10 Best Bow Case Reviews (2018 Updated)
After the expense of a new bow, you’ll want to protect it as good as you can. You should purchase the best bow case available to you - the right case for your type of bow, meeting your specific needs with top ratings. Check out the recommendations below to accommodate your requirements and our top 10 archery bow case reviews. Check this out:
Best Bow Case:
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Best Bow Case Reviews
Hard case - Crossbow
1. SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case with Wheels
This case has wheels, making it much more travel-friendly than most hard bow cases, and it will accommodate the bow with quivers still attached. It’s a bit larger than average but for a few reasons, that doesn’t matter much - those wheels make it worthwhile, but the designers paid special attention to handle placement and it’s easy to carry.
This is the truth about the case:
It’s also permitted as checked luggage on most airlines, a feature many cases lack. Another unusual bonus, it’s insurable. If this case is damaged, the contents are covered up to $1500. It’s roomy enough that if you use a soft pack on the hunt and a hard pack for travel, you can place the soft case with bow inside into this SKB hard bow case and it fits easily.
The only drawbacks are the price - easily justifiable with all the bonus features - and size. More internal straps would be preferred though, and a change from clasps to Velcro for more security.
- Airline approved
- Easy to carry
- Very roomy
- Internal straps need design improvement
2. Common Sense Ballista Aluminum Crossbow Case, Black/Silver
On the surface, this bow case doesn’t seem to stand out, and that’s one of the biggest complaints about it, but we’ll get to that in a moment. This aluminum case is far more durable than most, and it’s multi-functional; you can store your guns in it too. It’s lockable and has loops for a shoulder strap - which unfortunately isn’t included.
The best feature is the “do-it-yourself” aspect of the foam protection inside. It’s cut into 1 ½” blocks so that you can remove and adjust as needed, fitting perfectly around your bow and accessories.
The greatest drawback to this case, other than the minor annoyance that it doesn’t come with the shoulder strap, is that it isn’t specifically for crossbows. The name of the product says so, but it’s just a rectangular briefcase-style container that could fit anything. In the end that doesn’t affect the quality of the product and depending on perspective, maybe a feature - it’s versatile!
But if you’re looking for a product in which you feel good that your bow is specifically protected because its construction was considered while you the case was designed, this otherwise excellent hard case might not be the one for you.
- Very durable
- Loops for shoulder strap
- DIY foam
- Shoulder strap isn’t included
- Not specifically for crossbows
3. Plano Bow Max Crossbow Case, Black
First, probably the biggest flaw of this Plano bow case is that it’s one of the best at what it’s supposed to do - it does it all, but better than the rest. It’s hard to talk about what stands out because it does all the things a good case does, it just does them much, much better. Your bow is not getting damaged in this case, and it’s at an affordable price point for the protection it provides.
The biggest concern is the same as with most hard cases for crossbows - it’s bulky and heavy. Its other negatives have workarounds that make the case still worthy of consideration. First, it needs more styrofoam, and the foam that it has needs to be hot glued to keep it from falling out.
More concerning, without a little more do-it-yourself ingenuity, it warps arrows larger than 20”, and even the 20” will warp too if you leave the broadheads on. You can remove the plastic pieces on either side though, and they’ll fit fine. Still, if craft time isn’t your idea of fun, you might find this a little obnoxious.
- More protection
- Does everything a hard crossbow case is intended to do - BETTER
- Bulky and heavy
- Warps larger arrows
- Foam has to be DIY’d, hot-glued
- Needs more styrofoam
Hard case - Compound Bow
4. Lakewood Products Double Bowfile Elite Case
This case has a unique hybrid soft outer shell, hard inner shell feature. It won’t scratch the surfaces of the areas you store it but it keeps the bow just as safe as a hardshell case. Another unique feature is that it’s top-loading, meaning it takes less room to remove the bow and it’s not properly closed, your bow won’t fall out and be damaged.
The best part ?
This Lakewood bow case holds two bows (double bow case) and has much more room for gear and arrow storage than most cases. Wheels make it easy to move from place to place, and it is airline-approved and lockable. It’s very lightweight for a hard case and comes with a shoulder strap.
The only real negative is the price, and with all those features, it’s easy to understand it may require a larger budget. While the fabric exterior is very rugged ballistic nylon, it may begin to fray before a full hard case would start to deteriorate. That affects aesthetics more than anything though - the interior hard case will remain tough as nails.
In my opinion, this is best compound bow case on the market today.
- Hybrid case
- Fits two bows
- Fabric exterior may start to wear out
5. SKB Hunter Series Bow Case
This case is a solid one - if you get lucky and your bow fits. Seems like it’s made to really only a few standard-sized ones because smaller bows and larger bows just won’t fit. It’s airline approved, but that doesn’t mean that the locks work - they’ll break on the first flight!
There’s no extra space for accessories either. It’s lightweight and velvet-lined, great design characteristics, but it really needs to be better designed for travel and to fit more bows and accessories.
