Some Options: The Best Back Quiver
On this page, we'll try to figure out the best back quiver for you. I'll go through some quivers I like (including the different types---traditional vs. hunting), discuss some things you'll want to keep in mind when buying a back quiver, and explore some of the recent talk about back quivers and their role in archery.
Two Types of Quivers
This just an observation, but in my experience, there seem to be two types of back quivers:
- Traditional back quivers, which are usually simple, streamlined, and made out of leather---these are a great option for traditional bow enthusiasts, as well as recurve archers and compound archers who simply like to do some target shooting; and
- Hunting back quivers, which may or may not be camouflage, usually have pockets for various types of gear, and are excellent choices for roving and sneaking up on prey; these are a little less popular among the traditional archery crowd, but they're great for people who want to hunt, as well as for recurve archers and compound archers who just want to go to the range.
Here are my picks from both categories.
Traditional Back Quivers
First up! The OMP Mountain Man Suede Side/Back Quiver. Some traditional back quivers are actually pretty ornate for a "traditional" item, but this is just about right: it's very simple, and is truly old school: there's no inner tubing to it, so it's just a leather sleeve that hold arrows. It's suede, which is a very soft type of leather, so you may not want to get it wet (and that differentiates it from other traditional quivers, which are made of regular leather).
It can be worn by both righties and lefties (which is something you'll need to look out for, if you're in the market for any kind of quiver), and one cool bonus---if you adjust the straps, it can be used as a side quiver. It's a little on the short side (it's 18 inches long) so a good portion of your arrow shaft will be exposed, but that's a good thing---if the quiver is TOO long, it gets very difficult to remove arrows from it.
The Neet Archery Traditions Back Quiver. This has a really interesting leather crown on the top of it, which I love: if you're going to get a traditional back quiver, why not have it actually look like a traditional back quiver?
This one is 19 inches tall, so just like the OMP Mountain Man, a good portion of your arrow shafts will be exposed (and again, that's a good thing). The piece fits about 20 to 24 arrows, which is more than you need if you're just taking this to the range.
Perhaps the nicest feature is that it has a foam bottom, so you can feel safe putting broadheads or field tips into it. It's for both lefties and righties, so that's nice. If you're into cosplay or Ren Faires, this is a nice option, because it actually looks the part.
The only thing to keep in mind---and I don't usually care about this sort of thing, but I know many traditional archers do, so I'll mention it---is that it's not actual leather; it's a synthetic material that looks a lot like leather. Just a heads up!
The Bear Archery Deluxe Back Quiver. As my dad would say, "This one is a beaut." Made out of tough leather, this model is a little taller---22 inches---so if you use longer arrows (or simply want a deeper pocket with less of the arrow shaft exposed), this is a fantastic option (and it's sturdy enough for broadheads or judo-points). It's reversible, so it's a good option for right-handed archers as well as left-handed archers.
It's got different compartments (which not all traditional quivers have), and it's got a little zipper pouch in the back for any extra gear you want to carry (for me, I usually carry an Allen wrench for my recurve, and throw in my keys, credit cards, etc. because I hate carrying that stuff around).
Perhaps the best part about this quiver is that it's got a 3-point front harness, that will make it a lot more snug when you're wearing it. Single-strap back quivers may jiggle around a little bit, but a harness quiver will stay relatively motionless. I like that sort of thing---my biggest pet peeve when it comes to ANY type of quiver is that they move around so much, so this is a very good model.
The Wyandotte Leather Center Back Quiver is another gorgeous model. It's got a tapered width, which is a feature you don't always see in traditional back quivers, and it has a very wide mouth, which makes for easy removal of arrows AND means you can include more arrows than usual (in this case, 30 or more). If you're the kind of guy or gal who carries a LOT of arrows, this is a good choice. It's reversible, so it's good to go for righties and lefties. This may not be the best back quiver--that's kind of a matter of taste--but it's one of my favorites.
Hunting Back Quivers
There are only two options that I really like:
The G4Free Canvas Back Arrow Quiver is an excellent option. This holds plenty of arrows---up to two dozen, including up to 12 broadheads---and it's a harness model, as opposed to a strap-over-the-shoulder model. That's a good thing---strap-over-the-shoulder models can result in a lot of jiggling, and that can result in a lot of noise---not a good thing when you're on the hunt. The harness will secure the quiver to your chest and keep it close as you move about. It's manufactured in camo or black, depending on what you prefer, and at 21.7 inches, it's got a very deep pocket, so it can hold medium-to-longer sized arrow.
The only thing you need to be careful of is that this option is only manufactured for righties---if you're a lefty archer, this ain't the model for you.
The Huntingdoor Hunting Back Arrow Quiver, however, can be used by righties AND lefties. It's a streamlined harness model without too many bells and whistles---it's got a reservoir for the arrows, a slim zippered pocket for accessories, and that's about it. If you're a low-fi kind of guy or gal, this may be a good option for you. I like that sort of thing---too many features, and my mind starts to go numb.
It's a little more than 21 inches deep, so there's plenty enough space to store longer arrows, but it's still shallow enough to maintain medium-sized arrows. It may not be a good fit for broadheads---the G4Free model above is a better option for broadheads---but you could perhaps try to add a heavy plastic lining or foam cushion to the bottom.
No Love for Back Quivers?
The back quiver, for some reason, has gotten a lot of hate lately. People complain that it's impossible to reach, that the arrows fall out every time you bend over, and that the quiver itself is so hard to get to that every reach for an arrow takes forever. There's even one archer who goes so far as to say that back quivers never existed, and it's all a Hollywood myth.
If all that is true, though, and back quivers are bulky and impossible to use, how do you explain this lady?
Let's be real here for a second: THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. This woman is a real-life Legolas!
I don't quite understand all the hub-bub about how back quivers are so hard to use---you simply have to learn how to use them! It's kind of like someone pushing a bicycle by hand, letting it go, and saying, "See? It doesn't even stand up. It's stupid." Well---you've got to learn how to use it! Back quivers are like anything else in archery: using them well takes practice, and in the hands of an experienced archer, they're an incredible tool. I'm kind of surprised to hear archers---a group of people who understand the importance of repetitive practice---go negative on back quivers.
But, forget 'em! If you really want to incorporate a back quiver into your archery practice, don't let the naysayers say nay to you. Ignore 'em and keep on rocking out. I got your back!