Youth Compound Bow Models – Plus Choosing A Bow
Selecting a youth compound bow can be a challenge due to the different heights, size and strength of the child. They also grow fast, but luckily most modern children’s bows are adjustable to suit them.
In the table below we have listed the 2022 youth compound bows, so you can compare the model, draw weight and draw length of the bow.
The data list includes a range that might be suitable for young kids, pre-teens, teenagers. Some are even suitable for small framed adults.
But before we get into the comparisons, we have also included in the article about what you should look for in a kids bow.
This information is not only for selecting a youth compound, but also handy for adults choosing a compound bow as well.
Here are nine points to consider:
- What archery activity are they going to try?
- Draw Weight of the bow
- Draw Length of the bow
- Mass Weight
- Bow Let Off
- Bow Package and Accessories
- Brand Name And Quality
What To Consider When Choosing A Youth Compound Bow
Here we will go over in more detail about what to look for in a kids bow.
If the bow isn’t suited to the child correctly, accuracy will be harder to achieve. With bad accuracy, then the enjoyment may not go with the sport.
- What archery style are they going to do?
Is the child going to try target archery, field, 3D Archery, bowhunting, or just having a shot now and then?
Most compounds should suit all the different archery types for a child. However, if they participate in bowhunting, they probably don’t want a shiny bright colored bow.
With a compound bow, you can use it with bow sights or without. Without sights on the bow is called barebow shooting.
While in barebow shooting you don’t use mechanical sights, there are half a dozen ways you can aim the bow in barebow shooting, like: Gap shooting, (Split Vision), Point Of Aim, Face Walking, String Walking and Instinctive shooting.
(Gap shooting can be an effective way of using a bow without bow sights. You basically use the arrow point as a reference on, below, or above the target, depending on the distance.)
For different archery aiming methods and information, visit – How to Aim a Bow and Arrow.
- Draw Weight
The draw weight is how much weight is on the bowstring. In other words how many pounds they have to pull back.
If the draw weight is too high, the archer won’t be able to pull the bow back. Ideally the youth should be able to shoot the bow multiple times for practice, without getting too fatigued.
The draw weight will really depend on the child’s strength and technique.
Allow that the child will grow and also they will get better technique at pulling back the bow. They will also get stronger, so pick a bow with a wide variety of draw weight adjustment.
Most adult compounds can be adjusted around the ten pound mark. As an example a bow might range from 50 lbs. to 60 lbs. That means you can adjust the poundage anywhere from 50 lbs. to 60 lbs.
With youth bows, the draw weight adjustment might be from 10 lbs. to 40 lbs., some can even go from around 10 lbs. all the way up to 70 lbs.
An Allen key or Hex key is used to tighten down the limb bolt to increase the bow’s draw weight poundage. To lighten the draw weight off, the limb bolt is loosened off.
(Don’t loosen the limb bolts beyond the manufactures recommendation. As the limbs can be under pressure and fly off if the bolts come loose.)
The best way to test out if the draw weight is suitable is for the youth, is to test out the bow and have a few practice shots.
- Draw Length
Correct draw length is important for all archers, especially beginners and kids.
If the draw length isn’t correct, the bow will be hard to hold at full draw and aim properly. Accuracy will suffer and draw length is as important as draw weight for the archer.
Unlike longbows and recurve bows that can draw back a wide range, compound bows are designed to only drawback so far and then stop. This length is the bow’s draw length.
With an adjustable youth compound bow, you normally use an Allen key to adjust the draw stop setting on the cams. The bow might have an adjustable module, which you move to set for a certain draw length.
As an example you might move the Allen bolt on the cam to set it at 20” for a youth.
For an average adult male, their draw length might be 28” A tall adult person might have a 31” draw length, while a youth might be from 15” to 24”.
As a general rule a tall kid will have a long draw length. A short youth will have a short draw length.
Or more accurately limb length, shoulder and back width will dictate draw length.
Ideally the archer wants the bowstring to finish at full draw (pulled back) at roughly the edge of the corner of the mouth. This includes shooting with a release aid device or shooting with fingers. (Tab or glove.)
This spot puts the bowstring more in line with the eye and so the archer can look through a peep sight if one is used. As well as sight alignment, this can position their arms, shoulders and allow good back tension to release the bowstring cleanly.
If the draw length is set too long, the bowstring will finish at full draw around mid-check or closer to their ear. This makes the archer try and look through the peep sight and they lean their head unnecessarily and possibly torque on the bow as well.
