I recommend the Bear Brave for children that are between 7 and 11 years old. But really try to get it if your offspring is rather on the young side so that it can grow along with them for a few years. Some 12 year olds may already be too tall which means the bow’s maximum draw length could be too short for them (they should be able to draw the string back until their fingers reach the corner of their mouths). In that case they won’t be able to shoot it properly which means to look at a bunch of sad faces which sucks. Just watch the video below: this boy is definitely too old for the Bear Archery Brave (skip to around 8:40).
I wanted to make that clear right from the beginning so that you don’t have to read the whole review to find out that your kiddo might be already too old for the Bear Brave. It is advertised as a youth bow but it’s rather for children (not a toy though!). So tweens and teens won’t be too happy with this model.
Bow Package Contents
The Bear Archery Brave compound comes in a right-hand version only. If you want to learn some basics about compound bows I would recommend you read my article about them before buying one here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows.
What sets this one apart from almost all other youth models is that you will get a Whisker Biscuit included in the package. This kind of arrow rest is much better than those simple plastic thingies that come along with most of the other models. So normally you have to upgrade to a Whisker Biscuit later anyway in such a case – which means to spend some more money. This Whisker Biscuit is a durable and therefore long lasting full capture rest which makes it a bit safer than conventional rests. You can adjust it if needed and you should know that if you would buy it seperately it would cost around 20 – 30 bucks so it’s of a better quality and it will make a big difference concerning accuracy while shooting – even with a kid’s bow.
The sight that comes with the Bear Archery Brave Compound is a simple 1-pin sight. It is a bit cheap but it will do just fine for starting out or testing if your kids will like archery at all. You could get a better one but you have to decide for yourself if that’s worth it as this model will be outgrown rather sooner than later.
You will get 2 Safety Glass Arrows (26″ long) together with this compound. Those are more or less decent. The tips are pressed onto the shafts and the fletchings and the nocks tend to come off pretty quickly in case you hit solid obstacles (like when hitting a wall or a tree). Those will be lost soon anyways. Expect to buy arrows from time to time as they tend to disappear quickly. I would recommend some made out of aluminium or – if you want to afford it – carbon. Buy some that are 26″ – 28″ long and rated for youth bows etc. and those should work.
The armguard that comes with the Bear Brave is standard and will prevent your youngsters from getting string slaps onto their forearms which might cost’ em a bit of motivation. So it is better prevent that from happening and tell them to wear the armguard.
For carrying the arrows around there comes a pre-installed 2-Piece Quiver along with the Bear Archery Brave Compound that can contain 4 arrows. Pretty basic but it will do. If your kids prefer a hip quiver you could get one of those (won’t cost you an arm and a leg) and get rid of the bow-mounted one.
Apart from those things you will get a finger tab, a temporary tattoo (for whatever … ) and a 90 day limited non-transferable warranty that will get voided if you mishandle the compound in any way like if you dry fire it, for example. Read my article about dry firing to learn more here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
Concerning the string: this one is not splittable (single strand string) so you won’t be able to serve a peep sight in. You need to wax it and the cables nonetheless regularly to protect them from abrasion, wear and separation. Don’t forget to wax’ em especially before shooting the first time!
I should mention that there are no pre-drilled holes in the riser for attaching more accessories. But to be honest this is definitely not necessary for the Bear Brave as it is meant for introducing children to archery. It does not need all those fancy gimmicks that their dads usually love so much 🙂
What you might want to get together with the Bear Archery Brave is a case for storage or transport. Don’t leave this model at hot places (like attics or car trunks) or in damp places. This could damage it irreversably which you don’t want to happen.
Noise Level / Handshock
It gets louder when the poundage is lowered down as there will be more vibrations while shooting and there is no recognizable hand shock at all.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The Bear Brave is a well made sturdy little shooter. Its limbs and riser are made of composite like some of the full sized models out there and overall it seems to be constructed very well being of a rather high quality.
