Best Bow Cases Reviewed & Rated for Quality and Value
Bows and their accessories can become an expensive profession or hobby, so protecting them is important. Besides storage space, bow cases need to be equipped with interiors designed to absorb shock and other types of punishment.
Bows, arrows and all of their accessories need to be carefully chosen since compatibility plays a huge part in the overall experience. There is also the cost factor that goes into all of these items, which can quickly go into the thousands before you get the quiver. So when it comes time to transport all of this, a case is needed that will provide the necessary protection for your investment.
The purpose of a bow case is to protect your bow and accessories as much as it is meant to keep your equipment secure, secret and safe while transporting. Not only that, but it is also necessary to carry everything in one place and keep all of the pieces organized. There is no way that you could carry everything that you need in both of your hands. Therefore, a bow case is necessary. Without one, undoubtedly you would drop things and could potentially injure yourself. Other than safety and organization, bows, crossbows and other gear can get expensive, so it is a great idea to keep it all protected within a case.
When it comes to bow cases there are two main groups out there. First, there are bow cases which encompass compound bows, takedown recurve bows, selfbow recurves and longbows. In other words, bow cases are designed to store most popular types and brands of bows. The specific elements in each case are made to keep your bow safe while you are storing and transporting your bow and equipment. Manufacturers offer these cases in hard, soft or hybrid shell. When it comes to choosing the right one for you, it all depends on the circumstances you will be in. Are you a traveler? Are your very cautious about keeping your gear safe or are you a little more relaxed? Is your equipment super expensive? These are all things to consider. However, when it comes down to it, the choice is all about perspective and lifestyle.
The second group of cases are crossbow cases. These differ from bow cases because they are much larger. They are designed for crossbows, recurves, compounds and reverse limb crossbows. Further defined, a crossbow case resembles the shape of a crossbow, which makes it easy to define. Like bow cases, these also come in hard, soft or hybrid shells that are designed for different needs. Most crossbow cases also feature room for mounted scopes so that you do not have to sight-in your crossbow with every use.
With this information in mind, here are some things to consider before making your purchase:
What are you shooting with?
This might feel like an obvious question, but it is still important to address. When you know whether you are shooting with a type of bow or crossbow you can better identify the right case. You need to be specific with this answer, too. This will help you choose the case that will best suit you instead of just an okay one. One example is that a one-piece recurve will not fit in a soft or a hard takedown recurve case, but both of these types of bows can fit in a sleeve or a selfbow case for recurve bows. Again, these are important things to note.
How will you be using the case?
Is case only used to transport your bow from your home to the range and back? Will you be traveling with it? Are you likely to take it on a wild adventure or are you more laid back? Is it only for storage and organization?
These are things to consider so that you can figure out whether you are okay with a more basic style case or if you need something heavy duty. Fewer features will save you money. For a wild ride, you might consider a case that is scratch-proof and weather resistant. If it is simply for storage at home, consider a child-proof and pet-proof case.
Other ideas include:
- Figuring out if you need a hard, soft or hybrid case.
- Are you a fan of brands or are you okay with a lesser known brand?
- What is your budget?
- How many items will you carry in the case?
- Plano Protector
- Interior Protection
- SKB Bow Case
- Best Looking
- Allen Gear Fit Pro
- Universal Fit
There are some notable brands listed here and there, with the standout being Primos Hunting Calls. Although they don’t rank high on the list, they earned a special place in the hearts of bow users that don’t believe in being over-prepared. If infinite space is your desire, Primos Hunting Calls was one of the top choices.
10 Best Bow Cases
1. Plano Protector 1110-00
Inside the hard shell case is high density foam to protect your equipment from bumps and bruises. Everything will stay in place no matter how wild the ride is to the destination.
Features and Specifications
Patented pillarlock system
Extra storage under the lid
As one of the lowest priced on the list, the cost to value ratio is off the charts. This was an easy #1 pick for anyone that needs a jack of all trades option at a fair price.
It looks like a hard bow case won out over the soft ones by not providing good storage room without compromising the protection. Plano makes another list, and with a product that is become increasingly popular.
