There is nothing better for a hunter than going hunting or practicing with your kids. However, when looking for the right youth crossbow, it can be challenging to find the right fit and weight.
That’s why we've compiled this round-up of the best youth crossbow models. All these bows are compact, lightweight, and suitable for a smaller-framed body!
Here, you will find the best youth crossbow reviews, along with a convenient buying guide to help you find the right fit. But first:
Best Crossbows for Youth:
Best Youth Crossbow Reviews:
1. Killer Instinct Rush 380:
32” L x 10” W
DFI, ergonomic foregrip
4x32 illuminated scope
The Killer Instinct’s Rush 380 is the best youth crossbow out there. It’s not a youth crossbow, per se - but it comes with an adjustable buttstock.
You can adjust it up to 25”, and it can fit hunters of many ages, not just children.
It’s also great that, as your child grows, you can simply adjust the crossbow to accommodate their new size.
As for safety, the crossbow has a DFI feature for trigger safety and an ergonomic foregrip to keep the hunter’s hands out of the rail and the string.
The DFI feature prevents firing the crossbow dry - which could cause damage to the user and the crossbow.
Lightweight and compact
What I liked a lot is that this crossbow is very lightweight, weighing only 6.7 pounds. It features an aluminum barrel, which ensures a light feel.
What’s more, this fast crossbow has a shot speed of 380 FPS, giving this crossbow enough speed and power to take down an elk.
The bow is also very compact, with a length of 32 inches and 10-inch width.
The crossbow is quite powerful, with a draw weight of astonishing 200 pounds - which is pretty heavy.
Luckily, this crossbow includes a cocking rope in the package to make the pulling back easy.
You can also buy an additional crank separately to make it even easier.
The accuracy of this crossbow is decent enough - and it comes with an average 4 x 32 red/blue illuminated scope.
The scope is easy to sight in, but you should aim to upgrade to a clearer sight later.
The crossbow features a 3.5 pounds KillerTech trigger, which is very light and gives the child consistent shots.
You can group bolts within 3.5 inches from 30 yards distance!
Thanks to suppressors that reduce noise, the crossbow itself is silent, so there is no worry about spooking deer.
Even more so, the crossbow is very easy to assemble without any issues, thanks to the clear instruction book. You’re only installing the front end and the scope.
However, you will need an Allen wrench to adjust the stock - and kids will need help cocking this crossbow.
That’s why I’d advise you to invest in a crank device to assist the cocking on their own that way.
Besides that, it also boasts a limited lifetime warranty, which is just neat.
2. Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package:
32” L x 26.5” W
Barnett Archery Universal Crank Cocking device
ADF MIM trigger, finger reminder
Red dot sights
Barnett is a household name in the world of crossbows, and for youth, they offer an excellent, entry-level, universal crossbow.
So, let’s check out the complete specifications and details of this model.
First off, I liked that this crossbow is lightweight, clocking in at only 7.7 pounds of weight.
However, it is pretty heavy for smaller children to carry - and it comes with a 3.5 pounds trigger pull.
The crossbow is compact, though, with 32.5 inches of length and 26.5 inches of width.
The stock is lightweight, compact, and short, making this crossbow a suitable option for a teenager.
Strong draw weight
As for the draw weight, with 150 pounds of it, the string can be pretty heavy to load, but not too much.
What you can do is help your youngster by getting a cocking rope or the Barnett Archery Universal Crank Cocking device.
Any cocking mechanism will take a significant load off your child’s shoulders, but the crank is still a bit more efficient.
I advise you to use oil lube for the string to make pulling even smoother.
This is a high-speed bow with 315 fps - as in, it’s powerful enough to take down a whitetail deer.
Keep your kids safe
As for the safety features, the crossbow comes with an ADF MIM trigger and a finger reminder.
The finger reminder prevents younger hunters from getting injured when distracted or careless because it always keeps your digits above the rail.
Thanks to the green and red illuminated dots, this crossbow is relatively accurate with the three red-dot sights.
However, the scope is not excellent, which means you cannot see the red dot in daylight.
You should genuinely consider upgrading the scope to something high-end.
