PSE Carbon Air – 2021 Review

| Last Updated June 12, 2021

Earlier, craftsmen used environmentally-protected Pernambuco for making professional bows. But in the 1980s, carbon fiber bows were introduced as an alternative. Even after all these years, carbon is still a favorite material for manufacturing archery equipment because it molds easily, transmits sound well, and is very lightweight. 

Amidst the race of carbon risers, PSE released its PSE Carbon Air Crossbow as one of the lightest and powerful models, though it is not their first venture in this area. PSE has always been way ahead of its time. They first introduced the carbon handle in 1995 with their Carbon Lite bow. The model may not have been a huge success for the company back then, but the modern Carbon Air has certainly managed to make waves in the market. 

If you are interested in learning why this crossbow has everyone talking, you are on the right page. This article reviews one of the best-selling PSE bows: the PSE Carbon Air. We have covered every aspect in great detail, and you will also find the answers to all your queries here. 

  • Made with a very lightweight design
  • Comes with a draw weight of up to 70 pounds
  • Draw length of 24 to 30 inches for different people
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PSE Carbon Air

PSE Carbon Air


  • Lightweight
  • Immense Power
  • Ability to Customize
  • High-Quality String Set
  • Monocoque Construction
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty


  • Premium Price
  • Produces Slight Vibration and Noise

PSE Carbon Air Specs

Draw Weight: 50, 60, 70 pounds

Arrow Speed: 332 fps

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Length: 33 inches

Width (axle to axle): 33 inches

Power Stroke: 12.5 inches 

Draw Style: SE Cam System 

Trigger Pull Weight: 2 to 5 pounds

Type- Recurve or Compound? Compound 


We can’t go ahead before listing its pros first. 

Monocoque Construction

Do you know why Lamborghini cars cost millions of dollars? They feature a monocoque design. Confused? This term represents anything that is manufactured as one piece without any joints or attachments. 

The PSE Carbon Air is also a monocoque structure. This aspect grants it ultimate durability as the lack of joints removes all its design weaknesses. It is one sturdy bow that will provide you with years of excellent service. 


The barebow merely measures 3.2 pounds in total. The market is flooded with a huge number of varying crossbow models. All of these weigh around seven pounds on average, so this bow is certainly something. It owes its lighter weight to a solid carbon fiber construction. It is great for carrying on a long hike towards stands or on a 3D shooting trip. 

Ability to Customize

This crossbow offers more customization options than any other model we have seen so far. You can adjust the draw weight poundage by around ten pounds and the draw length by about six inches. These customizations offer great value for serious archers. 

High-Quality String Set

How often have you had your bowstring stretch, wear out, and ultimately snap? With Carbon Air, this won’t happen very often. It comes with America’s best platinum cables and strings. This string has a great repo of being the best in the market. 

Though the PSE warranty terms state that you should change them every 5000 shots or once a year to keep the bow in its top shape, this string lasts much longer than that. 

Limited Lifetime Warranty

PSE is very proud and confident of every bow it has ever produced. Carbon Air is no different. PSE stands behind it with a PSE Lifetime Limited Warranty. They take responsibility for replacing or repairing your bow if used according to the warranty terms. 

Immense Power 

PSE designed it as a very powerful bow. It shoots arrows as fast as 332 FPS. And you don’t have to necessarily shoot it at its maximum poundage. That’s the benefit of adjustable draw weight. While using Carbon Air, you don’t have to worry about momentum and kinetic energy. It will still generate high speeds, even when you use it on lighter draw weight. 


You should also know about some of the cons associated with this PSE model. 

Premium Price

Since this is one of the lightest and fastest bows from one of the world’s leading bow manufacturers, you cannot expect it to cost mere pennies. It comes at a premium price. Most beginners will shy away from it just by hearing the price. 

But if you are a seasoned archer who expects real performance from his/her rig, price should not be an issue. After all, you are getting not only unmatched power and accuracy but also a limited lifetime warranty coverage with it. Not to mention, a softshell case too. 

