We were introduced to the Wicked Ridge brand more than a year ago by a shop owner who swears by them. While we were skeptical at first, eventually what made us try this manufacturer was the shop owner telling us that the brand has the least amount to issues based on his customer’s questions and complaints.
We are glad to say that we did try Wicked Ridge out and will continue to see what new offerings they come out with in the future.
Lots of people aren’t too aware of the Wicked Ridge brand, at least not at the level of Barnett and Excalibur. So here’s a little background. The company is a brand from TenPoint Crossbows. It features a mid-market brand that complements TenPoint’s higher end models.
Wicked Ridge started early in 2010 building crossbows at the $500 and under price range. They come with a lot of the quality assurances you find with TenPoint products and come out from TenPoint’s Ohio factory
Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Crossbow Packages
The Warrior HL is an upgraded version of the older Warrior model, using improved HL limbs. It comes in two available packages, the standard and premium kits, one priced under $400, one a little over $400.
1. Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Standard – Priced at $370, this is one of the best crossbows for the money. The crossbow itself, including the limbs, riser, stock and trigger are the same with the premium version except for what’s included in the kit.
The Standard Kit also has:
- Ridge-Dot 40mm Multi-Dot Scope
- no arrows
- no sling included
2. Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Premium – this one costs $422 and also offers excellent value for those looking for a mid-priced crossbow.
The Premium set also includes:
- TenPoint 3x Multi-Line Scope
- 3 Aluminum Arrows
Both versions come with an instant detach quiver that you’ll have to put together but allows you to easily take out away from the crossbow whenever you want. You’ll also want to know the both versions don’t come any string cocking devices, so you may want to purchase one if you don’t already have one.
For those on a budget, the standard version is a great offer as it will give you excellent reliability and top notch customer service. If you had a choice, we suggest going with the premium model since you already get the aluminum arrows. Our reason for going with the premium though is its multi-line scope which is easily better than the red-dot. We discuss this below.
Putting the Warrior HL together will take between 10 and 20 minutes. The instruction manual covers the steps and also shows you how to cock the crossbow, which is helpful for beginners.
You will need to use tools to put the limbs and quiver together. Most of the other parts are already assembled from the factory so you won’t need to bother with those.
Features and Specifications
The Warrior HL is a compound crossbow that shoots with 300 ft/sec. It requires a 175 lb. draw weight to cock. The cam system used by compound crossbows allow you to lighten the cocking effort and get higher amounts of speed per shot.
This is why you’ll see compounds like the Warrior HL with 175 lbs. of cocking effort shoot 300 FPS and above, while their recurve counterparts with the same draw weight firing around 240 to 260 FPS most of the time. The cams and cables allow you extra leverage producing more power for less work.
Riser and Limbs
While the previous Warrior used cast aluminum, the HL’s riser now comes with machined aluminum, which they also use in the cam wheels and bolts. Axle to axle it has a total width of 25.25 inches and a short power stroke of 12.25 inches.
The Warrior HL uses a split limb design to disperse the pulling weight. This structure, along with the slim stock design allows for a light 7 lbs. in total carrying weight which makes it a convenient companion on long hunts. Though this shouldn’t be much of an issue if you get the premium model since that one comes with a sling.
Covered in camouflage pattern, the body sits on a skeleton stock that has a slim design. The stock is built ready to accept a cocking device should you choose to add one.
All told, it packs around 84 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy making it hard hitting enough for deer, turkey and elk hunting.
Dry Fire Inhibitor – This is what TenPoint calls its DFI system which is acts as a safety mechanism that prevents the shooter from firing a cocked crossbow that doesn’t have a bolt seated on the flight rail. This is really helpful in times when you just happen to forget to insert the arrow. Its value is it can save your weapon from unnecessary jolts and potential damage that brings. For more on the parts of the trigger and crossbow see our crossbow anatomy guide.