Besides that, you can shoot accurately in 30 yds, stable grouping within 1" when target practicing in backyards.
Fairly easy to assemble
I liked that this crossbow is reasonably easy to assemble, with the entire assembly taking less than 10 minutes.
Other impressive features:
The quiver is detachable but is still difficult to handle no matter what side it’s on.
The price of this crossbow is decent.
However, it comes with a stock that isn’t adjustable, and it makes some noise.
So, it requires you to purchase a string silencer separately to eliminate the noise.
3. Centerpoint Sniper 370:
40” L x 21.5” W
DFI feature, safety swing
4 x 32 mm scope
Centerpoint Sniper 370 is arguably one of the nice beginner bows out there, and it’s great for youth, too.
If you are looking for a great crossbow at an affordable price, the 370 is the one for you!
Fully adjustable stock
The best thing about this crossbow for youth is the fully adjustable stock.
It features an AR-15 style stock, which fits many ages, not just youngsters.
Anti-dry fire trigger
As for the safety measures, this crossbow features the anti-dry-fire trigger, which is neat.
Youth crossbows need safety measures because youths tend to be less careful than adults when shooting, and they should remain safe when hunting.
The crossbow is relatively lightweight, weighing just under 8 pounds.
Thanks to the aluminum and composite design, the bow is easy to carry around - even for longer periods. But smaller children might have difficulties using it.
With 40 inches of length and 21.5 inches of width, this crossbow isn’t exactly compact, but it’s adjustable.
This s a super-high-speed bow of 370 FPS, which is strong enough to kill a buck. Besides that, it stays relatively quiet when shooting.
The draw weight is not too heavy at 185 pounds, making it suitable for teens - but it can still be hard to cock.
It might be best to invest in a crank for assisting drawing.
The crossbow is pretty accurate since it comes with a 4 x 32 mm scope - and can be used to hunt big or small game.
Even more so, it features a 5-year limited warranty, which is very neat as well, since you will be safe from any potential malfunctions.
Piece of cake to install
What I liked a lot about the Sniper 370 is how simple the assembly is.
Thanks to clear instructions, the crossbow does come unassembled, but even kids should encounter no issues when setting up the crossbow.
Another convenient feature of this crossbow would be the shoulder sling, which makes carrying the crossbow much more accessible for those with a smaller frame.
Despite the price, I was surprised to find out that this crossbow doesn’t make any noise when firing - and all that is thanks to integrated suppressors that keep vibrations away.
The great thing about this crossbow is that it does the job perfectly - for hunting and practice.
It’s very affordable yet comes with pretty decent quality that’ll likely serve you and your children for at least a few good years.
4. TenPoint Wicked Ridge Rampage 360:
35.5” L x 15” W
ACUdraw or ACUdraw 50
DFI, safety wings, and a trigger guard
TenPoint is yet another household name in the world of hunting, and especially crossbows.
This one is more of a good starter weapon for hunting, and as such, it’s perfectly suitable for youngsters that are still finding their way around bows.
As for the safety measures, it features:
This crossbow is undoubtedly one of the lightest in this entire list, clocking in at only 6 pounds.
Keep in mind that the front end is heavier, so you should use a shooting rest to get a more stable shot.
As for the size, the crossbow is 35.5 inches long and 15 inches wide when cocked.
Considering the dimensions, keep that’s more of a narrow crossbow, making this an excellent fit for a double-man ground blind.
Built-in cocking crank
The draw weight is 175 pounds, which is quite a lot for a youth crossbow.
However, it comes with an awesome built-in cocking device, which is auto-retracting. The goal of the cocking device is to help your children to load easily and quickly.
On that note, the crossbow comes with two options for the cocking mechanism:
Reduce cocking effort
The ACUdraw 50 sled reduces the draw weight up to 50%, making it relatively easy to cock even for teens.
For instance: with a draw weight of 175 lbs x 50% = 87.5 lbs. It’s a decent option for those under 12 years old.
The ACUdraw cocking device drops the draw weight to 5 pounds, making the crossbow suitable for - well, anyone.
Besides that, its lighted load makes it easier to crank on the treestand.
