Hard, soft, your bow doesn’t care. She just wants to be treated tenderly. That’s why you’re here, after all. You’re ready to get your hands on one of 2023’s best bow cases and give your precious rig the protection she deserves.
I’m an archer, too, and my bow has suffered from my negligence on more than a few occasions.
Once, I snapped my bow’s cams when I bumped it off the back of my tailgate. Another time, I lost my Fast Eddie sight while bumbling down the mountain in the dark on my ATV. Two seasons ago, I nicked my brand new bowstring while moving some sheet metal around the garage.
If I’d just taken the time to make sure my gear was secure, I’d have saved myself a bunch of money, heartache, and time.
But I take much better care of my compound bows nowadays. Why? Because I finally invested in a couple of quality cases. With experience comes wisdom, as they say.
To help you keep your setup in tip-top condition, I created a list of 2023’s top bow cases and archery bags, both hard and soft, from industry names like Pelican, Plano, SKB, and Flambeau. I’ve given suggestions for every budget, from sturdy and affordable cases to bulletproof high-end products that’ll never let you down.
To cover all the bases, I’ve made recommendations for crossbows, compound bows, and recurve shooters. So, whichever type of rig you’re working with, you’ll find something on this list that’s perfect for your style.
On account of my clumsiness, I carry my bow in a Flambeau Outdoors hard case every single time I leave the house to go bow hunting for elk or to a 3D range. I’m tough on my gear, so I need rigid protection for my rig at all times.
If you’re more careful with your bow than I am, you might prefer the more lightweight and mobile nature a soft case can offer.
Heck, it might not hurt to own both a hard and a soft case, depending on your circumstances. I own a soft archery bag for the occasional trip to the bow shop or target range and a rock a hard case on my more rugged adventures.
Still torn as to which type of case to buy? Click an option below to reveal more of its pros and cons.
Crossbows aren’t cheap. They’re also much more finely-tuned apparatuses than other types of bows, and their settings can be thrown off with even the slightest jostle or a drop. Protect your crossbow with one of these fine hard cases.
Click here if you want to skip this section and check out our top compound bow case recommendations.
Best Hard Crossbow Case for the Money
You just dropped some serious coin on that brand-new crossbow, and a sturdy hard case is the least you can do to protect it. I like the Manta from Plano because it fits all sorts of crossbows, from bulky older models to the new, smaller crossbows like the Excalibur 340.
It also has plenty of room for your quiver and accessories, making it a one-case system for all your crossbow trinkets. There will be no need to split up your gear between your bag and case and risk leaving something essential behind. For someone as forgetful as I am, this is a big plus.
However, the Manta may have difficulty fitting a longer bow, such as a CenterPoint Wrath 430. It primarily works best for normal to shorter crossbows, so make sure to measure your crossbow before you get your hands on this bad boy.
- Pros: Crushproof, roomy interior, customizable straps, and tie-downs
- Cons: A bit bulky, not great for longer bows
- Best for: Anyone needing a hard case for a crossbow; this thing is legit for all crossbow shooters
Top-Notch Model-Specific Cases
From instrument cases to military-grade injection molded gear cases, SKB knows how to protect precious cargo. Their tough-as-nails crossbow cases are the best in the business since they’re tailored to fit your specific bow model like a glove.
If you have an expensive crossbow that you want to protect to an extreme degree, this is the case for you. SKB makes crushproof, vibration proof, waterproof cases that are tailor-made to fit your exact rig. Sure, these are a bit more spendy than other options, but they’re an investment worth making.
If you’re newer to the sport and are rocking a cheaper setup, this probably isn’t the case for you. SKB products run a pretty penny and are even more expensive than some entry-level crossbows. But, if you have mid-to-high-level gear and want something that’ll last, look no further.
- Pros: Industry-leading hard plastic, tailor-fit to your bow, tons of room for all your bolts and gear
- Cons: Pricey
- Best for: Professional crossbow shooters, those with expensive setups
Solid Option on a Budget
To be honest, the main reason I love this crossbow case is that it looks freaking fantastic. But its looks alone aren’t why you should consider adding it to your setup. It’s a tried-and-true option from a trusted brand with countless five-star reviews.
