Carbon Express Arrows: Which Are the Best Ones for Your Rig?
Here's what I love most about Carbon Express: they make high-end arrows that have very little variation between models. They all basically have the same characteristics: they have relatively small vanes so that arrows maintain flight speed, they have a remarkable straightness tolerance, and they're made to effectively utilize broadheads or field points when hunting. All-around, high-quality arrows, right?
The only problem is—that sameness from arrow to arrow makes them difficult to review! They're all good, and they're all very similar! You have to really look to find the differences between models, and the main differences between them are:
- They Offer Arrows for a Wide Range of Draw Weights. There are, surprisingly, a lot of arrow manufacturers that limit themselves to people who use a very particular weight of bow. Carbon Express has arrows for bows with a low draw weight (the BLU arrows, below) and arrows for hunters with a ridiculously high draw weight (the Pile Driver arrows, below). I list the draw weights for each of the arrows in the reviews that follow.
- They Offer Arrows for a Wide Range of Draw Lengths. This is another way that arrow manufacturers baffle me—the longest arrow they offer is 30 inches. What sense does that make? Carbon Express offers arrows from 25 to 33+ inches. I list these, too.
- Effective Use of Color. This seems like a small deal, but the color of arrows is important to a lot of buyers. I always wondered why arrow manufacturers (and bow manufacturers, for that matter), make the same equipment but with different colors, and then it hit me: a lot of people will buy products based on color alone. And, those people who actually know what they're buying want to like the look of what they're buying. It matters a lot to a lot of people, and Carbon Express—perhaps more than other archery companies—incorporates color into their arrows. After all, two of their most notable products are literally named "BLU" and "RED," and they manufacture options in blue, black, gold, and camo colors.
So, below, I've done my best to outline the differences between these arrows, and help you figure out which are the best Carbon Express arrows for you and your shot.
I'll give two options for lighter bows, two options for heavier bows, one option for target archers, and after all that, I'll go over some information that's helpful if you're looking into getting a couple of Carbon Express arrows.
So, sorry for all that blathering—let's get to it:
CX Arrows for Hunting
While Carbon Express has a few high-end target arrows (and I review one below), they're most popular arrows are for hunters. Here are some of what I consider the best options.
Carbon Express Maxima BLU. The Carbon Express Maxima BLU can be shot from a lower-poundage bow, so this is a great fit if you're a beginner or shooting from a lower-pound rig. You'll need to choose between a 150, 250, and 350 spine.
These actually have a lower straightness tolerance than some of the other Carbon Express offerings (+/-.0025th of an inch, whereas some of the more high-end options are +/-.001th of an inch), but that's still pretty impressive. Most high-end carbon arrows skew somewhere between .001th and .006th of an inch, so these are still straighter than most high-end arrows.
These are a fantastic option, but keep in mind, these need to be cut to the right length, based on your draw length—they ship at 32 inches, and you need to cut them (or have your local pro shop cut them) so they're specific to your draw.
These, along with the Maxima Reds, which I discuss below, are probably the most popular Carbon Express arrows on the list. A very solid option.
Carbon Express Mutiny. The Carbon Express Mutiny Arrows are another solid option for users of lighter-weight bows, AND archers who require shorter arrows. These arrows range from 25 inches to 33 inches, depending on how long you cut them, and are manufactured in spines of 150, 250, and 350.
You'll have to buy your own field tips or broadheads—that's the case with most Carbon Express arrows—but luckily the company sells those too (by the way—if you're looking for a weight estimate, the tips for these arrows would typically be 100 or 125 grains). If you hunt and shoot a light-to-medium weight bow (or you do 3D archery and shoot a light-to-medium weight bow), I think these are a solid option.
Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Carbon Arrows. The Carbon Express Maxima RED are a popular choice, and in my experience, they're probably the most commonly used Carbon Express arrows.
These are specifically designed so that broadheads screwed in to the top of the arrow level the arrow and allow it to fly straight. These aren't a good choice for lighter draw weights—the minimum draw weight for the RED arrows is 40 pounds—but that's a fine fit for most hunters, who need to shoot a bow of at least 40 pounds in order to legally hunt deer (most state laws require that bows have a draw weight of 40 pounds or more). Carbon arrows like this one are heavy enough to gather a lot of kinetic energy and deliver that energy upon impact.
