Best Compound Bows for Beginners and Youth Review 2016

Crosman Archery Sentinel Youth Best bow Review

Archery can be a thrilling and rewarding sport, but it can also be frustrating if you do not have the right bow and arrow. At the end of the day, it is important to learn not only the basic skills, but you should also have the right gear. Through the years, they have evolved and new features have been introduced to address the drawbacks of the previous ones. If you are looking for a modern, quick, and powerful option, your best bet is a compound bow.

If you are searching for a compound bow, you will most likely be overwhelmed with the multiplicity of the options that you can find in the marketplace. They are available in all colors, sizes, and shapes, making it more difficult to pick which one is right for your preferences and skills. While each manufacturer will claim that their product is the best, do not immediately believe what they say, and instead, exert time and effort to thoroughly evaluate the alternatives.

In the rest of this buying guide, we will provide you with insights on some of the most important factors that should be taken into account in your search for the best compound bow. To make your life easier, we will also recommend five of the best choices that are sure to provide the best bang for the buck.

Know the Different Components of a Compound Bow

Before anything else, one of the first things that should be given emphasis would be the different parts of a compound bow. If you are a beginner, it is understandable if you do not know a lot about these components, but there should be no excuse for you to be ignorant.


The cams will be the first that you will notice from the compound bow. Simply put, they refer to the two wheels that are found on the end of the strings of the bow. Generally speaking, there are three major varieties, which include the following:

  • Soft Cam: Softer and slower pulling back of the bowstring will be possible with these cams. In addition, you can also do so with minimal effort and greater accuracy. It is also known for minimizing fatigue, which is why it is an excellent choice for beginners. However, compound bows with this type of cam are generally more expensive.
  • Aggressive Cam: Also known as hard cams, they are more powerful compared to compound bows with soft cams. Because of their speed and power, they are the common choice amongst seasoned hunters.
  • Single Cam: While the two that have been mentioned above have two cams, this type, as the name implies, only has a single cam. They are known for their ability to maintain structural integrity in spite of long-term use. More so, they are also quieter than double cams, which makes them ideal for hunting.


The limbs of the compound bow will be highly indicative of how powerful will be its performance. It refers to the two arms that are rigid but flexible. They are known for being able to withstand resistance and they are available in two different types:

  • Standard Limbs: Also known as solid limbs, they are made from one-piece material and usually offers the benefit of rigidity.
  • Split Limbs: It can be made from two different materials or from one material that is split into two. Compared to standard limbs, they are lighter and has less recoil.


This would refer to the handle of the bow and they are available in different designs and materials, which will have an impact on the price and performance of the compound bow. The following are the types of risers that are available:

  • Reflex Risers: This is beneficial in terms of distance and speed, but this is only more appropriate for those who are already experienced in the use of compound bows.
  • Deflex Risers: This leads into a curved appearance, which is more common in the traditional bows. It makes the compound bow easy to use.
  • Straight Risers: This is one of the least commonly used in the hunting world. Its performance is not as stunning, although it can be reasonably forgiving and fast.

Dimensions to Consider for a Compound Bow

If there is one thing that makes one compound bow different from the other, it would be its size. The latter will have an impact not only on the performance of the equipment, but also with regards to its ease of use.

  • Draw Weight: Measured in pounds, this will refer to the weight that will be required for the string to be pulled back. More often than not, experts recommend 50 to 70 pounds of draw weight for adult users.
  • Axle to Axle Length: Known as ATA for short, this will simply refer to the distance of the axles. If you want a bow that is more stable and easier to hold, look for one that has longer ATA.
  • Bow Length: If you are looking for a compound bow that is to be used for hunting, you will benefit from one that is smaller. The latter is also known for being more portable and easy to maneuver. However, it you want one that can deliver better accuracy and stability, longer bows are preferred. For novices, the ideal length of bow would be anywhere from 38 to 44 inches.

Other Factors to Consider

Aside from those that have been mentioned above, the following factors should be also looked at:

  • Adjustability: It will be good if you can choose a compound bow that has adjustable weight and length. This will also make it possible for the bow to be functional even for multiple users.
  • Silence: Sound suppression is one of the most important things that you should be looking for, as well as vibration dampening. Both will have an impact on the powerful performance of the compound bow.
  • ​Grip: It will be nice if you can physically try the compound bow before having it purchased so that you can have a feel of its grip. This will make it easier to choose one that is comfortable to handle.
  • ​Price: It is tempting to pick one with the cheapest price, but this may not always be a wise decision to make. At the end of the day, it will be better to spend more if this is tantamount into being able to enjoy superior quality.
  • Reviews: If it is your first time to buy a compound bow and if you are clueless about which one to pick, it will be good to spend time online, read online reviews, and see what other people have to say or recommend.

Top Picks for the Best Compound Bow

#1. Barnett Outdoors Lil Banshee Jr. Compound Youth Archery Set

For parents who are looking for a compound bow that will be perfect to teach archery for their kids, this will be an excellent pick. Aside from having an affordable price, it's also beginner-friendly, especially given its 18-pound draw weight.

