At Deer Hunting Guide, we've heard a number of women point out that while crossbows are presumably unisex, they usually seem to be designed more with men in mine. The stocks and shooting positions seem more natural for the average male frame or they lack important features for women like cocking devices.
You've probably noticed the same thing, and that's why you're here looking for the best crossbow for women. That's just what you'll find below, including full reviews of all the crossbows we've found that have what women need to be successful on the hunt and descriptions of what these features are and why you need them.
Our Top Picks
TenPoint titan m1
Wicked Ridge M 370
wicked ridge rampage
List Of The Best Crossbows For Women
Best Women’s Crossbow Reviews
Below you will find reviews of all of the crossbows that we have used, tested and rated. These are REAL REVIEWS written by REAL HUNTERS!
TenPoint Titan M1 Crossbow With AcuDraw Crank Cocking Device
While the Titan M1 is an effective crossbow for just about anyone, it has a number of features that make it ideal for women. Arguably the best is the built-in ACUdraw crank cocking device that reduces draw weight all the way down to five pounds. In other words, you don't need a lot of upper body strength to cock the crossbow, and you can do it without awkward motions that may make noise and startle game.
Despite the low effective draw weight, the Titan M1 shoots its included Pro Elite 400 carbon bolts at 370 fps. This is plenty for big bucks so you aren't limited.
Another feature that we found was good for female bowhunters is the lightweight design. At just 6.4 lbs, it's much easier to hold steady. That's important because you may have to stand still for a while while you wait for the best shot.
Finally, though, the Titan M1 wouldn't have made the top of our list if it didn't come with a lot of top-shelf general features as well. Specifically, the included scope is lighted, which is better for use at dawn or dusk when deer are active. You also get a detachable quiver, and the crossbow has a camo finish that blends in with most whitetail environments.
- Built-in ACUdraw crank reduces draw weight to 5 pounds
- 3 carbon bolts included
- 370 fps
- Lighted scope
- Detachable quiver
- Camo finish
- Assembly instructions could be better
Here is a great video showing you the features and benefits of the TenPoint Titan M1.
The Titan M1 is one of our favorite crossbow models all around, but for women specifically, we don't think there's anything better. With a built-in cocking device and a lightweight frame, it's easy to hold and shoot regardless of your upper-body strength. Nonetheless, it still has the power and features to hunt whitetail deer, even big bucks.
Best Hunting Crossbow For Women
BARNETT Whitetail Hunter STR Crossbow With Crank Cocking Device
The Whitetail Hunter STR is another model that, aside from having a range of features and the advanced design to benefit any hunter, is particularly suitable for women. Like the Titan M1, it has an integrated cocking device, and while it isn't quite as lightweight as the M1, it's still just 6.6 lbs. This means you can easily hold and cock it without needing the muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We used to recommend the Barnett Whitetail hunter II for women, but the STR is an upgrade from the Whitetail Hunter II and with the integrated crank cocking device, it is head and shoulders above the Whitetail Hunter II.
One thing that really makes the STR stand apart is the focus on safety. Along with a floating bristle arrow retainer, there's an anti-dry-fire system and even finger safety reminders. In our combined decades of experience at Deer Hunting Guide, we've found that anyone, man or woman, veteran or newbie, is bound to make a careless mistake at some point, so these safety features help you hunt with confidence.
Finally, we liked that this was a ready-to-hunt crossbow package, which is nice if you don't already have any equipment and want to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, it does mean that some assembly is required, but nothing you need any know-how for. The pack includes a multi-reticle scope and a lightweight quiver as well as two bolts, which isn't as much as other packages but still enough for a back-up shot.
The integrated cocking crank reduces the 185 pound draw weight to a very manageable 12 pounds, which is easy to use for even the slightest woman.
- Integrated cocking crank
- Lightweight skeleton frame
- Extensive safety features
- Ready-to-hunt crossbow package
- 375 fps
- Only 2 bolts included
- Less universal camo
If you're hunting deer, there's no reason to sacrifice speed and power to get a bow with a lower draw weight or lighter frame. With the Whitetail Hunter STR, you get a cocking device and skeleton frame that's manageable for just about anyone while still supporting 375 fps of bolt speed. At the same time, you're protected by extensive safety features so you can be aggressive on the hunt.