Like most Carbon Express arrows, you need to cut these down so they match your draw length, and you can bring them to a pro shop if you can't do that yourself. They do, however, come pre-fletched, with 2-inch vanes, which are nice and small, so they don't slow the arrow while it's in flight.
My only gripe about a lot of these arrows is that they're usually packaged in sets of six, but there are Maxima RED Packs that include twelve arrows. NICE.
Carbon Express Pile Driver Carbon Arrows. The Carbon Express Pile Drivers are HEAVY arrows, and they're a good option if you're shooting a heavier bow. That's important—if you've got a strong bow but your arrows aren't strong enough, that's a recipe for disaster, and you're going to crack a lot of arrows before they leave your bow (and endanger yourself and those around you).
These are usually manufactured in three different spines: 250, 350, and 450. The 250 spines are for lighter bows (30 pounds to 75 pounds, depending on the length of your arrows); the 350 spines are for midrange bows (58 pounds to 93 pounds, depending on the length of your arrows); and the 450 are for heavy bows (64 pounds and up to 93 pounds, depending on the length of your arrows).
These are a big favorite among hunters, because they carry a lot of charge due to their weight, and that translates to penetrating power. They have super-tiny vanes (2 inches long) to reduce drag, so these puppies are designed to fly through the air very quickly. A great option for hunters and users of heavy bows.
CX Arrows for Target Archery
The arrows above are mostly used for hunting, but if you're looking for target arrows, Carbon Express Nanos are widely regarded as one of the best target arrows you can find (well, they're widely regarded among the folks I talk to, anyway!).
They're heavy enough so that they carry to far-off targets without experiencing too much wind resistance (which is a fantastic thing when you're shooting at a target 70 yards away), yet light enough to zip through the air. They are remarkably straight, and Carbon Express seems to put a lot of effort into manufacturing arrows that are exactly the same, arrow to arrow.
These are a high-end arrows, but they can be a fantastic option.
Why Are Carbon Express Arrows Worthwhile?
Every arrow manufacturer has some good things going for it. Easton makes great competition arrows; Gold Tip makes arrows easy to buy. So what's great about Carbon Express?
First and foremost—they're made for everyone! So many arrows are sooooo specific, that it takes forever to find one you can use. Carbon Express produces arrows that range from very, very short—it's hard to even find another manufacturer that makes 25-inch arrows—to very long: if you've got a very long draw length, finding 33-inch arrows can be a chore.
Second—this doesn't really mean much, but I'll mention it anyway—the names! The names that archery manufacturers name their products crack me up. It's almost always something severe and terrifying. Example: the Martin RAGE Compound Bow comes to mind. Why rage, man? I'm just trying to relax with my friends and hit some targets! Take it easy!
And Carbon Express doesn't disappoint with their names:
PILE DRIVER ARROWS!
Woah, relax, Carbon Express! Take it down a notch! How on earth are you going to top those names when you've got to create new products?
ANARCHY ARROWS! APOCALYPSE ARROWS! NUCLEAR WINTER ARROWS!
OK. The last—and most important—characteristic of Carbon Express is that they are, in my experience, top notch quality. Their straightness tolerance from arrow to arrow is usually within 1/10,000th of an inch, and when you stop to think about that for a second, it's incredible. That's a miracle of modern science. With precision like that, you're within the top .0001% of archers ever to carry a bow.
My only problem with them, as I mentioned above, is that you can't really buy them in bulk. I'd love to pick up a dozen or two dozen, throw them in the quiver, and not think about it again. But that's fine, though.
Carbon Express + Broadheads
I mentioned it only briefly above, so I thought I'd mention it again: Carbon Express are FANTASTIC arrows for switching points. If you want to use field tips, broadheads, or judo points, they're created to carry the front weight of a point travelling towards a target.
If you're looking for broadheads, here's an example: the double-bladed Carbon Express Native Broadheads at 100 grains (you can usually choose points that weight 100 to 125 grains, and be good to go). That's a nasty arrow tip.
Questions, Comments, Thoughts...
Leave 'em below! I think that's it for Carbon Express arrows, so—Happy Shooting! Have fun and be safe!