How do you keep your crossbow safe when transporting it to and from your hunting spot? Or maybe to the range? Or how about when it’s not in use? How do you store your bow when not in use? Most hunters will use a case of some sort. When dealing with crossbow cases, there are two primary options. A soft case or a hard case. But which one is right for you? For me, I decide the kind of case I use by determining where my crossbow will ride in my vehicle on the way to a hunt, if I ever plan on taking my bow on a airplane, and how often I plan to have it cased in the first place.

I very rarely case my crossbow. When I hunt, I have a four door truck that has enough room for me to put my bow on the back seat. Because it is inside the cab of my truck, I don’t have to worry weather or dirt. Therefore for me, when I’m just doing my daily hunting routine, a crossbow case is more of a hassle than a useful means of protection. But what if you don’t have the room? Or you are going on a hunting trip and your bow will be tightly packed with the rest of your gear, maybe even with some gear on top of it? Then you’re going to need a case.

Soft cases for crossbows provide pretty good protection unless you are flying or your bow will be at the bottom of your hunting gear when loading up for a trip. You can find them priced relatively cheap, and they provide a good location to store some of your other gear such as arrows, quiver, wax, etc. When not in use, soft crossbow cases fold up and store out of the way taking up little space. Soft cases for crossbows are good for storing your bow too, keeping them from taking minor bumps while also protecting from dust and dirt. Unfortunately if you plan on flying with your crossbow, or your bow will ride in the bed of a pickup truck, a soft crossbow case does not quite cut it. Sure they can work. But most are not water proof, so if you get any weather your bow will not be protected. Also, even with normal driving, items in the bed of a pickup truck often tend to slide back and forth. So in these situations, a hard crossbow case may be better suited for you.

Hard crossbow cases are stronger, protect your bow better from accidental bumps, are more weather resistant, and can be approved for airline travel. If your the type of hunter that wants to throw your equipment in the bed of your truck, sometimes for days, and go hunting after work, then a hard case would be the way to go. Or if you do travel by airplane to hunt, most hard cases for crossbows are airline approved and provided some way of locking them. Many of them are also reinforced good enough that if they end up being at the bottom of your hunting gear in the bed of your truck, or at the bottom of the pile covered with airline baggage, they will still protect your bow. The problem with the hard case is that most are big and bulky. When not in use, they take up a lot of room when storing them. If you don’t have a truck or an SUV, they are almost impossible to fit in the back seat or trunk of a car. They also can cost a good bit more than a soft crossbow case. Some hard cases are in the excess of the one hundred dollar range. This is more than most hunters want to spend if they can get by using a soft crossbow case. So a hard case won’t be for everybody.

Unless your bow came in a package with a case included, I would suggest holding off on buying a crossbow case to see first if you will even need one, and second what type would better suit your needs. Many new bow hunters purchase cases each year when they buy their first bow, only to realize later, that it will hardly ever get used. If you know you’re going to need one, by all means buy one right away. If you’re not sure, it won’t take you long to figure out if a case of one type or another will be an asset to you, or be an unneeded expense.