I was 12 years old when I got my first youth compound bow. It was a gift from my grandfather, who was an avid hunter and archer. He taught me how to hold, aim, and shoot the bow, and how to adjust the draw weight and length as I grew.
It felt easier to use and draw than my grandad’s bow and was lighter and more comfortable to carry. He said that this youth compound bow was perfect for me.
We used to go to the woods every weekend, and practice shooting at targets and small animals. He would correct me sternly for every miss and praise me gloriously for every hit,
He would tell me stories about his hunting adventures, and how he once shot a deer with his bow from 50 yards away. He said that one day, I would be able to do the same–
Diamond Archery Infinite 305
- Rotating modules for at-home adjustments without a bow press.
- Aluminum cams and riser for a lightweight and durable build.
- Velocities up to 305 feet per second for versatile hunting.
- Adjustable draw length from 19" to 31".
- Draw weight ranging from 7 to 70 pounds based on draw length.
- Designed for wide-ranging uses, ages, and skill levels.
A youth compound bow is for people under 18 years of age. The draw weight of most youth compound bows is typically lower than that of an adult compound bow, making them easier to use and draw.
- The Top Best Youth Compound bows in 2024
- How do I choose a youth compound bow?
- How do you size a youth bow?
- How big is a youth compound bow?
- How many years is a compound bow good for?
- How much does a youth compound bow cost?
- What type of arrow should I use with a youth compound bow?
- Is a youth compound bow suitable for hunting?
- What are some basic safety guidelines for using a youth compound bow?
- What is the difference between a regular and a youth compound bow?
The Top Best Youth Compound bows in 2024
The best youth compound bows, in no particular order, are Diamond Archery Prism, Genesis Original, Bear Archery Limitless, Barnett Vortex Lite, and Bear Archery Royale.
All of these bows have been live-tested or reviewed by archers with over 50 years of combined archery experience.
I tested one of the bows but wanted to offer diverse viewpoints, so I asked some expert friends (together with their families) to share their experiences–some more exhaustive than others.
Each of these bows offers something unique for young archers, from adjustable draw weights to easy maneuverability.
Diamond Archery Prism
The Diamond Archery Prism is a compound bow that is designed for recreational archers of all ages and skill levels. It has several features that make it good for youths, such as:
- It has an extreme-adjustability limb system that allows the draw weight to be changed from 5 to 55 pounds, depending on the archer’s strength and preference. The 5 lb start point makes it the best bow for beginners.
- It has rotating modules that adjust the draw length from 18 to 30 inches, without the use of tools, to fit the archer’s height and arm span.
- It delivers high performance and looks cool with a dual cam system, a string stop, and six different colors to choose from.
- If you buy the package, it comes fully equipped with user-friendly and durable accessories, such as a sight, a rest, and a peep. The archer only needs to add arrows to start shooting.
Diamond Archery Prism
- Lightweight And Powerful - Enjoy a precise shot while out in the field with the Diamond Archery Prism 5-55 Compound Bow. The solid composite limb can handle draw weights from 5 to 55 pounds, while the aluminum riser is lightweight and powerful
- Versatile Bow - Diamond Archery Prism Compound bow features the latest grow-with-you bow design, the Prism offers extreme versatility and adjustability to make it easy for developing archers to learn and grow
- Adjustable - Extreme adjustability limb system offers draw weight adjustment from 5-55 lbs., while the bow's rotating modules provide a huge draw length adjustment from 18"-30" to match the archer's growth and development
- Dual Cam Design - The bow is easy to use and very smooth to draw, thanks to its dual cam system; The dual cam design with sealed speed bearings delivers fast arrow speeds, and the integrated string stop helps prevent string oscillation after release
“The Diamond Prism works great for both kids and women. My best friend’s wife has been shooting one for three years–she’s 5’8″.” -Billy
This review dives into the capabilities of the Diamond Prism bow through testing and analysis. It examines the impact of different arrow weights on arrow speed and explores the smoothness of the draw cycle.
The test consists of shooting through a chronograph to measure its speed, resulting in speed readings for each arrow weight to give an idea of the bow’s performance.
Arrow Weight Performance:
Heavy Arrow (425 grains): This heavier arrow reached a velocity of 229 feet per second.
Medium Arrow (375 grains): Shifting to a lighter arrow, the speed increased to 243 feet per second.
Light Arrow (325 grains): The lightest arrow achieved the highest speed, clocking in at 260 feet per second.
