The Best Arrow Cases and Arrow Holders: Some Favorites
New archers are often surprised that one of the challenging aspects of archery isn't simply shooting your bow and arrow—it's finding a way to get your gear from Point A to Point B!
In this post, I'll be discussing how to transport your arrows, and hopefully we'll find the best arrow case / best arrow holder for you and your arrows.
The Most Common Arrow Storage Unit
Many people use bow cases to transport their archery gear around, but if you've got a lot of arrows—or if you've simply used up all the arrow storage in your bow case—you'll need additional storage.
When that happens, you've basically got two options: arrow cases and arrow tubes. In the section below, I'll review the ones that I like, and then I'll go over some ideas about which might be right for you.
Should I Use a Case or a Tube?
There are pros and cons to each:
The Good: Many arrow tubes are adjustable, meaning you can store arrows of different lengths. That can be a great thing, especially if you're sharing the tube with someone. Tubes usually come with a strap, too, so they're easy to tote around—there's a range near me that I can walk to, so having a strap is a great option for me. The other part that's nice about adjustable arrow tubes is that if you ever want to upgrade, it'll be easy to sell, because it can be shortened or lengthened, and that means more people would be able to buy it.
The Bad: The only drawback to arrow tubes is that your arrows can get jostled around. That can be an issue, especially if you're using feather vanes, which are delicate and can get damaged. Luckily, there are certain models (like the October Mountain holder that I reviewed below) that have an internal organizer, so that's not always an issue. That said—if you've got cheap arrows, or you go through them quickly, it may not matter too much.
The Good: The best thing about cases is that they usually separate your arrows into different slots; that's a good thing, because it means your arrows aren't getting jostled around inside. It's important to keep arrows separate, because arrows are surprisingly delicate, in a lot of ways—they get dinged up, scratched, the points get dulled, and the vanes get bent out of shape or even fall off. That's true for arrows with plastic vanes, but it's ESPECIALLY true for arrows with feather vanes, because those puppies are delicate.
The Bad: Arrow cases can be bulky and difficult to transport places. If you've got your bow in a case and your arrows in another case and your equipment in another case, that's a lot to keep track of. Plus, not all of them have handles, which is kind of weird.
Here's how it boils down, really: if you've got high-end arrows, or if you've got a LOT of arrows, you should probably look into an arrow case; if you're not too concerned about your arrows, and you're simply looking for a storage tool, a tube should suit your needs just fine.
Perhaps You're Looking for a Bow Case?
A lot of people—myself included—have arrow cases and tubes and love them. However, other people prefer bow cases, which allow you to store your bow, as well as a dozen or so arrows (along with a bunch of other smaller items). It's more of an "all-in-one" that works for a lot of people. If you think that might be a better fit for you, I've written a post about bow cases here.
Arrow Case Reviews
These are a little more popular than arrow tubes, so I'll get to these first.
The Plano Compact Arrow Case. Plano is kind of the "gold standard" when it comes to archery equipment storage; they make fantastic bow cases, and the Plano Compact Arrow Case looks to be just as good as any of their bow cases. It's got plenty of room (it can store up to 28 arrows), dividers on the inside of the case that you can remove, and it's actually built to fit inside Plano bow cases (if you have a Plano 93370 bow case or a Plano 93375 bow case, this can fit inside of those). You can fit arrows up to 32 inches snugly, but you may have to remove the field points, to do so.
The piece also comes with two little "tool boxes," so you can store smaller items like broad heads, bow string wax, and so on. That's a nice feature.
There's another Plano arrow case available, and that is...
The Plano Bow Max Pillar Lock Series 18 Arrow Case. The Plano Bow Max Pillar also carries up to 18 arrows, but the best aspect of this case is that it uses clips to keep arrows in place, rather than soft foam.
Here's what I mean by that: for many of the arrow cases you'll find, the inside of the arrow case has a soft foam with slits in it, and you push the arrows length-wise into the slits in the foam, and that's what keeps them from separated. The Plano Bow Max Pillar has actual clips that hold each individual arrow, meaning that there's zero change that the arrows will come loose and damage one another. I love that option—if you're going to spend your money on quality arrows, why not make sure they're 100% safe?
This is a higher-end option, but it can be a great option. This one probably gets my vote for best arrow case. I've used other Plano products, and they're a fantastic company.
The MTM Arrow Plus Case. If you've been in the archery game for a while, you've probably got a LOT of arrows. That's where the MTM Arrow Plus Case becomes a great option. It holds up to 48 arrows(!), and the arrows can be quite long—arrows up to 35 inches long can fit in the case. That's a fantastic thing if you're a taller archer, or have a very long draw length.
There are a lot of nice features on this one, too—there's a built-in broadhead wrench near the handle, and space for various tools (i.e., an Allen wrench, wax, hunting scents, etc.). It uses foam to keep the arrows in place, but hey, nothing's perfect.
This is a sturdy case, and it's BIG. Plenty of bow cases aren't big enough, and you have to modify them to fit everything you need; you shouldn't have the problem here.
Arrow Tube Reviews
These are a lot simpler than arrow cases, and I'll provide three different versions, each with a couple different options.
SAS Adjustable Archery Arrow Case Carrier with Strap. The SAS Arrow Case is a very basic model: it's got a screw-on top, empty space inside the canister for arrows, and a black finish.
There are, however, two very options with it: it's got a strap, so if you're hopping on the bike and heading to the range, you can throw it over your shoulder and hit the road, and it's super long: it adjusts from 24 inches all the way up to 39 inches. If you are very, very, very tall, and you use very, very, very long arrows, you're in luck.
It holds up to 20 arrows, which is pretty generous for an arrow tube. Most arrow tubes hold about 12 or so, so that's another nice feature.
This is an excellent arrow holder for beginners, who are using less-expensive arrows. As I mentioned, there's no holding mechanism inside the tube itself, so that arrows inside it will get jostled around, so if you've got really high-end arrows and you're looking for an arrow tube, you should look at...
October Mountain Arrow Holder. This one gets my vote for best arrow tube. The October Mountain Arrow Holder has all the features of the SAS Arrow Tube (most notably, the adjustable strap and the screw-on lid), but it has an internal organizer that keeps your arrows from bumping into each other and damaging each other. It also makes it much, much easier to remove your arrows from the tube, because they're all secured into the organizer, so they all come out together.
It's adjustable, too, so you can use it for small-to-average sized arrows all the way up to arrows 38 inches long (give or take). It may hold fewer arrows—you're able to fit 12—but to my mind, it's better to store a dozen arrows safely, than two dozen that are getting damaged.
If you're looking for an arrow tube, this is a very good bet.
There You Have It
That's that! There are a lot of complicated topics in archery, but this isn't one of them! If you've got any comments, write 'em out below, and I'll take a look. Happy shooting!