PowerTouch Trigger – this feature is inherited from TenPoint’s technology. TenPoint is known for its smooth trigger mechanism which Wicked Ridge smartly adopts. What you get is a crisp, 3.5 lb. trigger pull that’s consistent and among the best triggers you’ll find.
Finger guard on the foregrip – this is one of the simplest yet coolest features we like. It’s so basic yet could save you from a ton of pain. The foregrip is redesigned as a fixed, wide grip that sits with a layer placed on top that blocks your fingers from possibly moving up to the barrel and into the path of the string.
Shooting the Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Crossbow
The Wicked Ridge Warrior HL is very light to hold and lets you get good control. The skeleton stock was a bit different and did take a bit before getting used to it. The other thing that takes some getting accustomed to is the half moon shaped trigger guard. Instead of a whole ring that encloses the trigger, the guard in this cast only covers the front half. It does the job though since that’s where you don’t want the trigger to be pulled. But a bit unorthodox.
Either way these two issues a a bit cosmetic and minor.
As far as actual shooting is concerned, Wicked Ridge does some sighting in at the factory so there isn’t much adjustments needed to get zeroed in, only minor changes. Shots at 20, 30 and 40 yards don’t take much time to zero in, and when you’re done you should be hitting inside of an inch to about 1.5 inches at 20 yards, depending on your skill.
It shoots very well in terms of accuracy between 20 to 50 yards and producing tight groups at 40 yards is easily expected with practice. The excellent trigger makes the shooting cycle smooth. Here’s where you’ll appreciate getting the premium package as the scope gives you 20, 30 and 40 yard reticles.
Hunting with the Warrior HL
The accuracy really gives you a hand up in hunting. At 30 to 40 yards you can easily hit deer at the exact points you’re targeting making clean, humane kills.
Now it isn’t as fast as similar Parker and Barnett models which are made to shoot higher feet per second arrow velocities, but with 300 FPS and 84 FPE you have more than enough hunting power that hits the right spots.
Quality-wise it is comparable to the more expensive brands and models.
What Arrows to Use with the Wicked Ridge Warrior
For the Warrior HL, you should use at least 420 grain bolts. You can use more but never less as this can put you at risk of partial dry fire. Both aluminum and carbon arrows will work fine with this crossbow. Wicked Ridge specifies 20 inch bolts.
For hunting you’ll want to use broadheads, instead of the practice field points. Either way, you want to use at least 100 grain with these tips. If you want more power, go heavier on the arrows.
Wicked Ridge Crossbows Warranty
In terms of warranty, Wicked Ridges covers any defects in their crossbows for 5 years. The warranty covers only the bow itself and not the accessories that go through the wear and tear, like cables and strings.
You also want to remember to mail in your warranty to the company inside of 30 days from purchase as this will activate it.
Wicked Ridge Warrior HL vs. Invader HP
The brand has two similar models, they’re not exactly that similar since there are a number of differences between them, but are often compared by consumers. Simply put, the Invader HP is a higher model compared to the Warrior HL. It also came out later and added a few more newer features.
In terms of shooting ability, you can expect a notch up, with about 15 FPS speed increase, 8 to 10 ft-lbs. of energy more and 5 more lbs. in the limb draw weight. So the Invader packs more power, but is also slightly more expensive at $460 or so.
Both shoot very well at 40-45 yards which is ideally about maximum distance you want to be using your crossbow when hunting even if it has the capability of reaching over 70 yards and still being deadly. Because you want to be able to control the accuracy of the shot precisely hit the vital organs.
For bigger prey you may want to consider the Wicked Ridge Invader HP. In terms of accuracy and quality, you can’t go wrong with either. It’s just a matter of cost and power. To learn more about the Invader HP, see our Invader HP review.
Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Crossbow Review Summary
Very competitively priced, the Wicked Ridge Warrior HL is an excellent alternative if you don’t have the cash to splurge on a TenPoint system. It offers a lightweight design, is reliable and durable, shoots very accurately and comes with a number of safety features.