I worked at FedEx in Memphis, TN for a few years while I was finishing up college and getting married. It was a tough job, no doubt. I spent most of my shift lifting and shoving boxes to load containers that we’d later load to the planes. I quickly saw that macho-man games of chunkin’ the biggest boxes to come down the line seemed to help pass the time. The biggest and baddest dudes in the place were determined to impress the rest of the crew by lifting and throwing the biggest boxes of the day. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get in on the action from time to time. My point is, I’ve seen first-hand how the airlines treat things that aren’t theirs when nobody is looking. Whether it’s intentional or not, equipment will get tossed through the air. You can count on it. So when traveling by air to hunt, is your bow and other equipment adequately protected? Do you have a bow case that will protect your gear and have you ready to hunt when you arrive at hunting camp? Here’s 4 bow cases that I’ve used and recommend for the traveling bowhunter.
SKB Double Bow Case
I really like the concept of using a double bow case design even though I’m only packing one bow. The extra space allows me to stash most all my hunting gear and accessories in one case. The hard-side cases from SKB have been around a long time. They’ve found their place as key players in the world of leading bow cases on the market. They can handle the abuse dished out, no matter where your adventure takes you. The Double Bow Case features interior dimensions of 50″ X 15.5″ X 6″.
This case is molded from ultra-high density molecular weight polyethylene, the material used by the U.S. Military. Other features include molded-in bumpers and TSA recognized and accepted unbreakable fiberglass reinforced nylon trigger release latches. This bow case is available at Lancaster Archery Supply for $299.
Easton Deluxe Compound/Recurve Roller Bow Case
This hybrid hard/soft shell bow case offers your bow 360 degree perimeter protection. It features a 3-wheel roller system with field-replaceable roller bearing wheels. Interior pockets keep your gear organized nicely, and the case also features a zippered pocket to stash your arrow tube.
The case is offered in 36 and 39 inch models. My personal case is the 39 inch model with interior dimensions of 39″L x 15″W x 9″H.
You can also purchase an airline travel cover that fits the bow case nice and snug to protect your case from the abuse of airline travel. This bow case is available at Lancaster Archery for $249.99. The Travel Cover sells for $64.99.
Lakewood Bow Case
The bow case from Lakewood is touted as the “Back of the Truck Bow Case.” And there’s a good reason for it. Most hunters live out of the back of their truck during hunting season. And at times, things tend to get unorganized. Rather than having to shuffle gear around to dig your bow case out, the Lakewood Bow Case slides nicely in along the side of your truck. And because of its unique top-loading design, this case makes getting your bow in and out a cinch. It really is a slick system for protecting your bow, no matter where your next hunt or 3-D competition takes you.
The case is labeled as a soft-sided hard case, making it a truly unique hybrid case. It’s designed to be lighter in weight. The ABS construction provides hard-case strength without hard case weight. This is obviously a big advantage for air travel. And with the addition of Lakewood’s new wheel kit for 2017, this case is now much more air travel friendly. The bow case is lockable and TSA compliant.
The case measures 41″ x 8″ x 15″ and weighs 14.4 pounds.
The Lakewood Bow Case sells for $199.99 at Lancaster Archery.
The Nomad case from Sitka is essentially an oversized suitcase with more than enough room to store all your gear, as well as a bow, for your next week-long adventure. I got tired of carrying a bow case in addition to a big suitcase to get all my gear to hunting camp. The Nomad does it all in one. It’s truly a go-anywhere travel piece.
The shell features a 210 denier Nylon paired with a thermoplastic polyurethane. It’s really tough stuff. There’s 8,600 cubic inches of storage in this beast of a bag. You’ll also find interior and exterior pockets for accessories, compression straps for securing your goods, and a really strong telescoping handle for easy travel in and out of the airport.
The bag is nice and light, weighing just 10.85 pounds. Exterior dimensions include: 42″ x 16″ x 14″.
The Nomad sells for $399 at www.sitkagear.com.
Check out this video for a closer look at each one of these bow cases…
There’s plenty of options on the market when it comes to bow cases for your equipment. But like many things, you get what you pay for when it comes to bow cases. You can easily be traveling with $2,000 worth of gear in that bow case. Make sure it’s up for the challenge. The four bow cases mentioned above will be hard to beat when you hit the road again for your next hunting adventure. Safe travels!