If you are serious about archery, you need to buy a quiver. You can place your arrows on the ground while shooting, but this is asking for back pain issues. Bending over 30 times to grab your arrows, is not great for your back. Archery is a taxing sport for your upper back, so you need to be extra careful.
While shopping around for a quiver, you might notice that there are a lot of options. There are hip-mounted quivers and back-mounted quivers. Some quivers attach to your belt, while others come with a separate belt.
If you have never worn or used a quiver it can be quite difficult to choose. Therefore, I explain in this article what you should consider while choosing your quiver. I start by discussing the different form-factors to choose from. Next, I explain what you should consider while choosing your quiver. At the end of this article, I will list my favorite quivers and give some final recommendations.
Back vs hip-mounted quivers
When you see archers in movies, you always see them wearing a back quiver. You sling this quiver over one shoulder with a shoulder strap. Although this quiver is very common in movies, it’s not common in modern archery. It was even less popular in historical archery than the movies make it out to be.
There are quite a few issues with back-mounted quivers. The first disadvantage is that it’s more difficult to grab an arrow. With a hip-mounted quiver, the arrows are lower and easy to reach. On a back-mounted quiver, you have to raise your arm over your shoulder to get the arrows, which is just a more awkward movement.
A back quiver is also less secure. When you bend over to grab an arrow from the ground, you will empty out the entire quiver, since the quiver is now upside down. A back quiver is also less convenient in the woods. Since the arrows stick up above your head, your arrows can get caught in low-hanging branches.
For small children 12 years or younger, a back quiver is in most cases a better option. A full-size hip quiver will be too big and clunky for children. For children of this age, a back quiver is also more fun since it mimics archers from movies and comics.
Most adult archers prefer to use a hip-mounted quiver. They are simply more convenient and comfortable.
Forward vs rear-facing quivers
Since the large majority of archers choose a hip quiver, this article will mainly focus on this option. Hip-mounted quivers can be bought in two options, forward-facing and rear-facing. Let’s discuss the advantages of both options.
The most popular option for new archers is the forward-facing quiver. This quiver is canted forward which means that the back of the arrows are in front of you while they are stored. This makes it a lot easier to grab the next arrow.
It also has some disadvantages though. Since the arrows are facing forward they can also get caught on foliage (if you shoot outdoor) or a doorframe (if you shoot indoor). Since the arrows are pointing away from your body, they also tend to shake while walking. Therefore, some archers prefer the rear-facing quiver.
The rear-facing quiver is mostly popular by more experienced archers. This quiver stores the arrows pointing slightly backward, which alleviates some of the issues with the front-facing quiver. Some rear-facing quivers come with a leg strep to
The arrows in a rear-facing quiver tend to wiggle less in the arrow tubes and rarely get stuck on foliage. Therefore, the rear-facing quiver is a great option if you shoot in the woods.
Another benefit is that the arrows are not in the way if you use the free fall swing technique. With this technique, you let your recurve bow fall which gets caught in the finger sling. The idea behind this technique is that it prevents you from holding the grip too hard. Read the article below if you want to learn more about the free-fall swing technique.
The major disadvantage of the rear-facing quiver is that it’s more difficult to grab your arrows. Since the arrows are not in front of you have to do this all by feel. You will get used to it quickly, but it can be a bit awkward when you have just bought the quiver.
So in conclusion, both the front and the rear-facing quivers are solid options. If you shoot in the woods a rear-facing quiver is the better option. But if you mainly shoot indoor or in open fields both are solid options.
I personally use a forward-facing quiver since I only shoot indoors or on the field. My arrows do get caught in doorframes every once in a while, but it doesn’t bother me that much.
Right vs left-handed quivers
Hip quivers are available both for right-handed and left-handed shooters. Right-handed archers wear their quiver on the right, while left-handed archers wear their quiver on the right. You must choose a quiver that fits your handedness in archery. If you hold the string with your right hand you need a right-handed quiver and vice versa.
If you accidentally bought the wrong quiver, you have to wear it on the wrong side. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is very inconvenient. Since the arrows are closer to your bow hand, you will frequently hit the arrows with your hand and bow. You also have to grab the arrow from the other side, which is quite awkward.
Therefore, make sure to buy a quiver that matches your handedness!
What you should consider while buying a quiver
Now we have discussed the different styles of quivers we need to discuss what you should consider when choosing a quiver. In general, I think there are three important things to consider. Let’s discuss these in more detail!
How much gear you can store
The first thing you should consider is how much gear you can store in your quiver. The basic design of most quivers is quite similar for most brands. There are 3 arrow tubes that allow you to store the arrows and a belt. A major difference between cheaper options and more expensive options is how much you can store.
You might think that you don’t need any storage in your quiver. But where would you leave your release/tab, arrow puller, scoresheet, and pencil? I even carry some light tools with me if I need to tighten a screw on my bow or measure the brace height.
When you are just getting started, you probably don’t have a lot of gear to fill all the space. But believe me, you will fill up this space rather quickly once you have gathered more archery gear.
