[Updated on 1 June 2020] Imagine yourself trying out your new target in the backyard for the first time. You hold your breath, pull back the string, and release. The arrow flies toward the target and…sails right through leaving a massive hole in its wake or even worse the arrow gets lodged in the target, and it takes a team of oxen to get it out. This is a nightmare scenario for an archery fan that just spent their hard-earned money on a new target. To prevent this from happening to you, you want to choose a target that you know you can trust.
Though it is hard to go wrong, not every foam target is worth its price, and there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the perfect target for you. I have compiled a top ten list of some of my favorite targets with explanations as to why each of them deserves to be on the list. Before you read the reviews, there are a few factors to think about before choosing a target that is right for your needs.
How to Choose the Best Target for Your Needs
Table of Contents
Bow or Crossbow?
It may not seem like a big deal, but crossbows fire at a much higher speed than traditional bows. While a target may work great for a bow with a 60-pound draw, crossbow bolts may get buried in it. The same goes for compound bows that have considerably more power than a traditional bow. If you plan on using a crossbow or compound bow, check to make sure that the target is rated for the equipment.
What Kind of Head am I Using?
Different archers like to use different heads or tips for different reasons. I like to use a blunter bullet point that has less of a chance of hurting someone or something that runs in front of me while I’m shooting. Some people want their practice to be as realistic as possible (it makes a difference as all tips are weighted differently) so they use the same broadheads that they use when hunting. Broadheads, especially the expandable kind, can wreak havoc on a lot of foam targets, so if those are the tips you are using you need to take extra care to note how the target will react to them. Pro tip: no matter how good the target is, using expandable broadheads will shorten the life of the target.
Weight and Size
People choose foam targets usually do so because they want a target that is lightweight and portable. For the most part, all-foam targets are less than twenty pounds, but not all are equally easy to transport. Make sure that the target comes with a handle and whether that handle is recessed or a rope handle. I like rope handles better because they are an easy way to hang the target. One of the biggest problems with any foam target is that they are smaller than bag targets. This is more of a problem for beginning archers, but it is a consideration. The last thing you want is to order a target with a field hay bail in mind and get a less than two square foot box delivered to your door.
Is there a Replaceable Core?
These are few and far between, but if you find a target with a replaceable core, it is a keeper. Being able to replace the core (hopefully the area you are shooting the most) extends the life of the target significantly.
What’s the Price?
When you think about it, a target is something you pay money to destroy. When you know that your item will have a limited lifespan, you need to consider the price. And when considering the price, durability, and any extra features are an important part of your decision.
This foam target from bear archery is not cheap, but the price is often an indication of quality. The simple ring target design may increase the confusion over the price even more, but this is a high-quality target. Its self-healing foam prevents large holes from forming in your target. Though not indestructible, it does last a lot longer thanks to the foam, and because of its density, you can use both sides, which increases the life of the target. This target stops arrows dead in their tracks, so you don’t have to worry about fletching getting ruined by a buried arrow. When it’s time to retrieve your arrows, they slide right out with little resistance.
One feature that makes this target so fantastic is that it is nearly impervious to the elements. You can leave it outside without worrying about mold from rain or fading from the sun if you do want to bring it inside it’s not a problem since it only weighs twelve pounds. This balanced target can stand up by itself, but the company offers stands for their targets to accommodate all needs. It may not be as realistic as some of the other targets, but it will make you feel like Robin Hood when you’re practicing. The only downfall to this target is that the core is not replaceable so if you are too good at shooting you may ruin the center of the target long before you need to replace the rest of it.
Overall this is a solid target that will treat you well, but there is a little unpacking to do around the company’s claims. First, I should say that at under $100 for a decent foam target, you don’t have much to lose here. The biggest flaw is that the target is marketed as a six-sided target, but only a few of the sides have pictures painted on leaving you to add targets to the other sides. Having to add your own targets is not a huge deal, but a little misleading. On the bright side, you can add whatever kind of target you want to the blank sides. The layered foam uses friction to stop the arrows, so they are easy to remove and don’t leave massive holes in the target when you pull them out.