Also the bowstring will have excess face contact and interfere with the release of the bowstring.
With most adults shooting a compound they have the draw length set too long.
Supervising adults, teenagers and kids in field, target archery and bowhunting set ups, probably around 90% would have their compound bow draw length set incorrectly and too long for them.
There are dozens of ways to measure a children’s draw length, but one way is the “Fist Against Wall Method.”
This method should give you a rough draw length range to start with.
How you do it is:
1.You stand straight, feet around shoulder width apart.
2. Extend the bow arm (arm that holds the bow) horizontally, place a clench fist on the wall.
3. Have a slight bend in the elbow. The archer shouldn’t be leaning too far back, or their arm squashed up at full draw or extended.
4. Measure in inches from the wall above the fist, to the corner of the mouth.
(You can use a tape measure, long ruler or an old arrow and mark it with a sharpie.)
This length is the archers draw length. (Not to be confused with the compound bows draw length.) You adjust the compound draw length to suit the archers draw length.
This method will work with children as well as adults.
The method will give you a ball park figure and should get within an inch either side of your child’s draw length.
You can fine tune later on the length, but it is a good starting point.
Second Method – Wingspan Divide 2.5
There are many variations of this method, but a good place to start if there are no archery clubs or pro shops about.
The second method is another way to measure your or a youth’s draw length.
- You stand in front of a wall, arms spread out horizontally.
2. You then measure in inches, from fingertip to fingertip, or wingspan.
3. You then divide the wingspan with 2.5 to get your draw length.
As an example a youth might have a 55” arm span. 55” ÷ 2.5 = 22” draw length.
(Remember this is the archers draw length – NOT the compound bows draw length. Which the compound will have to be adjusted to suit the archer.)
Another example is a 57” wingspan. 57” ÷ 2.5 = 22.8” draw length. Round it up and you get a 23” draw length.
For more detail on how to measure your draw length and for different ways, visit – How To Figure Out Your Draw Length – 7 Easy Ways to Measure Your Draw Length.
The above link also has an easy reference table for the divide 2.5 draw length measurement.
Also for more information, visit – Correct Draw Length
- Mass Weight
The physical weight of the bow is important as the youth has to hold the bow up, aiming it on the target.
Too heavy and the arms and shoulders will get fatigued.
A youth compound bow might be around 3 lbs. mass weight up to 4 lbs. This weight is for the bare bow only and no accessories.
The bow can get heavy, once you add a bow sight, arrow rest and maybe a bow quiver and arrows.
The length of the compound is measured from the axle to axle. (Not total length from end tip of the cams to cams.)
A bow too long for the kid and it might touch the ground or brush below, interfering with the shot.
A short compound bow is roughly under 30” maybe 32” long. A long axle to axle compound would be roughly over 37”.
A youth compound bow might be around 25” to 32” length axle to axle.
- Let off
With a compound bow, when the bow is drawn back the cams or wheels turn over with the cables then taking a lot of weight like a pulley.
With a compound bow at full draw the archer might only hold 70% of the peak weight.
So with a 30 lbs. compound, the archer might only hold around 9 lbs. at full draw.
This is called the let-off and this helps the archer hold the bowstring easier while aiming.
The let off on compounds can range from 60%, 70%, 80% even up to 90% let off.
For a longbow or recurve bow, the draw weight is the amount of weight they hold drawn back at full draw and there is no let-off.
- Bow Packages and Accessories
Another question to consider when buying a youth bow is, does it come in a complete bow package with all the accessories needed?
Or do you need to buy additional gear separately? Like a: release aid device, arrow rest, bow sight, quiver and arrows.
Some children’s bow and arrow kits come with a bow sight, arrow rest and bow quiver, but don’t come with a release aid device.
If the child is very young, they probably don’t need a release aid device with a compound bow.
(A release aid device generally isn’t used with a longbow or recurve bow.)
If you don’t use a release aid device with the compound, the child will need some form of finger protection from the bowstring. Like an archery tab or glove.
If the bow is short, the bowstring angle is to sharp, it might be hard to shoot a compound bow with fingers.
Some beginner bows have a bowstring finger guard on the string. This makes a thicker round section on the bowstring to protect the fingers. You don’t need a glove or tab with these on the bowstring.
