Buying an Archery Bow Case: 8 aspects to consider

Purpose of a bow case

First,  I could title this article how to buy your first bow case also instead of buying an archery bow case.

That being said, even if you think you would look cool walking in the streets with your bow or crossbow, it is not what others might think. But seriously, secrecy and safety are more than appropriate when you want to transport the weapon from one place to another. Furthermore, you only have two hands and to bring everything on a site without a bow case, that could be annoying.

Description of the product

Bow cases are built to store any of the most popular brand bows. They feature specific elements to keep you bow safely when transporting or when storing the bow. Most of them are easy loading designed so nothing moves when you put in or out of the case. Manufacturers offer them in a hard, hybrid or soft shell to answer different needs. Depending on the bow and the purpose of its use, the case will have a specific design to ensure safe transportation.

Moreover, some parts of bows or crossbows are more sensitive to transportation so a good case would give you better chances to keep your equipment in good shape much longer. It can be an expensive sport so taking care appropriately of your gears can’t be bad. 

Types of Bow cases

There are two main groups of archery cases. First, we have the bow cases, which encompass the compound bows, takedown recurves bows, selfbow recurves and longbows.

Now the second group, the crossbow cases which are much bigger than the bow cases. They indeed encompass all style of crossbows, the recurves, the compounds and the reverse limb crossbows. So what is a crossbow case more specifically?

The obvious shape of the crossbow makes the cases quite recognizable. Like bow cases, they come in hard, hybrid and soft shells. Most of the cases offer space for mounted scopes so you don't have to sight-in your crossbow every time you go out. The weapon itself is bigger when assembled than most of the bows. This means the size of a crossbow case is definitely bigger as shown below.

buying an archery bow case

Plano BowMax Crossbow Case

Knowing now more specifically what differentiate those two big groups, I made a list of what you should consider when you are looking to buy a bow case. 


8 Things to consider before buying a bow case or a crossbow case

What are you shooting with?

Maybe obvious to you but answering the question will steer you toward more specific cases and eliminate others. There is many types of cases for crossbows, recurve bows, longbows and compound bows. You need to be specific when you answered the question to choose accordingly. For example, a one-piece recurve won’t fit in a soft or hard takedown recurve case but both could fit in a sleeve or a selfbow case for recurve bows.              

For what purpose will you use the case?

This would be the most important question that you should ask yourself.  In the case that you will only transport your bow from your house to the shooting range, you might want something more basic. By basic, doesn’t mean it would be cheap but with fewer features, so you concentrate your money on other items necessary for your bow.

In the case that you will bring your bow or crossbow off road into wild nature with its weather in the back of your pickup, you might need something more wild proof.  By wild proof, doesn’t mean it will be very expensive but you will need specific features so your bow can make it without a scratch trough transport and bad weather. You will look for strong and durable features on the bow case description.

Will you also take this case for storage at home? You might want to consider something that will be childproof or pet proof and weatherproof. In other words, something easy to lock for safety and sealed against damages of time and weather.

Should you go hard case, hybrid, soft case or simply a sleeve?

How you answered the previous question should have an impact on which one you should pick. Both types of the case would be good for any purpose but if you intend to use the bow in more rough condition, hard shells are most likely your choice for their level of protection. They are however heavier than the soft cases, so you may consider this features if you already have a lot to bring with you.

Let’s be clear, soft bow case doesn’t mean cheap bow cases. It often means best for your money. Their main advantage is the numerous pockets all around making it really convenient if you want all your archery gear in one place.

Of course, if the look of your case is something important for you, choose accordingly to your personal preferences. 

Any travels soon?

Probably a question that will eliminate a lot of them. There is few bow case airline proof. Airports are more likely to be rough on your case so choose the level of protection accordingly if you intend to travel often.

Are you a fan of brands?

Manufacturers may propose their own bow case with their brand on it. If that matters to you, I suggest you follow the suggestion that fit your budget and your taste toward that specific brand. Moreover, they are more susceptible to have all the right features for the bow or crossbow that you will buy. If this is less important for you, there is nothing wrong to take a different brand as long as they fit the features of what you bought.

How many items do I want to carry with my case?

If you are like most people, you may like to put everything in the same bag. That would be a really good way to not lose your gears.  Therefore, you will have to look for extra pockets as the main feature or simply larger cases.  If it’s not your case, there are bow cases made only for bows transportation.

Tip: The more items you have the more light you might want your bow case to be. I would consider a soft case or hybrid case for the overall weight.

Is it for me or my child?

Some parents offer their kids a bow or a crossbow. Depending on the size of the kid, you have to choose accordingly the bow case. Best Youth bow cases are necessarily lighter and smaller due to the size of their bows. 

Tip: If you are sure that your own child will develop a passion for archery, I recommend to not go crazy into expensive cases. Keep in mind that it might only be for a summer when you offer something to a kid. Been there, done that.

How about shipping and handling?

While you browse on the internet to look what you should get, you have to understand that this might be an item that you should pick in a pro-shop store or anywhere that gives free shipping for over-sized items. Many of the cases are not foldable which means larger boxes when they are shipped to you. Be ready to pay extra fees when you want this item drop ship to your house. But some huge websites, like Amazon, can usually afford free shipping.