- Velvet interior
- Airline approved
- No extra space
- Doesn’t fit all bows
- Locks perform poorly
6. Plano Protector Compact Bow Case
This compact bow case is sturdy and durable, but it seems like it should be thicker. With foam only 1” thick, it holds up but it makes the bow owner a little nervous every time there’s a hard jolt. Very lightweight itself, the case doesn’t add much to your load, and since there’s not much room for accessories, if you can carry your bow comfortably, you can carry this.
The latches are very sturdy on this and there are multiples in case one should break. However, the handles don’t quite match up, a manufacturing flaw, and it requires a few minutes of assembly. All in all it’s a good bow case, but there are better ones if budget isn’t the deciding factor.
- Latches are sturdy
- Good price point
- Could be thicker
- Foam only 1” thick
- Handles don’t match up
- Requires assembly
- No room for accessories
Hard case - Recurve Bow
7. Lakewood Products Take Down Recurve Case
This best recurve bow case has much thicker foam than most cases and on top of it is lined with faux fur. Airline approved, it will hold two dozen arrows, and it’s a sturdy case that holds up under pressure.
Like many hard cases, it’s a big large and unwieldy, and heavier than one would like. The real criticism is only that it doesn’t stand out. It’s a great case but doesn’t have many bells and whistles. This takedown recurve bow case won’t let you down but it might not be particularly impressive either.
- Foam-lined faux fur
- Airline approved
- Holds 2 dozen arrows
- 3” foam
- Lacks “extras”
Best Soft Bow Case
8. Allen Gear Fit Pro Compound Bow Case, 39"
This compound bow bag has extra space for everything and extras of everything. It’s super-easy to transport because it has padded fabric handles and a shoulder strap. The D-rings and other attachments are plastic though, and they can break fairly easily or wear out over time if you get lucky and they last awhile.
Good luck if the bag breaks on your shoulder or while you’re picking it up too, because it doesn’t have much padding, even for a soft case. Inside it needs hold-down straps; essentially the bow rests on the floor of the bag because it isn’t secured in, so if you drop the bag or it falls, it’s a hard crash.
Ultimately this is a best soft compound bow case but really only for keeping your items together. On the hunt and during transport you’ll be crashing through way too many tight and slippery spaces, and you need a case that offers more protection.
- Tons of extra storage space
- Easy to transport
- Not enough padding
- Needs hold-down straps
- Plastic rings on straps break
You should consider to use an arrow case to prevent breaking your soft bow case. This is a both cheap and convenient solution. Check them here!
9. Barnett 17083 Crossbow Case
This bag has a lot of great qualities. It’s a dream for transport, with a sling to wear on your back and handles to pick up easily. It has a great construction quality and a lot of extra padding. It also fits a LOT of accessories!
Unfortunately, one of the reasons it fits so many accessories is because it is way too big for most crossbows. The bow looks like it’s swimming inside, and due to that excessive size, the bow isn’t adequately secured. All the extra padding in the world is not going to protect a bow in a soft case that is just banging around inside.
It’s a great purchase if you have a larger crossbow, but unless it is on the larger end, choose another case.
- Easy to transport
- Fits a lot of accessories
- Great construction quality
- Too big
- Bow not adequately secured due to size
10. SAS Recurve Takedown Bow Case
This is a decent bow case. It transports well and as long as you aren’t slinging it around too much, the bow will stay safe despite not having enough padding, because it has stiff support and elastic bands to hold your gear in. It carries some accessories, but not a lot.
Be conservative with what you want to keep with you if you use this case, or buy some extra add-on accessory cases. It has well-organized compartments so you can keep everything neat and easy to grab quickly.
All in all, it’s a great case if you’re not prone to slinging it into hard objects or dropping it.
- Good for transport
- Carries some accessories
- Stiff support
- Well organized compartments
- Not a lot of extra space for accessories
- Not enough padding
Bow Case Types
There are two categories of bow cases, hard and soft, regardless of the type of bow they can accommodate. This classification is based on the material used and construction of the shell.
Hard Bow Case
A hard case is generally made of aluminum or hard plastic, or a combination. They are good for travel, with some exceptions, and for storage are easier to put aside without worrying, but they also take up more space.
Part 1: Advantages
a) More Protection
A hard case provides more protection simply because if the case is harder, falling objects or tight spaces can’t damage the bow inside because the force exerted on the case isn’t stronger than the material it’s made of, generally ABS plastic lined with firm but pliable foam padding to absorb shock.
b) Safer for Travel
For this reason, it’s also safer for travel - travel exposes your bow to more risk for damage in transport, including bumps and falls in the voyage.
It’s also waterproof - moisture can’t enter hard casing as easily as it can fabric.
Part 2: Disadvantages
d) Bulky and Expensive
But the advantages don’t come without consequences - that hard casing makes this style of bow case bulkier and more expensive.
e) Less Carriage
Because it’s less pliable, you won’t be able to fit in more accessories than the maximum intended by the product’s designers. It generally lacks exterior pockets or containers to add more items.
