Identifying the best piece of equipment to protect and transport your bow is a key consideration. There are lots of different options, such as securing your bow to your own backpack - some backpacks have special straps specifically for this purpose - or buying a purpose designed bowpack to transport the bow or using a bow sling over a standard backpack. There are some people who just want to be ready for action and carry their bow in their hand, perhaps not practical though on a long trek into deep country.
So what is the best option for protecting and carrying your compound bow when you're out on a hike or a hunt?
Attaching a compound bow to a backpack
Some shooters like being able to access their bow without having to take off a backpack. But is the bow really secure? Are all the integral parts like the sights protected against knocks and bangs in the dark or when moving in rough terrain? Tying a bow on with cord can be difficult to release, particularly if you are trying to keep a low and quiet profile! And it’s fiddly, meaning you might just miss that perfect shot. The bow can move around whilst you are walking which is not only uncomfortable, but also potentially risks damage if it knocks into trees or other hard objects, particularly if you are walking in the dark.
So here are three of our top picks for carrying your bow.
Compound Bow Backpacks
ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack
"the ultimate backpack quiver combo... at a price that beats many of it's rivals hands down"
This is a multi functional pack that will accommodate not just your bow but everything else as well, the ultimate backpack quiver combo. Specifically designed with the hunter in mind, this pack is touted as being made for hunters by hunters. Everything is well thought out down to the last detail. Constructed from durable material in camouflage colors, the ALPS OutdoorZ is sturdy and robust and will allow you to haul away a kill, accommodate your bow, provide backpack storage and also double as a day-pack for shorter trips, with plenty of handy pockets for smaller items. If you are looking for a backpack with quiver facility, then you won’t be disappointed with this product from ALPS and it’s at a price that beats many of its rivals hands down.
- Universal - fits all sizes of bow
- Very comfortable shoulder and waist straps, padded to help distribute the weight and both insulated and breathable for added comfort
- Handy expansion pockets for carrying extra clothing or layers shed throughout the session
- Tensioners on the straps designed to minimise movement and keep the pack close to your body
- Quiet outer material, noise free so no rustling
- Additional storage space available, just unroll the daypack mode which you can use to either store your bow or haul a kill
- Dedicated universal bow pocket which fits a variety of compounds bows, allowing for total freedom of movement and offering total bow protection
- Attachable accessory pockets which fit to the front of the pack so that smaller items – binoculars or camera – remain within reach without having to take the pack off
- Big loops on the zips making them easy to operate even when wearing gloves
- Water resistant, not fully waterproof
- The silent latch pocket is placed in a rather inaccessible location
ALPS OutdoorZ Quickdraw, Realtree Xtra
"designed for shouldered ready access"
Smaller than the Pathfinder, the OutdoorZ Quickdraw also from ALPS is designed intentionally with just a single strap, to be slung over one shoulder, allowing ready access, just swing it forward - no need to untie any straps to take it off.
The Quickdraw is a day-pack designed for a few handy accessories and with a drop down bow pocket that will securely transport most designs of compound bow. Lightweight and maneuverable, offering good protection for your bow and space to carry everything you will need on a day trek.
- Easy access to compartments with the swing round single sling design
- Perfect design for those quick draw moments on a hunt
- Works for both left handed and right handed shooters as the padded shoulder strap can be switched to either side of the belt
- Handy drop down bow pocket leaving the user’s hands free
- Two litre reservoir and hose
- Padded waist belt ensuring optimum comfort
- Large pocket on the waist belt for GPS device
- Dual entry points to easily access the main compartment
- Camouflage effect fabric which is also noise free
- Handy D ring clip which can be used for hanging whilst shooting
- The dedicated Rangefinder pocket is not large enough to accommodate all types of satellite devices
- Depending on your size/shape, you might find this pack a little on the small side
Primos Neoprene Bow Sling
"comfortable, easy to access and fits a wide range of bows"
This is a simple, soft bow sling from a well known industry name, padded and shaped to protect your bow and its strings and cams. Designed with security straps and quick snap buckles, you can secure your bow fast or alternatively, release it with the minimum of fuss when you want to take a shot.
The neoprene is durable and quiet, protecting your bow whilst also being comfortable to wear. This is a simple option for day treks or short hunts when you don’t want to be encumbered with a backpack but do want to care for your bow and keep your hands free as you move.
- Comfortable moulded design made of soft neoprene
- Fits a wide variety of bows as the fit is adjustable
- Padded straps for comfort
- Allows the shooter to have free hands to carry other items or navigate rough terrain
- This is not the deepest sling you can purchase and some users report wear from the neoprene on the bow strings due to the snug fit