If you have even just a passing interest in crossbows, you will have likely heard of Ravin. They are a premier brand, that demands respect from even the most experienced crossbow hunters.
Yes, Ravin Crossbows are relatively expensive, but they are only truly expensive if they do not provide value for money.
If they are out of your price range then that is fine as there are many good cheaper options available, however if you can stretch your budget to a Ravin Crossbow… should you?
Let’s have a look at their crossbow range.
Definitely an “allrounder”. It is simple enough for a beginner to pick out of the box and shoot, but full of enough technology and impressive specs that a more experienced shooter will be happy too.
The Ravin R10 crossbow is light weight, so is perfect for running-and-gunning, but is also accurate and powerful enough to sit in a blind or stand and take longer shots.
As long as you read the manual first, I believe anyone from 10-year-olds to the elderly could walk around and shoot this crossbow with absolute ease.
It is so light, compact, and slim that when I saw it in the box, I was a little concerned that it looked a bit like a toy and it would be TOO LIGHT to be effective.
Boy, was I wrong… it might look like a toy, but it can hang with the best crossbows on the market for sure.
The cocking is a breeze, it quickly becomes second nature, and you can walk around and cock in seconds so you can always be ready to take multiple shots. The cocking system has never failed me, and I have full trust in it.
However, does it shoot straight? Budget crossbow can compete with the more expensive ones maybe up to 30 or 40 yards, but the true test of a crossbow is in the 40-to-100-yard range.
Oh boy this crossbow is accurate! I can keep 1-inch groups at 80 yards, and 3-inch groups at 100 yards. How much more accurate do you need!
The Ravin R18 crossbow is the new kid on the block and is available from Spring 2021.
Without the detachable stock it is a mere 18 inches and has a miniscule axle-to-axle height of 1.3 inches when cocked. Yet with its diminutive size it still packs a punch at 330 FPS, so it is a perfect compact takedown style crossbow.
In the era of mobile phones where incremental improvements in the battery life is sometimes enough to class it as a new model, now and again there is a huge leap in technology that can lead to the potential of the folding screens for example.
The R18 isn’t just a lighter version of an already light model, this is one of those giant leap moments.
It is likely going to redefine what COMPACT means. This is a folding screen moment, as it could also redefine how all crossbows are going to be designed moving forward.
What do I mean? Well, the limbs of the crossbow expand vertically and not horizontally. It must be seen to be believed; it is a marvel of engineering. The cables and string wrap around rotating cams that achieve 720 degrees.
It is a thing of beauty. With an axle-to-axle height of a mere 1.3 inches you can run around a forest with it all day long, but what is amazing is that when it is uncocked it is still only 4.1 inches from axle-to-axle which is mind-blowing.
It is difficult for rifle hunters to move away from their guns and swap to crossbows because of their perceived lack of accuracy. However, this might be the crossbow to convince them to try the crossbow life.
With a bit of time spent practising, you will easily be able to hit 3-inch groups at the 100-yard mark with the Ravin R20.
In fact, if you see someone in the shooting position holding a R20 then you could be mistaken that it is actually a rifle, as it kind of looks like a gun!
I am a 6-foot medium built male, and I must admit I think some of the compact lightweight crossbows feel a little flimsy in my hands even when in practise they are not.
However, personally I do like a crossbow that is a bit bigger and heavier and the R20 is a perfect size and weight for me. It just feels right in my hands, I can’t describe it any better than that really.
The R20 blows any other manufactures out of the water at distances around the 100-yard mark, but it also gives you more confidence at shorter ranges.
I would never take a shot at a deer at more than 40 yards because it is unfair on the deer because the risk of injuring and not killing is too high.
However, if the world burned and there were no more supermarkets to buy food from and I had to hunt to live… I would feel very confident taking a shot at a deer with this crossbow at double that 40 yards.
Like I say, unless I am in an actual survival situation, I am not going to put that to the test.
Probably the most tactical friendly crossbow from Ravin, as it has a tremendous ergonomic grip, and it is super lightweight and compact. This means you can move around with it all day long, in all sorts of terrain with minimal fatigue.
