When shopping around for the best youth crossbow on the market, there are numerous factors to be taken into consideration; some are especially important when considering crossbows for youths.
Safety will be paramount, but intended use is important too, are you looking for the best youth crossbow for deer? Or will you be taking aim at stationary targets only?
Throughout this article, I will address key points to consider when purchasing a new crossbow, and while this guide is focused mainly on younger users; the same factors need to be contemplated when purchasing for adults too.
I will also be reviewing what I consider to be 5 of the best youth crossbows available; hopefully helping you make the correct decision when it comes to purchasing your next crossbow.
OUR TOP PICK
- Multi-reticle scope
- Two headhunter arrows
- Lightweight quiver
- Rope cocking device
- Lube wax
Barnett is one of the most popular crossbow brands currently out there and they have a handful of crossbows that are best suited to younger hunters.
Our top pick is the Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow which looks like a state-of-the-art crossbow with its high-tech design and camouflage skin.
The lightweight fiberglass construction allows the user to be able to spend hours with the bow in their arms without getting tired.
The Whitetail Hunter comes with a rope cocking device and is also compatible with a crank cocking device which will help any users who are unfamiliar with this sort of device on cocking and reloading the bow.
If you are very cautious about your teen using a piece of equipment like this, then you’ll be assured that safety is a primary focus and the Barnett team has implemented numerous safety features to ensure no accidents happen.
Any user of this crossbow will benefit hugely from the user manual that accompanies the product as it carefully explains assembly and safe operating procedures, which could result in your warranty being void.
The Whitetail Hunter STR will be suited for grown adults as a result of the adjustable stock and Picatinny rail scope mounting system which can be changed depending on who’s using the bow.
Assembly is so quick and easy and only requires the user to install a single bolt before it’s ready to head out into the field.
- Speed: 375 FPS
- Draw Weight: 185lbs
- Size: 34.875 x 20.125 inches
- Weight: 6.6lbs
- Power Stroke: 16 inches
- Type: Compound
- Safety: Anti-dry fire, Automatic safety
- Cocking: Rope Cocking
- Lightweight fiberglass construction is comfortable for all-day shooting
- Numerous safety features to prevent mishaps
- Simple assembly, can use the bow within minutes of receiving it
- Will be able to last through to adulthood
- Fiberglass rails get marked almost instantly
- Quick-detach quiver
- Premium red dot sight
This crossbow comes as a complete packaging, inclusive of arrows and red dot sight so is the perfect starter crossbow for any youth looking to get into hunting as a hobby. However, don’t underestimate the Barnett Jackal, as well suited for beginners it is also a good choice for intermediate and advanced youths.
Despite being a compound crossbow, this model is particularly easy to assemble and can be done so in under 10 minutes, so any youth will be more than capable of setting everything up on their own.
The instructions included are very clear and will help anyone who’s never owned a crossbow to come to grips with each feature quickly.
The bow has a draw weight of 150lbs which will be manageable for stronger youths, but those who are not as strong can benefit from a cocking device to help them load the bow.
The crossbow has implemented safety features to avoid accidents such as the anti-dry fire feature which automatically engages the safety when the bow is drawn and cocked.
The Barnett Jack only weighs 7.7lbs and is light enough to carry around throughout a whole day of hunting whether it’s frequently in use or just being carried over the shoulder.
Even though recoil is minimal in spite of the high FPS, it is still a bit loud, which is not entirely beneficial when out in the field.
- Speed: 315 FPS
- Draw weight: 150lbs
- Size: 35.5 x 26.5 inches
- Weight: 7.7lbs
- Power Stroke: 12 inches
- Type: Compound
- Safety: Automatic safety, Anti-dry fire
- Cocking: None
- Designed for safety
- Lightweight enough for a younger person to hold
- Very comfortable to hold
- The bow includes extra accessories
- Pretty loud when recoiling
With this crossbow, you are ready for hunting in the mountains. The design features, excellent performance, convenience, and maneuverability.
It is a perfect bow for any skill level. It has a lightweight, but very durable design.
With a draw weight of 185-pounds and speeds of 370 fps, it will ensure the user with both power and accuracy.
It also includes safety features such as anti-dry fire and an auto-safety trigger, which provides safety to the user and the bow itself.
Other features which makes this bow stand out are the detachable quiver, 4×32 scope, three 20-inch bolts, and a carry sling.
The feature that made this crossbow stand out from the rest is the AR-style stock and the interchangeable grip.
It is a crossbow that you can really make your own. It is the ideal bow for someone just starting, and for hunters of all sizes.
- Easy to set up
- Good service
- Value for money
- Very consistent speed and accuracy
- Quiver can move if bumped
- The sling is delicate
- 4 aluminum arrows
- Rope Cocker
- Rail Lube
This recurve crossbow from CenterPoint is very simple to use and perfect for beginners. It is also less prone to breaking than compound bows and is premium quality considering the budget-friendly price.
The bow provides great shooting for small to medium-sized game but may not be the ideal candidate for competition shooting as accuracy can be quite inconsistent with this bow.
If you’re looking for crossbow beginners then this CenterPoint Tyro would be a suitable choice. It has a bonus rope cocker included which will reduce the effort needed to cock and load the bow each time.
The crossbow comes with an auto-safety cocking mechanism that prevents any misfiring when you’re not looking to shoot.