Draw Curve Analysis:
Using a bow scale, a draw curve chart reveals that the bow starts at 8 inches and reaches peak weight (52-53 pounds) around 14 inches. This early peak signifies a powerful launch while maintaining a manageable holding weight. After reaching peak weight, the draw breaks over smoothly, creating a comfortable and consistent pulling experience.
The Diamond Prism exhibits good performance across a range of arrow weights, with lighter arrows achieving higher speeds.
The draw curve is smooth and manageable, making it a comfortable bow to shoot for archers of various skill levels.
The Genesis Original bow is great for youths because it is designed to fit virtually anyone, regardless of age, size, or skill level. It has a single cam, which means no tuning problems, less recoil, more accuracy, and less noise.
It also has a zero let-off design, which means the draw weight remains constant throughout the draw cycle, making it easy to shoot. More specifically, the bow features a progressive let-off, with the maximum amount of let-off occurring early in the draw cycle and maintaining it throughout.
The bow has a low draw weight, focusing more on the technique of archery rather than heavy poundage.
There is virtually no specified draw length, making it adaptable to different individuals and draw lengths.
The Genesis Original bow is the official bow of NASP®, the National Archery in the Schools Program, which has introduced millions of students to archery since 2002. Approximately 120 schools with 24,000 students use this bow in their competitions.
The Genesis bow ensures that everyone, regardless of height or age, has the same chance to shoot the bow and compete on equal grounds, making it the best youth bow.
“At my range, I see a lot of fathers and daughters that come to shoot, and a lot of the dads are shooting these things …”
“The bows are rented out every day and subjected to regular use in school programs. Despite the frequent use, the bows continue to work well, highlighting their durability.” -Elijah, Archery Range Owner
Bear Archery Royale
The Bear Archery Royale is a compound bow that is designed for young archers who want to learn and improve their skills. It is a lightweight, versatile, and adjustable youth archery bow that can grow with the user.
Some of the reasons why the Bear Archery Royale is suitable for youths are:
- It has a draw weight range of 5 to 50 lbs, which means it can be easily pulled by beginners and can be increased as the user gains strength and experience.
- It has a draw length range of 12 to 27 inches, which means it can fit different arm lengths and can be adjusted as the user grows taller.
It has a low mass weight of 2.7 lbs (bare bow) and 3.3 lbs (with accessories), which means it is easy to carry and hold for long periods of time.
- It has a smooth draw cycle, a 75% let-off, and a speed of 290 fps, which means it offers a comfortable shooting experience and a good performance.
Bear Archery Royale Ready to Hunt Compound Bow
- Versatile: Extremely versatile bow that can be easily adjusted
- Adjustable: Adjustable from 12 to 27 inches in draw length and from 5 to 50 lbs. peak draw weight
- Ready To Hunt: Ready to hunt bow comes equipped with Trophy Ridge and Fletcher Archery accessories
- Lightweight: Weighs only 2.7 lbs. bow only and 3.3 lbs. with included accessories
- Speed: Fires arrows at 290 feet per second
A test-fire experience by Elijah’s middle schooler, Noah:
- He said it “looks really good” and “fits” him well.
- He enjoyed shooting it and found it to be “fun.”
- He was able to draw and hold the bow with ease, indicating the weight was appropriate for him.
Barnett Vortex Lite
The Barnett Vortex Lite Compound Bow is a great option for young archers who are looking for a bow that can grow with them as they advance in skill.
This Barnett compound bow is adjustable in draw weight and draw length, so it can be customized to fit the archer’s size and strength.
It also comes with a variety of features that make it perfect for target practice or hunting, such as a 3-pin fiber optic sight, an oversized dual cam system, and an adjustable arrow rest.
A test-fire experience by Jack (one of my reviewer buddies)
Fine-Tuning at Twenty Yards: Moving further, arrows dip low. Jack did some sight adjustments, correcting for accuracy and fine-tune the sight housing. Despite some minor challenges (like short fiber optics after lowering the sight), the Vortex delivers satisfactory performance at this distance.
While facing some adjustment hurdles, the Vortex proves itself worthy for beginners—a compound bow fit for Barnett kids.
