Bear Archery Arena 34 Bow Review

Bear Archery Arena 34 Bow Review

bear_arena_34_fBear Archery is all about strength, durability and performance. Bear focuses on making hunting bows that will withstand brutal weather conditions and hard hunting while living up to the reputation of company namesake Fred Bear. It is serious business at Bear as the company works to match the intensity of its customers.

A product of that focus is the 2015 Arena 34, which is a longer axle-to-axle bow with notable speed. A new H15 Hybrid cam system drives the Arena, while a set of Max Pre-Loaded Quad Limbs use a beyond-parallel position to reduce shock and vibration. Also featured on the new Bear rig is the company's Hinge Cable Guard, Bi-Dimensionally Adjustable String Suppressors, a long, machined, reflex riser and more.


Long, Lean & Loaded


The Arena is built on a long, sleek riser that uses spacious bridging to bolster strength in high-stress points and eliminate material where possible to reduce overall mass weight. It begins with a forging of aircraft-grade aluminum and is finished with a full machining process. Bear offers the Arena in standard Realtree Xtra Green along with optional Shadow Black, Olive, Sand and Snow camo.


Bear's signature, dual-position Bi-Dimensionally Adjustable String Suppressors give you the ability to change the proximity, relative up and down position and even the contact point and angle of the suppressors in relation to the string. The connecting fixture is offset away from mounted accessories to balance the bow, and the rubber dampening blocks that actually contact the string are offset from the mounting bar to soften the cushioning effect. The end goal is to quickly stop string oscillation and thereby reduce vibration and noise.


Improved arrow flight and consistency is the ulitmate goal of the Hinge Guard, which controls the motion and position of your cables during the draw and shot cycles for reduced lateral torque.

In 2014, Bear introduced the Hinge Guard, which uses a full-capture cable containment block, hinged off angle, to control the motion and position of the cables during the draw and shot cycles. The end result is less overall torque, which translates into improved arrow flight and consistency.


The Arena comes with two grips — the outer Bear-Logo Overmold grip and a set of side-panel inserts recessed in cutouts. The handle area of the riser is contoured and fully machined to comfortably complement the side-panel option.

Power Pack

Generating IBO arrow speeds of 340 fps on a 6'‰1⁄2-inch brace height and 75 percent system letoff takes significant power and efficiency. That job falls to the H15 Hybrid cam system featured on the Arena. In addition to raw speed, Bear was also looking to make the shooting experience enjoyable with a smooth draw cycle.

This is, of course, a balancing act between the abrupt, squared-off draw cycle common to speed bows and the bell curve-like flowing transitions of older round-wheel bows. Many iterations of cam geometry were entertained before the 7075 aluminum H15 was finalized.

system — new on all 2015 Arena bows from Bear Archery.

Draw-length selections from 26'‰1⁄2-31 inches, including half sizes, are available on a single rotating module that does not require a bow press to adjust. Cable draw stops on both cams are located in holes that match up with the draw length. There are also optional draw stops on each cam that contact the limb for an extra solid backwall feel.

Bear outfits the Arena with its Max Pre-Load Quad limbs that are fully machined from fiberglass material and then matched into sets based on deflection values. Advanced computer modeling software is used to pinpoint the exact configuration that allows the limbs to bend further and store more energy.

Limbs are available in 50-, 60- and 70-pound peak draw weight options. Limbs are precisely aligned to the riser through the Zero Tolerance limb pockets.

The Experience

My first impression was that this bow weighed under 4 pounds, but the scale revealed a 4.1-pound mass weight. My point is that the Arena 34 feels lighter than it is. I was either feeling particularly Thor-like while testing, or Bear did a great job with weight distribution.

bear_arena_34_chartI'm going with the latter. The cams get you to peak weight quickly, which gives the Arena an aggressive feel up front, but the draw cycle slopes off to the valley for an easy transition.

It has a quick kick followed by some low-level vibration at the shot — nothing major. The Arena is a quiet shooter and without a doubt one of my favorite Bear bows to date.

Specifications

Manufacturer: Bear Archery, 800-694-9494

Model: Arena 34

Cam System: H15 Hybrid

Weight: 4 pounds (advertised); 4.1 pounds (tested)

Brace Height: 6'‰1⁄2 inches

Axle-To-Axle length: 34'‰1⁄2 inches

Letoff: 75 percent

Draw Weights: 50, 60 and 70 pounds peak

Draw Lengths: 26'‰1⁄2-31 inches, in half-inch increments

Riser: Reflex, machined aluminum

Limbs: Max Pre-Loaded Quad Limbs

String: Contraband, BCY X, 62.5 inches

Cables: Contraband, BCY X, 37.6 and 35.8 inches

Grip: Bear overmold grip, one-piece or side panels

Finish: Realtree Xtra Green standard, with many other options available

Advertised IBO Speed: 340 fps

Suggested Retail Price: $899.99

Comments: Well balanced and fast.

Recommended for You

Take advantage of 360-degree shooting. Treestands & Blinds

How Do I Shoot from a Tree Saddle?

Greg Staggs

Take advantage of 360-degree shooting.

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range. Big Game

Elk Calling With the Experts

Tracy Breen

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range.

Treestand hunting is not an exact science. We all learn with experience, and there is definitely an Whitetail

10 Best Treestand Hunting Tips

Bill Winke

Treestand hunting is not an exact science. We all learn with experience, and there is...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

"Petersen's Bowhunting" editor Christian Berg and Mathews design engineer Mark Hayes talk the smooth, quiet and fast shooting qualities of the new flagship Vertix bow from the Wisconsin bowmaker.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Mechanical Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show!

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

See More Stories

More Bows

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

With speeds up to 340 fps, the Carbon Air Stealth SE is a fast, lightweight rig. Bows

Bow Review: PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE

Jon E. Silks - August 23, 2019

With speeds up to 340 fps, the Carbon Air Stealth SE is a fast, lightweight rig.

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

See More Bows

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×