R.T.H. means “Ready To Hunt” by some bow manufactures. This hunting package will include a bow sight, arrow rest, bow quiver. It generally won’t have arrows with it, so double check what the bow package has included with it.
Other Archery Gear To Consider
For target shooting, 3D archery and field archery a side quiver might be used to hold the arrows.
Some paper targets, archery backstop, 3D targets, might be worth looking at as well. Make sure the area is safe to practice as arrows can go a long way. Stray arrows can be dangerous.
For information on how to use the bow and arrow safely, visit – Archery Safety Rules for Beginners.
(You can make some homemade DIY archery targets and backstops by placing some old rags, or neoprene wetsuit material in a hessian bag or sugar bag. Old plastic bags tightly packed in a sack can also be used as a target.)
- Brand Name and Quality
Most quality brands, like the ones in the data table below will be fine if they suit the child’s draw weight and draw length range.
Brands like: Mission Archery, Hoyt, Bear Archery, Mathews, PSE Archery, Darton, Martin, Obsession Archery, Elite, Bowtech, Genesis Archery Bows, Quest Bowhunting, etc., to name a few, should be a good choice.
These well-known brands will also keep their resale value better.
Another point to consider when buying a bow is budget. Does it fit your price range?
There is no sense buying a top of the line bow and accessories, then your child quits archery.
Perhaps the youngster could first try out archery at their local target club or field archery club, to see if they like it first, before buying all the gear.
Experienced archery club members can also steer the youth in the right direction about equipment. Some might even have a good secondhand bow they want to sell. (Just make sure the draw weight and draw length fit the child.)
Generally avoid eBay no name brand bows. These bows are poorly made and if you buy the bow and arrow kits, some arrows are downright dangerous.
Stick with brand name gear if you do purchase secondhand archery gear.
Some Archery pro shops have sales on throughout the year and you can get good bow packages on sale.
Your local archery dealer can also advise on the correct size bow and hopefully a good deal on budget as well.
You can get cheaper bows, but if the child will probably stick to archery, then a brand bow might be a good choice.
What Is The Best Bow?
The best youth compound bows and bows suitable for kids, pre-teens and young teenagers have a long range of draw adjustment and draw length.
Most quality brand bows will be a good selection.
Here is my pick for the three best youth compound bows:
It is maybe one of the best kids bow as it is widely adjustable, it is the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Bow.
It has been available in many models over the years. It will also fit growing teenagers and even adults who are getting into archery. The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge is adjustable from 5 lbs. to 70 lbs.
Click on – Diamond Archery Infinite Edge to check the latest price on Amazon (affiliate link.)
Another good bow is the Genesis Archery bow which has a wide range of adjusting the draw length and draw weight. A lot of these bows are used in school sports, outdoor camps and normally local target archery clubs will have a few to try for the kids.
To check the latest price, visit – Genesis Bow (Amazon affiliate link.)
The third bow listed would be the Bear Archery Legit, it is also widely adjustable.
See my bow review here, for more information, click on – Bear Archery Legit Compound Bow Review.
These brand bows will also hold their value better if you want to sell the bow later on when they outgrow it.
What hand do you hold a bow in?
A right handed person would buy a right hand bow. A right handed person will hold the bow in their left hand, they use their right hand to draw back the bowstring.
A left hand handed youth when using a compound bow, would hold their bow in their right and pull back the bowstring with their left hand. A left handed youth, would buy a left hand bow.
(Eye dominance should also be a point to consider for the child, as it will help aiming.)
Most of the bows listed below are available in both right and left handed bows.
New Youth Compound Bow Models List 2022
FPS = Feet per second. LBS = pounds.
Some of these bows listed that have a longer draw length, might also be suitable for growing teens and females.