Soft Bow Case
A soft case is typically nylon or some other durable and weather resistant fabric, and it fits more arrows and accessories. It’s easier to carry than a hard case but otherwise less suitable for travel - but it’s easier to store, as long as you put the bow in a safe place away from dangers.
Part 1: Advantages
A soft case has more advantages, but you’ll have to weigh if they’re more important than those of the hard case. The price is usually more reasonable and it’s easier to store because it’s pliable and conforms to the shape of the bow.
b) Fit More
Because it has more give, you can fit in a few more accessories, and it’s shape, weight, and carrying straps make it easy to transport.
c) Weather Resistant
It’s weather-resistant, which isn’t quite as good as weatherproof - you can get it wet but if you accidentally leave it outside during a storm or you drop it crossing a stream, you may find protection less than ideal when the fabric is saturated.
Part 2: Disadvantages
d) Less Protection & Harder to Secure
Because the casing has given, it doesn’t protection from damage as well, and it’s harder to secure when flying - locks don’t attach as well and are easier to work around.
e) Not Last Long
You’ll find that a soft case that is well cared for won’t last as long as a hard case that is moderately mistreated - after time the fabric will start to give and seams will begin to fray or plastic connection pieces begin to break.
Hard Vs Soft Bow Cases
In general, a soft case is probably preferable because of price point and ease of transport if you typically only use your bow locally and can stay organized. But if you know that you’ll occasionally travel via airline with it, or your lifestyle is such that you know you won’t always be able to store and move it in a manner that protects it from exterior hazards or from falls, you should consider a hard case.
Buying Guide: What To Consider
You’ll need to consider how you will store and transport the bow. The case may need to be weatherproof, and while you certainly need to protect the bow, you might consider who you’re protecting from the potentially dangerous contents as well - arrows might injure young, curious children. Overall, there are six factors that tend to be most crucial to consider for your best bow and arrow case.
There are four main types of bows, most having been used for archery hunting for centuries. They have evolved over time and are now made with materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber, making them more accurate and higher tech with greater ease of use, but also more fragile, factors you’ll need to consider when shopping for a bow case. Many have advanced shooting mechanisms that also make them easier to use but can break easier and harder to replace, having greater value.
The different types of bows include:
- Compound bows
Longbows are generally historical novelties now and not used in real game hunting and archery, therefore we focus on finding the best archery case for recurve, compound bows, and crossbows.
Every bow is very different, and you’ll want to find a bow case that is made specifically for your bow type. The name of the bow case will generally tell you what type of bow it’s for. But you can tell by shape too if you are unsure for any reason.
Compound Bow and Recurve Bow Case
Compound bows and recurves often have the same general shape, so you may find a case that would be appropriate for either. However, a compound bow is typically more expensive and heavier, so you shouldn’t purchase a case for a compound if the case is specifically designed for a recurve, especially if it’s a soft case - the container simply won’t support it.
A crossbow case will have a different shape entirely, a rounded base with a cylinder or tube-shaped top half. Because a crossbow is heavier on one end, you may consider a soft case with a strap to loop onto your back - or a hard case with this feature if you find one. A crossbow may be harder to transport in general because of weight distribution.
You’ll need to consider how you will store and transport the bow. The case may need to be weatherproof, and while you certainly need to protect the bow, you might consider who you’re protecting from the potentially dangerous contents as well - arrows might injure young, curious children.
If you plan to fly often with your bow, you’ll likely want a hard case for cargo shipping and transport. You can be more flexible if it’s carry-on, but you’ll have to leave gear at home. Consider two bags - one for everyday use and one for travel.
Most bow cases are flight ready, but not all, so this is important to check into. Also, consider airline rules. Some airlines may ban your bow completely, or not allow it as a carry-on but permit it as checked luggage. Others may have size limits that prevent your case or require additional fees that you find cost-prohibitive.
Bows and their cases get rough rides! You’ll want to make sure you have a case just as rugged as you are - in other words, if you like backwoods and rocky streams, consider a hard case. Make sure you read reviews because you don’t want a case that falls apart after a few uses.
Is this pack lightweight?
“Lightweight” is a matter of perspective and preference, and you’ll have to consider if “lightweight” overrides the other factors you need. An easy to carry bow case needs to have straps and be as light as possible with comfortable handles.
Size matters in this case! A bow case isn’t just for the bow! You’ll want to store arrows and other important gear as well, such as quiver, cam, sight, release, monocular. You’ll want extra space with clearly divided pockets and expansion options when possible.
A bow is a major investment for an all-encompassing and rewarding hobby. You’ll want the best case you can afford and you’ll want to meet all the criteria possible. Check out our top 10 reviews below for the best cases available on the market today!
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Pick one of the best bow case to protect your bow now.