Barnett Vortex Lite
- Barnett Vortex Lite Compound Bow For Youth And Teens: Versatile and well-equipped compound vertical bow designed to adjust with the advancing skills of developing archers. Bow comes ready to shoot in a package with two arrows and an attached quiver
- Beginner Friendly: The bow allows for modular adjustments to the draw weight and draw length, depending on the archer's stature and strength. The draw length adjusts in 1" increments and the draw weight adjusts 18-29 lbs
- High Quality: Vortex compound bow is constructed to Ata/Amo standards, and is in the color Mossy Oak Break Up Country, which allows the bow to easily camouflage
Bear Archery Limitless
The Bear Archery Limitless is a bow that is highly adjustable in both draw weight and draw length, making it suitable for a wide range of archers. It has a dual cam system that delivers a speed of 265 fps, which is enough for target shooting and small game hunting.
The Limitless has a 28-inch axle-to-axle length, making it maneuverable in tight spaces. Its draw weight ranges from 25 to 50 pounds, and the draw length can be adjusted from 19 to 29 inches without needing a bow press, making it suitable for a variety of users.
A test-fire experience by Sally (Jack’s wife)
The Limitless truly shines when you release the string. The draw cycle is silky smooth, making aiming effortless. And thanks to the 65% let-off, holding full draw feels comfortable and controlled. Sally even pushed its limits with those tough Blackout target bags, and it handled them with ease. Impressive stuff indeed!
How do I choose a youth compound bow?
When shopping for a youth compound bow, it’s essential to consider the draw weight, size, and additional accessories.
Draw weights for youth compound bows are typically 14 to 24 pounds, and the size should be appropriate for the archer’s age. Accessories such as a bow sight, arrow rest, and stabilizers can help improve accuracy and comfort for the shooter.
Buyers Guide for Youth Compound Bows
Choosing the right youth compound bow is crucial for growing archers. When selecting a bow, consider a few key points: draw length, weight, and the type of bow.
Draw length is essential when selecting a bow, as it determines how far the archer can pull the bowstring back. An archery bow that is too long for the archer can be challenging to draw, while too short one will not provide enough power. Look for a bow with an adjustable draw length that fits the archer’s size and strength.
The ideal draw weight for youth archers is between 10 and 20 lbs. Starting with a lighter draw weight is a good idea for young archers, as it will be easier to draw and help build confidence.
The type of bow
The compound bow is a popular type of bow for archery. This type has a pulley system and cables that help reduce the draw weight and make the bow more efficient.
What if you don’t want to do it yourself?
Go to a Pro Archery Shop
Think of a pro archery shop as a bow playground for your kid. It’s where you can get expert tuning for your bow, but the real fun starts when your little archer gets to test-drive different bows for kids. It’s like finding the perfect pair of shoes, but instead of squeaking down the hallways, they’ll be sending arrows soaring.
Bear Archery Cruzer G2
- Versatile: Maximum-versatility bow is engineered for all ages and skill levels
- Ready To Hunt: Ready to hunt bow comes equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories
- Adjustable: Adjustable from 12" to 30" draw length range and from 5 to 70 lbs. peak draw weight
- Easy Adjustments: All adjustments are made using an Allen wrench with no need for a bow press
- Lightweight Power: Weighs only 3 lbs. and fires arrows at 315 feet per second
Enrol in Archery Lessons and Youth Programs
Before mastering the draw and release, let your child learn the joy of archery through loaner programs. These programs focus on fundamentals and safety, ensuring your child builds a strong foundation before owning their own equipment.
These programs let your child say, ‘Yes, I can!’ to archery. As they master each loaner bow, their confidence soars, making them excited and prepared to choose their own–under your guidance, of course.
How do you size a youth bow?
Figuring out the right size bow for your little one can be tricky – let’s see how to do it. The archery bow won’t be comfortable to shoot without the right size and might not get the best results. You’ll need to measure the draw length to size a youth bow.
It is the distance between the bow’s grip and the string at full draw.
To get an accurate measurement:
- Have your kid stand up straight with their arm outstretched to the side and their palm facing forward.
- Measure from the center of their chest, across their shoulder, and down the arm to the tip of their middle finger.
This measurement will give you the draw length you need for your kid’s bow.
The draw weight should be appropriate for the age and strength of your kid. When selecting a bow for your kid, look for one with a draw weight suitable for their age and strength.
Bows with a draw weight that is too light won’t produce enough power for proper shooting, and the ones with a heavy draw weight can be difficult to draw and control.
Finding the right youth compound bow for your child doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need to know is their draw length and the recommended draw weight for their age and strength.
