Barnett Vortex

8.7 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.7)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 8.4 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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Barnett Vortex Review Facts

Barnett is a leader in the industry of crossbow design and manufacture. Over a million of their crossbows have been sold. Their products are made by and for hunters. The Barnett Vortex crossbow is adjustable, lightweight, and surprisingly powerful. The Junior and Hunter versions cost less than $200.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Available in camouflage color for optimal use while hunting
  • Ideal for first-time hunters
  • Lightweight
  • Usable by youth and adults
  • Very accurate
  • Well-made
  • Inferior accessories

Primary Use

The Barnett Vortex is advertised as a youth model but can be used by adults. Seasoned bowhunters, especially females, enjoy shooting the bow. It is extremely compact. Though it is designed for people under age 18, it is a real bow that is deadly to people and animals.

Age does not decide if the bow is right for a shooter. Body size is the determining factor. The bow does not work well for someone who is extremely tall and has long arms. It is ideal for the build of an average size sixth-grader.

It is an excellent target practice bow. The bow is an excellent option for narrow tree stands or small ground blinds or roaming for hours in areas of dense vegetation. The model is an excellent option for someone entering the bowhunting world.

It is durable, well-made, and accurate to 60 yards with quality accessories. The archer can go hunting without breaking the bank. The pre-drilled hole makes adding a standard bowfishing reel possible. There is enough poundage to penetrate the water and hit fish well.

If the state allows bow fishing, many adults prefer the Barnett Vortex for bow fishing because of the small nature. A large bow does not work well in a canoe, boat, or a dense brush bank. Barnett Vortex is a big win. Those who outgrow the bow likely have someone who would benefit from it. If not, it can be sold and the money put towards a new compound bow.


Instructions are included in the package. If by chance they are not included, contact Barnett directly. The company stands by their products, and even the smallest concerns are taken seriously. Barnett provides impeccable support.

The package comes in case form with a carrying handle. It contains the bow, some Allen wrenches, arrowheads, arrow rest, and modules to adjust the draw weight of the bow. There are two tabs on the case that are pressed to take the bow out of the package.

Weight & Size

There are three variations of the Barnett Vortex. They are the light version, the junior version, and the hunter version. The junior version goes for 16 to 19 pounds. The light version goes from 19 to 45 pounds and the Hunter version for 45 to 60 pounds.

The junior bow is a compact bow. It has a length of 28 inches. The bow is shorter than many people prefer. The junior bow is meant for smaller people or youth. The Hunter version is also intended for youth. It measures 28.34 inches from axle to axle and weighs one pound. The brace height is eight inches.


Using the sight or instinct is relatively accurate. The draw of the junior version is about 27 inches. The junior bow can be adjusted from 19 pounds. The adjustable draw modules permit weight changes without pressing the bow.

The junior is a versatile youth archery bow that will grow with young archers. While being much shorter than other bows meant of smaller framed people, it is also more powerful. The let of is 60 to 70 percent. It is an excellent beginner bow.

The Barnett Vortex is a compound bow that packs a lot of punch. When drawing back, the limbs do not bend back very much. The bow is very quiet when shooting. It will penetrate about 1½ inches on a thick cardboard target that a 50-pound longbow has trouble piercing.

The Barnett Vortex Hunter is the most powerful Barnett Vortex bow. It is available for right-handed shooters only. The archer holds the bow in the left hand. The string is pulled back by the right hand. The draw length of the Hunter version is 26 to 30 inches. There is no bow press. The let off of the Hunter is also 60 to 70 percent. It comes set to 60 pounds and a draw length of 28 inches. Sixty pounds is a lot of poundage for young bowhunters. It can be lowered a bit for those starting. Kids who are seasoned pros do not require an adjustment. There is a mounting hole pre-drilled for a five-inch stabilizer. Experts recommend adding one for overall balance and getting rid of vibrations that occur when shooting. Ridding the bow of vibration is critical for bowhunting. Sound travels faster than an arrow. The vibration may warn the game before the archer can hit it. If a recommended peep sight is purchased, it needs to fit the archer and the bow sight. It should not cover the sight pins when aiming. String positions should fit the shooter. It requires adjustment specifically for a shooter. There is no release aid or D-loop. To avoid twisting string with the fingers at the release, have one installed.

Long distance shots are affected by slight twists of the fingers. The compound is relatively quiet at lower poundage. Around 50 pounds, the sound gets louder due to the increased vibration. Adding a standard stabilizer and string silencers solves the problem.

Even at 60 pounds, the Barnett Vortex Hunter draws smoothly and shoots accurately. Three-inch groups at 40 yards are not a problem with quality accessories. Minor accuracy problems occur at 60 yards. Up to 60 yards, shooting the crossbow is fantastic.

The back wall is sold, It gives an archer an excellent reference point to relate to efficiently when working on form. Serious bowhunters must work on form. The included Allen wrenches tighten and loosen the limb bolts that are attached to the riser.

