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The Best Bow Cases of 2023

Safely transporting your bow from point A to point B can mean the difference between hitting what you’re aiming at and not. In light of that, we put together our top picks for bow cases of 2023.

Best Bow Cases(Photo/Josh Kirchner)
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A bow case is a gear item that I think gets neglected, which is a shame. We invest so much into our bows and the fancy accessories we slap on them. To ignore their safe transport is to neglect their overall well-being and longevity of functionality.

Whether traveling to hunt in my home state or crossing state lines, I’ve done my fair share of moving bows from point A to point B. And in doing so, I’ve come across a few key things that make up a quality bow case. It needs to be durable, no doubt. But they also need an efficient layout that suits our needs.

If you still want to learn more about picking out the right bow case for you and your needs, as well as some travel tips, be sure to check out our Buyer’s Guide, FAQ, and comparison chart. Otherwise, scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Bow Cases of 2023

Best Overall

Pelican Air 1745


  • Weight 23.15 lbs.
  • Material Proprietary polypropylene blend (outside)
  • Length (Interior) 44.01″, (Exterior) 46.69″
  • Width (Interior) 16.77″, (Exterior) 19.36″
  • Depth (Interior) 7.94″, (Exterior) 8.73″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Very durable
  • Airplane-friendly
  • Innovative customizable layout


  • Steep price
  • May have to remove some accessories from the bow to get a proper fit
  • A bit heavy
Best Budget

Plano Protector


  • Weight 10 lbs.
  • Material Black polypropylene
  • Length 43¼”
  • Width 19”
  • Depth 6¾"
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Very affordable
  • Compact design
  • Airline-approved


  • Not the most durable
  • Will eventually leak if left in the rain
Best Hardshell

SKB HunterSeries


  • Weight 10.23 lbs.
  • Material ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Length (Interior) 38.75″, (Exterior) 41.5″
  • Width (Interior) 14.75″, (Exterior) 18.5″
  • Depth (Interior) 5.125″, (Exterior) 8.75″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Durable construction
  • Lockable latches
  • Practical layout


  • Still spendy
  • Inside can be hard to dry out if gotten wet. Will also develop a smell if not dealt with.
Best Soft Shell

RGD Compound Bow Case


  • Weight NA
  • Material 500D PVC
  • Length 39″
  • Width 18.5″
  • Depth 6″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Waterproof
  • Floats
  • Can attach to ATV


  • No support straps on the inside
  • Expensive for a soft shell
Best Hybrid

Legend Everest Hybrid Roller Bow Case


  • Weight (Everest 40) 17 lbs., (Everest 44) 17.6 lbs.
  • Material High-density 1800D nylon
  • Length (Everest 40) 41″, (Everest 44) 45″
  • Width (Everest 40) 16″, (Everest 44) 16″
  • Depth (Everest 40) 9″, (Everest 44) 9″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Holds two compound bows
  • Airline-approved (includes TSA locks)
  • Great protection (padded cam pockets and adjustable Velcro straps)


  • Giant case (could be cumbersome)
  • Heavy (could make travel charges higher)

Best of the Rest

SKB Pro Series Small


  • Weight 16.88 lbs.
  • Material Ultra-high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin
  • Length (Interior) 34.5″, (Exterior) 39″
  • Width (Interior) 13.75″, (Exterior) 17″
  • Depth (Interior) 4″ (Exterior) 6.75″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Great protection
  • Airline-approved (TSA locks)
  • Quiver storage


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Plano All Weather Ultimate Bow Case


  • Weight NA
  • Material Shock- and impact-resistant hard shell
  • Length (Interior) 44″, (Exterior) 46″
  • Width (Interior) 17″, (Exterior) 20″
  • Depth (Interior) 8″, (Exterior) 9.4″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Weatherproof
  • Airline-approved
  • Wheels


  • Expensive
  • Nowhere to store extra accessories

Easton Workhorse 4118 Bow Case


  • Weight NA
  • Material Lined with foam and fleece inside
  • Length 41″
  • Width 18″
The Best Bow Cases of 2023


