Best Youth Compound Bows

Best Youth Compound Bows: From Beginners to Hunting

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If you have arrived here looking for good compound bows for children, I’d like to say congratulations! The fact your kid has shown an interest in archery and bowhunting means you have an excellent opportunity to instill a lifelong love for outdoor sports, and spending time in nature.

Choosing a proper compound bow for your child is an important decision. If you make a good choice and buy a bow he or she can easily shoot and have fun with, then they are much more likely to remain interested in archery for years to come. If you are fortunate, they may even grow up and want to go bowhunting right alongside you.

In the rest of this article, I will cover the most important aspects of choosing a bow for your child, as well as review some of the best compound bows for youth that are on the market today.

Youth Compound Bows Comparison

First things first, choosing a bow is not about you. Get this notion out of your head. You don’t necessarily need to buy a tricked-out compound from the “best” brands. If it’s not easy to shoot, your kid will not have fun, and at this stage, that’s all that matters.

Think about what your kid would like in a bow, maybe they would like a brightly colored one instead of camo youth compound bow for hunting.

Below is a chart you can use to compare some of the top compound bows for kids. Remember, your youth’s comfort and ease of shooting are the foremost factors you should be thinking about when choosing.

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*Last updated 2022-10-05 at 14:38 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Key Factors in Choosing a Youth Compound Bow

There are five factors to consider for choosing a youth compound bow. These include the age and size of your child, the draw weight of the bow, draw length of the bow, the total weight of the bow, and the type of bow package.

Your Child’s Age and Size – Bows are not manufactured with the same considerations to children’s ages or growth patterns. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to youth bows. As such, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendation for age and size. Most try to design bows that are suitable for your kid as they grow, but not all brands are successful.

You also want the bow to adapt to your child and not your child to the bow. What this means is the bow needs to fit your child so that they are not developing poor habits while using the bow. When it’s your child adapting to the bow, it is time to upgrade to a larger compound bow.

Draw Weight – Smaller children need a bow with a draw weight that they can manage at their current age, but that will challenge them as they grow. Bow draw weight recommendations:

  • A 6-10 pound draw weight works for kids with small frames ages 3-8, with a bodyweight of 55-70 pounds.
  • A 10-29 pound draw weight works for kids who are average-size, and ages 4-9 with a bodyweight of 70-100 pounds.
  • A 15-52 pound draws weight work for kids who are 9-18 years old, or for kids who are larger than average with a bodyweight of 100-130 pounds.

The age range here is subjective, and you will have to balance the draw weight of the bow with its draw length. Keep reading to learn more.

Draw Length – Most compound bows for children have a draw length that ranges from 14-25 inches. These are all suitable for children 3-10 years old. Again, there is no standard, so you must balance draw length and draw weight with the size of your child. Children who are average size for their age and who are between 3-10 years old should do fine with a bow that has a draw length of 14-25.

If your child is large for their age, then consider a 15 to 30-inch bow, especially if your child is 9-19 years of age. These bows are longer and allow taller children to develop good shooting habits and fitting your child as they grow.

Total Bow Weight – Holding a bow is a workout and parents need to remember that children experience fatigue quicker if their bow is too heavy. Total bow mass (weight) is, therefore, a key consideration when purchasing a bow.

Children who are 3-8 years old of average size can handle a bow that is 1.3-2 pounds in mass weight. Kids ages 4-10 who are above average size for their age can usually handle a bow that is 2.3-2.8 pounds.

Keep in mind that a four-year-old is going to struggle with a bow that is heavier than 2-pounds and a ten-year-old is going to outgrow a bow that is under 2 pounds. As you choose your child’s bow, consider their strength, age, and height.

Package Deal – Most beginner sets have standard equipment that your child will need to learn how to shoot properly and still enjoy the sport. A bow package begins to specialize by purpose – learning, small game hunting, and deer hunting.

One of the key differences between a bowhunting compound bow kit and an archery practice bow kit will be the arrows. Many bowhunting kits feature either an assortment of arrows points or broadheads. Archery practice kits all contain bullet point arrows.

Focus on kits that fit your child’s goals whether it’s learning or hunting. Also, make sure to that the bow fits their strong hand – right-handed vs. left-handed.