High energy bow
With 360 fps, the crossbow is highly energetic, with more than enough power for an ethical shot.
When discussing the accuracy, it’s worth mentioning the 3x multi-reticle scope, which is fine.
It’s not a cheap red dot scope and enables youth to shoot from a distance of 20 to 50 yards.
The crossbow also shoots consistently for target shooting.
Made in USA
It’s made in the USA by a rather reputable brand.
It includes a lifetime limited warranty, but we should note that the arrows must be Alpha-Nock to avoid voiding your warranty.
I didn’t like that the arrows aren’t included at such a high cost.
Besides that, I don’t like using a standard camo, although it’s still enough to bend into the woods.
Also, the crossbow is loud because the cocking rope slaps the buttstock, which can cause jumping the string.
Another con is that the stock is not adjustable.
5. Daisy 4003 Youth Crossbow:
28” L x 10” W
ADF MIM trigger, finger reminder
If you’re looking for a super small crossbow for training in the backyard, this might be the one. It’s super affordable and small.
It’s the perfect crossbow for 6-year-olds to start target practicing in the backyard, but not for actual hunting.
Mini draw weight
It comes with a mini draw weight of 29 pounds. So, no, this is not very powerful, but that draw weight doesn’t make this crossbow a toy with the dimensions of 28” length by 10” width.
The trigger and string are easy to pull by hand without the use of a cocking mechanism.
Still, you should get additional gloves for your daughter to prevent her hands from getting tired or hurt by the cocking string.
20 yards range
This crossbow can shoot at distances up to 20 yards.
That being said, can a Daisy youth crossbow kill a deer?
Nope, this bow is mainly intended for target practice and not much else since it weighs just 3 pounds.
Mechanical Safety Design
However, it still comes with a mechanical safety that engages when the crossbow is cocked.
More importantly, you should still pay attention to safety and observe your kid while using the crossbow - and teach them carefully before letting them shoot.
Lightweight for starter kids
The crossbow is super lightweight so that small children can use it without restrictions.
It’s powerful enough to show your son the beauty of crossbows - but it’s still light and easy to use for practicing.
It’s made out of quality materials, making the crossbow very durable.
As for the accuracy, you can sight in the target with the windage and elevation adjustment.
However, it gets better if it goes with a replaceable scope.
Simple to install
Thanks to good instructions, the crossbow does come unassembled, but the assembly is a breeze.
Also, the crossbow is pink, so your grandson won’t like it, probably.
There’s also no quiver included, and there are only two cheap bolts in the box - and kids often lose them.
The string is easy to pull back, but getting it over the latch is somewhat tricky, so we advise you to use oil for smoother pulling.
All in all, it’s an excellent option for small kids if they have taken an interest in crossbow hunting because it’s safe and rather fun to use!
What to Consider When Buying a Crossbow for Kids:
Choosing a youth crossbow is a more delicate job than picking out a standard crossbow. There are more things to keep an eye on if you want the crossbow to fit your little ones just right.
That being said, this crossbow is probably your first one - and it’s perfectly normal for newbies not to know their way around crossbows.
That is precisely the reason why we have compiled a buying guide for you to buy the best crossbow for youth - so, let’s get on it!
Crossbows can easily be too large for kids or teenagers since many are intended for people with a larger frame.
So, to make sure that the crossbow is the right fit, check if the crossbow is adjustable.
There should be an adjustability option in the buttstock so your child can shoot comfortably.
Watching the crossbow’s weight is very important, and it should be no more than 8 pounds.
Another thing you should consider is getting a shooting stick for your offspring.
Shooting sticks work on any size of the crossbow, like, for example, the Bog DeathGrip Aluminum Tripod.
The crossbow rests entirely on the tripod, and your son simply has to aim, and that’s it.
The shooting stick takes off all the weight of the shooter’s shoulders - which is just convenient.
Ability To Cock
The ability to cock the crossbow is directly related to the draw weight. So, the larger the draw weight, the harder it is to cock the crossbow, giving more power.
Since youth still have a smaller frame, it can be hard or impossible to cock a crossbow with the powerful draw weight.
