Hip Quiver vs Back Quiver: What’s the Right Quiver For You?

Hip Quiver or Back Quiver? — it’s a question of choice. Especially if you’re new to the world of archery. Some prefer the hip and sleek look of the hip quiver. Others prefer a more traditional approach. 

To help you folks, I’ve tried my best to compare the two types of quivers. 

So, which one should you pick? Hip Quiver, or Back quiver?

Hip quivers, snugly attached to the belt, offer swift arrow access, and excellent mobility for target shooters. Their advantage lies in the ease of fletching checks, preventing unnoticed mishaps. In contrast, back quivers, slung over the shoulder, boast a classic aesthetic but require more effort for arrow retrieval. The weight distribution on the back may lead to fatigue during extended use. While hip quivers suit dynamic scenarios like hunting, back quivers attract traditional archers valuing historical flair. 

Back quiver is advantageous for carrying arrows, while hip quivers help agile arrow retrieval.

I’m going to lay out the differences in detail in this article. Let’s have a look.

Hip Quiver vs Back Quiver: Key Differences

We’ll start off by having a quick glance at the differences between Hip Quiver and Back Quiver.

FeaturesHip QuiverBack Quiver
PlacementWorn on the hip, attached to a beltWorn on the back, typically over the shoulder
AccessibilityProvides easy access to arrowsRequire more effort to reach arrows
MobilityAllows for better mobility while walkingCan interfere with movement, especially in dense terrain
Weight DistributionWeight is distributed around the waistWeight is distributed on the back and shoulders
Traditional AppealOften favored by traditional archersCommonly associated with traditional archery
Modern VariationModern designs may include additional features for customizationModern variations offer ergonomic designs for comfort
VisibilityArrows are easily visible and accessibleArrows may be less visible, requiring a conscious check
Preferential UsePopular among hunters and those who prefer quick access to arrowsPreferred by some traditional archers for its classic feel

Hip Quiver vs Back Quiver: Detailed Dive

If you’ve read our detailed guide on Field quiver vs hip quiver, then you know how it goes.

Now that we’ve got some idea about the two quivers, it’s time to compare them based on the following criteria:

Placement

Hip quivers are designed to be worn on the hip, typically attached to a belt. This positioning ensures that the quiver is within easy reach, allowing for swift arrow retrieval. 

On the other hand, back quivers are worn on the back, often slung over the shoulder. While this placement can be visually striking, it may require more effort to access arrows compared to hip quivers.

Accessibility

Hip quivers excel in providing easy access to arrows due to their placement on the hip. This facilitates quick and convenient arrow retrieval, making them popular among hunters and those who value rapid response. 

The prime benefit of rocking a hip quiver during target practice lies in the ease with which you can inspect the fletchings of your arrows while stationed on the line. 

Picture this: a single arrow grazing another on its way to the target, and bam! Your whole day is thrown off, and you might not even be aware of it. That’s the kind of sneaky mishap a hip quiver helps you avoid by keeping your arrows within your line of sight.

Back quivers, while stylish, may require a more deliberate action to reach arrows, potentially impacting the speed of arrow retrieval.

Although it’s more cumbersome, using a back quiver can help working your back muscles for archery!

Mobility

Hip quivers offer enhanced mobility, especially when walking or navigating through challenging terrain. 

The placement on the hip minimizes interference with the archer’s movements. 

However, in indoor ranges with confined space or when an archer employs exceptionally long arrows, hip quivers can pose challenges for both the archer and neighboring participants on the shooting line. 

Consequently, serious competitors tend to shy away from using hip quivers due to the potential interference they may cause in such environments.

In contrast, back quivers, positioned on the back and shoulder, can impede mobility, particularly in dense or confined spaces.

It might look really cool in the movies, but if you shoot a target with a back quiver, you normally end up poking someone on the line with your arrows. They can also be awkward with long arrows, depending on the quiver.

Weight Distribution

The weight distribution is a key difference between the two quiver types. 

Hip quivers distribute the weight around the waist, providing a balanced and comfortable feel. 

On the other hand, back quivers distribute the weight on the back and shoulders. While this can be manageable, it may lead to fatigue during extended periods of use.

Traditional Appeal

Hip quivers are often favored by modern archers for their simplicity and practicality. The placement on the hip aligns with modern archery aesthetics.

In contrast, back quivers have a timeless appeal and are commonly associated with traditional archery practices, contributing to a more historical or traditional look.

That’s a huge reason why most historical films feature the use of back quivers. 

Modern Variations

Both hip and back quivers have evolved with modern designs. Hip quivers may incorporate additional features for customization, such as adjustable straps and pockets for accessories. 

Similarly, modern back quivers often include ergonomic designs for enhanced comfort during prolonged use, combining traditional aesthetics with contemporary functionality.

Visibility

Hip quivers offer clear visibility of arrows, making it easy for archers to keep track of their ammunition. The arrows are readily visible and accessible on the hip. 

In contrast, you, as an archer don’t get to see the arrows in back quivers. This’ll lead the archers to take off the quiver from the back to check their inventory.

Preferential Use

Hip quivers are popular among hunters and those who prioritize quick access to arrows in dynamic situations. The convenience of having arrows at arm’s reach is a significant advantage in scenarios where swift and stealthy action is crucial. 

Back quivers, with their classic appeal, are often preferred by some traditional archers who value the historical and aesthetic aspects of archery.

You can try both of them and compare the two to find the right quiver for you.

Back quivers are more convenient for carrying arrows. Hip quivers get in the way due to the arrows pointing out from the hip (not so much a problem with field quivers), but they’re much easier to retrieve arrows from than a back quiver.

Target shooters use hip quivers not only for the ease of pulling out arrows but as others have mentioned, they also have pockets, which are crucial for an archer on the line to carry tools and spare parts in.

You can get a better understanding of different quiver types and their functionality from the following video:

Hip Quiver vs Back Quiver: Pros and Cons

Hip Quiver

ProsCons
Swift arrow accessCan be uncomfortable on legs
Enhanced mobilityCan catch on other objects in narrow space
Prevents fatigueUncomfortable for seated positions

Back Quiver

ProsCons
Classic aestheticsLimited mobility
Even weight distributionLess visibility of arrows
Traditional feelPotential interference with shooting form
Easier access when stationaryHigh arrow retrieval effort

Conclusion

Choosing between a hip quiver and a field quiver ultimately boils down to personal preference. 

Opt for the hip quiver if you favor visible and easily accessible arrows or plan to carry a substantial amount of gear. On the flip side, the back quiver is ideal for those who like it the old-fashioned way. 

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