Hoyt Pro Defiant 34 Review

Hoyt Pro Defiant 34

Average user rating

out of 1 user review


  • Fresh new riser design
  • Can truly be used for any style of shooting - target or hunting
  • Proven DFX cam system
  • Better string angle for improved shootability and comfort


  • Nothing major changed from 2016
  • MSRP of $1099 for hunting colors and $1249 for target colors
  • Only 325 feet per second


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Editors' review

The Pro Defiant 34 gets a nicely upgraded riser design to make it look even better than the 2016 Defiant. Aside from that, the Pro Defiant is virtually unchanged from the Defiant of 2016 keeping the DFX cam and a half system and its performance rating. With a seven-inch brace height, the 325 feet per second IBO rating is still slow, but the forgiveness offered combined with the improved string angle and smooth cam system really do make it a very shootable bow overall. For a bow that can really do anything, the MSRP of $1099 is fairly reasonable. Shooters would easily be able to switch setups and be ready to shoot spots, 3D or hit the hardwoods for some hunting action. The premium for a target finished Pro Defiant 34 seems a bit steep for what you get at an MSRP of $1249, but the new look with colored limbs, strings, and grips is pretty cool looking. Overall, despite only a few cosmetic changes, the Pro Defiant is still a great shooting bow. It may be disappointing to some shooters there was not a major improvement over from the 2016 lineup in regards to performance, but the Defiant was one of the best shooting 2016 models. The upgraded aluminum riser design and target color options may not be enough for shooters owning an original Defiant to purchase a new one, but those kicking themselves for not making the purchase last year have another chance to own a really solid do it all bow in the Pro Defiant 34.


Hoyt offers two distinct lineups for finish options. The first is the standard hunting choices, which are included with the MSRP of $1099. These options are Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max-1, or Under Armour Ridge Reaper. Bows can have matching risers and limbs, black risers with cam limbs, or the new buckskin riser with camo limbs. Shooters can also purchase the Bone Collector model for yet another unique choice. The second lineup is more designed for the target bow side of things. The black risers feature different colored limbs, threads, and wooden grips, which is different than Hoyt's target color offerings in the past, which featured colored risers and black limbs. The colors offered in for the Pro Defiant 34 include white, red, purple, orange, green, and blue. Hoyt continues to offer their color kits for some additional changes to the finish options also. Shooters can choose to change out the rubber dampeners on the limbs and string stop, or purchase a color kit, which includes a matching colored wooden grip as well. These accent colors can be ordered with a new bow, or swapped out later on. The colors include yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, green, blue, and black. Most bows will come with black installed right out of the box, but it is nice to have the option for switching out later on if desired.


The Pro Defiant 34 riser is the main difference between the 2016 Defiant and the 2017 Pro Defiant. The function and technologies are the same, the overall look and design is not. The aluminum riser is bridged like other Hoyt bows, and features the tunnel below the grip area. The stabilizer-mounting hole is also offset to allow shooters the ability to counter some vertical weight and counter the sight, quiver, and rest mounted on the opposite side of the bow. The cutouts are different than last year, and the bow looks a lot more aggressive than previous model years. The Zero Torque Roller Guard system is a carryover from previous model years as well. This roller system is beefed up in regards to its thickness in comparison to other models on the market, and pivots as drawn. The roller system from an engineering stand point works to decrease the amount of torque placed on the cable guard and then the riser by allowing the system to move towards the arrow as the bow is drawn. After the arrow is released, the system returns to its resting position and fully clears the vanes and arrow not disturbing the arrow flight in any way.


The Pro Fit wooden grip comes standard on the Pro Defiant 34. Shooters opting for a target color Pro Defiant will have a one-piece grip that matches the strings and limbs color. Those opting for a hunting bow will have the stained wooden grip. The one-piece grip is a bit on the thicker side in regards to grip width, but is easy to hold in hand and sits nicely in place promoting the best hand placement possible for increased accuracy. For shooters wanting something a bit slimmer, Hoyt also offers wooden side plates as well.


Hoyt sticks with the split limb system for the Pro Defiant 34. The draw weights are available in 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 55-65, 60-70, and 70-80-pounds. With the versatility this bow has to offer, it is great to include a 50-pound draw weight range to accommodate any shooter wanting a do it all bow. The limbs are designed to withstand the 1,000 dry fire Hoyt test, which takes a 30-inch bow set at 80-pounds and machine dry fires it for 1,000 shots. To say the pressed laminate limbs are tough would be an understatement. The pockets have six distinct connecting points to make sure the limbs are in the same location and function without variance shot after shot. To finish out the limbs and pocket system, Hoyt offers a limb dampening system as well. This limb dampener is less elaborate than the older Air Shox system, but Hoyt claims it works as well as the previous dampening system. Shooters wanting a more customized look can also order a color kit to accent the Pro Defiant 34 even more. The accent colors include yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, green, blue, and black. For shooters opting for a black riser, Hoyt is offering different colored limbs, which is new. Previous model years, shooters interested in target colors would get a colored riser and black limbs. For 2017, Hoyt is offering colored limbs, grips, string, and cables instead. The color choices include orange, green, blue, purple, red, and white.