- Makes the most out of the space available for a compact
- Limited lifetime warranty included
- Comes with great protection from the exterior world.
- Comes with unique, extra storage.
- Only holds six arrows
2. SKB 2SKB-4117
The ABS shell looks like a business suitcase, providing just as much protection as it does flair. And the inside of the case looks incredible, just like the outside.
Features and Specifications
Draw-bolt metal latches
Weighs 11 pounds
This is the most expensive bow case on the list, but the high price is justified by the materials. There are more than enough reasons to buy this case if you have a collection of expensive bows.
SKB Corp. provided the highest priced case on the list for a reason, promising quality, protection and an incredible warranty. This bow case won’t let you down and will take care of your investment in more than one way.
- Great structural support for bows
- Long five-year warranty
- Comes with a high-quality ABS shell.
- Made from some of the best materials in the industry.
3. Allen Gear 6034
If your bow isn’t over 35 inches axle to axle, then it should fit just fine. Compatibility is very high with this bow case so that users don’t have to keep switching out their equipment.
Features and Specifications
Seven extra pockets
Padded handle grip with shoulder strap
Like most of the other products on the list, the price is average. This puts it in line to be one of the better buys when you think of the overall cost to value.
Although not quite the best on the list, it comes pretty close to snagging the top spot. Bow users worldwide won’t have any issues with all of the pros provided by this universal bow case.
- Plenty of room to store all of your accessories
- Zipper naturally flows in either direction
- Comes with plenty of one of a kind features.
- Comes with a great padded shoulder strap for comfort.
- Weight distribution is off when it sits upright
4. Vista Traveler 4436
Users of takedown recurve bows can consider this the best choice on the list. It handles this bow with ease along with all the necessary arrows.
Features and Specifications
Holds 18 arrows
Built in gear storage compartments
Even with the intricacies of this case, the price is average. Saying that this is a steal at the current price is an understatement.
Even with its limited reach, the amount of work that went into making this superior case can’t be overlooked. A lot of proud bow owners can consider this one of the best cases in the industry, even if they don’t have the matching equipment.
- The best of its kind on the list
- Case length is only 37 inches
- Can hold up to 18 arrows.
- Great for individuals with takedown recurve bows
- Can only hold takedown recurve bows
5. MTM Ultra BHUC-40-P
There is nothing fancy about this case, and it is simply a rugged carry along storage for arrows. A lot can be held at once so that you have the most arrows when it’s time to shoot.
Features and Specifications
Holds 16 arrows
Notched foam padding
There are no surprises here, and the price is low and manageable. Customers should purchase this and a bow case to get the best of both worlds.
Full-length feathers and other bulky arrows will cut down on the amount that can fit in a case. But the cases are stackable, you can carry as many arrows as you want.
- Stackable triple hinge design
- Dual padlock
- Holds up to 16 arrows
- Comes with notched foam padding
- Certain arrow types will cut down on the max allowed in a case
6. Plano 114400
Bows and associated equipment are not cheap, which is why protecting them is important. While regular bow bags offer great protection, there is no greater protection than a hard bow case that looks like it could take a drop from a building.
Features and Specifications
Adjustable pillar placement with pluck foam
Weighs 4 pounds
Even with the extra bulk, the price is average and not that much more than a regular bow bag. This price could swing a lot of potential buyers into Plano Molding territory if they’re looking for a switch.
This is a great case that can really be the protector of an expensive bow. It’ll do a fine job of ensuring that your investment stays in one piece while traveling.
- Works with multiple bow configurations
- Tougher than any other bow bag on the list
- This product is a hard bow case, which is different than every product on the list.
- The best value on the list thus far.
- Needs more anchoring points
7. Allen Gear Fit X
An amazing ten accessory pockets are built into this bag, so no item of importance has to be left behind. That includes all of your low priority gear which would have otherwise been loaded into another bag.
Features and Specifications
Removable padded shoulder strap
Bow limit is 38 inches axle to axle
Hovering at an average price, getting this bag for such a steal will make a lot of people happy. The extra room pays for itself after the first time you use it.
Some people won’t even use half the space this bow bag is offering, but the appeal is in having the option to do so. Top grade quality and spacing cement this as an all-time favorite choice.
