Welcome to our comprehensive review of the BARNETT Tomcat Compound Bow, or as we'll refer to it in this article, simply the Tomcat.
In a market saturated with numerous bow options, the Tomcat sets itself apart with its unique features, all without breaking the bank.
At a competitive price point of $119.99, it positions itself as a great choice for beginners and intermediate archers alike.
In this review, we'll delve into the specifics of the Tomcat, examining its design, ease of use, performance, and overall value for money.
We'll also touch upon its versatility and suitability for different types of archery – from target practice to hunting expeditions.
By the end of this piece, you'll have a solid understanding of what the Tomcat has to offer and whether it's the right choice for your archery needs.
So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let's take a closer look at this impressive piece of equipment.
- Manufacturer warranty: 5 years limited (stock, trigger mechanism and limbs), 1 year limited general
- Handedness: Right
- Axle-to-axle length: 26 inches
- Draw weight: 17 – 22 lbs
- Bow weight: 4 lbs
- Let-off: 60 – 77%
- Draw length: 20 – 22 inches
- 3-pin, fiber-optic Brightglo sight: This sight aids in aligning shots, improving accuracy and performance. This is especially beneficial for beginners who are still developing their aim.
- Adjustable draw length: The Tomcat's draw length ranges from 20 to 22 inches and is adjustable in 1-inch increments. This offers flexibility for the archer as they can adjust the draw length based on their size and comfort level.
- Suitable draw weight for ages 8 to 12: With a draw weight of 17 to 22 pounds, the Tomcat is ideal for young archers. This draw weight provides a balance of power and control, making it a good fit for the recommended age group.
- Mossy Oak Bottomland® finish: This finish not only enhances the aesthetics of the bow but also helps kids blend into the environment, which can be useful for hunting or outdoor archery activities.
- Constructed to ATA/AMO standards: This ensures that the bow meets quality standards set by the Archery Trade Association and the Archery Manufacturers Organization.
- Included accessories: The Tomcat comes with a Brightglo sight, soft-touch finger rollers, and 2 arrows. The soft-touch finger rollers enhance comfort and contribute to a smooth release with each shot. The included arrows mean that children can get started right away.
All these features work in unison to provide a compound bow that delivers on performance while being accessible and comfortable to use, especially for the young ones.
In the next section, we will be exploring the user experience of the Tomcat and how these features translate to real-world use.
My Personal Experience
As a father, one of the most cherished experiences I've had with the Tomcat came when I introduced my daughter to archery.
She was 10 at the time, eager and excited to try something new.
I remember how her eyes lit up when she saw the Tomcat for the first time, its Mossy Oak Bottomland® finish glinting in the sunlight.
She was immediately drawn to it, commenting on how “cool” it looked.
The first time she picked up the Tomcat, her initial reaction was one of surprise.
She expected it to be heavy, but was delighted to find that its 4-pound weight was manageable, even for her small frame.
The soft-touch finger rollers were a hit, too.
She liked the feel of them, saying they made the bow feel “comfortable and safe.”
Adjusting the draw length was an easy process.
We started at the minimum 20 inches, gradually increasing it as she became more comfortable.
The Tomcat's range of draw length allowed it to grow with her as she developed her skills, a feature we both appreciated.
One of the standout moments came during an evening practice session in our backyard.
The sun was setting, the light fading, and she was about to pack up when she noticed the Brightglo sight.
It was as if the bow had a life of its own in the dim light.
She quickly set up another target, took aim, and let the arrow fly.
It hit the target straight in the middle.
The joy on her face was unforgettable.
That's when I knew we had made the right choice with the Tomcat.
In the months that followed, her confidence and skill improved dramatically.
The Tomcat wasn't just a bow; it became an extension of her, a tool that helped her explore a new passion.
She was no longer a beginner; she was an archer.
And the Tomcat, with its beginner-friendly features and reliable performance, played a significant role in her journey.
Looking back, the Tomcat not only introduced my daughter to archery but also provided an opportunity for us to spend quality time together, creating memories that we'll cherish forever.
It's more than just a bow; it's a catalyst for bonding, personal growth, and unforgettable experiences.
Price and Value for Money
Priced at $119.99, the Tomcat offers significant value for money, especially when compared to other bows in the same category.