In summary

You should have a better idea of what to pick according to your needs after reading the previous list. Now let’s see what is on the market. I made some bow case review for each category of bow cases with few products for each different sub-category. There are many more bow cases and I invite you to explore different possibilities. With the list of things to consider before buying a bow case, you can actually make your own review of any case now.


Different types of bow cases and their features

You will find the four main categories of bow cases below. I tried to encompass according to the previous 8 aspects to consider the best of the compound bow cases, the best recurve bow cases, the best selfbow longbow cases and the best crossbow cases for you available on the market.

Compound bow cases

Best soft Compound bow case for the money

buying an archery bow case

Allen Gear Fit Pro Compound Bow Case, 39" 

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Short description of the product:

  • Consider by many to be the best soft case on the market. This Allen compound bow case is mostly for all types of compound bows under 35 inches axle-to-axle. It comes in different colors and is good for any purpose like transportation to shooting range to any hunting situations. It combines space, durability, and efficiency. Let’s be clear, soft bow case doesn’t mean cheap bow cases. It often means best for your money. The Material is tight woven polyester. The material used to build the case is tearing resisting and puncture providing. 


Best soft compound bow case of its category     


Tarantula Single Deluxe Bow case 

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Short description of the product:

  • This Tarantula bow case is designed to fit both old style bows and parallel limb bows. Features an arrow box pocket, shoulder carry strap, double zipper, internal secure straps, a large internal gear pocket and an ATV mounting system. Comes with a tackle box that fits in the front pocket. Simply a no-brainer if you are looking for a soft compound bow case. The Tarantula single deluxe is what you are looking for.


Best Hard compound bow case for the money

Plano protector compound bow case Black 

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Short description of the product:

  • Among Plano bow cases, the protector is the best for the protection, the price, the warranty and its patented PillarLock system. To resist crushing damage the Plano protector is clearly the best hard compound bow case for the money. Inside straps are available for more stability during transportation. This compound bow case can fit 6 standard arrows and most of the mounted quivers.

Plano 10630 Bow Guard SE 44 

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Short description of the product:
  • For the same reason, as stated above, the Plano bow guard is also among the best hard compound bow case. With a fully loaded quiver storage for in-line or offset quivers. Be aware that the mounting bracket required are not included (You must contact quiver manufacturer for brackets) It features an angle locking foam arrow retainers that hold twelve arrows. Inside, you will find high-density foam interior. Furthermore, this Plano bow case has padlock tabs for added security and it is airline travel approved.

Best Hard compound bow case of its category

Plano 108115 AW Bow case Black 

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Short description of the product:

  • A Plano hard bow case; the AW Bow case is lockable and is a thick-walled weatherproof bow case. It offers storage for fully loaded in-line or offset quivers. Features a dual stage, spring loaded lockable latches with padlock tabs; high-strength pinned hinges. It is definitely crush-resistant and makes it airline approved with his PillarLock system. The Dri-Loc seal for weather-proof protection is a must for those who want a wild proof bow case. Its arrow storage fits both standard and carbon fiber arrows. There is additional accessory tie-down strap included bringing more stuff your hunting site. You get a lifetime warranty against defects if bought from an authorized dealer.

SKB Hunter series Bow Case 

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Short description of the product:

The Hunter Series SKB Bow Case is designed to accommodate most of the best selling bows on the market with the quiver attached at an affordable price point. Features a rigid shaped ABS shell with stylish embossing that actually adds structural support to the lid with an eight point interlocking stacking system. The Perfect-Match valance bending system provides a tight and secure fit to prevent dirt, dust, and moisture from the interior of the case with lockable draw-bolt metal latches and a comfortable carrying handle. Features plush lined EPS inserts for maximum impact resistance and new state of the art water-jet cut polyethylene foam arrow system that will accommodate up to a dozen arrows. SBK products come with a lifetime warranty if bought from an authorized dealer. You definitely want to consider this one if budget is not an issue.


Takedown recurve bow cases

Best soft takedown recurve bow case for the money

OMP Takedown recurve bow case camo 

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Short description of the product:

Designed to accommodate the most compact adult or youth bows. Crafted from rugged 600 Denier material with soft side interior design to ensure protection. It includes an exterior accessory pocket for quiver or arrow tube. It is design for EZ-loading your bow in and with the heavy-duty zipper pulls, you can be sure it will last long. It also features a reinforced black carry handles and the October Mountain Products logo on the front of the case make it a complete compound bow case for any budget. Color may vary. 

Best soft takedown recurve bow case of its category

Spyder Takedown Recurve Soft Bow Case 

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Short description of the product:

This soft case comes with a large interior pocket which includes two slots to keep your riser and limbs separate from each other, along with a large front pocket able to hold all your accessories, and our case also comes with an expandable arrow tube which gives you so much more space. This case is made from a tear resistant Polyester fabric making it durable for any adventurous archer. Comes with a hard plastic arrow tube so you can hold your arrows unlike cases sold at a comparable price. The Interior pocket can hold any takedown recurve bow as long as 68".  You can confidently purchase knowing your bow will fit in this case. Unlike hard cases that are big, bulky, and heavy, this soft case uses a light fabric reducing the overall weight of the case. This case comes with both hand straps and a shoulder strap for anyone's carrying preference. Each strap is securely sewn to the case, along with the shoulder strap having a clip to remove it completely. This case is easy to carry and perfect for beginners.