Best Youth Compound Bow Packages

Bow packages are typically ready to shoot. Most bows are highly adjustable and offer a range of draw weight and draw length and some may require additional equipment if you plan to hunt with it. These might be string silencers and vibration dampeners.

Some bow packages may include adjustable sights, arm guard, finger tab, and a quiver. Be sure to shop for a bow that fits your child’s needs. More expensive bows often have more room for your child to grow into them and can be a much better investment.

The first rule in choosing a bow package is to make sure your child has the interest and capability before investing in a bow package.

1. Diamond Infinite Edge

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The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Compound-Bow package is a complete package. It features a sturdy bow that easily bridges the gap between hunting and range practice. It is a package that is well-equipped with a 3 pin sight, arrow rest, wrist sling, quiver, peep sight, nock loop, and a stabilizer.

The bow is highly adjustable to fit a wide range of height and strength making this a bow for right now and that will grow with your child. Fully equipped and ready to shoot right out of the package. Available in right- or left-hand models

How Does It Shoot – This well-equipped and designed bow offers improved cams giving a smoother draw. The added stabilizers increase balance and produce a vibration-free shot. Expect smooth action, clean release and fast draw with a clean shot. The bow can be adjusted from 5 to 70 pounds of draw weight, and 13 to 31 inches of draw length.

Bottom Line – This bow package offers a lot of forgiveness and applies to kids with a wide range of skills. It is well-equipped and easily goes from target practice to the open field. The best features include its range of adjustments which will expand as your child grows.

This means you make a single bow purchase until your child is ready for an adult bow. Made in the USA is a plus. The heavier weight is not appropriate for smaller kids, even though the draw weight starts in the five-pound range. Ideal age range 8-10 for kids and 10-18 for entry-mid level youth.

2. Bear Archery Cruzer Lite

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The Bear Archery Cruzer Bow Package is a perfect package for kids 8-10 and youth 10-18. It is an average bow at 3.2 pounds so not appropriate for smaller children. It is available in both left- and right-hand models and adjusts to fit a wide range of archers. The package includes a Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit, four-pin sight, quiver, peep sight, and nock loop.

Features & Finish – The finish is somewhat standard in tones like sand or green patterns. There are options to dress the bow with color choices of purple and blue to brighter tones such as orange or pink. Shooters can also match the drawstring to the color of the bow. Expect a durable finish that will stand up to the abuse that a kid will put it through.

Expect a quality entry level bow with standard accessories that will serve a child for many years. Beyond its range, there are a lot of adjustments and perhaps too many for a child to deal with often. On the plus side, it’s a great bow to teach a child how to dial in equipment.

How Does It Shoot – The kit is ready to shoot right out of the box and comes equipped with tools that dampen vibration and noise. The bow is adjustable from 5 to 45 pounds draw weight and 12 to 30 inches of draw length. Under full power, the bow shoots 290 fps.

Bottom Line – Fully adjustable to fit a wide range of young archers. Best suited for eight years old and above due to the heavier bow mass of just over 3 pounds. Ideal for a growing archer as the bow’s power makes it suitable for hunting bigger grazers such as deer. The kit does not include arrows or release.

3. Barnett Vortex Lite

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The Barnett Vortex Lite Compound Bow Package makes a great intro bow for kids 10-13 years of age. If your child has experience shooting or if you are looking for a second bow for a child that is growing, this is probably not the bow for your kid.

The bow package is perfect for is someone who is around 10-13 or older who wants a quality bow without a lot of complex add-ons. Expect a quality first bow with some room to grow with your child.

Features & Finish – The Vortex Lite is a very standard bow without a lot of extras including a sight, 2 piece quiver, arrow rest, and 3 arrows. The finish is a rustic camouflage, making this bow suitable for small game hunting or the range.

How Does It Shoot – Once set up to the user, the bow received high praise with a max rating of 188 fps. Expect decent accuracy to around 30-yards and enough power for smaller game or targets.

Bottom Line – A good bow for the cost, but expect to replace some of the accessories with higher quality pieces. Common add-ons included whisker biscuit, peep sight, and a rope loop. Most complaints centered around the accessories and included poor arrow quality and cheaply made quiver.