- Extremely large bag
- Soft interior lining to protect components
- This product comes with over 10 different pockets.
- Comes with a unique removable shoulder strap.
- Awkward placement of interior Velcro straps
8. Primos 6864
Customers won’t run out of space even if they tend to carry a lot of extras. The bag is built to hold a lot and balanced so that it isn’t a pain to carry.
Features and Specifications
Large front pocket
600-D polyester fabric
The price goes up a little but still settles for a low to average range, which is great news for all buyers. With the tough materials of the bag it may very well outlast your bow’s lifespan.
A big bow bag isn’t always the first choice, yet it is a popular one if you tend to have a lot of stuff to pack. Customers can rest easy knowing they won’t run out of space when they need it the most.
- Weather resistant coating
- Great Mossy Oak design
- Comes with a significantly large front pocket.
- Made from some of the best materials in the industry.
9. Plano Genesis 110960
The Genesis Edition fits the Genesis Mini, the original Genesis and others. It’s a no nonsense case that doesn’t waste any space once you open it up.
Features and Specifications
Black with red latches
High density foam padding in a compact hard case
Surprisingly this also falls within the low price range and makes a wonderful addition to your accessories. Owners of Genesis bows will get the most value out of it due to the cool customization features.
Even if the bulk of customers buying this are Genesis users, there will be plenty that purchase it for their compatible bows. The compact fit is perfect when you want to bring everything essential all in one case.
- Perfect fit for Genesis model bows
- Fits similar sized bows
- Made from high-quality materials.
- Cost-friendly price tag.
- Limited bow compatibility
10. Allen 601-P
There are two colors available, and they are Muddy Girl and Realtree Xtra. It’s a simple girl or boy option that works well when customers want to find a case that fits their personal tastes.
Features and Specifications
Fits up to 35 inches axle to axle
Endura fabric with dense foam padding
The list starts off with a low priced item and should be fairly consistent moving forward. Buyers will find not only the price appealing but the materials used with the product.
Allen Company will become quite the remembered name to customers that want a top end bow case. Even at #10 on the list, there is enough reason to consider this over the other brands.
- Simple case with plenty of space
- Snag resistant lining
- Comes in two different colors
- Made from Endura fabric.
- Great color options but only two to choose from
Criteria Used to Evaluate Bow Cases
Size and Customization
Bow kits are universal for left or right-handed bows, with the deciding factor being the size supported. Unusual sizes that aren’t commonly used might need special bow cases, but this is rare. We looked at regular-sized competition bows and even factored in how well they would hold up when pushed to the limit with extras. That means looking at how easily they can be modified and if the manufacturer offers customized versions of the originals. Although a good bulk of buyers won’t even look this deep into the product, it serves as a very important feature for users that want to maximize the longevity of their product long after the warranty has expired. And for big name brands that offer superior customization, the styling options compared with the add-ons are second to none. Bow kits have a lot of options beyond their original sets, and it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored by the customers.
Space is important for users that need to carry a lot of ammo, so a good bow case will make the most of the room it provides. We took bow cases off of the list that wasted a lot of interior space since that could have gone to much better uses. Wasted space equals wasted money, and the last thing you want to do is leave money on the table when there is a better option. A large part of the appeal with the bow cases on this list also comes from how they meet the guidelines of most airlines.
Traveling with your equipment can get tricky with all of the tight security measures being enforced by the major airlines. The big help with having a bow case capable of getting through a checkpoint is that you won’t have to get your equipment confiscated. Besides the potential loss of hundreds of dollars, there is also the frustration of delays in getting it checked out. So even if it seems minor, there is a really good reason why the bow cases on this list meet those restrictive guidelines.
Hard or Soft
There was no favoritism for hard or soft bow cases on the list, as we opted instead to focus on their individual pros and cons. Getting into a head to head with the two wouldn’t make sense, as it is a very tricky subject for many people. Hard case users love the extra protection and how they don’t have to worry about the abuse their case takes. This is great for airline travel or storage for long periods of time where outside elements might be an issue. Soft case users love the extra space, and of course, the lower cost compared to a hard case.