RELATED: Best Barnett Crossbows
Best Lightweight Crossbow For Women
Wicked Ridge M-370 Crossbow With ACUdraw Crank Cocking Device
What really makes the M-370 stand out is its lightweight design. It weighs just 5.8 pounds. Plus, it has a small frame and is less than 10 inches wide. Even if you don't have the most muscular arms in the world, you can hold it up to aim for a lot longer in case that deer isn't quite in range or at the right angle.
Similarly, since Wicked Ridge is produced by TenPoint, the crossbow also includes the ACUdraw cocking device. This reduces the draw weight to an easily manageable five pounds. That isn't just more accessible, but it's quieter and less awkward if you're in the field.
Speaking of quiet, we loved the cam system on this model. It's one of the quieter ones we've found, and it helps increase the power stroke of the crossbow. That's why, despite the small frame, you still get 370 fps, enough for big whitetail bucks.
The only real problem we had with the M-370 was the scope, which only has three reticles. Still, that's fine if you're just getting started. You can easily upgrade later. At the same time, you get three carbon bolts, a quiver and extensive safety features like a trigger guard and dry-fire inhibitor.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Small frame
- ACUdraw cocking crank reduces draw weight to 5 pounds
- Quiet shot
- 370 fps
- Ready to hunt
- Basic scope
The M-370 is actually the lightest production compound crossbow in the world, so of course it's going to be our recommendation for women looking for a lightweight but powerful model. This could be because you have a small frame and don't want to hold as much weight, or it could be because you're hunting sparser terrain or game like elk that you have to shoot over longer ranges. In this case, the lightweight design will help you maintain your aim for longer.
Best Barnett Crossbow For Women
Barnett TS 380 Crossbow with Crank Cocking Device
Barnett is one of the most popular crossbow brands. Most of their models are great, but the TS 380 is our favorite specifically for women. The main reason is its adaptable design. With an adjustable butt stock, you can fit it to your arm length for a more comfortable and more accurate shot.
On top of that, though, the TS 380 also has an integrated cocking crank that makes the 201 pounds of draw weight a lot easier to cock regardless of your stature. You don't have to sacrifice power and still get 380 fps of bolt speed and 122 foot-pounds of kinetic energy for hunting trophy bucks and big game.
As a ready-to-hunt crossbow package, we've admittedly seen better accessories. You only get two bolts, and it is not the best crossbow scope. Therefore, we recommend it as an entry-level model. Because it has great power and advanced features, you can simply upgrade the accessories when you're ready.
- Adjustable butt stock
- Integrated cocking device handles the 200 lb draw weight with ease
- 380 fps
- Ready to hunt
- Extensive safety features
- Some assembly required
- Low-quality accessories
The TS 380 is an all around outstanding crossbow, but it's an especially good choice if you're a shorter woman or have a slighter frame. This is because the adjustable butt stock helps you get a more natural shot regardless of your size. Plus, other features like the integrated cocking crank make it accessible to most bowhunters.
Best Excalibur Crossbow For Women
Excalibur Micro Mag 340
Excalibur is another well-known and well-respected crossbow brand. We like the Micro MAG 340 for women in particular because, as the name suggests, it's a bit smaller and easier to handle if you have a slighter body. It's lightweight, too, at just 5.5 pounds, so it's much easier to carry and aim if you don't have a lot of upper body strength.
Unfortunately, the reason for this is that it's a recurve crossbow. Recurve models are fun and require less crossbow maintenance than compound models, but they can't match their speed and power. The Micro Mag 340 produces 340 fps of bolt speed, which is plenty for hunting whitetail deer, even dominant bucks, but it may decrease your range a bit.
Lastly, we have to mention the accessories included with this model. It's one of the better ready-to-hunt packages we've found on the market. This is because it includes suppressors that help make your shot quieter and therefore more likely to hit before a deer startles or jumps. Additionally, it comes with a rope cocking device, scope, three bolts and a quiver.