How well it stays in place while walking
If you have a wobbly quiver, walking can get quite annoying. The quiver will constantly wag from right to left and hit your leg. In some extreme cases, the arrows will even fly out of the quiver.
Well-designed quivers have a large upper support that minimizes the amount of wobble. In combination with a good belt, it will stay in place properly. Later in this article, I will discuss one quiver that you have to avoid because of this very reason.
Durability of the materials
Another important thing that distinguishes a good quiver from a bad quiver is the material it’s made out of. Most inexpensive quivers are made of thin fabric which tears easily. More expensive quivers on the other hand are made of strong nylon fabric which is stronger and abrasive resistant.
You might think that a quiver doesn’t wear all that much. You only wear it while shooting and store it safely in your archery bag. That is true, but in my experience, a quiver wears quite a lot.
When you are walking, your leg will constantly rub against the outside of the quiver, this can cause the fabric to wear easily. Also if you shoot in the woods the material can easily get damaged if your quiver gets stuck behind a branch especially if it has sharp edges.
Therefore, if you buy a cheap quiver, you probably have to replace it earlier. Which kind of defeats the purpose.
I have used many quivers over the years and by far my favorite brand is Legend Archery. The quivers from this brand are made of high-quality materials, well designed, and fairly priced. That’s why I was very happy when Legend Archery contacted me to sponsor this article. I even got the chance to ask the founder some questions regarding their products. You can read the full interview here.
Best quiver for children – Legend back quiver
As mentioned earlier, if you are looking for a quiver for children, I recommend getting a back quiver. This back quiver from Legend Archery is strong and comfortable to wear. It also comes in 3 colors which allows your kid to choose the design he/she likes.
The strap is adjustable and can accommodate small children and even adults. So if you are an adult and prefer a back quiver, this back quiver is also a great option.
Best beginner quiver – Legend First quiver
If you are looking for an inexpensive quiver the Legend First quiver is a great option. This quiver is held securely in place with an included belt. It also has one large pocket for tools, a smaller pocket for your release or tab, and a thin pocket for your scorecard.
Like I mentioned earlier, all Legend Archery products are known for their excellent materials. Therefore, this quiver will truly last a lifetime. If you want a more advanced quiver though, you might want to consider the Legend XT320.
Best advanced quiver – Legend XT320
The Legend XT320 is the best front-facing hip quiver available on the market. It has a similar design to the Legend First quiver but is available in more colors. More importantly, it has a few unique features over the aforementioned quiver.
It has some additional D-buckles which allows you to carry some additional gear. A lot of archers use these to attach the following gear: an arrow puller, a small hex key set, a small towel, or a tournament registration card. Therefore, it’s definitely a plus to have some extra D-buckles.
It also has an additional pouch small pouch on the release pouch. I use this pouch to store some small items that don’t have another suitable place. The pouch is currently full with vanes that got shot of my arrows.
Best rear-facing quiver – Legend XT420
If you prefer rear-facing hip quivers, the Legend XT420 is a great option. Like the other hip quivers, it has three pockets to store your arrows. But these pockets are made of soft materials which means that the arrows don’t make noise when they move around, which is ideal for hunting.
It has one large pocket, with a separate inside mesh pocket, to store your tools, arrow puller, and other gear you might want to carry. It also has a place for your tab or release, right above the arrows, just like the other arrows.
One major advantage over other rear-facing quivers is that this quiver is designed without a leg strap. I have used a rear-facing quiver with a leg strap before and I could not get used to it. It felt like I was in a climbing harness.
Clip-on quivers – why they are not a good option
If you are looking on Amazon at all the different quivers available you will eventually see a quiver that doesn’t include a belt. This quiver is meant to be clipped onto your normal belt or on a belt loop. This seems convenient, doesn’t it?
Well, it might be convenient to get it on, it’s not convenient when you wear it. Since these quivers are clipped on at one point, they will dangle all over the place when you are walking.
I have seen multiple archers try these quivers and they all bought a new one in a few months. The quivers tend to be so unstable that you have to hold them in place while walking. So, if you are serious about archery, buy a good quiver and not a cheap clip-on quiver!
Recommendations for hunters
If you want to hunt with your quiver, I have a few final tips:
- Use a quiver without plastic arrow tubes: The arrows will move around in the tube which will make quite some noise. This isn’t an issue if you shoot your bow at targets, but you can’t have this while hunting.
- Use a rear-facing quiver: While moving through the woods, you want to have a low-profile quiver. On a back quiver and front-facing quiver, the arrows can easily get stuck on foliage.
- Choose a quiver with a lot of space: While hunting you need a lot of gear. You can of course bring a backpack, but the more you can fit in your quiver the better. The gear in your quiver is more easily reachable.
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 this article was helpful to make a choice on what quiver you want to buy. If you have any comments, experiences, or questions, please leave them in de comment section down below. I will reply as soon as possible and send you an email once I replied.