Bowtech Carbon Icon

If you’re looking to try out a carbon hunting bow on a budget, the Bowtech Carbon Icon may be your answer. Weighing in at just 3.2 pounds without accessories, it is light even for a carbon bow. Don’t forget it at the truck, you may not even notice you left it behind.

As you’d expect from Bowtech, a binary cam system powers this lightweight hunting bow. Even though it is built with a forgiving 7 inch brace height, it also boasts a 335 FPS IBO rating.

To make this possible, Bowtech is has combined their proven binary cam with all new PowerShift Technology. PowerShift enables the shooter to easily switch between a power setting and a comfort setting. The best part – You can do this yourself without a bow press.

Bowtech Carbon Icon

To switch between power and comfort, you simply remove a small module called the PowerDisc. As you probably figured out, archers wanting more speed would select the Power Setting. In this setting, you will gain around 15 feet per second.

If you’d rather trade off some speed for a smoother draw cycle, just flip the PowerDisc to the comfort setting. It really is that simple.

When comparing the draw cycle of the two PowerDisc settings, the performance mode hits peak draw weight and remains there for most of the draw cycle. This is where the speed comes from. On comfort, however, you only hit the peak for a short period of time before rolling over into a much more manageable weight. For me, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff giving up only a little bit of arrow speed.

The Bowtech Carbon Icon was part of the Bowtech Archery lineup for a long time, and for good reason. Read on to see the full specs and review of this carbon hunting bow from Bowtech.

Bowtech Carbon Icon Specs

IBO Speed335 FPS
Brace Height7 Inches
Axle To Axle Length31 Inches
Let Off80%
Draw Length26.5 – 30.5 Inches
Draw Weight40 – 70 Pounds
Bow Weight3.2 Pounds

Bowtech Carbon Icon

Review

The Bowtech Carbon Icon was quite the bargain with it’s MSRP of $649. Additionally, for another $100 shooters could purchase the bow with the RAK package. This stands for Ready. Aim. Hunt. and includes a quiver, Bowtech wrist strap, stabilizer, rest, bow sight, D loop, and a peep sight. Everything you need to go hunting with a carbon bow for $749.

If you were wondering how Bowtech offered a carbon hunting bow for $649, it is important to note that riser of the Carbon Icon Bowtech is a polymer infused carbon. The addition of polymer reduces the overall percentage of carbon in the bow. Overall, this reduces the cost of the bow but also makes some people question whether it qualifies as a true carbon riser.

Over the years, there have been reports of the Bowtech carbon risers warping. This wasn’t an incredibly widespread problem but it is something you should be mindful of. It’s never a good idea to leave your bow in a hot car. But it is even less of a good idea to leave your polymer infused carbon bow exposed to heat long term.

If your riser is no longer straight and true, everything will be off. It may not seem like a big deal, but the bow is toast. Only replacing the riser will allow you to shoot accurately once again.

Finishes

Being budget friendly, it was only available in Black or Mossy Oak Country. Less options keeps the cost down. Bow manufacturers can pass this along to the consumer in the way of savings. I myself don’t see anything wrong with an all black bow and saving money is always a good thing. Everything matches black and this makes it easy to customize your bow the way you want it.

Grip

Everyone likes the feel of a carbon bow in cold weather. It’s not warm to the touch, but it doesn’t become a frozen piece of metal like an aluminum riser does. As you pick up your bow to draw back on the buck of a lifetime, that freezing piece of metal is just waiting to conduct temperature into your hand. You don’t need a distraction like this to take away from your shot execution.

Along with the lack of cold transferring aluminum, the shape on the Bowtech Carbon Icon grip is slim and pleasing. An important, but often overlooked part of bow decisions, the Carbon Icon grip is printed side plates on the bare riser.

This slim grip feels well balanced in the hand. With a bow this light, balance is especially important. I don’t want to add a bunch of weight to the bow to achieve good balance at full draw.

Adding weight in the form of long stabilizers would defeat the purpose of a 3.2 pound carbon bow. This is a purpose built hunting bow at heart. Keep it light and nimble and as accurate as possible. If you’re looking for long range accuracy or something for 3D, this would technically work, but I would look somewhere else.

Speed

To some, Bowtech is synonymous with speed. The Carbon Icon rated for 335 fps is not a barn burner but respectable considering it’s 7″ brace height. While we had our chronograph out, we compared the Carbon Icon speed to another 2015 bow. The Mathews No Cam HTR was the flagship bow for 2015 and a good deal more expensive than the Carbon Icon Bowtech.

With both bows set at 60 pound draw weight and an equal draw length of 29″ the speeds were comparable. With a 435 grain arrow, the Carbon Icon came in at 257 FPS while the No Cam HTR clocked 260 FPS.

If this is slower than you expected, it’s important to note that 85% let off mods were installed on the Mathews No Cam HTR 85% mods installed and the Carbon Icon was set on comfort mode. Both of these changes drop the IBO speed from the advertised 335/330 FPS respecitvely.

The Mathews No Cam slightly edged out the Carbon Knight in this comparison but it goes to show you the great value this bow represents.

Bowtech Carbon Icon Specs

Bowtech Carbon Icon String Specs

Make sure you order the right string and cable lengths for your Carbon Icon Bowtech. The Carbon Icon Bowtech is a binary cam bow requiring two equal length cables. Bowtech made the Carbon Icon in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The string and cable specs did not change during this time. Here is what you will need to replace your strings:

String: 55 19/32 inches
Two Cables: 35 1/2 inches.

Most aftermarket string builders have this information readily available. However, it’s always good to double check your measurements before installing new strings on your bow.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *