Bow Review: Quest Centec NXT

The Quest Centec NXT is a simple, easy, fun-to-shoot youth bow that offers quality at a moderate price.

Bow Review: Quest Centec NXT

Testing a youth bow presents its own challenges. The draw cycle of a 45-pound bow, for instance, is almost always going to feel silky smooth to most adult male shooters. The 26-inch maximum draw length creates a similar problem when it comes to any subjective evaluation. Nonetheless, we can chart the draw force curve, which gives some indication of the draw cycle, and we can certainly measure the speed of the bow at a couple of different draw weights. This can be compared to the published speeds of other youth bows, with the caveat that real-world speeds rarely achieve the manufacturer’s published speeds, for technical reasons we needn’t go into here. What’s probably more to the point is that these speeds will indicate the draw weights at which the bow could be suitable for hunting, given the rule-of-thumb kinetic energy requirements of 25 ft.lbs. for small game, over 25 ft.lbs. for medium-size game such as pronghorn and whitetails, and more than 42 ft.lbs. for bigger game such as elk, wild boar, large bears, etc.

One of two bow brands started by G5 (the other being Prime), Quest’s stated objective is to target the value-oriented bowhunter with bows that are moderately priced without sacrificing quality. It’s worth pointing out that G5 is a spin-off from a company that produces precision instruments and equipment for the medical industry, and they’ve managed to maintain that reputation for precision engineering in their bow lines.

The most obvious feature of the Centec NXT is its diminutive size and weight. At 26 inches axle-to-axle with a mass weight of 2.8 pounds, it’s a smaller bow for smaller shooters. That might seem to be an obvious feature for a youth bow, but this bow is a true youth bow, ideally suited for the younger shooters up to early or mid-teens, as opposed to bows designed to be useful up until or into adulthood — though given the minimum legal draw weight of 40 pounds for hunting in most states, the Centec NXT could certainly be used by any adult choosing to do so.

Though the Centec NXT lacks the flexible cable guard and a few of the other sexy features found on other Prime bows, it does boast G5’s Centergy technology. This includes, among other design elements, positioning the top of the grip at the vertical center of the bow, and moving the center of gravity of the bow below the grip, as opposed to above it, for the kind of balance often achieved only by using a stabilizer. G5 claims that the end result of Centergy technology is a significantly steadier hold at full draw — and they make a very persuasive case for that claim using lasers and software to precisely measure and compare the steadiness of numerous bows held by a variety of shooters.

In terms of appearance, only the short axle-to-axle length indicates this is a youth bow. The fit and finish is quite good, and the black limbs contrast nicely with the various camo riser options.

Shooting the Quest Centec NXT

Draw weight adjusted easily, with no sticking or chattering of limb bolts, and draw length was equally easy to change. The bow readily accepted our standard testing accessories, except the string angle of such a short bow at the maximum 26-inch draw length is so acute I could not keep an arrow on the string using our standard Tune-A-Nocks. This should not present a problem for any shooter using a release aid; just use standard nocks.

A unique feature on the Centec NXT is the Grip Assist. This clips onto the shelf and extends to the side from the riser. It makes it impossible to put a chokehold on the grip, and encourages proper shooting form with the grip settling against the fleshy space between the forefinger and the thumb. Not everyone will choose to use it, but it does look like a useful device for getting youngsters started.

For reasons previously mentioned, I won’t offer the usual subjective evaluations involving comfort, smoothness, weight, balance, etc. The objective data speaks for itself, but I will add that shooting the bow on the Hooter Shooter revealed it to be no less accurate than any bow designed for adult shooters.

Also earlier I referenced the difference between a bow designed specifically for younger shooters, and bows with the versatility to be used by young shooters into their adult years. A strong or athletic and fast-growing 13- or 14-year-old boy might well be able to take advantage of the more versatile bow, and while a younger or smaller-framed child might be able to shoot such a bow, he or she would probably prefer a smaller, lighter bow like the Centec NXT. By the time the younger child reaches the later teen years, it’s time for a new bow anyway. We encourage youngsters to hunt by making it fun for them. Shooting a bow should be no different. The Centec NXT is a simple, easy and fun-to-shoot bow that offers quality at a moderate price. 

For more information, visit

How We Test

  • Each bow is carefully inspected out of the box for fit and finish and for any visible defects in workmanship. Axle-to-axle length, brace height, mass weight and draw length are measured and compared with stated specs. Minor discrepancies in draw length are corrected or noted.
  • A QAD UltraRest is installed, and each bow is equipped with a TruGlo sight, a TruGlo stabilizer, a G5.25-inch Metapeep and a D-loop. Test arrows are Carbon Express Maxima Red arrows at weights of 385 and 440 grains, fletched with Bohning Blazer vanes and fitted with QAD Tune-A-Nocks. Peak draw weight is established, and draw force curves, along with letoff, are determined using an Easton Bow Force Mapping System.
  • Using a Spot-Hogg Hooter Shooter bow-shooting machine and a ProChrono chronograph, arrow speed and kinetic energy are measured at point of launch and at 20 yards.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.