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In this article, we explore two outstanding Discraft discs, the classic Stratus and the newer but no-less-versatile Archer.
We’ll talk first about exactly how these two discs will fit into your game, depending on whether you’re a pure beginner or a seasoned veteran, and the kind of performance you can expect out of them.
Next, we’ll go into details, contrasting the specs for each disc, including weight, dimensions, and flight characteristics, along with how these factors might influence your decision.
And finally, we’ll give you the breakdown on which disc we feel performs better where and tell you which of these two workhorse discs gets our overall recommendation.
So let’s take a look at the Discraft Archer vs. Stratus to help you find the right disc for your game..
Discraft Archer vs Stratus: A closer look
The Discraft Elite Z Archer Fairway Driver Golf Disc (view at Amazon), listed as a driver by the manufacturer, but in practice an easy-to-handle and versatile disc.
Termed a long-range driver by the manufacturer, the Discraft Stratus Elite X Golf Disc (view at Amazon) is in practice an extremely maneuverable and dependable mid-range disc with a long history in the game.
Classifying the Archer and Stratus
The first issue we should tackle in this article is how the Archer and the Stratus ought to be classified.
The two discs are quite similar, and according to Discraft they are both drivers, with varying terminology (long-range driver, fairway driver, roller driver, etc.) depending on the year of the model.
But in reality these two models can both be considered fast, understable mid-range discs.
When considered as such, we feel that both the Stratus and the Archer are incredibly useful discs to have in your bag, either as all-purpose discs for beginners, or tight-handling discs that experienced players can make use of in a wide range of situations.
How exactly you use these discs will ultimately come down to your level.
For beginners, both the Archer and the Stratus can be used as multi-purpose discs.
They will perform well with less power than what a proper driver requires, and can be great for pointing out flaws in technique and developing new shots.
Check out this review of the Archer to see the variety of applications it can be used for.
For experienced players, on the other hand, these two discs make great choices for approach and ante shots, anhyzers, hyzer flips, as well as tight shots on wooded courses or around obstacles.
So with that being said, let’s talk about what makes these two discs similar and different.
Let’s talk specifics
In terms of weight and dimensions the Archer and the Stratus are very similar.
Both have a diameter of 21.4 centimeters, a height of 1.8 centimeters, and a rim width and depth of 1.2 centimeters.
The Stratus maxes out at 177.00 grams, and the Archer just below it at 176.00.
So what differentiates the two?
The first difference comes down to flight characteristics: the Archer has a speed rating of 5, a glide of 4, a turn of -4 and a fade rating of 1 (N.B. the exact ratings for the Archer seem to depend on the model; some sources cite a rating of 6, 5, -3, and 1; the Discraft web page itself provides the rating 7, 4, -3, and 1, but displays a photo of a disc marked 5, 4, -4, 1 to make matters more confusing.
The moral is, it would be a good idea to verify the exact ratings on the disc you’re thinking of ordering).
The Stratus has a speed rating of 5, a glide rating of 5, a bit more turn at -3 and a fade of 1.
While the difference is minimal, the Archer tends to be slightly faster with a touch less turn than the Stratus.
The other significant difference between the two discs is the variety of plastic in which they are available.
The Stratus has long been considered an industry standard for its incredible versatility, but according to Discraft’s website it cannot be produced in the wide variety of long-lasting, premium plastics now on offer; hence, the Archer.
In theory the Archer gives the user all the versatility of the Stratus, while opening up the option of the latest cutting-edge plastic types.
Which is right for you?
In our opinion the Discraft Stratus is one of the best discs on the market for beginners, a tried and true disc for players looking to get started.
For those just learning throwing technique, this understable disc will stay straight and fly far, and for the more powerful throwers the Stratus makes a good turnover disc that curves to the anhyzer side.
The Discraft Archer is a perfect “next step” if you are a beginner and a fan of the Stratus.
Like the Stratus it will fly straight when thrown level and with less power, and has a limited degree of fade on the tail end.
Both discs are effective for S-shots, hyzers, and anhyzers, making them great for learning technique and for use in a variety of gameplay situations.
Neither disc is especially wind-resistant.
However, the difference-maker comes down to plastic types.
Since the Stratus only comes in X plastic and Pro-D, it tends to wear relatively quickly and may become less consistent over time.
The Archer, available in Z plastic, has more overall longevity while still retaining all the functionality of the Stratus.
Therefore, in the decision between the Discraft Archer vs. Stratus, the Archer is the disc that we would recommend.
That being said, both are excellent discs and either would be a great choice for beginners, intermediates, and pros alike.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com