Soft case users will usually have multiple cases, giving preference to a specific bow set for competitions, hobbies, hunting and other tasks. In some situations, they can purchase 3 of their favorite soft cases for the price of one case. The downside with this comes with protection, which is going to be less than a hard case. In this situation, we gave great preference to soft cases that were the toughest in their category. Although they won’t reach the level of a hard case, they still manage to provide enough protection to where you don’t regret the purchase. It’s a compromise that is worth making if you want a little more flexibility with your accessories.
Durability is something else we looked at, and this is something that was focused directly with soft cases. Back in the day when soft cases first came out, they would have the same type of fabric as everyday camping equipment like a tent. This has obviously been improved over the years, and without sacrificing the flexibility of the case. This was a tough thing to grade since hard cases have to be judged on not just their present durability, but long-term usefulness. There are plenty of tough soft cases that fall apart after months of abuse, while the good soft cases will continue to hold up. Just take a look at our list for comparison and you’ll see a major difference between other lists.
This list manages to group soft cases with their hard counterparts and not separate them too much from one another. This proves that soft cases have a place in the industry and are still in high demand worldwide. As long as the warranty is still in place, it doesn’t matter what bow case you end up with. The difference is the options from this list will go far past the warranty period when abused.
Compatibility with Accessories
Having the highest compatibility with accessories made a difference in how the list was ordered. This includes arrow add-ons, bow modifications, and quivers. The more space that was available, the better. And that space had to be in a place that made sense with the setup of the bow case. Some of the cases that were left off had extra space available, but in an area that put those accessories at risk. There was also cases that had bad padding on the inside that limited certain bows and arrows by length, which turned out to be a bad design decision by the manufacturer. Incompatibility was avoided a lot on the list, leaving some well-known choices completely off of the top ten even though they met criteria in several other spots. In really bad scenarios the compatibility issues leaked over to modification problems for users that wanted to modify their equipment. This led to buyers having to completely gut and redo the inside of their bow case in order to meet specs for their current equipment. It was an extra step that shouldn’t take place and is the prime reason why this list is so restrictive.
Ease of Maintenance
Cleaning the interior of a soft or hard case is a must, although nothing too complex is required. We looked at the inside of the bow cases on the list and determined that the ones that were easy to dust out would place higher on the list. There are some cases that are great, but the small nooks and crannies are a pain to clean. These narrow spaces are prone to collecting dirt, pebbles and other harmful elements that could damage your equipment if it’s not taken care of in a proper manner. So even if you’re rocking the best hard case on the list, the inside of the case could be more harmful to your bow than the outside elements. So if this has been an issue with previous bow cases for you, then look at the items that placed higher on the list- they will be the ones that are easier to clean out.
How To Make The Best Decision When Choosing A Bow Case
Look at what type of bow you have, the size of the arrows, and how many accessories you like to bring with you. Bigger arrows will cut down the amount you can bring, even if there is a high maximum capacity for arrows listed in the features. Those same features don’t account for thickness or the arrows, or any odd shapes.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
The main reason you want to clean the bag is to clear it of any loose debris that could damage your bow, arrows or associated materials. As long as nothing is running loose in the bag, you don’t have to go too crazy washing it. Just use soap and warm water for the normal cleanings and everything will be fine.
How to Protect Your Bow Case from Damaging
Most people are concerned about the proper use and maintenance of their archery equipment; after all, they have paid money for it. However, very few consider the case that holds the equipment itself. Since this case is the reason behind your bow being safe, it’s a good idea to ensure that it’s always protected from getting damaged. Some of the issues you’ll need to consider include ensuring that you buy the right case, where you store the case, and how you manage it when traveling.
Do I really need a bow case? This is a question that you may be asking. Your archery equipment is an investment which needs to be protected, whether you are just storing it at home or you a traveling with it. Your case shows that you value your archery equipment. Also, if you are going to be traveling it ensures the safety of your gear.
You may also discover that some states and countries will require by law to carry your bow in a case all the time when transporting it.
Start by Getting the Right Case
Maybe your bow case has been damaged and you are looking for something to replace it with, the first consideration should be to get a case that’s right for your bow. So, if you want to protect the case from damage, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that it’s the right case for the bow you have.
Don’t Force Things into the Case
This may sound obvious but we will say it nonetheless, determine the bow you have. Answering this question will ensure that you know which cases you are considering and which ones you are not. For example, you need to be clear whether the compound you have is a target compound or a hunting compound. Not every case will be good for your target compound and if you fit it into a wrong case, you could damage both the bow and the case.
Apart from determining the compound you have, you can ensure that your case doesn’t get damaged by considering the amount of gear you will be carrying in it. Certain models will only carry the bow and others will be able to help you carry other accessories.
If the case is designed just to carry the bow, use it for that. However, if you are planning to use the case to carry other gear, then you will need to get one that has pockets, straps, and other compartments to hold all your other stuff.
Protect the Case When Flying
If you are going to be flying a lot with your bow case, the best way to guarantee that it withstands the rough handling by baggage handlers is to shop specifically for a bag that is airline grade. These cases are stronger than the ones that are not certified airline grade. In most airports, you would find a facility where you can pay to have your luggage wrapped; take advantage of it.
Follow the Manufacturer Instructions
Most good cases will come with instruction on how they should best be cared for and the range of uses for which they are made. While it could be boring to read these instructions, you will do yourself a favor by taking some time to check them out before you use your bow case for the first time. Also, if there is something genuinely wrong with the way the case is manufactured, you won’t be able to claim from the warranty if it’s clear you didn’t take good care of the bow case.
While it is important to ensure that your bow is protected, we certainly think that it’s more important to ensure that the case that keeps your bow protected is secure from getting damaged. If you travel a lot with your archery equipment as some people do, the case will come in handy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Hard Case Or Soft Case?
A: A hard case will provide more protection, while a soft case will usually provide more room. The tradeoff is going to be up to you and how much you want to bring on a specific trip.
Q: What Are The Benefits/Cons Of A Hard Case?
A: Hard cases have better interiors for holding things in place if there is a lot of movement. But they are also a pain for carrying for long periods of time compared to soft bow cases, which have great padding and weight balance.
Q: What Are The Things To Look For In A Bow Case?
A: This will come down to the type of bow case your purchase, whether it be hard or soft. In a soft case you want at least average protection, yet you also want the benefits of a soft case like more pockets/room. For a hard case, you want maximum protection and a comfortable way to carry it. This can be with handles, a strap or even wheels. Both options have their pros and cons, so find out which one is best for you and then look for features that enhance the strength of that particular type.
Q: Will Youth Bows Fit?
A: The thing to remember about bow cases is that they are pretty much universal. A youth bow is just a smaller and optimized adult bow, so won’t have any extra edges or length that will prevent it from fitting into a bow case. Always check the dimensions and the manufacturer’s specifications so you can check the allowed sizes within the case. This will be a big help if you’re not sure about the size of your youth bow and whether it will fit. It’s hard to make a mistake in the sizing if you have the correct information about the product at the ready.
Q: Does xx Bow Fit In xx Case?
A: Once again, knowing the size is everything. Where it gets complicated is if you have any modifications added to your bow. You always have to account for any extra inches when using modifications or add-ons. A simple mod could keep your bow from being stored, even if it only adds a couple of inches here and there. Know the size of your case and the ins and outs of your bow before you set out to use them both. And if you’re in a situation where you’ve purchased a case that can’t handle these modifications, work around it if possible. Some mods can simply be removed and stored in the case with the bow and other accessories.
Q: How Important Is Arrow Storage?
A: Arrows can break, bend, and sometimes you just plain lose them when shooting. Being short on arrows is a real problem when you’re far away from any place that sells the kind you need. That is why the importance of arrow storage shouldn’t be underestimated with a bow case. The more arrows it carries the better value it is to you as a customer. And it doesn’t just end with arrows since whatever accessories you have will be better off in the same case rather than a separate one. This is where hard cases are at a disadvantage since they will naturally have less storage than a soft case.
Q: Are Any Bows Or Arrows Included In A Case?
