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According to the National Safety Council, archery’s ranked as one of the world’s safest sports.
However, it’s still possible to experience injuries. If you’re an archer, you’ve likely earned yourself a string slap souvenir.
If you’re not already an archer, string slap injury occurs when the bowstring snaps against the forearm when shooting. Symptoms of string slap may include tenderness, bruises, and swelling.
The easiest way to prevent string slap is to purchase an arm guard.
Arm guards come in a variety of sizes and not only protect your skin, but they also prevent sleeves from interrupting the movement of the bow.
Typically, juniors and beginners start with a full-length arm guard and as they progress, reduce the size of their guard to target the area that the string hits.
As you improve your skill, you will learn to turn your elbow sideways rather than up or down.
Not sure which arm guard to choose? I’ve picked five of the best on the market to help you make the right purchase.
Beneath the products is a review so that you know what features to look out for before you make your decision.
The Allen Company Mesh Archery Armguard is perfect for younger archers or if you’re an adult under 155cm.
This armguard is designed for beginner and amateur archers and is a fantastic budget choice.
The Medium Mesh Arm Guard features a mesh back for comfort and an ergonomic shape that conforms to the arm without sliding.
Additionally, it has adjustable straps for the wrist and forearm, and the buckles are easy to clip and unclip with one hand without having to remove the armguard.
The rounded handguard and the heavy-duty center-strip take the abuse from your bow instead of your arm.
The material of the main body is an athletic, breathable mesh, similar to high-end running sneakers. On the outside of the arm guard, there’s a layer of tougher black mesh.
The Medium Mesh Arm Guard is well-built and a perfect guard for a compound bow. This guard is useable without having fears of tears and breaks, which is a huge plus at this price.
Finally, the manufacturers provide color options, so if you’re buying for a teenager, they’re sure to love the choice!
Designed for Beginners
Great for teenagers or kids
Great design aesthetic
Lightweight and flexible
Strap and buckle adjustment
Not designed for bigger hands
Say no to welts with Allen’s Four-Strap Armguard, perfect for archers that want full-length protection of their forearms as well as padding on their bicep.
If you’re starting or returning to archery, this armguard allows you to focus on learning rather than stinging welts.
The adjustable straps and easy-release buckles allow this armguard to be lightweight and flexible, even when you’re bending and extending your arm. Just don’t forget you’re wearing it!
The stylish Mossy-Oak Break-Up Camo is the perfect compound armguard because it’s perfect hunting conditions and fashionable for archery.
The average width of the armguard is three inches, except for the part that creases against the inside of your elbow, which is two inches. I think that the best way to wear the armguard is to have the two straps tightened, so the guard rests against your bicep.
Then, have the two lower straps fairly loose so that at wrist level, the strap is like a bracelet with the function of preventing the lower guard from flapping around.
Mossy Oak Break-Up Camo
Made in the USA
Easy release buckle
Great for beginners
Suitable for kids
Not suitable for experienced archers
Not suitable for archers with longer arms
The Southland Archery Supply Long Armguard comes with four adjustable straps and an 11.5″ x 3″ middle width for protection.
The armguard and four straps are lightweight and vented to encourage airflow to keep you cool during usage.
The quality, fit, and finish is ideal for users 185cm and over, perfect for people with longer arms. If you’re not sure whether this is too long for you, I suggest measuring yourself to establish the size guard that you need.
If you’re sure, this is right for you, at such a fair price and high quality I highly suggest this armguard if you’re a tall archer.
The guard is adjustable with a quick buckle adjustment system that allows you to make changes one-handed and without removing the armguard.
This double arm guard comes in a timeless black design, perfect for the style-conscious archer.
Long 11.5" Armguard
Double Armguard for Archery
Quick Buckle Adjustment System
Perfect for archers over 185cm
Lightweight and vented
Designed for archery usage
Easy buckle adjustments
Not suitable for shorter archers
Not suitable for hunting
Crafted from suede, the OMP Mountain Man 2-Strap Ventilated Leather Suede Arm Guard features a two-strap velcro design.
The velcro design ensures a comfortable and snug fit alongside the ventilation that provides air-flow.
This arm guard is crafted from high-quality suede; the armguard is designed to be lightweight while not compromising on durability.
The four long ventilation holes not only give excellent airflow but also reduces the weight and bulk from the arm guard. Overall, the product is well made, fits comfortably, and is thick enough to protect without being bulky.
The seven-inch arm guard is a simple light brown, a nod towards traditional design. The design is easy-to-use, and the strap makes the guard easy-to-apply with a snug fit.
The leather allows for smoothness and strong delivery because the bowstring can’t damage the leather-like fabric. The three padded channels beneath the leather increase the strength of the guard.
This guard is suitable for experienced archers.
