Parker UltraLite 30 Review
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Editors' reviewAdding to Parker's lineup of already solid bows, the UltraLite 30+ is back from popular demand; resurrecting the UltraLite series' debut in the mid 2000's. With a compact 30.25" platform, a bulletproof, highly adjustable single cam system, and an attractive price, this compound is a serious contender in the market. Although it is no "speed demon" with an IBO rating of 320fps, there are enough positive features that deem it a very respectable all-purpose setup.
FinishThe UltraLite is finished from the factory with a standard Next Vista camouflage. Although it is a quality hydrographic, it would have been nice to see at least two or three more color options to fit the archer's needs. Similarly, Parker implements Stone Mountain two color strings and cables which are of quality build and will last hundreds of shots.
RiserThe compound is created from a single machined aluminum billet riser. 10 cutouts are implemented to reduce weight and limit air resistance at full draw, all the while maintaining structural rigidity and stiffness that near-parallel limbed bows need. Featured on the riser itself is an adjustable string suppressor, integrated wrist sling, and a standard straight cable slide rod.
LimbsThe UltraLite is equipped with solid Gordon Glass limbs in two deflections; 50-60lbs and 60-70lbs. Although they are specified as an extreme parallel setup, they are quite the opposite when compared to other mainline compounds on the market today. However, they are much more towards parallel than the previous model, which attributes to less felt recoil and vibration after the shot. Attaching these limbs to the riser are Parker's Micro-lite Pockets, which are indeed very minimal and allow for a traditional Allen wrench adjustment to change draw weight.
GripA definite improvement over similar bows in this price range in the past, the implemented two-piece grip is slim fitting and comfortable in the hand for longer shooting sessions. While stylish, being crafted from walnut burl, the side plates are also attached by screws instead of an adhesive, ensuring that the grip the archer is used to will not change without his or her say in the matter.
Eccentric SystemThe UltraLite One Cam system is a single cam + idler wheel setup that provides 5 inches of draw length from 26"-31" by a rotational mod system as well as a full 80% letoff. Similarly, the limb actuated draw stop is tunable to adjust draw length small amounts as well as lengthen or shorten the valley of the draw cycle. Apart from having the sheer reliability and tenability of a traditional single cam compound, this bow has oversized cams to ensure a smooth draw cycle and minimize sharp corners to keep string life to the maximum.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityFrom the loaded state to fully drawn back, the draw cycle overall is smooth, defined, and builds weight up until three quarters of the way drawn back. Helping reduce the felt effort of drawing back this compound is the generous 7.25" brace height. Also of key importance is the limb actuated draw stop- although some archers prefer a softer back wall, there is an undescribed amount of added consistency that follows a compound that has a physical, hard stop at the end of the draw cycle. After the shot, likely due to its not quite parallel limbs as well as lack of various dampening accessories, there is a decent amount of residual resonation in the riser, however the issue is both minimal and easy to solve if desired. Overall, the general shot sequence is very comfortable and natural; due in part to the fact that this bow is not designed for a high output of arrow velocity.
Silencing PackageAlthough equipped with a well-built adjustable string suppressor, the UltraLite 30+ has no other form of vibration reducing silencers on the bow; in turn attributing to its vibration and slight noise after the shot. However, with aftermarket limb, string, and/or riser dampeners, that vibration and sound output would be greatly reduced.
|Bow||Parker UltraLite 30||Diamond Core|
|Brace Height||7.25 "||7.25 "|
|AtA Length||30.25 "||31 "|
|Draw Length||26 " - 31 "||25 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||50 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||320 fps||313 fps|
|Weight||3.7 lbs||3.2 lbs|
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Compared to the similarly priced Diamond Core, the Parker UltraLite 30+ has 1" less draw length and 10lbs less draw weight adjustment and is heavier by .5lbs, however shoots 7fps faster and has almost a 3/4" shorter of an axle-to-axle height for those who value maneuverability in the woods. With equal brace height and letoff measurements, as well as the same $500 MSRP package value, these attributes completely come down to a personal preference, as they both are quality bows and will last an archer quite a few years with adequate maintenance and care.