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Last updated: March 30, 2021
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If you’re a woman who’s interested in bow hunting or archery, finding the right compound bow can be frustrating. Men’s bows are often too long or too hard to maneuver, especially for petite women. There are plenty of great options out there, though, you just have to know where to look. You’re in the right place – we’re to help!
To put together this review, we researched 39 bows and narrowed it down to our top five. Our Editor’s Choice, the Bear Archery Cruzer Lite, is our favorite because it’s easily adjustable, lightweight, and has an advanced hand grip so it’s comfortable to use and delivers precise results. If you’re looking for something on a budget or something specific to hunting, you’ll find that and more here as well.
We kept a few key features in mind when choosing these products. Draw weight and length are important to make sure the bow is not too difficult to use. Axel to axel bow length is one of the key differences between these bows and a standard one. Let-off percentage expresses the relationship between fully pulling back the bow and its maximum power. We’ll get into this a bit later. Finally, considered the warranty because it’s always important to know what’s covered. The first thing you’ll see is a table where you can compare all of our picks side by side. Next are detailed reviews of each one followed by a buying guide to help you find the best compound bow for you.
Our Editor’s Choice, the Bear Archery Cruzer Lite, is a great lady compound bow with an adjustable draw weight from 5 to 45-pound draw length from 12 to 27 inches. This ready-to-hunt bow weighs just 3.2 pounds and is great for women as well as children just getting into bow hunting because it allows the bow to grow with the user.
This bow has uses an MVL cam system to allow for a lot of adjustabilities. It’s extremely precise thanks to the zero-tolerance limb pocket and advanced handgrip design. This one is fast, too, capable of sending arrows flying at 290 feet per second. The 27 ⅛” length is easy to control, especially for women on the shorter side.
Another great thing about this box is it comes with everything you need to get started hunting, including a three-pin sight, arrow rest, four-arrow quiver, D-loop, and peep sight. Adjustments are simple, too, all you need is a simple Allen wrench.
There are very few complaints about this bow. It is on the small side, though, so while it’s great for petite women, it may be a little too small for those who are taller.
The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro is the best professional-grade bow we found in our research. It features a wide draw length between 13 and 31 inches and an adjustable draw weight from 5 to 70 pounds. This bow shoots fast, too, accelerating arrows as much as 310 feet per second.
A stabilizer helps keep the bow balanced and steady for accurate aiming. The square grip helps with accuracy, too, although some people may find it a little uncomfortable. This bow also features a smooth draw cycle which is great for anyone just learning.
This design is it’s available in three different colors so you can choose the one that suits you best from black, camo, and pink. Adjustments are easy to make and it’s one that can grow with you as your skill improves.
People generally don’t have a lot of complaints about this bow. It can be a little loud so you may need to add silencing equipment if you plan to use it for hunting. Note that this bow is not specifically designed as a hunting bow and may not perform well if used as one at the lower settings. The sight is good for beginners but may need to be upgraded down the line.
If you’re looking for a bow that’s ideal for hunting, we recommend the Predator Archery RAPTOR. It adjusts from a draw length of 24.5 to 31 inches and draw weight of 30 to 70 pounds quickly and easily and does not require a bow press. At max settings, this bow launches arrows at 315 feet per second.
Another great thing about this bow is that the cams are made of fully machined aluminum and do not contain any plastic, which you may find in some of its competitors. This adds to the durability and helps it last a lot longer.
This product comes with a starter kit to get you started right away. Included is an Allen wrench, five-pin sight with level and light, stabilizer, four arrow quiver, and a string stop. The D-loop and peep sight are pre-installed so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself.
Again, this is a pretty high-rated bow with not a lot of complaints. Some users felt that the accessories weren’t as good as they could be and that the box needed significant adjustments right out of the box.