Hunters and shooters alike rave that the Plano Spire claims to be a “perfect fit” that hugs their crossbows. Because of this trim fit, its overall profile is not as bulky as the Manta or an SKB. This case will work well for beginners or as protection for your second crossbow.
If you have a premium crossbow and need superior protection, you should consider purchasing something more substantial, like the Manta. Not to say that this case isn’t capable, but you get what you pay for, and this is very much an entry-level product.
- Pros: Great price, aesthetically pleasing, durable, keeps bow snug
- Cons: Limited tie-downs and padding; some report having to detach quiver
- Best for: Entry-level crossbow shooters, casual shooters
Best Soft Crossbow Case for the Money
Killer Instinct Slayer
The Killer Instinct Slayer is a superb option for anyone that needs a soft crossbow bag for the range. It fits Killer Instinct bows perfectly, but I’ve seen fellow shooters using this bag with all sorts of different brands.
I love this bag because it sports added pockets with added room for up to 20 bolts. With this roomy case, you can bring along all your accessories and gadgets and ensure they’re right there with you at the range.
This bag doesn’t have a ton of padding and isn’t very form-fitting, but it does its job well for the price. Many reviewers have commented on how well-made and practical it is, making it the best bang for your buck if you’re searching for a spacious and affordable range bag.
- Pros: Modestly priced, well-made, lots and lots of room for your extra gear
- Cons: Needs more padding
- Best for: Range Shooters, Hunters who are not rough on their gear
Fairly-Priced Hunter’s Favorite
Guide Gear Deluxe Universal
The Guide Gear Deluxe is one of the most well-reviewed soft crossbow cases on Amazon. It’s portable, comfortable, and has a helpful shoulder sling that allows you to carry your bow from the range, to the tree stand, and beyond.
This bag has room for an attached or unattached scope and all of your bow’s precious accessories. If the thought of lugging a bulky and heavy hard case into the backcountry makes you cringe, bring this lightweight and heavy-duty crossbow bag instead.
I don’t see a lot of downside with this bag. It sports half an inch of padding and can endure a decent beating when trudging through the woods. It’s universal, so it fits almost all crossbow setups, though some users with more oversized bows have reported fit issues.
- Pros: Modestly priced, lots of padding, easy to carry, water-resistant
- Cons: None to report; this is a tremendous all-around soft case
- Best for: Hunting and wilderness situations where you have to hike your bow in
Affordable, No-Frills Soft Case
CenterPoint Archery AXCSGB
Life as a crossbow enthusiast can get expensive quickly; we get it. That’s why we recommended this budget-friendly soft crossbow case from CenterPoint. It’ll be perfect for safeguarding your crossbow during transport.
This bag isn’t going to win a beauty contest, but its no-frills design and durability are nothing to be ashamed of. Further, this bad boy should have plenty of room for your bow, scope, arrows, and most of your gear. Not bad for 50 bucks.
I caution against buying anything “cheaper” than this bag since this is about as inexpensive as it gets without sacrificing quality. It fits all CenterPoint crossbows but should also work well as a universal bag.
- Pros: Heavy-duty, practical, inexpensive
- Cons: Leaves a little to be desired in the “snugness” factor
- Best for: Entry-level shooters, those on a budget
Modern compound bows shoot more accurately and at higher speeds than ever before. Nowadays, more and more hunters and competition shooters demand perfection from their setups.
But perfection comes at a price. High-performance compound bows and their accessories have become increasingly expensive over the years. As a bowhunter, I’m no stranger to this fact.
Grab one of these cases, and protect that investment.
Click here if you want to backtrack back to our top crossbow case recommendations.
Best Hard Compound Bow Case for the Money
SKB Cases iSeries 3614
If you travel with your rig, especially on airlines, the SKB iSeries is the best bang for your buck hard compound bow case of 2023. You never really know how your gear will be treated once checked in, so this rock-solid case will ensure your bow hits the baggage carousel in perfect condition.