Even the more negative reviews praised the bow for its quality but underlined that the adjustment options were slim. Because the bow maxes out at draw weight at 29-pounds, expect to replace this bow before your kids hit their early teenage years.

4. Diamond Prism Compound Bow Package

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The Diamond Prism bow is based on the company’s best-selling Edge series and has a lot to recommend it. It was designed with target shooting and the developing archer in mind, so it really stands out when it comes to adjustability and versatility.

It accomplishes this by incorporating their Extreme Adjustability Limb System which allows for a draw weight setting of from 5 lbs. all the way to 55 lbs., while a system of rotating modules provides a draw length range of from 18” to 30”. This kind of versatility makes it a good fit for younger kids to older teens.

The package includes a three-pin Tundra Sight, a tube peep sight and nock, and a Hostage XL arrow rest, so all you really need to buy at first are the arrows and it’ll be ready to shoot.

How Does It Shoot – The Prism cam system is simple to tune and offers a very smooth draw with a let-off of fully 80% so most younger and smaller shooters will find it easy to hold at full draw. It weighs in at a light 3.2 lbs. and measures 31” from axle to axle, again good for the younger archers but older teens and adults might find it to be a bit of a disadvantage.

Aftermarket stabilizer will help quite a bit. This bow lacks the features to deal with vibration and noise, though neither is very noticeable with the stock bow. Adding some dampeners wouldn’t hurt though.

The Prism delivers a rather moderate arrow speed of 295 fps, adequate for any type of target shooting though perhaps a little slow for larger game, but still within practical limits. It is only offered in a right-handed model.

Bottom Line – The Diamond Prism compound bow is an affordable, well-made, and durable product that delivers excellent performance and the kind of adjustability you need with young and developing shooters. It is also available in several flashy colors as well as camouflage and the kids will appreciate the variety.

5. Diamond Atomic Youth Compound Bow

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The Diamond Atomic Youth Bow is a great option to go with if you are looking to get your kids started with shooting a bow. The bow has a number of easy to make adjustments allowing it to grow with your child.

Features & Build Quality – The draw weight on the Atomic starts out at just 6 pounds, but has a top end all the way up at 29 pounds. You will also find the draw length to be highly customizable, by simply rotating the limb module until you reach the desired length, which is conveniently set by reference lines.

Just like the high-end finishes, the risers are machined to look exactly like the adult bows and has a port for mounting a stabilizer at a later date if you wish. The limb bolts are secure, and will not completely back out when you adjust the draw length. The fact that this bow weighs just 1.9 pounds, and has all that adjustability makes this an excellent bow for starters.

Finish – There are two color schemes on the Atomic, pink graphite that should appeal to girls, and boys will love the blue graphite scheme. The finish is not a mere paint job; Diamond uses the same high-end finishing graphics that they use on their $500+ compounds.

Final Thoughts – The bow has been designed to look as real as possible, and your young archer will appreciate that fact. You will appreciate how easy it is to adjust draw weights and lengths, thanks to reference marks and limbs bolts that won’t fall out.

The Atomic Youth Bow has everything your child will need to shoot right out of the box, including a 3-pin sight, quiver, rest, and 3 carbon arrows. The Diamond atomic is truly one of the very best youth compound bows on the market today.

6. PSE Mini Burner

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The PSE Mini-Burner was designed by the company to serve the needs of youthful shooters so it fits right in on this list. Its characteristics don’t make it an appropriate choice for very young archers though, this will best suit shooters between the ages of 8-12.

It offers an adjustable draw length of from 16” to 26.5” and a draw weight range of from 29 lbs to 40 lbs so it’s versatile enough to fit small to middle size shooters.

The Mini Burner sports some features that would be found on more expensive adult bows. The package comes ready to pull out of the box and shoot with a 3-pin sight, a five-arrow quiver, an arrow rest, a 6” stabilizer, and three carbon arrows.

How Does It Shoot – The PSE Mini-Burner is designed and constructed with the same quality and attention to detail that customers have learned to expect from the company, so it shoots quite well for its intended use. It’s very light at only 2.7 lbs with a brace height of 6 ⅝”, an axle to axle length of 26”, and an acceptable let off of 70 lbs. Due to the inclusion of the 6” stabilizer in the package vibration and noise are quite minimal. It’s available in both left- and right-handed models.

