PSE Bandit NXT Review

PSE Bandit NXT

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  • Smaller framed bow with great performance
  • Dedicated hunting bow
  • Short draw, high-end kid's bow


  • Only comes in 40 or 50-pound limbs
  • MSRP of $1099 may be too much for some to spend


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Editors' review

PSE truly designs a bow for all shooters, and the PSE Bandit NXT is a prime example of their philosophy. The Bandit is PSE's rendition of a high-end kids bow. This bow comes with the same price tag as the higher-end flagship models for PSE in 2020. For those looking at an entry level youth bow, this particular model is not it. The Bandit is a high-end youth hunting bow for the dedicated, extremely serious youth Hunters wanting to benefit from all of the top end technology. In addition to the Bandit NXT being a great youth bow, many female Shooters with a shorter draw length will also fit very well in the smaller dimensions of the Bandit bow. That is not to say female shooters should be shooting a youth model rig, but the smaller frame of the Bandit bow will potentially meet the draw length of female shooters better than some of the other Flagship models available. For youth shooters wanting everything offered on the top of the line rigs, the Bandit NXT is exactly that. The Bandit NXT has an axle-to-axle measurement of 28-inches with a draw length range of 20.5-26-inches. With a bare bow weight of 3.7-pounds, the size and maneuverability of the Bandit NXT is perfect for smaller shooters. The performance is impressive as well with speeds maxing out at 307 feet per second with a 26-inch draw length. $1099 is a ton of money for youth shooters just getting started in the sport, but for those serious archers with shorter draw lengths, the Bandit NXT may be the perfect rig.


PSE bows have always maintained a high level of quality for their finished product. Finished options have always looked amazing, and leaves a long-lasting application able to withstand the types of abuse hunters put on their equipment. PSE has never offered a large number of finishes when compared to other models, but they have always seemed to have a little bit of a variety available. For the Bandit NXT, shooters can opt for Kuiu Verde, Mossy Oak Country, Realtree Edge, Black, Tan, and the new to PSE First Lite Fusion pattern. Although other brands may potentially offer more finish options, shooters are sure to find something that matches their preferences within the 2020 lineup for PSE. Sitka patterns and Under Armor options are missing from the lineup, which are fairly popular choices in the bowhunting world at the moment. However, what is offered by PSE is going to look amazing and last a while.


The newly designed riser on the EVO NXT series of bows is used on the Bandit rig as well. The same longer, less reflexed riser design is incorporated on the Bandit NXT, which allows for more laid back limb pockets and a geometry that promotes a smoother and quieter arrow release. The machined aluminum riser on the Bandit allows for a 28-inch axle-to-axle measurement, with a bare bow weight of only 3.7-pounds. For shooters with draw lengths out to 26-inches, this is a really great sized bow for hunting. The brace height is a 6 ⅛-inches, which helps with the performance, but is also pretty forgiving with the given specifications of the shooter with a shorter frame. Everything located on the upper end EVO NXT models is carried over into the Bandit. The cable guard system is great. The guard slides along the carbon rod, but has a roller system, mounted in a way that allows the cables to slide as they naturally pull into the centerline of the bow. Anytime the cams are drawn, the cables want to creep towards the vertical centerline of the bow, and the roller slide system PSE designed gives this natural movement the ability to happen. PSE has also incorporated a rear mounted string stop system, which is adjustable to give shooters the best location for their setup. PSE also has a front mounting stabilizer bushing to help those wanting to add a stabilizer for some additional stabilization while holding on target or to help eliminate some extra noise and vibration. The riser also has some vibration dampeners near the limb pockets as well, to keep things as silent and vibration free as possible.