It has a compact rectangular design that makes for easy packing and stacking inside your truck and should work great for hunters and target shooters alike. SKB made a name for itself by producing rock-solid military-grade gear cases, and their iSeries compound bow case is a shining example of why.
The iSeries is a superb option for compound archers looking for a custom fit, as you can adjust the foam to your exact specifications. While this isn’t the cheapest case, your precious bow will appreciate the investment.
- Pros: TSA approved, foam-to-fit, snug fit, packable, super heavy duty
- Cons: None!
- Best for: Travel, hunting, those who want an ergonomic and stackable case
Creme de la Creme Bow Protector
Pelican 1745BOW Air
I just purchased a fancy new Matthews bow, but I haven’t decided which case will protect it yet. I’ve had my eye on this high-end Pelican case for a while, and this may be the year I finally pull the trigger. It’s simply the best hard case of 2023.
The pro at the local archery shop let me check out his 1745BOW Air case last fall, and I was stunned at how much room and protection it offered for his beloved setup. It has an indestructible outer shell and offers tons of added security inside, highlighted by its padded divider that separates your bow from your arrows.
This is a very high-end case, so it might not make the most economic sense if you’re new to the sport and don’t have a top-notch bow. But then again, if you purchase this case, it’ll last forever, allowing you to upgrade your bow as you go.
- Pros: Best in the industry protection, waterproof, roomy inside for all your gear.
- Cons: A little pricey
- Best for: Hunters, archery pros, anyone with an expensive bow
Budget-Friendly Compound Carrier
Flambeau Outdoors 6461SC
The Flambeau Outdoors 6461SC is a tremendous middle-of-the-road hard case for those who don’t mind passing on a few of the bells and whistles. I’ve owned a Flambeau case for several years, and it’s never done me wrong.
It has plenty of room for my compound bow, twelve arrows, and all of my accessories. It even has pre-molded broadhead sockets so I can remove broadheads and tune my arrows in the field with ease.
My one gripe with this case is that its shape makes it a little awkward to pack. I’m a Tetris wizard when it comes to packing for hunting, and this odd shape drives me bonkers when trying to load things around it. I prefer a rectangle case and will likely upgrade to the Pelican soon.
- Pros: Inexpensive, trusted brand, lots of room inside, very durable shell
- Cons: The foam is pretty cheap,
- Best for: Casual shooters, those on a budget that need a good case, bringing along an extra bow
Ultra-Popular Compound Bag
The Legend Monstro (and all other Legend bags, for that matter) are made with the industry’s best materials. From the Monstro’s extra thick padding to its premium fabric and oversized zippers, the attention to detail on this bad boy is palpable.
This large and in-charge soft case can hold just about any bow up to 44 inches and has cam pockets to keep your bow from jostling around inside your case. The outside of the bag features several handy pockets, one of which is tailor-made for an arrow tube case.
If you’re looking for a premium soft compound bow case at a competitive price point, the Legend Monstro is our top pick for the money. I’d refrain from bringing this onto rugged backcountry hunts, but it’ll work well on lower impact hunts and at the range.
- Pros: High-end quality at a reasonable price, fits any sized bow, and has a separate arrow case pocket
- Cons: Velcro straps on the inside are a bit annoying
- Best for: Anyone looking for a grab-and-go soft case that holds all the things you need
High-End Rugged Soft Case
Plano BowMax Stealth Vertical
The lightweight BowMax Stealth from Plano is as good as soft compound bow cases come. It’s a vertical case meaning that you load your bow from the top, allowing you to pack and retrieve it effortlessly.
With the BowMax Stealth, you can leave your quiver attached or simply strap it to the side of the case to free up extra room inside. It offers over a half-inch of foam protection, making it rugged enough to take into the field with you.
It can fit bows up to 39 inches of axel-to-axel bow length, suitable for most modern setups. However, some bows may run a little tight, so make sure you get accurate measurements before you pull the trigger.
- Pros: Vertical loading, plenty of storage pockets, easy to carry, heavy-duty
- Cons: It may not be the best for longer bows
- Best for: Hunters, competition shooters
Compound Camo Bag on a Budget
I can’t believe this Silfrae bag is so inexpensive, considering its features. It has plenty of room inside for most kits and even sports an arrow tube pocket outside. All this at a fraction of the price of other comparable cases. How do they do it?
