It’s well known that the number of women participating in bow sports over the last 3-5 years has been steadily increasing. As of 2013, there were an estimated 16.5 million archery and bowhunting participants in the United States. Women bowhunters are the fastest growing portion of that total, representing one-third of the total, and growing annually by 5%.
Archery and Bowhunting gear makers have taken notice of the trend, and have made huge strides in producing gear tailored specifically for women. No longer do women archers have to settle for a youth bow, a struggle with a stripped down full sized bow. Bow manufacturers have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, launching new lines of compound bows designed specifically to meet women bowhunters unique physiology.
While it’s great to see the increasing number of new compounds for women, it definitely makes the task of choosing one more challenging. In the rest of this article, I’ll show you what features to look for, and provide brief reviews of my picks for the best compound bow for women.
Top 10 Women’s Compound Bows
|Bow:||Draw L:||Draw Wt:||Let Off:||Check Price:|
|Bear Marshal RTH||23″ – 30″||45-60 lb||80||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|PSE Infinity||24.5” – 30.5”||47-70 lb||80||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|Bear Finesse RTH||23″ – 28″||50 lb||80||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|Cabela’s Fortitude L||23.5″ – 28″||50-60 lb||80||Cabela’s|
|Bear Wild RTH||24″ – 31″||50-60 lb||80||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|Quest Radical Purple||17.5″ – 30″||15-70 lb||75||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|PSE Brute Force Lite Pro||25″ – 31″||47-70 lb||80||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|PSE Stinger X Stiletto||21″ – 30″||22-50 lb||75||Amazon| Cabela’s|
|Bear Prowess RTH Pink Ace||23″ – 28″||35-50 lb||80||Amazon|
|Parker Lightning Outfitter||19″ – 29″||30-60 lb||70||Cabela’s|
Factors to Consider
Gone are the days where a women’s compound bow was merely a pink camouflaged youth bow. Women’s bows are now the same powerful, high precision bows that men have always enjoyed, just in a slightly smaller package. Here are some of the features and considerations you should understand while looking for a new bow.
- Draw Length – Women are on average shorter than men, which translates to shorter draw lengths. A good female compound will account for this, and with proper draw length and a lot of practice, you will achieve tighter groupings. Hold your arms out wide and measure fingertip to fingertip, and then divide that by 2.5 to get your starting point for draw length.
- Draw Weights – Draw weights on women’s bows are usually a little lower than other bows. If you have never shot a compound bow before, you will want to start low and build your muscle strength until you can comfortably draw at 40 lbs. 40 pounds is the typical minimum draw weight states require for deer hunting. Larger animals like bear require 50 pounds or more.
- Let-Off – Let off is the percentage of draw weight required to hold your arrow at full draw. An 80% let off will make it easier to hold steady for longer periods of time, which increases accuracy, and your ability to control your shot.
- Quality Strings & Cams – Cheap compounds will have stretchy strings and cam systems that are not as smooth as the better quality bows. All of the bows in my top 10 are from respected manufacturers and should not have these problems.
- Total Bow Weight – This is a straightforward spec to look for. The heavier the bow is, the stronger you need to be in order to hold the bow up. If you buy a heavier bow, you may find yourself tiring more easily, and your accuracy will suffer as a result.
- Highly Adjustable Bows – If you are just getting started, dipping your toes before jumping into the deep end of bowhunting, a highly adjustable bow could make sense. These bows are typically aimed at youth archers. If you are a looking for a good women’s bow, there are better options. A full size, small frame bow with proper draw weight and length is the best way to go.
Best Small Frame Bows for Women
Women don’t have as many bow package choices as men; it is difficult to find bows designed with a woman’s strength in mind that can be adjusted to fit properly. These bow packages come “ready-to-hunt” which gives the shooter everything they need to get started including bow rest, sight and sling. The bows have a small range of adjustments focused on women’s needs, although they are also good for some youth shooters. Adjusting the bow for youth will take a bit more effort. These bows are also designed in sizes and draw that are more comfortable for most women.
Bear Archery Finesse RTH Bow Package
Designed specifically for women, the Bear Finesse is affordable and can also be used for youth shooters. The bow is accurate and performs well in a variety of shooting situations. The weight and power of the bow work well for beginners and experienced shooters alike.
