I remember walking down the Las Vegas strip in 1991 with my luggage and my heavy bow case. Struggling with the bow case and dealing with luggage that had the worst design of moving wheels since caveman invented it. It was not fun to say the least but it was normal for most archers. In the same year I traveled the globe and had the same complaints and frustrations about carrying my stuff to and from places. Eventually I would just set up my bow, sling my quiver around my shoulder, and walk to the event with everything ready to go. Needless to say a recurve takes up space when together and things always got bumped. These were trying times.
Fast forward to my return to archery in 2014 and things have changed… for the better!
I had to travel to Colorado and Arizona for soccer tournaments with my daughter and wife. In the past this would be an absolute fiasco. They have a tendency to take everything including the kitchen sink when we travel. No room, no way could I fit my archery bow case. The case alone took up room and was heavy.
Traveling overseas is a sure way to find out what can be broken or lost. The hard case was made of metal so that the airlines couldn’t punch a hole in it like they had done to so many other cases of mine. The insides were padded with military grade padding and cut to snuggly fit the bow and gear. The problem was that in order to fit everything I needed to take it meant taking the hard bow case and another bag to carry stuff like my quiver and soft goods. Not only was the case very heavy but I also had another bag to carry. Plus my normal luggage.
I later found out that the issue with the airlines was that for one the case was heavy enough that they would fling it everywhere and not be gentle with it. The size and metal casing would appear undestructable to anyone, but the contents inside were another story. The more fragile stickers I put on it, the more they tossed it! The bow’s paint would get chipped and the case eventually looked like it had been to war. After about three years of dealing with broken and lost luggage, I decided to mail my back up bow to location on several occasions. Expensive but cheaper than paint and cases. Oh how I wished for a better solution.
Oh how times have changed and my wishes from 20 years ago have come true. Behold the recurve backpack!
When I first learned of this genius idea as I returned to archery last year, I wanted one so bad but there was a catch. There is always a catch to something this awesome. How could I fit all of my stuff into a backpack when my bow case barely fit my stuff? Skeptical and unsure, I went ahead and ordered a Legend Archery USA back pack. Upon first review there was no way this would work. Do NOT let the size fool you. I was able to fit everything I needed into it and due to its small size I could fit it in the car inside the kitchen sink.
And just to show you how organized and how much room the back pack is, I decided to lay out everything for one bow and show you how to pack a Streamline Pack. As you can see the normal stuff for going to the range, travel, or compete is all there. The riser is 27” and while the pack is made for a 25” riser it will fit, snuggly but safely. There will be a few things you will need in order to safely carry all of this and keep organized at the same time. Follow along as I show you how to get Streamline with your Streamline!
When the gear is placed on the floor the pack looks way too small to fit all of it in there without busting at the seams and damaging gear. But I am about to show you how to be a magician.
First thing is to just put your little things in the front storage area. I have extra finger tabs, extra bow square (extra one is used as a weapon if you touch my bag), nocks, plunger parts, tools, etc. The idea is to make it all as compact as possible. With the extra junk in the lower pouch you can use the length of the bow square to help keep the top of pouch in place. I tend to carry stuff I never ever use!
The next and easy step is to put your arrows in the arrow tube which is supplied by Legend Archery and is inside the pack as part of it. You will also want to put your stabilizer in there as well. Normally I use a stabilizer sock cover but for this example I did not just so you could see it is in there. To keep things from moving around too much I always add a rolled up target face or towel to the inside of the tube. Just helps keep the arrows from being beaten up.
And it all closes up neatly and cleanly.
As I normally protect the expensive stabilizers, I use a side rod case to keep them protected and it helps make the organization of the back pack easier and quicker.
Everything is nice and neat so far!
The next delicate part is the site. Now if you don’t have a case for your sight, I highly recommend making or finding one. You want to protect the sight and it helps keep it organized like everything else.
Close it up and its safe.
The next cool part that comes with the back pack is the inside limb/riser case. Since I use a 27" riser, I only use the soft inside case for the limbs. I put the limbs in the top part and use the bottom part for miscellaneous things like my form-master, warm up sleeve, and other training gear. I also recommend to use limb covers. If you do not have them you can simply wrap them in t-shirts or easily find some that will work with your limbs.
The other nice part about having the limbs in the top part is that the soft stuff under the limbs helps protect them more and makes the pack more comfortable to carry.
Closed up and they are ready to go in the pack!
Once you are ready to put the limb/riser bag inside the case, just place it inside. it is held in place with velcro strips that keeps it from moving around. After it is in the pack I place a towel over the middle. I use the towel to wrap around my bow stand and keep it from moving and possibly damaging stuff inside.
Once I have the stand or any other object in its place, I then place my 27" riser in its bag into the pack. I use another riser bag since I have a longer riser than what is normally recommended. You can easily put a 25" riser inside the limb/riser soft case. By using my riser case it allows me to center the riser between the limbs and the arrow tube inside the pack.
As you can see in the picture above the limb soft case is peeking out under the other riser cover. So far it is snug and fits nicely with no problems at all.
Add the cases for the sight and the side rods. You will want to put them in the bag in the void spaces to fill in the space. This helps give you more room and keeps things from moving around when traveling.
Now you can add your quiver, chest protector, and other small things you might need.
I use a field quiver which makes this a little easier, but you can put any Legend Archery quiver in this spot easily and still have room.
You even have enough room to add your favorite outdoor shooting hat!!!
Once everything is in its place you can simply close up the inner part and add things to the front storage area. I don't use a huge spotting scope, so I just put my Alpen Optics Monocular in its place.
No that you have all your gear inside the bag. You can zip it up and marvel at how it all fit!
Everything not only fit well, but there is still room for some more small gear. The pack is filled nicely and everything is secure. The idea behind packing this way is to keep it like a box. It should be balanced well and nothing moving around inside. My packing allows the case to stand up on its own due to the balance of the gear inside.
With the back pack comes straps for you to carry easily and comfortably.
Sling it around your shoulders and you are ready to go!
What was once a traveling problem, is now a traveling dream. A dream you can take with you anywhere!
One year later the back pack has traveled all over the place and still looks perfect. I love how easy it is to just grab it, sling it over my shoulders, grab my suitcase, and still have a free hand! Everything I need fits inside including my 27” riser. Now when I travel, my bow goes with me everywhere. Vacation, kiddo’s tournaments, my competitions, the range, etc. is not a worry with my USA Legend Archery back pack. Everything fits neatly, easily, and safely inside! If you don’t have one yet… Get one!
By Tony Brasher