If you’re a hunter on a budget or just getting into shooting, I’d give this bag a look. It has earned loads of 5-star reviews on Amazon and seems very practical. It would make a decent case for a backup or a youth bow.
Be aware: I read several reviews that say longer bows are hard to fit inside the Silfrae even though it’s advertised to fit rigs 44 inches axel-to-axel. Also, I wouldn’t trust this case with a costly bow, either, as it doesn’t appear to have much padding on the edges and near the cams.
- Pros: Inexpensive, lots of storage, arrow tube case pocket
- Cons: Not much padding, smaller than advertised
- Best for: Best for anyone looking for a cheap but useful bow case
Don’t worry; I didn’t forget about you old-school archers out there! I simply saved the best for last. If you want to keep that one-of-a-kind recurve bow in perfect condition, check out my two favorite options on the 2023 market.
High-End Hard Recurve Bow Case
SKB iSeries Recurve
Built to military standards, SKB cases can hold up to the absolute harshest of conditions you can throw at them. From their patented latch system to their injection molded design, it doesn’t get much better than this.
SKB cases are customizable, meaning you can adjust the foam inside to fit your recurve with precision. This added security lets you travel with your bow worry-and-stress-free. Just put your bow in this beast, and rest easy knowing it’ll arrive at its destination in perfect condition.
How much is that Bear Archery bow you’ve had since a child worth to you? If the answer is “priceless,” then this is the case for you. If you have a recurve you’re not super attached to, there are certainly cheaper options. But, as always, you get what you pay for.
- Pros: Provides the best security for your bow on the market, custom to your bow
- Cons: Costly
- Best for: Traveling with your recurve
Soft Recurve Bag on a Budget
KRATARC Archery Takedown
I’m intrigued by this well-reviewed KRATARC soft case I found on Amazon. It offers the recurve shooter a solid and affordable option to transport their bow. It has a MOLLE system outside, allowing archers to customize their case and easily attach accessories.
Built for takedown recurve bows, it should perfectly fit your riser and limbs securely inside and features several pockets inside and out for all of your accessories. It’s easy to transport and can be carried like a duffle bag or slung over your shoulder.
This bag won’t provide the same protection as a hard case, and it’s more for anyone who needs to move their bow from point A to point B. If you’re not accident-prone like me, this case should work fine for your needs.
- Pros: Easy transport, customizable with MOLLE system, aesthetically pleasing
- Cons: Not a ton of padding, won’t prevent crushing accidents
- Best for: Recurve shooters heading to the range or the field
Here’s a list of everything you should have with you inside of your bow case. From arrows to string wax, to sights, these items will tie your whole kit together.
What good is your rifle without bullets? What good is your bow without arrows? Many products on this list allow you to pack your arrows or bolts inside your case. If you’re worried about the fit, grab a tube from Easton and strap it to your bag.
Stop letting those field points and broadheads rattle around in your case where they’re susceptible to getting damaged or piercing your gear. I bought this nifty broadhead case from Amazon, and it goes with me everywhere my bow does.
Last year I lost my SpotHogg bow sight while rumbling down a 4WD trail on my ATV and had to spend two days trying to find a replacement in a pretty remote part of Colorado. This year, I’ll carry a spare in my case.
I also carry two bow releases no matter where I’m going, as having a backup can save your hunt or 3D shoot in a bind.
If you invest all the time and money into a hunt and find yourself with a damaged string, having some extra on hand (and a bow press) can be a lifesaver.
I can’t tell you which bowstrings to bring along (this is different for everyone), but I think it’s prudent to have extra D-Loop string with you.
Speaking of strings, never leave home without your wax. Nothing helps your string last longer and remain more protected than keeping it nice and waxed. I like to use this handheld block instead of the lipstick style.
I like to pack this repair kit in the field, as it allows me to make adjustments and repairs without packing up my rig and heading to the nearest archery shop. Time is money during hunting season.