Diamond Archery Edge 320
- Powered by Bowtech's Synchronized Binary Cam System for arrow velocity of 320 fps
- Adjust draw length from 15 to 31 inches long
- The limb system allows for adjustability from a mere 7 lbs to a heavy impacting 70 lbs
- Offers flawless, straight-line nock travel and exceptional tuneability that sticks
- Fully equipped and ready to go right out of the box
How big is a youth compound bow?
A youth compound bow is typically sized based on the archer’s draw length and weight.
- When the bow is at full draw, you determine the draw length by the distance between the arrow’s nock point and the bow’s pivot point.
- Generally, a youth compound bow can range from draw lengths of 16-26 inches and draw weights of 10-40 pounds.
The length of the bow is from the tip of the lower limb to the end of the upper limb and can range from 26-36 inches. The width of the bow will vary depending on the bow model, but generally, youth bows are slim and short.
The shape of the bow will also vary depending on the model, but the traditional form of a compound bow is more or less rectangular with a rounded center.
Youth compound bows come in various sizes, so select a bow that fits your young archer.
How many years is a compound bow good for?
Generally, a youth compound bow may last 15 to 18 years, depending on the care and usage.
Here are four steps to ensure your bow lasts its entire life:
- Regularly clean the bow
- Store it in a cool, dry place.
- Check the strings regularly for wear and tear
- Keep the bow in a protective case
Proper maintenance is vital to ensuring a compound bow lasts. Keeping it clean, inspecting it regularly, and storing it in the right place will ensure it is in good condition for many years.
Investing in a quality bow can ensure you get the most out of your purchase.
How much does a youth compound bow cost?
Depending on the size and features, a youth compound bow can cost anywhere from $150 to $700. Bows for younger archers usually range from $150 to $300, while the ones for more experienced archers can cost $400 to $700 or higher.
Choosing a bow that fits the archer’s size, strength, and skill level is essential.
Topoint Archery M1
- Unleash your inner archer with this right-handed bow that can shoot arrows at a blazing speed of 320 fps.
- Adjust to your preference with the versatile draw weight of 19-70 lbs and the draw length of 19-30 inches that can be changed without a bow press.
- Enjoy a smooth and stable shooting experience with the compact axle-to-axle length of 28 inches, the comfortable brace height of 7 inches, and the generous let-off of 80 percent.
- Carry it with ease as it weighs only 3.31 lbs, making it one of the lightest bows in its class.
What type of arrow should I use with a youth compound bow?
The type of arrow you use is essential when using a youth compound bow. It’s best to select the one for a compound bow, as this will ensure its correct weight and length.
Carbon arrows are usually preferred, as they are lightweight and durable, but aluminum arrows are also an option. Additionally, be sure the arrow has the appropriate fletching and nock for the bow.
Is a youth compound bow suitable for hunting?
A youth compound bow can be suitable for hunting, depending on the size and draw weight of the bow. Generally, bows for youth should have a draw weight of 30 to 40 pounds and draw lengths of 22 inches to 26 inches.
If the bow meets these specifications, you can use the youth compound bow for hunting. However, the hunter should have proper training and shoot in an area where the game is legal and safe.
What are some basic safety guidelines for using a youth compound bow?
When using a youth compound bow, safety should always be a priority. Before shooting, ensure you are in an open area with no obstacles.
Wear protective gear like a face mask, arm guard, and finger tab. Never shoot your bow if you feel tired or uncomfortable, as fatigue can lead to poor posture and incorrect form.
Ensure you properly affix the arrow to the bowstring and that the nock is seated correctly. Make sure the bowstring is free from any knots or kinks.
Never point your bow at anything you do not intend to shoot. Following these safety guidelines will ensure a safe and enjoyable shooting experience.
What is the difference between a regular and a youth compound bow?
A compound bow can be a great start in archery. Compound bows come in two varieties – youth and regular. The draw weight is the main difference between a youth compound bow and a traditional compound bow.
Youth compound bows have a lower draw weight than regular compound bows, making them easier to draw and learn. Youth compound bows also tend to be shorter than traditional compound bows, allowing for a better fit for younger shooters.
With the right size, draw length, and draw weight, your young archer will have a perfect bow for their age and skill level. Properly maintaining a youth compound bow can last up to several years.
With all these factors, you can pick the best youth compound bow for your young archer to enjoy the full advantage of their archery experience.