Bow Spider Review: The Solution to Hands-Free Hiking in Archery Season

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You can now carry your compound bow hands-free and with minimal issues, thanks to the Bow Spider.

There’s always an onslaught of new products and innovations in the world of bowhunting. Many products I’ve come across seem entirely unnecessary to me. I’m the kind of hunter who never wants to carry the weight of something I don’t need into the backcountry.

I was introduced to the Bow Spider while attending Total Archery Challenge in Terry Peak, South Dakota. I was skeptical at first. This seemed like another additional gimmicky product that would add weight to my system with little reward. In this instance, I was wrong.

The Bow Spider is a simple and easy-to-use mounting system for your bow, and it allows you to move hands-free through the woods.

Read on for my full take on this great product.

What Is the Bow Spider?

bow spider review

There are two main components of the Bow Spider mount. The first is the post, which is attached to your bow via the stabilizer base. The second is the receiver, which is designed to be mounted to you.

There are a few options for mounting the receiver mount. You can purchase clips that attach the receiver to the waist belt of your pack. There are also straps designed to secure the receiver to the back of your pack.

Attaching the receiver to your waist belt gives you two super-handy options. You can slide the post into the receiver and simply let your bow hang at your side, or you can sling it across your body and secure it with the chest strap of your pack.

bow spider review
(Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Letting it hang essentially gives you the ability to let go of your bow without setting it down. If you’re standing around for an extended period of time or glassing, you can slide the post into the receiver in one quick motion and have your hands free.

Mounting the Bow Spider

The sling mount position has been the game-changer for me. With the bow mounted on my waist belt, I could swing the bow across my body, run my chest strap through the riser, and secure the bow in front of me. For long hikes, rugged terrain, or crossing multiple fences, this means my hands are entirely free, and my bow is securely attached to my body.

Another feature I hadn’t expected is that when my bow is connected and I’m exhausted, I can essentially lay my arms over it and rest my head on my bow. It gives you the equivalent of a “field desk” to put your head down on.

The other option of securing your bow to the back of your pack certainly has some practical uses. If you’re taking long hikes to get into places where you don’t need quick access to your bow, or maybe you’re accessing land via horseback or ATV, the back mount seems like a solid option. I didn’t utilize it on the back of my pack.

I typically hunt in areas where I want my bow to be easily accessed, and I happen to be a tiny human. To mount your bow on your back with the bow spider without taking off your pack requires you to swing your bow over your head.

For some, that may be an easy task. For me, not so much.

The Bow Spider in Action

bow spider review
The Bow Spider in sling mode. (Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

This year, I used the Bow Spider for my entire archery season. I hiked through some seriously steep terrain, crossed several streams, and countless fences.

The entire time I was moving, my bow was in that front sling position. My hands were both free, giving me more stability and agility, with the bonus of removing the hand/arm fatigue that comes with manually carrying your bow.

In the instances where I wanted to drop my pack and move more quickly through thick timber, I unclipped my chest strap, swung the bow down, and lifted it off the receiver. It’s quick and simple, meaning I could drop my pack relatively quickly and head off with my bow in hand.

A Huge Bonus: Use in Your Vehicle for Safe Storage

bow spider review
An ingenious mode of transport for your bow; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

The next thing I’m about to tell you is not listed as an intended use. This is my little brainchild. Not to toot my own horn, but BEEP BEEP.

Because I did not intend to use the straps to mount my second Bow Spider to the back of my pack, I instead mounted it to the back of my driver’s seat. This alone is a reason to buy one. It gives you a quick, secure place to mount your bow in your vehicle. I loathe having a big cumbersome case, and I hate having my bow just lying on the backseat, particularly when my quiver is full of broadheads.

This solution keeps your bow secure and quickly accessible. I went a step further and made a small incision at the base of my seat, looped a Velcro strap through, and attached the bottom limb to the actual metal frame of my driver’s seat. This means the bow doesn’t even wiggle on the roughest of washed-out roads.

Where It Could Be Better

No product is without its shortcomings. Unfortunately, the Bow Spider certainly has one. It all comes down to the post. The metal mounting piece that attaches to the actual bow has two drawbacks.

The first is simple: It adds weight. I can’t say if the weight is noticeable to me, but if you’re counting ounces, it’s worth noting.

The second flaw is a big one that I’m still trying to solve. The post is attached by removing your stabilizer, lining up the hole of the Bow Spider post with the mounting hole on your bow, and then reattaching your stabilizer. Because of this, if you have the style of stabilizer that twists on instead of bolts on, the weight of your bow on the post almost always loosens your stabilizer.

After an entire season of hunting with the Bow Spider, I’ve finally picked up the habit of giving my stabilizer a quick twist each time I pick it up.

This is not ideal but also will not prevent me from using the Bow Spider. The pros far outweigh the cons.

Final Thoughts

I love this thing. I think a definitive way of deciding whether or not you love a product is to go out into the field without it after you’ve used it for a while.

Unfortunately, my vehicle was broken into after opening weekend of rifle season this year. One of the items taken was my hunting pack, and attached to my pack was my Bow Spider. I went on a few additional archery hunts afterward, only to find myself distraught without the ability to easily strap my bow to myself. It genuinely felt as if I was struggling in ways I hadn’t all season.

That alone will be the reason I replace my stolen Bow Spider before next season. It’s a solution to a problem I didn’t even know I had, and it has drastically improved my ability to move around in the field.

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