|Brand||Model||Axle to Axle Length||Draw Length||Draw Weight||Brace Height||Weight|
|Bear Archery||Special Edition Legit RTH||30"||14" - 30"||10 - 70 lbs||6"||3.8 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Legit RTH||30"||14" - 30"||10 - 70 lbs||6"||3.8 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Legit RTH Extra||30"||14" - 30"||10 - 70 lbs||6"||3.8 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Cruzer G2 RTH||30"||12" - 30"||5 - 70 lbs||6.5"||3.1 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Royale RTH||27"||12" - 27"||5 - 50 lbs||6"||2.7 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Royale RTH Extra||27"||12" - 27"||5 - 50 lbs||6"||2.7 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Limitless RTH||28"||19" - 29"||25 - 50 lbs||7"||3.7 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Pathfinder||26"||14" - 25"||15 - 29 lbs||7"||3.7 lbs|
|Bear Archery||Brave||26"||13.5" - 19.5"||15 - 25 lbs||5.5"||U/K|
|Bear Archery||Warrior||24.5"||19" - 25"||24 - 29 lbs||6.5 "||U/K|
|Bear Archery||Sucker Punch JR.||27"||12" - 27"||U/K||6"||U/K|
|Bowtech||Amplify||31.5"||21" - 30"||8 - 70 lbs||6"||4 lbs|
|Bowtech||Carbon Rose||30"||22.5" - 27"||40, 50, 60 lbs||7"||3.2 lbs|
|Diamond Archery||Edge XT||31"||19" - 31.5"||20 - 70 lbs||6.75"||3.7 lbs|
|Diamond Archery||Carbon Knockout||30"||22.5" - 27"||40, 50, 60 lbs||6.75"||3.2 lbs|
|Diamond Archery||Edge 320||32"||15" - 31"||7 - 70 lbs||7.25"||3.6 lbs|
|Diamond Archery||Infinite 305||32"||19" - 31"||7 - 70 lbs||7.25"||3.3 lbs|
|Diamond Archery||Prism||31"||18" - 30"||5 - 55 lbs||7"||3.2 lbs|
|Diamond Archery||Atomic||24"||12" - 24"||6 - 29 lbs||6"||1.9 lbs|
|Elite Archery||Basin||32.375"||16" - 30"||20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 lbs||6.6875"||3.9 lbs|
|Elite Archery||Ember||31.25"||15" - 29"||10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 lbs||6.25"||3.6 lbs|
|Genesis Archery||Mini Genesis||29 1/2"||14" - 25"||6-12 lbs||6 1/8"||2 lbs|
|Genesis Archery||Genesis||35 1/2"||15" - 30"||10 - 20 lbs||7 5/8"||3.5 lbs|
|Genesis Archery||Gen - X||35 1/2"||21" - 30"||25 - 40 lbs||7 5/8"||3.4 lbs|
|Brand||Model||Axle to Axle Length||Draw Length||Draw Weight||Brace Height||Weight|
|Hoyt Archery||Eclipse||29"||23.5" - 25.5" 26" - 28"||30, 40, 50, 60 lbs||6 3/4"||3.7 lbs|
|Hoyt Archery||Altus FX SVX||35 3/4"||22.5 - 24.5" 25 - 26" 26.5 - 27.5" 28" - 29" 29.5" - 30"||40, 50, 55, 60, 70 lbs||6 1/2"||4.4 lbs|
|Martin Archery||REV||31"||20" - 30"||Up to 70 lbs||7 1/2"||3.6 lbs|
|Martin Archery||Trident Bowfisher||31"||20" - 30"||40 - 50 lbs||7 1/4"||3.5 lbs|
|Martin Archery||TM Hunter 33||33"||18" - 30"||25 - 70 lbs||7"||3.6 lbs|
|Mathews||Prima||30"||21.5" - 27.5"||40, 50, 60 lbs||5 1/2"||3.93 lbs|
|Mathews||Tactic||30.5"||23" - 30"||50, 60, 70 lbs||7"||4.24"|
|Mathews||Stoke||27 1/4"||21" - 27"||40, 50, 60 lbs||5 5/8"||3.78 lbs|
|Mission Archery||Switch||31"||18" - 30"||11 - 70 lbs||6 7/8"||3.84"|
|Mission Archery||Hammr||28"||17" - 29"||16 - 70 lbs||6 1/4"||3.4 lbs|
|Mission Archery||Radik||28"||17" - 28"||10 - 50 lbs||6 1/8"||3.04 lbs|
|Moxie Archery||Gitgo||33.9375||23" - 24"||30, 40, 50, 60 lbs||5 3/4"||3.75 lbs|
|Obsession Archery||Hashtag||32.375"||18" - 26.5"||15 - 60 lbs||6.375"||3.6 lbs|
|Prime Archery||Nexus 2||32"||23" - 30"||40, 50, 60, 70, 80 lbs||6"||4.25 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Bandit NXT||28"||20 1/2" - 26"||40, 50 lbs||6 1/8"||3.7 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Brute NXT||30 3/4"||22 1/2" - 30"||55, 70 lbs||6 1/2"||3.5 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Stinger Max||30"||21 1/2" - 30"||55, 70 lbs||7"||3.8 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Uprising||30"||14" - 30"||12 - 72 lbs||6 5/8"||3.2 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Mini Burner||26"||16" - 26 1/2"||29, 40 lbs||6 5/8"||2.5 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Micro Midas||24"||14 1/2" - 24 1/2"||8 - 29 lbs||6"||2.5 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Citation 34 EM||34"||21 1/2" - 27 1/2"||50, 60 lbs||6 1/2"||4.6 lbs|
|PSE Archery||Guide Youth Compound Bowset||25 1/4"||16 1/2" - 26"||8 - 26 lbs||7"||U/K|
|Quest Bowhunting||Centec NXT||26"||19" - 26"||15 - 45 lbs||6"||2.8 lbs|
|Brand||Model||Axle to Axle Length||Draw Length||Draw Weight||Brace Height||Weight|
More Archery FAQs
How to adjust draw weight on a bear youth compound bow?
