QAD Ultra HDX Review

This year I have added an upgrade to my hunting bow just in time for archery season. The results were such an improvement that I want to share it with all you other hunters out there.

The Quality Archery Design Ultra HDX drop rest.

Let me say that this is the finest arrow rest I have ever used. The drop down rest locks into place snugly. It does NOT bounce back up into the fins like so many other drop rests do upon release. The previous two rests I used both maintained arrow contact throughout the shot.

My bow came with an Octane Hostage brush type rest. This rest was ok but the brushes  wore down very quickly resulting in a changed vertical over time. If you didn’t have your nock set perfectly the fins would touch as well, ruining the shot.

The next rest I used was the popular whisker biscuit. This rest did well, but felt flimsy and was subject to the same wear problems as the hostage. In my educated opinion, this arrow rest has a fatal flaw in its design that allows for the possibility of a ruined shot – the aluminum ring surrounding the “whiskers”. If it is pressed on or bumped the ring may be displaced a bit, completely obliterating your center shot. On one hunting trip I slipped a bit on a muddy slope and my bow came into contact with the ground as I fell on my side. It didn’t hit hard and I thought nothing of it.  I’m very lucky that I didn’t get a chance to take a shot at a deer that day because even at a light glancing impact it caused the aluminum ring to bend, pushing the whiskers on the left side of the ring inward. This resulted in about a 20 degree change in horizontal direction to the right. Coincidentally I noticed that the 2013 models on the shelf at bass-pro are now advertising a 300% stronger aluminum ring yesterday when I went to pick up a metal D-Loop (pictured at the bottom of this post), must have been a common problem…

The shooting results:
Fantastic consistency. Absolutely fantastic.
I have always thought that my accuracy has been hindered by poorly design rests and now I have the evidence to support my theory. All throughout the sight in and subsequent practice shots one thing was in common: consistency. I had to shoot one arrow at a time sighting in because the grouping at 15 yards was so tight it was damaging my arrows. At 30 yards my grouping was still within 2 inches, at 40 within 3, at 60 within 6. SIXTY. I had to walk across the street and into the neighbors yard to try to find out just how far I could go and still stay on target.  I’ll tell you this, this rest provides enough consistency to allow me to feel comfortable with 60 yard quartering broadside shots (I use very heavy arrows, 13.4GPI/125G heads), and I haven’t tested past that yet. I’m going to have to put a 4th dot on my bow sight.

I can easily pull a 70lbs bow and hold it steady for quite some time. My release and follow through is near flawless. My form is great in both sitting kneeling and standing positions. Yet all this time I’ve had to deal with what I consider to be unacceptable tolerance levels in grouping variance. Is it fine for a 30 yard kill? Sure, but can it be better? With this rest the answer is YES. This rest brings my equipment up to par with my shooting skill into a harmonious union with devastating results.

Very happy with my purchase.

The packaging was reminiscent of a fancy new desktop processor. It came with an instructional DVD, paper instructions and a freebie pocket knife.

The installation was relatively painless. If you follow the instructions you’ll be directed to install the pull cord to the downward traveling string at least 3 inches (i did about 5 on mine) lower than the rest. Tighten the screw enough to where the cord won’t slip when just enough force is applied to pull the rest to its 90 degree maximum angle. Draw the bow and the string to cord clamp will slide upwards a little bit. Crank it down at that point and double check full draw once more.

The features on the HDX are nice. Here you see my thumb cocking the rest to 80 degrees into the locking position. Here the rest stays in place locking the arrow into the rest. Once at full draw the rest moves up just a little more to 90 degrees. The spring mechanism is able to sense the difference between a release *snap* and the let down of a canceled shot. I fired around 50 shots with flawless operation.

I picked up a metal D-Loop with the hopes that I won’t have to be changing my D-Loops out on weekly basis. I shoot so much my D-Loops wear out unacceptably fast.
First impressions: Locktight – use it or else.
Pretty satisfied so far, the most common complaint is increase vibration noise – with locktight in the screws I’m not hearing any of this. Shoots well, doesn’t present any problems with the peep. Doesn’t appear to be putting any extra strain on the string. Hoping to get many years out of this metal D-Loop.

2 thoughts on “QAD Ultra HDX Review

  1. My bow came with a whisker biscuit. But seeing as how this year was the first that I even sighted it in or did any practice shooting with it, in spite of buying it last year, I’m thinking any upgrades I make will wait till next summer. Matt talks all about how much he wants a drop rest. Maybe for Christmas, I’ll keep this one in mind.

    • i did a lot of research into it. there are a LOT LOT LOT of really bad drop rests out there. common problems are bounce – when it drops the rest can bounce back up into the arrow fins & ruin your shot. the QAD ultra hdx has a gripping mechanism that completely eliminates the possibility of bounce. it has a nice feature of staying up during a canceled draw too. its more expensive, but a much better value than the ones in the 80-100$ range.

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