  • Eight accessory pouches
  • Arrow box holder (Compatible with Easton arrow totes and Deluxe 33” and 36” arrow boxes)
  • Adjustable Velcro straps for bow


  • Expensive for a soft shell
  • Protection only goes so far, being a soft shell case

Bow Cases Comparison Chart

Bow CasesPriceWeightMaterialLengthWidthDepth
Pelican Air 1745$45023.15 lbs.Proprietary
Int: 44.01″
Ext: 46.69″
Int: 16.77″
Ext: 19.36″
Int: 7.94″
Ext: 8.73″
Plano Protector$7910 lbs.Black
SKB HunterSeries$25410.23 lbs.ABSInt: 38.75″
Ext: 41.5″
Int: 14.75″
Ext: 18.5″
Int: 5.125″
Ext: 8.75″
RGD Compound
Bow Case
$220N/A500D PVC39″18.5″6″
Legend Everest Hybrid
Roller Bow Case
$35040: 17 lbs. |
44: 17.6 lbs.
1800D nylon
40: 41″
44: 45″
40: 16″
44: 16″
40: 9″
44: 9″
SKB Pro Series Small$40016.88 lbs.Ultra-high-strength
copolymer resin
Int: 34.5″
Ext: 39″
Int: 13.75″
Ext: 17″
Int: 4″
Ext: 6.75″
Plano All Weather
Ultimate Bow Case
$250N/AShock and Impact
Resistant Hard
Int: 44″
Ext: 46″
Int: 17″
Ext: 20″
Int: 8″
Ext: 9.4″
Easton Workhorse
4118 Bow Case
$110-130N/ALined with foam
and fleece inside

Why Should You Trust Us

Hunting and carrying my bow case
(Photo/Josh Kirchner)

Long ago, I remember bow season only lasted a few weeks in the fall. With time, though, and a growing obsession, I now archery hunt throughout most of the year. And I do an immense amount of traveling in the name of chasing my bowhunting dreams. So, getting my bow from point A to point B safely is something I take in the highest regard.

(Photo/Josh Kirchner)

Through a variety of different conditions, be it my bow case or a hunting partner’s case on the road with me, bow cases are put through their paces. And with some cases having literal years of testing, I’ve uncovered both sturdy platforms to stand on, as well as holes to avoid.

When testing a bow case, I’m looking for potential areas of failure and hiccups in efficiency. I’m also looking for practical layouts that make sense. They’re left out in the elements whether it’s sun, rain, snow, etc. And they travel in the beds of trucks, back seats, and airplanes. No stone is left unturned, and I’m intentionally looking for fail points.

In addition to my personal experience with many bow cases throughout the years, I also took into consideration the opinions and experiences of fellow seasoned bowhunters and archers around me, along with taking into account the top-selling bow cases on the market and paying attention to a variety of price points.

Getting hunting gear ready
(Photo/Josh Kirchner)

The bow cases listed above will suit the needs of a wide variety of bowhunting/archery enthusiasts across the globe.

Buyers Guide: How to Choose the Best Bow Case

Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell vs. Hybrid Bow Cases

Getting bow and arrows out of bow case
(Photo/Josh Kirchner)

Now that we’ve gone through our top picks in bow cases, let’s break these down and help you suss out what kind of bow case is right for you. As you’ve seen, there are hard shells, soft shells, and hybrid cases. Finding which one will work the best for you is going to be a reflection of your own needs and wants.

Soft Shell Bow Cases

I think it’s safe to say that a soft shell bow case is probably the first kind of bow case that folks start with. Some bows even are sold with a soft shell bow case, and if they’re not, they’re usually pretty affordable.

They’re lightweight, easy to use, and make carrying around your newfound hobby a breeze. And they’ll also, for the most part, keep your bow safe from the immediate elements. Most cases will have additional pockets for arrows, releases, and other archery accessories you might have. With that, their often pliable nature and smaller size make them easy to store.

On the other hand, soft shell bow cases lack durability as well as how much protection they provide. While there is padding within them, that padding will only go so far. Don’t think you’ll be able to throw your bow around in them because you’ll likely inflict unwanted damage.