Its axle to axle length is 26″ which is adequate for very young archers. Besides that it’s not too heavy (Net Weight 2 lbs) so your children should be able to carry it around without any problems. Its brace height is 5.5″.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The Bear Brave bow draws pretty smooth for a kid’s model and must be, of course, finger shot. There were some bad reviews of adults who bought this model because they did not realize that it is strictly meant for kids. They complained about not being able to hit the target at 10 yards or to get tight groupings. Well yeah, you wouldn’t drive around in a Bobby car either complaining about not being able to pass that Corvette! 😉
Apart from that this compound’s draw length is way too small for adults – even tweens / teens.
The draw weight range of this compound is 15 – 25 lbs and can be adjusted with the included allen wrench (5/32″). You have to turn the limb bolts that attach the limbs to the riser to adjust the poundage. Clockwise increases it, counter-clockwise reduces it. The poundage will be adjusted around one to two pounds per turn. What is extremely important is that each limb bolt needs to be adjusted equally (same amount of turns). Do it like this: turn the bolt on one limb, then turn the other, rinse and repeat.
A few things need to be noted here: when the poundage is adjusted down to its lowest setting (15 lbs) the string and the cables will have about an inch of a slack to them which results in more vibrations and thus a louder bow.
The poundage seems to be off in some cases. A customer mentioned that the model he got had a poundage of 30 lbs and he was not able to get it lower than 24 lbs, which is just too much for a 7 year old. In case you got one of these just call Bear Archery – they have great customer service and will help you as soon as possible.
The draw length of the Bear Brave is between 15.5 and 19 inches – non-adjustable. This means that your children won’t be able to shoot this bow correctly if their draw length is over 19″ (don’t forget to read my guide for measuring the draw length => How To Determine Your Draw Length). They need to be able to pull the string back to the corner of their mouth for anchoring. If they can do this, this model suits them. If they cannot reach their chin the bow is too small for them already.
So all in all the Bear Brave is well manufactured and feels pretty sturdy. As our kids are all individuals some will like it and be able to shoot very well with it while others won’t. Some parents stated their kiddos were able to hit the target up to 10 yards without problems while others complained that this compound is not that accurate and too weak as the arrows did not stick in the target.
Some also complained that the finger savers on the string will slide all over it making aiming hard while others said their kids hit the target where they wanted to up to 20 yards.
So just to recap one more time: this is a model that is meant to introduce young children to archery and it won’t be able to compete with stronger or higher priced models that are meant for tweens and teens. So at the end of the day you have to decide for yourself if you think it’s worth it or not. I would make the jump for testing if my kids are interested in archery at all without blasting a few hundred dollars out of the window. So whatever you decide, just don’t demand too much of your children: joy and fun and learning to handle a compound in a responsible way should be the most important factors when gifting them such a model at that age.
No information available.
Proper For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
Of course not as with 25 lbs it is way too weak to kill anything.
Proper For Bowfishing
Won’t work either as there are no pre-drilled holes in the riser to add a bowfishing reel. And if you drill one yourself, there goes the warranty 🙂
With its price around 60 bucks the Bear Archery Brave Compound is a very affordable bow to introduce your children to archery and to test if this sport is for them or not. Just don’t expect too much of it. It is what it is – a compound bow for kids (not for tweens / teens and not for adults). But on the other hand it is not a toy as well, so please supervise and guide your offspring while making their first experiences in the world of archery.
Pros & Cons
– affordable, sturdy compound
– good for introducing children to archery
– the compound’s non-adjustable draw length might be too short for some kids
Bear Archery recommends the Brave compound for children that are 8 years and up. I would recommend it for kids that are 7 to 11 years old. There might be some strong 5 or 6 year olds that are able to pull the minimum poundage back as there might be 10 year olds who might not be able to do that. Like I said, we are all individuals. What is important, though, is that your kid’s draw length does not exceed the maximum draw length of the compound. If that’s the case it would be better for you to buy a different model.
Kids that are 11 years will outgrow this model soon so maybe it would be better to buy a model for tweens / teens that would fit better to them. Maybe look at the Genesis or the Barnett Vortex in such a case.
So as I said, this is a kid’s model, not a youth (depends, of course, how you define ‘youth’) one and it is meant to be used by beginners, not intermediate young archers.
It is good for learning responsibility, though, as this model could hurt animals and humans, so always supervise your kiddos while shooting (and read the safety paragraph in the manual, if you have no idea about what to look out for). However, I hope you will find the right compound for your offspring and I hope they will stick to this wonderful sport.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!
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