Best Entry Level Compound Bow

Archery is an exciting sport that is technically challenging, interesting, and a lot of fun!  You can develop archery skills for target shooting or for hunting game with friends.  Of course, the first step for taking up archery is selecting a great entry level compound bow.

Our best entry level compound bow guide will offer some useful tips for selecting a bow before highlighting five excellent entry level compound bows.  These bows are well made, easy-to-use and affordable.  So let’s get started!

Why use a compound bow?

The key difference between a compound bow and a traditional bow is how they store and transmit their energy.  A traditional bow stores its energy in the flexed bow limbs and bow string.  The potential energy of the flexed bow propels the arrow forward when released.  It is an elegant design that has worked for thousands of years, but it does require a lot of strength to achieve high velocities.

Compound bows use a levering system with pulleys and cams.  This system stores energy additional using leverage and makes the bow easier to use.  It can be adjusted to achieve different draw weights and draw lengths, allowing users to customize the performance of their bow.

The main advantages obtained from using a compound bow include:

  • You can shoot at a flat trajectory
    Because compound bows achieve such high projectile velocities, you don’t have to shoot at a high angle to cover long distances.  Using a flat trajectory allows you to be much more accurate when you shoot.
  • It takes less strength to fire a compound bow
    The mechanical components of a compound bow make it much easier to pull the bow string and achieve powerful shots.  This makes the compound bow a great choice for younger people with less strength or anyone who wants a powerful bow that is easy to fire.
  • The draw length can be altered
    The draw length of a bow is the distance that the string is pulled back before firing.  Your ideal draw length will be based upon the width of your shoulders, the length of your arms, and your personal preferences.  Most compound bows have the ability to alter the draw length of the bow.
  • The draw weight can be altered
    Users can also change the draw weight — how hard the bow string is to pull back.  By finding your preferred draw weight, you can maximize the speed of your projectiles while still finding the bow easy to use.

What to look for in an entry level compound bow

Here are some simple tips for choosing an entry level compound bow:

  • Think about how you will use the bow
    Some composite bows are designed to excel at certain types of shooting.  Bows designed for target shooting are usually longer to help provide the shooter with additional stability and pinpoint accuracy.  Composite bows designed for hunting are usually shorter, to provide the archer with easier handling.  Consider how you want to use the bow and purchase a product designed for that kind of shooting.
  • Don’t forget about accessories
    When choosing the right bow for you budget, don’t forget to think about the accessories you may require.  You will have to buy arrows and you may wish to purchase items like practice targets, bow sights, and arrow slings.
  • Select a bow with the appropriate draw weight and draw length
    If you are new to archery, it is important to purchase a bow that has a wide range of draw weights and draw lengths.  This gives the ability to tweak the bow and find your preferred settings.  As you become more proficient with a bow, you may find yourself increasing the draw weight, allowing you to achieve higher velocities.

Five of the best entry level compound bows

We have rigorously tested dozens of bows and found the following five bows to be excellent entry level choices.  They are all affordable, well-built, easily configurable, and will provide with years of excellent performance.

SAS Rage 30” Compound BowBarnett Vortex Youth Archery BowCrosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound BowGenesis Original Bow
Parker Eagle Bow Outfitter Package with Whisker Biscuit
Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.7/5Rating: 4/5
Draw Weight: 55-70lbsDraw Weight: 19-45lbsDraw Weight: 17-21lbsDraw Weight: 10-20lbsDraw Weight: 50-70lbs
Draw Length:
26” to 30”
Draw Length: 21” to 27”Draw Length: 26”Draw Length: 15” to 30”Draw Length: 12” to 24”
Speed: 270 fpsSpeed: 175 fpsSpeed: 206 fpsSpeed: 170 fpsSpeed: 310 fps
Manufacturer: SASManufacturer: BarnettManufacturer: CrosmanManufacturer: GenesisManufacturer: Parker
Price: $$Price: $$Price: $Price: $$Price: $$$
  • SAS Rage 30” Compound Bow
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Draw Weight: 55-70lbs
  • Draw Length:
    26” to 30”
  • Speed: 270 fps
  • Manufacturer: SAS
  • Price: $$
  • Barnett Vortex Youth Archery Bow
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Draw Weight: 19-45lbs
  • Draw Length: 21” to 27”
  • Speed: 175 fps
  • Manufacturer: Barnett
  • Price: $$
  • Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Draw Weight: 17-21lbs
  • Draw Length: 26”
  • Speed: 206 fps
  • Manufacturer: Crosman
  • Price: $
  • Genesis Original Bow
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Draw Weight: 10-20lbs
  • Draw Length: 15” to 30”
  • Speed: 170 fps
  • Manufacturer: Genesis
  • Price: $$
  • Parker Eagle Bow Outfitter Package with Whisker Biscuit
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Draw Weight: 50-70lbs
  • Draw Length: 12” to 24”
  • Speed: 310 fps
  • Manufacturer: Parker
  • Price: $$$