What we liked:
Adjustable draw length from 24.5 to 31 inches
Adjustable draw weight from 30 to 70 pounds
Shoots as fast as 31 feet per second
Cams made of machined aluminum
Includes starter kit with sight, stabilizer, quiver, and more
A great choice for beginners is the PSE Mini Burner RTS. At just 26 inches long and only 2.7 pounds, this is the best compound bow for beginner woman. It features a draw weight adjustment between 5 and 40 pounds as well as a draw length of 16 to 26.5 inches so it can grow with you as your skills improve.
Something cool about this bow is that the cam has two settings so you can tweak it until it feels right for you. One setting maintains a constant draw weight no matter what the draw length setting is. The other decreases the weight as you decrease the draw length.
This package includes a three-pin sight, six-inch stabilizer, arrow rest, three carbon arrows, and five-arrow quiver, though a D-loop is not included. This is a great choice for beginners and works well for developing skills but you may need to upgrade when you’re ready to hunt for larger game.
Some users commented that this bow needed a bit of tweaking right out of the box, including remounting the sights and attaching the quiver. This is also a pretty small bow that’s great for petite women but may not work for all women.
Last up is our budget pick, the Genesis Original Bow. This is another great choice for beginners. This is a light-use bow with an adjustable draw weight from 10 to 20 pounds and a draw length of 15 to 30 inches. Adjustments are made using the included 3/16-inch hex wrench.
The machined aluminum riser, idler wheel, and cam add sturdiness to this bow, increasing the durability and extending the length of use. It also features composite limbs, drilled and tapped riser, and a comfortable molded grip to help with handling and accuracy.
This bow uses single-cam technology so there are less recoil and noise but the bow remains extremely accurate. Drawing and aiming are simple so you can nail down the basics. While this isn’t a good choice for large game, it’s perfect for small game and target practice. At the highest settings, this bow can launch arrows at 170 feet per second.
One downside to this bow is that it’s not a good choice for tall women, though it’s ideal for those who are petite. This bow is very lightweight at only 2.9 pounds which makes it very easy to handle. Something else to keep in mind is that this bow may not qualify for some archery competitions.
What we liked:
Adjustable draw weight from 10 to 20 pounds
Adjustable draw length from 15 to 30 inches
Hex wrench included
Lightweight at only 2.9 pounds
Machined aluminum parts are extremely durable
Shoots 170 feet per second at highest settings
What could be better:
Not good for tall women
May not qualify for use in some competitions
Things to Consider
If you’re a woman who’s interested in bow hunting or archery, finding the right compound bow can be frustrating, especially if you’re petite. Using the wrong bow can take the fun out of the sport. But don’t worry, this buying guide will help you figure out what to look for to find the right bow for you.
Do women need a different bow construction?
The biggest difference between bow construction for men and women is in the draw length and strength. While this isn’t always the case, some women need bows that are a little smaller and easier to pull back than some of the larger models designed with men in mind. That said, there are plenty of women who can use bows meant for men without a problem. That said, size can be a big issue for petite women.
Bow shooting advice for petite women
For a good explanation of the special considerations that petite women face when bowhunting and how to overcome them, check out this video:
The products we’re recommending vary in price, ranging from about $145 to $280. Something to consider when choosing one of these compound bows is whether or not you’re going to be using it long term or you want to invest in a higher quality one after you get some experience. Generally, the more expensive items are made to last a bit longer.
Features to consider while buying the best compound bow for women
Here are the main things to consider when choosing the right compound bow for you.
Bow weight and length
As we mentioned, when it comes to compound bows, strength is something to consider. We know there are a lot of strong women out there but, in general, men have better upper body strength than women so it’s easier for them to lift a heavier bow. Height is an issue, too. Obviously, a man who is over six feet tall is going to be able to handle a longer bow than women just over five feet. So, take the weight and length of the bow into consideration. For example, the Genesis Original Bow only weighs 2.9 pounds and is really easy to maneuver.