The package includes the bow, Whisker Biscuit rest, four-pin sight, a basic stabilizer and sling, quiver, tube peep sight, and nock loop. The finish is the Realtree APG which is a film-dipped finish that is durable and appealing.
How Does It Shoot – The Finesse was designed for the female shooter who wants a smooth draw cycle, speed, and accuracy. The draw length can be adjusted between 23 to 28-inches in half-inch increments and fine-tuned using the draw stop. Once you are ready to shoot, the bow has a smooth draw cycle, and then it builds gradually throughout the shot sequence until let-off.
When the bow is set up properly for the shooter, it has a solid back wall and is easy to hold on target. The bow limbs come in two peak draw weights of 40 or 50 pounds; each pair of limbs can be adjusted approximately ten pounds using the limb bolt. Once it is adjusted to the shooter’s specifications, vibration and noise are almost non-existent.
Best For – The Bear Finesse was designed for the female archer, and will work for any shooting scenario. It can be used for a 3D course, target range, or hunting. With a 28 5/8″ ATA and a 7″ brace height, this rig would work well in a ground blind. Lightweight at only 3 pounds, the bow is an appropriate choice for long hunting trips.
Cabela’s Fortitude L Bow Package
Another excellent choice for women, the Cabela’s Fortitude L Compound Bow Package is accurate and stays in tune. It is a high-quality bow with a smooth draw and adjustable draw length. The package includes a three-pin Tundra sight, Octane Hostage Max arrow rest, 5-arrow quiver, rope wrist sling, 5″ stabilizer, BCY string loop, and carbon peep.
How Does It Shoot – The Fortitude L features the BOWTECH Synchronized Binary Cam system, which combines consistent accuracy with a smooth draw and silent shot. The Fortitude L doesn’t need a new cam or module to set the draw length. Instead, rotating modules offer a myriad of draw length adjustments that are built into the bow. The bow also has a binary cam technology that slaves two symmetrical cams together to turn in unison which delivers accurate nock travel and easy tuning.
Best For – A great hunting bow in versatile situations, the Fortitude L works well for women and youth shooters. It has a 6 3/4-inch brace height and 32-inches axle-to-axle length, making it easy to hold and carry.
View on: Cabela’s
Bear Wild RTH Bow Package
This bow offers a high-quality bare bow with a RTH package for an affordable price. It is not as fast as more expensive bows with an IBO rating of 310 feet per second. It is an appropriate choice if you want a great value and readiness to be a successful shooter.
Features & Finish – The Bear Wild package features a slew of Trophy Ridge accessories including a whisker biscuit rest, a 3-pin sight, a stabilizer and sling, a five-arrow quiver, a peep sight, and a D-loop. Finishes include Realtree XTRA Green, Shadow, Sand, Olive, and Orange which is dipped on the riser.
How Does It Shoot – The Wild shoots well for its affordable price. It has an S7 single cam that draws nicely from start to finish, and an 80% let-off. The draw cycle starts out easily, and doesn’t reach peak weight quickly. The let-off into the valley and the back wall is an easy transition to make, but going from peak weight to only 20% of that weight is a bit different. The back wall can be spongy, but has a traditional single cam feel. The 32 1/4-inch axel to axel measurement, combined with a 4-pound bare bow makes the bow a solid holder on target.
Best For – The Bear Wild is a definite hunting bow, a great option for female hunters, and a solid performer for the price.
Quest Radical Bow Package
The Quest Radical right-handed bow is suited for women. The bow is marketed primarily toward beginners, but is not exclusively used by them. An adjustable draw length between 17.5 and 30 inches gives this bow plenty of scope and can adapt as its user improves.
This compound bow for women is compact and light which makes it easy to use for hunters. This bow has a four-pin sight as well as an adjustable cam system which eliminates the need for a bow press. However, the short axle may take a while to get used to.
Features & Finish –Equipped with a suppressor, quiver, rest, sling and more, this package has everything that a new archer would require. The Quest Radical comes in several finishes including solid black, orange, and green and camo Realtree Xtra, AP, and Realtree AP HD Purple.