The same way as a normal compound. You use a Hex key or Allen key to wind down or up the limb bolts to adjust the bow’s poundage.
Winding down the limb bolts to tighten it, will increase the bow’s poundage.
Loosening the limb bolts will reduce the poundage. (Do not loosen the limb bolts beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation.)
Do I have to string a youth compound bow?
No, most compounds will be pre-strung. You leave them strung all the time, even in storage for a long time.
(You can loosen off the limb bolts a bit to reduce pressure on the limbs, cams, bowstring and cables for long term storage if you want.)
What is the difference between adult compound bow and a youth bow?
The main difference is the draw length and draw weight ranges of the bow.
A youth bow will be lighter, generally shorter and have a wider range of adjustability to suit a growing person.
What size arrows for youth compound bow?
If you buy a compound bow package, the arrows should be properly spined for the bow.
When no arrows come with the bow, the archery pro shop should match the arrows up.
If you buy online, Easton Archery, Victory Arrows, Gold Tip, Carbon Express, etc. will have arrow charts and calculators to match the child’s bow. You put the arrow length, bow weight, draw length into the calculator.
(If you do buy them online, you might have to buy field points or target points with them.)
For the arrow length, ensure that it sticks past the bows riser a fare few inches. This allows the arrows won’t be too short when the youth grows and the archers draw length gets longer.
A too short arrow can be dangerous as it can come off the arrow rest when at full draw and into the archers hand.
What does a youth compound bow mean?
It is designed for smaller frame kids. The bow’s draw weight and draw length will be adjustable in a wide range for a growing youngster.
The bow might even be suitable for young children, growing teenagers or small framed adults if it has a wide adjustable range.
How to tell if a compound bow is youth or adult?
An adult bow might range in poundage of around 10 lbs.
As an example, from 40 lbs. to 50 lbs., or 50 lbs. to 60 lbs. Or for a bowhunting model, 60 lbs. to 70 lbs.
A kid’s compound might range from 10 lbs. to 50 lbs. The draw length will vary widely as well.
A youth bow might be shorter and lighter as well.
Where is the best place to buy a women’s or youth compound bow for archery?
Your local archery dealer would be a good place as they can properly fit the child or women to the bow.
Lancaster Archery, Bass Pro, Cabela’s and other outdoor and sporting stores can advise on whether the bow will be suitable as your child grows.
One important point is they can advise on what else you need to be able shoot.
While you can certainly buy cheap kids bows, the no-name brands have questionable quality. Especially the bow kits with arrows. Stick with quality arrows that come with the brand bow. Or buy brand names like Easton, Carbon Express, Gold Tip, Beeman Arrows, etc.
Caution – Do not buy cheap quality arrows as they can be dangerous. The arrows can break and fracture easily.
If you buy carbon arrows, or they come with the bow, check them often for the child, to make sure they don’t have any cracks or splinters in them. Safety first.
How Many Types of Bows Are There?
There are three main type of bows. (Four if you count the crossbow.)
They are the 1. Recurve bow. 2. Longbow. 3. Compound bow.
There are many variations of limb designs with recurve and longbow.
A compound bow has cams, (or wheels) and cables.
For the difference between a compound bow, recurve bow and longbow click on – Types of Bows
Additional Resources And Information
Parts of a Compound Bow with Diagrams
A youth compound bow will last for a long time with some care. For bowstring care, click on – How Often Should You Wax Your Bow String.