Its layered design doesn’t just make the arrows easier to remove; it makes the target last longer with almost any kind of tip that you use. Weighing in at 15 pounds, this target is not exactly light, but it is still portable. It even comes with built-in handles that help you lug it around. The only thing that’s disappointing about the built-in handle is that it can’t be used as an easy way to hang the target. It’s a great target to bring to practice at the cabin or a friend’s back yard. Its smaller size makes it great for those who are tight on space as it can easily fit in a shed, garage, or even a closet when it’s not in use.
You don’t get to be a trusted name in your industry like Rinehart unless you are doing something right. The options with this particular target are nearly endless, with six different sides, each with their own aesthetic. Two deer vitals sides have replaceable inserts to ensure the longevity of the product. Even if the insert wasn’t there, Rinehart has patented self-healing foam that makes giant holes nonexistent. This target has great stopping power, and pulling arrows out is a piece of cake. As with most RhinoBlock products, this is an incredibly durable target, and you shouldn’t have any problems using a crossbow.
This RhinoBlock version is fantastic for the traveling archer. At less than two square feet and weighing less than 20 pounds, it is relatively easy to take with you when traveling. To make it even more convenient is comes with carrying handles, so you don’t have to worry about hurting the integrity of the target. It does well in all types of weather and shouldn’t need to be stored inside if you don’t want to. One more feature that makes this particular target so great is the mounting holes that make it easy to change the height of the target whenever you see fit.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and its best to start when you’re young. This target is meant specifically for young archers with a bow draw weight of 40 pounds or less. This is not the perfect target, but for $50 or less, you really can’t complain. Some users complain that the lining will break causing the target to fall apart, but that is easily preventable with a little duct tape around the lining. One more disappointing feature of this target is that it is only one-sided. The GenZ uses that layered design to stop all types of heads while not leaving any holes behind. It also makes removing the arrows a lot easier, which is especially important for a youth target.
It comes in two different sizes, but both are lightweight and portable. The handle on top makes it easy to carry, but it’s also an easy way to hang the target up for the perfect elevation. If you are looking for an adult-sized target that you will be able to use for years this target will disappoint you, but if you are looking for an inexpensive starter target for a kid, you will love the GenZ.
The best way to describe this target is small but mighty. The Dual Threat is made to stop arrows from compound bows and even stronger crossbows. It is an average priced target, which is a pretty good value when you think about the fact that not all targets are strong enough to stop a crossbow bolt. It has four useable sides with two of the sides meant specifically a for field point which, if properly used, makes the target last a lot longer. Taking the arrows out of this target is not the easiest thing to do, but they do come out with a good tug.
You would think that a target with the ability to stop crossbow bolts would be heavy, but the Dual Threat is lightweight and easy to carry. The top-mounted carrying handle makes transporting the target easy and is an easy way to hang the target up for the perfect height. With proper use, this target will take thousands of shots before it needs to be replaced. If one had any complaint about this target, it would be that it’s not very weather resistant, but its great shape and size make it easy to store in a shed or closet. Storing this target is important as it doesn’t fare well in the elements.
Checkout our detail analysis on Morrell Yellow Jacket YJ-350
You can tell by looking at this target that it is heavy-duty. As its name suggests, this target was designed specifically to stop high-speed crossbow bolt, which means that it has to be tough. The price lands in the mid to high range, but that is expected with a four-sided target as rugged as this one. The four sides have different patterns, including a deer vitals side but the black and white design is a little boring. Not only is this target rated for crossbow bolts, but it will even take broadheads and keep ongoing. This target uses friction to slow down the bolt, but if the arrow makes it too the core, it will undoubtedly stop. If the arrow does hit the core, it is significantly harder to remove than if the outer layer slows the arrow to a stop.
Though this target is heavy-duty, it is still lightweight, and a built-in handle makes it easy to carry. The target is offered in two sizes to better meet the needs of users, which is great for both storage and handling. The biggest downside to this particular target is that there is no easy way to mount it, so it needs to be on the ground or resting on something. As long as you take proper care of this target and store it inside when you’re not using it, it will last quite a long time even with regular use.