Yet the Ravin R26 can boast power that can rival much bigger and heavier crossbows.
The Ravin R26 crossbow is well respected by the consumers and the industry, and it won the OUTDOOR LIFE EDITORS CHOICE AWARD in 2019 which is not to be sniffed at.
It you are wanting to go full tactical stealth mode; I would recommend you buy the vibration dampeners to reduce the pop of the shot.
The noise will likely alert the prey, but it will be too late because the crossbow is so powerful and fast. It just means you will only get one shot, however that is the case most of the time anyway.
If you are a tall man then I would go for the R10 as it is basically the same crossbow as the R26 but bigger (although still very small), the R26 is likely to be more popular now because it is the newer version, and with a lot of newer versions it is all about being smaller and lighter.
Yet, it gets to a point where things might get so small, they become fiddly.
The R26 was right on that line for me, if you already have the R10 and you are 6 foot or over or have large hands, then I would not “upgrade” to the R26 as you already have an excellent crossbow that is likely to be a better size for you.
If you are under 6 foot and do not have any Ravin crossbows, then the R26 is a great place to start.
Another crossbow from Ravin that is effortlessly sleek but performs at a really high level when out hunting in the field and will make fellow range shooters jealous.
The Ravin R29 is only 6 inches axle-to-axle, it lightweight, but can achieve 430 FPS which is very impressive.
The R26 is effectively a miniature version of the R10, and the R29 is basically a miniature version of the R20.
So, it will depend on your shape and size as well as where you intend to use it to, to decide which of the R20 and R29 is best for you.
However accurately you can shoot will be the same on both, so it comes down to how big and heavy you want your crossbow. I prefer the slightly larger ones, but to be fair the R29 is still a breeze to cock.
Some crossbows require a bit of force and strength to cock, but not with this crossbow.
You just press the button on the stock with your thumb, this activates the trigger firing system, then you crank the bow string with the handle, and you are good to go. Very little manual effort is needed.
I would recommend this to anyone who knew they liked using crossbows and intended to use them for many years but hadn’t actually bought one yet.
The reason the R29 is suitable for someone like that, is because they are really easy for beginners to get good accurate shots quickly but contain enough performance and technology to keep more experienced crossbowers interested.
So, you can grow with the same crossbow for many years.
For an extra $300 you can get a levelled-up version of the R29, the Ravin R29X. The 29X gives you the same weight and dimensions, but with an extra 20 FPS and 30# extra draw weight.
Another new crossbow available from Spring 2021 like the R18, but unlike the R18 the R500 is an absolute beast of a crossbow.
With cams that rotate 360 degrees, 500 FPS, and silent cocking… it is the perfect crossbow for long distance hunting.
It is called the R500 because it can achieve 500 FPS with 400-grain arrows and that is a big deal, trust me, so they want to show that off. I just can’t see how any competitors can compete with this.
So Ravin could have sown up the compact market with the R18 and now they could have sown up the big and badass market too with the R500. Ravin are on fire!
It is only for people seriously into crossbow shooting and hunting, it is needlessly powerful for general hobbyists.
Plus I doubt a semi-serious hobbyist would be prepared to pay over $3000 for a crossbow unless they had money to burn.
For an extra $300 you can get the 500E, which includes their Electric Drive System. The EDS is attached to the back of the stock and allows you to press a button, which will cock and un-cock the crossbow.
The Sniper packages are basically bundles, where you can get some premium accessories. As with all bundles these are only worth it if you wanted the items in the bundles.
If you are going to buy what are in the sniper packages anyway then you are better off buying them in the bundle as you would save money compared to if you bought them separately.
In the sniper packages you will get the silent cocking system, premium scopes, and premium arrows.
You can get the sniper packages with the following crossbows:
All prices in the reviews were correct at the time of writing.
Ravin are a premium brand but they do produce premium products, that are at the forefront of crossbow technology.
They look impressive on paper, but they also perform on the range and in the field. They are excellently made, designed, and will last you many years before other brands catch up on the technology you are packing in your Ravin.
We are lucky to be in a world nowadays where there are almost unlimited choices for everything. So, if you have the budget to buy a Ravin, should you?
Yes, I think you should.