PSE has added a grip option for their 2020 lineup, giving shooters an option to go with the standard PSE grip, or use the slightly thicker Comfort Grip, which is a composite one-piece grip. The Comfort Grip is a larger feeling, more contoured grip option when compared to the standard PSE grip from previous model years. It remains amazingly comfortable, and fits very well in the shooter's hand, but it is a bigger grip than PSE shooters are used to. The standard grip is a thinner, more familiar PSE feeling grip. However, shooters will need to remove the Comfort Grip, which means the grip is integrated into the aluminum riser, and will be colder to the touch in every hunting situation when compared to the composite grip. For PSE to offer two amazing factory options is truly amazing. The grip is the only part of the bow shooters connect with for the entire shot, and it is important that feels right. For two great feeling options to be standard from the factory is a nice touch.


PSE has gone away from the traditional X-Force aggressive style limbs in 2020. Although the limbs are still split limbs, and pre-stressed, the limbs have been laid back more than any PSE bow in recent years to give a smoother drawing bow with less noise and vibration after the arrow is released. The bow still looks like a PSE rig, but it is noticeably less aggressive looking than previous PSE models. The Bandit NXT model is also only available in two configurations with a 40 and 50-pound configuration. Although it seems limited for a bow to only have two limbs available, the Bandit NXT has a very specific niche of shooter, and the two offerings will undoubtedly meet the needs of those interested in a high end youth model.

Eccentric System

The Bandit NXT has ahe EM cam system, which has all the great features of the Evolve Cam has become known for. With the Bandit designed for shorter draw shooters, the EM cam has a draw length range of 20.5-26-inches with a let-off of 85%. Although the draw length maxes out a bit shorter than the other flagship models, the performance is still amazing with an ATA/IBO rating of 307-299 feet per second with a peak draw of only 26-inches. To have a bow shooting those speeds at that draw length, the EM cam is a legit system with all the beloved qualities of the Evolve cam, just specific for shorter draw lengths. Adjusting the draw length is super easy using the rotating module. Shooters can rotate the same module to get all draw length settings without the use of a bow press, which makes it nice for a youth model where shooters may still have some growing left to do. With no need to purchase cams or modules, or needing a bow press, the EM cam makes it a great addition to the PSE lineup of newly designed high-end hunting bows.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

This cam system is perfect for youth hunters. The 85% let-off means shooters will hold no more than 7.5-pounds when the 50-pound limbs are fully maxed out. This makes the bow very comfortable at full draw, with a valley that never feels unmanageable. Some youth bows have a massive dump into the back wall, which makes it pretty difficult for shooters to manage going into the back wall or letting down. With the smooth transitions available on the Bandit, shooters are never left fighting the valley or back wall at any point in the draw cycle. The hold on target is amazing, and the feeling after the shot feels about perfect as well. Shooters are left with very minimal handshock, and the noise is as quiet as it comes. For an upper end youth model, the Bandit NXT does not disappoint.

Usage Scenarios

The Bandit NXT is a specifically designed hunting bow for the serious youth hunter. This model has everything a flagship bow in 2020 comes with, but it is shrunk down to a smaller framed bow designed for shooters with a maximum draw length of only 26-inches. Some may find it a bit unfair to call the Bandit NXT a high-end youth model, because truth be told, this model can be used by anyone with a shorter draw length. Female shooters may be drawn towards the specific dimensions of the Bandit NXT as well, but smaller male shooters may fit well into this bow as well. Anyone wanting an absolute killing machine with a draw length range of 20.5-26-inches should take a serious look at the Bandit NXT, because although it may be marketed as a high-end youth model, it is as capable of a hunting bow as anything else on the market in 2020.


The Bandit NXT is an awesome shooting bow, which may turn some people off being called a high-end youth model. Aside from the bow being smaller framed, and peaking at a draw length of 26-inches and a draw weight of 50-pounds, nothing about the Bandit NXT is typical of a youth bow. The cams are amazingly high performing, the draw is exceptional, the technology is identical to any of the flagship PSE hunting bows, and it even shares the $1099 MSRP price tag. The Bandit NXT is a serious hunting bow designed for anyone needing a smaller bow, but demanding the most cutting edge technology available from PSE in 2020. For those on the market for a bow with a smaller sized archer in mind, the Bandit NXT is going to be very difficult to overlook.

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