Crafted from Suede
Two-Strap Velcro Design
Four ventilation holes
High quality suede body
Two strap lock with Velcro
Excellent for experienced archers
Not suitable for beginners
The TOPARCHERY genuine leather 2 straps armguard comes with a 3 finger protective gloves which are perfect for recurve compound long bow hunting.
The leather material is durable yet lightweight, which contributes to the breathability and comfortable fit.
Additionally, the adjustable strap design holds the armguard aims to strap your arm and fingers securely. This secure fit is attainable by utilizing the lace-up closure on the rear of the armguard.
Getting hurt by an archery string is grim; therefore, it’s essential to protect your forearm from the bounce of the bowstring. This is an affordable and straightforward choice for traditional bow shooting and hunting training.
The leather design is flexible enough not to hinder mobility during your game because the width is adjustable to your desired comfort and preference. Also, the leather is scratch-resistant, which means your armguard will look good-as-new for longer.
The lace-up design may be a little difficult for beginners due to its initial stiffness. However, the simple design is easy to master after a few attempts due to the user-friendly buckles.
Lightweight and breathable
Durable leather material
Comes with finger protection gloves
Great for traditional bow shooting and hunting
Adjustable to fit most arms
Takes practice to get used to wearing, may not be suitable for beginners
Color may rub off during first few wears
In archery, guidance and experience are crucial for improvement.
It’s also essential to make sure that you have the best arsenal for you. Amongst your arsenal, you should have an arm guard that protects you from injury and encourages you to develop.
Different guards have different uses.
Here are some of the features to look out for in your new arm guard.
Full length and half-length are the two basic types of archery arm guards.
The clue is in the name, but full length covers the forearm and half-length cover the wrist.
Full-length arm guards are the best choice for beginners because they protect your biceps to the wrist.
You may experience some discomfort due to the full coverage; however, once you have identified where your string slaps, you can graduate to half-length.
These arm guards can be used by any types of archers but are better suited to archers with experience.
Half-length guards only protect your wrists from bowstrings and provide flexibility and comfort.
Leather is the desired arm guard material amongst archers because they’re built to last and able to withstand weather conditions.
Additionally, leather is breathable and allows your bowstring to travel smoothly.
However, leather can be stiff to break in and might take you a few wears to reap the comfort benefits. If you’re an impatient archer, leather might not be the right choice for you.
Alternatively, you might choose to purchase a mesh or fabric arm guard that has built-in ventilation.
Mesh or fabric guards likely won’t last as long as a leather strap because due to weather wear and tear and the velcro straps might lose their stick.
Cowhide is inexpensive and as you would expect, has similar durability to leather. You will often see cowhide referred to as suede on product listings.
Your arm guard needs to versatile if you’re using it in a variety of environments.
Also, your arm guard needs to be adjustable depending on the clothes you’re wearing. Bulky winter clothes and jackets can obstruct strings, therefore elastic is a good choice but tie-up arm guards are preferred.
Width is an essential factor in the support that your arm guard provides.
The wider your arm guard, the more protection you’ll receive. However, the protection from the width may jeopardize your comfort.
Before choosing your arm guard, try measuring your hand’s width as an indication of the size you need.
However, if you’re a novice, my earlier point remains the same. Purchase a full-length arm guard to identify where the string slaps you; then you can reduce your width.
Most arm guards will have adjustable straps that are designed to be adjusted with one hand.
One-hand adjustable straps are useful because you don’t need to remove the whole armguard to make your adjustments. One-hand straps usually come with an easy-use buckle system.
Alternatively, some arm guards come with flexible rubber straps which are great for bigger arm sizes. However, some people experience discomfort due to the rubber.
Typically, arm guards are made to fit either your right or left arm, contributing to their versatility.
Some models are designed specifically to fit on either arm with additional features like thumb or finger guards.
It’s time for me to share with you my best archery arm guard pick. I’ve chosen the OMP Mountain Man 2-Strap Ventilated Leather Suede Arm Guard as my overall winner.
The first thing that I liked about the Man Mountain arm guard is that it’s versatile and suitable for different shapes and sizes.
The leather suede comfortable on my arm, and it didn’t feel uncomfortable when I was shooting in warm weather. Additionally, I noticed that the ventilation feature was really helpful in keeping me fresh during the sunny shoot.
Also, I was impressed by the quality of the suede and the three padded channels that increased the strength of the guard.
Although the TOPARCHERY arm guard came with the finger protection gloves, I wasn’t as impressed with the color that left a residue on my skin after wear.
If you’re shopping for a junior, I suggest purchasing the Allen Company Mesh Archery Arm Guard because it’s a great size and athletic mesh is breathable.
Which arm guard did you pick? Don’t forget to share this post and comment your thoughts.