Produces Slight Vibration and Noise

Though the model is generally well-loved, some archers complained that they experienced a slight vibration after shooting it. The noise was more evident without accessories and somewhat dampened when accessories were installed. They also mentioned that installing a high-quality stabilizer greatly helped to eliminate it.

Best Uses for the PSE Carbon Air

PSE Carbon Air is one of the sturdiest yet lightest bows yet. It is a powerful bow that can shoot arrows at high speed, generating great kinetic energy and momentum in the process. So what is this bow best used for? 

PSE has primarily designed it for hunting purposes. But it is great for 3D shooting and target shooting as well. Let’s give all of these a brief look. 


This bow is best used for hunting applications. The lightweight construction is very suitable for carrying with you on long hikes to and from tree stands. The sheer power and poundage make it very suitable for any hunting game. So if you want to multiply your chances of successfully harvesting a deer, elk, or even a bear, choose this as your hunting weapon for the upcoming season.

3D Archery Shoots

3D archery shooting varies from traditional target archery in a lot of ways. For one, you are not stationary. Instead, you walk amongst wooded areas, up and down hills and valleys, and shoot at life-size, realistic targets of lots of different animals. This type of shooting requires you to carry a lightweight bow that does not tire or slow you down. PSE Carbon Air is a great choice for such situations. 

Target Shooting

What better way is there to practice your aim than target shooting? It involves taking a straight aim and shooting at a stationary target. This is your traditional target shooting and is often conducted competitively. Using a PSE Carbon Air in such competitions will give you an upper hand over your friends or competitors because of its great power and accuracy. 

Is the PSE Carbon Air Hard to Use?

PSE Carbon Air is one of the most advanced carbon bows. The design is very convenient and fully functional. But the multitude of adjustments it offers limits its use to seasoned archers. Yes, it is easy to use, but not for an absolute beginner who doesn’t know a thing about bow tuning. 

Every intermediate and expert archer knows how to tune a bow and use it to its full potential. So for them, PSE Carbon Air is definitely easy to use.

Components and Included Accessories

The PSE Carbon Air comes at a premium price. So it’s only natural that it should come with a few factory upgrades and nice accessories. Let's have a look at them. 


The PSE Carbon Air Crossbow comes pre-assembled, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of assembly. The cables and strings are not attached, so you will need to loop them in. The barebow only measures 3.2 pounds, making it the lightest bow on the market. 

Premium Strings and Cables

You will be excited to know that this bow comes with America’s Best Platinum Strings and Cables. This string alone is a good reason for its higher price. It is quieter, tends to shoot tighter groups, does not stretch, and does not suffer from peep rotation. 

Titanium Hardware

The package also includes the necessary bow hardware. These are the limb bolts that feature a sturdy titanium construction. The bolts play the most important role in determining the poundage of your bow. You really can’t afford to lose them as using your bow without any of these will cause serious damage to it. 

Softshell Case

This is a limited-time offering. The new PSE Carbon Air Crossbows comes with a PSE soft shell case. It proudly features a PSE logo and Carbon Air badging over it. It is not only pleasant to look at but also very useful for transporting and storing your Carbon Air. The soft material keeps it safe from impacts and other external factors. 

What Ages and Skill Levels is the PSE Carbon Air Suitable For?

While the design and ease of usage make you think that anyone can use it, we think this is not the case. If the higher price tag is not a clear enough sign, the bow itself is not a realistic option for an absolute beginner. 

The sheer power and the wide range of adjustability are something an intermediate or experienced archer can make the most of. The design is certainly standard, but the adjustability, in particular, requires someone with enough knowledge about bow tuning. 

Carbon Air is one of the easiest crossbows to use. But most of the states in the US prohibit youngsters under 18 years from using a crossbow. So you should be at least 18 years of age to use it. 

What Makes the PSE Carbon Air Stand Out From the Competition?