Increase the poundage by turning clockwise and decrease by turning counter-clockwise. More than three turns can cause the compound to fall apart violently. The bow is under considerable pressure all the time. The number of full turns must be equal on each bolt. A bow press is not needed to adjust the draw length. The

Allen wrench loosens the screen holding the module in place. Use small incremental steps to correct the draw length. Re-tighten the screw after the adjustment is made. Anyone with a draw length of more than 30 inches cannot use the model proficiently. Practice a lot before hunting. A serious hunter needs to be an excellent shot. Practice makes the shooter become on with the bow and improves the ability to shoot.


The package also includes a quiver and three arrows. The quiver is nothing exceptional. The arrows are aluminum arrows that are not the best quality arrows but will get the archer started. Carbon arrows are probably better. Not all Hunter version come with arrows.

Aluminum arrows are good, but because of their stiff spines, they bend. When they bend they stay bent. Due to the power, carbon arrows are recommended. Fiberglass arrows break more easily. A fiberglass arrow that shatters is unusable. Finding arrows to suit an archer is not always an easy task. A pro shop purchase may be necessary to have arrows cut to fit a particular draw length.

The most decent accessory that comes with the bow is the sight. It is a fiber optic sight. For starters, the 3-Pin Optic Sight is acceptable. The pins are set for yards of 20, 30, and 40. The sight may need to be adjusted to a personal way of shooting. Follow the arrow to the image in sight. Shoot a group of arrows and make adjustments accordingly. Shots that go to the left and up need to have the sight adjusted up and to the left of

The arrow rest is made out of plastic. There are nicer
ones available. The Hunter version comes with an arrow rest that is called Hostage Style. It wears out quickly. It may be wise to replace it sooner than later.

A whisker basket helps an arrow pass off the bow. The
arrow rest that comes with the crossbow serves primarily the same function. If the arrow rest is replaced, a whisker basket is an acceptable substitution.

Though the package can double as a carry case, it is rather flimsy. If the crossbow is transported a lot, a real case for storage and transport is best. The case will protect the crossbow from extreme temperatures and moisture.


The bow is made like an adult bow, but smaller. The Barnett Vortex is available in different varieties. The Junior Hunter edition is the most popular. This review places most of the focus on the Hunter version.

The lightweight and junior Barnett Vortex offer the same function and design as the full-sized bow. The visor is made out of metal, presumably aluminum. Aluminum is typically the metal used to make bow visors.

The limbs are made of fiberglass. The bow is not designed for breaking down. The cost of a new limb is not worth the price of the part and proper installation. The faux aluminum cams have a nice appearance. The junior model has black cams. The Hunter model has red cams. It has a binary cam system. The limbs are split.

The 28.34-inch axle to axle length is not as bulky as an adult bow in a ground blind. It is an ideal option for female huntresses also. It is relatively lightweight and extremely compact. There are back pivoting limb pockets where the durable split limbs sit tightly. A camouflage color is available for optimal use when hunting. The high definition finish supports the purpose well.

It is constructed to ATA/AMO standards. ATA/AMO standards include high-quality craft and materials. The bow must be durable, feel sturdy, and have a well-made overall appearance. The aluminum risers are machined smoothly, grip comfortably, and are well-designed to fit many bowhunters and archers.


Between the aggressive binary cam system and well-made limbs, enough force is generated to send an arrow downrange at 280 feet per second or more. The speed of the Barnett Vortex Hunter breaks no records but is fast enough to use when bowhunting small or medium game. Deer are doable with light arrows.


The 60-pound Barnett Vortex Hunter meets most state requirements regarding bowhunting. Check before roaming the fields. The regulations for individual states concerning draw weight is different from state to state.

Before hunting, the arrows that come with the set, need
to be replaced. They are made for children and would be dangerous in the field. Take the bow to the professional to find the ideal arrow rest or whisker basket for the new arrows.


The junior version sells for about $125. The hunter version costs about $180. The archer gets an excellent package for the price. The Barnett Vortex Hunter isn’t a cheap crossbow, nor is it the most expensive.

It can compete with models costing twice the amount. There are folding bows available for $200 that come only with the bow and string. For nearly half the price, the Barnett Vortex offers much more.

The manufacturer offers a five-year limited warranty. Moveable parts such as strings, cables, or accessories are typically not covered by a warranty. The warranty does not cover drilling additional holes in the riser or drying firing. Doing so voids the warranty.

Key Features

* 3-Pin Sight
* 21 to 27-inch draw length
* 60 to 70 percent let off
* Adjustable 16 to 45-pound draw weight
* Capture style arrow rest
* Constructed to ATA/AMO standards
* Five-year limited warranty against craft and materials
* Packaging in case format
* Two-piece, three-arrow quiver

Bottom Line

The junior bow costs about $125 and comes with the basic accessories that include the sight, and arrow rest. The quiver that comes in the package is not the highest quality. Others are available, but the quiver is not necessary for target shooting. Upgrading to a different model is more critical for hunting. Hunters don’t want to mess with a hip or back quiver in the field.