March 10, 2023
By Mark Demko
Like everything in the bowhunting world, arrow rests have come a long way over the years.
Among modern bowhunters, the most popular rest options are drop-away models that support your arrow during the draw cycle yet drop quickly out of the picture at the shot, resulting in smooth, accurate arrow flight.
When it comes to drop-aways, Virginia-based Quality Archery Designs (QAD) has become synonymous with producing high-quality, precision rests. The company designs and manufacturers all its rests entirely in the U.S., with each rest adhering to strict tolerance specifications and undergoing extensive quality-control testing.
QAD’s newest release, the ULTRAREST R2 Integrate, is designed to work seamlessly with the Integrate Mounting System now found on many manufacturers’ bows. Billed by QAD as the sleekest, lightest (it weighs only 1.9 ounces), most compact rest on the market, it also can be added to bows that don’t have the dovetail mounting option by using one of QAD’s mounting brackets.
With a price less than $200, the R2 Integrate slides in between QAD's high-end models and the more economical rests on the market. QAD designed the R2 Integrate for archers and bowhunters who want the hallmark features QAD is known for such as easy tuning, drop-away technology and full containment, yet don’t necessarily want or need the micro-adjustability of a model such as the Integrate MX. The bottom line is that the R2 Integrate will save you some hard-earned cash without sacrificing performance.
The first thing that’s noticeable about the R2 Integrate is how simple it is to install. To start, you simply remove the vertical locking clamp from the rest, seat the rest in the dovetail rail on your bow and then put the locking clamp back (the rest is designed to auto-level with the riser). Vertical adjustments can be made by loosening the vertical adjustment locking screw and sliding the rest housing along the dovetail, while horizontal adjustments are done by loosening the horizontal adjustment locking screw below the launcher and moving it left or right as needed.
When you loosen components on a bow, they can sometimes move or slip out of place, making precise adjustments a bit clunky or challenging. QAD, however, has a solution to that: thanks to Grip-Slide Technology, the rest remains in place until you apply pressure by hand, making it simple to make precision tweaks.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to be an archery pro to set up the cable-driven/activated R2 Integrate once mounted on the bow. Proper rest function is easy to establish thanks to the included cable clamp (no serving required) that attaches to the downward-moving cable and secures the timing string in place, and QAD provides excellent, illustrated directions for setup.
As for operating the R2 Integrate after you’ve nocked your arrow, you simply push the thumb lever on the rest housing forward to rotate the launcher into its upright position. At the shot, a high-tension spring releases the launcher, and Lock Down Technology ensures it stays in the zero-degree position (essentially parallel to the riser shelf), with no bounce-back, guaranteeing vane clearance and accurate shots, even with bows shooting up to 400 fps.
As a full-containment arrow rest, the R2 Integrate not only holds your arrow in place as you draw, the launcher also remains upright even if you have to let off the string slowly because you can’t get a shot. That’s a small but important feature to note since it prevents the arrow from falling off the rest and making noise that in all likelihood will alert or startle a deer, elk or other game.
Other features of the R2 Integrate include durable, machined-aluminum construction; cam brake and dampers to reduce noise and vibration; and a Safety Break Away to help prevent damage or injury if the launcher is forced down improperly. The rest also comes with easy-to-apply felt for the launcher fork, eliminating noise created by the arrow sliding across the rest as you’re coming to full draw.
If you’re thinking of upgrading or changing your arrow rest, QAD’s ULTRAREST R2 Integrate is a top choice. It’s a dependable, precision rest that won’t break the bank, and it’s guaranteed to ensure you’ll have smooth sailing, both on the range and in the field. — Associate Editor Mark Demko