Bag vs. Block Archery Target

[Updated 1 January 2024] Bag and block archery targets are both types of targets used in archery to practice aiming and accuracy. Bag targets are made of heavy-duty fabric filled with compressed material such as synthetic fibers, which offer a softer stopping surface for arrows. They are lighter and more portable than block targets, making them easier to move around and set up for practice sessions.

Block targets, conversely, are made of compressed foam blocks that offer a denser stopping surface for arrows. They are heavier and more durable than bag targets, which makes them ideal for long-term outdoor use. Block targets also have the added advantage of handling high-velocity arrows without damage.

Using archery targets is helpful for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it allows archers to practice and improve their aim and accuracy. It also helps to prevent arrows from flying off into unintended areas, which is especially important for safety reasons when practicing in public places. Additionally, using a target allows archers to easily retrieve their arrows for reuse, which is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Using bag and block archery targets is essential to archery practice, helping archers hone their skills and become better shooters.

If you have been doing archery for a while, you have most probably been exposed to various types of archery target. Two of the most known types though are bag and block targets.

Each has its own strength and weaknesses as a target, and each is better than the other in certain situations. Thus, the real challenge is to know what will match your needs and preferences.

Bag vs Block Archery Target Dilemma?

Are you facing the bag vs. block archery target dilemma? Remember that when you are buying a target it should be durable so it can last a long time. This will allow you to get the most out of what you have invested in your target.

It must be resistant in some way to arrow penetration too. This may seem contradictory since what you want is a target that welcomes arrows. However, if you really want an effective archery practice target, you would want it to behave like how it would in a real setting such as when hunting.

Normally the animal would resist the arrow upon impact. Thus, your target should also resist an arrow like an animal for you to know how to effectively hunt a prey. Additionally, your target must withstand numerous shots in the same spot.

Now, a target should have some resistance to arrows. But if there is one aspect where it should be arrow-friendly, that is when you are removing the arrow. No matter how deeply buried it is, a good target should allow easy removal. You shouldn’t have to struggle in any way just to take the arrow out since this may bend the arrow out of shape.

In addition, you must consider what kind of bow and arrow you are using since there are targets that work great with a broadhead arrow but fail miserably with a crossbow. Thus, you should invest in a target that suits the kind of bow and arrow you use for target practice.

After determining all of those things, it is now time to take a look at the two main types of archery targets: bag and block.

Bag vs. Block Archery Target


Bag targets

These targets work great with target points instead of arrows. This type is filled with fibrous material, enabling it to slow down and halt a flying arrow easily. A bag target is also considered the easiest target for removing arrows upon penetration.

To make sure that it does not move when in use it needs to be heavy and dense. Therefore, it is a good idea to check its weight before purchasing it. This is because some manufacturers do not really fill the bag target up to the maximum level because they want to ship lighter ones.

Another thing to consider is where to store a bag target. You need to keep it somewhere inside to prevent it from getting wet in the rain. It is highly recommended that you store a bag target in a dry area to ensure its longevity.

In addition, do not use broadheads because they tend to get stuck and rip through the target entirely. When this happens it is not only the target that is affected, the arrow also gets damaged.

  • Bag targets are typically made of durable materials like synthetic fabrics and foam.
  • They are designed to be easily portable, with many models featuring built-in handles.
  • Bag targets often have a variety of target faces, allowing archers to practice different types of shots.
  • They are available in various sizes to accommodate shooting distances and skill levels.
  • Bag targets are affordable for archers who want to practice their skills without spending a lot of money on targets.
  • They are durable and can withstand thousands of shots, making them an excellent long-term investment.
  • Bag targets are designed to absorb the impact of arrows, which reduces the likelihood of arrow damage and helps protect the archer’s equipment.
  • They are easy to set up and take down, making them a convenient choice for outdoor shooting ranges or backyard practice.
  • Bag targets can be heavy, significantly larger models, making them difficult to move around.
  • Some bag targets may not be suitable for high-speed bows, as the arrows may penetrate the target too deeply and become difficult to remove.
  • Bag targets can become compressed over time, affecting their ability to absorb the impact of arrows and requiring the archer to replace the target.
  • Bag targets may not be as visually appealing as other archery targets, which may not be a concern for some archers but could be a drawback for others.