The big downside to the Excalibur recurve crossbow is the 270 lb draw weight, which can be difficult to manage for women. Excalibur offers a crank cocking device separately, that reduces the draw weight to 12 lbs. You can get the crank cocking device here.
- Small size
- Lightweight recurve crossbow
- R.E.D. suppressors
- Ready to hunt
- Anti-dry-fire mechanism
- Not as fast as other crossbows
- No crank, must be cocked with a rope coking device and with a 270 lb draw weight, that is not easy
Recurve crossbows have a lot of advantages including reliability, low maintenance and quieter shots. In fact, the Micro Mag 340 is even extra quiet thanks to included suppressors. This, along with its lightweight, makes it a good choice for small women who like to take advantage of stealth and silence to stalk their quarries.
Best Starter Crossbow For Women
Wicked Ridge Rampage 360 With AcuDraw Crank Cocking Device
Our favorite aspect of the Rampage 360 is how accurate it is right out of the box. We'd still recommend taking a couple practice shots at your favorite crossbow target to make sure it's sighted in, but we've frankly never found another ready-to-hunt crossbow package that requires so little adjustment. The only problem is that the scope only has three reticles, so you may want to upgrade if you plan to hunt long distances.
We also really liked the safety of this model. Even though anyone can make a mistake, beginners are a lot more likely to do things like accidentally cross the bowstring plane with their finger. Therefore, the safety wings and enclosed trigger guard are good entry-level features, not to mention the dry-fire-inhibitor that keeps you from accidentally shooting the weapon without a loaded bolt, which could damage it or injure you.
Last but not least, we can't not mention the ACUdraw crank device that's integrated into the stock. This lets you take advantage of the 360 fps bolt speed without having to muscle up the full draw weight.
- Ready to hunt
- Extensive safety features
- ACUdraw cocking crank
- 360 fps
- Low-quality bolts included
If you've just decided to get into bowhunting, the Rampage 360 is a great way to set out on the right foot thanks to a manageable bolt speed that's fast enough for serious crossbow hunting but not so much that you can't shoot it accurately. Plus, you get safety features in case you make a newbie mistake and a cocking crank so you don't have to worry about pulling back the bowstring.
The Rampage 360 is our top pick for best crossbow under $500.
Best Crossbow For Women Comparison Chart
Best Crossbow Overall - TenPoint Titan M1
Best Crossbow For Hunting - Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR
Best Lightweight - Wicked Ridge M-370
Best Barnett - Barnett TS 380
Best Excalibur - Excalibur Micro MAG 340
Best Starter Crossbow - Wicked Ridge Rampage 360
What to Look For In The Best Women’s Crossbow
A cocking device might arguably be the most important feature a woman should look for when buying a new crossbow. Crossbows are incredibly powerful weapons, with the fastest crossbows shooting their bolts at well over 500 feet per second.
However, this requires the bowstrings to carry a lot of tension. The result is that a crossbow's draw weight, or the amount of force it takes to pull back the bowstring, is often over 200 pounds. Most men can't simply pull back that amount of weight, so it can be very difficult for the majority of women.
At the very least, you need a foot stirrup to give you leverage when you pull back the bowstring. You step into the foot stirrup and then pull the bowstring with a rope cocking device up towards your head. If you go to the gym, the movement is a lot like an upright row, relying primarily on your shoulder and back muscles.
As you can imagine, this is still difficult to do, especially considering the bowstring isn't exactly an Olympic weightlifting bar and will dig into your fingertips. Consequently, you also probably need a cocking rope. This device helps you get a better grip on the bowstring and also spreads out the draw weight so it's easier to cock.
Nevertheless, even a cocking rope requires significant upper body strength. For most women, the ideal cocking device is a crank. Thanks to the magic of simple machines, a cocking crank can decrease the effective draw weight of a crossbow from hundreds of pounds to well under 10, something just about anyone has the strength to handle. Just keep in mind that it takes a lot longer to crank it back.
