Your recurve bow is an expensive piece of equipment and therefore needs to be stored and transported properly. A bow will simply not fit in most regular bags and offer not enough protection. Therefore, it’s essential to buy a backpack or case for your recurve bow.
If you are new to this hobby, you might be overwhelmed with the number of options. There are hundreds of backpacks and cases available, and it can be difficult to make a choice. In this article, I will help you make your choice and discuss important aspects of the bag or case you should consider.
I will first discuss the difference between the different bags available and their unique product features. Then, I will discuss in more detail how you can distinguish between a cheap archery bag and an expensive archery bag. At the end of this article, I will recommend some of my favorite products and answer some questions and answers.
Backpack vs case
Recurve bags come in two form-factors: a backpack or a case. When you are shopping for your bag, you first have to choose which one fits your situation best.
A backpack has the advantage that you can carry the bow on your back. This is especially useful if you are walking or riding on a (motor)bike to the archery range. Most backpacks also have a handle on the side of the bag which allows you to carry it like a case. Therefore, an archery backpack is a very flexible option and is used by most recurve archers nowadays.
A case also has a few advantages over a backpack. Most bow cases have more interior space than backpacks. Because the case doesn’t have to fit on your back it can simply be a bit bigger. Additionally, a lot of hard cases have wheels that allow you to roll them like a suitcase. Since the case also opens like a suitcase it’s also a bit easier to get all your gear out of your case.
So, whether you choose between a bag, or a case depends on your preference. If you want the most storage, you should choose a case. But if you intend to walk or go by motorbike (or bicycle) to the range, a backpack is more ideal.
Hard case vs soft case
Both compound as recure bow cases come in both a hard case as a soft case form-factor. A hard case is similar to an actual suitcase, while a soft case is more like a sturdy bag. Both form-factors have their pros and cons.
The major benefit of a hard case is that it provides more protection when the bow is being handled by airport staff. Although you might be careful with your bow, people that work with luggage the entire day tend to be less gentle. Therefore, I recommend a hard case if you want to transport your bow this way.
In other circumstances, a soft case is more convenient. In a hard case, for example, you have to strap all your individual components down. Otherwise, it might fly through the case which can cause damage to your bow.
Therefore, a soft case is more convenient for most archers. The soft case takes up less space, is easier to fill, and can’t crack. A soft case also provides much more protection than you might think as long as it has enough padding, which we will discuss in more detail later.
What you should consider
Now you know what form-factor you want, you can already pass over a lot of options. But still, there might be dozens of different bags that you could consider. Therefore, with the information below, I will explain in more detail what you should consider, while making your choice.
How well it protects your gear
The most important aspect of your bag is how much protection it provides while you transport your bow. This largely depends on how much padding your case or backpack has.
A hard case with little padding can still cause damage to your bow as it moves in the case. A backpack with a lot of padding, on the other hand, can provide a lot of protection if it’s well padded.
So don’t think that a hard case always provides more protection, because that is simply not true. A well-padded bag can provide just as much protection.
Durability of the materials
Another important aspect of the archery bag is the durability of the materials. Cheaper bags often use inferior materials which are thinner and tear more easily. The stitching is often also a lot weak than more expensive bags.
Therefore, if you buy a cheap bag, you might have to replace it earlier. In that case, going cheap is actually more expensive.
I experienced this with a cheap compound backpack I bought a while ago. The stitching around the shoulder straps was not reinforced. Therefore, the material started to tear. Luckily, I noticed this early enough, so I can still use it with the carry handle. But I can’t wear it on my back anymore.
The limb and riser pockets of a cheaper recurve bag were also torn within a year. The material is simply too weak, and the stitching was once again not reinforced.
Amount of storage pockets
If you shoot the Olympic recurve style, you will need a lot of stuff, such as
- Riser and limbs
- Large front stabilizer
- Small side stabilizers
- Tab and arm protector
- Bow stand
In addition to the gear to shoot, you might also want to bring some basic tools to make field repairs, such as:
- Hex keys
- String wax
- Bow square
- Serving wire
You can of course throw all this gear in one large bag, but then you risk that some of your more vulnerable gear gets damaged. Therefore, it’s much safer and practical to have a lot of different pockets. You will fill it up much faster than you think!
How the arrows are stored
I always recommend storing your arrows in a tube. Some cheaper bags have a pouch to store your arrows, but this is not a good idea. The sharp arrows can penetrate the bag. If you choose to buy a bag with a pouch, you should buy an arrow tube separately.