Eccentric System

The DFX cam system on the Pro Defiant 34 shoots an IBO speed of 325 feet per second. This speed is far from fast, but when combined with a forgiving 7-inch brace height, and a smooth draw cycle, that speed is a bit easier to stomach. Hoyt sticks with the three base cams on the DFX cam and a half system, and adds a rotating module allowing shooters to change draw lengths within each base cam without the need for a press or new modules. The number one base cam has draw lengths from 25-27-inches. The number two cam offers draw lengths of 27-29-inches, and the number three cam goes 29 all the way out to 31-inches. Each module adjustment can be made to give shooters half-inch increments. With six-inches of overall adjustment, the Pro Defiant 34 is going to fit a lot of shooters. With the introduction of the DFX cam system, Hoyt chose to integrate two distinct back wall choices for shooters to choose from. To stick with the typical Hoyt back wall feel, the dual cable stops give shooters a little play on the back end of the draw cycle. However, shooters have seemed to gravitate towards bows with a more solid back wall. Shooters wanting that solid back wall feel now have the choice to set up their Hoyt that way with a limb stop system. This will require some tinkering to get it set perfectly, but the end result will be a solid back wall, and something Hoyt has not offered prior to the DFX cam system. Perhaps the most advertised feature on the DFX cam system is the improved string angle at full draw. Hoyt engineers went to the drawing board to sync the limbs and cam system to increase the sting angle, making it feel like a longer axel-to-axel bow at full draw. In theory, this allows the shooter a more upright position at full draw and gets the peep sight closer to the shooters eye. Hoyt advertises a string angle that feels like a bow 3.45-inches longer axel to axel. On the Pro Defiant 34, this means the rig will feel more like a 37-inch target bow. Shooters are able to keep shorter axel to axel sizes, with a more comfortable feel overall, which is great for Hoyt owners.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Pro Defiant 34 is a great shooting bow. The DFX cam system has been used on hunting and target bows, since being introduced in 2016, and with the specifications of the 34 and the string angle of a 37-inch bow, the Pro Defiant 34 can be used for absolutely everything. The draw cycle is incredible on the DFX cam system. It is super easy to draw, and goes into the let off without a hitch. The back wall feels like typical Hoyt's with the cable stops being used, which allows for a little sponge on the back wall. For shooters interested in a more solid back wall, the limb stop can be used to firm things up on the back end as well. This will come down to shooter's preferences and may even be connected to the style of release shooters use more than anything else. For Hoyt to simply give shooters the option is a great integration. Anytime manufactures can include adjustability features to account for personal preferences, shooters are going to be happy. This does mean each shooter will have a slightly different experience, but the option for adjustment cannot be understated. On target, the Pro Defiant 34 holds extremely well. The heavier bare bow weight of 4.4-pounds is hardly felt at full draw on target, and the weight is very well balanced and equally distributed. The string angles on previous Hoyt models have not been bad, especially on the longer axel-to-axel versions. However, the difference the DFX cams are able to produce is truly outstanding. Shooters outfitted with the proper draw length simply bring the bow to full draw, and the string comfortably sits in the corner of the mouth and the tip of the nose effortlessly. The peep is closer to the shooters eye, and there is no weird head tilt to get everything properly aligned. After the shot, the bow has a quite thump and the hand shock is fairly tame. The arrow flies true, but shooters coming from faster bows are sure to notice a slower arrow speed. Overall, the Pro Defiant 34 feels nice, holds well, and finishes nicely.

Usage Scenarios

The Pro Defiant 34 is a truly do it all bow. Shooters could simply switch setups to allow them the ability to shoot paper, 3D, and hunting without compromising much in any specific area. It is rare to have a bow capable of truly doing any style of archery, but the Pro Defiant 34 does just that. Perhaps the most common places to see the 34 will be in the hunting woods or on the 3D range, but it really is a bow capable of all shooting styles.

Pro Defiant 34 vs. Defiant 34[]hoyt-pro-defiant-34,hoyt-defiant-34

The two rigs are identical in regards to performance and specifications. For shooters wanting some of the new target color configurations, the Pro Defiant 34 may be the best option. However, for those wanting to save a little cash on a bare bow, better deals may be offered on the year old Hoyt Defiant 34. Regardless, bot bows are phenomenal shooters and will be great offerings for all archery styles.


The Pro Defiant 34 is a true multi-purpose bow that is perfectly capable of 3D, spot shooting, and hunting without compromise. This is convenient for shooters that want one bow that can truly do anything shooters demand out of it. The Pro Defiant 34 price tag of $1099 is much easier to justify when one bow can be used for everything. Hoyt went the extra mile to engineer a 34-inch bow that feels more like a 37-inch string angle. The largest downside on paper is the underwhelming 325 feet per second speed rating. The Pro Defiant 34 does have a 7-inch brace height, but it is still pretty slow for a 2017 bow. Some shooters may not love the overall 4.4-pound bare bow weight either, but in the end it should make shooters a bit better having a heavier bow to start with. Diehard Hoyt shooters may be disappointed with a 2017 bow with minimal changes from the 2016 models, but the Pro Defiant 34 is a legit bow, which tunes and shoots phenomenally well. Those interested in purchasing one bow to shoot all year should have no reservations giving the Pro Defiant 34 a test shot.

User Reviews

  • 1 review
  • ( out of 1 review for all versions)
Best Hoyt Yet.

Version: 2017 Hoyt Pro Defiant 34


Pros: Smooth, fast, quiet. At 30.5 DL & 62.5# DW with site set at 25 yds hits about 1.5" High at 20 yds and 1.5" low at 30 yds. Best Hoyt I have shot in 25 years.

Cons: Physical weight is a little more than I would like. Cost when new is high IMO, but they are now available as old models or used (Feb. 2019), I would not hesitate to pick one up.

Full review:

Smooth, fast, quiet. At 30.5 DL & 62.5# DW with site set at 25 yds hits about 1.5" High at 20 yds and 1.5" low at 30 yds. Best Hoyt I have shot in 25 years. Very shooter friendly. I do like it best without a grip. I have been trying a Hoyt Accu Grip, but I am think I am taking the grip off. I have been Hoyt loyal for over 2 decades and would like to try the RW but I don't want to stop shooting the Pro Defiant. I like the UnderArmor Ridge Barren Camouflage.

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