Bottom Line – Parents will find this a great package for the beginning bow hunter or target shooter. While it’s obviously a little underpowered for bigger game, it can be used on smaller game with effectiveness. The PSE Mini-Burner is available in black, lime green, and the Mossy Oak Country pattern.

Best Beginner Compound Bows for Youth

A beginner bow is just the basics. It reflects the goals of someone trying the fundamentals of archery. To that end, it has fewer features, a limited power range, and may seem stark next to some bow packages. The expectations parents should have for a beginner bow are quality made packages that offers some room to grow. The bow will be lightweight and provide a good foundation for learning to shoot archery.

A beginning compound bow makes the perfect introduction for kids who want to learn archery or hunting skills. Here are a few recommended beginner bows.

7. Genesis Original Compound Bow

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The Genesis Original is a very good first bow ideal for introducing youth to archery. Compared to similar bows, it is lighter and lower on the draw weight, making it an especially popular choice for younger kids.

Build Quality – The bow is built on a high quality machined aluminum riser, which is both light and durable. The limbs are attached with bolts that can be turned clockwise to increase draw weight (up to 12lbs) and counterclockwise to reduce the weight (to as low as 6lbs). Care needs to be taken that both limbs are symmetrically adjusted. The grip is comfortable and well molded.

The cam system was thoughtfully designed with younger shooters in mind, and as such it provides a flexible and easy draw. The bow is straightforward to use, in part to having no back wall and requires no adjustments in regards to draw lengths (14″ – 25″).

Value – The Genesis will retain most of its resell value – money that can be set against the cost of upgrading to a larger model. Obviously, kids grow at different speeds but it’s nice to know that the bow is an investment that can be traded in as your kid grows.

Ease of Shooting – Having been extensively tested on thousands of young archers the Genesis Youth Bow is ideal for introductory archery. The single-cam system allows for an easy and comfortable draw and release.

The strings are an excellent feature of this bow, as they allow for heavy use and will last for many years. If archery runs in the family, the bow can be passed down to younger siblings.

Advice & Accessories – As this bow is so popular with those learning to shoot there’s plenty of good advice specific to how to make the best use of this bow as a learning bow. A popular recommendation is to attach a whisker biscuit to keep the arrow steady and in place when drawing, and a single pin sight so kids can concentrate upon their technique and short-range accuracy.

Suitable for Young Ages – Largely thanks to the unusually low draw weight (most youth bows start at 10lbs rather than 6lbs) most young children will be able to use this bow without straining at too high a weight. It’s rare to find a bow with such accessibility.

Final Thoughts – The Genesis Original is a good value introductory bow ideal for kids aged 3-8 years old. The bow has a high-quality build that is flexible, easily adjustable, and the included strings are excellent. While it could benefit from a wider range of draw weights, and your youth may outgrow it in just a few years, it has a very high resale value that can go towards a new larger bow.

8. Bear Archery Brave 3 Bow Set

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The Brave is another decent right-hand bow for youngsters, suitable from ages 8 upwards. Coming from one of America’s leading brands, this kit comes with everything required to get your child into archery.

The draw weight and draw length are slightly adjustable to help the user find the perfect fit. The bow has a built-in quiver and the package comes with two arrows made of fiberglass. There is some criticism that is too difficult to pull back for kids, however, the positive is that they will be able to extract more power from the bow in the long run.

At its price, this compound bow is great for youth just getting started with archery. It is strong and durable, just keep in mind it may quickly become too small for them as they grow. You can always sell it and upgrade to a larger bow later.

9. Barnett Tomcat Youth Set

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The Barnett Tomcat Youth Set offers a design for beginning shooters. It has a very short range for adjustments, just 20-22 inch draw length, making this a good bow for younger archers 4-8 years of age. It is available only in a right-hand version, 20-pound draw weight, and has a 70 percent let-off rating.

The bow features a rounded-cam which not only makes shooting easier it is gentler on the fingers. It offers a fiber-optic sight that features a three-pin design so aiming, and target practice becomes easier, and the archer can better concentrate on form rather than finding the target.

The straightforward operation makes this a great bow for first-time archers, and many of the online reviews praise the bow for that aspect. The easy use means kids can learn the basics easier and while getting used to a quality bow.

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