Best Hard takedown recurve bow case for the money

Vista traveler takedown bow case Black 

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Short description of the product:

This Vista bow case is a weather resistant hard case for takedown recurve bows. It fits bows up to 62”. Also features lockable snap closures, integral gear storage compartments, and a built-in broadhead wrench. It is safe and durable. This case will leave your bow scratch-less.

Best hybrid takedown recurves bow case for the money and its category.

SKB Hybrid Recurve Archery Soft Case, Black

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Short description of the product:

This hybrid bow case feature a custom plush lined rigid foam insert to accommodate most popular single take-down recurve rise and two sets of limbs. Allows to store up to a dozen arrows safely. It combines protection and space for most popular single takedown recurve bows.


Recurve and Longbow selfbow cases (one piece recurve or longbow)

Best soft recurve or longbow selfbow bow case for the money

30-06 Recurve/Longbow Case Green 68 in. 

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Short description of the product:

This 30-06 soft recurve case features a full-length zipper and a 5" x 6" accessories pouch. More than 1180 cubic inches of storage. This soft bow case will store any selfbow and won't break your bank.

Best soft recurve or longbow selfbow bow case of its category

Neet NK-164 Recurve Bow Case 62",66" and 70" 

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Short description of the product:

This Neet Recurve bow case features 1/2” foam padding with brushed trico lining, full-length zipper, 1 1/2” wrap around handles and an 8” x 6 1/2” zippered accessory pocket. Stylish and will definitely take care of your bow.

Best Hard recurve or longbow selfbow bow case for the money and its category

Lakewood Products Longbow Single Case 

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Short description of the product:

This Lakewood bow case fits most longbows. It features a hard interior that is foam-lined and provides amazing protection. The exterior is soft and durable. There is also two support brackets that add protection for your bow. Comes with a riveted handle with webbing strap holder to strap multiple cases together. This bow case is made in the USA and has a lifetime guarantee.


Best Sleeve recurve or longbow selfbow bow case for the money

Neet T-RC-B Recurve Bow Case 66 in. 

Short description of the product:

This Neet sleeve case is a more traditional longbow bow case. It features a reinforced lower end for added tip protection and flap and ties down closure.

Neet Longbow Case 72" South West Brown 

Short description of the product:

This Neet sleeve case is the same traditional longbow bow case but longer. It also features a reinforced lower end for added tip protection and flap and tie-down closure.


Crossbow cases

Best soft crossbow case for the money

OMP Compact Crossbow Case 

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Short description of the product:

  • Definitely made for extra storage, the OMP compact crossbow case will exceed your expectations. Its specific high rise section is perfect for any mounted optics. Made of very durable 600 denier material, this bow case will last you long. Easy to carry with his side handle or comfortable shoulder sling to any hunting areas. Most modern crossbows fit into this crossbow case design.  

Best soft crossbow case of its category

Barnett Crossbow case 

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Short description of the product:

This Barnett crossbow case comes with a soft side case that provides protection and easy access to your hunting accessories. Large zipper side opening. It can clearly fit all Barnett crossbows with the scope attached and most of the standard crossbows. Two outer zippered compartments for additional accessories. The Barnett crossbow case comes with padded shoulder sling that is removable.


Best Hard crossbow case for the money

Plano Bow-Max crossbow case 

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Short description of the product:

This Plano crossbow case is carefully engineered and lets this case house most large crossbows with scopes and quivers attached, while the patented PillarLock system offers the best of protection. It features a separate full-length storage area and arrow storage that holds up to 6 crossbow bolts up to 22” in length. No doubts, this is 'THE' crossbow case for your money.

Best Hard crossbow case of its category

Plano Manta crossbow case 

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Short description of the product:

Plano brings crossbow storage to a new level with the Manta case. Features including lid bolt storage, patented PillarLock system, extra limb support foam and heavy duty latches. The adjustable tall-stock casing allows the case to expand or contract over 11". Slightly more expensive than the Plano bow max but clearly the maximum quality for any crossbows.

 Best Soft reverse limbs crossbow case for the money

Allen Contra Reverse Limb Case 

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Short description of the product:

This Allen crossbow case is made with heavy foam padding to protect limbs and cams. It includes padded, adjustable backpack straps for easy transport and exterior quiver pocket. It fits reverse limb crossbows. The dimension of the product are Length: 37”, Width: 24”, Height at Scope: 8.5”. Plenty of room for most Reverse limbs crossbows.



It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the products available on the market. Remember the 8 elements to consider when you are looking for an archery bow case. This will make your life easier and you will be able to enjoy more about shooting than having a headache about choosing your bow case.

Hope that you found this post valuable! Feel free to share and comment!

Thank you for reading!

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