The best youth compound bow review and guide

It is no secret that shooting a bow and arrow is a favorite memory of childhood, playing with bows and arrows make up many sunny afternoons and playtime but a real archery set can also bring years of fun to a child. How do you make the transition from toy to a real bow and arrow? For someone new to archery it can be confusing when trying to choose the right one. The following guide is the perhaps the best youth compound bow review and guide you’ll find online today. Also, make sure you check out the USA archery site if you are thinking of getting started in archery.

Youth Archery
“Archery Sessions” by Heatherton – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

How to choose the correct bow for kids?

So how do you pick the best bow for your child? You’ll want to look at the following details:

  1. Your Child’s Age and Size – age is perhaps one of the most important details when choosing an archery set, you’ll also want to keep in mind the strength and size of your child. The perfect age to learn the skill of archery is between 7 to 8 years old, at this age your child will not only be strong enough but also tall enough to hold the bow properly.
  2. Draw Weight – draw weight, the amount of force it takes to pull back the bow, should also be considered. For a small child you’ll want to select a bow with approximately one pound of draw, for a child that is older, around 4-7 years old a bow with 8 to 12 pounds of draw is usually right. Finally for older children a bow with around 13 to 16 pounds of draw is best.
  3. Total Weight – total weight of the bow and arrow set means the combined weight of the bow, arrows and any other equipment you may be carrying. Obviously the smaller the child, the smaller the total weight should be and so on. On average a bow with a total weight of 3 to 4 pounds will be comfortable for prolonged use by your child.
"Daniel Castro Gil" by Dancast777 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
“Daniel Castro Gil” by Dancast777 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

How to use a compound bow?

For those who likes to learn how to shoot a compound bow, here’s a good video from Queen’s Archery. The video shows you the step by step guide on how to use a compound bow.

The best compound bows for youth

Now that you understand the basic details let’s take a look at some of the best youth compound bows on the market today, all the bows reviewed below are designed for youth.

Barnett Outdoors Lil Banshee Jr. Compound Youth Archery Set

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This bow is a compound bow, this means that it will be a lot easier for your child to draw back and shoot. This particular bow also comes with its own set of arrows however the quality of these aren’t as good as you may purchase separately. Though this is one of the more economical bows on the market it is not cheaply made, the strings last an incredibly long time and the bow itself feels sturdy.

This bow can be used by both boys and girls, the Barnett Lil Banshee Jr. can also be used in either the right or left hand so that gives you some flexibility. The shaft of the bow comes in a variety of colors to suit either a boy or girl and it’s also coated with a soft grip. This grip allows for extra ease of handling when your child is shooting. It also adds an extra element of safety. The nitty gritty details – the Lil Banshee Jr has an 18 pound draw with an 18 to 22 inch draw length. This bow is definitely too small for any adult to handle but more than enough for a child. Overall a great starter bow that is “ready to shoot” out of the box.  

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Bear Archery Brave Bow Set

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A great bow for kids with an adjustable draw weight, this model is another compound bow that comes ready to shoot out of the box. Bear has a great reputation among adult and professional bows and it doesn’t let down with the youth model here. Though Bear suggests the model be used with ages 8 and up you can use some discretion if a younger child is strong or particularly athletic.

It comes with a whisker biscuit which acts as an arrow rest, this can be helpful for children still learning how to draw on their own and maintain a sight on a target. It should be noted that this bow does not have a sight but you can make your own to “peep” on. In backyard tests the accuracy is really good at 30 feet which makes a huge first impression right out of the box

The bow itself is made of a durable composite material and it feels good in your hands, it’s made well for “small hands” and the grip is good. The quiver, however, comes already attached to the bow and depending on the draw may get in the way of shooting. That is perhaps the only downside to this particular setup.

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Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow

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Crosman is another great manufacturer of quality bows for both adults and children, the Crosman Elkhorn Jr. is no different. The bow itself is made to look just like an adult’s bow so your child will feel like they have something just like the “big kids”. The bow is one of the best-selling kid’s sets on the market today in the youth bow. If you purchase the kit you’ll get a durable compound bow made of composite. The kit also includes two arrows, they are made of composite as well. There is no shortage of accessories either – the Elkhorn Jr. comes complete with a quiver, arm guard, sights, a finger tad and arrow rest.

The Crosman bow is an economical choice for a beginner, it is designed to show your child the joys of shooting a bow and arrow without breaking the bank. It’s perfect for any beginner and will last years into the hobby as your child journeys from novice to expert.

The bow itself is made from heavy-duty, all-weather strings and composite limbs that make up the body of the bow. The only lacking feature is the when you’re assembling the bow, there are not many instructions in the book so if you’re new to archery you may want to check resources online.

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PSE Youth Heritage Compound Bow Set

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Another great compound bow designed for the youth market, the PSE Youth Heritage set requires some assembly so it’s best if you have some experience in archery or the ability to research assembly. This bow resembles an adult version and that may hold appeal for the child that wants to be “just like you”. It should be noted that the bow is designed for right-handers only so be aware of that when you purchase.

This bow draws at between 12 to 29 pounds and is recommended for ages 7 and up. A younger child may be able to draw this bow, just be aware of your own child’s limitations or skill. The PSE Youth Heritage is a great model for someone just starting out or teaching their child the skill of archery. In tests the accuracy of this model was in the 10 yard range (approximately).

The bow comes with accessories including a quiver and arrow rest. The bow is made well with shaft, limbs and bow made out of durable composite. It fits well in a smaller grip however out of all the bows reviewed this is the least favored, it is difficult to adjust and has some limitations.

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Overall the best youth bow reviewed would have to be the Crosman Elkhorn Jr., the Crosman delivers a name brand quality with an economical price. A close second would be the Bear Archery Brave Bow Set, another quality brand for a great price. These two bows offered a great all around archery set for youth with very few drawbacks.


My name is Austin. I built this website to be a place where outdoor enthusiasts from everywhere come to share what they know! I love with the intense feelings of freedom and adrenaline that only the outdoors gives me. I hope you find the content on this site to be helpful in your search.

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