Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 Review – a Compound Bow Inspection

Compound Bow

Draw Weight

Draw Length

Brace Height

IBO Speed


AtA Length / Weight

Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34

Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34

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30-80 lbs.24.5" - 30"6.75"330 FPS75%34" / 3.8 lbs

- A very fast bow
- Split, parallel, limb design
- Extra stiff carbon riser
- A good choice for all hunting situations

- Some archers may find the riser design too radical
- Too expensive for some archers
- The Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 at a Glance
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The Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 at a Glance

Welcome to our Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 bow review. This bow is one of Hoyt’s top end bows and thus it features Hoyt’s most advanced technology such as the strongest, lightest, and quietest carbon riser they have ever made, a Pro-Fit custom wood grip, a Zero Torque roller cable guard, parallel, XTS Pro Arc Limbs with Pro-Lock limb pockets, Hoyt’s Z5 cam-and-a-half system, and an adjustable AirShox string silencer the enables the user to adjust the arm for maximum vibration dampening. Plus, it is available in a wide range of draw lengths and draw weights as well as a wide range of colors. All of which combines to create a very fast, very quiet, very smooth bow that is well suited for both hunting and 3D competition.

The Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 Package Contents & Assembly

The package contains the fully assembled bow (limbs, riser, cams, cables, cable guard, string, and string suppressor), but no accessories are included and Hoyt does not offer an accessory package for this bow.

The Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 Eccentric System (cams)

The Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 features Hoyt ‘s Z5 double cam system with a draw length that is adjustable in 1 1/2″ to 3″ increments (depending on the draw length chosen). Also, the moderately radical Z5 cam-and-a-half system design makes it both easy to draw and very quiet and smooth to shoot. In fact, it seems to me to have no recoil whatsoever! Also, with 75 percent let-off, it’s easy to hold at full draw for extended periods. In addition, with an ATA speed of 330 FPS, it is a very fast bow that will provide a flat arrow trajectory which helps to compensate for minor misjudgments in target distance and the cams are adjustable over a one and one half to thee inch range depending on the draw length chosen.

Shooting Speed

carbon-spyder-30-xtra-blackThe Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 has an ATA speed rating of 330 FPS which is very fast and thus, it will provide a very flat arrow trajectory that will do an excellent job of compensating for minor misjudgments in target distance. In addition, it should be noted that all ATA speed ratings are determined based on the following criteria:

  • 350 grain arrows
  • 70 lb. draw weight
  • 30″ draw length

Therefore, the lower the draw weight, the shorter the draw length, and/or the heavier the arrow, the slower the bow will shoot. Learn more about what speeds to actually expect.
Kinetic Energy (KE) of the Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 Compound Bow
As with any compound bow, the kinetic energy of the Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 will vary significantly with differences in arrow weight and arrow speed. However, here are some close estimates of what to expect from a couple of different parameters:

  • 70 lbs. / 30″ draw / 350 grain arrows: 84.7 ft-lbs KE
  • 70 lbs. / 30″ draw / 425 grain arrows: 102.8 ft-lbs KE

Note: the numbers listed above are for a point-blank range measured immediately in front of the riser. Thus, in order to determine the Spyder ZT 34’s kinetic energy at longer ranges, you should subtract approximately 1.8 ft-lbs. for every 10 yards of distance from your target from the values listed above.

The Bow’s Draw Cycle

The moderately radical Z5 cam-and-a-half system makes this bow very smooth to draw which seems to be true for all Hoyt compound bows. Thus, while there is a distinct peak before reaching the let-off point, it is not particularly difficult to reach that point and then draw past it. Thus, I personally found it to be very smooth for such fast bow.

Noise Levels and Vibration

Hoyt compound bows have always struck me as being quiet bows and the Carbon Spyder ZT 34 is no exception. In fact, when I release the string on this bow, the only sounds that I hear are the string striking the suppressor and the fletching passing through the Whisker Biscuit. However, of even greater importance to me is the complete lack of recoil! So many of the compound bows that I have shot require me to install a stabilizer made from a vibration dampening material and also add a sling so that I can shoot the bow with an open hand. However, I can shoot this bow without either stabilizer or sling and with a closed hand and still feel almost nothing when I release the string.

Using the Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 for Hunting

Since I prefer to hunt from the ground using the spot-and-stalk method rather than hanging around in a tree stand all day, the Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 is on my short list of favorite hunting bows due to its longer axle-to-axle length, its medium brace height, and its relatively light weight. In fact, it is light enough for me to carry all day long and, the 34 inch axle-to-axle length makes the perfect choice for longer shots at ranges of 40 to 60 yards while the 6.75 inch brace height provides the perfect combination of speed and forgiveness. Also, I absolutely love the lack of felt recoil. Yet, the ATA speed of 330 FPS is fast enough that even when I misjudge the distance on longer shots by as much as seven or eight yards, I can still be reasonably certain of hitting the vitals.
Depending on the size of game animals you plan to hunt, you’re arrows will need to deliver enough kinetic energy to take them down. Consult the following Easton chart:

Kinetic Energy:You Can Hunt:
< 25 ft-lbsSmall Game (groundhog, rabbit, wild turkey)
25-41 ft-lbsMedium Game (Antelope, Whitetail deer)
42-65 ft-lbsLarge Game (black bear, wild boar, elk)
> 65 ft-lbsLargest Game (Grizzly bear, Cape buffalo, Musk Ox, African elephant)

Consult our “Kinetic Energy” section above to figure out what KE to expect depending on the settings of your Carbon Spyder ZT 34.

Limbs, Riser, & Grip

I have been shooting compound bows for over twenty years now and thus, I have observed riser materials progress from laminated wood to cast magnesium to machined aluminum but, ever since the introduction of carbon arrow shafts, I have wondered how long it would take one or more of the bow manufacturers to make a carbon fiber riser. Thus, while the idea is certainly not new, Hoyt is one of the few manufactures to employ this technology. In addition, Hoyt is the only manufacturer that I am aware of to incorporate a bridge from the top to the bottom of the riser. Thus, although Hoyt risers are certainly unconventional in appearance, they are also very stiff which, in turn, makes them very smooth to shoot as well as very accurate. In addition, the Spyder ZT 34 also incorporates parallel, split limb, technology which some archers like and others don’t. However, one feature of this bow that I really like is the Pro-Fit Custom wood grip as opposed to the bare riser grip featured on most compound bows today.

Value for the Money

Because the Carbon Spyder ZT 34 is one of Hoyt’s top end bows, it incorporates all of Hoyt’s proprietary technology and thus, it also has a price tag that reflects that technology. Therefore, it is a bit too expensive for some archers. However, when you consider the level of technology that went into designing and producing this bow, many hunters would consider it a bargain while others feel that it is simply too pricey for them. However, I personally consider it to be a good value for the money since it features cutting edge bow technology that I believe represents the future of compound bows.

The Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 Compound Bow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 compound bow review. As I mentioned previously, this bow is on my short list of favorite hunting bows but, I also feel like it would be an excellent choice for 3D competition shooters due to its longer axle-to-axle length, complete lack of recoil, and fast arrow speed. Thus, even though it is a bit expensive, if you can afford it, it’s akin to owing a McLaren or a Ferrari and thus, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. See Cabela's current price and customer reviews on the Hoyt Carbon Spyder ZT 34 if you’re interested.

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