The affordability of this compound bow is one of its major attractions, making it accessible for those just beginning their journey in archery or for parents looking to introduce their children to the sport.
But affordability isn't the only factor that determines value for money.
The quality and performance of the bow are just as important, if not more so.
And this is where the Tomcat truly shines.
With its adjustable draw length and weight, high-quality Mossy Oak Bottomland® finish, and construction that meets ATA/AMO standards, the Tomcat delivers on performance without sacrificing quality.
Furthermore, the Tomcat comes as a complete package, including a Brightglo sight, soft-touch finger rollers, and two arrows.
These included accessories not only add to the overall value of the package but also mean that beginners can start practicing as soon as they unbox the bow.
Additionally, the bow's warranty offers extra peace of mind, covering parts for five years and offering a general one-year limited warranty.
In terms of value for money, the Tomcat stands out as a great investment.
It offers an affordable entry point into archery while still providing the features and quality often found in more expensive bows.
Whether you're buying it for yourself or as a gift for a young aspiring archer, the Tomcat delivers value that exceeds its price tag.
What are people saying?
The Tomcat has received positive feedback from a variety of users.
Here are some of the key points from their reviews:
Neil praises the Tomcat as an “awesome bow package for a beginner.” He bought it for his 14-year-old daughter and found it to be a great tool for teaching her how to shoot.
He also appreciates its adaptability, noting that, even though it doesn't come with a peep sight, one can easily get a real bowstring installed for this purpose.
Neil was so pleased with the Tomcat that he plans to buy another one for his wife, who needs a bow with a lighter draw weight due to her wrist condition.
pikenbike has purchased two Tomcats for his grandsons and reports that they both love them.
He commends the bow as a “high quality entry level compound bow,” further highlighting its appeal for beginners and its excellent value for money.
These positive reviews underscore the Tomcat's strengths as a versatile, high-quality compound bow that's suitable for beginners of all ages.
While the Tomcat undoubtedly boasts a wealth of benefits, it's only fair to address some of its drawbacks, as minor as they may be.
One potential downside is the absence of a peep sight.
As Neil mentioned in his review, although you can modify the bowstring to install a peep sight, it would have been more convenient if the bow came with one installed.
A peep sight aids in consistent and accurate shooting, so its absence may be felt by those looking to further refine their aiming skills.
Additionally, the Tomcat is designed for right-handed users.
While this isn't a problem for the majority, left-handed archers may find this limiting.
On a more personal note, I remember a small hiccup that we encountered while my daughter was learning to use the Tomcat.
The bowstring, while durable, did seem to fray a bit more quickly than expected.
While it didn't affect the bow's performance and was easily fixed with a bit of bowstring wax, it was an unexpected part of maintenance that new users should be aware of.
In the grand scheme of things, these drawbacks are minor when weighed against the overall benefits of the Tomcat.
However, they're worth bearing in mind when considering whether this bow is the right fit for you or your budding archer.
Should You Buy? Concluding the Review
Deciding whether to invest in the Tomcat ultimately depends on your individual needs and circumstances.
That said, the benefits of the Tomcat appear to significantly outweigh its minor drawbacks.
If you are seeking a high-quality, beginner-friendly compound bow that offers excellent value for money, the Tomcat should be at the top of your list.
Its adjustable draw length and weight, along with the included Brightglo sight and soft-touch finger rollers, make it a versatile and user-friendly option.
The Mossy Oak Bottomland® finish adds an aesthetic touch, while the bow's construction to ATA/AMO standards ensures you're getting a product that meets industry quality standards.
And let's not forget about the two included arrows, which allow immediate practice right out of the box.
The few drawbacks, such as the absence of a peep sight and its design for right-handed users, are minor and can be managed or worked around in most cases.
My personal experience with the slightly fraying bowstring was a minor hiccup in an otherwise smooth experience.
In conclusion, the Tomcat stands as a testament to BARNETT's commitment to delivering quality archery equipment that is accessible, reliable, and enjoyable to use.
Whether you're a parent introducing your child to the world of archery, a beginner starting your journey, or even a more seasoned archer looking for a lighter bow, the Tomcat promises a great archery experience that is worth the investment.