Includes an adjustable arm guard, quiver and 5 arrows. Single cam compound bow design. 15- to 30-inch draw length for different ages. Molded aluminum grip.
Compound bow design, but no actual let-off at full draw. Can be tiring to use over time.
Affordable set includes bows, arrows, and quivers that are constructed of strong bamboo wood. Arrow tips are rubber-coated for safety. A great value, as you get two bows, 20 arrows, and 2 quivers for a low price.
Arrows don't have fletching at the ends for stabilization, so getting them to shoot straight and hit targets can take some practice.
Grip is ambidextrous, with a 16- to 24-inch draw length. Comes in a variety of bright colors. 90-day manufacturer's warranty. Includes a quiver and safety glasses. Compound bow made from a durable composite material.
Set only includes 2 arrows. Overall bow strength is limited, affects accuracy.
52-inch recurve bow constructed from a glass and polymer blend. Includes 3 arrows, arm guard and quiver. Ideal beginner's 10- to 20-pound. draw weight. Ambidextrous grip, with a custom polymer riser.
Plastic arrows may arrive damaged or have limited shelf life. Reports of pieces breaking off during use.
Uses soft-tipped, oversized arrows for target practice. Can shoot up to 200 feet. Durable fiberglass limbs. Recurve bow with an easy draw weight. Very lightweight and easily transportable to outdoor target sites.
String quality is variable. Noticeable pull to left or right during use. Arrows are oversized, challenging to nock.
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From The Hunger Games and Brave to Lord of the Rings and Robinhood, archery has been a movie staple for decades. Kids in particular are drawn to this sport, and “bow and arrow” still features prominently on many a Christmas list.
One of the best ways to introduce your child to archery is by picking them up an archery set. Youth archery sets can be found for a variety of ages and skill levels and provide your child with all the archery elements they will need to participate in the sport. Youth archery sets can also save you money and frustration over buying pieces one at a time.
This guide will cover all you need to know about youth archery sets, from what pieces a set should have and what sets are best for different age levels to more technical aspects such as draw length and draw weight. To find the perfect archery set for your child, continue reading our buying guide.
Youth archery sets are all a bit different in terms of the number of pieces they contain. So long as the quality is high and the price consistent, more pieces equals better value.
Core youth archery sets consist of a bow, arrows, a quiver, and an arm guard. Some sets also include a variety of other elements that can range from safety glasses to paper targets.
While some bows in youth archery sets can be used by either right or left-handed archers, others are specific to one or the other. Often, which of your child’s eyes is dominant — right or left — is a better indicator of which bow you should go with.
If you are facing a right-handed/left-handed dilemma in selecting a bow, check out the FAQ section for how to determine which one your child needs.
Two of the primary ways to select a bow for your child are through its draw length and draw weight. Both take your child’s age and size into account and can be used to choose the proper sized bow.
Draw length refers to how much you draw the bow string back when shooting an arrow. The actual length is the distance between the back of the bow grip and the very back of the arrow. This length will vary by archer depending on their size. Draw lengths for youth archery sets generally run between 14 and 25 inches. The taller your kid is, the longer the draw length.
The draw weight refers to the amount of force needed to draw the string back. Much like draw length, the larger your child is, the higher this number should be. For youth archery sets, draw weight can range from under 15 pounds (for kids under 100 pounds) to 15 to 25 pounds (for larger kids). The upper range for youth bows can reach 30 pounds.
Youth archery bows can be constructed from a variety of materials, with fiberglass leading the pack in popularity. In terms of bow types, you will have a choice here between recurve bows and compound bows.
When you think of Robinhood’s bow, you are thinking of a recurve bow. These offer a simple design with basically just the bow frame and a single string. Recurves are generally cheaper, more common, and lighter than compound bows, but they can also require more strength to use.
Compound bows are designed to let off or release tension when they are fully pulled back, so they are easier to use than a recurve bow. Compounds usually use more than one string and a pulley system to do this and are designed more with hunting in mind than target shooting. Compound bows can be much more expensive than recurve bows.
Materials used to construct arrows for these sets can range from plastic to fiberglass. The tips of the arrows are typically made from rubber, steel, foam, or even suction cups. When purchasing a set, know the number of arrows you will be receiving, as this can vary anywhere from 2 to 20, depending on the set.
Used to hold the arrows when not in use, a quiver is pretty standard with these sets. Don’t expect high quality here, for the most part. Quivers will often be constructed from vinyl or a similar material and usually attach to a belt that you will need to provide.
While rare, some sets forego a quiver and include a clip that attaches directly to the bow to hold the arrows.
Arm guards are standard with the majority of youth archery sets; shooting tabs less so. Both are used to protect your skin from abrasions caused by the bow string. An arm guard attaches to your forearm and should be adjustable to fit a variety of archers. A shooting tab attaches to your fingers to protect them.
The bow grip is the part of the bow that you hold onto while shooting. It should be molded for comfort and reinforced for strength. As mentioned previously, bow grips can determine whether the bow is right-handed or left-handed, or whether it can be used ambidextrously.
As these archery sets are geared towards kids, they usually can be found in a variety of colors and patterns. Brightly-colored bows and arrows can also help them stand out on the range so you don’t lose track of them.
Bright colors are fine for those sets that will only be used on a shooting range. Some youth archery sets at higher age levels can actually be used for hunting, too. Any set that will be used in this fashion should stick to more muted colors, such as black or camo.
No two youth archery sets are the same, and some of the more common extra elements you might find in sets include:
Inexpensive: For $20 to $40, you will find sets geared largely towards the youngest shooters. These sets usually contain few pieces, and typically are less sturdy overall than more expensive sets. These sets will almost universally include a recurve bow.
Mid-range: If you spend from $40 to $100, you can expect to find a much better build and a wider variety and number of set pieces. While some compound bows sneak into this range, recurves are still the bow of choice. These sets are for older kids and offer more power overall.
Expensive: As you head north of $100 or even $200, expect to find compound bows for older teens. Bows in this range can usually be used either on the range or while hunting.
Q. How can I tell if my child is right or left eye dominant?
A. This can be easily done by performing the following simple test:
Q. How dangerous are these archery sets?
A. While the level of potential danger can vary set to set, you are essentially shooting pointy sticks around; this is an inherently dangerous practice. Sets that are geared towards older children and those that use harder arrow tips will be more potentially dangerous than sets with foam or suction cup-tipped arrows made for younger users. All archery sets, however, have the potential to do some damage if not used properly.
Adult supervision should always be practiced when kids are using these archery sets.
Q. Can adults use these?
A. Yes, they can, but they may not enjoy the experience much. These archery sets are designed with younger archers in mind, and as such they won’t have the draw length or draw weight to really work effectively for adults. If an adult has their heart set on one of these, they should focus on sets at the upper edge of the recommended age range. Their best bet would probably be to search instead for a beginner adult archery set.