This is one of my favorite targets for several reasons. For starters, there are no pre-printed targets on the RangeDog; it is a blank slate for you to pin whatever target you want. Then there is the fact that it is much larger and heavier than other targets. Those characteristics aren’t great for a portable target, but they are fantastic for a target that is going to stay in your back yard. If it absolutely must be moved it comes with built-in straps for you and a friend to move it. When using field points, the arrows stop fast and are easy to remove. As long as you are using field points, this target should work with a crossbow just fine.
Even though I love this target, it does have its downfalls. It is one of the most expensive foam targets that you will find, clearing the $300 mark. If you use field points on this target, it will last forever, but it doesn’t do as well with broadheads, which is a disappointment. Its weight also makes it impossible to mount most places. It is a foam target so the foam will eventually wear out if you continuously hit the same spot and there is no core to replace, but the larger size allows you to offset targets, so you are never hitting the same spot constantly. Still, this is a great, heavy duty target that is well worth its price for the serious archer.
Shooter is cool because they make targets that simulate the animal you want to be hunting. Of course, that wouldn’t mean anything if the targets weren’t good, but these targets are awesome. They are generally the same size as the animal you are hunting, and they add a scoring ring around the vitals of the animal. Each target is lightweight and easy to move around but solid enough to stand up to a barrage of arrows. It’s so solid in fact that it can easily handle direct hits from crossbows. Perhaps the best part about this target is the price. At under $70 you can buy a few of these targets at a time if you want.
This target is not the most durable on the list, but it more than makes up for it in price. They come with stakes to secure them to the ground and set up is easy. If there is one thing that could be improved with Shooter 3D targets, it would be a replaceable vitals core so you could switch out the important part rather than buy a whole new target each time. If you are a hunter, I’m not sure that there is a better target series available than this one.
While there is nothing incredibly unique about the target rings, everything else about this target is different than what you have ever seen. Its unique design allows you to aim at 18 different sides. This target is specifically made to take a beating from broadheads time after time. Rinehart believes in their self-healing foam so much that they guarantee this target for a full year. It looks solid, but the mostly foam construction makes it lightweight, and an attached handle makes it easy to carry and perfect for hanging almost anywhere.
There is little to complain about with this target. It is under $150, which is pretty average for a target that lasts half as long. Removing the arrows from the target is surprisingly easy, and though I wouldn’t personally do it, some people report using this target for crossbow practice. It may not be the prettiest target, but looks don’t matter when you plan on putting holes in it. Thanks to its durability and size, it is one of the best targets overall for backyard or basecamp practice.
Want to know more about Rinehart Archery Targets and what other types of targets they offer? Read our article on Best Rinehart Archery Targets Reviews And Top Picks
Don’t let the gimmick of the dice look turn you off from the High Roller; it is one of the most complete archery targets you will find. What may surprise you most is the price, at a little over $100 this target is a fantastic value. The dice design does have a purpose, with six targetable sides, the target will last a lot longer. Spreading out the targets is not the only reason why this target lasts longer; it’s dense foam construction can easily stop a crossbow bolt. Though this foam is meant to stop high-speed arrows, removing the arrows is a breeze.
The high roller is lightweight and easy to carry anywhere thanks to its built-in handle. The only problem is that the handle is a single rope instead of a loop, so it’s not as easy to hang. The target is treated to resist fading from the sun but doesn’t perform well when wet so you should still store it inside when you aren’t using it. The biggest issue with this target is that it only comes in one size, and that size is smaller than a lot of archers would like. Other than that small issue, this is a well-rounded target that bow and crossbow users will both enjoy.
More to Consider
Choosing the perfect target for your needs is not always a simple task. What works for one person may not work for another. By sticking to the targets on this list, you know you are getting a tried and true product that you will be happy with even if it’s not the perfect fit. The best part is that most of these targets are relatively inexpensive so you can try a few different kinds to see what you like.
Whether you are shooting a kid’s bow or a crossbow, field tips or broadheads, there is a perfect target out there for you. Remember to check your target’s integrity often to make sure it is still safe to use. Most of all, have fun and good luck!