Draw weight is measured in pounds and refers to the amount of force it takes to draw the bow back to the point where the string stops and the bow is ready to fire. Since we’re considering strength, these bows typically have a lower draw weight than standard compound bows. But here’s the best part, these products all have adjustable draw weights. For example, the Bear Archery Cruzer Lite can be adjusted from 5 to 45 pounds and the Predator Archery RAPTOR adjusts from 30 to 70 pounds. So, as you improve or if you have a lot of upper body strength, you can adjust to a heavier draw weight.
The draw length is the distance from the arrow rest back to the corner of the string when it’s pulled back. These bows allow you to adjust the draw length so you don’t have to pull it back as far to get the best result. That said, generally, the longer the draw length, the faster and farther the arrow can travel. For example, the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro has a maximum draw length of 31 inches and can propel an arrow at 310 feet per second.
The material of the bow matters much as it does with anything else. The stronger and more durable the bow, the longer it lasts, the better it performs. The best options are made primarily of metal and do not contain any plastic pieces.
Compound bows all share the same basic design, though there are some elements you can choose. Some of these bows come in multiple color options, which is great because it really gives you a chance to show off your personality a bit. And don’t think that because these bows are designed for women that the colors are all feminine. While there are pink options available, there are plenty of blacks, camos, and other options to choose from.
Cams and string
Cams are a part of the pulley system that makes a compound bow what it is. Because of the way the cams are set up, the limbs of a compound bow are stiff which makes them more accurate. The string runs through the cams and makes it easy to pull back, saving energy. Metal cams are much more durable than those made of plastic, just something to keep in mind while you shop.
Guarantees vary from one compound bow to the next so make sure you read the fine print for the one that you choose. Generally, these guarantees are pretty generous and most of them include a lifetime limited warranty.
Because of the way a compound bow is designed and how it handles force and energy, let off is something to consider. Let off is expressed as a percentage. It’s a little hard to explain but here’s one way to think about it. When you have the string of a compound bow pulled all the way back, it’s much easier to keep it there. That ease you feel is the let off. So, for example, a bow with an 80% let off and a draw weight of 50 pounds would actually feel like you’re only holding back the remaining 20% of the weight, or 10 pounds. This means that it’s much easier to hold the string back, ready for release so you can take your time aiming at your target without your arm getting too tired.
Accessories and adjustments
Some of these compound bows come with a lot of great accessories, including targets, arrows, sights, and quivers. These are things that you’ll need anyway so you might save some money by choosing a bow that comes with them.
It depends on the woman, really. A tall woman with a lot of upper body strength is probably going to be able to manage a long compound bow. This is likely not possible for petite women because they just won’t be able to handle it as well as they would something smaller.
It depends on the bow. If you choose one with a high let off as well as good speed and accuracy, one of these bows can definitely kill a deer. That said, a smaller option like the PSE Mini Burner RTS is best for target practice.
Not if you use the right bow! As long as a woman uses a bow that’s the right size, there is no reason why it should be harder for her to learn how to shoot with it. A lightweight, shorter bow with lower draw weight and length is ideal for a petite woman. If you gave this same her the bow that her six-foot-tall athletic husband uses, yes, it would be harder for her to learn because it would be too big and too heavy for her to handle properly. This is exactly why it’s so important to choose the right bow for a woman, so she can focus on learning to shoot instead of trying to compensate for a bow that’s not right.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Bear Archery Cruzer Lite. This compound bow is very adjustable and easy to control, especially for petite women. The advanced hand grip and zero tolerance limb pocket help make this bow extremely precise and it comes with a lot of great accessories to get you started.
Next is the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro, a professional-grade bow that’s well-balanced with a smooth draw cycle for increased accuracy. This bow is easy to adjust and can grow with you as you improve. Plus, it’s available in three different colors so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Finally, we recommend the Predator Archery RAPTOR. This bow is the best compound bow for women for hunting. The fully machined cams are strong and durable and do not contain any plastic so they should last a long time. A starter kit with a four-arrow quiver, stabilizer, sting stop, and more are included.