A cranking device also makes it much easier to uncock a crossbow after a hunt.
Now, cranks can be purchased separately, and oftentimes these cranks can even be attached to compatible crossbows. However, nothing beats an integrated crank that comes with the crossbow.
These are much more reliable, more compact and convenient, and they mean you can start hunting or target shooting right away. We highly recommend that female bowhunters look for a crossbow with an integrated cocking crank.
Weight is another important factor for women and really all crossbow hunters. Of course, weight matters because you have to carry your crossbow to wherever you're hunting. If you're stand hunting, you have to carry it to and up into your tree stand. If you're still hunting, well, then you just have to carry it around all day.
The main reason weight is important, though, is because it affects your ability to aim and shoot. When you first see a quarry, you will likely raise your crossbow to get it in your crosshairs. However, you're likely to find it's not quite in range, or it may be turned at a bad angle for a shot. You can't lower the crossbow, though, or the movement might scare off your quarry or you might lose it from your sights.
Therefore, you have to hold it aimed and steady, sometimes for several minutes. This can be hard to do if the crossbow is heavy, especially if you have less upper body strength. As a woman, we recommend trying to find an extra lightweight model.
Size is important for more or less the same reason as weight. For example, even if two crossbows weigh the same amount, the longer one will be more difficult to hold steady for a long period of time because it will put more torque on your arm.
Similarly, it might be more difficult to balance and maneuver a crossbow if it has large dimensions. For instance, a wide recurve bow may require more balancing to make an accurate shot, and it's more likely to catch on something in the tree stand and throw you off.
This is also true simply when it comes to transporting the crossbow. If you're large, carrying a big crossbow on your back might not make much difference because you have to keep your body from bumping against trees and brush anyway. However, if you're small, a crossbow that extends wider than your arms and shoulders or above your head could mean you accidentally make a lot more noise when walking through the woods than you'd like to.
Finally, size, particularly length, makes a difference when it comes to shooting position. If you have short arms but the crossbow is particularly long, you may have to extend your arms more than is comfortable which can cause an unnatural and inaccurate shot. This is more often a problem for women than men.
Safety is important for everyone when it comes to crossbow shooting. Crossbows are powerful, lethal weapons that can severely injure or even kill you if you use them improperly. These are some of the features you should look for:
- Dry Fire Inhibitor: Dry firing is when you shoot the crossbow without a bolt loaded into it. When this happens, all the energy that would normally transfer into the bolt transfers into the crossbow itself. This can damage and ruin the weapon, but more importantly, it can cause it to shatter or splinter, and the flying debris could injure you. A dry fire inhibitor won't let you pull the trigger unless it senses a bolt is loaded.
- Trigger Safety: Just like on a firearm, it's good to get a crossbow with a trigger safety that prevents it from shooting. You can release the safety just before you're ready to fire it, thereby preventing an accidental shot. Accidentally shooting the crossbow could ruin your hunt by making noise and startling game, but it could also injure you or a hunting buddy if they're nearby.
- Trigger Guard: A trigger guard is a loop around the trigger that makes it harder for something—or someone—to press the trigger. Instead, you have to deliberately thread your finger through the loop. Like a safety, this prevents an accidental firing that could ruin your hunt or injure you or a friend.
- Safety Wings: One common safety error beginners make is crossing the plane of the bowstring with their fingers. If one of your fingers is in the way of the bowstring when you fire the crossbow, there's a good chance it will slice off the finger altogether if not severely injure it. Safety wings extend out from the crossbow beneath the bowstring so it's a lot harder to accidentally raise a finger up.
At Deer Hunting Guide, we know a ton of prolific and frankly, really good bowhunting women. We've noticed that one of the reasons they're so effective in the field is that they use crossbows with specific features that suit women like cocking devices to reduce the effective draw weight and lightweight, adjustable frames. This is why we highly recommend the TenPoint Titan M1 crossbow for women, though it's important to consider your personal situation and compare it to the reviews above to find the best women's crossbow for you.
RELATED: Best Crossbow Broadheads