On that note, this is not a case you’ll be able to take with you on a flight either. Furthermore, I mentioned these would keep your bow safe from the elements “for the most part.” That is because most of them, except the Rugid RGD, are not waterproof. So, if left out in the rain for too long, your rig is gonna get soaked.

  • Affordable
  • Easy to store
  • Lightweight
  • Not as durable
  • Not waterproof
  • Offers only so much protection

Hard Shell Bow Cases

On the opposite end of the bow case spectrum, we have hard shell bow cases. These are exactly what they sound like. They offer a hard molded shell of protection against shock, weather, etc. Durability is much higher with these as well, so their longevity stands tall. For the bowhunter or shooter looking to travel, it doesn’t get any better in terms of protection.

Most hard shell bow cases are airline-approved, in fact. Most also offer locking features and have wheels for easy transport.

Along with the good, there are also some downsides, the first being the price of entry. These hard shell cases offer a lot, but to take advantage of those benefits, you’re gonna pay. This makes pulling the trigger on a hard shell case a little harder, especially for beginners. It will also be harder to store these due to their large and static size. To bounce off of that, these are going to be much heavier than other cases. Some hard shells are upward of 20 pounds.

  • Very durable
  • Superb protection
  • Airline-approved
  • Expensive
  • Harder to store
  • Heavy

Hybrid Bow Cases

Hybrid bow cases are a blend between hard shell and soft shell designs. The goal is to take everything good about each and put them into one case. They offer fantastic protection and have great durability. This makes hybrid cases a good option for the traveling bowhunter, as they are also airline-approved. Plenty of pockets exist throughout, offering you options a-plenty to store any extra gear for your bow.

While hybrid bow cases indeed bring together a soft shell and a hard shell case, I wouldn’t say they are perfect by any stretch. They’re not as heavy as some hard shell bow cases out there, but they are still pretty dang heavy, with some over 17 pounds. And the extra room for storage is appreciated. However, it makes these a bigger kind of bow case, which will make storing it, or even fitting it in a vehicle for that matter, difficult.

Lastly — the price. You pay for convenience, and hybrid bow cases are right on par in terms of damage to the wallet as many hard shell cases out there.

  • Great protection
  • Airline-approved
  • Plenty of places to store extra gear
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Hard to store

So, Which Is the Best for Who?

Keeping my hunting bow protected in my bow case
(Photo/Josh Kirchner)

To conclude, if you’re just starting, you’ve bought your first bow, and are looking for a basic case to hold it, then a soft shell bow case is a great option. If you’re more of a casual bow enthusiast rather than someone who lives this stuff, a soft shell bow case will also be fine.

If, however, you are an addict that crosses state lines with your bow, whether traveling out of state for bowhunting adventures or heading to archery competitions, a hard shell or hybrid case is going to be your best option. You invest an immense amount of effort already into living the bow life. Your bow case should be a reflection of that.


What is the best case for a compound bow?

The Pelican Air 1745 is our top pick for the best compound bow case. It offers superior protection, is incredibly durable, and comes with a load of pockets and areas to organize your archery gear. It’ll keep your bow and accessories safe whether you’re flying across the country or driving to the archery range.

Is a bow case necessary?

If you are interested in the well-being of your bow at all, then a bow case is almost an absolute must. It gives the bow a resting place when not in use as well as a safe means of travel.

Are soft bow cases good?

Soft bow cases are good for many but are not good for everyone. It just depends on how much traveling and how much protection one needs for their bow. For instance, flying with a soft bow case is not something we’d advise, due to luggage getting thrown around as it does.

What makes a bow case airline-approved?

These are bow cases that are hard, and sturdy, with locking features. Many also have TSA-approved locks on them as well as pressure equalization valves.

What is a TSA-approved bow case?

These are bow cases that are hard, and sturdy, with locking features. Many also have TSA-approved locks on them as well as pressure equalization valves.

Does your bow case have to be locked to fly?

Yes, your bow case needs to be locked to fly.

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