It’s always annoying to be far from home and realize I left the arrow puller behind, especially during target practice on my high-density foam block. Throw one of these bad boys in your bow bag or hard case, and you won’t regret it.
There are hundreds of different bow cases on the market today. Lucky for you, we put in the work and did the research for you. In other words, we’ve taken the guesswork out of this decision and whittled it down to the carefully-chosen selections on this list.
Here are the factors we considered when putting together this buyers guide:
Get those second-rate Chinese knockoffs the heck out of here! Our crossbows and compound bows are vital to us, and they deserve the best. Only the best injection molded plastics were considered when considering hard bow cases for this list.
From the foam to the zippers, we also paid particular attention to the secondary materials on the hard and soft bow cases. We want your purchase to last, and the materials it’s made of will go a long way in deciding its long-term durability.
Protection & Shock Resistance
As I mentioned above, the cases on this list will offer varying degrees of protection depending on how you use them. Soft cases won’t provide the same rock-solid protection as hard cases, for example.
Aside from the budget compound soft case, all the selections on this list have at least half-inch thick foam protecting both your cams and your risers. Don’t settle for a generic alternative.
Another important factor I considered was how capable a given case is at storing your extra goodies. After all, your case is meant to hold more than just your bow. A product that can fit all of your gear, from your arrows to your release, can be a total lifesaver.
I did my best to make picks that can carry it all.
I only selected archery cases for this list that have some level of water protection. If you’re anything like me, you need to be prepared to shoot in all conditions, rain or shine. Keep that bow out of the elements with a case that, at the very least, repels water instead of soaking it in.
You can pay now or pay later; it’s your choice. Cheap imitations will only let you down, so don’t fall victim to a hard case that’ll break the second it faces any adversity. You need a case that can stand up to the harsh conditions you’re going to put it through, day after day.
Cases like the Pelican 1745BOW Air offer valuable bells and whistles like extra interior pockets and a separate padded divider. Other cases, like the Flambeau Outdoors 6461SC, do what you need them to do, but without all the add-ons.
We did our best to highlight products that work for minimalist archers and pack rats alike.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it one last time: you get what you pay for. If your bow is worth the world to you, get your hands on the very best bow case you can afford.
Some people are on a budget, and that’s understandable, which is why we did our best to include options on this list that are doable for any pocketbook.
You invested in more than just a bow and some arrows when you got into archery. You invested in a lifestyle. That’s why you’re here, seeking out the best bow cases for 2023 and beyond. It’s time to protect that investment, gain peace of mind, and live the proper archer lifestyle.
I sincerely hope I helped you find a hard or soft case that’ll protect your precious compound, crossbow, or recurve. Further, I hope helped you find a case that suits your exact needs and lands comfortably within your price range.
After all, I created this blog to help hunters and shooters like us skip past the confusing mess of information in Facebook groups, forums, and YouTube videos.
So, whether you choose the expensive and stylish Pelican 1745BOW Air or the tried and true Flambeau Outdoors case, your bow will be adequately protected for your next shoot. After all, our rigs are too valuable to trust with a second-rate case.
Thanks for stopping by our post for the hard and soft bow cases 2023 has to offer. Be sure to check out the list below for a mess of other buyers’ guides for hunting and archery gear.
And if you have a case in mind you think would add value to this list, please leave a comment, and we’ll consider adding it.
Cheers, and happy shooting!
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- Broadheads for Deer Hunting [Fixed & Mechanical]
- Compound Bow Sights for Hunting & Target Shooting
- Bow Releases for Archery [Thumb, Trigger & More]
- Compound Bow Stabilizers to Boost Accuracy
- Archery/Bow Targets [3D, Blocks, Bags & More]
- Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rests [Trophy Ridge & More]
- Bow Quivers [Compound, Recurve & Hip]
- Elk Decoys for Successful Early Season Bow Hunting
- Elk Calls [Rocky Mountain, Primos & More]
Last Updated on January 16, 2024
Josh Riley lives in Colorado with his wife, Mary, and their three wild and crazy children. He’s an avid hunter, fisherman, backpacker, elk meat connoisseur, and international traveler.