2021 marked the end of the Cam and a Half system that powered Hoyt’s hunting bows. Variations of the Cam and a Half have been the engine of Hoyt’s hunting bows for nearly two decades and for good reason. They were smooth, fast, and easy to tune. This year Hoyt released an all-new and completely redesigned cam system. The HBX cam is the engine that powers their Carbon RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30, and Ventum 33. I went with the RX-5 for this review. You can see it here.
Rokslide writer Josh Boyd is testing and reviewing the new Hoyt Ventum 33 here.
Hoyt Carbon RX-5
The Carbon RX-5 is rated at 342 ATA, has a 6.25” brace height, and 30” axle-to-axle length. Weight is listed at 4.4 lbs including Shock Pods but without the Short Stop stabilizer.
Unlike the Cam and a Half, the HBX has no yokes on the buss cable. I was initially a bit set back because I loved how easy the previous cam was to tune using the yoke at the top cam. The new cam has two matching control cables and a much simpler cable configuration.
Tuning Hoyt HBX Cam
You can still tune the synchronization of the cam with the control cables like any binary cam system and my RX-5 only needed a twist on one cable to get both cable stops to hit perfectly in time. If you need further adjustment for center shot, the HBX cam can be moved left or right using shim washers on the sides of the cam. This has become an industry norm as of late, and Hoyt dealers can help show you how this is done for you DIY guys. You will need a press. Both of my new Hoyts did not need any adjustments to the shim washers to get perfect broadhead flight. My fears of tunability are gone and I like the new cam a lot.
Hoyt 2021 First Impressions
I first got to shoot the new lineup of Hoyt bows in January on a doe hunt in Alabama. The first thing that stood out to me was the dead-in-the-hand feeling. Going back and forth from my RX-4 to the new bows left me wanting one of my own right then and there. Hoyt put a huge emphasis on making the new bows quiet and with little vibration. Details like improved limb pockets, new Limb Shox, new Shock Pods, and a lowered canter of mass make the new RX-5 incredibly quiet and shock-free.
Hoyt Engineers Discuss Design Process
Carbon RX-5 Stabilizer Positions
You will notice the new stabilizer position on the riser but don’t worry if you still want the traditional stabilizer position, it remains in place. This new lower and further forward mounted stabilizer position add to the lower center of gravity and reduce the length of stabilizer needed.
I use an Option Archery Quivalizer and I keep it in the traditional stabilizer position and run the “Short Stop” 2.25” mini stabilizer that Hoyt includes with the bow in the lower position. I have tried it with and without the Short Stop and like the way it feels with it on–it feels better balanced.
There is also a new sidebar mounting location that also helps lower the mass while reducing the weight needed to do so. Check out Hoyt’s new SL Sidebar mount to work seamlessly with the new bows.
Hoyt Carbon RX-5 Picatinny Sight Mount
Another new feature that you will notice is the Picatinny rail mount on the front of the riser. I am waiting on a pic rail equipped sight to arrive so I can test it, but the idea is to move the weight and mass of the sight from the side of the bow to the center. In addition, a quiver on the side of the bow can thus be closer to the bow, reducing side torque. I like the idea and look forward to trying it.
The RX-5 and other 2021 Hoyts all have an integrated dovetail mount for the rest. Unfortunately, the only rest that works with this is the QAD. I am not a fan of them. So I have not used the integrated dovetail. I like the idea though. If other companies are allowed to build rests that use it, I will gladly try it.
The HBX cam is made in one size to fit all draw lengths but uses two modules to do so. An interesting thing about the new HBX cam is how dynamic being in the top position of the module is. Performance (speed) is over delivered from specs in the top positions and with no penalty in ease of draw.
What Does It All Mean?
All these new innovations and features add up to a great shooting bow. The Hoyt Carbon RX-5 is as quiet and dead in the hand at the shot as any I have ever shot. The draw cycle is smooth enough that you might think you are drawing a lighter poundage bow than you are.
See the entire line up of models and configurations you can get here.
I recommend finding a pro shop near you that has the new Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30, and 33. Shoot them all and see which one fits you best.
Comment on this article or ask Tony questions here.