Our advice is to look for a crossbow with no more than 150 pounds of draw weight.
Remember that you might need to invest in a crank cocking mechanism to help your child cock the crossbow if they’re under seven years of age.
That being said, you can always cock the crossbow instead and help out.
Safety mechanisms and safety measures are essential for adults - but they are necessary for kids.
Kids are more prone to doing things the wrong way and harming themselves.
Keep in mind the safety swing - and worry-free of letting the child’s fingers get in the way of the string.
There should be a safety mechanism or plastic that would prevent that from happening.
Anti Dry Fire
Another thing that the crossbow needs to have is the anti-dry-fire feature.
This feature prevents potential damage to the crossbow during the dry fire and prevents the child from getting hurt from the recoil.
In general, it’s required for you to properly instruct your child before going hunting and giving them plenty of time to practice.
Before going hunting, they should have a repeatable, reliable shot sequence to keep themselves - and others - safe.
If your child has expressed interest in hunting with crossbows, you should do your best to teach them more than basics - get them in the zone.
If you want to, you can get them an affordable youth crossbow as a start.
If your child stays interested and wants to continue hunting with a crossbow, you should opt for the adult-sized crossbow.
Even if it’s a bit larger, it will be better for a more extended period and undoubtedly give the child more power for hunting.
Before buying an actual crossbow and shooting, you will need to spend some time properly training your child.
I’d advise you to begin with the various safety issues related to the use of crossbows. Tell your child to be aware of their hands at all times and of their surroundings, as well.
Talk about all the parts of the crossbow, the point of each piece, and so on. Many crossbows come unassembled, and it could be better to have the child participate in the assembly.
Let your children try shooting with your crossbow under your surveillance.
If they seem interested in continuing, it’s time to go to the store - and have some fun shopping for the best youth crossbow.
Also, I would let the child shoot from a hand rest. It will be very difficult for the child to keep their hands and the crossbow steady at a young age.
Also, shooting from shooting rest will allow you to dial the scope more accurately for your child.
Check the law in your state regarding underage children using a crossbow. Some states like Idaho have a poundage limit regarding children-friendly crossbows, too.
Types Of Junior Crossbow
There are two types of crossbows suitable for kids - compound and recurve. You’ll find that they work better than most other crossbow types out there.
That being said, it’s still better to get your child started on a recurve crossbow because when they get older, they will use the compound crossbow without any issues.
Recurve crossbows will teach your kid to be disciplined, patient and how to stay completely steady when hunting.
Also, it will give them more strength and prepare them for the hunting seasons to come.
If they start on a compound, they might develop bad habits that will not go away.
When it comes to the price, there’s no “right” answer - it all comes down to what you want.
If your child wants to do some practicing, there’s no need to splurge on an expensive, high-end crossbow.
But if you wish for your kid to accompany you on your hunting weekends, it could be better to get a high-quality crossbow. The cheapest youth crossbows will simply not suffice.
When it comes to the warranty, look for crossbows that offer at least a 1-year unlimited warranty for the whole crossbow and all the parts.
The lifetime warranty would be ideal, but it might be a bit challenging to find, and after all - you don’t need it.
Your child will grow up at some point and will require an adult-sized crossbow, then.
Frequently Asked Questions:
For use in the backyard, there is no need for a case. However, if you want to carry the crossbow to a hunting spot or transport the crossbow, then yes, you will need a good crossbow case.
It’s there to protect your crossbow from getting damaged, so you’ll need one for transportation purposes.
Crossbows, like most weapons, can be purchased and owned only by adults aged 18 and over.
Most states in the USA require the adult to be a member of a sporting or hunting club to own a crossbow.
With a special license, you can use and possess a crossbow in most states. However, check the requirements in your state first.
To conclude, there are some great candidates for the best youth crossbow.
I found and reviewed the best ones out there, but only one crossbow is the great bang for the buck, and that is the Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package!
The Jackal comes with a fantastic 3-red dot sight, safety mechanisms, detachable quiver, and so much more!
This crossbow has a great price tag - and packs enough power to take down a whitetail deer!
What is your favorite, best youth crossbow today? Let us know in the comments!