It also has an adjustable stock that can be easily customized to whoever is using the crossbow each time. Customization will allow the user to optimize their experience and comfort when the bow is in use.
This Tyro 4x Recurve is one of our most lightweight recommendations and is only 5lbs, so is super comfortable to sit on your shoulder whilst you’re seeking your next target. Despite being lightweight, it still has a strong fiberglass construction that will withstand the elements.
- Speed: 245FPS
- Draw Weight: 175lbs
- Size: 37 x 23.25 inches
- Weight: 5lbs
- Power Stroke: 10.5 inches
- Type: Recurve
- Safety: Automatic Safety, Anti-dry fire
- Cocking: Rope cock
- Good safety features helps teens stay safe whilst having fun
- Adjustable stock can be customized for each user
- Lightweight yet solid construction
- Customers have received the wrong parts or are missing parts
- Buying additional accessories will optimize the crossbow
- Two aluminum bolts
If you’ve got a young child or tween wanting to experience a crossbow for the first time, then the Daisy Youth Crossbow is a great choice as it's designed for smaller people.
The bow would not be recommended for competitive or even recreational hunting as the power and accuracy of the design is not up to scratch. However, it is more than suitable for target practice and anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with holding and shooting a bow.
The bow is a lot easier to cock than larger ones but supervision by an adult will be needed if the youth is a complete amateur to the sport. The latch can be somewhat of a pain though and may require persistent lubrication until it smoothens.
The Daisy comes with two aluminum bolts to get you started but for efficient target practice, we’d recommend buying some extra ones to save you time.
- Draw Weight: 29lbs
- Size: 11.22 x 3.84 inches
- Weight: 4.9lbs
- Lightweight for all-day practice
- Great for absolute beginners and target practice
- Comes with two inclusive crossbow bolts
- Latch needs lubricating to smoothen
- Not efficient for hunting
Best Youth Crossbow Buying Guide
Crossbows designed for youths are still weapons that can have deadly consequences if misused. Youths should be supervised at all times when using a crossbow but should also practice safe handling of the weapon.
Alongside this, when considering buying a crossbow for a younger person; you should ensure your crossbow of choice has built-in safety features. Such as dry-fire safety and automatic safety locking.
As we are looking at crossbows targeted at younger users, the size and weight will need to be taken into consideration. Requirements will vary from person to person, depending on their age, weight, height, and level of strength.
Youngsters will find a smaller crossbow much easier to handle and maneuver when out on the range or participating in a hunt while a lower weight will provide comfort during prolonged use.
As kids can be fickle, it is important to stick within budget. If the person you are buying for already has some experience with crossbows and requires an upgrade, or has outgrown their current model; you will want to budget a bit higher to reap the benefits of improved features.
Whereas, if they are only just showing an interest in crossbows they will benefit from a lower budget model while learning the basics; and your wallet will thank you if they decide crossbows aren’t for them down the line.
When purchasing a youth crossbow draw weight will need to be considered first, as the effort required to cock the mechanism can be quite surprising to beginners. It will be worth checking if the product you are thinking of buying comes with a rope cocking mechanism.
Rope cocking mechanisms act as a pulley system, reducing the draw weight of your crossbow. Don’t worry too much if the product you are looking at doesn’t come with one, though, as these can be purchased separately.
Kinetic Energy (fpke) and Speed (fps)
The speed a bolt leaves a crossbow is measured in feet per second (fps), the manufacturer usually provides this rating. It is worth noting, however, that as there is no set standard for manufacturers to follow, the weight of bolt they use when measuring the speed can vary.
Because of this lack of standardization, relying on the fps rating is a poor way to compare similar crossbows, although manufacturers will most commonly use a 400 grain bolt when testing.
Speed, while important, is only one side of the coin when it comes to crossbows for hunting. The power that a bolt will strike its target with is measured in ‘foot-pounds of kinetic energy’ (fpke).
The fpke rating can be used when determining the lethal range of your shot, with distance, and the size of the game also playing a part, with the fpke dropping roughly 3 or 4% for every 10 yards traveled. The size of the game will also determine the fpke required to make a lethal shot;
• Small game will require between 20 and 25 fpke• Medium game will require between 30 and 40 fpke• Large game will require between 45 and 60 fpke• Very large and dangerous game will require between 65 and 75 fpke
Recurve vs. Compound
The main difference between recurve and compound crossbows is the design of the limbs. On a recurve bow the limbs will curve out, and then recurve back on themselves, allowing them to retain a higher tension with shorter limbs.
Compound bows, however, utilize a much more advanced mechanism to create tension on the limbs. This means that, generally, compound crossbows will achieve a much higher fps and fpke than a recurve design.
As a recap, here are the main points you should be keeping in mind when on the lookout for a new youth crossbow;
- Easy to assemble
- Suitable weight and size
- Safety features
- Lower draw weight for youngsters
When it comes to the best youth crossbow, for me the Barnett Recruit Terrain 330 stands above the others. Combining safety features that function better than the competition, with a respectable amount of power, make this a great addition to any youth collection.
Adjustable stock and easy assembly are also very attractive features found within the Barnett Recruit series. While the scope may require an upgrade as the skill of the user increases, the building blocks of an excellent crossbow system are available straight out of the box.
I hope this article has gone some way to inform you of the features to look for when shopping for a new youth crossbow. Please comment below and let me know how you thought these items stacked up against each other.
If you have any archery related queries, don’t hesitate to get in contact.