Foam block targets

Unlike the bag target, a foam block target can work well with broadhead arrows. It can withstand being penetrated by a broadhead arrow. Since a broadhead is fitted with razor sharp blades, a bag target will not last very long.

A block target can also accommodate field points. There are various styles, sizes, and designs available for a block target, but they are all filled with dense foam inside. This foam slows down the velocity of the arrow in motion, trapping it inside the target. Also, the foam prevents full target penetration.

What happens when you shoot an arrow at this type of target is that it pinches the arrowhead and shaft in the material. It relies on friction to slow down the movement of the arrow instead of stopping the motion of the arrow through force.

This target is quite sturdy, lasting a good long time and is affordable too. Since it is light and easy to carry around if ever you need to move it from one practice range to another. However, one disadvantage is that it is kind of hard to remove arrows because of the deep penetration.

  • Made of foam, usually with a high-density core and a replaceable outer layer
  • Available in different sizes, shapes, and colors
  • It can be used for various types of projectiles, including arrows, crossbow bolts, and firearms
  • It can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Lightweight and portable, easy to move and set up
  • Durable and long-lasting, can withstand repeated use
  • Absorbent and self-healing, it can prevent arrow damage and reduce noise
  • Providing a clear target area can help improve accuracy and consistency
  • Environmentally friendly can be recycled or disposed of safely
  • It may be more expensive than other types of targets
  • It may require additional equipment to secure or stabilize the target
  • It may have a limited lifespan depending on usage and maintenance
  • It may not be suitable for high-velocity or broadhead arrows
  • Unlike other types of targets, it does not provide the same level of feedback or resistance.


What is a bag archery target?

A bag archery target is a durable fabric with synthetic fibers, such as high-density foam or polyester. The bag is designed to stop arrows by compressing the fibers upon impact, preventing them from penetrating the target and damaging the arrows.

What is a block archery target?

A block archery target is a target made of high-density foam or compressed layers of foam. The foam material is self-healing, which closes around the arrow holes to prevent damage and extend the target’s life. The block target is designed to stop arrows by slowing them down as they penetrate the foam layers.

Which type of archery target is best for me?

It depends on your personal preferences and shooting style. Bag targets are generally lighter and easier to move around, making them a good choice if you want to practice your shooting skills in different locations. Block targets are heavier and more durable, making them ideal for frequent and long-term use. If you shoot with high poundage, a block target may be a better option, as it can handle the impact of more powerful arrows.

What are the advantages of a bag archery target?

Bag targets are typically lighter and more portable than block targets, making them easier to move around and set up. Paper targets are more affordable than block targets, offering shooters ample space for honing their accuracy.

What are the advantages of a block archery target?

Block targets are highly durable and can withstand repeated shots from high-poundage bows. They also have a longer lifespan than bag targets and are generally more effective at stopping arrows due to their high-density foam construction. Furthermore, block targets come in various sizes and shapes, making them an ideal choice for many shooting applications.

How do I maintain my archery target?

To extend the longevity of your archery target and ensure consistency, it is imperative to regularly clean and dry it – especially if you leave it exposed to outdoor elements. You should also periodically rotate the target to prevent uneven wear and replace damaged sections. Block targets can be resealed with adhesive, while bag targets may be restuffed if the synthetic fibers become compressed.


In conclusion, bag and block archery targets have advantages and disadvantages. Bag targets are lighter, more portable, and easier to set up, while block targets are more durable and provide better stopping power for high-velocity arrows. Ultimately, the choice between the two types of targets comes down to personal preference and individual needs. If you prioritize convenience and portability, a bag target may be your better choice. A block target may be the way if you want a more durable and long-lasting option. Regardless of which type of target you choose, regularly practicing with your archery equipment is the key to improving your skills and accuracy on the range or in the field.

Bag Vs Block Archery Target



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