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Bow Review: Hoyt Carbon Defiant

Bow Review: Hoyt Carbon Defiant

Hoyt builds carbon bows that are stylish, well-built and perform great. For 2017, Hoyt offers three versions of its Carbon Defiant, including the 31-inch axle-to-axle base model that is the subject of this test.

Hoyt's 2017 Carbon Defiant is built on the company's Helical Flex Tune Hollow Carbon Tube riser, which is formed and shaped using O-Tec Technology. The Carbon Defiant is loaded with features such as the DFX Cam & ½ system that produces a comfortable string angle, the UltraFlex highly pre-loaded split limbs that reach a beyond-parallel position at full draw, the one-piece Pro-Fit Grip, the Zero Torque cable-containment system and multiple vibration- and noise-dampening accessories.

Tubular Technology

Hoyt's carbon bow line features lightweight risers built with O-Tec Technology, which forms the Hollow Carbon Tube. Hoyt's Helical Flex Tune Carbon has a high strength-to-weight ratio as well as noise- and vibration-dampening characteristics. This lightweight construction is the key to the Carbon Defiant's advertised weight of only 3.6 pounds. Three main tubes weave their way back and forth, twisting and changing shape to create the riser. Two of the tubes make up the standard riser design, while the third swings behind the handle to give the bow that signature Hoyt look and channel vibration away from the main body of the bow, the grip and the shooter's hand. O-Tec makes it possible to flow, flatten and twist the tubes to create strength and rigidity at critical areas along the riser. It also lends itself well to the offset riser design that features Hoyt's Perfect Balance Stabilization System by offsetting a stainless steel stabilizer mounting insert opposite the side of the riser where accessories are mounted, thus counterbalancing them and stabilizing the system.

Designed to enhance comfort and encourage proper form, the one-piece laminated wood Pro-Fit grip on the test rig produces a neutral wrist position and is shaped to coax the hand into a repeatable position. Hoyt's ZT (Zero Torque) Cable Guard System is designed to induce force in the opposite direction of the rollers by mounting them on the front of the arm and anchoring the arm farther toward the shooter. The goal is to reduce all torque from the system, making the bow easier to tune, more forgiving and ultimately more accurate.

Playing the Angles

Hoyt outfits the 2017 Carbon Defiant with the DFX Cam & ½ System. Both cams ride on steel axles coupled with sealed inner-race bearings. Three base cams and an adjustable mod cover draw lengths from 24-30 inches, in half-inch increments. System letoff is advertised at 75 percent. Dual cable stops and an optional limb stop on the upper cam allow the shooter to pick the feel of the back wall. The single harness system ties the operation of the cams together so they are forced to move in lock-step with one another. When the bow is drawn, cam rotation and position relative to the limbs is designed to create a broader measurement at full draw. As a result, the string comes off the cam at a less severe angle, causing the Defiant to perform more like a bow three inches longer. The peep is drawn closer to the shooter's face, allowing for a relaxed, natural head position, better form and better accuracy, along with less facial contact and eye strain.

Tested to the Extreme

A set of UltraFlex split limbs hold a strong pre-load and achieve a past-parallel position at full draw, reducing shock, vibration and noise. Through complex computer modeling, Hoyt has discovered the Uniform Stress Distribution formula for durable limbs as demonstrated through their rigorous testing, which requires 1,500 dry fires and 1 million draw cycles. Limbs are matched into identical sets of four, based on deflection values. A dual rocker limb pocket uses an integrated end cap and spacer unit, plus three counter pressure points, to align the limbs to the riser at this critical interface.


The Carbon Defiant is lightweight, compact and tough, making it a great option for backcountry bowhunts.

A quick jump in the handle can be felt at the shot, but there is no vibration. The draw is easy — even the initial climb to peak, which looks sharp on the accompanying draw-force graph, is not harsh at all. If you're looking for a quiet rig, this should be one of the first you test.


In summary, the Carbon Defiant earns high marks all around for quality, performance and the overall shooting experience.

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