A compound bow is an expensive and vulnerable piece of equipment. That’s why it’s important to store all your gear in either a well-padded bag or protected case. A normal backpack or bag will not suffice. Most bags will not fit a compound bow and do not provide enough protection.
So, if you haven’t bought a bag or case for your compound bow yet, I urge you to do so. It will not only protect your bow, but it’s also much more convenient when you take your bow and gear to the archery range.
There are a ton of different bags available, which can make it difficult to choose. Therefore, I have written this article in which I explain what you should consider and how you can make this choice. At the end of this article, I also listed some of the best compound bow cases and bags (in my opinion).
The three possible form-factors
Compound bow cases come in three different form-factors: soft case, backpack, and hard case. All these different form-factors have pros and cons. And which form-factor is the right one for you depends on your situation. Below I have summarized the most important differences between these three form-factors.
|Soft case||Backpack||Hard case|
|Can be carried on the back||No||Yes||No|
|Can be used in air travel||No||No||Yes|
|Rollable (has wheels)||No||No||Yes|
|Amount of storage||Medium-high (depending on model)||Medium||High – Very High
(Depending on model)
The most popular choice overall is the soft case, because these cases tend to be lightweight and inexpensive. And if you don’t intend to carry the bag for a long time this is a great choice. Below I will discuss in more detail the benefits of each form factor.
As mentioned earlier the major advantage of soft cases is that they are lightweight and generally less expensive than the other two options. Since this is the most popular option, you also have a lot of options to find a high-quality bag with a design you like.
A soft case can generally carry one full compound bow with all gear you need. But there are also some cases available that allow you to carry two full compound bows. Soft cases can generally carry a bit more gear than a backpack, but less gear than a hard case.
The major benefit of a backpack is of course that you can wear it on your back. This is important if you have to walk long distances with your bag. Therefore, a backpack is great for hunting and hunting simulations, because you want to keep your hands free while navigating through the woods.
I also recommend a backpack if you like to walk, cycle or go by motorbike to your local archery range. Although you can also a sling on a soft or hard case, in my experience this is not an ideal solution for long durations. It’s great for getting your bag from the car to the range, but that’s about it.
Backpacks have a similar design to soft cases. Some backpacks even allow you to stow away the back straps to convert them into a soft case. This is very useful if you are not sure whether you will also use it as a backpack.
It’s important to note though that these backpacks are rather clunky. In addition to the large size, a compound bow and all the other gear, make the backpack quite heavy. That’s why most compound archers prefer a regular soft case since they won’t use the backpack feature anyway.
A hard case provides a bit more protection to your gear. Although a soft case provides enough protection for people that are reasonably careful with their bag, it doesn’t provide enough protection for flying.
At the airline, the bag will move through a series of conveyor belts to get it to the plane. Then the airline personal will place the bag in the baggage compartment. It’s not uncommon for bags to get damaged in this process. Therefore, it’s important to have a high-quality hard case if you like to travel by plane with your bow.
A hard case for a compound bow is quite similar to a regular briefcase or travel. It has a solid exterior and can be locked from the outside. The major difference is that the compartments and padding are optimized for transporting a compound bow.
The two major disadvantages of hard cases are that they tend to be more expensive and a lot heavier than soft cases. That’s why most hard cases have wheels to roll over smooth surfaces. Most hard cases have a lot of room which allows you to carry a lot of tools or even a second bow.
What you should consider
If you know what form-factor you prefer, you can already narrow your options down. But still, there are dozens of different bags that might fit your criteria. You might also see that there is a huge difference between pricing and quality in these different bags.
To make this a lot easier, I will give you 6 important things you should consider while buying your compound bag or case.
The size of your bow
Compound bows come in different sizes. Most target archers prefer to shoot with a long frame compound bow because this gives a slight edge in accuracy. Hunters often prefer shorter compound bows, because this is more convenient while shooting from a tree stand or an unconventional position.