PSE is not new in carbon construction technology. Not many will remember, but they made their debut to the carbon design back in 1995 with Carbon Lite. It may not have been a success back then, but now they have made a huge comeback. 

The overall design of Carbon Air is not only pleasant to look at, but it also contains an amazing secret in the plain eye. It features a monocoque design that renders it one of the sturdiest bows ever created.

The lighter weight also sets it apart from its competitors. With most crossbow models weighing seven pounds on average, this model weighs a mere 3.2 pounds. It is great for bait and stands hunting because the low weight makes it easy to travel to and from the distant stands. 

Moreover, the PSE Carbon Air is offered in four separate finish options. Considering the main purpose of this weapon is hunting, all the variations resonate with that application. Though, each of them features a red accent color that adds a really nice visual touch. 

PSE Carbon Air vs. Hoyt Carbon Defiant - Comparison Overview

PSE is one of the finest archery equipment manufacturers in the world. Meanwhile, Hoyt is known for making carbon bows that are not only stylish and well-built but also perform great. Let’s see how their two best-selling models, the Carbon Air and Carbon Defiant, compare with each other. 

Riser Technology 

While both feature a carbon riser, the PSE Carbon Air features a unique riser construction. The monocoque design that optimizes fiber alignment enhances strength and flex in a single, continuous structural shell. On the other hand, Hoyt Carbon Defiant employs a tubular O-Tech Technology to form a lightweight and hollow carbon risers.


Both models are very easy and comfortable to wield. The Carbon Air grip is built into the handle and has no secondary components. The Carbon Defiant features a one-piece laminated wood Pro-Fit grip that ensures proper form. 

Noise Reduction

Both brands went out of their way to reduce vibration and noise as much as possible. In the Carbon Air, PSE filled the hollow riser shell with the innovative proprietary Structural Rigid Acoustic Core (S-RAC material) Technology to effectively reduce noise and vibration. 

The Carbon Defiant uses Hoyt's signature offset riser design that features Hoyt’s Perfect Balance Stabilization System to offset a stainless steel stabilizer for better noise reduction. 


Both the bows feature a carbon construction, so they are really lightweight. Though PSE is lighter at 3.2 pounds, Hoyt Carbon Defiant weighs 3.6 pounds. The axle-to-axle width is also quite similar at 33 and 31 inches, respectively. The draw weight is variable, and both are most certainly not ambidextrous. 

How to Adjust the Draw Weight on a PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE

Using a crossbow efficiently requires great physique and upper body strength. But what you should know is that not everybody is built the same. Some people are stronger than others. That’s why PSE Carbon Air comes with a variable draw weight range so you can choose poundage you are more comfortable with. 

You should never go overboard with your comfort level because it really compromises your form. If you shoot with more poundage, you start having trouble because it tires you out faster, and in a long session, you start getting sloppy. 

The Carbon Air is a really fast bow. You don’t necessarily need the maximum poundage to get great kinetic energy and momentum. With this bow, you get an adjustable range of ten pounds, so you can set the draw weight that is more comfortable for you. Here is how to do it. 

1. Prepare your tools

For adjusting the draw weight on your bow, the things you need are your crossbow, an Allen wrench, and a hanging weighing scale. Set up your workspace and keep the tools nearby. 

2. Measure the current draw weight. 

This is the first step to adjusting the draw weight. For this, you need a hanging weight measuring scale. Hang the string on the hook and pull to full draw to know the current poundage. Though it is not necessary, knowing your current poundage will surely help you adjust the draw weight better. 

3. Unlock the limb locking bolts

It is important to know that you need to unlock the limbs before you can add or remove poundage. There is a limb lock bolt on each limb that you should loosen; otherwise, you risk damaging the limbs of your crossbow.

4. Adjust the draw weight

Take your Allen wrench and give each bolt a full complete turn. Remember, when you turn the bolt on the top limb, be sure to turn the bolt on the lower limb subsequently. If you don’t do that, you risk unnecessary strain and damage. A turn in the clockwise direction adds weight while a counterclockwise turn lowers it.  