SAS Rage 30 Compound Bow

sas-rage-30Rating: 4.3 / 5 

Draw Weight: 55 to 70 lbs

Draw Length: 26” to 30”

Speed: 270 fps

This is an excellent entry level compound bow that is affordable and easily configurable.  The SAS Rage is designed for users who are new to archery.  It is easy to aim, lightweight,  and has a high adjustable draw weight of between 55 to 70 pounds.

It is a very accurate bow that is ideal for both target shooting and hunting.  The SAS Rage is also extremely durable which makes it perfect for hunting in rough conditions.  Its sleek design is reminiscent of products which are much more expensive.

Barnett Vortex Youth Archery Bow

barnett-vortex-youth-archery-bowRating: 4.3 / 5 

Draw Weight: 19 to 45 lbs

Draw Length: 21” to 27”

Speed: 175 fps

This is the perfect bow for a child or teenager who has decided to take up archery.  It is has a low draw weight, easily adjustable sight, and lightweight design that makes it perfect for children and smaller adults.  The bow’s draw weight can be adjusted in seconds without a bow press.  This bow handles very well and is the perfect tool for anyone getting started with archery!  It comes with a 5 year limited warranty and is constructed to ATA/AMO standards.  The only downside to this bow is the relatively low FPS, which makes it unsuitable for hunting of large game.

Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow

crosman-elkhorn-jr-compound-bowRating: 4.3 / 5 

Draw Weight: 17 to 21 lbs

Draw Length: 26”

Speed: 206 fps

This is an excellent entry level compound bow which comes with everything you need to get started in archery.  The Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow includes 2 composite arrows, an arm guard, finger tab, arrow rest, sights, and 2-piece quiver.  The Elkhorn is a very durable bow, with strong composite limbs and a thick center-shot riser.  It performs well in all weather conditions, which makes it an excellent choice for outdoor archery.

Genesis Original Bow

genesisRating: 4.5 / 5 

Draw Weight: 20 to 30 lbs

Draw Length: 15” to 30”

Speed: 125 fps

The Genesis Original Bow is the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®).  It is an excellent bow for beginners and is designed to be used by arches of all ages and skill levels.  This bow has a machined 6061-T6 aluminum riser, high-strength bowstrings, an aluminum cam and idler wheel, and sturdy composite limbs.  The Genesis uses a single cam technology, which has low recoil, less noise and is very reliable.  It is a super tough bow that will provide you with years of use.  This bow is an excellent choice for target shooting.

Parker Eagle Bow Outfitter Package with Whisker Biscuit

parker-eagle-bow-outfitter-package-with-whisker-biscuitRating: 4 / 5 

Draw Weight: 50 to 70 lbs

Draw Length: 26” to 31”

Speed: 310 fps

With a super fast 310 feet per second, the Parker Eagle Bow is an excellent choice for hunting!  It is a well-constructed bow with a 100% machined aluminum riser, cams and pocket system.  The Parker Eagle Bow also comes with a fiber optic sight, quiver, peep sight and Whisker Biscuit arrow rest.

There you have it, you are now equipped with the information to find the best entry level compound bow that’s right for you. Make sure you check out our carbon hunting arrows and our comfortable climbing tree stands.