biscuit. To orientate the fletching correctly for the whiskers the inside fletch would contact the cable. Took me a while to find this. Hoyt told me the whisker biscuit is not recommended on the bow. I put on a QAD drop away rest that I am very happy with now (at first wasn't). Wasn't until I tried a drop away I realized how much I was missing.

Easy shooting bow

Version: 2018 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: I was going to purchase a Mathews Traverse but after I shot this bow, I chose the PowerMax due to the price point being half, with literally the same performance and smooth draw cycle. This bow is extremely quiet.

Cons: I honestly haven't found anything that I don't like about the bow yet.

Full review:

Coming from a guy that hadn't shot a bow in 15 years, I was extremely impressed with this bow. I shot 1" groups at 20 yards out of the box. I am not a long range shooter, but with a 30" draw IBO speeds don't mean much to me. I'll likely never shoot beyond 30 yards. The grip took some getting used to since my old Pearson Spoiler had a massive grip. After 10 shots, I adapted to that as well. I honestly don't know what the point of buying a higher end bow would be. This bow will do everything you need it to do without depleting your wallet/

Easy bow to learn with

Version: 2018 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: I'm just now picking up a bow fir the first time in twenty years. First time I shot it I was getting 1 in groups at twenty yards. Very smooth draw cycle and good balance. I love it.

Cons: There is still quite a bit of noise and vibration with the factory package fuse blade stabilizer and no extra dampers. I'm going to have to add some things but I think it will be better with some aftermarket accessories.

Full review:

Like I said before I haven't shot a bow since 2001 when I had an all wooden Darton compound set at 70 yards. That was a noisy, shaky bow lol. When I got the Powermax set up and tuned, I was instantly hitting arrows against each other at 20 yards. I've had it about 2 weeks now and I'm already hitting 5 in groups at 50 yards and I'm very confident in my shooting. My strength is building and my form is really coming together the bow is getting better at hitting the stronger I get. I'm sure I'll be able to use this in a 3D league this winter after I get a double stabilizer setup, a better arrow rest and a good sight.

Solid, quiet bow with good back wall and easy to tune

Version: 2017 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: The weight of the bare bow is the first thing that will appeal to users. Great back wall with decent valley and very quiet

Cons: The only neegative I can find is the grip but resolved that with my own custom side plates

Full review:

Currently have the PowerMax set to 65lbs with IQ Bowsight, Limbsaver stabilizer, Rip Cord Ace rest and G5 quiver shooting 28.5" draw and Gold Tip Kenetic arrows. For 3D and targets to 40 yards, groups are very good. The overall balance makes long practice sessions effortless. Have not checked actual IBO but appears to shoot my setup at or around 282 fps. This year will be the first hunting season with the bow so broadhead tuning will be the next to be tested.

Solid, quiet shooter that is easy to tune

Version: 2017 Hoyt Powermax


Pros: Quiet tops the pros list followed by weight, draw cycle, tunability and looks.

Cons: The obvious full-wrap low end grip leads the list of cons but given this bow is not a flagship bow, no real cons to speak of.

Full review:

This was purchased to replace a older Martin single cam bow and the first time I drew the bow was a revelation. My setup is 65lbs. draw weight, Rip Cord drop rest, limbsaver stabilizer, QAD quiver, IQ Bowsight and GT Kinetic 340 arrows cut to 28.5", TAW 432gr. Once I had a calm day, paper tuning was easy and groups are 1 " at 20 yards and 1.5" at 30 yards. I am not a distance shooter so the slower IBO is no problem as the arrow combo provides 67 lbs kinetic energy at 30 yards and that is more than enough for this quite, almost vibration free setup.Looking forward to next bow season to put it to the real test but targets and 3D have no chance with this setup

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