5. Measure the draw weight again

Hang the bow again on the scales and measure the current draw weight. If it has reached your desired poundage, you are good to go. And if it hasn’t, you can turn the bolts more until the poundage is in your desired range.

6. Lock the limbs again

After you are done, don’t forget to tighten back the limb locking bolts.

If you are still confused about what to do, check out the video given below. It shows you the right way of adjusting the draw weight on a PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE. 


PSE is not new in the area of all-carbon construction. They were the first to come up with a carbon handle with the PSE Carbon Lite back in 1995 and a bridged riser with the PSE Rageous in 1996. But the PSE Carbon Air is a revolutionary unit. In this model, they did what Lamborghini does on their million-dollar cars: a solid, one-piece construction that takes it to another level of durability.

Whether you are an avid target shooter or a bowhunter, you cannot do without a good and reliable crossbow. And PSE Carbon Air Crossbow certainly delivers that. No matter what level of experience you are on, with this lightweight, precise, and easy-to-wield bow in your hand, your chances of success will greatly improve. 

People Also Ask

PSE Carbon Air gained fame because of its revolutionary monocoque design. It is the lightest high-performance compound bow in the market. Naturally, people are curious about it. Here are some frequently asked questions that might be clouding your mind, too. 

What Kind of Warranty Does the PSE Carbon Air Come With?

The PSE Carbon Air comes with a PSE Limited Lifetime Warranty. It is granted to the original owner only. If the warranty terms are observed carefully, PSE is responsible for replacing or repairing the crossbow to its original performance. 

The warranty does not cover cables, strings, and other wearable items. But they require you to change the cables and string once a year to maintain the warranty coverage over your bow. 

Where Are PSE Carbon Air Crossbows Made?

The PSE Carbon Air Crossbows are a product of Precision Shooting Equipment (PSE) Archery Inc. The company was started in 1971 at Mahomet, Illinois. Their current corporate headquarters are situated in Tuscan, Arizona. The PSE Carbon Air Crossbows are 100 percent American-made in the production facility in Tucson, Arizona. 

How Far Can the PSE Carbon Air Crossbow Shoot?

If you only want distance, the PSE Carbon Air Crossbow can shoot as far as 500 yards. But since the target is important for us, we found that the PSE Carbon Air Crossbow can hit the target accurately at 80 yards. In hunting situations, most users have reported it to be accurate at around 60 to 80 yards. 

What Yardage Should the PSE Carbon Air Be Sighted in?

The sight used with the PSE Carbon Air Stealth is a fixed-pin sight. It features three to five individual pins for different distances. The yardage the PSE Carbon Air Stealth should be sighted in is 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards. Depending upon the number of pins you have, you can choose the distance. 

For example, it is better to sight in a three-pin sight at 10, 20, and 50 yards. If you have more pins, you can even move back to 60 yards and above. 

How to Adjust the Draw Weight on a PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE

Draw weight is the measurement of the force required to draw a bow. The draw weight of PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE ranges between 40 and 70 pounds. You can adjust the draw weight to poundage your physique is more suited for. To do so, turn the limb bolts clockwise to increase the draw weight and counterclockwise to decrease it. 

How Do I Solve the PSE Carbon Air Vibration Problem?

Vibration is a problem some users have experienced after firing the PSE Carbon Air. It was noted that the hand shock typically occurs when no accessories are installed on it. So, the simplest way of solving the vibration problem is to fire it only after installing the accessories properly. You can also use a quality stabilizer to minimize the vibration. 

How to Set the Poundage on a PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE

Setting the poundage on a PSE Carbon Air Stealth SE is a simple process. On each limb, there are two bolts. One locks the limb while the other is to draw weight adjustment. Tighten the limb bolts to load stress or loosen them to unload extra stress. To add more poundage, turn the limb bolts in the clockwise direction until both of them are tight against the raiser. Unscrew them counterclockwise to lower the poundage.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.