Trying to choose the right quiver can be as difficult as choosing the right bow. While the essential purpose is to simply hold arrows, there are many options available. So where do you start? Other than personal preference, it’s going to depend on the type of shooting you plan on doing. To help you decide, let’s break them down into three categories (Back Quivers, Side/Hip Quivers, and Bow Quivers).
What About a Traditional Back Quiver?
The first mention of an arrow quiver and most people will probably envision a back quiver. A traditional style back quiver brings to mind images of Robin Hood and medieval times. They are still quite popular in the world of archery today and fully functional. Most back quivers will hold a dozen or more arrows without any problem and give quick access when needed.
This style is perfect for the hunter or reenactor who wants to drift back in time. Find a good quality leather back quiver and it will serve to last a lifetime. With some practice, it can be the quickest method for getting an arrow on the string. If there is one downfall, it’s that they tend to shift around as you walk through thick brush. In a hunting situation, it can be discouraging when you duck under some branches only to have your arrows falling out.
One helpful solution to this problem is a quiver side strap. The side strap will assist in holding the quiver in place and from moving around while walking.
Cat Quivers are another versatile type of back quiver that holds the arrows securely in place.They not only protect the arrows, but also protect feathers from inclement weather. They offer an adjustment that allows the archer to adapt the quiver to their specific length of arrows. Worn like a backpack, they have the unique advantage of offering accessory pockets and compartments. Several different options are available in size as well as price.
What About Side Quivers or Hip Quivers?
There are many variations of side quivers and hip quivers, but the function is basically the same. The archer wears this style off the hip or to the side and the design provides a relatively easy way to access the arrows. Some models will use a belt or a sling to hold it in place, while others use a clip that attaches to the waist line of your pants or to the inside of a pocket.
Hip quivers tend to be most popular with target archers since the arrows are kept out of the way, but offer easier access than a back quiver as they keep the arrows right at your side. Another advantage is that they tend to be more comfortable than the back quiver, especially when shooting in hot weather.
Often times you’ll find they have pockets to store accessories such as a glove, score cards, etc., making it a convenient option for the shooter. Dividers or tubes to keep arrows sorted to an individual’s preference can often be found, making it an improvement over other style quivers.
Side quivers are more of a cross over between a back quiver and hip quiver. The side quiver is a good option for a hunter as the arrows are well protected while easy to reach. It makes it a convenient option to pull out an arrow when needed and eliminates some of the problems experienced with a back quiver. With these arrow quivers, the arrows don’t rattle around as much (or fall out). They can also be adjusted where it’s most comfortable and out of the way for those long hikes.
The Safari Tuff and Great Northern companies both offer side quivers that have some nice additional features. The Safari Tuff side quiver keeps the arrows quiet by adding the fleece lining and the water repellent Amerisuede material does a great job of keeping the arrows dry. The Great Northern Side Kick arrow quiver will securely hold arrows in place using a gripper. The strap is easy to adjust making it quick to adjust for the best comfort.
Bow Quivers are the Best Arrow Quivers Right?
Bow quivers are best suited with the hunter in mind. There’s nothing extra to carry as they mount directly to the bow. It gives the best advantage for putting an arrow on the string with minimal movements, which can be crucial when hunting. Although some will argue that a skilled archer using a back quiver can be quicker, the arrows in a bow quiver are always close at hand.
These quivers attach to the bow using a variety of methods such as straps; others will slide over the limbs, and some bolt to accessory bushings that manufactures install into the riser of their bows. Grippers hold the arrows in place and allow for easy access to removing an arrow. The hood shields the points and/or broadheads from the elements and keeps the archer safe. Some archers might find the limited capacity in the quantity of arrows these quivers hold to be a deciding factor.
One of the attributes of a bow quiver is that it can affect your shot. The extra weight on the side of the bow can cause changes in performance. Some archers find it easy to shoot with a quiver installed and prefer the weight, helping to stabilize their follow through after the shot. Others will opt for a model that can be removed easily once they get to where they are hunting, as they feel a bow quiver gives an unbalanced feel. To overcome this, they simply remove the bow quiver and set it to the side, or hang on a tree if hunting, until they are ready to leave. Depending on your preference, some bow quiver models are easier to remove than other styles.
The Final Decision:
Simply stated, it becomes a personal decision and there’s no right or wrong answer. Hopefully this sheds some light on the different options. If you still need help or advice, give us a call. We’re more than happy to discuss the different arrow quivers available to help narrow down your choices.
By R. Strong