You must buy a case that fits your bow. Too small and your bow won’t fit in it. Too big and your bow will move around in the bag while you carry it. About 2 or 3 inches too big isn’t an issue, but I don’t recommend transporting a bow with more clearance than that.
Simply measure the length of your bow from the tips of both cams. Most listings will either list the interior room or mention what lengths you can use in the case. So, make sure to check this, before you make a purchase.
How well the case protects your bow
A compound bow is an expensive piece of equipment. Therefore, you should buy a bag that not only stores your bow but also protects it. Sadly, there are a lot of bags available that do not offer enough protection. Make sure to closely look at the material and check whether there is enough foam and padding to protect your bow from impact.
On a compound bow, the most vulnerable parts are the string, cables, and cams. I have had issues with cheap bags in the past that damaged my cams. Therefore, make sure to check that there is enough padding around the cams. Some bags even come with some protectors which provide additional protection.
If you buy a hard case, you have to make sure that you can strap the bow down. If the bow is loose in the case, your bow can still be damaged.
The durability of the case
Although you might be tempted to buy a cheap bag, in most cases it’s more expensive in the long run. The problem with cheap bags is that tend to last a lot longer. The big difference between a more expensive and a cheap bag is the materials it’s made of.
You probably have experienced this in the past with clothing. Some clothing lasts decades, while other clothing only lasts a few months. Therefore, a bag made of high-quality materials can suffer a lot of abuse, while a bag made of cheap materials might get worn after even a few uses.
Amount of storage
Like a normal bag, it’s important to check how much you can store in your archery case. You probably need more storage than you might think. For example, I have the following gear in my bag:
- My compound bow
- Large front stabilizer
- Small side stabilizers
- Some basic tools, such as hex keys, string wax, bow square, and serving wire
Don’t only look at how much stuff you can store, but also how you can organize it in your case. Some cases only have one large front pocket, which means that all your gear and arrows have to be stored together. This is not ideal since this can cause your equipment to get damaged. Therefore, it's much better and convenient to have different compartments to organize your equipment.
Also, make sure that you have a bit more space for other items. Depending on your needs you might also want to store some other stuff that is not related to archery. Think for example about: a water bottle, some food, a notepad, your wallet, etc.
How the arrows are stored
Arrows are not cheap, especially if you bought some high-quality aluminum arrows. Therefore, you should store them properly in your case. Most high-quality bags will either have a special compartment or an arrow tube to store your arrows. But some cheaper bags only have a long pouch to store your arrows.
I always recommend storing your arrows in a tube or a special arrow compartment. If the arrows are stored in a pouch, the points can penetrate the bag. Therefore, I always recommend buying an arrow tube, if your bag doesn’t include one.
Recommended soft cases
Below I have listed down the three products I would recommend if you are looking for a soft case. Let’s discuss these products one-by-one.
All the cases, I recommend in this article are from the Legend Archery brand. I have been a fan of this brand for a long time, so I was very happy when they reached out to sponsor this article. If you want to learn more about Legend Archery, make sure to read the in-depth article here.
Legend Monstro – best price
If you want a high-quality bag for a good price, look no further than the Legend Monstro. Like all Legend Archery products, the case is made from sturdy materials which will last a lifetime. The bag also has thick padding and cam protectors.
This case has one large two front pockets, one for arrows and one for your archery accessories. You can also store some additional gear in the zipped pockets on the inside of the case.
Overall, this is an inexpensive case that offers a lot of protection and durability for a solid price. If you want more storage, you should check out the next bag.
Legend Apollo – lots of different storage pockets
If you like to keep all your gear organized, this case is the best option for you. This case features a total of 9 external pockets. Therefore, you can keep all your gear secure in separate pockets. As mentioned earlier in the article, you might bring a lot more gear to the field than you might expect. So, the extra pockets can prove very useful!
Although this case offers a lot of storage, you can only safely carry one compound bow. For most archers, this will be enough. But if you want to carry two bows, you should consider the next case.