Okay let’s face it, we all like nice stuff especially when it’s regarding hobby gear. More expensive bags generally have nicer designs and more color options. There is no shame in wanting to have a nice bag. A high-quality archery bag will last a lifetime, so why shouldn’t you buy something that fits all your needs and desires?
Recommended archery backpacks
I have been a fan of Legend Archery for a long time. They provide very high-quality archery bags at a reasonable price. If you read the reviews on Amazon, you will see that their customers are very happy with their products.
That’s why I was very happy when Legend Archery contacted me to support me to write this article. Below I have listed the best three recurve backpacks I recommend.
I recently got the opportunity to interview the founder of this archery brand. So, if you want to learn more about Legend Archery, make sure to read the interview.
Legend Artemis – an inexpensive beginners backpack
The Legend Artemis is a great choice for archers that don’t want to spend a lot of money on an archery backpack but still want a durable option. This backpack is very well padded and has in total three pockets which allows you to store smaller items. The outer shell is made from Oxford Nylon and the zippers are heavy duty.
Therefore, this is a great option if you are just getting started with archery. This bag doesn’t have a separate front pocket though. So, if you prefer a front pocket, you might want to look at the XT720.
Legend XT720 – a backpack for serious archers
The Legend XT720 has a very popular design with a large front pocket. This front pocket allows you to store your fragile gear, such as your sight and plunger, separately. It has transparent pockets and straps to attach your sight.
This is a great choice for serious archers. The bag gives you a lot of room for all your archery gear and is very durable. The near-perfect rating on amazon says it all!
If you have the money, you might want to consider the Legend ProTour, however. It’s only a bit more expensive, but it has more pockets, more interior space, and a rain cover included.
Legend ProTour – everything for professional archers
If you intend to wear your backpack a lot on your back, this is the one you should buy. This is the best archery backpack for the money. The extra straps keep the backpack firmly in place while walking, cycling, or riding your motorbike.
The backpack has two foam stripes that hold the bag slightly away from your back, which makes it cooler than regular backpacks. With the included rain cover you can also protect your backpack from the elements when in a pinch.
The Legend ProTour is more spacious than the previous two bags and has more pockets to store smaller items. Therefore, this is the best backpack money can buy!
Recommended bow cases
Although I gravitate towards recurve backpacks there is nothing wrong with bow cases. They often have more storage and a larger opening than backpacks. Below I have listed two cases I recommend.
Legend RCV Recurve bow Case
The Legend RCV Recurve bow case is a perfect inexpensive option. The case is well padded and has two compartments. The large compartment fits your bow and quiver, while the small compartment is meant for your tools, sight, and stabilizer. You can secure your arrows in the telescopic arrow tube on the lower end of the case.
This is overall a great choice for beginners that want an inexpensive case, with enough space for all your gear. This case doesn’t have wheels and can carry one bow. Therefore, if you want to carry more gear in your case, you might want to consider the next case.
Legend Atom Recurve Bow Case
If you are looking for a high-quality recurve archery roller case, look no further than the Legend Atom. This case has a lot of interior space and pockets on the inside and the outside of the case. Therefore, you can carry two full bows with this bow case!
This bow case is also suitable for traveling by plane due to its sturdy outer shell. The case has padding on the inside, which makes sure that your bow returns to you unscathed, even if the airline crew isn’t all that careful. Therefore, if you want the best of the best, this is the recurve bow case to buy.
Questions and answers
I speak with a lot of archers, both at my local archery club as online via my blog. I often hear the same questions, so let me answer these questions quickly. If I didn’t answer your question, feel free to ask it in the comment section down below!
Do you really need an archery bag?
Whenever you transport your bow, it’s important to carry it in a well-padded archery bag. A normal bag will not provide enough protection, which can cause your bow to get damaged. Therefore, it’s recommended to buy an archery case or backpack.
Does a case provide more protection than an archery backpack?
How well a case or backpack protects your bow depends on how much padding the bag/case has. A well-padded backpack will provide just as much protection as a backpack. Even a hard case can damage your bow if it doesn’t have enough padding.
More buyer’s guides
Choosing the right archery gear is very important, therefore I have written a lot of buyer’s guides on all kinds of archery equipment. Learn more by clicking on any of the articles below.
I hope you liked reading this article, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them down below in the comment section. I will reply to your comment as soon as possible and I will send you an email notification.