Best Beginner Compound Bows

Mar 14, 2022Archery Equipment, Bows

Compound bows are a great option for beginners. However, with so many out there it can often be a little challenging to find the best beginner compound bow. Luckily, we’re here to help you navigate this problem. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know when choosing a beginner compound bow along with the best options on the market today!

What Is A Compound Bow?

Compound bows are modern bows that use a system of pulleys and cables to bend the limbs and shoot arrows. Just like traditional bows, compound bows use the energy that is stored in the limbs. The string is pulled back in order to propel the arrow forward upon release. The difference is that the system of pulleys and cables makes this much easier to pull and hold while at full draw.

Traditional style bows require you to pull and hold full draw weight at all times. Compound bows require the same strength to pull back, but with one key difference. That difference is “let-off”. Once you reach a specific point in the draw cycle, you hit a “valley” or “let-off”. Let-off is a percentage of the bows draw weight. For instance, let’s say you have a 55 pound draw weight at 75% let-off. Once you reach the valley, you’d be holding just over 13 pounds. This helps reduce fatigue and allows for improved aiming.

Why Shoot a Compound Bow?

Compound bows offer many advantages over traditional bows, such as better performance and a let-off like we previously discussed. Compound bows are also much easier to draw, aim, and shoot. They give much more reliable, repeatable results, and take much less practice and skill to use effectively.

Compound bows are also built to accommodate more accessories. Sights, arrow rests, and mechanical releases make the entire process much easier as well. Traditional bows are easier to simply pick up and shoot. However, compound bows are far superior in terms of accuracy and power. This is why they’ve grown to become one of the most popular bow types in the world.

Things to Consider When Buying Your First Compound Bow

There are many things to take into consideration before actually purchasing your first compound bow. Unlike firearms, bows have many different features and parts that help to customize them for a specific person or stature. Before spending any money, you’ll want to consider a few things such as:

Handedness/Eye Dominance

Bows can be found in either right-hand or left-handed variances. Even more important, you must determine your eye dominance. This plays a vital role in which version of a bow you buy. A quick test to determine eye dominance is to extend your arms in front of you and create a triangle with your fingers. With both of your eyes open, place a distant object in the center of the triangle. Now close your left eye. If the object is still in the center of the triangle, then your right eye is your dominant eye. If it is not centered, then your left eye is your dominant eye. To learn more, we have a complete article on hand and eye dominance to determine your dominant preference.

Draw Length

Draw length is the distance you pull back on the bowstring and is measured from the apex of the string to the throat of the grip. This is important, as compound bows are made with different draw lengths to accommodate different physical sizes. A quick method to determine draw length is to measure your outstretched arms span from middle fingertip to middle fingertip. Take this measurement and divide it by 2.5. This will give you a rough estimate of your ideal draw length.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the amount of force that is required to pull back a bow and is measured in pounds. It is important to choose a draw weight that you can comfortably draw back. As a good starting point, children will usually be best suited with draw weights from 10 to 20 pounds. Women pull from 30 to 50 pounds and men from 50 to 70 pounds.

Brace Height

Brace height is a bow’s distance from the grip to the deepest section of the bowstring. Most compound bows have a brace height of 6 to 7 inches, although some will be slightly longer or shorter. Brace height is important to consider as the shorter the brace height, the less forgiving the bow will be. The longer the brace height the more forgiving the bow will be. Shorter brace height is more prone to user error while a longer brace height allows less room for error. This is because the arrow leaves the string sooner with a longer brace height.


It is no secret that some compound bows can be relatively expensive, but it’s important to remember that the more you spend, the higher quality you can expect. Set a budget and try to stick to it. Get the highest quality bow and equipment you can, while trying to stay within your budget.

Best Beginner Compound Bows

Now that you know what to look for in a bow, let’s take a look at some of the best beginner compound bows out on the market. These bows all have various measurements, features, and price points in order to help you find the one that is perfect for your needs!

Best Kids Compound Bows

1. Genesis Mini

The Genesis Mini is a bow that can be comfortably used by kids of all ages. It has an aluminum riser with composite limbs, allowing it to weigh in at only 2 pounds. Overall length from axle to axle is 29 and a half inches, and you can adjust the draw weight from 6 to 12 pounds. The bow even comes with an additional armguard, tube quiver, and five arrows to get started.

2. Bear Archery Apprentice

Easily one of the most affordable kids bows, the Bear Archery Apprentice is designed for kids ages 4 and up. You can adjust the draw length from 14 inches to 24 inches, and the draw weight from 6 pounds to 13.5 pounds. With a short 27 inch axle to axle length, kids will love the small size and the additional arrow rest, arrows, finger rollers and target it comes with.