When it comes to ease of use, this is going to be an option that is hard to match. Aside from having an ambidextrous handle, it is also has a soft-touch grip. For sure, users will love how comfortable it is to hold this compound bow, even if it is used for an extended period.

The warranty that is being offered by the manufacturer is one reason why this deserves to be considered above all others. It comes with a 5-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, providing you with the assurance of its long-lasting superior quality.

This specific set can provide the best value for money. Aside from being available with a reasonable price, it is already inclusive of all the things that kids will need to get started in archery. The package is inclusive of adjustable pin sight, finger rollers, and two arrows. The packaging that is used can also be functional as a carrying case.

​Things We Liked:

  • Affordable price
  • Ambidextrous design
  • Easy to grip

​Things We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit flimsy
  • Lack of power

#2. Crosman Archery Sentinel Youth Recurve Bow

Similar to the model that has been mentioned above, this is also made for younger users, which is why you can expect this to be user-friendly. Nonetheless, the biggest drawback is that you can expect its power to be minimal as well as it is meant only to give kids an introduction to archery.

Right when it is taken out of the box, it is ready to be used, as it is already pre-assembled. More so, it is also a good thing that it comes with a hand rest, which allows it to deliver the highest level of comfort for young users.

When it comes to the materials that are used in this compound bow, it can also prove to be impressive. The limbs, for instance, are made with the use of fiber-glass composites. While the latter can be heavier than other materials, it is known for being durable.

As it is made specifically for beginners, its specifications are a bit on the lower end. It has a 20 pound draw weight and 8-inch brace height. Overall, the product weighs only 2.8 pounds, making it ideal for young users.

​Things We Liked:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy to use

​Things We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit heavy
  • Made only for right-handed users

#3. Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow

While this is made specifically for kids, its appeal is comparable to the powerful compound bows that are made for adult users. For instance, it has a composite cam system, which will remind you of those that are made for more experienced users, although it is designed specifically for little archers.

Another thing that makes this impressive is the fact that it is heavy-duty. It comes with a well-thought design and high-quality components. It's cables, guards and strings, among other parts, are built to demonstrate powerful performance.

When it comes to its dimensions, it is also quite impressive given the fact that it is made for young users. The weight of the compound bow is 3.3 pounds. Meanwhile, its brace height is 8 inches. The draw weight is between 17 to 21 pounds.

Upon purchase, it already comes with different accessories that will be needed by young users to get started in their archery lessons. It has two composite arrows, 2-piece quiver, arm guard, sight, and finger tab.

​Things We Liked:

  • Complete package
  • Easy-to-understand instructions
  • Commendable accuracy given its price

​Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Made only for right-handed users
  • Arrows frequently slide from the string

#4. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

This is an entry-level compound bow that does not fall short in terms of features that can be compared to those that are made for the pros. Aside from being easy to use, it has been also given words of praises because it is affordable.

In every part of the compound bow, you can expect that it is made from high-quality materials that can withstand the test of time and deliver powerful performance. It has B-50 bowstring, which can offer perfect control. More so, it has hard maple limbs, which can be easily detached from the riser. It also has wood riser, which gives it an elegant look.

When it comes to comfort, this is also going to be an impressive pick. It comes with a comfortable grip, which can easily fit in your hand, regardless of your size. It is also a good thing that it is made from wood, which makes it lightweight, and hence, easy to handle.

Once it is taken out of the box, there is no need to be worried as it is also easy to assemble. The manufacturer provides detailed information on how such can be done. When it is time to have it disassembled, such can also be done in a snap.

​Things We Liked:

  • Durable
  • Commendable power output
  • Excellent strings

​Things We Didn’t Like:

  • No hand rest
  • Can produce a loud noise

#5. SA Sports Fever Crossbow Package

Are you looking for a compound bow that can provide the best value for money? If yes, then this should be on the top of your list as it already comes complete with the basic things that you will need. It has a 175-pound recurve crossbow, four arrows, quick detach quiver, and 4x32 multi-reticle scope.

The scope that is included in this product is also impressive. Although it does not work well in low light conditions, it is commendable that it has crisp optics. In addition, it also offers decent fog protection.

One of the many things that we liked about this compound bow is how user-friendly it is. It has padded shoulder sling, which makes it easy to use. It also has a lightweight construction, which can be basically attributed to the fact that it is made from fiberglass and aluminum.

The inexpensive price of this product is one more reason why we believe this is going to be one of the best picks within the product category. It is hard to find a bow that is as affordable as this one, especially considering the fact that it already comes in a complete package.

​Things We Liked:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable design
  • Impressive scope

​Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Limited warranty
  • Trigger pull design is inferior


As it has been discussed earlier, price alone will not be a good basis for making a decision in choosing a best compound bow. You should avoid making a decision without careful evaluation of the alternatives. To be sure, keep an eye on the five models that we have mentioned above, and for sure, you will not regret choosing such above all others.

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