Archery hunting is no small investment, especially when you add up all the tuning, lost or broken arrows, upgrades, and necessary upkeep. Unlike buy-once-cry-once ventures, the cost of bowhunting best resembles compounding interests and investments that wouldn’t exactly show the kind of growth you’d want to see in a successful business model.
Likewise, buying some insurance for your archery equipment is another necessity, especially if you want to avoid spending more money in the long run.
With a Dri-Loc seal, a rugged outer shell, and reinforced padlock gates, Plano’s Fieldlocker Element represents premium protection for your archery investment. These features will cost you the equivalent of an RTH budget bow ($350), but if you’ve invested a couple of grand in your setup, it’s well worth the protection.
In short: The TSA-approved Plano Fieldlocker Element should appeal to serious travel hunters or those who want maximum protection for their archery setups.
- Weight 21 lbs.
- Length 44"
- Width 15"
- Height 6.4"
- Customizable foam
- Arrow storage
- Push lock closures
- Side and top handles
- Customizable foam
- Watertight seals
- Multiple padlock options
- Convenient rolling wheels
- Customizable foam doesn’t stay in place
Plano Fieldlocker Bowcase: Review
Testing the Plano Fieldlocker Element
I’ve been using the Plano Fieldlocker Element as my primary bow case this fall. While I haven’t flown with it yet, I’ve been impressed with this case’s ruggedness. The 44-inch length is plenty for compound bow setups, and the customizable foam allows you to easily remove pieces to fit your bow’s shape.
Instead of cutting the foam, you simply pull it apart. Unless you want to eyeball it, I would suggest laying your bow on the top layer of foam and tracing the outline to get an accurate measurement. Still, I eyeballed it, and it only took a matter of minutes before I fit the foam to my bow.
While the case includes five arrow holders, there isn’t a ton of space for more or extra gear. Over-molded carry handles on the top and side allow you to either suitcase-carry it or utilize the wheels for those long walks through the airport.
Unlike cheap bow cases that have thin layers of plastic and minimal foam padding, the Plano Fieldlocker Element feels extremely durable and doesn’t leave room for your bow to slide around on the inside. While I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with this case, it’s a bit big for everyday use or quick afternoon trips to the stand.
This case also takes up a lot of room for storage at home, especially if space is already at a premium. Still, if you’re trying to protect your bow from the elements, curious children, or your truck bed, it’s not a bad investment.
What It Does Best
If you’re looking for a durable bow case, specifically for flying, the Plano Fieldlocker Element should appeal to you, especially at a reasonable price. Multiple handles and rolling wheels make it a breeze to carry through airports, and its airtight seals mean you won’t have to worry about your bow when the shockproof case gets thrown around with the rest of the baggage.
Where It Can Improve
I like the idea of the customizable foam, especially since it pulls apart. However, it doesn’t stay in place when you’re loading or unloading your bow, and I had to constantly readjust it when doing so. Though all that protection is great — and necessary — there are competitors that offer similar-size cases that will hold two bows plus other gear.
And, if you’re spending a ton of money to fly and hunt, there’s a good chance you might want to take a backup bow. Extra space is critical when flying. Instead of packing another bag for rangefinders, maintenance equipment, etc., having extra storage is a bonus, and this case doesn’t offer a lot.
Plano Fieldlocker Bowcase: Final Thoughts
If I flew to hunt every year, the Plano Fieldlocker Element would sit near the top of my list. Though a little bulky for home storage, it provides more than enough protection for your bow. There are plenty of options that feel cheap, and other premium options include a premium price tag. This case strikes a great balance of price and durability, so if you’re not worried about space, it makes a fine candidate for storing your bow.