Legend Double2 – store two compound bows in one bag
There are multiple reasons why you might want to carry two bows in one bag. If you always shoot together with another archer, it might make sense to share the bag. The other archer could bring a bag with some food, drinks, and other stuff.
Another reason why you might want to carry two bows is that you might use them for different purposes. For example, one bow for hunting and one for target archery.
Whatever your reason might be, this bag allows you to carry two full compound bows. There are two separate pockets, which means that both compound bows are fully protected. You also have two large outside pockets to store all your other gear.
If you have to carry your bag for long distances, I recommend buying a backpack. You can also use a shoulder strap, but this uneven pressure on your shoulder will not be comfortable in the long run. Below are two backpacks I recommend!
Legend Superline – a backpack for target archers
The legend Superline is a backpack case hybrid. This means that you can easily stow away the backpack straps and use it exclusively as a case. This is more useful than you might think. If you carry the bag as a case, the straps might get caught in something or dangle on the ground. Therefore, it’s much better to stow them away.
This bag has two large external pockets for your arrows and gear. On the inside of the bag, you will find additional fastening straps and cam protectors to keep the bow in place while it’s on your bag. You also have two mesh pockets on the inside of the backpack.
This case is great for target archers, if you are a hunter and use a short compound bow (38 inches from tip to tip or less) you should consider the next backpack. Buying a too large case is not a good idea, because the compound bow can then move a lot inside of your bag.
Legend Crusader – a backpack for hunters
If you have a short-frame hunting bow, the Legend Crusader is the right choice. This bag is available in both 35 and 38 inches, which means that it fits most shorter compound bows.
Like all other cases mentioned in this article, this bag comes with a lot of interior and exterior storage space, to carry all your hunting gear. Just like the Legend Superline, you can also stow away the backpack straps, if you want to use it as a case instead.
The Legend Crusader comes in a camouflage color scheme, which is great for hunters. If you don’t like camouflage though, you can also consider the Legend Alpha. This bag is quite similar but is available in both blue and red.
Make sure to measure your bow though. These bags are made for smaller bows. A long-frame target bow will not fit in these cases.
Recommended hard case
If you want to fly with commercial airlines with your bows, I recommend the Legend Everest. This hard case protects your bow while it’s processed in the airline. It also has a TSA lock which protects from intruders but also allows airport security to check your bag without damaging it.
The wheels also make sure that you can conveniently move your bow around on the airfield. And the arrows are stored safely and locked inside of the case, which is a requirement from most airlines.
This hard case is also a great choice if you want a lot of space. This case can carry two full compound bows and a lot of accessories. If you like to bring a lot of heavy tools and bow gear, this is definitely a good choice.
Let me quickly sum up the most important tips from this article:
- Think about how and when you will use your bag. The different form-factors each have their pros and cons. Some archers might need a hard case, while others can easily get away with a soft case. Therefore, you should think about how and when you will use your bag!
- Check the dimensions of your bag. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a bag which you have to return because it’s too small or too big. Therefore, make sure to measure your bow and compare this to the dimensions on the product page.
- Don’t go for the cheapest option. It might be tempting to buy a cheap case. But these bags tend to be overall low quality. Either the materials are cheap or there is not enough padding. Therefore, going cheap can cost you a lot more in the long run.
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 found this article helpful. As you may have read through the lines, I made the mistake to buy a too cheap bag. Therefore, the cams of my bow got damaged. Luckily it was a cheap bow, and I can still use it. But if it’s an expensive bow I would be frustrated.
That’s why I recommend buying a high-quality bow case. A good case will last a lifetime. If you ever want to sell your bow, you will also get much more money if it’s in supreme condition. So, it’s worth it, even from a financial standpoint.
If you have any questions, comments, or remarks, please leave them in the comment section down below. I will reply to any questions as soon as possible and I will send an email once I replied.