Best Youth Compound Bows

1. Original Genesis Compound Bow

For a truly versatile bow that can grow and adapt for use with youth shooters, the Original Genesis compound bow is extremely adjustable. It weighs 2.9 pounds and has a 35 inch axle to axle length, but what sets this bow apart is its adjustable draw length. This can be set up from 15 inches all the way to 30 inches, ensuring that the draw length is always the right size for the kid that is shooting it.

2. PSE Micro Midas RTS

With an axle to axle length of 24 inches and a weight of 2.5 pounds, the PSE Micro Midas RTS is designed to be an extremely small and lightweight bow while also being capable of hunting applications. It has an adjustable draw length of 14.5 to 24.75 inches and comes equipped with a 3-pin sight, a quiver, an arrow rest, and three arrows to get you started.

3. PSE Guide

Another fine bow from PSE, the PSE Guide has an adjustable draw length of 16.5 to 26 inches and draw weights of 12 to 29 pounds. Recommended for kids ages 10 and up, it has a 25 inch axle to axle length and a brace height of 7 inches. It also comes with plenty of extras, including a quiver, armguard, arrows, finger rollers, sight, and rest.

4. Bear Archery Warrior 3

Last but certainly not least for youth bows, we have the Bear Archery Warrior 3. This bow has adjustable draw weight of 24 to 29 pounds and a draw length of 19 to 25 inches. With a brace height of 6.5 inches and 60% let off, it is a great option for older kids who want a more adult looking bow. It comes equipped with a quiver, armguard, finger tab, rest, and sight as well.

Best Compound Bows for Adults

1. BlackOut Intrigue XS Compound Bow

The BlackOut Intrigue is a great option for a female compound bow as it is highly adjustable and very lightweight. It features an 80% let-off with a compact 30 inch axle to axle length. You can also adjust the draw length from 19 to 30 inches, as well as the draw weight from 31 to 70 pounds. Because of its compact design and full range of adjustability, women will love the ability to set up this bow to their preferences. It comes equipped with a sight, rest, quiver, stabilizer and wrist sling as well.

2. Bear Archery Cruzer G2

Another bow with amazing adjustability, the Cruzer G2 from Bear Archery has a draw length of 12 to 30 inches and draw weight from 5 to 70 pounds. Like the BlackOut Intrigue, it also comes in at 30 inches from axle to axle. Also a great option as a female compound bow, the Cruzer G2 is a high quality compound bow that can grow with you and your skillset. It also comes equipped with everything you need to start shooting or hunting.

3. Diamond Edge 320

For a beginner bow that has a little more power and features, the Diamond Edge 320 is also very adjustable with 7 to 70 pounds of draw weight and 15 to 31 inches of draw length. Weighing in at 3.6 pounds, it is also a little longer than others here on our list at 32 inches from axle to axle. You’ll enjoy the 85% let-off, especially when target shooting or hunting and can expect arrow speeds of up to 320 feet per second. Like others here on our list, it comes pre-equipped with accessories such as a sight, rest, quiver, and stabilizer to ensure it is ready to go.

4. Diamond Infinite 305

Designed as a budget friendly hunting bow, the Diamond Infinite 305 makes for an excellent beginner bow for both men and women alike. It has draw lengths from 19 to 31 inches, with draw weights from 5 to 70 pounds. You get 77% letoff when at full draw and its overall length comes in at 32 inches from axle to axle. With a light weight of 3.3 pounds, you can easily use this bow for whatever you need and never get tired from holding it while shooting. It comes with a sight, rest, quiver, and stabilizer so that it’s ready to deploy.

5. PSE Archery Uprising RTS

Another bow that was originally designed for hunting, the PSE Archery Uprising RTS is a popular option for beginners as it’s easy to use at a good price point. It has draw weights of 15 to 70 pounds and draw lengths of 14 to 30 inches. With a 65% let off and a 30 inch axle to axle length, it’s a little smaller than other options here on our list but it’s still very lightweight and versatile. Like other beginner compound bows, it comes already outfitted with a sight, rest, quiver, and stabilizer.

Final Thoughts

Finding the perfect beginner compound bow does not have to be a stressful or challenging process. After deciding what works best for you, any of these compound bows are sure to provide plenty of great practice and accuracy as you’re getting started. Now that you know what to look for and which models to keep an eye out for, you can get started in the exciting world of compound archery!

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