A: This is asked a lot, and the answer is no, at least for this list. There is a special bit of information regarding bow cases that include arrows bows or arrows, and it ends with customers staying away from them. You’re not going to get even average quality with a setup like that, and if you plan on bonding with your equipment then this is the worst way to go about it. Purchase the bow first, then the compatible ammo, then the bow case-all in that order. This is definitely not something that will work out well as an all in one package.
Q: How Protected Is The Equipment In The Case?
A: In a hard case, it is like putting a shell around the most important parts of your bow and arrows. You can throw this in the back of a pickup truck with nothing to hold it down and climb over rocks, all without worrying about damaging the equipment on the inside of the case. The same applies if you are flying and have to check this in with the rest of the baggage. Now when it comes to soft bow cases, things are a lot different. The protection offered by soft cases is significantly less, and mishandling it a bit too much can cause some damage. Now that doesn’t mean that soft bags are flimsy and made out of paper, they just happen to offer less protection than the hard cases on the market.
Q: How Is Mixed Color Defined For A Bow Case?
A: This can be a confusing bit of information when looking at the styling for a bow case. Mixed color is defined as camo, or camouflage being a big or small part of the color scheme. This is an important bit of information for bow users that hunt since they will favor the mixed color over plain colors like black or bright colors like red. Now, where it gets even more confusing is that sometimes manufacturers don’t follow this styling convention and may define a bow case as mixed, yet it has no camo in it at all. If you’re a hunter it is always best to see a picture of the product when it says mixed color, that way you know exactly what you’re getting.
Q: Are Quivers Supported When Storing Your Bow?
A: This is model dependent, and universally it involves taking your arrows out of the quiver when placing them in the case. Always take the arrows out and put them in their appropriate spaces, and chances are your quiver will fit just fine. Where things get complicated is when you have to make adjustments to make it fit. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, and this is where soft cases have a slight advantage. Ideally, you would have a quiver that has a case of its own that attaches to your bow case. This is a common use and one that should be considered if you want compatibility with all of your products.
Q: What Should Left Hand Users Buy?
A: Over the years the bow industry has softened to the needs of the left-handed user. There are even left-handed exclusive accessories, something that a long time ago wasn’t even on the market. When it comes to bow cases, things are a lot more universal. Whether you have a left, right or universal hand bow, they will fit into all bow cases just fine. There are no differences other than the way you put them in the case, and there are no specific left handed bow cases in the industry since they are not needed. Even when you fill in the extras like arrows, quivers and other items, they are all universally accepted in a bow case.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Modded Cases And Custom Cases?
A: Modified bow cases are their own thing and are usually done by professionals or by ambitious users themselves. A modified bow case can have enhancements such as extra space, a harder exterior and even special holders on the inside of the case. The build starts with purchasing a bow case that fits your needs the most and then modifying it with everything you feel would make it better. An important thing to point out is that doing this will void your warranty, so there is a risk/reward factor involved. Custom cases are different in that they can be ordered from the manufacturers of the original cases but with a lot fewer modification options. Custom cases can feature something as little as your name written on it and can be as hardcore as a manufacturer offering an updated version with extra arrow slots. Customizing through the manufacturer doesn’t void your warranty, but comes with a lot fewer benefits than modifications on your own.
Q: Are Replacement Pieces Easy To Buy?
A: We’ve all been in a situation where our equipment is mishandled by a third party and potentially damaged. Calling in your warranty is the only thing you can look forward to in this case, but what happens when you’re out of warranty? Or what happens when you don’t want to wait to get it fixed? Unlike the equipment they house, bow cases tend not to have parts readily available to repair a case if it breaks. This includes the interior elements and the exterior elements, although that doesn’t apply to removable straps. The key here is that if your bag breaks, then calling in the warranty is usually going to be the only step possible.
Q: What is the difference between a bow case and a crossbow case?
A: The main difference between the two is that a crossbow case is larger. It also features the shape of a crossbow, so it is pretty distinguishable.
Q: Are bow cases and crossbow cases the same thing?
A: No, they are not. However, they do have some similar qualities. For example, manufacturers offer both kinds in hard shell, soft shell, and hybrid shell. Both have the purpose to protect, store and hide away your bow and accessories.
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