How Does It Shoot – The Radical is highly tunable, easy to pull and has a smooth cam system. The draw has little dead pull, ramps up near the middle, and drops down into and holds the valley easily. The lightweight platform of this bow holds at full draw for a long time.
Best For – The bow is best for younger, beginner archers or more experienced archers looking to carry a nimble, highly adjustable bow to the woods.
PSE Stinger X Stiletto Bow Package
The PSE Stiletto is a high-end bow designed for female hunters. Featuring one of PSE’s smoothest drawing cams, the Stiletto offers speed, quality and innovation.
Features & Finish – The Stiletto has three finish options, Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity covering the riser and limbs, Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity limbs and a black riser, or the Skullworks Camo, big game skulls on a black background. The Stiletto plate cover is pink with the bow’s logo.
How Does It Shoot – The Mini EVO Hybrid cam in this bow offers smooth transitions, generous valley, and solid draw stop. The draw weight builds up quickly and is easier as the shooter reaches full draw. The PSE Stiletto features a draw stop on each cam that contacts the string while at full draw. The bow is balanced at full draw and holds on target well. After the shot, the bow is quiet.
Best For – A great option for female hunters, this bow offers everything a hunting rig should have including a short axel-to-axel measurement and great speed.
Best Highly Adjustable Bows for Women
A highly adjustable bow is more suited for the beginner archer. Women wanting to get into shooting a bow but have no experience may benefit from a bow like this as they can grow into it as their skills develop. The draw weight can be adjusted as the archers strength and skill builds. They keep their value well, so trade one in for a good small frame when ready to hunt live.
Diamond Infinite Edge
The Diamond Infinite Edge compound bow is a highly versatile bow, making it a good choice for female bow hunters of all sizes, strengths, and experience levels. The draw length and weight can be adapted for an ideal fit for your specific physique and muscle power.
Construction – This is one elegant compound, thanks to a quality aluminum riser, solid limbs, and a variety of classy finishes. This bow is easy to put together and the components fit together perfectly, forming a great looking bow.
Eccentric System – The eccentric system of this bow is really first rate, incorporating a non-aggressive dual cam system that helps easily alter draw weight and length. It takes just a couple of minutes to adjust to your preferred settings without the need for a bow press.
How Does it Shoot – You will likely find the ergonomics of this bow to be one of the most forgiving you have used. The draw is very smooth, with the pressure growing gently up to the 75% let off.
This makes the bow great for all levels of archery; despite it being marketed as a youth bow in truth seasoned archers will find it a pleasure to shoot thanks to the accuracy and comfort of the model.
Good for Hunting? – If you are looking to hunt with this bow, you should be aware that you will likely want to get a silencing package, as out of the box it is limited to string stoppers alone. It is also recommended that you invest in string silencers and vibration dampeners. It’s a slight inconvenience but with these add-ons it becomes a very good bow to hunt with.
Final Thoughts – This is a great compound bow option for women, thanks to it being a nice size for the average female physique, as well as customizable to be right for just about any woman bow hunter. The Diamond Infinite Edge shoots up to speeds of 310 feet per second, making it a fast bow when considering its max draw length. Overall this is a great value in a women’s compound bow.
Bear Archery Cruzer
Produced by Bear, this Cruzer bow is a good purchase for the female archer. It’s also excellent for someone looking for a complete set – an arrow rest, a quiver and a wrist strap all comes with this set. The quad limbs also make this a powerful bow.
With a huge range – the draw length can be adjusted between 12 to 30 inches – this compound bow for women can be tweaked until the shooter is dialed in perfectly. Hand torque is also prevented with the special grip design. The bow has a four-pin sight, which are illuminated to improve accuracy.
This bow has a reputation for being long-lasting, which makes it a cost-effective purchase, and one great for women getting into archery.
More Compound Bow Resources
- Top Crossbows Under $500
- Top Youth Compound Bows
- Top Carbon Hunting Arrows
- Top Fixed Blade Broadheads
- Choosing Compound Bow Sights
Photo Credit: RodsandRifles, Product Photos courtesy Cabela’s